View Poll Results: DP members replacing our current Congress would yield better results?

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  • Agree

    20 44.44%
  • Disagree

    25 55.56%
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Thread: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

  1. #41
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    WRONG.

    The people in office are the ones that RAN FOR OFFICE. These people have characteristics that are not always good.

    Charismatic yet vain.
    Shallow and appeasing.
    Greedy.
    Power seeking.
    People pleaser's instead of problem solvers.
    Feelings of Entitlement.
    Rich (so not in touch with the people.)
    I could go on...

    And the people are not bitching because they do or do not have any of the skills you mentioned, many of which are completely irrelevant to voting on an issue and represent the very issue that people are disgusted with anyway (big partisan entrenched government), but that average people can see an issue and have a valid opinion and/or make a valid and often times BETTER decision than the greedy, power seeking, charismatic yet vain and rich politician that they had to vote for because to vote for the opponent was to vote for the exact same type of person just carrying a slightly different message.

    A crock of **** and a total joke...
    A majority of voters chose them. That's democracy. Deal with it.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  2. #42
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    I think you might want to revise your population estimate down by a factor of 1,000. There are 300 million Americans. That's $1 per person per year. That's quite a lot.
    Oops. The old b vs. m. I meant million. The point remains.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  3. #43
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Yes, the voters sure do seem to like candidates who spend money, don't they?
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  4. #44
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    A majority of voters chose them. That's democracy. Deal with it.
    If they are the only ones running for office you can vote or not... I choose not to vote many times or I choose to vote for a third party nominee that would be better but has no chance of winning simply because I will not waste my vote as the majority do. What we have is democracy in name only... you need to accept that and deal with it yourself.
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    I have pooped in public, even in public neighborhoods.
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    You can successfully wipe your ass with toilet paper, that doesn't mean that you should.

  5. #45
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhisattva View Post
    If they are the only ones running for office you can vote or not
    That's why you can also vote in primaries. You should watch the news.

    What we have is democracy in name only... you need to accept that and deal with it yourself.
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaah.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  6. #46
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    What you're missing is that Senators don't actually have a staff of 100.

    According to this study, it's 35, including staff working in offices back home (often several offices to cover the whole state).

    http://www.llsdc.org/attachments/wys...CRS-98-340.pdf

    Campaign staff are entirely different, and aren't paid by tax funds.
    That surprises me. I had the privilege of interning for a senator once and between the home office and the DC office there definitely were at least 80 folks working there and I think more like 100. That said though, quite a few of them were unpaid and quite a few others were paid by the committee the senator worked on rather than the senator's own budget, but they report to the senator. Could be those two things together explain the difference.

  7. #47
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Run that past me again. A Senator will have a staff of 100? What for? Assuming a (very low) $30,000 average salary, that's 10,000 people, costing $300,000,000 just to service members of the Senate??? Are they paid for from the public purse, in which case... wtf? Or from the Senators themselves which either means you have to be very wealthy (plutocracy, or what?) to keep a staff costing $3,000,000 a year, or from campaign contributions, in which case half of that 100 staff are going to be spending their working lives fund-raising... in order that they can be paid... to fund raise!

    What am I missing here?
    As noted above, many of them are volunteers, and yeah, they get paid very little. You often have like Yale Law graduates and who would easily be making $500k/year or even $2m/year in the private sector working for senators making $45k and whatnot. You can find the lists of staff and total cost for salaries by senator here- Congressional Staff Salaries by Senator

    The average seems to be around $2.5 million/year.

    As for what they do, tons. You can divide the staff into three groups- administrative, communications and legislative. The administrative staff is what you would expect in any office- the receptionist, the IT person, the office manager, etc. The communications staff includes people that respond to constituent letters, people that meet with groups and individuals in the home state, press people, etc. Usually the communication staff is half in DC and half in their home state. Between admin and communications, that is usually the majority of the staff. Probably around half of the folks working in those roles are unpaid, maybe a little more than half.

    Then you have the legislative team. That might be say 20 salaried people and maybe 3 unpaid law clerks. Each of them will have an area of responsibility or multiple areas. For example, one might have health care and education, another might have defense, others might have foreign relations, economics, science, agriculture, etc. Every day something in the neighborhood of 100 significant things come up that the senator's legislative staff needs to make a decision on. For example, an amendment to a bill that will be voted on in a committee the senator sits on, remarks that need to be prepared for a speech to veterans returning from Iraq from the senator's state, an article about a company doing something that may be important to an area the senator focuses on, preparing questions for a witness that the senator will be questioning at an upcoming hearing, etc. Most of those issues are incredibly important to somebody. Maybe it's just what seems like a petty issue with a particular pesticide taking too long to get approved, but maybe that means 200 jobs in the home state if it doesn't get approved, or on the flip side, maybe if it does get approved it means 25 children being born with birth defects. Maybe asking the right question in the upcoming hearing will shift the way the senate ends up perceiving a key issue with some upcoming legislation and ends up having an even greater effect.

    And many of those 100 issues are extremely complex. Maybe a company is coming in complaining about what they perceive as an unnecessary technicality in a statute that is preventing them from expanding into a new area of business. There could have been 50 court cases dealing with that clause, there could be 100 companies that have a stance on the issue and 10 non-profit groups. There could be hundreds of articles on the topic and chapters in a dozen books. There could be extensive CRS reports and legislative history. All said and done to really master the topic might take a particularly adept researcher a week. But, since there are only 20 or so on the legislative staff, and 100 issues like that a day, they really can only work on each one for a couple of hours. IMO that is one of the biggest Achilles heels of our government. That is where lobbyists sneak in. If somebody only has two hours to look at a complicated issue, you can have tremendous influence just by showing up at the right time with the right documents and having everything rolled together in a persuasive package. I'm kind of a measure twice, cut once kind of guy. In my view, the communications and administrative staffs are adequate, but the legislative staffs should be double or tripled. One bad decision by the senate can easily cost the country more than the entire cost of all the legislative staffs of all the senators and representatives. It's just good sense to take precautions to avoid that.

  8. #48
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Since nearly all members debate from exactly the same two partisans given to them by the talking heads on TV, I cannot see it making any difference.

  9. #49
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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That surprises me. I had the privilege of interning for a senator once and between the home office and the DC office there definitely were at least 80 folks working there and I think more like 100. That said though, quite a few of them were unpaid and quite a few others were paid by the committee the senator worked on rather than the senator's own budget, but they report to the senator. Could be those two things together explain the difference.
    Well, yeah, if you count the unpaid ones. But that's not the point. And the committee staff, which are...committee staff.

    Which state was this? Likely a large one. 35 is just the average - a state like California or NY will have more, of course.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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    Re: Could we replace the entire Congress with DP members and get better results?

    I voted 'yes", because I'm frustrated with congress. However, I'm now think probably "not." We have a much wider scope of opinions than congress' small amount of parties. We discuss at more angles than they do. To bad they can't be forced to discuss and forced to make decisions instead of putting things off.
    "The measure off intelligence is the ability to change." Albert Einstein

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