Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Congress: A New Beginning

Dennis W. asked a fascinating question in response to this post and some of the prior comments.  Unfortunately it is not getting any answers over there....  So what do you think?   MP Fresh Start
"It appears the fresh start lasted about what, less than 3-4 days? Seems this column can't even get a fresh start, how does anyone expect DC to move forward? Would be real curious, really curious, what does a "Centralist" look like? Are they like Unicorns? Got my ideas, be interested in other folks point of view." Dennis W.

"Remember my continuum.  Political Continuum...
  • We have Sanders trying to pull us to a 2 position.
  • We have Hillary maybe aiming for a 4 position
  • We have Jeb/Marco aiming for a 6 or 7 position
  • And the far Righters aiming for an 8 or 9
To me it is just a question of who do you want deciding how much you will save, where you will invest it, who will choose your insurance policy, etc. If a person wants the politicians and bureaucrats doing this, vote for Democrats. If you want to control it yourself, vote for a Republican." G2A
"Who would be in between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton? Along those lines...
WP It is Hard to be a Moderate" G2A 



Sean said...

I don't think the question is so much about where one lies on the spectrum, but rather about how rational you are about how much power you hold and how willing you are to compromise. The House "Freedom Caucus" acts like they have the votes to control the agenda, but they don't.

The question with Paul Ryan isn't so much how conservative he is, but will his caucus line up behind him to take the best deal possible or will they insist on a deal that will never exist. You can be very conservative or very liberal and still make practical decisions to take half a loaf if that's the best you can do at the moment.

Whether you agree with them or not, Pelosi and Reid have accomplished more lasting change than Boehner and McConnell have because they have been willing (or able) to cut deals.

Sean said...

And before you anoint Rubio as a somewhat moderate Republican, you should review his actual positions.

John said...

"Pelosi and Reid have accomplished more lasting change"

I am not sure what is lasting or good... More National Debt, More Terrorists, Increasing insurance premiums, etc... I assume the Prohibitionists felt they had accomplished something good and lasting when they got it passed in 1920.
CNS Accomplished

Sean said...

What significant legislation did John Boehner shepherd into law while he was Speaker?

Laurie said...

I believe the word is centrist and it seems to me that such a person does not advocate for any big policy shifts in either direction. I think if one were to compare the policies of presidential candidates in terms of impact on the budget (and deficit) Clinton would come out as most centrist. I think Sanders policies might have less impact on the budget than those of the GOP candiates, though I don't think his proposals are specifc enough to really compare. Here is my impression of GOP candidates:

from right to far right:Kasich, Christie, Bush, Huckabee, Rubio, Paul, Trump, Cruz, Carson

candidates to lame to rate: Fiorina, Graham, Jindal, Santorum

John said...

Sean, John Boehner and the Republicans prevented a huge increase in government spending and increased taxes under Obama. Now I know that you appreciate increased government intervention in our society and see things like ACA as "good and lasting", however others see increasing government control as a big step in the wrong direction. "Accomplishments" like beauty are apparently in the eye of the beholder.

Laurie, Wiki Centrism
You may be correct that Sanders may have the sense to add enough taxes to pay for all the freebies he is offering. However remember that his efforts would put a lot more of our GDP under the control of politicians and bureaucrats.

Sean said...

"Sean, John Boehner and the Republicans prevented a huge increase in government spending and increased taxes under Obama. "

What big "tax and spend" program did Obama propose that Boehner stopped?

Laurie said...

how do you know this "his efforts would put a lot more of our GDP under the control of politicians and bureaucrats." ? define " a lot." I don't think he has made a specific plan as to how much he would increase taxes. It seems to me dem tax increase are usually a smaller magnitude than GOP tax cut plans.

John said...

He supports the following. Just instituting "Single Payer" by itself would move $1+ Trillion more dollars into the government's control. Not to mention the Free College and Pre-K program costs.
Sanders on Issues

"1.Demanding that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes. As president, Sen. Sanders will stop corporations from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. He will create a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million. He will also enact a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.

2.Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020. In the year 2015, no one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.

3.Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years towards rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.

4.Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs. If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.

5.Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program. Today, the youth unemployment rate is off the charts. We have got to end this tragedy by making sure teenagers and young adults have the jobs they need to move up the economic ladder.

6.Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. It is an outrage that women earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.

7.Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America. Everyone in this country who studies hard should be able to go to college regardless of income.

8.Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000. At a time when the senior poverty rate is going up, we have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect.

9.Guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system. It’s time for the U.S. to join every major industrialized country on earth and provide universal healthcare to all.

10.Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill.

11.Enacting a universal childcare and prekindergarten program. Every psychologist understands that the most formative years for a human being is from the ages 0-3. We have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality childcare and pre-K program.

12.Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined.

13.Breaking up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail. Seven years ago, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because they were too big to fail. Yet, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions are 80 percent bigger today than before we bailed them out. Sen. Sanders has introduced legislation to break these banks up. As president, he will fight to sign this legislation into law."

John said...

Here is one years wish list that did not happen. GOP saves us $200 Billion.

Sean said...

The gap between the two budgets was $129B, not $200B. Trump's tax plan wish list would blow a hole in the deficit more than 5x the size of Obama's.

But, hey, keep lecturing us all on the how the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility.

And going back...

"others see increasing government control as a big step in the wrong direction"

Republicans are all in favor of increasing government control. They just do it in different places than Democrats do.

John said...

"GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility"

I am not sure I have ever thought or written that. They do seem to get carried away with their tax cuts, just like the Dems get carried away with their spending increases.

Remember one of my favorite articles. It is a spending problem It explains well that both sides are to blame.