only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM permalink
Where do we start?

This is ony the tip of the iceberg but I think it will start a healthy discussion.


Politics: Do away with the electoral college. Most votes win. Establish term limits for the senate and congress. Budget must be balanced. Eliminate all lobbyists in Wash.

Banking: Hold banks accountable, no bailouts for reckless behavior.

Retail: Only the strong will survive, no bailouts

Immigration: assimilate all undocumented people, Anyone with criminal record deported. Tighten up border security. Make a crime to enact any type of business with an undocumented person.

Drugs: Make pot legal. Release all first time offenders that are serving time.

Guns: Illegial possession mandatory 5 year sentence, no exceptions. possession while committing a crime life.

Prostitution: Legal and regulated

Gambling: Online legal and regulated, same with sports betting.
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P90
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:12:49 AM permalink
So... soft on drugs but hard on guns.
Soft on illegal immigration, but hard on business, now you need ID to buy a burger.

Anyone undocumented greencarded, anyone with a record deported, solution: have a record, throw your papers out.

Legal gambling, so possession of a shotgun in the gun cabinet while 'defrauding' an internet casino out of its bonuses, mandatory life sentence.

Are you sure you are thinking these things up on your own, and not playing to your party's tune?
"Drugs good, guns bad, illegals good, business bad".
We sure as hell are not going to get anything on the right path playing to a party tune.
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JohnnyQ
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:13:05 AM permalink
Quote: only1choice



Politics: Do away with the electoral college. Most votes win.


I agree with the principle of this one. I read an article once
saying it couldn't be done and still insure an accurate vote
count, but that excuse seems riduculous.

Quote: only1choice


Drugs: Make pot legal. Release all first time offenders that are serving time.


We've clearly lost the war on drugs. I'm not sure why
we are fighting it anyway. Look at the atrocities being
committed in Mexico because our laws make the
drug trade so profitable. Those atrocities are what
we really should be trying to stop.

IF the war on drugs is because it makes people lazy and
non-productive in society,
then let's SAY that and start drug testing anyone getting
a welfare check.

- ACTUALLY, let's start with drug tests for all
members of the House and Senate. Let them
set the example.

And how is it that marijuana is worse than alcohol ?


ACTUALLY, I think what really needs to change is the
ENTITLEMENT attitude. Whatever happened to a little
self reliance ? Too many people expect (demand) a
check from the government.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
JohnnyQ
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:13:42 AM permalink
Quote: only1choice



Politics: Do away with the electoral college. Most votes win.



I agree with the principle of this one. I read an article once
saying it couldn't be done and still insure an accurate vote
count, but that seems riduculous.

Quote: only1choice


Drugs: Make pot legal. Release all first time offenders that are serving time.


We've clearly lost the war on drugs. I'm not sure why
we are fighting it anyway ?

IF it is because it makes people lazy and non-productive,
then let's SAY that and start drug testing anyone getting
a welfare check.

And how is it that marijuana is worse than alcohol ?


ACTUALLY, I think what really needs to change is the
ENTITLEMENT attitude. Whatever happened to a little
self reliance ? Too many people expect (demand) a
check from the government.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
JohnnyQ
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:14:12 AM permalink
ooops.
There's emptiness behind their eyes There's dust in all their hearts They just want to steal us all and take us all apart
only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:19:39 AM permalink
Nobody said this is going to be easy. Only soft on marijuana. Business did just fine without any help from wash, what changed?
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FleaStiff
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:27:14 AM permalink
Quote: JohnnyQ

We've clearly lost the war on drugs. I'm not sure why we are fighting it anyway.


Because we have to build more prisons and fill more prison cells and hire more drug police and hire more prosecutors.
All drug law enforcement is for the benefit of the market place: it acts as price support and barriers to entry.

Everyone in the whole darn county in Mendocino is in the drug trade... we are now in the second generation of the local car dealership leading the Anti-pot campaign. Neither he nor his father ever wanted to admit who was buying all those 4 wheel drive vehicles after harvest time.
rxwine
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:28:14 AM permalink
Quote: only1choice

. Business did just fine without any help from wash, what changed?



Huh?

Just as an example, a country where workers only make dollars a day starts undercutting american companies with their super cheap imports.

It's not the legislators that start screaming for something to be done.
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only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:30:56 AM permalink
Quote: rxwine

Huh?



I am strictly referring to the bailouts, not regulation.
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CrapsForever
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:34:47 AM permalink
*Promoting Small Business
*Sharing the Wealth
*Guaranteed Jobs for everyone with a Bachelor's Degree
*Bailouts for real people not just corporations
*Realistic Unemployment Wages
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only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:43:06 AM permalink
Quote: P90

So... soft on drugs but hard on guns.
Soft on illegal immigration, but hard on business, now you need ID to buy a burger.

Anyone undocumented greencarded, anyone with a record deported, solution: have a record, throw your papers out.

Legal gambling, so possession of a shotgun in the gun cabinet while 'defrauding' an internet casino out of its bonuses, mandatory life sentence.

Are you sure you are thinking these things up on your own, and not playing to your party's tune?
"Drugs good, guns bad, illegals good, business bad".
We sure as hell are not going to get anything on the right path playing to a party tune.



Rather then critiqueing my thoughts please give your ideas. I am all ears.
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MrV
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:46:25 AM permalink
We, the people of the earth, are too divisive and distrustful of one another.

The catalyst for necessary change would be some form of Unifying Cause, a thing we would all have to work together to confront.

My vote: Alien Invasion
"What, me worry?"
only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:54:18 AM permalink
Quote: MrV

We, the people of the earth, are too divisive and distrustful of one another.

The catalyst for necessary change would be some form of Unifying Cause, a thing we would all have to work together to confront.

My vote: Alien Invasion



You know I laughed when I read your comment, and then I thought you are right. In a situation as dire that we are in now we do need a rallying cry to get us all together. Unfortunately I don't think an invasion is emminent howevever a war is not out of the question. But I would hope that some how some way we as a nation will come together and solve our problems.
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Doc
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June 2nd, 2012 at 11:43:16 AM permalink
Quote: CrapsForever

*Guaranteed Jobs for everyone with ....


Bad idea.
P90
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June 2nd, 2012 at 11:56:05 AM permalink
Quote: only1choice

Rather then critiqueing my thoughts please give your ideas. I am all ears.


Our ideas won't mesh.

Do I give you the long version or the short one?
The long one would need a separate thread. The short one is that the two-party system is one of the problems, well illustrated by the inconsistencies in your opening post: parties take inconsistent positions just to be opposed to the other one.

It's also much easier to tell how we won't get any country on the right path. For instance, we won't get it on the right path by a mandatory N-year sentence for the possession of drugs, guns, beer by a minor, old cars, imported cars, undocumented people. Neither will we get it on the right path by mass legalizing any of the above.
More broadly speaking, we won't get it on the right path through implementing knee-jerk solutions to superficial concerns.

I would be better able to tell how to get it on the right path if we all knew and agreed on what that path is.
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only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 12:00:50 PM permalink
I am very impressed by how much you said in so little words. If we cannot find a mutual path together god help this world.
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TheBigPaybak
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June 2nd, 2012 at 12:14:49 PM permalink
1. Approve the Keystone Pipeline: here's something with strong, majority bi-partisan support that will instantly produce jobs and strengthen our independence from Middle-Eastern oil. Strong bi-partisan support and unions love it, what's the problem?!!!
2. Implement a long-term "everything" energy policy, focusing on complete exploitation of our oil and gas reserves. Most people don't even realize the unbelievable amount of oil and gas reserves we have waiting to brought to market. Here's a thought experiment for you: pretend you have a family of five with a ten acre farm in rural West Virginia with a past-due mortgage and no food on the table when someone comes up to you and says, "You know, you have $100 million worth of trapped oil on your land- do you mind if we drill for it and we'll pay you a percentage?" Would anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, refuse? Of course you wouldn't, because when it comes to *your* family you never pass the buck but many people don't have a problem passing the buck sitting on their high-horse preaching some unworkable solution. Wake up people- that's what the current administration is in a sense doing. What will it take before we start to cultivate our resources- riots in the streets? You may not *love* the idea of increasing oil production, but we're clearly past the point of solutions everyone is going to like.
3. Repeal Obamacare. Business doesn't like uncertainty and this program introduces a whole, heaping helping of it. Most companies don't expect to be bailed out so they do what's logical: they try and prepare for the worst. Uncertainty is a jobs-killer and when the country is taking on a trillion in debt per year, that's a whole lot of uncertainty. So what does the current administration do? Add another unsustainable entitlement program. Genius. If the postal service, Medicare, or Social Security where extremely well-run programs, maybe I'd have a little more confidence. But they aren't, so I don't.
4. Simplify the tax system. At minimum, put a structure in place so people at least know what there taxes are going to be so they can adequately plan.
5. Tone down the rhetoric. So let's see, we have House representative Paul Ryan make a proposal on entitlement reform and for his troubles, he's given an invitation to the State-of-the-Union and openly mocked- plus a television commercial showing his twin literally pushing Grandma off the cliff. Yeah, that's constructive...
6. Institute an across-the-board spending freeze. What's silly is that when people talk about "cuts", they're talking about reducing the rate of increase of spending, there are no cuts! At least if we don't increase spending, we'll be better off from where we're at now.

Enough for now, though... :)
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
JohnnyQ
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June 2nd, 2012 at 12:39:21 PM permalink
Quote: TheBigPaybak

5. Tone down the rhetoric. So let's see, we have House representative Paul Ryan make a proposal on entitlement reform and for his troubles, he's given an invitation to the State-of-the-Union and openly mocked- plus a television commercial showing his twin literally pushing Grandma off the cliff. Yeah, that's constructive



I'll second that.

But the super-pacs seem to be a huge step in the
wrong direction for that one.

Anyone trust Karl Rove to run an ad campaign
with the highest ethics ?
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P90
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June 2nd, 2012 at 1:05:32 PM permalink
Quote: TheBigPaybak

2. Implement a long-term "everything" energy policy, focusing on complete exploitation of our oil and gas reserves. Most people don't even realize the unbelievable amount of oil and gas reserves we have waiting to brought to market.


US is the 3rd country by oil production with 9% of world output, and nowhere near the top by oil reserves, holding only 1.4% and shrinking.

There is no long-term "exploit everything" policy, unless by a long term you just mean two consecutive presidential terms, hit-and-run style. That's what these "unbelievable" reserves are good for, if pushed to provide for the consumption.

Five terms until it's dry if you count full estimates of potentially recoverable reserves, but only half can be economically recovered before you start stomping your feet to buy foreign oil just so you can afford getting to work.

On the other hand, US has Saudi, a fundamentalist theocratic state and a worse regime than the ones you see falling with US military help, tolerated and supported in exchange for access to its oil.
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TheBigPaybak
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June 2nd, 2012 at 1:23:57 PM permalink
Quote: P90

US is the 3rd country by oil production with 9% of world output, and nowhere near the top by oil reserves, holding only 1.4% and shrinking.



This is up for much debate, and many believe very much underestimated. Google "how much oil does the us have" for starters.

So you can throw around figures and I can throw around figures. But in the end, saying the US isn't an oil/gas rich country doesn't pass the smell test when complaints are abundant with the lack of permits for offshore drilling, backlash against natural-gas production, killing the Keystone pipeline, lack of drilling on federal lands.

I recently heard an interview by an ex-oil executive, who happened to also be a Democrat who voted for Obama, and his comments were troubling regarding the administration's constant roadblocks versus the potential this country has.

I was in elementary school in the seventies, and I recall how the "wisdom" at the time was that we'd run out of oil in 20 or 30 years. It wasn't true then and it's not true now.

It's helping North Dakota.

It's helping Texas.

Why not increase production elsewhere?
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
P90
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June 2nd, 2012 at 1:29:55 PM permalink
Quote: TheBigPaybak

This is up for much debate, and many believe very much underestimated. Google "how much oil does the us have" for starters.


I wouldn't really want to start a debate about dark magick, speculation, conspiracy theories and wet dreams here.

Quote: TheBigPaybak

But in the end, saying the US isn't an oil/gas rich country doesn't pass the smell test


It is then fortunate that over the course of the 20th century oil rush, scientists and technologists have developed a number of more advanced tests for oil.
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duffytootx
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June 2nd, 2012 at 1:46:53 PM permalink
only1:

I don't agree about the pot but most everything else looks okay. Especially the changes in DC.
only1choice
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June 2nd, 2012 at 1:53:53 PM permalink
Thanks, I love this country as I'm sure the rest of you do. But I just don't see anyone taking a serious attempt at tackling some of these issues.
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FleaStiff
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June 2nd, 2012 at 2:26:35 PM permalink
>Where do we start?
Who is the "WE"... you remind of some elementary school class declaring Santa Monica, CA to be a Nuclear Free Zone.

>Politics: Do away with the electoral college.
Hardly a major problem and in many circumstances a good protection.
>Establish term limits for the senate and congress.
Senators and Congressmen don't particularly relish having raised and spent all that money only to have to fade away into the sunset.
>Budget must be balanced.
Hah. Most budgets are balanced or else expenses are hidden off the books. Most budget expenses goes to salaries.
> Eliminate all lobbyists in Wash.
All those wealthy corporations are not particularly anxious to stop buying the ears of those in power.
>Banking: Hold banks accountable, no bailouts for reckless behavior.
Reckless? Congress and other agencies had authority to define reckless and monitor banking behavior.

>Retail: Only the strong will survive, no bailouts
No mom and pops, only Walmart with its excellent salaries and customer service policies.
All those retail chains out of business and all those shopping center leases terminated thus making local shopping centers ghost towns and non-tax paying sinkholes.

>Immigration: assimilate all undocumented people, Anyone with criminal record deported.
EVERYONE has a criminal record these days.
> Tighten up border security.
Most smuggling is influenced by law enforcement personnel.

> Make a crime to enact any type of business with an undocumented person.
LOL.

>Drugs: Make pot legal.
In many areas of the USA and Canada, the ONLY jobs are Pot related. The ENTIRE economy is drug driven.
> Release all first time offenders that are serving time.
Prison guard unions don't like things like that and will vote legislators out of office if they try it.

>Guns: Illegial possession mandatory 5 year sentence, no exceptions. possession while committing a crime life.
Cops would just love that. Defenseless victims. Cops have guns. Criminals have guns. Innocent people are defenseless.

>Prostitution: Legal and regulated
There is an ever increasing supply of street walkers. If you get them off the streets and into brothels or escort services, more streetwalkers show up!

>Gambling: Online legal and regulated, same with sports betting.
I suppose you want the manufacture of booze to be legal also... and therefore not profitable.
We used to have thousands of breweries in this country, we made it illegal and wound up with six.
You think online bookies want to be one of thousands or one of six?
SOOPOO
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June 2nd, 2012 at 3:22:28 PM permalink
Quote: only1choice

Eliminate all lobbyists in Wash.



OK. Here we go... What is a 'lobbyist'? It is someone who is paid to give information to a congressman or senator, so that legislation will REPRESENT your point of view. Since most people or even small corporations cannot go to Washington and meet with their elected representatives, they hire someone to do so.

I am essentially an unpaid lobbyist. I go to Washington, and my state capital, Albany, once ayear to meet with MY representatives. I inform them of the possible impact proposed legislation would have on me and my patients. If not me, an anesthesiologist, who whould be the one informing our elected representatives about the needs of our profession? And the way their bills will affect our patients? This April we descended on Washington, and one of our main 'lobbying' efforts was to try and find a way to alleviate the drug shortage problem affecting our specialty. (Google 'drug shortages').

I AM A SPECIAL INTEREST!

I offer no bribes, no trips to Bermuda, just my knowledge and expertise. Me letting my representatives know what is important to me is what a REPRESENTATIVE government is all about. If not, we, the people, would need to vote on every issue. That is not feasible.

If you want to make sure that lobbyists do not illegally bribe or induce or extort or etc... Then we would all agree on that.
Face
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June 2nd, 2012 at 7:01:52 PM permalink
Quote: only1choice

In a situation as dire that we are in now we do need a rallying cry to get us all together. Unfortunately I don't think an invasion is emminent howevever a war is not out of the question. But I would hope that some how some way we as a nation will come together and solve our problems.



After bin Laden was killed and a thread was posted, I kind of went off on a tangent and spoke of this same thing. 9/11, for all it's horribleness, brought this country together unlike any time I'v ever seen in my life. Shame it takes such an event to bring out our potential.

Questions like this always bring out the problems. Look how just 20 people can't even agree and can punch holes through each other's solutions rather easily. Now try 270mm. Very difficult. About the only completely and utterly obvious one is to end the "War on Drugs". Totally inept, entirely counter productive. We're spending untold millions to jail otherwise harmless people and make a bunch of kingpins rich. And there actually IS a fix to the problem. It's crazy we just keep on with this incredible folly.
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Nareed
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June 2nd, 2012 at 7:16:25 PM permalink
Here's a list that will tee everyone off. A certain sign that it's right :)

1) End all corporate welfare. ALL of it: regulations, bailouts, subsidies, import restrictions, exemptions, tax breaks, etc.

2) End all middle-class welfare. Again, ALL of it: social security, medicare, tax breaks, subsidies, public schools, unemployment "insurance," etc.

3) Severely restrict all other welfare, with the goal of eliminating it altogether in 10 to 15 years, if that long.

4) Reduce government oversight of business, including most regulations, licensing requirements, etc. In most cases all it accomplishes is to slow down growth, drive prices up and restrict options for everyone.

5) Open the borders to all immigrants.

6) Legalize all drugs (and I do mean ALL drugs) for adults 21 and older. Sale of hard drugs to children, teens and adults 18 to 20 should be punishable by life in prison.

7) Without so much money wasted on welfare and cumbersome regulatory agencies, taxes should come down. In particular eliminate all instances of double taxation such as inheritance taxes and capital gains taxes.


Of course that's just for starters.
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rxwine
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June 2nd, 2012 at 7:39:36 PM permalink
Quote: Face

. About the only completely and utterly obvious one is to end the "War on Drugs". Totally inept, entirely counter productive. We're spending untold millions to jail otherwise harmless people and make a bunch of kingpins rich. And there actually IS a fix to the problem. It's crazy we just keep on with this incredible folly.



The "War on Drugs" is about middle-aged itself. If there anything at all to the saying that keep doing the same thing and expecting different outcome is the definition of insanity, this is it.

Even if you're the most staunch anti-legalization advocate in the world at least consider dealing with the problem from a different angle and see what happens.

I'd like to see test legalization with an expiration period after certain amount of time, giving people the chance to let it expire -- perhaps back to our default situation. That at least would give the idea a chance. Dealing with legal addicts may not be great either, but we might be able to avoid pitfalls of other places that legalized them by learning something from the mistakes they already made.
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Toes14
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June 2nd, 2012 at 8:53:01 PM permalink
1. Cut entitlement programs. Give decreasing payments for welfare families who keep having more kids. (If you can't afford the 2-3 you already have, quit procreating until you can afford more!) Make unemployment payments a temporary thing. (3-6 months, tops) Change food stamp programs to only allow purchases of healthy, reasonably priced foods. (My tax dollars should not pay for you to eat Twinkies or Filet Mignon!!!)

2. Force a balanced budget every year. I read some figures recently that likened our budget to a family earning $23,700/year and spending $39,500/year, with $145,000 in credit card debt! That's insane, and no way to run anything!

3. Quit paying scientists millions to study the mating habits of dolphins and other such nonsense. Serious research is fine, but we've all heard of these ridiculous studies going on. Who green lights these things?

4. Apply serious term limits. Make it so you can have a political career, but eliminate the possibility of a politician holding the same office over & over again. I'm thinking 12 year cap on local level politics (mayor, alderman, etc.), 12 years at the state level (state rep, state senator, governor), and 12 years at the national level (congressman, senator, president). Change the presidential term from 4 years with a two term max to one six year term, period. Think about how much a president would focus on accomplishing to enhance his legacy if he knew there was no chance of running again.

5. Simplify the tax code. Move more towards a flat tax rate and eliminate many unnecessary exemptions and deductibles. Stop double taxing corporate stock dividends.

6. Downsize the government. Federal Government should be responsible for the big ticket items that private citizens, corporations, and smaller governments can't handle - national security/defense, natural disaster recovery, public health & safety, international relations, etc. Make government employees responsible for productivity and results.
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EvenBob
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June 2nd, 2012 at 9:20:00 PM permalink
Simple. A car in every garage, a chicken in every pot.
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FleaStiff
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:14:17 PM permalink
>5) Open the borders to all immigrants.
What nation ever lets itself be flooded by poor and uneducated parasites? All wars of wars of Us versus Them. All wars are wars of genetic cleansing and the preservation of national identity and national values.

>6) Legalize all drugs (and I do mean ALL drugs) for adults 21 and older.
Why are you selecting 21? For most of this country's history the age of consent was 11. Later it was raised to 16. 21 is a very recent increase utterly unjustifiable biologically or sociologically.
> Sale of hard drugs to children, teens and adults 18 to 20 should be punishable by life in prison.
Such Draconian sentences are what creates a prison population. Most species seek drugs. Most people on drugs are impaired only due to the price paid and the impurities ingested. Are you really going to ban tobacco and alcohol since they are drugs?

>7) Without so much money wasted on welfare and cumbersome regulatory agencies, taxes should come down.
Yes, they should but they never do.
QuadDeuces
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June 2nd, 2012 at 10:50:48 PM permalink
The main problem with this country is the central government is 0% concerned with protecting the people's freedoms, thus allowing wealth to be earned and kept by the people.

Every decision made in Washington is 100% centered around:

  1. How many votes will it buy so I can stay in power?
  2. How much tax revenue will it generate so we can stay in power?
  3. How will it help the government become bigger and more powerful?


The beast is out of the cage. Getting it back in will be tricky. It certainly won't go back in willingly. It probably won't go back in alive.
SOOPOO
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June 3rd, 2012 at 4:05:30 AM permalink
Quote: Toes14

1. Cut entitlement programs. Give decreasing payments for welfare families who keep having more kids. (If you can't afford the 2-3 you already have, quit procreating until you can afford more!) Make unemployment payments a temporary thing. (3-6 months, tops) Change food stamp programs to only allow purchases of healthy, reasonably priced foods. (My tax dollars should not pay for you to eat Twinkies or Filet Mignon!!!)

2. Force a balanced budget every year. I read some figures recently that likened our budget to a family earning $23,700/year and spending $39,500/year, with $145,000 in credit card debt! That's insane, and no way to run anything!

3. Quit paying scientists millions to study the mating habits of dolphins and other such nonsense. Serious research is fine, but we've all heard of these ridiculous studies going on. Who green lights these things?

4. Apply serious term limits. Make it so you can have a political career, but eliminate the possibility of a politician holding the same office over & over again. I'm thinking 12 year cap on local level politics (mayor, alderman, etc.), 12 years at the state level (state rep, state senator, governor), and 12 years at the national level (congressman, senator, president). Change the presidential term from 4 years with a two term max to one six year term, period. Think about how much a president would focus on accomplishing to enhance his legacy if he knew there was no chance of running again.

5. Simplify the tax code. Move more towards a flat tax rate and eliminate many unnecessary exemptions and deductibles. Stop double taxing corporate stock dividends.

6. Downsize the government. Federal Government should be responsible for the big ticket items that private citizens, corporations, and smaller governments can't handle - national security/defense, natural disaster recovery, public health & safety, international relations, etc. Make government employees responsible for productivity and results.



1. Welfare payments are (theoretically) there to pay the minimum needs of the family. If a family has more children, its minimum needs are greater. It makes no sense to give lower payments for larger families, and larger payments for smaller families. If you are totally against the concept of 'welfare', then that is another story.
Why even have 'unemployment' payments? The concept is idiotic. Someone with $10,000,000 in the bank, laid off from their job, will still qualify! I have a friend, age 67, who was 'downsized' and is collecting. She has been offerred jobs but none pay enough over what she is 'making' from unemployment to make it worthwhile for her to 'quit' unemployment! The government paying its citizens NOT to work, to actually place a disincentive to finding work, is insane! If an unemployed person is in need, then the welfare system is there as a safety net.
As far as the food stamp regulations, since we live in a society where everything has a value and is easily traded, that requirement wouild just not work. So make them use real $ for the booze, and use the stamps for lettuce. They can sell the lettuce to buy more booze.
2. I like your idea. I started an entire thread on the subject earlier.
3. Those studies are what are commonly called 'earmarks'. They are added to a bill, and thus it is impossible to vote against the ridiculous earmark without voting down the entire bill. I agree with you that each 'earmark' should be evaluated on its own merit.
4. Term limits is complicated. What if the president REALLY sucks (like now)? Do you want to be stuck with him/her for another 2 years with no real recourse?
5. Simplification of the tax code is good. The flat tax really would benefit high earners at the expense of the lowest earners. Saying 'eliminate deductions' is too vague. Give us examples. Eliminate the deductions for your dependent children? Eliminate the deduction for your mortgage interest? Eliminate deduction for your donation to your church? I agree with all of those being eliminated. Do you?
6. Agree 100%
only1choice
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June 3rd, 2012 at 5:02:36 AM permalink
Nareed I was beginnig to think we weren't going to hear from you. A lot of good/interesting points. I appreciate your input.
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Nareed
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June 3rd, 2012 at 5:16:59 AM permalink
Quote: only1choice

Nareed I was beginnig to think we weren't going to hear from you. A lot of good/interesting points. I appreciate your input.



Oh, when I fell like I want to have a political argument, I hit my head with a hammer for ten minutes. It's a lot easier, less painful and far more productive ;)
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only1choice
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June 3rd, 2012 at 5:25:34 AM permalink
I like your sense of humor. It is very welcome on this site.
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TheBigPaybak
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June 3rd, 2012 at 6:01:31 AM permalink
Quote: P90

I wouldn't really want to start a debate about dark magick, speculation, conspiracy theories and wet dreams here.


It is then fortunate that over the course of the 20th century oil rush, scientists and technologists have developed a number of more advanced tests for oil.




We can certainly agree to disagree: I think cheaper energy will help improve both the jobs situation(and after Friday's dismal report, we certainly need it) and the economy. I feel this is evidenced by the booming North Dakota economy, new technologies and research related to oil and natural gas production, and real-word observations. Case in point: I live in a condo building with 40 units with a natural-gas boiler. About 5 years ago we had to raise maintenance fees because of the price of natural gas, paying about 15 MCF. Today we pay about 5 MCF resulting in tens of thousands of savings per year and were able to *lower* our maintenance fees. That's 1/3 the price and I would wager no one would have predicted that 5 or 10 years ago.

Higher energy costs are just like a tax, in my view, because they result in greater out of pocket expenses for anyone, rich or poor, who drives. And for transport of goods, etc. This thread asked the question of what do we feel will help get the economy and country back on track, and I feel lower energy prices through increased production will do so and you disagree with this which is fine and you could certainly be right. Time will tell- although it seems like quite the longshot states like North Dakota will crash and burn anytime soon because of lack of oil. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd let the market decided: if companies want to invest capital and drill, let them do so- and if they come up dry- their tough luck. Not my tough luck because I funded it through my tax dollars, though.
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
P90
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June 3rd, 2012 at 6:20:59 AM permalink
Quote: TheBigPaybak

We can certainly agree to disagree: I think cheaper energy will help improve both the jobs situation(and after Friday's dismal report, we certainly need it) and the economy.


US oil resources are already being exploited at a very high rate, disproportionate to the reserves. What's being exploited first is what's the easiest to get out. Pushing it faster and tapping into everything that's left will provide something like $3.20 gas instead of $3.55. That's a 10% decrease, can't accuse me of not being generous.

In exchange, a decade down the line, there won't be any economically retrievable domestic oil left. Goodbye North Dakota economy, goodbye Alaska economy. Hey, might sell it back while we're at it. Just insist they pay in oil.
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RonC
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June 3rd, 2012 at 6:55:18 AM permalink
Why can't we work on recovering as much domestic oil as possible AND provide incentives to develop renewable resources at the same time? It seems to me that all of the one way or the other arguments lead us to doing nothing at all, which is not really that good a plan. There are large amounts of oil that can be recovered but there are not enough of them to last forever. We don't need to give huge cash support to companies as was done in the stimulus; we need to push research and development of alternative sources.

The way to solve most of our problems is not in one big program but in many smaller ones that push as towards good solutions to the problems. Our biggest problem is that we elect lawmakers, and we take positions ourselves, that do not allow for true compromise. It may not be the conservative or liberal way but we are a middle/right country overall (in my opinion and based on some research but not all of the research backs that up, of course) and we don't need to be so far left or right that the solutions offered are unacceptable.
TheBigPaybak
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June 3rd, 2012 at 7:08:33 AM permalink
Quote: P90

US oil resources are already being exploited at a very high rate, disproportionate to the reserves. What's being exploited first is what's the easiest to get out. Pushing it faster and tapping into everything that's left will provide something like $3.20 gas instead of $3.55. That's a 10% decrease, can't accuse me of not being generous.

In exchange, a decade down the line, there won't be any economically retrievable domestic oil left. Goodbye North Dakota economy, goodbye Alaska economy. Hey, might sell it back while we're at it. Just insist they pay in oil.



We'll need to agree to disagree with respect to what will be economically retrievable domestic oil in ten years as I think technologies will improve for oil like they did for natural gas resulting in a 2/3 price reduction, at least in my neck of the woods. In the end, why not untie the hands of companies and let them make the decisions? I'm sure they are better equipped to do so than you or I- so why not let them?
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
TheBigPaybak
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June 3rd, 2012 at 7:13:37 AM permalink
Quote: RonC

Why can't we work on recovering as much domestic oil as possible AND provide incentives to develop renewable resources at the same time? It seems to me that all of the one way or the other arguments lead us to doing nothing at all, which is not really that good a plan. There are large amounts of oil that can be recovered but there are not enough of them to last forever. We don't need to give huge cash support to companies as was done in the stimulus; we need to push research and development of alternative sources.

The way to solve most of our problems is not in one big program but in many smaller ones that push as towards good solutions to the problems. Our biggest problem is that we elect lawmakers, and we take positions ourselves, that do not allow for true compromise. It may not be the conservative or liberal way but we are a middle/right country overall (in my opinion and based on some research but not all of the research backs that up, of course) and we don't need to be so far left or right that the solutions offered are unacceptable.



Right! For example, build the Keystone pipeline but make it completely union- no problem here- just get it done.

Want to build a huge wind farm project with some government subsidized funds? Sure thing- just open up more federal lands for drilling in exchange...
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
P90
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June 3rd, 2012 at 7:44:54 AM permalink
Quote: RonC

Why can't we work on recovering as much domestic oil as possible AND provide incentives to develop renewable resources at the same time?


Because we're already doing it. Well, the former.
The annual oil extraction in US is 3 billion barrels and climbing.
The annual oil consumption in US is 7 billion barrels and climbing.
The proven reserves of oil in US are 19 billion barrels. Used to be 40.
The statistically estimated amount of oil under US territory is 140 billion barrels.

Of the last number, the vast majority is technically recoverable, but not economically recoverable, i.e. it costs more to extract than imported oil costs to purchase. So it can't lower the prices. It can only be extracted and sold with a subsidy, and undermining your own resource reserves is a stupid thing to subsidize.

We're not talking about "forever" or "long term" (in the sense of hoping to die before that happens), it's all on a very imaginable scale. Current proven reserves are only good for 6.5 years at current extraction rate, and less than 3 years at current consumption rate. New ones are being uncovered and surveyed (out of the 140 below), but not fast enough to replenish the extraction.


Quote: TheBigPaybak

I'm sure they are better equipped to do so than you or I- so why not let them?


Right now Saudi is America's bitch. Except for being an oppressive regime, but the government doesn't really care except when it's needed to justify a war.
Deplete the oil reserves without transitioning to alternate fuels - and 10 years isn't enough to begin such a transition, not at the pace things are done at today - and it can turn around.

There is a popular misunderstanding of the situation, because the oil crises have been going on for long enough, people assume it's a very long term problem only. It isn't, see above for the real timescale. The 1970 crisis was a crisis of production, the current one is a crisis of reserves. Except in OPEC, but they feel that they're becoming a monopoly, and as little as a decade down the line they just might.
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TheBigPaybak
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June 3rd, 2012 at 7:55:49 AM permalink
Quote: P90


The annual oil extraction in US is 3 billion barrels and climbing.

...

We're not talking about "forever" or "long term" (in the sense of hoping to die before that happens), it's all on a very imaginable scale. Current proven reserves are only good for 6.5 years at current extraction rate, and less than 3 years at current consumption rate. New ones are being uncovered and surveyed (out of the 140 below), but not fast enough to replenish the extraction.



Interesting- although for obvious reasons I hope you're wrong. So based on the above you feel production will start descending rather soon and we may in fact go off the cliff? What year do you think production will start to decrease?

Do you feel natural gas will also follow a similar route?
Lack of prior planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part.
P90
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June 3rd, 2012 at 8:09:22 AM permalink
Quote: TheBigPaybak

Interesting- although for obvious reasons I hope you're wrong. So based on the above you feel production will start descending rather soon and we may in fact go off the cliff? What year do you think production will start to decrease?


The trend has been downward since 1982. A few increases happened in 2008-2011.
New wells are being drilled at an increasing rate, but they keep being less effective and old ones keep running out. More expensive techniques are being put in use already.

Quote: TheBigPaybak

Do you feel natural gas will also follow a similar route?


Maybe, probably not. Oil consumption keeps going up because of more cars per capita and more of them being trucks and SUVs. Gas consumption doesn't increase as quickly, since it's mostly used for power production (need power plants) or heating and cooking (stable per capita). Also, natural gas is very difficult to import/export, compared to oil.
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RonC
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June 3rd, 2012 at 8:16:52 AM permalink
"To illustrate the conversion of technically recoverable resources to proven reserves, once can review the experience of the United States since 1944. Then, our proven oil reserves were 20 billion barrels, but since then, the United States has produced 175 billion barrels, and 20.7 barrels of proven reserves still remain today.Resources are converted from being technically recoverable to being proven reserves when investment (via exploration and development), access and economic viability work together to make them producible. Almost all oil production goes through this process, some recent notable examples being Canada’s oil sands, Brazilian offshore and the Bakken Field in North Dakota. In each case, huge increases in proven reserves occurred over very short periods of time."

Institute for Energy Research Article

They show the total technically recoverable oil reserves as 1441.8 billion barrels.

Knowing that it is going to be very costly to recover some of this oil, I would guess the amount the will actually produce will be significantly less than the 1441.8 number and more than the 21 billion barrels of proven reserves.

Again, we need to open up more drilling and exploration in the U. S. and also work on renewable energy. It is not a "one or the other" scenario at this point. I think the "one way or the other" folks keep us from realizing the whole situation and working to resolve it. One side says we have enough oil for 200 years (1441/7=206) and the other side says that we will run out in three years.

The truth? Well, most likely it is that increasing domestic production will help us need less foreign oil but we'll still import lots of it. The amount of oil that is economically recoverable will not last forever. We really do need alternative sources of energy and the quicker we develop them, the better. If we do both things, we'll be less dependent on unfriendly OPEC nations and we will build our economy.
zippyboy
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June 3rd, 2012 at 8:53:25 AM permalink
Get this great country back on the right path? I doubt we can at this point. Throughout history, all the great empires crumble, perhaps this is our time. America had a nice run of 200 hundred years and we dominated for all 20th century, but we're collapsing under our own weight.

Quote: SOOPOO

So make them use real $ for the booze, and use the stamps for lettuce. They can sell the lettuce to buy more booze.


I can just see the guys on ghetto corners now: "Whatchoo lookin' for, man? I got bib, butter and romaine? Whatchoo need?"
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P90
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June 3rd, 2012 at 9:10:48 AM permalink
Quote: RonC

...one can review the experience of the United States since 1944. Then, our proven oil reserves were 20 billion barrels, but since then, the United States has produced 175 billion barrels, and 20.7 barrels of proven reserves still remain today.


Conveniently skipped the part where these 20 billion climbed to 30, then to 35, then to 40, as the technology advanced, and then gradually went down from 40 the current 20 as they were used up.



One has to ask, why did they "review" it since 1944, not since 1955 or 1934 or 1891?
Now it's clear - they picked the date to produce a false impression of a never-changing number, rather than a fairly steep curve.
You can see how it's a partisan group, giving itself a neutral and official sounding name doesn't change its nature.


Quote: RonC

They show the total technically recoverable oil reserves as 1441.8 billion barrels.


That's not the usual estimate, which stands an order of magnitude lower.

The vast majority, 982 billion out of their number, isn't even oil, it's worthless oil shale. Just a source from which oil substitutes can be produced in a thermochemical process. You might as well go the German WWII route and make coal-based synthetic diesel.
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RonC
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June 3rd, 2012 at 9:22:15 AM permalink
Quote: P90

Conveniently skipped the part where these 20 billion climbed to 30, then to 35, then to 40, as the technology advanced, and then gradually went down from 40 the current 20 as they were used up.



You have to ask, why did they "review" it since 1944, not since 1955 or 1934 or 1891?
Now you can see - they picked the date to produce the false impression of a never-changing number, rather than a fairly steep curve.



That's not the usual estimate, which stands an order of magnitude lower.

The vast majority, 982 billion out of their number, is worthless oil shale. You might as well go the German WWII route and make coal-based synthetic diesel.



So the number never matched, correct?

If there were 20 billion barrels in 1944 and we have produced 175 billion barrels since then, the number obviously moves as new discoveries are made and methods of recovery improved.

I am not saying that we have 200 years worth but I do not accept that the sky is falling and there are only 3 years worth left. You can throw study after study on either side of the argument and we'll still get nowhere. Of course, the "sky is falling" folks will EVENTUALLY be right if we do nothing. 3 years? 20 years? 50 years?

My point is that we need to do both things--add more production (open more area to drilling, etc.) AND work on renewable sources. The only way to do that is to stop the craziness on both sides and work together to do both things. We can't let the oil companies tell us all is well and we can't let the other side tell us we have to use solar power tomorrow. Neither is correct.
Nareed
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June 3rd, 2012 at 9:28:41 AM permalink
Going by predictions from the 70s and 80s, by my count we've run out of oil at least three times already.

It seems that, like quitting smoking, running out of oil is easy: we've done it three times! ;)
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P90
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June 3rd, 2012 at 9:40:02 AM permalink
Quote:

If there were 1 billion barrels in 1890 and we have produced 190 billion barrels since then, the number obviously moves as new discoveries are made and methods of recovery improved.


I've let myself pick a different date to comment on, since 1944 doesn't have any special significance to oil industry.
Of proven reserves. More reserves were surveyed since then.
But the number was going up between 1890 and 1971. Now it's on the way down.

A massive amount of resources has already been put into improving the methods of oil recovery, and more is being invested every day. The easy and revolutionary discoveries have been made by now.


Quote:

but I do not accept that the sky is falling and there are only 3 years worth left.


There are only 3 years left if you immediately stop all oil imports and push the current reserves to satisfy 100% of US oil consumption. If and only if.

There are 7 years of proven reserves left if you import 60% and produce 40% domestically, as now.
The proven reserves are being added to at a slow pace, but with a net decline. The rate of production is generally decreasing.

So if things continue as they do, there actually is enough to sustain domestic oil production in US for several decades. Provided that this extraction is not rushed and keeps decreasing.


Quote:

My point is that we need to do both things--add more production (open more area to drilling, etc.)


We're doing it. At a rate of tens of thousands of new wells per year.

Is your point that we should do it faster? Then tell me why. Are you hoping for $1 gas again? Not happening. It will make your gas 10%, maybe even 20% cheaper, for a few years, till the rushed wells dry out.
After that, lacking domestic production, you'll be paying whatever OPEC says you're paying.
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