Dumbest Policy Ideas, Ever.

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It is time to itemize this growing list of the dumbest policy ideas floating in the political atmosphere. Hopefully, some who subscribe to these ideas will read this critique and restore their credibility by refusing to float these ideas any further.

Dumb Policy #1. Congressional Term Limits.

On its face, it almost sounds reasonable considering the lowest Congressional approval ratings ever. It is however, DUMB, and here's why. No application of logic can put forth a viable argument to persuade Congress to vote for terminating their own jobs in Congress. To pass into law, Congress would have to vote for it. Would you vote to end your job voluntarily just because so many of your co-workers are performing poorly? Of course not. Neither will Congress.

Secondly, if Congressional term limits were to become law, we would, in effect, throw out the baby with the bathwater. Time and experience in Congressional office are absolutely required to become an effective Senator or Representative. The ins and outs of navigating through complex rules and procedures, lobbyist influences, polling data both nationally and for one's own home constituency, require an education and experience level which can only be obtained with time in office. In addition, these rules, influences, and data are not static, but, dynamically changing over time, requiring even greater expertise and experience.

Finally, when a district is led by a competent and responsible Congressional leader which the majority approve of, term limits would deny that majority of voters their democratic choice in the term limit election. Term limits undermine democratic choice.

The compelling argument for term limits is the power of incumbency in our election process through corrupting processes like gerrymandering and public finance of communication to constituents by incumbents. However, if the majority of those served by the incumbent are not satisfied, they have just as powerful a tool to remove that incumbent as term limits, and it is called the Vote. Ergo, the vote renders the only compelling argument for term limits duplicitous and Dumb.

Dumb Policy #2. Balanced Budget Amendment.

OK. We pare down our government and are on the road to paying down our national debt under a balanced budget amendment, and in a surprise move, China invades Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington State. What do we do, hand America over to the Chinese because we didn't anticipate the invasion and didn't budget for it? Ridiculous.

Ahh, you say, but we put an invasion exception in the balanced budget amendment so we can deficit spend in that event. The Elephant problem with that response is simply that there are myriad ways a nation can brought be down other than by direct invasion. How about the case of an economic collapse? How about the case of a series of natural disasters which bust the budget. How about the case of a national viral epidemic requiring near national quarantine procedures to be enforced? How about Yellowstone blowing its top and taking out 19 states, or, the New Madrid Fault presenting America with 8.9 earthquake from Arkansas to Boston?

The minute one begins to allow for an exception to a balanced budget amendment, one has to answer history and the logical probabilities of a host of other anticipated and unanticipated events which would demand deficit spending to address. Our nation and government absolutely require the flexibility to address the challenges that arise on a regular basis, as our history demonstrates. Without that flexibility, we invite catastrophe to overtake our efforts to recover from it.

The founding fathers and subsequent passed constitutional amendments provided America's people the only tool they need to enforce responsible budgeting and taxation upon their government's representatives. That tool is the vote. If one is truly committed to responsible fiscal policy, then one must commit to voting out their own incumbent representatives who either oppose fiscal responsibility or, who are entirely ineffective in persuading other representatives to act responsibly. A balanced budget amendment is no substitute for responsible voting by the electorate, and would only serve to cripple our nation's ability to react to adversity and future unanticipated threats. We have the vote. Vote for fiscal responsibility and influence your fellow Americans to do the same.

Democracy isn't easy, it comes with the requirement and price of paying attention, critically evaluating the actions of your representatives, and voting them back in, or out, based on their objective performance to meet the needs of the nation, State, or district. "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried." -- Winston Churchill.

Dumb Policy #3. Leaving federal election standards to the States.

This policy might as well divide America into Blue and Grey States. When the states engage in federal elections, logic dictates that one standard for the efficacy and protection of fair elections be governed by a national standard.

This policy is becoming increasingly dumb as elections continue to be decided by very small margins for one party, or candidate, over another. The closer the predicted outcome, the exponentially higher the motivation to cheat and steal elections. Such motivation will not be deterred without a uniform and enforced set of laws and regulations governing federal elections. In the absence of severe life disrupting penalties for acts like voter suppression, padding the vote, or rigging the voting machines in favor of one over another outcome, such acts will grow in both number and inventiveness.

Dumb Policy #4. The Filibuster.

We live in a democratically elected society and decisions in the seats of government were designed to be passed by a majority. The filibuster undermines majority decision making in the U.S. and State Senates. The filibuster permits a single person, or small group of Senators, to deny the majority, and the nation, action on legislation. The filibuster is a disgrace and shame on the face of American democracy and majority rule. It's time as a policy should be put to rest and buried not six, but, twenty four feet deep, lest it be resurrected.


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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on November 19, 2012 3:54 PM.

Obama's Fiscal Cliff Challenge was the previous entry in this blog.

GOP: Crippled by its base. is the next entry in this blog.

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