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lederuvdapac
The premise of this topic if fairly simple:

If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document?

Would you create a Republican form of government or some other type of governance?

How would your new constitution provide benefits that the current document does not?
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Dontreadonme
I would seriously re-define the War Powers Act; codifying a process to keep future presidents from unilaterally committing US forces to unending combat.

A possible clause would read like the recommended War Powers Consultation Act of 2009.

July 8, 2008 — The National War Powers Commission, co-chaired by former Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher, today recommended that Congress repeal the War Powers Resolution of 1973 and substitute a new statute that would provide for more meaningful consultation between the president and Congress on matters of war.

In a report released today (PDF) after 13 months of study, the Commission concluded that the War Powers Resolution of 1973 has failed to promote cooperation between the two branches of government and recommended that Congress pass a new statute — the War Powers Consultation Act of 2009 — that would establish a clear process on decisions to go to war.

The War Powers Consultation Act of 2009:

• Provides that the president shall consult with Congress before deploying U.S. troops into “significant armed conflict” — i.e., combat operations lasting, or expected to last, more than a week.

• Defines the types of hostilities that would or would not be considered “significant armed conflicts.”

• Creates a new Joint Congressional Consultation Committee, which includes leaders of both Houses as well as the chair and ranking members of key committees.

• Establishes a permanent bipartisan staff with access to the national security and intelligence information necessary to conduct its work.

• Calls on Congress, to vote up or down on significant armed conflicts within 30 days.

Link

Overall I believe the Constitution to be fairly sound, I simply wish our elected representatives would abide by it. I'm sure I can come up with more, but we're packing to move, so it's hectic right now.
handsomeguy
Glad you brought this topic to the forums, lederuvdapac. If I changed the Constitution, I would include a part for abacusvoting in that beads are used for voting that can be put in boxes after each person votes then taken out and placed on abacuses for public oversight. I'd also have ranked choice voting.
phaedrus
QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Aug 5 2008, 04:26 PM) *
The premise of this topic if fairly simple:

If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document?


The original document is not a problem, it's the amendments that I think could use some revision. A buddy of mine used to rant and rave about the IRS and for the most part I felt like he was whining about some trouble he got in because he didn't pay his taxes. He showed me a book called the 16th amendment, the law that never was. It reads like a conspiracy theory but it led me to realize that the personal income tax is totally illegal and I suspect that the amendment that empowered it was not properly ratified.

What the Constitution never really did was protect property rights, that is the one failing I see with our Constitution and the effects of that failing erodes our liberties to this day.

QUOTE
Would you create a Republican form of government or some other type of governance?


I think the ideal of a representational republic is about as much as you are going to get in this day and age. I would prefer an actual Democracy if there was some why of actually making it happen but at this point it's a lot like a lottery.

QUOTE
How would your new constitution provide benefits that the current document does not?


Individuals would actually have a hands on way of dealing with some of the more reprehensible things the government does. The balance of powers while effective does not give the people sufficient control over the electorate. A true democracy would supplant the base and ignoble elements of government providing of course that the citizens were not base and ignoble themselves.
R21C
Democracy is a tyrannical regime, a "republic" is a system that ensures that all people are protected, elected or not from whatever malicious may it be.

Republics are the best form of government humanly possible.
Mrs. Pigpen
Please focus on the questions to be debated:

If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document?

Would you create a Republican form of government or some other type of governance?

How would your new constitution provide benefits that the current document does not?

Moot
If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document?


I would have defined the General Welfare clause better. Most general welfare clauses in the constitutions of other countries spell it out so there is little question what it means or what the powers their legislatures may have. But I should also add that some of their constitutions are over 700 pages long. Not so, with our US constitution. Our constitution only vaguely mentions the words "General Welfare" twice. Once in the preamble and once in the tax and spend clause.

Now because the framers didn't really define what they meant by General Welfare, it's been pretty much open for interpretation. Some interpret the clause to be elastic and stretching to fit all kinds of societies wants and desires. Others interpret the clause narrowly to only provide national security or certain limited protections. But generally, I think it's Hamilton's more liberal interpretation that congress and the courts follow and not Madison's more limiting conservative one.

But here's what I think the General Welfare clause means. I think that by putting the clause in the preamble gives it a lot of weight. And by putting it in the tax and spend clause I think the framers wanted congress to use it. So what did the framers mean by general welfare? I think they meant for it to provide for the health, safety and education of the general population so they could be productive and prosperous citizens who would contribute to society and pay taxes. Yes, I did say health. Because imo, the health of the population is vital to national security and the economy. This is where I go into my "affordable health care insurance" and "what if there was a plague" spiel, so I'll stop here.


To sum up, I would have defined the General Welfare clause and made it less open for interpretation had I written the constitution. But then I fear it would never have gotten ratified by the Madison crowd and so thats why it was left vague and open for interpretation. It was perhaps a way to please everyone by not pleasing anyone.
Zack
QUOTE(lederuvdapac @ Aug 5 2008, 04:26 PM) *
The premise of this topic if fairly simple:


If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document? Keep the same one we have and make changes:

Revert back to the original concept of electing president and vice president as in the constitution, that is to say both or (all) political parties would compete for president as they do now but instead of the president elect picking his vice president the person from the political party competing for president against him would become vice president elect. So, if you are confused that would be Obama president elect and McCain vice president elect. Then simply adjust the other amendments to return to the original constitutional concept. I think this would be more reasonable that the second highest vote receiver became vice president rather than allowing the elected president to choose a person the people didn’t elect. Under this example I think there would be less political divide. The vice president would be very ineffective other than breaking tie votes in the Senate or in the event of death of the president.

Add to the 10th Amendment: The federal government shall make no law which overlays the 10 Amendment making it irrelevant.


Change the 14th Amendment as follows: Each state shall identify each citizen from birth as a state citizen with a fraud proof identification card at first employment or age 18 whichever comes first. Children born to non state resident “citizens” shall be reported to the federal immigration office unless the parents of the child provide state citizenship from another state.


Abolish the 16th Amendment and change to this: The federal government shall not tax any individual or business to fund the federal government. Funding of the government shall be limited to revenues of leases and sales of federal lands and mineral rights and collection of taxes derived from each individual state based on a per capita proportion of population based on most recent census.

Change 19th Amendment to add: State election officials shall require state citizenship identification prior to a citizen casting a vote in a federal election.

It is unlawful to house, give shelter of any means, provide education or employ a person not possessing a state citizenship identification card unless said person has explicit authorization in the form of DNA identification provided by immigration service and the person is applying within the dates specified on the authorization.

Each state shall appoint or elect an education coordinator. Congress shall call into session a convention of each state’s education coordinators in a place they so determine each year for a period not to exceed one month to discuss uniform educational standards. States may elect to sponsor representatives from state and private universities and colleges to attend this conference to provide further expertise. The Senate and House Committee on education will attend this conference and hold hearings and prepare legislation IAW the findings of the education coordinators recommendations. However congress shall make no law that mandates requirements on the individual states requiring funding.

Congress shall create rules for all federal employees. No federal employee shall be authorized to enter into a union. Each federal agency will establish an Inspector General that will resolve employee standards and make recommendations to congress for changes.

Change Supreme Court appointment to a system whereby the president and vice president nominates equal number of nominees, let’s say ten each and the actual appointment is made in normal or special elections by the US voters following the Senate qualifying each of the nominees offered.

Clarify the General Welfare clause to state: Funding and manning the national institute of health, the archives, maintenance of navigable waterways, interstate highway planning and building, interstate power grid right of ways, health and safety agencies and NASA.

Establish a self sustained federal prison system that has priority in agriculture products and modular housing. Inmates will produce all varieties of crops and animals, milk and eggs and modular housing that will be offered to individual states with poverty, homeless or wards of the state at 10% less that current civil market value to fund the federal prison system which will also use excess profits to compensate victims of crime.

Would you create a Republican form of government or some other type of governance?
Let’s keep the democratic republic, it seems to work.
How would your new constitution provide benefits that the current document does not?

The current constitution has allowed the federal government to grow too large to manage and as of the result of having so much power the government is for sale to the highest bidder. By removing all social programs from welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Education from federal responsibility and placing it at state level greater oversight would take place on remaining priorities. Individual states could function as nation states in establishing similar programs and determining the approach towards taxation, education, business and commerce. Each state could compete with other states for business incentives, taxation and quality of life issues that they find best suit their state citizens.
Eeyore
I would put a cap on the maximum number of people a member of the House of Representatives could represent.
Today I would more clearly define the limits of the powers of the executive branch and I would place more of the appointive offices under control of specific Congressional committees instead of having so much appointive power under the control of one elected person.
I would have a constitutional amendment that said that spending money was not free speech and I would pursue some type of electoral reform to better guarantee that our voting system actually works and that money is not requisite for winning an election.

I would have the Constitution guarantee that spent money would be watched over rigorously and the infractions would be significantly penalized.
skeeterses
If I could make a change to the US Constitution, I would first make Congress into a Parliamentary System where the members are chosen based on how much of the nationwide vote each party receives. So if the Democrats get 50 percent, Republicans 40 percent, and the Libertarians 10 percent, then the Democrats would get 50 percent of all the seats, the Republicans would get 40 percent of all the seats, and the Libertarians would get 10 percent of all the seats. And the advantage here is that people with wide political views would get better represented since more often than not, most election "winners" don't get the majority vote.

The other 2 changes I would make would be a Constitutional Prohibition against any military draft and a Balanced Budget requirement that could not be broken no matter what the economic or military situation was.
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Zack
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Dec 22 2008, 10:17 PM) *
If I could make a change to the US Constitution, I would first make Congress into a Parliamentary System where the members are chosen based on how much of the nationwide vote each party receives. So if the Democrats get 50 percent, Republicans 40 percent, and the Libertarians 10 percent, then the Democrats would get 50 percent of all the seats, the Republicans would get 40 percent of all the seats, and the Libertarians would get 10 percent of all the seats. And the advantage here is that people with wide political views would get better represented since more often than not, most election "winners" don't get the majority vote.

The other 2 changes I would make would be a Constitutional Prohibition against any military draft and a Balanced Budget requirement that could not be broken no matter what the economic or military situation was.
Why put a sure guarantee that the government could easily fail clause? If the foe were more powerful would you use nukes or surrender?
Dontreadonme
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 22 2008, 09:23 PM) *
Why put a sure guarantee that the government could easily fail clause? If the foe were more powerful would you use nukes or surrender?


I won't intend to speak for skeeterses , but his point quite possibly could be that a military draft is viewed by many as antithetical to freedom and the ideals of our Republic. It violates every part of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is a Republic worth saving if you must force your citizens to defend her?

Personally I believe that if our territorial integrity were threatened by some sort of conventional invasion, every hunter, redneck, gangbanger, grandmother with a pistol and airsoft group would show up to defend our homeland. What I fear is the institution of a draft to provide manpower for overseas military adventurism, nation-building or democracy-promotion.

So aside from the revised War Powers Act, mark me down as well for a prohibition against a military draft. us.gif
Zack
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Dec 23 2008, 01:00 PM) *
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 22 2008, 09:23 PM) *
Why put a sure guarantee that the government could easily fail clause? If the foe were more powerful would you use nukes or surrender?


I won't intend to speak for skeeterses , but his point quite possibly could be that a military draft is viewed by many as antithetical to freedom and the ideals of our Republic. It violates every part of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is a Republic worth saving if you must force your citizens to defend her?
In our history military duty, “service” to the nation, as President Elect Obama puts it was considered a civic duty, a type of repayment for the grand normal liberty we all share. During the draft period young men would arrange marriage or at least children in a marriage until after meeting the obligation. The entry level duties of draftee compensation weren’t intended to be substantial to live from, there was an “understood” that families and friends should help with a drafted soldier’s requirements, and compensation was at 30% of an equal civilian skill level employment. In the 60’s and early 70’s draftees could expect less than $300 a month including combat pay because it was considered a national service. The draft was a means of determining when it was your turn and little more.

A large ground war equal to WWII could not be fought with an all volunteer force but such a war was necessary for the survival of America. America cannot maintain or sustain a large force that may be required to live up to treaties we are signature to so I would conclude a draft is a last chance necessity should the situation arise requiring large ground forces.


QUOTE
Personally I believe that if our territorial integrity were threatened by some sort of conventional invasion, every hunter, redneck, gangbanger, grandmother with a pistol and airsoft group would show up to defend our homeland. What I fear is the institution of a draft to provide manpower for overseas military adventurism, nation-building or democracy-promotion.

So aside from the revised War Powers Act, mark me down as well for a prohibition against a military draft. us.gif
Yes our 2nd Amendment rights probably saved a US invasion during WWII. America, by nature will always face challenges from other world powers that may require a quick mobilization of identified youth to answer their nation’s call, it’s either that or switch flags and lose those promises offered by the republic you state is your objection.
Dontreadonme
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 02:26 PM) *
Yes our 2nd Amendment rights probably saved a US invasion during WWII.


My mistake......here I thought it was the inability of Germany, Japan or Italy to mount an invasion of the US. blink.gif

Do you deny that a draft takes away the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Don't forget that the theory of 'service to the nation' has been perverted by regimes past and used to remove even more freedoms. I'll state it again: a republic that must coerce its citizens to defend her, isn't worth saving.
CruisingRam
I would probably start a "bill of responsibility" along with the bill of rights

1) Everyone is free to own up to a semi-auto small arms weapon. No heavy weapons, no machine guns without special licensing. All guns would be licensed, but would spell out that, unless there is a criminal conviction, there is no way to bar a US citizen from owning handguns and firearms. But, the responsibility is- if you use it in a crime, you get the death penalty.

2) I would remove all war powers from the president, and make all military action only allowed by popular vote, with some small fast-acting force the exception. I would make the draft permenantly illegal, without an outright declaration of war, followed by a 60% majority popular vote of registered voters. The rapid response force would only be utilized for 60 days, to give time to allow for a congressional vote, and one year deadline after the congressional vote for a full national vote.

4) I would remove the power of the executive to decide what is "classified" material, and remove the ability to pardon people within his own administration accused of wrongdoing, and make them more accountable for wrongdoing, and very, very easy to jail and impeach- such as Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. I would also remove the ability for appointed or elected officials from using the fifth amendment in an investigation- they don't have to testify against themselves, but it will be held against them for NOT talking or incriminating themselves.

5) I would make it permenantly illegal for any business lobbyist to meet in private over any issue, all meetings must be open to the public, and all records public records.

6) Remove the idea of corporate personhood.

7) Severely limit the constitutional protections for those that have an SEC license and run a corporation of over 5000 employees, and make them personally financially responsible for decisions they make that adversely harm the nation or stockholders.
still
If you had the power to rewrite the US Constitution, what would you change or maintain from the original document?
I think the Constitution is a brilliant piece of nation building.

Like Zack, I would change the 16th Amendment so that the Federal government collects taxes from the States rather than directly from the people.

I would also change the terms for Federally elected officials to make them longer. Representatives get four years each, no term limits; Senators get ten years each, no term limits; and the president gets 8 years, but could only be re-elected to an additional four-year term before forced to leave office.

This would decrease the amount of time spent on elections and increase the stakes for who gets elected. This would hopefully cause a lot more people to really pay attention. It would also de-emphasize day-to-day chicanery in favor of long-term progress, in a pefect world, because these people would have to work with each other for longer periods of time.
skeeterses
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 11:23 AM) *
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Dec 22 2008, 10:17 PM) *
If I could make a change to the US Constitution, I would first make Congress into a Parliamentary System where the members are chosen based on how much of the nationwide vote each party receives. So if the Democrats get 50 percent, Republicans 40 percent, and the Libertarians 10 percent, then the Democrats would get 50 percent of all the seats, the Republicans would get 40 percent of all the seats, and the Libertarians would get 10 percent of all the seats. And the advantage here is that people with wide political views would get better represented since more often than not, most election "winners" don't get the majority vote.

The other 2 changes I would make would be a Constitutional Prohibition against any military draft and a Balanced Budget requirement that could not be broken no matter what the economic or military situation was.
Why put a sure guarantee that the government could easily fail clause? If the foe were more powerful would you use nukes or surrender?

I won't spend too much time debating this here, but the main intention of a prohibition on the military draft would be to prevent military adventurism.
Zack
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Dec 23 2008, 06:00 PM) *
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 02:26 PM) *
Yes our 2nd Amendment rights probably saved a US invasion during WWII.


My mistake......here I thought it was the inability of Germany, Japan or Italy to mount an invasion of the US. blink.gif
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

QUOTE
Do you deny that a draft takes away the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Don't forget that the theory of 'service to the nation' has been perverted by regimes past and used to remove even more freedoms. I'll state it again: a republic that must coerce its citizens to defend her, isn't worth saving.
The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness falls under the definition of legal terms for unalienalble rights
UNALIENABLE. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold.
2. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable
According to this link conscription has been alive and well in America since before our constitution was even drafted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_...e_United_States

QUOTE(skeeterses @ Dec 23 2008, 07:14 PM) *
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 11:23 AM) *
QUOTE(skeeterses @ Dec 22 2008, 10:17 PM) *
If I could make a change to the US Constitution, I would first make Congress into a Parliamentary System where the members are chosen based on how much of the nationwide vote each party receives. So if the Democrats get 50 percent, Republicans 40 percent, and the Libertarians 10 percent, then the Democrats would get 50 percent of all the seats, the Republicans would get 40 percent of all the seats, and the Libertarians would get 10 percent of all the seats. And the advantage here is that people with wide political views would get better represented since more often than not, most election "winners" don't get the majority vote.

The other 2 changes I would make would be a Constitutional Prohibition against any military draft and a Balanced Budget requirement that could not be broken no matter what the economic or military situation was.
Why put a sure guarantee that the government could easily fail clause? If the foe were more powerful would you use nukes or surrender?

I won't spend too much time debating this here, but the main intention of a prohibition on the military draft would be to prevent military adventurism.
The way the volunteer army is set up now prevents adventurism of large scales since it cannot function in a major without first mobilizing the army national guard and army reserve. If America goes to a large war, such as Iraq for example there is plenty of warning as the reserves are mobilized.
Dontreadonme
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 10:24 PM) *
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


Nice quote, one everyone is familiar with; however it has nothing to do with the fact the the axis powers were unable to mount an invasion of the US.

QUOTE
The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness falls under the definition of legal terms for unalienalble rights
UNALIENABLE. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold.
2. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable
According to this link conscription has been alive and well in America since before our constitution was even drafted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_...e_United_States


Your definition does not absolve the fact that forced servitude removes the above rights. Not even close.

QUOTE
The way the volunteer army is set up now prevents adventurism of large scales since it cannot function in a major without first mobilizing the army national guard and army reserve. If America goes to a large war, such as Iraq for example there is plenty of warning as the reserves are mobilized.


You are capable of better than this aren't you? There is no direct link between preparation time and military adventurism.
Zack
QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Dec 24 2008, 07:42 AM) *
QUOTE(Zack @ Dec 23 2008, 10:24 PM) *
"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


Nice quote, one everyone is familiar with; however it has nothing to do with the fact the the axis powers were unable to mount an invasion of the US.
Agreed.

QUOTE
QUOTE
The right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness falls under the definition of legal terms for unalienalble rights
UNALIENABLE. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold.
2. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/unalienable
According to this link conscription has been alive and well in America since before our constitution was even drafted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_...e_United_States


Your definition does not absolve the fact that forced servitude removes the above rights. Not even close.
The point of the US form of government was to limit government control over individual rights by allowing the people to be the republic, the people were challenged to be active and even take up arms against the government should it wrong. Republic was taken from res publica the Latin meaning “public thing” or “public matter” and under that concept the militia was a public matter.

QUOTE
QUOTE
The way the volunteer army is set up now prevents adventurism of large scales since it cannot function in a major without first mobilizing the army national guard and army reserve. If America goes to a large war, such as Iraq for example there is plenty of warning as the reserves are mobilized.


You are capable of better than this aren't you? There is no direct link between preparation time and military adventurism.
Sure there is a direct link, during the Cold War we had a large standing army and navy and it was easy to slip into the Vietnam War. When the Vietnam War ended and the all volunteer military was established it was designed so the nation could not ever again slip into a major hostility. In order to muster public [republic] support the Commander in Chief would have to sell his intentions to the American people and convince congress to approve such a measure along with funding as these reserve units were being mobilized. Mobilization of the reserves is a warning, the adventure starts soon unless the republic disagrees, and it’s a heads up almost equal to announcing a draft and is in fact one step short of calling a draft should it be necessary to win the conflict. Every citizen has a heads up and every community has a dog in the fight rather than slipping into something with a faceless central large standing military. The people have ample opportunity to scream at the top of their lungs to stop the agenda through their representatives and on the public streets in protest.


America has always been into adventurism from the beginning we didn’t try to free the 13 colonies but tried to free Canada and the 13 colonies, in the War of 1812 the same, we wanted it all, our Marine Corps song “from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli is evidence, when Grant and Lee took an army to Mexico City it was an adventure so I’m really not sure what you define as adventurism. I guess Vietnam could be an example or Bosnia, how do you define adventurism?
CruisingRam
Zack has managed to convince me of one thing here- we need to reduce our military adventurism to 0 real fast.

I think, upon reading all the posts, we need an amendment to limit defense spending unless we have a 60% national vote to declare war.

I would say I would limit military spending to less than 5% of the total budget, with NO provision for "supplemental" budgets" allowing for boondoggles such as Iraq, Bosnia, Vietnam etc.

That too should be so difficult as to nearly impossible to intercede without a direct attack on the US. Afghanistan probably would have got through post 9/11.

I would make it unconstitutional to have foreign bases unless the host country is paying 100% of our expenses of being there, and we are obviously invited to be there.

We spend way, way, way too much of our resources on military in this country, money best spent in a hundred other places.


We can spend 5% of our budget on defense of the country- not by military adventurism or imperialistic goals or helping special interest corporate groups (Guatemala/Chiquita banana anyone? mad.gif )

And, if we DO have to rescue a economic interest from some foreign power, we should charge them a fee for this, that will probably financially ruin that company, but save lives.

Our country has been torn apart and our potential never actually realized because of corporate special interests and military adventurism in foreign lands.

Neither China nor Russia will ever be as imperialistic as we have been, and as long as we have nuclear deterrence, we will be fine from attack from those people, though I doubt they will venture far outside their boarders like we have done.
Zack
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Dec 24 2008, 03:55 PM) *
Zack has managed to convince me of one thing here- we need to reduce our military adventurism to 0 real fast.

I think, upon reading all the posts, we need an amendment to limit defense spending unless we have a 60% national vote to declare war.

I would say I would limit military spending to less than 5% of the total budget, with NO provision for "supplemental" budgets" allowing for boondoggles such as Iraq, Bosnia, Vietnam etc.

That too should be so difficult as to nearly impossible to intercede without a direct attack on the US. Afghanistan probably would have got through post 9/11.

I would make it unconstitutional to have foreign bases unless the host country is paying 100% of our expenses of being there, and we are obviously invited to be there.

We spend way, way, way too much of our resources on military in this country, money best spent in a hundred other places.


We can spend 5% of our budget on defense of the country- not by military adventurism or imperialistic goals or helping special interest corporate groups (Guatemala/Chiquita banana anyone? mad.gif )

And, if we DO have to rescue a economic interest from some foreign power, we should charge them a fee for this, that will probably financially ruin that company, but save lives.

Our country has been torn apart and our potential never actually realized because of corporate special interests and military adventurism in foreign lands.

Neither China nor Russia will ever be as imperialistic as we have been, and as long as we have nuclear deterrence, we will be fine from attack from those people, though I doubt they will venture far outside their boarders like we have done.
The primary purpose of the federal government is national security, what is needed is oversight. As far as cutting funding I say cut everything else and leave the DOD, State Dept. and CIA, the states can better manage education, social security, welfare and medical care. The federal government should get out of the compassion business and get into the management of critical purposes for which it exists. Five percent of the annual budget couldn't even begin to pay the military sitting in the barracks let alone allow training nor fund the nukes to meet your national security plan. There is waste, fraud and abuse in every aspect of government so the best government is a small government that you can reach out and touch, a state government screwing up like the federal government would be a reach out and touch government that citizens would regulate. The people have been sold an idea that the federal government gets its money for free or everything would already be done for the exceptions I mentioned at state level.
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