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The 1974 act greatly reduced the president's role in the budget process—in particular, the president's responsibility of determining and recommending budget aggregates to Congress. Now, legislators could more readily ignore the president's recommendations and instead create for themselves, through budget resolutions, generous limits on budget aggregates. This arrangement allowed politicians more flexibility in setting spending priorities within the budget aggregates, thus pleasing their constituents. Not surprisingly, federal budget deficits grew.
An issue that the federal courts refuse to decide because it properly belongs to the decision-making authority of elected officials.
Political questions include such areas as the conduct of foreign policy, the ratification of constitutional amendments, and the organization of each state's government as defined in its own constitution. The rule preventing federal courts from deciding such cases is called the political question doctrine. Its purpose is to distinguish the role of the federal judiciary from those of the legislature and the executive, preventing the former from encroaching on either of the latter. Under the rule, courts may choose to dismiss cases even if they have jurisdiction over them. However, the rule has no precise formulation, and its development since the 1960s has sometimes been unpredictable.
Perhaps the greatest impediments to a balanced budget amendment, or any other meaningful reform of the federal budget, are the sacrifices faced by U.S. citizens: to have their taxes raised and their spending programs cut. Whether Congress, the president, and the public will make these sacrifices to reduce and perhaps eliminate the federal deficit is an engaging Political Question.
Washington:warned against the dangers of factional political parties, which could ruin a nation.
I actually feel a bit sorry for ALL of our "elected" government officials. I'm afraid they are but puppets.
Destruction of Lives and The American Dream of Homeownership
Thursday, September 25, 2008
From shying away from even mentioning such terms as “recession,” “unemployment” or “bank failures,” Bush, Bernanke and Paulson are now vigorously invoking the fear of financial meltdown as part of a campaign of economic terror to blackmail the American people into accepting the power-grabbing “bailout,” while John McCain, who last week said the fundamentals of the economy are strong, is now all but threatening to cancel the election should the proposal not receive swift passage.
Bush’s speech last night was a throwback to his March 2003 stump before the invasion of Iraq - replace words like “weapons of mass destruction” with “financial panic” and the tone of the two is not dissimilar.
Bush rammed home the fear by appealing to people’s personal anxieties.
“More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically,” barked the President.
“And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs.”
Monday, September 29, 2008
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur boldly slammed the bailout bill this past weekend as the work of criminal insiders who have shut down the normal legislative process to commit “high financial crimes” and defraud the American people, while Rep. Michael Burgess warns that “martial law” has been declared.
The two Congress members are part of a growing minority of representatives sounding the alarm about the dictatorial nature of the bailout bill, which is expected to be up for a vote in the House today, with most in Congress having not had the opportunity to even read the legislation.
The bill is expected to reach the Senate on Wednesday as a raft of outraged politicians cry foul about being strong-armed and accused of being unpatriotic for opposing the carte-blanche passage of a piece of legislation that fundamentally centralizes control of the financial infrastructure of the country into the hands of the government and the Federal Reserve.
“We are Constitutionally sworn to protect and defend this Republic against all enemies foreign and domestic. And my friends there are enemies,” Kaptur told the House floor.
“The people pushing this deal are the very ones who are responsible for the implosion on Wall Street. They were fraudulent then and they are fraudulent now.”
“My message to the American people don’t let Congress seal this deal. High financial crimes have been committed,” added the Democrat from Ohio.
“The normal legislative process has been shelved. Only a few insiders are doing the dealing, sounds like insider trading to me. These criminals have so much political power than can shut down the normal legislative process of the highest law making body of this land,” Kaptur concluded.
Elsewhere, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) said that the only information he had received about the bailout was what talking points to use on the American people and that he had been thrown out of meetings for not blindly supporting the bill.
Ominously, Burgess also comments, “Mr. Speaker I understand we are under Martial Law as declared by the speaker last night.”
Absent any proper hearings concerning the legislation, Burgess called for the legislation to at least be posted on the Internet for 24 hours so that the American people could “see what we have done in the dark of night.”
Wasted? Bailout bill subsidizes rum
In 2012, Diageo, the parent company of Captain Morgan, will move its operation from Puerto Rico to the Virgin Islands in exchange for more of the excise tax money. Puerto Rico has been giving Diageo a small fraction of its excise tax revenue. The Virgin Islands will give Diageo close to half of its share.
Diageo said that without that lucrative deal, it would have left the U.S. territories for a country where it could operate more cheaply, and the Virgin Islands would have ended up with nothing. This way, the company argues, it is keeping jobs in the U.S. territories.
But critics say the Virgin Islands is setting a bad precedent by being so generous to the world’s largest liquor company, which is based in London and had $4.2 billion in operating profits last year.
"To give the people's money away to a foreign company replete with cash and equity is mind-boggling," said Virgin Islands territorial Sen. Neville James. "There is economic development and then there's giving away the ranch. These flat giveaways of excise tax rebates create a cause for concern.”
For decades, Congress has been giving Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands most of the excise taxes the islands’ rum-makers pay for each proof gallon of rum they sell within the United States. Puerto Rico, which has four rum-makers, gets about $400 million a year. The Virgin Islands, which has one, gets about $80 million. The federal government keeps about $9 million.