Good interview with Rand Paul

alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior MemberPosts: 8,590 Senior Member
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/05/rand-paul-interview/all/

I know it's early, but he's saying a lot of the right things and is a bit more palatable to moderates than his father was. Right now he's definitely my #1 choice for 2016.
DR: You’re going to be holding some fundraisers out in the Valley as well. Are you going to run for president?

RP: I think we would come [to the Valley] either way. I haven’t made a decision on that and won’t for about a year. But I think the Republican party needs to be bigger. One of the reasons I come to California is that the Republican party seems to have given up on California, and my message to those in California is that we’re going to compete nationally as a party, and that includes California. And the way we’re going to compete is by running people for office who can appreciate some issues that attract young people and independents: civil liberties, as well as a less aggressive foreign policy, not putting people in jail for marijuana, a much more tolerant type of point of view. If you have Republican candidates like that then I think all of a sudden you’d find California back in play.
"Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
-DoctorWho

Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    Mine, too. How funny is that?:usa:
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,118 Senior Member
    I've been a fan of both the Pauls for several years now. Conservative where it counts, and Libertarian elsewhere. Far better than the crop of Bible thumpers the Repubs have been coming up with for the last 20 years or so...
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,062 Senior Member
    It's RINO's that are the problem, not the conservatives.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    I've been a fan of both the Pauls for several years now. Conservative where it counts, and Libertarian elsewhere. Far better than the crop of Bible thumpers the Repubs have been coming up with for the last 20 years or so...

    The Democrat Party has, for decades now, been demonizing the "Bible thumpers" in a way that would make Joseph Goebbels wet his pants with glee. As a person who has lived in the 'Bible Belt' for 61 years, I can assure you that they are no threat to the survival of the republic. I can remember when Baptist preachers were warning their congregations about the evils of rock and roll, and I can assure you that they lost that battle and all of the other similar ones relating to the stifling of young people. They were never anything more than folks who were trying to protect their children from what they believed to be bad influences. Believe it or not, when someone strayed from the flock, they did not shun them, excommunicate them, or lock them up in their bedrooms, with Oral Roberts piped in to the sound system. I know, because I was one of them.

    Sure, it's still true that churches are where like-minded believers in God congregate and fellowship, and they mostly vote for conservatives, which is why they are attacked. But you might be surprised to find out that they don't burn crosses or do any of those other repulsive things that all those old black and white films portray. They are, in general, just nice people who give to their communities, obey the laws of the land, and will give you the shirt off their backs if you are in need and honestly trying to help yourself. The worst thing anybody can say about them is that they take some things on faith and that faith cannot easily be shaken by less-than-perfect science.

    But, if you think about it, that's not all that much different from what your typical west coast tree-hugger does, and nobody thinks they are dangerous. They hold hands and sing Kumbaya, and the Bible-thumpers sing Jesus Loves me - who is the most insidious?
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/05/rand-paul-interview/all/

    I know it's early, but he's saying a lot of the right things and is a bit more palatable to moderates than his father was. Right now he's definitely my #1 choice for 2016.

    Damn Boy!!! There may be hope for you yet!!!:jester:

    Seriously Alph I agree. He's not quite as stiff as the old man. Although I still love his dad. Ron was and IS a great American. He, like every person to ever hold office in these United States, has his flaws, but the one thing about Ron AND Rand, they are both solid thinking people and their thoughts are generally or most often for the good of the country and its people. They are both true to theirselves and that's all you can ask of any man/woman.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    The Democrat Party has, for decades now, been demonizing the "Bible thumpers" in a way that would make Joseph Goebbels wet his pants with glee. As a person who has lived in the 'Bible Belt' for 61 years, I can assure you that they are no threat to the survival of the republic. I can remember when Baptist preachers were warning their congregations about the evils of rock and roll, and I can assure you that they lost that battle and all of the other similar ones relating to the stifling of young people. They were never anything more than folks who were trying to protect their children from what they believed to be bad influences. Believe it or not, when someone strayed from the flock, they did not shun them, excommunicate them, or lock them up in their bedrooms, with Oral Roberts piped in to the sound system. I know, because I was one of them.

    Sure, it's still true that churches are where like-minded believers in God congregate and fellowship, and they mostly vote for conservatives, which is why they are attacked. But you might be surprised to find out that they don't burn crosses or do any of those other repulsive things that all those old black and white films portray. They are, in general, just nice people who give to their communities, obey the laws of the land, and will give you the shirt off their backs if you are in need and honestly trying to help yourself. The worst thing anybody can say about them is that they take some things on faith and that faith cannot easily be shaken by less-than-perfect science.

    But, if you think about it, that's not all that much different from what your typical west coast tree-hugger does, and nobody thinks they are dangerous. They hold hands and sing Kumbaya, and the Bible-thumpers sing Jesus Loves me - who is the most insidious?

    I agree. The biggest danger the Bible thumpers pose to us is a more restrictive society. They would can the porn and alcohol. While I'm an alcoholic and don't allow it in my house anymore, I'm not an alcohol Nazi. What you do within the law in your own life, if it doesn't adversely effect mine, is your business. I would never vote for an amendment like prohibition. I believe in a government that has as little control over people's everyday lives as necessary to provide a peaceful place for my pursuit of happiness. It's sort of like running in the Intercoastal canal. They set a red marker on one side and a green marker on the other. The channel is pretty wide, wide enough to run in without hindering your purpose, but if you get outside the markers you run aground. The problem is that some Bible thumpers just want to make a more narrow channel.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    I've been a fan of both the Pauls for several years now. Conservative where it counts, and Libertarian elsewhere. Far better than the crop of Bible thumpers the Repubs have been coming up with for the last 20 years or so...

    Zorba, Ron Paul was my U.S. Representative for as long as he was in the U.S. House. And to tell the truth Dr. Paul (Yes he is a PH.D) has done a fair amount of "Bible Thumping" in his day. That family is a solid Christian family that put God at the head of the household and no doubt gave generously to his church. He nor Rand spill their religious guts too much in public life because they are strict constitutionalists and they definitely don't want anyone to think they would try to force their personal beliefs on anyone. They're just Good People.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,803 Senior Member
    It's RINO's that are the problem, not the conservatives.

    AMEN!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    I have no problem with people of devout religious faith as long as they keep their faith out if politics. I do have a very big problem with people who want to force me to live by the rules and laws of their god. Unfortunately far too often the two groups are one and the same.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,062 Senior Member
    .........I do have a very big problem with people who want to force me to live by the rules and laws of their god..........
    What about progresso-libs who want to FORCE us to live by their credo? There's a much larger effort by progresso-libs to change this country and perhaps the world into the model of Fabian Socialism than the puny efforts by Republican religious zealots. As someone who seems to affiliate himself with Libertarian principles, I would think the Democrat policies that are gradually being put into place by Obama and the other left-wingers would be rejected by someone such as yourself.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    I have no problem with people of devout religious faith as long as they keep their faith out if politics. I do have a very big problem with people who want to force me to live by the rules and laws of their god. Unfortunately far too often the two groups are one and the same.

    Here's what I've learned in a lifetime of living among devout church-goers. Their personalities vary exactly as much as any other group of like-minded people who band together for a common cause. They are individuals, and among any group of them you will find one or two that are too strident in the way they spread 'the word,' as well as a couple who will never mention their beliefs. The rest are somewhere in between - they are unapologetic for what they believe and will gladly tell a person what that is, if asked. But, it is very rare to meet one who will not leave you alone, once you have politely let them know that you are not interested in discussing religion. They are much less likely to offend me than a devout atheist, simply because, unlike atheists, they don't start off with a sneering tone or try to assume a position of having a superior intellect.

    As for the way they vote, and support or oppose legislation, they go with what they believe conforms to their religious beliefs, for sure. They know that belief in a higher power had a profound effect on the patriots who crafted the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and most of the other important documents that have served as the charter for this republic. They also understand that those patriots did the best they could to insure that government did not force any religion on any citizen, and they did it without banning any mention of or reference to God.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    No, the Founders did not ban the mention of God. They also never mentioned the word "sin". Most devout church-goers cannot accept that their idea of sin is different from morals or ethics. Of course, "sins" differ from one sect to the next.
    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    They also understand that those patriots did the best they could to insure that government did not force any religion on any citizen, and they did it without banning any mention of or reference to God.

    I agree with this. I've spent my fair share of time around militant atheists in my day and even flirted with becoming one at one point, but quickly found them to be just as if not more pushy, annoying, and self righteous as the most vocal evangelical. I quickly learned to accept the fact that "everyone has the right to be wrong". That tiny tidbit of wisdom has served me quite well over the years (especially around here :tooth:)
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    What about progresso-libs who want to FORCE us to live by their credo? There's a much larger effort by progresso-libs to change this country and perhaps the world into the model of Fabian Socialism than the puny efforts by Republican religious zealots. As someone who seems to affiliate himself with Libertarian principles, I would think the Democrat policies that are gradually being put into place by Obama and the other left-wingers would be rejected by someone such as yourself.

    There are plenty of bad policies that are supported by democrats that I do not agree with, the largest of which is the current structure of the welfare state. In general I agree with libertarians about 95% on social policies, 75-80% on foreign policy and maybe 50-60% on economic issues. I do believe that government does have an important role in the provision of public goods, management of public resources, and the regulation of externalities (essentially the resolution of conflicts between the rights of different people or groups). Where I disagree most often with democrats on economic policies, using a sports analogy, is that far too often they want to play the role of coach in the economy, managing the players and telling them what to do. I think the government's proper role is as the referee, letting the players play as they see fit, but enforcing the rules. On the other side the Republicans seem to want to eliminate the coaches and the referees and just let everyone play street ball. In my opinion that can lead to equally disastrous results.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,062 Senior Member
    ............On the other side the Republicans seem to want to eliminate the coaches and the referees and just let everyone play street ball.........
    Republicans do not want a free-for-all. A free enterprise system needs to have a small amount of regulation for maintaining legal fairness and product safety, but as usual you're hyperventilating over the wrong things. It's not about eliminating all regulations, but it might seem that way to you. Republicans are only trying to reverse the trend of the mountain of rules and regulations heaped upon business over the last 100 years. This is stifling the economy and causing a lot of the problems we have with government deficits and unemployment. The majority of these stifling policies have been implemented by Democrats and RINO's and I think the facts are undeniable.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,904 Senior Member
    :popcorn:
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    On the other side the Republicans seem to want to eliminate the coaches and the referees and just let everyone play street ball. In my opinion that can lead to equally disastrous results.

    I'm no longer willing to defend the Republican 'leadership,' but I have seen no evidence that would support that opinion. I think that is your perception, which is tinged by those same pre-conceived ideas that compel you to defend the Democrat Party leadership. Actually, even if it were true, I think history suggests that removing the restraints that have been placed on business in the last 30 years or so would not result in a starving segment of the population, and would result in more people working and taking care of themselves. We have now tried it both ways, for more than long enough to analyze the results, and we need an honest evaluation of which one benefited the majority, with the least harmful effects on minorities. We can't seem to get that, because government is more invested in maintaining power than actually solving problems.

    The corruption and cronyism is always going to be there, whether in business or in government, or both. The important difference is that when the power and money is in the hands of the government, it is almost impossible to bring the people involved to justice. When the government targets business for breaking the law, they mostly win, but when the government is targeted for corruption, they still mostly win.

    A bright, well-educated person like yourself should be able to come to the conclusion that the ever enlarging government that you have been supporting is completely out of control and has no interest in, or ability in solving problems. Every bureau has been purged of its problem solvers and has had them replaced with idealogues that apparently have an undying devotion to whatever narrative they have been given as their 'charter.' Deceiving the public, rather than serving them, is standard procedure, now, in every major department.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,062 Senior Member
    :that: :up:
    As usual, your political analysis is spot-on.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I'm no longer willing to defend the Republican 'leadership,' but I have seen no evidence that would support that opinion. I think that is your perception, which is tinged by those same pre-conceived ideas that compel you to defend the Democrat Party leadership. Actually, even if it were true, I think history suggests that removing the restraints that have been placed on business in the last 30 years or so would not result in a starving segment of the population, and would result in more people working and taking care of themselves. We have now tried it both ways, for more than long enough to analyze the results, and we need an honest evaluation of which one benefited the majority, with the least harmful effects on minorities. We can't seem to get that, because government is more invested in maintaining power than actually solving problems.

    The corruption and cronyism is always going to be there, whether in business or in government, or both. The important difference is that when the power and money is in the hands of the government, it is almost impossible to bring the people involved to justice. When the government targets business for breaking the law, they mostly win, but when the government is targeted for corruption, they still mostly win.

    A bright, well-educated person like yourself should be able to come to the conclusion that the ever enlarging government that you have been supporting is completely out of control and has no interest in, or ability in solving problems. Every bureau has been purged of its problem solvers and has had them replaced with idealogues that apparently have an undying devotion to whatever narrative they have been given as their 'charter.' Deceiving the public, rather than serving them, is standard procedure, now, in every major department.

    I think there are a number of points of agreement here or at least near agreement. The point about maintaining power vs. solving problems is a huge one. In my opinion the argument is far too often couched as a choice between more or less government. That is a false choice. In my mind the question needs to be about smart government that is designed to serve the people and dumb government designed to serve those in power and their friends/special interests who help keep them in power. Whose within the establishment of the major parties have long cared only about providing government that achieves the latter goals.

    Corruption and cronyism are major issues as well as you say. No we can't ever totally get rid of it, but I would argue that the real threat is the merger between government and business. I know my liberal side will show here, but going back to my original analogy of the government needing to be the refs of the game, it doesn't work when they're paid off by certain players to give them a major advantage to the detriment of everyone else. The capture occurs not only directly through campaign donations and lobbying but also indirectly at lower levels of government with officials who look the other way or are overly friendly with the industries they regulate only to take 6 and 7 figure jobs with those same companies a few years down the road. In general the business and regulatory playing field seem to be strongly slanted in favor of large, multi-national corporations and against small business. That discrepancy needs to be fixed, but given the fact that the large companies are the ones with the money and power (and small businesses represent potential competition), I don't see a high probability of it happening anytime soon.

    I also agree with the "purging" of problem solvers, although I wouldn't say purge, more of a natural weeding out process. The general culture of Washington (I should know I've been here too long already) discourages those who take risks, rock the boat, or advocate for creative solutions (these are typically "career limiting activities") while rewarding those who follow orders and keep their heads down. This leads to a system with massive inertia that is extremely resistant to change.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    In my opinion the argument is far too often couched as a choice between more or less government. That is a false choice. In my mind the question needs to be about smart government that is designed to serve the people and dumb government designed to serve those in power and their friends/special interests who help keep them in power.

    You cannot have a big government that serves the people, because government inevitably grows beyond the ability of common folks to keep up with what it's doing. You create a department to take care of a problem, and the people are all for it, if it is responsive to the people. But ordinary people have a wide variety of wants and needs, and the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so a department head starts recruiting people to help him and then you are 'off to the races' building a bureaucracy. The only way its growth can be controlled is by the allocation of funds and the limiting of its scope by congressional oversight. When a congressman has been around a while, he learns all the ways to beat the system, and forms alliances with other congressmen to wield power through the allocation of funds. Soon, an impenetrable web is formed, in which armies of 'functonaries' are employed to shield elected officials and their pet appointees from the people they represent.

    The above is always going to happen, period. The only way to limit the damage it causes through waste, dishonesty, and incompetence is to limit it's size. The only way to limit it's size is to have a system in which the representatives of the people spend more time with their constituents than they spend with their colleagues. Anything else soon becomes an elitest organization which views the people as the enemy, or at the very least, a nuisance. The solution is a system in which all Congressmen are temporary, as the founders envisioned - men or women of substance who have been drafted into government service by virtue of their accomplishments out here in the real world, and are anxious to serve their time and get back to the real world. There will still be corruption, but getting away with it is a lot trickier, because there wouldn't be so many layers to penetrate in order to expose it. The key to the whole thing is having honest journalists who are sniffing around for corruption on both sides, and they are even harder to find than honest politicians.

    We probably can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, now. We probably have to ride this runaway train all the way to the bottom, but if we are trying to fix what's wrong with the system, now, there will at least be some folks around who know what went wrong, and have some clue as to how to put it all back together again.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    You cannot have a big government that serves the people, because government inevitably grows beyond the ability of common folks to keep up with what it's doing. You create a department to take care of a problem, and the people are all for it, if it is responsive to the people. But ordinary people have a wide variety of wants and needs, and the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so a department head starts recruiting people to help him and then you are 'off to the races' building a bureaucracy. The only way its growth can be controlled is by the allocation of funds and the limiting of its scope by congressional oversight. When a congressman has been around a while, he learns all the ways to beat the system, and forms alliances with other congressmen to wield power through the allocation of funds. Soon, an impenetrable web is formed, in which armies of 'functonaries' are employed to shield elected officials and their pet appointees from the people they represent.

    The above is always going to happen, period. The only way to limit the damage it causes through waste, dishonesty, and incompetence is to limit it's size. The only way to limit it's size is to have a system in which the representatives of the people spend more time with their constituents than they spend with their colleagues. Anything else soon becomes an elitest organization which views the people as the enemy, or at the very least, a nuisance. The solution is a system in which all Congressmen are temporary, as the founders envisioned - men or women of substance who have been drafted into government service by virtue of their accomplishments out here in the real world, and are anxious to serve their time and get back to the real world. There will still be corruption, but getting away with it is a lot trickier, because there wouldn't be so many layers to penetrate in order to expose it. The key to the whole thing is having honest journalists who are sniffing around for corruption on both sides, and they are even harder to find than honest politicians.

    We probably can't put the toothpaste back in the tube, now. We probably have to ride this runaway train all the way to the bottom, but if we are trying to fix what's wrong with the system, now, there will at least be some folks around who know what went wrong, and have some clue as to how to put it all back together again.

    I have a few different directions to go here. On your first point there is a lot of truth to this on the evolution of bureaucracy, but it is not limited to government but virtually all organizations of any kind. Regardless of their original intent (be they government, business, charity, or NGOs) organizations always seek to grow and perpetuate themselves. Initially this growth is usually driven by whatever the underlying mission is, but often over time the perpetuation of the organization becomes less about the underlying mission and more about protecting whatever wealth, power, status that it generates for those who happen to reach the top of the bureaucratic structures formed within the organization. Since this process seems to be fairly universal I agree you do need an outside force that's capable of periodically forcing a shake-up in government agencies, trimming the fat, and forcing them to refocus on the original intent or if the original intent is no longer necessary eliminating them entirely. This isn't as easy as it sounds unfortunately due to the power of the bureaucratic self preservation instinct, but it needs to be done.

    There is a much larger point however and it has to do with the ever increasing complexity of our society, economy, and government. A case can be made that the government must grow to match the size and complexity of the society that it governs. You need a much different government when 80% of your citizens are subsistence farmers and the most complex industry in the nation are shipbuilding and textile manufacturing than you do when you have a world that contains of stealth fighters launched off aircraft carriers, high frequency trading algorithms, international air travel, nuclear power plants, the internet, genetic engineering, and synthetic biology. A strong argument could be made that the problem with government isn't that it's too big, but that it's too slow to adapt to a rapidly changing, growing, and complexifying world. A Luddite case could also be made that this state of affairs is undesirable and that the role of the government should actually be to limit the size, scope, and complexity of society to a level that it can reasonably manage at a reasonable size. These are deep philosophical differences, but given the immense amount of wealth and power generated (at least to those at the top) through continued complexification we're almost certainly going to continue along this path. Our choice appears to be between attempting to manage the growing complexity (almost certainly poorly and inefficiently) or allow it to run free with virtually no control over the potential consequences.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    Our choice appears to be between attempting to manage the growing complexity (almost certainly poorly and inefficiently) or allow it to run free with virtually no control over the potential consequences.

    It's running free, now, because partisan politics render government incapable of managing anything but political campaigns. Why would we even consider letting people like those involved in the present scandals manage anything?

    The various bureaus that exist to regulate everything are, for all intents and purposes, the fourth branch of government, despite having no Constitutional standing, and are allowed to dictate to ordinary citizens in a way that no elected official would ever dare. All of this 'complexity' that you are worried about is exacerbated by the absurd complexities that government, itself, introduces into the equation. Where is the accounting on their efficiency? How do we even know when they have done a good job, or how much it cost them to do it? Who is managing them, and to what end?
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,590 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    It's running free, now, because partisan politics render government incapable of managing anything but political campaigns. Why would we even consider letting people like those involved in the present scandals manage anything?

    The various bureaus that exist to regulate everything are, for all intents and purposes, the fourth branch of government, despite having no Constitutional standing, and are allowed to dictate to ordinary citizens in a way that no elected official would ever dare. All of this 'complexity' that you are worried about is exacerbated by the absurd complexities that government, itself, introduces into the equation. Where is the accounting on their efficiency? How do we even know when they have done a good job, or how much it cost them to do it? Who is managing them, and to what end?

    I disagree with the second point they are formed by the legislative branch through laws that create the agencies/authorities and operated/managed by the executive branch. They are managed by the president and his cabinet with oversight from congress and the GAO and their budgets negotiated annually through the congressional appropriations process. Your first point though highlights why this process hasn't worked efficiently or effectively for quite a while.

    Again, given the complexities involved, the problems (both created by or attempted to be solved by government) do not always lend themselves to simple solutions. I'm generally a proponent of analyzing different situations individually and taking a balanced approach. In many cases the solution is going to be less government or simplified government (such as simplification of the tax code) and in others the appropriate solution is going to be more government or better targeted government (as in the need for regulation of financial derivatives and the regulation or break up of TBTF financial institutions). Getting to that though of course requires politicians and public servants more concerned with solving problems and serving the public than winning elections and serving their party and their donors. Unfortunately until we get some term limits and significant and effective election reform that's going to be difficult. Either that or enough people get fed up with the status quo and start voting for alternative parties. These last two points are areas where if people could just get past labeling and hatred of people with different beliefs there might actually be the potential to generate a large enough coalition of fed up citizens to force some change.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
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