Games are always played in negotiation- those won't go away. When it comes to balanced budgets- it is a tricky situation Federally since they have no capital budget but only an operating budget. That is one of the problems with the currently proposed balanced budget amendment.
Maybe if some sort of controlled capital budgeting were put in place along with a balanced budget amendment- that might work. The other problem though is in forecasting GDP, which is often wrong.
There are a lot of changes needed to get a better system in place, no doubt.
I'm all for putting more pressure on Congress (I would actually ideally put more than you stated- how about you can't run for reelection unless the budget or deficit is within x range (either balanced budget or a deficit within a range of GDP, I would probably go with the latter)?), but again, the problem stands that there is no capital budget for the Federal government. No capital budget means big expenditures in one year that are meant to be long-term investments (such as roads which they don't replace every year obviously) would fall into the budget of just that one year. That's in contrast to household and state budgets, which have capital and operating budgets.
Roads are just an example. It can be anything- some things will cost a lot to build/create and it might have to be spent at once but might be used for years to come. Think of you buying a house- you pay a certain amount every year until it is paid off. So when you make your budget you set aside what you have to pay for every year- that is capital budgeting. Currently, the Fed govt can't do that and they pay for the "house" in entirety the year it is passed even if they will be using it for years to come. It makes a cap vs. GDP hard due to the fluctuations and makes a balanced budget hard to pass if one year you have xxx billion more in spending due to one project but not the revenue to pay for it (even though over 10 years when you use the project made by that spending, you might have that revenue).
I am stating the actual problems that need to be considered in passing sensible legislation- it is not thinking things through that gets us in many messes we get in. The world isn't as simple and intuitive as some seem to think.
That doesn't mean anything. How many problems have they solved over the last x decades? How many have they created? And how many of those "problems" are problems to some and not to others (they might even be benefits to others- special interests is a glaring example)?
First of all the American people do not agree 100% on everything- nor should they. Me and you and the rest of this forum is an example- we have different solutions and different goals, as do the politicians.
My statement from above stands. Furthermore, what is a balanced budget to you? How do you deal with large, necessary expenditures that have long term utility if you don't have capital budgeting? By throwing my question aside, you neglect an actual problem that the government has in all this (whether or not they realize it and by the looks of it a lot of the politicians don't). And since that's a problem, there are different solutions and different people have different ideas. It isn't the American people vs. Congress, it is more complex than that because some of the American people want one thing, others want another, some Congressmen want one thing, and others want others.
You aren't living within reality, but within your own limited understanding of what leadership is.
The anti-tax activists took simple but decisive action, got lots of members of congress people to sign their pledge, and are now pretty much running the show, whatever we may think of their point of view.
Years ago I was involved in political activism here in Florida, and was one of a couple dozen citizens with no money or experience who lead an effort that changed one of the substantial laws of our state.
It happens all the time when folks finally get off their butts and apply determination and commitment to a clear goal.
Congress will do anything we tell them to do, if we present them with clear instructions and clear consequences. The instructions and consequences have to be simple, and easily understood by all involved.
Do you promise that if Congress doesn't produce a balanced budget on time you personally will resign? Do you take the pledge or not? Yes, or no?
Except that people did understand them. Perhaps not the math and where the assets were split and joined, but they understood what they were if they took the time to actually look at the facts. After all, people wrote the algorithms that made those securities and other people did call the housing bubble before it burst. The rest of them were just too happy with the money and living in their fairy tale world to realize it.
And, why the attack on facts? I am not arguing based on ethos which you imply by saying that I am just saying what the "experts" say. Sure some of the experts might feel the same way (but most definitely not all- some experts will be right, others will be wrong), but that is mere correlation. I have provided potential shortcomings based on my readings and problems that have happened here and in other countries in the past. Should we not learn from our past?
But even in your example of getting people together as an activist- you undoubtedly faced hurdles in that, no? You undoubtedly faced political opposition. These are the things I speak of and they are very real. I am not saying things are impossible to do, but there are obstacles that need to be considered and overcome in any solution. By ignoring those obstacles, you are only going to make things harder on yourself when you either push through something that you end up regretting or show up looking foolish because you don't understand how things work.
But on a more on-topic note, I am questioning whether the balanced budget proposals in their current form are even plausible. You seem to think they are, I am not sure. And even in this microcosm of the whole debate, we see that there is opposition, despite us both being part of the "people".
Oh and the tea party isn't exactly in charge- big finance still is as it has been for a while now, but that's a topic for another thread
But even in your example of getting people together as an activist- you undoubtedly faced hurdles in that, no? You undoubtedly faced political opposition. These are the things I speak of and they are very real.
I hear ya. I'm debating the general tone of your comments more than the particulars.
Mostly I'm debating because I like to debate. And performing a noble public service in filling your young forum with hot air content etc etc..
By ignoring those obstacles, you are only going to make things harder on yourself when you either push through something that you end up regretting or show up looking foolish because you don't understand how things work.