Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Father of American Liberalism

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buddy Roemer: MSNBC- 'No More Special Interest Money & NO More Corruption

Source: Buddy Roemer-
Source: Buddy Roemer: MSNBC- 'No More Special Interest Money & No More Corruption'

I like a lot of Buddy Roemer's message when it comes to corruption and limiting special interest influence. The problem is a lot that he wants to accomplish, isn't currently constitutional. It would require a constitutional amendment or amendments to pass a lot of what Governor Roemer wants to do. Because it would get thrown out by the current U.S. Supreme Court on grounds that it violates the First Amendment. And passing constitutional amendments at this point to pass a lot of these progressive reforms that Buddy Roemer, Dylan Ratigan, whether they are good ideas or not, are at least five to ten years away and that's starting after you get a constitutional amendment out of Congress.

So my approach in all of this have been practical but aggressive. Do what we can now that would hold up to constitutional scrutiny. And if that's not enough, try to pass constitutional amendments down the road. And my approach is more of a liberal-libertarian approach, which shouldn't surprise anyone. Yes, I'm a Liberal Democrat and proud of it. Has anyone ever asked why we have thousands if not tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lobbyists in Washington? ( To use a Billy the Kid line )  because that's where the money is. So force those people to disclose who they do business with and when and who they contribute to. And force all members of Congress and the Executive Branch to do the same thing within 24 hours of talking to these people and giving or taking their money. In other words, full disclosure of campaign contributions, campaign and lobbying activity.

My other reform would be to get a lot of of the money out of the Federal Government. But do it in a way that holds up to constitutional scrutiny. Reduce the size of the Federal Government. It currently has a Federal budget of 3.7T$ by far the largest Federal budget in the world. Pass that money down to the state and local government's and private sector. Especially as it relates to social insurance, turn those programs over to the states and locals. And design them to help and empower the people who need them.

Cut the the defense budget by 200B$ a year or more and pull our troops out of developed nations that can afford to defend themselves. And by doing this we would be able to lay off a lot of defense contractors and cut a lot of pork out of the defense budget. And a lot of defense lobbyists as well and reduce the influence the defense industry has on the Federal Government.

Milton Friedman made a documentary movie in 1979-80 called Free to Choose. And in one part of that movie he had a segment about special interest influence in Washington. And one of his solutions had to do with the size of the Federal budget. Back when we were spending 18-19% of GDP instead of today where we are spending 24-25% of GDP.

I like a lot of Buddy Roemer's message about limiting special interests as I already said. But he has a couple of problems. Some of his ideas are currently unconstitutional and he's running for President in the wrong party to get done a lot of what he wants to do. If he runs for the Reform or Independence Party, he might have a better shot at getting his message across. Also if he made his message about fiscal conservatism, limiting the special interest influence on the Federal Government by cutting back on the power of the Federal Government, he would get a lot more play in the media.