Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:14 pm

This is tangentially related to our current shutdown crisis, but a new idea so I figure I'd start a new topic.

It's unconscionable to me that our Congress has consistently been unwilling or unable to perform one of their most basic functions - ie exert the 'power of the purse' in a coherent and responsible fashion.

Since it seems that nothing else would do it, I think the Constitution should be amended as follows:

- Congress would be Constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget no later than 30 September every year, on pain of dismissal. Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes.

- Failure to pass a balanced budget (over the President's veto if necessary) would result in half of both houses of the Congress being permanently relieved of duty (the senior half or perhaps randomly by having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pull lottery balls out of a machine), with elections immediately held in November for their replacements. The legislators 'fired' in this fashion would no longer be eligible to serve in either the House or Senate...for life.

This would force the legislature to work together under the real fear of failure and unemployment that the rest of us face, as well as focus the tension of government between the branches (as intended) rather than between political parties. We don't really hold our legislators accountable for results and then wonder why we don't see any.

Combined with a 12-year lifetime limit on legislative service and a mandate that legislators be subject to all of their own legislation (the ACA comes to mind), this ought to what the Congress needs in order to internalize the fact that they work for us rather than the other way around.

[Edited 2013-09-30 09:18:52]
 
sccutler
Posts: 5843
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Your proposal has a deliciously even-handed appeal. Would that we could have that sort of common sense approach, but I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "The problem with common sense is that it is not so common."
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
LittleFokker
Posts: 1374
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:25 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:34 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):

- Congress would be Constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget no later than 30 September every year, on pain of dismissal. Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes.

This sounds much easier in theory than in practice. Sure, the government can produce a rough estimate of what it should collect in taxes yearly, but actual revenues can vary quite a bit from estimates. And how much would you be willing to spend on revenue enforcement? Do you think every person who owes at least $1 in taxes should be held accountable, or is it only worthwhile to go over those who owe significantly more than that?

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
- Failure to pass a balanced budget (over the President's veto if necessary) would result in half of both houses of the Congress being permanently relieved of duty (the senior half or perhaps randomly by having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pull lottery balls out of a machine), with elections immediately held in November for their replacements. The legislators 'fired' in this fashion would no longer be eligible to serve in either the House or Senate...for life

This is a delicious idea. Not sure who is going to make this a law, since only Congress can create laws, and they will never do anything to cause harm to themselves (while simultaneously being granted the authority to vote their own pay raises).
"All human activities are doomed to failure." - Jean Paul Sartre
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:36 pm

My suggestion for your proposals, take it to all states. In some quarters, too much attention is focused on Washington while the folks who pass the bulk of the taxes, spending and influence day to day life are right in your local state.
A number of states already have balanced budget amendments and they still exist, if folks pay more attention to their local legislators and assemblies, the prima donna's in Washington will loose some of their appeal and do less for the media and maybe more work.
Heck, you might even get them to go back to the good old days of yore when the House and Senate were only in session for a portion of the year.
 
Osubuckeyes
Posts: 1886
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:05 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:43 pm

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 2):
And how much would you be willing to spend on revenue enforcement? Do you think every person who owes at least $1 in taxes should be held accountable, or is it only worthwhile to go over those who owe significantly more than that?

Flat tax and hire a bunch of revenue forecasting economists would be the other option. This is a semi-attractive option, but who oversees the economists from making just outright outlandish forecasts in order to over fund government.

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 2):
(while simultaneously being granted the authority to vote their own pay raises).

I wish I had a job where I could be in charge of getting paid more.

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
Congress would be Constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget no later than 30 September every year, on pain of dismissal. Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes.

I am pretty sure (not definite) that there is a law that says a budget must be passed and operating outside of a budget is illegal. The problem is that congress can just write continuous extensions or just change the rules to fit their politics.

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
12-year lifetime limit on legislative service

Completely agree with that or a mandatory off term for every 2-3 terms in office depending on Senate or House.

Alas, we are only small people with small voices, and here arises the power of the ballot box, which is incredibly underused.
 
us330
Posts: 3506
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:00 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:51 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
We don't really hold our legislators accountable for results and then wonder why we don't see any

I generally agree with you. I've been telling people that we need a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to pass a budget by Sept 30. If a budget is not passed, then two things happen: 1) Congress is not paid until a budget is passed; 2) All members of Congress are ineligible for reelection when their term expires.
 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:23 pm

Quoting LittleFokker (Reply 2):
This sounds much easier in theory than in practice. Sure, the government can produce a rough estimate of what it should collect in taxes yearly, but actual revenues can vary quite a bit from estimates.

Agreed, but the effort to match expenditure to income is what's important. I'm not saying that if it turns out the estimates were incorrect they should be fired. I'm saying fire them if they don't pass a budget that appears balanced based on the best info available. Choose whatever (preferrably pessimistic) algorithm and go with it. As it stands they deliberately overspend, and by borrowing money sidestep the difficult work of setting priorities and making hard choices...in favor of buying the support of their constituents by spreading our money around.

Our entire legislative system is skewed toward individuals gaining and retaining power for the long haul. Which is why legislators cling so tightly to their party affiliation and are satisfied with failure to perform their most important function so long as they (and their party) can stay in their seats. Let's see how that changes when they are faced with decimation.

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 4):
I am pretty sure (not definite) that there is a law that says a budget must be passed and operating outside of a budget is illegal. The problem is that congress can just write continuous extensions or just change the rules to fit their politics.

The part I left out of my proposal was that if the Congress failed to pass a budget, the previous year's expenditure levels would automatically be carried over. Then it would be up to the new Congress to pass a budget on time or see half of themselves fired again.

Quoting osubuckeyes (Reply 4):
Alas, we are only small people with small voices, and here arises the power of the ballot box, which is incredibly underused.

For a lot of reasons I think the power of the ballot box is overrated when applied to the performance of the legislature as a whole. If we're going to get serious the Congress needs to be held immediately accountable as a body for their failure to perform this specific, vital, collective function. Just like the rest of us.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 13785
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Can the US have a national referendum decided by the president to vote on a law/constitutional amendment without any other branch/state having a say ? I'm guessing no since the president himself is not elected by the people directly.

Currently a law is being passed in France about our national assembly and senate, because 85% of the assemblymen and senators hold other political positions (mayor, regional president, departmental president, member of various local assemblies, committees, etc.), one of them holds 26 positions at the same time ! More than 80% of polled people are against this situation, but nothing changed until president Hollande promised a law banning the practice and got elected, now his party is reluctantly passing it. If it rebelled he could have called for a referendum (at any time, not during other elections).
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:13 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):

I share your concern in regards to congress failing to do some of the fundamental tasks they are required to do but I find most of your suggestions populistic and counterproductive.

The common string in your suggestion is that you think politicians will set aside all their political values to keep their seat. I don't think it is true but be that as it may the real problem is the chaos your suggestion would create when they fail to agree on a budget.

Can you imagine what will happen when you need to replace half of them outside of the standard election process. All I can see happening is the budget process getting second fiddle while there is an attempt at electing a new congress. When you finally have a new congress you have a bunch of rookies who have no idea how to get things done so you will dismiss them too and round we go.

Then add the random component of how you limit who are allowed to stay. Since it doesn't consider if a member was constructive or destructive to the process you're likely to dismiss proportionally the same number of people from each group and thus the only difference is that you have more rookies involved by each iteration.

I can't see how this will make the situation any better. My suggestion is pretty much the opposite. If they don't have a budget by a specific date we switch to a process similar to the election of a new pope. Lock them up x number of hours per day until they have an agreement.

The idea of a balanced budget is great as a goal but a complete disaster in reality. I have never seen a successful startup living by that rule. Everyone had to take on debt in some form to become successful. I do not want to limit our government from making smart investments in the country. That is nothing but tying our own hands. What I want to do, and what I suspect is the source for your concern, is to make sure we only take on obligations when there is a good case for doing so. In other words, the problem isn't unbalanced budgets. It is how the spend is used. Thus I agree we need more responsible politicians. The only way to get that is more responsible voters.

The next populistic suggestion is the 12 year time limit. I have never seen a good argument for requiring capable people to step down and replace them with rookies. If someone is good at a job I want to keep them there. Add that we already have a process to remove those who are not performing. Let the voters decide how long time someone should stay.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10149
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:31 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
Since it seems that nothing else would do it, I think the Constitution should be amended as follows:

The problem with budgets, be it government budgets, corporate budgets or individual budgets, is that they are all "best guesses" of what the comping year will bring.

When I was budgeting and controlling a buying office spending in a department store buying office I would re-write the budgets every fortnight, based on the numbers that were coming in from the sales floor. If a buyer came in with a "noticeable" order I would re-run the class the order was for.

Individual budgets are just as variable. You can budget two trips to the dentist for everyone in the family, but who is going to budget an abscess tooth? With related costs for a root canal and a crown (an maybe a post asa well)?

You can budget for auto maintenance based on the user manual (probably few do), buy how about that tranny that dies after the warranty runs out?

There are simply too many unplanned events in a normal family's year for precision budgeting. My wife and I have been treated for five different cancers over the years. How do we budget for that?

The government is the same. There was no budgeting for the Iraq Invasion - it was simply carried out on the credit card.

Nor was there realistic budgeting for emergency services when Katrina hit.

And, realistically, there is too much money available for political "contributions" to make it viable to include revenue increases when the demands on the budget exceed honest expectations made when the budget was developed.
 
flymia
Posts: 7131
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:11 pm

I think one problem with the house is the two year terms. Add another year or two and they wouldn't be so worried about their voting record every time they vote. The way Congressmen and women treat their job they have the easiest $180,000 a year job known in this universe. They are so focused all the time on not losing that job that they are always thinking of the voter repercussions on how they vote. If the term is expanded they could focus more on the job and less on the reelection part at least for an extra year or two.

Congress is the laziest group of people you could meet, at least they make it seem that way always waiting for the last minute deadlines. It's nuts.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:51 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I think one problem with the house is the two year terms. Add another year or two and they wouldn't be so worried about their voting record every time they vote.

I sort of like the two years, however, for the system to work the individuals who get elected for 6 years are supposed to show more maturity and stability its why the have a 6 year term.
When the Senate start acting like 2 year elected congress men and women gridlock is expected.
The budget process starts in the House, imagine letting those individuals serve more than 2 years before they have to go back to the people on how they spent / did not spend or squandered the funds.

The bulwark against the House members who are for greater fiscal discipline and their chosen method for doing so has been the Senate, in some quarters for good and bad.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
They are so focused all the time on not losing that job that they are always thinking of the voter repercussions on how they vote.

As it should be, they are servants of the people who elected them, not the financiers who bankrolled their campaigns, take a look at the senate and imagine the house.
The two years means that regardless of what deals you make in back rooms, whatever funding you sneak out the back door, ya gotta pay the piper every two years.
It does provide economic stimulus year for the economy, does get the representative back to shake the hands and see the persons who they claim to represent and does provide some good political comedy on the local level.
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4115
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
- Congress would be Constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget no later than 30 September every year, on pain of dismissal. Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes.

Balanced budgets are never going to get anywhere when both parties love their spending. Let's be honest...this a nation built on deb with a global economy that requires debt to be part of it. There is no going back until there is a global currency reset - which won't be pretty.

The Dismissal thing...you can't have congress empty. You are going to be dealing with special elections or governor appointments being rushed in. Who is to say that minority parties won't take it as an opportunity to hit the reset button on an election and try to flip the chambers.

Playing along here I would say the only "logical" option would be to make them exempt from participating in the next scheduled election cycle. You could go as far to call for a lifetime ban, but I don't see that getting far.

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
- Failure to pass a balanced budget (over the President's veto if necessary) would result in half of both houses of the Congress being permanently relieved of duty (the senior half or perhaps randomly by having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pull lottery balls out of a machine), with elections immediately held in November for their replacements. The legislators 'fired' in this fashion would no longer be eligible to serve in either the House or Senate...for life.

Like I said...the life thing would be dicey. The elimination of the senior half of the chambers being removed would just be suicide. The junior members are much more extreme than their senior counterparts - some who still understand what it means to be a statesman and try to work together.

How are you also going to justify a balanced budget proposal by saddling it with a process that will likely cost billions of dollars for a special election? Granted I believe our election cycles need to be much...much shorter, but you run the risk of creating pure chaos if we are throwing Congress out every year. Especially when the minority party wants the Congress back and blocking a budget is an easy way to hit the reset button.
 
Starbuk7
Posts: 555
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:09 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:05 pm

Best guess for the budget would be fine. There is record at the IRS of what you paid taxes on the previous year, therefore, the budget would be based on the prior years taxes. Not rocket science in the least.

I do agree with the flat tax, that way you will have a more accurate estimate of what was collected and that it will most likely stay fairly constant.
 
User avatar
casinterest
Posts: 12653
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:07 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
- Congress would be Constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget no later than 30 September every year, on pain of dismissal. Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes

Suicide. Unlike us , the citizens, Congress does not have a set Revenue to work with, and a lot of it's spending is guaranteed. They can't just stop paying medicare and social security and defense spending when times get bad. I think that when Congress overspends the budget, it should be monetized instead of written in as a later debt. Congress is after all taking IOU's out on the currency itself.

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
this ought to what the Congress needs in order to internalize the fact that they work for us rather than the other way around.

Congress does work for us. We have our House of Representatives that have to campaign every two years, and they have a direct connection to their districts back home, and we have the Senators who are looking out for the State's best interests. Right now the Tea Party is trying to implement policy through hostage taking on a budget and debt ceiling lift that are already written into law. The GOP is going along to placate the conservatives who don't want to budge.
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
User avatar
flyingturtle
Posts: 6024
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:39 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:10 pm

Some countries like Germany and Switzerland have "deficit brakes". In the long run, there needs to be a balanced budget. It allows for more spending in recessions, it does not allow for large spendings in economically good times.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 13785
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:13 pm

I agree that the 2-years term is crazy, in fact what other country has that ? Apparently none : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_office#Terms_of_office_by_country

I should add that the French president can dismiss the national assembly whenever he wants. Usually it happened after his election, since each election had its own calendar, so the president would hit reset after his victory. More recently Chirac didn't do it when elected in 1995 since the right-wing had the majority since 1993 and the next election was in 1998, but in 1997 he was tired of said majority not being docile enough/strong enough, so he hit reset. Big mistake, the socialist party got into power by a wide margin.

Of course such power only works if you have someone sensible at the helm, Chirac could have dismissed the assembly again, but he knew it wouldn't make him popular, and he would look even more foolish, since the socialists would have won again.

This is one of the problems of democracy, at some point people vote. They may moan against "government", "politicians" etc., but they do put them in power anyway.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:48 pm

Deleted

Deleted

Deleted

[Edited 2013-09-30 14:48:17]
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:00 pm

A balanced budget amendment will not mandate away emergencies, nor will it mandate away inflation or increased cost due to increased interest rates in relation to outstanding debt such as government bonds etc.
Usually budgets increase on an annual basis for reasons listed above, however, in good economic times they can also decrease as demands on the government is lower.
The issue is discretionary spending which appears to be totally out of control, a balanced budget forces legislators to first prioritize the goods and services that the government MUST provide to the citizens before moving on to pet projects.
A side effect of balanced budgets is that it tends to minimize government involvement in private industry projects without full scrutiny since either special debt must be taken on to accommodate or a surplus if any used.

The big issue is that without any type of mandate, legislators simply throw money at everything because there is no accountability, budgets can be complicated with future values of bills and income, and the larger the budget the more complicated and easy it is to loose the citizens in all the jargon, numbers and statistics, expecting the population at large to be financial experts is not reasonable. Nor is it reasonable in this day and age to expect politicians to be fiscally responsible because it is the right thing to do.
 
MrChips
Posts: 933
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:56 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:01 pm

One of the biggest issues with this is there is this wrong-headed notion held by a lot of people that government must balance its budget every year no matter what; no ifs, ands or buts. While this is one of the most important things you can follow in your personal financial planning, it is, for a government, stupid at best and utterly destructive at worst.

Think about it for a second. Just about any government of any developed nation today has access to debt so cheap that it effectively has a negative interest rate; why would you not borrow money that you are effectively being paid to keep? I'm not saying that we should allow our governments to go out and run up debt loads of 300% GDP overnight; what I am saying is that debt, on a municipal, provincial/state or federal level, isn't the bugaboo that people would lead you to believe.

The problem, rather, is what the money is being spent on. Too many elected officials are using government money to fund their pet projects, jobs that rely on government as their sole source of revenue (the horrendously porky defense industry, for example) or just outright buying votes. It's sickening, especially when you see the very foundations of our economy and society, the education system and our physical infrastructure, literally crumbling before our eyes.
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 22026
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:57 am

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 12):
Playing along here I would say the only "logical" option would be to make them exempt from participating in the next scheduled election cycle.

That to me makes the most sense. Elections (especially national ones) take a frightful amount of preparation. You can't just whip them up.

However, I disagree that the budget must be balanced. We should, however, see limits on the percent that debt is allowed to increase in a given year. Debt is not the enemy and in some cases, more debt can be a good thing. For example, you are supposed to spend during an economic downturn when revenue is low. You save during an upturn.

I am of the opinion that in the case of a true impasse on a matter of basic funding of the sort we have right now, the failure of the Congress to present a single bill to the President (and they have not) should lead to funding by Presidential decree until a bill reaches his desk. That would force an intransigent opposition to cooperate.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
blueflyer
Posts: 4352
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:13 am

I think banning members of Congress from participating in the next election cycle if they do not pass a budget on time is an excellent idea, although I would extend the ban to their spouse as well for good measure. I would add that members be legally required to stay at all times within the limits of DC and to operate with a staff not to exceed two until there is a budget.

What I wouldn't do is take away their pay. Most senators wouldn't care anyway, at least in the short term, but some house members would end up in the soup line at the neighborhood shelter without their pay check, and I'd much rather they concentrate on how to fix budgetary problems over subsistence problems.

I wouldn't require a balance budget every year because it is bad economics and inconceivable in times of crisis, but I would make it illegal to use supplemental allocations to finance ongoing expenses, such as multi-years wars.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
(T)he failure of the Congress to present a single bill to the President (and they have not) should lead to funding by Presidential decree until a bill reaches his desk. That would force an intransigent opposition to cooperate.

If you think about it, it simply won't work! If the Congress and the White House are in the hands of opposing parties, the president can simply veto every budget proposal he gets until the deadline allows him to impose the budget he wants.
Same outcome if the Congress is divided. Whichever party also controls the White House has no incentive to negotiate and compromise in Congress, they might as well wait out the deadline and let their president impose the budget they want.
 
n318ea
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2006 7:56 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:34 am

Read the Liberty Amendments. WE THE PEOPLE can correct this problem.
Debt is not the enemy and in some cases, more debt can be a good thing? $17 Trillion in debt and $70 + Trillion in unfunded SS & Medicare liability will destroy this Country. We have no way to pay that back and with the current dysfunctional Washington.
Red Red Red Red Red Neck!
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:30 am

Quoting MrChips (Reply 19):
Think about it for a second. Just about any government of any developed nation today has access to debt so cheap that it effectively has a negative interest rate;

If this were the case or if it were that simple why exactly do we have all these problems in Europe - Greece, Spain etc. etc.
In Greece for example, they are being held accountable for debt interest that is so low that they have to borrow money from the EU with conditions that some may call draconian, how exactly did Greece get in that position, say its not just the GFC but something to do with how much debt they had.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
However, I disagree that the budget must be balanced. We should, however, see limits on the percent that debt is allowed to increase in a given year.

Reasonable people say this, and usually most accept this, including those who had and presently inhabit the hallowed halls, the question how do you get this without a balanced budget amendment?
No one expect the balanced budget amendment to be cast in stone with no contingencies, even individuals are encouraged by the state to save for a rainy day via tax breaks etc., so everyone accepts that contingencies must be catered for.
I guess where some differ is the belief that the entire budget should be a contingency.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 22026
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:42 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 21):
If you think about it, it simply won't work! If the Congress and the White House are in the hands of opposing parties, the president can simply veto every budget proposal he gets until the deadline allows him to impose the budget he wants.

So the way I envision it is that Congress needs to send him a bill. The "decree" rule would only kick in if Congress doesn't send a bill to his desk. In this case, Congress hasn't even put out a bill.

Quoting n318ea (Reply 22):
WE THE PEOPLE can correct this problem.

Not with gerrymandering and voter suppression. Right now, the DNC should control the House by the popular vote, but they don't and gerrymandering and suppression is to blame.

People talk about "kicking the bums out," but in many districts, that is simply impossible.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 13785
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:58 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
I am of the opinion that in the case of a true impasse on a matter of basic funding of the sort we have right now, the failure of the Congress to present a single bill to the President (and they have not) should lead to funding by Presidential decree until a bill reaches his desk. That would force an intransigent opposition to cooperate.

On the evening news here they talked about the US situation, and said that in France the government has such power, so it could never happen. How many years did Belgium run without even a government ?

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 21):
If you think about it, it simply won't work! If the Congress and the White House are in the hands of opposing parties, the president can simply veto every budget proposal he gets until the deadline allows him to impose the budget he wants.
Same outcome if the Congress is divided. Whichever party also controls the White House has no incentive to negotiate and compromise in Congress, they might as well wait out the deadline and let their president impose the budget they want.

That is the problem caused by such veto power in the first place, it's a strange concept if you think about it.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Stabilator
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:42 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:33 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
Failure to pass a balanced budget (over the President's veto if necessary) would result in half of both houses of the Congress being permanently relieved of duty (the senior half or perhaps randomly by having the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court pull lottery balls out of a machine), with elections immediately held in November for their replacements. The legislators 'fired' in this fashion would no longer be eligible to serve in either the House or Senate...for life.
Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
Combined with a 12-year lifetime limit on legislative service and a mandate that legislators be subject to all of their own legislation

Like you said, these would need to be passed as a Constitutional Amendment. In order to do so, 2/3rd of each house must ratify the new amendment. The other way to ratify is by Convention (This has only been done once, in 1933). Without an amendment, ANY piece of legislation will NOT pass. The house, senate, and president can sign it, but ultimately the law will wind up in front of 9 Supreme Court Justices, and they will rule it unconstitutional.

There is far too much precedent that has been set in the courts that goes against term limits, whether imposed by the states or government. It must be done by amendment at this point, and as many already know, it's a PITA to get 2/3rd majority in both sections of the legislative branch.
So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
 
Stabilator
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:42 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:43 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 24):
Congress hasn't even put out a bill.

By Congress do you mean the House? The House has passed many budget bills. Are they terrible? Of course. But the Senate hasn't even put anything in front of the President. Both sections of the Legislative Branch are acting like idiots.
So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:36 pm

Seems like our Australian friends cracked the code on this a while ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...een-firing-everyone-in-parliament/

Obviously our system is different but my point is that they canned their entire legislature for failure to do their jobs and lived to tell the tale. With the predictable consequence that they haven't had a shutdown since.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:52 am

My solution is a little simpler

FIRE ALL OF THEM

Work to vote out every current Congressman and Senator. Work to ensure that all the current Cabinet Secretaries never get to run for office, along with the President, Vice President and the key White House staff.

The whole group has not done their job.

FIRE THEM
Not all who wander are lost.
 
User avatar
DarkSnowyNight
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:59 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:39 am

Quoting SmittyOne (Thread starter):
Just like all of the rest of us they would not be allowed to spend more than they collect in taxes.

That's a cute sound bite, but you really don't want that in real life. Think about it for a minute. When monopolistic entity's need cash they're quite a bit more likely to raise prices than cut costs.

What we're basically asking for are much higher federal taxes. Citizens not knowing how govt budgets actually work, but demanding their reps enforce their ideals are what got us here in the first place.

Quoting cmf (Reply 8):

I share your concern in regards to congress failing to do some of the fundamental tasks they are required to do but I find most of your suggestions populistic and counterproductive.

As indeed they are. I'm not going to sit here and pretend to have all the answers, but I know that anger and ideology will never fix anything. I think a big part of the problem is that politicians have figured out that people are totally satisfied with ridiculously stupid and simplified analogies (news flash, folks: federal budgets are not analogous to household or corporate budgets), and as well have the benefit of making it easy to bus-chuck the other guy.

As citizens, we're obviously very satisfied with this, and it works out very well for lobbying interests as well, since they tend to just bet on every horse anyway.

We can blame our political process all we want SmittyOne. But the truth is that we already do have the ability to do as you suggested. We can vote these guys out any cycle we want. We can even issue a recall.

But we don't. And we won't either. We'll be too partisan or too apathetic to remember this crap (notice how it's not an election year?) when it matters.

Please understand that my disillusionment is not with the political process. It's with us. We'll fall for anything if it's what we want to hear. Especially when we get to blame someone else. While we're busy complaining about how ugly the city gets, we forget that we are the Vandals... Can we really blame them for selling us the rocks and Krylon we want?
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:40 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 29):
FIRE ALL OF THEM

That's what election are for. Make sure to hire qualified people.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4115
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:45 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 31):
That's what election are for. Make sure to hire qualified people.

That is what they are for but unfortunately Americans a 1) Lazy and 2) Stupid so the votes go to the highest bidder or who is able to coin catchy phrases. Hell look at Oklahoma. More Democratic registered voters in the state, but you have a candidate from the right campaign with the phrase "I believe in Faith, Family, and Freedom" and she wins by a landslide. Regardless of the fact she is divorced and slept with her security detail while still married. So much for that Faith and Family part, but the sheep eat it up.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:28 am

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 32):
That is what they are for but unfortunately Americans a 1) Lazy and 2) Stupid so the votes go to the highest bidder or who is able to coin catchy phrases.

It can also mean that folks care more about their state and local elections who have a tremendous effect on their daily lives versus the folks who go to Washington so far away that the will of the people becomes talking point. I think the bigger problem is that the Federal government more and more is simply seen as a money pit available to be influenced.
 
User avatar
RyanairGuru
Posts: 8558
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:07 am

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 28):

Haha I was quite surprised when I saw that WaPost had picked up on our little shindig back in 75 

The article isn't 100% accurate, but you get the idea. Two things came out of it: (1) an election within a month, and (2) since then neither major party has attempted to block supply from the other. IMHO both are admirable.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:09 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 30):

Good points about the electorate and the monopolistic tendencies of government that you identified. That's why I think we need additional structural Constitutional safeguards to constrain the behavior of the government (and/or electorate to be honest).

I think people are digging too deeply into the 'balanced budget' part of my suggestion. How about we start with consistently passing any budget at all!

I understand that household budget analogy doesn't equate perfectly to the national one, but it is an inescapable fact of life that neither a household nor a country can continue to live 'above its means' using the resources of others (debt) indefinitely. Elected officials keep 'giving the people what they want' but at some point the ride is going to come to an end and I feel sorry for my kid (or grandkids if I have any someday) when that happens.

The problem you've beautifully identified is that Americans constantly want something provided to them via government but are far less interested in paying for its true cost via taxes. If we had to do so, we might be more selective about what we spend our money on. Including the almighty entitlements and defense spending that comprise the bulk of the budget.

And call me cynical but I think that a large part of the reason for our astounding level of defense spending is to preserve the global status quo that continues to allow us to live this way. The cycle feeds on itself.

Quoting cmf (Reply 31):
That's what election are for. Make sure to hire qualified people.

The question is 'qualified to do what' exactly? Our election paradigm is unduly skewed toward who can bring the most federal dollars to a particular geographical area or policy position, whether or not those actions are in the best interests of the people as a whole or those federal dollars should have been collected/spent in the first place. Our elected reps are particularly well qualified to do that which IMO is the problem.

The visual I have of Congress is that they collect a wheelbarrow full of cash (via tax) and then dump it on the floor and the legislators fight over how big of a bag they get to bring home to the people who sent them there (so that they will continue to do so of course). If enough people are unhappy with the size of their bag they go to China or elsewhere to borrow some more and get rewarded further for it by their constituents...thereby increasing the amount of money we need to spend in the out years just to keep the creditors at bay. This can't be what the framers - people who lived in a time where credit was a completely different animal - had in mind. That's why I'm advocating for a Constitutional vehicle to keep the legislature as well as the people they represent honest.


Populism in this case isn't bad...I think we need more of it.
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:14 pm

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 32):
That is what they are for but unfortunately Americans a 1) Lazy and 2) Stupid

There is truth in that. Randomly firing half of congress because they fail to pass a budget by a certain time doesn't make it better.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
ouboy79
Posts: 4115
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2001 1:48 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:15 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 33):
It can also mean that folks care more about their state and local elections who have a tremendous effect on their daily lives versus the folks who go to Washington so far away that the will of the people becomes talking point.

Care more about state/local elections? Says who? Where I live we had our council and mayoral election in the Spring. 18% of voters turned out. I've seen many larger cities have turn outs as low as 5% for local elections. No. People do NOT care more about their state and local elections. They DON'T care at all.
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:25 pm

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 37):
They DON'T care at all.

That may well be the case, and in those instances it is sad because the power and authority to affect day to day lives resides in the State and not at the Federal Level.
Police, fire fighters, sanitation, public schools etc are more influenced by local politics versus Federal. The feds do not fund 100% of daily day to day services, they do provide grants which when they run out can or will see diminished services.

I guess that is also one of the justifications used by folks pushing for more authority to be transferred to the Federal level, unfortunately for a nation that is so huge with diversity, more centralized control may not be the best thing.
As in all things, time will tell which side prevails.
 
User avatar
ER757
Posts: 3938
Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 10:16 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:02 pm

Quoting us330 (Reply 5):
1) Congress is not paid until a budget is passed; 2) All members of Congress are ineligible for reelection when their term expires.

They'd solve the problem in less than a day if these rules were in effect

Quoting cmf (Reply 8):
The next populistic suggestion is the 12 year time limit. I have never seen a good argument for requiring capable people to step down and replace them with rookies. If someone is good at a job I want to keep them there. Add that we already have a process to remove those who are not performing. Let the voters decide how long time someone should stay.

So the president should be able to serve indefinitely as well? Or are you in favor of term limits there?
The problem I see with no term limits is that senators and reps are increasingly bought and paid for by the big money folks who finance their campaigns. And if they can serve indefinitely, they have to keep saying yes to those financiers so they can keep running. Limit them and at least in their last term they can vote for what's best for everyone, not just those lining their pockets - just my   
 
cmf
Posts: 3120
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:06 pm

Quoting ER757 (Reply 39):
So the president should be able to serve indefinitely as well?

Until votes out. Yes, absolutely.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 39):
The problem I see with no term limits is that senators and reps are increasingly bought and paid for by the big money folks who finance their campaigns. And if they can serve indefinitely, they have to keep saying yes to those financiers so they can keep running. Limit them and at least in their last term they can vote for what's best for everyone, not just those lining their pockets

We need responsible voters   and campaign reform.

Any evidence they "do the right thing" in the last term?
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:37 pm

Amendment 28.

In times of late or imbalanced budget, the Chief Justice of the US shall procure a sturdy, 18-foot whip. With this whip, he or she shall roam the locked chambers of the Congress. He or she shall whip all members of Congress until the budget is passed and/or balanced, or until Congress members are unconscious. Whichever is last.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:41 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 35):
I understand that household budget analogy doesn't equate perfectly to the national one, but it is an inescapable fact of life that neither a household nor a country can continue to live 'above its means' using the resources of others (debt) indefinitely.

This is true. Once interest rates rise, the near unlimited debt WILL have real-world consequences. All too real. Huge bills due every year. Or, we can monetize it to hell, which is very inefficient form of universal taxation mainly harming the middle class. The upper class is sophisticated enough to escape inflation. The poor have no money anyway.
 
smittyone
Topic Author
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:36 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 40):
We need responsible voters  

To truly realize this I think we need a mechanism by which the electorate can credibly reject both candidates on the ballot, requiring another vote with different candidates. Until then no matter how good the voters are they will likely be looking at choosing the better of two hacks that have already been bought and paid for. With the same results we are seeing now.
 
User avatar
DarkSnowyNight
Posts: 2776
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:59 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:03 am

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 35):
How about we start with consistently passing any budget at all!

That's fair. There's nothing in the constitution that provides for an unauthorized lock out.

It is frankly appalling that any part of congress was allowed to use (specifically and deliberately) not doing their jobs as a method to extort a given result.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 35):
Americans constantly want something provided to them via government but are far less interested in paying for its true cost via taxes. If we had to do so, we might be more selective about what we spend our money on. Including the almighty entitlements and defense spending that comprise the bulk of the budget.

Indeed. If you've read anything about the new Ford class CVNs you'll see something eye opening here. A per unit cost of over $9B, along with operational costs spread so that the annual operations cost is nearly double that again. That would be fine, but this is for a threat does not exist in any form.

NASA OTOH, cannot get adequate funding to mop the damned floor. Considering that we've had four objects each greater than 9 million tons in mass pass through Cislunar Space in the last three years, and that it's NASA's job to catch this and (theoretically) do something about it, I'd say we have our priorities so far inside out a train wreck would stop to watch us.

For entitlements, that's a bit tricky. We have to define what's an entitlement first, and then the consequences of defaulting on the obligations second. I'll agree that there's no question a restructuring is in high order, but if anything we'd likely need to spend more.

That rabbit hole gets a little convoluted, so I'm happy to leave it at that for now, but the fact is that these things can all be fixed without eschewing all debt and shutting down the gov't (since eventually, both of these have the same result).

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 35):
And call me cynical but I think that a large part of the reason for our astounding level of defense spending is to preserve the global status quo that continues to allow us to live this way. The cycle feeds on itself.

No, I'd say that's about right. Over the last decade or so, there has been a great "glamorization" of all things military in this country (which is already never a good thing where history is concerned), and that certainly feeds very well the notion that we need to maintain the status quo. Attach "patriotism" to this, as has also happened, and yes, we are now in a situation where spending less on military projects, people and operations is about as popular as rusty clownsex.

So long story short, yeah, you're right and that's a problem. I do vote where my mouth is on that one, but you don't hear most candidates openly talk about reductions here.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 35):
That's why I think we need additional structural Constitutional safeguards to constrain the behavior of the government (and/or electorate to be honest).

Certainly. But the trick there is getting folks educated enough in what's really happening in our gov't. We do have big, democracy threatening problems and challenges here. But it isn't Al Queda or Socialism. It's a system that profits immensely off people voting on soundbites and party lines.

One way or another, the congress will get their act in gear and reboot before we get to rioting. This is a stunt, and those who lost out on the ACA debate are trying to use this to stay in office on the basis of having voted their conscience (if we can call refusal to perform a mandatory task such a thing). The question is will we, the folks, remember this next year?

I have no need to see any current member of this house re-elected, & I hope I'm not alone there.

Quoting ER757 (Reply 39):
They'd solve the problem in less than a day if these rules were in effect

If that $174 a year was their primary income, sure. But we have to remember that one reason most reps consider themselves patriots (don't laugh, they really do), is that, for the most part, these guys were independently wealthy prior to election anyway. So removing this really won't incentive much when they're getting much greater ego and lobby based incentive to keep it up with the stupid...

Now if you wanted to add temporary asset forfeiture, you may have some traction there.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 43):

To truly realize this I think we need a mechanism by which the electorate can credibly reject both candidates on the ballot, requiring another vote with different candidates.

I don't necessarily see anything wrong with that, just that I also don't see how we get from here to there, since they make the rules.
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
Stabilator
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:42 am

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:58 pm

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 43):
To truly realize this I think we need a mechanism by which the electorate can credibly reject both candidates on the ballot, requiring another vote with different candidates.

That will never happen. Besides the explicit qualifications laid out in Article II, no one can add extra qualifications for presidential candidates. Anyone who meets the criteria can run. There is zero chance the EC could determine a candidate invalid if they meet the (relatively easy) qualifications.

[Edited 2013-10-03 08:00:44]
So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
 
PHX787
Posts: 7892
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:46 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:08 pm

It looks really good on paper but i have no idea how this would work in reality when you have many variables thrown in.
Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/phx787
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 10481
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: My Solution To Legislative Gridlock Over Budgets

Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:07 pm

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 44):
Over the last decade or so, there has been a great "glamorization" of all things military in this country (which is already never a good thing where history is concerned), and that certainly feeds very well the notion that we need to maintain the status quo.

The hidden thing about the military - my opinion - is that while the Democrats do their spending via funding and increasing entitlements, the Republicans do their's via the military, take your note on the new CVN.

Quoting DarkSnowyNight (Reply 44):
If you've read anything about the new Ford class CVNs you'll see something eye opening here. A per unit cost of over $9B, along with operational costs spread so that the annual operations cost is nearly double that again. That would be fine, but this is for a threat does not exist in any form.

Billions have already been spent and the Navy and its sailors have seen what percentage of that, I think that if military spending is broken down between the uniform use / get versus what the civilian contractors get / use the numbers would be shocking.
Expand the CVN that to the Trident replacement due in the 2020's, a billion plus has already been budgeted for research and development, does anyone really believe that sailors are involved, no need to talk about the F-35 or the new Tanker.
My rough point is that in spite of it being called military spending, the bulk of the funds are paid up front to civilian employees, actual military use and operational charges usually start after delivery.
At present I'm sure the operational cost of the couple squadrons of F-35's in use pale in comparison to the fund going to Lockheed.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ArchGuy1 and 94 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos