As virtually everyone knows by now, there are significant threats of a government shutdown in the US. The basic guts around it is that the US government will run out of funds for daily operations as no appropriations bill has been passed (as of yet). The reason there is no appropriations bill passed is because the GOP wants to defund the Affordable Care Act, and therefore makes defunding it one of the strings it has attached to get what it wants. And there is also the debt ceiling on the way.
Do I agree that the above is irresponsible, petty, partisan, reckless, and obstructionist? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. But guess what, it is perfectly legal. Article 1, Section 5 of the United States Constitution says (in part) the following:
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
In other words, filibusters, refusing to fund the government, and so on, are all allowed by the rules the two Houses of the United.
Therefore, this means that another takeaway from the (likely) US Government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis is that the rules of operation should be amended to prevent the above obstructionism and hostage-taking from being allowed to occur.
On the day the Supreme Court ruled incorrectly by failing to completely strike down hate speech laws, I think that there is a form of speech that should be illegal nationwide: partisan government advertisements. Is it just me or is there really a whole spree of them going on right now? I’ve seen ones from both the federal government (it’s action plan, etc) and from the provincial government (especially the one with the cell phone dominoes). Now, these ads aren’t technically partisan, as they aren’t explicitly promoting any political party. But, still, if you read between the lines, you’ll see that they intend to show you how the government (the party currently in power) is doing X (low taxes, action plan) to help you. Hence, since these are supposed to remind you of what the current party in power is doing, they are still partisan, even if not explicitly so.
Partisan government ads are nothing more than legal propaganda. They should be banned, for all levels of government.
Any problems arising from people not being informed of necessary government functions (which advertising is in part supposed to deal with) can be handled by requiring the official opposition to agree to those advertising expenditures as well. This way, partisanship is avoided.
I just made these up, but they echo many of the criticisms made against the religion of glibertarianism:
- 10: You get a fetish over the rights of the manager and the entrepreneur.
- 9: You think corporations have rights, but children don’t.
- 8: You believe that if one person is in danger of starving to death, they’ll always make a rational decision and have equal bargaining power, because abuse of power never exists.
- 7: You believe that a ragtag group of mostly untrained people, armed with whatever guns are at hand, could take on a larger group of highly–trained soldiers armed with the most sophisticated weaponry available, and win.
- 6: You think that giving power to something restricted by a constitution (like the government) is evil, but have no problem giving nearly absolute power to things that aren’t restricted by the constitution (like employers and parents).
- 5: You treat Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom as if they were scripture, while probably having little idea what their authors really thought.
- 4: You think that any government attempt to interfere with the contracts you can make or increase the taxes you pay is too big, but at the same time have no problem voting for a party that wants government so big it snoops in people’s bedrooms.
- 3: You think we live in some perverse zero–sum universe where the only way to prevent the federal government from oppressing you is to let the subdivisions oppress you.
- 2: You claim to believe in both economic and personal freedom, but inevitably only care about the former.
- 1: You get riled up and defensive at the mere suggestion that you care about something other than yourself and your property.