Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

If you had to write one bill, what would it be?

Rate this topic


realitycheck44
 Share

Recommended Posts

For my American Government class, we're doing a simulation of Congress where one period plays the House of Reps, another period plays the Senate, a third period plays interest groups, and another teacher plays the President. Our objective is to write bill that passes the House, Senate, and President and gets made a "law". (The catch is that to get an A, your bill must become a law... kind of annoying, I know) Anyway, this is kind of a cool opportunity for me to both try and get some people exposed to rational thinking and also see what kind of horrible state our country is in. So, my question to you guys is, if you had one chance to write a bill, what bill would you write? Would you write an "outlandish" bill that nobody would pass- such as abolishing taxes? Or would you go for something more safe- like allowing homosexual marriage or abortion? Oh, and one other catch- I'm playing a democrat from New Mexico, and my bill must be somewhat realistic to the character I'm playing. So...

Considering I'm from New Mexico, I just had the thought that maybe a bill on border control would be appropriate, but I'd rather do something more pro-Capitalism (or at least anti-theocracy).

This should be interesting.

[edited for clarity]

Edited by realitycheck44
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This should be interesting.

Sounds like fun...Might try for a privatization of banking...eliminating the fed...it's esoteric and misunderstood enough that you might be able to slip it through. That's why it was able to get started in the first place. Or possibly elimination of deficit spending...balanced budget ammendment to limit government growth.

Sounds like a fun game

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you had one chance to write a bill, what bill would you write? Would you write an "outlandish" bill that nobody would pass- such as abolishing taxes? Or would you go for something more safe
Ideally, I'd want something like eliminating Social Security. But I'd rather get an A in the assignment, so...

I'd do something like a bill that both increases border security and substantially reduces the time/effort necessary to come into the US legally. One without the other makes for a less effective (and less passable?) bill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have to role play a Democrat and have to get your bill approved to get an A? Why not role play muderers and give A's to whoever manages to kill their victim? :)

Seriously though, maybe the best way to get your grade and make your point is to propose something a real democrat would propose - and after it is approved make sure to thrash it as the evil it is.

I'd go for a "protection of religious sensibility" myself. An anti-hate-speech bill is a sure fire winner, unless your class is far more rational than the average Joe.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Assuming that you want a bill that has a good chance of passing, you're going to have to propose some small step that is palatable to all. Assuming you want a good bill, you want a small step that is in the right direction and can also be the starting point for something larger and important.

One possibility that comes to mind is Bush's recent health-insurance tax/tax-deduction proposal. Since it's real, some data is already available on which to base your arguments (e.g. the question of how much it would "cost"). Also, it is a proposal that makes a small step in the right direction. Finally, it sounds fairly palatable to both sides. One question I'd have is whether it would be "in character" for a Democrat; I think it could be. In fact, I think it might have a better chance of passing if you could put forth a Democrat version.

On immigration, an "open immigration" would have no chance of passing. Things that come to mind would be changing various quotas and procedures. I could go into more detail, but I think it might be a bit esoteric for your current needs. Some examples would be: an "early decision" scheme for residency, where people could know that they will get their permanent resident status 5 years in the future, but they would know it with certainty; or, a "quotas for excellence" scheme that would halve the quota now set aside for "diversity visas" and increase the "work visa" quota by a similar amount.

There's another question, which is independent of the specific topic you choose: would you get a worse grade if your bill gets a whole lot of amendments and ends up very different from how you begun? You might ask the teacher this privately. The reason I ask is this: when you go into a negotiation with politician-types you need to have something to "give". So, your original proposal should contain something that the Democrats can fight against and something that the GOP can fight against, and that you know before-hand that you are willing to drop (after a "tough" fight, of course).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd propose a bill that required that all bills be required to deal with only one issue. This doesn't seem like a major change an Objectivist would want to make (considering so many other things that could be done) but it seems like a valid change that members of your class may be more likely to pass. Such a law would help curtail pork-barrel spending. You could spin it as bringing more openness and fairness to Congress. You could say that currently Senators and Representatives cannot vote on conscious or what's best for their constituents because a single bill may fund something important while also wasting money at the same time.

I just noticed you’re playing a Democrat! HA! You can really play this up you could go on and on about how pork-barrel spending hurts everyone especially poor people (Assuming money going to pet projects would be funneled to the destitute). HAHA

Edited by Drew1776
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh how glad I am not to be in high school anymore. If I'd known then what I know now, they'd have thrown me out bodily. I remember doing this exercise my Senior year. I was Sen. Biden (D-Del.) The exercise was neither educational nor entertaining, because everyone just parroted what they were expected to parrot, voted how they were expected to vote, and "oh, wasn't that interesting; I move for cloture." Ended up being more procedure than substance.

If you want to have fun or learn anything, I'd mix it up. Propose something radically Democrat, and support it by saying things like "We've crammed so much crap through the Commerce Clause, I'm sure it can handle this little bit more."

And remember: if you're a Democrat, you can pass anything by saying it's for the children.

-Q

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some quick pointers based on many of the recent activities in Congress:

* Make sure that your bill offers new, flashy and grandiose services to the public but also delivers tax cuts simultaneously. Most United States citizens love receiving many services from the government but they hate having to pay for them. Thankfully, deficit spending has been a panacea to this political conundrum. Fortunately, encouraging record spending deficits is hardly an impediment to getting re-elected. Besides, 90% of legislative incumbents get re-elected anyway.

* Give your bill a vague, substance-less name that cannot possibly disappoint anyone such as the "Freedom Expansion Act" or the "Happier Children Act".

* To get some extra votes, ensure to slip in some last minute earmarks in committee reports during the final hour of voting. Thus, when the President receives the bill on his desk to sign into law, he will be unaware of the addendums.

* Add liberal amounts of gratuitous references to God. This should get you another significant chunk of votes.

* If all this seems to not be enough to get your proposal passed, try attaching your bill as an amendment to a more popular piece of legislation. They do not even need to be related!

Needless to say, I am being facetitious. Perhaps viewing the websites of (Democratic) New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson would be helpful?

Edited by DarkWaters
Link to comment
Share on other sites

* Add liberal amounts of gratuitous references to God. This should get you another significant chunk of votes.

I like this idea the best.

...

So today my gov teacher told us that starting tomorrow we'd be doing a Congressional simulation and we'd have to propose bills and stuff. So this topic is quite exciting. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a tax choice bill. Here's how it would work: at the end of each fiscal year, every individual that pays tax receives a form which states how much you paid in taxes. Below that is a list of the major Federal departments that receive tax revenue, each with a box beside them. The taxpayer then goes through the list, alloting the amount he/she sees fit to give to each Department, or a zero for those he/she doesn't want to fund. If the taxpayer doesn't want to do this, then they can sign a waiver allowing the Gov. to spend as they wish.

Bet that would change the way things are done in D.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a tax choice bill. Here's how it would work: at the end of each fiscal year, every individual that pays tax receives a form which states how much you paid in taxes. Below that is a list of the major Federal departments that receive tax revenue, each with a box beside them. The taxpayer then goes through the list, alloting the amount he/she sees fit to give to each Department, or a zero for those he/she doesn't want to fund. If the taxpayer doesn't want to do this, then they can sign a waiver allowing the Gov. to spend as they wish.

Bet that would change the way things are done in D.C.

Yeah, but can you imagine all the disgusting commercials about need that all of the agencies would be playing around election time, to guilt you into "donating" to their agency? I shudder to think about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, guys, I think I should clarify my opening post. I'm "playing" a democrat, but I don't have to necessarily come up with something socialistic. The point is, many (or at least some) think that the democrats are better than the republicans, and I'd like to hear what type of bill a democrat would pass that would defend against the "imminent theocracy". (Sorry, I'm only being halfway sarcastic.) The whole New Mexico thing doesn't really matter too much. Right now, I really like aequalsa's idea of making it a law that the budget must be balanced. I mean, a private citizen cannot spend more than he makes, why should the government be able to? This would entail that people pay like 90% taxes or the gov't cuts spending. (The only problem with this is that the military would probably be the first thing to go. :thumbsup: )

So, I'm not too concerned about it being from a "New Mexican" senator, nor am I especially worried about whether it passes or not. I have a good enough grade in the class to take a B on this project and still end up with an A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about a tax choice bill. Here's how it would work: at the end of each fiscal year, every individual that pays tax receives a form which states how much you paid in taxes. Below that is a list of the major Federal departments that receive tax revenue, each with a box beside them. The taxpayer then goes through the list, alloting the amount he/she sees fit to give to each Department, or a zero for those he/she doesn't want to fund. If the taxpayer doesn't want to do this, then they can sign a waiver allowing the Gov. to spend as they wish.

Bet that would change the way things are done in D.C.

That would change the way things are done, no doubt about it. But I question whether it would be better for the country. First of all, it would be a very "majority rules all" way to do things. And judging from my classmates, nobody has the slightest idea of what it would be like under a capitalist country. Even people who supposedly support big businesses, don't understand the idea that the gov't should have NO control over the economy. I think this type of bill would end up being worse for the country. You'd have the crazy religious people on one side, and the crazy socialists on the other. That just wouldn't work out well.

How is my idea "socialistic" ?
That wasn't directed at you. If you read the posts above yours, you'll see that some people suggested I should propose some insanely democratic bill. Which would be kinda funny, but I'd rather not.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That wasn't directed at you. If you read the posts above yours, you'll see that some people suggested I should propose some insanely democratic bill. Which would be kinda funny, but I'd rather not.

Sorry, I see now.

I agree that such a bill would push this country into pressure-group overdrive. I think that is what is happening anyway, might as well blow on the house of cards, maybe it would make everyone more responsible, make them put their money where their mouth is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, I see now.

I agree that such a bill would push this country into pressure-group overdrive. I think that is what is happening anyway, might as well blow on the house of cards, maybe it would make everyone more responsible, make them put their money where their mouth is.

There is a certain appeal to that. Like going to war being voted on and when you vote yes, you are automatically enlisted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...