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I know there has been talk in recent years of a housing allowance but I don't think they actually did anything about it.
You're right, nothing came of it. I did some further reading.

One good way to reduce the influence and reliance on lobbyists would be to create a big budget for congressional staffers. As it stands now a lot of them are young and come from well off families who can afford to eat the cost of living gap. After a number of years they take off for greener pastures. This situation helps foster an environment where lobbyists are leaned on for a lot of expertise on issues so you end up with more things that generally favor the more influential players. That many of those lobbyists are themselves former legislators is indeed yet another problem.
I think that is a rather naive viewpoint, but since we're straying from RKBA I'll just leave it at that.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Historically if you (the governed) don't pay the politicians somebody else will. I don't really like the handwringing over congressional pay because the alternative is worse.
Problem is that it is likely that the politicians are being paid by/from both sources. Why are the poor politicians rich when they leave.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Sure it's a skill and there are good ones and bad ones at it like any other profession. Dislike of the profession in question doesn't negate that. I've seen lots of business people, who think their own skills are directly transferrable to everything and especially politics, absolutely flounder if they actually manage to get elected because turns out their skillset is wrong for the job.

$170K a year is not living especially high on the hog if you spend a lot of that time in DC, one of the more expensive cites in the country in addition to your life back home.
Originally, they did not live full time in DC.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
As far as the specific subject of politicians and firearms, the ones making the new laws and restrictions have little knowledge of the actual piece of equipment they are restricting.

Calling for restrictions on "100-round clips", "AR-14s", "semiautomatic machineguns", "fully-automatic pistols", Assault Weapons", "Weapons of War, and firearms that are "designed to kill", should clearly demonstrate their lack of knowledge on the subject.

How intelligent are these lawmakers?
Not very.
 

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Problem is that it is likely that the politicians are being paid by/from both sources. Why are the poor politicians rich when they leave.
The earning largely comes later. Book deals, board seats, teaching positions, consultancies, speaking fees, lobbying, etc.

Quite a few get their hands caught in the campaign fund cookie jar because the office isn't especially lucrative while you are in it.
 

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The earning largely comes later. Book deals, board seats, teaching positions, consultancies, speaking fees, lobbying, etc.

Quite a few get their hands caught in the campaign fund cookie jar because the office isn't especially lucrative while you are in it.
As I said before - it shouldn't be lucrative.

I think there are plenty of politicians in office that pursued the job for the wrong reasons - like power and status. Many don't report for work any more than they are required to.

I just don't see them as underpaid or making a financial sacrifice. I know some can make a lot more money in the private sector, but they may also have to work harder for it.

Maybe they are just greedy, and see all that campaign money just sitting there for the taking.

I'm surprised you are such a strong supporter of politicians. Certainly some are honest and well-meaning, but there are plenty of cases at all levels of extensive corruption and greed.
 

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I'm surprised you are such a strong supporter of politicians. Certainly some are honest and well-meaning, but there are plenty of cases at all levels of extensive corruption and greed.
All the known alternatives are much worse.
 

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The Anti-gunners are getting smarter, and they're gaining ground, 20 years ago they called it "gun control", since Obama it's being framed as a public health/safety issue, and let's be honest more people are going to care about "public health/safety" than "gun control". Now we know it's BS, but again more and more people are happy to become sheep and be told what they should think.

In the game of telling people what they should think, the DNC does 100x better job than the GOP. 87% of teachers are Democrats, they own all news media outlets aside Fox, they own the tv and movie industries. 90% of the messages kids and adults get exposed to from in their education and media now are based on DNC agenda/policies. They dominate social media getting their message out. Meanwhile the GOP sits around with their head in the sand sure that someday everyone will just wake up and see things their way, and complaining it hasn't happened yet in back corners of gun stores. It's not that the GOP is losing now, they've been losing since the 80's bit by bit.

The DNC's real agenda is two fold. They are going to break the filibuster, probably won't remove it, but they will pull it's teeth out. They are going to keep proposing things the average person thinks sounds good (free stimulus $, infrastructure, public safety, etc.), and vilify the GOP for blocking it, until the general public gets frustrated enough they will back anything that they are told will get something done. It's genius really, it plays on the same theme that got Trump elected, the fact that everyone thinks politicians on both sides are worthless and they just want them to do something. Once that's done, you can bet they absolutely will modify the supreme court. They don't even have to increase the number of justices, they can leverage something all Americans have been screaming for for decades.....term limits, and or age limits on justices, anything that creates more justice turnover during their administration so they can get more of their judges on the court.

What we're seeing is simply a result of a participation trophy society, we're seeing the public be willing to throw away the rule of law and constitution if they feel the issue is "unfair". Less and less people evaluate issues with logic or trying to see multiple sides, they simply evaluate them emotionally. So whoever markets issues emotionally as "unfair" wins in today's world.
 

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Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
The earning largely comes later. Book deals, board seats, teaching positions, consultancies, speaking fees, lobbying, etc.

Quite a few get their hands caught in the campaign fund cookie jar because the office isn't especially lucrative while you are in it.
Look at biden - his money came when he was in office.
 

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The reptilian functionaries of autocratic and despotic regimes You can eliminate the politicians but you're really not going to like what takes their place.
Isn't that the direction we are heading?

I'd just like to see more integrity from current politicians.
 

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What are the known alternatives?
One known alternative that is not necessarily worse is to have reduced power of the federal government relative to the states. The original plan was to have the states be more in charge of their own affairs and have the federal system be rather limited. Unfortunately it went off course fairly quickly since power=money and power fades quickly with accountability. Have the states more in charge of their own affairs brings those wielding power on behalf of the citizens in closer proximity to those citizens and thus improves accountability.

If one requires having a federal system that vastly overshadows and controls the local systems, then yes, what we have is about the best you will find.

In my opinion, the courts are who steered us off course. They chose very early on to largely ignore the 10th Amendment in favor of "progress" presumably. Even in retrospect, it is very hard to say that was 100% the wrong call, since we probably would have lost WWII to the Japanese without a very strong federal government. On internal matters, it is more obvious.
 

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One known alternative that is not necessarily worse is to have reduced power of the federal government relative to the states. The original plan was to have the states be more in charge of their own affairs and have the federal system be rather limited. Unfortunately it went off course fairly quickly since power=money and power fades quickly with accountability. Have the states more in charge of their own affairs brings those wielding power on behalf of the citizens in closer proximity to those citizens and thus improves accountability.

If one requires having a federal system that vastly overshadows and controls the local systems, then yes, what we have is about the best you will find.

In my opinion, the courts are who steered us off course. They chose very early on to largely ignore the 10th Amendment in favor of "progress" presumably. Even in retrospect, it is very hard to say that was 100% the wrong call, since we probably would have lost WWII to the Japanese without a very strong federal government. On internal matters, it is more obvious.
Not only that, state legislatures have more free time than the federal legislature so can better fill the oversight role than the fed can. Oversight is critical for a fair and efficient government but because the fed took on so much congress can't do it as well as they should. Many state legislatures only meet a couple weeks a year, they have plenty of room to increase their time and assume more authority. The fed should 'sell' education back to the states, as well as the national park system.
 

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Not really and lol.
Well, I think he did have a legitimate perspective on it. The federal bureaucracy is largely viewed as an unaccountable body of authoritarian functionaries. I'm sure members of that bureaucracy don't see it like that but a lot of people with normal jobs do see it that way. Reality is, as always, likely somewhere between those endpoints.

"Not really" is hardly a rebuttal of his point and might have been left unsaid, it adds nothing productive to this discussion. I do agree with the lol though :D
 

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Well, I think he did have a legitimate perspective on it. The federal bureaucracy is largely viewed as an unaccountable body of authoritarian functionaries. I'm sure members of that bureaucracy don't see it like that but a lot of people with normal jobs do see it that way. Reality is, as always, likely somewhere between those endpoints.

"Not really" is hardly a rebuttal of his point and might have been left unsaid, it adds nothing productive to this discussion. I do agree with the lol though :D
People really seem to confuse "legitimate and legal policy that I dislike" with "this is authoritarian". Trump did a lot of stuff I didn't like but he had the power to do much of it. The extent of those powers are consented to by the legislature who is also elected.
 

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People really seem to confuse "legitimate and legal policy that I dislike" with "this is authoritarian". Trump did a lot of stuff I didn't like but he had the power to do much of it. The extent of those powers are consented to by the legislature who is also elected.
That is true, but it is not what I am talking about.

I am talking about the fact that Congress has largely punted it's authority to the executive branch agencies (plenty of examples, including today's FDA "judgement" on the J&J vaccine). I'm talking about Congress not having the fortitude to hold those agencies responsible for some of their very egregious actions (paging Lois Lerner) when it is their clear role and responsibility to do so.

When I accuse the executive branch agencies (what I called federal bureaucracy earlier) of being authoritarian, I am NOT referring to legitimate and legal policy that I dislike. An example of such a policy would be the current state of gun regulation - I dislike most of it but I recognize the legitimacy and in some cases the objective need for those policies.

When I call them authoritarian I am referring to examples such as Lois Lerner. I am referring to the EPA preferring to write new regulations regarding climate change rather than to effectively monitor existing hazardous waste sites (Regulation-Happy EPA Is Forgetting to Inspect Hazardous Waste | National Review). I am referring to the BATFE deciding, apparently on their own initiative, to not enforce the body of law regarding straw purchases. I am also referring to these agencies unwillingness to stand up to the boss too - a great example of that was Trump's bump stock ban. They had a long history of being legal in the eyes of the BATFE, right up until the political optics changed and now they are illegal. That prompts Biden to think he can do much the same with 80% receivers.

There are plenty, plenty, of other examples.
 

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That is true, but it is not what I am talking about.

I am talking about the fact that Congress has largely punted it's authority to the executive branch agencies (plenty of examples, including today's FDA "judgement" on the J&J vaccine). I'm talking about Congress not having the fortitude to hold those agencies responsible for some of their very egregious actions (paging Lois Lerner) when it is their clear role and responsibility to do so.
I'm not sure who in Congress should be making decisions on vaccine EUAs and the like since I don't think any of them have relevant expertise. Probably a good idea that they don't in general. That said the agency is still certainly subject to oversight and budgetary consequences, whether the congress chooses to exercise that or not.

When I call them authoritarian I am referring to examples such as Lois Lerner. I am referring to the EPA preferring to write new regulations regarding climate change rather than to effectively monitor existing hazardous waste sites (Regulation-Happy EPA Is Forgetting to Inspect Hazardous Waste | National Review). I am referring to the BATFE deciding, apparently on their own initiative, to not enforce the body of law regarding straw purchases. I am also referring to these agencies unwillingness to stand up to the boss too - a great example of that was Trump's bump stock ban. They had a long history of being legal in the eyes of the BATFE, right up until the political optics changed and now they are illegal. That prompts Biden to think he can do much the same with 80% receivers.

That regulation is often whimsically, lightly, or even illogically strictly enforced isn't something I would call a new development to our country. Also since the congress has nearly ceased to actually legislate much of anything out of partisan gridlock the executive agencies will certainly have much discretionary power. It's not like any president has been very interested in fixing this either since it would be to their detriment.
 
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