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Lise

Who's job should it be to fix the economy? via the president editing everythign that crosses his....

desk with a Line Item veto, or Congress by passing legislation to make it so there can only be one subject per bill? Meaning, who should be held responsible for cutting the pork from our national budget?
Meri:

I don't think it's necessarily an either/or situation, for the following reasons.

Congressional representation is much more localized and one of its functions is to represent local/regional interests, similar to Senators representing State issues, and the President representing National issues.

Without a doubt, some legislation contains pork, but that's an abuse of the position and legislative process.

Legislation should be in single item, or at least similar item form. This allows us, as voters, to look at a person's voting record to determine where the candidate stands. There are too many times where a candidate has voted against a bill only because there are provisions in the bill that they are opposed to, but the bill in its entirety may be a good one. Conversely, there are times a candidate has voted for a bill because the bill in its entirety is a good bill, but the candidate is later castigated because of the pork-like provisions.

The President, as an administrator, should have a line item veto power on income and spending, similar to any other administrator of a business, but after which, still allow the legislature to review and resubmit the bill. Again, we as the voters, will be provided a much clearer picture and have a much better idea of where our representatives stand on issues, taxes, and spending.

Buwanna:

I understand your point, but disagree with it. Our government has separation of powers specifically to provide checks and balances between the three branches of government. A line-item veto is essentially giving legislative power to the executive branch, thus removing some of our checks and balances. It strengthens the executive branch relative to the legislative branch, and could easily cause problems.

Meri:

There's a subtle point in what I wrote that may have been overlooked.

After a Presidential line item veto, the bill would need to go back to the legislature for approval or revision in its amended form, or voted on to override the veto before being resubmitted to the President;. Checks and balances are still maintained, the difference is that we, the voters, get a clearer picture of where our representatives stand.

I don't believe this approach strengthens the Executive Branch, which I'm not in favor of at all, but instead allows the President, as an administrator, to offer his or her opinion on what is best for the Nation as a whole.

Tangentially, and I could be wrong, but a line item veto is not just drawing a red line through something, but allows for revisions by the President.

Buwanna:

Neither. Government cannot "fix" the economy. The Soviet Union tried to do that for a long time, and failed. What government CAN do is get out of the economy as much as possible, and let the market itself work.

As to cutting pork from our national budget, that has to be Congress. In my humble opinion, a line-item veto is a BAD thing. Have you ever seen a bill? Even the ones that are fairly simple are usually many pages of related legalese. The ability to veto PORTIONS of a bill actually gives the President the power to pass a law that Congress never intended.

Example: The GOP wants to pass a law outlawing late-term abortions, but the Dems won't go along with it. So they change it to allow exceptions for rape and incest, and enough Dems get on board to support it. Then the President uses his line-item veto to remove the exceptions and voila, the original bill is law. Except the bill never would have gotten to his desk in that form.

The line-Item veto is a bad thing.

Buwanna:

Or what if the bill is a complicated thing on tort reform. The President vetos portions of it, but the end result is a bill that contradicts itself because the President didn't get all of the sections that he intended to.

It would be like changing election law in our state saying that the general election is held on the first Tuesday in November and moving it to the first Tuesday in October (in one section of the code), but forgetting to change the registration deadline from middle October (in a different section). Whoopsie.

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