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How can we get Congress to start behaving like it's supposed to and balance the budget for good over the long term? I think the first step is by implementing something like the "Save more tomorrow" campaign that some companies offer their employees for retirement savings. We should arrange the law so that we balance the budget aggressively as we cross certain milestones -- like the economy starting to grow sustainably again. It's pretty obvious that if we try to balance the budget today, tomorrow, or even this year, cuts to Federal spending would probably pull enough money out of the circulation of the economy that it would have a seriously negative impact on the rest of the economy. Like it or not (and I don't), we're pretty dependent upon government to keep spending to keep the dollars moving around. But as the private sector grows (which it's starting to do), we should start weaning ourselves from that Federal dependence, and it should be done on the basis of some cold, hard facts that are outside the control of the whims of voters and politicians.
One of the political problems we seem to face is that polarization is being rewarded, rather than the compromise that is in the nation's best interests. I'd bet that most people probably agree with third-party splinter efforts like the Modern Whig Party, but until people bring their efforts to bear on the two major parties, they're still going to have a lot of enthusiastic folks trying to push each of them to extremes. Mathematically, it's impossible in this country with our first-past-the-post voting system to get away from a two-party system. No other approach is stable -- and we can even see that in parliamentary democracies like Canada and the UK, third-party movements tend to just lead to a lot of upheaval and uncertainty and those parties eventually get absorbed into others.
On a totally unrelated note, it would appear that two doofuses from West Liberty don't know how to recognize a police car. Idiots.