Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Democrat Criticism of Romney and Republicans takes Bizarre Turn

Basic flow chart of U.S. federal checks and balances
One of the strengths of American federal democracy is the governmental structure in which there are clear checks and balances on the three main branches of government: legislature, executive, and judiciary.

Yet, democrats such as Paul Krugman are attacking this important part of American democracy by claiming that the checks and balances may lead to an "ungovernable banana republic". This is a misguided and dangerous argument by democrats, because it threatens the very foundation of American democracy. Without those checks and balances, the American democracy would be susceptible to dictatorial forms of government like in Canada under a Prime Minister with a majority government.

CAN Prime Minister Powers

From the 2012 FDA Report on the American federal electoral system (soon to be published):

American Federal Checks and Balances:

There are three branches of government, executive, bicameral congress, and judiciary all with political power over government policy and legislation, and checks and balances. For example, the Congress’s power over legislation is offset by the President’s power to veto and propose legislation, and the judiciaries’ power to overrule legislation which violates the Constitution.

Research Findings:

The U.S. federal government divided between three branches: legislative (comprised of Congress and Senate), presidency (executive), and judiciary (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Sections 1, 2, 3; Article II, Section 2; Article III, Section 2).

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have legislative power; the President has the executive power of government; the judiciary has power cases involving the U.S. Constitution, laws, and treaties under its authority (U.S Constitution, Article I, Sections 1; Article II, Section 2; Article III, Section 2).

The President has the power to veto bills from the Congress and Senate, and the House of Representatives and Senate with two-thirds vote in each house have the power to overrule presidential vetoes (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Clause 2).

Every bill must pass in the U.S House of Representatives and Senate to become law (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Clause 2).

The President, Vice President and other civil officers can be impeached by the U.S. Congress and Senate for conviction of treason, bribery, and other serious crimes and/or wrongdoing (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4).

The U.S. Constitution may be amended by two-third vote of both the U.S. Congress and Senate, or two-third of states which call for a convention on proposing amendments to the Constitution, and the amendments are ratified if three-fourths of the state legislatures support the amendments (U.S. Constitution, Article V).


Krugman's Criticism:

From "Obstruct and Exploit", Paul Krugman questions the validity of the U.S. government checks and balances between the U.S. Congress and U.S. presidential executive:

".... The most important consequence of that stonewalling, I’d argue, has been the failure to extend much-needed aid to state and local governments. Lacking that aid, these governments have been forced to lay off hundreds of thousands of schoolteachers and other workers, and those layoffs are a major reason the job numbers have been disappointing. Since bottoming out a year after Mr. Obama took office, private-sector employment has risen by 4.6 million; but government employment, which normally rises more or less in line with population growth, has instead fallen by 571,000.

Put it this way: When Republicans took control of the House, they declared that their economic philosophy was “cut and grow” — cut government, and the economy will prosper. And thanks to their scorched-earth tactics, we’ve actually had the cuts they wanted. But the promised growth has failed to materialize — and they want to make that failure Mr. Obama’s fault.

Now, all of this puts the White House in a difficult bind. Making a big deal of Republican obstructionism could all too easily come across as whining. Yet this obstructionism is real, and arguably is the biggest single reason for our ongoing economic weakness.

And what happens if the strategy of obstruct-and-exploit succeeds? Is this the shape of politics to come? If so, America will have gone a long way toward becoming an ungovernable banana republic."


Question to Readers: 

Should the U.S. Congress checks on the U.S. presidential executive be eroded, so that the U.S. president can do as he or she wants in terms of policy and legislation? 

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