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Forum Post: Looking for issues to take up for our big launch. We want to hear from you.

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 26, 2011, 6:49 p.m. EST by LobbyDemocracy (615)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am founding a lobbying organization dedicated to representing the interests of the majority. The organization is not conservative or liberal. It is not here to represent Democrats or Republicans. It is here to represent the interests of the American people, whatever those interests might be.

We will be polling our membership to determine what issues we will support. Any issue that reaches 65% support or opposition nationally we will take up and bring to the government. We will sift through the data district by district and find every district whose members are aligned with the national polling data. We will contact the elected representatives of all of these districts with the desires of their constituents.

In addition to the polling data guiding the direction of the organization, it will also give us strength in dealing with our elected leaders. We will have solid data supporting the fact that their constituents stand for the issue, and expect them to take action on it. The elected officials will have the opportunity to write back to their constituents via the website. We will open up the communication lines between the majority and their elected representatives and make sure that the representatives understand that if they do not heed the desires of their constituents they will be voted out of office.

As we open up for membership on November 6th we are looking for issues for the organization to consider. The direction of the organization will be determined by membership. Since we are just opening up we need a list of issues for our membership to select from to begin the initial debate. We would like to hear your ideas.

If you are interested please check us out at www.lobbydemocracy.com. If you like what you see, or have questions please let us know here so that we can rise to the top of the list and be seen by others.

101 Comments

101 Comments


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[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Everything is all set to go.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

Blog is back up and running. We are working on the membership login and sign up pages.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

We open up for membership in three days and I am looking forward to being able to switch from future tense to current tense. In preparation of the launch we hired a company to create a secure framework for the member login and signup as well as a secure database to hold all of the information. Doing so meant that we had to restructure the website. Megan and I will be working diligently over the next several days to edit the site that was put together for us. We will be trying to make it easier to navigate, and rewriting many of the pieces about the organization to reflect the present tense. As we switched over, the blog got disconnected from the rest of the site, but will be up and running before launch. We would like your feedback on the site and organization as we get underway. Please let us know what you think. We are particularly interested in issues that you would like us to consider. Although membership will determine the direction of the organization, we need to start with some issues on the table for consideration. Since we don't have membership for another couple of days we are looking for outside advice on these issues so that we can keep true to the mission of the organization. So please check out www.lobbydemocracy.com. You can contact us either here or through the site. If you like what you see or have recommendations please leave them here so that we can rise to the top of the list and be seen by others. We look forward to serving you.

Sincerely,

Evan Kendall Babcock

President- Lobby Democracy

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 3 years ago

audit the fed. that one thing will solve much.

[-] 2 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

An audit of the Fed is an interesting idea. The Fed has an enormous amount of power, and I don't think many people understand its function. You often hear cries to end the Fed, but I think an analysis of the Fed and a push for better oversight and transparency is probably a good place to start. Thanks for your input.

[-] 1 points by Windsofchange (1044) 3 years ago

Okay, since you are listening, here are a few. Some of the other posters covered some of my other points already.

1) A federal law that ends all discrimination against the unemployed by corporations/companies who refuse to hire them because of their unemployment status. Unemployed people should be made a protective class and corporations who violate the law should be penalized in addition to facing lawsuits from those discriminated against (should they pursue a lawsuit). 2) No more bailouts for the big banks. Let them sink or swim at this point. Let the market correct itself, so as not to prolong this bad recession or put us into a depression. 3) Make all the banks payback the bailout money. No one slides on this one. 4) For those corporations who did not pay back the bail out money. Put a income cap on their salaries of the CEO and top execs of $250,000 and below. NO Bonuses!!! They can go back to their regular salaries once they completely pay back the bail out money. 5) Penalize all corporations that outsourced jobs, no more tax breaks. Generous rewards for those companies who keep jobs here. Make it an attractive option. 6) Colleges need to be made more affordable 7) Debt forgiveness for college students, who through no fault of their own cannot find work or are underemployed with very little chance of fully paying back their student loans. 8) If full Debt forgiveness is not possible, then partial debt forgiveness minimizing the debt (student loans to be paid back). 9) Creation of an incentive plan for corporations who hire our returning vets, so they can get back into workforce, rather than be left out in the cold. 10) Deport all illegal immigrants who have a criminal record and put the national guard on our border preventing this drug war from spilling into our country. (I am not sure how regular illegal immigrations should be addressed, so I have no further suggestions here on this subject.) 11) Work on a new "new" deal that would put unemployed Americans back to work. Our infrastructure is a mess. Got a very low report card in 2009. So there would be a good place to start.

Okay, I will end here. Best of luck choosing your issues to address. I hope that my list has helped you some.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Thank you for taking the time to put together such a detailed list. We certainly have a lot of work ahead of us, and I think many of your ideas are not only necessary, but also achievable. As we open up as an organization, I am trying to find a couple of general categories to consider, and then let our members debate the specifics. Do you think that your perspectives could accurately be portrayed as falling into one of the following categories. 1) Banking reform. 2)Corporate tax code reform. 3) Cost of education (including but not limited to educational debts). 4) Immigration (this issue is complicated and I understand that, and even though you and I may not have all the answers on it, I think that it is important we consider it). 5) Budget (particularly in regards to infrastructure projects) and 6) Rights against discrimination

[-] 1 points by Windsofchange (1044) 3 years ago

I admit the first point I listed is one that I am extremely passionate about. Here is a post I put up recently. http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-scott-stringer-is-lobbying-for-new-statecity-l/ However, it did not get too much attention on this forum. So, I believe that my perspective falls into the "Rights against discrimination" category.

Thank you for taking the time to read my list. I appreciate it.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

My pleasure. I hope you will consider being active in Lobby Democracy. I also wanted to express that I was not trying to downplay the significance of your first point. I think that it is an important consideration, and that the rights of the unemployed are being violated. I am simply trying to create a list of broader issues so that we can narrow the field of conversation to something manageable to start with. If "Rights against discrimination" were pushed as an issue of serious concern initially then we would consider your and all other legislative issues related to the concern. If we spread ourselves too thin to start with, however, I think that it will prevent us from fomenting real change.

[-] 1 points by Windsofchange (1044) 3 years ago

I understand. You have to strategically pick the issues you think has the best chance of being properly addressed (and which change and reform can be brought about).

I have bookmarked your website and will be visiting it as often as I can. You guys are very appreciated in these hard times where the average American citizen has felt like they lost their voice and their politicians are just not listening to them. Thank you for representing the American people. I wish you and everyone at Lobby Democracy all the best.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Thanks for your support. We look forward to hearing from you in the future. Feel free to contact me either here or through the contact page on our website if you have any other questions or concerns.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I was completely unaware of the legislation. I hope that in the future I do not have to say that too frequently.

[-] 1 points by qazxsw123 (238) 3 years ago

i have no problem with their compensation nor benefits i have a problem with their not doing their job or listening to their constituents (spending half their time raising campaign funds, catering to the lobbyists, not seeing the irony of us, taxpayers supporting them completely with their taxes, to be refused similar access to work/benefits.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

There is the spirit. That is the core of what we are getting at. Special interests and lobbyists for big business have gained disproportionate influence with our government. The organization that I am founding is a direct response to that issue.

[-] 1 points by qazxsw123 (238) 3 years ago

Paul

[-] 1 points by qazxsw123 (238) 3 years ago

especially Ron Lawl (not Lawl)

[-] 1 points by qazxsw123 (238) 3 years ago

This is what I would like every politician and family to hear, especially Ron Lawl who accepts subsidized health care for himself and household and dares to deny affordable access to his staff and refuse the principle of it to all. What a waste of time he is. Ditto for those who do not denounce the hypocrisy.

Occupy DC: Force politicians to work, pay taxes, buy health care

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/middle-class-guy/2011/oct/27/congress-approval-rating-now-single-digit/#comments

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I think that it is important that politicians know the perspectives of their constituents and act on them. Although I don't think the particular plan that is proposed in that article would ever gain steam on Capitol Hill, I understand the frustration that the system in DC distances the elected leaders from their constituents. I think compensation of our elected leaders and in particular their health care structure need to be examined. I hope you will make your opinions heard on Lobby Democracy.

[-] 1 points by azsurfah (5) 3 years ago

Remove money from American Politics. End corporate and upper income tax subsidies, make the 1% pay more taxes to help with social programs.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

All of those issues will be addressed. I think they are core concerns of the majority. Thanks for letting us know.

[-] 1 points by duranta (52) from New Orleans, LA 3 years ago

What if the majority wants to cut social security?

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I cannot promise that all of the outcomes will be what we desire them to be. Currently the majority's perspective is overshadowed by big business and special interests. Although I think it is unlikely that the majority would want to cut social security, I am certain that it will support some issues that I do not personally believe in. As far as I am concerned, however, I would rather have my perspective overridden because I am in the minority than because the pharmaceutical industry does not like it. Part of the nature of a democracy is some sort of majority rule. The minority is protected by certain core rights, but we can not please everyone, and trying to let the majority opinion guide policy I believe is better than the situation as it stands now.

[-] 1 points by duranta (52) from New Orleans, LA 3 years ago

It is the definition of those core rights that is most paramount. Until we have that, and are willing to fight for it and make it happen, rule by the majority is a form of tyranny.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

We do have some rights that are preserved for everyone. The most obvious are those included in the bill of rights. My problem is that currently we are being ruled by the desires of the 1% while the majority stands on the sidelines. There will always be policies that do not please everyone. I for one would rather have those policies support the majority than support a 1% minority.

[-] 1 points by duranta (52) from New Orleans, LA 3 years ago

But right now, through the electoral system, we are rule by a majority who vote and support the 1%. Direct Democracy would address the massive inequality in our system. I think our society would flourish.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

The amount of work involved in keeping up with all of the issues on Capitol Hill is extraordinary. I think it is hard to believe that the same society that has a hard time getting high voter turnout for elections would be able to tackle those responsibilities.

[-] 1 points by duranta (52) from New Orleans, LA 3 years ago

Decentralization is the key. Or part of the key. Remember also though, once lobbyists are banned, and money taken out of politics, and the wars are ended, it will be much easier to focus on the task at hand. And easier is relative, my friend.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I understand that taking the money out of politics will help. Not only do I agree with it, I think that Lobby Democracy can help make it happen. The beauty of the organization is that it is not limited in scope. There are other organizations working on an issue that they think will benefit the majority, but there is no other organization directly representing the interests of the majority.

[-] 1 points by azsurfah (5) 3 years ago

We need to be more active in politics during this next election cycle. Perhaps the best thing we can do is run a voter registration drive along with a personal promise that everyone who registers will vote.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

We certainly need to vote. Part of what our site will do is compare people's personal polling record with the voting records of their elected officials. That way they can not only vote, but cast an informed vote.

[-] 1 points by accorn55 (3) from Puyallup, WA 3 years ago

Those who are not supporting this movement all have the say thing to say... what are they asking for? what are their demands? They say the tea party stood for lower taxes/smaller government blah blah blah. I know. There are soooo many issues to choose from, where do we start. I belive the answer to that question is this: We start at the root of the problem.... the governing system that has given corporations TOTAL power. Corporate money has totally corrupted our political system... the only thing that can fix it is CAMPAIGN REFORM. Campaign reform is KEY to curing the cancer that has infected government and its policies. That is a beginning ... and a very powerful statement. Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC has started a movement and I think the 99%/Occupy movement would be wise to adopt it as a demand too. Thanks for viewing.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 3 years ago

Please check out my new thread to get people organized towards getting the money out of politics http://occupywallst.org/forum/call-to-action-get-the-money-out-of-politics/

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I think beyond the site that I am creating to boost the voice of the majority you might be interested in www.getmoneyout.com. They are working on a constitutional amendment to get the money out of politics. They have over 230,000 signatures and are moving forward in the process.

[-] 1 points by accorn55 (3) from Puyallup, WA 3 years ago

YES! Campaign reform is KEY to true change in this country... the Occupy movement would be wise to support this if not make their 1st "demand" (something they are being critisized for... not having goals or demands)

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 3 years ago

I did check that out. I'm just confused which of the constitutional amendments people are actually working towards. Elements of both of the amendments are contained in my brainstorming list.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I hope that you will consider using Lobby Democracy as a means of gaining support for your agenda. If you an get 65% support for it, we will bring it to our elected leaders for you.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 3 years ago

I would be happy to reach as many people as possible. I just don't know how to incorporate my content to your site.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

But, currently it is difficult. We are just starting to get the blog set up, and we are rolling out a new website in the next week. That site is built but not yet launched. I hope that when the new site is up and established that you will consider joining and utilizing everything that our organization provides.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

We will be opening up suggestions to our membership on what issues we should address. At that point they will go up in the blog for discussion. We will put together a poll to determine where people stand on the issue. When an issue gets 65% support we will take it up as a cause for the organization.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 3 years ago

Fair enough. I guess we'll have to wait until membership opens up. You should post a thread letting people know when it's up and fully running.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I will. 10 days to go.

[-] 1 points by beskepsecretout (2) 3 years ago

I'm a songwriter I've written a song for this cause titled "What's Next?" A Young Man Served Two Tours In Iraq,Made It Home Without A Scratch, Joined In On A Peaceful Protest, Found His Self Shot And A Bloody Mess! "What's Next?" How Can This Happen In The US Why Do We Liberate Other Countries When We Are Not Truly Free Yet? Please Call Me All Musicans Who Is Apart Of This Movement Let's Put This Song In Thier Ear Tina Marie Clark (504)610-6805 Enough Is Enough!!!

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Thank you for writing the song. I hope you get support and it catches on. Song has always been a powerful force in organized movements.

[-] 1 points by beskepsecretout (2) 3 years ago

I'm a songwriter I've written a song for this cause titled "What's Next?" A Young Man Served Two Tours In Iraq,Made It Home Without A Scratch, Joined In On A Peaceful Protest, Found His Self Shot And A Bloody Mess! "What's Next?" How Can This Happen In The US Why Do We Liberate Other Countries When We Are Not Truly Free Yet? Please Call Me All Musicans Who Is Apart Of This Movement Let's Put This Song In Thier Ear Tina Marie Clark (504)610-6805 Enough Is Enough!!!

[-] 1 points by SmartAlx (59) 3 years ago

Get rid of lobbying by big business. If a company is motivated by profit, they should stay out of Washington. Call for a separation of business and state.

I also LOVE the idea of the people's veto. A fourth branch.

[-] 1 points by accorn55 (3) from Puyallup, WA 3 years ago

Those who are not supporting this movement all have the say thing to say... what are they asking for? what are their demands? They say the tea party stood for lower taxes/smaller government blah blah blah. I know. There are soooo many issues to choose from, where do we start. I belive the answer to that question is this: We start at the root of the problem.... the governing system that has given corporations TOTAL power. Corporate money has totally corrupted our political system... the only thing that can fix it is CAMPAIGN REFORM. Campaign reform is KEY to curing the cancer that has infected government and its policies. That is a beginning ... and a very powerful statement. Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC has started a movement and I think the 99%/Occupy movement would be wise to adopt it as a demand too. Thanks! accorn55

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 2 years ago

I think that not only will we examine campaign finance reform, there is very strong support for it and I think we can get it done. It is going to be a long struggle since it may need a constitutional amendment to get it changed.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

We will be looking at all aspects of campaign finance reform and lobbying reform. Please stay involved and make your perspectives heard.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Anyone else having problems with the pop up notification links?

[-] 1 points by gdnes (3) 3 years ago

Simplify the tax code. Bring back Glass-Steagal. Shorter terms and term limits for Congress. Increased regulation of loans. Break up the big banks. Create online campaigns to pressure Congress members to do their best to represent their constituents.

Also, no offense, but the lobby democracy page should be improved. If a page does not appear professional it will reflect on the organization.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

No offense taken. I had never written a line of code before I got the site up. We have hired a company to put up the new site. It will be up in the next week. We will have to bring in a full time web development team eventually, but we will not be able to afford it until we have around 3000 members.

Creating online campaigns to pressure members of Congress to represent their constituents is the exclusive mission of our organization. Term limits keeps coming up here, and I will put that up for consideration. Banking regulation, while very complicated is something that I think we should consider as well. I think it will take us a long time to come up with solutions on that one, but I would like to start the process.

[-] 1 points by justanothershmuck (2) 3 years ago

Stop Oil Speculation should be one of the top on your list. Poor Americans are suffering becuse 80% of the commodiites market is being manupulated by Wall Street. Chariman Gensler was supposed to do something about it as a result of the Dodd/Frank act and almost nine months later than the original policy was due a weaker policy has been established. See a letter from Senator Maria Cartwell.

http://assets.nationaljournal.com/pdf/111017_CantwellCFTC.pdf

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I think that issue could be broken down into two categories. It embraces both finance reform, and energy policy. If we took up both of those issues do you think it would make space in the debate for tackling oil speculation?

[-] 1 points by justanothershmuck (2) 3 years ago

Stop Oil Speculation should be one of the top on your list. Poor Americans are suffering becuse 80% of the commodiites market is being manupulated by Wall Street. Chariman Gensler was supposed to do something about it as a result of the Dodd/Frank act and almost nine months later than the original policy was due a weaker policy has been established. See a letter from Senator Maria Cartwell.

http://assets.nationaljournal.com/pdf/111017_CantwellCFTC.pdf

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 3 years ago

include a "People's Veto"

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I will take it into consideration. It would require a constitutional amendment. We would also need to work out how the process would work. Thank you for the feedback.

[-] 1 points by shermsinc (1) 3 years ago

hkjhkjhkhk hjkhkjhkhkh

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I assume that is bump in some language.

[-] 1 points by aarongreenspan (36) from Palo Alto, CA 3 years ago

Another similar site:

http://www.plainsite.org

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Looks interesting and I will check it out. It is your brain child?

[-] 1 points by aarongreenspan (36) from Palo Alto, CA 3 years ago

Hi,

Yes, I've been working on it with a few friends. We have some key people participating, including Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School.

We've posted a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDWohSMlhF0 to help explain what it is and spread the word.

Aaron

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I was just wondering what you thought of our site, and whether you could enable my login at yours. Hope all is well.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I tried to sign up for your sight but it would not accept my lobbydemocracy email address.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I will certainly look into it. Take a minute and check my baby out when you get a minute. We have a whole new site going up in about a week to support membership login and the database infrastructure that we need. I think we have some overlap in what we are trying to achieve. I will keep up to speed on your project.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I think that we should consider the constitutional amendment offered at http://www.getmoneyout.com/. I also think that we should begin a debate on restructure the tax code, education, energy policy, the solvency of social security and medicare.... I just don't want to be the one adding all of the ideas to the list that our members will be voting on. I'd like some outside input.

[-] 0 points by accorn55 (3) from Puyallup, WA 3 years ago

Those who are not supporting this movement all have the say thing to say... what are they asking for? what are their demands? They say the tea party stood for lower taxes/smaller government blah blah blah. I know. There are soooo many issues to choose from, where do we start. I belive the answer to that question is this: We start at the root of the problem.... the governing system that has given corporations TOTAL power. Corporate money has totally corrupted our political system... the only thing that can fix it is CAMPAIGN REFORM. Campaign reform is KEY to curing the cancer that has infected government and its policies. That is a beginning ... and a very powerful statement. Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC has started a movement and I think the 99%/Occupy movement would be wise to adopt it as a demand too. Thanks for viewing.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I have already checked out the site. I have signed the petition, and am including a link on the homepage of www.lobbydemocracy.com

[-] 0 points by jay1975 (428) 3 years ago

Simplify the tax code; keep the progressive rates, but do away with all exemptions. All campaign funds should be from private, individual, donations. Corporations and unions are not people. Term limits of 12 years for Congress. Three for the House, two for the Senate. No retirements or free healthcare for Congress. No elected official may become a lobbyist after their term of service. No tax money can be sent to help other nations if our budget isn't balanced. A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution Reduce military spending and close half of all overseas bases.

These are just what I can come up with off of the top of my head.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I think we will definitely be discussing the tax code and campaign funds. I think the balanced budget amendment may also be considered. Personally I am against it, but I accept the fact that I might not always be in the majority.

[-] 0 points by jay1975 (428) 3 years ago

Unfortunately, debt will do our nation in faster than any aggressive outside force. Our elected "leaders" have shown that they cannot be responsible with the money they have to work with each year, so they are actually telling us that they need to be restrained.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Although I agree that they have to be restrained forever doing away with deficit spending I do not agree with. I believe that there are times that we might need to borrow from the future the same way a family does when they get a mortgage on a house. Getting ourselves out of the great depression and both world wars fall into this category for me.

[-] 0 points by jay1975 (428) 3 years ago

True, but without some sort of reasonable limitations, we get to where we are today. This deficit and debt have been snowballing for years and we could potentially be facing a Greek-like crisis of our own soon.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

I understand the severity of the problem. I think that persistent deficit spending is a terrible problem. Personally I am not for preventing it all together though. I think that you can push our leaders to balance the budget without the constitutional amendment.

[-] 0 points by jay1975 (428) 3 years ago

I have heard every President since Reagan talk about balancing the budget and have yet to see it happen. The issue has been pushed several times. My own Senators have said that they will push for a balanced budget but have yet to do so in their combined 10 years of service. No, the government has shown that they cannot be expected to do what is right. Isn't that a part of the reason for OWS in the first place?

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

Clinton did it. He increased taxes and cut spending.

[-] 0 points by jay1975 (428) 3 years ago

You are correct, it was for such a short period of time that I forgot about it. The actual balancing of the budget is also attributed to Bush Sr. as he rose taxes before Clinton did. Unfortunately, that balanced budget was not really a balanced budget as there was still a debt each year in the intra-government holdings that Clinton raided to use to pay the public debt. If you go to www.treasurydirect.gov, you can look at the debt held by the nation for each and every month all the way back to 1993 and you will not see a single year where there was a debt of $0, let alone a surplus.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 3 years ago

First, it is important to remember that the debt and the deficit are two different things. The debt has never been zero because we have not paid it off. Second, I think it is still a problem that can be solved without a amendment. My opinion will not guide the direction of Lobby Democracy though. If you can get a majority of people to agree to it I will bring it to the attention of our elected leaders.