Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

US Elections

When the US elects a new president do you also elect new members to the House and Senate at the same time. If not how frequently do these tiers of government change ?

Is it ever likely that any one party could control the House the Senate and the post of president ?

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Members of the house have 2 year terms but senators hold 6 year terms so that every 2 years 1/3 of the senate is elected. Yes, possible for a party to control all 3 and that’s usually when the least amount of meaningful things are accomplished…they thrive on the drama.


Thanks Ben. Yup there’s plenty of drama being acted out in the media right now. Some of it seems quite brutal by all accounts. Over here the dust is beginning to settle on Brexit be glad when it’s all finalised and we can begin trading with the rest of the world without interference from the EU.


Yes, and this is when bad things happen. The most recent example is the “Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare.) Not one single republican voted for it, but it passed. It’s anything but affordable. Like millions of other Americans, my insurance premiums have more than doubled and I get less coverage.

Before that, George W Bush had a few years with a republican majority in the House and Senate. No good came of that, either, not the least of which was the Patriot Act which keeps getting renewed no matter who is in office.


That’s the reason here in the UK we value our National Health Service. All medication and health treatment including Hospital and GP visits is free. From birth to death. We do pay for it through National Insurance Contributions and Income Tax which is a pay as you earn tax. Some folks take out private health insurance but that is a personal choice. From the outside looking in Obamacare looked like a first step towards the US following the British model but I guess there were more to it than that. My personal take on this is that the pharmaceutical companies and other health Pro’s are just a tad too greedy taking way too much out of the honey pot.


When the so called ACA kicked in for me, I lost my doctor, my premiums almost tripled, my deductible quadrupled (now up to $8000), and I was forced to pay for things I did not want or need. And it did not cover my parathyroid tumor removal in 2018, not a dime of it. $15,000 out of my pocket to pay for that. Health care is now my largest expense each year. That’s just messed up on so many levels.

Yes, it happens. In fact, the ACA (Obamacare) was enacted when the Presidency, the House and the Senate were all controlled by one party. And the web site they built for it didn’t work and cost over $2 Billion dollars.

It comes down to this. Government run anything rarely works out well for the people. Government is inefficient and wasteful, incompetent, discriminatory, and corruptible. Our Constitution spells out specifically the limited authority and responsibilities of the federal government and it states that everything else is left to the States and the people. But the majority of those IN our federal government believe it’s the other way around. Our government has taken over Amtrak (trains), education, student loans, and now health care and insurance and they’ve messed it all up and there’s no end in sight. I imagine you’ve experienced some of that frustration being part of the EU.


No not really certainly not on the scale you folks are having to hand out, Our issues with the EU is the amount of money we give them, They introduce laws that override our judicial system, Introduce silly rules about the size and shape of bananas that can be sold meaning that tons of produce is wasted. These rules don’t just apply to bananas but you get the picture.

The price of dairy product soared back in the 70s as the EU insisted on paying farmers a subsidy to produce more. We had a butter mountain of unsold dairy produce kept in refrigerated warehouses. In the end they cut this stockpile by giving it to the elderly, Much of it ended up on the black market. As the EU grew in size we Brits were paying to fix roads in Malta and cash handouts to other countries.

The list of issues are too many to post here and pretty much cover every business, manufacturing and service industry. On top of that we had an open door policy on migration from the EU. Which came with it’s own set of problems.

So no matter which side of the big pond we live I think it is fair to say we don’t really trust what our politicians tell us. They do what they do for their own financial gain and don’t give a hoot for Joe Public.

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Well, yeah buddy, that’s exactly the kind of stuff we have to put up with too. You get it.

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You go girl!!!

And very sorry for your health expenses Mags! It’s not right and that can effect many people for the rest of their lives. Hope you’re doing well now after all that!


And that’s in a country generally considered to be on the up and up. Imagine being in a country where everyone knows and accepts that… it’s actually easier honestly, cuz it’s so obvious you expect it…


Nailed it. Our biggest problem is that we have an education system that brainwashes us from childhood to believe in the benevolence of government.


You can thank socialist John Dewey for that.


Free? Nothing, my friend is free!
What percentage of your income go to taxes?


The more local the government the better. The individual has more of a say.
As distant government gets involved the more everything costs and gets messed up.
Rules which are not relevant get made. Which then causes new rules to be made to deal with bad rules.


Brexit summed up in one sentence.

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Hi @Peg_E

So just to clarify. The NHS is FREE at the point of delivery. i.e If I become ill and need a doctor, an ambulance, surgery (excluding dental surgery - but this is part funded by the NHS), prescribed medication from the drug store, no one asks me for insurance or payment.

Currently basic Income Tax is set at 20% more for higher earners
National Insurance Contributions 12% of income
Value Added Tax (on most purchased items) 20%

I am in retirement now. So I no longer pay NI and although I still pay Income Tax the amount I pay is much reduced. National Insurance Contributions which I paid during all the years I worked go towards maintaining the NHS as does some portion of Income Tax. However I am repaid some of my NI Contributions as part of my State pension.

So, Yes it’s true there is a charge but in no way do we have to pay out the vast sums you guy’s do in the US.

I see ALL Governments wasting vast sums of cash on some pet projects But it’s up to the People to instruct the politicians what the People want and whats best for the Country, and as @Mark_Rocka pointed out the vote on Brexit and the most recent General Election told the EU and the Labour, Liberal and SNP Remainer’s in no uncertain terms that when you call a referendum you need to listen to the People and stick with the result.

In the UK, Government Ministers are the Servants of the People. If the people don’t like what the Government is doing they Lobby politicians, express No Confidence in the Government if that doesn’t work they vote down the Government at the General Election.

If the cost of medical insurance is crippling your country then the People need to instruct the politicians that things need to change.

Footnote. One other important point about NI Contributions If I was out of work I would receive unemployment benefit, and other benefits depending on my circumstances for a defined number of weeks. I still would have full access to the NHS service at no cost…

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Yes I am witnessing this happening right now on the US News Media Channels. Pretty brutal from where I am sitting. But I’ll keep my powder dry, no wish to get involved that debate. All I will say is Speech doesn’t appear to be all that FREE in the US these days.

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I don’t think this is as easy as it sounds. It may well be near impossible, at least in the US. Our government is so in bed with the media outlets that millions of people can be programmed to think a specific way in no time.

In hindsight, going to war in Iraq SHOULD have been a big NO from the people. There was no evidence of the claims. And yet, similar tactics were used to take us in to Yemen, Lybia, Syria, etc.

There’s no reason the US should have been at war for the past 18+ years. In fact, Bush, Obama, and Trump all ran on anti-war platforms, yet here we are.

I just don’t know how you prevent the manipulation that keeps electing these terrible representatives.


We swallowed the same bitter pill on Iraq Tony Blair spun us a yarn but he was caught out and removed from office by the people.

I think the people need to stop listening to the political hype and start thinking what is right for their children and their own environment. When folk do that they are more inclined to choose better representatives.

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Surely you all realize that our govt. is wholly owned subsidy of corporate America, right?