Akhilesh Pillalamarri: Should the U.S. Have a Parliament?

Every student of American government learns that the separation of powers is a key component of the checks and balances upholding our democracy. The fact that the president often meets fierce opposition from the legislature is supposed to be a feature – not a bug – of the system. It could even be argued that partisan gridlock, and Washington's inability to "get things done," are positively good things. But with a mounting national debt and innumerable other crises, partisan rancor and division seem to be hindering real reform from happening. Bob fears we will never return to the optimistic America of his youth, and that America may be in decline. His guest this Sunday offers a hopeful solution, borrowing from our friends from across the pond – Akhilesh (Akhi) Pillalamarri argues that Britain's parliamentary system could resolve some of the America's governmental dysfunction. Akhilesh is a journalist, editor, international relations analyst, and historian who writes for The Diplomat and The National Interest magazines. He argues that our presidential system, like others throughout history, has a tendency towards autocracy. Counterintuitively, this is because the president can claim to be doing "the will of the people" in a way that a prime minister elected by parliament cannot. Bob also presents his unique proposal for representative democracy, and takes your calls on the future of the republic. 

LINKS

@AkhiPill on Twitter

America Needs a Parliament”, The National Interest, Aug. 2, 2016, by Akhilesh Pillalamarri

Federalist No. 47 by James Madison

The Diplomat

The National Interest

Alan Axelrod on the National Debt

According to author and historian Dr. Alan Axelrod, ISIS isn't the greatest threat to American security. Our leaders are. This might sound sensationalist, until you recall that our national debt is quickly approaching $20 trillion, and has already surpassed the total GDP of the United States. This Sunday, Halloween comes early with the scary message Axelrod brings in his new book, *Full Faith and Credit: The National Debt, Taxes, Spending, and the Bankrupting of America.* Axelrod, author of more than 140 books, joins Bob to discuss his sweeping examination of the origins of the U.S. national debt, its beneficiaries, and (hopefully) its possible solutions. Axelrod finds the source of fiscal irresponsibility in the core architecture of the growing "administrative state," in which unelected career bureaucrats carve out fiefdoms, going beyond the powers prescribed by the Constitution. After tracing the gradual rise of the current administrative state, Axelrod devotes special attention to the dangers of the military-industrial-(congressional)-complex, and shows how support for major spending categories transcends partisan divides (as long as the members of congress are "getting theirs"). Be sure to tune in to get your weekly fix of libertarian ideas. Bob and Alan will take your calls at (424) BOB-SHOW, on the Bay Area's 860AM – The Answer. [CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN LIVE, 10/16, at 8am PACIFIC]