What do people want from their governemnt?


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Jeff White
July 12, 2003, 03:54 PM
Taxes are going up everywhere. The federal government is running record deficits. Many states are facing bankruptcy because their constitutions demand balanced budgets. Americans are paying more of their gross income in various taxes then ever before.

In another thread I read that two states are considering disbanding their state police agencies. There is no money to protect our borders. A report released by a blue ribbon commission bemoans the fact that our first responders are inadequately trained and equipped to handle another major terrorist attack or even a natural disaster.

Yet whenever it's time to tighten the belt, we cut those services that the constitution specifically says is the function of government. The military (we can't have enough troops to meet all our obligations because we must modernize), homeland security (after the big push to federalize the screeners at the airports, now we're laying them off, maybe not such a bad thing considering how things are working out with TSA) The borders are wide open, our infrastructure is unprotected for the most part.

So where is all this money we are giving the government at various levels going? Why isn't providing those services the government is supposed to provide the first priority for our tax dollars?

What's going to happen to the politicians when we have another large terrorist attack and we can't cope with it because we've downsized all of the basic government services and bucked up the fluff?

Here in Illinois, we've stopped construction of a new prison. Fired all the Captains in the Department of Corrections, scaled back the State Police, Master Sergeants and above taking a pay cut. The State Police are no longer providing many of the services (crime scenes, investigations) to the many small (under 10 man) police departments in the state. The Secretary of State's office taking a massive budget cut that will mean drivers license facilities will close and workers will be laid off.

Michigan and Oregon supposedly considering disbanding their state police agencies.....

So is this waht the people want, entitlement and transfer programs at the expense of public safety? How can we turn this around?

Jeff

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Waitone
July 12, 2003, 04:31 PM
Many states are facing bankruptcy because their constitutions demand balanced budgets. Partially correct. Needs to add . . . "and their legislatures refuse to cut welfare, entitlements, education and kill pork barrel projects."

Instead of cutting where meaningful budgetary gains can be made, legislators instead cut where the public outcry will be highest but the votes fewest. It is a political reality that there are more votes supporting the confiscation of wealth than there are votes supporting constitutional limitations on governmental greed.

It will stop and reverse direction only when those paying the bills say, "Enough!" It ain't happened in my state yet and we are in bad shape.

El Tejon
July 12, 2003, 04:56 PM
What do people want? Well, I want to left alone (just today I sent my state tax info and my state unemployment forms and money to the accountant).

However, everyone else seems to want something for nothing, a free ride on my back, and most of all a hand in my pocket.:scrutiny: Atlas may not be shrugging, but he is twitching. (Calm thoughts, do some tai chi, I'll be fine).:D

13A
July 12, 2003, 05:29 PM
I agree with what Waitone said 100%.

brownie0486
July 12, 2003, 05:42 PM
El Tejon:

It is almost impossible to run a business with all the taxes levied on the employers.

I used to pay the state over 50,000 a year in employee insurances, taxes, etc.

It seemed I was working for everyone looking for the welfare handout as well. I downsized the company 4 years ago to myself and have more left over than when I employed 17 full and 4 part timers. Go figure, they want to have people hired and then make the employers suffer for keeping people off welfare.

I gave up and told them to get their robbery funds from someone else at that point. The more gross I made, the more I owed in fees, insurances till it got where I made nothing for working 24/7/365.

Now I work 40-60 hours a week and take home twice as much. Course the state had to deal with the 21 people I laid off, its a viscious cycle.

Brownie

El Tejon
July 12, 2003, 06:16 PM
brownie, exhale, through the nose. Now inhale. Let's do tai chi together, cloud hands and then part the stallion's mane.:D

The more I work, the less I make. What an incentive to work hard, hire more people, and buy new equipment.:what:

TarpleyG
July 12, 2003, 06:34 PM
No, they are more preoccupied trying to take our guns away and fight the war on drugs and fiddle with laws that take the word God out of the Pledge of Allegiance than they are concentrating on important stuff.

GT

Chris Rhines
July 12, 2003, 06:45 PM
What do I want from the (my?) government? For it to go away and bother someone else. That's all.

Like El T said, everybody else seems to want the government to steal my money and hand it over to them, control my behaivor to conform to their idiotic mores, and generally run my life.

Interesting question, though. Is the government the problem, or the parasites who create it? Or both?

- Chris

Bruce H
July 12, 2003, 06:46 PM
People want government to do everything for them but they don't want government doing anything to them.

Monkeyleg
July 12, 2003, 06:46 PM
Brownie, I never had that many employees, but I sure hear you on that point. For 13 years I had a business that essentially paid the employees first, the government second, and finally--if there was anything left over--me. Now I work out of my home and the government only gets the taxes on my income. And, except for the 9/11 syndrome, I'm doing better than I ever was.

Once government agencies get established, it's almost impossible to disband them and the money pit they create. Here in WI, the legislature has proposed freezing local property taxes at current levels, unless there's some new construction or if the locality approves a tax increase through a ballot referendum. From the newpaper editorials and the screaming from local officials, you'd think that the legislature was trying to throw people in the street.

All the legislature is asking municipal governments to do is get along on the same amount of revenue as last year. Why is that so damned hard to do? :banghead:

SaintofKillers
July 12, 2003, 07:08 PM
the secratary of states office in Illinois is going to take a 7% budget cut up from 3and a ahalf % that the governor orginally planned, the SOS is accusing the gov of lying to him about the budget cuts and stopping just short of calling the gov a racist. I am not to hott on gov Blago in Illinois, but the SOS office is one of the most corrupt agencies in the state. Besides all that did we really need to redesign the Illinois tags?? Last time I was at the SOS office all I got was an attitutde. The goverment needs to get out of everything except the military, its the only thing they can do without screwing it up. So you ask what do I want the GOVT to do for me?, protect this country from foreign enemies, the armed citizens can handle the rest. It has been said that over 40% of govt. is waste and corruption.

Ryder
July 12, 2003, 07:19 PM
I just read an interesting article written by Ron Paul which answers some of your questions Jeff - It's a pretty good read.



We've been Neo-conned (http://www.antiwar.com/paul/paul69.html)

agricola
July 12, 2003, 07:19 PM
Half of the problem is that with the current fashion for politicians to evidence their efforts during term with new agencies, policies and the like its (seemingly) impossible for them to spin a term which in which they created nothing; either that or they wish to seek popular approval by cutting taxes - but not from their favoured programmes, of course. Welfare programmes are thus implemented, not because of the of the actual effectiveness of the programme at treating the problem
but because its an easy way of showing how electable the politician is. Over here the various "Best Value" schemes and the unbelievable pressure for constant measuring and changes applied to the NHS by both recent Governments demonstrate this clear enough. The sooner some politican comes along and actually visibly improves services rather than moving the goalposts and gets elected over and over again, the rest of them will step into line. :D

With regard to the Police in the US it seems that the proliferation of small departments breeds inefficiency, especially in terms of the service that the PD could provide for the taxes it takes - especially in terms of clerking and the administrative side of things. One wonders how a PD with less than ten men can survive given inflation, other budget pressures and the huge potential for random "acts of God" which play havoc with our budgets, especially with regards to overtime and the like.

seeker_two
July 12, 2003, 07:24 PM
What do I want from my government?

What I want was put on paper in 1786 (US Constitution) and 1845 (TX State Constitution). Everything else from there can be done away with, as far as I'm concerned...:fire:

Jeff White
July 12, 2003, 07:32 PM
SaintofKillers,

You don't really believe they'll cut the fat from the SOS office. They'll just close the offices. Imagine driving 100 or more miles to renew your license.

I still want to know where is all the money going? It's certainly not paying for those things the government is supposed to do.

Of course while we're cutting all the essential services, we're building a new stadiu in Chicago so the billionaire sports team owners can make more money from the masses. Let's not forget the tax increases on businesses of all types, except for the entertainment business. Because it's such a shock that the movie Chicago was filmed in Canada, we have to cut the taxes on Hollywood to encourage them to come here to shoot movies. I'm sure that will provide good steady employment for all the people who lose their jobs in the trucking industry, cause that business lost its tax breaks. :rolleyes:

On the federal level, we have a republican congress and president that wants me to buy drugs for everyone who's retired, but refuses to defend the nations borders...That would cost too much. :banghead:

We have a foreign policy that is committing American troops all over the world, and a defense secretary who says we don't need to have any more troops, can't afford em, we have to buy new high tech gear instead.

There is federal money to pay for a study of how women become sexually aroused, it involves paying coeds to watch porn. But there isn't any federal money to help buy every first responder decent protective clothing in case of a chemical or biological attack, which Tom Ridge assures us is due any time now.

What's Wrong With This Picture???

More importantly, what can we do about it???

Jeff

Standing Wolf
July 12, 2003, 07:59 PM
Obviously, we must want bread and circuses, or we wouldn't keep electing politicians who squander our hard-earned tax dollars on bread and circuses.

Chris Rhines
July 12, 2003, 09:35 PM
More importantly, what can we do about it???I wish I knew.

It should be apparent by now that voting doesn't work. For every committed liberty advocate who heads off to the polls, there will be three twits who want that liberty advocate to keep forking over those tax checks for schools, roads, farm subsidies, and welfare payments. Majoritarianism is an ugly thing.

The judicial system? Not a chance; the judiciary has been thoroughly corrupted by now.

Bloody revolution? No.

What's left? Well, we can still convince the masses that liberty is a good thing; and we need to keep getting better at that. We can try to slow spread of government or frustrate it through technical innovation, civil disobedience, and monkeywrenching. This is a good thing, as it gives us more time to pursue option #1.

Either way, it'll be quite an effort.

- Chris

Skunkabilly
July 13, 2003, 12:21 AM
The state legislators need to have a pay cut to match that of the median income of the state.

Then there will be the incentive to create wealth instead of poverty.

Repeal all the unconstitutional laws starting with that SB23 BS.

Oleg Volk
July 13, 2003, 12:27 AM
Common defense: from foreign and domestic violent criminals.
Contract enforcement.
That's it.

HBK
July 13, 2003, 01:00 AM
I want it to provide common defense, stop taking all my money, and leave me the hell alone.

Ian
July 13, 2003, 02:04 AM
Ideally, I want the whole thing to vanish in a big puff of justice. :)

More importantly, what can we do about it??? Like Chris said, on the individual level we can spread freedom philosophy while slowing the system down as much as possibly through noncompliance. On a larger level, we can concentrate ourselves in order to both make those individual actions easier and also give them greater weight. The only practical plan for such a consolidation that I know of is the Free State Project (http://www.freestateproject.com).

MicroBalrog
July 13, 2003, 05:13 PM
Common defense: from foreign and domestic violent criminals.
Contract enforcement.

And a safety net.

Ian
July 13, 2003, 06:09 PM
A safety net for whom and against what, out of curiosity?

El Tejon
July 13, 2003, 06:15 PM
Micro, the "safety net" is a hammock for my non-producing masters!:D

Thumper
July 13, 2003, 06:16 PM
In other threads, our Isreali friend indicates that he believes that a "safety net" is a civil right.

Darwin is dead...

MicroBalrog
July 13, 2003, 06:26 PM
In other threads, our Isreali friend indicates that he believes that a "safety net" is a civil right.

Darwin is dead...



No, I never said that, I said that Israel's (you misspelt that) Supreme Court believes so.

And yes, to your knowledge, in human society, Darwin is dead.

*shoots Darwin in the head with a Desert Eagle .50 AE just to make sure*.

Thumper
July 13, 2003, 06:34 PM
misspelt

Oh, the irony!

Good luck at bucking nature, kid...you'll never save people from themselves.

MicroBalrog
July 13, 2003, 06:35 PM
Got me there, Thumper.:)

Fly320s
July 13, 2003, 07:06 PM
What do people want from their governemnt?

Freedom. Trust. Liberty.

Ian
July 13, 2003, 08:13 PM
Seriously, MicroBalrog, I am curious. Can you elaborate on this safety net?

MicroBalrog
July 13, 2003, 08:16 PM
Seriously, MicroBalrog, I am curious. Can you elaborate on this safety net?

I think a form of (minimal) welfare and public education is in order, but that just MHO.

Malone LaVeigh
July 13, 2003, 09:14 PM
The military, at least in my lifetime, has had little to do with the common defense authorized in the constitution. It has been a Keynesian economic stimulus agency and organ for interference in foreigh governments' sovereignty as well as a political tool for whatever party was in power.

So, for one thing, I would have the military be a fraction of its current size. The unorganized militia would still be our best deterrent.

Glock Glockler
July 14, 2003, 12:00 AM
Malone,

Is it possible that we actually..agree?

Quick, go buy a lotto ticket! It seems the planets are aligned properly and events with infintesimal odds of occuring are actually happening:)

Seriously, I assume you'd like an actual declaration of war by Congress with something like a Swiss-type military?

Sven
July 14, 2003, 12:33 AM
I want LESS government in my life.

vmi93
July 14, 2003, 06:52 AM
Federal: Guard the coast, deliver the mail, maintain interstate highways, railroads and waterways.

State: Enforce contracts, fine/imprison/execute those who violate the rights of others.

Both: When I am not involved with any of the above matters, leave me alone.

foghornl
July 14, 2003, 10:22 AM
I took a look at my paystub for tomorrow's paycheck, and about 23% of my income goes to various taxes..Fed/SocSec/Medicare/State & local Income.

Then I got a sales tax boost that hit July 1, so that the rate in my home county is 6.75%. Some goes to state, some to county, so it varies by county. In City of Cleveland, (Cuyahoga County) rate is 8.00%.

About the only thing exempt from Sales Tax is "carry-out" food, but if you buy a soda with that food, the soda is taxed. Sales taxes also just kicked in on Satellite TV services, and other services the previously were exempt. Cosmetology services (haircuts, perms, mani/pedi-cures, etc) got hit, too

Driver's License and Auto Tags also just went up, DL renewals from $12 (?) to $25. Ohio fuel taxes went up 2 cents a gallon, going up another 2 cents each year for the next 3 years.

But my life-long Democrat wife keeps telling me to Vote Demo. "You Keep voting Bush & those Republicans in, and your gonna make me lose my job"
(Nurse with VA).

///ranting and raving mode off

But what do I want from The.Gov ? ? ?

Fed...REAL homeland Security Close the Freakin' borders, and keep the Armed Forces up to FULL STRENGTH. Defend from enemies foriegn and domestic.

State...Keep the roads in good repair, defend from enemies foriegn and domestic.

Local...return schools to LOCAL control, keep the street clean of all trash, whether a carbon-based life form or not.

Thumper
July 14, 2003, 12:01 PM
So, for one thing, I would have the military be a fraction of its current size. The unorganized militia would still be our best deterrent.

I agree that the unorganized militia is an integral part of our deterrent, but best? That "best" implies that the militia would be more effective than the forces currently in place. Simply not believable.

I find it hard to believe that our unorganized militia would eventually be able to field AWACS and F-15s. Organized foreign powers interested in our amber waves of grain would enjoy the same success we recently had in Afghanistan. You and your shooting buddies with your trusty M1As are gonna have a tough time against accurate indirect artillery.

The Federalist Papers leave me very undecided on the whole Standing Army thing. Unsettling.

CZ-75
July 14, 2003, 12:42 PM
I'm going to add "public goods," pretty much the same as vmi93 listed, to Oleg's list.

These can include dams, canals, locks and other enhancements to productivity that may be a poor risk to the private sector due to the time it would take to recover costs and become profitable.

Regulating carriers and transport for safety is another thing I want. Same w/ building/construction standards.

SaintofKillers
July 14, 2003, 01:25 PM
Jeff,

to answer your question, No I dont believe that by cutting the budget at the SOS office that they will trim the fat, like you say they will just close offices and cut service (not that there was much of it anyway) and I agree while we need better programs for first responders and the military that its put on the back burner so we can have a billion dollar projects to study all sorts of stupidity and such. I think maybe the best thing to do is to get rid of elected congressmen and return to the time when the average joe went to washington or his state capital and did his civic duty as a represenative of the people. Politicians are only concerned with getting elected, paying back the special interests and then getting reelected. Voting in my opinion in this country is a dismal failure, your 18 you can vote, regardless of your knowledge of the issues. Example: Bill Clinton goes on MTV and plays the sax, 18-25(I am now 33) think that he is cool and they go and rock the vote by electing this moron. (I dont want to get into a Clinton bashing session here) When he was elected my Xs mother voted for Clinton, when I asked her why " because he's good looking" no other reason. A requirement to be able to vote should be that you are knowledgable of the issues, she obviously was not. If she had said becasue of abortion issues or gun control or becasue she was concerned about the spotted owls enviorment being destroyed I would have had more respect for her. The problem with the masses is that people together are stupid, look around you, it is everywhere, maybe I shouldnt say stupid as much as uninformed. It is a sad state of affairs that we live in my friends, and I dont see it changing any time soon.:banghead: :cuss: double:cuss:

mercedesrules
July 14, 2003, 02:13 PM
(Chris Rhines) Is the government the problem, or the parasites who create it? Or both?
"A" :)
Democracy is a flawed system which corrupts anyone who gets into office. (Yeah, I know. He is the exception that proves the rule)

MR

Cosmoline
July 14, 2003, 02:19 PM
I also want to be LEFT ALONE by the government at all levels. I look to the government to keep certain vital property records, to keep up the roads and common areas, and to investigate crimes. Otherwise I don't really want their "help."

Cosmoline
July 14, 2003, 02:23 PM
"I find it hard to believe that our unorganized militia would eventually be able to field AWACS and F-15s. "

That's what the state guards are supposed to be for. I see nothing wrong with the feds helping to keep cooperation between states, or even with helping to keep equipment up to date and uniform. That's a far cry from where we are now, with huge floating air forces and air bases all over the stinking planet.

Jeff White
July 14, 2003, 05:50 PM
At the county and local (and in some states at the state level) or elected representatives don't work full time at it. These are part time jobs and they should be.

One way to get control back would be to limit the amount of time they could be in session. I don't understand why congress can't get all of it's work done in 10 weeks a year. Heck, they can't even meet their basic obligation, to pass a budget when they are meeting all year.

Why don't we build nice guest housing in the DC area. Ft Monroe, Andrews AFB or someplace like that. Let Hilton or Sheraton or someone run it. For the 10 weeks they are in session our representatives and their families could move in.

The rest of the year, they could live out here in flyover country with the rest of us. Shop in the same stores. Drive on the same roads etc. If they wanted to play politics as usual and not pass the budget in 10 weeks (along with any other pressing legislation) we fine them, $1000 a day for every day they go over unless there is a national emergency. No not all of copngress a thousand a day, but each congress person and senator pays a thousand a day fine.

How much of this BS do you think would happen if the congresscritter had to worry about meeting his/her angry constituants in the grocery store?

Jeff

Poodleshooter
July 14, 2003, 06:09 PM
I'd say that people want consistency of lifestyle,rather than freedom or liberty as we think of it. Security from change or difficulty. Look at Iraq for an example. The Iraqi people were oppressed by a dictator for decades, yet now that he is gone, the lights are out, the A/C is off and there is no garbage removal. Their response is anger and rioting because US forces can't provide what Saddam did-seeming stability for most of the citizens.
Offhand, I'd say that freedom from government interference is very low on the list of what people REALLY want.
What do you think would raise more ire in the United States: a repeal of any given portion of the Bill of Rights or the removal of all government monetary assistance to citizens?

Malone LaVeigh
July 15, 2003, 12:35 AM
I agree that the unorganized militia is an integral part of our deterrent, but best?"Best" in this case is defined as "adequately fulfills the mission while doing the least damage to the quality of our lives and providing the least leverage for unscrupulous politicians to usurp power." See James Madison.

Malone LaVeigh
July 15, 2003, 12:38 AM
Talk about the planets aligning, buy two tickets. I am in agreement with CZ-75! Though I'll probably have to spoil it by adding several categories of "public land" to the list.

twoblink
July 15, 2003, 02:45 AM
Help me out here, as I'm obviously the stupid one..

Brits came, ruled, we hated it, threw some tea in the river, shot a few red coats, and then DRAFTED A CONTRACT WITH THE PEOPLE... Oh.. we'll just call this piece of paper...

THE CONSTITUTION.

??

:confused:

What am I missing here??

Last time I checked, a like the constitution binds the government into certain actions..??

This is what happens when people who flunked the 6th grade become politicians :banghead:

What do I want from my government? Border protection, a place for fair arbitration.. And the rest, leave me the freakin' hell alone!

Snake Eyes
July 15, 2003, 03:26 AM
Partially correct. Needs to add . . . "and their legislatures refuse to cut welfare, entitlements, education and kill pork barrel projects."

keep forking over those tax checks for schools, roads, farm subsidies, and welfare payments

its put on the back burner so we can have a billion dollar projects to study all sorts of stupidity and such

I sure wish people would read their state and federal budgets before saying things like this.

When I lived in Seattle, there was a radio talk show host that would read the state budget on the air every year and invite people to call up with suggestions on how to trim/balance the numbers.

It's amazing what the actual facts are. You might find that the things Rush Limbaugh rails the loudest against are some of the smallest line-items in the budget.

Don't take my word for it. Go get the facts. They are published and available for every American. Go get the actual numbers.

erikm
July 15, 2003, 09:01 AM
Were I to pay US taxes and be able to change the budget, this is what I would start with:

1) End the alternate minimum tax. (Read about it. It's evil.)
2) Exempt social security contributions and payouts from taxation.
3) Cap the payouts the federal government gives states for CPS cases. (IMO, a form of statesponsored kidnapping or slavery)
4) Permanently end estate taxes. They're apparently the biggest cause of not bequething family businesses.
5) End the war on (some) drugs. It's useless and generally pointless.
6) End the war on terror. It's a thinly veiled attempt to set up a police state.
7) End the various efforts to return land to 'wilderness status'.
8) Abolish the various income tax brackets, exemptions and writeoffs and replace them with with a single low flat percentage, with the first $X being exempt from taxation. (Read a 1040's booklet lately?)
9) End many entitlements, payouts, refunds and subsidies.
10) Urge prosecutors not to seek the death penalty but instead life at hard labor without parole. It's less expensive and death is (IMO) too permanent.

What I really want in a government? Basically, this (paraphrased from Transhuman Space: The Deep Beyond) and nothing else:
1) The right to property and the right to do with it as I wish.
2) The right to the defense of self or property.
3) The right to the defense of others and their property in common defense.
4) The right to fair contract.

Cheers,
ErikM :evil:

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