Seems to me the biggest aim of the tea party is a smaller government, right?
Well now how does that work then? I have always thought that folks want the government to be hands off when it comes to them. When it comes to those that they don't approve of, well why the hell isn't the government doing something?!
If smaller government means no more war on drugs and other silly laws that over pack our prison system, I could be very interested! It just seems you cannot expect a government to protect the people from harmful substances and business abuses while at the same time tying their hands and saying 'back off!'.
A hands off government would mean no funding to stop that meth lab down the street, or the cannabis farm or the Muslim bomb making classes at your local mosque. You might have to do the job of protecting yourself instead of the government, no more suing cause the big evil corporation sold you scalding hot coffee or burgers that made you obese. Sounds OK to me, when I think about it but somehow I don't think this is even possible, government exists for a reason and they need to police as well as be policed.
I suspect these are not the things the RNC and Tea Party are talking about, indeed not as many of those items you have mentioned fall into the arena of "morality" issues and their world the government needs more control over the lives of the people.
Where government will shrink if the RNC and Tea Party have their way over the next two years are the following:
Less regulation over Banking and Wall Street.
Less Taxation for Big Business
Less Tax for the top 2% of private earners
Less Inheritance Tax, which only affects top 2%
Further deregulation of off-shoring / near-shoring of jobs
Further expansion of H1B and H2B programs
Privatization of Social Security
Less Tariff on imports our "trade" partners such as China
Blocks on any or all funding for Health Care Programs
Blocks on any funding for Research into Stem Cell Research
Elimination of all Green Jobs and Research spending
Elimination of Federal Jobs Programs
Elimination of Government supported Education Loans
Elimination of Federal Department of Education
Elimination of extensions of unemployment insurance
Elimination of funding for Medicaid for families with children
Elimination of federal and state funding of food stamp programs
Elimination of federal and state funding of welfare programs
What you will not see:
Decrease in Defense spending
Reduction in the "war on drugs"
Reduction in big oil
The government will not get smaller. It will remain fat and bloated. The halls of Washington will continue to be walked by lobbyists with big fat checks from big insurance, big oil, big defense, big banking, and Wall Street. This time though there will be nothing stopping them; this time America has spoken and with a resounding "aye" has said bring back all the things that got us here so we can have more. This time the voice of the people has been bought and paid for at a price of $4billion.
This is why I just don't understand the tea party movement. It seems like a desire to have our cake and eat it too (so to speak). And when big government fails to protect the people from corruption in business but still restricts our freedoms will they figure it out? You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Freedom means responsibility, it can be dangerous and is most definitely work (no one telling you what to think and how to live means you gotta work it out yourself and live with the consequences of any and all decisions).
They don't need to figure it out, they already know it they simply do not care. Unrestricted business is the cornerstone of the Tea Party and the RNC. Capitalism without restriction, pursuit of happiness is the "right" guaranteed by the Constitution and the only way they are able to pursue is through unrestricted capital markets, unrestricted business opportunity, unrestricted trickle down theory capitalism (Reagonomics at its very finest).
This is the what we are brought to. Our only remaining industry is the industry of war. Our only export the lifeblood of our young men and women.
The people sent a resounding message with the mid-term vote, though 27million registered voters stayed home. That message was we will allow our best interest to be trampled by 2% of the wealthiest, we will allow ourselves to be enslaved and our future generations to be raised in ignorance, we will watch our children die of starvation and disease, we will give away our future. We will listen to sound bites rather than facts, will buy the snake oil of demagogues and bow to poorly educated quitters because they look good in a dress and high-heels.
Sorry for the rant.
excellent!!! well said. you also forgot the privatization of the veterans administration.
they listen because the right uses a big omnipresent microphone spewing their own set of facts that create fear, god and freedom which sends them into a mind numbing chant, a right wing frenzy only to realize that none of what they said was true.
Absolutely spot on. And there is a mirror image mindset on the left, which holds that the government should give us handouts for everything, but is surprised when it tries to snoop on us and impose endless bureaucratic regulations/fines/restrictions.
That, in a nutshell, is why (with a few exceptions) there isn't a lot of difference between the "liberals" and "conservatives".
Since Tony Blair, we in Britain have given up even pretending that there is any difference - it just seems that most Americans haven't caught on yet (again, there are exceptions - hi, Evan! ).
Looks like we're back to an era of swing politics where nobody gets to control the ball long enough to score.
Obama inherited the most horrendous mess, and guess what? He hasn't cleared the debt and enacted all his promised legislation in the nearly two whole years since he came to power! Personally I think he was both brave and a little foolhardy to embark on the task in the first place. It was obvious that he couldn't turn it around in such a short space of time. It's very hard to halt an out of control juggernaut.
I apologize if I fail to understand the point of the statement regarding snooping.
In the US at least the snooping began under a conservative administration. That this administration have continued them is shameful, one of the more shameful things IMHO. Personal freedom however, have not been overly restricted under any progressive / liberal administration. Under every single conservative administration personal rights, personal freedoms, civil liberties and civil rights have been attacked, restricted and in many cases lost.
Appropriate regulations on business, including fines and restrictions on bad behavior such as safety, pollution, and frankly shutting down all means of employment are necessary to preserve life, preserve jobs, preserve this nations economic future.
There is significant difference between true progressives and the current RNC and their children in the Tea Party. That the small differences between the Blue Dog Democrats and the Republicans cannot be discerned is one of the reasons most of them lost their seats and rightfully so. Fear based politics have flooded our airwaves for nearly a decade. Add to this the religious / moral "right" of the past two decades with their Bible thumping, race baiting, woman hating "we are a Christian Nation" lies and what you have is a nation on the brink of disaster.
Disaster, post-industrial economic recession with nothing to fill the gap in jobs. America is a sad place right now and Americans don't understand why.
In the UK things tend to be slightly different. Our last government were obsessive about information gathering, and the layers of beaurocracy introduced under Blair and Brown were extensive to say the least. It's likely that much of the form filling will now be abandoned as government departments scrabble around trying to make savings.
Ah, we have much the same I think. As each administration leaves things change slightly. Some things remain the same though. I think under Bush and Cheney we had a paranoid government with a President who believed God spoke to him directly and a VP with delusions of Godhood. Though I don't think we had greater bureaucracy under them, in fact in many cases less what we did have is much of our civil liberties and civil rights flying out the windows.
With this administration, not many things have changed. Some things sure. There hasn't been enough time to make sweeping changes and the legislative branches were already in place when the President came to office.
Oh well, government will always behave in its own best interest rarely that of the people it governs. People will rarely act in their own best interest as they will rarely be truly discerning about who they elect or how they elect them.
I was going to say the same thing about Blair/Brown, but you beat me to it
But I'm way more sceptical about the "abandonment of form filling" thing. Don't forget that a lot of the form filling doesn't even originate domestically - it comes from EU directives.
From what I've read Rupert Murdoch has turned the tables with spying on the royal family and other celebrities.
This is completely bogus and nothing more than fear mongering!
Believe me there will be cuts across the board! Yes, certain federal agencies might, and should get eliminated like the dept of education, because it simply isn't constitutional nor effective.
Some of the other stuff you just made up! Elimination of green jobs? How? and Why would anyone eliminate jobs in this environment? That's just nonsense! Where are all these green jobs that Obama supposedly created? The bulk of them are in China! Just look at Spain, for every "green" job they created, they lost two private sector jobs!
Loss of state funding of food stamps and medicaid? Another lie! Every State budget includes those items to a different degree, for some state cuts are necessary no matter who is in the White House because by law most states must balance their budgets, they can't just print money, New York and CA are a couple that come to mind both are bankrupt!
I don't do fear mongering don't need to. My statements are taken directly from leaders on the right and what their intentions are.
Note that I specifically said Federal support of state programs? Where the state is in trouble federal monies can be and have been in the past provided for the most critical programs, such as aid to families with dependent children.
Perhaps I could have been more clear in one of my statements, that is "Elimination of Green Jobs" should have read "Elimination of Federal funding for creation of green jobs and remediation of the US work force".
As for the US Dept of Education, I am fully aware many on the right believe this is an un-Constitutional organization. Welcome to the globalization and the need to see beyond your own backyard. The states have done at best a shoddy job of educating our youth. We have inconsistent results, high dropout rates, violence in our schools and worst no standards nationally. University educations are becoming further out of reach for most families. Research, science, math, medicine; all are the next great wave of out sourcing. Personally, I don't want my children to be the last generation with a shot at overcoming ignorance through a public education, they by the way are 29 and 31.
I'm not on the Right but I am all for the elimination of the US Dept of Education. I firmly believe that states could and should use use education as a tool to increase their populations which increases everything else, qualified workforce, tax revenues, etc.
I think changes need to be made in our "own backyard" before we can look globally. National standards are a joke. Politicians and bureaucrats screw up everything they touch in the name of efficiency. Schools should have a curriculum determined by their local school boards and approved by their state legislatures with no federal mandates to restrict them or tie them down.
Funny thing is that without the federal monies provided by grants many rural and inner city schools would not stay open, could not hire teachers, could not buy even the second class books and materials they buy each year. Without federal funding more schools would close, more children would be on the streets.
Without Pell Grants fewer disadvantaged young people would not get into University programs.
Without the Department of Education there would be no education on the Reservations.
Without the Department of Education there would be no Special Education.
Without the Department of Education there would be federal grants to states for early learning programs, these would have shut down in most states.
The Department of Ed has existed since 1867, it wasn't until 1980 that it was made a Cabinet Level department. While I agree with you that State and Local should have the primary role in managing educational resources I disagree that full "ownership" of curriculum should stay at the local level. This is a recipe for disaster quite frankly. Education should be focused on preparing young people to enter the world with the tools they need. Our public schools should not be used to indoctrinate them into religious beliefs, unproven and unfounded pseudo science or other personal opinions or bias.
National standards of Reading, Writing, Language, Math, Life Sciences, history, Social Studies are what are required. If a parent wants their child to learn religion or other personal standards teach them at home, at church, or send them to a private school.
Absolutely Kirsten! It always amazes me how self-contradictory most of Repubs' views are, and they don't even realize it even if you tell them. Abortion control, Mexican border - all call for a bigger government. This is not to say I support the other side, but at least they are consistent in their passion to be governed at any cost.
Thanks for this Misha! I think this is why we get so much bickering here, the contradictory nature of some arguments and the inability to grasp that the other side sees a gaping hole of contradiction. It is nice to see in this thread so far, we have managed nice and civil conversation
Have you considered the Libertarian Party? Sounds as if you might agree with them.
Not sure I have heard of them, but I am currently living in the UK so not sure what the heck is going on back in the States (it all seems insane from this side of the pond!)
They suggest that government should stay out of drug regulation, the marketplace, religion, everything that you named in your original post. Is there really not a Libertarian Party in the UK? I know they have one in Canada.
Not that I know of, tho my understanding of british politics is that it is totally childish and and would be comedic if they didn't effect peoples lives so much. Watch british parliament, all that shouting and name calling, its totally funny! We were more respectful in middle school!
I tend to find the green party the least objectionable but rather want to learn more about the monster raving loony party. I kinda wish I had one of their t-shirts
I hate to admit it but you're totally right. And there is very little real political debate in any of the British media - it's just a slightly more grown up version of the name calling you mention.
Believe it or not, you actually get more sophisticated political discussions on HP's forums than you do in RL Britain.
You are confusing anarchy with liberty. One person's liberty can't infringe on another's, that is not "freedom"; when one person can do whatever he or she wants and screw everyone else, that's anarchy. To work with your extreme examples:
You can't have a meth lab down the street from me because I don't want to breathe your noxious fumes or be destroyed in your explosion. You can, however, have a meth lab on suitable acreage. If you blow up, or if you ruin your life with your addiction, that's your right. That's what TRUE freedom is about.
Same for terrorists making bombs. They are free to learn how. They can make them as long as they are somewhere that their accidents don't take out others. However, they are not free to blow anyone up except for themselves. If they do, they get wiped out to the last man by the military or the police, both maintained as one of the few obligations of government to it's people for the purposes of ensuring liberty.
Again, your examples are extreme, but the principle remains.
We seem to live in an extreme world these days (maybe always have, not sure on that count but I got a funny feeling this is nothing new). I agree that we cannot have a chaotic society but I have recently heard a number of tea party speeches where the folks seem to think that there should be almost no government, got the impression they were not happy having their taxes pay for police forces or fire fighting forces at all, that it should be down to the people to police themselves and look our for themselves absolutely. This is why I can't figure out what the heck is going on in these extreme mind sets. No government funded police forces sounds like chaos to me and yet it is exactly what was being proposed by these folks.
Although there is waste and bloat in the federal government, as there is in most private corporations, most of the departments and functions were adopted to deal with real needs by our elected representatives for good reasons--e.g., food and drug safety, air traffic control, securities regulation, patent protection, and yes, Social Security and Medicare which are large items in the budget. Republicans and Tea Partiers have not been specific on what they will attempt to cut other than taxes levied on the rich. We can expect some fierce battles over these issues.
They have floated some ideas. Rand Paul talked yeaterday about a 10% cut across the board every agency, yes including defense! That's a good start, and some agencies can be eliminated all together like the dept of education (or should I say indoctrination). In my view the IRS can be eliminated but I doubt the republicians will do that.
The biggest contribution to cutting the budget would be to get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and to cut unnecessary items in the Pentagon budget.
"Very few Americans understand why U.S. men and women are fighting in Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with 9-11 and everything to do with constructing a gas pipeline to carry Israeli-owned gas to India and China."--Christopher Bollyn
Funny that Obama is in India.....
But he is there, in India that is, with businessmen who want to ship more US jobs to India. He is there with the CEO of WalMart who wants to overturn the Indian Law that prevents a company from owning more than two stores.
Yes oil is an issue. But the bigger issues is how many more jobs can the US afford to lose to off-shore, near-shore, H1B and H2B programs? How many more Americans will it take unemployed?
Rand Paul wants to cut 10% out of the Government budgets? Great maybe he should start with all the contractors working on non-compete contracts who are not Americans in every single branch of the government. One of the key give backs the Democrats had to do in the reinvestment act was take out the part that said only Americans could be hired for any government contract awarded under the contracts, this meant H1B and H2B contracts from India and elsewhere could be hired at half the rate of a US citizen and they were, mostly in IT.
Which points up what I have been saying all along - Obama is a MODERATE. As you observed with domestic spying policies and here with business, Obama is NOT liberal. In the next election voters will complain there is a radical conservative running against a radical liberal without looking at the actual policy positions President Obama has taken.
LOL Yeah Obama is center right.... of socialism! Hecouldn't be any further left. He may even be the most liberal president ever elected!
You may want to educate yourself about what real socialists have to say about Obama:
http://socialistworker.org/2010/11/05/f … o-hopeless
http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/04/c … -didnt-get
http://socialistworker.org/2010/01/27/y … ated-hopes
Hint: they're not happy!
yeah I said he was center right of socialism naturally those left of Obama wouldn't be happy until we're all enslaved, but at least Obama is taking is in their direction! Well he WAS but not anymore!
Which is something I have said for three years now, our current POTUS is in the middle of the road. He is not a progressive, he is certainly not a liberal, he is barely a Democrat the way most Democrats understand the term. I would have put him with the Blue Dogs in most cases, with the exception that most of the Blue Dogs are from the Southern states and hate him.
Obama is a moderate who has bent over sideways and backwards to make nice with the conservatives in his own party and the party of "no". He has looked for ways to compromise at every turn. He has compromised the agenda the American public put him office to execute.
His reward and the reward of his party is the loss of the majority in the legislative branch of government. For the next two years the government will come to a halt. Nothing will get done. Nothing will be accomplished. It is pitiful and shameful that this president has wasted what was handed to him by the people of this nation, the authority to move forward. It is also shameful the people of this nation did not understand who they were electing, a moderate Democrat. Not a socialist, not a progressive, not a liberal; obviously not a man with a backbone.
I'm all for that! Bring all our troops home! It's time the rest of the world protect their own interests with their money instead of relying on American taxpayers to fund their socialist regimes! Close all US bases overseas and put them on the Mexican border and start protecting American sovereignty!
The most of our money goes to Israel.You gonna back that up? I doubt it. Doyle McMannus of the LA Times calls the Republican Party the American Likud Party.
They sent a delegation of newly minted leaders to Israel on Nov 7, as a matter of fact...courtesy of USA people. You think that's right?
Why is it the first thing you do after being elected is make a trip to Israel?
At tax-payer expense. Funny, you don't hear the right-wind bags talking about that.
You won't hear anybody talking about that. And the 7-13.5 million $ a day we tax-payers send to Israel (depending on who you ask) will only be added to with this new regime in the House.
YET--you can't give unemployment to all those "lazy" Americans even though you out-sourced all their jobs.
See--you people on the right only talk the talk....you never ever walk the walk. You are all for giving American money away---just so long as you like where it's going.
Heck--you'll cut from the middle class to give more to the wealthy!
Make the tax policy fair, drop the cap on FICA......we are solvent.
The wars?.....you better do some research if you believe it's to get Bin Laden.
We have an enemy all right....you are blind to it IMO.
Couldn't agree with you more. The problem is where will they work when they get home?
Isn't it time people started spending their money at home? We in the West are sleep-walking into a disaster of our own making. The more jobs go abroad, the more people are unemployed at home, and the greater the tax burden on those with jobs. Governments can't keep borrowing unsustainable amounts to prop up those in welfare. The answer is to stop jobs going overseas, and to encourage people to spend a greater proportion of their income on home produced goods.
One pill makes you larger
One pill makes you small
And pill that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall.
This is a classic argument, it has been around a long time now. When jobs first started going over seas this argument was born. I think the question that needs asking is Why? Why do all these jobs go over seas?
These jobs go over seas because it's cheaper. Are Americans willing to accept a pittance of a wage? Not really, covering food, shelter and clothing to a most basic level only is not something the great American work force is willing to accept, Indians and Chinese are (maybe because it is still better then what they know). You wind up with people thinking their lives would be better on welfare! (that is just about the saddest thing I can think of, a world where working is less rewarding then not). We could get government to regulate strictly what business can do, who they can offer jobs to and such but the social momentum seems (from what I can see) to be to move away from government regulations on business and banks. So we can't force business to make less profit and keep jobs with the people who buy their stuff (American products for Americans and made by Americans, insert British or what have you). So tax all that profit made from shipping the jobs to countries where your work force can be treated little better then slaves, oh wait, can't tax the rich! They might throw a tantrum and take their business to some tax haven. And around and around we go, waiting for the poorest to take up arms against the greedy corporations, or not. People do not often act in their own self interest when it is going to be hard and painful and lots of work. We need to hit breaking point, and sadly breaking point is more serious then the situation we got now. Breaking point is when its to late, when people are not just homeless or jobless but dying in vast numbers, when fighting and suffering is the only way to survive.
So Lady, tell me how specifically you find the Dept of Education to be indoctrinating kids? How would you like to see kids educated? Church? Seriously, enlighten me.
I find it interesting and amusing that kirsten has asked a very reasonable question about how small government would work and the only answer that has been given so far is "they have floated some ideas".
Ideas are great, but without a concrete strategy they are worth nothing. All I hear is "we don't want this, that or the other" but nothing about how the alternative would work. For example
how much would it cost the average Joe to pay directly for services such as fire, police, education, roads, prisons, defense etc? Would it actually be any less than paying taxes to cover them? Who would these private companies be accountable to?
Hmmm, well spotted oversight to the original question, funny how it remains over looked
Okay, so in my community we have a volunteer fire department. The annual fee to be covered for fire protection is $35.00. This is not a tax. It's a membership fee, and you don't have to pay it if you don't want the coverage.
Is this the kind of information you are looking for?
Sorry, missed this before
This is exactly the sort of thing it seems folks who want less government want. $35 does not sound much but in my 20's that was my food budget for most of a month, I didn't go to the doctors even if I could find a free clinic cause they thought I was anorexic or bulimic, I was just poor. I guess I would not have been covered back in them days then
Good thing there was a government that supported the fire dept. where I lived.
This is the sort of thing that to me just doesn't add up in the make government as small as possible argument.
Yes, that kind of thing but I'm thinking on larger scales. For instance I can see a volunteer fire service working in a small community, but what about a large city? In cities, full time firefighters are needed and they need to be paid, which significantly raises the costs.
I also have questions about your fire service like, is the fire service you have a for profit company or is it essentially community owned? Who is the fire service accountable to? What happens when they need a new fire truck - does everyone's membership fee have to go up to cover it? Is it really any cheaper than paying through taxation?
It's not for profit, and it is owned by the members, who all live here. When a new fire truck is needed, then people get to decide what to do about it. Is the expense worth it? Would it be better to fix the old one? If we can't afford it, can we operate without one? Could we just use a hose or buckets?
The problem with taxation is that you, as an individual, can't ever say "No, don't make that expenditure! We can live without that service."
When my coffee maker broke down, I decided that under my current financial circumstances, I can live without a new coffee maker. If your car breaks down, you don't have to buy a new one. You can use a bike instead or walk. Frugal living is a choice we have privately. But when things become public, all that changes. Suddenly, the pronouncement "we need a new fire truck" becomes holy writ.
That's why it becomes so expensive to operate any service publicly through taxation, because saying "no" is not an option.
May I ask, do you live in a small community?
Yes. I actually live outside a small community, not in it. I'm not within any municipal boundary. But I contribute to the volunteer fire department fund.
I gotta say, I am a bit jealous
This stuff would not work here in the big city. What if my neighbor does not or cannot contribute to the fire fighters? Their house catches alight and does not get saved cause they didn't pay? Well my house (or rented flat hehe) is in danger of being burnt too.
It is sad but what works for smaller communities just doesn't work in larger communities. If I didn't make an effort to get to know some of my neighbors they could die and I wouldn't know until the smell alerted me or I saw it on the news. I love the ease of city life, shops within walking distance but sometimes it is also quite sad
Okay, well, to some extent you are right. There is inherently less freedom in the city, though more "culture" and "convenience". However, the more any community sticks to the idea of services being optional and allowing people to opt out of programs they don't want, the better it will be for everyone, because the programs will have to become more efficient.
I think we trade one type of freedom for another when we choose to live in a big city. I personally hate driving, never learned and don't want to (would not be wise to let me drive either!). I get car sick very easily and am a nervous passenger, as such I avoid it in preference for walking or cycling. This is easier then driving here in the city with no parking anywhere. If I lived where you do I would wind up very isolated and having to be totally self reliant in producing my own food, having a job would be neigh on impossible without doing a car share sort of thing (maybe contribute to the petrol costs for driving me to work for a co-worker). The freedom I loose is the beauty of the country side, the cleaner air, open spaces, you get the idea. I do not have to lose the feeling of community but I do have to work more for it. If a neighbor so much as smiles at me on the street, you know I will strike up a conversation, just so I know who is around me. I hope that by doing this, should we have a bad winter I could think to check in on Norm or the other elderly neighbors I have and make sure they are surviving ok. Thing is, this stuff ain't easy but it is do-able if we are able to take pride in the efforts we make
I can relate to most of what you say. I don't like driving that much, either, and my car stays idle most days, as I only get out about twice a week. A sense of community is something that you have to work to build no matter where you live. I've felt isolated while living in the city, and I am still somewhat isolated here in the country. (Being locked in the pens with a chimp can do that to a person.) But to me, the most important thing about any decision is that you have a choice. (I've written about some of these things in a recent hub "Oh Beautiful for Pilgrim Feet" about public transportation.)
Agree with you, good pick up.
We have great examples of where we have "Socialist" programs our friends on the Right want to do away with so lets take a whack at them and see what happens, shall we?
Police including local, state and federal: paid for with our taxes including property, state and fed income tax dollars. Obviously a Socialist program. Lets cut taxes! Lets make this a voluntary program that you can choose to pay for or not. The result being you will get services based on your contracted payment. So when your house is robbed, or you are harmed and you dial 911 for assistance there is a good possibility you may not get it; why? if you didn't pay the police will not respond as they have no obligation to do so.
Fire: same as above however this is only local. We have already had a great example of this. Family forgot to pay and lost everything while the "volunteer" firefighters stood there and watched their home burn to the ground.
Infrastructure, including inter and intrastate roads and bridges: oh this is a good one because if the feds don't have money and the states don't have money roads and bridges collapse. But it gets better, shipping collapses as well. The safety of cities is in jeopardy, lets not forget New Orleans. Without taxes at local, state and Federal levels how will this be paid for?
These are just three examples of "Socialist" programs. How about these:
Education K-12, paid for by local taxes.
Land Grant Universities, paid for by taxes on mineral rights in many states which makes university education more affordable for citizens of those states.
What happens if we stop the taxes? Our schools get even worse than they are today, our children even more ignorant and incapable of competing in the global market. The top 2% will be the only ones with access to education through private schools, the remaining members of the citizenry will be educationally improvised.
Then of course there are these:
Social Security: Workers, employees that is right you and I paid into this program our entire working life. It isn't a tax it is a savings program for your future that is matched by the employer. It is a "benefit" for your contribution to the nations economy. Wall Street didn't contribute and Wall Street should not benefit. The idea the Right wants to privatize this retirement fund, your future savings and allow Wall Street access should scare the Hades out of you and every other thinking person in this nation.
Medicare: Again not a tax, a benefit. You are paying forward as is your employer. Someday when you reach the age of retirement which continues to go up you will benefit from all the dollars you have paid into this fund. Should there be reform? Yes there should be. Should this administration worked to reform and expand the solution? Yes. Nevertheless, don't be fooled it isn't free and it isn't something you haven't been paying for your entire working life.
Of course there are many other "Socialist" programs we could look at. Many other programs that address community needs.
Cut Taxes? The Right doesn't want to cut taxes they want to cut programs that they have no need for and that do not cause them strife or affect their lives.
They are not going to worry whether they have to send their children to private school, or pay $75 for Fire or Police. On the other hand someone without a job who has run out of unemployment may have to make a choice between feeding their family and paying those fees.
Wall Street didn't contribute to social security? Then what do you mean that the employer matched what the employee contributed to the program? Was this matching by the employer voluntary? For that matter, is the contribution by the employee voluntary? Can they opt out?
Who is paying the social security that people are receiving now? Is it the past contributors, or is it people who are paying into social security now, without a way to opt out?
Let us be very clear, with the exception that both Social Security and Medicare have been illegally borrowed from by past administrations to pay for debt and defense programs, these programs would not be in trouble. In fact these programs would be more than solvent. It is true that there is a discrepancy in the programs cost due to previous early retirement and longer life of recipients that had not been planned for, however this has been addressed with an increase in the deductions and a increase in the age when both Medicare and Social Security can be collected.
No, it is not a program you can opt out of. Nor should you be able to. It is the single guarantee that each working American has there will be a retirement fund and medical care in their later years based upon their contributions. This is a fund that is not subject anything other than their earnings throughout a lifetime of work.
As to my comment of Wall Street, yes they contribute in the same manner any other employer contributes. They do not however contribute through "investing" funds. They should not be given the ability to do so. Clearly when Wall Street had the retirement funds of so many in this nation via 401-K, 401-B, and other vehicles they did not treat these with the necessary care instead many were entirely wiped out of their futures. No one should be desirous of this same outcome for their SS funds.
Should it be voluntary? Not in my opinion but that is just my opinion. Would I be willing to consider a change to the program for those under 30? Yes I absolutely would, allow a voluntary investment program for everyone under 30 and let them opt out of SS and Medicare. Those of us over that age who have been working and contributing for our entire adult lives would likely not make that choice and the program must needs continue for us, including employer contributions.
The whole thing is a mess. You can't go backward. You can govern better, more efficiently, but you will never go back to a nation with little government involvement.
"...Seems to me the biggest aim of the tea party is a smaller government, right? Well now how does that work then?..."
Good question. Believe it or not, I doubt that things are in enough of a crisis as yet, for our representatives to swallow hard and do what must be done.
Closing surplus military bases was another third rail legislative issue some years back. They decided to bundle ALL of the closings into one bill and vote it up or down. It passed because this method somewhat protected the politicians from the blame of closing bases in their own districts.
Maybe that's how it'll ultimately work...one piece of legislation to cut everything, including entitlements, across the board.
The only alternative is to grow our economy big enough to buy our way out of the mess we made. When will that happen? Yeah, I know -- as grandad used to say "when leprechauns fly out of me a--."
So funny watching these Repubs.
On the one hand, they are up in arms about the deficit, but tell them to end 60% of it and they refuse.
80% of the wealth has gone to the top 2% these past Bush years.....due to tax policy.
That is the problem. This bi-partisan deficit commission--2 of them mentioned that a certain corporation made 1.2 billion in profit, and paid zero tax...in fact, got money back from the tax-payers.
They quoted all this waste fraud and abuse in defense spending, contractors ripping the gvt off, and something like 245 billion in unpaid taxes. Loop-holed out, or given away for special interests.
And both Paul Ryan and Jeb Harderling(?) said "we are leaving our kids worse than we are, and that has never happened before".....WRONG.
I am worse off than my parents, and my kids don't really stand a chance....and that is from 30 yrs of Republican policies my friends....
They have got to own up and take responsibilty before anything can change.
Small government is more than achievable, not to mention it is easy to accomplish and will be even easier to sustain. We need Gov't to be involved in judicial and executive. Legislative is obviously not for the government and should be more available to the people, it is way too out of control and just isn't working.
You guys say that there will be no funding for certain problems suck as drugs and border wars, I don't see how that is possible?
Right now we are living off an idea and only an idea. This idea has caused debts and conflicts like no other. It also has created another idea that effects everyone daily. Of course I am talking about Money first and the economy second.
Money was created out of thin air and so was this thing we call the economy. "The economy" is probably the one word I can not stand anymore. It makes no sense that we are even in a recession, let alone it is affecting everyone. You can only blame the news stations for feeding into this and ruining people's lives. People are glued to the Cable Tv news (foxnews/cnn/etc) on listening to "politics". Or should I say "the other party stinks" channels. All I ever do is hear about the democrats suck, with my dad watching to fox news daily. It is almost impossible not to become biased. Rather than hearing all the juicy, personal details about every candidate, and having a popularity contest on deciding who our president will be. I honestly think we need to revamp everything, times are different.
There will continue to be crime, that is until technology completely takes hold. Until then the cops and gov't will never stop crime, the only way to stop crime is to give people no reason to have to. So fighting some of these battles is not only pointless, but also a huge waste of time and YOUR money.
This small government stuff you are talking about is probably the easiest to handle. Have we forgotten that we are humans and we are smart. What is so hard about the abortion topic? This is an issue that can be handled by the people. You would be mistaken if groups weren't formed and businesses weren't made without the gov't. There are way more than smart enough people that don't need to be involved in the gov't to have a great country. The fact that it is now possible to talk to anyone in the world in a split second, it is safe to say things are about to be a lot different from here on out. We can organize and do anything if people would just have the same mentality.
All I am getting at is this: people with or without the government will prosper. In fact in a lot of way the gov't and media is doing nothing but holding us back. Money is holding us back more than anything. It is a road block and is complete and utter bull.
Think about how much better life would be if everyone just helped everyone out, and money wasn't around. If instead of there being money, people's money was just a mental idea of, I help you and you help me(like it used to be). Now its the gov't helps who it wants with the money we give them, and to me it looks like they do a crappy job(from me hearing people complain every day).
Another reason why the economy isn't working is the fact that we spend so much time doing useless things. There are 3 things we need: food, water, shelter, all of which are more than available(enter greed). That being said why are people depressed and starving? Every generation before us did not have food readily available, now it is a click away. So aside from spending that money being spent on food, we spend it on what? Ripped jeans that cost $500???????? Everything about that is wrong. We do not need 1 person paying $500 for something that is worth $5, not good for the economy. There are many things like this that will cripple an economy, and most people's jobs are based around pointless ideas.
So pretty much any fashion store or anything like that is just a big waste of time and money. All those millions of dollars are just now sitting in a bank account not doing anything.
I don't know there is so much I want to say, but I'll stop here, I'm really getting off topic. I will say this though. The individual is more powerful than ever and we can reach the whole world by just typing here. What is stopping millions of unemployed people from organizing projects that they want to, there is no reason there shouldn't be something to do?
Mikeydoes - Thanks for your post! This is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for with my OP.
I have read your posts in the past and deduced that our 'political' values are not the same, yet in your post there is a lot that I would agree with totally! $500 pair of jeans, seriously WTF is up with that! People actually looking out for each other instead of number one, that boarders on bliss! The very concept fills me with hope, as opposed to the political back biting that fills me with despair.
I really do think that on the most basic of levels both 'liberals' and 'conservatives' have more in common then what separates them. Sure how we want to achieve success for our communities might be different but the point is we both want success. We both want to see decent reasonably paid jobs, decent homes and education for our kids, have access to good healthy foods for a good life.
The problem is that our life experiences have taught us different ways for achieving that goal.
My experience of community is dismal at best. My experiences have taught me that people will not get involved in anything but will moan like billy-o if the Government doesn't step in. Take for example child abuse, you know the kid next door is being beaten daily but wont get involved, leaving it to the Government. If the gov does not do something and the kid winds up dead from the abuse, there is community outrage, why didn't the gov do something? Not, why didn't WE do something. So for me it is hard to put much faith in my community (as a survivor of child abuse where everyone left protecting me to someone else) as a $500 pair of jeans seems more important then that kid living in daily terror.
I suspect your experiences have been to see gov fail time and time again while local community and individual decency have been far more effective at solving problems.
It may be that the middle ground is what we really need, considering that your experiences are every bit as valid as mine. Your concerns regarding the failures of gov are just as valid as my concerns regarding the failures of community.
@Valentine - That's the thing really. Say my neighbour, who has Alzheimer's and no family support, gets into trouble paying her bills because she's simply not mentally fit enough to manage them. When she has a fire at her home, her house burns down with her in it, because she didn't pay her membership?
That's not the kind of society I want to live in.
I am happy to pay a few extra pounds/dollars so that everyone gets essential services.
Also I think that the likelihood is that paying for services via taxes probably works out more cost effective than paying for them directly. I want to see a cost analysis!
And would people really want to have to pay subscriptions to private companies for everything? Where I live a lot of my local taxes go on sea defences because it's a coastal region (even though I'm miles from the sea). If a whole of lot people in my county decided not to pay for that service then the consequences would be pretty catastrophic to say the least.
In general, I don't think people are aware of all the services that they actually get for their money and what the consequences of not having them would be.
Since moving to the UK I have learned a lot about public services becoming privatized. The complaints here about energy companies and phone companies and such going private are huge. These services in the UK have become greedy and money grubbing, the services on offer go way down in quality while the price goes way up. It is not as easy as privatizing basic essential services.
No, I agree it's not that easy (though I get the impression that this is what the right in the US are saying?). Like you say privatisation seems to push up prices more often than it brings prices down and often the service is worse too. A good example of where this happened in the UK are the train lines.
To answer your question of how small gov't would work - I don't know. I don't know that it's preferrable because so far I haven't seen anything concrete enough to make a decision about it.
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