Entitlements, subsidies, social security payments, disability, SNAP, Building Grants, adoption services, job training, Medicare, head start, tax assistance, minority business development, conservation, disaster mitigation, housing programs, tribal programs, welfare, WIC, youth opportunity grants, Section 8, TRIO, polar programs, language assistance, HIV prevention, and on and on and on.
These are just the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to Federal Programs that are available tor American citizens. When it is enough? How many people have simple given their lives over to being basically managed by a bureaucrat in a Washington DC office building? What happened to self-sufficiency?
Many people see these programs as being "owed" to them, even though they are recent immigrants or have not contributed much in the way of paying taxes. What are your thoughts on this dangerous downward spiral of government dependency we are seeing today?
This in a way, is the weakness that the US has inherited from its history. Because so many citizens are recent immigrants, the feeling that there is no community and no society.
This has many consequences. Just a few:
Government cannot represent 'the people' because 'the people' are so diverse
Concerted action for the good of all is impossible
Everyone is on their own
Nobody is safe
THANK YOU, RJ. I have posted such questions & forum posts. We are on the same page. In my estimation, the government doesn't owe anyone a thing. Social security we pay into. The government doesn't owe us healthcare. I am of the school that if people want someone, they ought to work for it. If one wants healthcare, pay for it.
You are right Mr. Schwartz regarding as to what happened to self-sufficiency in America. We as a nation want from CAN DO to CAN'T, EXPECTING THE GOVERNMENT TO FOOT THE BILL. We have went from what we can do for our country to what our country can do for us. Very sad state of affairs.
If things get to the point where regular people have to depend on themselves for survival, it's going to be ugly and dangerous
Let's see now...when my dad made $50 a week, an office visit to the doctor was $2, which was 1/25 of his paycheck. That was a long time ago and nobody had health insurance. I made a high 5-figure yearly income before I retired last week, and my last office visit was 3/5 of my salary for that week. I have to make these visits once a month until doc says my eye is cured or forever, whichever comes first. Just sayin' there's no comparison to our self-sufficient parents and grandparents and to today's medical costs. I've paid in to Medicare for more years than some of you have been alive, and it is not free to us oldsters. The premium comes out of our SS checks. I don't consider it "an entitlement" regardless of what they call it.
Seriously, Ralph, are you considering SS a government giveaway? Believe me, it is not. We pay in, our employers pay in, and the govt. takes away. The SS fund was supposed to be sacred and untouchable, but as you know, nothing is sacred and untouchable in DC, and we keep being told that it will soon run out. My ex used to fuss about paying in to SS and say that workers should be able to take that money and invest it the way they please. There are many people who would never do that, himself included. If it weren't for that SS check each month, he, and others like him, would be destitute. I knew several self-sufficient people who invested a lot of money in 401Ks and lost the majority of it when the big banks folded and the government had to bail them out. If we want to discuss entitlements, let's start with the "entitlements" to big corporations. The little guy, like friends who lost most of their 401Ks, can't win no matter how hard they try. The big corporations will get it all in the end unless something is done first to stop them.
We should privatize all government services. Except for the military, first responders, healthcare, and federal monetary agencies. Oh, that is the 90% of the government. Its the government that is the buffer between you and me and the unchecked capitalist greed. You want to cling to the illusion that you can take care of all your needs if only the government would stay out of your business, knock yourself out or get off the grid and live in cabin somewhere. You can still do that. Keep letting the billionaires slowly take over the government(Trump) and you won't be able to afford a cabin anywhere in this country.
Trump want§ mercenaries in Afganistan. Blackwater redux with employees trained by the taxpayer since most are ex-GIs. Without any oversight or acceptability. Think it's bad enough with cops brigandage via civil forfeiture? Wait until privatize police with Hessians.
Trump will create a shortage of troops that will demand mercenaries since threatening N Korea with the words. "with fire and fury like the world has never seen.
Fckg planning on nuking .... Please somebody in the WH .....
The law courts are the only real defense private individuals have against both overweening government power, and corporate power. So give the judiciary a mention.
If the law is crushing you, blame the government, if the government is crushing you, blame the population.
That last bit only applies in democracies.
Will - we did not inherit weakness from our History, quite the opposite. Breaking the chains of Tyranny, took strength, not weakness!
Back when this experiment called America began, there was a percentage that had no problem with the chains and fought freedom (well, don't know how much "fight" was involved, most likely...they did nothing)
Present day, the percentage of those having no problem with the chains and having no fight in them, has grown.
I believe the majority of Immigrants in the past and present day, seek America for Freedom, not chains!
We are ALL safer when our Government stays focused on Protecting the Homeland and when our Allies know without a doubt, that America has their back.
This Country and her people grow weaker, when the Gov is attempting to live everyone's life for them, leaving little time to have America's back, much less her Allies.
Greg, I think I answered you somewhere in all of that. lol
I assume, from abwilliams response, the far right idea of acceptable use of tax dollars is on massive defense. It appears we spend more on defense than all other major players combined.
I, for one, would rather see my tax dollars assisting neighbors in need and helping people with a hand up. I'm afraid the right wing position of constantly complaining about any program that doesn't funnel its money into guns and soldiers is not one I can support.
Not at all - and this forum doesn't need to be slanted toward one particular political ideology or Party. Why are you so anti-defense; since guns and soldiers (American ones) are the only reason you can sit behind your PC and type any message to anyone you wish? Perhaps you think that they are no longer a necessity - I'd disagree, but then again I'm being a realist, not and ideologue.
I think the government owes every citizen the rule of law, an unpolluted environment, a built environment that is not hazardous, an education for every child, and the basics of a decent existence for every adult. Because the government is us, and that is the society we want to have.
Because I don't want to live in a country that that cruel, unfair or willing to just stand by and let people suffer--I want my government to embody principles of fairness and compassion. And that very much includes paying my taxes with the expectation the money will be used on health services, education, policing, emergency rescue, the arts, and help for people who are struggling.
Therein lies a problem - what is "fair?" How does a bureaucracy exhibit compassion? Why are the arts elevated above other things? Maybe I have different opinions. I'm not being argumentative, only playing devils advocate. Also, I didn't see any reference to the Constitution in yours or anyone else's answer....
"Why are the arts elevated above other things?"
Where did you get that idea? Today if you want a free education or a good scholarship in my state, you make good grades in math and science. We have a free boarding school where little math geniuses (or budding scientists) can go to high school. They come out assured of a college education and will be recruited by the Bill Gates of this country.
The other emphasis is on sports. Be a good athlete and make our university famous, then go on to professional football until you burn out at 30 or so. Sports are a religion today. We pay professional athletes ludicrous salaries, but there are a heckuva lot more "starving artists" than multimillionaire athletes.
But to answer why arts are valuable, the arts teach people to think and love, have imagination and creativity. At least artists aren't being brain-damaged like football players and boxers. It is about time people saw value in the arts and not sports.
The US has always been strong on business and on those things that business needs.
What business needs from the arts are opera and museums for their top executives to take their trophy spouses to. Seriously. Want a major corporation to move to your town? Build an opera house.
Beyond that, bland corporate versions of the visual arts will find their way into HQs.
Developing those skills associated with the broader arts in the ordinary population is not attractive.
Workers who care about stuff beyond making money are not appealing to businesses. And the skills acquired in the humanities equip individuals to be genuine individuals, not people easily seduced by empty slogans.
Scary for many.
There is no America, without a strong Defense LTL.
The Church will always be there, as the Church has always been, assisting those in need.
My daughter's hospital will always have their doors open for those requiring care.
You and I can personally help our neighbors, when they are in need.
Every school break my church is packing lunches and snacks for families needing assistance. We assembly line pack them at church, then get out the word that we'll be handing them out at local schools.
My Credit Union does something similar.
The local drug store does something similar.
My son's Company does something similar.
Also, I'd never take back any of my tax dollars which are providing free or discounted breakfast/ lunch for these kids, once they are back in school.
I am so tired of having to defend my words each and every time that I speak of individual responsibility or the role of the Gov in our lives.
Well, I agree that the community is the best judge of who is in need and in the best position to take care of those in need. I do think that government programs have slowly eroded those programs. Many assume there is a government agency who will help. I think it would take a decade or two to pass the baton back to the community simply because it would take a while for many to get back in the habit as the government slowly backed away.
But, that doesn't address the problems I see with rampant defense spending. To be honest we have to look at ourselves. We have to understand how US policy has driven a need to defend ourselves in some areas. Our government policies have created animosity in some areas and has driven (in many cases) instability. I am not saying this is the case in all instances. We have no control of insane despots, etc. But, we should not be the police force for the world. And we should not be spending such a huge amount of our budget on that endeavor.
And the part of the OP's statement where he is attacking SS payments. I suppose if the citizens hadn't contributed into it every day of their working lives they might not feel they were owed a return on that investment.
I do not think U.S. policy has driven the need for defense.
There has always been a need.
We defend ourselves against the evil ideology of Islam that has taught generations not only to hate, but to kill, all unlike them. (the radical element)
We defend ourselves against power hungry narcissists, such as Vladimir Putin, these types have existed since the dawn of time.
We can never let our guard down. I believe, as Reagan, in a Peace through strength philosophy.
As long as those seeking to destroy us are aware that we have the capabilities to take them out before they have that opportunity, the better off we are!
Certainly not saying I like it...I wish that Evil did not exist and that we could all Live in peace and harmony, but that's another place, for another time.
Gosh you are right R.J. very unusual for me not to make reference to the Constitution. However, I did refer to our beginning and the breaking of the chains of tyranny. (I get 1/2 credit)
Its a matter of reality. We must tend to to reality and not pretend to illusion.
The reality is that humans need freedom and independence to be happy. If we have high taxes we have less money, less freedom and less ability to be independent / self-sufficient.
Human nature must be taken into consideration. No one is happy being weak, flabby, overfed and lazy. We like to be strong, robust and capable. If I am sitting around on govt. assistance and don't have to lift a finger, I won't. I will not gain strength and I will lose self respect. I will probably start overeating and wind up with a multitude of health problems. If I am sick, I can't work, and I become dependent on others to take care of me. All because I accepted government assistance. Thanks for nothing.
This downward spiral is the result of a gradually diminishing of joy of life. No interest, no motivation, no stimulus to accomplish something for myself. No sense of urgency, no reason to live.
High taxes can take away our ability and motivation to succeed. We feel forced to work for the govt. and we do not see the success of our efforts. Oh, we see others getting the benefit of our hard work, but what about ME?
Is ME a bad word.
The illusion is that everyone will benefit and the govt. will do a great job providing services and redistributing everyone's profit and wealth.
No, it will not. The reality is that the Fed. Govt. CANNOT adequately distribute money and provide services to the population. It is impossible.
Just please let ME keep my money and provide for MYSELF!
I shall interject here. The government is doing things for people that they can do themselves if they decide to become responsible & thinking adults. Let us address welfare. Welfare should be cut at least 80%. There is no excuse for generational welfare for that is what welfare has become in America. There are able-bodied people who contend that the government should support them instead of working to support themselves. Then there is head start. People shouldn't have children unless they are educationally & socioeconomically equipped to have them. Head Start was instituted for those who aren't educationally nor socioeconomically equipped to prepare their children. It is the poor who are socioeconomically draining the American taxpayer as the latter have to pay for social programs which wouldn't exist if people were more responsible. If poor people thought before having children & don't make unintelligent, even stupid choices, welfare & Head Start would be drastically reduced, if not eliminated altogether. It is the irresponsibility of poor people which resulted in many inane social programs. This is why people hate the poor, viewing them as excesses in society.
So we need to cull the poor.
We need to cull the disabled and the sick (they are a drain on resources)
We need to cull the children who never really got an education (they will be poor)
We also need to cull the millions of homeless kids (they will never benefit much from their education)
Then there are the mentally ill
And those who have simply lost hope
Such a long list... And I hardly began on those who made poor choices or never had any choices at all.
Kill them all, lol.
Yes we need to cull the poor. Whether that is accomplished by teaching them a productive skill (along with the desire to use it), handing them money so they're not poor any more or just shooting them out of hand depends on who is talking.
Yet when anyone wants to help by providing birth control education, low priced birth control and abortions, the Pro-Birth movement goes into high orbit. Most of them just want to teach abstinence, which is totally against human nature. A lawyer friend used to say that it wasn't a crime to be poor. He also reminded me that everyone had a constitutional right to have children. He explained the difference between "rights" and "privileges" under the Constitution. When I replied "so the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to have children, but not the privilege of supporting them," he replied, "that's right."
What a conundrum!
When the government gets involved, neither those who give nor those who receive end up being truly happy.
What constitutes human nature?
http://www.sheldrake.org/research/morph … troduction
I reckon its the health corporations that really owe you. Taking 17 percent out of your economy (your pocket) year, after year and not giving you much of a service in return is pretty shocking.
Those countries that invest heavily in their population seem to get the best results. And those that look after the hopeless cases seem to feel best about themselves.
It is an alternative to consigning millions to the scrap heap. Or a lime pit.
Feed them or teach them. They would prefer to be taught.
You cannot teach much to kids living in absolute poverty, or kids whose lives are dominated by continual insecurity.
And while you cannot fix every issue for everyone, the last century has seen more of the underclass brought into the mainstream of productive society than have fallen from it -- even in right wing countries which make a virtue of punishing 'losers'.
Civilization proceeds by degrees.
And wouldn't you like to feel as virtuous and self-congratulatory as the average Norwegian?
Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland usually top the global happiness rankings, scoring highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance
I said they would prefer to do it themselves. I would rather teach them and teach mothers how to guide them toward their own success.
Sounds wonderful, where will you get the funding to hire the people to that?
Borrow it, of course, like we do all the other freebies. I'm sure China would be happy to loan some more to us.
That way they can pay it back when they age a little, or their children can.
… won't take any money. Just listening and comprehending skills.
It would start with one school at a time.
It would spread like wildfire …
If only one person could listen to Montessori and understand what she was actually talking about.
I, who understands her philosophy and discoveries regarding children, can't reach one single soul.
Is this really going to help the 2 million kids who experience homelessness in the US every year?
Kathryn, a relaxing of laws and rules would help. Why does it take a masters in social work to teach a baby to drink from a cup or read a story to a kindergarten child? At one time there were many grandmas employed in day care centers to do this, but today they are degreed, pedigreed, vetted and licensed through the teeth. and day care is out of reach for low-salaried workers. Many mothers of small children stay home with their families and draw welfare because they actually can't afford to work!
That sounds very lovely. When do you start? How many will be in your program? How will it be funded? What is the curriculum? What are the criteria to qualify for the program? What are the criteria to teach in the program? How will you measure success?
There is a way, but I sense you are not open, so never mind. If you had even one ear to hear, I would say.
See my reply. It would actually slash expenses, plus add to employment figures if so much certification and licensing were not required to burp a baby.
Okay, but first can you explain, "entrepreneurial programming for teens"?
A summer camp for teenagers, introducing them to the concepts of entrepreneurship, starting and running a business.
I worked for a nonprofit. I was their Program Manager. I created and managed their entrepreneurship programs. Sometimes we refer to programs as "programming." Did you think I was programming teenagers to be jackbooted socialists? Lol
and how well did the program work? Did you inspire many teens?
I think a good idea would be to let business owners pay college-aged people a dollar an hour to mentor and learn "on the job." It would be an option to going to college, which is too expensive for many youths.. Of course, they would have to be given "mentor money" which could be exchanged for … still trying to figure out what they could be exchanged for... maybe foodstuffs. If there was no minimum wage, there would not be a problem, but alas, there is. Unless, of course, one is illegal.
two million children have mothers, fathers, or guardians who love them! Unless they are all orphans living in orphanages. Hopefully, their caregivers love them to some extent. If not, let the tax payers pay for them, I guess. I hope the money will be an adequate replacement for understanding, love and care.
If only people would be sure to have their ducks in a row before they conceive a new human being. I really think if people did not have sex before marriage things would not be so bleak.
We are a civilized country, after all, and the babies do not always have parents who can afford them. I would say no interest loans could temporarily help them get on their feet. Yes, these parents could be expected to pay the government back.
I would teach the children by allowing them to teach themselves via the Montessori method and the didactic materials she designed.
I would teach mothers how to guide their children toward their own success by revealing the power each child is born with. Every child can teach himself how to read, write and compute. I would film and explain the Montessori method while tracking the progress of my class. I would need one classroom and enough money to follow the children (for about three years) in this class as a (real) reality show. Then, the world would see for itself every child's capacity for exploration, creativity, reasoning and self-driven accomplishment.
The child built itself in the womb and continues to build itself once it is out of the womb.
Did we tell the child how to grow its toes? what color hair to have? No. In the same way nature is forming the child outside of the womb. We have to know how to allow the process to unfold according to nature's dictates. We have to know what to supply the child with, in order to empower it, enable it and encourage it to grow in a positive direction in its body, mind and soul/spirit.
If enough people were interested and had faith in this idea I could get funding from them and not the government. As it is, I am not yet that eloquent.
Maybe I could get Trump to fund it out of his own pocket?????
I'll write him a letter.
I'll let you know if he gets back to me ...
Well, if you prefer to give your money to the health corporations, make welfare payments to bankers and fund the wars of the world through your military, rather than develop the potential of your own citizens, you only have yourself to blame as your communities deteriorate around you.
"… if you prefer to
1. give your money to the health corporations(?)
2. make welfare payments (?) to bankers
3. fund the wars of the world (?) through your military,
rather than *use tax-payer money* to develop the potential of your own citizens,*through handouts*
you only have yourself to blame as your communities deteriorate around you."
Money does nothing. People DO! People living in a safe country where there are happy bankers (who have freedom within well established boundaries) where health-care costs are low due to the competition of country-wide free-market health insurance will prosper and provide for their communities, one successful person at a time. Now there are those who could care less about their community. There are always those bad apples. Too bad for them.
I can see why Americans are so easily ripped off. Still not sure why they think the government are the worst culprits.
Just a little graphic. The US is the country at the top, isn't that nice?
The UK is bottom. The British really hate overspending.
Well, either that or the UK is too cheap to provide decent health care for it's people.
But I have to wonder, just how much of that vaunted US spending buys health care and how much goes to insurance profit margins, malpractice insurance, excessive "I'm better than you" purchase/usage of expensive equipment, private room vs dorm rooms, TV's and other niceties in hospital rooms, fancy doctor offices, etc.
I suppose U.S. spending on anything would be higher than in the U.K., we have States larger than the entire U.K.
But, that is not the direction I wish to go.
Our Government was not designed to be Caretakers. It does not exist to do all things for all people and each time our Government 'branches out', beyond their Limits, it cripples this Republic because it is intruding on Individual Liberty.
Do you understand what percentage of GDP means?
Yes. Do you understand what Liberty means?
I means the ability of a majority to confiscate what one person has in order to use it themselves. According to some, anyway.
Sorry wilderness I was engrossed in my thoughts.
I'll take 2nd position. Will can come in third.
Wilderness just defined "capitalism" not liberty.
It can mean many things. A few that are relevant in this case:
The freedom to live a life free of unnecessary fear. You and your family will never lose health coverage in any advanced western country but the US. Even if you are born with a pre-existing condition. Or you lose your job.
The freedom to access health care without filing in forms or worrying about a clerk finding a reason to deny you treatment.
If you happen to be French, it means the freedom to choose any doctor in the country for a consultation, choose your treatment plan, choose the time and place of your operation (if you need one).
If you live in any (absolutely any) country mentioned in that graph but the US, it means the freedom to expect a longer life than you.
Well shoot everyone is speed typing today! I thought men pondered longer than women. lol. Another topic for another day.
"If you live in any (absolutely any) country mentioned in that graph but the US, it means the freedom to expect a longer life than you."
An interesting hypothesis, and an even more interesting insinuation. That if you spend less on health care you will live longer doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As much (or more) than trying to tie health care as the primary causal factor in longevity, though, while ignoring cultural, environmental and social factors.
But Will, if you consider it a matter of priorities, it also means a loss of individual choice.
The first, and most important choice is what is more important; the things you mention, or the liberties ABWilliams mentions.
There have been many conversations here that have illustrated that your cultural outlook values security over individual liberty - in the form of individual choice. There is no real argument of who is right, there is only the acceptance of different perspectives.
I want it to be my choice of how much liberty I am willing to give away in return for the things you mention. You, on the other hand, appear willing to trade your liberty of choice for the security of living.
I'll go first. So what if we do spend more per capita, (the bigger picture; bigger chart if you will...no pun intended) has nothing to do with the point R.J. (IMHO) is trying to make. We may spend more on healthcare on an individual basis, but we spend even more on welfare and social programs. I want to keep more of my hard earned money to spend on my grandchildren and helping those in need and whatever... I Choose to spend it on! Do not want my hard earned money confiscated by the Gov to throw at the same old failed programs.
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