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Author Topic: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...  (Read 1911 times)

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Online WyldRangerTopic starter

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Offline Lilias

We will stop blaming politicians when they stop trying to patch the holes by butchering the already measly salaries and pensions while allowing the big money to go scot free, thank you very much.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 04:46:28 AM by Lilias »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

I agree with the author.  The American public is very unrealistic regarding the link between spending and taxation.  This spans both party lines and can be found by almost every person in this country.  People want more, but donít want to pay more for that increase.  They continually chant wanting their moneyís worth, but then donít want to fork over more money to get that worth.  This can be found in all avenues of life from education to healthcare to fast food.

Offline Serephino

I think people are expecting politicians to be able to wave a wand and magically fix things.  It isn't going to happen.  Though I think the politicians are partially to blame.  They've made some mistakes and have adopted some practices that aren't helping.  Still... a happy medium needs to be found. 

Online Vekseid

"Paying for Social Security" is a bit of legerdemain. You pay into a trust fund, and the government loots that trust fund to handle a significant portion of its debt. Obviously, that will need to be restructured, but it's paid for and then some at this point. That's a tangent, however. Regardless, America looks rather nothing like Greece.

As for the 'us', it's largely a factor of our hugely conglomeratized media.

Offline Lyell

Politician's number one priorities are getting re-elected and their constituancies. When their priority shifts to safeguarding the nation as a whole and respecting individual rights, I'll stop pointing my finger at them.

Offline Brandon

I think the problem with politicians is that we refer to them as politicians instead of elected officials or some other more neutral name. Without the backing of a party its extremely hard to get elected to any political office which is one of my main problems with our election system. We should all be choosing people based on who we think better represents our ideals (and some of us do) but the reality of the election system is were forced to choose between Democrat and republican instead of everyone whos running. It is rare for independants or liberals to be elected into office even if they have better ideas on how to run that office. On top of that without a party to back them its extremely expensive, ensuring that the average guy (no matter how capable) cant afford to run for office

Politicians should be held to a high standard and as long as the majority of them continue to do whats best for them instead of following the will of the people they're supposed to represent then I will continue to point the finger at them.

 

Offline Jude

Politician's number one priorities are getting re-elected and their constituancies. When their priority shifts to safeguarding the nation as a whole and respecting individual rights, I'll stop pointing my finger at them.
Right.  And how do you get re-elected?  By doing what the people want.  This is a Democracy.

That's also largely why we don't like them; because popular opinion shifts so much and is so demanding, that when someone fails to live up to our unrealistic standards, we boot them out of office.  Face it;  Americans are spoiled brats.  Politicians are not miracle workers, they cannot work magic, sacrifices must be made, and very few people want to sacrifice anything.

Reminds me of the Tea Party people during the healthcare debate.  When asked what they want, a bunch of them responded, "Better quality service, lower prices, lower taxes."

Offline Brandon

You know, I've gone to war for this country. Even so one accusation that you will never hear me refute is that the majority of Americans are arrogant and unrealistic because...well we are. However, I dont think it helps the fact that information based around whos paying what amount of taxes and where that money is going is hard to come by.


Offline Jude

I don't think it's hard to come by.  Is it information that people encounter naturally?  No.  But it's definitely out there and fairly easy to find.  You just have to look for it.  The thing is, people don't.  Most people don't base their decisions about politics on facts.  They base them on emotion.  That's another part of the problem.

Offline Brandon

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 10:19:05 PM »
Ok Jude, then where can that information be accessed easily?

Offline Jude

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 10:21:33 PM »
Start:  10:19:48
End:  10:20:12

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_the_United_States

Tadaaa.  Add on another 15 seconds if you don't have broadband.  It's all out there on the net, and easy to find at that.  And I just typed in "tax rates in the united states" -- with a better search, I could've gotten the data in one click.  I probably should've added "by income brackets."

As for spending, that's just as easy to do, look up the budget.

EDIT:  Oh, look, there's a budget description on the Wiki page.  Neat.

Offline Brandon

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 10:32:25 PM »
wow thats totally not what I wanted.

What I want is a listing of how much each individual person in the US pays per year. I then want to see exactly where every scent goes. So lets say, for ease of math, I payed $10 in taxes for the year. I want to see where that 10,000 cents go. X cents go to pay for public service workers, X cents go to pay for equipment that military/police need, X cents go to a senator throwing a party, etc etc etc.

Does that make more sense?

Offline Jude

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 10:43:06 PM »
What I want is a listing of how much each individual person in the US pays per year.
I'm going to assume that you mean you want to know how much each person should pay, not data that accounts for the 300 million people we have in the United States.  That's a tax bracket.  You can find the listing of tax brackets easily.  Understanding the tax code and what bracket you fall into with deductions is a less easy process; I'll admit deductions, withholding, and all of that is incredibly confusing.  The information is still out there, it's just hard to sift through.  A lot of it is in the link I gave or in other links on the page.
I then want to see exactly where every scent goes. So lets say, for ease of math, I payed $10 in taxes for the year. I want to see where that 10,000 cents go. X cents go to pay for public service workers, X cents go to pay for equipment that military/police need, X cents go to a senator throwing a party, etc etc etc.

Does that make more sense?
That's... on the page.  There is a listing of how the federal budget is spent right there.  Granted it's not in absolute numbers, it's in a chart, but you can easily find that too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget - took about 15 seconds to find.  There's a chart of percentages.  Break out your calculator and multiply your 10 dollars by each percentage.  You'll have to do it for federal, state, and local though.  Not incredibly easy calculations, but doable enough -- and certainly something that should be done by anyone who votes (if you don't know how your money is being spent, you don't know anything really about what your government is really doing).  I'm willing to bet you could come up with a good understanding of taxes and the budget in 2 hours; less time than it takes to watch James Cameron's Avatar.

How many people do you think saw Avatar?  How many people do you think have an accurate portrayal of the US fiscal budget?  The latter is free to observe.

It's a matter of will and engagement; Americans are happy being ignorant in most cases.

Offline Lyell

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 03:22:14 PM »
Right.  And how do you get re-elected?  By doing what the people want.  This is a Democracy.

That's also largely why we don't like them; because popular opinion shifts so much and is so demanding, that when someone fails to live up to our unrealistic standards, we boot them out of office.  Face it;  Americans are spoiled brats.  Politicians are not miracle workers, they cannot work magic, sacrifices must be made, and very few people want to sacrifice anything.

Reminds me of the Tea Party people during the healthcare debate.  When asked what they want, a bunch of them responded, "Better quality service, lower prices, lower taxes."

Well actually, this is a Republic. Democracy would indicate majority rule. The few, wealthy rich who can afford to sway politicians to better their positions is the ruling class.

The government's sole purpose when it was started was to protect the nation from foriegn and domestic threats of anarchy or hostile takeover. Congress taxed people so they could afford an army to fulfill that purpose. They madetheir first mistake when they started using their power to influence the private sector.

Offline Jude

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2010, 03:40:11 PM »
Well actually, this is a Republic. Democracy would indicate majority rule. The few, wealthy rich who can afford to sway politicians to better their positions is the ruling class.
"A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them."  Note, body of citizens, your definition makes the country not a Republic.  Your claims are paradoxical.
The government's sole purpose when it was started was to protect the nation from foriegn and domestic threats of anarchy or hostile takeover. Congress taxed people so they could afford an army to fulfill that purpose. They madetheir first mistake when they started using their power to influence the private sector.
I wonder where you're getting that "government's sole purpose" idea from.  It's not like the government was formed by like-minded individuals; don't forget the fundamental arguments between the founders that persisted into the early years of the Republic.  There was no real consensus from day one.

Also, the government didn't have to protect the environment when the nation stated because we didn't have the tools to actually damage it; that was pre-Industrialization.  Government has to evolve to meet the challenges and threats of a changing world.

There weren't multinational corporations or modern medicine as factors back then either; there's a reason why government has taken on more regulatory roles.  The underlying dynamics are recent additions to reality as well.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 03:43:42 PM by Jude »

Offline Lyell

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2010, 04:07:53 PM »
Just because the few are less than the majority does not disqualify them from a "body of citizens." Sure, a particular body, but still a body none the less.

Perhaps I worded that poorly. I meant to insinuate that the people's need for a government body stemmed from the need to protect the nation. People's willingness to pay taxes came from a need to protect individual properties. Early congress didn't have the power to do much until the people gave it to them.

Protecting the world from itself shouldn't require government interferance. BPs taking a lot of heat right now for the oil spill in the gulf. Why? Is the government telling us to be pissed off at them? I don't recall seeing that law, nor am I going to be interested in any BP products for quite some time. I also don't see how mandates and regulations prevented it from happening.

I woked for a corporation that makes computer chips. We didn't always come out on top for contract bids, but we got most of them anyways. Why? Because they have a strict moral code that they apply not only to themselves but also to their suppliers. Suppliers they inspect on their own dime. Setup consequences for corruption and immoral practices, fine. But if a business is going to fail, that's the risk of business.

Offline Brandon

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2010, 05:00:14 PM »
I'm going to assume that you mean you want to know how much each person should pay, not data that accounts for the 300 million people we have in the United States.  That's a tax bracket.  You can find the listing of tax brackets easily.  Understanding the tax code and what bracket you fall into with deductions is a less easy process; I'll admit deductions, withholding, and all of that is incredibly confusing.  The information is still out there, it's just hard to sift through.  A lot of it is in the link I gave or in other links on the page.That's... on the page.  There is a listing of how the federal budget is spent right there.  Granted it's not in absolute numbers, it's in a chart, but you can easily find that too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget - took about 15 seconds to find.  There's a chart of percentages.  Break out your calculator and multiply your 10 dollars by each percentage.  You'll have to do it for federal, state, and local though.  Not incredibly easy calculations, but doable enough -- and certainly something that should be done by anyone who votes (if you don't know how your money is being spent, you don't know anything really about what your government is really doing).  I'm willing to bet you could come up with a good understanding of taxes and the budget in 2 hours; less time than it takes to watch James Cameron's Avatar.

How many people do you think saw Avatar?  How many people do you think have an accurate portrayal of the US fiscal budget?  The latter is free to observe.

It's a matter of will and engagement; Americans are happy being ignorant in most cases.

Once again, not what I wanted. I dont know if Im just not explaining it properly or if you arent understanding what Im saying.

On one side of the report I want I want to see how much revenue the country has gotten (not supposed to get, acctually gotten). I want to see a name and how much they paid this year for every person in the United states that pays taxes

On the second part of the report I want to see where that money went and exactly how it was spent. So if a military company got $1,000 dollars that month and spent $400 dollars on repair components, $200 to buy an M249, and another $200 on office supplies I want to see that in the report


Offline Jude

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2010, 09:26:02 PM »
Once again, not what I wanted. I dont know if Im just not explaining it properly or if you arent understanding what Im saying.

On one side of the report I want I want to see how much revenue the country has gotten (not supposed to get, acctually gotten). I want to see a name and how much they paid this year for every person in the United states that pays taxes

On the second part of the report I want to see where that money went and exactly how it was spent. So if a military company got $1,000 dollars that month and spent $400 dollars on repair components, $200 to buy an M249, and another $200 on office supplies I want to see that in the report
The first part would be... a massive breach of privacy laws; that's essentially making public every single IRS record.  You could look up if your neighbors, friends, and family are current on their taxes.  That seems a little ridiculous.

The latter is probably around and accessible, but buried in report after report after report.  The data summing things up is certainly available, but considering the size of the country, are you honestly telling me you'd read through thousands--maybe even mllions--of records to examine all of that information?

I just don't see how the information, to the level of detail you are requesting it, is at all relevant or empowering.  We need to know that it exists, but we don't need access to it.

Offline Noelle

Re: In other words, stop blaming politicians for our faults as humans...
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2010, 05:20:59 PM »
Dunno if this helps sate your request or not--

How your tax dollar is spent
This covers income tax only, but breaks down every dollar to show how it is portioned out.

And another.


In South Carolina, they post budgets of how their government is spending according to this source.

And another source that shows how you can see the cost of things in real time.

And finally, the military spending budget.


Didn't take much searching to find any of this.