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ChrisGraley (29.86)

The vote in Mass and what government should be...

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January 20, 2010 – Comments (23) | RELATED TICKERS: ME.DL2 , BE

These are just my opinions and this post isn't designed to incite you or belittle your own political views. I think that the vote in Mass was more a vote against the status quo than a vote for a conservative government. I think that the last presidential election was a vote against a conservative government. I think that the middle class is torn between the lessor of 2 evils and more often dissappointed post election.

I'd just like propose a different type of government. I'll proceed...

First, The government's primary responsibilty is to ensure the safety of it's own citizens. While that may involve a war, it should only involve a war when there is a known aggressor that threatens the safety of your citizens.

Second, A government should promote opportunity for it's citizens over charity. When government resources are used to solve a problem, the problem should end in a solution. Our government tends to maintain problems with continued monetary support. The incentive of the individual is lost with a steady paycheck. If on the other hand, we rewarded a citizen's own efforts to solve a problem, we create even more incentive for a self-created solution.

Third, There should be one overall transparent tax for the entire population. The tax should not be regressive and should promote achievement while discouraging unneeded consumption. The reason for this is to promote the growth of the nation as a whole and anything less undermines the economy. The closest thing that I can think of for this type of tax would be a cross between the European VAT and the "Fair Tax". The VAT format allows more successful collection. I would exclude food, housing, and utilities from such a tax to avoid regression. I would keep the prebate but maybe at a smaller amount since the basic needs will no longer be taxed. I would allow luxuries and unwanted consumption to be taxed at a higher level. (such as tobacco and alchohol, since these things tend to have a negative effect on society as a whole)

Fourth, A government must spend within it's means. If you want to go to war, you must pay for it by raising your current tax at least temporarily. If you want to create a new program, you have to fund it with a tax. For any raise in taxes other than war, there must be a special vote of the entire population.

Fifth, A government should never try to legislate morality. It should neither promote, nor condem any religious, political, ethical, or economic view unless condeming that view is to protect a victim.

Sixth, A government should be small and should only be large enough to perform it's duties. It should be transparent to the public and should be held accountable for it's actions. Any citizen should be able to hold the government accountable for it's actions. A government that is bloated is a government that is a strain on it's own economy and shrouded in a veil of of anonymity.

Seventh, Any legislation should be provided to the voting public in both proposed and amended form during the entire voting process. Enough time must be given to the voting public to examine the bill before it is passed by any legeslative body.

How do you get this government? You demand it!

Stop voting for the stooges on the left and the right and vote for any other candidate that you can find. Tell these ideas to your friends and your family and ask them to do the same.

You can either sit around waiting for change to happen or you can help cause the change yourself.

It's up to you.

 

 

23 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Option1307 (29.73) wrote:

You can either sit around waiting for change to happen or you can help cause the change yourself.

But sticking my head in the sand is soooo much easier!

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#2) On January 20, 2010 at 3:04 PM, BMFPitt (76.50) wrote:

I have a few similar views overall, but most of what you said could be very easily manipulated by any politician.  Implementation is a whole other issue on many of these things (having the public vote on every spending increase would likely be more expensive than just spending it, and few would pay enough attention to have it be worthwhile.)

One of my plans would be to amend the Constitution so that the federal budget cannot exceed the average of the last 3 years' revenue + leftover prior year surpluses except in cases of Congressionally declared war.  This would basically make deficit spending impossible other than in a recession, and would prevent government from growing faster than the economy.  Every bill up for a vote would come with a "price tag" for the average taxpayer.  It's still not ideal, but probably the best that can be done given the voters' love of wasteful spending, however much they love to deny it.

This is, of course, a complete fantasy.  We will hang on to our 2 protected parties and let them take turns running up the debt until the fall of the republic.

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#3) On January 20, 2010 at 3:07 PM, catoismymotor (30.49) wrote:

You make some great points.

+ 1 Rec for CG!

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#4) On January 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM, FleaBagger (29.59) wrote:

How much does it cost to lease one evil?

Lessor

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#5) On January 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

LOL, thanks for the catch Fleabagger.

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#6) On January 20, 2010 at 5:09 PM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

Third -

A regressive tax is a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases. In simpler terms, a regressive tax imposes a greater burden (relative to resources) on the poor than on the rich — there is an inverse relationship between the tax rate and the taxpayer's ability to pay as measured by assets, consumption, or income.

Also you have decided to eliminate the tax on purchases of your choosing based upon your values or desire to sell the idea. I say no tax on renewable energy, or healthcare too. Isn't using taxes to selectively encoourage or discourage behaviour exactly what we are doing right now and your only difference is passing the cost onto those who can least afford it?

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#7) On January 20, 2010 at 7:28 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

#6) On January 20, 2010 at 5:09 PM, devoish (99.59) wrote:

Also you have decided to eliminate the tax on purchases of your choosing based upon your values or desire to sell the idea.

Do you really think that devoish?

I tried to base that on not taxing basic needs. I don't have a problem with not taxing healthcare, but I believe not taxing renewable energy would be covered by not taxing utilities at all.

Weren't you just in favor of the healthcare reform bill that was going to tax healthcare?

Would you agree that taxing any utility would be regressive and a burden to the poor? (That would include coal and oil btw)

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#8) On January 20, 2010 at 7:45 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

BMFPitt, I do believe that this too can be manipulated by politicians, but I believe that if we hold true the fact that the government must be held accountable to the average citizen, we'll be able to call a spade a spade. I do think that voter apathy would still be a problem, but much less of a problem if the voters actually knew all of the details about what's being voted on. Your plan on spending is a good idea as well.The main way to come up with a solution is to understand the problem.

The clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right don't think that there is a problem.

 

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#9) On January 21, 2010 at 12:02 AM, devoish (98.42) wrote:

Chrisgrayley,

No. I never favored anything close to what is being negotiated in Washington. I wanted a Nationalized single payer system. I should have argued for a States right to enact single Payer if it so chose, and would prefer that.

iI'm just pointing out that what you are suggesting, is what we are doing, except putting the tax burden onto the poorest people as though they can pay it. 

Unfortunately for BMFpitt's suggestion when the GAO came up with a health care esimate the Repubs/Conservs/ anti Dem crowd screamed liar at them.

 

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#10) On January 21, 2010 at 12:17 AM, starbucks4ever (98.32) wrote:

"Would you agree that taxing any utility would be regressive and a burden to the poor? (That would include coal and oil btw)"

I always thought that taxing utilities would be progressive because it shifts most the burden to those who use it most. So I have no problem with a 300% VAT on gas, electricity, phone services, and even the internet (hard as it was for me to write that line because I am sure the latter VAT would hit me disproportionally :). 

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#11) On January 21, 2010 at 8:24 AM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

iI'm just pointing out that what you are suggesting, is what we are doing, except putting the tax burden onto the poorest people as though they can pay it. 

Unfortunately for BMFpitt's suggestion when the GAO came up with a health care esimate the Repubs/Conservs/ anti Dem crowd screamed liar at them.

You aren't doing anything close to that devoish and if you were, I would have supported it. I think the reason that everyone screamed liar was because the government lied. This is typical with this congress and it seems that lies, bribes and deciet are not off limits as long as the bill gets passed. That's the biggest reason that a liberal stronghold like Mass would vote for a conservative. The agenda became more important tan the voters.

zlog, reread devoish's definiion posted above. Taxing utilities would tax a higher portion of the income on the poor and therefore would be regressive.

A senior on social security that lives in South Dakota, would die a cold bitter death in the winter time, trying to survive that brilliant 300% VAT on his already high gas bill. You might not have a problem with that, but I do.

Your next solution to that problem is probably a government handout program to make sure that senior is dependent on your party for the rest of his life. (Of course paid for by taxing someone else) He has to vote for your party to ensure he continues to get his gas stipend and therefore dependent on you to help fix his problem that you created in the first place. This doesn't even go into the unemployment that results from reckless 300% taxes and those people being forced into the line for government cheese as well. All of this placing a further strain on the economy and proving that liberals don't understand fiscal policy one iota.

 

 

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#12) On January 21, 2010 at 9:06 AM, starbucks4ever (98.32) wrote:

So I am now a liberal, huh? Too bad the true liberals don't know that. I think they will gladly give up their liberal agenda rather than have such an ally as myself, and that will rid us of their healthcare reforms in one fell swoop :):):)

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#13) On January 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM, BMFPitt (76.50) wrote:

I do think that voter apathy would still be a problem, but much less of a problem if the voters actually knew all of the details about what's being voted on.

In the same sense that flying would be much less of a problem if not for gravity.  Also, I would amend that to "knew and understood."

Unfortunately for BMFpitt's suggestion when the GAO came up with a health care esimate the Repubs/Conservs/ anti Dem crowd screamed liar at them.

They weren't calling the GAO liars, they were pointing out that their method can be exploited by several tricks that were used.  For one thing, anyone who disputes that baking in medicare cuts that would NEVER have been allowed to happen was pretty shady, and showing 10 years of revenues for 6 years of benefits is a loophole that should be addressed.

That's the biggest reason that a liberal stronghold like Mass would vote for a conservative.

In just about any other state, Brown would be considered pretty strongly liberal.

Your next solution to that problem is probably a government handout program to make sure that senior is dependent on your party for the rest of his life. (Of course paid for by taxing someone else)

The only difference between that and your solution is terminology.

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#14) On January 21, 2010 at 11:02 AM, ClandPhoenix (85.11) wrote:

Selective taxation should be illegal. It is nothing more than a way to make something illegal that could not normally be made illegal. During prohibition alcohol was made illegal but the backlash was too much so it was repealed. The government learned from this and in the case of tobacco they just tax it at a rediculous percentage making the purchase of the product artifically prohibitive.

This could in essence be done to any product. How does $12 a gallon gas or $7 a loaf bread sound?

Since heart attacks are the number one killer in the US how does $10 per lb ground beef and $15 per lb flank steak sound? Hope that $50 9 oz steak tastes good.

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#15) On January 21, 2010 at 11:27 AM, MotleyPicker (< 20) wrote:

I don't se the election of Prez. Obama as a vote against conservative government. I see it as a vote against the voter's perception of corrupt government.

It's a vote against government that claimed conservatism, yet spent like money was free. One that seemingly manufactured a war and then called it necessary.

What did we get in exchange?  While the jury is still out on that one, we are seemingly getting increasingly uncontrolled spending. The same war. The same percieved corruption. Higher taxes. Less transparancy.

 

So the pendulum swings again...

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#16) On January 21, 2010 at 11:34 AM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

zloj, sorry but you have to admit how a 300% VAT on anything might lead me to that conclusion. ;)

BMFPitt, point taken on knowing vs understanding, but I would submit that at least some portion of the population would have the capacity to understand. This portion of the population deserves the right to preview pending legislation that may effect them.

I do see your point on terminology, but I'd like to at least have the concession that my plan is try to help that Senior pay his gas bill in the first place and the other plan first makes it impossible for him to pay and then makes him dependent on government charity to pay it. I won't talk about the ethics of either approach, but since my plan involves no layer of government between that senior and his gas bill, I can at least argue sustainability.

ClandPhoenix, I agree with you to a point. Selective taxation is a form of prohibition, but with rights come responsibilities. If your actions have a negative economic effect, then it should be you that pays the financial damages. Eat the steak and clog your arteries if you want to, but pay the extra amount that the steak adds to healthcare costs yourself. Don't expect me to pay it for you. That's not to say you should be charged 50 cents in taxes to offset 25 cents in costs either. People are allowed to be as stupid as they want, as long as they are willing to pay for being stupid themselves and expecting someone else to pay for it.

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#17) On January 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM, BMFPitt (76.50) wrote:

This portion of the population deserves the right to preview pending legislation that may effect them.

Preview, fine.  I'd be all for mandating a 7-day public review period for any bill in finalized form or requiring 2/3 supermajority to pass it.  But I draw the line at having the public vote on things directly.

I do see your point on terminology, but I'd like to at least have the concession that my plan is try to help that Senior pay his gas bill in the first place and the other plan first makes it impossible for him to pay and then makes him dependent on government charity to pay it...since my plan involves no layer of government between that senior and his gas bill, I can at least argue sustainability.

A seniors's untaxed gass bill is $100, or $400 with taxes.  You propose that it is good to not have him pay the tax, but bad to have the government chip in for say 75% of his already taxed bill.  I fail to see the difference.

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#18) On January 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM, ClandPhoenix (85.11) wrote:

ChrisGraley

So taxes should make up for the long term affect of purchased product? Then you have to tax a great number of things at a higher percentage including but not limited to cars, tvs, sugar, coffee, alcohol, anything containing a high percentage of fat, anything that produces anything proven to shorten life term/cause disease you know like sunlight that causes cancer or sick coworkers that spread disease...

 

I know the response is extreem but I just used the extreem position to show the untenable position you are trying to hold.

 

 

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#19) On January 21, 2010 at 2:37 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

BMFPitt,

In the first instance, the senior is legally supporting himself. He can also choose to pay a tax later on his gas bill if he wants to and feels that the purpose is justified. (Although he probably would never agree to 300%) In the second case, he is dependent on the government since the bill is already higher than he can afford. He has no choice and the layer of government between him and his gas bill will ensure that his situation gets worse as the adminstrative costs and government fraud erode his situation.

All I didn't say that the public would vote on everything. I just said that they would vote on tax increases. The preview period is to give them time to tell their elected official how they feel.

ClandPhoenix, that's not a bad evaluation at all. Taken to the extreme that would be exactly what would happen. That's why I said that I would allow taxes on unwanted consumption, but also said that all tax increases should be voted on by the general public. If it were left to the politicians, you would see lots of sneaky little taxes just like that to generate more revenue, at least with my way, they would have to sell it to the general public first.

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#20) On January 21, 2010 at 3:47 PM, BMFPitt (76.50) wrote:

In the first instance, the government is subsidizing $300 of his gas bill.  In the second instance, the government is subsidizing $300 of his gas bill.  It's exactly the same thing.

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#21) On January 21, 2010 at 4:30 PM, ChrisGraley (29.86) wrote:

No it's not. We aren't getting revenue at all from anyone's gas bill in the first case. We aren't because it is regressive. Therefore we have nothing to subsidize. We will make up for that lost revenue in another area of consumption that is not regressive. Therefore that senior can control his own tax burden by his own consumption. If he buys a flat screen TV, he pays the tax. In the second scenario we first impose the regressive tax and then get someone else to pay for it. Then everyone that isn't subsidized pays even more for their heat and the people that are just above the subsidy line are still paying a regressive tax at an even greater burden. You have shifted the regression up the ladder. You didn't remove it.

 

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#22) On January 22, 2010 at 2:32 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Consider this for a secondary post -- pitching solutions before defining what people want always turns into mud.

Best, IIcx

 

Consider for a few minutes what we do want from "Government" and please add comments.

 

I ended up with a short list but the priority is up for grabs:

• clean water

• clean air

• toxic site clean-up

• efficient government at all levels

• stable economy with jobs growth

 

Renewable energy doesn't make this list unless its an aspect of the solution.

 

If you work with the idea of Pollution and Emissions in relation to the priorities it starts to get interesting:

• clean water: biogas fuel for power generation that can be used to refine water treatment and improve the process

• clean air: government vehicles at all levels that run on Fuel Cells or Natural Gas

• toxic site clean-up: under funded and a major public works labor opportunity

• efficient government at all levels: implement US made Fuel cells for all federal, state, and local government buildings including schools and libraries.

• stable economy with jobs growth: does anyone have an idea of how many government vehicles, water treatment plants, and federal, state, and local government buildings there are in the US? And, does anyone see anything wrong with using taxpayer dollars to buy products created and built in the US for government projects? 

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#23) On January 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Democrats seem to be as "dumb as dirt" at this point but we need dirt for some seeds. I promise I'll never use the term "green shoots" ;)

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