"If I Could Change One Thing about Our Government..."

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #1
    This thread is intended for different members of the community to post the "ONE THING" they'd change about their government if given the opportunity.


    Here's mine, what's yours?

    I think a fundamental disconnect has grown between the taxpayers and the services the government provides in exchange for their tax funds. I believe that if tax payers were more acutely aware of every dollar they provided to the government, and what it went to pay for, I think there would necessarily be far less waste, far less excess, and inevitably, far less government.

    I propose a change (several steps) which would improve the average taxpayer's attachment and understanding of the role money and tax dollars play in our government:

    1. End all auto-deduct taxes from paychecks. Imagine if American god paid in full, and then after they appreciate how much they ACTUALLY earn, they should have to write a check or make payment in whatever way they wish to the IRS at the end of each month. Having to physically write a check or physically sign-over tens of thousands of dollars each year which were previously in your pocket will be something that really sticks in the minds of those tax payers. It will make them far more concerned and aware of where their money is going, and much more engaged voting for the people they thought would best take care of those dollars.

    2. Inform zero-accountability voters. "Zero accountability voters" is what I'm calling anyone who doesn't pay income tax. Because of this, they're votes are rarely centered around who will spend tax dollars more efficiently or who will reduce the overall government burden... but rather who will siphon the money to them more efficiently... who will increase their benefits more, etc. they are surely the least informed group regarding where tax dollars go and who's paying for the programs they benefit from each and every day. We need to find some other way to inform them of how tax dollars are being wasted so they can respect, appreciate, and desire removal from the system and seek out personal responsibility and self more actively. Each welfare paycheck, each social security status update, etc. should included detailed (yet easily readable) graphs explaining where the money comes from, WHO it comes from, what the hope is (that the able bodied will eventually become more self sufficient within society, etc. Just making these individuals more informed (and less like the lady in the video linked to above) would go a long way to making or dollars more efficient and reducing waste in government.

    3. Early education. Schools don't do a good enough job teaching about taxes, redistribution, entitlement programs, and how the larger system works. Before any child graduates HS, they should understand exactly where funds come from, how much of their income they can expect to pay towards taxes, and where those funds go... What percentage to what programs. A general respect and understanding for the system so when they become a productive member of society, they'll be able to contribute intelligently to the national discussion. The more kids we can get to want to be 'contributors' instead of 'zero accountability voters' the better off we'll be.


    “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” -John F. Kennedy
    "A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both." -James Madison
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    I'd like to see our government cut spending to the military and redirect that money to foreign aid and actually trying to improve the quality of life in poor countries like Afghanistan instead of bombing them and turning people against us.
     
  3. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #4
    Again with the disconnect. :confused: When are you leaving for "home"??


    Go back to the $1 a year honorarium for all elected persons. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #5
    I get this thing from my work that's really cool. It's a piece of paper that lists how much I've paid in taxes in that pay period and for the year.
    Manually paying the IRS each month sounds like a huge pain in the arse.

    1. As Ahmed says, abolish the electoral college.
    2. 50 + VP can pass a bill in the Senate.
    3. Shorter terms and term limits for Senators.
    4. Get rid of corn subsidies and sort out the bloody food pyramid.


    oh and, medicare for everyone!:)
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Repeal the Patriot Act, give us single payer health care, forbid corporations from making campaign contributions, and grant all equal rights.
     
  7. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #7
    1. Stop reducing taxes. This trying to please the ignorant general public always wanting lower and lower taxes is just killing us. Part of the reason our debt is so big. We keep reducing the governments revenue.

    2. Reduce spending. Stop spending $660 billion on our defense budget. Stop pleasing the corporations.

    3. Stay the hell out of others conflicts. Don't attack unless we get attacked first. We have no business in other countries conflicts( this includes Israel). Go back to pre-WWII policy.

    4. Rebuild our infrastructure. It is aging like crap and no one is willing to do anything about it.
     
  8. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #8
    No electoral college, mandatory publicly financed campaigns, no political donations, no lobbying.
     
  9. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #9
    Yes, that's the point. The problem is that a lot of people don't even look at those little pieces of paper or analyze them completely enough. You don't care about the money because it was never in your bank account. If you make 2,000 per month, odds are you don't think about the 700 the government takes from you. You just think about the 1300 you keep. You say to yourself "I make 1300/mo." becausue you never see the 700. You never feel ownership over it.
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    By "our Government" I take it you mean humans,best thing get rid of it totally along with the church and capitalism,in fact all hierarchical relationships.
     
  11. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #11
    I assume he mean the US Government.

    Get rid of the two party system somehow. We need more parties, not two machines that swallow any independent voices.

    Too many "independents" and such are absorbed by the big parties because they either have to join, or they don't get elected.

    Maybe increase the amount of public money spent on campaigns and prohibit private funds. Then again, the supreme court seemed to have issues with any limits.
     
  12. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #12
    Establish a world wide policing coöperative that monitors all organizations and takes preventative/corrective steps when any one exceeds 17 members? I would support something like that
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #13
    I see, true to the American spirit, "one" has been inflated, even by the OP. :D

    I think the single most helpful thing we can do is to abolish the party system and all its ties to the current legislature. I tire of partisan politics and voting on party lines very greatly. It also ensures stale ideas stay around and provides too much of a safe haven for politicians scared of their constituents.

    The other things I'd like to see is a drastic reduction in military spending and policy, ending the drug war (and subsequently decriminalizing possession), immigration reform (i think we should also re-visit how citizenship is granted for spouses, infants born here), welfare reform, single payer healthcare system, prison reform, repeal the patriot act, pass net neutrality legislation, increase on individuals making more than 250k, increase on capital gains tax, possible elimination or modification of tax benefit for married couples in conjunction with recognition for same sex marriage. As others have mentioned, we also have a need for new infrastructure. I'd also like to see credits, subsidies that go to making the US a leader in alternative energy solutions to the point where we're not just providing our own, but making solutions for others worldwide.
     
  14. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #14
    1. Re-learn the concept of the separation of church and state.

    2. Reduce military spending, specifically by minding our own business. Pre-emptive wars are the antithesis of what I believe America should be.

    3. Grant equal rights to all Americans.

    4. Repeal Patriot act, obviously.
     
  15. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #15
    Just as an FYI - 'relearning' separation of church and state might not lead in the direction you want it to. You realize it's not in the constitution, right? The term 'separation of church and state' actually occurs in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote around 1800 to a man trying to convince him that his group's freedom to practice religion as they please would not be trampled on by the government. It had nothing to do with government preventing people from praying in schools, the 10 commandments from being displayed in a government building or referenced by a federal judge, nor did it in any way discourage people from putting up nativity sets on government property, for example. Heck, even the 1st amendment doesn't have anything to do with such things:

    It only discusses what laws congress can't make prohibiting rights of individuals. In addition, the same amendment goes into discussing free speech/religion which flies in the face of those trying to prohibit prayer in schools, etc.

    Just so you know... what you might be after is a more aggressive law or amendment actually prohibiting the discussion, practice, or application of religion in any form, in any public building, etc. as opposed to 're-learning' the concept, as I don't think the initial concept is likely what you're after.
     
  16. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #16
    Something as simple as eliminating all religion-based tax exemptions would be a good start.
     
  17. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #17
    I think the idea that changing one thing will make a difference is a complete farce.
     
  18. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #18
    One thing at a time.
     
  19. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #19
    Introduce a single transferable vote system. Stupid voters turned it down last time. Honestly, people sometimes don't know what's good for them. :rolleyes:
     
  20. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #20
    All that does is give room for those to wiggle out the other side.
     
  21. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #21
    I don't normally care about or point out typos, but when coupled with that "ignorant general public," (thankfully - oh thankfully - we aren't a part of it - that we're not one of them), and when it's repeated a second time in the same post, well...
     
  22. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #22
    Still pondering that one...
     
  23. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #23
    I think you mean you are still pandering that one.
     
  24. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #24
    I was afraid my post wasn't descriptive enough. I know that the phrase I used isn't in the constitution. My post was more a comment on what I feel are dangerous trends I see in the current brand of identity politics - namely, the holy warrior/persecution complex Christian brow beating you see from so many politicians. The ground zero "mosque" fiasco is scary to me. If someone wants to build a Satanic church right next to a Mosque or Synagogue, or a McDonalds, or a library, they should be allowed to. If some a**hole wants to burn a Koran, or flag, or Bible, he should be allowed to.

    Free speech, warts and all.

    As much as I don't want laws made for any religion, I don't want them made against either.

    I think we agree that is the most strict, literal interpretation of the law. And it's a good one.

    My fear is some people's "anti" view - those who would call me less of an American for being atheist, agnostic, Jewish, Catholic, Pastafarian, whatever.

    This has no place in a modern, free society.
     
  25. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #25
    One thing or three? Ok, I'll bite.

    I agree with parts of the change you proposed. However, I think I would handle it a little differently. I wouldn't end auto-deduct, as the additional costs (and resultant size of government) for compliance and enforcement would be staggering. What I would do is break down the check in a more understandable way. In addition, the other change I would do is have taxpayers pay one tax that is then split to pay for all government services, including goverment services provided by federal, state and local governmental bodies. This would simplify things and also eliminate the ridiculous concept that there are zero-accountability voters.

    The other things I would like to see is some accountability for the statements made by elected officials and candidates for political office. People look to them as experts in certain fields, and they lie to our faces. I think if you are running for office, or in office, and blatently lie about the facts, you should be censured in some way.

    I would also add open access to politicians. Any politician or candidate who refuses to debate or provide access to the media, should be censured, removed from the race, or have their campaign funding penalized.

    Speaking of funding, the campaign finance rules require major overhaul.

    1st - Corporations are not people, and don't have constitutional rights. They are entities created by a legal fiction, and should be treated as such.

    (edit) Oops, I forgot the one thing I've thought we have needed for years - MANDETORY VOTING Everyone over age 18 must vote every two years or no drivers license, passport, tax refunds, etc...
     

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