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If you (not politicians) were going to cut federal spending,


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I would start with the Dept. of Education and move on to the IRS. I would institute a flat tax of 10% of income (any kind) to simplify the tax system.

 

I would build roads to last. I would not allow the building of new stadiums when perfectly good ones are right there. But I don't know if that uses federal money.

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I would deny tax breaks to all companies that outsource.

 

I would insist that the actual military has a say in how money is spent, not contractors and not congress. I really don't care if USELESS ITEM is made in the homestate of a big strong senator. If it is useless why are we wasting money on it?

 

 

 

I wouldn't cut the department of education, it is a real privilege to be able to choose to homeschool. Not everyone can do that.

 

 

Stadiums do not use federal money. Those are generally paid for by the city through a sales tax.

Edited by Sis
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Well, before anyone can or should really do something, I think there needs to be an actual outside audit... I do know that many government agencies have duplicate programs, those could be cut/streamlined. It's the easiest place to begin.

 

Second, I'd have to set a standard to measure the need for those programs (for example...are they for the benefit of all citizens, or only a few? Is this a state responsibility or a federal? Are there non-government organizations that currently exist that have a record of excellence in this area? Is there a reasonable expectation that NGO's could fill this need better than the USFG?)

 

Then, I'd start cutting.

 

As far as the DOE goes, I can see arguments on all sides of this coin. However, until the states either turn public education over to the USFG or the USFG usurps that power, the DOE does very little but suck $$$ away from schools. The extra administration, red tape, etc. isn't helping classrooms one iota (that I can see).

 

But, the key to any cutting is what is the American public willing to live with? The dependency we have created makes it nearly impossible to simply eliminate some services cold turkey. Something would have to get put into place in the interim. And interim is where we always have problems!

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I'm going on a limb here, but there is a lot of funding to medical research and the arts and other programs that I don't believe are the government's responsibility. By them not paying for it, it could lower our taxes and then WE can decide to donate money to cancer research, autism research, bear preservation, etc and WE can decide which research agencies are doing the best job and get the money. Too much red tape that sucks up too many of those research dollars that I would rather see go to the actual research.

 

Also, for the record, WHY on earth do senators and congressmen get lifetime benefit packages and can serve for life? ARGH. Vote them out, I know but it seems many have lost sight of why they sit on the hill. Sorry about the sidebar.

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One thing I would institute is evidence based funding for programs. So if you start a program like Head Start or Food Stamps, or to continue those, you have to set goals and see if the program is meeting them. In the case of Head Start, it isn't. In the case of Food Stamps, it is (at least to some degree). But there are many, many programs out there operating year after year where loads of money is spent and the goals aren't met. (Head Start was supposed to help children in low income places catch up to children in middle income areas in educational attainment and lack of institutionalization (like prison) as adults and it has failed in these goals.)

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Well, before anyone can or should really do something, I think there needs to be an actual outside audit... I do know that many government agencies have duplicate programs, those could be cut/streamlined. It's the easiest place to begin.

 

:iagree:

 

I can easily think of areas where I see a need for increased spending at some level, whether it's federal, state, or local (infrastructure!), but I would hate to unilaterally cut without knowing more details. For that matter, getting rid of duplicate programs could actually result in a net increase in funding for an agency, without the appropriations changing.

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Subbing. A lot of good ideas. However, a flat tax would hurt those that are on the lower end economically.

 

Unless it was linked to a minimum return (say $5000 min.) to all taxpayers. Everyone payed in, but then everyone got a return at the end of the year equal to reimbursing the lowest incomes so that their net tax payment was $0.

 

We could also have a flat tax above any income over a certain amount, but I think that could just open the door to recreating the tax system we have now (trying to come up with deductions and such to lower taxable income).

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Having worked as a fed. contractor for years, I feel confident saying that you could cut 25% from every federal budget without impacting their mission. Really, the amount of waste is staggering.

 

After that, I'd define what the fed. gov't ought to do - what does the Constitutions state, what can only the federal gov't do... Those programs would stay. All others would get the boot - either down to state or local or all together. So many gov't functions could easily go private - NEA leaps to mind. Pretty much any grant program could also go.

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Unless it was linked to a minimum return (say $5000 min.) to all taxpayers. Everyone payed in, but then everyone got a return at the end of the year equal to reimbursing the lowest incomes so that their net tax payment was $0.

 

We could also have a flat tax above any income over a certain amount, but I think that could just open the door to recreating the tax system we have now (trying to come up with deductions and such to lower taxable income).

Thing is, many lower income families (based on income/size of family) receive a return. Will what they keep throughout the year in their paychecks with a flat tax make equal that or will they actually be paying more in taxes in the end?

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Laugh. I prefer private individuals owning the teams (and the stadiums) and the city staying out of it entirely.

 

So every couple of years they can hold the city up for money by threatening to leave LOL? I think the cities should benefit directly financially from the teams that bear their names.

 

But, yes, if a private owner wants to waste $400 million on a new stadium, let them. No city $ should be involved!

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I'd eliminate any spending that even smells of "pork." And if it's going to have the name of a senator on it, money won't be spent on it. There's this pedestrian bridge over the interstate in Columbia, SC that I have NEVER seen a soul walk across, and neither has anyone else I know. It connects two housing projects, so let's face it, none of the folks in there contributed any tax money towards its construction, and to top it off, it's very elaborate with brick and lighting and all this, when, if such a thing was needed concrete and chain link would have done the job. Why is it elaborate? It has the name of our idiot congressman, James Clyburn, on it.

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I have a list here from thirdway.org that a person linked in one of their posts. It list 25 items of those I woule keep:

 

Interest on National Debt (only because that is not really optional)

Military Personnel (but not current war operations)

Veteran's Benefits

Military Retirement Benefits

The FBI (actually a little questionable on this)

Saleries and Benefits for members of Congress.

 

Obviously this is not a complete list of all items that come out of a taxpayers pocket but it is a start and IMO only a small percentage should be.

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Eliminate the following departments:

 

The Department of Education - this should be controlled by the states so long as the supreme court does not find that the states have violated the constitution.

 

National Endowment for the Arts

 

Department of Agriculture - probably not eliminate but I'd be tempted to cut 3/4 of their budget. Agricultural commerce, again by decree of the constitution, should be controlled by the states.

 

Department of Housing and Urban Development - Again, every state is unique, every community has differing issues, that means unique solutions, not one size fits all policies mandated from the Hill and funded by taxpayers. The states and counties need to to regulate this.

 

Some portions of the Department of Justice - such as the Seeds and Weed program....it's a nice idea...it won't work in every community - again state and local governments know their needs best and should be brainstorming for the solutions.

 

I would cut the travel and operational budgets of every member of congress by 50%. THEY DO NOT NEED TO BE FLYING AROUND THE WORLD EATING MEALS AT $250.00 A PLATE ON THE TAXPAYERS DIME! Let them pack a sandwich like the rest of us.....let them economize their offices, let them have to figure out which copier plan they can afford and figure out how to conserve toner cartridges......I am sick of these people living like King Louis and Marie Antoinette on the public dole - if you want to live like Donald Trump, then invent something, invest in something, work your way up the private corporate ladder, inherit some money, whatever is legal but do it on your own time and don't expect my hard working husband and the rest of the workers of this country to take from their own family's personal earnings so you can live on the fatted, bloated calf of taxation! Their staffers can make the kinds of wages that real people get paid! Let them shop around for competitive phone plans! They can drive a 13 year old Ford Taurus instead of Beemers and Limos! If they want a BMW, then earn it in the private sector when you get a job after their term limits expire or save their pennies like the rest of America.

 

15% pay cuts for federal workers. Nearly the entire private sector has taken that and for some, a whole lot more, in order to stay employed. What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

 

An outside audit (AND NOT BY ANDERSON'S AND ASSOCIATES) would be conducted and people would go to jail! The military would secure the files so that mass "accidental" shredding and burning did not take place.

 

The government would not pay $89.00 for a hammer that costs $15.00 at the local hardware!

 

No subsidies for Amtrak and other corporations. They either find a way to make it on their own merits or they die and some other creative entrepreneur will buy the business and try to make a go of it.

 

No federal subsidies or bail outs for banks, period. Your bank makes it or it doesn't. Without taxpayer dollars to subsidize stupid decision making and predatory loan practices, banks would go back to being fiscally responsible.

 

The one thing I would increase is the Department of Justice's budget for prosecutions. It is ridiculously low which makes it very difficult to try the likes of Enron execs, Anderson's and Associates, WorldCom, etc. This is why we ended up throwing Martha Stewart in jail but total and complete scums walk away scott free....it didn't cost very much to prosecute her but it cost a boat load plus more to prosecute the Enron guys.

 

I'd probably eliminate the Department of Homeland Security - It's really a duplicate agency. We have the CIA, the FBI, the Federal Marshalls, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon, and the NSA. It's hard enough to get all of them to communicate adequately with one another. Adding another layer of bureacracy and ego maniacs to the mix hasn't made us any safer and it has delayed timely actions in several matters when one law enforcement agency "protected it's internal interests" by not sharing info with the others. Some how, all of these need to be brought under one heading and a few layers of management eliminated so that the sharing of data is streamlined. We don't need another bureau of anything, we need the ones we have to be more efficient.

 

That's just the beginning. I'm a real state's sovereign rights kind of person so thought the idea of a lot of Federal programs sounds well and good, I believe that regardless of intentions and motivations, most things should be regulated by the states. One size fits all policies rarely fit even a small portion of the population.

 

Oh and then there is that pork barrel spending thing. I would not be funding grants to determine which brand of ketchup pours the slowest, or for naval destroyers that the Pentagon and Department of Navy repeatedly said "WE DO NOT NEED!!!!!!!", or any of the following examples of our tax dollars being burned to ashes!

 

$107,000.00 to study the sex life of Japanese Quail.

$1.2 million to study the breeding habits of woodchucks

$84,000.00 to find out why people fall in love

$219,000.00 to teach college students how to watch T.V.

$2 million to construct a replica of an ancient Hawaiian canoe

$160,000.00 to see if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on their chest

$57,000.00 to the executive branch for gold embossed playing cards for Air Force One

$10,000.00 to the Naval Department to study the effects of naval communications on a bull's potency

$144,000 to study whether or not pigeons follow human economic laws

$800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley

 

You can find out more by googling "absurd" pork barrel spending but it's kind of depressing to do so and makes me want to develope a drinking habit. So, I'm done.

 

Faith

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Thing is, many lower income families (based on income/size of family) receive a return. Will what they keep throughout the year in their paychecks with a flat tax make equal that or will they actually be paying more in taxes in the end?

 

If everyone received a return/ tax reimbursement at the end of the year, those families (which includes mine, btw) would be paying exactly what they are now... which for most of us is a net of $0 (or we make money). The return amount would be based on the amount necessary to make sure those earning under X amount would pay no federal income tax. (In the ideal world in my head, anyway.)

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I'm going on a limb here, but there is a lot of funding to medical research and the arts and other programs that I don't believe are the government's responsibility. By them not paying for it, it could lower our taxes and then WE can decide to donate money to cancer research, autism research, bear preservation, etc and WE can decide which research agencies are doing the best job and get the money. Too much red tape that sucks up too many of those research dollars that I would rather see go to the actual research.

 

 

We pay approximately 25 CENTS per person per year for the arts. If a politician is saying that cutting spending on the arts will lower our taxes that isn't exactly what I would consider true. I mean...keep the quarter, I'll skip a gumball.

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130249425&sc=fb&cc=fp

Edited by Sis
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We pay approximately 25 CENTS per person per year for the arts. If someone is saying that cutting spending on the arts will lower our taxes that isn't exactly what I would consider true. I mean...keep the quarter, I'll skip a gumball.

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130249425&sc=fb&cc=fp

 

But see, everyone can break every tax down into a ridiculously small amount per person (this is not per taxpayer, but per person... less than half of U.S. citizens actually pay taxes.)

 

It's choices. Could that 25 cents per person (or say .60 per taxpayer) be better used somewhere else? Is the gov't justified in spending .60 per taxpayer on subsidizing the "arts" -- when we owe so much money to foreign countries?

 

People keep arguing NOT to cut thus and so, because the "individual cut" isn't that much. But the aggregate of all of the suggested cuts becomes quite impressive. PLUS, there is the added interest you won't spend on debt, because you're paying that amount to principal.

 

We are being nickel-and-dimed to death. The arts aren't going to "go away" because of no federal subsidies. Ft. Smith, AR will still have it's symphony. The DC Symphony isn't going anywhere either... people can and will support these things, along with museums and more.

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We pay approximately 25 CENTS per person per year for the arts. If a politician is saying that cutting spending on the arts will lower our taxes that isn't exactly what I would consider true. I mean...keep the quarter, I'll skip a gumball.

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130249425&sc=fb&cc=fp

 

NEA 2010 budget 155 million, NEH 2010 budget 167.5 million - a third of a BILLION dollars. For two agencies. That's a lot of gumballs!

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But see, everyone can break every tax down into a ridiculously small amount per person (this is not per taxpayer, but per person... less than half of U.S. citizens actually pay taxes.)

 

It's choices. Could that 25 cents per person (or say .60 per taxpayer) be better used somewhere else? Is the gov't justified in spending .60 per taxpayer on subsidizing the "arts" -- when we owe so much money to foreign countries?

 

People keep arguing NOT to cut thus and so, because the "individual cut" isn't that much. But the aggregate of all of the suggested cuts becomes quite impressive. PLUS, there is the added interest you won't spend on debt, because you're paying that amount to principal.

 

We are being nickel-and-dimed to death. The arts aren't going to "go away" because of no federal subsidies. Ft. Smith, AR will still have it's symphony. The DC Symphony isn't going anywhere either... people can and will support these things, along with museums and more.

 

 

But I disagree. I do value the arts and I do think it is something we should invest in. I do think it is a minimal amount and is worth the costs.

 

My city has a symphony because my city pays for a symphony. The NEA *helps* I think most realize that $35,000 to a symphony isn't actually supporting it.

 

You can look at a breakdown by state and see where the money is going.

 

http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/states1/index_states1.html

 

I don't care if my local opera gets some money. That sounds great to me, better a bazillion dollars for some plane the military didn't even want.

 

The arts *will* go away if it is not nurtured.

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I'd eliminate payments to firms like Blackwater and other war-profiteers. I would demand greater accountability in government spending, and look at contracts to see if the regulations and standards were "sensible" or irrational "rules" that lead to such things $600 toilet seats and the waste of taxpayer dollars.

 

Fraud, including Medicare scams and defense industry fraud (among others) would be treated as a high-crime equivalent with treason and there would be individual responsibility (including criminal sanctions for corporate officers who steal public monies which would include jail-time) rather than simply applying "corporate" penalties.

 

Bill

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But I disagree. I do value the arts and I do think it is something we should invest in. I do think it is a minimal amount and is worth the costs.

 

My city has a symphony because my city pays for a symphony. The NEA *helps* I think most realize that $35,000 to a symphony isn't actually supporting it.

 

You can look at a breakdown by state and see where the money is going.

 

http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/states1/index_states1.html

 

I don't care if my local opera gets some money. That sounds great to me, better a bazillion dollars for some plane the military didn't even want.

 

The arts *will* go away if it is not nurtured.

 

Exactly, it's your choice and you are happy to spend your dollars like that. Why not privately support your local arts? You and likeminded citizens can invest anyway you want. Why should the government do it? I personally do support the arts and think they are important. I just don't think that the government has any place in funding it or deciding what is or is not art.

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After reading this http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1997/04/bg1110-ten-good-reasons-to-eliminate-funding-for-the-nea

 

 

I decided that I'd like my quarter back!!!

 

Faith

 

I am sure the Heritage foundation would find many things in my grocery budget to complain about too but I would rather look at what they are actually paying for than a political organization with an agenda.

 

You can look at the actual list

 

http://www.nea.gov/grants/recent/10grants/states1/index_states1.html

 

For instance, Michigan

 

MICHIGAN

Ann Arbor Film Festival, Inc.

Ann Arbor, MI

$15,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Media Arts

To support the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival. More than 120 films will be presented to an audience of approximately 15,000 people in Michigan and the states to which the festival tours.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival

Ann Arbor, MI

$20,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Presenting

To support a series of multidisciplinary arts performances and related activities at the 2010 Festival. A diverse group of local, national, and international artists will perform and participate in workshops and discussions.

Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation

Detroit, MI

$17,500

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the 31st annual Detroit International Jazz Festival. The festival with the motto "Flamekeepers" will pay homage to seven jazz pioneers over the past 40 years: Art Blakey; Lester Bowie; and NEA Jazz Masters Ray Brown, Betty Carter, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, and Horace Silver.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall

Detroit, MI

$75,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support commissions, performances, and related educational activities. Composers whose works will be premiered include John Williams, Jennifer Higdon, Billy Childs, Roberto Sierra, John Corigliano, and Cindy McTee.

Fontana Chamber Arts

Kalamazoo, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support Get Jazzed: Ben Allison Performance and Residency for Youth. Focused on underserved audiences, the outreach and educational program will feature composer-arranger, bassist, and producer Ben Allison with his group Man Size Safe.

Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival Operating Corporation

Southfield, MI

$12,500

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the Shouse Institute, a professional training program for chamber ensembles. Designed to bridge the gap between graduate school and a professional performing career, the program involves emerging, pre-professional ensembles participating in coaching sessions, master classes, and performances.

Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival

Kalamazoo, MI

$25,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. Numerous classical concerts, master classes, lectures, a commissioned work by composer Nico Muhly, and public educational programs will be presented throughout southwestern Michigan.

Lenawee Symphony Orchestra Society (aka Adrian Symphony Orchestra)

Adrian, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the premiere of Divinum Mysterium for viola and orchestra by composer Kenneth Fuchs performed by the Adrian Symphony Orchestra and related educational activities. Soloist for the premiere will be London Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist Paul Silverthrone, for whom the work was written.

Michigan Opera Theatre

Detroit, MI

$35,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Opera

To support a new production of the children?s opera The Very Last Green Things. Performances will be accompanied by educational outreach activities.

Michigan State University (Consortium)

East Lansing, MI

$40,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Folk and Traditional Arts

To support the Great Lakes Folk Festival. A collaboration with the City of East Lansing, the 2010 festival will showcase not only the traditional cultural treasures of the nation's Upper Midwest, but also a sampling of the best traditional artists from around the country and the world.

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Challenge America FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Challenge America

To support an exhibit and catalogue in conjunction with a residency by artist Erica Lord. The artist will present a video-making workshop for American Indian college students and a free public lecture.

Old Town Business & Art Development Association

Lansing, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Challenge America FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Challenge America

To support the Lansing JazzFest. Participating artists will present new compositions, as well as interpretations of classic jazz works. Activities targeted to families with children will include an instrument petting zoo.

Sphinx Organization, Inc.

Detroit, MI

$50,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the artistic development of the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble of professional African American and Latino musicians from orchestras and institutions around the country will perform concerts in Ann Arbor and at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, featuring talented, young soloists in each of the concerts.

St. Clair County Community College

Port Huron, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Challenge America FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Challenge America

To support the Patterns Visiting Artists Forum, featuring poet Robert Dana and writer Beth Ann Fennelly. Related activities with the authors will include writing workshops, readings, and lectures.

University Musical Society

Ann Arbor, MI

$40,000

CATEGORY: Access to Artistic Excellence FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Music

To support the Africa Series, a performance project exploring the music from various regions of the African continent. Artists and ensembles from Algeria, South Africa, Mali, Madagascar, Senegal, and the United States will perform concerts at Hill Auditorium and the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.

Waterfront Festival

Saugatuck, MI

$10,000

CATEGORY: Challenge America FIELD/DISCIPLINE: Challenge America

To support the Waterfront Film Festival. Festival activities will include question and answer sessions with national filmmakers, an outdoor film screening, and educational seminars.

 

Number of Grants: 16 Total Amount: $390,000

 

 

Money well spent IMO.

 

I don't believe "Spending on politically correct art" to be a real reason.

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I'd eliminate payments to firms like Blackwater and other war-profiteers. I would demand greater accountability in government spending, and look at contracts to see if the regulations and standards were "sensible" or irrational "rules" that lead to such things $600 toilet seats and the waste of taxpayer dollars.

 

Fraud, including Medicare scams and defense industry fraud (among others) would be treated as a high-crime equivalent with treason and there would be individual responsibility (including criminal sanctions for corporate officers who steal public monies which would include jail-time) rather than simply applying "corporate" penalties.

 

Bill

 

I agree.

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Exactly, it's your choice and you are happy to spend your dollars like that. Why not privately support your local arts? You and likeminded citizens can invest anyway you want. Why should the government do it? I personally do support the arts and think they are important. I just don't think that the government has any place in funding it or deciding what is or is not art.

I do support the arts but I also support a government investment.

 

My daughter is in a NEA program now. We also paid for it but it is possible through a grant.

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Bill, I like that you call a spade a spade. It is high time that PC terms end. Some of the actions of Blackwater, Halliburton, etc. are TREASON....imagine how much transparency in accountability we'd have if a few of these guys got serious prison (not Danberry minimum security Country Club prison), or worse - the hang man's noose (not saying I advocate that but just saying what effect it might have). There just isn't any fear in the abuse of public funds.

 

Faith

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Having worked as a fed. contractor for years, I feel confident saying that you could cut 25% from every federal budget without impacting their mission. Really, the amount of waste is staggering.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

I worked in a state-funded social services agency. When our funding was cut, we got creative. We cut all spending not related to services and solicited private funds. Our clients did not suffer. It can be done.

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Having worked as a fed. contractor for years, I feel confident saying that you could cut 25% from every federal budget without impacting their mission. Really, the amount of waste is staggering.

 

 

A couple years back I met up with an old elementary school chum at a party and he told me the story of his business supplying carpeting to the Federal Government, and particularly military installations.

 

The tale of waste was astounding. Multiply that waste with that thought out our procurement system and no wonder we are in debt. And this is the "legal" waste. And fraud and the matters only get worse.

 

When it comes to protecting the public purse from waste and theft, I'm a hawk.

 

Bill

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A couple years back I met up with an old elementary school chum at a party and he told me the story of his business supplying carpeting to the Federal Government, and particularly military installations.

 

The tale of waste was astounding. Multiply that waste with that thought out our procurement system and no wonder we are in debt. And this is the "legal" waste. And fraud and the matters only get worse.

 

When it comes to protecting the public purse from waste and theft, I'm a hawk.

 

Bill

 

There are signs up all over the local base requesting people to report fraud, waste, and abuse... while there are contractors completely re-roofing (not repairing) 1940s era homes that are in the process of being demolished completely and replaced with much larger, modern homes. It will be approximately 6-18 months before the older homes with now completely new roofs will be torn down. It's complete lunacy. We drive around and mutter about "your tax dollars at work"!

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Fraud, including Medicare scams and defense industry fraud (among others) would be treated as a high-crime equivalent with treason and there would be individual responsibility (including criminal sanctions for corporate officers who steal public monies which would include jail-time) rather than simply applying "corporate" penalties.

 

 

 

Careful, Bill......you are starting to think like me, and you wouldn't like that.

 

I would add that elected officials who take bribes in order to vote in a particular manner or use their office to get things like additional rent control apartments or who sell their house to a lobbyist at vastly inflated prices ARE undermining this republic and that too should be treated as.... what did you say....oh yes....."a high-crime equivalent with treason."

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I haven't read all the replies, but I would cut the war. We are spending 2.6 billion a week on a war that we shouldn't be in, that is a lot of money for a country in economic crisis such as ours. That money could do a lot of good at home.

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Careful, Bill......you are starting to think like me, and you wouldn't like that.

 

I would add that elected officials who take bribes in order to vote in a particular manner or use their office to get things like additional rent control apartments or who sell their house to a lobbyist at vastly inflated prices ARE undermining this republic and that too should be treated as.... what did you say....oh yes....."a high-crime equivalent with treason."

 

 

There are times when we are more alike than either of us would care to admit.

 

I agree on the last point as well. Elected officials who steal public monies, or take bribes are committing high-crimes. I have zero tolerance for such crimes.

 

Bill

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I might not cut funding completely for the NEA, but they'd have a MUCH tighter leash! No pornographic, utterly offensive stuff.

 

I'm also thinking coporate bailouts. If your company's not doing well, improve the product!

 

The leash has already been tightened. There are extensive limitations now in the grants area if you want to look at that.

 

I did look at the visual arts section and this was there

 

Please note: Congress has prohibited the Arts Endowment from making direct grants to individuals except for Literature Fellowships, NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, NEA National Heritage Fellowships in the Folk & Traditional Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors.

 

I mean, obviously I would rather money go towards another Ansel Adams than an Andres Serrano but I am not really qualified to define what is or is not art. :)

 

I am sure a lot of people would find Georgia O'Keefe obscene; it is a hard line to draw.

Edited by Sis
wrong verb :(
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There are times when we are more alike than either of us would care to admit.

 

I agree on the last point as well. Elected officials who steal public monies, or take bribes are committing high-crimes. I have zero tolerance for such crimes.

 

Bill

 

one thing that makes me mad is that "white collar" crimed are sentenced less harshly when it is those that often do the most harm to the most people. Sure they didn't shoot anybody but there is little thought to destroyed lives.

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This has always bugged me. WHY do we use asphalt for the roads? Is it for job security? Concrete roads last for 20+ years.

 

I don't think that's the case in northern climes. Frost heaves decimate concrete road surfaces pretty quickly up here where the temps plummet for months at a time. I was told once that asphalt has a bit more "give" or "flexibility." Winter still wreaks havoc with our road surfaces, though. Maybe it's just the nature of the beast, being driven on by thousands of cars daily.

 

astrid

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Eliminate the following departments:

15% pay cuts for federal workers. Nearly the entire private sector has taken that and for some, a whole lot more, in order to stay employed. What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

responsible.

 

On this point, I only partially agree. At the higher end of the pay scale, yes...they could feasibly lower the pay. But a lot of the fed workers are made up of ppl who are making between $30k-$48k per year. I know for me personally, my family couldn't afford it if I had to take a 15% hit to my paycheck.

 

That being said, I agree that there needs to be an extensive audit of spending and accountability for the waste/fraud. Managing that alone would free up millions. Both the feds and the military waste copious amounts of money. This always frustrated DH when he was the supply NCO for his unit as he could find what he needed for a low price, but was forced to buy it from a specific supplier who charged an exhorbant rate.

 

For taxes - everyone needs to pay into the pot. I don't care if you only pay one cent. You need to contribute. What was it, only 47% of all Americans ultimately pay taxes? There's no way that less than half the population can support an entire country.

 

Smaller fed gov't, stronger state/local gov'ts.

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Department of Agriculture - probably not eliminate but I'd be tempted to cut 3/4 of their budget. Agricultural commerce, again by decree of the constitution, should be controlled by the states.

 

This is actually not possible. There has been so much consolidating by Big Agri companies that there is very little Agri business that does not cross state lines.

 

One company bottles more than a third of the milk consumned in the US. Look at the far reaching consequences of the problems with ONE chicken farmer.

 

 

 

No subsidies for Amtrak and other corporations. They either find a way to make it on their own merits or they die and some other creative entrepreneur will buy the business and try to make a go of it.

 

I share your frustrations with Amtrak but eliminating Amtrak would cause a lot of logistical problems with a huge increase in the number of vehicles on roads and in cities that are ill equipped to handle them. I don't know that it would actually save money due to the increased need in parking, damage to roads, congestion...ect.

 

 

I will look at the pork barrel thing. It is a huge problem and something I would be happy to see reduced or eliminated.

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I'm curious what the local and state citizens would vote for in the case that these pork-filled programs were turned over to them. Would the citizens vote for them? Because while I completely agree that MANY MANY MANY of the current federal programs are either bogus or need to be under the control of state and local governments, the fact is, if they're turned over to state and local, we as citizens will see a rise in our city, county, and state taxes. Sure, we'd see lower federal taxes but in reality, if the citizens vote for it, it's just a shifting of money from one venue to another. It's still coming out of the pockets of those who voted for it.

 

Some of it could be cut but as it stands, we'd need more people in our state and local governments to keep these programs running. Somebody's gotta pay for that. It's one thing to vote for a Senator and take whatever he dishes out while he's on the Hill, but when it really comes down to it and you see your state and local taxes going up, are you still going to vote for it?

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