Saturday, February 27, 2010

What happens when we "protect what is ours" ?

Those who equate government assistance with socialism are deluded. Americans help each other whenever taxes are taken out of their paychecks.

I have created a list of services that would not exist if every American decided to "protect what is theirs". This includes paying taxes and giving money away.

1. Homeless shelters
2. Prisons
3. State hospitals 
4. Subsidized student loans 
5. Scholarships or grants 
6. Veteran’s benefits 
7. Social security 
8. Medicare 
9. Government subsidies to businesses of all sizes 
10. Bailouts for "too big to fail" businesses 
11. Public education system
12. Police and firefighters 
13. U.S. Postal Service 
14. NASA 
15. Free meals from your parents from age 1 to age 16
16. S.S.I.
17. The military
18. Unemployment 
19. Public libraries

The point of this post is to point out how silly an ideology can be. If Americans stand together, they are united. If they divide into ideological groups, they fall.

Above all, what we need is a balanced view of the government's role. My view as a Moderate is as follows:

Government should help individual citizens who cannot help themselves. This includes college education, unemployment, and healthcare. If tax money is paid to fund these three services, income levels and quality of life will increase for all Americans. When a person is healthy, their productivity goes up. When a person has a college education, their income level increases. Right now, income levels increase after college bills are paid. If taxes paid for 100% of college education, income levels would rise faster.

Government should limit or eliminate corporate welfare. Corporations are not people and should not have the rights afforded to people.

Government should be accountable for every dollar it spends. There should be a rubric or criteria that spending is measured against. Spending that doesn't meet the criteria should not occur. There is no reason that Americans should not be able to view government spending (and its effects) on a website. Government contractors should not be paid for work they have not done.

Government should avoid excessive economic tinkering. This includes bailouts and tax cuts for the wealthy. The Federal Reserve should handle economic tinkering. Government spending during a recession should be directed to areas where it has a long-term economic effect (job creation, education).

Government has no business regulating the personal life of a citizen unless that person is harming themselves or others. I'm specifically talking about laws that ban marriage between same sex couples and criminalize end of life decisions. Banning gays from the military also falls into this category.

Environmental regulation impacts the economy and public health. The ideal environmental regulations should balance environmental impact and economic impact.

And last but not least...

Lobbyists need to be banned from Capitol Hill. When lobbyists influence members of congress, they steal influence from voters.