Entitlement and Welfare Spending Catch-all

wordsmythe wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

In a shootout between Saul of Tarsus and Yeshuach bar Yusef, I'm going with Yeshuach.

Just sayin'.

I can guarantee that Jesus would not fire, but that he also wouldn't stay down.

Saul would be mouthing off about homos and Yeshuach would pimp slap him like he did the moneylenders.

I thought this was worth adding to the thread: the argument that if we just went back to Reagan-era payroll taxation of six-figure incomes, we'd be halfway to 'fixing' Social Security.

In the early 1980s, 90 percent of all earnings in America were subject to Social Security taxes. But as a larger share of wealth has now shifted into the hands of a smaller group of mega-rich folks (as the Occupiers have been complaining), this disparity in who pays what for Social Security has grown wider as well. That gap between Manhattan and the Bronx, in turn, is making the program's pending crisis worse. The Social Security Administration itself estimates that if we went back to taxing 90 percent of all earnings in the country for Social Security, that would address as much as half of the imbalance between the number of Americans expected to retire and the number of workers paying into the system.
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/job...

and as far as I can tell, that's just *earned* income, not capital gains which is how the rich actually get rich(er).

NathanialG wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
Robear wrote:

I think in a democracy, that various levels of government are useful, and whatever is picked - states, regions, districts, autonomous cities, whatever - serves as a bridge between local concerns (should our city update it's water conduits? Zone a particular area industrial or residential?) and national concerns (national defense, interstate commerce and transportation, educational curricula, basic laws, etc.). So I'm happy with the local/state/federal system, and would not suggest that we disable one or more of them.

The problem is that the fed has crept into the state and local where it shouldn't be. I think that our tax structure is all wrong. You give the most to the fed, then state, then local. I think the order should be State, Local, Fed.

Where in particular do you see the Fed pushing into the State?

Just about anywhere that isn't mentioned in the constitution. Which covers quite a bit actually.

Edit: not that I don't think there's a place for central planning, but the extent is ridiculously out of control.

Well, in particular, what federal functions do you see as more properly being state functions, Bandit?

Robear wrote:

Well, in particular, what federal functions do you see as more properly being state functions, Bandit?

Education is a big one, energy... well I don't mind the federal government providing some funds, but I don't like them picking winners.

Do we need wealth transfers from state to state? Probably, I guess I just don't like how the federal government is always tying funds to their own mandates. If you want to give state X a billion dollars for education, go for it, but why not let the state decide how to best use the money.

Legalization of marijuana and the war on drugs in general is a big waste of money and a place where I think the fed has no business. If California wants to legalize it, the fed can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned.

I see Education and Energy as places the government should especially be involved in. Those are absolutely national issues that reach beyond the boundaries of states. They MUST be provided for all citizens or we have some huge problems.

NathanialG wrote:

I see Education and Energy as places the government should especially be involved in. Those are absolutely national issues that reach beyond the boundaries of states. They MUST be provided for all citizens or we have some huge problems.

As I said, I don't have a problem with the Fed distributing some money around, but why should they force the states to spend it their way? Maybe Ohio wants nuclear power, maybe they want wind. Let the people who actually live there have the most say in how funds are used.

bandit0013 wrote:
NathanialG wrote:

I see Education and Energy as places the government should especially be involved in. Those are absolutely national issues that reach beyond the boundaries of states. They MUST be provided for all citizens or we have some huge problems.

As I said, I don't have a problem with the Fed distributing some money around, but why should they force the states to spend it their way? Maybe Ohio wants nuclear power, maybe they want wind. Let the people who actually live there have the most say in how funds are used.

And let the people in Indiana deal with the fallout..

Tanglebones wrote:

And let the people in Indiana deal with the fallout..

Nah, as long as the wind continues to blow West to East we'll probably be ok.

Stupid things like states rights and sovereignty keep getting in the way of a true United America.

Bandit, should states be allowed to ban any teachings that mention God? Should they be allowed to require mandatory religious services in public schools? Once you devolve the federal influence, you lose the protections of it as well.

What if Tennessee wants to ban the teaching of evolution, environmental sciences and mandate Christian history in it's classes? What if Texas decides to allow corporations to bid on curriculum topics to fund operations, or Vermont suddenly takes over all private schools and opens them to the public, funded by the trusts held by the schools?

Isn't there a national interest in a single, consistent baseline curriculum that all students would get? How would you possibly do that with 50 different standards? Or maybe education is not a *national* interest, but a *state* one?

Maybe Ohio wants nuclear power, maybe they want wind. Let the people who actually live there have the most say in how funds are used.

I can guess from this that you don't agree with the EPA and Clean Air/Water Acts, and that you probably did not live on the US mid-Atlantic coast in the sixties and early seventies...

Tennessee already has in their state Constitution that you MUST believe in God, and you MUST believe in the Afterlife, or you cannot work for the state or hold elected office.

Malor wrote:

Tennessee already has in their state Constitution that you MUST believe in God, and you MUST believe in the Afterlife, or you cannot work for the state or hold elected office.

No idea if you're being serious, but on the absence of smilies suggest you might be. On that offchance, how the hell does that jive with Seperation of Church and (literally) State?

Jonman wrote:
Malor wrote:

Tennessee already has in their state Constitution that you MUST believe in God, and you MUST believe in the Afterlife, or you cannot work for the state or hold elected office.

No idea if you're being serious, but on the absence of smilies suggest you might be. On that offchance, how the hell does that jive with Seperation of Church and (literally) State?

I was pretty shocked by this, too, so I did a little research. It looks like several states have a requirement like this in their constitutions, but there's a pretty clear Supreme Court ruling that this is totes unconstitutional. So I'm pretty sure that these provisions don't actually have any effect.

Jonman wrote:
Malor wrote:

Tennessee already has in their state Constitution that you MUST believe in God, and you MUST believe in the Afterlife, or you cannot work for the state or hold elected office.

No idea if you're being serious, but on the absence of smilies suggest you might be. On that offchance, how the hell does that jive with Seperation of Church and (literally) State?

Serious.

Tennessee Constitution[/url]]
TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION - ARTICLE IX. DISQUALIFICATIONS

§ 2. Atheists holding office

No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

It doesn't jive with the 1st or 14th Amendment and it wouldn't survive a trip to the Supreme Court.

Robear wrote:

Bandit, should states be allowed to ban any teachings that mention God? Should they be allowed to require mandatory religious services in public schools? Once you devolve the federal influence, you lose the protections of it as well.

What if Tennessee wants to ban the teaching of evolution, environmental sciences and mandate Christian history in it's classes? What if Texas decides to allow corporations to bid on curriculum topics to fund operations, or Vermont suddenly takes over all private schools and opens them to the public, funded by the trusts held by the schools?

Are you saying that those things may occur even without the consent of the governed?

And the amazing thing about the USA is that you have a choice. It boils down to either fighting to change local or state legislation you don't agree with or moving to another locality that does coincide with the majority of your beliefs and morals. No government entity is forcing you to live where you do.

Robear wrote:

Isn't there a national interest in a single, consistent baseline curriculum that all students would get?

I personally don't have such an interest.

Robear wrote:

Or maybe education is not a *national* interest, but a *state* one?

Bingo.

OG_slinger wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Malor wrote:

Tennessee already has in their state Constitution that you MUST believe in God, and you MUST believe in the Afterlife, or you cannot work for the state or hold elected office.

No idea if you're being serious, but on the absence of smilies suggest you might be. On that offchance, how the hell does that jive with Seperation of Church and (literally) State?

Serious.

Tennessee Constitution[/url]]
TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION - ARTICLE IX. DISQUALIFICATIONS

§ 2. Atheists holding office

No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.

It doesn't jive with the 1st or 14th Amendment and it wouldn't survive a trip to the Supreme Court.

The problem is that it would require a trip to the Supreme Court to get one's job back.

MacBrave wrote:
Robear wrote:

Bandit, should states be allowed to ban any teachings that mention God? Should they be allowed to require mandatory religious services in public schools? Once you devolve the federal influence, you lose the protections of it as well.

What if Tennessee wants to ban the teaching of evolution, environmental sciences and mandate Christian history in it's classes? What if Texas decides to allow corporations to bid on curriculum topics to fund operations, or Vermont suddenly takes over all private schools and opens them to the public, funded by the trusts held by the schools?

Are you saying that those things may occur even without the consent of the governed?

And the amazing thing about the USA is that you have a choice. It boils down to either fighting to change local or state legislation you don't agree with or moving to another locality that does coincide with the majority of your beliefs and morals. No government entity is forcing you to live where you do.

Robear wrote:

Isn't there a national interest in a single, consistent baseline curriculum that all students would get?

I personally don't have such an interest.

Robear wrote:

Or maybe education is not a *national* interest, but a *state* one?

Bingo.

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote. There may be reasons to keep things local, but the "you can vote or move" logic just doesn't apply when it comes to education below the college level. And this question at the college level is moot.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

I don't know how it works in other states but in Indiana parents can now transfer their child from their local public school system (based on where they live) to any other public school system and not have to pay any sort of an out district tuition fee (which was the case way back when I attended public school). And of course there is always the choice to have your child attend a private school or home school.

MacBrave wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

A state government is as much a government as the Federal government is a government.

Robear wrote:

Or maybe education is not a *national* interest, but a *state* one?

Bingo.

Well, the hope with that comment is that you'd provide *some* argument to support your position. I have real trouble understanding how a uniform standard for education would *not* be a national interest; ever since the early 20th century, it's been a fundamental underpinning of modern society, simply because of the skills needed to work in most skilled jobs. (Education beyond 8th grade or so was indeed a luxury in the 18th and 19th centuries, but by the 1920's, it was becoming a necessity, since the shift to an industrial economy had finally taken hold in a big way, and workers were needed who had skills beyond those of a farmhand. That's one thing that originalists tend to ignore; we're not anything like the country the Founding Fathers knew; some of their assumptions and biases are woefully out of date. The idea that educational standards are primarily local reflected a local, agrarian economy, and is no longer useful in the US - hasn't been for decades.)

Are you saying that those things may occur even without the consent of the governed?

And the amazing thing about the USA is that you have a choice. It boils down to either fighting to change local or state legislation you don't agree with or moving to another locality that does coincide with the majority of your beliefs and morals. No government entity is forcing you to live where you do.

How does this not also apply to civil rights legislation?

CheezePavilion wrote:
MacBrave wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

A state government is as much a government as the Federal government is a government.

This raises a good question: why do people that hate federal government love state governments so much? What changes in human nature with a plane ticket to Washington?

edosan wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
MacBrave wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

A state government is as much a government as the Federal government is a government.

This raises a good question: why do people that hate federal government love state governments so much? What changes in human nature with a plane ticket to Washington?

Lobbyists (i.e. corruption)?

Not saying that it's true that there's no lobbying at the state level, but I think it's probably fair to say that the layman's perception is that Washington is awash in them where the state government isn't.

I think it is fair to say that that tends to be people's perception. I also think it is fair to say that people's perceptions don't always match reality.

Jonman wrote:
edosan wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
MacBrave wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

A state government is as much a government as the Federal government is a government.

This raises a good question: why do people that hate federal government love state governments so much? What changes in human nature with a plane ticket to Washington?

Lobbyists (i.e. corruption)?

Not saying that it's true that there's no lobbying at the state level, but I think it's probably fair to say that the layman's perception is that Washington is awash in them where the state government isn't.

Wouldn't the lobbyists just move from the Beltway to the state capitals then? Sure, they'd have to employ more of them, but it sure would be cheaper to buy the state reps off.

Robear wrote:

Well, the hope with that comment is that you'd provide *some* argument to support your position.

I don't know about all 50 states but a public education is enumerated in the Indiana state constitution. I don't recall such an enumerated power being in the U.S. constitution.

How does this not also apply to civil rights legislation?

Good question, had not thought of that. I'll just link to a short speech made by Dr. Ron Paul: http://www.ronpaul.com/on-the-issues...

I guess when the Martin Luther King Jr. of the federal education movement comes along, maybe combined with a march on Washington to raise the national awareness of the plight of local/state standards in public education then maybe it will become a national priority.

Is public primary education a right or an entitlement?

A right.

I don't think you can characterize anything as a right which consists of something that other people have to give you. That's an entitlement, by definition. Rights are things that can't be done to you, mostly by the government. Entitlements are things you must be given. Education absolutely falls into that second category.

That said, it's remarkably stupid for a state not to invest in broad education for its citizens.

Malor wrote:

I don't think you can characterize anything as a right which consists of something that other people have to give you. That's an entitlement, by definition. Rights are things that can't be done to you, mostly by the government. Entitlements are things you must be given. Education absolutely falls into that second category.

That said, it's remarkably stupid for a state not to invest in broad education for its citizens.

Well, as far as definitions:

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

I'd say about the strongest case for a positive right/entitlement are the rights/entitlements of children to be properly cared for. Education would fall under that.

Technically in America, education is not considered by the legal system to be a fundamental right, but then again, it's not like I would consider Supreme Court decisions are the be-all end-all of things, especially when it comes to children being treated as well as they should by society.

Robear wrote:

Bandit, should states be allowed to ban any teachings that mention God? Should they be allowed to require mandatory religious services in public schools? Once you devolve the federal influence, you lose the protections of it as well.

What if Tennessee wants to ban the teaching of evolution, environmental sciences and mandate Christian history in it's classes? What if Texas decides to allow corporations to bid on curriculum topics to fund operations, or Vermont suddenly takes over all private schools and opens them to the public, funded by the trusts held by the schools?

Isn't there a national interest in a single, consistent baseline curriculum that all students would get? How would you possibly do that with 50 different standards? Or maybe education is not a *national* interest, but a *state* one?

Given that I think states and localities should have say on their school policies, yes, they can ban teaching God in school or allow it. It's their curriculum. However I'm also a strong believer in charter and private schools, and that whatever funds the state puts towards your child's education is yours, and you should be able to use that as a credit to educate how you wish. With true mobility of funding and opening up the education system if that school teaches God and you don't like it, there should be a half dozen other options reasonably nearby, or a virtual option. As that money flows out of that school system, they'll consider changing their policy or go under. I'm kind of confused by your argument though, because it's not like there aren't religious based schools now. So I'm not sure what would really change so much for the worse if states and localities got to make their own rules.

I have no issues with a baseline curriculum, but you realize that by inserting the word baseline you are limiting your argument of national interest, because right now the dept of education's power is far more reaching than baseline. As far as what Texas and Vermont decide, why not, do you not think that we might benefit from opening things up to creativity instead of a big central slow moving bureaucratic entity?

edosan wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
MacBrave wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Except children don't get a choice in where they live, and they don't get to vote.

So we should take the responsibility of providing a quality primary education to a child completely away from the parent and give it to the government?

A state government is as much a government as the Federal government is a government.

This raises a good question: why do people that hate federal government love state governments so much? What changes in human nature with a plane ticket to Washington?

People don't like the federal government as much because it dilutes my power over my locality. I don't get to vote for the other 98 senators, so I want their power over my day to day activities to be limited. It's about maximizing the impact of my involvement in the democratic process, and as an individual I am weakest at the federal level and strongest at the local level. Of course, local is too small and disjointed to make sense, but the state level is pretty ideal... as the founders recognized.