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The Bigfella
11-02-2007, 03:18 AM
I love this graphic.

http://mibi.deviantart.com/art/Death-and-Taxes-2007-39894058

I tried to get a local one of these going when I was running the publishing business, but my editor was a wordsmith and hated any of my graphical stuff.

Two thirds (64%) of the discretionary tax spend in the US goes on.....

yep, defence.

Bruce Hooke
11-02-2007, 08:06 AM
While our budget priorities are certainly not as I would order them, a couple of points should be noted:

1. This graphic just addresses discretionary spending. Since things like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are mandated they are not included. That is a BIG chunk of the overall Federal spending each year.

2. This is just the Federal budget. Many things that matter a lot to people, education being probably the top example, are largely funded from state taxes.

So, this graphic presents are very warped picture of where our overall tax dollars are going.

Bruce Hooke
11-02-2007, 08:09 AM
On the other side of the coin, conservatives who advocate for a Federal government that is mostly focused on defense and international issues should look at this and realize that maybe we are already not so far from where they would like us to be as they seem to think!

Duncan Gibbs
11-02-2007, 08:20 AM
Two thirds (64%) of the discretionary tax spend in the US goes on.....

yep, defence.

Bruce! You don't seem as logical as some have said you are. Ian did point out that it wasn't the mandated portion of the tax spend, and it is a VERY scary figure! That so much should be spent on 'harm work.' And why does the vast majority of the planet's populace dislike US foreign policy? Hmmmm....

PS: GREAT graphic Ian!!

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 08:45 AM
Can anyone find the listing for all the Black funds. Of course a big chunk of those comes from controlling the illegal drug trade but a portion comes from us too.

Bruce Hooke
11-02-2007, 09:12 AM
Bruce! You don't seem as logical as some have said you are. Ian did point out that it wasn't the mandated portion of the tax spend, and it is a VERY scary figure! That so much should be spent on 'harm work.' And why does the vast majority of the planet's populace dislike US foreign policy? Hmmmm....

PS: GREAT graphic Ian!!

I did overlook that Ian said "discretionary," but none-the-less, I think it was worth emphasizing what the word means in this context.

Note as well that I did say that I did not agree with our current budget.

Basically all I was trying to do was make sure people look at the real, full picture. In my opinion, the U.S. spends WAY too much of its tax dollars on defense, but defense spending is not as big a percent of overall government spending as this graphic would suggest.

Another note to add is that this graphic probably does NOT include any of the so-called emergency funding for the war in Iraq.

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 09:27 AM
Defense spending may be too high, intelligent people can discuss that 'til the cows come home, but at least it's something the Federal Govt. is supposed to be doing. Most of the remaining 1/3 of spending is illegal. I'm more concerned by the billions that are spent on stuff the govt. is not supposed to be spending money on. What's worse: spending too much money on food or spending money on crack?

Duncan Gibbs
11-02-2007, 09:27 AM
I remember now! I think you were labelled as being "the most reasonable!" And now I know why!!

Isn't that 'emergency' amount something like $300billion??:eek:

Hell! Send some over here... I've got a wooden boat to build!!! :D

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 09:46 AM
It's a great chart. I like the clear way it shows the relative size of the various major programs within each department. Nice work!

I'd be interested to see one that includes all spending - Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid non-discretionary spending, also interest paid on the national debt, and the money spent on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, none of which is included.
Most of the remaining 1/3 of spending is illegal. You may think so, but those we elect to make the laws, those we elect to implement them, and every Supreme Court for the past 100 or so years has disagreed with you.

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 09:51 AM
You may think so, but those we elect to make the laws, those we elect to implement them, and every Supreme Court for the past 100 or so years has disagreed with you.

Okay Mr. brilliant, prove that statement.

Bruce Hooke
11-02-2007, 10:04 AM
Don't you guys get it by now...Tylerdurden's interpretation of everything is correct and yours' is wrong; he knows what the constitution means and the Supreme Court is just a sham; everything is being run by various secret groups and all of us are just too blind to see it.

Bow down before the all-wise, all-knowing...

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 10:07 AM
I think, Mark, that the obligation to 'prove your statement' is on you, not Keith... you said that 1/3 of spending is illegal... what's the basis of that statement?

Try the constitution Norman.

He tried to tell me the courts ruled the 16th ratified but the highest court to actually examine that issue found otherwise.
Its just that most of these things are ignored by the courts. When one looks deeper one finds that the courts have ruled argument is more often then not a lie.

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 10:10 AM
Don't you guys get it by now...Tylerdurden's interpretation of everything is correct and yours' is wrong; he knows what the constitution means and the Supreme Court is just a sham; everything is being run by various secret groups and all of us are just too blind to see it.

Bow down before the all-wise, all-knowing...

All the lemmings are out today!


"Bow down before the all-wise, all-knowing..." thats not right.

"It is Bow down before the ones you serve, your going to get what you deserve"

I seek no authority here unlike the majority of you. But your time is coming.

TimH
11-02-2007, 10:10 AM
It cost money to conqeur the world.

JBreeze
11-02-2007, 11:12 AM
OK...Tylerdurden is often "over the top" on some of these issues, but he brings up some interesting points (and links) about the economy, politics, etc.

The thoughtful people on the board probably have a better understanding of the role of the Fed, capital markets, international affairs, etc. than the average person.

But if one is sitting there, fat, dumb, happy and inflexible, better watch out! The sky may not be falling, but there is a storm brewing on several fronts.

I don't consider him any different than the enthusiastic Apple sycophants, or the people who try to blame steam explosions on a former mayor. Just part of life:)

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 11:29 AM
Okay Mr. brilliant, prove that statement.Laws (including laws about how the governments spends money) which the elected Congress and the elected President decides to change get changed. They make the laws. If a law is challenged, the Courts will then decide if it's constitutional or not. Some cases get to the Supreme Court, some don't, but if the Supreme Court decides not to hear a case, that means they've decided to let the lower court's decision stand. If a court decides not to hear a cse, that's a decision to let things keep going along as they are. If a law (like income tax, or Social Security, or DOD procurement) has been implemented over many years, that's prima facie evidence that a majority of those elected to make laws approve of it, and the Supreme Court has decided it's constitutional. Now it may be a good law or bad law, an intelligent or completely boneheaded one, even one which you think is completely contrary to the Constitution - however the mere fact that a law has been in effect for a while means a majority of those folks are OK with it. They could certainly be wrong; sometimes they are.

Gonzalo
11-02-2007, 11:50 AM
It is probably unnecessary to add to what Keith wrote, but when the elected leaders pass a law and the Supreme Court rules (or decides not to rule) that a law is constitutional, that is by definition, "legal."

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 12:01 PM
Mr Wilson,
I was refering to those things the Federal Govt. does that it is not Constitutionally authorized to do. There's no need to argue this at length because those who have chosen to ignore the Constitution did in our country years ago. However, let me suggest you read the Constitution, don't miss the 10th Amendment, and the Federalist Papers. You might want to check out Marbury v Madison in which a court, when the Constitution was new and people felt compelled to go along with it, ruled that legislation than runs counter to the Constitution has no power of law.

You are right, mob rule and judicial tyranny have said otherwise, but our country paid for their foolishness with its life. The upheaval you see around you is merely the dying quivers. The sky is not falling. It already fell, you just didn't see it happen.

They don't call me Mr. Optimism for nothing.

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 12:11 PM
Mr. Gonzalo,
The Constitution was supposed to trump out-of-control legislators and judges. If what you're saying is true, and I think it is, we are no longer a Nation of Laws, we are a cult of presonality. In truth, majority rule has carried the day, but it is not the government we have on paper. The guys who set up our current, on paper, government warned us repeatedly about majority/mob rule for all the reasons you see around you. Again, we are wasting time here, time better spent learning Chinese. Cantonese or Mandarin? What does the ruling class speak?


By the way, the President, regardless of if every voter in the country votes for him/her, is not empowered to make law. I know they do, but that's why he's not in the legislative branch.

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 12:14 PM
Laws (including laws about how the governments spends money) which the elected Congress and the elected President decides to change get changed. They make the laws. If a law is challenged, the Courts will then decide if it's constitutional or not. Some cases get to the Supreme Court, some don't, but if the Supreme Court decides not to hear a case, that means they've decided to let the lower court's decision stand. If a court decides not to hear a cse, that's a decision to let things keep going along as they are. If a law (like income tax, or Social Security, or DOD procurement) has been implemented over many years, that's prima facie evidence that a majority of those elected to make laws approve of it, and the Supreme Court has decided it's constitutional. Now it may be a good law or bad law, an intelligent or completely boneheaded one, even one which you think is completely contrary to the Constitution - however the mere fact that a law has been in effect for a while means a majority of those folks are OK with it. They could certainly be wrong; sometimes they are.

So no proof just a kindergarten lecture for sheeple.

"however the mere fact that a law has been in effect for a while means a majority of those folks are OK with it."

Ok ,so now we know you are no legal expert.

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 12:19 PM
mob rule and judicial tyranny have said otherwise,Or possibly the will of most of the people as expressed through their elected representatives, and the decisions of the Supreme court over the past 200 years, have resulted in a government based on a very different interpretation of the Constitution than the one you hold. It is not necessarily "mob rule" when most of the people in the country disagree with you profoundly. (How many votes did the Libertarian party get in the last election?) It is not necessarily "judicial tyranny" when the courts decide cases of constitutional law differently than you would.
The upheaval you see around you is merely the dying quivers.
LOL! :D Another planet heard from. God know we have our share of problems, but this is not a description of the same county I live in. I seem somehow to have missed the food riots, the troops patrolling the streets of the cites, the massacres in the Manhattan Commune, the revolutionary army's assault on the government strongholds in Dallas and Little Rock, the plagues and destruction . . Turmoil indeed! :D

Mark, can you possibly disagree without insults? It's beginning to appear you have no other arguments. Gonzalo put my point very succinctly: what the Congress and the courts decide the law is, is by definition legal. You may think they're wrong, but my point is that Congress and the courts for 100 years at least have disagreed with you.

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 12:22 PM
Keel, don't sweat wilson. He is a legend in his own mind.

George Roberts
11-02-2007, 12:29 PM
I thought all laws were constitutional until a court ruled otherwise and that the courts did not rule until a case was brought.

(Of course, we all slur the meanings.)

And of course "constitutional" has changed meaning over time. One might argue that slavery was never "constitutional" (freedom of life, liberty, ...) but until the 1860s the courts ruled it was constitutional. Similar thinking applies to civil rights.

---

I think there is a valid argument to be made that some spending is not constitutional, perhaps time will change things.

Gonzalo
11-02-2007, 12:36 PM
"Life, liberty, etc" isn't mentioned in the Constitution, but slavery is not only mentioned, but temporarily protected, in Article 1, section 9.

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 12:38 PM
And abolished by the 13th amendment.

Gonzalo
11-02-2007, 12:41 PM
George,

I don't think Keith or I or anyone else is arguing that there aren't valid arguments against the constitutionality of some actions of the federal government. The argument was made by Keelbolts that some federal spending was "illegal." We are only arguing that a law constitutionally enacted and not struck down by the courts is legal, whether it is good, bad, or ugly, or whether anyone harbors doubts about its constitutionality.

Edited to correct the spelling of Keelbolt's moniker.

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 12:45 PM
The Constitution was supposed to trump out-of-control legislators and judges. If what you're saying is true, and I think it is, we are no longer a Nation of Laws, we are a cult of presonality. In truth, majority rule has carried the day, but it is not the government we have on paper. The guys who set up our current, on paper, government warned us repeatedly about majority/mob rule for all the reasons you see around you. Again, we are wasting time here, time better spent learning Chinese. Cantonese or Mandarin? What does the ruling class speak?

Mr. Wilson, think space shuttle, the one that broke up on re-entry. The fatal blow was suffered on lift off. It took a while to self-destruct, the crew enjoyed the flight, but they were done. They just didn't know it. I used to spend most of my time looking at politics. Then, one day, I realised "the wing had a hole in it". Now I just try to enjoy the flight while it lasts. I can't stop it from crashing, but I'm gonna have the best varnish in the marina when it does.

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 01:43 PM
If what you're saying is true, and I think it is, we are no longer a Nation of Laws, we are a cult of personality. Who's personality? Mr. Bush? Last time I looked his approval ratings were below 30%, and he would have a hard time getting a bill through Congress proclaiming that blue was the official color of the sky in the US. Mr. Clinton? As I recall, he was impeached. There have been a lot of countries were the government used a cult of personality to reinforce their power - China under Mao, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, Imperial Japan, Haiti under the Duvaliers, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to some degree , Fidel Castro, Hitler and Stalin, obviously - but the US doesn't resemble them in the least.

We have the government we have because a majority of the people either approve of it or don't dislike it enough to change it. The US is, despite its faults, a democracy. If the Libertarian party captured both houses of Congress and the Presidency, things would be different. (The phase "snowball's chance in hell" comes to mind.) When most of the people in the US want a different sort of government than you do, don't complain about "mob rule' or "judicial tyranny". They may be right or they may be wrong, but that's how a democracy is supposed to work.

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 02:28 PM
"that's how a democracy is supposed to work." You're right. I agree. That's how a democracy is supposed to work, there's only one problem. WE DON'T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY. We live, on paper at least, in a constitutional republic. Our Founding Fathers gave us a republic and warned us again and again and again about the dangers of democracy. Thank you Mr. Wilson, you could not have set me up for that home run any better if I paid you to do it!

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 02:47 PM
Home run? Tired old cliché, rather. A distinction without a difference. Personally I think it's best if the government does what most of the people want it to do, within limits of respect for human rights. You may not agree.

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 04:22 PM
Home run? Tired old cliché, rather. A distinction without a difference. Personally I think it's best if the government does what most of the people want it to do, within limits of respect for human rights. You may not agree.

Well then I guess you have been fighting the establishment here since they formed the school of the Americas. I don't get that from your posts though.

Keith Wilson
11-02-2007, 04:30 PM
I was speaking to Keelbolt's distinctly out-of-the mainstream interpretation of the Constitution, his contention that we have "mob rule" "cult of personality" and "judicial tyranny" and his idea that most of the federal government is unconstitutional.

I entirely agree with you about the School of the Americas. A bunch of Somoza's people from Nicaragua went there; learned all sorts of useful things. :rolleyes: Bastards. :mad:

Tylerdurden
11-02-2007, 04:37 PM
I entirely agree with you about the School of the Americas. A bunch of Somoza's people from Nicaragua went there; learned all sorts of useful things. :rolleyes: Bastards. :mad:

I know, personally. Maybe you understand now why I am the way I am.

keelbolts
11-02-2007, 05:45 PM
Are you kidding?!! I knocked that one out of the park.

"A distinction without a difference." You're kidding?! This kind of political ignorance is at the root of our problem. My belief that the constituion counts is, indeed, out of the mainstream and, at this point, irrelevant, but I am out of the mainstream because, like you, mainstream Americans have no idea what their government is supposed to be doing. They don't know enough to know that they are not even living under the government out Founding Fathers left us.

"A distinction without a difference." Really, you're kidding, right? A republic is no more a democracy than a dog is a cow. Your beliefs about government are your business, but you owe it to yourself to learn a little theory so that, when you are discussing it, you will look mainstream and intelligent.

Duncan Gibbs
11-02-2007, 06:03 PM
Hmmm.... Democracy! Keith what about all those hanging chads and courts ruling on them: It sounded kinda circular at the time, like a club!! And laws haven't stopped illegal activities by those in power at the time. Just look at Ollie North et al, not to mention GITMO, extraordinary rendition, Donny Rump's orders to those in charge of the US run Iraqi and Afghani prisons... And, to get back on topic, it's backed up by all that cash being spent on your military industrial/surveillance/security (whose security?) complex! So why does the rest of the world have a healthy disrespect of the US and its "democratic" ideals and its rampant overuse of the word "freedom?"