# News Conservative Definition of Govt role and rights

1. Oct 11, 2011

### Oltz

“Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

This is in regard to both the Distribution of wealth perception of socialism and size of government I am intersted in what exactly the other side of the spectrum thinks about these issues and why.

Conservatives support an "appropriate" level of Taxes at the appropriate level of government to support the "constitutionally Granted" functions of government. Local-State-Federal

i.e.

Schools (k-12) - Local - with State subsidy per student to every school nobody gets more nobody gets less

Higher Education - Should be self sufficient (tuition covers costs) if you go you pay not your Neighbor through his taxes

Law enforcement - Local
Intra state Law enforcement (Highway patrol/State troopers) - State
Inter state Law enforcement (FBI/ICE/Customs/DHS) - Federal

Infrastructure (Roads/Bridges/Dams/Ports/Airports) - Same break up as law enforcement

(If it does not cross state lines the Fed does not have the right or need to pay for it)

Military is obvious and as a vet (Iraq 05-06) I know spending could be more efficient but it is taken out of the correct budget

Foreign affairs - Again obvious part of Federal budget (can fight about what/how much/where on another thread)

EPA/National Parks/ Museums/Monuments – Should have a component at each level of government– Essential and needed but the EPA needs to be more controlled by congress and less by the executive administration’s policies so that both business and environmental groups have a more consistent and predictable landscape year to year. (My degree is Environmental Geology I work for “Big Oil” in the Marcellus shale Natural Gas Play of PA)
Yes I think rules are needed and are a good thing

Now that covers all the rights and roles the government is granted everything else they do is extra not that all of it is wrong, but it is not really right.

Everything else is Redistribution of Wealth

Social Security - 2 parts
Employee contribution = Not a tax (reasonable expectation of repayment)
Employer contribution = Tax on wages paid = discourages expansion

Warren Buffet included his employees contribution to SS as part of their "Tax Burden" but its is capped at 106,000 and earnings above are not subject

Hence when you make more the "perceived" rate is less but in the end when you retire and cash in your "forced retirement fund" contributions Warren and His Secretary are eligible for the same pay out.
She will get more then she put in back and He will get exactly what he put in back.

Food banks soup kitchens and Housing

These are and should be covered by Charity and Local and State Governments

Why should a citizen in a state like say Vermont with very low homelessness pay for "Government Housing" for people in California or Florida ?

It is a local problem that should be budgeted at the local level with perhaps a small Federal subsidy per state based on population per state (similar to state funding for local schools)

Unemployment - state level - Fed can set rules for people who move between jobs and a National Minimum but states determine duration and rate to be paid by the state you worked in even if you move away

Lets say you worked in NC you paid NC taxes you lose your job and move to PA you file for NC unemployment.

Welfare The system that kicks in after unemployment or if you never had employment

Needs to be Federal or the "dependants" would all move to the state with the best benefit and the least requirement

Food stamps should be part of the same program
Needs a Lifetime maximum pay out and duration
Drug testing would be a nice addition
Only get extra money for up to 3 children (I know a former soldier who lives with 3 women and has 16 kids with them they live off of welfare he was kicked out for positive drug tests)

A safety NET is an essential part of a civil culture (cant have people starving to death on the corner), but what we currently have is much closer to a Safety Hammock

Living off the government should not be comfortable or fun

Give people the Freedom to succeed or fail on their own ability because if Nobody can Fail Nobody Can Succeed

Random Rant

So let California pay for its own high speed rail let NYC build its own shelters

Cut the Federal Department of Ed to just a research branch that puts out recommendations and studies
Eliminate ALL federal Non Research Grants (let the states give grants if they choose to who they choose be it for college or conservation)

Laws like California Banning Tanning Bed use for Minors are ludicrous. 3 reasons

You are forcing a company to restrict its business after the fact. People start a business with a known level of risk, anticipated use and capacity.

Use will be cut jobs will be cut to match the restricted income.

It is the Parents right and responsibility to decide if anything is an acceptable risk for their child not the government.

Different degree same principle
An extreme example would be they outlaw Bike riding under the age of 18 or McDonalds food.

Government Employees Do not need a Union unless you Honestly think the governemt is going to take advantage of its workers

All unions should be voluntary (It drives me crazy that my wife does not have the right to not join the Local State and Federal Teachers union) They take the Dues no matter what you like and then donate them to whoever they like for political campaign.

2. Oct 13, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

You make a lot of points. What do you propose should be changed? And how?

3. Oct 13, 2011

### Oltz

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

I want to know how a Democrat feels about some or all of these points and if they have a reasonable justification.

This is a fairly general representaion of a Moderate republican platform (that would never be able to be implemented) What is a true Democratic platform with regard to the covered issues?

4. Oct 13, 2011

### MarcoD

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Coming from Europe, this platform hardly feels Democratic. And Oltz, I don't mind if you're a rabid republican, but it would help discussion if you make shorter, conciser, points and take more note of correct spelling and indentation. You're points are just too badly stated to comment on, IMO.

5. Oct 14, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Which answered nothing of Otiz' questions.

6. Oct 14, 2011

### BobG

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

It seems a little contradictory to have food banks/housing entirely on a local level while welfare/foodstamps are entirely on a federal level.

For one thing, welfare is currently handled on a state level (with grants from the federal government) and there isn't a problem with welfare recipients moving to the state with the best benefits/least requirements.

1) Having no income or a very low income reduces a person's mobility. They don't have the capability to move to the state with the best benefits.

2) One may say the government provides too much assistance, but it's an exaggeration to say living off the government is comfortable. Most welfare recipients are still more reliant on networks of family/friends than higher income workers. This is yet another obstacle to mobility. They can't afford to leave their support networks behind.

Nationalizing welfare is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

And by welfare, I mean just the actual welfare programs - the TANF grants to states and each state's welfare program. Realistically, welfare consists of a lot more than just welfare checks. It also consists of food stamps, WIC, and the Earned Income Tax credit.

The Earned Income Tax credit is the only one of these that are truly a federal program. The others are all done at state level and that's where they should be done. There's a huge difference in cost of living between somewhere like DC or New York and somewhere like Omaha, Tulsa, and Alburqurque. Some programs just aren't going to work on a federal level.

At least there's been a shift from being able to live on welfare for life to welfare being a more transitional benefit. Each state is supposed to have duration limits on welfare as a condition of receiving federal TANF grants, with an increase in Earned Income Credit being the trade-off. Theoretically, at least, getting a job and qualifying for Earned Income Credit (instead of staying on welfare) eventually leads to that person's income being high enough they no longer qualify for the Earned Income Credit.

How that works in practice is debatable (especially how well each state enforces the duration limits, since lifetime welfare seems to still be a common complaint for some reason, although those complaints are never accompanied by any state's welfare statistics, so it's impossible to know which states aren't enforcing their welfare laws).

But I think it seems to work a lot better than the old pre-1990's programs.

7. Oct 14, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

I agree. Let's get rid of welfare/foodstamps, too.

The states where those folks move would disagree with you. Think about it: What type of person would a state prefer to move there? Hard-working, and thus able to contribute to the states GDP? Or living on the government dime with no desire to make there own way.

Yet people do it all the time.

Comfort is relative. I total monthly expenditures come to less than $1,500. I'm very comfortable! True, but I'd argue it's more social than financial. The check an always be sent in the mail. Seems so: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Welfare_Benefits_Payments_Graph.gif I thought TANF was an emergency fund to help states with rising unemployment? I think you're right. There's been a 60% drop in welfare recipients overall. 8. Oct 14, 2011 ### BobG Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights The government should look at what it spends for education as an investment, not an entitlement. It is in the nation's interest to educate its residents, since those residents are going to be the nation's workforce and will affect the nation's economy. For the folks that want a voucher program because it's not fair for them to pay for both public schools and still pay tuition for the private school they send their kid to? Or those that think it's unfair for them to pay for public schools when they home school? Who cares?! That's not the intent of the government investing in public schools. It's to provide some baseline education for as many people as possible. It's the same as paying for roads, when you probably use less than half the roads in your city - or at least the number of roads you use don't depend on how much you pay in taxes. For higher education? There is an advantage to providing tuition assistance and student loans for college and vocational schools, but only for programs that actually have a chance of that person returning that money through the increased income tax that comes with increased pay, if nothing else (although, obviously student loan programs should at least break even through direct repayments). Art history may be an interesting major, but it's not very likely to do much for the nation's economy. 9. Oct 14, 2011 ### BobG Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights Hard to come by hard statistics on how many welfare recipients move from one state to another, mainly because there was no point in keeping such statistics after the US Supreme Court struck down the provision of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 that limited recipients ability to cash in on a more generous state's benefit. But California, one of the most generous welfare states after welfare reform, was upset about new residents from states with low welfare benefits getting the more generous California benefits as soon as the person moved to California. Their statistics: holding new residents to the same level of benefits they would have received in their old state would save California$10.9 million a year - which would be a 0.4% savings in their \$2.9 billion dollar welfare budget. California is a big state and had one of the most generous welfare programs in the state, so their raw numbers look pretty big. But even the 0.4% savings would be larger in California, since the difference between California's welfare benefits and the rest of the nation were large.

This just isn't an issue for almost any state in the country. If the generous benefit states don't like it, they can reduce all of their benefits (although, admittedly, it costs a lot more to live in California, too, so their extra generosity may be a bit of an illusion).

In any event, pushing for a law that was already struck down over a decade ago isn't a very productive effort.

Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
10. Oct 14, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Either way, why should they pay twice, first to the public school their kids do not attend, and again to the private school they do attend? Either way, long after their kids have graduated they're still paying taxes which support the schools. It's a matter of choice. Without the voucher program they have no choice as to how the school portion of their taxes are being spent on their kids' education.

Charter schools are plentiful around here, and somewhat bypassed the issue, as they're not exactly public schools, but they're not exactly private schools, either. They are funded with public tax revenues.

11. Oct 14, 2011

### WhoWee

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

There is a lo to respond to in the OP - isn't there? If it's acceptable to focus - education (IMO) is a national priority.

12. Oct 15, 2011

### BobG

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Sure they do. We have a representative democracy. They can vote in new school board members if they don't like how the current members are spending money.

13. Oct 15, 2011

### MrNerd

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Yes, but it doesn't do much if everyone disagrees with the unhappy person. If everyone is super obsessed with the football program or something, and a minority are in the screw football mentality, it won't do much.

14. Oct 16, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

You missed the point. We're a few years beyond that with school charters and voucher programs.

Board members sucked, weren't doing their job, so we went to the legislatures above their heads, changed the rules, and are sending our kids to schools of our choice paid for with the same funds as other schools.

And they're far exceeding the results of public schools. It works. It's one of the reasons I moved here.

Are you against better education? Getting kids the best bang for the buck? Or are you doggedly opposing anything and everything contradictory to tradition education when far better solutions exist?

Back to the brunt of the thread, most conservative measures would have tried to preserve traditional education.

Not I.

15. Oct 17, 2011

### Char. Limit

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

Welcome to how Democracy works.

16. Oct 17, 2011

### BobG

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

(bolding mine)

I believe you when you say charter schools in your area work better than public schools. In fact, about 17% of charter schools do provide a better education than the traditional public schools in their area. About 37% of charter schools provide a worse education than the traditional public schools in their area. The remainder provide no significant difference.

Charter School Performance in 16 States

If a person is located in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, or Missouri, there's a good chance that charter schools are doing a better job than the traditional schools.

If a person is located in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, or New Mexico, then there's a good chance the charter schools are doing a worse job.

Regardless of the state, it really does depend on the local area - and the students in question. Students living in poverty or in English Learning programs do significantly better in charter schools than in traditional schools. On average, all other students do worse (given the fact that this is an average for schools that vary widely in performance).

(And there is a difference between charter schools and voucher programs. Charter schools are usually part of the public school system, but operate under a different system of regulations than the traditional public school system. But, in a way, they have the same effect - money from the traditional public school system is diverted to an alternative system.)

Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
17. Oct 17, 2011

### SixNein

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

I think most people would consider me to be liberal, so I will take a crack at illustrating my thought process.

I think most liberals would agree to this; however, we would disagree on what is defined to be 'constitutionally granted' functions. In general, both sides will always have to resolve such disputes in courts.

I would like to see a centrally planned education system for k-12 schools so that the standards and curriculum would be more consistent. In addition, I would also like to see an open source movement for the text books and at least a masters requirement for the teachers. In particular, I'm concerned about our ability to compete in the globalization era. There is no way that we can compete with the developing world on low level labor costs, so we are going to have to put our work ethic to use on our minds. Just physically working hard is not enough anymore.

The current trend of privatizing higher education should stop; however, I do think there should be reasonable standards applied. In my opinion, education is the most important infrastructure in America.

I disagree because infrastructure development could become uneven, and in general, I think it harms the nation as a whole. So I don't mind seeing some federal support here.

I'd like to see military spending scaled down quite a bit with some of the gains redirected into higher education and in particular research and the rest towards the deficit. We should still be top on military spending, but we are currently in ridiculous territory. Military is necessary; however, it is the most wasteful form of spending because its very nature is the destruction of resources.

I agree with you that rules are needed.

You mean that is all the government is granted to do by your interpretation of the constitution.

All of those functions you outlined above constitute a redistribution of wealth. For example, some of my wealth is taken from me by the government and then redistributed to pay the wages of military personal. So I don't think an argument based upon redistribution of wealth has merit; instead, I think its best to take a look at each initiative individually and decide if the cost outweigh the benefits.

I support social security because I beleive it reduces poverty in the elderly class.

I think the greatest problem we have in this area is social in nature. Failed relationships are producing a great deal of single mothers who in turn add to the poverty count. In addition, the growing face of homelessness today is single mothers and children.

After a certain period of time, I'd like to see some community service invovled.

Drug testing would be a nice addition. What if a family had 4 children but do to some circumstance was forced into welfare for a time? The point being is that such a limit carries latent functions with it.

I don't think it is either comfortable or fun.

There is a difference in falling and falling to ones death. Risks should be manageable.

18. Oct 17, 2011

### SixNein

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

I'm not sure I agree. One might learn something in art history that contributes to a revolution in computer graphics.

I think a more productive effort is to put some reasonable merit on the funding.

19. Oct 17, 2011

### BobG

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

I support social security because I've paid into a forced government retirement program with the promise that the government would actually honor that debt (and it is a debt since I've already given them the money).

In any event, the poverty rate for people over 65 has dropped steadily since the 60's, so reducing poverty is losing its clout as a reason for preserving social security as is.

And the solution?

One positive change would be to award custody to the fathers more often. 31.6% of single mother families live in poverty while only 15.8% of single father families live in poverty. Yet, 84% of single parent families are headed by the mother. What kind of reasoning is that?
http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/

That's still just minimizing the damage, since only 6.2% of two parent families live in poverty. I'm not sure passing laws to force couples to remain married would be a great solution, though. Minimizing the impact may be the best that can be done.

20. Oct 17, 2011

### DoggerDan

Re: “Conservative” Definition of Govt role and rights

+1. I'd much rather have invested those funds in Apple and similar tech stocks as I did what other discretionary funds.