“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.