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Here's an interesting thought

By NexS ·
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I came across this today. Not sure if you've seen it, but thought it'd be worth sharing.

http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/

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What has the United States done to the rest of the world to warrant so much money going into Military/non-military and national security!?
There's also s few other very interesting statistics as well!

Share your thoughts.

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One factor you may not be aware of.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Here's an interesting tho ...

US politicians stuff money into the defense budget tagged for specific projects or expenditures. In some cases the Pentagon actively opposes these items, but the pols want them anyway because the projects bring or continue jobs in their state or district. There are plenty of weapons systems the military doesn't want but that Congress buys anyway so they tell the voters about the money they brought home.

Also, in our current political climate, suggesting reductions in the defense budget will get the speaker called 'soft' on defense. Many of the same people who feel more money buys better defense raise **** when others try to make the same connection regarding education.

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That IS something I wasn't aware of

by NexS In reply to One factor you may not be ...

And it sounds like they're doing it for both good and bad reasons... But knowing politicians, the goodo reasons are more than likely a cover for the bad reasons.

I guess the only way you can get into the 'big chair' is by being a 'hard ***'. Is there no room for forward thinking and sensible decision making?

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One way that worked recently

by CharlieSpencer In reply to That IS something I wasn' ...

In order to avoid the political fallout from making the tough decisions, several years ago Congress created a temporary 'Base Realignment And Closure' (BRAC) commission. BRAC was composed of retired military personnel and former elected officials; there were no active elected representatives on it. The committee did the research on what military bases should be closed and made a list of recommendations to Congress. Congress could either reject or approve the entire list as submitted, with no changes allowed. This let them reduce military spending and eliminate unneeded facilities, but go back home and tell the locals that it was all BRAC's fault.

In short, they passed the buck. Unfortunately, this is the only time that approach has worked. They've had several committees and commissions look at long-needed changes to the tax code, but those recommendations go on the shelf ignored.

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Those with power

by NexS In reply to One way that worked recen ...

Make the rules if they want to.
But all i can do it sit back and hope it all pans out for you guys in the end..

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I hope it does too

by jck In reply to Those with power

But so long as:
- People must declare candidacy and campaign and become targets for PACs, SIGs, et. al., bribes and influence peddling will exist
- Elected officials must meet with lobbyists, bribes and influence peddling will exist
- Anyone other than an individual voter can donate to a campaign, bribes and influence peddling will exist
- Legislation can be written with a specific, stated intent but have amendments and content that don't apply to the intent, bribes and influence peddling will exist

It's sad. We're supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

We're far from it.

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most excellent (insert sarcasm)

by NexS In reply to I hope it does too

Couple of questions:
-Why can organisations donate to an electoral campaign?
-Which channels must ammendments pass through before they are added into the big book of do's and don't's?

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Palmetto's Campaign Contribution Reform Law

by CharlieSpencer In reply to most excellent (insert sa ...

If you can't vote for a candidate, you can't contribute to his / her political campaign.

Corporations, unions, non-profits; anything other than human beings can't register or vote, and should therefore barred from contributing.

If you aren't registered, you can't vote and should therefore barred from contributing.

If you aren't registered in that state / county / district / precinct / country the candidate is running in, he doesn't represent you and you can't vote for him and should therefore barred from contributing.

If you can vote, you can only vote for a single candidate, and therefore you should be barred from contributing to more than one candidate to 'hedge your bets'.

It's that freakin' simple.

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1 answer

by jck In reply to most excellent (insert sa ...

-Why can organisations donate to an electoral campaign?

Like Palmetto said...Chase Bank and Cal-Berkeley and AFL-CIO can't cast a vote. And, taking their monies and spending it on a politician(s) is taking their shareholders/taxpayers/union members' money and spending it without their consent.

When you buy stock in Chase, does that stock purchase agreement state "We're gonna take part of the dividend before we distribute it, and hold it back to fund the candidate we choose for you"?

The allowance of an organization to take money (that otherwise would be in your pocket) and give it to a candidate not of your choosing...is a form of taking away your right to choose who your representation is.

As for what channels does it pass? Well, legally they tell you congress...but, they also get passed by all sorts of special interests so that peoples' political careers don't get railroaded by lack of campaign funds.

P.S. to Palmetto: I'm behind your reform law, as long as you take out "donation"...cause, they would figure out how to legally make it a "contribution" or something to get around "donation".

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jck, done. No text.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to most excellent (insert sa ...
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Doesn't answer my question though

by NexS In reply to most excellent (insert sa ...

How can "anyone other than an individual voter" bribe politicians during thei campaign?
You've explained why it _shits you, and how they SHOULDN'T be able to do it...

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