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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 09 Dec '10 14:29 / 3 edits
    With tax dollars collected every year, about $850 billion goes toward Medicare/Medicaid every year and about $750 billion goes towards social security. Then you have spending for defense which is about $700 billion. The next greatest expense is the department of labor at about $150 billion.

    So there you have it. About $1.6 trillion goes toward the nanny state every year and dwarfs all other spending except maybe defense at $700 billion. Considering that US tax dollars collected every year go toward welfare-like programs, it would seem that the primary role of the US government has assumed is one of charity.

    So what say you? Is this a "good" thing? In fact, should they go even further? Of course, all I have covered is mandatory spending every year and not voluntary spending. With government redistributing wealth with stimulus-like programs it would seem that they are desperate to keep the engine running that drives the welfare state.
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    09 Dec '10 14:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    With tax dollars collected every year, about $850 billion goes toward Medicare/Medicaid every year and about $750 billion goes towards social security. Then you have spending for defense which is about $700 billion. The next greatest expense is the department of labor at about $150 billion.

    So there you have it. About $1.6 trillion goes toward the nanny t would seem that they are desperate to keep the engine running that drives the welfare state.
    You've already made the case for government. The government's primary function is to provide for the common welfare of the people, which means providing not only defense against foreign enemies and criminals, but also against the threats of sickness and senescence that beset every individual sooner or later. There's some waste and inefficiency in doing this, of course, but it's an imperfect world. You find this role of government objectionable and somehow immoral, I take it.
  3. 09 Dec '10 15:27 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    You've already made the case for government. The government's primary function is to provide for the common welfare of the people, which means providing not only defense against foreign enemies and criminals, but also against the threats of sickness and senescence that beset every individual sooner or later. There's some waste and inefficiency in doing t rfect world. You find this role of government objectionable and somehow immoral, I take it.
    I'm not sure where you are from but here in the States the Founding Fathers restricted the powers of government so as to protect our freedoms. These are often referred to as negative rights, such as restricting the state from yoiur choice of religion or restricting the state to your privacy etc. Conversely, what you have today are what is called postive rights. Now the state must provide health care and retirement and never ending unemployment benefits. The focus has been reversed to the point that you are in violation of the law if you do not buy health care coverage.

    As for national defense, I think it was seen as impracticle for the average joe to form armies to protect the states from foriegn threats. In other words, it was a necessary evil. I suppose it is your view that the same can be said for health care and retirement? So in your view without government the average joe would be incapable of providing adequate health care and retirement? People would by dying in the streets just as if a foriegn army had come to invade?
  4. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    09 Dec '10 15:56 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    I'm not sure where you are from but here in the States the Founding Fathers restricted the powers of government so as to protect our freedoms. These are often referred to as negative rights, such as restricting the state from yoiur choice of religion or restricting the state to your privacy etc. Conversely, what you have today are what is called postive rig ...[text shortened]... retirement? People would by dying in the streets just as if a foriegn army had come to invade?
    I'm in the U.S.

    People can plan for their retirement and maintain health coverage for themselves with utmost diligence through private investment firms and private health insurers, and all is butterflies and rainbows until...

    ...the market crashes, or you lose your job, or health problems mount so that you cannot even pay your deductibles, or you have a pre-existing condition and no insurer will have you, or...

    You get my drift, I'm sure.

    In the days of tri-corner hats and horsewhips, things were different. Folks usually died early, before old age made them useless for the jobs of the time. If you got cancer, well, there was nothing to be done anyway so a man would either do himself in or lie in bed and wait for the reaper. "Positive" rights were not on the radar screen yet because life was short and people were too busy fighting and dying for their "negative" rights; and the fact that the Constitution only makes explicit mention of negative rights is merely a reflection of those revolutionary times when there wasn't yet the luxury (or large-scale precedent, really) of quibbling over "fine-tuning" the Republic. But the Constitution provides for the existence of a legislative branch of government, which is a tacit acknowledgment that new laws would be necessary in time and the Republic would need to change with the times.

    We have "positive" rights now because that's what the people believe in and want. They enhance freedom, not diminish it. We don't have slavery today because people evolved, socially, to the point where it's now almost universally recognized as wrong. I could go on, but you get the idea.

    Here's something: I've often wondered if I could quit my job, say, and move to a warmer part of the country to work another job. But how easy is that? My wife has a raft of preexisting medical conditions, so if I go to a job that doesn't have built-in health benefits I'll never be able to afford to get her insured. So I'm trapped in my job, much like a serf to a feudal estate in medieval times. Because there's no public option. Because the "free market" dictates in large part the availability of health coverage if you're not old enough for Medicare. Is that freedom? No.

    I think we both want the same thing: maximum freedom for the individual. But the free market only affords maximum freedom for the exchange of commodities and capital. Government is needed to safeguard people in any instance when safeguarding people does not turn a buck (and it usually doesn't). Not everyone has the means to hire a bevy of lawyers to sue abusive corporations who trespass upon their rights. So we have government, and we have positive rights.

    It's what the people want.
  5. 09 Dec '10 16:06
    - Maximize the living standard
  6. Standard member MacSwain
    Who is John Galt?
    09 Dec '10 16:53
    Originally posted by whodey
    With tax dollars collected every year, about $850 billion goes toward Medicare/Medicaid every year and about $750 billion goes towards social security. Then you have spending for defense which is about $700 billion. The next greatest expense is the department of labor at about $150 billion.

    So there you have it. About $1.6 trillion goes toward the nanny ...[text shortened]... t would seem that they are desperate to keep the engine running that drives the welfare state.
    Isn't your questions answer already existing in your founding documents?
    ___________________________________________________________

    Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution lists the powers as:
    Section 8: The Congress shall have power

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

    To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

    To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

    To establish post offices and post roads;

    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

    To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;—And

    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    (Not too many, are there?)
  7. 09 Dec '10 16:59
    Originally posted by MacSwain
    Isn't your questions answer already existing in your founding documents?
    ___________________________________________________________

    Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution lists the powers as:
    Section 8: The Congress shall have power

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and gene ...[text shortened]... e United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    (Not too many, are there?)
    I'm surprised you didn't omit "provide for [...] the general welfare of the United States".
  8. 09 Dec '10 16:59
    Originally posted by MacSwain
    Isn't your questions answer already existing in your founding documents?
    ___________________________________________________________

    Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution lists the powers as:
    Section 8: The Congress shall have power

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and gene ...[text shortened]... e United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    (Not too many, are there?)
    I missed the part where it says,"to force all citizens to buy health insurance"
  9. 09 Dec '10 17:03
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    I missed the part where it says,"to force all citizens to buy health insurance"
    Where's the part about forcing all citizens who want to drive to own car insurance?
  10. 09 Dec '10 17:07
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Where's the part about forcing all citizens who want to drive to own car insurance?
    The Federal government does not force people to buy auto insurance. The State governments do that.
  11. 09 Dec '10 17:12
    Originally posted by Eladar
    The Federal government does not force people to buy auto insurance. The State governments do that.
    They dont even do that either. Most but not all states say if you want to drive on these roads you need insurance. You're not being forced. Forcing citizens to by health insurance is a entirely different matter. you are being forced by the federal government to by a product just because you are alive and breathing.
  12. Standard member joneschr
    Some guy
    09 Dec '10 17:16
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    I missed the part where it says,"to force all citizens to buy health insurance"
    Many agree.

    I think it's only a matter of time before we learn the supreme court's position.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082103033.html
  13. 09 Dec '10 17:35
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    They dont even do that either. Most but not all states say if you want to drive on these roads you need insurance. You're not being forced. Forcing citizens to by health insurance is a entirely different matter. you are being forced by the federal government to by a product just because you are alive and breathing.
    Oh yeah, totally different. I see it now.
  14. 09 Dec '10 17:57 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by MacSwain
    Isn't your questions answer already existing in your founding documents?
    ___________________________________________________________

    Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution lists the powers as:
    Section 8: The Congress shall have power

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and gene ...[text shortened]... e United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    (Not too many, are there?)
    No need to list all of them -- the following trio (along with the 14th Amendment) has been the source of most of the historical debate about what powers the federal government has.

    To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States

    To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.

    To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.


    perhaps if the framers were more specific about what they meant by these three clauses, they might have prevented government from "evolving" in the direction that it has. On the other hand, perhaps the framers kept these things vague deliberately.
  15. Standard member MacSwain
    Who is John Galt?
    09 Dec '10 18:02
    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.

    From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by dictatorship.

    The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage; from great courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back to bondage.”
    --Alexander Frazer Tyler (1776)-- ?? (or whomever No1 wishes to substitute)
    _____________________________________________________

    “The problem is: for too long, the measure of success in society was: Society consistently grew larger in number, regardless of the qualities of that increased number or their relative willingness or ability to contribute to the common good.

    From Tyler's quote above, it is clear why America’s founders created a republic and not a democracy. Since the country’s founding the federal government has gradually taken control from the states and succeeded in changing that republic into a democracy. This change into a democracy has brought America to the point where it is now in the phase where it passes from apathy into dependence.

    America will languish in the “Nanny State” phase for a while until it shatters beneath its own weight and descends into the next phase, which is government-inflicted bondage.”