What are essential government services?

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Cledus
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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by Cledus » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:53 pm

I feel the federal government's involvement in our lives should begin and end with:
1. The highway / interstate system
2. The postal service
3. The military

Let the states decide the rest.



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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by ddlalum » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:08 am

Cledus wrote:I feel the federal government's involvement in our lives should begin and end with:
1. The highway / interstate system
2. The postal service
3. The military

Let the states decide the rest.
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Coming off another year of taxes, I find it interesting that I roughly pay about 4x the taxes to the federal government than I do to the state government. Wouldn't it be interesting to see those numbers reversed? Wouldn't it be great if people who actually lived locally, socialize locally, and have local responsibilities be the ones making the decisions on how things are ran and managed? I mean, I actually know my state representatives, these people are the ones who actually walk door to door. Also, thing about the freedom the states would now obtain. No longer, are they dictated to on how to manage there affairs, such that they might see a couple more dollars of their own money back from the federal government.



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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by SonomaCat » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:52 am

I know people in CA would love that sort of arrangement, for the most part. That would wipe out our state deficit and give us room to spare.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html

It would also free up the state to legalize (and tax, which is what the legislators really have their eye on) pot without federal interference.



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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by ChiOCat » Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:23 pm

KittieKop wrote:I guess I'm wondering what people are thinking are the really important things government should be doing (and I guess by omission on this list, the things government should get out of the business of doing)?
Military?
Roads & bridges?
Utilities (water & sewer)?
Police & Fire?
What do you see as "promoting the general welfare" of your city/state/nation? Welfare assistance, jobless benefits, any of the above?
I agree with the military and roads and bridges, I tend to think Utilites and Police/Fire as more local. In an ideal world I'd like to see the federal government covering military, interstate infrastructure, currency and possibly a fund that states can apply to receive assistance in their other necessities (utilites, police/fire, education, disaster recovery) and the rest being funded on a local/state basis.

Does anyone ever see our country removing any of the "extra" programs that are part of the system today? The entitlements and surplus spending?


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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by GrizinWashington » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:12 am

Those of you who view the Federal Government providing only extremely limited services are living in 1870. I'll give you a real life example of a dozen or so things that I encountered in one day that cannot or would not be able to be done by states or by private industry.

Last Sunday I flew from Shanghai to Beijing to San Francisco to Seattle (yes, it was a brutally long day). Here is just a sample of the things that I touched that only federal governments could do (it's simply not viable for local governments or private industry):

1. I took the Maglev train from Shanghai to the airport: Contrary to what RTB and others have stated, this was the most amazingly efficient means of transportation ever. It's cheap, clean, quite and took my 14 minutes on what would normally be a 90 minute drive, stuck in traffic during Shanghai rush hour. (editorial: If a major US city gets with the times and builds a network of these, I'll move there tomorrow. It was that good and that efficient).

2. My passport/Immigration: In Shanghai, they simply swipe the electronic reader and instantly know who I am: That I'm a US citizen, not on any OFAC lists, not on any suspected terrorist lists, not on the No-Fly list. Can you imagine 50 states trying to coordinate this?!?!? (Or for that matter, can you imagine trying to secure a visa to go to China from the state of Montana?) OMG.

3. World banks/international finance: I used countless ATMs during my stay in China then changed my Yuan back to dollars in the airport. Try doing that without federal government intervention. Hell, try having simple currency without federal governments. We'll be back to trading butter for mutton.

4. Air traffic control: As my flight departed, even though I was 6,200 miles from US soil, I knew air traffic control (thanks to our federal government) was looking out for my ass to ensure that no other aircraft flew into my Boeing 747.

5. Boeing: Without government contracts, there would be no Boeing, or at least, not the aircraft we've become accustomed to flying in.

6. San Fran Airport/Seatac Airport: Those damn things don't build themselves. And there ain't no money in 'em.

7. Customs: Can you imagine 50 states trying to run their own customs? 50 different sets of rules, regs, etc. "Well, let's see. We have to clear customs in Mississippi this trip, and they don't allow more than 2 extra pair of contacts. Damn! Too bad we weren't going through New Jersey. They allow 3 sets....".

8. FAA. They inspect the planes I was on, certify the pilots, develop training for the flight attendants, develop safety minimums for the aircraft, inspect the aircraft, inspect the aircraft mechanics, etc. $hit, a state government couldn't begin to regulate at that level, even if they DID somehow have the funding to do so(which 49 of the 50 wouldn't).

9. Roads: I drove from the airport home almost exclusive on a federal highway system. They paid for the road, the engineering, the bridges, the paving, the guardrails, the painting, the maintenance, the signage, etc. And I didn't have to stop for a toll once.

10. Safety: This encompasses about 1,000 things on my trip, but I'll simplify it to my drive home. There was a horrific accident on my way home. There were state patrol and aid on the scene, which is obviously a federal government expenditure. But it also includes auto safety standards, standards of safety in highways, driver's ed courses, etc. No private party is going to pay for that stuff. And you only miss it until you need it.

11. US Embassy/Consulates: Due to an unusual circumstance, I had to work with the US embassy in Beijing following my return to the US. With no federal government, can someone please explain how I would have accomplished that??

12. Communications/FCC: My entire stay in China, I communicated with my office and with my friends. While some of that was due to private companies, the fact that I KNEW I could rely on it 100% was due to the FCC's involvement to ensure that it works every time and isn't sabotaged by outside influences. What private business would do that? Could the state of North Dakota ensure that for me?


Certainly the Federal Government has waste. Every entity as large as it is does. But to suggest that you could cut most of the federal departments and give those responsibilities to the states or to private industry is laughable. Our economy and our way of life would be dead (not like now: literally DEAD, as in, "no longer existing") in 3 days.


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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by AlphaGriz1 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:51 pm

Laughable


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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by GrizinWashington » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:54 pm

AlphaGriz1 wrote:Laughable
I'm glad we agree that it would be laughable to suggest that private industry or states could do all of that. Perhaps you're actually getting a clue??


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AlphaGriz1
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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by AlphaGriz1 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:44 pm

You know why I said laughable.

We wouldn't shut down in 3 days and I am sure in many ways things would be a lot better. You see there are a great many people in this country that dont need someone to wipe their ass daily and they just go about life everyday. Most of you liberals call them names and refer to them as "flyover country", rednecks or hillbillys.

Anyway you slice it they are better than any liberal so quit acting like everyone needs to be coddled.


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GrizinWashington
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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by GrizinWashington » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:07 pm

AlphaGriz1 wrote:You know why I said laughable.

We wouldn't shut down in 3 days and I am sure in many ways things would be a lot better. You see there are a great many people in this country that dont need someone to wipe their ass daily and they just go about life everyday. Most of you liberals call them names and refer to them as "flyover country", rednecks or hillbillys.

Anyway you slice it they are better than any liberal so quit acting like everyone needs to be coddled.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that most Americans want their planes inspected, their pilots trained and a currency that actually has value.

As for ass-wiping, I'll defer to your expertise there.


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Re: What are essential government services?

Post by Toucat » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:12 pm

Although GIW alluded to it, nobody's stated they believe the feds should have the power to regulate commerce with foreigners and between the states. The commerce clause is where a large portion of the fed's power today comes from, in that Congress has interpreted the clause to mean it can regulate any activity that crosses state lines, or uses a medium to cross state lines, such as the mail, telephone, air, water etc.

I think most Americans, both liberal and conservative, believe the feds should have this power. In this regard, I think only a minority of people believe the constitution should be amended to provide Congress should not have the power to regulate interstate commerce, or should be amended to try to narrowly define "interstate commerce." Rather, the disagreement arises from peoples' different beliefs on how much of its power the feds should exercise. For example, I don't think anybody has a problem with the feds regulating child pornography and making it a federal criminal offense, but you will find disagreements on whether the feds should regulate food standards, pollution, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, stem cell research, minimum wages, occupational standards, banking, airlines, railways, interstate trucking, etc., even though the fed's power to regulate any of these activities generally stems from the commerce clause. With that said, if you favor the government regulating any part of interstate commerce, it only follows that you favor a government bureaucracy to implement and enforce those regulations.



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