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  1. #1
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    Default government waste

    There are several of us talking about the grant programs and taking our tax money for these. I have heard on the news of some projects as unneeded dams, airports, control towers that are brand new and have to be rebuilt before the airport can be opened. also, some buildings built and roads so that Congressmen can have something named after them. I know that there are some in Texas that i am researching. if this spending could be cut out, billions for farmers and the fire service and other programs that are needed could be funded with no strain to the taxpayers. Most of it could be by local government because more money would be availble at the local level. Do yall have such projects in your area?

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    Hi Larry -

    It really doesn't matter if we have those types of projects in our areas, we're all paying for them!

    Pork barrel politics is alive and well. I personally want it ALL to go away. I don't think the federal government should be in the business of funding the local fire service, the local police service, local schools, local infrastructure improvements, and a whole host of other things that are better done locally.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    Bucks,
    I have to put in my .02 worth. I agree with you, first of all, about the Federal government not needing to fund the local services. However, this is an area where we have either through default, lack of income, lack of resources, or just plain ole lack of interest have dropped the ball. Big time.
    Although the 10th amendment clearly indicates that powers are to be reserved to the state (local, municipal, county, etc) governments unless specifically GIVEN over to the federal government, what do we do about funding without having a high tax rate (commensurate with the defense budget of third world countries!) being levied on our local govts?
    As the federal government has come in and funded various programs and administered many, many "good" policies, all in the interest of our "welfare", we have yet to see any collective quality of life improvements, especially from those the government was here to "help". So, do we really need government help? No. But we don't have the dinero we need to operate. I don't have any magic answers to this problem myself. I know things should be run much differently than they are, but how? I hope I didn't open up even MORE of a can of worms, but does anyone else have any ideas how to go about operating WITHOUT federal government thinking it has to interfere, I mean, help?
    Oklahoma Bound!

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    Hi, huff -

    I have no problem whatsoever with local taxes being increased, on three conditions:

    1. the federal tax is decreased by the same or larger amount.

    2. the tax money collected locally goes to fund local services and projects.

    3. the federal government divests itself of funding for all projects outside its constitutional authority.

    I don't think that's so hard to understand, especially given the 10th Amendment, as you mentioned.

    The real problem is that many people in America are ignorant to the American process. They must have been sleeping in civics class, or had a communi...I mean, Democrat teaching them. How do we overcome this? Well, I think we are, little by little. Conservative philosophy is finding its way back into the mainstream. This stuff is on about a ten-year cycle, way I see it. It's about time for the conservative backlash to kick in.



    [ 08-17-2001: Message edited by: BucksEng91 ]
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    Hey Bucks,
    I wonder if they would have given the tax rebate collectively to a city and let the citizens submit ideas so that the returned money could be spent on something that all of the citizens could use. I can think of several projects such as new mains and sewer mains. Some equipment for our county hospital or EMS. collectively it adds up.
    Thanks for letting get on my soapbox.
    Larry

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    Hi Larry -

    Then it wouldn't have been much of a tax cut, would it?

    Besides, I think you'd have a hard time convincing people to do that. I certainly wouldn't. I want my confiscated wages back!
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    RJE
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    Here's a couple of "anecdotal" examples.

    Back in the 50's and 60's, OK had a Senator named Kerr. There's all kinds of stuff around here named for him. There's a boondoggle of a ditch (supposed to be a canal) from the head of navigation on the Arkansas River (50 miles downstream from Tulsa) to a suburb on the east side (Catoosa). They called the terminal the "Port of Catoosa". There's a minor industrial area out there, but it's really never taken off (in 30+ years!). The canal is named the "Kerr-McLellan Navigational Waterway". Locally it's referred to as "Kerr's ditch" (or variations).

    The story is, at one time, if you ran into Senator Kerr on the street, and muttered "damn" because you dropped something, or stumbled, and he overheard you, his response would be "Dam? Sure, where would you like it!"

    The other is the use of Federal funds (matched at the local level) for interstate construction. There are three main political groups in OK. The rural residents and farmers (only a few 100,000's, but several congressional districts and lots of state house districts), the OKC metro area (more than 1 million residents, including suburbs, and split between two US Reps.) and Tulsa, with well under 1 million residents in the entire metro, and one US Rep (Steve Largent).

    Here's what happens. The state house allocates $100 million (for example) for road improvements. The feds match. Then the state does it out. $100mil for rural roads (gotta help them farmers get the crops in, despite the fact that most of them grow "oil"). $75mil for OKC congestion alleviation (widen I-40, I-35, I-44, and various "loops" and "bypasses") and $25mil for Tulsa. Sounds okay, except that Tulsa has one (1) interstate. I-44. And through the busiest part of town, it's only 2 lanes each way. It also cuts a bluff (crosses the Arkansas, then has to climb the hill) so it will be very hard to widen. We're talking eminent domain condemnations of businesses, then major blasting to cut the hill back so there's room for the road. So basically, $25mil won't cut it. So we (Tulsa) gets to work on other roads, and I-44 gets worse.

    Part of the problem here is local politics (the city is split into several districts at the state level - and they fight over "expand north" and expand south" views, and get cut out all together bcause they don't get together) but the other part is that the state house/senate are democrat controlled, and Tulsa habitually votes straight Republican. They can't win here, so they see no reason to pay us off.

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    BucksEng91
    Hey man, you're scaring me. Your proposal actually makes alot of sense. You get the powers to be to implement same, and I'll make sure you get voted in as our new Mr. Pres.-----assuming you'd want the demotion!

    RJE
    Good to hear from you, and I can sympathize. I did wonder, as I zipped through Tulsa last time, "Why is this interstate so THIN going through here?" Well, since you explained it that way, it makes sense.

    Like so many initiatives in rural/community/metro departments that would do them all a WORLD of good---the resounding refrain echoes back with "NO, we would rather cut off our nose to spite the face!!!!!"
    I JUST LOVE POLITICS---you're danged if you do and danged if you don't.
    I would love to have these guys in office adhere to a very sound bit of advice:
    When you find yourself in a hole, first thing you do is stop diggin'!
    Oklahoma Bound!

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    Hey RJE!

    You forgot to mention that the only way to get in and out of Tulsa from out of state without paying a toll is from the north on Highway 75.



    Here's a thought about federal funding that I stole from The Federalist (in re federal funding of faith-based charities):

    Instead of confiscating our income and diluting it through the federal beauracracy, why not just offer a tax credit for direct donations and let the people decide where to send it?

    Probable answer: Because it wouldn't buy any votes in the next election.

    [ 08-18-2001: Message edited by: KillerB ]
    Asst. Chief Bill

    International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

    Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

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    RJE
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    They do, but it's bas-akwards.

    Apply yourself, make some money. Buy a house. Start a business. Get to where you can itemize on your taxes. Make a HUGE charitable donation to "shelter" some of your income from those same taxes. Now, if the donation is to a "faith-based organization", you've cut out the whole federal bureacracy, and got your tax break to boot.

    Of course, you only get the benefit of the TAX on the amount you contributed. And if you make a lot of money - the contribution had better be HUGE. And then, after you make the huge contribution, you don't have all that money - do you?

    Oh, by the way - if you claim more than 6% (approx.) of your income went to tax deductible contributions, that's a potential audit trigger! I typically give more like 15-20% - and get audited about 1 year in 3. Good thing I keep all the receipts!

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    Huff -

    I accept your nomination, and hereby pledge to substantially reduce federal taxes and entitlement programs (it's what I call the "tough love" platform) and invest more heavily in the armed forces (which are DEFINITELY, UNQUESTIONABLY defined as a federal responsibility by the Constitution). By dint of the 10th Amendment, all services dropped by the feds may be picked up at the option of the states and localities that want 'em.

    Otherwise, say bye bye to the NEA, the Education Department, and any other department that does not have a constitutional mandate to exist!!!

    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    Hey Bucks,
    I was thinking mainly about pork barrel spending when i started this post. You got some good ideas about cutting out some government agencies. Any more that you think should be dropped? Also how about dropping all the free perks that all the congress people get, free haircuts and other goodies. I have to pay for every thing that i get.

    I may not agree with every thing you say, but i may agree with some of the things you say. Larry

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    I think you all are acing it on the issue of the feds taking taxes and then turning around and giving it to faith-based initiatives. I live 1/8th of a mile from my church; is it necessary for my contributions to their charity work to go to DC and then come back?

    I tell you what, if I traveled that far there would be less of me when I got back, and you can figure there will be less of your money coming back, too.

    Realistically, I don't think local fire protection is much of a federal role, but if they think local law enforcement is, then I want the fire service to be treated equally (not there yet, but moving...)

    I have a hard time with large FD's with larger budgets getting large wads of FIRE $$ for dopey and wasteful projects when small FD's don't have $ for necessities, but I almost have a bigger problem with the fact that local citizens and govts won't support them.

    Ideally, localities should fund their FD's adequately to require no further outside money. Same with law enforcement, schools, etc. As was said earlier, why not reduce fed taxes in an amt. equal to the increase in local taxes it would take to do the same thing with local bucks?

    Just mulling this stuff around, my own opinions. Good to have somewhere for thoughtful discussion--didn't know how I miss college sometimes!
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


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    RJE
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    For Bucks and Larry,

    Here's my list:
    National Endowment for the Arts
    National Endowment for the Humanities
    Dept. of Energy
    Dept. of Education
    Dept. of Health and Human Services - everything but the CDC and immunization programs goes.
    Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (nothing but slum projects - AND highly susceptible to fraud)
    Dept. of Agriculture - about 3/4ths of this one - see my posts in the "5 billion for farmers..." thread

    I could go on, but my fingers are tired today!

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    Personally, I like the faith-based initiative...IF the money stays local.

    But I think it would be much more beneficial to allow people to keep more of their own hard-earned money. Then they could decide to donate to the faith-based or non-faith-based charities of their choice.

    EastKy - I agree with you on the law enforcement issue, to a point. The piece I don't agree with is the "they get some, so we should get the same" argument. NEITHER should get any funding from the feds. Local money, controlled locally, spent in accordance with local priorities by people with an intimate knowledge of the challenges and problems faced locally, is the way to go every time, for both fire and law enforcement.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    RJE -

    I LOVE IT!!

    I would radically downsize the FHWA as well, and let highway money stay in the states that it comes from, instead of letting the feds hold that money hostage every single year.

    In addition, I would designate those funds "transportation funds", not necessarily highway, so that the people of those states and localities could decide whether they want more priority placed on highway construction and maintenance, or on better mass transit and/or airports, seaports, and so forth.

    I'd mix in all of the transportation funds - transit, air, sea, highway, let the states KEEP that money, and let the people of those states, either through their elected representatives or via referendum, decide what the spending priorities should be.

    In fact, that's not a bad way to do business with most of these federal (soon to be ex-federal under President BucksEng91) programs.
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    I just thought of something else. I seem to recall a news program that many mds who went to med school never paid back their loans and we all know how most docs live after they have been practicing medicine for a while. I donot think they should have any tax deductions until that loan is paid back or allowed to buy into tax shelters. I know some folks who are working to pay off government loans for their schooling. some are even working two jobs.
    Larry

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    To Bucks, ya got my vote. Do ya want a donation to your campaign? Ya know I'm gonna want a new fire academy wing here in Montco with my name on it. Also when you get to Washington make sure that you watch our for interns wearing a black dress.

    Larry, considering how many people docs kill each year maybe what we need to do is give out fewer loans and have fewer docs which will in turn lower their kill ratio. What do ya think???

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    I'll remember all these comments when I run for President in 2004.
    Jim Edge, Paramedic/Firefighter
    Wilmington NC
    jedge168@excite.com
    In Memory and Honor of FDNY, NYPD, and NYC EMS 9/11/01

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    huff317

    However, this is an area where we have either through default, lack of income, lack of resources, or just plain ole lack of interest have dropped the ball.

    I go for lack of interest.

    what do we do about funding without having a high tax rate (commensurate with the defense budget of third world countries!) being levied on our local govts?

    Campaign and vote for priorities, not handouts. If your local government is spending money on BS social services like welfare and park projects at the expense of public safety, you need to make that known to the voter.

    As the federal government has come in and funded various programs and administered many, many "good" policies, all in the interest of our "welfare", we have yet to see any collective quality of life improvements, especially from those the government was here to "help".

    Excellent Point. I hope the liberals that are reading this are paying attention! The feds have never gotten involved in anything and made it better.

    but does anyone else have any ideas how to go about operating WITHOUT federal government thinking it has to interfere,

    I think the key is not so much going about operating without the feds thinking they have to interfere as much as it is WE need to think the feds don't have to interfere.

    Us Americans are more and more coming to the mindset that if we don't want to fix our own problems the government should do it. I say don't want to because that is exactley what it is, it's not that we can't solve our own problems it's we don't want to deal with the extra effort necessary to do so.

    The fire service an and of itself could have solved it's funding issue years ago.

    BucksEng91

    Conservative philosophy is finding its way back into the mainstream.

    I saw an excellent example of this the other day regarding a pole (I'm looking for it) - people agree more with the conservative and/or libertarian philosphy than that of the liberal. But they vote democrat out of tradition and for some BS image expertly manipulated that the dems are for the working guy - in spite of the fact they continually do stuff to stiff the working class.

    larry cook

    I wonder if they would have given the tax rebate collectively to a city and let the citizens submit ideas so that the returned money could be spent on something that all of the citizens could use.

    Then you'd have cities of the same size crying because they didn't get the same exact refund. A town of 2,500 citizens that each make less than the required amount annually and doesn't pay federal taxes wouldn't get squate, whereas a town of 2,500 that make enough to pay taxes gets the full refund of $1.5million.

    Why filter it through the feds at all. They just skim what they want for administering it off the top and send you what they think you need.

    I'm with the taxpayer on this one, give me my money and let me spend/donate/save it on what I want.

    KillerB

    Instead of confiscating our income and diluting it through the federal beauracracy, why not just offer a tax credit for direct donations and let the people decide where to send it?

    Probable answer: Because it wouldn't buy any votes in the next election.


    Actually as RJE pointed out it does apply.

    But!

    I think this is where we're headed - might have been a poitically smart move for more tax cuts.

    I envision a scenario where:

    1. the ACCCPLU files a SoCaS lawsuit against the feds for this faith based thing (actually it's unconstitutional on other grounds).

    2. Feds lose.

    3. Bush admin says OK, lets give a tax credit like KillerB called for on the FireHouse Forums back in August of 2001.

    4. Republican in the house and senate and Americans across this great land jump on board.

    4. Liberals are caught between a rock and hard place. If they don't support it they're slamming legitimate charities. If they do, they are giving another Bush victory and lessening hitlarys chances in 2004.

    BucksEng91

    By dint of the 10th Amendment, all services dropped by the feds may be picked up at the option of the states and localities that want 'em.

    Yeah, but that will screw up the electoral college to no end. Imagine all the people that will be moving to the Peoples Republic of Kalifornia, Oregon, Washington, NYC, DC, Houston, and other cradle to grave locales.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

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    Lets us do away with the little box on the IRS forms that ask if you want to contribute to election campaigns. I just had a thought that if we do away with tax supported political campaigns, all we are ever going to get for elected officals are rich people. What am i saying, most offices are held by rich folks who run on other people's money. I wonder if the candidates will want to run on their own money if they can't get government support. Lets cut off all contributions from large corparations. Big time campaign reform.
    Jedge, can you and Bucks afford to run. I start saving for yalls campaign.

    Thanks for letting me spout off. Yall firefighters keep up the good work
    Larry

    [ 08-24-2001: Message edited by: larry cook ]

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    OLE
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    HA! Got you all beat!!!!!

    My Brother-in-law and nephew went to Brainard MN last weekend to the drag races and he brought back pictures of semis hauling a drag car, a funny car and a Humvee to pull them on a strip. Some call it CHEAP advertising..... I call it a WASTE!!!!!!!!

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    OLE
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    OOOps.....got a head of myself...it was the US ARMY that had the funny car, drag car, semis', and humvees!!!!!!!!!

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    OLE -

    Ummmm....what the hell are you talking about?
    "Let's roll." - Todd Beamer, one of a group of American soldiers who handed the terrorists their first defeat.

    Joe Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone (but you can borrow them )and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated (but then again, they just may not be thinking clearly).

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    Whoa back up.
    "...lessening hitlarys chance in 2004"
    You mean she has a chance?
    Say it ain't so Mongo. Say it ain't so!

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