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View Diary: We are ALL dependent on the government! (44 comments)

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  •  Fed vs. State vs. Local (3+ / 0-)

    You erroneously conflate services from Federal, State and Local governmental bodies into one.

    To keep our homes and streets and roads safe, we depend on our police and fire and highway patrols.
    All state and local services.

    Schools.. all local with some state involvement and minimal to non-existent federal backing dependent on school district.

    Almost no one argues any of these things are bad or unnecessary.  What some of us smaller federal government types DO argue, however, is that some of these local/state functions should not be co-opted by the federal government.

    It is not a function of the feds to fund school repairs.. or pay for teachers or even worry about the condition of roads that are not interstates.

    •  Extensive federal subsidies fund state and local (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, Hirodog, MeToo

      governments. That's something which is often downplayed. Much of the "local" funding for public/subsidized housing comes from Federal monies, as does a part of Medicaid. Yes, the states and localities collect taxes and sell bonds for revenue, but, they don't get there alone. Back when I lived in Alexandria, VA, the city comptroller would issue a multi-page financial statement to each of its residences. I made a point of sitting down and reading it, cover to cover, every year I lived in the Del Rey section of the city. Federal grants were on nearly every page. I don't know if your local governments make that information as easily accessible, but, if they do, read it over and see where the dollars really come from. You might be surprised.


      •  This, however, is a bug, not a feature (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beastly Fool, gerrilea

        Yes, I realize how insidious the federal government is.  It tries to insert itself into nearly every facet of our lives.  Even very small federal contributions to a certain local service gives the feds regulatory control.

        Medicaid is a federal program.  Certain housing programs are federal.. that's fine.

        What I am talking about is attributing to the federal government services that are traditionally, and still mainly, functions of local governments - i.e. local road maintenance, police, fire protection, schools.  In most communities, these are funded 90% or more locally, and should remain so.

        •  Let's Get Some Things Straight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beastly Fool

          The average federal employee is doing a job as guided by Congress of political appointees from whatever administration is in office.  We do our best despite them, but have an obligation to follow their guidance. The media tends to forget this and then we Federal workers are identified as the problem and are thus called "insidious".  That's bullshit.

          Let's not confuse the good work done by the rank and file Federal employee with the often inept work of our elected officials and their political operatives, who I hope we can all agree, are at an all time low when it comes to effectiveness.

          This federal employee thanks you for your understanding.  I chose to pursue my career to serve the public, and I am proud of the good work that my colleagues do for all of us.  We do an awful lot nowadays with minimal staffing and very tight budgets.

          Those who don't like government should move to Somalia.  

          •  I had respect for your posting up until the last (0+ / 0-)


            It's not about "not liking government', it's the redundancy, waste and failure to accomplish goals.  Goals that should help every single American in some fashion.

            When we provide food stamps, housing and support for the most needy, it should go to them, without the bloat of bureaucracy.   You may "X" and the average wage is "Z", here's the difference.  Simple.

            Better yet, end our participation in NAFTA, GATT and the WTO and tax the hell out of any company that offshores jobs.  Put tariffs in place that raise the price of foreign manufactured products to fund these these "benefit" programs.

            We have to start making things again if we are to restore "the American Dream".

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:05:08 PM PDT

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            •  A thoughtful response, but (0+ / 0-)

              rife with generalizations and talking points--bloat, waste, failure...sure these things happen, but tarring government with these terms in a generalized fashion just keeps the meme that "government is bad" alive.  We need to reframe the conversation, because responses like yours are exactly what the John Birch Society Republicans want you to say.  

              •  What others want is immaterial to what I believe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bon Temps, andalusi

                I may from time to time agree with others on somethings however.  I come here to DK to share those similarities and often times, the differences.

                The muddying of the waters by equating my position to "the John Birch Society Republicans" isn't productive.  It shows a manipulation of "the conversation", very limiting one dimensional "reframing".  

                Our government is "bad".  As I've stated various times, there is no escaping this reality.  The war on whistleblowers, the racist war on drugs, the unfunded wars for the profits of Kellogg Brown and Root, Exxon Mobil et. al.  The crimes it enables and then hides, obfuscates and never prosecutes, ie torture, indefinite detention, the banker "bailout", the mortgage fraud, telecom immunity, congressional insider trading, etc.

                There are over 4 million government employees that I cannot hold accountable.  The crimes of our police are a big one for me.  The crimes of the board of elections is another. The crimes of the SEC yet another. The "parties" we have control what the "conversation" is to keep themselves in power.  Why didn't anyone during the Presidential Debates ask real questions?  Such as the crimes I've pointed out above?

                Recall during a Kerry speech a young college student was beaten and tazered and then arrested for asking him a real question.  Why do we allow those "free speech zones" again?  A Bush Crime Syndicate creation?  Why wasn't that criminal cabal prosecuted?  The Innocence Project, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundations are the only ones trying to hold our criminal government accountable.

                Can you not understand this?  Why does it take private citizen activists and their grass roots associations to get things corrected again?  Why?  This reveals how corrupt and "bad" our government has become.  The fact that we have to organize privately against it.

                We gave you guys a set of instructions, follow them.  When you don't, you should be prosecuted, removed from your position and never allowed to work for the government or make money from it, ever again.

                We once had the most effective and efficient government known to humanity.  One that helped Americans.  I want that back, thank you very much.

                The conversation needs to be how do we do this.  And the only way forward is to admit and face the problem, not deny and obfuscate it.  We should revisit the actual goal of why we created this government.  

                I do not want anyone else telling me what I can or cannot eat, grow or do.  I do want to know what it is I am eating.  If a product can hurt me, I want to know.  Let me decide if I will ingest it.  I don't want to be told to buy a for-profit service that does nothing for me.  I want a government that will hold my fellow Americans accountable when they inflict harm upon me or invade my rights to clean air, water and soil.  Not a government that says if you pay me, you can do whatever you want. And if you become "too big to fail", we'll take the money from the American people and perpetuate your fraud and crimes.

                We have real problems and maybe this posting will help you understand where many of us are coming from, those of us that call ourselves Progressive Democrats.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:39:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  the problem though is that as soon as the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, jm214

      "government bad !!!" kookers get elected to local and state office, they immediately begin dismantling those, too.  

      What the kookers want is NO government, at all. Other than to bomb people or put them in jail.

      Freedomz and liberteez, and stuff.

      •  I don' t know if I agree with that, really. (0+ / 0-)

        Once they get into office they destroy the programs by intentional mismanagement.  Then they can claim to the taxpayer, "private business can do it better".

        The problem is that government has become criminal.  Hold elected officials accountable with tar and feathers or jail time.

        If you don't do the job we hired you to do and it's intentional, get the tar and feathers out, if it's really bad, prosecute them.  Ban them from any government jobs and/or contracts for life.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:09:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in Florida (0+ / 0-)

          Every single day, I see the results that happen when anti-government libertarian kookjobs get to make decisions on funding state and local governments. It's why we are laying off teachers, closing down parks, and shutting down libraries.

          •  Odd isn't it? Yet they won't prosecute the (0+ / 0-)

            criminals for what they've done.  The intentional acts to undermine the very fabric of our social compact, ie the constitution.

            They won't defund the Military Industrial Complex or the Prison Industrial Complex.  They won't hold the criminals on Wall Street accountable. They won't hold the telecoms accountable and they surely won't hold the Bankers and the Federal Reserve accountable for their crimes of driving the majority of Americans into perpetual poverty.

            They've misdirected their anger at the wrong targets, imo.

            I don't think I'd call them "kookjobs" however.  The allure of freedom is very enticing.  They've been hoodwinked and conned into believing "freedom" is defined as "no government".  They forget that their rights end where mine begin and to have a "civil" society we must have a neutral arbiter when we transgress each others rights.

            The examples of cutting teachers, libraries and parks only reveals how truly limited our local officials are.  That's all they can cut.  It doesn't change the underlying problems, the institutionalized racist police actions and/or criminal mentality that our "officials" have.  

            When the population wakes up and find our country has been sold to the highest bidder or the "most connected" then they'll be put out of office too, I hope.


            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:03:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I MEANT to conflate them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let me explain briefly.

      As a child growing up in the 1950s, my father held the government, and all who represented the government, in contempt.  It was small time, but he sold MARGARINE across state lines to Minnesota, where it was not allowed because they were protecting their BUTTER industry. It sounds absurd today, I know.

      Jump to his death in 1978, when I was told he'd spent time in prison, in Minnesota, for writing bad checks. The contempt he learned for government generalized to ALL forms of government, and he passed it to all his kids.

      I felt contempt for the police (and the feds) during my drug days, and when I became politically aware, the 'fascists' running the government also became conflated in my mind.

      I observed along the way that this conflation, this generalization, is the experience for many less educated, less activist, less political among the public. The gummint is the gummint, and that's that. Pay yer taxes and don't complain TOO much.

      So part of what we have to do to change things is to clarify what's actually happening with the government, who the players are, how it's affected by the lobbys and media, and continually revisit the how of the public's actual perception and experience of our government, our shared enterprise and continuing experiment in social justice and liberty...

      "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:23:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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