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Author Topic: What I would change in the government  (Read 1520 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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What I would change in the government
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:15:41 pm »
Some of these (most) would require a constitutional amendment (or several depending on how it was written) but here are some changes I would like to see:

o  None of the above should always be a choice on the ballot.
o  With multiple choices (more than two) the voter should be allowed to rank the choices.  This allows more than two parties but hopefully is more consensus than majority.
o  All votes of legislatures should be 2/3 majority.  3/4 majority to override a veto.  This forces both sides to sit down and come to a consensus instead of imposing their views on a scant minority when they are lucky enough to get control of the house or senate.  Laws would be things that both sides believe in and if they don't talk to each other they won't get anything done.  And usually that is best anyway.
o  All laws should automatically sunset in 10 years.  Legislators should be allowed to set longer sunsets but no longer than 20 years.  This keeps laws from accumulating. 
o  All existing laws should sunset in 10 years. "If you want good laws, burn those you have and make new ones."--Voltaire
o  Laws should always have a preamble that states the purpose of the law.  This preamble should always be considered when applying the law.  e.g. a 15 year old girl sending risqu? pictures to her boyfriend should not be charged with making child pornography.  Maybe a misdemeanor charge of some kind, but the intent of the law was not to put 15 year olds in jail.
o  Bureaucratic organizations should not have the force of law and their decisions should be allowed to be contested.
o  Anyone running for office who promises something outside of the scope of that office should be jailed immediately for fraud.
o  Anyone who ran for office and got elected and failed to keep any promise should be jailed for fraud as soon as it becomes obvious that the promise was not kept.
o  The government should NEVER fund research.  They should find things worth accomplishing and offer prizes.  e.g. if you think breast cancer is the major issue then offer a billion dollar prize to anyone who can cure it.  Never fund treatments.  Only cures.
  Some examples of how this has worked in history:
  o  1418 Brunelleschi solved the problem of domes and arches (he figured out that a catenary arch is what actually holds up all arches and domes which is why a dome had to get thicker as it got wider.  What was actually happening was that you were enlarging the thickness enough for a catenary arch to fall within the structure, so if the arch or dome simply followed the catenary shape it could be as thin as you like) to collect the prize of 200 gold florins. 
  o  John Harrison won the prize for solving Longitude in 1714.  He collected 20,000 British Pounds. 
  o  In the late 1700's Napoleon offered a 12,000 franc prize for a practical method of preserving food for his army.  Nicolas Appert collected the prize for inventing canning as preservation for food. 
o  The government should not be allowed to spend more than they take in.
o  The government should not be allowed to tax more than 10%.  Prioritize.  You should not be taking from your neighbor anything you don't want taken at gunpoint.  Taxes are gunpoint in the end.
o  The federal government should standardize tests to grant Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in basic fields as they already do with the GED.  They could even provide a curriculum list of YouTube videos that would help prepare people for the test.  This is a doable method to allow people a free education without costing the taxpayers any significant amount of money.  Of course you can still go to Harvard, if you can afford the bribe to get in and the bribe to stay in...
o  Government imposed monopolies should be eliminated.  Anytime there are licenses the government is imposing a monopoly.

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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 12:48:38 am »
Those are great ideas.
The problem with the laws about politicians is that we don?t have enough jails to house of them. 🤗
The other problem is that those same politicians will never let us enacted them.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 08:11:56 am »
>The other problem is that those same politicians will never let us enacted them.

That is a fact.  They have a monopoly and they don't want to endanger it.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 01:27:35 pm »
I would tax all property, regardless of who owns it or the use made of it.  This would extend taxation to real and "personal" property owned by religious organizations.   I realize this squeezes churches and chafes religious people's feelings, but megachurches are the result of churches becoming huge businesses that we see now.  Likewise, income should all be taxed.  Nonprofits should be truly nonprofits.  Preachers and heads of "nonprofit" corporations that knock down a million bucks a year and fly around in private jets are, to me, an abomination.

I would end the civil forfeiture bonanza that has resulted in governments seizing money and property on suspicion that it has been illegally gained and forcing a person to go before stacked coirts to try to recover seized property.  Unless a criminal conviction of some sort related to the property is involved, then property would have to be returned to the claimant forthwith -- meaning immediately. 

Eminent domain could be used to take property only for legitimate governmental purposes.  In the New London, CT, seizure of homes to benefit a drug company, the company was promising to build facilities that would create a number of jobs.  New London took people's homes and caused them to be leveled.  The company then decided not to locate in New London after all, but the people still lost their homes.  So far as I know, the land remains undeveloped.  The SCOTUS ruled against the home owners, as I recall, but I think it was a terrible decision and the seizure was unconstitutional under the "Takings Clause" of the Fifth Amendment.  Unfortunately, I do not have a vote on the SCOTUS.

"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline kathyp

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 02:13:48 pm »
Quote
I would tax all property, regardless of who owns it or the use made of it.  This would extend taxation to real and "personal" property owned by religious organizations.   I realize this squeezes churches and chafes religious people's feelings, but megachurches are the result of churches becoming huge businesses that we see now.  Likewise, income should all be taxed.  Nonprofits should be truly nonprofits.  Preachers and heads of "nonprofit" corporations that knock down a million bucks a year and fly around in private jets are, to me, an abomination.

While I agree that Mega-Churches are an abomination in most cases, they are the minority.  Taxing all churches because of the few might be a step too far.  I have two churches on my block and both are small and poor.  The pastors have other jobs to make ends meet.  Even so, both churches are very community involved with feeding, clothing, and other services offered at no charge.  In all the disasters I have done, the churches have been doing the work to help people long before the NGOs are set up and going.

People who work for non-profits and are paid, pay taxes on income.  The question of how much they are paid is a different thing.  Most NGOs have boards that determine these things.  They pay top people what they think they need to pay to get qualified applicants.  To get a CEO with the experience and qualifications to run a large organization, you have to pay for them.  That person is not going to volunteer their services.

On the above, I understand the sentiment, but I think the reality would be more damaging than helpful.

On your last two, I agree completely.

They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline iddee

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2019, 02:45:32 pm »
"" Taxing all churches because of the few might be a step too far. ""

All that would take is an auto deduction of the first 50,000 or so, and tax any amount above that.

""To get a CEO with the experience and qualifications to run a large organization, you have to pay for them.  That person is not going to volunteer their services.""

Check out the leaders of the Mormon church and see how well that statement holds up.

As for the rest of Dallas's post, I think taxes should be based on income and there should NOT be a property tax. I see too much skulduggery in property appraisals. i can imagine how it is in more urban areas.


"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline kathyp

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 03:57:04 pm »
Quote
Check out the leaders of the Mormon church and see how well that statement holds up.

I have no idea what the Mormons do, but I was talking about some of the bigger NGOs that are multi-national and handling billions of donar dollars and many 1000s of people.  Probably don't want them managed by Joe, who has a good heart, but no experience.  :grin:


Quote
As for the rest of Dallas's post, I think taxes should be based on income and there should NOT be a property tax. I see too much skulduggery in property appraisals. i can imagine how it is in more urban areas.

ALL income that has not already been taxed. 

They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline iddee

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 04:24:55 pm »
Here is a sample. Notice the last sentence.

The LDS Church uses most of its financial resources to construct and maintain buildings and other facilities. The church also spends its funds on providing social welfare and relief and supporting missionary, educational, and other church-sponsored programs.[21][22] Additionally, mission presidents,[23] who serve full-time in these capacities, can receive compensation from the church in the form of housing, living allowances, and other benefits while they are on assignment. No funds are provided for services rendered.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finances_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints


"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Acebird

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2019, 06:04:27 pm »

o  Bureaucratic organizations should not have the force of law and their decisions should be allowed to be contested.
You want to get rid of the third branch of government?  That would be a big one.

Quote
o  The federal government should standardize tests to grant Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in basic fields as they already do with the GED.
Not sure you will get what you are looking for.  Unfortunately a GED has the stigma of a drop out so it is not valued as much as a diploma.  I am not sure if a college equivalency would have the same stigma.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2019, 06:06:57 pm »
Tax everything.  Poor churches should give up or combine.  They could worship out of someone's living room.
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Offline kathyp

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2019, 07:23:43 pm »
Quote
The federal government should standardize tests to grant Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees in basic fields as they already do with the GED.

Just stop patronizing brick and mortar colleges.  There is little at the undergrad level that can't be done online and the same for much of the masters and even Ph.D. work.  There are exceptions, but even there, 8 + years in a classroom is not required.  If people would get over the idea that they need to have the name of a particular college attached to the diploma, it would be faster and cheaper to get that degree. 

I know two people who have done their masters work online in the last couple of years.  They did it through accredited colleges and got jobs when done that were what they wanted.  Cheaper and faster. 
They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline salvo

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 08:10:59 pm »
Hi Folks,

Regarding taxes. It is my understanding that Harvard University wrote/compiled the Massachusetts General Laws, in the mid 1600's. Their payment for that service was exemption from real and personal (Chattel) property taxes PERIOD. Even then, smart people knew to evade taxes. As time passed, Harvard accumulated more property,... all exempt from taxation.

A precedent was set. Schools sprang up and "government" bestowed exempt status on them.

As tax-exempt institutions, nonprofits don?t pay property taxes. That?s a big deal in Boston, where half the city?s relatively modest land mass is not subject to taxation, thanks to the big footprints of government entities, universities, medical centers and other nonprofits. Those enterprises make significant use of roads, transit, utilities and other city services, even though they don?t contribute much to their upkeep.

For the seventh year in a row, Harvard University paid less than what the City of Boston requested in its payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement. That agreement is for large educational and medical nonprofits to pay 25 percent of the property taxes they would have to pay, only half of which need take the form of cash payments to the city, were they not tax-exempt.

$29.6 billion of Philly real estate is exempt from property taxes. Should nonprofits be asked to pay up?

You can always tell a person from Harvard. You just can't tell them much.

Sal

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Offline Anonimo22

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2019, 08:13:00 am »
One big violation that I feel trouble from is that spouses of elected officials shouldn't be able to run for the same positions.

We're seeing from the Obamas and the Clintons that a relative of the one that ran the country into the ground and left office has come up with some clever ways to try to get sneaky back doors in.

The thing with laws...you gentlemen made some great points and I applaud your patriotism. And it is good and of value that you care enough to even speak up.

One thing though...both good and evil exist. So because evil exists its hard to have no laws. But if men were good enough and could handle themselves well I do agree less rules would be better then.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 09:01:50 am »
>I would tax all property, regardless of who owns it or the use made of it.  This would extend taxation to real and "personal" property owned by religious organizations.

If I have a right to own property then property tax is a violation of that right.  I would prefer to get rid of all property tax.

>You want to get rid of the third branch of government? 

You mean the fourth don't you?  Executive, Legislative, Judicial and Bureaucracies.  I'm not saying you can entirely get rid of Bureaucracies, but you can get rid of a lot of them and constrain the remaining ones.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Acebird

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 09:18:30 am »
I know two people who have done their masters work online in the last couple of years.
Trump University?
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Offline Acebird

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 09:19:46 am »
Sal, Harvard and other ivy league colleges are non profit???  I don't believe that.
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Offline jvalentour

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 09:29:22 am »
You won't read it but here is is from Harvard. 

https://oc.finance.harvard.edu/faq/harvard-university-tax-exempt-organization

President and Fellows of Harvard College is exempt from federal income tax as an educational institution under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

As an educational institution, Harvard is also exempt from Massachusetts state income tax.

Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2019, 10:13:40 am »
Sal, Harvard and other ivy league colleges are non profit???  I don't believe that.

Non-profit corporations just means there are no shareholders owning the entity, not that it does not operate at a profit.  If there are no shareholders, then who are the owners?  That varies.  It could be member-owned.  An association or so-called benevolent society or religious organization.  Whatever, I wonder if the directors or people running the entity have the same kind of feeling that there are owners looking over their shoulders hoping to make a profit from their investment and thereby keeping the bad actors from taking over the operation.  I have seen non-profits that operate efficiently, ethically and frugally and I have seen others that seem to be more like government bureaus, with waste and corruption rampant.

That is not to say that shareholder ownership cannot also result in corruption and waste.  It depends on the board of directors, I suppose.  I doubt that corrupt management can exist without the board being in collusion or inattentive, whether the entity is a for-profit or non-profit one.  Or governmental. 

My first wife was a VA hospital administrator.  My present wife and I were stunned and appalled when she proudly announced once that her hospital had completed the previous fiscal year one million dollars under budget, so she had purchased all new furniture for the medical doctors.  I understand that under the federal bureaucratic system you have to use it or lose it, but surely there had to be a better way to use $1,000,000.  Patient care comes to mind first thing (this predates the scandals regarding poor treatment of veterans).  My present wife made some caustic comment, so we have not had occasion to carry on much in the way of conversations with wife number 1 since that time.  No great loss, I suppose, and I guess you folks can understand why the lady is my former wife.  Sorry for the personal note, but I thought it might be of interest and illustrative of some of my previous points.



"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline Dallasbeek

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2019, 10:25:21 am »
>I would tax all property, regardless of who owns it or the use made of it.  This would extend taxation to real and "personal" property owned by religious organizations.

If I have a right to own property then property tax is a violation of that right.  I would prefer to get rid of all property tax.

I would agree to that, Mr. Bush, but if we are going to tax any property, then I think we should tax all property without exception.

There are some states like Arizona where most of the land is under federal ownership, thus forcing the states, counties and cities to burden the citizens with unfair taxes to operate.

I can think of some places like Santa Fe, NM, and most of Hawaii where the native populations are unable to live or live in poverty because property values have risen so high that the taxes are far beyond their means or are such an extreme burden that they are forced to sell land that has been in their families for many generations.
"Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no laws, no court can save it." - Judge Learned Hand, 1944

Offline kathyp

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Re: What I would change in the government
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2019, 11:16:15 am »
Quote
There are some states like Arizona where most of the land is under federal ownership

Maybe the states should start taxing the feds   :cheesy:

Quote
Trump University?

Lol.  No, one did Governors U and the other OSU (Oregon, not Ohio). 

Quote
Non-profit corporations just means there are no shareholders owning the entity, not that it does not operate at a profit.

They also have a limit on how much they can keep in liquid assets BUT all the colleges have billions in endowments that are also not taxed and apparently not used to keep the cost down either.  They get "in-kind" donations that are not taxed.  Even so, they are subsidized by student grants, loans, scholarships, etc. 

These areas are certainly areas that should be looked into.  There is no reason for some of these schools to be sitting on billions of tax free dollars while at the same time jacking up tuition year after year. 

Quote
I understand that under the federal bureaucratic system you have to use it or lose it,

This is a stupid way to budget.  We used to do the same thing in the military.  In those rare years that we had not used our money we'd get to the end of summer and wonder where we could spend what was left.  Instead, we should reward efficiency, but that would assume that an efficient entity was running things!



They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license.
Alexis de Tocqueville