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View Poll Results: Money flow goes to
defense budget arms industry 2 14.29%
decent national health care system 1 7.14%
education 2 14.29%
controlled development aid 2 14.29%
combination of 2,3 and 4; cut of defense budget/ arms industry support 3 21.43%
other 4 28.57%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-25-2002, 04:34 AM   #1
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U.S. budget investments

It would be interesting what you, yes you, think of the construction of the budget. Where do you think should the U.S. invest more money? If you vote for "other" in the poll, please explain.

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Old 09-25-2002, 02:25 PM   #2
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I thought it would be important to see where the USA actually spends its money and how much it spends in each area. This is what the USA 's budget was and where the money was spent from Oct 1, 2000 to Sept. 30, 2001. the Source for this info is the US Department of the Treasury.

National Defense 304.5 Billion
International Affairs 16.5 Billion
Technology, Gen. Space/Science 20.7 Billion
Nat. Resources and Environment 23.7 Billion
Agriculture 28.3 Billion
Commerce and Housing Credit 5.8 Billion
Transportation 53.9 Billion
Community and Regional Development 12.8 Billion
Education 62.9 Billion
Health 171.9 Billion
Social Security 433.0 Billion
Medicare 217.4 Billion
Income Security 263.3 Billion
Veterans Benefits 45.0 Billion
Administration of Justice 29.8 Billion
General Government 15.1 Billion
Interest 206.1 Billion
Undistributed offsetting receipts -47.0 Billion

Total Budget Outlays 1,863.0 Billion
Total Budget 1,990.0 Billion
Surplus 127.0 Billion

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Old 09-25-2002, 02:28 PM   #3
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I voted for other for increased defense spending and controlled development aid. I feel though given the wide variety of possible spending programs that people should have far more multiple choices in the poll of what to spend money on. The way the poll is made now is obviously scued and will produce I think an unrepresentive result. In light of this, I'd encourage people to choose other and explain in light of the federal budget above where they want to spend money.
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Old 09-25-2002, 02:45 PM   #4
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Hmm...a kind of "If I were President..." question...

I voted "Other," because I do view this poll as oversimplifying a major structure that has built-in obstructionism, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Unfortunately, that has created a bloated structure has become so large that it has almost become too incomprehensible to manage. Hence, we have a highly complicated tax structure and money just leaking at the seams.

Truthfully, though, the first thing I would do is probably audit the entire American budget, and I would try and itemize where everything is spent. Then, I would start making cuts on things that shouldn't exist anymore, such as an 1898 "luxury tax" on gasoline to help pay for the long-finished Spanish-American War that we are *still* collecting taxes on. Cuts could probably be made in several places. Then, I would likely restructure the tax system to ensure that those who have the money pay their fair share of taxes. A revised "flat tax" plan might not be a bad idea after all, but I would make that "flat tax" more of a graduated flat tax, depending on how much one makes, with no more deductions loopholes. 18% across the board, as Steve Forbes once proposed, would have put an undue burden on the poor (their taxes would actually have gone up 2%) and given a massive tax cut for the ultra-wealthy. Corporations also need a similar structure to ensure that mega corporations pay their share of taxes as well. Hence, no more Enrons getting away with no taxes.

Secondly, I would start assessing what needs to be fixed--and there is a lot. "Urban decay" has been seen as a simple matter-of-fact for, at least, a couple of generations of Americans. The problem arises, however, when one visits Europe and that "urban decay" is only a minute fraction of the city, which seems more vibrant than ever. I would likely put a lot of money towards infrastructure improvements--cities, roads, etc.

Next, I would likely restructure the nature of the public debt system, because, as you can read above, 206.1 billion dollars went to loan interest *alone* in 2000-2001. I don't know about you, but that is a *lot* of money being used on debt payments. I would put in a system to eventually pay off the debt and to limit our ability to accumulate such a debt in the future. This is precisely why the current Bush Administration infuriated me so, giving a massive tax cut that we clearly cannot afford now, assuming that some magic economic boom is on the horizon...which we don't know will happen or not.

Just some thoughts...

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Old 09-25-2002, 03:32 PM   #5
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I agree with about 2/3s of what Melon said. As far as taking care of ourselves and our standard of living here is where the USA and other countries ranked in the UN Human Development Report for 2001:

1. Norway
2. Australia
3. Canada
4. Sweden
5. Belgium
6. United States
7. Iceland
8. Netherlands
9. Japan
10. Finland
11. Switzerland
12. Luxembourg
13. France
14. United Kingdom
15. Denmark
16. Austria
17. Germany
18. Ireland
19. New Zealand
20. Italy
21. Spain
22. Israel
23. Greece
24. Hong Kong
25. Cyprus
26. Singapore
27. South Korea
28. Portugal
29. Slovenia
30. Malta
31. Barbados
32. Brunei Darussalam
33. Czech Republic
34. Argentina
35. Slovakia
36. Hungary
37. Uruguay
38. Poland
39. Chile
40. Bahrain
41. Costa Rica
42. Bahamas
43. Kuwait
44. Estonia
45. United Arab Emirates
46. Croatia
47. Lithuania
48. Qatar
49. Trinidad and Tobago
50. Latvia
51. Mexico
52. Panama
53. Belarus
54. Belize
55. Russian Federation
56. Malaysia
57. Bulgaria
58. Romania
59. Libyan Arab Jamagiriya
60. Macedonia
61. Venezuela
62. Colombia
63. Mauritius
64. Suriname
65. Lebanon
66. Thailand
67. Fiji
68. Saudi Arabia
69. Brazil
70. Philippines
71. Oman
72. Armenia
73. Peru
74. Ukraine
75. Kazakhstan
76. Georgia
77. Maldives
78. Jamaica
79. Azerbaijan
80. Paraguay
81. Sri Lanka
82. Turkey
83. Turkmenistan
84. Ecuador
85. Albania
86. Dominican Republic
87. China
88. Jordan
89. Tunisia
90. Iran
91. Cape Verde
92. Kyrgyzstan
93. Guyana
94. South Africa
95. El Salvador
96. Samoa
97. Syria
98. Moldova
99. Uzbekistan
100. Algeria

This is just the top 100, there are over 60 more countries on the list.
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Old 09-25-2002, 04:01 PM   #6
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*slaps forehead* i'm a dumbass, sorry. i misread the question and voted for the wrong dang thing.

anyway, i pretty much agree with what melon said.
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:48 PM   #7
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Other. I agree with Melon and Sting2 that the thread is oversimplified and the choices are too limited and not flexible enough.

I think we need an overall tax reform package and an overall spending reform package, also similar to Melon, but perhaps with a different approach.

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Old 09-26-2002, 06:27 AM   #8
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I knew that the poll was oversimplified when I made it, so I agree with what you were critisizing me for. But take into account that I am not fron the U.S. and therefore didn┤t know what other important issues you would have. A tax reform seems to be relatively high on the list of priorities, too, and everyone pays interests for debts...

I chose to simplify this poll and offer you, kind voters, only one "other", but as we already have 4 voices for "other" and people explain, I guess thats ok. Take it easy and continue.

Side note: does anyone have data to which states the U.S. owe much money and to who less? And question to economists: wouldn┤t it be possible to equal out the debts in the sense that f.e. U.S. owes Great Britian one billion, Great Britian owes U.S. 750 millions, so equal it out and U.S. only owes 250 millions and GB nothing? (Data fictional).
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:43 PM   #9
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This may be really selfish of me, but I chose education. The state of Iowa has cut its fuding to its schools by unprecidented margins, and the students are expected to pick up the slack. This year, my tuition increased 19.3% and the Iowa board of regents is meeting again to vote on yet another increase. This time the proposed increase is 20.3%. Students are now covering over 40% of my university's budget - and this is a state university for crying out loud!

And as if the tuition increases weren't enough, the number of sections offered for classes was cut, so now the classes are completely jam packed with students. In many cases, class sizes are in violation of many of the buildings' fire code rules. In my calc class, there aren't even enough desks for each of the students. One of my friends actually had to transfer to another college because he could only get into one of the classes that was required for his major. Now that's just ri-god-damn-diculous! I'm not even going to get started on teachers' salaries or the lack of financial aid available through work study or grants...

I know I may sound like I'm just bitching and moaning and I'm sure that many of you think that it's a problem at the state level, but it's not. I'm a student development representative here at the University of Northern Iowa, so I deal hands on with fundraising efforts. When I call out-of-state alumni and tell them why UNI needs their contributions now more than ever, I hear over and over again, "Honey, we're getting the budget cuts too."
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Old 09-26-2002, 02:29 PM   #10
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Originally posted by kariatari
This may be really selfish of me, but I chose education.

my state (tennessee) is in the same boat, too. funding's being cut everywhere. i too go to a state school. luckily, i have state grant money guaranteed for the year and hope to get my scholarship back next year so i won't have to pay for the increasing tuition. (it went from $1500/semester last year to $1800 now!)

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