Just for fun, here are all of my political views. I'm not super into politics at all - in fact before Bush started screwing everything up, I had zero interest in them. I definitely haven't done enough research to have definitive stances on most of these things, so take them with a grain of salt.
This is the one I care about the most. Our tax system is extremely screwed up. Did you know that we're one of only TWO countries in the world who tax their citizens if they don't live in the country or make money in the country? If I spend a year traveling the world, making money online, I STILL have to pay taxes in the US (there's a partial exemption that it's possible to qualify for).
We should really get rid of the income tax and move to a national flat sales tax. Americans spend WAY too much money. If there was a higher sales tax, but no income tax, people would be encouraged to save money. This would lighten the load on social security, welfare, and other handouts.
The sales tax would also be nice because Americans would have to pay significantly LESS money each. The operations of the IRS takes up a non-negligible part of your taxes for one. Second, tourists (which we have TONS of) would pay a lot more in sales tax. Win-win-win.
Overall I'm in favor of major government cuts as well, which would further lower taxes.
Definitely in favor of abortion. Let's say I'm going to have 2 kids in my lifetime. If I have two now, when I'm not at all prepared to have them, they'll probably have a worse life than if I have them later when I'm ready for kids. If I'm going to add two humans to our population count, I want them to have the best life possible.
Leave people alone. I don't know NEARLY enough about Iraq to have a valid opinion on it, but it really doesn't seem like it's any of our business to be there. It has been pretty obvious from the start that 9/11 had nothing to do with Saddam, and basically everyone knows it. Overseas we are seen (because we ARE) a huge bully who throws their weight around to get our way.
9/11 was a tiny little BLIP on the radar screen. So few people died in comparison to say... drunk driving accidents that year, that we should just move on with our lives. As Ron Paul says, they're pissed at us because we're over there in their business.
I'm not a dove, though. If a country threatens or attacks the US, I'm all about sending the boys in to take care of business.
I think pretty much everything should be Privatized. People love to go on about how evil corporations are. How GOOD is the government? It is WAY more corrupt and has way less oversight than the average large company.
I'd like to see every budget cut except for education. Double it. The only way to ensure our country's long term success is to make sure that we have the smartest and most able citizens anywhere. As is, we are huge idiots. Next time you're out of the country, ask people what they think about Americans.
I'd like to see a wider range of subjects taught. Why our our kids not learning Chinese? Nothing about personal finance, social skills, or diet? Is chemistry REALLY more important than any of those?
The whole system probably needs to be restructured. School should be a place that MOST kids like to go because they can learn and work on personal projects. As is, it is basically daycare (if you look into this, you'll find that it actually started because people didn't know what to do with their kids all day).
I'd even like to see school be free through college. This is probably surprising since I'm pretty libertarian and hate college. We have a large pool of people in the country, and I'd like to make sure that those with the most drive and natural talent make it to the top and further the country's goals.
I think our system's fine. I have a huge rant about this in the forums (scroll down a little ways).
The best way to improve our system is through education. Regulating what foods people can and can't eat is oppressive and encourages people to eat the next worst thing on the menu. If children learn from the beginning HOW the body processes food, what's good to eat and why, and is eating healthy in school, and is physically active in school, more people will end up needing far less healthy care.
For 21 years of my life I ate as poorly as possible because I had no idea why it was important to eat healthy. To me it was a matter of "am I fat?". I never was, so I ate McDonalds.
Leaving People Behind
This stance doesn't fit neatly into a single category. A country isn't defined by it's slackers and drug addled losers. It's defined by the people who excel and contribute. I want the system to accelerate the progress of people who are motivated and smart, and leave people alone who aren't.
For example, high school classes are dumbed down for people who aren't doing the work or who can't get it. That's ridiculous. Don't want to get with the program? Fine... you're going to fail and you won't get your high school diploma. At the same time, some people are more independent and need to learn in different ways. If someone wants to sit at a computer all day and teach himself how to program video games, that's fine too.
I would legalize prostitution, gambling, and drugs. Prostitution and drugs would have high taxes, like everything else. If someone wants to do crack and buy a girlfriend, that's fine with me. I think it's stupid, but it's not the government's place to protect people from themselves. In fact, I'm in favor of stupid people killing themselves through poor choices and getting out of the gene pool. We need to focus on long term - what will make the US the best place to live and work and contribute to the world?
Legalizing these three things would take a HUGE burden off of police.
Oh, and I would also broaden our gun laws so that anyone can have a gun and carry it however they please. If you have any sort of criminal record (for a crime WITH a victim), you can't have a gun.
This is a tough one. On one side I think it's dangerous to have the government start making moral calls. On the other, I find public parks to be extremely beneficial. Would we totally screw over the environment without legislation? Possibly.
Let's put more power in the hands of the states. Why not have them compete for our residence? Is Delaware awesome at handling education? If people are leaving Chicago for Delaware because their kids will come out smarter, Chicago will improve their education system. OR maybe they'll say "oh yeah? We have the best job opportunities because we have super low corporate taxes. Send your kids here after they graduate". Specialization could be good.
The corrupt states with high overhead would see people leaving and would have to shape up FAST.
This would also help us test new things. Maybe Oregon ups the speed limit to 100mph and finds that there are fewer wrecks and more people come through and spend money at gas stations. Then other states could copy. When the WHOLE US is used to test we lose perspective, and it's also harder.
I don't like the current tax system either, but replacing it with a national sales tax is not the answer. Lower income earners spend the majority of their income on consumables, which would be taxable under your system. Higher earners, who save more, would not be taxed on the money they're not spending. Lower income earners would have most of their income exposed to taxes, while higher income earners would not.
I agree with you on a lot of things in fact almost everything. And agreeably with the Education there are problems but i don't think throwing money at it carelessly would solve anything. In the end i think America does way to much of that to begin with. After all look at the billions spent on bail outs lately, and yet those same company's end up in debt soon after. There was a reason they got into trouble if a company cant sustain itself it fails, that is how a free economy is supposed to work but our government doesn't seem to get that. I personally think the reason the schools fail is because slowly America in general at least has indeed slowly become stupid in general and many people out there want a free hand out in life and don't want to actually work for the knowledge to get them somewhere in life. However i must agree on the rest of the topics you did flawlessly. However un-likely it is that you would run i would easily give you my vote for president over any of the disasters we have had to pick from in the last few decades.
Education: More money is not the solution.
Proof: The USA already spends more on education per student than nearly every other country and yet look at our test scores compared to them. It's something else that needs to be fixed. I don't know what it is exactly. My only advice is that teachers should be supported more by the principal and parents. Every parent thinks their kid is a saint (the bad guy think he's the hero of his own life story) and won't side with the teacher.
Being from a country that differs a lot from the US in almost everything I can't really relate to many of this issues.
Just a few notes:
Foreign policy: If someone gets fucked up over and over again they will eventually explode. It happened when the USA was formed, throwing out the English. It happened/happens in Africa when old colonies are being liberated. And it happens now in Iraq, Afghanistan etcetera. There is a reason why they are mad at the UK and the USA. They have nothing against the American Way of Life or any of that bullshit. The thing is that we in the west have over and over fucked them up and stole their resources (in this case mostly gas).
If a fraction of the money spent by the EU and the US in controlling this region with arms had been spent investigation in this region again we would not have had this war.
Regarding the gun-thing, that I can't even begin to understand, here are some photos from Liberia:
I disagree with pretty much everything you say, for once. You're right about education, though, but your healthcare point is moot.
Loved your libertarian post, EXCEPT,
"sufferage" means to allow to vote.
So if you're against "woman's sufferage" you are against the right of women to vote? Sounds odd to mer after what else you post says.
1. The right or privilege of voting; franchise.
2. The exercise of such a right.
2. A vote cast in deciding a disputed question or in electing a person to office.
3. A short intercessory prayer.
Today I donated money to a politician for the first time in my life. It was only $100, but I expect that I will donate the maximum $2300 soon. Who was the lucky recipient of my somewhat-hard-earned-cash?
Ron Paul, of course.
Ron Paul is amazing. Unlike every other modern politician I've ever heard of, he is principled in a way that reminds me of the founding fathers. He has his positions and he sticks to them no matter WHAT. He is probably the ONLY person in Congress who has always voted consistently every time.
Taxes has always been a weird issue in the state due the largely extremely divergent stances present in the political community. This year, taxes are substantially higher than ever after the bush tax cuts expired. not only that, but some types, if not most types, of income, are being hit by the affordable care acts 3.8% tax. Furthermore, some populous states, specifically new york and California, are stacking state taxes on top of that. Luckily some other populous states like Texas and Florida aren't taking this extreme of a stance. Here is my take on taxes and what the problem is.
1. Too confusing. The tax code in the U.S. is huge, categorized by numbers, sections, paragraphs and all sorts of really dry, boring, and highly mistakable stuff. none of it is easy to follow or understand, a lot of terms are invented, not reexplained, or extrapolated. On top of that there are countless of way to even start to report income and subcategories that apply or don't apply to each. Then to make matter even worse, there are state taxes which might take the same classification of incomes, and scrutinize them or label them in different ways, offering different types of deductions, subsidies, or benefits, making the balancing act a huge brain-exhauster. AND its not over yet folks, on top of all this, the IRS expects you to shell out money on tax professionals, which I find funny, because any mistakes you make are your own for not abiding to the tax code. Overall, this is ludicrous, if anything with the taxes U.S. citizens will be paying this year, the IRS should reimburse for tax professional advice (If they don't already do, not sure on this one, don't kill me).
4. Tax burden makes no sense is not adequately personified or individualized. As a young person, I don't get it, I see why its so hard or why it seems like you are climbing a huge wall for most young people out of college or starting their careers. You are getting taxes nearly the same as your peers. The tac bracket isn't slanted enough, and doesn't take into account wealth for the most part, only income. I'm not saying wealth should be taxed, that has its own repercussions, but at least income tax should be bracketed taking that into consideration. In some states the burden is so onerous that it can be difficult for recent grads, with no wealth or savings and tons of living expenses to me the ludicrous taxes they have to pay, while their superiors end up paying a little more but make substantially more, and take on much less risk. I find it is arguably the #1 thing or at least, one of the top things keeping young americans from really moving forward. tax burden significantly impedes your ability to invest and save. You work for a year, and after paying expenses, taxes, and the occasional small splurges how much do you have to show for it? 5k? maybe? I don't know, to me its ridiculous. Why should young people with almost no assets or net worth to speak of be taxed so highly? I only mention young people cause they fall under my category, and is one of the main concerns to me at the moment. The fact that someone with millions of dollars could easily leverage is capital and make way more than me, and pay only a 10% more tax or so, while I am stuck with little capital make substantially less, and as a percentage of my net worth, taking on extremely more risk, yet have to pay taxes almost as high. Tax, especially income tax and gains tax, do not adequately take into consideration the person, they only look at the cold-hard numbers and just slap on a tax, without looking at the person current situation.
3. I've said this countless of times, but now with the much higher rates reaching almost European levels of the top tax bracket, the quality and breadth of services provided by the U.S. government and/or state governments (highly depends the state) is very low compared to pretty much every other major country. We went to a war, that, we LOWERED TAXES going into, and now we need a huge inflation to pay it back. at the same time are being hit with new taxes for the affordable care act and for capital gains. On top of this states like California have raised their taxes super high, including a 13.3% tax on capital gains in California, which is absolutely ludicrous, and is actually motivating people to leave the state. Higher taxes does not mean better services peope, better management of revenue means better services. At the moment the budget and allocation is a total mess and the U.S. is somewhat, for some reason, still stuck in Cold- War hyper realist tendencies of expanding military and global presence, when we should instead be focusing only on defensive-security. Look at Russia, no global presence, very adequate security, significantly less spending. some submarines and carriers is all we really need out there, focus on protecting our important cities and developing reactionary protocols from within the U.S. instead of trying to have a ridiculous naval fleet (11 carriers people, i think 10 now, way more than any other country, yet not threats at the moment).
4. Worldwide income is taxed. I really hate this one, its like the final nail in the coffin. You live here, you don't like it for whatever reason, you want to leave, guess what? you're getting taxed anyways. I don't care if you are making money in The Congo or of some Andes mountain in Patagonia, you are gonna be a slave to the IRS no matter where you are, or for how long you are as long as you are a U.S. Citizen. Literally the only way to get around this law is to relinquish U.S. citizenry, which is very tough if you are trying to get citizenry in another nation that has a good passport. sometimes you have to spend several year, sometimes a decade, to get it. The only shortcut is marriage, and even that isn't enough in some places. Military service seems quite effective depending where you want to enlist, but that can have it own problems. Some countries let you get away with proving ancestry, but thats all on a person to person basis. Regardless the fact still stands, the U.S. doesn't want to let you go, they don't care about whether or not you use their services (I guess you might be using their embassies?) you better be paying taxes. Luckily they have a foreign exclusion act that lets you write off a solid amount each year if you are out 330 days of the year, which is a huge plus I guess. But with literally every other major country letting you not pay taxes when you don't live there, the U.S. seems like the odd one out.