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2013 NY Constitutional Admendments
First Amendment
Role of Government
Role of Law
Second Amendment

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17-18 Executive Proposal for State Budget, Revenue Sources

The single largest source of revenue for the State of New York is federal grants, at $54,265 million or 34% of state's all funds budget. The second largest revenue source is the personal income tax at $50,683 million or 32% of the state's all fund budget.

Data Source: Executive All Funds Budget, Revenue, Yellow Book, Page 16.

Age of Supreme Court Judges including Retirees, 1970-2017

This chart shows the age of every Supreme Court Justice appointed after 1970, including those who have retired or deceased. Those justices who retired or deceased are highlighted dark gray, and their age is the year they left the court. Elena Kagan at age 56 is the youngest and most recently appointed Supreme Court justice. Two justices -- Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Ginsberg are above 80 and are highlighted in red. Justice Stephen Bryer, highlighted in yellow is age 70. Remaining justices, are under age 70.

Votes on Supreme Court Nominees, 1970-present

Traditionally, Supreme Court Justices have been approved by the United States Senate by nearly the entire body. Only one nominee, Robert Bork has been voted down by the US Senate, 48-52. Clarence Thomas was approved by only 52-48, and the only other narrow margin was Samuel Alito at 58-42 (two short of a filibuster-proof majority). Barack Obama's nominees were approved 68-31 Sotomayer an 63-31 Kagan. While confirmations have become more partisan in recent years, generally most nominees are ultimately approved with 60 percent plus of the vote.

It’s Time to Dismantle Trump’s Murder Budget and Defund Militarism

"The predictable passage of blank checks for war was an expression of the acceptability of the status quo. The status quo was murder, but within the halls of Congress and, of course, the White House, there was a level of comfort with that. From the US's early days, the military evolved largely as a vehicle for colonialism and genocide. As Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes in An Indigenous People's History of the United States, "the Iraq War was just another Indian war in the US military tradition." This country's military has long been more of an offensive force -- charging ahead with the winds of white supremacy and capitalism at its back -- than one of "defense." The Iraq War is one moment in its long legacy of actively disrupting, upending and devastating the lives and communities of millions of people of color, both at home and abroad."

"Much of the government seems to view perpetual war as an inevitability, the way most of us, in the words of Angela Davis, "take for granted" the existence of prisons. Davis has written that, although prisons as we know them are a fairly recent addition to the world, they have become so embedded in our society that "it is difficult to imagine life without them." The US's brand of imperialist militarism, too, is seen as natural. In the mid-2000s, many liberal Democrats were arguing for a strategy of amelioration: a small-scale withdrawal of troops, the cutting of some "waste" from the Pentagon budget, a halt to the production of a couple of bizarrely expensive fighter jets. These measures were aimed at mitigating the damage, instead of disrupting the overall project of war, militarism and the destruction of communities, most of them in Muslim-majority countries."

Filing Taxes Could Be Free and Simple. But H&R Block and Intuit Are Still Lobbying Against It.

"Here’s how preparing your taxes could work: You sit down, review a prefilled filing from the government. If it’s accurate, you sign it. If it’s not, you fix it or ignore it altogether and prepare your return yourself. It’s your choice. You might not have to pay for an accountant, or fiddle for hours with complex software. It could all be over in minutes.

It’s already like that in parts of Europe. And it would not be particularly difficult to give U.S. taxpayers the same option. After all, the government already gets earnings information from employers.

But as ProPublica has detailed again and again, Intuit — the makers of TurboTax — and H&R Block have lobbied for years to derail any move toward such a system. And they continued in 2016."

John N. Mitchell

"Mitchell devised a type of revenue bond called a "moral obligation bond" while serving as bond counsel to New York’s governor Nelson Rockefeller in the 1960s. In an effort to get around the voter approval process for increasing state and municipal borrower limits, Mitchell attached language to the offerings that was able to communicate the state's intent to meet the bond payments while not placing it under a legal obligation to do so. Mitchell did not dispute when asked in an interview if the intent of such language was to create a "form of political elitism that bypasses the voter's right to a referendum or an initiative."

The One Percent in New York

This graph shows how many taxpayers in New York fall into one of these categories: Less then 200k, 200k-500k, 500k-$1 million, and one million plus. As you can see, only a small percentage of each county makes more then 200k, even in New York City where the cost of living is much higher. Columns are the percent of the total filings. As you can see in many counties, those who make more then $200k a year are the one percent, or only a few percent beyond that.

Data Source: RocDocs Wealthy Taxpayers in New York State, 2013.

Percentage of GDP Spent on Defense Spending

America spends significantly less of our economy's total output on defense then it did during the cold war, but far more then most other countries.

This percentage is calculated by dividing G160461A027NBEA by GDPA.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government current expenditures: Federal: National defense [G160461A027NBEA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 27, 2017.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Gross Domestic Product [GDPA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 27, 2017.

State legislators take steps to criminalize protests

I am bothered by protesters who engage in criminal acts to get their message across -- and jeopardize the public safety. There are plenty of public sidewalks and common areas where people can protest during ordinary business hours and during the daytime without trashing the land, causing car crashes, burning and looting buildings.

I have no problem with ordinary rallies and protests. And if people want to camp in the back country or a developed campground, that's fine too -- they just need to follow the rules, get the necessary permits, and so forth. Just because you are protesting, doesn't mean your exempt from all the other ordinary rules.