Role of Government

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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Sensible regulation, combined with the innovations brought on by capitalism, helps to make better products for the American families.💡💡 Are there better ways to make products safer and less polluting, while preserving the quality and affordabilty of services they provide? 🏭I believe there often are — sometimes it poses technological challenges — but we have scientists and engineers that can find good solutions to tough problems.🔬

Many times businesses are risk-adverse, unwilling to change unless the government pushes them. Why take a risk or invest in expensive new engineering if consumers are not demanding it, despite an obvious social good.😣 People want a product that does what they need, they aren’t concerned that much about the externalities. 🚗 Granted, not all new technologies are perfect when they are first adopted, but the markets will help make the technologies better for the consumer.👬

Federal Funding Provided to NY State by Source

Medicaid matching grants and other funding is the largest part of federal assistance received by the state, totaling $33.5 billion or 63.2% of all federal funding. It is followed by Essential Plan Funding, which is the low-income insurance provided by the Affordable Care Act (aka "Medicaid Expansion Funding") at $3.75 billion or 7.0% of the state's federal funding. Next is TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, aka welfare, at $3.65 billion or 6.9% of the state's share of federal funding. Federal education aid to the state is $2.72 billion or 5.1% of the state's federal funding.

Data Source: FPI, Federal Funding Brief. https://www.scribd.com/document/343418913/Federal-Funding-Brief#download

Flag Day (United States)

"In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday. Title 36 of the United States Code, Subtitle I, Part A, CHAPTER 1, § 11 is the official statute on Flag Day; however, it is at the president's discretion to officially proclaim the observance."

"On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday, beginning in the town of Rennerdale."

"New York Statutes designate the second Sunday in June as Flag Day, a state holiday." This year, under state law in New York, June 11th was flag day.

Federal Deficit In 2009 Inflation-Adjusted Dollars

The federal deficit is larger then it used to be in the past. But at the same time, the population has grown and there are more taxpayers then in years past. More importantly, the economy has grown, so there is more money to counteract the inflationary pressures of deficit spending. See also my graph of the deficit by percentage of the GDP: http://andyarthur.org/chart-federal-deficit-as-a-percentage-of-gdp.html

Data Source: Historical Tables, Table 1.3—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-) in Current Dollars, Constant (FY 2009) Dollars, and as Percentages of GDP: 1940–2021. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

I was reading about the Massive Ordinance Bombs with it’s $16 million dollar cost, and was thinking, “more wasteful government spending”. It comes after dropping about $50 million in Tomahawk bombs on Syria.

I though President Donald Trump was against government waste. $16 millions could replace a highway bridge in America, and $50 million could build a new school. With our country facing such large deficits, we should seriously be looking at every penny we spend, and looking how we can ramp down government spending, while becoming a fairer, more just and sustainable society.

I’m starting to think Donald Trump is the king of government waste. He by no means lives frugally, instead preferring to take a jet trip down to Florida every week, and maintaining secret service protection both in the White House  and at his Condo in New York. Yet, he should be setting the model for cutting waste out of government. He has not proposed to cut wasteful military programs, or take commonsense measures that could save billions but only marginally increase the risk for the vast majority of Americans.

One of the most difficult to cost but costly services in society is our military, and their paramilitary equivalent at local, state and federal level — our first responders. Yes, we all want to have police to come when we are victimized by crime, when we get into an accident, we want the ambulance to come and when our house is on fire, the firefighters to come. We don’t want terrorists and foreign nations invading our country. That’s a given. But they all need to economize too.

For too long, our country has not asked the military to economize. As the world’s superpower, do we really need more bombs? We had plenty of killing technology during World War II. Why do we need more? We’ve not asked our police forces to work with fewer officers and older cars. Firearms that are well maintained rarely need replacement. We’ve not asked fire departments to hold onto their trucks longer, and for ambulance drivers to use older, less effective rescue equipment. Engines can be rebuild and rust can be patched to get more years out of equipment. But maybe it’s time to ask all of government to economize — especially when government spending is so out of control.

It’s great that we save so many lives — but if we could save somewhat fewer lives — we could save taxpayers lot of money. Less military, less police, less firefighters and less emergency medical professionals means lower taxes. Getting more use of existing but somewhat worn-out equipment means lower taxes. We could live with slightly more terrorism and crime and slightly more fire destruction, without making life much different for most people. We could have a slightly more people die in car crashes due to delayed emergency responses — and save society billions. Safety is important, as is having a strong military, but it’s also important government economizes. 

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. http://assembly.state.ny.us/Reports/WAM/2017yellow/files/2017yellowbook.pdf

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."

Public Works Construction Spending, 2016

The Value of Construction Put in Place Survey (VIP) provides monthly estimates of the total dollar value of construction work done in the U.S. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this program. The survey covers construction work done each month on new structures or improvements to existing structures for private and public sectors. Data estimates include the cost of labor and materials, cost of architectural and engineering work, overhead costs, interest and taxes paid during construction, and contractor’s profits. Data collection and estimation activities begin on the first day after the reference month and continue for about three weeks. Reported data and estimates are for activity taking place during the previous calendar month. The survey has been conducted monthly since 1964.

Data Source: http://www.census.gov/construction/c30/c30index.html

What we actually lose when the USDA and EPA can’t talk to the public

"The weather app on your phone that can sometimes tell you when it's going to rain with minute-by-minute precision—or warn you about an impending tornado—is underpinned by government science (in this case by the National Weather Service). You may roll your eyes at the importance of weather data that occasionally leaves you stuck in a downpour without an umbrella, but the predictions are right more often than not, and the information is incredibly important."