Thursday, August 7, 2008

Elections and Budget

Every politician is claiming th want to cut taxes, and every person says there are too much taxes.
You here this a lot, but no one recommends any thoughtful advice.
When a politician says there going to cut taxes, we need to ask "Which taxes and what service will we lose?"
People never seem to care what taxes, as long as they are cut. Of course, they they complain ab out the schools systems, parks, and other service as the dwindle.

There needs to be a website that government agencies need to put their budget information on that is laid out in a fashion that is readable by non accountants.
Not some spread sheet with a 1000 lines and 400 column pivot table. A simple pie chart.
Each section represents a high level view of the budget. When you click on a section if drill to another pie chart a level lower, and so on.
This makes it easy for a lay person to see how much money services cast verse Taxes and rates and other revenue items.
I do know the budgets are complex, especially for government bureaus. We should continue to publish a complete breakdown for people who like to dig to the penny.

This would allow citizens to have a better chance at understanding how much services cost, and how complex it is to maintain services. It allows us to say "what taxes will you cut?" And then discuss if it is really the right thing.

Reagan cut the metric system to "save taxes". Was that really the smartest thing to do? how much has not converting to metric cost us?

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What I mean by 'Idea'

By 'Idea' I mean something practical. This might be an improvement or something new but it should be practical.
For example:
"We should all have jet packs."
While a great idea, it's not very practical.
If I had an idea on how to improve the thrust/weight ratio, then that would be a practical idea. That being the only real problem that would need to be solved for jet packs.