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Questions tagged [united-states]

Questions relating to the government or the politics of the United States of America

6
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1answer
345 views

Do people in USA need official permission to demonstrate?

In some countries, people who want to demonstrate need to get official permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs in advance. In order to get that, they have to elaborate their reason and specify ...
3
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2answers
536 views

What is this “Other” category of US federal spending and why is it so high compared to 2008?

In researching this question: " Where did all this deficit come from? " - I stumbled on the fact that "Other" spending catgory was the 4th largest spending increase in 2009-2012 period compared to ...
3
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1answer
475 views

What is the current impact of TARP (bank bailout) on US deficit?

As far as I am aware, at least some of the money that was given by US Government under TARP was paid back to the government. As such, how much of the ~$800 Billion was given back to the treasury and ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Where did all this deficit come from?

Back in 2008, the deficit was somewhere around $200 billion, until the bank bailout, which was reported at first to be a 1-time bailout of $800 billion. The next year, there was the Stimulus package, ...
2
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1answer
48 views

What percentage of the 2013 budget does the sequester cuts represent?

The sequester cuts to the growth in spending of the federal budget will result in a reduction in a increase in spending of $85 billion. What percentage of the 2013 budget does this represent?
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2answers
123 views

Will the Sequester result in an increase in spending over 2012?

Several news organizations are reporting that if the Sequester is allowed to be implemented it will most likely not be felt by most Americans, and that even with the Sequester cuts 2013 spending will ...
3
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3answers
492 views

Has there been a sustained period of conservatism in the US?

It seems to me the United States has generally become more liberal (by the modern American definition) over time. It has more civil rights, taxation, welfare, secularism, and government programs now ...
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2answers
7k views

12th Amendment and President and Vice Presidents from same states

The 12th Amendment states The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same ...
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2answers
324 views

How many non-partisan (independent) legislature members in the USA compared to the USSR? [closed]

How many legislature members who are not members of any party in the USA compared to the USSR?
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3answers
2k views

Do children that attend Head Start preschool programs perform significantly better than those who don't?

During the 2013 State of the Union Address, Barack Obama said Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 ...
5
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3answers
27k views

Is there a difference between Sheriff and regular county level police officers in USA?

Wikipedia has this to say about Sheriffs (of United States, not Nottingham :) In the United States of America, the scope of a sheriff varies across states and counties. The sheriff is always a ...
2
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1answer
70 views

What was the legal justification for H.R.2419 (protection of social security)?

As per "42 USC § 401 - Trust Funds": (h) Benefit payments Benefit payments required to be made under section 423 of this title, and benefit payments required to be made under subsection (b), (...
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5answers
39k views

Do people who never paid FICA taxes get paid Social Security when they retire?

From @Chad's comment: It is how SSI works. There are some exceptions for people with disabilities where they receive money based on what they could have contributed, but yes you have to contribute ...
1
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1answer
128 views

Can Social Security in USA be funded outside of FICA taxes?

Social Security is primarily funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA). (src: Wikipedia) Is there anything in the law (or a court finding) that ...
3
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0answers
886 views

For the average American, what would the consequences be if the USA defaulted on the national debt? [closed]

First off, we know that currently the USA owes about $16.5 trillion. Of that though, nearly $5 trillion is intergovernmental holdings. That debt would not directly affect the average American, because ...
4
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0answers
236 views

Have any studies shown that lowering standards for women have improved police/firefighter performance?

With recent talks about removing the restrictions for allowing women on the front lines of combat, the question has been raised if this will weaken the military. We already allow women to serve as ...
12
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4answers
772 views

Are Minimum Wage laws correlated with higher poverty levels?

Minimum Wage laws are promoted as a way to ensure that people earn a living wage, and are not living below the poverty line. Research on the subject disagrees about the effectiveness of such ...
2
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3answers
508 views

Why is the phrase “civil rights” used with such a narrow meaning in the USA?

When the president name-checked the watershed moments of the women’s rights, civil rights and LGBT equality movements, he offered a powerful moment of official recognition. Melissa Harris-Perry, The ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the truthfullness of the film “Revolution.com - USA: The Conquest of the East”?

This is a Russian version of a French film from mid-2000s "Revolution.com" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3QxDgft148 French version with Spanish subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
2
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1answer
2k views

Is the senate required to pursue a trial if presented with articles of impeachment?

The current make up of the congress could potentially lead to a situation where the House was able to draft, and pass articles of impeachment against the sitting president. However the senate is ...
4
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1answer
367 views

Where is the process for Presidential Impeachment codified?

The US Constitution Article 2 Section for states: The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, ...
4
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2answers
2k views

If a president does extra-constitutional things, what can be done?

Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of noise regarding the Executive branch doing extra-legal things. Between the Bush-era Torture scandal, and the Obama-era drone strikes, it ...
2
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1answer
62 views

List of appointed offices in the US at the state level

Where can I find a list of political offices in the US, held at the state level, that are appointed rather than elected?
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1answer
97 views

In the US, are there any groups proposing unsubsidised infrastructure?

One objection that appears to be made in the U.S. against rail travel is the reliance on government-paid subsidies. Considering that the interstate highway system costs an estimated $425 billion, and ...
2
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2answers
304 views

Why would a state reject federal funding for infrastructure?

The government of Florida rejected federal funding for high-speed rail. The same is true for Ohio and Wisconsin. I can't wrap my mind around this — if someone else is paying, why reject basic ...
8
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1answer
289 views

Does the US Policy allowing targeted assasination of Americans suspected of being terrorists violate the constitution?

http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans?lite A confidential Justice Department memo concludes ...
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3answers
5k views

Why has the United States not signed and ratified the International Criminal Court?

The International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty has been signed by 121 countries. A number of countries are not parties; China, Russia, United States. From the countries that are not parties to the ICC, ...
3
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0answers
112 views

Did any political campaign in USA ever officially acknowledge practically using Nate Silver's model or numbers?

Did any political campaign in USA ever officially acknowledge practically using Nate Silver's (of 538 blog) models and/or numbers in some way, at least to check their own polls/predictons? If it was ...
20
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4answers
10k views

Does it cost $25 to obtain a “free” Voter ID in any state?

This article at pbs.org seems to indicate that getting a free Voter ID in a state can cost as much as $25. Voting law advocates contend these laws disproportionately affect elderly, minority and ...
13
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3answers
2k views

Is the human rights group Amnesty International perceived as liberal in the United States?

In a mini-debate as to the reliability of Amnesty International as an objective source, I came across a post on Skeptics SE commenting the issue as follows: The problem is that, much like global ...
6
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1answer
653 views

What is the magnitude of election fraud in the US? [closed]

I've recently been quite shocked to learn that in the US there is a serious amount of election fraud - at least in the presidential elections. Are there any numbers on the magnitude of this? I am ...
6
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2answers
3k views

If a governor or senator is chosen as a running mate (VP) to a president candidate, and that candidate loses, what happens?

If a governor or senator is chosen as a running mate (VP) to a president candidate, and that candidate loses, do they go back to their post as governor or senator?
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4answers
5k views

What is the debt ceiling and what happens if we reach it?

Over the past few years, there has been debate in congress as to whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. My question is simple(the answer to it might not be): What Is the debt ceiling, under ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is proportional representation not considered in any of the US states?

While the Americans agree that the current two-party system is broken, I have not heard any real voices on changing it in any State. States like California, New York or Texas, which send large ...
3
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0answers
68 views

Are there any proposals for a significant electrification of US railroads?

Most of the railroads in the United States are not electrified. I can't find figures right now, but I don't think it's much. In the past decade, fuel prices have risen, Amtrak ridership has increased ...
8
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2answers
131 views

What is the status of the proposed extension of passenger railroads in the US?

From a European perspective, I have the impression that in most of the USA, intercity passenger rail travel is mestly a touristic endeavour, and not used for "ordinary" intercity travel as it is in ...
16
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1answer
7k views

How was the US able to create a Department of Education at the Federal level?

Looking through Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution (that part of the document that enumerates the powers of the Congress), there is nothing that talks about Congress' role in education. ...
4
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1answer
359 views

What is a “councilmanic tax”?

In my hometown there is an election next month for several propositions put forth. The second proposition would require any "new councilmanic tax" to be approved by the city council with a majority+1 ...
15
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3answers
734 views

Why is redistricting not an automated process?

What is the reason that redistricting is not automatic? Is it just a legacy of a time when it was impossible? The definition of gerrymandering is: In the process of setting electoral districts, ...
20
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5answers
8k views

What makes California a Democrat state?

So, back in the 60s & 70s, California gave us Richard Nixon. In the 80s, President Reagan hailed from the state. At least as late as 1984, California was considered a safe Republican state. ...
10
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2answers
409 views

What would it take for the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Together with Somalia and South Sudan, the U.S. has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I think the reasons for Somalia and South Sudan are quite clear — Somalia has not had a ...
5
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1answer
275 views

Could anyone tell me why the United States has not ratified the CEDAW?

Could anyone tell me why the United States has not ratified the CEDAW (The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) yet ?
12
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2answers
284 views

Does the treasury get to decide which parts of the budget to not fund if the debt ceiling is reached?

I am bit confused as to what the debt ceiling actually means. From my understanding congress passes a budget that instructs the treasury to spend money on specific programs. When the debt ceiling is ...
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3answers
4k views

In the US, why is there such a long time between the elections and inauguration?

In the United States, the elections were on 6 November 2012, but inauguration only on 20 January 2013, more than two months later. In France, the presidential elections were on 22 April, and the ...
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2answers
2k views

Does the US republican party have a demographics problem? [closed]

I've read in various articles that, among voters for the U.S. Republican Party, middle-aged white men are (strongly) over-represented, whereas among voters for the U.S. Democratic Party, voters from ...
8
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2answers
2k views

In the US, is it forbidden to label food as GMO-free?

There is an ongoing debate about genetically modified organisms (GMO). For example, California voters rejected mandatory labeling of GMO-food. On a somewhat related note, in the US, it is apparently ...
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2answers
9k views

What is the political/legal distinction between a “state” and a “commonwealth” in the United States?

Some of the "states" in the United States are referred to as a Commonwealth rather than State (Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania specifically). The Wikipedia article for Commonwealth ...
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2answers
481 views

Is it illegal for a U.S. government to put up a “Christmas” tree?

I have occasionally heard that it may be illegal for a U.S. government to put up a "Christmas" tree. Is this true? If yes, what is the motivation for this? I have heard that separation between church ...
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3answers
886 views

Could the US legally adopt Indonesia's 'religion in schools' setup?

There have been recent news stories about Indonesia's plan to increase religious teaching in schools. This intrigues me, as here in the United States, schools can't force students to worship specific ...
6
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1answer
122 views

Does depreciation count in scoring a budget proposal?

I'm going to be meeting with my Congressman soon about a modest proposal I have that could be a big deal. My Congressman (Frank Wolf) is a big proponent of telecommuting already, and is quite aware ...