Ep. 13: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK | Barbara Kopple


♪♪ You have to pay taxes, or else you not gonna
get nothin’ done. I mean, sometimes,
on a week to week basis, you’re like, “Wow, that’s a lot
coming out of my paycheck.” People should really start
asking questions, as far as where our money
is really going. ♪♪ [Mike Pesca]
Where are we, as Americans, generally, on taxes
and government spending, what do we think is worthwhile? Social Security,
Medicare, defense, that is government
actually spending money. [Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings:
“Money” ♪] Think about that,
the arguments we have over the Department
of Education, almost literally,
a rounding error. Most of the debates about how
government spends money is politicians finding a way
to-to grab someone’s heart and make it seem as if some
narrow thing they care about is really what
government spending means, either good or bad. I’m gonna stop
the subsidy to PBS. I’m gonna stop other things.
I like PBS. I love Big Bird. – Give me one damn program
he said he’d cut. One!
– He has cut entitlements. There’s no more cuts to make. When someone says
we don’t have enough money for this space probe, you are removing the only thing that gives people something
to dream about tomorrow. When I think
of government spending, one of the first things
I think about is my dad. Lives in housing that is
sponsored by the government. Now, I’m glad
my dad lives there. I’m– I would never want
to kick him out. I grew up there.
I loved it. I had a great childhood there.
I like a lot– you know. But intellectually, I’m not sure that
that is an optimal use
of government money. – It’s head versus heart, right?
– Yes. ♪♪ – You worked there, George,
you told me.
– Yes. Two paintings I did of my wife
when we were very, very young. [laughing] Penn South is supported
by the government. It’s middle income subsidized. We probably couldn’t
raise a family in the city without living at Penn South. We have different
generations here. That’s what makes this
so unique. This is really the promise of
subsidized housing paying off. It’s a success story The year I was born,
this place opened in ’63. When it opened,
President Kennedy came here. [applause] [Kennedy] If you wanna have
equal opportunity for all Americans, if we want to rebuild
our cities, if we wanna make this country as wonderful a place
as it can be, for the 300 million people who will live in this country
within 40 years, then we have to do
our task today. [applause] We obsess over things
like welfare and foreign aid and solar panels, but almost all of it
is Social Security, Medicare, defense, so what’s the right discussion to be having
about the big things? I think the obvious one
that is-is most misunderstood is the Social Security number,
and just how to feel about that. My grandmother
was a Russian immigrant, and she didn’t read English, but she used to listen
to the radio all the time, and she said,
“Thank God for Social Security.” That was her favorite saying. And she was right. Bicep curls again. Hope, is it in? Good. I don’t even think I’m
gonna be able to retire at 65. Maybe 70, but… I-I don’t think that’s
the magic number anymore, especially for our generation. The more that people…
being put back to work, the more taxes they are paying. And then you get it
in the middle,
and you get both sides. Kids going to college and
mother-in-laws that need money. [laughing]
Middle generations. It does,
it does get tough, yeah. I think Social Security
gets overblown. With either no adjustments
or very minor adjustments, Social Security’s fine. There’s a broad consensus, and there’s huge room
for compromise and agreement. The military,
I support. They’re giving up
their lives for our country, so I support it. ‘Kay, and there’s no X-rays
involved now, right? Well, my wife just had surgery, and most of it was
taken care of by Medicare. The union provides us
with a pension. Between that, Social Security, and Medicare,
it’s livable. ♪♪

16 Replies to “Ep. 13: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK | Barbara Kopple”

  1. I feel like this film should have been longer, it seems to be light on details.
    Then again i suppose that's why there are multiple films in this series

  2. A significant portion of the budget is the subsidization of the rich and business via tax cuts or direct subsidies.

  3. More than a third of all military expenditure in the WORLD, is done by the USA.  The second most expensive military (China) is about a quarter that of the USA.

  4. "The military I support.  They are giving up their lives for our country, so I support it", she said.  When did Americans ever had to fight for our country?  I think prior to "the war to end all wars; World War I.  All other wars we fought or are fighting were motivated by creed, lust for war and the design of a new world order.  The military industrial complex makes war to justify its existence and make money for the investors of armaments manufacturing corporations.  No nation on earth today would attack the United States of America because of the amount of retaliatory power that act would awaken.  Nevertheless, the current culture of warfare is primarily for economic gain which goes to rich people, and the construction of a global totalitarian governmental construct.  

  5. This obviously doesn't cover income tax, an illegal tax, that is in place to pay off the debts we owe to the Federal Reserve ( a private bank ) for the money they lend our government to be distributed throughout the world. The federal reserve prints money and lends it to our government with interest and cannot ever be paid off completely because we have to get more money printed to pay off the first loan. This is not unique to USA, in fact it happens all over the world run by banks owned by the Rothchilds.

  6. This seems like a right wing talking point video! "DEFENSE"?????  really? That's a friggin' joke. It's realy WARS for American hegemony and resource manipulation. American hasn't had a REAL enemy since the Soviet Union failed and was torn apart. COME ON PEOPLE! This notion that we (the ONLY super power on the planet!) have any viable enemies out there is a CON JOB!!!

  7. SO… lets just CUT the elderly people's money that most of them worked hard all their lives for, and have them eating cat food for dinner…then let's cut MORE taxes for major multi-billion dollar corporations, who only pay an effective tax rate of about 12%, so they can create more multi-millionaire CEO's…all so we can pursue MORE misguided, illegal WARS in the middle east that kill millions, create millions of refugees, and make multi-national corporations (who have NO LOYALTY to America) even richeeveryday!!! That's a good plan????   naaaaaa.  Cut the damn "WAR DEPARTMENT" budget!!!

  8. Tax dollars inevitably go towards the destruction of all life on the planet through nuclear winter.  Hooray war.

  9. The reality is they put in those 3 buckets and funnel it out the holes they created "Bowering".  I'm shocked that they don't even mention it here.  Basic Gov Accounting….WTE…take a class 

  10. ….this video lumps Military, Veterans, Social Security, Medicare and Medicare all into one but I suspect most of that is just the Military.

    Also, maybe people wouldn't need so much social security if corporations payed a living wage.

  11. If you look at the CIA world fact book you'll see we're ranked number 181 on the list of countries for tax rates. (#1 pays the most, we're near the bottom at 17% of GDP spent on taxes)

    And this is how we got there: we are told we all pay too much and then the tax rates get cut, which we all support because we "pay too much" – Of course we don't cut anything, so this builds huge deficits…

    Then we decide we can't afford everything we're doing and we cut those things in the budget that don't have broad appeal or a strong enough lobby, even if they might be a better choice for public spending and investment. (i.e. we continue to cut NASA, the NIH, Transportation Infrastructure spending, etc… even though spending on those things generates a return on investment greater than the expense of paying for them.)

    But most voters don't understand enough about those topics to make informed decisions about that spending and our representatives aren't going to go against the narrative being supported by the interests that benefit from that spending. (I'm looking at you "defense industry")

    The only solution is for the public to educate themselves with facts (not just opinions) about economics, how our system works, and what it's doing. Then they need to vote. Votor turnout in the last election was 37% of eligible votors. Right now we have representatives claiming a "mandate" because slightly more than half of 37% of the electorate voted for them. (Maybe 19%) I doubt that the one in five responsible for voting for them really represents the interests of the other four that either didn't vote or whose candidate lost.

    Only when we fix our voter participation problem will we fix our spending priorities problem.

  12. Hold on, I thought social security was in a surplus this year and is only funded through our taxes. I didn't know it contributed to the deficit. Can someone please clear this up?

  13. I hate this sick entitlement attitude that people in this country have. "My Russian grandmother loves social security and my wife loves Medicare surgeries…", Well, your immigrant grandmother didn't contribute a single penny to the social security she's leeching out of, and your wife should've taken better care of her health so she wouldn't have to run to the doctor all the time now!!! I'm forced to pay taxes for all your problems!!! And I lived in a small rural town all my life, I would love to live in a nice beautiful New York skyscraper but I can't afford it… so why the hell do those people get subsidies?! If they can't afford their NYC apartment then they should move the hell out and live in a cheap area. Plenty of empty cheap land in Wyoming, get your lazy asses up and become a farmers or something!!!

    Welfare should be abolished immediately. Enough of this parasite bullshit. I agree to pay taxes for roads, environment, police, ambulance, firefighters, military… but that's it!! This freeloader nonsense has to go. Save your own damn money for your retirement folks, and stop eating junk food so your health remains in good condition.

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