"A popular Government without popular information or the means of
acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps
both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean
to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power
knowledge gives." James Madison
What is TruthAndPolitics?
To engage in informed political discourse, people need access to
information. However, educating oneself about "the issues" can be
labor intensive, with time spent locating resources rather than
learning from them. It might take an hour or more to sharpen a letter
to the editor of a newspaper by citing facts and figures to buttress
TruthAndPolitics.org is envisioned as a clearinghouse for knowledge,
an attempt to achieve economies of scale in the dissemination and
organization of information, both current and historical, relevant to
politics and public policy. The projectís primary long-term goal is to
help individuals access the current sphere of knowledge more
efficiently and avoid needless duplication of effort.
White papers are where TruthAndPolitics.org
promises to add the most value. White papers will
- summarize the background to the issue;
- list the most authoritative sources for data and argument;
- present historical and numerical in easily used, compact
- juxtapose conflicting positions on public issues to quickly present
the strongest arguments of all sides of an issue.
There are currently two white papers. The first covers the
federal budget. It includes an
introduction to how the budget is
created and the money subsequently spent;
graphs and tables depicting trends in the relative size of
(also trends of various components)
and of US military spending (relative to both
the US economy
and overall federal spending
world military spending);
a summary of estimates of the budgetary
cost of the war in Iraq;
a summary of what the
federal government spent money on in
projected federal spending for
based on the President's
fiscal policy and economic assumptions;
and a convenient
interface to details
on federal spending in the past and future.
The second white paper covers
It features a
table and graph of top marginal tax rates
in the US since 1913, a summary of the Congressional Budget
Office's estimates on how the
federal tax burden
varies with household income, and
a summary of Joseph Pechman's estimates on how the
total tax burden
varies with family income.
The third white paper covers the
It currently features a page of links to
from various advocacy groups that rate the voting records of
members of Congress.
These summarize the main point of articles and other documents.
They also feature keyword lists, allowing you to easily find related
summaries, and typically list the article's main points, with an
emphasis on claims of fact (as opposed to editorializing). These
summaries also allow you to get information when copyright protections
prevent you from seeing the original content, or when information
posted on the web becomes inaccessible as links grow stale.
See the links on the left of this page for
links to full listings of summaries.
Randomly chosen article summary
The following is a shortened version of a randomly chosen article
from the database. To generate another one, click on your browser's
A table of
websites which cover politics or public policy issues and have
interesting organizational structures.
I need help
compiling summaries of important issues. Examples include:
- a historical comparison of US military spending to other nations';
- trends in income inequality in the US;
- the Social Security reform debate; and,
- the history of major changes in the federal tax code.
This page last modified 2004 April 30