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The Speaker's Word: Where Does The Money Go?

Day 3,701, 19:42 Published in USA USA by eUSA Congress
The Speaker's Word: Where Does The Money Go?




Welcome to THE SPEAKER'S WORD: The Official Journal of the eUSA Congress.
Dateline:
Sunday, January 7th 2018 (Day 2597)
Location: 121st eUS Congress
Editor: dmjohnston, Deputy Speaker of the House


Greetings eAmerica! In the recent days and weeks, some members of Congress have publicly questioned the long-standing process that we follow in the eUS when it comes to the movement, budgeting, and spending of our tax revenue. While many of these people are long-serving Congressmen who have been intimately involved in this process for years, it seems that a review of the process is needed, and what better place to do it than here on the Speaker's Word, to help all our citizens better understand where their money goes!


Let's start with the obvious. In eRepublik, we gain government revenue through various taxes, namely, the Work Tax, Import Tax, and Value Added Tax (or VAT). Of these sources, the Work Tax is by far our largest source of revenue. Our current tax rates are publicly viewable here on the eRepublik website.

Every second of every minute of every day, we receive revenue and it is automatically placed in the Country Treasury.

Here's where things get interesting. Certain things, like the costs associated with Mutual Protection Pacts, are automatically deducted from the Country Treasury as they occur. The only other way to move money out of the Country Treasury is through Donation Laws.
Donation laws have a limit of 400,000 country currency per law and we can only propose a donation law every 24 hours. This means that the most we can move out of the country treasury is 400,000 country currency per day.

Normally, this wouldn't be an issue. However since a single priority battle may require more than this cap to secure victory, an external holding area is required to allow more fluidity in our spending.

To accomplish this, the eUS established the Congressional Budget Office. This office is run by 4 highly trusted individuals, selected by a full Congressional vote, and they handle the holding and accounting of our reserve.

To help them accomplish this task, Congress “donates” money from the Country Treasury to an official Government Organization account, also named the Congressional Budget Office. From here, transferred funds are split and held in various accounts and locations to protect the total value of our reserve, so that our enemies can not know how much money we have to defend against attack, acting as a deterrent.

Common practice for the donation laws is to move as much money as possible with each donation, leaving a buffer of 100,000 cc to cover automatic withdrawals like MPPs. Thus, whenever the Country Treasury reaches 500,000 cc, a donation of 400,000 cc to the CBO is proposed. This ensures we have the maximum available reserve at all times should it be needed.


The next aspect of our money is the Congressional Budget. Each month, after the election of a new Speaker of the House, we discuss a new budget proposal. This budget looks like this:


The budget has an entry for MPPs, even though they come directly from the Country Treasury and not from the money moved to the CBO because it is still a cost that comes out of the revenue we receive from taxes. Spending more on MPPs reduces the amount of money ultimately moved into the CBO.

Other budgeted lines are requested from the CBO in their subforum. Each and every outlay of money that occurs due to a budget line in the monthly budget occurs here. Any budgeted funds that are not requested simply remain as part of the total reserve. Often times we over budget a little to account for anomalies (I often did this as the Secretary of Defense running the Arm America program) but there is never any harm in this since unspent budget does not disappear.


What about other spending? Obviously we can't budget for all our costs. Things happen that need to be addressed. There are two ways this occurs.

When there is enough time to do so, a full Congressional vote can authorize needed spending. When this happens, the request is usually then made in the CBO subforum after the vote authorizes it. If the vote occurred in the classified Private Congressional Discussions, the request to the CBO will typically include a link to the vote, but not the amount requested. The details of this classified spending is declassified and placed in the Congressional Library at a later date.

When time is a factor, or when the nature of the spending requires a particularly strong level of secrecy to ensure security, the Select Committee on Intelligence, or SCI is used.

The SCI is a group of Congressmen, selected by various Presidents over time, who serve on the committee until they are no longer in Congress or are removed by the sitting President, typically for inactivity.

SCI is authorized to approve spending by the executive. For a long time, this spending was rarely disclosed until much later. This lack of transparency in one of the most spending organizations in our government caused congress to pass the SCI Disclosure Act back in 2013.

This act, which had since been added as a part of the eUS Code, mandates that upon the initiation of the Budget Discussion each month, SCI spending from the previous month is summarized and released to Congress in Private Congressional Discussions to assist in budgeting for the month, and that the details of the SCI spending from two months prior is disclosed in the Public Congressional Discussions.

This means that every penny spent by the government is visible to the public within 2 months of it occurring. This is a much different situation that some have painted a picture of.


Over the years, there has been a general trend of more transparency, not less. Understanding the way our process works and why it operates the way it does can help recognize this trend. When I first got involved in the political side of eRepublik after many months of avoiding it like the plague I made sure that I understood the process. I asked questions. I read the available resources. I observed.

I have a strong commitment to transparency when it comes to our spending and always have. I authored the SCI Disclosure Act for that very reason. The people deserve to know where their taxes go. That principle has created the system we currently have. My hope in this explanation is that now you know where to look for all the information we have been sharing all this time.


This article was endorsed by the 121st Speaker of the House, shadowber.

 

Comments

Carlos3652
Carlos3652 Day 3,701, 19:53

o7 - outstanding article!

Tyler Bubblar
Tyler Bubblar Day 3,701, 19:59

This was good.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 20:20

Please do check the links at the end of the article, open them, re-think & then tell us how good it is!

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,701, 21:12

what is your problem with the links?

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:17

They show how poor the current government & those prior perform.
Last WHPR was on Day 3640! Besides those simple shouts for peanut-giveaways nothing is running. Ofc except those shady back.door deals & deception for the masses!

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,701, 21:21

and a general malaise in erep and eus is the reason why we should rethink just how good this article is.

There is no cure for stupidity.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:25

I see the current SoH is proud of the bad deceptive elitist propaganda. That figures.
P.S. Did you try to cure yours & have failed?

Maxwell Hanz
Maxwell Hanz Day 3,701, 20:01

V. Good to see some word from the government.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 20:18

Nice to see clueless naive rookies buying this nonsense.

Ilene Dover
Ilene Dover Day 3,701, 20:03

It has been clear for years that SCI is the weak link in the process of transparency and accountability. What happens to any unspent surplus funds? The implication is that they are returned to CBO, but nowhere does it actually say that is the case.

Who are the current SCI members? When were they appointed and by whom?

For posterity’s sake, when is the last time the SCI rejected or modified an executive request for funds?

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,701, 20:15

Your assessment of SCI is the exact reason that we passed the SCI Disclosure Act. We wanted it to be more transparent.

The amount reported in the SCI disclosures is the actual amount spent, not the amount requested, if there is a difference for a given case.

The current SCI members are listed in Private Congress, so members of Congress know their names. The fact that the list is maintained in Private means it's classified, so I'm not going to disclose it. Same for when they were appointed and by whom.

I don't have the specifics of that last bit without some searching. Even then, it's not public knowledge.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 20:17

Shady Mr. Greedy! 😁

Ilene Dover
Ilene Dover Day 3,701, 22:40

So this isn’t really about the murkiest and most a usable part of the money trail, just a Beginners Guide To...

What audit processes are there to ensure requested money is spent on the expected purposes? In the months I was soca I was never audited. That’s an order of magnitude lower value than SCI expenses though.

Why is the SCI list secret? I don’t understand why a list with personal contact details redacted isn’t public knowledge

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 22:47

We don't want our "enemies" hack these accounts and spend all that cash on hookers & blow!

Buahahahahahahahaha!

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,701, 22:54

DoCA has become very transparent since your time. Herr Vootsman keeps all his expenditures public at all times.

Combat orders are public now, so members of SCI can check in on the spending they authorize. As can anyone, really. Members of SCI often ask for follow up after an approval.

The list of members is probably a throwback to a time when SCI was even more obscured than it is now (before the disclosures act). With that said, I don't have the power to change that. So for the time being the list remains classified to Private Congress.

Of course, your party's members of Congress know the list.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 20:16

The meta-breaurocracy is strong with this one.
Qs:
What are the privately held accounts, where the CBO funds are transferred to?
Why & on ground of which meta-laws is this procedure based on?
How many players share the logins for the private account named Publius?
Where are the financial books of the last years & where can we see the balance?
Why aren't Orgs used to handle our treasury, like in almost all other countries?
Why are COs set only before prominent EZC tanks are starting to hit hard & taking all the cc?

And last but not least: aren't you DMJ sick of all this corruption, lies & deception? How do you manage to still find enough willpower to spread even more lies & disinformation? When did you lose your honesty you once had?

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,701, 20:35

Classified.
The Constitution, and I just explained why in great detail.
None. It is a player account. Only the player has access.
I linked the location of all the spending in the article. The balance is released to Private Congress on a monthly basis.
I explained the reasons in the article. Read it.
You'd have to ask the "prominent tanks."

I spent a good chunk of today writing this to help inform people instead of letting them read your swill. You continue to lie and mislead and then accuse others of lying. It's disgusting. Get a life.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 20:47

Let me sum it up:

Private accounts where the funds are hidden: classified.
Private forum: classified.
Private congress: classified.
CP account-sharing: classified.
Current SCI members with access to treasury: classified
Balance sheets of the reserve: classified.
Procedure of setting COs: classified

All this "classified" doesn't make you look classy, don't you know it?!

Keep up the disinformation, DMJ, continue to mislead the public, you excel in it, pal.

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,701, 20:51

Like I said, Phil: get a life.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:01

My name is Rosa, how hard can it be to remember?

Jd Jack Serenade
Jd Jack Serenade Day 3,701, 21:04

o7 - This was good!!

chickensguys
chickensguys Day 3,701, 21:10

DMJ is a puppet of Animis, and Animis is a known and banned cheater. This is an article of lies and deceptions. Can't fool me.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:18

Plain & simple! How hard is it to see it?

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,701, 21:19

There are no strings on me.

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,701, 21:18

Thank you DMJ for all your hard work in writing this article and all your hard work in the past little while to make our spending more transparent etc.

Unfortunately many of those who have been complaining all these years will not be mollified by anything. They are either simply trolls, or they like to be angry and contrary.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:27

Sure, because we can see beyond the veils of deception that you and your friends so vigorously try to keep up.

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,701, 21:30

Who's this we you speak of? Let's see. You've managed to alienate pretty much everyone in erep. No one actually likes or agrees with you. The only one who even pretends to is CG and he's doing it cause your a means to his end.....

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,701, 21:33

The ones that see through your lies.
You'll soon have a chance to see these "no-one-s" on the 15th this month.
Be patient.

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,701, 21:37

I've officially decided you are nothing but a waste of my time. This is the last time I reply to your drivel. Good day.

Goxi HN Day 3,701, 21:45

Comment deleted

Supernana
Supernana Day 3,702, 00:43

lol ! There is no transparency whatsoever in this process. Just let me remind u of the difinition of a budget

"An estimate of costs, revenues, and resources over a specified period, reflecting a reading of future financial conditions and goals.

One of the most important administrative tools, a budget serves also as a (1) plan of action for achieving quantified objectives, (2) standard for measuring performance, and (3) device for coping with foreseeable adverse situations."

Compare the definition with our current state of affairs and keep telling people we have a budget and we are managing our finances in all transparency !

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 06:50

How is it not transparent? As a Congressman, you have access to how much we are spending within a month. The general public is two months. And that's just the non-standard spending. Things like DoCA are constantly public knowledge.

shadowber
shadowber Day 3,702, 17:06

She actually doesn't have access...

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 17:49

I meant in general, not specifically Supernana

Franklin Stone
Franklin Stone Day 3,702, 02:48

Your house payment (MPP) is automatically removed from your income (Country Treasury). You then budget for a house payment and also remove that cash (Country Donation) from your income (Country Treasury). The payment was made automatically and yet you are removing it again and putting it in your pocket (eUS Forum Budget)?

Simple question. They remove $240K a month for MPPs. Where do they pay for those MPPs?

Carlos3652
Carlos3652 Day 3,702, 05:15

Read your article. You will find the answer in your comment section:

https://www.erepublik.com/en/article/-tth-mutual-protection-pacts-2661040/1/20

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 06:46

As I commented on your shout comment, your error comes from the fact that you only count our income as the money being transferred to the CBO rather than all tax revenue. This is your error.

Derphoof
Derphoof Day 3,702, 07:57

My god, you are dense

Niemand
Niemand Day 3,702, 03:04

At last some information about what is being done with the taxes paid by the citizens and under what rules it works. Kudos for that. o7
Still, as some others said, so much is classified, so much is still on a forum where you need to login so your IP-address will be known by the admins of that forum. Some people do not want that to become known (I know some people have been harassed IRL because of such things) or others just want to play eRepublik without other requirements. So many people did vote in the CP election and so less of them are on the forums. More articles from the government are needed to close the gap, but at least this is a first step.

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 06:48

If you're worried about your IP address, proxies are fairly accessible.

The simple fact is that the structure of eRepublik itself isn't adequate for running a large country internally, and it never has been. That's why we've had the forum all this time.

Niemand
Niemand Day 3,702, 07:07

I agree that eRepublik isn't adequate for running a large country. So forums are needed, but the problem is when almost all information is forums only many active players will not be included. Beside the forums, discord and the national feed, a good nation will publicise a lot game articles to reach out.

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 07:36

I do agree that the lack of articles from the government is not sufficient.

Rosa Violet Carson
Rosa Violet Carson Day 3,703, 08:36

Erepublik has it's own forums. Why don't we utilize this.
I know, I know, you would lose control, right?

dmjohnston
dmjohnston Day 3,702, 06:51

I'll add that none of this is really secret information by the way. No one ever taught me how it worked. The information is there, particularly for Congress. If your congressmen aren't informed maybe it's like to look for better representation.

Niemand
Niemand Day 3,702, 07:08

It is not about me, it is about the nation.

Mr.R0bot
Mr.R0bot Day 3,702, 04:42

Open you balance books and show us. Stop censorship us! People need more transparency.

Gabrielz_Horn
Gabrielz_Horn Day 3,702, 07:44

LoL at some of these enemy trolls. Good coverage if people dont get this they are enemas of the state.

Ilene Dover
Ilene Dover Day 3,702, 14:13

lol! Enemy trolls are enemas of the state?

I know government is full of it, but I’ve never heard of them needing an enema to take a dump on someone

Gabrielz_Horn
Gabrielz_Horn Day 3,702, 14:28

Well sometimes its good for you.

RF Williams
RF Williams Day 3,702, 14:46

But what a great relief it is.

 
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