"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 a claim.

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. (Read more...)

White Papers

White papers are where 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 formats; and,
  • 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 federal spending (also trends of various components) and of US military spending (relative to both the US economy and overall federal spending and 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 2003; projected federal spending for 2004, 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 federal taxation. 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 US Congress. It currently features a page of links to scorecards from various advocacy groups that rate the voting records of members of Congress.

Article Summaries

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 refresh button.
Document 
Summary 
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Related Websites

A table of websites which cover politics or public policy issues and have interesting organizational structures.

Collaboration Opportunities

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