Thursday, December 8, 2011

Has Government Sold Out?:My Comment

“Has Government Sold Out?”, a commentary by Christa Vargo addresses the Occupy Wall Street protests and their concerns with the cost of campaigning and the influence of interest groups on congressional seats.  They feel that business interest groups contribute large sums of money to government candidates and PAC’s and in turn cause a conflict of interest. 
Christa’s argument is in line with the views of the Occupy Wall Street protestors; she argues that the relationship between congress and interest groups is unethical and that reducing the cost of campaign contributions would diffuse greed and corruption and in turn create a more relatable government body. 
The argument is well defended by an embedded link that shows the amount of money candidates are raising in order to run in political races and also states that money wins presidency in 9 out of 10 congressional races.  The author’s audience is most likely a more liberal one; yet not exactly Democratic as most Occupy Wall Street protesters “disassociate themselves with any political party.”
In my opinion Christa’s argument is very logical; she makes a good point that “In any other setting this kind of relationship would be considered unethical and grounds for job termination.”  It really is sad that money is what represents people in congress.  James Madison warned against factions in Federalist # 10 and there is no doubt that interest groups were intended for that warning.    

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Extend Payroll Tax Cut for 2012?

 "The average family held onto $935 more of their hard-earned dollars this year. We need to assure those families that they can rely on that tax cut next year as well,” stated Senator Reid.  Senator Reid is talking about a 2% payroll tax holiday that started a year ago and is scheduled to expire the 31st of December.  According to Andrew Taylor, of the Associated Press, President Obama has a plan “to cut in half every worker's payroll taxes next year — paid for by a 3.25 percent tax surcharge on the very wealthy.” 

Republicans of course do not like the idea and our likely to oppose it due to the fact that the wealthy will be paying a tax surcharge.  Andrew Taylor also wrote, “Joint Tax Committee estimated about 34% of small business income would be affected by the proposed surcharge under the Obama plan.”  Is it fair that the wealthy have to pay this tax in order for the middle class to stay afloat?  I don’t necessarily think it’s fair that just because you make more money you should pay more taxes; or that the wealthy should be made responsible for the fact that we are in a bad economic state.  Would the wealthy have to pay that surcharge if the economy was doing well? Probably not. 

The problem still remains; our economy is likely to become worse off if that payroll tax cut isn’t extended next yearBarclay's analyst Michael Pond says that if we don’t get the payroll tax cut extended, “our growth forecast frankly will probably be dropped down from about 2.5 percent in Q1 down to around 1 percent. It’s that big.”  Many state that the payroll tax cut didn’t help stimulate the economy; but if the above statement by Pond is true, and the economy will suffer without it, then it had to have affected the economy in a good way.

America is looking for quick, sort run solutions to our economic problem; when even if one is found it isn’t sure to last.  America needs to relax and begin seeing long run possibilities.  The payroll tax extension has made a difference; I can personally say I felt the difference.  The fact is it does need to be extended and neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are denying it.  Found out how much you may be paying next year if the payroll tax cut isn’t extended by licking here.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Education: The Cost of Ignorance and My Thoughts

 Education: The Cost of Ignorance”, a commentary by Renee D. expresses how America is expected to be “ahead of other countries” educationally and yet does not receive the support necessary to achieve that goal.  Renee believes that teachers are at the root of good education and that with budget cuts on education, teacher moral is lost and education suffers.  She provides a statement from Senator Richard Durbin which emphasizes her argument that education is necessary especially during difficult times because it can be what turns our economic future around.  Senator Durbin states, ““we’re trying to make sure we save these jobs and give our students a good education across America in these difficult times.” 
I believe Renee’s argument is more likely directed at a Democratic audience since they are more likely to support government spending which is what will need to happen just to keep some public school teachers on the job.  The article, “Senate rejects bill to keep teachers, first responders on job”, that Renee refers to also leads me to believe that her argument is directed at a Democratic audience because the article talks about how all of the Republicans in Congress rejected the bill that would keep teachers on the job. 
Renee’s commentary is definitely logical as it touches upon things that don’t need much research to prove their truths.  Like Renee’s comment that “the less educated an individual is, the more likely they will need assistance because they are not able to make it in today’s demanding workforce.”  Renee makes a very clear and forward argument that “education is the main factor that can enrich our future.”  I think that we are so focused on the short run answers to our economy that we have forgotten how important human capital is to our long run economy which is just as important if not more important; after all we do have to start somewhere. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Which Party Wins?

“For the second time in two weeks, every single Republican in the United States Senate has chosen to obstruct a bill that would create jobs and get our economy going again,” said President Obama after the American Jobs Bill was rejected by congress.  The bill was last rejected on October 11, 2011.  According to, the bill, needing sixty percent approval, only reached fifty percent approval.  The most interesting part of that is that every single Republican (46) voted against it and 48 out of 51 Democrats voted for it.  It makes you wonder if the Republicans were really against the bill or if they were just against the Democrats.

It is no secret that for ages Democrats and Republicans in Congress have disagreed about the way things should be handled, especially when it comes to money. But don’t you think that the time has come to look at the bigger picture?  Can’t the parties come to an agreement and not see themselves as Democrats v.s Republicans?

Politico reporter, Manu Raju, wrote, “In the run-up to the Thursday votes, both sides angrily traded charges that the other was engaged in pure political gamesmanship. Democrats said Republicans were ‘rooting’ for the economy to fail to hurt Obama’s reelection chances, while the GOP said the White House and Democratic leaders were advancing policies with poison pills with no chance of clearing Congress in an attempt to pass on the blame for a bad economy.”

I’m sorry, but if we are going to do the “political gamesmanship” fight then it is more likely to believe that Republicans want Democrats to fail than to believe that Democrats are purposely taking the time to make bills that they know won’t pass. 

The bill states that the proposals would be paid with a new tax on households earning more than one million dollars a year.  Republicans don’t think this would create jobs and don’t think those receiving income of greater than one million dollars should pay for it.  Therefore, the Republicans have proposed an alternative jobs bill.  This bill would cut taxes but helps the ones that are already well off and would not save the jobs of thousands of teachers.  Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat) stated, “This is a political fig leaf that would likely add to the deficit while doing nothing to create jobs".  Wasn’t the job bill intended to create “jobs”?  The Republicans alternative jobs bill also makes adjustments to budgeting which was already taken care of in the summer; another avenue that does not create jobs.  Sounds to me that we are far from reaching a consensus and no one is winning.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Third Party Canidate?

The case for a third party candidate”, a commentary by Douglas Shoen is a short but well written article about the frustration of Americans' with both the Republican and Democratic party and the possibility of having a third party candidate that my very well stand a chance.  His audience is every American citizen as we are all in the same boat and are likely to be interested in a third party candidate.   Shoen provides statistics to back up his argument; for example, “Gallup’s annual governance survey, updated Sept. 8-11, showed a record-high 81 percent of Americans dissatisfied with the way the country is being run.”  Shoen also states, “I recently polled for Americans Elect, a nonprofit political organization that is now planning an Internet convention to select a third presidential ticket for the 2012 election. They are in the process of securing ballot access in all 50 states.”  The fact that he himself has polled and presents the name of the organization allows the reader the opportunity to investigate his evidence.  The evidence of an internet convention and selecting a third party presidential ticket portrays the realism of a third party candidate.  Shoen’s argument that Americans are not happy with either of the 2 major parties and are looking for an alternative motive to solve America’s problems, possibly a third party candidate, is definitely logical.  I for one would be thrilled to see what a third party candidate has to bring to the table. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't Ask, Do Comment

Don’t Ask”, a commentary written by Peter Catapano, talks about presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s comment at the Republican debate in Orlando on the 22nd of September, 2011.  Santorum stated, “I would — I would just say that, going forward, we would — we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.”  He is talking about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay men and women in the military that was recently repealed.  Author Peter Catapano refers to Santorum’s comment as a “time-twisting formulation.”  He is ridiculing Santorum’s comment by saying that having the policy reinstituted would be like going backwards in time.  He is also feeding on Santorum’s later statement, “we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past.”
Catapano’s article is most likely directed towards a more liberal or democratic audience as his views seem to be more for gay rights and against Santorum’s take on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  His argument indicates that Santorum makes no sense and that proposing to reinstitute the policy is ridiculous.  He backs up his argument by placing a video clip of the debate in the article and also writing out what was said in the video clip directly under the video.  This allows the readers to reflect on exactly what he saw and not what he may have seen.  Catapano also takes various comments directly from other bloggers, commentaries, and editorials and places them into his article to show his audience others’ opinions of Santorum’s comments.  All the comments from outside sources reflected how Santorum’s words gave the GOP a bad name.  Catapano’s argument was strongly reinforced by a comment from a conservative stating, “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”  Catapano is definitely expressing he is not happy with Santorum’s comments and I have to agree with him.  To me, to reinstitute the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would be like reinstituting the policy stating only men could vote.  A time machine would definitely need to be in place to carry out Santorum’s vision. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

GOP Presidential Canidate's Debate and HPV

“HPV vaccine attack could harm 'innocent' girls,” an article by Arthur Caplan, PH.D, talks about the recent GOP presidential candidate’s debate that took place Monday.  Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota makes a statement against Texas Governor Rick Perry saying, “To have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection …is just flat out wrong.”  The article goes on to talk about Congresswoman Bachmann’s reasoning behind the statement.  She claims she talked to a mother, after the debate, whose daughter became retarded after the vaccine.  She also thinks Governor Perry wanted these “dangerous” injections so he would profit from the manufacturer.  
The article also talks about how research shows that the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective.  This article is interesting because you see the topic of HPV and how politicians use it to attack one another.  HPV is an issue that affects the women of every class.  In this case I don't think Congresswoman Bachmann was qualified to say that the vaccine was dangerous.  I think she made the statement to make Governor Perry look bad but in doing so is spreading rumors rather than facts.