The Enlightened Wanderer

The Enlightened Wanderer
The Enlightened Wanderer

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Retiring Democrats who were for ObamaCare are now against it

File:Congressman Brad Miller 2012.jpg
Retiring Senator Webb and Retiring Congressmen Frank and Miller both have different thoughts now on the Obama Care issue, but why did they not express these views when they were creating the bill and voting on it?  
File:Jim Webb, leaning against pillar, 2007.jpgFile:Barneyfrank.jpg

Retiring Senator Webb and Retiring Congressmen Frank and Miller both have different thoughts now on the Obama Care issue, but why did they not express these views when they were creating the bill and voting on it?

Recently some democratic members of congress expressed their views on the  health care debate in light of the recent possibility that the ObamaCare may be ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

An excerpt from  The Hill article, OVERNIGHT HEALTH: More retiring Dems pile on Obama for healthcare focus, looks at certain members of congress from the democratic  party who say that the ObamaCare bill came at a not so opportune time in our economic crisis.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) isn’t the only retiring House Democrat who thinks the White House made a big mistake by pursuing healthcare reform. In interviews with The Hill on Thursday, several more Democrats piled on, saying Obama hurt Democrats’ electoral chances.

“I think we would all have been better off — President Obama politically, Democrats in Congress politically, and the nation would have been better off — if we had dealt first with the financial system and the other related economic issues and then come back to healthcare,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who is retiring at the end of this Congress. 

Miller voted for the healthcare bill — as did Frank and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who reopened the inter-party dispute earlier this week. 

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) also criticized his party’s handling of the issue, saying the bill should have been done “in digestible pieces that the American public could understand and that we could implement.”

Even some in the democratic party feel that the President Obama and his then democratically controlled congress should have tackled the economic issues, debt issues, and budget issues first before apply more pressure to the budget and cause more spending by making bills such as ObamaCare and the stimulus package, both of whom have had little to no effect so far in our economy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Buffett Rule: A Gimmick?

In a recent article I came across, “Buffett Rule is politics over policy”, the author argues that the Buffett Rule looks to be successful in theory where the rich pay more taxes so that we may solve our fiscal problems in the United States but in actuality, the author states that:

Will the president’s tax hike at least tackle our fiscal problems? No. According to a recent analysis by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the Buffett Rule would raise a mere $47 billion over 10 years, or 0.5 percent of the president’s new spending. Soaking the rich cannot get deficits down; only spending reductions can do that.

His republican views challenge any other view, and he argues that the only reason he is pushing for this plan is so that he can, “makes for great populist rhetoric but terrible policy. Worse, it’s a distraction from the big issues facing the nation, such as the deficit, the economy, jobs, gas prices, and health care.
According to the Author:

The Buffett Rule would only weaken the economy and employment. It would fall most heavily on job creators and confiscate resources that would otherwise be used to start new businesses, expand existing businesses, and hire more workers.
The president has said “this is about giving everybody the chance to do well.” Really? Raising taxes on anybody somehow gives everybody the chance to do well? This is absurd even by the low standards of American political rhetoric.
Under the Buffett Rule, businesses and families earning $1 million will pay a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate. The president says those Americans aren’t paying enough. As proof, he points to billionaire Warren Buffett’s secretary, who reportedly pays a higher tax rate than her uber-wealthy boss. But he’s distorting the facts.
Many wealthy Americans receive dividends and capital gains, investment income that is subject to multiple levels of taxes. First, the investment income results from investment. This capital didn’t appear out of thin air. It was earned and taxed previously. Once invested, it generates income that is taxed at the corporate rate, 35 percent. And then it’s taxed again at the individual level for dividends and capital gains, 15 percent.
Imagine you’re driving down a toll road, and you pay three separate tolls. The first toll of $3.50 is when you get on the highway. Then, after a few miles, you pay another $3.50. And when you exit, there’s a final toll of $1.50. A reporter asks as you leave the last tollbooth how much you paid.

Now I agree with him that raising the capital gains tax is a bad idea because not only does it attack big business, but it also attacks the small business owner, who may hypothetically have a investment business or his business and income is solely based on dividends from investments.

So I do not agree with the Buffett Bill, though I admire Warren Buffett and the accomplishments he has had I do not agree with the tax policy he is advising to the president so that the American tax system would be more even.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cost of War

Cost of the military. by Milenkovic, Goran

In a recent article written in The Washington Post, Too Many Wars, Too Few U.S. Soliders, it talks about the costs of war and how War is now become a problem for society as many service members who come back from war are devastated by the effects of war.  I submit that war is not a bad thing but a last resort.  We should not go to war unless we have exhausted all diplomatic measures, as War’s cost money, resources and human capital. 

The Wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan have put a cost on our nation and put a big price tag on our nation budget, in a recent study done by Brown University it seems that all the wars we have participated in last decade comes about to be about 5 Trillion US Dollars that has been syphoned out of our budget to fund wars on foreign soil.  Now I am all for the liberation of freedom from dictators and our militaries and foreign policy maker’s mission to bring democracy anywhere across the globe.  But I feel that there are other ways to go about that mission, mainly through diplomacy where we would not to spend trillions of dollars in a war that not only do Americans not benefit from war.  We feel as though money and are hard earned wealth is being taken by our government to be used to fund a war is not something Americans like to know.  So in the end though the US government gets a kick out of going to war to liberate that country and make and ally, the people back at home in America are paying for the bill and the costs of war.

In times of war not only do we use money to fund the war we take good natural resources from America like food and oil from America and bring it abroad to be used in the service of democracy.  Now come on, I don’t believe that for a second I believe that using our resources is particularly necessary I feel that we are just wasting time and energy on something that is not helping the American people in general.  And to take our resources and give them to a foreign nation to be used to help them liberate and become democratic is something that makes me laugh as I feel that war again is a last resort and we should not commit our resources to fight another countries war.

In the past decade we have been to two wars that has lasted most if not all of the decade, and that has taken a toll on Americans both around the nation and abroad, where service members go each day into the battlefield to give their lives to this beloved country of ours.  Members of our armed services come back from war with many conditions such as depression, PTSD, and nightmares from war.  These really affect the human capital in America as many young Americans sign up and go to war in the service of our nation, only to come back impaired in a certain way. They do not come back the same as when they left, going to war I feel that people who go to war always leave a little bit of themselves behind in the battlefield.  SO that they could forget the horrible incident and go on and live normal happy lives as best as they can.  Why should we sacrifice the sanity and the liveliness of our future generations to war. I believe that it is not necessary to do so and that we as a nation should do something to stop wars from happening in the future.

So War, it challenges America both monetarily, resource wise and psychologically; we have to give up a lot during times of war.  We see many sacrifices being taken among those who are not in government.  While the government sits in their ‘Ivory Tower’ deciding that was is best for its allies is to support them and to go to war, I believe that they do not look at the people at home who are the ones who sacrifice for war.  I feel that war is a last resort, a tool that should be used when there are no other alternatives; and that wars should be quick and concise so that we do not spend decades into a war that drains the moral of a country.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The House approves $3.5 trillion Budget Plan

A Few days ago I came across an article that discussed the new budget that has just pass a house vote.   In the very divided congress we currently have today in our government, the republican controlled House of Representatives passed a there version of next year’s bill, in which voting was heavily based on party lines.  The new budget for next year was introduced by congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.1st) would equate to about $3.5 trillion dollars in spending.

In congressman Ryan’s bill he proposes:

The Ryan plan, which proposes cutting tax rates and a dramatic revamping of Medicare to curb costs for future retirees, faces all but certain rejection in the Senate but will frame the parties’ election-year debate on fiscal issues. The plan cuts $5.3 trillion over the next decade — entirely through deep cuts in entitlements and agency spending.
And as the voting breakdown as you are all aware were based on party lines with some republicans voting against the proposed budget:
The House vote breakdown was 228 Republicans in favor, and 181 Democrats and 10 Republicans opposed.
After the vote, Republicans ground out press releases praising the vote for proposing “real solutions” to improve the economy. Democrats responded with a round of statements decrying the GOP effort to revamp Medicare.
Overall, I still believe that the budget is too high and that we should cut back, and I believe I will continue to feel this way until I see that our government is safe and secure in terms of our budget.  But I like the steps that the government is taking to lower our current budget deficit, so that our future generations may have a chance to have a government without debt.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is Going to War with Iran a Good Idea?


The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program has been the subject of heated debate in not only American politics but even global international politics.  While we here at home have started with economic sanctions towards Iran’s economy,  other nations in the international community have called for combative measures to suppress Iran from becoming a new up and coming nuclear power.  I agree that we should stop nuclear proliferation and should at all costs stop the Iranian government from pursing nuclear weapons.

But we do not need to go to war over it, mainly because first we just do not have enough money to be in a two war situation, second the American people are not in favor of another war, and finally I think America priorities are wrong where we try to curry favor from everyone and we try to make everyone happy is what is causing us to run our deficit and unnecessary spending.  It is time for a change in the way we think and act and we do not need to go to war to prove that America is a great power or try to make everyone happy in order to make our country look benevolent. In hard times we need to change our outlook in order to make a difference and change what is broken.

War is a last result when all forms of diplomacy have failed and we can no longer negotiate with the country we are in conflict with.  And I am all for supporting America to go to war with Iran, but the reality of the situation is that we as a nation do not have the necessary funds or resources to send our country into another conflict in which we will lose money to foreign nations and the lives of our American military service members who are willing to give their lives in the cause of freedom.  But if we go to war with Iran it would not be for freedom, it would be to suppress another country from becoming a nuclear power, thus going against our country’s morals and original cause to go to war with other nations.

Again, not to be repetitive but I want to drive this point across, Wars cost money and we do not have the money to wage another war with another country, and Iran is a country that can pose a formidable threat to the US war machine.   We have the weaponry, tools and personnel to go to war with Iran but do we have the moral support of the American people, if we do not how are we going to allow for our military to invade a foreign country and stop them from becoming a nuclear power when we are unable to solve our own problems at home.   We have a massive public debt, our government is so politically divided that nothing gets done in our government, and some in America feel that our constitutional rights are being restricted by our current government.  With all these issues at home do you really think we have the support, time our resources to go to war with Iran?  I do not think so.

In order for us to really go to war with the country of Iran I believe that we would need the support of the American people, but at this time the American people want our government to leave Afghanistan and get out of fighting for a while so I do not see the American people supporting a war with Iran.   We have internal problems of our own in America.  We just do not have the time, energy or effort to solve the problems of the international community any longer.   Before we can go back to becoming the great superpower again where we solve the world’s problems, we need to solve our problems first and stop the political infighting, and the massive public debts.  Then we can go back to becoming a global superpower and help police the world and solve their problems.

So at the end of the day, “WE CAN NOT GO TO WAR WITH IRAN!”, why because our country is weak, not because we are morally or physically weak, but our country is fiscally unstable, economically weak, and politically divided.  How can we wage a war, make political progress, and reinvigorate our economy when we are weak in the most important things.  We are not in the cold war anymore where we can go and attack every country we feel is oppressing others or if they are against America.  Our government needs to access what is important to average Americans and work to help them instead of solving global issues.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why are Gas Prices so High?

Recently I can across an Baltimore Sun article called, “The Extra Dollars You’re Paying at the Pump are Going to Wall Street Speculators”, in the article it stated that the reason that gas prices are going up is that, speculators in wall street are driving up the prices, they say that this is what happened into 2008 as well.  Now I do not agree with that opinion but I do agree that the recent activity may have been caused by:

I believe that the problem is caused by a global political crisis, and not by the some stockbrokers in Wall Street. The problem is that Americans and countries across the globe are dependent on oil and I believe that we should find alternatives to oil so that we are not dependent to other countries and drain our own oil supply thus ruining our ecosystems just to fuel our daily lives.
We were to first to create alternatives to crude oil such as E-85 ethanol, but we are now the last in the world to actually utilize this technology.  So in order for us to be a great and successful country we need to grab the opportunity when we are ahead instead of creating an idea and then let the world get ahead of us and then catch up behind everyone else.  We are the world’s only superpower I believe that it is time we acted like one.