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Friday, December 9, 2011

Same Sex- Marriage

After reading a post from my colleagues blog on Same-sex marriages, I completely agree with everything she has said. The topic of same-sex marriage has been a huge topic among Americans. For a state to pass a law denying the right for gay couples to marry, is not only treating them like second class citizens, but it is also discriminating against them.  Commitment is what makes a marriage important. Our country should spend more time on bigger issues that effect Americans, not on telling a couple they cannot marry because it isn’t right. Why is marriage between the same sex not right in the first place? Many look at it from a religious perspective, some a moral perspective. The perspective should be on what is going to allow everyone the same equal rights. .”  If we can give gay militants the right to serve our country and be open about their sexuality, then we can give them the same right to marry.
In June of 2011, New York passed the marriage bill, making it the largest state to pass a law that allowed gay marriage. Senator Mark J. Grisanti said this in response to the decision, “I apologize for those who feel offended, but I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.” 
I agree with Amelia, that we can at least be glad that President Obama did not allow for an amendment to pass banning same-sex marriage. It should be the decision of the individual, not the government.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Punish the Middle Class

Plans to reduce the national deficit by 2012 have left some to wonder what really is going on in Congress. The Congressional “Super Committee” announced this month that they could not reach an agreement on how to reduce the nation’s deficit. This delay could directly affect the lives of many Americans already struggling in today’s economy.  If a decision is not made by the deadline, it could systematically cut the budgets of our educational programs such as financial aid for students, Medicare and Medicaid, and defense by the year 2013.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this topic, and we can only lean on what little hope we have for the right decision to be reached. A large percent of students rely on government educational programs such as financial aid to help pay for their educations, as well as student loans. The amount of students graduating with student loan debt has increased, so why is the government leaning toward a reduction in educational programs to help our national deficit? Without the grants for student aid, many might result in not going to college or completing some type of degree or trade certification.  Cutting the budget for Medicaid and Medicare will leave many Americans without medical insurance, therefore costing taxpayer dollars to cover unpaid medical costs. Even ideas about increasing the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67 would do nothing more than create hardship for the older generation.  The idea that cutting federal programs and our defense is like an economic time bomb ready to explode in the hands of the middle and lower class. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. A great place to start is by making sure millionaires are not paying lower rates on taxes than middle-class Americans are. This makes much more sense than reducing budgets for programs that help middle class Americans and our country as a whole. 

America’s future is in the hands of a two-party government.  How can our wealthy members of congress relate to the millions of people living paycheck to paycheck? They must decide on a plan that will not put our economy in an even tougher spot.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Budget Cuts Will Cut Our Defenses Too!

I was reading my colleague’s blog post Cutting Defense in the Face of Trillions which discusses the possible budget cuts the Department of Defense may face. My colleague Alex brings up several valid points in her blog. I agree that without a solid army intact, our country is left a little more vulnerable. After reading an article on the DOD website about the devastating impact budget cutting could have, I believe along with Alex that this is definitely not the way to go. 

The economy is already at a devastating low. Cutting budgets means cutting jobs, which in turn means fewer people to defend our country and a rise in the percentage of people who may become unemployed. Alex mentions in her blog that without enough personnel to monitor our security, then we are less likely to extract important information that could prevent another attack on our soil.  I think an attack on our country could cause millions of tax payer’s dollars leaving our country even deeper in debt. Department of Defense Press Secretary George Little is quoted saying, “We’re not talking about just military jobs, we’re also talking about jobs in the private sector that support the innovation and creativity and capabilities that we need to keep America strong.” He also goes to mention that this cut could downsize our Army, Marine Corps, and Navy to the smallest it has been in nearly 100 years. 

 Alex brings up a great point in that they should start cutting budgets in less necessary departments. First and foremost however is keeping our nation armed and protected. The DOD's already cut budget is manageable, but an even bigger cut will force the decision on whether fiscal security and national security are higher importance over the other.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Creating a brighter future

Each new generation of Americans brings hope to our country. That’s why we encourage our children to pursue careers that will get them far in life and contribute to the strengthening of our nation. But a huge dilemma many students face today is if they will find a career in their fields of study and how they will pay off their student loans.

President Obama announced recently that he is proposing new laws that will help out college students with their student loans post graduation.  This proposal will provide much needed relief to American workers burdened with huge student loan debt and contribute to more young people deciding to apply for federal loans so they can advance their educations. This topic should have been on the agenda years ago. Student loans are adding up faster than credit card debts, according to statistics. Statistics show that American students owe more than $900 billion in student loan debt. With loan debts continuing to increase and the job market decreasing, these factors weigh heavily on anyone considering attending college. The average college student will accrue approximately $25,000 in student loans by graduation.  Graduating with a large debt and worrying about the job market are not what Americans should have to face after college.  

Our future depends completely on the younger generation. Obama’s proposal will help millions of Americans struggling to pay their student loans and will encourage several more to attend college. It’s a punishment to spend the latter half of your life paying off a high interest loans to get a good education. There is no such thing as a debt free America, but we can hope for the sake of those Americans who have student loans, that there will be debt relief plan in place soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Unemployment Crisis

 Did we drop the ball on unemployment? That’s what Nicholas D. Kristof discusses in an article that appeals to any American in need of the answer to this question.  Most people who follow politics know that most topics discussed are anything but how to fix the unemployment crisis.

Nicholas D. Kristof, a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University, won two Pulitzers Prizes, as well as several other awards, and has been working as a columnist for the New York Times since 2001. His initial start for the New York Times was in 1984, where he focused on covering the economy and presidential politics. He was also the author of the chapter on George W. Bush in the book, “The Presidents”.

How can we point out the obvious to our government? Kristof mentions in his article that when Americans are polled on the issues that they care most about, a two-to-one margin is jobs.  The economy will not survive if unemployment rates increase and more families become part of the poorer class. While many Americans struggle to make ends meet, the rest of economy continues to dwindle. This domino effect should be reason to place this issue higher on the agenda.  President Obama has been saying all the right things about how to fix the unemployment crisis, but far too meekly according to Kristof, while the Republican Government is saying the wrong things altogether. 

What most of us should fear is a permanent recession. As we continue to follow the Republican Party presidential debates, we should really focus on the person who will do the most to revive our country. The going will keep getting tough, and the tough will run out of ways to keep going. 

For a direct link to the blog, copy and paste the link below:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's Time To Face The Facts!

Timothy Egan, reporter for the New York Times, discusses an issue that mainly targets individuals who follow the political party. In his article, “Idiocy and Advocacy”, he explains how Republicans are engaged in “Political malpractice”. In other words, they are in denial when it comes to the important issues that effect our country and even our world.

Egan has been writing for The New York Times for 18 years as a correspondent and a national enterprise reporter. In 2001, he contributed to the series, “How Race is Lived in America”, winning a Pulitzer Prize. He has also published several books, including “The Worst Hard Time” and The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America.”

This article points out that many politicians are in denial of the very important issues America and the entire world face. Bill Clinton is mentioned as saying, ““We look like a joke. If you’re an American, the best thing you can do is to make it politically unacceptable for people to engage in denial.” Egan puts those politicians who are in denial in the same party as Michelle Bachmann. Many people watched Bachmann make claim that the drug Gardasil was the cause of one girls “mental retardation”. This among many statements made by politicians was cause for outrage to people who recognize that politicians speak too freely. Politicians making ill-informed remarks will only cause bigger issues for Americans. Their opinions misinform the public and everyone should be aware of this issue.

Freely spoken politicians are ignoring the obvious issues we face, like global warming. Egan writes that Republicans are calling this issue a hoax. Credible scientist and researchers can prove global warming is a fact and that our earth is going through some serious changes. We can’t let serious issues slip through cracks or be down sized by politicians who are in denial. Americans are willing to do whatever it takes in order to ensure that the important issues are dealt with. I believe that if we have politicians who are willing to research the facts and consider all ends of the issue, then we would function better as a country.
Below is a direct link to the above article, "Idiocy and Advocacy" by Timothy Egan: