Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Federal Government (page 2 of 3)

Youth Unemployment

This is an actual quote from Mitt Romney from Mitt Romney.com:

“I think this is a time when young people are questioning the support they gave to President Obama three and a half years ago. He promised bringing the country together; that sure hasn’t happened. He promised a future with good jobs and good opportunity; that hasn’t happened. And the pathway that he pursued is one which has not worked. Young people recognize that and I think that’s why they’re going to increasingly look for a different approach.” –Mitt Romney

Below the quote, there are links to the “facts” that support his data.  Two links to the same Time Magazine article written by Josh Sanburn (which I haven’t read) from February of this year,  there’s a couple of links to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and some more links to articles .

Here’s the thing:  Mitt Romney is hoping that you won’t research any farther than that.  He’s hoping that he can convince you that President Obama hasn’t done enough and he’s handing you little tidbits that support his claim.

So, I did the research myself.  Below is a chart.  This is the annual unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) from 1948 until 2011. I’ve broken the data down by age: 16 – 24 and over 25.  The third line is the combined annual unemployment rate.  I obtained the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics site.  (Side note: If you love data, like I love data, you could spend hours on this site running queries!)

Here’s the thing:  Romney is trying to make you think that somehow our youth have it so much worse than the rest of us and President Obama is responsible for it.  However; the truth is that the unemployment rate for 16 – 24 year olds has always been higher than the unemployment rate for the rest of the population.

 

Annual Unemployment 1948 - 2011

U.S. Constitution and the Individual Mandate…

Oh, come on, the Republicans are getting a bit ridiculous!

I’m reading this story on Huffington Post about the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Individual Mandate in the Health care law.  The article supports the notion that there are a lot of things the government mandates that everyone must do.  The example used is Medicare.  If you work, you pay into Medicare – you have no choice.

But, here’s what really got to me:  Mark Hayes – “former chief health counsel for the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee” states:

“Congress used more clearly defined constitutional powers when it created Medicare. “The power to tax and the power to spend…” “‘Here, with the individual mandate, it’s a different question – regulating interstate commerce. This is a novel question from a legal standpoint.'”

How is that novel?  Article I Section 8 Clause 3 states:

“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;”

Novel question? Um, I don’t think so. The word Novel, when used as an adjective and not as a noun means:

  1. new and not resembling something formerly known or used
  2. original or striking especially in conception or style

Um, if the Commerce Clause has existed in the Constitution since the beginning, how is Congress being able to use it now a “Novel” question?

I’m just wondering.

FCC Rules…Time for them to change

I posted the following on my facebook profile.  If you’ve experienced a blackout on a channel due to the stupid network non-duplication protection, pass the word around.  It is time to have the FCC change this rule.  It gives local station’s a monopoly.  It kills competition.  The rule is from FCC 76.122.  I’m trying to find it on the FCC website to post a link here.

Enough is enough. Bones didn’t record last night because WITI Fox 6 Milwaukee has exercised their right to network non-duplication protection. Per FCC rules, Time Warner cable is required to blackout the program. Tune to channel 6 or 1006 for FOX programming.
What about MY right to watch the show on whatever channel I want? How is this fair to consumers? I should be allowed to choose the channel – not a broadcaster! Who is with me to contact the FCC and have this rule changed? I pay for the channel out of Chicago, I want to WATCH the channel out of Chicago!

Further – if you live in the Milwaukee Area – BOYCOTT WITI FOX 6.  They don’t deserve our business, since they’re so scared of competition.

UPDATE:

Here are the names and email addresses of the five chairmen of the FCC.  Let’s load up their inboxes with complaints regarding network non-duplication protection.

Chairman Julius Genachowski: Julius.Genachowski@fcc.gov
Commissioner Michael J. Copps: Michael.Copps@fcc.gov
Commissioner Robert McDowell: Robert.McDowell@fcc.gov
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Tim DeChristopher…

Before this morning, I had never heard of Tim DeChristopher.  Now, I’m glad I read his story.  You certainly wouldn’t find this on Fox News – at least not one that makes him out to the be hero that he is.  So, check out the story on Huffington Post.

Cantor’s Running

Eric Cantor has walked away from the Debt Ceiling talks. He doesn’t want to be in a position to actually admit that raising taxes must become a reality if we’re serious about paying off the National Debt.

Unfortunately for Cantor and the other Republicans, their grass roots base and their big business base are totally against tax raises. However; we can pay money we don’t have. Rehauling medicare and cutting social security and education outlays are NOT going to make us debt free.

Welcome to the real world.

Just like I can’t cut my hours and still pay my car loan, the goverment cannot cut taxes and pay off the debt. Our federal taxes are the lowest they’ve been in fifty years. Our regulations on businesses are the smallest they’ve been in forty years and, still our national debt grows and our jobless jumped 9,000 higher last month.

Cutting taxes – which is the big plan of the Republicans – isn’t going to build a strong economy so far.

Cantor needs to come back to the table and face the music.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Gay Rights and the GOP

I’m just going to lay this out for you:  If you are gay, you shouldn’t vote for a Republican.  Period.  End of story.

Yes, I know that you shouldn’t really be a one issue person, but gay rights and our fight for freedom is too high to put it into the hands of the Republican Candidates for President.

There are only two Candidates that do NOT support a gay marriage amendment – Herman Cain and Ron Paul – and neither of them has a chance of winning the general election.  A majority of Americans support gay marriage and the Republican Party is pandering to the extreme right of their party.

I don’t trust anyone of the Republican candidates on the issue of gay marriage.  I don’t want these people making what amounts to an important decision.  Although, I will admit that there is a part of me that thinks it won’t happen.  Afterall, Bush supported a anti-gay marriage amendment and it never came.  It’s a wedge issue and Republicans don’t like to give up their wedge issues.

On the other hand, I never thought the great state of Wisconsin could pass an anti-gay amendment and I was wrong.

So, let’s recap:  Gay = anti-Republican, at least until we have equal rights.

Credit – Bid Laden and the Bad Economy

Reading the comments on any news site is like traveling through a verbal minefield. Those on the right want to blame President Obama for our bad economy and those on the left want to blame former President Bush (George W, not George Herbert Walker). Then, regarding Bid Laden’s death, those on the right want to give credit to former President Bush (again, G.W.) and those on the left want to give credit to President Obama.

Both sides are wrong.

Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the capture of Bin Laden – but, that’s not going to stop me from commenting. Here’s what I know based on various news reports.

I know that he was found in Pakistan. I know that at one point Pakistan was our “friend”. At some point, we decided that we needed more CIA operatives in Pakistan and we put them there. Eventually, these extra operatives were able to find out the necessary information on Bin Laden’s whereabouts and that is when President Obama was brought fully into the loop (Please don’t fool yourself in thinking that the CIA shares every bit of information with the President, they don’t.) and he made the decision to go and get Bin Laden.

Intelligence gathering takes time, just in case you don’t know. If the information had been gathered four years ago, Mission Accomplish would’ve rang true for Bush II, but it didn’t. Should President Obama be allowed to bask in glory of having found and disposing of our nation’s greatest enemy on his watch? Damn straight he should. Give the man his moment in the sun. He gave the order, he approved the mission. If it had failed, he would’ve taken the blame (remember Carter?). He, along with our fine Navy Seals – take that special forces (what can I say, I’m a Navy brat) – should feel proud for this successful mission.

Now, I would like to say one more thing. Former President George W. Bush is not dissing President Obama by not appearing at Ground Zero with him. He’s doing exactly what he said he would do: stay out of the spotlight. With the exception of his book tour, Bush has stayed away from being center stage. His father did it during Clinton’s presidency and now, George W. Bush is following in his father’s footsteps. He’s doing what the right wing doesn’t want done: He’s giving Obama his day of glory. I think that’s very nice of him.

Now, about the economy. Here’s a very short economic history lesson:

The repeal of the Glass-Seag­al Act in 1999 by the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act started the financial mess (by removing the barrier between Wall Street investment banks and depository banks. This led to the sub prime mortgage crisis, which nearly brought this country to it’s knees. For the record, the Gramm-Leac­h-Bliley Act was sponsored by Republican­s and signed into law by a Democrat. Both parties are to blame.

Now, I believe that when you coupled the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act with Bush’s ridiculous tax cuts for the rich, you just added fuel to the fire. Profits became king, which made the banks and Wall Street take even more chances. However; I am not saying that the Bush tax cuts were the sole reason, just that they exasperated the situation. I am not sure what the tax cuts would’ve done to our economy without the repeal of the Glass-Seagal Act.

In other words, and I’ll say it again, both parties are to blame.

You know who isn’t to blame?

President Obama.

No matter how you slice it, you can’t lay the blame of a bad economy at the feet of a man who wasn’t in power when the economy started to tank. Even though I don’t believe Bush caused the bad economy, there’s at least some cause and effect there and precedence for blaming him. Remember, Carter was blame for the bad economy he inherited from Ford and Reagan was blamed for the bad economy he inherited from Carter. (The 70’s and early 80’s were just a bad time.) In fact, I don’t think Reagan would be so beloved today if he had to deal with the 24 hour news channels and the bloggers like Obama does. But, that’s for another blog.

So, in a nutshell, let’s stop all this petty bullshit and start actually working together. Let’s stop shouting crap at each other and start crossing the aisle. Neither side has a monopoly on what’s wrong for our country and neither side has a monopoly on what’s right for our country. We’re never going to get anywhere if we keep hoping the President fails or slam him all the time. We can’t solve any of our problems talking about those blowhards, Palin and Trump – two people who couldn’t be elected dog catcher to the stars. Let’s start having open dialogues about the issues with some facts, not falsehoods and let’s figure out how to solve our problems. We didn’t kill Bin Laden without some cooperation on both sides and we won’t be able to fix the economy without it.

Say No to Tax Cuts

Everyone, but Warren Buffet, thinks that they pay too much in taxes. It just isn’t true. And, if we cut taxes, we won’t be able to pay off our National debt.

Let’s look at some things.

I have a credit card with a very modest balance. If tomorrow I quit my job and took one that paid 10% less, what are they chances the credit card will be paid off anytime soon?

That’s exactly what Paul Ryan and the Republicans are trying to do with the budget plan. They want to lower revenue at a time when the government needs to pay its credit card bill.

Now, I saw someone post a comment on another website about how Social Security doesn’t affect the National Debt.

You would think that we pay in 6% and our employer pays in 6% and the money sits there until we retire. Well, that’s not what has been happening. Like a bank loaning out your savings account, the government has been using Social Security. Unlike a bank, you’re not earning any interest.

The reason Social Security hurts the National Debt is because now the government has to pay the money back. If they don’t, there’s a lot of people who will get hurt. Any budget plan should include a provision that simply states hands off Social Security funds. Further, we should all have to pay on our entire incomes – all of it. The income caps should be removed.

Well, kids, that’s all the time I have for today. I need to return to work.

Posted from WordPress for Android

You Can’t Run the Government. .

You can’t run the government like a business and anyone who thinks you can is a fool. The whole goal of business is to make a profit. Oh, sure, most businesses have a mission statement with a lofty goal about exceeding customers’ expectations or adding value. In all the ones I reviewed, I only found one company who was honest enough to tell the truth. After the phony provide value statement, the next line was “To be profitable”.

None of the government’s goals are to “be profitable”. If the government made a profit and didn’t return it to the taxpayers, there’d be hell to pay.

However; running the government like a business is what all these “Reagan” Republicans are all about. They cut taxes – in a failed attempt to create jobs. You don’t cut you income when you need it most. Companies that do that usually end up hanging Going Out of Business signs. You don’t cut Research & Development money (in government’s case education) and expect to stay ahead of the competition.

Government is not a business and it shouldn’t be run like one.

Oh and lest you think I’ve forgotten – RECALL WALKER!

Posted from WordPress for Android

Obama’s DOMA Decision

Man, I’m torn.

On one hand, I’m thrilled that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is probably going down.  On the other hand, I’m not happy about the way it is going to happen.

Here’s the thing, Obama is just plain wrong.  Yes, DOMA is unconstitutional.  Yes, DOMA makes some citizens of the United States unequal to other citizens.  Yes, I want to see DOMA gone.

However; there is a larger and more important issue at stake here.

If the Department of Justice doesn’t defend attacks on our laws in court, then no law is sound.  As much as I like Obama, this is a serious oversight on his part.  I would think that someone who specialized in Constitutional law would’ve had a little more sight into the big picture.  Calling on the Justice Department to not defend DOMA is wrong.  It sends the wrong message on our Nation’s laws.  It will allow the next President to decide that he doesn’t like a law and tell the DOJ to not do their job to defend our Nation’s laws.

I’ve heard talk among gay people that Obama hasn’t done enough for us.  But, seriously, did anyone really cast their vote for Obama thinking that him being President would mean gays and lesbians would be allowed to legally marry?  I know I didn’t.

I, also, believe that at this moment in time, we have more pressing matters.  Our economy – though it is improving – needs more hand holding.  We need to put the money taken from Social Security and put it back in.  We need to improve our education.  Gay marriage is a little low on the list.

I know President Obama is a politician and politicians do things to gain political power or to make their base happy (Can anyone say Scott Walker and Koch Industries?), but I a truly disappointed in Obama.  I expected more from him than a cold bone that will harm our legal system for years to come.  I wanted the DOJ to defend DOMA to their best of their abilities and then lose because the law is morally bankrupt and unconstitutional.  I wanted a ruling that would stick for years to come, not a band aid.

Obama should’ve come up with a better way to do this.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2021 Top Of My Head

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑