Friday, September 30, 2011
A new CNN poll shows that 90% of Americans feel the economy is in a bad state (not too surprising) but a higher percentage than in June of this year when 81% believed the economy was in bad shape. More interesting is that 52% of respondents blamed the previous administration for our economic malaise and only 32% put the blame on the Obama administration. Perhaps this view may play well for Democrats in 2012.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Recent criticisms of Obama have attacked Obama's new tax plan as 'class warfare'. Obama has recently endorsed implementing a "Buffett rule" that ensures that the rich in America will not pay a lower tax rate than those less well off. While I agree with the essential premise that the rich should pay more in taxes than their fellow, less wealthy citizens, the "Buffett rule" seems a misguided way to address tax reform in such tumultuous economic times. Obama needs a swift economic recovery if he has any hopes for re-election and attacking the rich with significantly higher income tax rates is not the way to go about raising tax revenue. It will only further alienate crucial upper class and upper-middle class support in the coming election. Instead I agree with this Economist article that America needs to focus its tax reform on taxes like the capital gains tax, where there is more room for maneuvering and politicking without isolating critical segments in society. America could also do well to simplify its tax code and eliminate some unnecessary deductions that don't directly affect income levels. Obama needs a critical reassessment of his tax plan because as of now it seems a rehash of typical Democratic policy that will not inspire the electorate come 2012.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Interesting article about the spending habits of President Obama and former President Truman. The article compares each of the presidents' tactics in trying to stimulate the economy. Essentially Truman passed the blame onto a "do nothing Congress" and it appears that Obama is doing much of the same. Thoughts?
Monday, September 26, 2011
In 2008, Obama received nearly 50% of his contributions from donors giving $200 or less, equaling 25% of Obama’s total record fundraising high. This indicated a widespread support base of Americans with moderate means. However, this widespread grassroots support will most likely not be replicated in the upcoming election.
As these Americans of moderate fiscal means become increasingly disenchanted and frustrated with Obama’s message and actions (shown by his sinking approval rate), less small donors have given money.
In the previous election, many of the small donors also volunteered in his campaign, canvassed, and participated in get out the vote efforts which also has implications for the next election.
So far in the election cycle, the vast majority of Obama’s past small donors have not yet given him any money at all. Although the president is more likely to raise more money than any of the Republican candidates next month, his political difficulties have raised questions about his ability to sustain future fundraising and his ability to garner votes.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Prof. Eismeier, a few weeks ago, remarked on various advertisements by interest groups/ lobbies that had dominated the metro rail. On our metro ride to the stadium to watch our beloved DC United team face off with Chivas USA, I took a picture of one such advert.
|President of The Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas|
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
1. Henry Clay - 1.8
2. Thomas Reed - 2.9
3. James Polk - 3.9
4. Newt Gingrich - 4.3
5. Joe Cannon - 5.7
6. Nicholas Longworth - 5.9
6. Thaddeus Stevens* - 5.9
8. James Blaine - 7.2
9. Sam Rayburn - 7.3
*Stevens was not actually speaker
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
An audit report of the Justice Department’s costs for conferences over a few years shows unreasonable ostentatious spending. Of course, the department denies certain unnecessary purchases but it doesn’t seem likely that the inspector who conducted the audit would fabricate lists of expensive snacks and trips. Should the Justice Department’s spending be this flexible? Would the government be overreacting if it gave the department stringent spending rules or budgets?
Today officially marks the end of the military’s 18 year old ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy, allowing members of the military to finally reveal their sexuality without fear of losing their jobs. The Defense Department claims that they will have no tolerance for anti-gay behavior, just as it does for religious and gender discrimination. Troops previously discharged under don’t ask don’t tell can finally reenlist if they still meet the qualifications.
However, not all is solved. The Federal Defense of Marriage Act does not allow the military to recognize same-sex partnerships. This means that their partners will not be able to get the same benefits married heterosexual benefits are entitled to.
Monday, September 19, 2011
President Obama is finally sticking up for the middle and lower class and not playing into the hands of those that would fluff the pillows of top income earners - the richest of the rich - while leaving the rest of the country to struggle with the economic state our country is in. Obama's plan to increase taxes for the top 0.3%, while already vilified, could be the sobering punch that the wealthy in this country need and a viable solution to begin addressing deficit reduction. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder to Democrats that their party is one committed to greater economic equality. Now those in Congress need only to stand their ground in support
Republicans in the House (and Senate), be careful as to who you make your bed with.