Raising taxes is not the (whole) answer.


The real issue that Obama hardly ever talked about during the election is spending. Raising income taxes on “the richest of the rich,” or even on those making over $250k, would raise about $42 billion per year according to my rough estimate. Let’s assume that increasing capital gains tax rates will add another $80 billion in revenue per year. With a deficit of $1.3 trillion, that’s just under 10% of our spending. Not exactly a drop in the bucket, but also nothing close to an effective solution. In fact, if Congress would have to double the income tax on every single American to come close to making up the current budget deficit. 

Many will also say that ending the wars will decrease the deficit. Well, Obama ended the war in Iraq, and what happened to the deficit? It stayed exactly the same. Why? Because he simply used those funds elsewhere. And that’s his plan for Afghanistan, too. In his own words, he plans to bring our soldiers home from Afghanistan and use the money “to do some nation-building here at home.” 

So what’s going to give? What needs to happen? The answer is simple: spending needs to be cut. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone is confident that it’s going to happen under Obama.

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Watch out for suicide

Watch out for suicide

I love how this article refers to one’s “risk of suicide” as if it’s not 100% in your own control. Talk about a media scare tactic. We’ve got people out there that are probably freaking out now because they’re afraid of suicide getting them. 

Do you know what’s 100% effective at preventing suicide? Not killing yourself. It works every time. 

Enough said. 

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Why the debates are important

I’ve heard a lot today about how the presidential debates are antiquated or useless, so I wanted to respond. I believe there’s a lot of good that can be gleaned from the debates. Most importantly, the debates remove the media from the equation for 90 minutes and expose Americans directly to the candidates. Think about it: how much have we really heard directly from the candidates themselves? Have we seen entire speeches, read policy statements, or met the candidates in person?

For most of us, the answer is no. We’ve seen articles written about the candidates, complete with one or two sentence quotes, you-tube style video clips of a few seconds of a speech here and there, and lots of 30-second campaign commercials. The truth of the matter is, we spend much more time listening to other people talk about the candidates than we do listening to the candidates themselves. That’s just not responsible.

I’m convinced that if you intend to vote but don’t really like to spend your time following politics, watching the debates should be your minimum commitment to the democratic process. If you do nothing else before voting, do this: watch each debate in its entirety, then turn off the TV. After deciding what you agreed with and what you didn’t, read a fact-checking article to make sure the candidates didn’t lie about the things you valued, then make up your mind. We’d all be better off if the system worked like this.

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In what universe did Ron Paul win?

For those curious, this article basically states that Ron Paul won the Republican nomination because the party cheated him out of his rightful place on the nomination floor. All I can say is good lord this is a load of drivel.

Ron Paul lost the nomination by a landslide. The other major losing candidates (both of whom got more votes and delegates than Mr. Paul) conceded defeat months ago, putting the interest of the party ahead of their own selfish agendas. This is standard fare for political primary races, as candidates will, in the end, put the best interest of the party first.

Ron Paul’s problem stems from the fact that he’s really not a Republican at all, and thus doesn’t really care about sabotaging the party. He refused to concede a race that he clearly lost by a huge margin, instead choosing to demand his 15 minutes of fame at the convention. His supporters attempted to sabotage the process by installing him as the “rightful” candidate in some sort of fringe coup attempt. In the end, their antics only served to divide the party. If left unchecked, they could very well have destroyed the Republicans’ chance of winning the election in November. Thus, Mr. Paul and his selfishness had to be stopped.

Political conventions are not democracies in and of themselves. The democratic part of the process happened months ago when voters chose the candidate they wanted to represent their party. The convention is a time for the entire party to rally behind that candidate and lay out a clear path to victory in the upcoming election. Any assertions to the contrary by Mr. Paul show at best a failure to understand the political process and at worst a narcissistic egotistical attitude towards himself and a vehement disdain for supposed political party. Either way, his selfish antics have done little to convince voters that he will ever be qualified to lead this country.

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I’d say it’s well worth the $180k.

Today we meet Marie, an avatar installed at LaGuardia airport for a cost of only $60,000 per unit. What does it do, you ask? It activates when someone walks by and talks about where the bathrooms are.  

It doesn’t answer questions, and it doesn’t replace a human worker. At best it is a video, at worst a $50 sign. And despite all that, the guy from the Port Authority thinks it’s a great investment. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about why our government is completely dysfunctional and debt-ridden, I don’t know what will.

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Obama descended from first slave. Give me a break.

Well, this is certainly a blatantly transparent way to keep playing the race card in this election. While I can’t blame Obama directly for this one, it’s clear that his allies are working to link him closer to slavery in the hopes of playing on the guilt of some current Americans.

What’s really interesting here is that the descendants of Obama’s relative Punch became wealthy landowners in Virginia, a slave-owning state. That means that Obama’s more recent relatives were almost assuredly slave-owners themselves. But of course, the headline “Obama Descended from First US Slave” is a lot more positive for his campaign than “Obama Descendants were Virginia Slave Owners.”

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In today’s irrelevant news, the seemingly week-long Opening Ceremony of the Olympics had to make some cuts for running too long. Apparently, the motorcycle jumpers failed to make the cut. Have no fear, though: the 70 sheep, 12 horses, 3 cows, 2 goats, 10 chickens, 10 ducks, 9 geese and 3 sheepdogs will be appearing as scheduled. No work on the partridge in a pear tree.

The Olympic Opening ceremony is the biggest joke out there. Seriously, does anyone ever watch this travesty on the eyes? If I wanted to see lots of people from different countries walking around, I’d set up a lawn chair on a city street, not tune in to NBC.

The ceremony itself is always ridiculously stupid. It’s created by some team of modern artists who create weird stuff in the hopes that it seems meaningful to the rest of the world (see the chickens, goats, and cows referenced above). The announcers always try to ham it up, too: “This shaved dog was painted purple and represents hundreds of years of tension between Great Britain and their former Colony the United States of America. Notice how the dog now eats a treat out of the hand of the late Apple computer CEO Steve Jobs (played by Steve Buscemi), symbolizing the two nations’ eventual harmony through modern commerce. Oh look, here comes the replica of the Crown Jewels made entirely of recycled popsicle sticks from schoolchildren all around England. Lovely!”

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