I’ve been half-heartedly paying to the republican debates, half-heartedly because the level of bullshit these people spout is over-whelming. Anyway. it appears that one of the main issues in the upcoming Presidential election will be the U.S. economy, most especially our very large deficit. There are two main ways to deal with the deficit: spending cuts and or tax increases. The republicans are adamantly opposed to tax increases, even ones that will make the tax code much fairer in the eyes of most middle-class and working-class Americans. The Republicans solution is to cut spending on programs that are targeted to the middle and working-class, programs referred to as “entitlements”. One of the prime targeted entitlements is Social Security, the retirement safety net established during the Great Depression and still the retirement safety net for the working poor, most middle-classed, as well as seriously disadvantaged Americans. I’d like to offer some spending cuts that are targeted to those most able to absorb the lost “entitlements” and least deserving of those “entitlements”. The individuals that should be targeted by new spending cuts are elected and appointed federal officials, everything from the President on down to federal judges. These people receive health care and substantial retirement benefits, all at the expense of the American tax-payers. Most of these politicians are lawyers or a similar profession. Not only do these individuals hold a federal position for which they receive substantial compensation, but they also have very lucrative outside private practices. If you don’t believe me, do a search for the income tax return of your politician of choice. These individuals can easily afford to pay for private health insurance, something many Americans cannot do. Instead of wasting tax-payer money on something these individuals can easily afford, take the money and provide healthcare benefits for those individuals do not have coverage through their employers and who cannot afford the ridiculous premiums charged by private insurers. Continue reading
One of the most important stories in college sports that has been ongoing for the last few months is the child sex scandal at Penn State. I had not intended to post my thoughts on this story until the full details were available. However, with the passing of Coach Joe Paterno this past weekend, I feel I need to offer some thoughts on this extremely unfortunate and unpleasant incident.
I grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from High School in 1966, the year that Joe Pa became the head coach at Penn State. Before finally deciding on Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, I briefly did consider attending Penn State. Many of my fellow graduates did go there. Back in those days, Penn State did not have the Academic Reputation that it holds now. In fact, it was considered a fall back for those who could not get into a good school. One of the main reasons Penn State’s Academic Reputation has greatly improved since then is the efforts of Coach Paterno. When the scandal involving the former long-time defensive coordinator under Coach Paterno first broke, there was a lot of discussion in the media, and most especially ESPN, about the fact that Coach Paterno had a lot of “power” at the University and in the community. However, it is my contention that the media analysts confused moral power with, for the lack of a better word, political power. In listening to comments made by current and former students at the University, I feel that the authority that Coach Paterno had was not in the arena of decision, but rather Couch Paterno was able to influence those with the real political power because of the high esteem he had with students and residents of the state. Continue reading