Yesterday evening the democratically led senate voted on the much controversial Obama Buffett Rule. Sadly, and stupidly the bill didn’t pass. It had fifty-one votes in favor of it with only forty-five votes opposing it. So while the Buffett Rule is important and there should have been more votes in favor of it the real travesty is how our U.S. senate works. See in order for a bill to be passed in the Senate the bill needs sixty in favor votes. So technically majority rules but the majority can not simply be a simple majority.
Every bill has a long a journey before it even becomes voted on in the Senate. First it’s thought up and then it’s drafted into bill form. Then it reaches some place where they look over the bill and see if the bill is actually worth spending time and money voting on it. Then it reaches the U.S. House of Representatives where a simple majority is all a bill needs to be passed on over to the mighty powerful U.S. Senate where a bills fate is finally decided. In the Senate people have the possibility of obstructing the voting on a bill, which is called a filibuster, and that’s perfectly. In fact in the past two years we have seen the most filibusters ever. So just because a bill makes it to the senate that doesn’t mean it will get voted on. So, with the legal obstruction of progress and the lack of a simple majority needed it’s surprising that any bill gets passed.
But, in a country where majority rules a majority of the time why is there a special rule for the U.S. Senate only. I mean I could understand the lack of a simple majority if it were like that in the House Of Representatives or in the Electoral College but it’s not like that. The Senate is special and there is no reason why. Maybe the congress should fix the way they operate and then maybe we’d be able to get more done as a nation.
I was on yahoo before the State of the Union speech reading an article about what Obama might talk about during his speech. One of the things the author of the article thought the President was planning on talking about were the poor tax codes in this country.
As usual people were quick to talk mess about Obama. Saying the usual things like “Odummer is at it again.” or “Obuma is spreading his class warfare again.” Those weren’t that surprising but it’s funny because it’s the poor white people defending people like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. The most intriguing comment by far though, said “If Obama wants everybody to pay their fair share why doesn’t he make the 51 % of the people that don’t pay income tax, pay income tax.”
This guy has a very valid point. If Obama wants every body to be equal and pay their fair share why doesn’t he make every body pay income taxes. We have to look at everything though. It’s one of those things again that when you don’t have all of the numbers it makes everything around the situation look bad.
First, the number of Americans that don’t pay income tax is actually around 46%. The forty-six percent is roughly seventy-six million American households. Of those seventy-six million households, half of them are actually poor and cannot afford to pay an income tax, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from any taxes just income taxes. That means thirty-eight million American households that can afford to pay income tax don’t.
See this is where that guys question has some validity. Not only because these people who can afford to pay income tax aren’t pay income tax but because of how much they make. It’s the people who make 75,000 to 100,000 who aren’t paying a federal income tax. Why, don’t these people who are firmly in the middle class not pay an income tax? I don’t know. I’ve looked about every where, did about three hours of research and I couldn’t find a solid answer to why these people are not paying an income tax.
This leads me to have to agree with Obama and many democrats. Let’s get these people to pay their fair share. My dad is a diabetic and suffers from many other diseases. He makes what the average American worker makes and after taxes he barely he has enough money to cover for groceries let alone his many medications. I’m not saying he shouldn’t pay an income tax because I believe he should. I am saying that congress should make sure that every American is paying at least a minimum of income taxes.
Tonight President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union speech. It was an hour and five minutes long. His speech covered many topics but all topics were pertinent to getting America out of this recession, getting Americans back to work, and getting the congress and senate to work together. It was a rather good speech , I would say it was his best speech since running for the presidency.
Obama stated the armed forces cooperation was an example that all Americans should follow. He covered how if we want to get back to being the best America we can be we’ll have to work together and quit the bickering and fighting. I believe giving credit to where it was due and setting out goals to get where we need to get was a focal point of the presidents.
On top of asking Americans to unite, Obama also stated everything he did. He wasn’t necessarily boasting but he was letting all of his critics know what he has done in his first. He told Americans he has less regulations than the Bush Administration. He made it known that HE and seal team 6 got Osama Bin Laden and almost every high ranking Al Qaeda member. He also added three million jobs.
He also talked about everything he wanted to get done. He told Americans and American business owners he wanted to reward American businesses who hired in the United States. Also, he said he would a minimum tax for all businesses and businesses who out sourced jobs would pay more taxes. And to keep scientific and high technological jobs in America he would give incentives to businesses who funded college programs and hired people like Jackie Bray.
On the lighter side of the State of the Union President Obama shared a long and heart felt embrace with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. And college students and younger people part of the workforce may be calling in to work sick and missing class. See there’s a new drinking game for the State of the Union and according to the rules some people may have gotten hammered tonight.
There’s a new demotivational picture floating around the internet and the numbers on this photo don’t necessarily lie but they definitely don’t tell the whole truth. On one half of the picture it says “Debt added by the 43 previous presidents combined: 6.3 trillion”. On the other half of this picture it says “Debt added by this president: 6.5 trillion”. While this picture is factually correct it does not relay all of the facts.
Yes through the first forty-three presidents only 6.3 trillion dollars were added to the deficit but that 6.3 trillion was also added by a single president. When Clinton left office there was a surplus and that means when Bush took office there was a surplus. When bush left office there was a deficit, a 6.3 trillion dollar deficit. Now if I only tell you these facts it makes it seem like President Bush was a pretty shitty president, and I don’t believe he was. Now if I tell you that when Bush was in office we entered two wars, had many tax cuts, and other things that would influence the deficit, would you still feel the same way. Maybe, it really depends on what your political views and other circumstances.
Now there’s the whole forty-fourth presidents added debt. Obama has added a ton and I mean a ton of money to the deficit, 6.5 sounds about right. 6.5 trillion dollars is a lot to add to a deficit in ten years let alone three but then there’s the whole numbers being taken out of context thing. If I told you any other person added 6.5 trillion dollars in three years you’d probably have an aneurysm. However, if I told you that that person inherited a crumbling housing market. Big banks that were too big to fail so they had to bail them out. They also inherited a crumbling automobile industry. That person also had companies shipping jobs to other countries so people got laid off therefore more people collect welfare and unemployment benefits. Had to prevent two new wars. And that person also inherited the biggest recession since The Great Depression. Now that all those things have been introduced to the equation, that 6.5 trillion, albeit it is still a tremendously large number, seems a little bit more reasonable.
Then there’s other things that the presidents cannot account for. Such as inflation, a do nothing congress, population increase, and other things. While Obama has collected the most debt in the shortest amount of time, if you put the debt numbers at the time of The Great Depression into what they would be today I am almost certain Herbert Hoover would have accumulated a similar amount of debt. I’m not saying Obama doesn’t have some faults because he has faults and he is to blame for some things. I’m just saying rather than spread half lies put everything out there and allow people to come to their own conclusions.
I was walking to class the other day when I suddenly realized something. The guys running for president could be cast as different archetype bullies.
Newt Gingrich is the archetype old school bully. Everybody knows this kind of bully. The one that’s just overbearing in size and personality. He uses his size as an advantage and just pushes every body out of his way. He steals your lunch money, gets money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then when he’s called on it he twists it and makes himself look like the good guy.
Then there’s Rick Santorum. He’s the archetype religious bully. He’s clean cut, wears sweater vests, says things like sex before marriage is bad, and uses the bible to justify his bullying of homosexuals. You know he quotes the bible and says ” You too can be saved if only you come out of your deviant lifestyle.” And people like him because that is what the bible says.
You also have Ron Paul. He’s the small bully who nobody picks on because they think he’s crazy. He’ll say some crazy junk and belittle people but, at the end of the day people don’t want to take him seriously. Then one day out of nowhere he comes up to the school and just starts pounding on the 300 pound line man and people think to themselves “Oh shit. That guy was serious.” Thus, he gains respect and becomes a more effective bully.
Let’s not forgot good ol’ Mitt. Now Mitt is different than any other bully. You never really see him commit acts of bullying but deep down inside you know he had some thing to do with you getting your lunch money stolen and your ass kicked. He’s the smart bully, the one who has his friends break you down and then he comes in and just says a few words to you and you know he was the one who had you beat up.
Finally there’s the President himself. Obama is completely different from any other bully because really he’s not one. Every body knows this guy or at least knows of this guy. Obama is the star athlete who sees people getting bullied but doesn’t do anything. Not because he likes seeing people getting bullied but because he’s afraid what it might do to his reputation. He’s tried once before to stand up for the bullied but he suffered for it. People called him a nerd lover or a nerd himself and he’s tried almost everything but none of it works. So because nothing he has tried works he just gives up and allows the bullying to continue. Therefore, even though he’s not a bully by doing nothing he is one.
Today Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline. I am glad the pipeline was rejected. I believe in the long hall the pipeline would have done more harm than good. People on yahoo said “Obama wanted to create jobs. He just killed hundreds of jobs.” People don’t realize that the Keystone Pipeline has environmental ramifications. The pipeline may create jobs but it may also destroy the surrounding environment.
The pipeline would have gone through one of the most untouched and beautiful plots of land left in America. The pipeline would destroy part of Americas beautiful land. I am all for creating jobs but not at the cost of destroying the beautiful country I live in. If there were a way to get the oil with out destroying this part of America I would be all for it unfortunately there isn’t and there are less jobs because of it.
Recently GOP State House Member, Mike O’Neal, sent out two emails. One calling Michelle Obama Mrs. YoMAMA and another he sent referenced a prayer from the book of Psalm. This bible verse is very suggestive to say the least. The verse reads at Psalm 109:8 “Let his days be numbered and let another take his place in office, let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow…” and so on. The verse continues on and it is a prayer for a man in office to pass away. Congressman O’Neal rejoices at the end of his email stating “At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!”. However, when the email went public he said the verse referenced in his email wasn’t meant to be taken literally but in his email he says “… Look it up – it is word for word!…”.
Of course people came to his defense and said it’s his First Amendment right to say what he wants so he shouldn’t be punished or reprimanded. What those people fail to realize is, while the First Amendment allows you to say what you wish, it doesn’t protect from punishment. Others asked “Why should Congressman O’Neal be punished when there is a bumper sticker that says the same thing?” The answer to that is, Congressman O’Neal is held to higher a standard. He is not a businessman making a profit. He is not a person working underneath the public eye. He is a representative of the United States. He is some one who people can look up and find in another country. And if some one in another country looks him up and finds this is his stance on Obama then what will they think of the state of our country.
Do I agree with the statements of Congressman O’Neal? Absolutely not but, do I believe he had the right to the say them absolutely. Do I believe he should have said them? Of course not, not because I like Obama but, because Obama is our president and also because I have never or will I ever wish death upon anyone. It’s silly that politics has become what it is what it is and that won’t change until we get the dumb out politics.
I was talking to my friend and she told me politics are boring and that the focus of my blog should be focused on more 18 year old friendly topics. I told her straight out, politics aren’t boring and what could be more 18 year old friendly than politics, in the first year I’m able to vote. She was like “no you should be talking about music and regular teenage stuff. It’s weird that you talk about politics.” Well call me weird and strap a weirdo sign to my back.
Politics are important to me and should be important to every person in the world. Sadly, that’s not how it is. In fact, the average American thinks about politics an average of FIVE long minutes per month. Yep, that’s an average of a few seconds a day. And the average is even fewer among young adults. That fact is reflected when I ask my friends what they think about how well the Obama Administration has done so far. Or it’s reflected when my friend tells me even though this is the first year she’s able to vote, she’s not going to because she doesn’t know anything about the people running.
There’s definitely a disconnect between politics and young people. Recently you’ve seen politicians trying to reach out to young people but it doesn’t work. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because young people don’t feel represented politics or political media. Maybe because there’s more interesting stuff to talk about like 90210 or gossip girl. Maybe it’s because teenagers feel they have more important things to worry about, like love, lust, break ups, tests, papers, and just trying to learn how to get by in America.
Politicians need to make a better attempt to connect with young voters. Now I’m not saying promise foolish things but give us a reason to follow politics other than the already important things. Get more relatable people. Do whatever you think will get young voters to pay attention.