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Tag Archives: Republicans

What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 2/4

It is a tragedy how fast most Americans forget the root causes of the current financial challenges in America.

Three lawmakers, all Republicans, introduced the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to the U.S. Senate.  During the debate in the House or Representatives, a democrat from Michigan argued that the bill would result in banks becoming “too big to fail” (sound familiar). At first, most democrats were against the bill but eventually, due to compromises, the effort of corporate lobbyists and deal making, many democrats were won over to vote for it.

Keep in mind that the Republicans won a majority position in both houses of Congress in the elections of 1994, and controlled both houses until 2006—except the Senate for most of 2001 and 2002, when the Democrats held the majority in that one House of Congress.

Therefore, in 1999, Republicans were the majority in both houses of congress. When the final Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed in the Senate, the vote was 90 to 8 (92%) and in the House 362 to 57 (86.3%)

Even if President Clinton had wanted to veto it, which he didn’t, he wouldn’t have succeeded since a two-thirds majority vote (66%) in both Houses of Congress is required to override a presidential veto. Since the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act arrived at the White House for President Clinton to sign with more than a two-thirds majority vote in favor, there wasn’t much he could have done if he had wanted to.

Then, during the Bush years (2001 – 2009), the United States launched three expensive wars: The Iraq War—based on false claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction—the war in Afghanistan, which was mostly neglected under Bush, and the global war on terrorism.

Due to these wars and the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the national debt exploded.

I’m sort of going off topic with this paragraph, but I saw “Act of Valor,” which is about the Navy Seals and the CIA fighting the global war on terror. I recommend “Act of Valor”. The acting may be a bit stiff but that is not the point. The realism makes this movie worth watching. This is no Rambo or Mission Impossible. “Act of Valor” is closer to the reality and what America’s Navy Seals face as they fight to protect America. Politicians and corporate lobbyists might be corrupt and greedy for power and money, but America’s men and women mostly from the working class serve in the military out of patriotism.

Back on topic—President G. W. Bush, with help from the GOP majority in both Houses of Congress, lowered taxes for the wealthiest Americans (the lowest rate in almost 80 years—the last time the rate was this low was before the Great Depression and experts say this contributed to that economic collapse).

On February 9, 2012, the official debt of the US government had reached $15.4 trillion—an increase of $5.9 trillion since President Obama moved into the White House. While the GOP blames Obama for that debt during an election year, we must not lose focus on how much Obama inherited when he was elected president.

According to the Huffington Post, lowering taxes for the wealthy costs the U.S. Treasure $11.6 million every hour.

Total, the cost of the Bush tax cut for the top 5% of income earners since 2001 is more than one trillion dollars, which is about $100 billion annually. Source: Cost of Tax Cuts.com

Interest from the national debt, which President Obama inherited from Presidents Reagan, H. W. Bush and G. W. Bush is about $400 billion annually. Source: US Debt Clock.org

On top of that $500 billion annually, the wars G. W. Bush started has cost more than $1.3 trillion since 2001—that’s another $130 billion. Source: Cost of War.com

However, the cost was more than just money. According to the Congressional Budget Office, since combat is being financed with borrowed money, the price tag for these wars is not over, and if Bush had not gone to war over false claims of weapons of mass destruction  in Iraq, 4,482 Americans would not have been killed; more than 32,000 would not have been wounded (medical care for these wounded combat veterans will costs hundreds of millions in the decades to come); about 114,000 Iraqi civilians would still be alive and Iraq has cost more than $800 billion so far.

In addition, CalSTRS probably would still be funded close to 100%, as it was in 2001, for future obligations to its 856,360 members, while the 429,600 active members paid about $3 billion dollars into the retirement fund in 2011—money taken from monthly paychecks of working educators.

Continued on March 1, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column.

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Brainwashing American Style

Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution. Source: Fox News.com

I suspected the truth long ago.

Home schooling and the voucher movement both have the same goal—to control what children learn and think. That is called brainwashing. The Communist Chinese did it during Mao’s reign in China.  The Communists in Russia did it too. So did the Nazi’s when Hitler ruled Germany.

A “liberal” education in the public schools and many private colleges teaches evolution and a wide range of subjects, which might be another reason to explain why the conservative media machine has spent decades turning the word “liberal” into an evil thing so people will start to distrust a nonbiased education. I’m not saying the American public education system is perfect, but it is better than having it controlled by the private sector.

Consider this.  Conservatives claim that liberal teachers in the schools are biased and are teaching kids to be evil liberals, but at the same time they claim the majority of Americans are conservative.

I am conservative in most of my beliefs. How can that be if I had a liberal education? When I take one of those multiple choice tests to see where I stand on political issues, I always end up right of center but nowhere near the far right. I suspect most Americans are the same.

And that leads me to Wal-Mart.”The Walton Family’s support of the school voucher and charter schools movement is unparalleled in the United States. According to the 2006 Walton Family Foundation 990, the family gave over $48 million to individual charter schools and supporting institutions. Sam Walton once said, “I’d like to see an all-out revolution in education.” He proudly supported school-choice movements along with his son John.” Source:   Walton Family Influence  Take a look.

However, a study released in 2007 by the Center on Education Policy (CEP) found that students in public urban high schools perform, on average, just as well as those in private high schools.

When the report’s authors compared students of similar socioeconomic status at private, public and parochial high schools, they found that:

  • Achievement scores on reading, math, science and history were the same;
  • Students were equally likely to attend college whether they had graduated from a public or private school;
  • Young adults at age 26 were equally likely to report being satisfied with their jobs whether they had graduated from a public or private school;
  • Young adults at age 26 were equally likely to engage in civic activity whether they had graduated from a public or private school.  Source: Education Portal.com

In another comparison from the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the Nation’s Report Card., we discover that Christopher and Sarah Theule Lubienski, a husband-and-wife team at the University of Illinois, compared more than 340,000 students using math scores from the 2003 NAEP. The study found that after adjusting for socioeconomic factors, there is little difference between private and public school scores. Source: Great Schools.org

Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the NAEP is given to students in grades 4, 8 and 12 in both private and public schools.

It seems that there are conservative like most of us, and then there are CONSERVATIVES like the Walton family.

Learn more from Not Broken

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 3/4

Grendel was right about too many of the parents—at least some that I met while teaching at Alvarado. They were a brutally bizarre bunch from another world. They must have been Republicans.

I’ve heard the parents around Alvarado have changed since the 80s. The Chinese moved in and the wasps with the stingers fled.

Anyone who knows Asian cultures like India, China, South Korea, the Philippians and Japan, knows that the parents tend to respect and support teachers and most of the kids are great to work with. We can thank Confucius for that.

Most Asian-American students pay attention, read, ask questions, seek help and turn in homework.

They even study for tests. None of the usual excuses such as “my dad used my book report for toilet paper and flushed it and now he’s in South America on business”.

Asian students also earn high scores on standardized tests no matter who teaches them.

Those facts are ignored by neo-conservatives and Christian Evangelicals who want a voucher system to replace the public schools so waspish parents can control what their children learn like all good Nazis—no more liberal education.

If vouchers arrive, education will be a form of tunnel vision.

Continued in Grendel’s Closed Door Policy – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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