Monday, February 21, 2011

Mubarak and his Money

Even though former President Hosni Mubarak was not Egypt’s best leader, he and his family do not deserve to have their local and international assets frozen.  After all, Mubarak did work to keep the Suez Canal open for trade and he also signed a treaty with Israel that helped promote world stability.  Every person in the world, regardless of social status, should have the right to do whatever they choose with their personal belongings.  They should have access to these belongings at all times, and should have the right to make their own decisions as to what they can do with their assets.  I also understand there is a great deal of controversy as to how Mubarak actually obtained so much money, but until he and his family are found guilty he should not be forced to give any of that money back to Egypt.  
I believe that Mubarak’s accounts and assets should be unfrozen, and that other government officials should make wise and hasty decisions to help solve problems in Egypt.  I understand this is much easier said than done, but I am sure many people would appreciate some structure and guidance in that nation in these trying times.  Those people who are responsible for violence, especially against peaceful demonstrators and journalists, should be brought to justice instead of trying to focus on phony politics, like what Mubarak does with his money.  

Kelly Ryan

Monday, February 14, 2011

Budget Cuts

 President Obama’s proposed budget cuts seem to be too little too late. Federal budget spending has increased 15 to 30% within the last two years and that is not taking into account the stimulus bill. With spending as high as it is, no wonder President Obama is calling for a “freeze.” It also seems as though President Obama is cutting money from the budget in all the wrong places. He plans to cut defense spending while the United States’ continues to fight in two wars overseas. Further, the turmoil in Egypt could potentially spread. The United States must be ready to confront that possibility. If such a situation were to occur, this country would want as many funds in the Department of Defense as possible. The defense budget cuts, as proposed by Robert Gates, were created before the prospects of regime change were evident in the Middle East. Thus, there is a possibility that the present situation has not been taken into account.

President Obama wants to diminish financial aid to college students by cutting Pell Grants. These Pell Grants help those from low-income families receive higher degrees of education, with $5,550 being the maximum grant allowable per person for the 2010-2011 term year. Even though the Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, says that ideas are being put together on how to make college more affordable, those plans seem far off while threats of increasing education costs are nearby. Perhaps the government could start saving money by getting rid of the $3,400 raise that Congress voted to give themselves last year, which ultimately raises their salary to $158,103.

Republicans throughout the United States are trying to create cuts in different areas of government such as the EPA and many entitlements that are choking the budget, rather than making choices that could possibly prohibit aspiring students from attending college or graduate school. The Federal Government can save its’ investment in education by bringing about entitlement program reform, which has been argued by Republicans for quiet sometime now. A better “investment” in education could possibly lead to more American’s being able to take care of themselves and not turn to the government to help them retire or attain health insurance. This idea is one that is distinctly different from what Republicans have argued in the past. However, by helping people attain an education I am essentially arguing that we can help them help themselves, which is an idea that Republicans have stood for in American politics for the last seventy years.

At a time where the deficit spending is getting out of control we much make the difficult choices in ensure the future for our people. Without meaningful budget cuts, which come from entitlement programs mostly, we will be the generation that is so far in debt that we won’t be able to grow our economy the way our parents and grandparents did!