During the presidential election, we are reminded how problematic our federal deficit and national debt may be to future generations.
I would refer readers to White House Burning by Simon Johnson and James Kwak. Several figures were provided based on percent of gross domestic product compared to deficit projections, using income and estate tax cuts as a variable.
If the income and estate tax cuts are allowed to expire, an annual deficit of about 1 percent of GDP would be the result. That would be below the average annual deficit for the 50 years prior to the financial crisis, and, even with mediocre economic growth, would be sustainable.
However, if the tax cuts are not allowed to expire, we will have a deficit close to 4 percent of GDP and interest costs over 3 percent of GDP.
Over the next 10 years, we do not have a deficit crisis but a tax-cut crisis. Still, if one is worried about deficits over that period, then one should favor ending the Bush tax cuts.
If one believes tax cuts should not expire because that would increase unemployment, then what we have is an unemployment crisis. Then politicians’ refrain of jobs, jobs and more jobs would be the answer.
But the real question that needs to be asked concerning our children’s and grandchildren’s well-being is: Are they prepared for the jobs in today’s global economy?
Stanford economist Eric Hanushek found that 6 percent of U.S. students performed at an advanced level in math, with Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Germany at 28 percent, 22.3 percent, 15.1 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively. Given that math skills better predict future earnings than other skills taught in high school, the implication is that the next generation will not be in a position to compete in a globalized world.
The best way to deal with economic woes of our times — the deficit, unemployment, trade imbalances — is to guarantee that we have a labor force educated and trained with the necessary skills.
One would think that a business-minded individual such as Mitt Romney would have the foresight to grasp this; but, clearly, it takes a vision of governance based upon fairness and equality to truly grapple with the education crisis with which we are confronted. That is why President Obama’s vision for America is best for its long-term educational and economic interests.
An image of weakness abroad
In response to the Oct. 21 editorial, “Obama for president,” Obama should be a one-term president.
The editorial states that the president has elevated the country’s image abroad, when in fact this administration has failed our country in this area. The most recent example was the attack on our consulate in Benghazi. All citizens should be outraged about how this administration has handled this tragedy.
The president is trying to make it appear that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a video against Mohammed, when in fact the events leading to the terrorist attack started long before Sept. 11.
During this past year, there have been over 230 “security incidents” reported in Libya.
This should have been reason enough to strengthen our security, but instead we pulled out elite security team out in August. When all facts are in, it will be proved that this president wanted to cover up the truth, making it appear that everything was under control in Libya.
President Obama and his team knew it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.
Events such as this have far from elevated our image abroad. We appear weak, and the enemy will exploit us.
We need a change for the better. Mitt Romney, a strong leader, will guide our great country forward. We cannot afford another four years of decline.
Quality of the nation
Voters must consider what is best for our country. The quality of our nation depends upon whom we vote for and their policies.
Some claim that the less government we have, the better for all of us. But government is not necessarily bad. A compassionate citizen believes in conserving the health of our country, our water resources and air quality, safeguarding our food supply and protecting our lives at home and elsewhere.
Even some Republicans feel that Wall Street bankers need oversight to prevent their gambling with other people’s money for their own personal gain.
The outcome of the election will influence the quality of our nation. Will we have more freedom for our corporations to be rid of regulations that they don’t want? The insurance industry wants to take over Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Never mind that their premiums would cover the cost of CEOs making far more than the $400,000 per year paid to the president.
Our nation depends on quality education in public schools, universities and libraries. This election may determine whether we might lure back some of the teachers, librarians, nurses, police officers and firefighters who have been laid off.
Certain politicians consider such people to be part of “big government.” The same legislators promote spending as much on our armed forces as do all the other countries combined, when we do not have any powerful enemy. The money saved could be spent on beneficial programs that were cut.
Big oil and coal industry leaders can no longer convince us that there is no global warming, but they still claim that it is not largely made by burning fossil fuels.
This is despite the fact that virtually all scientists confirm that global warming is largely man-made. Too many members of Congress are paid off by these fossil-fuel people.
We need to elect candidates who will not be beholden to corporate pressures and who will not be afraid to tax those who could easily afford it to permit adequate services for the benefit of all citizens.
Paul G. Baker
Once hopeful, now disappointed
As with most Americans, I was hoping the change that Barack Obama promised to deliver during his presidency would redirect our country in a positive direction. Unfortunately, his promises have been broken and his performance has been disappointing.
In Obama’s own words: “If I don’t have this [fixing the economy] done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
The economy has not recovered. His fast and furious stimulus spending has drastically increased our national debt. Unemployment has remained at our new normal of 8 percent. Half of us get some form of government assistance.
Gasoline prices are double while coal and the Keystone pipeline are downsized. It is true that solar and wind power are great ideas, but they are currently cost-prohibitive.
President Obama is forcing Catholics and others who resist his controversial doctrines on abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage and gays in the military to accept his moral dictates or face monetary and even criminal consequences.
Be sensitive to the Muslim world, he says, but not sympathetic to conservative Americans. What is worse: A peaceful tea party attendee or a terrorist?
Just as this administration has lied about what happened in Libya, the liberal media has lied by omission by not reporting the 2,000th death in Afghanistan.
There is a time for campaigning and golf. But not when justice needs to be served for four Americans killed on our own consulate soil. Instead, the president lied to us by blaming an amateur movie producer.
It can’t be Bush’s fault anymore. Obama has had time to turn things around, but his change was simply no good. He promised to be, but is not, transparent. His socialist changes are leading average American citizens to expect the government to save them, not their own efforts.
Meanwhile, our economy and values are nearly bankrupt. Our incomes, home prices and net worth are down. We are next in line after Greece and Spain collapse.
I can’t afford four more years of this president. Can you? Hold your nose and vote him out.
John E. Berry
Character in question
From the beginning, I have watched and listened to the Republican primaries, the debates and the campaigning. The biggest problem Mitt Romney has is debating himself. He changes his rhetoric to suit whomever he is addressing. Both sides of his mouth must be exhausted.
Who is the real Romney? Is it the 47-percent guy who revealed his true inner self at a private dinner, talking to his rich donors? Is he the “new” Mitt Romney, who has rewritten his past to appeal to the electorate?
He is all of the above. Voters, don’t be duped by this man.
What sort of person would tie a helpless dog to the car roof for 200 miles? This reveals a streak of cruelty, a lack of compassion and stupidity. It reveals the true character of Romney. Keep this in mind when you vote.
Louise M. McDaniels