Hello Blogosphere, It’s Me, Paul

So … any of you who have visited this blog have surely noticed the dearth of new entries. This has been an incredibly busy few weeks.

I have been involved in the Nevada Media Alliance, a nonprofit project funded by the Reynolds School of Journalism. Our goal has been to cover the Nevada Legislature, which begins in a few days. The project has reeked havoc on my schedule. Additionally, I have been interning at KOLO 8 in Reno, learning to write news for broadcast.

However, I do plan to be back at this blog soon.

Please stay tuned!

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Dear Congress: Grow Up and Act Like Adults!

The January 7 - 113, 2013 issue of Businessweek perfectly captures how our elected officials behave.

The January 7 – 113, 2013 issue of Businessweek perfectly captures how our elected officials behave.

If our federal legislature were employed by a big company, it would be fired.

As the latest issue of Businessweek proclaims on its cover, our nation is being governed by babies, who whine when they don’t get their way.

We avoided the dreaded fiscal cliff, but nothing has been solved. Obama kept his promise to the people by cutting taxes for the majority of Americans and letting the Bush tax cut expire on the top one percent of Americans.

He should have simply let the tax cuts expire. We should have just driven off the “cliff,” hit the reset button and started the debate from that point.

Economically, the Bush tax cuts have nearly crippled our economy, but it all started with Ronald Reagan. Reagan proposed that the government was the problem. Before he began cutting taxes, the marginal rate for the highest earners was about 70 percent. The economy ran fine at that rate. If that tax cut stimulated the economy, it was because of the size of the cut.

Now we argue, violently, about a few percentage points.

Oh, did I mention that the Reagan tax cuts also caused our deficit to grow rapidly?

The current Republican thought is that the government is the problem. I take issue with that. Can it be adjusted and fine-tuned? Absolutely! Our government creates the economic and social environment that secures our Rights to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Republican president Teddy Roosevelt said “The government is us; we are the government, you and I.” Such a comment by a Republican candidate now would be considered treasonous.

Taxes need to be at a level that allows the government to do its job. Right now the U.S. economy is running at about 6 percent beneath its potential. We cannot cut our way into national prosperity.

But, on the other hand, cuts need to be made. Our welfare, social security and Medicare programs are in need of repair. Simply cutting these programs is not a solution. The cuts would only increase poverty, something that hurts the economy. I believe strongly in these social programs, but believe they need to be rethought and restructured in a way that saves money and helps keep people alive, healthy and capable.

Both Democrats and Republicans have produced big ideas in the past. Now, both reflect the cover of Businessweek – infantile, immature and incapable of deep thinking.

It is a sad day when my comments here, traditionally considered right in the middle, come off as radical. I believe in American exceptionalism. We have done great things. But, with the Bush-era tax cuts permanent and no end of political cock-blocking in sight, our economy will shrink and exceptional will be a word never used to describe America again.