Alex Ellingboe I believe you are correct in that Senator Paul was taking a long-term view in his approach, but I again would refer you to the question at the end of my last response. Also, to boil down the budget as you just did oversimplifies the matter. There has to be a difference between programs that were funded and ones that were not doesn't there? For now, the entitlement programs are fully funded. The defense budget, the wars, and the discretionary spending are not. Congress figured out how to fund the entitlement programs. They did not figure out how to fund everything else, and now to say that what we should cut are the entitlement programs that were and are successfully funded to pay for the programs which were not seems illogical.
Alex Ellingboe The Bush-Era Tax Cuts, the stimulus and teh associated tax cuts, the Medicare Drug Program (which was not provided with a funding base like the other entitlements), non-defense discretionary spending, and the two wars, which were and are not usually considered part of the normal defense budget. Those are the main drivers of the deficit and account for how we went from a surplus in 2000 to the current deficit. Also, entitlement spending increased significantly after the economic crisis because many people lost there jobs and subsequently their healthcare. As the economy recovers this figure will decrease significantly, as will the budget deficit; however, that is not to say that changes do not need to be made.
Alex Ellingboe Entitlement programs do face serious long-term solvency problems, but to attribute the current deficit to them now is simply incorrect. A tax was created to fund entitlement programs, unlike the major contributors to the current deficit, namely two wars, the Medicare drug program, and the economic stimulus programs. Granted, the entitlement programs and the taxes that fund them will need to be adjusted to conform to shifting demographic realities, but they are funded for now, so to attack them as contributors to the current deficit is a baseless attack. What I would ask Senator paul is how would he refute the argument that Republicans are fear-mongering over the deficit in order to achieve their long-held goal of cutting entitlements?
Alex Ellingboe Mr. Paul, you state that entitlements are the biggest contributor to our deficit when in fact they are almost fully funded by payroll taxes. How are we to take your fellow Republican deficit hawks seriously when they seem to have only a loose grasp at best with the actual contributors to the deficit such as the Bush Tax Cuts and MidEast Wars? What I am getting at is how can you expect millennials to trust the Republican Party when the only budget cuts they seriously seem to want to make are to the entitlement programs we have not had the opportunity to enjoy while ignoring the fact that these programs are not the country's biggest fiscal problem?
Alex Ellingboe Always bear in mind your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. -Abe Lincoln I generally hate when someone uses a glib quote to respond to something, but this quote has always provided me with motivation, and it seems very appropriate in this situation.
Alex Ellingboe Is it not normal? Every candidate in this nomination process besides Paul has done it, so I would venture to say that it is normal. That is not to say that I agree with it or find it acceptable, but it is normal in that it is a common feature of what has become the norm. You berate me for being naive, but would it not be more naive to fail to recognize the the frequency of changes in opinion amongst the politicians in this race? Also, I believe I basically make all of your primary points in my article.
Alex Ellingboe Thank you, Susan, for your optimistic prognosis concerning my naivete. *I* always appreciate unsolicited assessments on the quality of my intellect, especially when they come in a belittling, motherly tone. For the record, I never said I was going to vote for Ron Paul.
Alex Ellingboe You think someone that earned business and law degrees from Harvard simultaneously and then went on to earn hundreds of millions of dollars is not that smart? Do you really think the two of them could coexist? They have radically different stances on many key issues.
Alex Ellingboe I mostly agree with you, but I think that Paul's record and his star status are much bigger now than they were in 1988. Combine that with the general animosity toward the political status quo in the country right now, and I think that he could receive a substantial portion of the vote (at least by third-party standards). I'm talking about 8-10%, which would at least make people think about the possibility of a third party in politics. Also, with the grass-roots nature of his campaign, he doesn't need the Koch brothers to contribute. Although, you are correct in that he would definitely not be able to compete dollar for dollar with establishment candidates. I don't follow you on why he needs a slate of candidates to run with him..?
Alex Ellingboe Many Democrats agree with his stance on foreign policy and his anti-Federal Reserve sentiments, which are major tenets of his campaign. If he secured the Republican nomination do you think there is a chance that he could get a significant number of Democrats to vote for him? That would be something that I think is safe to say that no other Republican candidate could do.
Alex Ellingboe Is there any point in him running as an Independent even if he doesn't win? Would a strong showing as an Independent be a display of the potential of politics not run by either the Dems or Reps?
Alex Ellingboe What if Paul were to garner say, 10%, of the vote running as an Independent? That would be by far the highest of any third party candidate. Would it have the potential to create a change of thought on the part of the electorate concerning the two-party system we have come to accept? Would it create any momentum towards creating a third party or give independents a greater chance at office in the future? Or would it merely be a good short-term story destined to fizzle out under the enormous strength of the two main parties?
Alex Ellingboe Would you support a city/county/state providing loans to a pro franchise provided there was a guarantee they would be paid off with interest? Or do you think that the franchise should have to seek the loans from a private investor?
Alex Ellingboe While I agree with Charlie, I also agree with you, Deepak. I do find that it is a distraction from many more important issues. That being said, I do not believe that football is completely useless. As Charlie points out, it does provide many people with happiness. Also, I don't think that it is unique to our society. Societies around the globe have their own favorite sport, which consumes a significant portion of their attention. Also, it is not a new phenomenon. Just look at the Coliseum and the ancient Romans.
Alex Ellingboe I completely agree with you. At least the last couple sentences I do. I'm not sure how it truly maximizes utility though. Are you saying that because we choose to watch football to be happy, the action of watching football is the single most effective action for creating happiness and, therefore, the most utilitarian? Also, why do you say unless you are santorum? (I didn't watch the last Republican debate.)
Alex Ellingboe What would you say to all the families who only bond through football? Is that not an acceptable way to bond? I myself might argue that it is a superficial way of bonding, but I am curious as to what you think.
Alex Ellingboe Many of Obama's healthcare measures have already come into effect. Gradually, they will all be phased in. Your friend should be covered already. I'm sure all it will take for her to get it is to do a little research. It's not going to be free though, just cheaper. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama_health_care_plan#Effective_by_January_1.2C_2012 Insurance premiums go up every year. The reason they may have gone up a little more this year is because the new health care laws are not allowing the big healthcare companies to reap enormous profits anymore. The health care bill was not supposed to fix medicare, it was supposed to provide affordable coverage to all Americans, and stop many malpractices in the healthcare industry.