Archive for January, 2016

Let’s Look at the Facts

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Who should we really fear, ISIS or the NRA? constitution2

Everyone believes ISIS is a threat to democracy, religious freedoms, and human rights. While I concur with these beliefs, I worry far more about domestic terrorists than foreign ones. Many radicalized individuals infiltrate our country, but they are not the only people who frighten me. It is the NRA and their uncompromising stand on gun safety and regulation that I worry most about.

Fact: America is losing more than 30,000 people each year to gun violence, over 90 people a day.

The loudest argument for no gun regulation is the Second Amendment. In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The problem with this argument is that many of those carrying guns are not doing it as a well-organized militia. In addition, our Founders did not carry, nor envision, AK-47 assault rifles for an individual’s self-protection. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence gives all Americans the “inalienable Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I do not feel safer, freer, or happier when I see legislators’ voting to allow guns in grocery stores, family restaurants, college campuses, and mental institutions. Why is it okay to argue for the Second Amendment and ignore the Declaration of Independence?

Why Trickle-down economics doesn’t work?

Antiquated, unworkable policies like Trickle-down economics will send our economy into a downward spiral while funneling more money to the top 1%.

Fact: Trickle-down economics doesn’t work because cutting taxes on the rich doesn’t lead to job creation or economic growth.

Trickle-down economics – didn’t work under Reagan, didn’t work under George W. Bush, and won’t work now. Why? Simple math and logic tell us that millionaires and billionaires buy what they want. Therefore, the economy isn’t stimulated when they get more tax breaks or income. In addition, they choose to shelter the extra funds in foreign tax havens rather than use the money to create more jobs or raise workers’ wages.
Fact: The economy is stimulated and jobs are created when people spend money.
Fact: Minimum wage or low income workers when given a raise will spend it.

Low income workers buy products, help create jobs, and pay taxes. To stimulate our economy, raise the minimum wage; don’t provide tax breaks.

As our infrastructure continues to crumble, why isn’t Congress funding repairs?

Our roads and bridges carry millions of commuters each day, yet many drive in dangerous conditions – potholes and crumbling bridges, due to a lack of maintenance, are becoming more numerous daily.

Fact: In 2013, the Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges showed that 65,605 were classified as “structurally deficient” and 20,808 as “fracture critical.” This report deserves attention from our leaders in Congress.

With gas prices below $2.00 a gallon, it is time to raise the gas tax so there is dedicated funding to address this critical issue facing America and American businesses. If workers can’t get to work, businesses suffer, the economy suffers, and individuals suffer.

Fact: Gas prices are lower than they have been in 20 years.

Both Republicans and Democrats speak out for the need to raise the gas tax, yet nothing has been brought to Congress officially addressing this issue. Citizens need to get involved by calling or emailing their congressional leaders, voicing their concern about the disrepair of our roads, and encouraging action on their part.

Why do so many deny global warming?

Big oil lawmakers, alongside many corporations, are blocking progress in the fight against global warming. As glaciers continue to melt, extreme weather cycles batter the nation, from droughts to floods to huge snowstorms; our children’s future is in danger.
Fact: 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and it is man-made.
Fact: Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have happened this century.

Our country, along with the world, must lower our carbon footprint with clean, sustainable energy solutions. Both wind and solar sources are developing and expanding globally, but the U.S. and China must lead the way.

Renewable energy is clean, affordable, domestic, and basically unlimited. Because it produces no emissions, it results in cleaner air and water. Additionally, it creates jobs and revenue in local communities, as well as strengthening our national security.

Even though prices are higher than that of fossil fuels, the advantages are undeniable. And as prices continue to drop, it is predicted that in the next decade, clean energy and fossil fuel prices will be comparable.