The Heritage Foundation recently published an article that discusses the inefficiencies of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to hike taxes on those earning more than $1 million in order to “use the tax revenue to let debt-ridden students refinance their college loans.” In other words, Senator Warren claims that raising the taxes on those with higher incomes will lower the interest rate for students. Brittany Corona, an assistant researcher for Heritage, made an excellent point when she observed that this approach will only hinder universities from making their tuition affordable. Instead it will “enable universities to raise prices, knowing students can return to the federal trough for more financing.” Not only does the senator’s proposal affect the outrageous cost of tuition but this approach to fund federal subsidized student loans will also raise the interest rates; logically, if the price goes up so will the interest. More specifically, as a former student with expanding debt in college loans, it seems absurd for one to borrow from the federal government who then makes a show that students cannot afford to pay back loans with the interest rates they have established. The government, through Senator Warren, is now demanding that someone whom most likely already had to pay off their own student loans and whom is working hard for their own money, should now be responsible for paying for your and my interest rates. Why should it become someone else’s responsibility to pay the government for you or I to acquire a higher education? The Huffington post wrote, “ We took a big step toward making student loans more affordable in 2010, cutting banks out of the equation and dispersing student loans directly from the federal government”. Please do not misunderstand me, I am an advocate of lower interest rates on student loans. However, if the Feds had left student loans alone and kept the loans in the private market (banks) where one could take out a personal loan, the price and the interest rate would be much lower; the market would have to be competitive in order to entice students to borrow. Thus, the interest rate would have stayed regulated through simple supply and demand – Economics 101.
According to an article by CNSNews.com, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, speaking on immigration reform, said, "Comprehensive immigration reform . . . . should include an earned path to citizenship for the approximately 11-and-a-half-million undocumented immigrants present in this country. . ." He continued by saying, " It is also . . . a matter of who we are as Americans to offer the opportunity to those who want to be citizens, who've earned the right to be citizens, who are present in this country – many of whom who came here as children – to have the opportunity that we all have to try to become American citizens.” My question is simple: how has an illegal immigrant earned the right to citizenship? Simply because one has come into this country, maybe gotten a job, or has maybe grown up in the states, does not earn one citizenship. It is incorrect of Johnson to say that merely giving citizenship to an undocumented immigrant is the same as giving the opportunity to become a U.S. citizen. The effect of immigration reform on allowing illegal immigrants citizenship is showing that breaking the law and successfully hiding from authority is acceptable and we will reward you for it. Handing out citizenship affords an underlying consequence of the government leading immigrants to believe they do not have to work or follow regulations to get what they want - they solely need be a minority. Being present in this country does not give you the right to be an American citizen. In comparison, it is completely unfair (and "fairness" seems to be a key topic in every current mainstream "reform") to immigrants who have legally entered this country and who have saved and patiently waited to go through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. I am not, by any means, stating that the current process is a success; I do believe that immigration reform is needed. However, giving citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants because they have made it into this country is hardly immigration reform. Interestingly enough Johnson pointed out, in the same speech, how significant border control is to homeland security and how it must be implemented in immigration reform. As one would guess, it's not good policy for Johnson to make exceptions and then state that changes will be made so that the exceptions no longer have to be implemented.
On Wednesday, December 11, 2013, Michigan's state legislature voted in favor of a bill which prohibited insurance providers to be held responsible for covering abortions. If a woman wants her abortions covered by her insurance, she must pay an extra fee unless the woman's life is in danger. Contrary to popular opinion, I find this to be an extremely fair bill. Now, before I am haggled for not being an advocate of women's rights, let me explain. This is not a matter of whether the woman has rights to her own body or the fact that this bill is being decided by a predominantly male legislature. This is about using personal freedom as an excuse to rid an inconvenience. Opponents to this legislation yell that it is absurd because the bill requires women to plan on being raped; Meghan Groen, a Planned Parenthood representative, commented that this is unfair because women don't plan on being raped. Also Gretchen Whitmer, a seat holder in the Michigan Senate said, "(the bill) tells women who are raped ... that they should have thought ahead and bought special insurance for it." In response: without this bill, insurance carriers are telling pro-life men and women that they automatically must pay for and plan on having abortions. Furthermore, Gretchen Whitmer reflected on her experience from being raped and how, if she had become pregnant, this bill would have forced her to fully fund her own abortion. She was not impregnated and in response, abortion is an unnatural, proven unhealthy choice which is not the responsibility of anyone else's monetary funds. According to The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, only 1% of all abortions are recorded as a product of rape - that leaves 99% of abortions resulting from non-victim. Pro-choice advocates are no longer satisfied with legalized abortions - they want others to fully fund the abortion procedures. Remember, this bill does not restrict women from having abortions, it simply does not require insurance companies to fully cover them. Personally, I know what it feels like to be taken advantage of and it cannot be an umbrella excuse to destroy an innocent, beautiful life.
U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, stated, "At it's core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill, it's about compromise and moderation." I completely agree with the VP - unfortunately, he doesn't seem to stand inline with his own comment, which was made in 2005. Both President Obama and Joe Biden vocalized their support for the Filibuster Reform, in which Obama commented, " enough is enough." The President's argument backed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments that change is needed and that is what the American people want. The Democrats have turned to the appeal of emotions and insisted the American people want what their party wants: change. Perhaps there should be consideration that the people may want change in a good way - not just in any way. For the Senate to adjust the filibuster law simply in the name of change with the excuse that it's progress because it's change is a political ploy. The argument the Democrats used, specifically Reid and Obama, was that nothing is being accomplished and the Senate was at a stand still because of politics that the Republicans were playing. It is frustrating to think that a political party, no matter which side it might be, would turn around and argue that they need to change a rule simply because said rule is serving its purpose. The point of the filibuster is to put a lock on the vote. Yes, that means that their (the Democrat's) "progress" will not occur, but that is exactly the intention. The minority party is to have a voice and find a way to stop a vote if they are so convicted, otherwise there is essentially just an endless power being held by one party. Also, a filibuster may be forced off of the floor with enough votes, meaning there is a way for the parties to compromise and come to agreement.
The biggest issue with this reform is the underlying (lack of) principle: A party changes the rules with biased intent in order to gain enough power to obtain what they want. Whether Republican or Democrat I find this an outrageous move. Even though this filibuster reform applies only to nominations, what is stopping the majority party from changing various other rules to pass more biased legislation?
Thank you for taking the time to read my posts; your opinions and feedback are appreciated.