Comparison Of The National Debt Under President’s George W. Bush And Barack Obama

Even though both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have increased the national debt by roughly the same amount, that being nearly $5 trillion, to compare the dollar increase to each other is a little like comparing apples to oranges.  Granted, President Bush accumulated his debt in eight years in office while Obama has amassed his in half the time, thus giving the Columbus Dispatch newspaper its March 23rd editorial headline of “New speed record” along with the subtitle “President Obama drives up debt twice as fast as his predecessor.”  However, further analysis and understanding is needed to comprehend the vast difference in the two presidents’ record level of debt.

When President Bush assumed office, the economy was roaring and President Bill Clinton had left him a record budget surplus.  Two massive tax cuts, mainly benefiting the wealthy elite along with two unfunded wars, resulted in President Obama entering office facing record deficits.  In addition to the unfunded tax cuts and unwarranted wars, Obama faced an economic crisis many financial experts equated to possibly rival that of the Great Depression that came about as the result of the collapse of both the housing bubble and the Detroit automotive industry and the financial markets in near ruin due to de-regulation.  To further understand how obtuse the financial record of President Bush was, all one must understand is that this was a president who made it a law that the U.S. Department of Human Services cannot bargain with Big Pharma over the cost of the meds it purchases from them.  It should be a law that the Department of Human Services has to bargain with Big Pharma over the price of the meds it buys, not illegal to do so.  This one law alone is all you need to know to understand the political difference between the Republican and Democratic Parties.

When in the midst of a recession and the private sector, both commercial and individual isn’t spending; it is up to the government to spend its way out of it.  One lesson learned from the Great Depression was that after nearly doing just that, the government led by President Franklin Roosevelt decided to balance the budget by curbing spending and the result was the recession of 1937.  Other than bailing out Wall Street and Detroit and properly funding both wars, what has President Obama spent his budget deficits on, other than his health care plan?  Every time Mr. Obama tries to pass legislation to stimulate the economy, the Republican Party automatically votes against it.

Steven H. Spring

 

 

 

 

Baylor Bears’ Hideous Uniforms

Never in my life have I rooted against a sports team because of their uniforms; however, that all changed this weekend while watching an N.C.A.A. national quarterfinal basketball game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Baylor Bears.  The uniforms worn by Baylor were hideous.  They quite possibly are the ugliest uniforms ever worn by a sports team.  Besides being repugnant, I do not believe that I have ever seen a bear with tiger stripes.

America in general has become a country that cares very little about its appearance and now that attitude has permeated our sports culture as well.  Pride might be one of the seven deadly sins; however, the complete lack of self-respect in one’s appearance should be cause of great embarrassment not only to the individual, but also to society as a whole.

Steven H. Spring

 

 

 

 

Why Are Cars Smiling At Us?

Is it just me, or has any one else noticed that just about every new car on the road all have that same sh*t eating grin to them, like they and the engineers that design them know they have everyone over a barrel.  A barrel of crude oil that is.  It’s as if they are mocking us, knowing they have complete domination over our very lives.  Several few years ago, I saw a program on the history of gasoline and learned that there was a Canadian man who received two patents many years ago for a carburetor that got one hundred miles per gallon of gas.  Needless to say, he was bought out by a petroleum company.

We now have cars that can parallel park themselves and engineers are working on vehicles that will one day drive themselves, yet we are still driving cars and trucks that for the most part get the same minimal gas mileage as that of decades ago.  I’m no conspiracy theorist, however it seems to me that there is only one industry that does not want cars to get one hundred miles per gallon, that being the petroleum industry.  And besides, how often does any one parallel park these days?

Steven H. Spring

 

 

 

 

The Powerful Influence Of The N.C.A.A.

With the first two rounds of the men’s basketball tournament about to conclude this afternoon and late in the evening, I am astounded by the immeasurable number of N.C.A.A. logos that appear either on the court, court-side or on the television screen.  We are brainwashing our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and the N.C.A.A. tournament is a perfect example.  As someone who watches many of the old television shows on DVDs, I have noticed that hour-long shows from the late 1950s and early ‘60s were fifty-two minutes long.  Now days, a show of this length at best is only forty-four minutes.  This represents a one hundred percent increase in the number of commercials per hour.  When you consider how the networks now routinely use pop-up ads to advertise up-coming shows and product placements in their shows, we are being inundated with commercials.

After watching a few of the first round games on Thursday, I decided to make a list of every N.C.A.A. logo I noticed while watching a particular game.  The following is the list:

Three logos on the court itself, including the enormous one at mid-court,
Two logos on top of each backboard,
Two logos on the sideline reporter’s microphone,
Two logos on the bunting along press row,
One logo at the base of each backboard support,
One logo on each player’s uniform,
One logo on the scores of different games at the top of the television screen,
One logo at either end of the electronic scoreboard,
One logo along the baseline just below the electronic scoreboard,
One logo during every commercial break on the television screen as the score is given,
One logo on every chair on each team’s bench,
One logo on every chair behind the scorer’s table,
And one logo is flash very quickly on the television screen when a reply is shown.

In addition to these logos, each coach has some sort of lapel pin that I assume has an N.C.A.A. logo on it.  It also appears that there are four replicas of these pins alongside the two logos on the bunting along press row.  Even though I watch these games on HDTV, I have yet been able to determine exactly what these pins are, but most likely include some sort of N.C.A.A. insignia.  I did not attempt to count the number of logos shown at half time in the television studio behind and in front of the commentators as there were so many different N.C.A.A., network and university logos displayed along with videos being played that one could become nauseated by it all.

Seven or eight years ago, the ABC television network aired a special hosted by John Stossel entitled Hype, which addressed the issue of the effect that television has on us.  I found one segment especially alarming.  In this particular segment, Mr. Stossel had a group of kindergarten age children sitting in front of a wall of each letter of the alphabet, each letter written in a different font.  When Stossel would point to a letter, every child would scream out the same thing.  For example, when he pointed to the letter “g,” every child screamed Kellogg’s.  These children knew just by looking at the font of a single letter that it represented a particular product.  We have brainwashed our children with the constant barrage of television advertising and not only is no one doing anything about it, but commercials are becoming ever more dominate in our lives.

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87

 

 

 

 

The Afghanistan Conflict

With yet one more act of senseless disrespect toward the Afghani people, this time involving the malicious killing of sixteen Afghan civilians including nine children who were murdered while they slept by an American soldier, one question immediately comes to mind; why are we still fighting this seemingly endless war?  What exactly is our goal now in this war?  The Taliban are no longer in power and bin Laden is long dead.  Our military leaders continually talk of training the Afghan army to take our place, but what is taking so long?  We train our soldiers in ten weeks, yet we have been training Afghans for ten years.  I recently heard it reported that only one battalion of Afghan soldiers (600 men) have been significantly trained to take over for U.S. troops.  This just doesn’t seem to make sense.

It has been reported that the soldier responsible for this horrendous slaughter of innocent lives was deployed in Iraq for three tours and was on his first tour in Afghanistan.  It has also been reported that this soldier suffered head trauma while fighting in Iraq.  Yet, somehow blame is being placed on a possible Dear John letter he recently received from his wife and that alcohol might also be to blame.  I’m no psychiatrist, but of these three scenarios, the real culprit most likely is the head trauma suffered in battle in Iraq.

If all the facts about this horrendous act of violence comes forth, the foremost question will probably be; why was this soldier placed back in battle?  However, we all know the answer; that being there are not enough volunteers to restock our military for both the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars, both the longest in U.S. history.  Just one percent of Americans have actually volunteered for military service, and as such these soldiers keep going back for tour after tour after tour of duty.  If America had only done the appropriate thing and initiated a draft, both these wars would have ended long ago as America would have grown tired of sending its sons and daughters off to fight and die in undeclared and unwarranted foreign wars.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who most likely maintains power solely by the presence of the U.S. military, was quoted as saying if war broke out between the Americans and neighboring Pakistan, Afghanistan would side with their neighbor.  This comment alone is enough evidence to end this war.  Now is the time for the American government to declare victory and bring all our troops home from this volatile region!

Steven H. Spring