Middle Age Ramblings

Where I Share My Thoughts On This Journey Called Life

Archive for the tag “United States Congress”

Free College

President Obama announced yesterday a proposal to give free community college to anyone who is “willing to work for it”. The specifics of the program at this point are vague. It is proposed that students who keep up a 2.5 GPA and are making progress to complete their degrees in a 3 years or less could receive this help if the state the community college is in opts into the program.

This is because the Federal Government is going to pay 75% of the tuition and State governments would pick up 25%.

This program is modeled after a program began last year in the state of Tennessee. About 58,000 of the states roughly 62,000 high school seniors have applied for the program. It is my understanding that the Tennessee program is funded by Lottery monies.

There were no specifics given in the Presidents announcement about how this program would be funded. I would be interested in finding out how many billions of dollars this is going to cost the taxpayers, you and me.

I fear that this might be another unfunded mandate handed down by the Federal government for the state and local governments to bear the burden of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any problem  with assisting children from underprivileged families in order for them to get an education. A good education, if the individual applies what they have learned, is the best way for a person to change their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

However, just guaranteeing an education doesn’t guarantee a job in the field they get their degree in. There are people in this economy who are under employed. Meaning they are working in a field that is not what they studied, and are making less money  because there are no jobs available in their field.

I know young adults with degrees who are working jobs making $8-9 per hour because there were no jobs available in their chosen field. They should be making $22,000 to $25,000 per year at least based on estimates.

I fear this is another in a long list of education programs, both Democratic and Republican, design to “improve education”. However, government has been largely unsuccessful at improving education. That is why we have so many failing schools and failing students. While I don’t have any answers for this problem, I don’t think another bureaucratic program is the answer because most of the money will be spent on the bureaucracy created to run the program and very little of the money will actually get to where it is needed.

I have rambled on this a good bit and I appreciate you sticking around to read all of it. As I said I don’t have any good answers for our education problems, but I know that the government solutions have not worked before. Maybe this one will, but I doubt it

I am certain this program will create much discussion on both sides. Please share your opinion below about this new idea of the Presidents. I look forward to reading them.

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A Leadership Void

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 26th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve been watching some of the bickering this week over the government shutdown in Washington. I’ve got to admit, these people don’t have a clue about what is best for the country

 

I could give you my opinion on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as some call it. I could even give you my opinion about the debt and the federal budget. I’m not going to here. That’s not what this is about. You can ask me and I might tell you privately, but not here.

 

When you study the people who were instrumental in the founding of this country, you find something that is missing in Washington today. Not just in Congress, but all the government has this problem.

 

If you read the stories of the founding of The United States, especially the debates around the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, we find some heated debates between the delegates. One central theme remained the same throughout. All of the delegates wanted what was best for the young nation. They knew they were not going to win every debate. Each man seemed to know when it was time to compromise and give a little for the good of the country.

 

That’s just one small part of being a leader and showing leadership in tough times. We face some difficult problems in this country. These problems won’t be solved by the political party that has the power not being willing to compromise. Leadership means being willing to listen, willing to compromise, and must realize that you can’t have your way all the time.

 

We have a leadership void in Washington. No one seems  willing to lead and do what’s best for the country and our future. We need men and women like those who founded this country. I’m afraid there is not any of those kind of leaders left.

 

What is your opinion on the leadership void in Washington?

 

Tell Me What You Think #2

This is the second in a series where I’m asking my readers to think a little about an issue that is being discussed. It may be religious  or it may not be. Just depends on what’s in the news ans what catches my eye.

What do you think about the rising gas prices?

Any thoughts on the possible causes for the increase lately?

Any ideas for possible solutions to the problem?

After I read some of your ideas, I will try to come up with some of my own and post them later.

Thanks for your ideas!

Mike

The Great Debt Fiasco

I have watched the events in Washington about the debt ceiling with mixed emotions. The way this has been handled speaks volumes about what’s wrong in Washington. We have a President that is trying to turn this country into a European style socialists republic, and a divided Congress that can’t seem to find a way to make a decision. Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy to fix, but to do nothing is wrong as well.

Keep in mind, I don’t have the answers that will fix this problem. If I did I wouldn’t be working for a living. If you’ve read my column about the price of gasoline, you know that I think we need to vote the whole bunch out of office and start over. I am neither Democrat or Republican. I am an American who is sick and tired of the way Washington messes me and all the other middle-income American over.

When I think about this problem as logically as I can, I see that there are sacrifices that need to be made. There is going to have to be some cuts in entitlement programs. There also may have to be some changes in the tax code to increase revenues. I cannot afford to pay any more taxes, however, we as a nation have allowed our leaders to do this to us, and we will now reap as a nation what we have sown.

That’s my rant for the day. What’s your opinion?

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