A+ A A-

Jim Hightower - Join the N.H. Rebellion

If you are one of those cynics who think that none of today's presidential candidates for the White House care about people like you and me, check out Republican wannabe Scott Walker.

The Wisconsin governor, who is presently a full-time campaigner for the GOP presidential nod, not only cares, he wants to sit down with you, get your ideas and stay in close touch. No matter who you are, Scottie wants you to join his team, so his presidency can be your presidency! Not a Republican? No problemo, amigo. Walker doesn't check your papers. Well... except for that million-dollar check you have to write to his super PAC.

That's the ticket price for entering Walker's inner circle, where you can discuss all of your policy concerns and seek personal favors — straight from your lips to the candidate's ear! Even if you're a common working stiff, just give a million dollars, and you're in, baby! Is this a great country, or what?

Maybe you're wondering what, specifically, your million dollars buy. Well, Scott's super PAC even prints out a handy purchasing slip showing that you'll get to be an "Executive Board Member" of the Walkerites' campaign. Thus, you'll have two private dinners with The Man, a Walker staffer dedicated to your needs, special briefings, weekly e-mails, bimonthly conference calls, bi-annual retreats, and — best of all — an "Exclusive Executive Board Pin."

Golly, I haven't been this excited or felt so included since the 1950s, when I became a member of "The Mickey Mouse Club" and got my own set of mouse ears.

When the Supreme Court descended into the "Alice in Wonderland"-like fantasy that corporations are people and money is speech, it was inevitable that American politics would devolve into a frivolous game that shuts out the workaday majority and enthrones a Koch-brothers plutocracy sustained by secret-money super PACs and whorish candidates such as Walker.

I think we can all agree that news stories like this that highlight the ever-rising flood of big money in politics do not tend to have a lot of laughs in them. But a recent item from The New York Times unintentionally got a good guffaw from me. It was a seriously serious piece about how Karl Rove's super PAC of corporate political cash has been surpassed both in cash and clout by the billion-dollar electioneering network of the Koch brothers. The reporter stated that the Kochs have "leapfrogged" Rove. There is nothing factually funny in that, but the image of the multibillionaire brothers, Charles and David, laughing and leaping over a bent-over, frog-like Karl Rove is the delightfully ridiculous stuff of slapstick.

In fact, today's whole political game, run by an absurdist's nightmare of moneyed elites, is ridiculous — a game in which corporations are people and money is magically empowered to speak; candidates trek to the corporate suites and secret retreats of the rich, shamelessly selling their political souls; super-wealthy interests clandestinely pump unlimited sums of money into disgustingly negative campaign ads that turn off most voters; candidates "win" with only a small minority of the electorate choosing them; winners then claim to have a democratic mandate to enact the plutocratic agenda.

This could be hilarious in a slapstick routine, but it is tragic in a country with democratic aspirations. But don't despair, for a backlash is building all across the country among voters who are fed up with the money-rigged game that excludes them.

One group called the New Hampshire Rebellion is bird-dogging presidential candidates in that state to demand action to get Big Money out of politics. To help start your own rebellion to end this corrupt mockery of our electoral democracy, you can get a free online toolkit from these modern-day Paul Reveres by going to www.nhrebellion.org.

(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 92

Every dollar of college grant money raises tuitions by 35 cents

To The Daily Sun,

Professors, academics and Democrats never stop screaming for more billions in aid for education from the federal government and the states. The money, they say, will make education cost less. That well oiled, liberal illusion, has finally been uncovered with some facts and data. Let's be clear, this is not information from Fox News. These findings come directly from the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York in a recently released report.

Loan originations (requests to borrow money for college) have more than doubled since 2001— to $120 billion in 2012. The banks research was quite specific. It wanted to know if the broad expansion of federal aid programs fueled the explosion in education and tuition hikes in past years. There has always been heated debate about that question dating back to 1987 when then education secretary, William Bennett, said that all more aid did was "enable colleges and universities to blithely raise their tuitions, confident federal loans would cushion the increases." The Fed researchers studied the period between 2006 and 2008 when per pupil aid limits were bumped up. Sure enough, students took out billions more in new loans.

Richard Vedder saw this trend 10 years ago, estimating then every dollar of grant aid raised tuitions 35 cents. The New York Federal Reserve Bank study reveals for every new dollar in aid schools receive from direct subsided loans raises tuitions 65 cents. For every dollar in Pell Grant money, it raises tuition 55 cents. The endless billions in federal aid (forgetting the hundreds of millions in state aid) has served only as a slush fund to increase tuition fees well above inflation every year for the past quarter century.

Students now leave college with debilitating debt averaging close to $30,000, while student loan defaults skyrocket nationwide. Worse, taxpayers are on the hook for 90 percent of every dollar of loan money. Student debt today exceeds $1.2 trillion. A massive sum of money sure to dilute the living standards for tens of millions of main street Americans for decades to come.

Nothing has harmed students more than the politically motivated freight train of federal and state aid money allegedly intended to help students finance an education. Hundreds of billions in aid has actually increased student debt, not reduced it. The sad truth is federal and state aid to education has been nothing but a wealth transfer from taxpayers to colleges and universities across the country.

The only way to make a college education cost less is to make college much more efficient while improving quality that currently lags many of our primary global competitors. That means putting out a far better product, at far less cost. There is no escaping what is blatantly obvious to every one except those employed by colleges. Reforms are not optional, they are mandatory. College tuitions will not fall until far less labor content and administrative content are inculcated into every college graduate.

The solution to lower tuitions is not rocket science in any way. In fact, the correct path is quite clear. Colleges simply have to become far more productive — like so many other professions and business endeavors have become. Thus far colleges and universities have refused every demand to become so. The unions that run colleges are simply opposed outright to higher efficiency, because it almost surely means less manpower which reduces labor content per graduate. That's how we get the costs down.

The debate is not about the correctness of the solution, the debate is over its popularity. With unions, and even administrators that is zero, no matter that position is bankrupting our children with $1.2 trillion in debt.

If the middle class is really the first concern of the Democratic Party, then why does it keep supporting the continual demands of unionized professors for never-ending wage increases, benefit hikes, and in many cases less work output that has underpinned the doubling of college costs over the past 15 years? The answer is, Democrats only care for the middle class after the union employees who support them like blind mice, have gorged taxpayers and tuition payers to their fill.

Tony Boutin
Gilford

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 09:58

Hits: 37

Actions of anonymous rescuers changed our lives for the better

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to take a moment to express deepest gratitude to the anonymous men and women who assisted in the rescue of our son and his two friends from their capsized canoe on Lake Opechee on the evening of Tuesday, July 21.

These extraordinarily lucky young men now have the rest of their lives to look forward to simply due to their rescuers generosity and care for other human beings. The outcome of the other evening could have been so much worse.

We have made sure our young adults have learned from their mistake and, rest assured, they will take safety more seriously. We only hope they have the opportunity to assist someone else in the future in the same way you, anonymous rescuers, have done for them. Your actions have truly changed our lives for the better.

Carrie Chapman

Laconia

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 09:54

Hits: 126

Politicians had better note growing dissatisfaction in heartland

To The Daily Sun,

Monday morning I read an interesting article in the middle of the paper (not The Sun), below the fold. According to this story a sheriff, David Clark Jr., used Twitter to say the reason President Obama responded to the killings of our military people in Tennessee "with what amounted to a shrug" was because none of the victims looked like Trayvon Martin. I wonder how many other people have come to that conclusion, but have refrained from voicing the thought publicly?

Well I can't blame those who think that, after all the president rushed to judgment to defend black "victims", but he just doesn't seem to care when a young white woman is gunned down by an illegal immigrant, felon back after five deportations. Nor does he have care to call the massacre of four unarmed Marines and a sailor what it was, an act of terrorism by a Muslim terrorist. Clearly that is because both of these murderous attacks can be traced right back to Obama's policy decisions.

He refuses to allow the enforcement of our immigration laws as he swore to do when taking the oath of office, not once but twice. He refuses to admit that radical Islam is at war with our nation and our people and decides to follow the political correct mantra rather then being the leader this nation so desperately needs.

Liberal Democrats are confused and astounded that their efforts to destroy Donald Trump's candidacy have failed and in fact "the Donald" is garnering much unexpected support just baffles them. I confess I to was surprised, but have come to understand that Trump is giving voice to the millions of just regular folks who sick and tired of the liberal elites violation of our laws and common sense. The Marxist socialists like Obama and Hillary lie, cheat and do and say anything to get power and with power are determined to transform our Republic into a communist, socialist state with them and their kind installed as perpetual rulers with all the wealth and privilege that comes with it. The rest of the people be damned as useful idiots or serfs necessary to serve the ruling elites.

But resentment is building, the more people experience of failures and folly, lies and deceit the less they trust these "progressives" and support continues to grow for Trump. Whether or not the movement will grow into a game-changing force or not, politicians had better take account of the growing dissatisfaction and anger in our heart lands. Failure to understand and respond appropriately may spell disaster for many seeking election for one position or another.

Steve Earle

Hill

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 09:44

Hits: 56

Well worth 2 hours of your time to watch 'Humanity from Space'

To The Daily Sun,

In the long history of life on earth, the challenges to a species other than a natural disaster is and has been that of the fittest surviving. Whether that be surviving daily challenges or long-term changes in nature both of which go hand in hand. Since the advent of modern humans it has become more difficult as certain populations unable to control themselves have overrun and seriously depopulated many species.

I remember in the teachings of Christ it was spoken that the meek will inherit the earth, I never really understood that until I realized that being a shepherd and the nature of sheep that that would be a reasonable view.

Perhaps with such huge populations — 7 billion plus and 9 or 12 billion coming soon to cover the planet, with no room left even for war — the aggressive will be in such a small minority they won't matter. The work to build land armies and navies already has become unaffordable for most nations, leaving such as ISIS to run amok in desert lands and eventually become a spotty nuisance elsewhere. There are many scenarios and none may matter at all in the end.

But that all is just one window looked out of. This video is two hours long — view it — a reality has been in the works in plain sight yet seen only by a few. I myself never realized it was all so huge and in place.
Armies are not needed to control a population any longer and nearly the whole population of earth have been tuned in. In Africa people learned by themselves to use a cellphone to sell the crops and to charge their batteries (no government agency needed to pick the pockets of the haves to spend teaching the have-nots to use a simple cellphone to better their lives). People absorbing a technology which itself absorbs them. Fields of sheep have grown to nations and continents.

Invite the family, friends, the children; hard nose with certainty of your politics or religious — take 2 hours and watch. Humanity from Space — http://video.pbs.org/video/2365530573/

G.W. Brooks
Meredith

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2015 09:35

Hits: 38

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette