Posts Tagged 'editorial'

Federal Government Needs Restraint

Federal Government Needs Restraint

The Radionian
By Ashton Pittman, Opinions Editor
February 2010, Volume 86, No. 4

Right now, the state of Mississippi is struggling to deal with important issues like educational funding, state health care and the budget. Universities are raising tuition costs and consolidation of some is under consideration for cost efficiency.

Medicaid is presenting difficulties to the state as it takes up a greater percentage of the overall budget each year, and the national health care debate is not making things easier. Our state is approximately $400 million behind the year’s anticipated revenue and state lawmakers do not expect the situation to improve over the next year as the economic crisis continues onward.

State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) recently expressed his frustration at how the federal government’s excessive spending and its debate over health care have compounded the issues and impeded the ability of individual states, like Mississippi, to efficiently deal with our own issues (see story on front page).

The federal level chaos has created such a high degree of uncertainty for Mississippi that it is even harder to make tough choices in terms of budget cuts and tax increases. While McDazniel was clear that he will not support tax increases on Mississippi citizens, he pointed out that it would be almost impossible for Mississippi to tax its citizens who are already overtaxed by the federal government.

The election of Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts in January was a clear referendum from a state that has not elected a Republican to the senate in more than half a century that is fed up with the federal government’s recklessness and seeming lack of concern for the plights of Massachusetts citizens. Maybe more states should begin demanding that the federal government cease and desist for a while so that states can do what is best for their own citizens.

It is clear that the unrestrained spending that began with the stimulus package last year is making it nearly impossible for state and local governments to effectively deal with their own issues. The federal government should step back, scale down, halt massive spending reform efforts like health care reform for now, and give state governments an opportunity to deal with their own citizens without having their hands tied by further reckless decisions at the federal level. Jackson, MS should be allowed to function without the great specter of Washington, D.C. looming over it.


Editorial: Americans Angry at National Leaders (Mar. 2010)

Americans Angry at National Leaders

The Radionian
By Ashton Pittman, Opinions Editor
March 2010, Volume 86, No. 5

The idea that elected officials in Washington are not operating as they should is not a new concept in American politics. However, that consensus is at an all time high. Rasmussen Reports indicates that voter dissatisfaction with Congress recently reached a record high.

A striking 71 percent of respondents said that Congress is doing a ‘poor’ job and only one percent said ‘excellent.’ Yet while independent and Republican voters were the most likely to give Congress low ratings, 48 percent of Democrats, whose part commands a majority in both houses, also said Congress was doing a poor job.┬áThe executive branch also received less than stellar ratings, with the president’s approval rating falling to 44 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving.

With the 2010 elections on the horizon, senators and representatives are retiring from Congress in droves. Fully ten percent of the Senate intends to sit out the next election. Some fear a massacre at the voting booths in November, while others are leaving out of frustration.

What does this mean for the American people? For those ‘leaders’ who have ears to hear, the American people are speaking loudly and clearly. If they truly are leaders, then the time has come for them start leading. They should stop lying about their desires for bipartisanship, even as they turn around and fight their political opponents tooth-and-nail without rhyme or reason.

They should stop stalling progress for their own political gain. For that matter, they should not support ‘progress’ that is not really progress just for the sake of being able to claim that their side “got there first.” It is time for them to restore the dignity that was lost as they devolved into what essentially amounts to ‘playground politics.’

Otherwise, if the people Americans once trusted to represent them cannot cease their adolescent ways and bring the change and progress they always talk about during election seasons, maybe it is time the American people wiped the slate clean and expelled all 535 of them from office.

That would certainly be a change.

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