The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union

So today I got all excited to watch one of my favorite shows, Alias. But then I turned on the TV and lo and behold it wasn't on. Instead it was the post inaugural State of the Union address. Normally these things bore me to tears. Not cause I don't care about politics, I really do, but because it seems like all to often people make grand public speeches and then are unwilling to back them up during their daily life. Regardless, I was pretty impressed with the whole thing. I really liked the ideas about most of the financial stuff, like spend money more wisely, increase funding for Nuclear Energy and lower energy dependency, and thinking that the whole Iraq election was a good thing.

But then he got to the point of Social Security and I thought it was ridiculous how much opposition he had. I mean c'mon people! The world works on simple economics. There is so much money to be had. If you are taking out more than you are putting into something then it goes in the red...that's bad. If you put in more than you take out then you are saving and can pay for other things...that's good. Social Security simply cannot stay as it is. Frankly I'd be amazed if our taxes don't go up because of it in the near future, but more importantly I think we need to rethink what retirement really is. Too many people think that just because you reach a certain age you're entitled to quitting. This is a wholly modern concept and one that I think is flawed. People should keep working in some capacity for their entire lives. It gives them a sense of purpose and direction in their lives. We gotta fix SS soon otherwise it's going to put our whole country out of whack.

But on to the things I'm not too sure about. I would like to preface this with I like Bush as a person, but I think some of his ideas are close-minded and I wish the Dems had a better candidate last election. What's this business though of saying we need to cut spending? Seriously, this administration has increased spending like crazy...definitely a case of not practicing what they preach.

Statistics are always manipulated: 2.4 million jobs were said to have been created...but how many were lost? What types of jobs were created?

Then there's the social issues. What does it matter what the government calls a marriage? A marriage is a religious ceremony, a sacrament under the catholic church even. The state should only be concerned with who takes care of whom, not what that relationship is. If I want to be legally bound to any random person I should be allowed such, so long as I'm willing to accept the good and the bad of it.

Does Bush really think that higher education is going to be fixed by increasing the size of Pell Grants? I got them during college and I'm really glad of it, they helped out quite a bit when I needed it, but honestly it didn't make or break my decision. I see that it helps a few and that they need to be more, but the real problem is that colleges are becoming under-funded by the states they're in. Unless we are seriously willing to give more to schools (and I'm not just talking research grants) then they are going to keep their trend of being places where only the wealthy can afford to send their kids.

Finally foreign policy. We can't keep saying things like, "We're coming to getcha!" to countries we don't really like and aren't strong enough to beat us up. That just makes those and other countries even more angry at us. Try something like, "We want to work with-ya!" I wish the US would see that the whole reason places like Iran are amassing weapons is that they think we're going to attack them. Although there was one thing I really liked, the whole thing about giving Palestine hundreds of millions of dollars (pitifully little when compared to the amount of money we spend in Iraq though). It's a good thing that we're willing to give them aid, I just hope that it's not like most of our aid ends up being. Aid Ranking of Rich Nations

In closing I was generally pleased by the whole speech, but as with anything in politics it isn't so much what you say but what will get done. My bets are social security stays the same, we keep bullying other nations, and that politicians will keep saying they "support education" (duh) but will actually slowly take funding from it. At least we claim to be wanting what's best in the world though...let's just make our words have some substance and try to follow thru (except those ones about attacking more people...we don't need to prove that to be true).

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