Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States Etc.

Editorial Roundup: Excerpts From Recent Editorials
May 12, 2011, 4:01 p.m. EDT
Associated Press

Journal By Calvin Lee Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: http://www.LedSomeBioMetrics.com

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Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States and abroad:

May 9

Kent-Ravenna (Ohio) Record-Courier on debt limits:

In Washington’s current political climate, optimism is almost certainly misplaced — but still there’s reason to hope that the White House and both houses of Congress can reach a deal on raising the federal debt limit well before the Aug. 2 drop-dead date.

If the Obama administration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats can pull that off, there’s some hope that they may also agree down the road on the fiscal 2012 budget. …

The debt ceiling, now nearly $14.3 trillion, must be raised periodically so the government can keep on borrowing to pay its bills. Treasury says that line of credit will run out Aug. 2, when the department will have to delay paying Social Security, Medicare and interest on government bonds.

There is some urgency in reaching a deal because just the whiff of default could drive up interest rates and stall the recovery. As Samuel Johnson said of the prospect of being hanged, it does focus the mind.

The goal of enforceable spending limits is to get the deficit below 3 percent of the gross domestic product by 2015. It is now close to 10 percent.

An agreement on spending curbs along the lines of the deal being brokered would be more than a symbolic gesture toward making cuts in the budget. It also would be a more responsible way of reining in the budget than opting for default.




May 11

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on rolling back agricultural subsidies:

The question of farm subsidies is an important element before Congress on how to trim the federal deficit in the short run and roll back the national debt in the long term.

Subsidies to agribusiness, both corporate farms and individual farmers, are features of American life that have been defended vigorously by farm-state lawmakers for decades. They will amount to $16 billion in 2011. The Republican proposal for budget trimming, introduced by Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, would eliminate $30 billion in subsidies over the next decade, maintaining the gifts to farmers from taxpayers but lowering their annual total to about $13 billion.

The arguments cut both ways. America started out as a country of mostly small farmers. Although the “country” romanticized by the musical genre of the same name has been supplanted largely by company-owned farms with factory-raised chickens and pigs, even a city slicker might get teary-eyed at the down-home culture portrayed in a Willie Nelson song.

There is also the strategic argument. What if an America no longer able to feed itself, because it hadn’t financially supported its farmers, were menaced by China, the Arabs or the latest post-bin Laden boogeyman?

On the other side, however, is the point that agricultural commodity prices and farm income in general have remained high for a long time. Given that, why can’t the farm industry forgo $3 billion a year in aid to boost the cause of a financially sound United States?

That’s the battle to be waged shortly between Republicans and Democrats, subsidy backers and farm-aid opponents. It seems to us that, with the farmers retaining a hefty $13 billion a year under the Ryan plan and with the need to cut America’s deficits and national debt, a $3 billion-a-year cut in agricultural subsidies makes sense. But brace yourself for the screaming and yelling.




May 8

Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal on unemployment:

Normally, an uptick in the unemployment rate would not be considered good news. But it is a peculiarity of the economic recovery that April’s increase in the unemployment rate from 8.8 percent, a two-year low, to 9 percent is actually cause for optimism.

People who are not actively looking for work are not counted in the employment figures, but as the job market improves, people re-enter it. Until they actually get a job, they are counted as unemployed.

The job market is improving — not fast enough, but it’s headed in the right direction. The economy added 244,000 jobs in April, the most since last May, and, more importantly, that number won the all-important game of expectations. Economists had predicted a more modest increase of 186,000.

And in a week that seems to have brought nothing but good news to the Obama White House, the employment figures for March and February were revised upward to 235,000 and 221,000, respectively. …

The White House noted that the improvement came despite “head winds” like high oil and food prices and the economic disruption caused by the earthquake in Japan. …

The percentage of adults in the work force, either working or looking for work, is 64.2 percent, the lowest participation in a quarter-century. As the economy improves, participation could be expected to improve, meaning we could have more good news in the form of slight increases in the unemployment rate.




May 6

The Florida Times-Union on online government information:

One of the best ways to keep government accountable is to provide public information online about how it spends taxpayer money.

Promising efforts have been made in recent years to give the public more insights into the operations of a federal government that seems too large to fathom.

But groundbreaking federal sites such as USAspending.gov, the IT Dashboard, Data.gov and others designed to enhance transparency are in danger because of a massive budget cut, despite being just a sliver of the federal budget, says the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to make federal data more accessible.

The sites provide a wide range of insights into the federal government, from who is getting various federal contracts and how much to spending levels on technology investments to raw data on federal agency actions and activities.

Sunlight says Congress and President Barack Obama cut the Electronic Government Fund from $34 million in the 2010 fiscal year to $8 million in 2011.

There’s talk of more reductions. …

These times call for frugality, and providing any kind of service to the public should entail doing it as cost efficiently and effectively as possible.

But it has taken many years to make inroads on making just a fraction of federal information more accessible on a broader scale. The public often has good ideas.

Let’s not close an important door that’s just beginning to open.




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Calvin Ledsome Sr.,

Owner and Founder of: 

Thank you for visiting, do come back for more news…
Warmest regards,

PS., Hello Reader, What Party Do You Want Running The US Government 2013? Make Your Selection Below!


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