by Jamar Phillips
After the financial fiasco on Wall Street known among many as the Crisis of Credit, people are still worried about the moral hazard of the Too Big to Fail mentality in government. Many other people on Wall Street worry about growing support to break up huge banks to prevent having to bail them out again. No matter how many bailouts banks get, are they really “vital” to our economy? When 60% of the US GDP is wrapped up in 6 financial institutions on Wall Street, why are we even thinking about leaving this anymore? BREAK’EM UP!
As long as you have so much wealth and so much of your resources in these 6 places, then whenever they screw up, WE ALL DO. There’s no way that the banking system is nothing short of a monopoly known as the financial sector. There’s no competition that occurs here. Who’s competing with you when 5% of your bank’s overall annual earnings dwarfs the size of Haiti’s entire annual economic output? When your bank fails and Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland are one minute from filing for bankruptcy, explain to me how the free market will fix that. These banks are not comprised of bad people. Don’t get it twisted. These are people that work hard and efficiently. They have no bad intentions. But what’s that saying again?
With all of government knowing this, they continue to be lobbied and I’ve learned enough in the past year to realize that politics has something to do with it. You know, if politics could rule everything, I bet Republicans would filibuster a bill to “End the World” and Democrats would argue that this isn’t fair to the dead people. Big Banks lobby so hard on their issues that its hard to tell if Senators have constituents that make less than $4 billion quarterly anymore. And then still have the gall to ask for tax breaks to create jobs. (Nobody hires people because they have extra money. They hire because the salary you pay someone should, in theory, dwarf the value of help they are to you.)
I say break these banks up. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act and force the banks to hold more capital to stop them from running gambling arenas. There’s no way they’ll be able to say anything. What are they going to do? Never make a loan again? Then Great! Go out of business and get replaced by 3 other banks. Sounds fine to me. Free markets work when there’s a level playing field anyways. Funny thing is, the government won’t do it. The “Re-election Priority Act” is the 1st bill that passes every Congress and President at the beginning of every term. (Not a real bill.)
By Greg Grossman
Widener University Political Science Major
The surviving brother of the Boston Marathon bombings is to be tried in Federal Court. Dzhokar Tsarnaev, the brother who attempted to shoot himself when cornered by police, is now in a federal medication detention center in central Massachusetts. He is charged with two counts of using a weapon of mass destruction. Conservatives were pushing for the younger brother to be tried in a military tribunal where harsher standards and more intense methods of interrogation could be used on the suspect. These military trials are hidden from the media and would put Tsarnaev under more stress and pressure.
Lots of activists in America are voicing their opinions stating that they support Tsarnaev’s right to a fair trial. Over 6,000 petitioners have signed a Change.org petition in support of the suspect getting his rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution. I believe that Tsarnaev should be tried in the Federal Court System and is innocent until proven guilty. Even if he is guilty, if our government cannot prove that he committed the crime, then he should be a free man and should be offered the highest condolences to him for his murdered brother. And if that should happen, our country should pressure our legislators to create laws that would enable us to better prosecute these criminal acts and ensure that the people committing them do not walk free.
Several weeks ago the Senate held a “vote-a-rama” related to amends to the federal budget. This is the third of a three part series of reactions to this event by Widener University students studying Congress this semester.
by Andrea Stickley
Widener University Political Science Major
Ladies and gentlemen, Congress has now found a way to act like a bunch of six year olds….and get paid for it! Introducing vote-a-rama, the newest invention that Congress has come up with that allows an all out debate and no compromise. It sounds like a word a six year old would come up with and sounds like how a six year old would act; and yet, it was created by our nation’s lawmakers. Something seems wrong with this picture. If Congress actually believes that they are going to accomplish something by holding this budget debate and comparing amendments, they’ve got another thing coming.
Wake up, Congress. Democrats and Republicans having different ideas is not a new discovery. The whole nation is aware of the fact that you guys can’t agree on issues. That’s not the problem. It’s the fact that Congress can’t come to a compromise. So, your solution to this is to hold a debate about the fact that you already know you have different amendments to request? Somehow this doesn’t seem like a smart idea or an effective use of time. Why not, instead of just rehashing all the things that you don’t agree on and will never agree on, you spend your time talking about things you can agree on? Wow, what a simplistic idea.
Unless, of course, there is nothing left that Congress can agree on…
Several weeks ago the Senate held a “vote-a-rama” related to amends to the federal budget. This is the second of a three part series of reactions to this event by Widener University students studying Congress this semester.
by Erica Szpynda
Widener University Economics Major
The Rolling Stones sang:
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need “
These few lyrics speak much about compromise. Congress’s job is to WORK TOGETHER, to debate and to figure out what is needed for our country. However, a series of nonbinding votes, just for the sake of voting is not what our country needs.
The Senate took part in a Vote-a-Rama. This means that each party is limited to 25 hours of debate, to propose amendments to each of the budget proposals. At least we know there will not be filibusters in an attempt to stop legislation, since debate is limited. On the other hand, this means that the Senate will spend 50 hours in session to get nothing accomplished. This can be viewed the same as going to a typical 9-5 job for OVER a week, and not being able to show your boss anything you accomplished. Wait, I am wrong, Congress can show their bosses (also known as the voters) that they did accomplish something: Blocking many “bad” budget proposals.
Instead of this cut throat competition to make everyone vote on issues that can be used against them in the next election, Congress should be working on actually passing a budget. This circus needs to stop for the sake of the nation’s credit score and the faith their bosses have in them. This is just another reason for why pests have a better approval rating than Congress. Hopefully, they can realize “You can’t always get what you want, BUT if you try… You get what you need.”
Several weeks ago the Senate held a “vote-a-rama” related to amends to the federal budget. This is the first of a three part series of reactions to this event by Widener University students studying Congress this semester.
by Jocelyn Reinecke
Widener University Political Science Major
After four years, the first vote-a-rama on a Senate budget resolution is being set to begin later this week. A vote-a-rama is special section of the Senate rules allowing amendments related to the annual Budget Resolution. All of the amendments must be relevant and are voted on consecutively without real debate since The Budget is not subject to filibuster. Each amendment is considered and voted on within about ten to fifteen minutes until all of the amendments are completed.
The GOP is has a list of priority amendments. The Democrats are pairing Republican amendments with Democratic alternatives. Both parties have strategic game plans on how they are going to spend their debate time limit of 25 hours. Democrats are focusing on amendments that target pieces of House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s fiscal plan. Republicans, on the other hand, are targeting amendments that address provisions of the health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152), restrict the Environmental Protection Agency, and insist on a revenue-neutral tax overhaul.
All of this really makes one think about how much this sounds like a big card game. Both teams are going back and forth, putting down their different cards, coming up with strategies and game plans for different scenarios that may plan out. I think that it is great that there seems to be some urgency to votes on legislation actually occur. However, it also seems like they are trying to prolong things, that they are trying to see how long they can keep pushing this back without having to have a final decision. It seems like when there is a solution created to help move legislation along faster and more efficiently, a new excuse arises on why decisions cannot be made yet or agreed upon. The next few days are going to be interesting to watch and see who played what card, how long both parties put up their fights, and what the budget resolution will be.