Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 — Houston, TX

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Response to Karl Rove's remarks against Obama

(03/30/12 12:00am)

Karl Rove, former Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush, recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled "'The Road We've Traveled' with Obama." The piece centered on a film President Barack Obama's re-election campaign recently released entitled "The Road We've Traveled." Rove aimed to discredit the president's accomplishments, which are detailed in the film, yet, rather than offer constructive criticism, Rove resorted to hyperbole, sensationalist statements and even flat-out lies.

Republican presidential candidates' tax cuts benefit only the richest Americans

(01/18/12 12:00am)

The U.S. is currently mired in a challenging fiscal situation — the annual deficit is over eight percent of gross domestic product and the national debt held by the public is almost 70 percent of GDP. As such, it is imperative that U.S. politicians and policy-makers think critically about how to reduce this looming crisis. Broadly speaking, there are two alternate, yet not mutually exclusive, options from which the nation can choose — cutting spending or raising more revenue from taxes. Looking at the current policies in place and those proposed by the Republican presidential hopefuls affords the public a chance to analyze the revenue aspect of the issue.

The American dream faces a rocky future as poverty and education disparity spreads

(11/30/11 12:00am)

I am an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama and have often used this space to praise him and his policies. Yet I cannot be a blind supporter; when they err, it is our responsibility to criticize those we admire. As such, today I write to express my fundamental disagreement with the president.

Special interests hurt legislation

(10/20/11 12:00am)

At a recent Baker Institute event, former Senator Alan Simpson said: "If the U.S. government is beholden to AARP and Grover Norquist, then we don't have a prayer, don't have a prayer, of getting anything done." His analysis, though dismal, is completely accurate — U.S. policy is paralyzed by moneyed special interests, and it is eating away at our democracy and hindering any chance at progress.

Politicians ought to think about the next generation, not the next election

(09/29/11 12:00am)

At a recent Baker Institute event, Israeli Major General Danny Rotschild said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot pursue peace with Palestine because he is "limited by political reasons." I was stunned by this statement; yes, a peace deal with Palestine will cost him his coalition, but losing an election is not a reason to shun peace with Palestine. Sadly Netanyahu is acting as a typical politician, "thinking of the next election," not a statesman, who "thinks of the next generation."

Triple-prong approach necessary to ressurect American economy

(08/25/11 12:00am)

As a college student watching the United States economy slide into an abyss, I am immensely worried. I am worried that when I graduate jobs may not be plentiful. I am worried that robust economic growth may become a bygone phenomenon for the United States. I am worried that Washington is lacking smart, courageous leaders. But, despite all these worries, I take solace in knowing that all is not lost — the United States can recover. By enacting the right policies, the United States can boost economic growth, can create jobs for Americans and can help the country reduce its deficit.

Obama's plan key to economy's reversal

(05/17/11 12:00am)

Nine percent unemployment. $14.32 trillion in debt. $1.7 trillion in deficit. 43.6 million in poverty. These statistics suggest a country on the decline. A country where the dream of prosperity is no longer attainable. It seems fair to wonder whether this country — that has been at the top for so long — is falling? I believe the answer is a resounding , "No."

Obama's Tucson address reinvigorates him

(01/28/11 12:00am)

I was worried; I mean, I really was. I had begun to have my doubts about President Obama. Don't get me wrong: I was and still am a huge supporter of the president, but I wondered whether he still had it - that campaign magic, that ability to inspire, that capacity to engender hope. I feared he may have lost his mojo. I wondered if he could even get legislative victories. Then, he struck a compromise on the Bush tax cuts, and I thought it was over. I feared he had caved under the pressure.

Baker Institute Student Forum debate: America's stimulus legislation

(01/14/11 12:00am)

Both conservative economists, like Martin Feldstein, and liberal economists, like Paul Krugman, believed a stimulus was necessary to save the U.S. economy from a depression. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was such a stimulus. The Recovery Act was enacted almost two years ago and, with the midterm elections only a few weeks away, it is fair to ask whether the Recovery Act has been successful. Although the act was constrained in size by the polarization of Congress, it was, nevertheless, a hugely successful policy initiative.The Recovery Act was designed to boost consumption which would, in turn, increase employment. But it was simply too small. As respected economist Martin Wolff notes, "The U.S. was too cautious and not bold enough." The U.S. stimulus was only 5.7 percent of its GDP, whereas China's stimulus was 14 percent of its GDP. The U.S. stimulus was not only composed of government spending, but also tax cuts and aid to state governments.

Currency war looms as G-20 delays issue

(12/03/10 12:00am)

In light of the recent G-20 meeting in Seoul, it is worth examining one central, much talked-about, yet certainly unresolved, issue: exchange rates, or more specifically, the undervaluing and overvaluing of certain currencies and the impact of such policies. Of late, there has been much discussion about the U.S. policy of quantitative easing (QE) - which involves the Federal Reserve buying medium and long-term treasury bills to increase the money supply so as to decrease interest rates - as compared to the Chinese policy of intervention. Many people have suggested that the U.S. QE is simply a latent means to devalue the dollar, similar to Chinese ?currency manipulation.

Ignoring immigration is ignoring the future

(11/05/10 12:00am)

There is often much discussion about U.S. immigration policy; however, the discourse invariably focuses on illegal immigration and, of late, the Arizona immigration law. While both of these issues are worth debate, I will focus on another, less mainstream yet vitally important facet of the immigration issue: visa quotas for highly skilled workers.The U.S. has always been a haven for the brightest minds - Albert Einstein, Ieoh Ming Pei and Vinod Khosla, to name a few. The world's greatest students view U.S. universities as among the best in the world. This mindset annually empowers more than 500,000 foreign-born students to travel thousands of miles to attend American universities.

Letting Bush tax cuts die would be a good riddance

(10/22/10 12:00am)

The Bush tax cuts that were enacted in 2001 are set to expire at the end of this year. There has been much discussion about what action should be taken: Make the cuts permanent, extend them for two years, maintain the cuts only for lower-income Americans or just let them expire completely? While there is no obvious option, let me offer two solutions. The first, and more preferable, is allowing the tax cuts to expire while also using a small part of the generated revenue to enact a government stimulus program. The second, and somewhat less politically divisive option, is to extend the tax cuts for two years for Americans making less than $250,000 yearly.

Winner-take-all philosophy extends poverty

(10/01/10 12:00am)

"I make an obscene amount of money," one CEO proclaimed at a recent talk I attended. "All CEOs of Fortune 500 companies make too much money," he continued. He then quickly moved onto the next topic as if cursorily mentioning the issue was enough. It was that comment and my subsequent research into CEO salaries (on average, 200 times greater than that of the average worker) that inspired this piece.In our winner-take-all culture, we value the superstars, the CEOs and the elite to such an extent that we neglect the masses of the country. We insist on paying LeBron James almost $15 million annually, yet we cannot pay our teachers even $50,000. We reward our CEOs with million-dollar stock options and bonuses, yet, to quote Vice President Joe Biden, "[CEOs] make $10,000 more in one day than the average worker makes in a year." We watch in admiration as 58 percent of real income growth from 1976 has gone to the top 0.1 per- cent of Americans while the salaries of middle-class Americans have been virtually stagnant.