The American Health Care Act is a misguided piece of legislation that, if enacted, could result in the loss of health care for tens of millions, increased premiums for the elderly, reduced protections for those with pre-existing conditions (encompassing everything from asthma to pregnancy to cancer to prior sexual assault), and signal the return of lifetime limits and reductions in employer coverage. This is a bad bill for America, and a bad bill for New York’s 23rd Congressional District.
Tomorrow, millions of Americans will vote. A significant number of Cornellians are casting absentee ballots for their home state (and for those who haven’t yet, this is a gentle reminder to get those in soon), but students registered in Ithaca will vote in a congressional election that has become as contentious as the Clinton-Trump face-off. Democratic challenger Navy Captain John Plumb is vying with incumbent Congressman Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) to represent New York’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives. Although the vitriol hurled by both campaigns is alarming, Plumb has proven the stronger contender with a platform that would actually support New York residents. One of the first congressmen to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump, Reed has continually supported misguided, if not dangerous, policies.
“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin,” wrote Mark Twain. Those making over $250,000 may soon prefer the taxidermist. President Obama is desperately trying to adhere to his campaign promise of not raising taxes on those earning below $250,000. This is ill-conceived policy that is unsurprisingly supported by congressional Democrats, namely those on the far left of the party. The claim that Americans must pay their fair share is valid, yet our politicians have it backwards. Soaking high earners is both an economic and a political mistake.
President Obama said something very important and insightful during his address to Congress on February 24th. “We cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment,” was the President’s advice on how Congress and his administration should proceed with stabilizing the financial system. The moral hazard involved in bailing out institutions deemed “too big to fail” is well documented, but the costs of allowing some financial institutions to fail is greater than the costs of using taxpayer dollars to stabilize these institutions. Both the administration and Congress must be wary of growing populist sentiment, because there will inevitably be more money needed to solve the financial crisis.
Congress passed the $409.6 billion omnibus appropriations bill last night, approving a number of earmarked spending projects that will be attached to next year’s fiscal budget. The bill — which President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law today, according to Politico — allocates a number of earmarks for Cornell research.
Among them, Cornell hopes receive $2.2 million to begin construction on a Grape Genetics Research Center in Geneva. As of last night, however, the electronic system that charts which projects are included in the bill had not been updated, according to Stephen Johnson, Cornell’s vice president for government and community relations.
“We’re hopeful that [the projects] are in there, but reluctant to say until we can verify,” he said.
The $819 billion economic stimulus plan passed yesterday in the House of Representatives would shower billions of dollars to a higher education sector that is in dire need of aid. The package, passed on a 244-188 vote, would boost Pell Grant to a historic high and introduce a new $2,500 tuition tax credit.
The House’s approval of the stimulus plan came a few days after Cornell announced a series of measures — including tuition increase, budget cuts and a hiring pause — to battle its 27-percent loss in its endowment and $6 million slash in state funding on Saturday.
Barack Obama’s win was undoubtedly a proud moment for all Americans, regardless of where you may fall on the political spectrum. The Democratic wins for control of both the executive and legislative branches are a rebuke of the previous years of Republican control. However, let us remember that Obama elected not only as the “change” candidate, but as the pragmatic candidate.
In an effort to avert a potential student-lending crisis, the House of Representatives passed the HR 5715 bill on April 17, to guarantee students and their parents continued access to federal student loan programs.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “More than 50 lenders have left [the] program in recent weeks, amid a credit crunch that has rippled across the financial sector, making many types of lending less profitable.”