May 10, 2012

What did the Iraq war give US?

US Military Saddam Hussein "most wanted&q...

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What did the war on Iraq give the U.S? Did they discover the weapons of mass destruction. Or did they find Saddam Hussein in a hurry? Or did they by chance find Osama thinking he was hiding in Saddam’s palace?

As per public opinion the war on Iraq was a misadventure. America went to Iraq to save the world, but now it had to save its face. The shame it had brought to its people by the activities of its military were disturbing. People were not convinced by the killings of innocent people.

A lot of American lives were lost as well. Soldiers lost their lives not fulling knowing whom they’re fighting and for what purpose.
The Federal Government justified its actions stating that millions of people were freed from oppressive rule. Another thing was that a stable government was in Iraq was a stimulant for regional peace. But again, people ask, how is America concerned about peace in that region?

A lot of justifications are doing the rounds. The war on Iraq was supposedly looked at with great need by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Both countries have a cordial relationship with the U.S. Now given the penchant of U.S. to support its allies, this was no surprise. But would U.S do it without a purpose? Why is the U.S. not getting the scruff of rogue Pakistan which is snapping at the heels of America’s good friend India?

A lot of questions have to be answered, and a lot of questions are yet to be raised.

Will America lose its Economic Prominence

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Different countries have taken dominance over different phases of time in the history of the world. Once the Roman empire reigned supreme. Later the Ottoman empire took over control. After the fall of the Ottoman empire there were lot of European countries vying for this position. Which eventually led to the World War 1.

The U.S came in then. Charged with liberated economic practices, and robust industrial growth, it was automatically the next heir. When building its economy, America made sure that a culture of innovation was embedded in the core consciousness of every citizen. It was like an ultimatum – You innovate or lose out.

Somehow people feel that the age of America is drawing to a close. As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States is only years away from losing its economic power status to America. By the next presidential elections, the president of the United States would have to listen to the Chinese president.

IMF published its findings in the World Economic Outlook journal. 2016 is the year when China will start to come into prominence. At this time, the U.S GDP line will come close to China’s growth line – graphically speaking.

By the year 2016, China’s GDP would have touched nineteen trillion dollars. And the U.S would trail behind by a couple of trillion dollars. Thus making China the economic superpower. But industry analysts say statistics are of no use when it cannot even predict a recession. Although all is not lost for the U.S the indications are clear. The U.S has to act.

 

 

 

A casual understanding of the Af-Pak policy

Map of Afghanistan with flag.

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Af-Pak is something that has been created by the U.S. You could say it is a neologism. Over the years much of America’s problems have been coming from this region. America has recognized that Afghanistan and Pakistan are areas that have come under focus during the past terrorist events.

The U.S has a special policy for Af-Pak. Under the Obama administration this policy is developing every day. The main aim of the policy is to disable the infrastructure and resources with which the terrorists operate.

As per Obama, the future of Pakistan is somehow linked to the future of Afghanistan. Since 9/11, Afghanistan-based terror organizations have permeated into Pakistan. This has given rise to a regional-stability issue. Pakistan has a potent nuclear arsenal. And with the terrorists close-by, all hell can break loose.

Obama has categorically stated that even if it were not an American problem, it is a threat to international peace. Very soon even America could become a victim to it. The issue is not national, it is global. Just like global warming.

Another aspect of Af-Pak policy is to bring stability to Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan as per the U.S. are not ready for a Taliban rule again. A Taliban rule means getting the country back to brutality. The U.S does not want this to happen.

Obama made it clear that the Af-Pak policy is not to control Afghanistan or Pakistan. It is designed to control the situation in the world, before it becomes a global threat.

 

 

Living Above our Means-Tax Cuts in America

A crisis in America that citizens are growing more passionate about is the Bush-era tax cuts that are set to expire this year. Obama wants to extend 80 percent of the tax cuts set in place by the previous Bush administration but with one major difference: raising the taxes on wealthier Americans. The Bush plan lowered the tax rates to 3 percent and created a lower 10 percent bracket. It also made it easier for the rich to stay rich by lowering tax rates on estates, even though personal exemptions and limited itemized deductions.

Obama plans to raise the estate taxes on the rich to 55 percent and increasing taxes on all families who earn over the $250,000 income bracket. His stance is there should be a better distribution of wealth among Americans. Those families under that income bracket won’t see a rise in taxes and less will be taken out of their checks also. One middle class woman interviewed was delighted to see the increase in her check simply because less money was taken out.

Fox Business news reported one negative some people are stating is a tax raise will hurt consumer spending and business owners will lose faith in the government. It is the company owners who feel the major squeeze as they have to release more cash they’ve been hoarding since the recession. On the plus side, only 3 percent of small business owners would see an increase. Then again, small businesses collectively earn about $400 billion.

Wall Street Journal says advisors to Democrats are unsure whether now is the right time to renew the tax cuts since the economy comeback seems to be slowing. Many believe it would hurt U.S citizens more than heal them. As decision time gets closer, the debate continues to rage across the nation.

Crisis in America-Student Loans and the $100 billion debt

The issue of student loan debt is something every college student who has ever received a loan can understand. Though there are payment plans implemented to assist in the payback process to the government, students still struggle to make the deadlines. The recession and lack of available extra jobs has affected that even more. Without a good enough income, it’s almost impossible to pay off student loans and afford rent, bills, and everyday living.

Obama had a plan to change that which he implimented in the healthcare reform law last year. The concept lies in “cutting out the middle man”. Originally, private companies made the loan and the government subsidized and guaranteed it. By taking the private companies out of the equation, Obama believes to save taxpayers billions in subsidies.

CNBC Correspondent Scott Cohn still sees fault in this, stating the money saved is barely putting a dent in the cost of college nowadays. In 2008, the cost of a non-profit private college overshot financial aid by $26,000 dollars. Things haven’t changed by much, even with Obama’s new bill. Students are getting government student loans as well as privately funded loans to make the difference.

The ideology behind Obama’s plan is an admirable one as he tries to save money in one arena and funnel it in to another one, improved education. The downside is the government customer service is lacking so, if any student has a question about their loan, expect to wait awhile before getting an answer. This is opposed to a private lender who is more available and particular about its lending program.

The student loan debt hits even harder for students in the medical and law field who attend school for often ten years at a time. Will the reform bill hold a positive outcome for students in the future? For now, it’s too early to tell.

The Effects Of The Recession Upon Consumer Spending

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The continuation of the recession in the United States has had many lasting ramifications, so that even when we’ve reached the point where it is considered safely in the past, its effects will still be felt.

The threat of unemployment strikes fear in the heart of any working individual, especially if they have a family to provide for. The recession has forced many businesses to cut back benefits, lay off employees and mandate hiring freezes. Some employees have been forced to transfer to other company branches located in other cities or states. Yet, even when faced with a long commute, the majority consider that to be favorable as opposed to having no job at all. Businesses find themselves caught in a rough and seemingly never ending cycle. Budgets tighten, and consumer spending has dropped, as families do whatever they deem necessary to make ends meet.

Some Americans feel that the former president George W. Bush is to blame for the economic struggles, and much hope has been formed on the current administration of Barack Obama. With the current presidential term just past its halfway point, questions still remain of if there is time for the country to be pulled out of the depths of recession before the leadership changes in the year 2012. While many agree that Obama has taken great steps to improve the county’s economic condition, no one can argue that there is still much work to be done, and a lot of progress yet to be seen.

The upcoming holiday season should provide many telltale signs regarding the overall health of the economy whether or not a brighter outlook is ahead. If consumer spending shows signs of improving through the year’s final quarter, that is a promising indicator for the weeks and months ahead that comprise the close of this year and beyond.

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