Our # 1 tells of Paul Ryan’s praise of Mitt Romney’s spending reform plan. #2 brings into question Obama’s contention that we need more spending to create more jobs. It seems the first stimulus created fewer jobs than we are seeing now. #3 relates who OWS seems to be sinking into more violence. #4 gives an interesting look at what may be affecting why we are seeing fewer science and math students. #5 lays out how the students in Australia get loans for college. It may be something we want to look into.
1. Ryan Praises Romney’s Spending Reform Plan
HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REP. PAUL RYAN HAS NOTHING BUT PRAISE FOR FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY’S RECENT RELEASED ENTITLEMENT AND SPENDING REFORM PLAN, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin reports.
“This is a great development,” Ryan told Rubin when asked about the plan on Friday. “It shows that the elusive adult conversation is taking place, but all on one side.”
Romney’s proposal calls for federal spending to be capped at 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term in the White House, the repeal of Obamacare and cutting “approximately $500 billion per year in 2016 assuming robust economic recovery with 4% annual growth, and reversal of irresponsible Obama- era defense cuts.” It also includes a host of other specific cuts, the privatization of Amtrak, reductions in foreign aid spending and sweeping reforms of Social Security and Medicare….
Even more interesting than Romney’s proposal is looking at is Ryan maneuvering for the VP slot. It certainly would help Romney’s standing with conservatives and would be a nightmare for the Democrats.
2. Non-Stimulus Job Growth Outperforms Stimulus Job Growth
The employment report for October wasn't much to write home about. But it did show THE ECONOMY HAS ADDED 1.5 MILLION TO PRIVATE PAYROLLS THIS YEAR, ALL WITHOUT ANY BIG-SPENDING FEDERAL "JOBS" PROGRAM. GO FIGURE.
In France during the G-20 meeting Friday, Obama blasted Republicans for their failure to pass another round of stimulus spending — this time dubbed a "jobs bill."
"The American people," he said in a statement, "deserve an explanation as to why Republicans refuse to step up to the plate and do what's necessary to create jobs and grow the economy right now."
Just one problem: SINCE REPUBLICANS TOOK CONTROL OF THE HOUSE IN JANUARY AND SECURED ENOUGH VOTES IN THE SENATE TO BLOCK BIG SPENDING BILLS, THE ECONOMY HAS CREATED 1.5 MILLION PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS, according to the Friday report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
THAT'S WELL ABOVE THE 1.2 MILLION CREATED IN ALL OF 2010, when Democrats ran everything in Washington, and when stimulus money was still pouring into the economy. In fact, if you compare private job growth with stimulus spending, they practically move in opposite directions….
This is not the kind of analysts Obama wants put forward. You probably won’t see it in your local newspaper.
3. Occupy is Starting to Look Like a bunch of Goons
What is the real point of "Occupy Wall Street"? The violence in Oakland offers the first clue. NOW WITH POLITICALLY CONNECTED UNION BOSSES AND ACORN INVOLVED, IT MIGHT JUST BE WORTH LOOKING AT ITS LINKS TO DEMOCRATS.
Now that Oakland's streets have been "redecorated" with shattered glass, cement chunks and burning garbage from the Occupy Wall Street movement, it's critical to see that these acts are no aberration, but came after calls for force and violence. WHAT MAKES IT DISTURBING IS HOW CLOSE THE WHITE HOUSE IS TO THEM AS ELECTION TIME APPROACHES.
UNITED STEELWORKERS PRESIDENT LEO GERARD, speaking on radio host Ed Schultz's show last Monday, declared, "What we need is more militancy." Asked to clarify, Gerard said: "I think we've got to start a resistance movement. If Wall Street Occupation doesn't get the message, I THINK WE'VE GOT TO START BLOCKING BRIDGES AND DOING THAT KIND OF STUFF."
The Canadian union leader then denounced Americans' 2008 election of Tea Party representatives to the House as "nut jobs," and CALLED FOR MORE FORCE AND ILLEGALITY: "We ought to be doing more than occupying parks. We ought to start occupying bridges. We ought to start occupying the banks' places themselves."
It’s starting to fall apart for the left. As OWS turns more violent, their popularity will plummet
4. How Grade Inflation Hurts Math and Science Education
The has an interesting story on THE DECLINING NUMBER OF MATH AND SCIENCE MAJORS IN UNIVERSITIES. The article identifies many potential culprits, including grade inflation in the humanities and social sciences.
IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT GRADES ARE LOWER IN MATH AND SCIENCE, WHERE THE ANSWERS ARE CLEAR-CUT AND THERE ARE NO BONUS POINTS FOR FLAIR. Professors also say they are strict because science and engineering courses build on one another, and a student who fails to absorb the key lessons in one class will flounder in the next.
After studying nearly a decade of transcripts at one college, Kevin Rask, a professor at Wake Forest University, concluded last year that the grades in the introductory math and science classes were among the lowest on campus. THE CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT GAVE THE LOWEST GRADES OVER ALL, AVERAGING 2.78 OUT OF 4, FOLLOWED BY MATHEMATICS AT 2.90. EDUCATION, LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH COURSES HAD THE HIGHEST AVERAGES, RANGING FROM 3.33 TO 3.36.
Ben Ost, a doctoral student at Cornell, found in a similar study that STEM students are both “pulled away” by high grades in their courses in other fields and “pushed out” by lower grades in their majors.
IF TAKING MATH, SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING COURSES REQUIRES STUDENTS TO SACRIFICE THEIR GPAS AND CLASS STANDING, IT SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE THAT MANY CHOOSE OTHER COURSES OF STUDY.
An interesting way to look at it which makes a lot of sense. Perhaps Science and Math classes should get a boost when figuring GPA.
5. Australian Higher Education
…..[W]e might look to the Australian system of student aid for guidance on how to develop a better plan. IN AUSTRALIA, STUDENTS EACH KNOW IN ADVANCE HOW MUCH MONEY IS IN THEIR STUDENT-LOAN “ACCOUNT” SO TO SPEAK. They know that when the money runs out, government support is over (unless the student is moving on to professional school, for example, in which case supplemental funds are made available). This means that THE STUDENT HAS THE INCENTIVE TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS, STICK WITH THE PROGRAM, AND COMPLETE THEIR STUDIES IN A TIMELY MANNER. In other words, there is no such thing as a stipend runner who simply stays in the system for as long as possible to keep collecting student-aid rebates and avoid entering the repayment period.
Australian student loans do not have interest associated with them in the traditional sense and unlike in the U.S. system, IT IS CURRENT ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, AS OPPOSED TO A PERSON’S BIRTH YEAR, THAT DETERMINE THE TOTAL COST HE OR SHE WILL BEAR IN REPAYING STUDENT LOANS. For example, American students who enter college next year will pay over 6-percent interest on subsidized Stafford loans as opposed to students this year, who will pay only 3 percent. Meanwhile, the economic conditions next year are likely to be similar to current economic conditions.
In Australia, student loans are assessed an up-front fee that has remained relatively constant over the years (just now increasing from 20 to 25 percent). The fee does not increase beyond that, even if the borrower needs to interrupt repayment to pursue an advanced degree, to recover from an economic hardship, or to take time off of work for medical or family leave. There is no interest to accumulate, but instead the current value of the Australian student loan is determined based on the national Consumer Price Index. Loan costs rise and fall based on the annual economic performance of the country, as opposed to the individual student’s personal or professional circumstances.
In Australia, there is no such thing as a grace period, deferment, or forbearance. Instead, THERE IS A MINIMUM THRESHOLD INCOME AT WHICH STUDENT-LOAN REPAYMENT IS EXPECTED TO COMMENCE. CURRENTLY, THAT THRESHOLD INCOME IS AROUND $45,000 PER YEAR AND AS SOON AS THE BORROWER MEETS THAT THRESHOLD, WHETHER IT IS WHILE THE STUDENT IS STILL IN SCHOOL OR EVEN YEARS AFTER GRADUATION, REPAYMENTS BEGIN. The monthly payment amount is not based on the size or term of the loan, but instead on the borrower’s level of income, with students at the threshold level paying 4-percent of their earnings in loan payments and those earning higher wages paying no more than 8 percent of their earnings. Unlike in our Income Based Repayment program, interest does not capitalize and the total amount due does not increase just because a longer repayment term is in order (unless the economy is so strong that CPI increases dramatically over that period of time, in which case one would assume that wages would maintain a similar rate of growth)….
I’m sure there are problems with this system, but it seems interesting and perhaps something we should be looking at here in the USA.