Category Archives: U.S. Congress

The return of $1 trillion deficits

tax, taxes, debt, deficits, spending, trillionBy Steve Brawner

© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

Let’s say you’re changing jobs, leaving one that was relatively secure for one with an uncertain future. You think it’s possible you’ll make more money, but it’s likely you’ll make less. What would you do beforehand?

You probably should carefully determine what your spending patterns are, and then adjust downward until they match your most likely income. You’d look for areas of waste first, followed by luxuries. But then you might also have to cut some of the more important stuff.

Once you’d done that, then, one last time, you’d carefully consider if changing jobs is really the wisest move. And then if it’s still a go, you would do all you could to find additional revenues.

And if you did all that, you would be doing the opposite of what Congress is doing. Continue reading The return of $1 trillion deficits

Thank goodness for Mississippi – and Alabama

Roy MooreArkansans have long said they thanked their Maker for Mississippi. Lately, they may be just as thankful that they don’t have to vote in Alabama.

That’s the state that has produced two of the nation’s best college football teams and its most famous Senate candidate, Roy Moore.

You probably already know about the controversy surrounding Moore, and you probably already have an opinion about it. Many Alabama Republican voters have dismissed the accusations against him, or at least rationalized them away. But some find themselves in a similar situation as last year’s presidential election. They feel they must choose between a Republican they can’t support because of his character qualities, or a Democrat they can’t support because of his politics, or other reasons. Continue reading Thank goodness for Mississippi – and Alabama

Be thankful, because it’s not all bad

By Steve Brawner

© 2017 by Steve Brawner Communications, Inc.

Problems are not hard to find, but there’s also much good in the world if we look for it. In the spirit of this Thanksgiving season, let’s do that for a change.

In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is all but defeated. After taunting the world with their cruelty and barbarism, the jihadists have lost one city after another. When Iraqi and American-led coalition forces last week retook the city of Rahway, ISIS was left with only isolated rural areas in that country, and Syria is in a similar situation. Remember that black-clad spokesman who would threaten the world and then behead an unfortunate victim, all captured on video? He’s long dead, and the fighters that remain are now surrendering.

The defeat of ISIS is liberating Iraqis and Syrians from that horrible group. Meanwhile, millions worldwide are being freed from another type of bondage. In 1990, 1.9 billion people lived in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day, according to MDG Monitor, published by various United Nations agencies. In 2015, that number had been more than cut in half, to 836 million. That’s more than a billion fewer people, even as the world population has grown. In 1990, nearly half of all people in developing nations lived in extreme poverty. By 2015, that figure had been reduced to 14 percent.  Continue reading Be thankful, because it’s not all bad

America’s health care sickness: Paid to treat, not heal

RosenthalBy Steve Brawner

Dr. Denise Faustman believes type 1 diabetes might could be cured using a tuberculosis vaccine already sold as a generic. Unfortunately, she’s had trouble obtaining funding for research. Too many people have a financial incentive to keep the status quo.

Faustman, a Harvard Medical School researcher, found that  the vaccine, long sold on the market, showed promise when tested on mice.

That would be big news, especially for the 1.25 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes. And it did cause a stir when she published the initial results – in 2001.

However, the pharmaceutical industry wasn’t interested in funding further research because it didn’t see a pathway to profits using a drug that’s already on the generic market. The big medical foundations haven’t wanted to fund her research because they’re allied with the pharmaceutical industry – in fact, often financially invested in its products. Despite the roadblocks, Faustman managed to find enough funding to publish further research in 2012. Now she’s trying to raise money through her website, www.faustmanlab.org.

Rosenthal: They’re paid to treat, not heal

Faustman’s story is one anecdote in “An American Sickness,” a book by Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical doctor who became a New York Times reporter and is now editor in chief of Kaiser Health News. If you want to better understand why the American health care system is failing, read this 330-page book. Continue reading America’s health care sickness: Paid to treat, not heal