Himes deserves a gold in fiscal policy

By Tia Pogue ’17, Staff Writer

Last week, Democratic Congressman Jim Himes was the only representative out of 416 who voted against a bill that would grant tax exemptions for the prize money awarded to Olympian medal winners.

It’s true, those athletes have worked hard to earn those medals and that prize money, which ranges from $10,000 for bronze medals to $25,000 for gold medals provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee. As Derek Bouchard-Hall, the chief executive of U.S.A. Cycling, put it, “a tax break is just a way of acknowledging something they did for our country.”

However, athletes are certainly not the only people who work hard for our country. What about the tens of millions of teachers, doctors, and scientists? They receive no such exemptions. At least firefighters’ feats of athleticism lead to a more tangible benefit for the rest of America than a sense of raised morale.

“But these professionals are the best in their field!” one might argue. “They’ve worked years for this achievement! They deserve something extra for winning!” Okay, okay, that’s an understandable viewpoint. However, with that logic, shouldn’t winners of other prestigious awards, like winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, also receive the same benefits?

Admittedly, unlike many other professions, professional athletes do not always have the most reliable source of income, and often rely upon sponsorships and fundraising. In fact, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun points out that to compete in the Olympics, athletes “make considerable financial sacrifices.” But while this may be true, let’s remember that these athletes have chosen these careers with the knowledge that only a very small number will be successful enough to become rich; so, giving athletes a tax break because their careers aren’t often lucrative doesn’t make much sense. This is especially true when remembering the fact that members of other less lucrative professions are still taxed.

Others have argued that Olympians should earn a bigger cut of the International Olympic Committee’s expected annual revenue of $1.375 billion, which is currently dispersed through a trickle-down system. While this viewpoint may be perfectly valid, it’s also entirely distinct from the question of whether or not that income should be taxable.

Finally, yes, it’s true, the $3 million the Olympic medal tax break would take out of the federal budget over the next ten years is a drop in the Olympic swimming pool-sized bucket. But that $3 million might still be put to better use elsewhere. As Rep. Himes told the New York Times, “We’ve got a Zika crisis, an opium epidemic and gun violence in the news every day.”

Perhaps those are the issues that deserve a spot on Congress’s priority podium.

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Trump baited into meltdown over Alicia Machado

By Sophie Driscoll ’19, Opinions Editor

Between 3:20 A.M. and 5:30 A.M. on Friday, while most of the country was asleep, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was firing off a series of tweets referring to former Miss Universe Alicia Machado as “disgusting” and his “worst Miss U,” questioning her citizenship and referencing a non-existent sex tape.

Trump’s sexist, hurtful rhetoric disgusts me, yet unfortunately, it does not surprise me. Nor does the fact that Trump is publicly questioning the citizenship of a woman of Venezuelan descent. The incident is yet another clear display of his sexist and racist beliefs.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton successfully baited Trump into this frenzy (which almost borders on mania) during the presidential debate on September 26 by mentioning how Trump humiliated the Venezuelan-born American actress after she won the Miss Universe pageant in 1996.

Trump, who owned the pageant at the time, ridiculed Machado for gaining weight. He referred to her using various derogatory titles, such as “Miss Piggy” and an “eating machine,” according to Machado.

That same year, he invited the press to watch her exercise in a Manhattan gym. Trump, wearing a suit and tie, posed for photographs next to Machado as she exercised.  “This is somebody who likes to eat,” he said while inside the gym.

Machado stated that, as one would imagine, Trump’s shameful bullying caused severe psychological trauma. “I was sick [with] anorexia and bulimia for five years,” she told The New York Times in May. “I was 18. My personality wasn’t created yet. I was just a girl.”

What is perhaps most interesting about the entire situation is how Trump has perpetuated the controversy instead of attempting to move on. Rather than simply apologizing for behaving in a way that was degrading to women and clearly detrimental to the mental health of a teenage girl in 1996, he has stubbornly defended his behavior and made several insulting statements regarding Machado (such as the ones posted on Twitter in the middle of the night). He can’t seem to stop digging himself into a deeper hole.

Trump is making it perfectly clear that he is not only sexist and racist, but foolishly immature and childish. It is not acceptable for anyone to display these characteristics, especially the leader of the free world.

 

What to expect for Monday’s presidential debate

By Sebastian Shuken ’18

It’s the moment we have all been waiting for. After a long, excruciating, and somewhat scary election process, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face off in a debate on Monday night. With much anticipation in place, this debate will shape the rest of the election and ultimately be the key to victory for the candidates. Clinton, for most of August had a substantial lead against Trump, but now sliding in the polls now only having a three point lead nationally. In Addition the candidates are amidst a virtual tie in key battleground states Ohio, Florida and North Carolina. What also makes this debate even more historic is the possible viewers.

According to the New York Times “The total audience, network executives and political strategists say, could be as high as 100 million viewers — Super Bowl Territory.”

As compared to 67 million in Romney and Obama’s debate four years ago the stakes are even higher.

They both have completely different ways of preparing for the debate. Clinton reportedly has been preparing religiously, while without a surprise Trump is taking a much more holistic approach by practicing lightly. Trump being a Reality TV star has his fair share of experience and clearly took an obscene approach in the Republican debates.

“I’m doing my homework. Donald Trump is a self-proclaimed great debater who won every one of the Republican debates. So I take nothing for granted.” Clinton said.

With two completely different candidates on stage here are some of the things I’m expecting from the debate:

 

  • Emails, Emails, and Emails

 

One of the biggest controversies that has came up with Clinton is her use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. While that cannot overtake Trumps lack of qualification and ability to run a nation, in the past Clinton has been vulnerable to these attacks and questions in previous debates. With 64 percent of voters saying that she is dishonest and untrustworthy it is important for her to be able to be honest and clear when answering these questions.

 

  • Immigration

 

Trumps earlier statements about creating a wall between the U.S and Mexico and deporting over 10 million undocumented immigrants will be a key issue. Clinton will also remind voters that Trump wanted to ban all muslims from entering the country and remind them of his ugly feud with the Khan family.

Trump’s business record

 

  • Trump being Presidential?

 

Throughout the campaign Trump has made derogatory and offensive comments that many consider to be unpresidential. These comments and actions have made it tough for the public to visualize him in the Oval Office. His praise of Putin and other dictators may lead people to wonder what a Trump world would look like.

 

  • Business Record

 

Trump claims that his experience as a businessman qualifies him to lead the U.S economy to prosperity. However, Clinton will bring up his multiple bankruptcies and questionable business practices such as those of Trump University to discredit him.

 

Strategy:

 

Clinton- Be clear and factual in her plans but also convey authenticity and warmth. Her primary goal will be to get under Trump’s skin to get him to react and go off script and make blunders. It’s important for her to highlight Trump’s lies and his promises that contain no substance. She will provoke him with questions on why he won’t release his tax returns and possibly claiming that he pays almost no taxes, barely donates to charity, and whether he is a billionaire at all.

 

Trump- He will try to be calm and emphasize his aggressive stance against ISIS and other foes. He will be careful not to be disrespectful to Hillary which could lead to the total loss of his female vote. He also may go personal with Hillary bringing up Monica Lewinsky scandal or other affairs.
Me and 100 million other Americans will be watching to see how this highly contested debate goes down.

Hillary Clinton Contracts Pneumonia. So?

I don’t believe a case of pneumonia suddenly makes a Presidential candidate suddenly unfit for duty. If anything, Clinton’s insistence on continuing her campaign demonstrates that she is resilient enough to withstand the pressure of being President of the United States.

By Zach Horowitz ’19, Staff Writer

 

On the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks of Sept. 11th 2001, “news” got out that Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia.  On the same day, Russia and the United States made a deal to halt the violence in Syria temporarily. The fact that Clinton being sick had more news coverage than the ceasefire in Syria is absolutely absurd.  Conservatives and conservative news outlets jumped all over the new “exposé” on Clinton, calling her unfit for presidential duties and fully exaggerating her health issues.

“Mrs. Clinton is weathering a deluge of speculation about her health, including claims that she suffers from debilitating conditions ranging from seizures and dementia to Parkinson’s disease that would impair her service in the Oval Office,”  the Washington Times said.

In the 2008 election, Republican Presidential nominee John McCain dealt with  much more than pneumonia when his competitors raised his past health history. When discussing his life, US News said “One [life] that has included surviving a bone-crushing ejection from his Navy jet, torture during 5½ years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, major surgery to remove a dangerous skin cancer from his face, and the stiff and sometimes pained bearing shared by many of his contemporaries.”

McCain was more transparent with his health issues than both Donald Trump and Clinton have been during the present campaign for president.  However, I can not find any articles, videos, or op-eds from that campaign discussing why he was not fit to be the President based on the fact that he had some health issues.

The question that remains is this: why is this news in the first place? , It’s not a big deal that Clinton had pneumonia.  Between 5 and 10 million people get pneumonia in the United States each year,” The New York Times wrote.  Statistically, that’s approximately 3 percent of the population of the United States.  So, there is definitely some probability that one of the presidential nominees could come down with pneumonia especially considering the rigor of running a campaign for President of the United States.

I don’t believe a case of pneumonia suddenly makes a Presidential candidate suddenly unfit for duty.   If anything, Clinton’s insistence on continuing her campaign demonstrates that she is resilient enough to withstand the pressure of being President of the United States.  The bigger issue here has to do with the proper focus of the media during an election cycle as historic as this one.  News should be about informing the public on important occurrences around the world.  When an important deal is struck between Russia and the United States involving war-torn Syria, it must be covered from all different perspectives.  When a Presidential candidate comes down with a case of pneumonia, it is not extremely significant to our lives, and hopefully will not impact  your opinion on their ability to be President of the United States.  

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