Political Buzz August 23, 2011: 5.9 Earthquake Shakes Washington & East Coast — Worst Quake Since 1944

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

THE HEADLINES: 5.9 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES WASHINGTON & EAST COAST WORST SINCE 1944

Quake mapping

A map as displayed on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website after the quake. The red square, indicating earthquake activity in the preceding hour, shows the earthquake’s epicenter in Virginia. The blue symbol indicates a quake activity in the preceding 24 hours. (U.S. Geological Survey / August 23, 2011)

Earthquake Strikes East Coast; Epicenter Near Richmond, Va., U.S. Geological Survey Says: An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City Tuesday afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake based in Virginia. There were no immediate reports of damage.
It is not clear how far the earthquake spread, but tremors were felt throughout New York City office buildings and as far north as Concord, N.H.

Strongest quake since ’44 jars East Coast: Tens of millions of people from Georgia to Canada were jolted Tuesday by the strongest earthquake to strike the East Coast since World War II. Three weeks before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, office workers poured out of New York skyscrapers and the Pentagon, relieved it was nothing more sinister than an act of nature….. – AP, 8-23-11

“For many people this was a stressful afternoon, but so far we’ve been lucky to avoid any major harm.” — Mayor Bloomberg

Magnitude-5.8 Earthquake Strikes National Capital Area:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the National Capital Area on Tuesday, August 23, at 1:51p.m. (EDT), causing moderate shaking and potentially significant damage, and was felt throughout Northern Virginia and neighboring areas. No casualties are expected.
The earthquake occurred near Louisa and Mineral, Va., approximately 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. It was a shallow earthquake, and shaking was recorded all along the Appalachians, from Georgia to New England. There have been several aftershocks.
The earthquake occurred in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, which has produced earthquakes in the past. The most notable was an earthquake that occurred in 1875 that scientists believe was about a magnitude 4.5.
This earthquake is almost as strong as the strongest recorded earthquake in Virginia, a magnitude 5.9, which occurred in May 1897 in Giles County, Va. The strongest recorded earthquake to strike the East Coast was the 1886 Charleston, S.C., earthquake, which was about a magnitude 7.3.
Those who felt the earthquake can go online and report their observations on the USGS Did You Feel It? website. Over 10,000 reports of felt shaking have already been received from more than 3400 zip codes all over the eastern United States.
The earthquake was felt so widely because it was a shallow earthquake, and geologic conditions in the eastern U.S. allow the effects of earthquakes to propagate and spread much more efficiently than in the western United States.
Western rock is relatively young, which means it absorbs a lot of the shaking caused by earthquakes. Thus, western earthquakes result in intense shaking close to the epicenter, but fade more quickly the farther the earthquakes travel.
In the eastern United States, on the other hand, the rock is far older, and so earthquakes can have a much larger and more widespread impact. Earthquake energy can therefore spread farther and have a greater impact…..

  • Quake rocks Washington area, felt on East Coast: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, DC, and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing. … – AP, 8-23-11
  • 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes East Coast: An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City and New England Tuesday afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake based in Virginia. … NYT, 8-23-11
  • D.C. earthquake shakes White House, Capitol: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook Washington Tuesday. The White House and Capitol were among the Washington buildings that were evacuated…. – WaPo, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 quake hits Va.; Felt along US east coast: One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to New England on Tuesday and forced the evacuations of parts of the Capitol, White House and Pentagon.
    There were no immediate reports of deaths, but fire officials in Washington said there were at least some injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered magnitude 5.8 and was centered 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Va…. – CBS News, 8-23-11
  • Rare quake rattles eastern US seaboard: One of the strongest earthquakes to strike the US east coast in decades rattled offices Tuesday in downtown Washington and caused panicked evacuations from skyscrapers as far away as New York. The Pentagon, the US Capitol and Union Station … – AFP, 8-23-11
  • City Seen as Vulnerable to Quake: In the last 300 years, there have been three earthquakes centered in and around the New York City area about the size of Tuesday’s quake: in 1737, 1783 and 1884. The 1884 quake was a magnitude 5.5 and was centered in Coney Island. … – WSJ, 8-23-11
  • Biggest Virginia Earthquake in Century Rattles Washington, Harms Cathedral: A 5.8-magnitude earthquake, the biggest recorded in Virginia in more than a century, rattled Washington, D.C., and prompted the evacuation of the White House. It shook stones loose from the National Cathedral, shuttered Washington monuments and forced the shutdown of nuclear reactors in Virginia.
    The temblor struck just before 2 p.m. yesterday in Virginia, almost 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of the U.S. capital and 3.7 miles below the earth’s surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. With many buildings evacuated, no serious injuries were reported in Washington…. – Bloomberg, 8-23-11
  • Quake felt in New York City office buildings: Tremors shook New York City office buildings on Tuesday, prompting evacuations of courthouses, City Hall and halting work at the World Trade Center construction site, officials and witnesses said. … – Reuters, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake rattles Washington, New York City, felt in eastern Canada: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.
    The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries…. – AP, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Virginia, shaking felt in New York City: The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter was half a mile deep and centered near Louisa, Va., about 40 miles from Richmond.
    The quake, which hit at 1:51 p.m. and lasted only a few seconds, was felt up and down the Eastern Seaboard – from the Carolinas to Toronto.
    The tips of three spires on the National Cathedral in Washington fell off, part of a building collapsed in Baltimore and a brick chimney crumbled atop a housing project in Red Hook.
    That was the worst of it – except for the panic. More than 12 million people may have felt the quake’s sickening swaying, the USGS said. – New York Daily News, 8-23-11
  • Washington Monument top cracked by earthquake: The National Park Service says engineers have found a crack near the top of the Washington Monument presumably caused by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast. Park service spokesman Bill Line said Tuesday night that…. – AP, 8-23-11
  • The Washington Monument Is Almost Certainly Not Leaning: Amid reports of spotty cellphone service and “localized casualties,” Tuesday’s earthquake gave rise to a completely fantastic rumor that slowly seems to be gaining merit — or at least earnest investigation: That the Washington Monument was tilting…. – The Atlantic Wire, 8-23-11
  • Washington Monument To Remain Closed “Indefinitely” After Quake Causes Cracks: Engineers inspecting the Washington Monument on Tuesday found cracks at the top of the 555-foot obelisk which will keep it closed to visitors indefinitely, the Associated Press reports. The damage, likely caused by the 5.8 earthquake that struck…. – Business Insider, 8-23-11
  • D.C. monuments and museums closed; no major structural damage reported: With the Washington Monument in the background people walk nearby after it was closed to visitors as a security precaution following an earthquake in the Washington area. The 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered…. – Daily Caller, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake Is Felt in New York: The vibrations of an earthquake centered in Virginia were felt in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. Some buildings have been evacuated, including City Hall, the Department of Education headquarters and World Trade Center 7…. – NYT, 8-23-11
  • Quake, centered near Washington, felt along East Coast: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Tuesday near the nation’s capital and sent shock waves up and down the East Coast. “It’s one of the largest that we’ve had there,” said US Geological Survey…. – CNN, 8-23-11
  • Major quake hits DC area: A significant earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday afternoon, shaking homes and buildings up and down the East Coast and forcing evacuations of major DC-area government buildings, including the White House, Pentagon and Capitol. … – Politico, 8-23-11
  • 5.9-magnitude quake jolts eastern U.S. : 2011-08-23: Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, moments after a 5.9-magnitude tremor shook the nation’s capital. The quake, centered northwest of Richmond, was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York. … – Washington Times, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake shakes Boston: An earthquake centered in Virginia shook the Eastern Seaboard just before 2 pm, and was felt as a rumble lasting several seconds in the Boston area. Some buildings in the city were evacuated, while officials inspected them, but there were no immediate damage…. – Boston Globe, 8-23-11
  • US Capitol, Pentagon, State Department Evacuated After 5.9 Magnitude Earthquake: The US Capitol, Pentagon, State Department and surrounding buildings all emptied today following a 5.9 earthquake that sent government workers scrambling. Sirens sounded outside US House office buildings on the south side of Capitol Hill…. – ABC News, 8-23-11
  • Quake Listed at 5.9 Rattles East Coast From North Carolina to New York: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolted the East Coast … – ABC News, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake hits Virginia, jolts NY and Carolinas: A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck Virginia at about 1:50 pm (EDT), the US Geological Survey reported Tuesday. Tremors were felt in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and the Carolinas. In New York City, some buildings were evacuated…. – LAT, 8-23-11
  • Virginia 5.9 earthquake felt across eastern Canada; no reports of damage: A moderate earthquake centred in Virginia was felt hundreds of kilometres north in eastern Canada. People from Ottawa to Toronto and across into New Brunswick reported feeling the tremor. Toronto police said via Twitter that they had received … – Winnipeg Free Press, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake shakes Ontario, eastern US: Beginning of Story Content An earthquake centred in Virginia with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 shook a broad swath of the US and Central Canada on Tuesday. The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Mineral, Va., about 134 kilometres … – CBC.ca, 8-23-11
  • East-coast earthquake felt in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York, Washington: The US Capitol building, the Pentagon and other buildings were evacuated, witnesses said. Buildings were also briefly evacuated in New York and Toronto. Emergency services in DC have reported many calls for no injuries. Cellular service was disrupted … – Montreal Gazette, 8-23-11
  • Quake shakes up Eastern Canada, US: Tuesday’s earthquake that was centred in Virginia also shook up a significant part of Eastern Canada. The 5.9-magnitude quake was felt by residents of Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Windsor, Ont…. – Vancouver Sun, 8-23-11
  • What?! An earthquake? East Coast reacts with shock: The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia on Tuesday gives new meaning to the word “aftershock.” Residents up and down the East Coast had trouble believing what they were feeling — that the earth was literally trembling beneath their feet. … – LAT, 8-23-11
  • Virginia quake: What was the damage on the East Coast?: Virginia quake caused the evacuation of many buildings and triggered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors. Cellphone call volume spiked as people rushed to call loved ones after the Virginia quake…. – CS Monitor, 8-23-11
  • Virginia 5.8 Quake Shakes Buildings From D.C. to Boston: A 5.8 magnitude earthquake, the biggest to strike Virginia in more than a century, hit about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Richmond, rocking buildings from Washington to Boston and causing office workers in New York City … San Francisco Chronicle, 8-23-11
  • NY, DC briefly shaken by 9/11 memories during earthquake: Workers dashed out of buildings, many of them worried that the tremors from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast was a bomb or terrorist attack…. – CNN, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 magnitude quake hits northeastern US and Canada: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake originating in Virginia rocked Washington, DC on Tuesday shortly before 2 pm EST, and seems to have been felt as far north as Quebec City. … – Macleans.ca, 8-23-11
  • Tremors hit Toronto after 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Virginia: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centred in Virginia shook much of Washington, DC, and was felt through much of the northeast. (Aug. 23) A major earthquake in Virginia left little more than shaking bobblehead dolls, swaying blinds and vibrating chairs in … – Toronto Star, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake Rattles New York and Washington DC: Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from buildings in cities from New York to Washington DC. Air and train traffic has been disrupted and two nuclear reactors have been taken offline…. – The Province, 8-23-11
  • White House, Capitol, Pentagon evacuated in wake of earthquake: A 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled Washington on Tuesday afternoon — causing the evacuation of government buildings, cellphone service outages, traffic gridlock and delays in public transportation. … – The Hill, 8-23-11
  • Rare earthquake shakes and shocks Eastern Seaboard: There were no major injuries reported nor severe damage, but the 45-second earthquake that hit the East Coast Tuesday afternoon gave millions of people a thorough and efficient education in what Westerners already know…. – USA Today, 8-23-11
  • Facebook, Twitter report record earthquake messages: Facebook and Twitter proved on Tuesday to be a key source of information on Tuesday’s East Coast earthquake, as cellphone networks struggled with congestion from an overwhelming number of callers. The earthquake hit at 1:51 pm…. – WaPo, 8-23-11
  • DC Earthquake Dominates Social Media Sites: 5 Must-See Stats: News about the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Washington, DC on Tuesday and was felt in cities throughout the East coast exploded online, spreading rapidly via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. … – Huffington Post, 8-23-11
  • Virginia quake: Top five political jokes on Twitter: The Virginia earthquake prompted evacuations of the Pentagon, White House, and Congress. And the quake triggered an outpouring of political jokes on Twitter…. – CS Monitor, 8-23-11
  • For central Virginia’s seismic zone, quake is an event of rare magnitude: The state hasn’t suffered a quake of this size since the slightly larger one that rattled Giles County in 1897. “That’s the biggest earthquake in human history in Virginia,” said David Applegate, associate director for natural hazards at the U.S. Geological Survey. And the 5.8 quake Tuesday was as big as anything experts expect in the so-called Central Virginia Seismic Zone…. – WaPo, 8-23-11
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Ron Nief and Tom McBride: Beloit College’s The Mindset List — Born in 1993, Class of 2015

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY FEATURES

History Buzz

Ron Nief and Tom McBride: The Mindset List

Source: Beloit College Mindset List

The Mindset Lists of American HistoryThe Mindset List was created at Beloit College in 1998 to reflect the world view of entering first year students. It started with the members of the class of 2002, born in 1980.

What started as a witty way of saying to faculty colleagues “watch your references,” has turned into a globally reported and utilized guide to the intelligent if unprepared adolescent consciousness. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications, and used for a wide variety of purposes. It immediately caught the imagination of the public, and in the ensuing years, has drawn responses from around the world.

The Mindset Lists of American History: From Typewriters to Text Messages, What Ten Generations of Americans Think is Normal, published by John Wiley and Sons (July, 2011).

The Beloit College Mind-Set List Welcomes the ‘Internet Class’

Source: Don Troop, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 8-23-11

As classes resume this fall, take a good look at those first-year students armed with their laptops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones. They are the first college freshmen to grow up taking the word “online” for granted, say Ron Nief and Tom McBride, the minds behind the annual Beloit College Mind-Set List.

Mr. Nief, who was the college’s longtime director of public affairs and is now retired, wrote in an e-mail on Monday that the Class of 2015 is “the symbolic generational start of a revolutionary adjustment in the systems and processes on which so much of society is built today.”

Most members of this year’s freshman class were born in 1993, the year Mosaic was introduced as the first widely used Web browser, the year Time magazine declared, “Suddenly the Internet is the place to be,” and the year The New Yorker ran what is said to be its most reproduced cartoon ever, the one with the caption, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

Mr. Nief and Mr. McBride, who is a professor of English and the humanities, have compiled the list since 1998, to help educators understand the cultural touchstones that have shaped the worldviews of each successive year of college freshmen.

Members of the Class of 2015, the pair says, “have come of age as women assumed command of U.S. Navy ships, altar girls served routinely at Catholic Mass, and when everything from parents analyzing childhood maladies to their breaking up with boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes quite publicly, have been accomplished on the Internet.”

July marked the release of the two men’s first book together, The Mindset Lists of American History (John Wiley & Sons), which demonstrates how historical events have affected the mind-sets of each successive generation of Americans since 1880.

Following is this year’s full list, which can be found online at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset.

Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe, and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

Their classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern’s daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.

2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.

3. States and Velcro parents have always required that they wear their bike helmets.

4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major-league sports.

5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded some U.S. Navy ships.

6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.

7. As the students have grown up on Web sites and cellphones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.

8. Their schools’ “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.

9. “Don’t touch that dial!” … What dial?

10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.

11. More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.

12. Amazon has never been just a river in South America.

13. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.

14. All their lives, Whitney Houston has always been declaring, “I Will Always Love You.”

15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

16. Women have never been too old to have children.

17. Japan has always been importing rice.

18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.

19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.

20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

21. They’ve always gone to school with Mohammed and Jesus.

22. John Wayne Bobbitt has always slept with one eye open.

23. There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.

24. “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.

25. Video games have always had ratings.

26. Chicken soup has always been soul food.

27. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.

28. Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.

29. Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.

30. Dial-up is soooooooooo last century!

31. Women have always been kissing women on television.

32. Their older siblings have told them about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.

33. Faux Christmas trees have always outsold real ones.

34. They’ve always been able to dismiss boring old ideas with “Been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt.”

35. The bloody conflict between the government and a religious cult has always made Waco sound a little wacko.

36. Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.

37. Music has always been available via free downloads.

38. Grown-ups have always been arguing about health-care policy.

39. Moderate amounts of red wine and baby aspirin have always been thought good for the heart.

40. Sears has never sold anything out of a “Big Book” that could also serve as a doorstop.

41. The United States has always been shedding fur.

42. Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.

43. No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest-growing states in the Union.

44. They’re the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.

45. They pressured their parents to take them to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs.

46. Russian courts have always had juries.

47. No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

48. While they’ve been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.

49. Public schools have always made space available for advertising.

50. Some of them have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.

51. Fidel Castro’s daughter and granddaughter have always lived in the United States.

52. Their parents have always been able to create a will and other legal documents online.

53. Charter schools have always been an alternative.

54. They’ve grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.

55. New kids have always been known as NKOTB.

56. They’ve always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe; Michael Who?

57. They’ve broken up with significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.

58. Their parents sort of remember Woolworths as this store that used to be downtown.

59. Kim Jong-il has always been bluffing, but the West has always had to take him seriously.

60. Frasier, Sam, Woody, and Rebecca have never cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during prime time.

61. Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild-card entry in the playoffs.

62. Nurses have always been in short supply.

63. They won’t go near a retailer that lacks a Web site.

64. Altar girls have never been a big deal.

65. When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.

66. It seems the United States has always been looking for an acceptable means of capital execution.

67. Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi-Cola.

68. Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.

69. They’ve grown up hearing about suspiciously vanishing frogs.

70. They’ve always had the privilege of talking with a chatterbot.

71. Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantánamo.

72. Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians.

73. McDonald’s coffee has always been just a little too hot to handle.

74. “PC” has come to mean personal computer, not political correctness.

75. The New York Times and The Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.

Full Text Eric Cantor: Washinton Post Op-Ed “Removing the Obstacles to Economic Growth”

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

112TH CONGRESS

Eric Cantor: Removing the Obstacles to Economic Growth

Source: Eric Cantor, Originally published in The Washington Post, 8-22-11

Our country is facing two related but separate crises. The first is the federal government’s debt crisis, the result of decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties as well as unsustainable entitlement commitments. The second is the jobs crisis, which has resulted in painful levels of unemployment and underemployment. President Obama is wrong to think that the answer is to increase spending or raise taxes when so many millions of Americans are out of work.

In fact, the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade. The administration’s new maximum achievable control technology standards for cement are expected to affect nearly 100 cement plants, setting over-the-top requirements resulting in increased costs and possibly thousands of jobs being offshored. There is the president’s silence as the National Labor Relations Board seeks to prevent Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina that would create thousands of jobs. Such behavior, coupled with the president’s insistence on raising the top tax rate paid by individuals and small businesses, has resulted in a lag in growth that has added to the debt crisis, contributing to our nation’s credit downgrade.

The debt crisis threatens our long-term future: the ability of our children and their children to have the same opportunities to succeed that this and previous generations enjoyed. Republicans passed a budget this spring, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, that would address our challenges head-on by putting in place common-sense reforms to manage our debt over the short and long term.

Unfortunately, we have found President Obama to be an unwilling partner when it comes to getting America’s fiscal house in order. Since taking office, he has added trillions to the debt, ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and put forth a budget that failed to address the drivers of our debt. Then we had to drag him to the table to make even the modest spending cuts that Standard & Poor’s says don’t go far enough.

The president has acknowledged that without reform, spending on entitlement programs is unsustainable. But he has also made clear that he would never support the type of structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security needed to make these programs solvent as envisioned in our budget — even if Republicans agree to his demand for tax increases. While a compromise on the way to strengthen entitlements may be one thing, raising taxes in this economy is another. Doing so would exacerbate the jobs crisis for the 14 million Americans out of work. It would negatively affect the businesses across America that we are counting on to get our economy going.

It is critical that as we work toward solutions to overcome both crises, the paths we take don’t expedite or worsen the other.

But the politics of division have reared up, fueled by efforts to incite class warfare. For example, though he often talks about millionaires, billionaires and corporate jet owners paying their “fair share,” behind closed doors the president admits to wanting to raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 per year and families and small businesses earning $250,000 per year.

Why does the president insist on higher taxes? Behind the rhetoric lies a desire to permanently increase the size of government — a philosophy that most Americans, who already think the government is trying to do too much — do not agree with. For the past few years, investors, families and businesses small and large have felt the threat of higher taxes, increased regulations and government expansion. Business people I talk to are worried about the massive costs imposed by the president’s health-care law and new regulations. Yet last week, the president called for more stimulus spending paid for by higher taxes and more job-killing regulations. The past two years have shown that this is no way to create jobs.

In lieu of more wasteful stimulus spending, we should go all-in on ways to invigorate growth. The Congressional Budget Office has found that for every one-tenth of 1 percent of additional economic growth, the budget deficit is narrowed by nearly $300 billion. Economic growth will help reduce the deficit and get people back to work.

That is why this fall the Republican Party will pursue a legislative agenda that boosts economic growth through reducing the regulatory and tax burden. We will make sure that Washington policies are less restrictive to businesses small and large. Our goals include repealing the “3 percent withholding rule,” which serves as an effective tax increase on those who do business with the government, and overturning the EPA’s proposed regulations that inhibit jobs in areas as varied as cement and farm dust. We plan to prevent the NLRB from inhibiting where a business chooses to create jobs. We well know that the Republican majority was not elected to raise taxes or take more money out of the pockets of hardworking families and business people. We were elected to change the way Washington does business and spends money.

The writer, a Republican from Virginia, is the House majority leader.

Allan Meltzer: Federal Reserve analyst and historian to receive Truman Medal

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

Allan Meltzer: Fed analyst and historian to receive Truman Medal

Meltzer
Andrew Harrer
Meltzer

Allan Meltzer, whose comprehensive “A History of the Federal Reserve” has made him a particularly adept Fed analyst and critic, will receive the 2011 Truman Medal for Economic Policy in October.

The medal, awarded every two years, recognizes Meltzer’s career in economic policy development, research and education. Meltzer has served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Economic Policy Advisory Board, and he was chairman of the International Financial Institution Advisory Committee that proposed reforms to the International Monetary Fund.

Meltzer is a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

His Fed history book began as an extensive first volume that covered the Fed from its founding in 1913 to 1951. Volume 2 has been published in two parts and extends the account to 1986….READ MORE

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