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Public Priorities and Public Action

Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

There are a number of really insightful tables in this report from Pew.  The table above represents an overview.  Notice the changes in priorities over the last five years (the last column).  Does this surprise you?  What would YOU say are the biggest problems facing our nation today?

I would argue that anything with a percentage above 60% would be considered to have broad support.  This includes ideas like making the tax system more fair, the cost of health care, and education.  Do you see real movement in Washington on these items?  For instance, if education is such an important (and stable) priority, why are we defunding it so significantly?  Look down at the table in that piece and you will see that Georgia has reduced funding by 11.5% (WOW!).

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10 comments on “Public Priorities and Public Action

  1. michelle demmerelle
    January 25, 2012

    No I am not surprise because the states have reduced financial help for college students and made it tougher to meet eligibility criteria. The pell grant for students a huge financial source of federal aid is now tougher to be able to get aid. ” More than twenty one million families filled out the free application for FASFA for the 2010-2011 academic year, last fall up 49% from two years ago”. We are encouraged to pursue higher education and left with the reality of incurring debt in order to pay for our education. Meanwhile we have people in the US taking advantage of government funded programs from tax paying Americans. Now we have people on welfare during the recession and less income flowing into our economic system. The average employed American by corporations paying more in takes then the rich elite. A tax cut given by the Bush administration to the wealthy. Then we hear similar parties vague promises for government officials to win our vote. America’s government continues to let company’s out source jobs while we have a reccession and as a result many of our counrty unemployed. Our government is supose to be a representation for the people but continue’s to seem like the wealthy win in the end with there big outsource company’s. Our vote may never truely make a differnece in voice until we get a chance to vote on a multi system that represents everyone and makes people want to vote for something they believe in.

    The New york times

  2. Mike Richardson
    January 25, 2012

    I agree with the professor about his statement on the 60% matter. I think the biggest problem our nation is facing is jobs. Recently, I found out that our country are emerging with some big time automobile companies to make cars. I hope they treat their employees right. I say this because I know that they are a multi million dollar companies and their profits are probably are through the roof. I think they should send out bonus checks to each of their employees. This possible could get the economy rolling because people would have extra money to buy things.

    jobs

  3. Leban Arreh
    January 26, 2012

    It doesnt really surprise me in most parts especially in the econmoy. It has grown alot since the past 5 years and a significant improvment in the employment rate as well as the budget deficit. In my opinion the biggest problem that is facing our nation today is global warming and the lack of effort in our environment. As you can see from the chart, the both combined has fell down to 30%. Global warming is one of the biggest issues facing many world leaders today and is an ongoing problem with the US because of the buildup of human-related greenhouse gases , which is the burning of fossil fules NewYork Times. With education is see Washington making it one of there priorities in improving. I would like the numbers to be a little higher atleast above the 60’s

  4. Kenny D. Nguyen
    January 27, 2012

    This table does not really surprise me because the government have been mainly prioritizing their focus on both the economy and unemployment lately due to the dramatic increase of people being unemployed for the past years. However, what does surprise me was that education wasn’t one of the top thing to focus on. I can understand that we need to find ways to lower our unemployment rate, but, focusing on the future leaders of our country is more important as well. When we educate the young, they will be mold into the “key” that will shape our country. When Haiti was hit badly from the earthquake, it was the educated young student that helped to restore the country to it’s original beauty. These students that help fix Haiti didn’t do this in favor of getting paid, but rather for the experience because they knew they will be responsible in fixing the country in the future. The director of the United Nation Educational and Scientific Organization explain how the younger generation will be the next leader of the country and how they will be responsible in planning, rebuilding, and reestablishing the country which is why we need to educate them first to prepare them for whats coming later on. Economy should also be a main focus in governments’ agendas because if we have a terrible economy, then we won’t be able to have funding for anything which would cause the downfall of the society. We need to fix the economy in order to provide more jobs because even if we have highly educated people, we won’t have any jobs for them due to our high unemployment ratings. In this blog , the blogger explains how having a high economy may create new employments and reduce poverty, but they should also focus on people’s standard of living in order to stabilize the country which would also tie into focusing on economy. It bothers me how GA reduced their funding for education down by 11% because educate can change the faith of the country even by a little. I’m not saying that education is 100% important, but stating that we need education if we are going to fix any problem the country fix whether it is diseases, or an economic problem. We can’t always “wing it” in every situation. No, we need to think logically, and intellectually in order to solve / stabilize the problem. In conclusion, we need to focus on both the economy and the education.

  5. Adrian Durden
    January 27, 2012

    While looking at the table chart above, I am very surprised to see that the economy and employment rate increased throughout the past five years. Unfortunately it is sad to see that health care is still at a low percentage rate as well as education and tax fairness. I believe that the economy is the most important issue at hand but understanding that in the economy we have to fix issues like health care, the job market, tax fairness and education. Knowing that these issues seemed to remain untouched leaves me confused as to how the economy increased in the first place. I think that these issues should be the forefront of our efforts in increasing and creating a stable economy.
    USA TODAY

  6. R Sargent
    January 27, 2012

    Most of us can agree that our country faces many economic problems. Government spending is out of control, with Congress passing a $1.4 trillion spending increase,pushing national debt to $16.4 trillion. The price of gas increasing over 65% in the past four years. A failing housing market, record high unemployment and ever-increasing unemployment benefits that never end; pushing us ever deeper into recession.None of these things concern me more than Obama care. It is not that I don’t wish every American to have affordable healthcare, but only we have gone about this in the wrong way. Obama care was built on a crumbling foundation of Medicare, prescription drug coverage, and Social Security. In the aforementioned graph many Americans are shifting their sites to national debt as their top priority in this next election. But as you can see here on the Debt Clock , national debt is a very small amount paled in comparison to our US unsecured debt($117 trillion+ ). US unsecured debt is the total amount of money promised,to Americans, through entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug coverage, and Social Security. This is a staggering amount of money from which we have no hope of ever being able to fulfill the promises made. At 31 years old there is no hope for me to ever benefit from any of these programs in my time of need. Yet I will continue to pay into the system as I am ordered. Our system is already overloaded with too many recipients and not enough payees. With this in mind, what is to be said for healthcare when it’s free? What happens when everyone, not just retirees,are the recipients of free healthcare? I have an idea, government rationing of healthcare and social economic collapse.

    How many of you have ever paid for a burger, at McDonald’s,failed to receive your hamburger and left McDonald’s satisfied.I would venture non.Yet this is what our government is doing to us every day. They take our money and give us nothing but an empty promise for a product they know they cannot provide.Now, they have a shiny new empty box, and were supposed to be excited! It’s okay though, it’s FAIR!

  7. Robin Botha
    January 27, 2012

    It is no surprise that the economy is at the top of the list, just looking at today’s stock market report, there has been little improvement. Even though the economy is improving, it is not improving quick enough to make a significant affect on everyday life. And with no improvement in the economy, their is no guaranteeing on new jobs being created. Thus with this stress on people’s lives; they care little about terrorism. Because, what is the point of living in a relatively safe country when you cannot even put food on the table for your family. I honestly don’t think, there will ever be real improvements, we will just learn how to live with the system right now and adapt. even looking at education, yes it is stable, it will always be there, but as everything seems to be going, the rich will get educated and get richer and the poor, will still try and pick themselves up and get educated and some will not get educated, that is just the way things are, it might not be fair and right, but that’s how the system works.

  8. Christine Becker
    January 27, 2012

    Living in a nation that is in debt of more than $15 trillion, I would think that the economy and the budget deficit would be a top priority for candidates and voters alike. An interesting article posted today in the New York Times, speaks of a new debt limit increase approved by the Senate in the amount of $1.2 trillion dollars. The article stated that “with the latest increase in the debt limit, Republicans said, the debt will cross a significant threshold, as it will be roughly the same size as the economy, measured by the gross domestic product.” This will continue to be a top issue for American citizens as we have seen the damaging effects of exuberant spending throughout the Euro-zone and are desperately seeking to save ourselves from the same ill-fate. “Little has changed in Washington in the last five years,” Mr. Coburn said. “We’ve argued, debated and lamented on how to rein in the federal government’s costs and out-of-control spending. All the time that was going on, we were on a spending binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not need. Even though we knew we had to borrow more money, Congress has done nothing to avoid raising the debt limit further. Nothing.” This is a real challenge to the American people to keep this a priority and really examine who we have in leadership positions.

    BudgetDeficitIncrease

  9. RobinLTB
    January 27, 2012

    It is not surprising that the economy made the top of the list. Today’s Stock Market report shows that there has been little improvement in the economy. This little bit of improvement does not make significant to the average Joe, especially if he is at a point where an improvement in the economy would really help him out. And no improvement in the economy means there will be little to no improvement in the Job sector, with no new jobs coming up. Thus seeing that concern about terrorism has dropped, is also no surprise, because what is the point of living in a relatively safe place when you cant even put food on the table to feed your family? I don’t really see a major change happening overall on most of the topics that people are concerned about, at the rate that the economy is improving right now, which is exponentially slowly, costs will continue to rise, and even the stable education factor will be hurt. Rich people will still become richer and send their kids to university, and the poor will still struggle to make it to the top, working hard to get themselves educated. This is how it has always been, though not fair at all, its how the system has turned out, and unless there is a ‘big bang’ that clears everything out and we start from scratch we cannot expect significant changes to suddenly come upon the average Joe’s life.

  10. Aaron Dawes
    January 27, 2012

    The NY Times

    With the policies being focused on by the majority of Americans, there seems to be one that has continued to be a hot topic for decades. Americans are growing more and more concerned with the immigration status of American, being illegal aliens coming to american illegal or ways to make immigrants become citizens. yet with the growing interest and concern regarding illegal immigration, politicians have continued to make this issue less and less a priority of their policies. It was immigration what made this country what it is today. Now isn’t that ironic ?

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