Category Archives: Congress

Can a Return to Isolationism Solve America’s National Debt Crisis?

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicat...

U.S. debt from 1940 to 2010. Red lines indicate the Debt Held by the Public (net public debt) and black lines indicate the Total Public Debt Outstanding (gross public debt), the difference being that the gross debt includes that held by the federal government itself. The second panel shows the two debt figures as a percentage of U.S. GDP (dollar value of U.S. economic production for that year). The top panel is deflated so every year is in 2010 dollars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The increasingly partisan struggle over America’s mountainous national debt and budget crisis reminds me of a famous quote by the Roman political theorist Cicero:

“The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt”

With the current outrage over the outsourcing of middle-class jobs to China and Mexico, insistence on acting as the world’s policeman resulting in foreign entanglements ironically causing more problems than they have solved; and never-ending foreign aid to foreign nations during a domestic economic downturn, is it time for the United States to return to its original foreign policy of isolationism during this time of economic crises?

Isolationism is a foreign policy of non-interventionism and economic protectionism in which a nation refuses to enter alliances or international agreements with other nations in hopes of avoiding wars not related to direct self-defense. Nations practicing isolationism avoid all foreign entanglements and focus all their resources into self-advancement within its own borders.  Can a return to this way of thinking ultimately solve America’s national debt crisis? Is a return to isolationism even possible today?

– TERRANCE MULLINS

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Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on Gun Control Laws

Subsequent to the elementary school shooting that killed 28 people in Connecticut last week; some are calling on Congress to pass a stricter gun control law. What do you think?

Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on this Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on the Norquist’s Tax Pledge

Recently, some Republicans in congress publicly stated their decision to break ties with the Norquist’s Tax Pledge in order to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff.” What do you think?

The Presidency and the Bully Pulpit

Public Opinion -- April 22, 1874

Public Opinion — April 22, 1874 (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)

Bully pulpit, a term first coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, refers to a political office, specifically the White House, as a powerful platform from which to advocate a political agenda. In other words, the President of the United States is in the position to use his office to rally public support or sway public. Currently, Pres. Barack Obama has been using the bully pulpit in an attempt to educate the American people concerning public policy .

The framers of the U.S. Constitution never intended the president to have the power to influence public opinion in the way advancements in communication technology now allows. However, the framers never intended for women to vote or for for the United States to declare itself the worlds policemen. Nevertheless, here we are. Do you believe it is appropriate for the modern president to leapfrog the Congress and talk directly to the American people in order to influence public opinion on public policy?

–TERRANCE MULLINS