Music Review: Watching Movies With the Sound Off

June 15, 2013

Mac Miller’s sophomore album Watching Movies With the Sound Off will be coming out this Tuesday, but will it stack up against J. Cole’s and Kanye West’s Yeezus? In the first of three previews I will breakdown each album track by track.

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1. The Star Room
In the first track, The Star Room, Mac introduces us to what the album’s message will be. The lyrics of this track are a bit provocative and not like classic Mac. The beat though saves the track in my opinion, but this track wasn’t as memorable as previous intro’s he’s had in past mixtapes and his first album Blue Slide Park.
Rating: 2/5

2. Avian
The next track is a bit better than the first, but still doesn’t really have that Mac Miller feel. The hook is catchy with Mac describing a bird in the sky where the beat picks up is definitely the best part of the song. The piano and drum kick in the background is also a good touch to the beat.
Rating: 3/5

3. I’m Not Real (Featuring Earl Sweatshirt and Vinny Radio)
This is the track I was waiting for and it finally came. Three songs in, Mac starts to rap like his previous soundtracks. He morphs his voice to sound deeper but it works with the smooth beat. Earl Sweatshirt blends well for the hook with Mac in the background of the beat.
Rating: 4.5/5

4. S.D.S.
Somebody Do Something, Mac’s first single off the album, has been one of my favorites since it came out in late April. This song basically describes Mac’s journey as an artist, where he has come from since his first mixtape and a look towards what is coming for the 21-year-old. The beat and the hook are what makes this song so great and the verses between has a very good flair to go along with the message of the song.
Rating: 4/5

5. Bird Call
After two very good songs, Mac takes a step back with Bird Call. Not very impressed with this track, the beat is catchy but not a huge fan of the lyrics. Definitely a song to skip over.
Rating: 1/5

6. Matches (Featuring Ab-Soul)
After a disappointment in Bird Call, Mac gets back on track with Matches. Ab-Soul starts off the song with his verse and then it smoothly goes into Mac’s track. The lyrics remind me of old Mac the way that Mac flows with the incredible beat. Not a huge of the hook though.
Rating: 4/5

7. I am Who I am (Featuring Niki Randa)
After listening through this whole album, this track is by far the best rap song Mac has on the album. The lyrics flow very well with Niki’s soft tone incorporated with the beat. Her hook is also a great addition for this up-incoming artist.
Rating: 5/5

8. Objects in the Mirror
A slower song of Mac’s are always the best. Mac follows I am Who I am with the beauty of a track. Back-to-back gems, Objects in the Mirror is my favorite song off WMWTSO. The Pharrel produced beat really brings a smooth and relaxing listen with Mac’s strong lyrics.
Rating: 5/5

9. Red Dot Music (Featuring Action Bronson)
The longest song off the album is also another gem. This one really reminded me off something that was off of Mac’s previous mixtape Macadelic. The song has a smooth beat with great lyrics, messaging things like a change in government and referencing the Addams Family’s Cousin Itt.
Rating: 4/5

10. Gees (Featuring Schoolboy Q)
The only thing I really like about this one is Q’s verse and the beat. Not a huge fan of the flow of the song and seems like Mac could have done better with his lyrics, also hate the hook.
Rating: 2/5

11. Watching Movies
The title track and second single of the album really brings the back half of the album to what Mac wants to portray. The succeeding songs are a lot slower but Watching Movies has one more classic song before he gets into some real deep lyrics with tracks 12-16. The beat of Watching Movies is great with Mac’s two verses.
Rating: 4/5

12. Suplexes Inside of Complexes and Duplexes
This self produced song by Mac is slow but picks up towards the middle of the song with Jay Electronic’a verse. Jay goes into the song with lyrics that are very good in my opinion but the song lacks something of a flow. Not one of my favorites.
Rating: 3/5

13. REMember
An ode to Reuben Mitrani a friend of Mac’s who passed away last year is a song that is very smooth and done very well lyrically. You can tell Mac went through a lot of feelings making this song with the song reminiscent of what could have happened if Reuben lived on and the hook a remembrance of what their life together was like.
Rating: 5/5

14. Someone Like You
Another self produced by Mac, Someone Like You was a song previously released off of Mac’s sound cloud but was remastered for the album. The addition of more bass in the beat makes the song flow a lot better than the original. I loved this song when it came out and I was very pleased to see that the remastered is so much better.
Rating: 4/5

15. Aquarium
The weakest song in the backhalf of the album, Aquarium was great but compared to the other 5 songs it doesn’t stand up. The beat is very chill and smooth but I don’t really understand what Mac is trying to say. The lyrics seem all over the place but they flow very well.
Rating: 3/5

16. Youphoria
The outro Youphoria, closes out the album very well. Hearing a version of this one on Mac’s reality show Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family, I was very much looking forward to this song. He ended up changing the sound and lyrics but I love both versions of the song. If you want to here the snippet of the other version you can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-VEFQTLXc
Rating: 4/5

Verdict: Watching Movies With the Sound Off was definitely a masterpiece in my opinion. I definitely suggest picking this one up on Tuesday June 18. As a long time Mac fan, I can see his progression as an artist and I really like the way that he has grown. The deluxe version also included three extra songs including Gossbumpz, O.K. featuring Tyler the Creator and Claymation. All three are good in their own way but if you’re not a huge fan the deluxe version isn’t necessary. Tomorrow I will be reviewing J. Cole’s Born Sinner so look out for it.

 Mike Husson

 


Senior Farewell: Morgan Miller

May 18, 2013

Kenneth Blanchard once said, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” This quote is completely accurate in describing my experience having leadership role with the Pierce Arrow.

I can’t believe that graduation is just weeks away. It seems like just yesterday that I came to Franklin Pierce as an eager freshman hoping to get involved in journalism. My experiences in the past four years have absolutely made an impression on me for the rest of my life. Working with the Pierce Arrow has taught me the importance of leadership, communication and the power of student media.

I didn’t know what to expect when I took on the role of Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. However, I quickly learned that without the support of a hard working staff, putting together this publication would not be possible. I was so lucky to have a large executive board and staff backing me throughout the process of sending each publication to print. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of my executive board and staff. Without all of you, there would not be a single issue on stands. Each of you has extremely unique personalities and strengths that contributed in making each and every publication a successful one. I have learned so much from working with all of you and I can’t begin to thank you enough.

I would also like to thank Fitzwater Center Director, Dr. Kristen Nevious. Without Dr. Nevious, none of what goes on in the Fitzwater Center would be possible. She taught me so much about running a newspaper and learning from past mistakes in order to grow. The countless numbers of the newspaper that she edited and fact checking, phone calls at all hours of the day definitely did not go unnoticed. I am forever grateful for everything that she has taught me and contributed to make it a successful year for the Pierce Arrow.

Even though I am sad about graduating, I know it will open doors for new beginnings. I am extremely certain that under the new leadership of incoming Editor-in-Chief, Mike Husson, the Pierce Arrow will be successful. In closing, I can’t thank those of you enough who made contributions to the newspaper this year. I will miss everyone and am extremely grateful for all of the lessons I have learned along the way.

Morgan Miller


Senior Farewell: Amelia Walters

May 18, 2013

The time has come for me to write a senior farewell, and all I have to say is “Oh, my!” It is hard to believe four years have passed. Once a timid freshman, I can safely say I am now a confident woman who is ready to face the world and move on to a different journey. College has certainly been a journey on its own, but there were many journeys within this one. From the newspaper, to personal accomplishments, to academic journeys, all of these were important in the compilation of my life here at Franklin Pierce.

Writing is a love that has lasted for a many years of my life, and I am so thankful I got the chance to continue and grow with the Pierce Arrow. My writing has developed, I got to meet so many interesting people and see parts of the school I would not have seen if it were not for the Arrow. I loved doing features on people and plays, I got to know so many through writing about them, and I only hope I served them justice with my writing. It was an honor to get to write stories about unique individuals and be able to share them with the Franklin Pierce community. Another love of mine is music and I got the chance to write about it through the Arrow. I have seen this paper grow and obviously it had its ups and downs, but overall it was a wonderful experience. I would not change a thing. I just wish I got to personally meet Marlin Fitzwater. I had the chance to work as media for President Birge’s Inauguration but, me being a timid freshman did not have the guts to go introduce myself of course. Thank you Marlin Fitzwater for allowing any student to develop their skills in mass communication, and even if they are not a communications major, allowing students like me who are biology majors to continue their passions. Thank you Kristen Nevious and Andrea Bergstrom as well for being there for four years and giving your guidance to the paper.

   I knew from day one I wanted to join the newspaper. As a freshman I was granted the right to do basically any article I wanted. Let me just say I was not the best news writer, and my forte was definitely creative writing, so I knew I had work to do. Val Armstrong, who is currently my roommate and I wrote our first news story together about the Pub. Our editor at the time Alyssa Dandrea had some comments for us and helped us make the article the best it could be. Thank you Alyssa, for not scolding us when clearly our original article was terrible, and believing in us. To past Arrow staff, it was an honor to work with you, grow, and walk in your footsteps. I have learned so much that will carry on during my lifetime. Mike Husson, I know you will do well!

           I would like to thank my parents as well. If it was not for them I would not have the opportunity to go to Franklin Pierce University, and they have motivated and encouraged me all my life. They have been avid promoters of me writing, they seem to enjoy reading it. To my family, who reads my articles when they can, and taking an interest in my life, that means a lot to me, love you, thank you. Martha, my sister, that goes to you too. Thanks for letting me read you random things when I thought it was weird or awful and needed a second opinion.

            I have met so many wonderful people and I feel so blessed to have known them. Thank you Dr. Thomas Bennett for being my advisor, as well as Rhine Singleton; you are both truly inspiring professors and really care about your students, it’s reassuring to know there are professors like you both here. For a little while my academic career was a rocky path, but I made it through thanks to you. My journey has not been easy, but you never lost faith in me. Thank you for all that you both have done. Also, Andrew Hatchett you have restored faith in me, I truly have enjoyed having you as a professor. You also restored my passion for physical therapy through kinesiology and exercise physiology. Franklin Pierce is lucky to have a professor like you, who will take the health science program in a positive direction.

          Scott Ansevin-Allen, Derek Scalia, Bill Sweet and Bill Beardslee, words are not enough to express how much I will miss you all. You have truly been a huge part of my career at college and nothing I did would be possible without you all. From Alternative Spring Break, the Community Service office, the Information Desk and even SGA for a brief time, they were all experiences I will cherish for years to come. Thank you for everything. These are memories I will have my whole life. Miranda Mantello, Katie Bernier, Brad Arena, and the rest of my ASB gang, I love you all, thank you for making ASB life-changing experiences. The Info Desk Staff and Community Service managers, I have enjoyed working with you all, best of luck to all!

         Val Armstrong, Kat Wasmanski, Sherese Ponder, Jen Connors, Liz Clark, Hillary Transue, Liz Lessard, Matt Walcott, thank you all for being my friends and there when I needed you. You were the best roommates anyone could ask for, well not Matt, but thank you for your friendship and I know we will keep in touch. Collin Tierney, stay awesome. To all of my other friends I have made here at Pierce I will miss you, and thank you for being my friend.

        A recent song that came out by One Republic, it’s called “I Lived.” Of course I have to quote a song in this article! “I hope when that moment comes you’ll say, ‘I did it all…I owned every second that this world could give, I saw so many places and things that I did, with every broken bone, I swear I lived. I hope that you spend your days and they all add up. I hope when that when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup.”

Amelia Walters


Senior Farewell: Val Armstrong

May 18, 2013

Think of something super fast, now multiply that by infinity. You’ll then have the exact speed in which four years at college have gone by.  It seems like just yesterday my roommate and I were trying to get her car out of the parking lot during the worst winter storm freshmen year, all for a Greek pizza! Though the recent water gun fights in our townhouse would lead many to believe nothing has changed, I can attest to the fact that it has done so rather quickly.

 

Without a plan for the future in mind, the idea of college terrified me. I couldn’t stand the thought of paying all that money to go somewhere, find out I wasn’t good at anything, and return home to settle for being an average, second-rate somebody. However, I felt a certain sense of belonging on this campus during my first visit. While outside that day, a man came up and welcomed me to campus.  He asked me about myself and we talked briefly. Before I left, he shook my hand and said “good luck, I’m certain you’ll find what you’re meant to do and do great at it. And again, welcome to Franklin Pierce.” Even now, I have no idea who this man was, but he was right.

 

That moment set the tone for the next four years. Though I made mistakes along the way, my newly discovered confidence refused to let these regrets take away anything from what I had accomplished, such as becoming a Fitzwater Scholar and my work as member of the Pierce Arrow.  However, none of these accomplishments or successes academically or through my work with the Fitzwater Center were obtained purely on my own.

 

First off, my parents deserve a standing ovation for their patience and tolerance over the years. Mom, though you know it pains me to it, you were right when you told me that “big fish in the little pond” metaphor during my first visit. Dad, thanks for the many miles you put on the truck bringing my stuff back and forth, and motivating me to do well. I owe this whole experience to you both. A special thank you to my brother, Greg, who is best supporter and friend any sister could ever ask for. To my twin, Audrey, thank you for supporting me even though you’re 100 miles away. Additionally, to my grandparents, whose first question when I’m home was always “how’s the paper going?” Thank you for being loyal readers and fans. Lastly, to my best friend, Joey, all jokes aside I am so happy our paths crossed during our time here. However, I’m still in shock that you didn’t know we had a campus paper until you met me.

 

Also, none of my success would be possible without the amazing faculty and staff I have had the pleasure to meet and work with.  There are too many to mention, but I’d like to mention and thank three who helped and supported me in my academic endeavors throughout my four years here: Dr. Carl Brezovec, Professor John Valente, and Dr. Donna Decker. To my roomie, Liz L., the journey to graduation has had plenty of road blocks, but your perseverance has truly inspired me. Thank you for being a great roommate and an even better friend. To Amelia, who has been on the Pierce Arrow staff with me all four years, we’ve been through the numerous ups and downs with the paper and life itself, but I’m glad I’ve had you to laugh and cry with along the way. Jen, my fellow Fitzwater Scholar, thanks for the numerous coffee runs that kept me awake and productive during those late nights editing or in the office. To the rest of the girls in Lakeview 26, thank you for providing the comic relief, hugs, and shoulders to lean on when I needed it most. You ladies are wonderful and I see nothing but happiness and success in all of your futures.

 

Last, but not least, my sincerest thanks to the faculty and staff in the Fitzwater Center, Dr. Nevious, and the past editorial staffs. With your help, I was able to learn, grow, and further pursue my interest in journalism, despite being a math major. To Mike and the new staff, I wish you the best and look forward to seeing what happens next with the paper. I have high expectations and I’m certain you’ll exceed them all.

 

Good luck to all the 2013 graduates on your future endeavors, and farewell Franklin Pierce University.

 

Val Armstrong,
Managing Editor


Senior Farewell: Jen Connors

May 18, 2013

Since my freshmen year here, my unofficial spot has been the leather couch in the Fitz. No matter what is going on in my life, I have tried to carve out at least an hour a week to sit there and just relax. I do homework there, I relax there, and I managed to cross off an item off my bucket list by taking a nap there.

During a recent all-nighter, I looked at my friend and said that I needed to rest my eyes. I went to the couch and sat down for ten minutes. All year long, I’ve been going through and doing bucket list items without much regard to things I’ve been doing all along. Instead of having months to sit on the couch, I have days. I have a limited amount of time to enjoy Sandwich Master, to yell at the geese and occupy the journalism lab (#OccupyJLab, #Fitz5Ever), and I suddenly find myself asking where the time went.

So much has happened over the last few months. I’ve gotten to know so many people whom I could only pick out of a crowd until this year.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the series finale of One Tree Hill; “One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday and, then, quietly, and without you ever really noticing, someday is today.” I never expected the last four years to go by so quickly, or for so many people to have such a profound affect on my time here. My parents have supported me through whatever I have chosen to do here. Also, so many of my professors have encouraged me to try new things, but I have to single out three in particular: Phyllis Zrzavy has been my adviser since day one here and has always encouraged me to look outside the box. Paul Bush pushes me to be the best I can be and then take it a step further. It doesn’t matter if I’m in class with him or not, Bill Costa constantly expects the best from me and is another constant source of encouragement. Hillary, no one can make me laugh quite like you. You are a character in the best way possible. Liz L, you are one of the strongest people I know and I am so glad I met you. Rachel, I hope you love the Camino and that senior year is fantastic. Being in the Fitzwater Center has also allowed me to meet some of my favorite people in the world. Zach, I don’t know how I would have made it through this year without you. You’re a true ally. Brett, I think I can speak for us both when I say that I did not expect us to be friends when I met you last year. You’re one of the most headstrong, optimistic people I know. Keep chasing the dream, sunshine. Liz C, the looks we’ve exchanged during key moments says it all. You’ll do great wherever you wind up next year. Val and Amelia, we first met during a particularly fierce FPTV-Pierce Arrow rivalry, but there’s no one I would have gone through these last four years with. Amelia, I can talk to you about anything. Val, you keep me sane when things are upside down and backwards. I love all of you.

I wish nothing but the best of luck to next year’s PMG. I’m sure you’ll all do great! These four years of your life go by quicker than you could ever imagine. Make it count.

Jen Connors


From The Vault

March 13, 2013

 

(photo from: Officialpsds.com)

 

This month in From the Vault, we’re taking a look at a few movies that you may not know are located right in our own DiPietro Library.  Are these movies new?  No.  Are they still fantastic?  Absolutely.  This column is for everyone out there who spends each week checking to see if any new movies have come in, without ever knowing about the great selection the library already has to offer.  Next time you’re in the DVD section, be sure to keep an eye out for these great titles:


Movieretrospect.blogspot.com            

Movie: Forrest Gump (1994)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

Run Time: 142 Minutes

Review: If watching Forrest Gump does not make your soul weep, you’re not watching it right.  With that completely unbiased statement, let me summarize this movie for any who haven’t seen it.  The entire movie follows the life of Forrest Gump who, throughout the course of the movie becomes, among other things, a football star, a war hero, a Ping-Pong champion, and a shrimp boat captain.  The love story with his childhood friend, Jenny, is the focus of many scenes, which are narrated by Gump as he sits on a bench telling his story to those who sit beside him.  Spanning through several decades, this movie manages to bring the best and worst of the nation into light through the eyes of a simple man from Alabama.

 

Rating:


(photo from: Powerpuff.wikia.com)                              

Movie: The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002)

Starring: Blossom (Cathy Cavadini), Bubbles (Tara Strong), and Buttercup (E.G. Daily)

Run Time: 80 Minutes

Review: This review is what happens when you let your roommate pick some of the movies.  However, I would advise against immediately dismissing this movie (as I did) as a bit of childish foolishness.  Instead of being ridiculous, this movie is rather sentimental for all of us who grew up with the original Cartoon Network.  In the movie (which to my delight included a short episode of Dexter’s Laboratory) the origins of the Puffs is explained, showing how they came to be the heroines of the City of Townsville.  Deceived by the villainous monkey Mojo Jojo, the Puffs must discover how to use their powers to do something other than utterly destroy city property.  As a movie, it was a reminder that my childhood was awesome.   

 

Rating:  


(Photo from: En.wikipedia.org)                        

Movie: The Invention of Lying (2009)

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K.

Run Time: 100 Minutes

Review: Ricky Gervais stars in this witty comedy as the only man on Earth who is capable of telling a lie.  The first thing he does with this new ability?  Lie about his bank account balance to pay his rent.  Maybe not what most of us would do with such a power, but Ricky was just getting started.  Throughout the movie, he discovers that power is a heady, strenuous thing, and that not even all the lies in the world can get him the one thing he wants: Jennifer Garner.  As the story follows the experiences of a man who goes from unemployed loser to international celebrity, it also manages to throw in some handy life lessons, like “Appearance isn’t everything” and “Ricky Gervais will never not be funny.”

 

Rating:



(Photo from: Amazon.co.uk)                                

Movies: Princess Diaries 1 (2001) and Princess Diaries 2 (2004)

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Heather Matarazzo, Hector Elizondo, Chris Pine, Callum Blue

Run Times: 115 Minutes, 113 Minutes

Review: If you don’t like Princess Diaries, you’re wrong.  As a set of movies, it would be a crime to review one without the other.  In these two fabulous films, Anne Hathaway debuts as awkward Mia Thermopolis, a teenage girl who discovers she is in fact the princess of the fictional country Genovia, currently ruled by Queen Julie Andrews (Think Mary Poppins).  The second movie begins with Mia just graduating college and moving to Genovia.  Here, she discovers that tradition decrees that if she wants to rule her country, she must get married.  In this movie, as Mia discovers her confidence and ability as a ruler, Chris Pine makes his film debut as Lord Nicholas Devereaux.  Is he the one Mia will marry?  You’ll have to watch and see.

Rating:



(Photo From: Tvshowsondvd.com)                                 

Series: Criminal Minds, Season 1 (2005-2006)

Starring: Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, AJ Cook, Kirsten Vangsness

Run Time: 22 Episodes, 41 Minutes Each

Review: Currently on its eighth season, Criminal Minds (one of the best crime shows on TV next to Law and Order: SVU), focuses on the cases of Quantico’s BAU, Behavioral Analysis Unit, let by Jason Gideon (Patinkin) and Aaron Hotchner (Gibson).  This group of agents (and the adorable Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid) specializes in getting inside a suspect’s head, discovering things they may not even know about themselves and using that knowledge to profile and track down killers, rapists, etc.  At the moment, the library only has the first four seasons of this fantastic series.  However, even that is sure to keep you busy for quite some time.

 

Rating:

 

Cassie Erler
Pierce Arrow Writer  


America’s Infatuation with Debt: Part One

March 13, 2013

I was watching TV with a couple of my friends when we came across some evening news program. The headline on the bottom of the screen read something like, “Sequester signed into law: will this solve America’s debt problem?”

Big surprise: no one reacted but me. I turned to the room and asked “So what do you guys think of the sequester?”

That was supposed to be a joke. It’s hard to find a 20-year-old in this country who doesn’t immediately tune out once the conversation turns political. I doubted anyone knew what sequestration was, let alone cared. Still, one person responded.

“I think it cuts down on a lot of wasteful government spending,” he said. “Which is good, because we need to address the deficit problem this country faces.”

That’s a predictable response. Impulsively the notion of general spending cuts sounds attractive to anyone who really has no idea what’s being cut, or why. But I played along. I wanted to get my friend to think a little harder. So I asked him my single favorite question to ask anyone when it comes to fiscal policy: “Why is that good?”

More often than not that’s where that conversation ends. He couldn’t tell me the difference between the debt and a deficit, let alone spell out the alleged benefits of austerity during an economic slump. And still, like a broken record he insisted that excessive government expenditure—not unemployment—was the issue that needed to be addressed now, now, now.

My friend doesn’t stand alone in that presumption. A Pew Research (PRC) poll from July 2012 sampled 1563 registered voters nationwide and found that 23% agreed the “budget deficit” was the most pressing issue in last October’s election. Yet out of that same 23% less than half thought Medicare, Medicaid, military benefits, military research or border patrol should be cut. That’s awfully hypocritical considering the March 1 sequestration—forced into action by deficit hawk logic—includes cuts to all of those areas.

So where does that disconnect come from? How does it make sense that so many people support a budget, but at the same time oppose its contents?

To address that question we’ll start, of all places, at Starbucks. Last December the chain’s CEO, Howard Schultz, sent a mass e-mail to his employees urging them to write “come together” on coffee cups because, “our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt.” He capped the message by suggesting readers further educate themselves at the website of the organization Fix the Debt.

Mr. Schultz (a highly respected man in the business world) was referring to the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts (sequestration) known as the “fiscal cliff” which—if enacted on January 1—would have sent the economy spiraling back into recession for the first time since 2009. However, that would not have been because of a failure to cut the debt or any deficits, as Mr. Schultz implies, but the exact opposite. The government would have been trimming debt too fast.

So how is it that the CEO of a Fortune 500 company—someone who should be more than familiar with macroeconomic fundamentals—confused such a basic concept? Because like that 23% of Americans who voted in the Pew Research poll, he gets his information from the wrong people.

Fix the Debt—the website Howard Schultz recommends his employees become familiar with—lists among its core principles cuts to entitlements that Americans overwhelmingly support, such as Medicare and Social Security. But hey, at least that’s logical. If your de facto goal is to cut debt immediately, regardless of the human pain that imposes, you have to make spending cuts.

Rather, the moment when it becomes clear Fix the Debt really doesn’t care about the debt at all is when it proposes tax cuts, which would leave the government with less revenue to pay off debts. Instead they propose closing tax loopholes and deductions (the Romney plan), but fail to cite any specifics (still the Romney plan). It’s hard for me, and should be hard for anyone else to believe that an organization is serious about trimming debt when it proposes no concrete revenue increases whatsoever.

Fix the Debt is just the latest brainchild of billionaire Pete Peterson, who sponsors a hearty platter of conservative think tanks like the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and the Fiscal Times newspaper. He is but one of a very small, yet overwhelmingly powerful group of people whose core goals are no more profound than those espoused on Fix the Debt’s website. These are the same people who get their economic advice from the likes of Glenn Hubbard, the Heritage Foundation, and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page.

These people have no interest more than cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare (which cater to the lower middle class) at the expense of preserving the cushy Bush tax cuts (which cater to the wealthy). They simply disguise that ambition behind deficit scolding logic, hoping they confuse people into voting against their own interests along the way. As the PRC poll has demonstrated, that strategy works remarkably well.

The March 1 sequester is but the latest round of such deception in action. It’s a series of cuts so arbitrary and stupid that they were actually designed to force Congress to compromise on a deal. That didn’t happen, and now projections by the think tank Macroadvisers predict roughly 700,000 American jobs will be sacrificed by the year’s end.

Those are predominantly middle class jobs, ranging from military personnel, to border patrol officers, to tour guides at the Holocaust Museum. They have families, bills to pay, and lives to live on an already constrained budget. Now they join the ranks of the unemployed and will suffer immeasurable financial and emotional damage.

That will all come at the expense of a few extra bucks for the guy who buys think tanks in his leisure time. If that doesn’t make you angry, you are part of the problem too.

Dave Sweet
Pierce Arrow Editorials Editor 


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