All pitch in to help the poor billionaires

first_imgBillionaires (that’s 1,000 millionaires) risk homelessness and starvation? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Their Congress needs to cut their taxes?As a fiscal conservative, I have a suggestion. Let’s first pay down our national debt, like the $4 trillion we borrowed to destroy Iraq.As a Christian, I don’t want them to starve. I’m willing to set up a donation bucket in front of Wal-Mart for the billionaire Walton family. Others could do it in front of Gates’ $100 million house and Trump’s towers and golf courses. Just a thought.P.S. Another reason we should keep them from starving is that Jesus said that “It’s harder for a rich man to get to heaven than a camel to get through the eye of a needle.” (Matt.19:24)Peter LookerGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

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Foss: Low graduation rates cause for concern

first_imgSome districts improved, while others lost ground.The Schenectady City School District’s graduation rate was essentially unchanged, at 59 percent. That’s clearly not good enough, and it suggests more needs to be done to reach the 40 percent of Schenectady High School students who will drop out before graduation day. It’s no exaggeration to say that the high number of dropouts each year constitutes a crisis for a community where poverty already entrenched. Young dropouts are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than college graduates, and a whopping 63 times more likely to be incarcerated, according to the U.S. Department of Education. If we want Schenectady to be healthier and safer places to live, reducing the high school drop-out rate is a must. Another local district with a drop-out problem is the Gloversville City School District, where 66 percent of students graduated in 2018.  More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: OpinionCollege isn’t for everyone. Some people will be better off entering the workforce, or learning a trade, or joining the military. High school’s a different story.  High school’s for everyone — or at least it ought to be. There are real disadvantages to dropping out of high school. You’ll earn less money than your peers who finished high school, and it will be more difficult to get a job and stay out of poverty. Your health will likely be worse, and you’re more likely to get involved in crime and go to prison. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “… the average high school dropout costs the economy approximately $266,000 over his or her lifetime in terms of lower tax contributions, higher reliance on Medicaid and Medicare, higher rates of criminal activity and higher reliance on welfare.” This bleak outlook explains why raising high school graduation rates is an important and necessary project, and why we should be troubled when a district’s graduation rate is especially low. Today’s high school dropouts are the struggling adults of tomorrow, their prospects diminished by a failure to finish high school. The state Department of Education released high school graduation rates for schools throughout New York on Wednesday, and it was truly a mixed bag for districts in the Capital Region. Statewide, the graduation rate for 2018 rose slightly, from 80.2 percent to 80.4 percent.That’s good, but not good enough. An education advocacy group called America’s Promise Alliance wants to see 90 percent of high school students graduate by 2020, and while the country’s school districts are unlikely to meet this goal, a dropout rate of 10 percent or less is what we should be striving for. Life is much harder without a high school diploma. If we want young people to succeed, we need to do everything we can to keep them in school until graduation day. Reach Gazette columnist Sara Foss at [email protected] Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s.last_img read more

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In Trump’s immigration announcement, a compromise snubbed all around

first_imgCategories: Opinion(News Analysis)WASHINGTON — Immigrant advocates denounced it as cruel. The conservative right howled that it was amnesty.What President Donald Trump billed on Saturday as a compromise to end the country’s longest government shutdown pleased neither the Democratic congressional leaders whose buy-in he needs to strike a deal nor the core supporters whose backing has always been at the heart of his insistence on a border wall.Instead, in offering temporary protections for about 1 million immigrants at risk of deportation in exchange for funding for a wall, Trump did something rarely seen during his presidency. He tried to reach beyond his base of supporters — which polls have begun to show is losing patience with him as the partial shutdown drags into its fifth week — and speak to a broader swath of Americans.The Saturday afternoon speech from the West Wing was an attempt by Trump to, at the very least, shift the narrative of the past several weeks and show that rather than spoiling for a longer shutdown fight or making unreasonable demands, he was looking for a broadly acceptable way out of a morass he once boasted he was proud to wade into. Many conservatives did not share that view.“Trump proposes amnesty,” conservative commentator Ann Coulter said on Twitter.“We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” she added, referring to Jeb Bush, who challenged Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016 and supported a broad immigration overhaul that would have given immigrants without documentation a path to legal status.Still, in the eyes of many White House officials, the prospect that Trump could use the proposal to shift blame for the shutdown and pressure Democrats to end the impasse was worth trying. Pence argued on Saturday that the speech was a “sincere effort” by Trump to break the logjam, and he and other White House officials suggested the measure could attract enough support to succeed from centrist Democrats fed up with the shutdown and willing to side with Republicans.But such a coalition did not appear to be forming, and courting one bears considerable risk for a president who is most comfortable when he is defying convention, eschewing compromise and being hailed as a hero by supporters who often equate bipartisan deal-making with weak-kneed capitulation.The vast majority of Democrats knocked the approach. While many of them have pressed for measures to protect DACA recipients and immigrants living in the United States under Temporary Protected Status enacted when their countries were destabilized by war or catastrophe, most regard the proposal he put forth Saturday as woefully inadequate. It offers only three years of protections for the DACA recipients and those who hold TPS, which the Trump administration has also moved to end for several countries.“This is not an amnesty bill,” Pence said. “There is no pathway to citizenship in this proposal.” “I think you could tell by the president’s remarks today,” Vice President Mike Pence said, “that we’re reaching out.”Yet in seeking to inch toward the center, Trump alienated portions of his hard-right base, the core supporters he most depends on and the group he and his closest aides have most feared losing. That raised the possibility that, in his zeal to get out of an intractable situation, he may have landed himself in the worst of all worlds, without a clear solution or the support of his most ardent followers.The tensions and anger over the policy have been quietly playing out in the West Wing as well, as Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, fended off Stephen Miller, the architect of much of Trump’s immigration agenda. Kushner has long been a proponent of protections for people brought to the United States without authorization as children, while Miller has pressed for aggressive measures to crack down on both legal and illegal immigration.In recent days, as White House officials had been working out the details of the compromise, Miller intervened to narrow the universe of immigrants who would receive protection, according to people familiar with the internal discussions who described them on the condition of anonymity.While the original idea had been to include protections for as many as 1.8 million immigrants eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program known as DACA that protected those illegally brought to the United States as children, Trump ultimately proposed shielding only the 700,000 who are enrolled.Kushner conceded in a briefing after the president’s speech that he did not see the proposal as a solution for the DACA program, which Trump moved to rescind in 2017.“At this moment in time,” Kushner said, “this is a good path forward.”center_img That was high on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s list of reasons to call the plan “unacceptable.”That is unlikely to matter to the president. Despite saying publicly last month that he would be proud to own a shutdown over the wall, and privately displaying confidence that his base would stick with him through the fight, Trump has been dismayed to find otherwise in recent days.An NPR poll released last week showed Trump’s approval ratings down and the first cracks in backing among critical supporters, including whites without a college education and white evangelicals.Such pressure from what he has called the forgotten men and women who elected him and chant “Build! The! Wall!” at his arena rallies has swayed Trump before, including last year, when the conservative news site Breitbart branded him “Amnesty Don” for considering a similar deal that would have provided $25 billion in wall funding for a path to legal status for those the DACA program was created to help. The president ultimately abandoned that agreement, concerned about angering his base and after Miller and others advised him he should insist on additional immigration restrictions.On Saturday night, Breitbart panned Trump’s latest idea with the headline “Three-Year Amnesty, Most of Border Remains Open.”This article originally appeared in The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

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On the launch pad

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Science friction

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Highway to shed heaven?

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Third dimension

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Job prospects

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Private buyers snap up £425m of City offices

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Hotel hoodoo

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