Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
|Newtown overshadowed everything in 2012|
One hundred years from now, historians most likely will conclude that President Barack Obama's re-election was the most significant event of 2012.
It will stand out because Obama was the first president to be re-elected in more than seven decades amid an atmosphere of great economic uncertainty. In fact, Obama was the first president to win re-election since FDR in 1936 with an unemployment rate hovering around 8 percent.
Who knows what will constitute high unemployment in the year 3012. Moreover, there might not be a U.S. economy in another 100 years if the nation continues to pursue the same path – economically – that it has tracked since LBJ gave us the Great Society in the mid 1960s.
The year 2012 will go down in the history books for some other "firsts," too.
With the U.S. population now greater than 300 million, a full one-third of the citizenry collects some form of welfare from the federal government. Whether it's a check courtesy of Uncle Sam (taxpayers) or food stamps or some other government assistance, a record 100-plus million people in the United States are on the dole. That figure, of course, does not include Social Security recipients who paid their dues or veterans who earned their benefits by serving in the Armed Forces.
We can put 2012 behind us, too, knowing the year marked the first time a U.S. ambassador was killed by terrorists since Adolph Dubs died in a kidnapping attempt in Afghanistan in 1979.
That Ambassador Christopher Stevens lost his life in Benghazi, Lybia at the hands of terrorists with ties to al Qaeda was bad enough. Matters got worse – or more disgusting – when Obama claimed the incident was sparked by a man in California who simply exercised his First Amendment right to make a film that was less than favorable toward Muslims. Obama knowingly peddled that lie until evidence was made public that the attack that claimed Stevens' life was well planned and timed to coincide with the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The word inept comes to mind.
Speaking of inept, the national debt stood at more than $16.3 trillion on Christmas Day. Now the Treasury Department says the debt will reach $16.4 trillion by Dec. 31. That's the maximum amount of debt the federal government can incur by law.
Meanwhile, Obama and the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives are at a stand-still over what to do about the Bush-era tax rates that are scheduled to expire Dec. 31, too. They're also at odds over cuts in government spending that are scheduled to take hold Jan. 1 if an agreement can't be reached on the tax front.
What do Obama and some members of the Congress from both parties want to do about it all?
If you guessed raise taxes and raise the debt ceiling so the government can borrow more money and take on more debt, you guessed correctly.
Yet, for all of the "firsts" we witnessed in 2012, nothing was as mind-boggling as the senseless shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14.
We'll probably never know with any certainty what possessed a 20-year-old young man to murder his mother before heading off to an elementary school where innocent victims awaited, including the 20 children, all six and seven years of age.
But Adam Lanza left carnage in his wake and ruined lives forever before he turned a handgun on himself and took his own. A stunned nation paused for a spell to contemplate what's important in life.
Without a doubt, the tragedy in Newtown served as a reminder that life is so very fragile, and we're all mortal, regardless of age.