by David Bruce
Two and one half years ago, we elected a man to the office of the President of the United States. Today, I am as disgusted with his job performance as I was elated that he was elected office in the first place. “Change,” a word often perceived as cliché, was a sigh of relief when President Obama took office. The citizens of our country had been manipulated by a man and his cabinet who lead us into two wars (one under false pretenses), eroded a federal surplus, destroyed an economy, and raised the unemployment rate to levels which have yet to see any significant improvement. President Obama boldly inherited a mess he vowed to clean up by uniting Republican and Democratic parties. We wanted to believe that Obama would kick some collective, conservative ass.
We should not blame President Obama necessarily for his failure to clean up the mess left by his predecessor, nor should we blame him for being unsuccessful in uniting the two parties, who rarely agree on any policies or ideals anyway. On the contrary, his efforts at the beginning of his term were admirable. What I do blame him for is his lack of ability to demand a consensus among our Representatives and Senators, and in lieu of that consensus, an ethical line should be drawn that does not get negotiated.
The most recent compromise made by the President has permitted extensions of tax cuts awarded by former President George W. Bush and the erosion of Medicaid and Medicare benefits for the poorest of America’s populace. Instead of summarily rejecting the 2012 budget proposal, President Obama gave in on the threat of a government shut down. President Obama is demonstrating that he is still running for office instead of fighting on behalf of the people that elected him to office on the promise of “change.” This is not change; this is business as usual.
The time for compromise is over, and time wasted holding out for a consensus is over. This is clearly a case of knowing what is right and what is wrong. Additional tax beaks for companies that already benefit from a plethora of tax loop holes are wrong. Risking the health coverage for elderly and disabled Americans is wrong. Yes, tough decisions need to be made. Taxes need to be raised. We can afford an increase in taxes. We have found a way to live with exorbitant gas prices, and we can do the same for health care.
Of course, our representatives will promise us that taxes should not and will not be raised; they want their jobs. At the same time, these are the same representatives that categorically state that there is no free ride. Well, there is if you are an American company with lobbyists and votes to spare. Let the government shut down. The government is broken, and isn’t doing anyone (but the wealthy) a damn bit of good.
Si j’étais Président… (If I were President)
Even if it requires an across the board tax increase, you do what you have to do to take care of the people. Of course, if we would stop launching Tomahawk missiles that cost $1.41 million into foreign soil to protect our oil interests, we wouldn’t even have to worry about the state of our social programs. It’s time to focus our resources on the home front.