Wednesday, July 6, 2011

President Obama and the Democratic Party's responsibility for the "debt" crisis

This is a follow-up of my last article entitled “Republican Hypocrisy”. I promised I would have thoughts to share about the other group in this process.
President Obama was elected (in my opinion) out of frustration with President George Bush. There was never a President in my lifetime I felt who caused as much damage as he. The two unnecessary wars, no child left behind, senior drug program and general lack of leadership when it was so badly needed after 9/11. He pushed the country deep in debt in a haphazard fashion, totally without regard to the long term effect it would have on America. Jobs continued to leave America, going predominantly to China. With Americans losing good paying manufacturing jobs our tax base continued a downward spiral. He would not stand up to China, a country that uses every trick in their play book to suck jobs out of America. I won’t take the time to enumerate as I have already done so many times in the past. He insisted on tax breaks for the wealthy and did nothing to lower the burden on manufacturing in America while enhancing large corporations to reap huge profits at the expense of American workers.
President Obama was given an overwhelming mandate including majority power both in the House and Senate. He could have provided a health care system similar to what most advanced nations enjoy. A program similar to Medicare extended for all our citizens. Instead he squandered many months trying to garner Republican votes, when any knowledgeable observer knew that wasn’t going to happen. He started by accepting a huge handout from the drug companies as long as he didn’t disturb their ability to charge Americans much higher costs than other nations by simply denying officials to use the huge market to lower costs. At the same time he allowed them to continue to advertise on television, the obnoxious ads we listen to night after night. Only one other country on earth allows this. Then he gave a gift to the insurance industry by mandating that all must purchase insurance. What I had hoped for was the elimination of the health insurance business. With them in control, nothing will keep from costs from escalating. Over 15,000 people are to be added to the government payroll to monitor citizens to assure they do sign up or pay fines or worse.
The Trillion dollar stimulus plan had virtually no effect on creating private jobs or for that matter public. It seems there weren’t many projects ready to go. A huge part went to bail out State and local governments which while of benefit did not increase employment. Perhaps there were fewer layoffs but nothing positive. Unemployment benefits were extended and later on extended again. All of these people in their prime paid to stay home. As of 7/5/2011 the maximum period remains at 99 weeks. There were several hundred thousand persons who had run out of benefits. They were granted an additional 13 weeks but not over the 99 week maximum. There was nothing in the bill to enhance the private sector; no easing of regulations, no lowering of business taxes, no forcing China to allow their currency to float, no insistence on a level playing field. China provides many benefits to manufacturers who re-locate there, which makes it nearly impossible to compete.
President Obama expanded our forces in Afghanistan. While there are hopes that a steady withdrawal will occur, I am not holding my breath. At the same time it appears we are pleading with Iraqi officials to allow us to continue with 10,000 troops after the end of this year when all troops were slated to return. Then he authorized the bombing campaign against Khadafi in Libya in support of rebels who I believe will eventually be proven to be supporters of radical Islam. The fact is that even if justified we can no longer afford to play war games in this region. At some point we will pay the price here at home as those who hate us bring chaos to our shores.
All of my previous comments about Bush in relation to creating private sector jobs apply equally to President Obama. I need not repeat.
In an editorial today by Paul Krugman it seems corporations are once again lobbying for tax amnesty so they can bring their overseas profits back home without paying taxes. They received this break in 2004. They got it then. I have no doubt they will again which only further encourages moving jobs offshore.
My biggest concern with President Obama is what I perceive to be a lack of concern about the rising deficits. In fiscal year 2008/09 it was $1.885 Trillion. In fiscal year 2009/10 it was $1.652 Trillion. The projection this fiscal year is even higher and yet all he has proposed to date are matters that will have absolutely no effect on reducing the debt never mind curtailing deficits. He is, after all, the President, duly elected and charged with protecting Americans from enemies foreign and domestic. It is time for him to show strong leadership. This bickering between Parties must give way to tangible results. I could list a myriad of thoughts but what would be the use. Those elected officials should know and should get serious about doing the job they were sent to Washington to do.

Jack B. Walters
July 6, 2011

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