Why You Should Vote For Obama

Its true the economy has been bad for 5 years now; the improvements seem unnoticeable, the unemployment and longterm unemployment rates are staggering and painful. Obama seems a bit distant, aloof and like he doesnt have a sense of urgency with job creation and the anxiety many Americans feel; the unemployed ones being anxious about never finding a job, the employed ones anxious about being laid off. Many say Obama had 4 years to fix this and he didn’t, so why am I now endorsing Obama? Many many reasons:

  • What Obama walked into was a financial crisis, a housing crisis and a recession. Most recessions have played out in similar ways, downturn then upturn, or a V-shaped recovery. A financial crisis is an entirely different animal; in economic study after study the facts prove that recovery from a financial meltdown is very much what we are feeling right now. Its more L shaped; its a much longer road back to full employment than a normal recovery. The GOP would have you believe that Obama is to blame for the weak economy, that is not the case.
  • The 2009 Stimulus plan Obama put in place kept the unemployment rate from going to 15% and staying there for years; this stimulus was essential for creating 5.2 million new jobs. The Auto bailout and bankruptcy has produced a thriving auto industry in America once again. I believe the liquidation of GM would have had far worse consequences on the American psyche than Lehman Brothers did. The problem with the stimulus is that it was too small, as most economists predicted at the time it should have been twice or 3 times the size. Obama could not get that passed because the GOP blocked him and many of the Dems were Blue Dog Dems that vote like GOP.
  • Health Care ACA – Obama was the first president in history to pass a healthcare plan. We are the richest country on earth and should have healthcare for all. This bill might not be perfect but its time for the GOP to stop acting like spoiled children and to help work on the bill to make it better. Romney wants to repeal this bill and replace it with nothing. He said poor people can call an ambulance and go to the ER. This is not leadership.
  • Surviving the scorched earth policy of the GOP. The GOP decided to stop Obama at all costs; even as the country was going towards another Great Depression the GOP was obstructing every bill, idea, proposal from the President. To me this is treasonous behavior and should be investigated and punished by jail time; anyone who votes against the best interests of this Country should be jailed. Even with all of this Obama was able to get things done.
  • President Obama has sought equal rights for all, including endorsing same sex marriage and trying to end the discrimination gay people suffer through. He has appointed more diverse candidates to the Supreme Court; 2 women, one being Latino. Its of the utmost importance to have differing points of view on the court as the appointees will be there for decades.
  • Militarily Obama has been brilliant. He reopened the hunt for bin Laden; took a huge risk in making the order to have boots on the ground to take bin Laden out. If this mission failed his presidency could have been ruined. He reset the war to focus on al Qaeda, chopped off its head and also took out many senior level members of the group across the globe. His use of drones has been extremely successful. He ended the Iraq war, he has set an end date for the war in Afghanistan. He has also brought honor back to the United States after Bush alienated so many of our allies. He has built coalitions and has the world behind us in working with Iran and many other issues.
  • Economic growth is far better than it was. As we know he walked into office with 800,000 jobs being lost per month and a GDP falling at an astonishing rate 0f 9%; conditions like this not seen since the Great Depression. Since that time we have seen 44 consecutive months of job creation; we have not fallen back into recession, housing is coming back, manufacturing is coming back. Two prominent economists, one from Harvard the other from the IMF have stated that Obama has laid the ground work for a more robust economy over the next 4 years. It would be horrible to see Mitt Romney in the Oval taking credit for Obama’s work.

These are some of the reasons I think Obama deserves a second term, I encourage every American reading these words to vote for Obama on election day. Also, dont forget to vote Blue for Senate and House.


What If We Really Could Overhaul Our Government and Remove Corruption?

You hear about it all the time, about how this politician wont vote for that bill because he is indebted to a lobbying group; or how politicians end up working for lobbying firms that make them extremely rich. What if we could change all that, and not as some far fetched fantasy, but as a distinct reality. Currently it seems as if our Government is broken, the Congress is in complete stalemate, the president isnt paying attention to unemployment and his rival out and out lies, depending on the hour of the day. In the end no one is getting served well by the government as the American people are still suffering; unemployed or worrying about being unemployed. And our Government is no where to be found.

The kind of changes I am talking about would have to come from someone with deep deep pockets, like Bill Gates; but someone who wanted to fix the American Government. We need someone with a few billion dollars to help take on this initiative, Michael Bloomberg perhaps. We should have every level of Government looked into by a non-grovernmental entity. Starting at the top with the president. How are campaigns financed, who is actually giving the money to these candidates, what kind of quid pro quo is there going on. Investigate each and every member of Congress, how are they voting, who are they indebted to.What kind of decisions are being made. This entity I am describing could almost be like a third party in American politics or it could be some kind of referee. What I am proposing is a complete audit of the United States Government. A non partisan group that could help the American people make better informed decisions. Each and every aspect of Government should be analyzed and graded for efficiency. If you do have a GOP block on everything the Democrats and president want to do that should be known to everyone. People should know that Obama wanted to do more but was blocked on day one. This entity would have enough financing for deep investigation as well as a complete report to the public. The GOP wasnt the first to use the filibuster; but they have used it more than any Congress in history.

I’d like to see ratings, ratings the public can see. How often does xxx in the House or Senate vote in your interests, in the interests of large donors, or down a party line vote. That way the public knows more and can vote with more knowledge. I’d also like to see this entity make recommendations; for instance has Obama been running the Country or campaigning more, which is it, we cant afford to have a Country thats not properly run. What I am talking about is true for the GOP and the Dems. I want to see a rating on each member of Congress, who supported their elections, how many times they voted for their donors. If our Government is as corrupt as I’ve heard having all of this information out there in the open for everyone to see would be of huge benefit to our Country. Its my long held belief that most of us want the same things, a thriving economy, good paying jobs, to be left alone to live our lives as we please, a strong national security base, getting rid of our debt. The problem we have is in how to get there. But we arent going to get there with corrupt people in office who have their interests ahead of yours or the Country’s.

I would so love to run this entity, examining and analyzing what goes on in our Government; and make a list of recommendations for changing our Government to better serve the people. The fierce fighting thats going on now is a waste of time, we should be using that time money and energy to come together for the betterment of our lives. I’d love to be the one that publishes each and every member of Congress’s voting record, who financially backed the president and how his policies are towards those backers. I’d like to be able to take money completely out of all politics, which could be done if people clearly saw what contributions actually mean: buying of votes.

A few changes I would make right off the bat are:

  • Changing the presidents term to 6 years so he has more time to govern before trying to be reelected
  • Having the House have 6 year terms, constant campaign mode is not good for anyone
  • Lose the electoral college and have a popular vote; people in Ohio shouldnt be deciding the election
  • Change the order of the primaries every election cycle. Have a lottery, whatever state wins comes up first, then second, third and fourth. The system is rigged now, people are already in Iowa and NH for 2016; why should those states have anymore say than any other states?

The purpose of all of this is so we all get more from our government, to show whats really going on behind the scenes so we can make positive changes that benefit all. We will need a lot of backing and time to undertake this monumental task but I am up for it. Those great philanthropists like Bill Gates, I need one of you here that can spare a billion or 2 to pull the skeletons out of the closet and make the government work for the people, as it says in the Constitution.

Our Personal Relationship with the President

I always thought this would be an interesting idea for a movie, the segments of our lives that happen in presidencies. The President of the United States is a big deal and shapes history. Right now there is a close race and no one knows what will happen. Either Romney looses as becomes a question for trivial pursuits or Obama loses and becomes Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush like; considered a loser now but uncertain what history will actually say about our recent presidents. That does make this time kind of exciting, not knowing what will happen and what our future holds for us. Its also very interesting to know that what we think today might be seen differently in 50 years. Maybe George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq will be seen as a turning point in the middle east, the catalyst for the Arab Spring. Maybe he will be viewed as a hero for starting his Freedom Agenda. Or, conversely, maybe he will be seen as the turning point in American politics and future. The man who bankrupted us, the man who showed the United States looking weak because we couldnt control the insurgency in Iraq or Afghanistan. To me thats very interesting, we dont know how he will be viewed. We dont know how President Obama will be viewed, savior of another Great Depression or continuing policies that made the situation worse.

What has always kind of interested me is the 4 year or 8 year time slots presidents play in our lifetimes. For me President Reagan was with me from high school, through college, to living on my own starting a career in NYC. I never paid much attention to him; the image I have of him in my head is from the Phil Collins video where he and Nancy are parodied, I forget the songs name, Land of Confusion maybe? But those years were what I went through and they were also the years I saw Reagan on TV. For Carter I was much younger and didnt really grasp what was going on. My biggest memory of him was his Playboy interview where he talked about ‘lust in the heart’ who wants to hear that from a president? I have memories of being in summer camp listening to the radio when Richard Nixon resigned, having no realization of the impact that had on the Country or the world. For Bill Clinton I was older, in my 20s so I remember him a lot more, but I was never interested in politics until 9/11. I just remember he and Hillary tried to create a healthcare plan, which wasnt of interest to me since I had good benefits at the time. I remember Hillary always having bad hair, she never looked quite right in whatever she was wearing or the headbands.  But those 8 years occupy a time in my life that I will always remember, with the POTUS in the background. Reagan is the president I remember most in the background talking on a muted TV. President H.W. was a lot less memorable to me since he just seemed to be an extension of Reagan. I remember that summer of 1988 when people were all up in arms over who would win; I said to myself and others, Bush will win, stop talking about it.

Through the Clinton years I became more of an adult and I benefited from the economic boom. I remember the 2000 election; I remember being disappointed that Gore lost. In 2001 and 2003 I remember saying that the tax cuts were a big mistake; I personally was doing very well financially and would see only $10 per week savings. I remember clearly thinking this was a mistake and would set our Country on the wrong path. Then 9/11 hit, at the time we lived 3 blocks from the Twin Towers. That was a horrible time, but Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld seemed so resolute, so sure, so reassuring and strong. They seemed to me like the perfect people to respond to the outrageous attack on New York City.  It was such a shame that what they were saying was completely wrong and meritless. And the invasion of Iraq, history will tell, but now it seems like such a waste of human lives and our Country’s debt. When Obama came along I was much more aware, being in my 40s I was much more attuned to what was going on. During his first term I was laid off and havent found a job in 2 years.

Presidents occupy a unique place in our lives; they are there in the background while we are living our lives. To me its very interesting to think of the 4 year segments they each had and my memories of, not what they did, but how my life evolved.