Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why you should vote for...

..President Obama

The economy is better.

At the end of the summer of 2008, the United States experienced the second worst financial meltdown in its history.  Fortunately, the 2008 financial collapse did not lead to a repeat of the Great Depression of the 1930's, but it did result in a United States recession as well as a deeper world-wide economic slowdown.  To counter the effects of this economic disaster, President Obama continued the work of the Bush Administration by applying Keynesian economics; stimulus spending.  From TARP to the auto bailout to the economic stimulus of 2009, public policy was applied to avert the very real possibility of America falling into a depression cycle.  While one can certainly argue that a GOP president might have done the same thing, credit needs to be given where credit is due.  President Obama oversaw the end of the recession and the beginning of the recovery.

At this point in time, corporate profits are at a record high.  The Dow Jones is back at 13000 just below its level in the summer of 2008 before the collapse.  The unemployment rate which stood at 7.6% in January 2009 when Obama took office, steadily increased to 10.2% by October of 2009.  The economy stopped hemorrhaging jobs during 2010, then began adding jobs steadily by the fall.  Since October 2010, about 3.5 million jobs have been added and the unemployment rate is now hovering just above 8%, only 1/2% above the January 2009 rate.

We are only fighting one "war"

As promised, President Obama withdrew the remaining troops we had in Iraq.  While, he unfortunately, increased our presence in Afghanistan, troop levels overseas has dropped from just under 200,000 in
January 2009 to about 85,000 today.  While it is difficult to say what Mitt Romney might do in this area, as he did not mention Iraq or Afghanistan in his nomination acceptance speech, we know that President Obama has proposed a continued decline in our military presence.  In conjunction with this reduced overseas military presence, there has been a reduction in the sacrifice young, American men and women and a much needed reduction in overseas military spending

Finally, a Health care Reform Bill

Despite the Republicans critical perspective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at least, finally, the United States has joined the rest of the Western World in an attempt to provide a plan to give all Americans access to health care insurance.  Among other advances, millions of young adults are covered on their parents' plans, sick Americans who were previously denied coverage have access to insurance, and benefit caps have been removed so the chronically ill do not have to choose bankruptcy or death.  While we can expect President Obama to work to improve this advance, it is obvious that Romney will work to repeal the ACA and ignore the success of Massachusetts where he had reduced the uninsured of that state to one of the lowest rates in the country.

..Mitt Romney


Mitt Romney has taken full advantage of capitalism.  He is extremely rich.  He has been involved in multiple, successful businesses that enriched investors.  He is one of the 1%.  But, no matter how you slice it, we need the 1% to begin investing in America.  We need them to stop shipping manufacturing jobs overseas.  We need them to put patriotism before profit.  We need them to feel that their president wants them to succeed, not punish them for their success.  It is clear that Obama is not one of the 1%, even though his salary qualifies him, and he has hired and is advised by many who are.  It all comes down to perception, and the majority of those who comprise both the public and private boardrooms in America, look at Obama as an outsider, a novice, an idealist even.  But Romney is one of them. 


It is all too painfully clear that the House of Representatives will not work with the President if he is reelected.  And, if the Senate were to change hands as well, I expect that we can look forward to even more partisianship in the form of Senatorial filibusters although it will be the Democrats rolling out that awful procedure this time.  A Romney election will force the House to move away from their primary goal of just saying NO.  Compromise will no longer be a four letter word as they will be more inclined to make Romney look good and be successful.  And, if the Senate remains Democratic, the House will need to present bills that have a modicum of a chance to pass rather than passing exercises in futility as they have since 2010. 

..None of the above

The reality is that the current version of our two party system is hindering the chance of good governance.  The goal, get elected, has surpassed the goal of solving America's problems.  None of the above, were it to be an option, might send a message that it is time for our elected officials to speak plain, attack our problems head on, lead by example, and place the security and prosperity of America at the top of their to-do lists.  It would be nice if there was someone currently within the system who would propose a change to all ballots, presidential and congressional, that stated that "None of the above" must be added for every race, and if this "candidate" were to receive more than 10% of the vote, neither candidate wins. 

Short of that, and despite my better judgment, it may be time for an amendment to the Constitution.  Change the length of terms for all members of congress to four years.  Once elected, one term and done.  No career politicans (as Paul Ryan is, by the way).  No life time health care coverage.  No pension.  Just service to America and the electorate.

In the end, and regardless of who you choose to vote for, please vote.  Encourage your family and friends to vote.  Exercise your right to vote for as is true of all of our muscles, when we stop exercising something, it begins to weaken, and eventually becomes useless.   

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