Sunday, June 7, 2009

Who is President Obama?

Seems like an odd question to ask as there has been wall to wall coverage on our President for years now. Maybe who isn't precisely the correct question, but rather what does he really believe and value? He sounds so reasonable and during the campaign his promises sounded so good. I even briefly considered voting for him because he said he wanted to be bipartisan and he sounded so moderate, like he wanted to compromise and make everything work well. Kumbayah and all that.

But I kept thinking about it and realized that he had always voted with the far left. He had essentially the same politics as John Kerry. But, he was playing the game differently. He was campaigning by staying away from specifics. It was the old "devils in the details." Without the details, you can say things that sound like they are great ideas, but when you get to the details they just aren't workable or even destructive.

Communism, in concept, and described generally sounds wonderful. Everyone will be equal all will be shared...the people will rule. Utopia is here. Unfortunately, in execution there are problems, some people will be, by necessity "more equal" than others because someone has to be the leader or representative of the people to other countries. So, this leads to corruption. Since it isn't a democracy, the party, supposedly looking out for the peoples interests becomes a clique or cabal of people who then feel they are "entitled" to more because they are doing more for the people and "protecting" them. In the meantime, at the worker level, if the government is going to provide the same to everyone, then what's the point of working hard? You're going to get your share anyway. Drops in productivity leads to poverty for all. Its just not sustainable. Human nature needs a goal to pursue and hard work deserves reward. That's what America has always offered. If you work hard, you can get ahead and improve your station in life. It doesn't matter where you started...all can rise with hard work.

What's happening now, is what I was afraid of. President Obama's ideas sound wonderful...all people will have health care, everyone will get a pay raise, those "rich" people will support everyone, evil corporations will not be allowed to "trick" their employees, we will rescue everyone from their bad decisions and there won't be anymore foreclosures. Again, details...all these promises and no money to fulfill them. Even if everyone who made more than $250,000 gave 100% of their income to the government, it wouldn't even start to cover the expenses already incurred by the stimulus package and the other bailouts. Not to mention the money budgeted for various programs including health care reform. He seems to not have any qualms about spending other peoples' money.

President Obama claimed again and again that people making under $250,000 would not see their taxes rise "even one penny" under his administration. Well, as smart as he is, he must not be very good at math since it just isn't possible to do what he has already laid out without raising taxes on virtually everyone or ransoming the country to the Chinese, which I don't think even he intends to do. And in spite of his claims to the contrary, he really is planning on stealth taxes. The Cap and Trade program, which seems to be helpful on the environmental front, is a back door tax. It will raise energy prices across the board and this will be a tax on everyone. There will likely be subsidies for the very poor, but it will still be a very regressive tax as it will affect those at the lower middle class the worst and potentially drive them back into poverty, making it harder for them to raise their standard of living.

Finally, (for this post) what then is the incentive to try to work hard and make more money? The government will just take it from you. Doesn't that mean that we will fall into the Communist conundrum? Now, don't take it that I think Pres. Obama is advocating Communism, as he most definitely is not, but he does appear to want to move the country into a Socialist direction, while not run by a dictatorship, still has a lot of the downfalls of Communism.

I truly hope that all Americans will examine President Obama's proposed plans and the subsequent legislation that would make them real and then voice their opinions to their elected representatives. There is not a more important time than now to get involved, since we are at a turning point as to the direction of the country over the next decades to come.

The most important thing is to make our points cogently and to develop alternatives that will solve the problems presented without bankrupting the country. The government CAN'T do everything or solve every problem. The gospel of Personal Responsibility needs to be preached...but without rancor or heat. We need to be as cool as the President is.

One final note, I do admire President Obama as a very intelligent, well meaning individual. I also think he is a great example that all Americans can aspire to the highest levels in the country. No one in this country is mired in poverty. There is always a way to improve your situation by hard work and/or study, if you really want.

Health care issues next time...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Warning: Politics

If you would rather not hear about politics...stop reading right now and go read someone else's blog. Just fair offense meant or taken.

First of all, I'm sorry I've neglected my blog for so long. I really need to make a concerted effort to post more frequently. Work has been hectic and I've had a lot of outside musical activities. But I could still make time to post short notes at least. Part of what has been keeping me from posting is that I can't think of what to post about. I've just realized that what I've been thinking a lot about is what is happening with the government and media right now and how unhappy I've been about it. So, while my personal life is either mundane or insane, I realized that what is more important is my view on the world rather than my activities in it.

Before you think that I'm about to go on a wild right rant, let me assure you I'm not going to. That's actually what I'm pretty upset about. I am a Republican...there I've said it. I believe in personal responsibility, limited government, maintenance of freedom including speech, religion, movement, personal property, etc., I am also lovingly pro-life and Catholic (that means all life, cradle to grave, not just the politicized portions thereof). I also believe that we should love one another and assist where we can with people who have had misfortune in life through no fault of their own. In other words, I'm pretty much a normal person, not a fanatic. I consider myself to be a moderate conservative. I strongly believe in common sense as being the way things ought to operate.

I am very concerned about what I see as government actions which will threaten many of the principles that I hold dear and which if go forward unopposed and unmodified will adversely affect all of us and particularly our children and grandchildren. However, what I am seeing from the GOP "opposition" is almost 100% garbage. I see rants and raves and namecalling. I see jokes at the expense of the Democrats. I see little nonsensical issues (e.g. Pres. Obama going on a date with his wife) being blown all out of proportion and taking center stage when much more important things need to be addressed. The "haters" need to sit down and shut up. If the GOP wants to bring its ideas back to the fore then we need to sit down and come up with solutions to the problems that face us.

I have FINALLY seen some sign of this because John Boehner and Eric Cantor have just presented a list of programs that can be cut or consolidated to help reduce government spending. I looked at the list and think that they look REASONABLE for the most part. Not just partisan, but actual things that are duplicative or things that are "nice to have" but when the country is in a time that we need to cut back, these are things that are not essential to our existence or vital for the federal government to do. We should be spending time promoting these things and hopefully this isn't just a list that is "all or nothing." Lets negotiate...lets talk about these things - A LOT. Lets make it uncomfortable for the Democrats not to come to the table and negotiate. We are not in a position of power, we NEED to get the non-partisan people behind our ideas. Polls count in this day and age. Lets talk about the issues and refuse to get sucked into discussing plane flyovers and dates and new puppies in the White House, and whether the President shows up at a local burger joint and teleprompters. WHO CARES?????

The rhetoric needs to stop. We are not impressing the public by acting like And the public IS who we need to impress - the wide majority of independent thinkers: GOP, Democratic, and Independent, if we ever want to have our ideas and values be the ones by which the country is governed. OK, so we can be just as snipe-y as the Democrats. We need to be better than that. We need to be adults and present our ideas in an adult manner and quit showing our butts just because we know how (this means YOU Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter). That's how Pres. Obama got elected. He sounds like a grown up and avoided name calling by and large. He did say some things, but he used that ability very judiciously. He almost always took the "high road" when he had the chance as it made him look more statesmanlike and gracious. People like humility and grace and he has these gifts in abundance and he used them - frequently. And he still is using them, being still in "campaign mode," in case you haven't noticed.

I will stop here. My next post will be on why Pres. Obama is so scary and what I think we need to do about it - politely.