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Closing arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Economy

I continue to be amazed at how some Americans will believe just about anything. Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Barack Obama was born in Indonesia. Barack Obama is a Muslim. Barack Obama is a communist. Over the last five years, I have heard it all. I’m sure somewhere I read that Barack Obama is really a space alien from the planet Alpha Centurai.

President Barack Obama has led the country in truly trying times. It’s only been over the last 15 years or so in which our political discourse has deteriorated so much that it doesn’t matter what you say or how you say it. Fierce opposition will arise. Take, for example, a truly simple problem – the collapse of Chrysler and GM. This should have been an easy bipartisan fix. Sure, there are some folks on Capitol Hill who are the ultimate idealists and believe that government intervention is never the right answer. But there only a few of those true ideologues. There are some these idealists on both sides of the aisle. President Bush started the process of helping the auto industry by giving them a bridge loan until the new administration could take office. Barack Obama took this initiative and ran with it. Almost instantaneously Republicans were against it. From a truly economic standpoint, the collapse of GM and Chrysler would’ve been catastrophic to an ailing American economy. Instead of Americans being able to rally around one of our signature industries, this quickly dissolved into a huge fight. Suddenly we had the great big, huge government takeover of an industry. Barack Obama was painted by his opponents as a Marxist or a socialist because he did the sensible thing. GM, Chrysler and Ford are now back on the right track. Their loans are paid back. They’re more competitive than ever. Millions of Americans now have jobs because our government stepped up and stood up for the American people.

When Barack Obama took office our economy was shedding over 700,000 jobs per month. It was the worst economic nosedive since the Great Depression. For many Americans, the Great Recession came out of the blue. Most of us were unaware that our economic boom in 2005 and 2006 was standing on a very precarious foundation. The housing market collapsed. Millions were laid off. Great Wall Street firms were folding like a deck of cheap cards. First Bear Stearns. Then Lehman Brothers. Merrill Lynch, a household name, was pulled from the brink of extinction by Bank of America. The stock market was tanking. It was ugly. It’s only with 20/20 hindsight that can we step back and look at how close we came to a real, honest to goodness depression. In my opinion, we were this close to unemployment rates of 15%, 18% or even 20%.

Barack Obama decided we needed an economic stimulus. Many economists were talking about a stimulus that was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% of GDP. That would’ve been $1.5 trillion. Christine Romer, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, had $1.2 trillion as her starting point. By the time the plan bounced around the administration and before it got to Capitol Hill, the plan was trimmed to $800 billion. This price tag was simply too much for many conservatives in Congress. They went crazy. There’s no other way to describe their response. In order to win bipartisan support, the president and his advisers removed some of the stimulative projects and inserted tax cuts. They continued to insert tax cuts until they were able to get enough Republicans on board to pass the stimulus package. Let’s remember that not all government spending is going to stimulate the economy in the same way. In spite of the wrangling, the administration was able to get an economic stimulus passed. It wasn’t the best package, but it appeared to be enough to stop the economic free fall that we were in.

Over the last two years, our economy has been the little engine that could. Slowly but surely gaining momentum. Wages remain stagnant but we’ve seen an economy that has gained private sector jobs for 31 straight months. We’ve seen an economy that has gained over 100,000 jobs per month for the last eight months. Things are getting better. Consumer confidence is up. Home prices have stabilized and they are beginning to rise. New-home construction is improving. Things are getting better.

The reason I voted for Barack Obama (I voted early) is that, he has guided our economy from the depths of despair to today when all Americans can see that things are getting better.

By |2012-11-04T21:42:08-04:00November 3rd, 2012|Congress, Economy, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Closing arguments – Why I Continue to Support Barack Obama, Economy

Do you see a pattern?

Every now and then, America goes into this trance. I don’t know if it is a response to our feeling threatened or what but we do have these periods in our history which are difficult to explain. The McCarthy era, in which your reputation could be destroyed by one senator mentioning your name, is a fine example. During this time period being a communist was awful, but knowing a communist was almost as bad. Simply being associated with a communist could get you called out in public. You could lose your job. You could be ostracized by your friends. You had to be more patriotic than Captain America in order to withstand the scrutiny.

This leads me to today. I believe that we are on the tail end of one of these periods that is going to be difficult to explain to our children. From September 11 until now, there was almost a race to see who could be the most patriotic. We saw that race play out on our TV screens with Fox News being the winner. No one was more apple pie than Fox. ABC, CNN, NBC and CBS tried to pull out the American flag and to move more to the right in their television coverage, but they never got the audience. Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were kings of the hill. They had millions of viewers every night. Then, almost out of nowhere, came someone who is even more patriotic than they were — Glenn Beck. With sagging ratings, CNN threw a Hail Mary and pulled Glenn Beck out from radio. He really didn’t have a television background (to the best of my knowledge). He instantly made news. After a couple years, he moved from CNN to his natural home at Fox News.

I’ve never really understood Glenn Beck’s appeal. I don’t understand the crying. I don’t understand the hyperbole. I don’t understand how everything is related to Hitler. I don’t understand how when you’re doing a news show, you can get the facts wrong and Americans don’t seem to care. I just don’t get that. I don’t know how you can come out and say that the president of the United States hates white people and that there are no significant repercussions. This is much like what happened in the McCarthy era. McCarthy just said stuff. He had no data to back it up. Glenn Beck is almost exactly the same. He just spouts things and people believe it. I have no idea why. I guarantee you if I said those things on the air my family would have me committed and rightly so.

So an Israeli raid on a flotilla draws international condemnation. The official position of the United States is somewhat muted. Glenn Beck and Fox News would never let an opportunity like this go to waste. They know that conservatives have this knee-jerk reaction to support Israel no matter what they’ve done. So, Glenn Beck shows news footage that everybody else has. This is not exclusive to Fox News. Why does he imply that this is an exclusive? Because his audience never questioned him. I am hopeful that we will return to a time when Americans want facts more than they want the Glenn Becks of the world.

Watch the video as Jon Stewart points out that Glenn Beck is simply a lying sack…

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Glenn Beck Airs Israeli Raid Footage
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party
By |2010-06-04T23:04:20-04:00June 4th, 2010|Obama administration, Party Politics, The Daily Show|Comments Off on Do you see a pattern?
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