Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tone Deafness

I voted for Obama, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am one of the 84% that approves of the way he is handling the office of President. He is, I believe, a genuinely good man who wants to do right by the people of this nation. The number of campaign promises that he has already made good on is astounding. So far as I can see, he has yet to renege on any one of his promises. He has big ideas and the ability to convey those ideas in a manner that can turn them into reality.

And yet at times he can be amazingly tone deaf.

He talks about the stock market numbers as if they are a trivial affair; talks about the numbers “bouncing up and down” and blithely says that he pays no attention to them. Those numbers are our pensions; our IRA’s and 401k’s and our plans for life after we are no longer able to work. And they are not “bouncing up and down,” Mr. President, they are dropping like a stone in a millpond. We cannot be as cavalier about those numbers as you appear to be.

Those numbers are sucking the life out of us and you blithely say that they don’t matter to you. They matter to us. They matter a great deal to us.

He has this fetish about “restarting credit” and “consumer spending.”

He's talking about spending while jobs are disappearing at a fearful rate.

Almost three quarters of a million jobs were cut last month. If I don’t have a job, I am not going to take on a major loan and buy a house. A “tax credit” is not going to be very persuasive when I don’t have an income upon which I am paying taxes. If I have a part-time job because it’s all I could find when my career job was cut, I am not going to take on payments for a car loan and buy a new car. Again, a tax credit is not going to persuade me when my very income is at risk. When I can barely feed my family I am not taking on loans for cars and houses and flat screen televisions, and tax cuts are not persuasive. Taxes are tomorrow, loan payments are today.

Show me the jobs. Show me a month in which more jobs are created than are lost. Show me jobs that pay more than minimum wage. The people of this nation do not need spending, Mr. President, we need income.

When you have accomplished the first part of that formula, when you have provided the money in our pockets, then talk to us about spending it.

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