CLARIFYING TIME, AGAIN!

    Hey righties, don’t try to  put me on the defensive. I have nothing to be defensive about. I don’t need to explain myself, my motivation, or my reasons for supporting a progressive government agenda. We won! It is a progressive White House and a Congress with Democrats in the majority. It is the opposition that should be on the defensive. I do admit the Republicans in the House of Representatives have given token effort to do their job, helping to govern the country. When they rebelled against the budget the Democrats submitted last year, they did offer an alternative or option. Bohner talked of the Republican House proposed budget that contained no numbers!  How do you submit a budget without numbers?, a budget proposal and the final budget is numbers only!   The Senate Republican began their year of no then. It is the Senate with the party on NO, not all Republicans are that politically motivated to take down the President.

    I don’t have to offer explanations and justifications for my stances on the actions of politics and government. We won in 2006 and again in 2008. I do have differences with the President on many items,, and I have been very vocal about it. Here is what I have offered throughout the past year;

    1) President Obama totally blew the health care reform bill by himself. He has nobody to blame, especially not the Republicans. This was a major piece of his campaign. After taking office, he cavalierly threw it over to Reid, Baucus, and Pelosi to get it done. After they fumbled it around for so long it got out to the public and the tea-baggers, birthers, those that are suspicious of government, and the town hall rebels rallied against health care reform in large organized numbers. Had Obama handled it himself, ala LBJ, the bill would have been passed last summer, with less watering down and few no ear-marks.

    2) I have been critical of the White House staff for the past nine months. They have steered the President wrong more times than right particularly on important issues. Rahm Emanuel doesn’t work effectively with Congress. The “Chicago gang” Axelrod, Jarrett, etc. are in over their heads and need to go. I have proposed on many occasions to bring in Tom Daschle as chief-of-staff and David Gergen as the Congressional liason guy in the White House. That’s my recommendations for the helping move the Obama agenda along. My take on the races in Virginia and New Jersey for governor were way more common sensible than the media made them out to be. The Democrats had a very poor candidate in Virginia and really didn’t support him. The New Jersey race was a case of a very unpopular incumbant, his approval rating prior to the campaign was in the 30’s. Then the Democrat began running personal negative ads very early in the campaign that clearly back-fired. I believe there was also a negative reaction to the incumbant using his personal fortune, made while working on Wall Street, to try to buy back his seat. Remember Bloomberg, even though he won in NYC in the mayoral race, the money he personally spent almost did him in!  The race to fill the remainder of the term of the Senate seat vacant by the death of Edward Kennedy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was purely a case of a lousy candidate from the Democrats, who was lazy, took a vacation during the campaign, and didn’t like to work reception lines etc. Even Ted Kennedy worked and asked for the votes on every one of his campaigns. The Democrats totally blew this race, and have nobody to blame but themselves at both the commonwealth and national levels. The tea-baggers totally out-hustled them, plain and simple.  The opposition claims it’s the jobs situation, wrong!

  3) The Democrats have not done a good enough job of explaining to the public the sequence of events as the country climbs out of a severe recession. The people are angry about the unemployment numbers and neither party is articulating well enough that jobs are always the last thing to come back in recovery. The Republicans won’t help with this, because an angry”throw the bums out” mentality works for them politically.  The Democrats rode that same wave in 2006.

4) The Democrats have been asleep, politically, since election night 2008. While Tim Kaine is a good guy, and did a great job as the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he’s no Howard Dean. The progressives need Howard Dean back in the leadership of the DNC. It needs energy, and experienced guidence to get back on top. Dean is the guy.

5)Now is not the time for the overly simplistic”across the board tax cut”. Remember Reagan’s “Morning in America”? I do. I remember the whole unthoughtful across the board tax cuts he pushed through. Do you remember the increase at the same time of  unchecked spending for defense? We weren’t even in a war! Well the combination of  of the decrease in revenues collected and money spent all went to the deficit. The Reagan romantics forgot about that. Do you remember it took all of  Bush I’s and almost the whole eight years of Clinton to reel that deficit back to managable levels? Reagan counted on “instant gratification” to work. It did, but look at what it cost. Springboard to the present. President Obama was sworn into office and handed an eight trillion dollar deficit! Mind you, when his predecessor took office he had an almost 200 billion dollar surplus to work with. Here’s what happened over the next six years, we were engaged in two wars, passed a the largest entitlement bill in history, “prescription meds”, and grew the federal government at a pace never seen in the history of the country. To be fair, from 2007 to 2009 the Democrats were in the majority in Congress. They didn’t do much better than their Republican colleagues. General tax cuts don’t work because the wealthiest indidviduals keep the extra money, no “trickle down”, and corporations only put it to the bottom line. At the same time, how are services being funded and how does the deficit get reduced? Repulicans will scream about this, but the revenue, or lack of, that is becoming the problem. Americans are now being taxed at the lowest rate in 50 some years. This is the reason why the country’s infrastructure is not only crumbling and in disrepair, but it has become dangerous in some instances, the I-35W bridge collapse right here in Minnesota for example. I laugh when I hear from both parties that the Pentagon and Homeland Security are off base for funding cuts. This is B as in B and S as in S! Does the public in general not know about the $700 toilet seats on military bases, have they never heard of no-bid defense contracts with Blackwater and Haliburton. Sorry President Obama, but Haliburton and Blackwater are still on the DOD’s payroll. The answer here is simple. Tear open these two departments and start cutting! The ‘undie boy bomber” slipped through the cracks because of the massive inefficiency in the security agencies like the CIA, the FBI, etc. These operations can be merged into one agency to protect our borders. This will give better quality service and save billions of dollars at the same time.

    It is the governments moral and ethical duty to care for the citizens of this country regardless of what level of care each person requires. Some people need no help while others need a lot, care for the homeless, care for the uninsured, etc. It is the governments obligation to see to it our nation is safe. Infrastructure construction and repair and maintainance is a governmental obligation. Who is going to build the roads and bridges, how are the snow-covered roads going to get plowed, how are the highways that are no longer safe to carry the volume of traffic they are carrying going to be expanded?  It is our governments responsibility to educate the populace. This is the most important investment of tax dollars a government can make. It’s the country’s future at stake.

     In close, as residents of this great country, we all have an obligation to contribute to the overall health and viability of our nation.  It’s time for Americans to put up or shut up. Politicians, instead of obstructing for your political gain, how about doing the job you were elected to do. That means contributing with thoughtful and workable programs that can be beneficial to the country. All federal level office holders terms in office will soon be curtailed anyway by the recent ruling from the Supreme Court. Soon, thanks to the Court, our office holders will be bought by large corporations and foreign entities, and policy will all be shaped to their desires. So, while you have the time, put the rancorous political stuff aside, get in the ball game and help move this country in a positive direction. Thank you.

Cam Obert

Why the U.S. needs to care for the deficit!

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