Vail Valley Voices: Democrats in free fall, thanks to Obama
Vail, CO, Colorado
Two short years ago, an energetic and intellectual young man gave America new hope for a better tomorrow.
Barack Obama became a modern day messiah promising to end senseless domestic and international conflicts and bring civility to our government.
The tasks at hand were formidable at the onset of Obama’s administration. The nation was at war in two countries and with radical religious elements around the world.
Economically, the United States was on a precipice of total chaos. Aggressive remedial measures were needed to avert a worldwide depression.
Americans hoped the new president could lead us out of a minefield of bad times and sour feelings.
But to this day many of us have been very disappointed, including a large number of Obama’s most ardent supporters.
At the same time that Obama became chief executive, Democrats also took control of Congress with a huge plurality. Republicans were in disarray, and the Democrats defeated their opponents decisively throughout the whole country.
After taking control, it didn’t take very long for the president and congressional leaders to plot a new course for America. But it wasn’t what the American people expected.
Apparently, our new leaders were sleeping during their Politics 101 class. When a lot of people are out of work and struggling to feed their families, political leaders better be focused on creating new jobs. Surprisingly, after exerting great energy to save the economy, the new president diverted into areas that have had no impact on job creation.
It would impossible for anyone to be elected president of this country, and a month later, move rapidly down a path to change our society unless a plan had been developed before the election. No doubt, Obama is a populist who was anxiously looking for an opportunity to redistribute wealth in this country. The economic crisis opened the door for him to execute his plan.
As other world leaders and politicians have done before him, Obama found a scapegoat — the wealthy class in America. Major subgroups within this class have been demonized for causing the recession and for all the other ills of society for that matter.
According to Obama, bankers practiced financial alchemy that brought on a crippling recession. Interestingly, irresponsible borrowing by millions of Americans for homes and cars is rarely mentioned as a contributing factor. The president claims that devious bankers “tricked” customers into borrowing money they could not repay.
Obama’s ultimate response was to propose far-reaching tax increases on the very group that could help him get people back to work. Who do you think are the people that make hiring decisions at large companies and prominent small businesses? I can assure you that almost all of the decision makers earn more than $250,000 annually.
When business leaders are under pressure from demagoguery, higher taxes and/or more regulation, they become conservative. Investment, marketing and capital expenditures are deferred. Ergo, there is no job growth.
So where are we today? The problem begins at the top.
Obama has focused on health care reform. So far, it’s been ineffective and has resulted in-across-the-board increases in health care insurance costs for most Americans.
Obama seems intent on decreasing earnings in the financial sector. This is a dubious strategy because less money will be available to qualified individual and corporate borrowers.
Internationally, the president has lost his mojo. Most world leaders know his power has diminished and changes in Congress are afoot. His ability to influence others has decreased.
The U.S. reputation, after some initial gains, is no better than when George Bush was president. Obama’s recent speech to the United Nations was a real yawner. The crazy guy from Iran stole the show with a bigoted rant against capitalism, Zionists and the United States.
And finally, many promises of Obama the campaigne, have not been kept. Partisanship has reached new heights. Gitmo is still in operation. The Iraq war has ended, but 50,000 troops will remain in harm’s way. Afghanistan is the new Iraq (or should I say Vietnam?). And so on.
How will the president’s abysmal performance manifest itself in a few more weeks? His party is going to be annihilated because he failed to lead this country and give it what it needs most- more jobs.
Maybe Obama is not a messiah.
Sal Bommarito is a novelist and frequent visitor to Vail over the past 20 years.