Obama The Great

Update: January 2, 2012

This is in response to the comment below from Lori Filipek. First of all I am flattered by the beginning of your comment where you say,

“I agree with most of your posts and believe you are an extremely thoughtful and reasonable person.”

I did review the slide presentation and I encourage all readers to do the same. I try to be reasonable and to remove my personal biases when addressing an issue and I admit sometimes I fail in this quest. Your comment made my day.

I disagree with you that the government must sometimes run a deficit to offset a downturn in the private sector; however, I do agree that many times it makes sense to do so and this is one of those times. You are right that “We are wasting our most valuable resource—people!”. The problem is that in the last half century we have run deficits in good times and bad and this is not prudent.

According to the Congressional Budget office Public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product was around 38 percent in 1965. It is around 74 percent now. Debt could approach a 90 percent of G.D.P. in a decade and 247 percent of G.D.P. 30 years from now.

I believe we need a realistic plan to avoid this from happening. I agree the front end of that plan needs to include investing in infrastructure, research and development end education. This will not only help us to be more competitive in the future, but also provide jobs which will help us grow and avoid another recession.
Further, the plan must include making adjustments to avoid the calamities that the CBO is projecting in the future. We are running out of time if we want to remain the dominant economic power in the world. China is catching up with us. Long term planning for us is up to the next election cycle. For China, it is the next 50 years and beyond. 
Our defense budget is equal to the next largest 13 largest defense budgets in the world. China’s defense budget is a little over 20% of ours. We need to cut defense and spend more on the resources you mentioned in your comment below; the young girl living in Detroit in poverty who has the possibility of being the next Einstein. We must help her do this not just for her sake, but for the sake of the nation.

Republicans Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage Again

Mitt Romney has endorsed the Ryan budget in which there is no provisions for new taxes on the very wealthy. The President last summer offered cuts in entitlement programs in exchange for increases in the taxes on the most wealthy. These discussions fell apart. Now the Republicans are threatening again to not pass an increase in the debt ceiling without a dollar for dollar reduction in spending.

When this happened last summer the country’s debt ratings were lowered. More importantly, the citizens of this country lost faith in Washington’s ability to solve our debt problem and the result was nothing got done. A reason, not the entire reason, why the economy is so slow to recover is that the American people have been inflicted with the “confidence boogeyman”. They no longer believe that Washington has the competence to address our debt problem. Who can blame them?

Republicans complain that a major reason why business is hoarding cash and not investing is over regulation and are not sure about our future. Business is not sure what will happen next and they do not believe Washington knows how to govern. I agree, much of the regulations put excessive burdens on small business and it should be lightened where possible. At the same time, government should enforce anti-trust regulations in those industries where oligopolies are controlling markets and preventing small business from competing.

The Republican Congress has done a good public relations job in pushing all the blame for this ineptness in Washington on to the Democrats and specifically the President. This is not true. In our country the president does not have the power to pass a budget by himself; congress must also approve it. No informed and unbiased person who has studied our debt problem has suggested that it be tackled while we have one hand tied behind our backs and that is tax increases.

The Republican congress, which is ruled by the “no tax increase” Grover Norquist, must enter debt reduction negotiations with the understanding that tax increases must also be on the table. If not. I repeat what I said last summer. More

What Makes A Good President!

After reading an article in The New York Times by Matt Bai on March 28, 2012, discussing the summer 2011 negotiations to reduce our deficit, I started thinking about the role of the President in governing our country.
My conclusion is President Obama made a big mistake during the negotiations and is not perfect; however, he is better than any Republican candidate seeking that party’s nomination.
Below is my criteria used to select whom I support to be President. Others may have a different list.

1. Be in good health
2. Be trust worthy with integrity
3. Be able to get things done through others. 
4. Be intelligent and have a grasp of the problems, issues and opportunities facing the country.
5. Be organized and goal oriented.
6. Must possess good inter-personal skills.

The position of President of the United States is unique; he has a staff that reports directly to him like any private corporation. This includes the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Attorney General, etc. He also works with congress and he senate to pass and amend laws. These separate bodies of government do not work for our Chief Executive; however, he needs their cooperation in order to get anything accomplished, Further, the President interacts with world leaders to achieve our objectives.
Two specific events during President Obama’s first three years in office cause some concern about his interpersonal skills. They are his health care plan and the above-mentioned debt crisis negotiations.
We need national health care. It should be amended in order to make the health care industry a free market. I am disappointed on how the President handled it. At the time, the nation was in a financial crisis that easily could have been a depression and his focus should have been on solving that problem. Further, it consumed a good portion of a year before the bill was approved and signed into law, because he was not directly involved during that time. His party members were hanging in the wind.
During the debt negotiations, President Obama showed a shortfall in his interpersonal skills. This contributed to the debt negotiations collapsing. A component of interpersonal skills is empathy; having a sense of what others are thinking and caring about. Empathy is extremely important when dealing with those who you have no direct control over. This is the case with the President, congress and the senate. The President cannot force them to do what he wants.
President Obama and Congressman Boehner failed to include anyone from the senate in the discussions. Members of the senate were upset. As a result, six senators, three from each party, started their own negotiations. Within days prior to Obama and Boehner announcing an agreement, the “gang of six” senators presented their proposal to over 100 senators, with many of them endorsing it. 
The senate plan called for greater revenue from taxes than what Obama had agreed to with  Boehner. Obama unilaterally proposed changes to the agreement instead of trying to solve the issue jointly. Boehner felt betrayed and refused the offer. Obama lacked empathy for the needs of the other party.
The lack of any empathy on the part of Obama and Boehner was a contributing factor of our country not having a plan to resolve our debt problems. I blame Obama more than Boehner. Democrats control the senate and Obama should have insisted the senate be represented at the talks. People of high intelligence often lack empathy. They are use to being right. This is no excuse and Obama needs to learn to be more empathetic to the needs and desires of others who have a stake in the decision. Einstein once said “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
Despite this flaw, he is still the best person to be our President for the next four years. The Republican alternatives are far worse and we are better off than we were four years ago. Read More: http://goo.gl/ochfz


Are Voters a Horses Ass?

The Republicans claim business is over regulated and over taxed. The fact is that small business is improperly regulated and improperly taxed. Fuhrer, no politician who wants to keep their job is going to say that prior and existing regulation of the banking  industry and wall street did/does a good job during the sub-prime fiasco.
Republicans preach that small business is the creator of jobs and yet they do mothing to assure that anti-trust laws are enforced to protect small business from big business. The Democrats are guilty of the same thing,; however, this gives the Republicans no cover when looking out for the job creation machine.
Yes, the tax code needs to be revised and yes some regulations need to be eliminated.
Obama’s stimulus is just that; an attempt to get the private sector going again by putting more money in the hands of the consumer by giving them jobs that will result in business gearing up to meet the demand for more consumer goods.
The side benefit is we upgrade our infrastructure so we are more productive in the future. We must spend wisely. Money is cheap right now and there is an excess supply of labor. http://bit.ly/p2SaCb

Obama Falling In Polls | Why?

Obama promised change. Action speaks louder than words!.
  • He promised health care reform and let Washington fight over the issue for a year before he got into the fray. He did nothing to reduce the control of the industry by the oligopoly that runs it and he did not sell it to the public. The result is a low approval rating and wide frustration over the plan.
  • He rescued the banks and wall street, which he needed to do, but never aggressively prosecuted anyone at the major institutions causing the problems.
  • He has allowed the banks to remain too big to fail and never enforced anti-trust laws against them.
  • He gave the senior executives of wall street firms and mega-banks a tongue lashing; then attended a fund raising dinner for his reelection with the same executives putting up $40,000 each.

  • He replaced his Chief of Staff with a senior mega-bank executive who previously oversaw the political lobbying efforts at one of the financial institution that contributed to the financial crisis.
  • He praised small business for being the engine to create jobs and appointed the CEO of one of the largest multinational companies, General Electric, to head a committee to develop a plan to create jobs. The committee has done nothing of substance and the multinational company paid little taxes last year.
  • He caved into a hostage taking Republican Congress on the repeal of the Bush tax cuts and on the debt ceiling crisis. The result is we have no plan for creating jobs while investing in the future of America and a Super Committee has been formed to address our debt problems.The Super Committee is destined to fail unless a pre agreed to plan is implemented.
That is why his approval ratings have dropped. Obama needs to walk-the-walk; not just talk-the-talk Things will not change in Washington until there is campaign reform brought about by amending the constitution. We need more than a change in leadership. In fact, if the republican candidate emerges from the current group of front runners, Obama should be reelected. He will be the lesser of the evils.