By: Wayne Brown
The November 2012 election day draws closer with each sunrise as on this fall night of October 3, 2012, the American public and even the world turns its attention to the first in a series of debates between President Barack Obama and the Republican challenger, Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Many will sit in front of their televisions with the same anticipation of those attending an illegal cock-fight anxiously waiting to see who draws first blood and who gets bloodied the worst at the end of the battle. Sadly, far too many will watch closer than they listen for their minds are already made up and the issues matter little…it is the winning that really counts.
We might all go back to the time when Bill Clinton was seeking the high office of the Presidency and remember a tag line which arose from that campaign. That line was, “It’s the economy, stupid” which I believe is attributed to James Carville who was Clinton’s campaign strategist at the time. Much credit has been given to that short phrase as a key element of Bill Clinton’s success in winning the election over George Bush Sr. Those who remember it that way seem to conveniently forget that the little Banty Rooster, Ross Perot, inserted himself into the campaign process and splintered the vote on the conservative side of the poll leaving Clinton with the win. But let’s just forget that and assume that the short phrase, at the very least, was a reminder to Clinton and company that the economy was a pivotal issue at the time and the approach had to stay oriented to a discussion of that key issue. In that light, I do believe the phrase was very effective.
Tonight, we will actually be lucky if we can hear a discussion of the issues in this debate. I certainly do not envy Obama’s position in the face off if he must defend anything that he has done over the past portion of his first term in office. I certainly believe that the Romney camp would love to see him lead with such intent as it would play well for Romney to counter the discussion. No, we will not see Obama even so much as do a head-fake in that direction for fear that the fires might start burning. Oh, you’ll see the moderator throw a few “issue-related” questions on the floor but Obama will quickly side step them and go on the attack focused directly on keeping Romney off-balance. Romney needs to be on the offensive as well and very much needs the key issues confronting America today kept clearly on the table. This cannot happen if he is continually fending off some distractive claim tossed out by Obama.
We must ask ourselves as Americans if we want what is best for America for the future. Do we want a stable and healthy nation that is not on the brink of financial collapse? One might comment, “How absurd….well, of course we do! We all want that!” But do we? No doubt our nation is divided; probably more divided than at any time since the Civil War ended and that includes the turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s with both civil rights and Vietnam War issues on the table. We are more divided today as a nation than just four years ago due in great part to the assistance of Obama who has made class warfare and envy a centerpiece of his term in office. For all his promises to be as a “uniter”, he has done more to divide than unite….far more.
When a nation such as our own comes to a fork in the road like we face today, hard choices have to be made and those choices require strong leadership to both define and to implement. They also require staying the course once they are implemented. These choices extend far beyond some emotion-splattered rhetoric on the 1% or the 99%. It goes far beyond some idea that raising taxes on the wealthier among us will solve our woes when in reality such an approach will do little to even move toward a solution. At the same time, our solutions cannot be found in throwing those who need and, in many cases, have earned their right to assistance under the bus. We do not become a better nation if we improve our lot on the backs of the poor, downtrodden, or those who have given their all in service to this country. Neither side can defend such approaches as true solutions to our issues today. As voters, we have to realize that and act accordingly. Government exists because “we the people” allow it for the reasons defined to provide “governance” to our culture; to uphold and protect the Constitution, and to apply the Rule of Law. Our government is in trouble today but “we the people” are in far greater trouble as our entire way of life, our culture, our laws, and are future as a nation ride heavily on the decisions of this November election process. As such, as voters, we must address it on the basis of the issues at hand.
We need to hear the candidates specifically address the economy. Obama promised that he could turn things around and cut the deficit in half In the process. He has not even come close given that our nation has gone through the better part of $ 7 Trillion dollars in additional debt burden since he took office in 2009. Almost $900 billion dollars went into “stimulus” spending…money that “we the people” did not have to spend. Most of that money seemingly disappeared down some gopher hole somewhere. The economy ebbs and follows but is best described to be in some sort of subliminal suspension since 2008. Our current president believes that “only the government” can fix that; that only the government can “create jobs” and on and on. Every approach the current administration had taken as a solution has been to insert the government further into the mix; spend more borrowed money, and to basically sweep the private sector aside as “doing just fine” under the present conditions.
Our current President is employing a failed Keynesian economic theory which takes it roots in the government being the center of the universe. In America, that is not the case and never has been. The private sector has been the sustaining force behind the economy and behind job creation since this country made its way through the Industrial Revolution. A government which is more concerned with how many regulations it can put in place to stifle the private sector is directly responsible for the continued stagnation in the economy and, in that regard, for the situation in the job market. The current administration had shown its intent as to approaching the economy and that intent has not worked so why would “we the people” want to continue that process for another four year term? That is a question that every voter should be expecting Mr. Obama to answer tonight and answer it with something of substance. Instead you can count on him either blaming it on Bush or on those wealthier Americans. Given the fact that he is a millionaire twelve times over, we can at least say that he bears some of the blame in that regard.
The instability in the private sector shows up in three other areas here in America today. Investment, Job Creation, and Healthcare Reform which directly supports a sustained unemployment rate of over 8% which has existed for over 40 months now. This fact does not even address the “under-employed” who are taking menial jobs just to hang on or those who have given up and left the job market after months and months of failing to find employment. “We the people” need to come to the realization that government alone cannot be the “creator of jobs”. The private sector is the true creator of jobs, government either sustains an environment in which the private sector can invest and grow or it can elect to overshadow and undermine through regulation which inevitably diminishes investment and raises unemployment levels. This is not just about investment by large corporations as small business plays a significant role in this process when it is allowed to work. Government and the private sector must be in harmony if a balance is to be found between regulation and economic expansion. Lastly, healthcare reform has stymied every area of the private sector. Employers are lost in this massive legislation which managed to get passed by our Congress and quasi-approved by our Supreme Court yet we have no one who really understands the potential effect of it or the costs for that matter. Potential employers do not go out in such environments looking to expand their workforce when they cannot predict the added costs associated with that expansion. Legitimate businesses hire positions for which there is a “business need”. When government heads in a direction more attuned to regulation than economic expansion, the system shrinks again and again as the business sector restrains itself in fears of the unknown. “We the people” need to hear some substantive discussion between the candidates on this issue.
Deficit spending and the national debt are driving us all slowly to the poorhouse. That might not be apparent to those who are standing in the line marked “FREE GOVERNMENT CHEESE” today. Some have little choice and our system should have processes in place to assist them. Others have found that “gaming the system” is easier than going to work each day and that becomes their focus. For them, there is more money to be had from government programs than there is in the workplace and it can be obtained without any labor output. “Hey, it’s free…I’d be a fool not to take it”. At the same time, we have 536 elected offices between the President and Congress that collectively spend far too much of their time trying to think up some other “social welfare” scheme which can be implemented all in the name of aligning a few more voters on their side of the aisle. Ask yourself what good it is going to do to raise taxes when we have elected officials thinking of more new ways to spend money at a rate far greater than any tax increases can bring it to the coffers. We can continue to go through the tax and spend cycle over and over as a nation until we eventually implode on all the “freebies” that our elected officials put out in order to buy favor with selected voter bases. Where does it stop? “We the people” need to hear a viable and fiscally responsible approach to the future.
Obama has vowed that the so-called “death panels” provided for and otherwise differently labeled in the ObamaCare legislation will never see the light of day on his watch. How can we be sure if the provision is already there in the legislation which has been voted into law? How can we be sure when such a provision was never questioned by the Supreme Court? Ironically, those who crafted ObamaCare seemed to have every intention to show their compassion for all the people receiving medical coverage. In fact, it goes beyond that point and essentially drives every aspect of those items discussed in the preceding paragraph yet when it comes right down to the bottom-line, this same bunch is willing to throw granny under the bus when it comes to determining selectively what medical procedures she can have by virtue of her age. Is this really compassion or is it simply pandering to the younger voting element of our society then bearing the burden of cost-reduction by tossing our elderly aside? Who in America wants or can justify such an approach to medical care and speak of “compassion” in the same breath? Hell, these folks would be better off if they had no coverage at all. “We the people” need to hear some specifics in that regard tonight.
Demonstrations rage outside our embassies around the world. Our Libyan Ambassador is slain and his lifeless body is dragged through the streets along with his assigned protectors, three former Navy Seals. As a nation we hear the actions rationalized as an outcry of the Islamic World angered by some idiotic film trailer that less than 500 people had viewed worldwide at the time of these incidents. We hear excuses why the security at our embassy was not reinforced with the advent of the anniversary of 9-11. We see our ally, Israel, snubbed by our sitting President sending a message to the Middle East that Israel is “on its own”. We see Iran send its rabid leader on to American soil only to stand before the United Nations and proclaim all that should be done to Israel and in turn, to America. We ask ourselves where in the world could such an action take place other than right here yet, in our own lives, we caution others among us not to “come into our house and take our name in vain”….what kind of hypocrites do we look like as a people? How can those of other nations recognize America from a position of strength if our leaders engage in actions which define us as apologetic and overly-humble in the light of attacks upon our own? What does that say for the consistency and direction of our foreign policy? Terrorists murder our ambassador on the streets of Libya and our government hands the Muslim Brotherhood $1.5 billion American dollars in foreign aid with the sitting President of the United States promising an additional $700 million in the near future….is that the message we need to convey to the world? “We the people” need some hard answers on that subject tonight.
The debates will take place tonight and the sun will rise again tomorrow with the same issues facing us as a nation and likely very little discussion of substance taking place on any of the above. The talking heads of our media will be in analysis mode telling us which candidate “appeared more presidential” and how Romney potentially disrespected the office of the President by confronting him headlong with the issues of his poor performance. “We the people” will hear all that politically correct line of thinking and be told what to think about it by the same media which has failed us time and again in getting and keeping the issues of significance on the table….the same media that does not have the guts to ask the hard questions for fear of being pushed away from the political trough. If Romney does not go after Obama headlong, then we’ll hear that he is spineless and has no idea what America needs to turn around. We will hear that Obama has seen the light; that he recognizes now that the problems America faces run far deeper than imagined thus given four more years that hope and change will bring what is right and proper to America and the world. Yes, we will hear everything except what we need to hear as voters and taxpayers…”a substantive discussion of the issues” affecting us today. That possibility will be avoided at all costs.
Today, we have a President bent on leading us down a road which builds our future on a redistribution of wealth in our nation. He has submerged us in debt and continues that process knowing the outcome will be heavy taxation if the spending does not stop. Desperation will drive us to take more and more from the wealthier side of our population until they either pack up and leave or we break their financial backs. When the 1% has gone, the process will focus on the next 5%, and then the next and the next until one day you look up and YOU are one of the remaining “relatively” wealthy people available. That will be the day when the bell tolls for thee and maybe then you will look at what this administration is doing to this country with a different eye. You can take comfort in knowing that by the time that day comes, it will be too late to change your mindset or to save your own butt. If you really care, the time is now.
©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.
3 October 2012