Why Obama is Right as to How to Address the National Debt

On Sunday, July 20, 1969, I was just a kid at grandma’s house when I watched with intent interest Astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot upon the moon. A splendid achievement, wasn’t it? The culmination of years of trial and error, effort consistent with a pledge made by the late President Kennedy about reaching this goal before the 1960’s ended. It is all the more remarkable that he made this pledge while we still struggling with rockets exploding on the pad, yet to have launched a successful orbital mission. He had such confidence in the American people and American know-how that he asked us to reach for the stars and we did not disappoint. What happened to that America? When I saw this landing while in my early teens, I envisioned the possibility that in my lifetime shuttles to and from the moon would be as common as jet air transportation was at that time. I saw a future where men and women would be routinely working in space; I saw the film 2001, a Space Odyssey, as a prophetic vision of the very near future from the eyes of one who lived during the late 1960’s. From my perspective, NASA could do no wrong. This was to be a world full of opportunity and promise. The failure of this vision to come to fruition has to be one of the biggest disappointments of the ‘boomer generation”.

Grovel in the Mud?

Now, instead of reaching for the stars, we grovel in the mud. One of the few ennobling characteristics of human nature is man’s curiosity. We have always reached for the new frontier, whether it was the seafarers exploring new continents in the 16th and 17th centuries to expansion and development of the North American continent in the 19th century. I never thought that I would live and see a frontier now technologically within our reach from which we now shirk. What are the frontiers of science that are within our reach within this century outside of space exploration? What about controlled nuclear fusion as the ultimate clean energy source. I am sure that most of you have read about nanotechnology and technological wonders this line of research will make possible. It could very well be to the 21st century what electronics was to the 20th (the vacuum tube was invented in 1906). I was reading an article in Time Magazine addressing the ‘singularity’, the point where computers will have the processing power and reach of the human brain. This is supposed to take place in the year 2045, which is truly astounding. Even more astounding is that this isn’t some inconceivable date; many of us will be alive and viable then, are we prepared? Who knows what direction these new technologies will take us, but one thing that is certain is that the wealth of nations is no longer dependent upon who can knit the greatest amount of t-shirts or rest upon the ability to attach one widget onto another. The Ralph Kramden world of the past is gone, are we training our youth to prepare for this future? We are living in a post industrial society, known as the information age.

So who is holding us back?

While Conservatives blame the lack of productivity on budget deficits, I beg to differ. Everybody knows that record corporate profits and good times have returned to Wall Street. The question remains what happens to those on Main Street, the American middle class, the foundation of this society. The man in the street is not interested in budget deficits, but jobs, jobs that pay well and provide a future. Ronald Reagan and GW Bush seemed to have no problems with budget deficits, dismissing them as inconsequential to performance of the economy. Preferring, instead, tax cuts that created the deficits in the first place. This last melt down, September, 2008, was like no other. It was a warning that we could not continue on the path of business as usual. The President is acknowledging the need to reduce spending and he is to be applauded for that effort. But in my opinion, investing in new technologies, education, etc, is far more important. Because if we do not address the causes of why so many are displaced and out of work then we can expect a steady economic decline, with more and more of the wealth concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people. The America that I have known and love will become unrecognizable. Our standard of living cannot be maintained unless a massive education and retraining program is put in place. These students are trained to learn 21st century occupations that will require greater education and skills focusing on higher technologies where America can take the lead and which cannot be reproduced easily by others. I know that this in itself is a daunting task, but we had better get started soon.

Thurston Howell and the Conservatives are interested only in milking ‘ole and dying Bessie’ for its last drop. They are the ones that try to prop up dying industries, like petroleum drilling. Give the good old boys the incentives to continue to pollute and do things the way  they have always done, subscribe to the ‘scorched earth theory’. They do what they do best, take all the money leaving us ‘holding the bag’ as the result. Their basic disdain of Government is the force behind their wanting to use a meat ax, instead of a scalpel. But to make these cuts properly requires a studied effort, not merely dancing to the tune of political expediency. I cannot trust anyone who cannot see the value of Government as a part of American life. Yes, the debt is dangerous and must be dealt with, but I never trust them to deal with it properly. The American corporate model is short term thinking, with immediate profits as the goal. But as we have seen from other nations like Japan and China, the race is not always won by the swiftest, but by those with the most endurance reflected by planning and preparation applied to all of the component parts to produce the desired outcome at the right time with a minimum of ill effects as a by product.

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18 comments

American_Choices profile image

American_Choices 5 years ago from USA

As finance professional for decades, you have nailed it - we are short-term oriented. We must look to the future and seek out long term growth, long term stability. Great Hub with many historical references. Very well done!


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks, AC, I just hope that our politicians today truly understand the depth of the problem


wil c 5 years ago

Credence2, this is so true. How long is main street going to stand by and watch these corporate pirates rob us blind. They have record profits because of this country, not because of their genius. Yet they believe they should not have to contribute a single penny to ensure the land that provides them their wealth any protections. Foolishness, I say.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Wil c. thanks for weighing in on this. This is proof positive that greed can ultimately cost more than you actually gain. When the foundation of the middle class crumbles, what is left to support the high rollers? Thanks for letting me join your team Cred2


larryprice5372 profile image

larryprice5372 5 years ago from Long Beach, California

Our Government does not have the solution and cannot provide one for the economy. This Country was founded on free enterprise and creativity. The reward for that is called Capitalism. You are allowed to make gains from your creativity and work ethic.

The Obama solution is to impose Government control on private industry. This will destroy the very foundation that has made America great. Industry must be allowed to use their profits to re-invest in their Corporations, and to grow thereby and hire more workers. Corporations are in a holding pattern with this President.

MY OPINION:

As far as GATT/NAFTA: they are creations of the Democratic Party, not the corporations. Clinton created a system the corporations would have been foolish not to take advatage of. Repeal GATT and NAFTA, don't impose punitive taxation on corporations. If Obama keeps pushing his socialist-progressive agenda, and he keeps attacking the "status quo" (his words "change") with the intent to challenge corporations, you'll see jobs suffer and corporations leave this country in droves.

Get Real!


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Larry Well, the country is not going to continue the tradition of free enterprise and creativity if short term greed and shortsightedness wins the day. Corporations and the wealthy have to pay their fair share. There is no logic in Thurston Howell having to pay a smaller percentage of his income in taxes than I do as middle class. The disparities WILL be adjusted or there will be hell to pay.

Obama did not invent Government regulation or the need for it. You people are picking on him for conditions that have been in place for decades. Is it racist? I wonder, there is no other explanation as to why you people single him out. Well, I am here to go to battle against the reichwinger and everything they stand for, so brace yourself. While I appreciate your weighing in. I don't like rightwingers and you can count on the moral of equivalent of war from the left to prevent your agenda from taking hold. Let's see who wins.

All that Horatio Alger stuff you parrot sounds fine on paper, but is not working in reality.

You are the guys that need to GET REAL


larryprice5372 profile image

larryprice5372 5 years ago from Long Beach, California

In response:

Well credence: I am quite sure you and your kind will not like the new Government and new America you're shooting for. As for the GOP and it's followers parroting "Horatio Alger stuff", or having an agenda.

Our agenda has been Americas agenda since it was founded, this socialism you people want does not have a chance. You will loose your struggle. Just watch the next few election cycles. You'll be yelling uncle.

It's very easy to hang a label. The GOP are Nazi's? Get a grip on yourself. Racist? The Democratic Party had the alltime record in racism throughout the 20's to the mid 60's. Yours was the heart of the KKK.

Liberalism is a mental disorder. Most of you think you are exceptionally intelligent, more so than the average American. We see it and we reject your ilk.

Good luck: Oh, why don't you move to France? If you don't like America, you are FREE to leave.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Well, Mr. Rightwinger, MY KIND will prevail, you people just keep up your foolishness in Washington and that damned Elephant mascot of yours will be quickly turned into a mastadon. What is it with you people, dupes for Thurston Howell and the corporate power structure? You are the one that needs medical attention, RIGHTWINGER. And I am your sworn enemy that is going to do everything to keep you people looking like the clowns you are.No, I will stay right here and be here to personally see that the rightwinger and his filthy politics are properly dispensed with. Don"t go dumb on me, I guess you are also going to compare todays rightwing GOP to Abe Lincoln as well, no soap here. I am more afraid of what happens when your fascists grab all the power they want without restraint. We will do what ever is required to keep a lid on you people, you can bet on it! If I P.O. a rightwinger such as yourself, I must have hit a nerve and am true to course.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Too bad, Larry, after looking over your profile you seem like a reasonable person


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Very well written Crede. What I have in mind is better than a debate. More like asking questions of one another. See, I can live with a government that's a little larger or a little outside my comfort zone. My first question is very generic. If I'm willing to accept a government being a little larger, are you willing to accept one that's a little smaller? While respecting one another, we'll probably never see eye to eye on the exact roll of the government, but that's cool. Negotiations between us have to be like when we were kids trading marbles. We both have to come out. I've got six moves that would literaly turn this country around on a dime, but two of them will drive a liberal crazy. I want to work on this from the position of one us being president and the other speaker of the house. Intrested?

Good stuff my friend. (for a liberal) just kidding!

jim


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

hello, Jim, thanks for reading and commenting.

As to your question, yes, in principle, I can accept a smaller government. I think that you may be speaking of smaller is a sense of reduction of its current scope. I think that I could survive a little downsizing depending on where it is and to what extent. Geez, we both can unanimously agree that the sheer extent of waste in government operations, the lack of efficiency and all that goes with that would in of itself shave billions from the Federal tab.

While we may not see eye to eye as to the extent that Goverment is involved in our lives, I am certainly willing to consider coming in your direction if you could consider coming toward mine.

Lets give the proposed roles a try and see what we can discover. RJ


TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 5 years ago from Tucson, Az.

We can do this. Let me say something that's on my mind. I'm a pretty intense guy. It's my nature. We lose a lot through the cyber thing. I never get mad. I've always said that the person who loses control of themself, loses their objective. I DO get excited at times, and I just don't want you to ever think it's anger.

I was in a debate a while back which I won by a large margin. A debate is usually won with a few words out of a thousand spoken words. I'm big on common sense, the basics, keeping things simple, and LOOKING FORDARD, not arguing about history. My opponent, of course, pointed out that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. To which I replied that there's a difference between learning from mistakes and living in the past, and those who are unsure how to impact the future, usually become experts in history. The audience loved it, and I controlled the debate from that point on. Funny how the small things change momentum. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how I feel about history and problem solving. Acknowledge history, learn from it,and use it to solve todays problems and plan for tomorrows. Too many people argue .. "well that actually began in the such and such administration" and so on. I don't give a damn who screwed up ten or twenty years ago.

I just want to kind of let you know how I roll, and I look forward to hearing about any of your pet peeves.

jim


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

I hear you, Jim. You can't really be in this business of writing for next to nothing without a passion as to what you are doing. I have been POed as expressed in a couple of articles.

http://hubpages.com/politics/Why-Do-Conservatives-...

http://hubpages.com/politics/Tea-Party-Intransigen...

We know as are mutual respect for each other will make our exchange a benifit rather than a slugfest.

All the tenets of a successful debate you have provided here. I agree with you whole heartedly when you say that there is a difference between learning from history and living in the past. You will find my discussions with you respecting that premise. But, there is a tapestry between the past, present and future. I would not blame a person in the present holding a responsible position to solve problems that were in existence prior to his or her arrival. I have to take those things into consideration before passing a judgement, are you doing all you can do considering the circumstances? While I don't expect my leaders to point to 20 years ago as an excuse, I can't expect them to solve problems that have been in place this long or longer overnight. It is a rare occurance when the past is not relevant in someway.

Look forward see you RJ


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

I do not think taking either political side will make a difference.... as I said in my hub Middle Class To Zero "We need to stop making such a huge deal about manufacturing "things" and we have to start making a big deal about building character.

Build a new man from the inside out. No longer running from who we are inside."

it is an attitude or a perception shift that is needed - not some political agenda. - My 2 cents.. but my 2 cents are worth way more than imaginable LOL


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Neil, I read your article and made a comment regarding it. If you have a moment, have a look. Two cents or not, your imput is always appreciated. Cred2


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

Interesting hub Credence, great thoughts. I came here from another hub comment I was reading because a fellow ex-federal worker was being attacked. Your comments on the space program reminded me to finish up a eulogy I was writing about the last space shuttle flight; it was going along the same lines you were.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Mr Esoteric, thanks for reading and commenting. Whaat the hell has happened to us? I so badly would like to be numero uno again. I will look forward to reading your eulogy as I am a rabid fan of anything 'space'.Regards Cred2


My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

@LarryPrice, you said "Our agenda [meaning the Conservative agenda] has been Americas agenda since it was founded," I beg to differ; all you have to do is read your history to see why. When I look at what the anti-federalist, those opposed to the America of George Washington, i.e., the U.S. Constitution, wrote in the 1790s to try to stop the ratification of the Constitution and compare it to what the Conservative rhetoric today, I have a very hard time telling the two apart.

Now, the only other people in the fight back then were those for the ratification of the Constitution, the Federalists, the John Adams, John Jays, and James Madisons. These are the people who fought for America, the ones who actually set the "American agenda when it wsa founded." Unfortunately, I think you would be very uncomfortable with these folks, they were all liberals of their day; the Conservatives were the anti-federalists and, as best I can tell, still are.

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