- Politics and Social Issues
A view of the Obama Presidency
How do you feel about President Obama job performance so far?
Obama Announces 2-Year Federal Pay Freeze
When discussing the Presidency of Barack Obama it becomes apparently obvious that there is very little gray area - it is a love him or hate him presidency. The current polls show how close, and yet divided Americans are over the job the President is doing. 45.6% approve while 48.7% disapprove of the job Obama is doing. That leaves a very small 5.7% either unsure or have no opinion. As the polls show, more Americans are unhappy with the job the President is doing. The 2010 Congressional elections were also a reflection of the dissatisfaction the citizens of the United States have with the direction the country is headed and who is leading it. This is a direct reflection of the policies of the Obama administration.
Two of his current policies, health care reform and the recently enacted two year freeze on federal employee pay, are two policies that will adversely affect the approval rating of the president as well as continue to raise controversy over his leadership abilities. Health care reform, or Obamacare as it is also being called, is a prime example of the president’s good intentions, without any real research or idea of consequences, approach to governing the country. A prime example is in a speech the president made to the American Medical Association in June 2009 in which he stated, "No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what." Obviously, with the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, the president once again plays the politican and makes an empty promise to the people in order to fulfill his own agenda. With this government intrusion in the private sector health costs are going to skyrocket, seeing competent doctors will require very long waits, competition will vanish resulting in less competent physicians, companies will no longer bea ble to provide low-cost health benefits to lower income employees, and senior health care will fall into serious jeopardy.
Dr. Rahul Parikh, a San Francisco pediatrician, summed up the Obama’s viewpoint well when he stated that the president was focused “on the forest instead of the trees.” The president is putting the proverbial cart in front of the horse by not taking into account the consequences of the details of his health reform plan and presenting this plan into law when even according to his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, stated that the passed law was “still a work in progress.” That is not a very reassuring quote from a leader in the administration to the average citizen who has to adhere to this health reform law.
Equally troubling is the passing of the salary freeze on federal employees. Many people in the private sector do not understand the intracasies of federal employment. Their first gut reaction is that federal employees are just the congressmen and politicians. What most fail to realize is that many every day day people are employed by the federal government and that a very small minority make over $100,000 in yearly salary and that the majority make about the average when you include benefits as their counterparts in the private sector.
That being said, this policy is another example of president Obama’s poor performance and lack of insight into the the consequences and ramifications of the policies that he presents. It screams big headlines and helps him in his quest to get along with the Republicans who will soon be running Congress, but has zero long-term effect on the budget, which was Obama’s reasoning for the freeze in the first place. The general public has been brainwashed into believing that government employees are are overpaid snobs who are nothing but leeches on the economy and instead of starting at the top, he has chosen to make scapegoats out of the everyday federal employee.
Again, it’s becoming status quo for Obama to fail to see the big picture and to take the easy way out.
The idea of everyone making sacrifices for the general welfare of the country is noble, but unfortunately, it is one sided. Obama and his administration seem to think it’s fine to force the working class to sacrifice yet fail to require the same of the top echelon of society and the government. Congressmen can serve a short two-year tour and still receive a very hefty pension for the rest of their life. That is a huge chunk of money for very little work as opposed to the federal employee who puts in 10 hour days for a portion of the salary a Congressmen makes, let alone in addition to that hefty pension. You have an administration bailing out banks whose CEO’s salaries double if not triple that of the average American citizen. That is also a lot of money unaccounted for. If you want the people to be willing to sacrifice you must first be willing to make a sacrifice yourself and require the same sacrifice across the board. Once again, he fails to lead by example.
This leads right into the greatest fear we should have of the Obama administration. This administration is being led by a man with little governmental experience, who continually fails to provide and show solid leadership skills and abilities, who is outstanding at saying one thing and then doing something totally different, and who ultimately has his own best interest in mind rather than that of the American people. He is more concerned about his good face and job security at the expense of being the leader he was elected to be. The most ironic thing is that the same people he slights are the same people who put him into office.
This is a prime example of the true colors of politicians in our country. Obama is no different than 90% of any of the other politicians in either party. The end result is self-serving, greedy, and cut-throat career politicians who fail to see the dissatisfaction of the American people and who, by their own actions, are dividing this country and bringing it closer to the brink of civil war that ever before. The greatest fear is that this administration very well could be the proverbial “straw that broke the camels back” and push the American people past the point of no return.
My advice for president Obama? At the very top of the list is to quit playing the political game and truly embrace his campaign mantra of “change”. Start listening to the citizens of America, on all sides of the political fence, and quit basing decisions and actions on the advice of a select few who still play the political game and whose advice is for their benefit alone. Step out of the box and emulate the leadership qualites of your predecesors such as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. These men endured the hearts of the people because they did one thing exactly the same – they were themselves and didn’t let anyone else make decisions for them. They were solid, unswerving, and beacons of hope and strength at times when the American people needed that.
We are such a time when the American people are on the brink of a division not seen since the Civil War and right now the people need a strong president. They need a president who they can trust and who they know, without reservation, has their best interest at heart. Stick to the truth of the matter, regardless of the implications and say what you mean and mean what you say. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it and make ammends. Don’t side-step it or say one thing and then two days lateer say something else, and then two days later change your story again. Start uniting America instead of deepening the divide. Yes, we know you are black, but isolating the white population to further strictly black agendas is only going to deepen the divide. Be the exception and be like Lincoln and Dr Martin Luther King, who saw past skin color and only saw Americans. And lastly, be a leader. This means lead by example.
Be the leader whose subordinates look up to and strive to be like. Be an example for the children of America, children of all races. And in this leadership role, realize that you are an American and that emulating other countries is not what Americans do. Americans lead by innovation, originality and example. My hope is that you could be that American leader.