Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stuck on the Odyssey of Politics

All politicians make promises they can't keep, it is par for the course with the electoral process. Promise gold on every street, except for that evil other guy. Deliver something, anything, an ostrich when you ordered a sofa, meatloaf when you wanted a polar fleece jacket, DVD's when you only own a VCR. Claim victory because it would have been much worse if nothing had been done. Mission accomplished.

When the first President Bush said Read my lips, the broken promise was obvious. When Clinton said, "I did not have...well, you know the rest," we wanted to believe he was telling the truth. We let ourselves despite all evidence to the contrary, hope he was being honest. When Dubbya told us about weapons of mass destruction, a very liberal friend called me in despair. I agreed, the only answer I could give her was, "He'd better be right." We all know how that turned out as well.

So when President Obama came along and in his first speech as President, promised a new era where we'd put aside childish things and have a new tone, once again, I wanted to believe this was true.
A year later, he offers the same siren call and I want to be moved by his eloquence not because I agree with his politics but because I really do want a government that doesn't think half the nation is evil and the other half are idiots.

But the tonic of past performance acts as binding as ropes on the mast, the words reach out but they can't grab me because I know, the deficit was bad under Bush, but it tripled in the first year under Obama. He can say he's bringing home all the troops by August, but those pronouncements are best made once the last soldier has deboarded the plane home. As witnessed by Christmas day, a lot can happen in a few weeks, let alone a few months. The President can say he hasn't raised anyone's taxes, but like Maureen Dowd, I hear hidden words unspoken, "yet."

He can say he's serious about deficit reduction, but it's more like he's the character from Popeye, Wimpy. "I will gladly reduce deficits tomorrow for some new taxes paid today." The healthcare if passed won't go into effect for several years, though the taxes are immediate. The freezing moratorium won't affect the areas it won't affect, meaning other parts of the government will still grow and expand and spend.

As a fiscal conservative, I can't say $250 Million is nothing, but it isn't real and it isn't serious since it won't happen for several years and won't be adjusted to ensure that it is an actual $250 million saved. He keeps talking about only taxing those who make more than 250K, but people who run small businesses and pay for their own insurance and all of that, often have books that say pre-tax, that they make that much.

What we need is the security to know, we can take home more, not less. People who hire, don't hire when more of their capital is tied up in taxes, even for a $2000.00 per worker tax break. Who hires someone who cost 20K or 40k or 65k to get a 2000.00 tax break? So when he talks about tax cuts for 95% of the people, it isn't genuine, because 95% of those tax cuts come with strings attached. You get it if you buy these windows or hire that worker or use daycare. They are not tax cuts tied to the bottom line, and that's the bottom line.

The one thing I do believe is he won't quit and he won't back down. All his history indicates when people disagree; he sticks all the stronger to his position. I also know his style now, to state what the opposition will criticize him with and declare it null and void with a preemptive oratory strike. The President talked about change and how this can only be done with all of us, daring me to refuse upfront to cooperate, turning me and anyone who disagreed with him into an obstructionist because I don't like what has been done and what is proposed. It was not a unifying speech because it only unified if you agreed.

This speech may have recaptured the hearts of those who truthfully, were in love with the policies he proposed and has of yet not delivered, but for those whose hearts were not won to begin with, this was the same song it always was; come dash yourself upon these rocks because I sing so beautifully.

Pass the wax plugs please so we can sail on by.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

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