Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Press Conferences, Health Care, and all 60 states of America.

It was only 65 days ago that I wrote a post about the Inauguration of the first African-American President of our great nation, Barack Obama. In this post, I suggested keeping various criticisms suppressed until later, allowing for the enjoyment of the historical nature of the day. And in the past 65 days, I have done a fairly good job of watching and waiting, more than willing and really quite eager to be able to sing the praises of our newest Commander in Chief. However, after 65 days -and yes, I realize that it has only been 65 days- I have some criticisms.

While I am more than willing to admit that President Obama was handed an economical mess, I am failing to see much improvement, if any, now or in the near future. With our financial debt reaching the trillions and no end in sight to the spending, my faith is waning. And, in light of last night's press conference, I don't see my confidence returning at extreme rates of speed.

In the first question posed last night by Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press, Obama was asked about government regulation of big, complex financial structures and why he thought the American people would "sign on
for another new sweeping authority for the government to take over companies..." given the failure experienced thus far with banks refusing to release spending reports and AIG's bonuses. To this Obama responds that these issues happened because there was no authority to begin with and to keep in mind that AIG is an insurance firm and not a bank, because if it was, it would have been privatized by this point. Comforting, I'm sure. When Loven then asked why should the public trust the government to handle that authority well, Obama skirted around the question by saying that the FDIC handles these situations well, and given the right tools, so could the government. Sorry, what? The comparison seems faulty.

I have a difficult time wrapping my mind around more government authority and the President's round-about reasoning is not helping convince me that it is a good idea. By placing what Obama calls "common sense" regulations on these institutions, the government is then controlling the people that you have chosen to place in control of your money. No matter how you slice it, it is government control over yet another aspect of your life and how is that a good idea?

When asked by NBC's Chuck Todd about the lack of sacrifices asked of the American People, given the financial crisis that we find ourselves in, Obama responded that the American people sacrifice enough; parents cutting back so kids can go to college, folks cutting out a whole day's work so that others won't be laid off, etc. And in this regard, I totally agree. The American people are sacrificing. However, I think it is important for their Commander in Chief to set an example of responsible spending and cutting back, both in national affairs and more "low-key" affairs. I am referring to the numerous parties and cocktail hours held by the White House. In a recession like ours, how is it appropriate for the President to have a continuous string of parties? Someone suggested that it was because it was the only way for both sides to actually get together and talk. So what do we need with congressional and senate meetings? Obviously, they are of no use since we bribe our country's leaders to actually talk to one another with free alcohol and eats. This same person suggested that there is so much anger on both sides of the aisle that this is the only way to get them to put aside their differences. Well, if this is the case, when did we start letting fraternities and sororities run the country? Seriously, these grown men and women, who all want to continue living in the greatest nation on this earth-preferably as senators and congressmen/women- can't seem to come together and work on this crisis without being bribed by cocktails and a live band? Surely there is a better answer. Certainly our high-ranking political figures are more mature than that. If not, maybe we should reconsider their positions in upcoming elections.

CBS's Chip Reid jumped in after Todd, quoting comments made by the President during his town hall meetings in California last week where he said "I didn't run for president to pass on our problems to the next generation." Reid then questioned Obama's budget that will increase the national debt by a reported $7 trillion over the next ten years (The Congressional Budget's Office says $9.3 trillion) and it has been said that with health care, education, and environmental spending, this will be the most irresponsible budget in American history. Obama's one word answer was: Yes. Upon further prompting from Reid, Obama stated that he was handed a $1.3 trillion deficit (I should have known that it was all Bush's fault, which obviously excuses the $7.3 trillion that we will incur because of Obama's budget) and that since no one else had a better plan, his would have to do. Oh, and he is cutting out wasteful spending on Medicare and adding the necessary funds for wooden arrows for children, pig odor control, new cars for the federal government, and according to an article in the WallStreet Journal, $7 billion will go towards modernizing federal buildings. When asked why the deficit would be cut in half over the next four to five years and then continue to go up after that, all the while making long term structural cuts and our debt still rising in the out years, the President responded saying, "Well, look, it is going to take a whole host of adjustments, and we couldn't reflect all of those adjustments in this budget." Really? Is that the response that the American people want to hear right now? Our President and his advisers are putting together a plan that they haven't fully reflected upon? I feel better now.

More questions ensued and the round- about answers continued. CNN's Ed Henry stated that while President Obama continued to criticize and blame the Bush administration, his own plan would double that debt. When asked if he was concerned about an even bigger fiscal disaster should the spending continue, Obama said, "Yes, of course!" Silly Ed. Don't you know that health care is the answer to all of our nation's problems? Socialize America's health care and we won't be in debt anymore. Right? Of course, the other option is to "stand pat" and do nothing and not invest in our health care at all. Wasn't aware that there was an issue with health care other than the government wanting to control something else.

Henry also asked why it took so long for Obama to come out with his outrage and admonition towards AIG. The President said that it was because he likes to know what he is talking about before he speaks. Which leads us to a lighter note.

Everyone misspeaks. It's a natural, human thing to do. While George W. Bush was constantly mocked for his, sometimes outlandish, remarks and mis-usage of words, let us note that Barack Obama is not without some thoughtless moments of his own.

On March 17th, 2009-St. Patrick's Day-President Obama appeared, along side Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and proceeded to read the wrong speech, one meant for the Prime Minister, and thank himself for the party that was being him. Then, this past week, during the first ever late night T.V. appearance made by a President, Obama proceeded to remark that his bowling average was on par with the "Special Olympics." Ouch. Really?

Obama's blunders do not stop there. From THE bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor to his uncle being among the first American troops that freed Auschwitz concentration camp, as well as honoring dead troops that he SAW while making a speech on Memorial Day, Obama's bloopers are numerous over the past months. His mixed up dates and events and disorientation on the campaign trail make for several laughs. Oh, and I guess my education was lacking since I had no idea that America consisted of 60 states.

Overall, impressed is not the word I would use when President Obama's first couple of months in office come to mind. However, I am committed to continuing my following of our new leader and staying open to what comes out of the White House, hopeful for the American people and our President.


Anonymous said...

You Republicans are like arsonists who complain that the fire department is wasting water.

Theresa Garcia said...

And people who post anonymous comments on blogs are cowards.

Chris said...

That was a pretty well written entry, Theresa. I too have been trying to pay attention and see what our new president was going to do over these first two very important months.
I will say that he certainly did not take over in a very easy time. But I also have to say that he hasn't shown me anything either. If anything, he has helped to prove one of the major issues I had with him becoming president in the first place - inexperience. He just simply doesn't know enough to be an effecive president. He is slowly trying to "socialize" our democracy and it's absolutely sickening.
I could go on but it's really pointless to do so.
I'll end win this: this was 100% not that man that I thought should have been president and didn't deserve to be president; but thank God Im not the one in charge; God knows what he's doing even though I think it's nuts and all need to do is prayerfully support him.

Mike Yarbrough said...

Great piece Theresa! The fact that we elected an inexperienced, one almost completed term Senator from a well-known crooked state government apparatus is lost on most people. We should not be surprised by what we are getting from him. He told us that he would ease restrictions on abortions...check...move the health care system towards socialism...check...try and "talk" with Iran...check (although their response is one that would suggest that they smell blood in the water). He is a Tax and spend Liberal and that is what he is doing...The cap and trade taxes are coming so hold on to your will cost you more to drive, turn on you air conditioner, run your blow-dryer, watch your t.v., etc. My question is if man is responsible for "global warming" and we need to quit using fossil fuels, the why would the President, in the middle of the financial crisis and global warming crisi, hop on Air Force One and fly to California to appear on a T.V. show? The stench of hypocrisy emanating from the nations capital is overwhelming! One last point: All the politicians screamed bloody murder about the AIG bonuses...who is left to scream about the 7 MILLION DOLLAR BONUSES PAID TO CONGRESSIONAL STAFFERS? Not to mention firing the CEO at GM? Who gave the President the right to fire a private company employee? The list goes on and on, but hey we made history!