Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Leader We Deserve

The conventions are over, and the debates are approaching. But as voters decide which campaign message to approve, it is important to take a look back at President Clinton’s speech from the DNC, where he made the point that, “Since the 1960s…our economy produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million.”

Clearly Democrats, although in power for a shorter time, created better conditions for job growth than Republican administrations. But why is that?

It’s because Democrats understand that no one in this country is completely self-reliant. Although my parents started their own business and “built that”, they understand that in addition to their hard work, they also needed a society that invested in great teachers and rewarded those who play by the rules.

Democrats understand that when 98% of Americans are suffering, the top 2% also suffer. Although my parents have been very fortunate, they understand that when the middle class has less disposable income, their business suffers as well.

Democrats understand that investments in education, infrastructure, and healthcare are good for everyone. Take healthcare as an example. Put aside the morality argument. Forget about the fact that for years, insurance companies placed life-time caps, dropped coverage, and overcharged patients in return for very little care. Purely economic, if a large chunk of your paycheck goes to paying medical bills, you’ll have less money to buy goods/services. Not to mention that insurance companies were neglecting 30 million new customers that they now have thanks to Obamacare.

Democrats understand that government can help when no one else is willing to. It took a strong national government to get us out of the Great Depression in the ‘40s. It took a strong national government to pass the Civil Rights Act in the ‘60s. And it took a strong national government to bailout Wall Street and save the Auto-industry to ensure that capital continues to flow and that we don’t slip into another Great Depression.

No one is arguing that our economy is fully out of recovery. The recent jobs report last Friday proved that. But facts are facts, and we should not forget that it was President Bush’s policies that got us into this mess in the first place, and those are the same policies that Governor Romney is advocating for.

Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, our financial system is stronger today than it was 4 years ago. Because of his Wall-Street Reform, taxpayers will never again have to bailout “too-big-to-fail” banks whose failures to cover their losses jeopardized our economy.

Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, our economy is stronger today than it was 4 years ago. We are no longer losing over 700,000 jobs a month, the American Auto-Industry is no longer failing, and unemployment is no longer above 10%.

Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, our national security and foreign policy are stronger today than they were 4 years ago. Every President in recent history has worked for nuclear control. But it was Obama who actually worked with Russia to sign the new START Treaty (whereas Romney argues that our biggest threat today IS Russia). It was Obama who repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, proving to our soldiers that “love of country, not love of another, determines loyalty”. It was Obama who successfully worked with our allies to take down Gaddafi without any U.S. casualties (whereas Romney says we needed to act unilaterally without any regard to our allies). It was Obama who, even contrary to the advice of some in his own team, gave the order to take down Bin Laden (whereas Romney once said “It's not worth moving heaven and Earth and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person”). And it was Obama who ended the war in Iraq, as promised, and created a plan to end the war in Afghanistan (I’m not sure what Romney thinks since he’s been consistently flip flopping on this issue).

And thanks to President Obama, our nation’s healthcare system is stronger today than it was 4 years ago. First, it is NOT a government-run program (and for those that argue it is, I would examine President Regan’s EMTALA that mandated hospitals to treat patients regardless of their ability to pay). It is NOT a tax (just listen to Romney describe how the Individual Mandate is simply a penalty for those who don’t take personal responsibility to get insurance). And it does NOT increase costs, run up the deficit, or bankrupt Medicare (the non-partisan CBO estimates it saves taxpayers about $1000 a year, reduces our deficit by $200 billion, and saves Medicare recipients $6500 per year).

Time and time again President Obama has tried to work with the Republicans, even so much so that sometimes his own base was frustrated. But on every measure, even those which they have supported in the past, the Republican leadership has shown obstruction and bitter partisanship.

When Obama argued for a Stimulus, which Republicans have traditionally agreed to, they all voted against it. When Obama argued for the Individual Mandate in Healthcare, which was a Republican idea in the first place, they all voted against it. When Obama tried to reduce our deficit, Republicans signed a tax pledge and refused to compromise no matter how much Obama was willing to reduce spending.

So yes, I support President Obama, more now than in 2008. I support him because he truly puts partisan politics aside to work for the American people.

He is the kind of leader America deserves.

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