09 Apr

Ignore this Mr. President. You already ignore me.

by teacherken, Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:20 AM EDT

Eisenhower told us in 1953 something perhaps you ought to have considered:  

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Here I am doing my civic duty, working on my taxes.  I am paying my fair share.

My wife and I gave you money when you ran for President.  We supported you.  

But now?   Blow, after blow, after blow.

The ‘deal’ about which you bragged is perhaps the final straw for this camel, whose back is breaking at the same time as his heart is shattered.

Dear readers, I apologize for what I am now writing.  It will not be coherent, because I am responding to the policy and actions of an administration that are not coherent.

It is an expression of …  what?  Disappointment to be sure, anger, almost despair.

Mr. President, with what you have just done, on top of all else your administration has done – and failed to do – you have destroyed the hopes of millions, and shifted power and wealth in the direction of those who are fueled by hatred and anger.

And you expect us to continue to support you?

Perhaps you had better ignore this.  Because you will not be happy with what I have to offer.

I read what was agreed to, and it makes no sense.

At a time when we are trying to conserve energy, to diminish both the pollution caused by internal combustion engines and cares on the road as well as our dependence upon foreign sources of petroleum, why the hell did you agree to slashing funding for high speed rail?   Besides the fact that the construction of high speed rail creates many jobs at a time when we desperately need them, such construction is an investment in our future that will pay itself back many times –  the savings in non-productive time caught in traffic by itself would probably pay back the cost.  

Why are you letting the Republicans in Congress treat the residents of the District of Columbia – which still lacks a meaningful voice in Congress – as if they were the workers on a plantation with no rights?  On the one hand you allow a prohibition from using their own money for the legal right to an abortion, and on the other you impose upon them again a school voucher program for education that most residents do not want.   If vouchers are important, should not the residents of the District get to vote if they want their tax dollars to fund such a program?  Why is it that every voucher program that has been put to a vote has been defeated?  What happened to the idea of local control?  

As for banning the District from using its own tax dollars to help poor people pay for a legal procedure, how is that any different than what the Supreme Court just allowed Arizona to do in allowing tax credits for religious schools?  So in other words, tax expenditures are okay if they fund things the right-wing wants, but somehow all money is tainted if in any way it goes to something rightwingers do not want –  even if a majority of the residents of the jurisdiction support that tax expenditure.

So the Republicans have a majority in the House.  They do NOT have a majority in the Senate, yet somehow they get to impose their vision upon the rest of us?  Where is your leadership?  Where are the values on which you ran?

Oh wait, I forgot.   That question is not relevant any more, is it?   After all, during the campaign you said that the health insurance companies were entitled to a seat at the table but not the entire table, that the making of health care reform would be on C-Span so it was transparent, but then your administration went behind closed doors and cut deals that the American people did not support.   Oh, and all options were NOT on the table, because you gave up your strongest negotiating chip –  you took single payer off the table before you started the negotiations.  

I am having trouble putting words together coherently.  I am so angry, frustrated, depressed . . . .  pick an appropriate descriptive adjective.

This is a BAD deal.  It would have been far better to have a drawn a line –  A LONG TIME AGO.   You CANNOT fix the deficit problem simply by cutting spending, especially if defense spending for unnecessary military adventures overseas is excluded from the cutting board.

Oh, and if we are cutting, why are we ADDING money for vouchers in DC?  How does that save money?   Is my raising this an example of what Emerson called a foolish consistency?  Is this a hobgoblin of what must be my little mind, because I am so appalled by what I am seeing?

We cannot afford ANY of the Bush era tax cuts over the long term.  But we can accept if you had stuck to what you ran on, which is that because of the financial problems so many Americans faced you would  continue the tax cuts on taxable incomes below $250,000, but would let them expire on incomes above that.  First you caved on the increases for the short term, and now what you are doing makes it highly likely that they will be made permanent.

Instead of just cutting, why are you not insisting on revenue?  Why is the head of your workforce panel the CEO of a company that pays no corporate taxes?  

I have a proposal, but of course it is probably too late.

1.  For every dollar cut for defense, we will raise taxes $1 on the wealthy and corporations.

2.  For every dollar cut from non-defense programs, we will raise taxes $2 on the wealthy and corporations.

The programs being starved and slashed are those that serve the non-wealthy.  They benefit people, not corporations.

Eisenhower told us in 1953 something perhaps you ought to have considered:  

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

A President should lead.  A President should stand for something.  A President should not be afraid of speaking bluntly –  to those who oppose him politically, to those who support him, to the American people.  You have on occasion demonstrated that you know how to do that.  Why did we not hear that blunt speech as this crisis was developing?

Remember – leaders of the other party are on public record that their highest priority is to see that you fail.  With your gifts on language, you could have crushed them immediately on that point, quoting them and responding that your highest priority was the well-being of the American people.  That would have allowed to you to frame the debate in a way that you would not be now conceding on issues you must know are harmful to the American people, to our economic well-being, to the future.

When you speak openly, as you did to the students at Bell Multicultural High School almost two weeks ago, we hear something that resonates with many of us, but which seems to be contradicted by the policies of your administration.

In 2008 you inspired people with your words, with your call to something better.

Now?  Your words on the ‘deal’ dishearten, as if you have no center, no moral compass, nothing for which you were willing to draw a line.  

Your actions?   Yes, you have done some good things.  We acknowledge that.  But when we have tried to warn you about the mistakes you were making – in letting health care reform fester, in the stimulus being too small, in listening too much to voices from the financial sector that created many of our current problems, in not being willing to examine the misdeeds (often criminal) of ranking officials in the previous administration – we were dismissed, we were belittled, some of us were attacked by your supporters and some key figures in your administration, including your first Chief of Staff.

You took office a bit less than 27 months ago.  You had a chance to make a major and positive shift in the direction of this nation.  We have seen a major shift, and unfortunately it is now a severe lurch back to the right, in ways that our destructive of the hopes and dreams of many Americans.

We want to support you.  We want you to succeed.

At least we did.

Increasingly, many of us are giving up, pulling back, because we find we are not listened to.  Our concerns, if not ignored, are dismissed.  

I supported you in intervening to help stop the possible slaughter of the people of Benghazi.  I am  Quaker, but first I am a humanitarian.  I took a lot of criticism for supporting you on that.

Might I suggest that what we are seeing at home represents something potentially as devastating?  We are moving economically in the direction of a Banana Republic.  The trend has not slowed during your presidency.  

We see “accountability” insisted upon – for school children, for school teachers, for those who expose the embarrassing secrets of the previous administration.   Where is the accountability for the financial executives who lied, cheated, manipulated?  Why are they made whole but those whose financial futures they have wrecked are not?    Where is the accountability for BP?  Where is the accountability for those who lied us into a war that is in part bankrupting this country?   Where is the accountability for those in politics who lie to the American people –  such as Senator Kyl saying on the floor of the Senate that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion, when only 3% of their expenditures are for abortion services?   If because money is fungible there it is an issue for them, then should not the fungibility of money being used to bribe and corrupt and to pay bonuses to executives who have damaged our financial well-being also be an issue?  How about the fact we allow corporations tax deductions for expenditures to influence the political process –  if the funds to Planned Parenthood are so fungible that it represents a possible tax-payer subsidization of abortion, is not the money by corporations also fungible in a way that represents a tax payer subsidization of political action, which is clearly improper and thus probably also illegal?  Or has the Democratic party become so dependent upon financial support from corporate interests that we don’t fight back on things like this?

This is a screed, I admit.  I am sitting here just letting it hang out.

I claim no wisdom.  I claim no original insight.  None of my arguments are original.

That is something that should concern you.  I am borrowing from what I hear and 4ead from others.  That includes members of your own party who hold federal elective office.  It includes party officials in states and local organizations.  It includes key voices in the progressive wing of the Democratic party.  You know, those nasty types who remember that it was unions and progressives who have helped create the social safety net that built the American middle class, the social safety net the that Republicans are now dismantling a piece at a time, as they simultaneously impose a vision of this nation that should horrify you.

So go ahead Mr. President.  Ignore me.  Ignore all the voices that have been trying to explain to you, trying to help you help this country.

You might as well.

It seems as if you have been ignoring us all along.

But just one question, Mr. President.   One that perhaps you need to consider.

What happens if we decide we have had enough?  What if we return the favor?

What if we decide we will ignore you?

Originally posted to teacherken on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:20 AM EDT.


Comments are closed.

© 2020 | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

Global Positioning System Gazettewordpress logo