Wednesday, April 13

Fail Streak

In case you missed today's speech by Pres. Obama on his budget proposal "official unveiling," you should be able to view the full speech free through the White House's outlet site:

No doubt pundits will be all over this for a few weeks, maybe even months, each using clips to underscore their own convictions--liberals and conservatives alike. While I continue to treasure the 2008 election in my heart every morning like some little girl who actually got her unicorn, because it was truly unprecedented for America to come together in the way it did, that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with everything our president has done or plans to do. And that's no big deal. It would be weird if I agreed with anyone 100%. What I do think matters is whether or not the Obama 2012 campaign assumes they already have my vote (although, seeing the current list of contenders, it actually may be the case).

This budget battle that has recently hogged the spotlight at every level of government is finally giving us the opportunity to see if our politicians are soundbyte-demagogues or public servants. Although I've never voted for any candidate of his party, ever, I'm actually secretly proud of my state congressman, (R) Paul Ryan, for putting forth a budget proposal. It doesn't have to be what I necessarily want passed, but it sure is a great way to start a real policy debate. And policy discussion--grown up ones that don't involve birth certificates or sexual orientation--is exactly what this country deserves. We need our elected officials to weigh their ideas against one another, to establish viable ideas they agree upon, and come up with what will best serve our nation moving forward. That's the soundbyte--it's time for the specs.

On specifics, I found myself quite disappointed with today's speech. I needed President Obama to tell me what I didn't already know about him. For instance, anyone who was around during his first run for the presidency has likely not forgotten that he a) is a Democrat, and therefore b) favors keeping entitlement programs around, c) wants to invest in renewable energy research, d) favors funding early education/student financial aid programs, e) believes that the private sector should have government oversight and even have to compete with public programs, etc. Already knew those things from three years ago...What exactly was unveiled today?

Republicans are more or less rallied around the Ryan proposal. Democrats in Congress, as expected, are M.I.A., except for NY (D) Anthony Weiner (e.g., "Deal With It"). It seems unrealistic to even imagine Harry Reid to actually lead Democrats and counter Ryan's proposal. So in fetal position, Dems are cowardly looking at the president to do it for them. I don't believe that's the president's job, because then all other Democrats elected to offices would have no jobs. But if Obama is going take on this task at all, he should do it better.

Disagreeing with cuts to Medicare and education is not enough; President Obama, if he is going to do the entire Democratic Party's job (since they apparently won't), should have gone into more detail and told us what tax loopholes and current rates he wants changed and what he wants them changed to. With all the changes he previously said he was going to make and repeated today, he should tell us why those changes haven't been made and how they will be now. Proposing independent commissions is not news worthy--it's another funny pet youtube video. If you're going to cut defense spending, we're gonna need more than to know that Bob Gates will figure it out. I mean, is that to say that Gates hasn't been doing so and will now take on this new responsibility? Seriously, it would be nice to get real solutions. And if it sounds like we're asking too much of one person, maybe it's time the Obama administration has a serious talk with Democratic congressmen revisiting job descriptions and responsibilities.

In light of my growing frustration with the Democratic Party, I'm beginning to hope that a 2012 Ron Paul/Paul Ryan ticket shows up if only to raise the bar in the policy debate forum. If Democrats sent to D.C. continue to sleep through this term, they don't deserve reelection. And yeah, people in financial distress, people struggling with medical bills, people with disabilities, veterans, children, students, minorities, will bear the consequences of the Democrats' fail streak. We may well be on our way to finding out what impacts the Ryan budget cuts will have on our lives if Dems continue this way.

1 comment:

BEE IT said...

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