Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The President Stole My Birthday and Other Tragic Tales of the Obama Years

My Bi-weekly column, "All In Perspective," published in the Georgetown Advocate, Hill Country News, and Jarrell Star-Ledger.

Birthdays are a ‘big deal’ in my family.  When I was a kid, children’s birthdays were celebrated with not one, but two parties:  one for friends, one for family.  And although we never had the money for extravagant gifts, even adult birthdays included large family gatherings with lots of laughter and love.  So even though lately I’m not so enthused about that whole aging thing, I’ve always looked forward to my birthday. 

That is until the President stole my birthday.

You see, Barack Obama and I were both born on August 4.  And yes, I can produce my birth certificate. My friends on both sides of the aisle (no really, some of my best friends are Liberals,) find this extraordinarily funny, and for the last four years on my birthday the talk is all about whatever lavish Birthday Bash Obama will have this year.

Of course I’m really not so narcissistic that I can’t share my birthday; after all there’s a lot of other folks born on August 4th.  No, what’s really got me down is that while the President is charging $38,000 a person to blow out his birthday candles with the first family and George Clooney, America is in serious trouble.
For starters, while the White House is madly spinning the latest jobs report, the ‘official’ unemployment rate has risen to 8.3%.  The President claims he created 163,000 new jobs last month, but another 195,000 jobs were lost, and the labor participation rate has now fallen to an alarming 63.7%.  When we include individuals who have given up on finding a job, the unemployment rate rises to 15%.  Not much to celebrate there.

Despite the high unemployment rates and dismal GDP growth, under the President’s direction government spending continues to skyrocket and the national debt has now reached $15.9 trillion.  Congress hasn’t passed a budget since 2009, but Obama and the Democrats are doing their darndest to delay any budgetary action until after the election.  Even worse, they are trying to hide the fact that the upcoming defense cuts will cost the nation an estimated one million jobs next year.

The other hidden post-election surprises include massive tax increases on American families and businesses.  Without congressional action, on January 1, 2013, taxes will increase by $494 billion, and that’s only implementing 5 of the 18 new taxes included in Obamacare.  Over the next 10 years, Obamacare alone will impose an additional $1 trillion in new taxes.  By all estimations, ‘Taxmageddon 2013’ will devastate GDP and plunge the nation into a new recession, if not a full-blown depression.

In addition to the economic chaos Obama’s leadership has created, the President’s attitude towards our constitutional rights is disturbing at best.  In what appears to have been part of some twisted agenda regarding the 2nd Amendment, the Administration allegedly allowed thousands of guns to be sold to known drug cartels on the Mexican border.  And in a shocking betrayal of Catholics and other Christians, the President’s rules will force all Americans to financially support and promote abortion despite our religious objections.  It’s hard to celebrate when our own government is putting us in danger and trampling on our religious freedoms.

So while Obama celebrated his birthday in style, a growing number of Americans are growing tired of the ‘Celebrity-Circuit-President’ and his policies.  But it’s my birthday too, and I have a few things on my wish list.  Assuming the Ruger.380 True Texan Coyote Special is out of your price-range, what I’d really like for my birthday is a new President.  It’s really up to you, the American voters.  And guess what, Mitt Romney’s birthday is March 12. 

Just sayin’.


Jan said...

My birthday is on August 4 too and I had it before the President.

Kip Sieger said...

SSorry to hear that sharing a presidential birthday is tough, but do you really think we’d be better off with Romney? You’re peeved that Obama charged $38,000 for his birthday bash. Were you equally incensed about Romney’s lavish fundraisers in England and the Hamptons? Get real. Like it or not, politics are overly influenced by big donors. Both parties play the game, but the GOP has the lion’s share of high rollers.

Don’t like the economy? Who does? Unemployment is way too high, be it the official rate, or a measure including involuntary part-timers or those who’ve given up. But would Romney would be better? In case you haven’t been paying attention, he’s not a NASCAR kind of guy. He hobnobs with the owners of race teams, corporations, etc. These are the 1% folks who’ve been increasing their share of the pie while others struggle to hold their own. They’re the folks who’ll open a plant in a right-to-work state if they think that’s where the biggest profits are to be had, or in China, India or anywhere else where the money trail may lead. Wake up – these people’s allegiances are to their shareholders and overseas tax havens, not the average Joe.

And speaking of overseas tax havens, you made a snide reference to Obama’s birth certificate. Are you equally curious about Romney’s tax returns? He’s not under any legal obligation to release them, but does it bother you that the 14% rate he paid in 2010 is lower than the rate paid by people you know? Do you ever wonder what might be in the returns he won’t release, or what may have been squirreled away in Swiss bank accounts or offshore havens? You really think he gives a whit about the average person in Williamson County?

It’s true the economy is a mess, but ours is a world of shrinking and ever more costly resources. After inheriting an economic meltdown from Bush, Obama’s been dealing with an obstructionist, tea-party infused Congress more interested in ruining his presidency than in getting anything done. And while the DOW isn’t the only measure of economic well being, it’s worth noting the DJIA lost over 20% of its value during the Bush’s eight years, but has seen a 50% rise since Obama took over.

You also gripe about the rise in costs associated with Obamacare, yet bemoan a possible loss of jobs if military spending were reduced. Regarding the defense budget, does it not trouble you that, with 5% of the world’s population, we are so armed-to-the-teeth that we account for nearly half the planet’s overall military spending?

In terms of health care, costs have been rising for a variety of reasons, from our sedentary, junk food-laden way of life, to a powerful medical establishment bent on implementing expensive, litigation-proof corrective procedures instead of working with patients to prevent illness. In 1960, health care spending amounted to 1 of every 20 dollars of GDP. Today, it’s more than 1 in 6 dollars of GDP. This rise has been occurring regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican was in the White House. And while I’m sure you’re opposed to anything resembling socialized medicine, it is worth noting that countries with single payer systems – including England, Canada, and Sweden – all spend less on health care as a % of GDP but enjoy life expectancies equal or greater to that in the U.S. It is also worth remembering that when an uninsured person needs medical care but can’t pay for it, the rest of get stuck with the tab in the form of higher premiums and higher deductibles.

Bottom line: if you want to vote against Obama because of social conservative values like abortion rights or intolerance of gays, then there’s a difference between the two. But if you’re for Romney because you think he’s going to enact policies to benefit the average Joe, it’s time to get a clue.

Finally, what’s with juxtaposing your disdain for the “Celebrity-Circuit-President” with a plea for a new Ruger .380? It makes you sound like the kind of deranged whack job who’d use their new weapon to make sure there’s a different guy in the Oval Office.