He Works. We Wait



“White House to Main Street” Town Hall: Elyria, OH

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

A recent change of the guard in the Massachusetts Senate race force the President to reveal he is working.  We, the American people, are waiting, just as we have been for months and months.  For a full year, countless citizens have felt as though they were patient.  Yet, the President did not seem to have their interests at heart.  True change has not come.  Countless constituents anticipate none is forthcoming.  Three hundred and sixty five plus have gone by and the American people are tired of being patient.

The circumstances in their personal lives have proven to be critical, worse now than in 2009.  Oh, some remain hopeful. They continue to believe.  Several are waiting for Godot, who as we all know, never comes.  Millions await the Messiah.  Many thought Barack Obama was the great liberator.  This human was perchance, a deity, devotees continue to declare.  He is a divine being, or was in the eyes of the electorate before he entered the Oval Office.  Now, Americans are wasted, wanting.  They trusted and waited for him to transform the nation.  Today, the people wonder; is it too late.  

Senator Obama was and is suave, sensitive, and a sensational orator.  Surely, words would become action.  Progressives suspended disbelief.  The Left listened to a man advocate for more war in Afghanistan. Then, they decided he was the profound peacemaker.  Conservatives too saw themselves in this gentleman.  He was polished, polite, and predominately known for his prestigious credentials. Hence, the fiscally traditional believed the wait was over.  Today, each of these exclaim, as President he is not the one.

In contrast, the markedly Independent did not pause.  These mavericks need no intervals. The detractors, decidedly cynical, opinionated opponents, and the perpetually free from Party politics, never waited for what they wanted.  They did as they always have.  Raging Republicans and “free” thinking Independents gathered the reigns, took to the streets and stood firm.  They rallied the troops of discontented Americans.  They stood their ground.  These lovers of self-governing principles never grew weary.  Self-directed voters shouted; they screamed.  They garnered strength and swayed some from the Right and some from the Left to take their position.  We will kill the Obama agenda, shrieked crowds of “concerned” citizens.

The Religious Right also does not hesitate.  Indeed, they never doubted that the person known as Barack Obama was not a savior.  He was, or so these individuals said, a “socialist.”  Committed Conservatives cringed at the notion that Mister Obama might be thought of as the embodiment of a second coming.  They would chortle in distress; perchance this President would be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It was not difficult to persuade those who had previously adopted a wait and see approach.   Numerous issues have not been attended to.  The pledge to end “Don’t Ask. Don’t tell,” frustrated a few.  Gay or straight families and friends have become impatient.  The thought that Health Care For All was left for Congress to ponder, plan, and present was seen as folly. The President, who belatedly cajoled the House and the Senate, was thought ineffective or just not truly interested in the welfare of the people.  Then there were the financial woes the President promised to address and did not adequately do so.  Indeed, millions of citizens muse; Obama sold out.  Our Chief Executive appointed Wall Street insiders to serve as his economic team.  Each of these individuals held a singular intent.  With bailout bucks, they would buy friends, influence enemies, and reward former colleagues.

Common citizens cried out in economic pain.  Rather than enact policies that might relieve the people’s plight, billions were bestowed upon wealthy bankers.

Americans have been waiting for his audacity to bring more than hope for bipartisan approval on program after program.  Most of the electorate wanted Mister Obama to exit Iraq fully, not to leave tens of thousands of troops behind.   Numerous waited for him to assertively enact a renewable energy policy.  However, as was evident at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, the President, does not plan to authentically regulate or reduce greenhouse gas  emissions.

Since Mister Obama took office, small businessmen and women applied for loans, only to have their applications rejected.  Granted, he pressed bankers to respond to the needs of the little people.  Still, calls for cash went unheeded.  Underwater homeowners also pleaded.  Refinance my mortgage please.  Requests were denied.  Ultimately, days before voters in the Bay State cast a ballot for Scott Brown, a banner headline appeared in the local paper; Obama’s foreclosure relief program called a failure.  Most borrowers have not been helped.

Credit card companies were allowed to go wild.  As the President observed, Credit has become “less of a lifeline and more of an anchor.”  Interest rates rose drastically, although not on personal savings accounts.  While the President proposed and [assed legislation to curb the crunch, The Credit Card Industry found other ways to avoid a pinch.  They will Profit From Sterling Payers.  Unemployed and underemployed, well, they were neglected just as they had been before the Messiah came.

These troubles are not unique to any one region.  Trials and tribulations exist throughout the United States.

While some may prefer to wait for the day when the President’s plans bear fruit, doubters do not.  For millions, the results in Massachusetts speak volumes.   These persons proclaim, this election, just as the two held months earlier, were not a reflection of a poorly run campaign by Martha Coakley, Virginia’s Creigh Deeds, or the New Jersey incumbent Democratic Governor, Jon Corzine.  All were sure signs of voter discontent.   The Republican wins were a blow for the Obama Administration.   Now, perhaps, the President will hear the message.

Certainly, Obama enthusiasts have come to accept what cannot be avoided.  Americans lack confidence in the Commander-In-Chief.  The tidal wave of resentment has generated much concern. Loyalists, know not what to do.  They gather round cyberspace chat rooms.  Some seek solace in the acumen of broadcasters.  What will Keith, Rachel, or Jon Stewart say?  How might these masterful commentators direct the stalwart?  A few hop onto another bandwagon.  The theory is a populist philosophy will turn folks around.

This is the position the White House adopts.  Shortly, after the special election results were released, Mister Obama answered without hesitation.  He stood before an audience in Elyria, Ohio, a community devastated by what some suggest is an economic Depression.  There the President enthusiastically proclaimed he is working for us.  For emphasis, Mister Obama forcefully opined, “Let me tell you – so long as I have the privilege of serving as your President, I’ll never stop fighting for you.”  The Nation’s Chief Executive then assured average Americans, “(T)his isn’t about me. It’s about you.” Yet, this novel appearance calls Mister Obama’s assertion into question.

Several observers stated Obama was back.  Fire was, once again, in his belly.  His campaigner style will certainly help his poll numbers to soar.  His persuasive presence would ensure a Democratic win.  However, the familiar rationale proved to be erroneous.

The President had attempted to coax a Massachusetts crowd days before the dire voter decision.  At the behest of Martha Coakley, the nation’s Chief Executive rallied round the Democratic candidate.  Still his rhetoric could not reverse the momentum.  Indeed, what would be an overwhelming demise was delivered.

Possibly, more than a mere Senate seat was lost.  Patience amongst Obama supporters has waned. The reality that American Independents and Republicans never looked back became more clear.  Scott Brown was but the amplification of the incensed mantra.  Stop health care. Do not provide civil trials for terrorists.  Rather than raise taxes; cut them. Secret backroom deals will not stand.  Special interests are not ours.  

Average American Joe and Jane are jollied.  Unlike the blindly faithful, they knew not to wait for Barack Obama or Godot.  The energized, eager, and enraged took the government back.

The hurt and hurting citizens saw that Barack Obama made the office his own, or perchance, he preserved the Clinton presidency.  The incensed did not trust the followers who point to the progress made in the effort to exit Iraq.  Instead, those outraged by slight concessions sympathized with the soldiers who struggle to survive on foreign soil.  

Disheartened, even early supporters squeal at the reality this President has increased America’s involvement in the Middle Eastern affairs. The Obama Administration authorized targeted assassinations.

Today, the once hopeful also speak out.  “He Wasn’t The One We’ve Been Waiting For.”  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan did not foretell what was to come. Devotees did not expect the President to defend the latest unemployment numbers as the he did.   “The jobs numbers are reminder that the road to recovery is never straight.” This thought was not what disciples hoped for.  No, the devoted Obama aficionados did not expect him to  apolitically offer an axiom, the path towards peace. is a rough road to travel.  Nor did the dedicated expect that support of the Messianic President would equate to justification for a mixed record on Counterterrorism Reform.  

Few from the Left thought they would help elect a Republican.  Dutiful Democrats could not imagine the day that they would declare I will wait no more.  For decades, people trusted, a President from their Party was, as Mister Obama opined, working for them.  Yet, this time, perhaps in the previous two elections, and in the next go round, the public will proclaim as Boston area Waitress Vitoria Vigna, did. “I am a Democrat and to say I voted Republican was, I was like, oh, my god, I’m voting Republican.”  However, as Ms Vigna expounded, the sentiment is, “people are more agitated and anxious and a lot of people’s attitude is what has really changed? Really?”  What has changed?  Possibly, the population has given up on Godot and on Presidents who they believe have not fully perform as promised.

He Works. We Wait, or did . . .

More on money




To view the original art, please travel to More on money

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

The economic meltdown continues. This week’s take, “Money Talks” (Archive 0834), is the latest in my dollar-bill series.

Back in seven . . .

Andrew

toon@offthewahl.com

Bailouts Blaze; Exuberance Explodes



Bailout failure ‘will cause US crash’

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Never spend your money before you have it.

~ Thomas Jefferson

I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.

~ Thomas Jefferson

Tis Sunday, September 28, 2008.  The weather is warm and word on the streets is warmer.  Fire from Hades, fervor, and fury heat the debate heard on the streets and in the halls of Congress.  Businesses fail.  Banks do too.  Bailouts are planned and these too falter.  Those in the White House are red hot with concern.  People in Treasury Department and within Secretary Henry Paulson’s office sense the burn.  Many fear they too will be scorched.  The flames are intense on the Hill.  Yet, on American avenues many feel, while inflamed by the rhetoric, chilled at the prospect that this immediate need for a bailout is but a hoax or perchance, just hype.

Citizens in this country have been lied to too often; particularly, the public believes, the current Administration has been irresponsible with facts and finances.  Candidates and Congress have delivered a fair share of untruths.  Tycoons, most accept, fudge the numbers.  Countless conclude, there is no one, in government, or in corporate offices, they can trust.  Hence, when confronted with the claim, American taxpayers must bailout Wall Street, most say, and what of Main Street?  What of me?

The electorate fumes.  Even the apathetic are steamed.  Big-businesses will receive bailouts while the poor wallow in economic waste.  What is a person to do?

History might tell us we can do nothing.  Rome burned and Nero fiddled.  That is often the case when people are provided with fruits of folly in hopes they might forget financial woes.  “The fundamentals of the economy are (still) strong,” is uttered to appease Americans and perchance, those throughout the globe.

Today, and throughout this week we might recall the recession, the correction that preceded the perceived bump.  The year was 1929, near four score ago.  The month was October, and the date was the 27th.  While America had realized many fiscal depressions in years prior, none was as the crash heard on that solemn Thursday afternoon.  Few expected what amounted to a sonic boom.  The smoke rose from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  The fire on that day singed portfolios and people.  The rumbles and rubble reminded many of the ruins of Pompeii.  Some could not bear the high temperature of an explosive economy.

At first, economists and leaders thought this was a mild bump, perhaps merely a correction of the market, or in any case, no worse than the recession the nation suffered after World War I.

Numbers soon proved the optimists incorrect.  The depression steadily worsened.  By spring of 1933, when FDR took the oath of office, unemployment had risen from 8 to 15 million (roughly 1/3 of the non-farmer workforce) and the gross national product had decreased from $103.8 billion to $55.7 billion.  Forty percent of the farms in Mississippi were on the auction block on FDR’s inauguration day.  Although the depression was world wide, no other country except Germany reached so high a percentage of unemployed.

The poor were hit the hardest.  By 1932, Harlem had an unemployment rate of 50 percent and property owned or managed by blacks fell from 30 percent to 5 percent in 1935.  Farmers in the Midwest were doubly hit by economic downturns and the Dust Bowl.  Schools, with budgets shrinking, shortened both the school day and the school year.

The breadth and depth of the crisis made it the Great Depression.

No one knew how best to respond to the crisis.

Nor does anyone today.  On boulevards and in banks, citizen question why do we need a bailout for big-businesses.  What of the common folk?  Who will or has ever assisted the little guys and gals.  All these questions and more are apt.  Where were the regulators, and what ever became of regulations?  

No one wondered, not even those in the well-educated Middle Class when they could cash in on high home prices.  Few fretted when it was easy to secure a loan.  Brokers and borrowers could live in the lap of luxury when no one was watching the safe or our fiscal security.

It was fun, to burn billions, while it lasted.  Now, as Americans sit on piles of ash, once called McMansions or glorious abodes, too many millions weep for what they were happy to have wrought.  Credit card companies call and demand; they must collect on the debt.  Americans whimper.  “I cannot pay.”  My foundation, my funds were burned when all was set ablaze.

When life was good Americans bought the oratory from the Oval Office.  People purchased businesses, stocks, bonds, clothing, and any capital that could boost a sense of wellness.  Americans spent . . . it all, and on what.  Inflated images.  Irrational exuberance was contagious.  It spread as a wild fire in a forest full of tinder dry trees.  Yet, now the Bush’s are bare.  Everyone has his or her hand out.  “Alms for the poor” is not the cry.  “Alms for the rich is what citizens are told will help.  People read.

Bailout failure ‘will cause US crash’

The US stock market could suffer a devastating crash with shares losing a third of their value this week if Hank Paulson’s financial bailout plan fails, US Treasury officials have warned.  

By Tim Shipman in Washington and Edmund Conway ?

Telegraph

28 September 2008, 10:14AM BST

The financial system could face a meltdown of 1929 proportions unless US politicians succeed in their efforts for a $700bn rescue scheme, experts added.

The warning came as Republicans and Democrats met in Washington for a rare weekend debating session to attempt to seal agreement on the contentious plan, aimed at preventing a long-lasting recession in the US.

Officials close to Paulson are privately painting a far bleaker portrait of the fragility of the global economy than that advanced by President George W Bush in his televised address last week.

One Republican said that the message from government officials is that “the economy is dropping into the john.”  He added: “We could see falls of 3,000 or 4,000 points on the Dow [the New York market that currently trades at around 11,000].  That could happen in just a couple of days.

“What’s being put around behind the scenes is that we’re looking at 1930s stuff.  We’re looking at catastrophe, huge, amazing catastrophe.  Everybody is extraordinarily scared.  It’s going to be really, really nasty.” . . .

Peter Spencer, economic adviser to the Ernst & Young Item Club, said: “This is the time you have to bail people out and ask questions later.  It is very difficult to see how the US banking system would survive without that.

This has the potential to make 1929 look like a walk in the park.”

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said: “We hope sometime [Sunday] evening we can announce some kind of agreement in principle.  We may not have another day.”

Rebel Republicans – who see Paulson’s proposals as socialism by the back door – were warned they will be responsible for causing an “amazing catastrophe” if they continue to oppose the plans, which would see taxpayers buy up the bad debts of failing banks.  Instead they want an insurance scheme for banks, which would spread the cost to private enterprise.

Would it be that insurers could ensure, people will not do as they have done and ignore all cautions.  In the past, professors preached, “Remember the Alamo,”  Today, teachers beckon, “Recall the demise of American International Group (AIG),” an insurance company who fell only a week ago.

A person considered a prominent and extremely prosperous investor attempted to teach the world of what no one wished to see.  Early in May 2008, Entrepreneur, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett warned us the winds from the warm blaze would scorch all life on the planet today.  He said in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, we are in for a “long, deep recession,” “Perhaps not in the sense that economists would define it.  But the people are already feeling the effects.  It will be deeper and last longer than many think.”  

Sadly, Few heard him.  People were off shopping.  Most paid for purchases with fire.  Sales, while robust, were often transactions that led to greater debt.  For decades now, people have preferred to buy now and pay later.  Only now do Americans experience an economic pinch.

Awestruck by the economic wreckage, people ask why.  Why me?  Why now; and a few astute monetary masters say, “Why not?”  Economists wonder why is it that humans do not learn from history.  People look back after they are burned.  The question might not be what caused the fire or the frenzy.  That answer is easily found.  Humans, flawed and filled with the foible of avarice wish to accumulate what they cannot afford.  Perchance, the query could be, who or how often will people pursue a bailout?  When will debt not be an option and when will humans guard against avariciousness?

References for Fiscal Resources . . .