Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Or his associates acting in his name. There seems to be a rabid distrust of government growing in our nation. It's been bad for a few years, but the last few months seem to have exacerbated the problem to gigantic proportions. What has caused this fast acceleration into distrust, and even fear, of our own government?

I think a lot of it is the unknown. We've elected a president who was unknown to most of America until less than a year ago. He didn't really define himself during the election. Other than being hailed as the first black president of the country, his popularity seemed to hang on his message of change and hope. It was never clearly defined what the change would be, or what we were hoping for, but 52% of America went for it at the polls.

Now we are past the 3 month mark in the presidency. We've seen things which trouble us, even if we weren't troubled before the election. We've seen crooks and tax dodgers given important positions. We've seen the first major act of the president run our debt to historic highs in a very short time, and we've seen bills on the table and voted in without anyone having a chance to read and digest them properly. What was the rush?

We've seen our president apologize for and denigrate our country, cozy up to our enemies, such as Hugo Chavez, and back away from our friends. We've seen an appalling lack of political protocol knowledge, pitiful gift giving, and a somewhat lower class of behavior and dress than I would expect to be shown by a President and First Lady of the most powerful nation on earth.

At the same time that those things are happening, we've seen a president who changes his mind every day on something he's said recently. A good description is flip-flopping. We still, after 3 months, don't know who our president is. We don't know what he stands for. It seems to change on a daily basis. I don't think that's the change we wanted, is it?

Am I against Obama? Not as a person. I give him the benefit of the doubt about wanting the best for our country. I wish he would think his positions through before making a statement to the press. I wish he had some pride and belief in our country, and our founding fathers. I wish he would just say what he believes in, or what he plans to do, specifically, instead of speaking in generalities which may be different tomorrow.

So, it's hard to know, hard to expect one thing or another from the president, or from his administration. This instability causes more distrust and fear. If there were nothing to hide, why would things keep being hidden?

We see misdirection: AIG is a case in point. What's the big deal about the bonuses that were already agreed to by the administration? $165,000,000 cast into the ring of violent rhetoric almost the same time that close to $1,000,000,000,000 is added to our debt. Yeah, drop in the bucket. So why was such a big to-do set up, including comments by the same president who knew in advance, and had okayed them in advance? Because that took our minds off the near-trillion dollars Congress was passing.

Another case is GM. Obama clearly stated that the government had no intention of running the car company. He made it sound like the government was offering no more than a bandaid. Then immediately, he fired the head of the company and put in one he liked. Then he guaranteed the warranties on the cars, and sent a White House team to GM to work out a new business plan. What do you want to bet GM will become the state-sponsored manufacturer of all those energy saving cars ~ the ones most Americans don't want? The ones that use bio-fuels which cost more energy to produce than the energy they can possibly provide. Yeah, no government intervention there.

A final example, though there are others, may be what he says about the rich and free-market enterprise. "I strongly believe in a free market system," he said in London after the G20 conference. "In America, at least, people don't resent the rich," he said. "They want to be rich. And that's good."

Other than a lot of government spending and rescuing (and I realize bailouts started with Bush, and I wasn't happy about them then, either), where's the action to back up the words? What has he done to prove that he feels that way? He wants the government to do more and more and more for its people, and that means the people will do less and less and less for themselves. If we look to the government to save us from everything, then what need is there for us to do anything?

Where are the tax incentives and other incentives to companies of all sizes to keep jobs in the USA? Where is the government getting out of the way and letting small business get on with the job of employing America and building its prosperity? All I see is more tax burden, more regulation, more government paperwork.

Who will pay for all that government? 100% of Americans, that's who. There won't be any of us who aren't paying for it, and suffering the burden of it. We can't expect the top 2% of money-makers to pay the whole bill. They don't make enough! In fact, right now, we can't pay off our debt, if we stopped spending one single penny for government.

So, why do we distrust our government? Because it lies and misdirects us, and not just the administrative branch. We keep electing people to represent us, and then they don't. We keep expecting people to do what they say, and then they don't. We keep expecting honesty of politicians, but then they aren't honest. Maybe it's not so surprising that there is a rising percentage of people who don't trust our government.


Paul said...

Very good.

Gail said...

You have voiced nicely what people are thinking Susan. Lets us ponder this (and I can't remember who said it)
The sign of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

Why do we keep doing the same things over and over again and expect it will be different this time.

TimH said...

Why do we put up with it? Abused wife syndrome.

Pournelle keeps asking why BHO keeps campaigning even thought the election is over. The obvious reason is that he needs to keep doing what he does well so we might not notice what he doesn't do at all.

Time for a new political party. The Whigs? Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty? Guns & Dope Party? I hope we'll see in the next 12 months.