Obama Faithful: I’m Actually Genuinely Interested in What You Have to Say

I’m very concerned about hitting the debt ceiling and I thought I’d write a post about that and how a significant boost to the ceiling could help the commodities market at the cost of the rest of the economy and how major budget cuts could do the opposite…but then I realized that was about my whole post so I went with the rant below.

According to the most recent Gallup poll, 44% of Americans still approve of Barack Obama. I don’t intent this post to persuade, actually quite the opposite. Whenever criticism of President Obama is made, the defense seems to be some variation of “Give him time,” “He stepped into this mess,” or “It’d be even worse if he had he not done X.”

I’ve written my 5 top-of-mind issues with Obama. Its my hope that I’ll get some comments explaining why my concerns are poppycock. So you 44% of Americans that keep telling the fine men and women of Gallup that you approve of Obama, please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

  1. More debt and spending than ever before. We now approach a debt ceiling and possible credit rating downgrade. The dollar remains the world’s currency which is holding us safe from hyperinflation for the time being, but I’m not sure we can continue to plunge ourselves into debt forever and continue to hold that honor (Obama is on pace to accumulate more debt than all 43 prior Presidents). This is my biggest knock on Obama. I don’t think he understands basic economic principles, or if so he ignores them.
  2. This is another big one for me. Obama is the most anti-Israel President in the history of the two countries. I’m not the only one who thinks so. I wrote a blog post a while back after Obama stated that Israel should give land away (a silly suggestion for both national defense and demographic reasons). I don’t think abandoning our allies is an acceptable foreign policy.
  3. Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, a Harry Reid supporter and Democrat, explained that major investors are scared to invest aggressively (which would fuel the economy and produce jobs) because of Obama’s vocal intentions to make the rich  “pay their fair share.” While I give Obama major credit for extending the Bush tax cuts, but his rhetoric is hurting business. I don’t say this because of Steve Wynn’s comments, but they lend credence to the argument. You can read his comments here.
  4. Obamacare…this is an interesting one. I actually don’t mind the concept of mandatory health insurance, but based on the increases in spending I see this as just another way to increase the size of government and the shackles it puts on business tie into my previous complaint.
  5. Obama has given as much money to unions as he can hide in bills and sneak into their coffers. Unions are bad for business and his underhanded purchasing of votes seems wrong to me. I also think it’s wrong to bus union members to polls.

I’m actually genuinely interested in what you have to say, and you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.

4 thoughts on “Obama Faithful: I’m Actually Genuinely Interested in What You Have to Say

  1. Just to switch things up, I will address your issues in reverse order:

    5. Democrats give money to unions, Republicans give money to big business through tax loopholes and decreased regulations. Hell, Obama gives plenty of money to big businesses. All politicians are in bed with someone. All of them buy votes. It seems wrong to me too, but if this is one of your top five biggest criticisms of Obama, then you seem to be reaching a bit, because it’s more of a general criticism of the American political process. There has never been a President that you couldn’t make a similar criticism of. Granted, Obama was supposed to “change” things, so he may be a bit more hypocritical here than past Presidents, but come on. Let’s be realistic. I have more sympathy for your argument that unions are bad for business, although I think that statement is too broad and should be evaluated on a case by case basis. In a recent such case, although Obama (meekly) came out in support of the Wisconsin teachers, his education policies have actually served to undermine teachers unions.
    Source: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/race-to-the-top/the-irony-of-obamas-help-for-w.html

    4. We both seem to agree that Universal Healthcare is a good thing, so we don’t need to argue that. I understand that this may have been the worst possible time to pass it, but I believe that it may have been the ONLY possible time. Many democratic presidents have tried and failed to pass Universal Healthcare in the past. Obama was presented with a unique opportunity to get it passed due to the makeup of congress at the time and he took that opportunity. I think it is likely that history will judge this as one of his greatest successes.

    3. There’s no reason to argue whether extending the Bush tax cuts is a good idea, because Obama extended them. You should applaud him for it. Steve Wynn’s comments are anecdotal and thus irrelevant. Your argument that Obama’s rhetoric is reducing investment is flimsy and you seem to admit as much in your post.

    2. As you know, I am Jewish, so just keep that in mind as I refute this point. Similar to the United States, the Israeli people are split 50/50 on many issues, including foreign policy. Many, many Israelis favor ceding some land in the hope of peace. Obama may be anti-Israel in the sense that he buts up against the current conservative government there, but there are plenty of people in Israel that agree with him. Your argument that going back to 1967 borders is harmful to national defense is incorrect. A country is better able to defend its territory if there is less of it. Israel was enormously successful in its wars before 1967 and markedly less so after. Also, it is not Obama’s job to pander to Israel, it is Obama’s job to do what is best for the United States (consult the George Friedman article linked to below for elaboration). Anybody who is serious about achieving peace in the Middle East concedes that Israel must give up some land. To say that they shouldn’t is tantamount to throwing up one’s hands and agreeing to fight forever. This may be a position you advocate, but one I do not. Finally, linking to an anti-Obama article from a Fox News commentator is hardly convincing to me, even if it did appear in a Jewish publication.
    Source: http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110530-israels-borders-and-national-security

    1. To suggest that Obama does not understand basic economic principles is a useless ad hominem attack and is absurd on its face. Obama had to make tough decisions and he recognized them as such. I realize this is the argument you said I would make, but I don’t think its invalid. To simply criticize the amount of spending this administration has undertaken without appraising the context is intellectually lazy. Further, I’m not even sure how much of a political issue this really is; George W. Bush was the one who passed the bank bailouts. The last fiscally responsible president we had was Bill Clinton and he did it by disproportionately taxing the rich, which you hate. At the end of the day, this argument is probably your most salient. It is bad that we are accruing so much debt, I can’t argue with that. I’m just unconvinced that it would have been much different had someone else been in the White House.

    In conclusion, I’m not the biggest Obama fan on Earth. I did vote for him in 2008, but his presidency has been disappointing to me in many ways. I do feel that if someone asked me if I approved of his job I would answer in the affirmative, for a variety of reasons outlined above and outside the scope of this post. Going forward, I would consider Mitt Romney, I’m just not exactly sure what he stands for. Seems like a Republican John Kerry in that he’ll just go along with whatever to get elected. He does seem like a reasonable, thoughtful man. I would not entertain anyone else from the Republican field as currently constituted.

  2. 5. The fact that other Presidents were corrupt does not give Obama a free pass. He’s been extremely underhanded (backroom deals during the Obamacare push: “The Cornhusker Bailout” and “Louisiana Purchase” surely went through his office). He promised to be different, to be transparent and honest. He’s created more bipartisanship than I ever recall seeing in my short life. I will also say it’s better to be in bed with job providing big business than unions who kills business (aka GM).

    4. I don’t agree that universal healthcare is a good thing. I just don’t think the main issue is that it’s mandatory. Car insurance is mandatory, but the government doesn’t provide their own insurance. Fix malpractice (Obama is actively working to stop this because he gets a lot of money from trial lawyers). This is pretty well explained here: http://www.tortreform.com/node/692
    I think making it mandatory is fine, because it is hurting the hospital system when people get care and don’t pay, but fix it with real market solutions like tort reform and allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines, not big government intrusion into our lives.

    3. I do applaud him for caving to Republican demand for extended tax cuts (and I gave him credit in my initial post), but I know for sure that businesses have recoiled due to his commentary. I know increased healthcare costs on businesses will hurt employment. Employment has been extremely high and mostly on the rise or steady for the duration of his presidency. I don’t consider new government jobs to be a legitimate form of recover either. His incessant vilifying of the oil industry surely didn’t do anybody any good. The constant class warfare and barbs toward big business are over the top. How much they hurt the economy is hard to say, but they can’t be good for the confidence of businessmen or investors. It’s silly.

    2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the borders indefensible. It would give them no buffer around Jerusalem and they’d have Palestinians on two sides. I tend to agree. We (to any other reader who doesn’t know me I’m half-Jewish) were persecuted and killed beyond imagination in WWII. Some people don’t even believe it was real (Iran). Israel was originally given to the Jews by God. Now your religion here isn’t relevant. I say that simply to point out how long ago the Jews were in Israel. It’s not like the Jews just stole the land after WWII. They were there long ago. Giving away land and moving back to the old borders would punish them for no reason, while giving land to a group of people who have consistently supported terrorism (PLO, Hamas) and there’s no reason to believe that giving them land would placate them. After all, they did attack Israel when these were the borders.
    Random little known fact, the Philistines of the bible were the quintessential bad guys of the Old Testament. The Palestinians trace their heritage back to the Philistines.

    1. Bush was bad regarding wasteful spending. Obama stepped in and is now on pace to incur more debt than all 43 Presidents before him. That’s not mostly situational, it’s mostly ideological. More government spending means bigger government. The Omnibus spending bill that did not rush money to the economy, but rather gave it to unions and multi-year projects that weren’t to start for over a year from time of signing are examples of wasteful spending. Cash-for-clunkers while maybe improving the safety of the cars on the road (and MPG) is another example of unneeded spending.

  3. We have some fundamental agreements, but I find your views mostly reasonable. I do take issue with your saying that the increase in partisanship is Obama’s fault. He deserves some blame, to be sure, and it is made all the worse by his promises not to be that way, but I do think he has been pretty conciliatory to Republicans. Wouldn’t you agree that the tea party’s extremism + their ability to deliver election results has made it more or less politically untenable for republicans to compromise on ANYTHING, like, even if they wanted to?

    Also, I just plain disagree with Netanyahu that the pre-1967 borders are indefensible. Of course he has to say that, it just isn’t true.

  4. I’ll admit I’m biased, but I simply consider the Israel-Palestinian conflict to be one with an obvious good guy vs bad guy. I’ll take Netanyahu at his word. His explanation made sense to me.

    Republicans haven’t disdained a President this much since Jimmy Carter (the only one who challenges Obama for the most anti-Israel President of all time). His class warfare games have been over the top. I won’t blame him totally, but he’s hurt not helped bipartisanship.

    You’re probably largely correct about the Tea Party and compromise. I don’t think they’re any more extreme than Nancy Pelosi on the opposite end, but yes, you’re right in that they don’t want to compromise.

    Finally I think Mitt Romney is a dirty politician as much as the rest. In 2008 he was my guy until I saw him change views mid-debate. Nonetheless I think he’d do a good job…despite being a Red Sox fan (lol).

    I appreciate the commentary. I love me some well intentioned political debate. Tweet me whenever you have a blog post I need to read.

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