We had high hopes for Obama, who spoke inspiring ideas and made wonderful promises. But how has he actually done if we look at the facts individually and not get lost in the generalizations, rhetoric, and blame?
You can get an idea from the Bottomline summaries below, and then go as deep as you want to, to verify in more detail what is actually happening - and then decide if he has the capability to do the job and/or the willingness to do what is right for the country.
Why is this so important?
We are teetering on the brink of what could be hard to unwind from - plus we have a special choice this time of someone who is not a professional politician but a man who has the particular skills we need - a Master CEO, to run the largest organization in the world.
Of course, his track record is obscured, producing the effect of people not seeing it clearly. We can look at the specifics more directly, or we can get caught up in the drama and the politics. The focus right now is: calling the opposition "for the rich", against women's birth control [preposterous and patently untrue!], "push grandma over the cliff", "for aids, dirrty water, dirty air, and against the autistic" [also preposterous and patently untrue!]. The 1% should pay their fair share (they pay 40% of all the income taxes now), the oil companies are making too much, and several other issues of small actual consequences but political appeal, while the big ones go unaddressed, except for criticizing the oppositions plans, while providing none in writing.
Is something wrong here? Are people being duped, relying on their lack of knowledge?
Isn't the rational cure here to shine the light on the facts (and not to engage in generalizations that just appear to be assertions) and to educate more people on what is actually true - and on the probable path this will produce - you guess what will happen!?!!
"We're home alone. There is no adult in the White House." Key advisors.
"...A brilliant amateur..." [Brilliant, but an amateur in this job with no experience and minimal knowledge]
- Conclusions in Suskind's Confidence Men (which gives an inside look at the
goings on for the election, Washington, the financial collapse, etc.)
The guarantee, mathematically: Dramatically higher taxes for the middle class unless there is a miraculous change in capabilities and viewpoints of Obama.
Amateur in the White House (Confidence Men, Suskind), "home alone" (Summers and others)
Excuses, blame (the rich, business people, Repubs, etc.)
Divisiveness, most uncivil speech of any modern President
Anti-business, plus economically naive and harmful
Harmful moves for economy (which will grow anyway, but more slowly)
Biggest spending President by a wide margin ($3.8 Tr, 2013; $2.8 Tr, 2007)
No written or specific plans for the biggest challenges of all: $100 trillion unfunded liabilities for Social Security
BOTTOMLINE (Only reasonable projection: taxes must rise for ALL significantly, as the high spending has to be covered by someone and no magic. Pushing back Bush tax cuts for over $250,000 produces $70 billion/year or 5% of the deficit. The wealthy are too small a percentage of the total to cover it all, so the middle class will be the key source. See Tax The Rich for details.)
Results, minus excuses and blame...:
Working with others
Divisiveness - I am a warrior for the middle class...against __________
'Republicans want dirty air and water, and to push granny over the cliff, heartless', etc.
He blames and makes excuses - It's the "other guy's" fault (successfully sold to the voters)
Politics above performance
Prioritizes politics over doing the right job for Americans (Keystone pipeline, not address solution to key
entitlements upcoming problems)
Priorities out of sync
Spent time and energy on a priority of health care, while jobs was #1.
Missed window where he had supermajority to deal with Bush tax cuts issue
Dealing with jobs
Hurting jobs and business
Anti-business appearance, plus actions
Debacle with Boeing expansion
Excess regulations and cost burdens (esp. health care plan) on businesses, hurting jobs
Not dealing with China strongly, continued massive trade deficit, losing many, many jobs
Not dealing with competitiveness of American businesses, uncompetitive tax rates
Lowered drilling on Federal lands (private & state increased on their own), failure to produce oil here to
offset trade deficit and effect on the dollar, with many, many jobs that would be gained by doing it
Ineffective stimulus, no shovel ready jobs, $200,000 - $400,000 plus per reputed jobs, not create long term
Trade agreements held up for 3 years, which Congress quickly passed
A debacle of a healthcare plan, that was pushed through with Nancy Pelosi advocating that you have to
pass the bill in order to see what is in it. (Some nice appealing features, but very impractical and
Refuses to address financial issues and not consider their urgency
Does no cost cutting on his own
No budgets of his approved - Last one voted on went down 97-0 in the Senate
Ignored followup to his appointed Simpson-Bowles commission
Pushes expenses down the road
Offers lots of give aways to various groups, not revealing the costs that are passed on to future
For healthcare, took $500 billion from Medicare, $100 billion times two years taken from social
security and medicare (tax holiday) instead of funding from other things
Ignores, other than occasional mention, the $50 trillion plus current underfunding of already
Offers lots of give aways to various groups, not revealing the costs that are passed on to future
Blocked further oil drilling, lost rigs to other countries, only state authorized new fracking increased
Keystone pipeline delayed, people in both parties agree it is political - and it cost us lots of jobs
Punts on other major issues (politics above performance)
Avoids the immigration issue (and its political implications)
Of course, this must be obscured so that people don't see it. So the strategy is to call opposition "for the rich", against women's birth control [preposterous and patently untrue!], "push grandma over the cliff", "for aids, dirrty water, dirty air, and against the autistic" [also preposterous and patently untrue!]. People who fall for it are being duped, as he is relying on their lack of knowledge.
THE CONTEXT AND WHY WE NEED A SKILLED CEO OF THE UNITED STATES
This happens to be a very important time where we need the particular skills of a Master CEO!
Of course, if Obama had been qualified to govern and/or had done the job well, then there would be no need to compete. His lack of these is apparent in the current history in Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind. Read that and decide for yourself.
The direction we're heading, in my opinion, from my studies and business and economics background, is toward irresponsible spending (not hard to see) leading to a greater and greater burden of future generations - since we cannot assume we can continue excessive spending and large deficits. It's foolish and not very far sighted.
The unfriendliness to business and the lack of a solid foundation that is reliable is destroying business and the economy, bit by bit and often hidden in the short term.
We need a turnaround! And we need a man who has a proven record in turnarounds.
Look at Obama's actual results, not just that he is likable. The results are obscured by:
An air of confidence (so we assume he is competent - but he isn't in many areas of importance)
Blaming of the other party and excuses (makes it hard to hold him accountable, but look at the results)
Giving away things (without mentioning that it costs somebody else; there is no magic!)
MEASURE THE JOB DONE BY ACTUAL RESULTS - ADDITIONAL TO THE ABOVE:
- Blaming the other side for not agreeing with him in a negotiation (!!!). Standard Alinsky strategy.
- Congressional deadlocks and blaming the other side
- Allows his people to hold up jobs legislation passed in the House, including 30 jobs bills, but complains about nobody passing his jobs bill (which has tax increases in it, which he knows will not have a chance)
- Had to be forced to cut expenses; his budget seemed oblivious to the problem: voted down 97-0 in
Senate; no budget passed in the Senate for 1000 + days.
- A debacle of a healthcare plan, that was pushed through with Nancy Pelosi advocated that you have to pass the bill in order to see what is in it. (Some nice appealing features, but very impractical and harming.)
- Does not address social security and medicare problems (even took $500 billion from a part of Medicare funds, for senior advantage - where the Medicare is paid, by agreement, to a health care organization and there is total coverage, with usually a small fee added.)
There's a few other items that are subject to disagreement and unprovable either way.
IT ALL STARTED WITH:
- No experience running substantial organizations, not qualified for job by experience.
he needed management skills but "for all his intellectual fire power, Obama had none. (Suskind, op. cit.)
His own administration officials note that they are "home alone. No adult in the room. (Suskind, op. cit.)
- An ideology of redistribution and unfairness (a la Alinsky).
I wonder if his distancing from Jeremy Wright covered up the idea that Obama attended for 20 years?
SOME GOOD IDEAS AND WELL-MEANING ATTEMPTS
He did make some attempts based on good ideas, but failed to implement them effectively. The stimulus, of course, stimulated the economy somewhat, but it had many poor strategies and tactical errors, so the huge amount of additional debt did not result in adequate emploment gains. Cost if it stimulated 1 million jobs, about $800,000 a job; if it was 2 million, it was about $400,000 per job. And many of the jobs were not long lasting jobs.
He did approve of the "financial bailout", which was wise, as it prevented the collapse of the financial system. It was not about helping the big organizations or judging them either. It was about saving the economy and all the citizens from a truly big financial disaster and a full blown depression. Of course, it was initiated before he took office, though he was able to use some of the moneys.
I think the bailout of General Motors was useful, though I think the same result was likely if General Motors declared bankruptcy and went through reorganization. This would have resulted in the same outcomes: reduced wages to be competitive, cutting distributorships, a new CEO, haircuts for the creditors, etc.
THE EVIDENCE IS OVERWHELMING BUT IT IS BEING OBSCURED
"It's the fault of the Republicans." (If only they'd agree with me. It's not my fault for not working with them.)
The political low path is being taken by the President, getting more from making the other guys bad guys than actually compromising and getting results.
Now the question is to eliminate all prejudicial nonjustified innuendoes and/or lies and to get down to the facts that will lead to an answer. Of course, though many may recognize that Romney has superior experience and knowledge, people must come to their own conclusions, especially related to their special interests.
As noted in the comments on his religion, the "religious right": He will do no damage to the interests of other religions. The only objection I could see is if somehow we could overcome the majority of people who favor pro-choice and the majority of people who favor some sort of legal union between gays. No President, whether a super stubborn strict religionist or not, has the power to suppress the majority and to override them. However, he can seek to persuade, but not through the use of force. Electing Romney as President will only help swing things back to including higher values and would benefit the "religious right" but also benefit all Americans.
These comments apply to the "left", who may want to be "right" and to have someone agree with them, but who might be "cutting off their nose to spite their face": a successful CEO of the United States will increase the size of the pie, so that all can get a bigger piece.
If we continue to have Obama doing the following, we will have a smaller pie and a government that will not operate even in sight of the level Romney would get it to be at. (And Romney will assure that those who cannot provide for themselves are provided with a secure safety net - but that those who are capable of providing for themselves will be expected to increase their skills if necessary and provide for themselves. He will also figure out a way to make America competitive to offset the greatest cause of American job loss and stagnation in wages: that there is more competition from other countries, who can provide value at a lower cost. We can resent it and say it isn't fair, but then we are just left with complaints and no progress. Romney will figure out a solution for the benefit of all the people.
THE CIVIL SPEECH ADMONITION
Rhetoric is fine, but being consistent with what you ask for. He called for civil speech, but doesn't follow his own rule nor doeshe confront his own side when they are uncivil (even in a speech where he was there and followed a union leader
The Republicans plan, Obama says, boils down to this: 'Dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.'