Deborah Wilder: Time to put the rhetoric aside
I may not have voted for President Obama, but as my president, I wish him well. I want him to be successful in domestic and foreign policy matters which are in the best interest of Americans.
As I listened to his State of the Union on Tuesday, I was disappointed. He told us that his “only agenda” is what he thought was best for America.
And while he said he wanted to work with the Republican Congress, in the next breath he said he would veto legislation that did not meet his vision.
Instead of focusing on a common issue of concern (to which there is more than one solution) such as immigration, national debt, fixing Obamacare, he proposed higher taxes.
Governing means you put people with differing views in a room, identify a topic of concern to all, then listen to all the ideas.
Out of that, compromise and negotiation take place to craft a solution that is probably not perfect and for certain is not 100 percent of what any party in the room wants. But it is a start in the right direction. I heard nothing of that from the president.
I found his comments on economic success premature. I took statistics in college and was told “there are three kinds of lies: white lies, damn lies and statistics.” A good economist or speech writer can take a statistic and make it say almost anything.
The Gallup poll of last week says President Obama’s approval rating is the highest in over a year at 46 percent. What that really means is that 54 percent of the population is not so pleased.
So when the president tells me we have a “breakthrough economy creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999,” I am skeptical.
When he says the unemployment rate is lowest since the financial crisis began (who knows exactly what date he is referring to), that is awfully hard for me to believe when I had to lay off a good employee two weeks ago because we did not have enough work.
Now, President Obama did say some things that I agree with: College debt is too high, we need a national plan to combat cyber threats, America has the right to hunt down terrorists that threaten us anywhere in the world, American’s deserve a better infrastructure, and we should hire our veterans.
He also told us some things we already knew about ourselves; that Americans are resilient and resourceful, we work hard and when we are faced with a crisis, whether a personal economic challenge or a terrorist threat abroad, we rise to the challenge and through hard work and determination find a solution.
As much as he touted the success of Rebecca Knerr and her young family for working hard and being a success, I am pretty sure she would rather Congress tackle our spiraling national debt and underfunded entitlement, instead of a promise to make community college free.
When President Obama took office the national debt was $10 trillion dollars. Today, it is $18 trillion dollars.
Social Security, and more importantly Medicare, is on a collision course to be totally unfunded as the last of the baby boomers get set to retire. And who is going to pay those bills and pay that debt? It won’t be me.
I will be retired. It will be people like Rebecca and her young family. It will be my children and grandchildren that have been burdened with this debt.
However, the solution is prudent fiscal management, not promising new programs that will certainly never be delivered before Obama leaves office.
Ronald Reagan said “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go, if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”
Maybe it is time for the president to quit speechifying and actually try to work with Congress. I am not talking about sending his “wish list” to Congress then claiming that Congress will not work with him, but really work with them to a solution.
The solution might not be 100 percent what he wants, but Bill Clinton managed to govern and work with a Republican Congress and Ronald Reagan did it with a Democratic Congress.
It is time to put the rhetoric aside and really govern, not what is right in the view of just one person, but what is really best for the American People.
Deborah Wilder, who lives in Grass Valley, is chairman of the Nevada County Republican Party.
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