For those of you that were so inclined last night, President Obama gave what many experts are classifying as the speech of his life last night.
He did not mince words or paint a falsely rosy picture of the economy or the effects of the recession which is gripping the country and the world. What he did was, in effect, tell the nation that yes, things suck, but if we don’t take bold action, including providing immediate help to those who have lost their jobs and health care and those who have yet to lose them, then no amount of other tinkering is going to fix this, and the economic fiasco could last a decade or more.
The immediate help, besides extending unemployment benefits and other immediate immediate help programs such as food stamps, also provides money to states for their financial obligations, including payrolls. By providing that type of assistance to the states, more people remain gainfully employed and thus able to provide for their families, pay their bills and mortgages, and pay their taxes, which helps to fund the federal budget and reduce the budget deficit. Basic math 101 stuff.
The longer term help is about saving and creating millions of jobs by fixing the nation’s infrastructure and developing alternate energy sources for all to access, which also helps fund the federal budget while providing an invaluable and necessary benefits the for entire nation. President Obama outlined several of the programs that will be funded by the stimulus package in his speech.
To summarize, the president admitted that this entire process is clearly expensive, but that the cost of doing nothing (and spending nothing) would be much, MUCH greater.
He spoke very eloquently about the challenges ahead and made his arguments in clear, concise, coherent, articulate, grammatically correct language. Hearing that type of oration is part of what was so wonderful about listening to the president’s speech. It’s admittedly been a long time since American have had that opportunity. Actually, it was quite a treat.
Following Obama’s speech, Bobby Jindal, republican governor of Louisiana and rising GOP presidential rock star wannabe, gave the GOP response. It is important to note that Jindal is one of only five GOP governors out of 50 state governors in the USA rejecting the portion of the stimulus package that provides additional unemployment benefits to the states for distribution to the unemployed. These same governors are still accepting all other funds provided them and their states in the federal stimulus package, which, by the way is now a law. It seems these governors may be looking at a GOP presidential run in 2012, and this is their “statement” against the stimulus package. You can, and should, read more about this HERE.
Giving credit where it’s due, Jindal started out fine with acknowledgement of President Obama’s achievement of becoming the first African-American president of the USA. Jidal himself is India-American and thus has appreciation for this type of feat.
But from that point, Jindal descended into some kind of rambling diatribe seemingly intended for fourth graders. At times Jindal seemed to say that almost everything the democrats are doing is wrong, but then proposed similar solutions to those passed by the democrats. One example of this is where Jindal stated,
“To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health care coverage, period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage.”
Gee. Isn’t that the blueprint for President’s plan to reform health care?
Jindal went on to say, “What we oppose is universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not by government bureaucrats.”
No one on the democratic side of the issue has EVER advocated that bureaucrats should be making health care decisions. in fact, the truth is that this bureaucratic interference with doctor-patient medical decisions is exactly what happens today with the for-profit private health insurance system that the GOP so dearly protects. You can read Jindal’s entire speech for yourself HERE.
Although many who watch the speech thought of Jindal’s speech as infantile and filled with inaccuracies, We the PEOPLE!! believes that he was simply staking out his claim to the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. This view is reinforced by the numerous conservative web sites advocating Jindal for that very position. Google “Jindal president 2012” if you want to check these out.
What’s lost on Jindal and the rest of the GOP is that for the first time in history, the average citizen can actually participate in getting real time information about government programs such as the stimulus package online at web sites such as Recovery.gov. As more and more Americans become computer literate, more are finding out how to get to the truth about issues that affect them. And more and more, Americans are going to become more proactive about the information and misinformation thrown at them.
By the way: Recovery.gov was President Obama’s idea. It’s just another example of the difference between the current administration and what preceded it. It’s also an example of the difference between what is and what would have been if the GOP had won the presidential election, since John McCain admitted he didn’t use a computer.
Amazing what a brilliant, eloquent, highly educated, tech-savvy leader can do, huh?
In the meantime, be glad you’re not unemployed in one of the five GOP-run states that are refusing the additional unemployment benefits included in the stimulus package. Put another way, if you lost your job, at least be happy Jindal is not your governor