Saturday, February 6, 2010

How that Hopey Changey Thing is Working Out for Me

Sarah Palin's keynote speech at the tea party convention asked Obama supporters exactly how that hopey changey thing is workin' out for us.  Given the title of this blog, I feel an obligation to respond.  From a purely selfish point of view, I could look at the 27% return my retirement account achieved last year, making up a substantial part of the losses I sustained in the market collapse of 2008.  Looking at the economy more broadly, we see a growth rate of about 6% in the last quarter as opposed to a decline of about the same amount around the time President Obama took office.  The economy is still losing jobs, but at a much, much slower rate than a year ago.  General Motors and Chrysler are still in business, as are the major banks, when a year ago many thought these institutions would collapse and send the nation into a second Great Depression.  Instead we seem to be in the early phases of a recovery.  The housing market is still weak, but prices have finally stabilized and appear to be heading back up.  States are facing substantial budgetary problems, but those would have been a lot worse without the relief to the states that the stimulus bill provided.

I am pleased that the president appointed a progressive, well-qualified judge to the Supreme Court, in addition to his many well-qualified Cabinet and other appointments.  I am thrilled that we have a constitutional law professor in the White House, and tea party supporters should be also, given that they claim to have so much respect for the Constitution.

I was proud that the president was able to get the UN Security Council to agree unanimously to reduce nuclear weapons, reached out to the Muslim world and helped start a counter-revolution in Iran, and that he won the Nobel Peace Prize.  I am satisfied that we are on a more sensible course in Iraq and Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that we have regained the support of our NATO allies.  I see progress in respect of human rights both at home and abroad. I am also proud that the United States is once again ranked as the most admired country in the world.

I am worried, however, about whether Congress will follow through with health care reform legislation after the tremendous achievement of passing significant reform through both the House and Senate, something no previous president has achieved.  Premiums for the health insurance I provide for my office employee have been skyrocketing and threaten to escalate further under our current system. I am disappointed that the opposition party has taken such a negative attitude toward everything, instead of trying to work constructively toward solving pressing problems, but I am encouraged by the president's recent efforts in his State of the Union message and his talk with Congressional Republicans, to engage in a positive dialogue. I am still afraid of the hate and fear and lies being spread by the right, and of a lot of the negativity on the left. I am concerned about whether we are doing enough to deal with worsening environmental problems.  But for the most part the hopey changey thing seems to be heading in the right direction, and thank you very much for your concern, Sarah.


  1. People like you have cost me my job. You need to take a basic course in economics. The resources aren't there for health care. This country can't afford it. This country needs an economy capable of supporting the wants and needs of the public NOT the wants and needs of people like you. Obama has no concept of the economy. His resume is an embarrassment. Hope and change will only come when he is gone.

  2. uhm, news flash, Mr. Huckabee... if anyone cost you your job, it was either the eight years of Bush/Cheney's complete fiscal irresponsibility and deregulation, or you did it to yourself. You're an internet consultant for crying out loud. Who doesn't need one of those?! And, correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure Mr. Markowitz IS a member of the "public". Based on your response here, I'm guessing your'e either a Rebublican or Teabagger - either way, you should wake up, because Palin isn't the answer to anything. She's completely vapid and yet still manages to pull off her particular brand of hypocrisy and idiocy every time she opens her mavericky mouth. You might want to consider going back to school and acquiring a new education in Constitutional Law, Economics and/or American history.

  3. Who do you suppose is paying the health care costs of the indigent in the current system? Those of us who pay for our health care, either with insurance or without, pay higher costs and higher premiums because of the uninsured, and we also pay for profits on their care. It makes sense to me that if we take the profit out of insurance, we can cover a lot more people. Those people can get their care before they are critically ill--a further savings over the current system where we pay for critical care in emergency rooms,with those outrageous charges added to our health care costs.

  4. Huck, I'm sorry you are out of a job, but I'm not sure I understand how I cost you your job. Also, I did take a number of courses in economics in college and in law school. There are plenty of economists who could explain way better than I can, why our health care system is such a mess. But as to whether we can afford to fix it, I think we really can't afford not to. This country spends twice as much on health care as other comparable advanced nations, and gets worse health care results. That is just a documented fact. We need to control spending and make sure that everyone has access to decent affordable care. We need to get insurance companies out of the business of spending millions of dollars to avoid taking care of people. Once everyone is covered, and costs are spread more equitably, we should be able to remove a lot of inefficiencies and waste from our patchwork health insurance system.

  5. People blaming people... politicians playing their petty games while the country is going through the biggest economic crisis in years... Hope & change is what we need if the government wasn't held hostage or paralysed by certain people... it's really disheartening...

    Stop messing up America!