I am a 52 year old white male who lives in a racially mixed area in a small city. Anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t have a racist bone in my body. My stepson is married to another man and I support their choice and all gay unions. I believe that women should control their bodies. They should make choices for their health and well being and not have those decisions dictated by state or federal government. I have been published and support the arts. I do not own a gun (yet) but support the right to responsible gun ownership and usage. Most of my social leanings are to the left of center but I am also a fiscally conservative businessman, which puts me in a tough spot given the times in which we live.
Recently, I’ve been seeing some people post a hand written poster on Facebook stating 8 reasons to reelect President Obama. I think it might be a good idea to address some of those reasons from a factual standpoint. I also encourage you to research what you are reading, not just accept it as fact. The reasons from the poster are italicized. The facts I present are from government statistics:
1. Health care reform. President Obama’s original forecast said the cost would be $940 billion dollars. The Congressional Budget Office recently released figures showing the actual cost will be $1.76 Trillion. He was wrong by about half. If you or I had a cost overrun of that magnitude we would be fired.
2. He ended the war in Iraq. False. Policy was already in place regarding troops leaving Iraq when President Obama took office and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq happened almost to the exact timetable set before he entered office. He is drawing the war to a close in Afghanistan. False. There are more US boots on the ground now in Afghanistan than ever before. Many of these are private contractors, which obscures the numbers but at the end of 2011 there were 87,000 private contractors in Afghanistan. US troops in Afghanistan increased in 2010 from 30,000 to almost 100,000 by year’s end. In addition to escalating military efforts in Afghanistan we have bombed Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia and threatened Eritrea on President Obama’s watch.
3. He thinks women should have free preventative health care. There is nothing in the constitution that says anyone should have free anything given to them by the government. More importantly, what you are referring to is socialized health care which is failing the world over. Documenting this would take more time and room than I have allotted here. Do some research.
4. He signed Lilly Ledbetter Act. That is a fact. He also signed it three days before he promised he would sign any bill during his campaign.
5. He is promoting and investing in clean energy jobs. The companies he invested tax payer monies into paid big bonuses to their management and then went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers liable for his bad judgment to the tune of half a billion dollars. Do a search for Solyndra. You may also want to search for George Kaiser and check out his relationship to President Obama’s 2008 campaign and Mr. Kaiser’s investments in Solyndra.
6. He supports no child left behind. According to the Department of Education the federal government causes 41% of the administrative cost burden at the state level for education while providing only 7% of overall educational funding. According to the Federal Office of Management and Budget, No Child Left Behind increased state and local governments’ annual paperwork burden by 6,680,334 hours, at an estimated cost of $141 million dollars. To put it into painfully simple terms, if you had $41.00 would you willingly give it to your bank, knowing that you would get $7.00 back? Of course you wouldn’t. It is another glaring example of federal programs costing a great deal of money to little effect.
7. He thinks the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes. It is a no brainer. Agreed. Is that a reason to elect someone president?
8. Despite inheriting one of the worst economic messes since the Great Depression he added 2.6 million private sector jobs to our economy and indications are the economy is slowly improving. To anyone who thinks it’s been too slow – don’t you know you can’t turn the Titanic around in a day? The Titanic sank. Obama’s job record looks decent only if you look solely at private sector jobs. Overall, his job performance is the worst in history since Herbert Hoover. Check the facts.
Since I’ve started down this path I thought I would make my own list, based on factual research of reasons to consider not voting for President Obama, listed in no particular order.
Everyone knows politicians are not going to be able to live up to all of their promises, especially as president. There are several websites tracking President Obama’s campaign promises and the failures according to most of them are about 4 typewritten pages long. That being said, there are a few glaring failed campaign promises that should be addressed on my list:
1. Close Guantanamo Bay. As a democrat new to office, this could have been a bold strike against republicans. Instead he has gone back on his word and has resumed military tribunals there as well as transferred the accused 9/11 plotters from a civilian court in NY to a secret military tribunal at Guantanamo.
2. Health care for all. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that if the reforms take place, by 2014, 22 million Americans will still be without basic health care.
3. End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000. It has fallen completely off of the radar.
4. End no bid contracts above $25,000. It hasn’t happened and probably won’t.
5. He claims he wants to increase taxes for high earners but agreed to allow the Bush era rules to stand in place. The only way he’ll be able to fulfill that promise is being reelected so effectively, that is a broken promise for this term.
6. Allow imported prescription drugs. Due to negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies in exchange for support of Obamacare, the plan is off the table.
7. Double funds for cancer research. It has gone from $4.8 billion to $5.196 billion. His math was almost as poor on this as it was on healthcare reform.
8. Reject the Military Commissions Act on handling detainees. See Guantanamo notes on number 1.
9. Allow 5 days of public comment before signing non-emergency bills. The Lilly Ledbetter Bill, the first bill signed by President Obama, which is mentioned in number 4 of the reasons to support President Obama, was passed by the House on January 27, 2009 and signed by the president on the 29th.
10. Support of a human mission to the moon by 2020. It has been dropped from the budget but not before $9 billion dollars was spent on it.
11. Within one year of taking office convert the entire White House fleet to plug-ins. I can’t wait to see the president climbing out of the back of a Nissan Leaf.
12. No family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase. Talk to your accountant.
13. Negotiate all health care reform on C-Span. Another transparency promise failure.
14. Comprehensive immigration bill in the first year. We’re still waiting.
Aside from failed campaign promises, why might it not be such a good idea to reelect our current president? According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans living in “extreme poverty” is at an all time high. Please note, this is not sheer numbers. This is the highest percentage, ever in the history of the USA. This is a statistical fact from the federal government, not a random opinion, like what is stated in number eight of the reasons to reelect Obama poster.
Since Barack Obama took office, recipients of food stamps have risen by 45 percent. Again, according to the Census Bureau, 49% of Americans live in a household that receives direct monetary aid from the federal government. When President Obama entered the white house the number of “long term unemployed workers” was at 2.6 million. Today it is at 5.6 million. Again, this reflects poorly on the poster statement in #8.
Since President Obama took office, according to figures released 02/27/2012, total jobs have decreased by 1.2 million, home values have decreased by 13% and the misery index has risen from 7.8 to 11.2 or a 44% increase during his term in office. See poster #8 again.
Barack Obama is certainly not the cause of all of these woes but there are a couple areas that are even more disturbing than the facts already laid out. Federal spending is the first concern. Despite claims that he would not increase debt, it has risen from $10.6 trillion dollars when he took office to $15.6 trillion as of March 16, 2012. According to the U.S. Treasury, President Obama is increasing debt by an average of $4.24 billion a day. He is on pace to increase the national debt by term’s end to $ 6.2 trillion. That is more debt than was accumulated by all presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton, combined. The U.S. national debt did not eclipse the $6.195 trillion level, the amount Obama is on pace to increase it in one term, until August 19, 2002, during President George W. Bush’s second year of office. During George W Bush’s term in office, his spending was at $1.66 billion a day, the highest spending by a president until Barack Obama took office.
My greatest concern is the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA. On December 31, 2011 President Obama signed the NDAA into law, codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in US history.
On, March 4, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder told an audience at Northwestern University Law School that the President of the United States “in full accordance with the Constitution” can kill American citizens that pose a threat to the Federal government. Holder added that the President’s authority to murder U.S. citizens without due process, trial or conviction is “not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan” because “we are at war with a stateless enemy, prone to shifting operations from country to country.”
Judge Andrew Napolitano put Holder’s explanation of why it is acceptable to kill Americans without trial into perspective in a recent FOX News interview, “His [Holder’s] argument is that there is a substituted form of due process. That if the President and his advisors carefully consider the danger of a human being and conclude that that human being needs to be stopped before that person causes any more danger, then the President can kill him. That’s their argument. There is no case law that stands for that, there is no statue that authorizes it and it directly defies the 5th Amendment to the Constitution.”
According to the American Civil Liberties Union website, “The breadth of the NDAA’s worldwide detention authority violates the Constitution and international law because it is not limited to people captured in an actual armed conflict, as required by the laws of war.”
Given the fact that the U.S. federal budget deficit continues to grow, as weak economic growth and stagnant unemployment numbers decrease revenue, I will not vote for him. Given the number of failed campaign promises, I will not vote for him. Given the facts stated earlier in response to the opinions on the poster, I will not vote for him. Given the current administration’s end runs around Congress (cap & trade, net neutrality reclassification, recess appointments and drilling bans), it’s violations of civil rights (Guantanamo, increased wire tapping, TSA searches, increased surveillance, allowing human rights violations continuing in Uzbekistan to keep supply lines open to Afghanistan and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki) I will not vote for him. I must say that I don’t oppose killing a terrorist but it sets an unfortunate precedent in that he was an American citizen, whose civil rights were denied by Presidential order.
Finally and most importantly, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law on New Year’s Eve, 2011. With the President’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the writ of habeas corpus, a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta, is now voidable upon the command of the President of the United States. Anyone he deems “belligerent” to the United States or the Federal Reserve Bank, he can order arrested without warrant and detained without legal counsel. When a sitting president who is a former law professor signs a law that both liberals and conservatives agree is in violation of the Constitution of the United States, I certainly will not vote for him.