Thursday, June 18, 2009

Having Your Cake


In America, we like to have our cake and eat it too. When I was a child, I never understood what that meant. Of course, I wanted my cake... and if I had my cake, I most certainly wanted to eat it. It was my grandfather that explained to me that "once you ate your cake, you no longer have it. It's gone". I then scratched my head and said, "Oh" and I began to understand. The difference between me and grown American citizens now is that I was 5 years old, I can be forgiven. In light of the terrible state of affairs this nation is going through right now, You would think they would understand that some tough decisions had to be made and with them comes consequences.

As the young Obama administration spends trillions of dollars in its effort to turn around the nation’s economy and revive the U.S. auto industry, the American public is growing concerned about the size of the budget deficit and the government’s intervention into the private sector. Nearly 7 in 10 have serious reservations about the federal government’s ownership stake in General Motors. Almost 60% say that President Obama and Congress should worry more about keeping the deficit down, even if that means it will take longer for the economy to recover. And, fewer than half of Americans have confidence in the president’s policies to improve the economy.

Again, here we are wanting to have our cake. In this case, a thriving economy and wanting to eat it too, by not having a deficit or any government intervention. The president and his administration are in the unenviable position of being damned if they do something and damned if they don't. People are grumbling a little about the Obama administration not acting fast enough on health care. If he does, the deficit may grow even deeper and that will cause these same people to be concerned about that. Seriously, what do people want? A magic wand that will make all of the pieces fit? It just doesn't work like that.

Obama remains a popular figure in the polls... but, these numbers on the deficit and the government’s intervention seem to mark a new period for the administration, as the public moves from welcoming his inauguration and first days in office to examining his initial actions as president. Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with (Wouldn't you know it?)Republican Bill McInturff, said that Obama is still receiving a bouquet from Americans “but there are a lot more thorns in the bouquet.”

And, looking ahead to the items Obama wants to tackle like reforming health care (as I mentioned above) and curbing greenhouse gases, Hart observes that the bar has been raised. “There is no more smooth sailing for the administration. They are going to have to navigate in pretty choppy waters.” Choppy waters the Republican opposition is more than happy to navigate him through.

McInturff agrees, although he adds that the president’s continued personal popularity gives him “the latitude to ask for major action and major change.” Independents are now split on Obama, according to the poll... 60% view Obama favorably vs. just 29% who see him in a negative light. Also, three-quarters of the public say they like him personally and that number includes 27% who don’t like his policies. But, the president’s overall approval rating is at 56%, which is down 5 percentage points from April.

The drop mainly comes from independents, who backed Obama by 60% to 31% in April but, approve of him now by a 46-44 clip. Yet, perhaps the most troubling numbers in the poll for Obama come on questions about the administration’s intervention in the private sector, especially to help save General Motors.

The public sours on GM intervention and the deficit... 46% oppose Obama’s action to provide financial aid to GM in return for a majority stock in the company. Additionally, a whopping 69% say they’re concerned “a great deal” or “quite a bit” about the government’s ownership of the automaker.

But, here again... this is a case of having your cake and wanting to eat it too. If GM goes down, jobs are lost and not just the GM jobs... but, all of the companies who service GM and depend on GM for their livelihood. I found it simply amazing that a number of so-called Pro-Business Republicans said that Obama should have let GM and the banks that asked for bailout money simply fail and collapse, and that the American people should not have had to pay their tab. Incredible. On paper somewhere, some idiot might have thought that looked good but, the human face was certainly not on that paper.

The human face of the father and mother who are out of work, whose electricity is off because they've fallen behind in their payments, whose home is about to be taken from them, and who might have had a meal yesterday but are not sure if they will eat today. The human faces of their kids who just don't understand why or how this all happened to them... whole towns and urban areas where many families are acting out this entire scenario. This is why it would have been catastrophic to allow the banks and automakers to fail. This is why there was no time to debate policy for three years and then do something half-assed. Something had to be done now!

I don't like the widening and bloated deficit anymore than the next man. I'm no fool. I know that my grandchildren's kids will probably still be paying for this mess but, it's either that or I'm out on the street now, which would do no one any good at all. I'm slicing a piece of strawberry short cake. Care to have some America?

23 comments:

Oyin said...

I like to have a taste of all the flavors...huh? gnr

12kyle said...

I think people have forgotten about the mess that Dubyuh left behind. Clinton left him the keys to the Benz...he left Obama the keys to the hooptie.

Obama's job is tough. I have no problem with what he's doing. I think he's done more in 5 months than anybody could have done with this mess that we are in right now

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I'm trying not to do sweets until my B-day. Freeze my slice and Fed-ex to me (smile)

Love ya!
Free spirit

LadyLee said...

What's being done is exactly what needs to be done. It is tough, but we didn't get where we are overnight. Takes a tough stance to get out of it.

Strongblkwmn said...

It's funny how people have forgotten that all this mess didn't just happen and it's going to take time to clean it up.

The chocolate cake that's in the White House is enough for me.

Sean said...

I see you're back on the beat...huh? Good Post, and great point made about our attitudes!

Arlene said...

Yes, I'll take a slice. Is the whipped cream fresh? Keith, I agree with your points about sustaining major segments of the economy but I would add that when Mr. Obama was running he promised CHANGE. This is not it. I do hope that GM can reinvent itself and reenter the markets to keep jobs and therefore families intact. I also hope their product is really worth buying. I'm keeping my '96 Altima.
And as the saying goes, "All politics are local," I'm more incensed that Philadelphia City Council begins it's summer vacation today and it runs through Labor Day. Count those days, paid days, for a council that meets only once a week during the rest of the year anyway. Remember to exclude their other paid holidays, weeks for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Remember the aide, paid over $90,000 per year who worked even less. I still want CHANGE.

James Perkins said...

I like what 12Kyle said. Clinton left W the keys to the Benz and W left Barrack the keys to the hooptie. Exactly.

Simon Bastion said...

Tough times call for tough measures.
We've got to put on our Big Boy and Big Girl pants and deal with it.

Cheryl said...

Simon said what I was going to say.
Good points Keith.

Brenda said...

I agree with Arlene..This is not the change I was hoping for, but I understand that there is only so much a person can do at the beginning of a near catastrophic mess like this.

Sunflower said...

As always a good post with good points made. You express yourself quite well. I'm hopeful for the future.

Jazzy said...

There is a wide divide between what politicians promise and what they can actually deliver..The American people are still naive when it comes to that.

TATE2 said...

Keep droppin that science Fam!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

I love it when you put it down like this Fam!

Captain Jack said...

I'll have a slice of that cake-lolol.

Lisa said...

President Obama's job is not an enviable one ,but under the circumstances he's doing the best he can do..For now I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt!

Halo said...

This wasn't President Obama's mess..He's just been givin a mop and a bucket and told to clean it up. Everybody should be helping him..especially the remnants of the folk who created this mess.

Vanessa said...

Heyyy Keith..I love Strawberry shortcake-lololol...Another educated and informative post!

Angie B. said...

I'm with StrongBlkwoman- The Chocolate Cake that is in the White House right now is good enough for me.

Toni said...

Hi Keith ,I just read your story over on "Escapades" and now I had to switch gears and read this post.
Excellent points made here and a wonderful analogy with the eating of the cake. Now you've made me hungry! :)

Swaggie said...

Hey Fam...People need to give the President time...This mess wasn't created in one year and it can't be cleaned up in one year either..He's done more in five or six months than the last two Presidents in my book.

Solomon said...

Obama's job is tough, and there are some very tough decisions that need to be made, but anyone with any sense knows that the president is doing the best he can with the mess that was left behind for him to clean up.

I am backing him the whole way.




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