A relative called just recently, and we discussed family matters. Suddenly, out of the blue, she said that she had voted for Obama last time, but she added, “In no way am I this time”. Of course, I asked,”Why?” Wow! I found out. I’ll paraphrase.
1. Obama constantly says, “We will not be dependent on foreign sources for oil..” While he’s saying this he gives $2 billion to Mexico to drill for oil in the Gulf; he gives $2 billion to Brazil to drill offshore. On a visit there he says “We’ll be your best customer.” That’s bogus! To make matters worse, the president refuses to build the oil line into the U.S. This would create jobs! This decision is irresponsible.
2. Since Jan. 09 at $1.79, the price of gasoline has doubled to $3.65 today. Has our income doubled? Perhaps this becomes a family matter. We’re paying the price for someone’s poor judgment.
3. All we have heard about health care is, now that it’s passed, is “your insurance rates will go down.” If this be true , how come our insurance rates have gone up almost 20 percent in 3.5 years. This becomes a family matter now too. Do we call it faulty judgment or willful deception?
4. Can you believe this? A boarder patrol officer is shot to death by one of 2,000 guns our government had given to Mexican thugs. There is a congressional investigation (as should be, having a citizen shot by our equipment). President Obama has declared Executive Privilege to “stonewall” the investigation. The officer’s parents are greatly upset; in their words … “hiding something” This is another sad family matter.
5. We have an outright assassination of our Libyan ambassador and 3 others The official reply for over a week is ,”Just a spontaneous response.” As if people just carry rocket grenade launchers around. I can’t help but wonder if someone must take us as fools to believe such stories. The whole world knew it was a planned attack. The date? 9/11. Of course you tighten security, but not us. This is total irresponsibility! I wonder what the loved ones were told. How do they feel? Anybody care? This is another very sad family matter & totally avoidable. How does one answer to America for this debacle?
Well, by the time my relative hung up we were both upset and discouraged. All these lives affected.
William G. Hom
In a previous letter I stated that I just could not resist responding to Nicholas Smith’s letter lauding the accomplishments of the Obama administration – “Weigh the Truth Over Opinions.” (September 19th issue of the Westmoreland News) In this letter I will address another issue where Mr. Smith uses “selective truths” – jobs and the economy.
Mr. Smith tells us that America has created 4.5 million jobs under Obama since February 2010. That’s true. But it ignores Obama’s first 13 months in office – how convenient! America lost 8.8 million jobs from the time Obama became president in January of 2009. So after all the trillions of dollars in stimulus spending (which went mostly to state and city government entities, and a bunch of Obama’s campaign contributors, like the folks at Solyndra), after all the “shovel ready” projects that Obama was going to get started, we are still short over 4 million jobs from when he started. Last month, there were a paltry 96,000 new jobs created by private industry. Most economists will tell you it takes at least 250,000 new jobs a month just to stay even with population growth. Obama’s record is an average of 150,000 new jobs per month since February 2010 and a net loss of over 4 million jobs since he took office.
But even those statistics do not tell the full story, since the workforce itself has shrunk dramatically in size since Obama took office. Labor force participation is at 63.5 percent (down from over 66% in the previous 4 yours), its lowest level since 1981. In other words, a large chunk of Americans have simply given up looking for work.
Although the historical unemployment rate in the US is between 4% and 5%, the official unemployment rate has remained well above 8% for Obama’s entire term. The actual unemployment rate is well over 16%. For African-Americans, the official unemployment rate has remained above 15% for Obama’s entire term. The actual unemployment rate for African-Americans is well north of 20%. For those under 30, the unemployment rates are far worse. Never since World War II has the economy been so slow to recover all the jobs lost in a downturn.
The economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has either fallen or remained stagnant for all four years of Obama’s term. In the last quarter, the economy grew by 1.3%. That’s not nearly enough to absorb population growth, thus incomes and household wealth are declining. The median US household now has $4,000 less income than it had when Obama took office. Average household wealth has dropped by 40% over that same period of time.
A favorite refrain from the Obama advocates is that all this was George Bush’s fault. But, let’s remember that the Democrats took over both the House and the Senate in January 2007. At that time, the unemployment rate was 4.6%. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $1.83. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was growing at a 3.5% rate, and the housing bubble was nowhere to be seen.
Are we better off than we were four years ago? You be the judge. Look around you and see what’s happening with your own eyes. Vote accordingly – Obama does not deserve a second term.
William D. Neal