I feel so much a part of the workings of my Government. The President himself wrote me to tell me he needed my help! Below find excerpts from his letter and my extemporaneous comments.
The economic crisis is growing more serious every day, and the time for action has come.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will jumpstart our economy and put more than 3 million people back to work.
Perhaps, but considering that only about $30 billion of the almost $900 billion in spending won’t happen until 2010, one must wonder what time you are operating on, Mr. President? Waiting 18 months or so would seem to indicate the time for action will have come and gone before your plans kick in.
Further, even if your plan results in 3 million jobs, one must wonder what sort of jobs? Laying sod on the Mall? Working for the Government? Please explain how temporary jobs and permanent jobs that will be created by your plans but must be paid for over and over in the future by tax dollars and not actual production of anything will be good for any American in either the short or long term?
I hope to sign the recovery plan into law in the next few weeks. But I need your help to spread the word and build support.
It’s not enough for this bill to simply pass Congress. Americans need to know how it will affect their lives …
This is one time where I am in complete agreement with you, Mr. President. Americans do need to know how it will affect their lives! So why are you ramming this $1 trillion bill down our throats in mere days when prudence dictates taking time to analyze and debate its merits is the wisest course? How will this affect Americans?
You talk of lost jobs. I only know of 2 or 3 people who have lost theirs and scores who have not! You talk of the worst Economy since the Great Depression. Last week’s 4th Quarter Economic numbers show better than predicted Economic performance and that the Economy performed worse as recently as 1982. We survived then without taxing us to the tune of a trillion dollars. Why the rush, sir, if you mean it when you say you want us to know how this will play out?
Governor Tim Kaine has agreed to record a video outlining the recovery plan and answering questions about what it means for your community. You can submit your questions online and then invite your friends, family, and neighbors to watch the video with you at an Economic Recovery House Meeting.
This is a bit awkward, sir - I’m really sorry to have to ask but, who in the world is Tim Kaine? Why is he answering questions about your plan? Did something happen to Joe Biden? You are the one telling me the plan isn’t just needful, it’s vital! It’s not just a good idea, it’s necessary to save the country. You are the President of the United States and you said you wanted to be the President of all Americans. Why is a surrogate selling your wares for you?
Still, you asked me to watch so my family and I will. But we’ll be looking for real answers and not political pablum and platitudes. I’m not confident we’ll find any substance, but you asked me to watch. Please don’t waste my time! Please provide something substantive.
The stakes are too high to allow partisan politics to get in the way.
That’s why I’ve consulted with Republicans as well as Democrats to put together a plan that will address the crisis we face.
Actually, sir, I believe you may want to review your record on this. It ought not be too hard since it’s not particularly long with you having been in office less than 2 weeks and all.
I recall the invitation you extended to the GOP only to bully and berate them when they accepted by equating their work and ideas with a talk radio monologue. Later, when one dared mention a specific in your plan you responded by communicating to him that his ideas, regardless of validity, were irrelevant because, to quote you, sir, “I won!” Now, perhaps in Washington where you all are far more educated than us dolts in flyover country that passes as a consultation and bi-partisan crafting of legislation. But some of us are a bit confused.
Could you specifically point to say 10 major aspects of your plan that were suggested by the GOP and implemented without change? How about 5? 1? I’m confused again. Cooperation? Bi-partisanship? Working with the GOP? Consulting them and actually changing your mind based on their input? What’s that? Sorry, sir. I got so caught up in your new spirit of cooperation I clean forgot about that “I won!” thing. It won’t happen again, sir!
I’ve also taken steps to ensure an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Once it’s passed, you will be able to see how every penny in this plan is being spent.
Now see, here’s another great idea you have and that I can and will support! “Unprecedented transparency and accountability” is a fantastic idea! It’s so fantastic I’m going to suggest you apply the concept to the front end when things can still be changed and not just to the back end where we would clearly see the results whether or not you were transparent about it.
And what do you mean by accountability? See, here in the real world - you know, outside of Chicago ward politics - if I am accountable for something, I take responsibility for it and its consequences. If it works, I get a pat on the back. If not, I get the kick in the keester. And the whole “worked - didn’t work” thing is decided in real life. I don’t get to say I did something for someone and then declare it a success and say I’ve been accountable. If I do something for someone, then that someone gets a say in how successful my plans were regardless of my intentions. And I must remain accountable in that case, even if the consequences for me are bad. Is that what you’re saying, sir? Because for us normal people? That’s what we hear when you use those words.
You can help restore confidence in our economy by making sure your friends, family, and neighbors understand how the recovery plan will impact your community.
Excuse me, sir? If I explain to my family and friends how I think your plans will impact my community, they will be unlikely to have their confidence in the economy restored! In any event, why should I explain your plans? That seems to be Governor Kaine’s job.
So far, you have done a pretty poor job of explaining them yourself. But I’ll be happy to host a party and we’ll give you another shot at it, sir! You know what they say about getting back on the horse after falling off! Perhaps this time you’ll find a way to explain it to us simpletons.
Sign up to host or attend an Economic Recovery House Meeting and submit your question for the video now:
Our ability to come together as a nation in difficult times has never been more important.
I know I can rely on your spirit and resolve as we lead our country to recovery.
I’ve already asked you my questions here, sir. But I will be watching from my House Meeting. I just can’t reconcile your words with reality and your charge with my responsibility. Bringing masses together around a bad idea and calling it important, leadership and recovery would seem to make those words mean something different than what I’ve always thought they meant. Pardon me, sir? Drat! I’ve done it again. I’m sorry, sir. I actually do know that you won …
President Barack Obama
Ummm … my mom always said to say “You’re welcome!” if someone thanked me, so, “You’re welcome, sir!” But it does feel a little weird thanking you for this … as I’ve mentioned, it’s not at all clear your plan is a good thing! I guess I’ll just wait for the video. That will surely clear it all up. And if not, I know … you won!