Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

The Second Term Has Begun

U.S., Political, Economy, Employment, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Taxes

The second term of President Obama has begun even without the ceremony in January 2013, as it should if he is to accomplish all he has said he will accomplish.  And the pushback has begun as the result.

It seems that politicians of differing stripes can only make nice for the cameras and not for the sake of reaching agreements.  (We each ought to be thankful that we are not directly involved in politics.) 

Our country is in rough shape and it will be in worse shape if time is wasted.  Lay-offs have begun to occur, admittedly in small numbers at the moment.  The posturing of the political titans has begun to take shape as the President told everyone what he expects as is his right as the result of his re-election.  He believes this is a ‘mandate’ while I didn’t see quite the winning margin that I would’ve called a mandate.

President Obama is very likely right to begin asserting his demands on the opposition today rather than to wait for a week or a month.  But, he will thereby succeed in hardening the positions of the opposition very early into the second term.  We have a huge economic situation that needs be resolved and the rhetoric of demand will likely forestall any real effort to make the tough calls that will help the country.  There must be give and take…and that doesn’t seem to have occurred to the re-elected President yet.

While this is going on, we have people who are being told their jobs are going away.  True, it is a small number that have heard this message so far, but the message will be going to larger and larger numbers as time moves on.  The economy is not the sole cause of this employment disruption.  ObamaCare is another of the causes and it will take its toll as employers take stock of their respective positions and make the decisions they need to make to keep their businesses running.

Would any of this have been different if there were a President-Elect Romney?  The likely answer is ‘yes’ given the hope that would’ve prevailed for the days following his inauguration.  We all now know precisely what lies in store for the next four years; hope is not part of the new lexicon; there will be an even more rapid and robust effort to make ObamaCare operational…before the issues that exist within this law are resolved.  And, there are significant issues.  Issues like doctors exiting the system.  Issues like not enough doctors being graduated to meet patient demand.  Issues like employers dropping their plans because they cannot afford the level of coverage mandated by ObamaCare.  Issues like the increase in premium rates created by the ObamaCare requirement that rate bands from lowest to highest cannot exceed three while there are usually five bands today; this issue alone will make healthcare unaffordable for many who are covered today.  Rates will increase by multiples of 10% coming out of the blocks.

So, we now have the second term of President Barack Obama looming on the immediate horizon; it is no longer in any doubt.  In this second term we have the ‘fiscal cliff’ and ‘sequestration’ and the expectation of non-citizens that they’ll be given an ‘easy’ button to push for citizenship in one form or another.  We have any number of foreign enemies who are champing at the bit to test President Obama and his resolve in his second term.  We have a weakened Europe that has so far been unable to effectively deal with its economic crises looking to our own weakened economy for help that isn’t possible unless we borrow more from China.

I do not envy our President, but he is the guy who wanted this job, so these are his problems before he passes them down the chain to each of us in the form of tax increases and choking regulations.

Do I pray for him and for our country?  Absolutely.  Do I fear that, in spite of my prayers, he will take pathways I disagree we should be trodding?  Absolutely.  Do I wonder how much more resilience our country can summon?  Absolutely.

Can I do anything about my concerns other than pray and keep my chin to the grindstone?  No.

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