Partisanship sentiments and emotions aside, we have to admit that a tectonic political shift took place in America on November 4, 2008.
The following morning we woke up to a different country and a different world. History was made yesterday with the sweeping, convincing victory of our new president-elect, Barack Obama. It’s a great day to be an American and to be a citizen of the world, if only to see that our system of government works. With this entrance into a new era, change has indeed come to America – a change that I hope will be for the better.
This event reminds me of another one that occurred two years shy of fifty years ago. It was the election of President John Kennedy in 1960, an event I recall very well – I also remember his death in 1963 as I was privileged to be in the honor guard for his funeral as a member of the Navy Band in Washington, D.C.
That president made an impression on me because of one dominant characteristic that set him apart from the crowd. He was interest-ed, interested in people, in politics, in America and the world, he wasn’t just trying to be interest-ing – as most of the “look at me” politicians do. Kennedy seemed genuinely interested in us – a welcome change from the previous administration. And he definitely got our attention and excited our imagination.
I also see this characteristic in our newly elected president. He is interested and people find him interesting. He has captured the attention of the country and ignited the imagination of its people and the world. My hope is that a positive change in our future has begun with a true leader . . . and a true leader is one who is interested.
As any successful salesman knows, remaining interested means you are standing at cause. Constantly trying to be the center of attention by being interesting only puts you at the effect of your audience. They fact is, they will become interested in you only when they feel you are sincerely interested in them. And one thing I can say with confidence is that people are finding Obama very interesting!
I feel the country needs someone like this who is not just fixated on getting elected four years hence. If our president-elect continues to remain true to himself, under the pressures of the office, I will remain optimistic.
So, what now?
What does Barack Obama do as a top priority when he takes office on January 20, 2009? Well, for one thing, and arguably the most important thing, he has to start talking about the elephant in the living room. He knew that he wouldn’t get elected if he brought up the subject during the election process; no one wants to hear about that. But the elephant that is not being talked about is the fiscal reality of the national debt expanding exponentially out of control. It’s like the consumer who pays his current credit card debts with a new line of credit he just received in the mail. Throwing gasoline on that fire won’t put it out!
Economic problems are foremost in the mind of the people of America, if not the world. In my opinion the first thing he should do when he takes office is to go over to the U.S. Treasury and (metaphorically) count the money. I’m afraid he will find far less than expected; exclusive of political leanings, the economy is not looking good; it’s been running without effective leadership or management for too long.
The New America – in which most have never experienced scarcity – seems to accept the idea that you can stimulate the economy at will by printing more money – carefully ignoring the dire consequences that this inevitably guarantees – and that inflation won’t occur. But the current national debt of $11.3 trillion – and growing – will not just go away by itself; and spending us further into debt is not a good idea. We must rein in this habit fast or a bankrupt country is not far away.
Hey, here’s a thought. How about stopping the hemorrhaging by starting to get the current spending under control? And then how about reducing costs of financing the national debt, one of the largest expenditures of the budget? Or how about knocking off being the lender of last resort as a common practice rather than only in an extreme emergency?
And, maybe I’m missing something here, but how about this? This is something that would bring about a positive change the economics of our country overnight.
Why not just nationalize the Federal Reserve? – like we’ve been doing to major banks and other institutions in the country. We can print money (meaning make computer entries) as well as they can, can’t we?
After all, the Federal Reserve is private organization that was brought into being by mandate of the United States Government in 1913. Why should we go through the via of having the Federal Reserve loan us money (at interest) when we could just print the money ourselves and save the interest? Exactly why do we give them all that anyway? That system never made much sense to me, except to line the greedy palms of the puppeteer’s behind the curtain, gathering an obscene amount of money and power in their control with under the table, smoke-filled, back room, shady dealings of the money changers.
Maybe it’s time to throw the money changers out of the temple. History has shown over and over that money and power concentrated in the hands of a few has led to corruption, greed, avarice, arrogance and disdain for the common men and women of the country. To those in power, we are just unwitting slaves to be used as they see fit, to serve their own selfish purposes. If that sounds strikingly similar to where we are today, then you’re getting the idea.
Why not unilaterally and summarily cut off them off at the pass? If they’re addicted to the easy money flowing into their coffers by blind politicians and hypnotized masses, we can help them out with tough love and an intervention program to get them “clean and sober” (and honest).
Yes, there are other priorities that must be addressed, but unless we get the economics of the country back on solid ground, under our control, nothing else matters as the base on which all else is founded will not be there.
Just an idea . . . but, it might just work.
daniel w. jacobs
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