During the 2008 presidential campaign, then Senator Barack Obama made it a point to say that President Bush never made the most out of the opportunity after 911. That is true. Telling people to shop was not a call to service that the people of this Country needed. However, the economy rebounded and it was business as usual on Wall Street, as well as Main Street. We continued to go out and spend well beyond our means.
It is estimated that the average person spends $20,000-$50,000 more than they spend. Don’t believe me? Look out in your driveway, or look at your credit card statements. Now, I am not free from sin. I was buried in credit card debt. I own more muscle cars than any one person can own. This brutal recession has totally changed my way of looking at money.
Before the recession I would buy whatever I wanted. Money didn’t matter to me, because I had many credit cards. I didn’t understand the true value of money. I wouldn’t think twice to spend $20. I always thought $20 wasn’t a lot of money. I would spend $20 a week at the local coffee shop for my morning coffee. Who cannot live without their morning coffee, right?
I’m one of the lucky ones that didn’t lose my job, yet. Back in January I made a goal to pay off my $9,600 of credit card debt. I set a goal to pay it all off by the end of the year. I decided to put an end to all my spending, pulled my contributions to my 401k plan, looked into making money in the stock market and I quit smoking. By quitting smoking I saved $80 a month. I grew a beard that saved me $40 a month in razors. I stopped going out to eat, and did my grocery shopping at a low cost grocery store. When I did the math I saved a total of $500 a month, in which I used to pay down my debt. I made $4,000 on the stock market and looked for things around the house to sell on Craigslist. I feel pretty good. Nothing is better than sticking to a set of goals.
Which brings me to my earlier point about Obama and missed opportunity
All the Republicans want to do is set him up for failure, and he is taking the bait.
The Stimulus that was signed into law in February was so watered down, in an attempt to get bipartisan support. It barely passed and the Republicans can go out and say that the Stimulus did not work. Every time the president wants to do something the Republicans cry about the deficit. Obama and the Democrats take the bait and go on to say they want to pay for every bill.
Here is the missed opportunity that I am talking about. The unemployment rate is creeping up to 10%, employers are still dropping close to 300,000 jobs a month. Economist’s predict the unemployment rate will hit 10.5% at June 2010. All of this and the president is agreeing with the Republicans on trying to shorten the deficit.
During normal times this would make sense, but these are not normal times. Mr President you inherited the biggest economic mess in over 70 years. These are not normal times and you just blew the opportunity of a lifetime. You had the opportunity to pull our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. You missed out on the opportunity to keep telling the people that jobs trump deficits. You missed out on the opportunity to go for a single payer system for health care. You missed out on the opportunity to let openly gay people serve in the armed services. You missed out on the opportunity to let people organize unions in the workplace. You also missed out on the opportunity to make affordable student loans. You missed out on the opportunity to really stick it to Wall Street by bringing back Glass Steagall regulation.
Time for campaigning is over! You received a mandate. A mandate for change, Mr President. George Bush had eight years to steam roll over us, and you know what happened. We all know what happened. It is time to govern. Republicans would like nothing more to see you fail, and that is why you need to do what we elected you to. Stop acting weak!! This is the defining moment that you have been talking about during the campaign. Oh, I’m sick of all the leaks. Fire the son of a bitch who wants and feels to open their mouth to the media. Bush did not have any leaks!
It is better to go down fighting for what you believe in than to go down without fighting. Either way the choice is yours. However, the revolution is waiting around the bend