Obama has failed the nation

(KAL/The Economist )
November 05, 2012

I grew up in a Democratic home. My Dad was always very aware of what was happening in government. We have copies of letters Dad wrote to the politicians of his day and the responses he received. Dad kept a chart on the fridge of all the local, state and national politicians for whom he could cast a ballot. When the specified politician did something Dad agreed with, said politician earned a check. If he or she did something Dad deemed offensive that person earned a zero. When it was time to vote, Dad did his research for every candidate and took his chart to the polls. Too many zeros and they were out.

My Dad was a wonderful husband and a very loving father. He lived a life dedicated to personal integrity, responsibility, good example and a strong devotion to his God, his church, his family and his job. He expected no less from the government that he always said "worked for us." His duty as a U.S. citizen was very important to him.

When I was in 8th grade, we studied a thin book titled, "Civics," and a large textbook on American history. My Dad talked to my siblings and me often about the lessons taught in both books. As we grew older, Dad was the go-to source when we needed information about politics and politicians. He eased us into the independence of reading, researching and studying each potential candidate who ran for political office and then making a very educated decision. Dad has been gone (and terribly missed) for many years. Over those years, I have kept my own counsel about the voting decisions I made. But the 2012 Presidential election has made me step out of my comfort zone.

My husband and I are retired and on a fixed income. As the prices of food, gas, and other necessary items increase, we have to adjust our budget — buying fewer things we would like to have so we can buy the things we need. We cannot print more money or ask someone else to support us. Like most Americans, we have always taken care of our family. We never lived beyond what we could afford. We educated our children and did not expect the government to take care of our family. If we could not afford it, we did not get it. President Barack Obama has sent us into terrible debt. Our children and our grandchildren will inherit the debt that he has incurred. In 2008, he criticized President George W. Bush for increasing the nation's debt by $4 trillion in eight years. Mr. Obama has increased it by $5.4 trillion in 3 1/2 years. The debt is now over $16 trillion. That is more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. The federal budget deficit just exceeded $1 trillion for the fourth straight year under Mr. Obama's watch. Total federal and state "welfare" spending tops $1 trillion — a nearly 30 percent increase since the start of the Obama administration. Regarding welfare, my husband and I have always felt that people with real needs should be able to get assistance from the government to help them through a difficult time. Like most Americans, we have given to many different charities but I feel strongly that "handouts" where there is no real need do not aid anyone.

A few weeks ago, we were in our neighborhood grocery store waiting to check out. In front of us was a young couple in their mid-30s, very well dressed, wearing very good jewelry and pushing a cart full of groceries. They loaded the conveyor belt with groceries and paid the cashier with 2 WIC forms (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as the WIC program, serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breast-feeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk). Each signed a separate form. They refilled the counter again and the young man used a debit Food Stamp card to pay the bill. They showed no identification. When asked the cashier said he was not permitted to ask for ID. When I paid my bill with my credit card, I had to show my driver's license. Mr. Obama increased the Food Stamp rolls from 14 million to 43 million in his first term. He forced the states to streamline their processing of applications for Food Stamps so there was no time to adequately investigate the applicants. In our National Parks there are signs that say, "Do not feed the animals. They will become dependent on your food and will no longer know how to forage for themselves." Good advice.

At the Nuclear Security Summit last March, Mr. Obama, thinking his microphone was off, was heard telling outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. "This is my last election. After my election, I will have more flexibility." Mr. Medvedev replied, "I understand. I will transmit this information to President Vladimir Putin."

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