It may seem like a simple decision for most but let us not forget that the Independent vote is heavily sought after. History has shown us that these voters end up swaying most elections in toss up States; States that candidates so desperately covet. One only needs to look back as far as 2004 in the Bush vs. Gore General Election to realize that Florida and its independent voters had the option to sway the political landscape one way or the other on their own. As you can see from the graph in statewide voter registration for Florida, Independent voters are at an all time high. Because these voters registered themselves as Independents, they're essentially saying to the world...
"I do not toe any major party's political line. I will make my decision on which candidate proves to me he will make my country and my life better than his opponent."
Well said, Independent voters! We hear you loud and clear. This one is written with you in mind.
All I seem to hear from Republicans these days are a plethora of what they believe are rhetorical questions such as, "What has Obama done for this country? He's had 3 1/2 years... how is this country ANY better ?! " and "You really want a guy with the middle name Hussain to be in office!? He was born in Kenya, didn't you know that?" or one of my personal favorites, "I'm a Christian therefore I'm a Republican." Which really makes me start to believe that the first two words of the cliche "I think; therefore I am" does not apply to these unfortunate few.
So let's take a closer look into these mind-boggling questions and answer a few to help those undecided voters realize who they're voting for.
What has President Obama done for this country in his 3 1/2 years?
Sit down with any Republican for long enough and this "rhetorical" question will eventually arise. They will then come to the conclusion for you if you do not answer the way that their party tells them is correct. They then speak for you and say the answer is 'nothing.' According to them, the last 3 1/2 years that Barak Obama has been President, he's brought our country on the brink of collapse and has done nothing to help. Really? If you're a free-thinker with an IQ that can surpass that of an 8 year old, you know this certainly is an incorrect conclusion.
President Obama has done a multitude of things to help this nation that the Republican's would like to spin into a negative or belittle in one way or another. In fact, Obama has enacted beneficial policies and established funding for improvements to America that even the most hardened of Republicans would have a tough time making sound detrimental to the country as a whole...though I assure you most will try. Among these accomplishments, some of the most bi-partisan friendly are as follows:
- "Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.
- Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.
- Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans. Starting July 2010 all students began getting their federal student loans directly from the federal government. Treasury will save $67 billion over ten years, $36 billion of which will go to expanding Pell Grants to lower-income students.
- Increased Support for Veterans: With so many soldiers coming home from Iraq and Iran with serious physical and mental health problems, yet facing long waits for services, increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans.
- Tightened Sanctions on Iran: In effort to deter Iran’s nuclear program, signed Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (2010) to punish firms and individuals who aid Iran’s petroleum sector. In late 2011 and early 2012, coordinated with other major Western powers to impose sanctions aimed at Iran’s banks and with Japan, South Korea, and China to shift their oil purchases away from Iran.
- Improved School Nutrition: In coordination with Michelle Obama, signed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 mandating $4.5 billion spending boost and higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. New rules based on the law, released in January, double the amount of fruits and vegetables and require only whole grains in food served to students.
- Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco: Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (2009). Nine years in the making and long resisted by the tobacco industry, the law mandates that tobacco manufacturers disclose all ingredients, obtain FDA approval for new tobacco products, and expand the size and prominence of cigarette warning labels, and bans the sale of misleadingly labeled “light” cigarette brands and tobacco sponsorship of entertainment events.
- Passed Credit Card Reforms: Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009), which prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, mandates a grace period on interest rate increases, and strictly limits overdraft and other fees.
- Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill: Though lacking statutory power to compel British Petroleum to act, used moral authority of his office to convince oil company to agree in 2010 to a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; $6.5 billion already paid out without lawsuits. By comparison, it took nearly two decades for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez Alaska oil spill case to receive $1.3 billion.
- Expanded Health Coverage for Children: Signed 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Authorization Act, which allows the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover health care for 4 million more children, paid for by a tax increase on tobacco products."
"Mitt Romney has my best interests in mind. He's a smart business man and with that kind of a mind, our economy will recover faster!"
Really? Do you make over 250,000 dollars a year? If not then you're like 98% of the nation and will not be getting any positive attention from a Romney Presidency. And if you do... good news! Mitt Romney WILL help you... financially, at least. As a millionaire or billionaire he'll make sure you get tax breaks in order to help you survive this difficult economic time.
How will he do this? In a way that makes Romney appear to not have a conscious. His tax break to the wealthiest of Americans will be paid for by the rest of us. He and his running mate will pay for these favors for the wealthy by eliminating medicare and medicaid as we know it, increasing medicare costs on seniors, disassembling social security, and by overhauling every social program that has helped those less fortunate survive.
Romney has given little information on the specifics of his economic policies and instead is asking the American people to trust him and wait until after he is elected to hear more about his solutions for our economy. Most observers have noted that of the information we know about Romney's economic policies, it is almost certain that he will repeat the mistakes of the Bush administration which got us into this Great Recession. A vote for Mitt Romney will make our economy collapse further. This recession can get worse and could land us in another Great Depression.
Giving tax breaks to the ultra-wealthy has never, ever helped the economy recover. If you are in the 98% and are considering voting for Mitt Romney this election cycle, you truly are 'shooting yourself in the foot.'
Being a Corporate leader does not necessarily make a good President. The United States government is not run like a Corporation. Although we strive for control of the deficit, there is no government profit motive. What is very important is how we achieve control of the deficit, and that is where the political parties differ to the greatest degree.
"Mitt Romney can do a better job than Obama in turning our country around. "
No President aside from George Washington ever starts his Presidency off with a clean slate. They always walk into some remnants of their predecessor. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes it's not.
President Obama's predecessor, George Bush, left office with an approval rating of only 22%. This is the lowest in history. His VP, Dick Chaney had an outgoing approval rating of only 13%. When his policies were fresh in our minds, Americans did not show any love for then-President Bush. You might even say most of us hated him. Remember Bush's commitment to two unnecessary wars that not only caused death of our servicemen and women but also led to huge deficit spending? Remember the housing market collapse that was encouraged by Bush's contempt for government regulations on banking? Remember the stock market crash that was also encouraged by Bush's deregulation of Wall Street? Surely you can concede that President Obama walked into a mess in his first year as President. Just because a new President takes office, these remnants of Bush policy decisions do not go away. And despite Republican obstruction in Congress, President Obama's policies have started leading us out of the Bush economic disaster.
Any idea how long it took the United States to recover from the Great Depression? I'll help you out. It started in 1929 and bottomed out in 1933. It wasn't until 1941 that the economy rebounded.
Just before the Great Depression the Republican agenda was very similar to what it is today. Herbert Hoover was the Republican incumbent whose policies led to the start of the Great Depression. Loose regulation on the banking industry and government indulgences to Wall Street were prevalent. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, succeeded Hoover and initiated policies that would echo today's Democratic Platform. For example, his New Deal initiative gave people federally funded jobs. He supported the middle-class to grow the economy from the middle out, as President Obama is proposing.
These are just some of the hundreds of differences between Obama and Romney. Hopefully you are listening to their speeches and can see the differences for yourself. Perhaps this blog has given some reasons that a vote for Obama is in your best interest. In fact, I'm baffled why 98% of the country won't vote for Obama.
If you vote for Romney, then you must be in the top 2%. Here's hoping that your compassion for others is greater than your vote would imply.