(Community Matters) So, OldSquid challenged me to write a positive blog about why I’m supporting Obama
First, where our country finds itself: 1) in economic distress – a) likely the largest economic chasm between haves and have nots since the Great Depression, b) unsound economic fundamentals, led by a ridiculous reliance on foreign capital and c) longtime underinvestment in societal and physical infrastructure; 2) Bush’s squandering of America’s good standing in this world built over the previous 60 years, 3) unsustainable wars which threaten to break our troops and risk national security, and 4) demoralized citizens who overwhelmingly believe America is headed in the wrong direction and increasingly distrust government and politicians.
Why would I first list our circumstances prior to promoting Barack Obama? Because the times and challenges made a huge difference in who I decided to support and why.
I stated our situation in a list prioritized in today’s climate. But, when I finally decided to support Barack Obama, it was 2007, and I would have prioritized the situation as 1) national security, 2) world standing, 3) economic, 4) demoralized electorate.
Barack Obama represents a new generation and a new way of governing. His candidacy signals the inclusion of millions and millions of previously disenfranchised or less included people into the political process – African Americans, multi-ethnic/multi-cultural, all people of color and a reminder that smart, hard working young men and women from low/moderate income backgrounds can still achieve the highest office (as opposed to dynasties, whether political or military). Barack’s ascendancy represents a message to the world that Americans recognize the folly of our decisions in the last two races, and that we’re not only unhappy with our leaders but changing direction 180 degrees. I believe this message will do more to further diplomacy and provide an opportunity to restrengthen our national security than any military initiative. And yet I understand that it’s a hard world with some very mean people, so we will have to engage our military at times.
Despite successfully selling the message of economic stewardship to 50+% of Americans, Republicans have screwed up our economy every time they’ve had control in the last 20 years. Obama will focus on matching revenues and expenses. He will lower taxes for 95% of Americans. Though our family will pay higher taxes, we’re willing to do so in exchange for rebalancing the budget and investing in physical and societal infrastructure. I dislike that the capital gains tax rate will be raised – consider it counterproductive. And, I understand that many professions have figured out how to recategorize earnings as capital gains and have avoided paying their fair share. How many executives pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than their administrative assistants? Too many.
Nevertheless, I’m heartened by a promise not to raise rates (income tax and capital gains) beyond the levels of the Clinton years, and I’m counting on promises in how they’ll invest these monies. The appointment of Furman, Rubin, Summers and Goolsbee to the economic A-team as well as Paul Volker’s and Warren Buffett’s support reinforces my faith.
There’s a lot about free markets (which I support) and their imperfection which require regulation (mostly to force the cost of externalities and to limit the US economic guarantees – implied, explicit or defacto in practice [redundancy acknowledged]); educational initiatives such as merit pay for teachers, investment in curriculum, increased site-based management and accountability; health care reform; and watching who Barack hires and how he enforces team work & consensus rather than deploying or even tolerating byzantine management practices, all further influence my decision to support & enthusiasm for Barack Obama.
Last said, before the debate party in Austin, I was just an enthusiastic supporter. It was watching my 9yo and 10yo god children – their enthusiasm for Barack and hearing them talk about what they’d learned on-line on their own initiative – and the turn out of youth and African Americans that made me call up friends and agree to become a fundraiser for the campaign
Enough for now, I’ll post more in the days ahead about why Barack Obama. Thanks OldSquid.