By Mark David Blum, Esq.
This is your moment. I sit here in the peace of the dawn in the hours before your inauguration and am reminded how big of a gamble Americans have made. Facing the direst of economic and foreign affairs crises, the rank and file of this nation are looking to the incoming administration for a solution. We have given you four years to fix the problems. Please do not drop the ball.
Your predecessor, President Bush gave us a final speech the other day. A man in his position had the opportunity to speak loudly on issues greater than himself. He could have rallied the nation, urged passage of policies, and launched America toward her greater angels. Instead, he talked of war and how war was necessary. President Bush talked only of President Bush and I was left feeling empty and disaffected.
President Obama, our eyes are cast toward Washington. You succeeded where others have failed and incorporated millions into the political process who were otherwise feeling disenfranchised for the past decade. The Obama express passed me by and I remain on the outside looking in. America is dreaming of a new life, real change from our current situation, and craving hope. Your words and deeds should all be directed at elevating those dreams and hopes and make them real,
Change comes from within and America has made a major change for your benefit. We dismembered the Republican Party and set aside hundreds of years of social mores to bring you to the White House. As dangerous as it is to have one party rule – hearken back to your predecessor’s early days in office – you are going to have a glorious honeymoon.
I have to confess that I am afraid. Terrorist bombs and migration of South and Central Americans do not scare me. Deficit spending is the real face of evil. Our national debt is a number so high that it is incomprehensible. You want to add at least two trillion dollars to the pile. I honestly and seriously fear that one day our taxes will all be spent on the interest on the debt and we will be forced into national bankruptcy. This debt is the ticking bomb that can fracture the United States. Your stimulus plan coupled with Democratic control of both houses of congress assure me that the debt is going to grow into a giant monster.
The crisis in our nation’s health care delivery system also causes me to worry. Your plan is to go beyond the status quo and have tasked Senator Daschle with developing a new national strategy on health care. Presumably he is starting with a clean slate and searching the width and breadth of the land for ideas. Yet everything I hear and every intention spoken of all start with the assumption that health care is not a human right and that insurance is the means by which the problem will be solved. Every person has as much right to health care as they do to an education. This is part of the social contract we have with one another. Leaving insurance companies as the gatekeepers to health care is like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse.
How you will fight back the debt, stimulate the economy, and set up a national health care plan without raising taxes is going to be some serious slight of hand. The clarion call of the right is to completely eradicate the income tax and replace it with a flat national sales tax. You could mine another 25 billion federal dollars by ending the Drug War. Bringing home soldiers from Iraq and later Afghanistan will also ease pressure. But at its core, I am giddy with anticipation to see how this new great society pledged by Team Obama will achieve its goals without adding more taxes.
This weeklong party being held in Washington DC to honor your election and inauguration shows how America is evolving. We are coming out a long dark tunnel and have been given the chance to see the light. When you affirm your oath of office, there is going to be a great sigh of relief as the Bush era will finally be over. Immediately following that mass exhale with be a quick gasp as we hold our collective breath you will live up to your promise.
President Obama, our prayers and well wishes line your streets. We want you to succeed; in fact, we need you to succeed. In you for the next four years lie our best chances of escaping the economic cesspool in which we are all floundering. It is on you President Obama to achieve things greater than yourself. Be what your predecessor was not. Be the President for all the United States and make us proud.