So, here we are, deep into the second term of President Barack Obama. And, conservatives have done nothing but complain for nearly six years and have blocked everything he has tried to accomplish. They continue to try to scare Americans into opposing the president?s agenda. And, I guess that?s what annoys me most about Republicans.
Let?s take a moment to examine the facts.
The economy is on a tear. Since the Great Recession began in 2008, the policies of the president have paid great dividends, literally and figuratively. Don?t forget, George W. Bush was at the helm when the big banks were gambling with the financial health of our nation.
Obama rescued the automotive industry and put in place a plan to turn things around. The stock market has never been higher, and the unemployment rate is manageable once again.
Conservatives also attempted to scare gun owners into believing the federal government was coming for their weapons. Yet, despite several catastrophic mass shootings, including one at a movie theater in Colorado and at a Connecticut elementary school, there have been absolutely no attempts to disarm Americans.
In fact, the opposite has happened. Sales of guns and ammunition have shot up during the Obama presidency. Ironically, a Democrat in the White House has been a boon for the industry.
But, what about the Affordable Care Act? Accord?ing to some on the right, so-called Obamacare will be the impetus that gives the Senate to Republicans. I believe it will be the president?s legacy, and it will be a positive one. So far, more than 7 million Americans have signed on, which is right on schedule.
Those opposed site the fact that medical costs continue to rise. I want to ask them, however, what the price of health care was doing before the ACA. It was out of control.
I recently heard a perfect example of the ignorance surrounding the program. A crotchety Florida resident was asked what he thought of the Affordable Care Act. ?It sucks,? he said.
In a follow-up question, he was asked what in particular he didn?t like and what negative effect it might have on his life. ?I don?t know exactly,? he said. ?I haven?t really looked at it that closely.?
That?s the problem. People are spoonfed what they think they think, without ever taking the time to think for themselves.
Personally, I like the fact that my daughter, who is wrapping up a voluntary service assignment, can still be covered under my family health insurance until she turns 26. Yes, that is part of the program. So is the fact that people with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied coverage.
Conservatives in Texas are some of the most vocal opponents of ACA. Not surprisingly, Texas also has one of the highest rates of uninsured residents in the nation. Is this a successful model of how to treat residents?
Pres. Obama wants to increase the federal minimum wage. Immediately, the opposing party claims that move would cost jobs and hurt the economy. I disagree. If a low wage earner is given more disposable income, he or she will spend it. That will spur the economy, and that, my friends is what drives growth. Tax cuts to business owners won?t do it. Factory orders will.
Finally, there is the question of immigration reform. Republicans continue to block any proposal that even hints at amnesty for so-called illegal aliens. ?Send them all back,? they cry, which reminds me of what segregationists were saying in the 1950s and 1960s.
It?s not practical, even if it was morally acceptable. Again, they fail to consider that immigrants spend money as they make money. Many are already productive members of society, doing many of the jobs, quite frankly, that few native residents want to do.
Conservatives are scrambling to court minorities, especially those who speak Spanish. They sense that the Hispanic vote is important. But, they don?t want to upset the red applecart. So, they fight among themselves as the 2014 mid-term elections approach.
I don?t agree with everything Barack Obama does or had done. I am disappointed that his health care overhaul was so watered down. I am unhappy that deportations under his administration have skyrocketed. I would also like to see him get tougher on guns. Do we really need large capacity semi-automatic and automatic weapons on our streets? It is only a matter of time before another mass killing makes the headlines.
But, the way our state is currently operating with both houses and the governorship under the control of conservatives makes me sure once again that there needs to be a balance. I only hope that voters are smart enough to recognize this before November.