Friday, June 29, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Historic Health Care Ruling: Implication for the General Elections


Keywords and Terms: Affordable Care Act; Chief Justice Roberts; 5-4 Vote Spread; United States Congress; Commerce Clause; Congress’s Power to Tax; CNN; FOXNEWS; Rush-to-Judgement; A Good Day for Democrats and America.

Exasperating! That’s what some Republicans call it. Too Exasperating! All manner of Republicans were frustrated when they heard that the United States Supreme Court upheld the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety in a 5-4 Vote spread. In an unimaginable and unthinkable way, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the court, agreeing that the United States Congress acted within its powers to raise and collect tax. And since the core mandate in the law, requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty could be construed as effectively a tax, the United States Congress is within its power to pass this law in 2010. The surprise for many critics of the law came from the fact that the law was not distinctively separated on the Commerce clause for rejection; rather, the United States Supreme Court upheld the law based on the settled issue that Congress has a broad power to levy taxes.

Regardless of who was to be impacted and what form of cynicism would emanate from Supreme court’s decision, the justices took their responsibility seriously and very poignantly, voted to strike a piece of the law as unconstitutional; however, ruling the lynch-pin of the act, the mandate, constitutional as it can get. The supporting Justices, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor had issues with the possibility of the federal government expanding the Medicare program to reach more people through arm-twisting of states or design to bring them into fold. The following justices ruled against the law: Anthony Kennedy; Samuel Alito; Clarence Thomas and Antonio Scalia. Although the federal government was going to pick up the bill at 100% under this expansion of the Medicaid program at the state level, with state picking up 15% of the bill after about two years, the court was still not impressed and believes this provision, is heavy handed. Chief Justice Roberts, like other supporting justices, felt strongly that this provision may violate the constitution, as the Federal Government had the upper hand to punish the state that refuses to participate in the new dispensation under the new law. In effect, subscribing Justices to Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act still believe that this aspect of the law, taking away Medicaid funding in totality from states that refuse to participate fully, unconstitutional.

Although the complete decision from the highest court in the land seems not to have thrilled too many Republicans, there are reasons to believe that it was a triumph for many Democrats and millions of Americans without health care insurance. A clear and pure understanding of why Justice Roberts sided with the liberal wing of the U.S Supreme Court on this occasion, would probably never be known, for it is difficult to know what transpires completely in the mind of a judge in a landmark case like this. Although there were clues that this case could go either way after the oral arguments before the court about three months ago, the rows of critics who were ready to thumb down Obama’s Administration, as always showing disregard for the constitution, were rather huge and unbelievable. Peering through the rows of placards from demonstrators before the courts, one could have accepted, if the court had ruled against the law; and this, many Democrats were presumably afraid of, but were still willing to live with in a difficult circumstance like this. 


To appreciate the difficult dynamics of this ruling, while the US Supreme was releasing its judgment as upholding the law,  two huge cable networks, CNN and FOXNEWS notably, were reporting that the court had ruled the law unconstitutional. It was actually an embarrassment and nightmare for the networks which their audience will never forget; and this actually, shows how dicey the anticipated decision from the court. It is reasonable to construe that cable news networks are largely biased and are actually, in the business of rushing-to-report news that is in fact erroneous. It is also reasonable to note that on this occasion, unlike the expectations of many in the right, the United States Supreme Court defaulted on good reason and judgement as it articulated its grounds for ruling in favor of the constitutionality of the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act.

As far as we know today, the court draws the distinction between activity and inactivity, as it ruled to accept the constitutionality of all the provisions in the law, except one. The distinction was likened to participation and none participation on a line item tax code; and, penalizing those who are not participating or remaining inactive with respect to the tax provision. Interestingly, the act was developed and discussed at both the House and Senate Tax sub-committee; and, this probably vindicate the construction of the mandate as a tax as construed in the lead opinion of Chief Justice Roberts while upholding the law. The legitimacy of the United Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts was actualized with the decision that was handed down and never again will a President assume that his nomination to the highest court in the land, with a preconceived ideological leaning, will always rule in favor of the ideological ground.

Chief Justices John Roberts established his independence with three presuppositions in  opinion that would now be remembered as the foundation of the affirmation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: 1) The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause; 2) That clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it; and, 3) In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance; such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax. With these statements, Chief Justice Roberts probably changed the faith of close to three million Americans without really knowing it! If you ask any layman to decipher his presuppositions, they will be as mystified as many people; yet it is true, the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act, is constitutional and will remain that way for a long time to come; so sayeth the Chief!

Once again, on the totality of the decision, Democrats were thrilled, while Republicans imagined this day was not good for freedom and all the principle that this country hold dearly; with some of the republicans labeling the honorable Chief Justice, a traitor. At the State level, Washington Sate Governor Christine Gregoire inferred the following as a result of the affirmation of the law as constitutional: 1) Fifty thousand more Washingtonians will have health care insurance coverage; 2) Sixty thousand Senior Citizens will benefit from continued prescription drug coverage benefits; 3) Three hundred thousand Washingtonians will be able to take advantage of the health care exchange that is to be mounted under the law; and 4) Increased adult children coverage; among others. Other state governors believe that the law is a good law and will implement it as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, Republican presumptive Nominee, Mitt Romney still believes the Affordable Care Ac is a bad law and promises to repeal it. Many observers of congressional lawmaking insist that Mitt Romney will have much of a harder time repealing this law, as there are many provisions in the law that Americans love and would hardly part with, since the inception of the law and actually benefiting from the largesse of the law.

At the National level, the upholding of the law, presents more appeals to ardent supporters and opens up the opportunity for conviction of those who had their reservations before now. The magic of the constitutionality of the mandate is that it creates in the minds of skeptics, the reality that this law is going to be around for some while. While there were some reservations in the tone from Mitt Romney, regarding the upholding of the law, he still accepts that the court has ruled the law constitutional. Unfortunately, he has made the repeal of the law as the first thing he will like to do, once he is elected the President of the United Sates. An ambition that many Democrats are saying, not so fast, Governor Romney! For Democrats, the upholding of the law as constitutional ensures that at least 90% of Americans will have access to health care insurance, no one will be turned down for pee-existing condition and more adult children will remain on their parent’s health care insurance. Effectively, more lives will be saved, money saved and the Medicare program will work out for states that have chosen to participate for the betterment of their citizens. For all these and more reasons, the affirmation of the law is a good day for America and Americans, who believe that we all deserve some healthy future.



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Power of the Presidency, U.S. Immigration Plan, and the Politics of harvesting Latino and or Hispanic Votes!

 
Keywords or Terms: President Obama; DREAM ACT; Executive Order; Halting Deportation; Illegal immigrants; Amnesty; Path to Citizenship; Gov. Mitt Romney, Green Card; Advanced Degree Holders; Military Service; Constitutional Authority.

Change: the nation found itself with the greatest revolutionary change regarding how America treats its immigrants or addresses the issue of undocumented immigrants. At stake was the issue of continued existence of close to twelve million undocumented immigrants in the United States. To bring about the promised change, President Obama did what he felt is possible in the absence of congressional support for an immigration reform bill. What President Obama did for undocumented immigrants, some of whom are disproportionately classified as Latinos and or Hispanics are as follows: 1) Halt future deportations of undocumented immigrants under the age of thirty who can arguably show they arrived in the United States before their 16th birthdays; 2) Allow for work authorization for the next two years for younger undocumented immigrants, as long as they hold a GED, have no felony convictions and no more than two misdemeanor convictions. Will this amnesty or waiver involve appreciable change in the way the nation considers the issue of illegal immigration? Or, will it change the President’s fortune with Latinos and Hispanic communities with legal voting rights across the nation?

Regarding the first question, the President has masterfully attempted to change the discussions on illegal immigration during an election year, especially by creating a barrier block between Latinos and Hispanic voters and the presumptive Republican Nominee. To concerned Latinos and Hispanic voters, here is what the President has done on the nation’s immigration problem: 1) without usurping constitutional authority of congress, he has chosen to ignore congressional mandate on enforcements of existing law by issuing an executive order; an order that has gained greater appeal among  many independent voters, many of whom are Latinos and Hispanics; 2) rejuvenated hope for close to one million affected parties or undocumented immigrants, who are living here for reasons beyond their fault; 3) Make good on the implementation of some of the provisions of the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act), that has been advanced as one of the legs of the tripod solution to the issue of illegal immigration; and, 4) Arouse once again, an interest in addressing a national problem that Republicans are astutely against, especially the Tea Party group in the Republican Party.

The President articulated these points as he contrasted his speech against Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans before the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. His argument, as trite as critics may want many of us to believe, is indeed a change from where the nation was about a week and a half ago, on the issue of illegal immigration. He attempted to walk a fine line between sounding critical and probably dismissive of his opponent’s argument over what has transpired since his election in 2008; precisely, the state of the economy and how it has impacted people of various political persuasions.

Since he released the executive order, reactions from voters have been either positive or negative, with majority independent groups affirming support for the new policy. For whatever insightfulness the order has garnered, the Republicans remain unsatisfied with how the President has gone about resolving this issue temporarily, calling it, either an amnesty or a path to citizenship. A few, including Republican Representative Steve King, have sworn to file a suit challenging the President’s authority to effectively conduct an immigration policy; hoping to undo the President’s authority to bypass congress. The dynamics of the executive order and criticisms from the Republicans are these: the immigration issue has been entangled in the campaign for the oval office; and, the question over whose side the Latino voters are likely to default come November 6, 2012. Now, going by the reception of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in the outgoing week in Florida, one is tempted to give an edge to President Barack Obama.

The politics of the executive order is that it places the presumptive Republican Nominee, Mitt Romney, in a box. With the Press on his heels for response, the presumptive Republican nominee has not been able to fathom an effective response to the President’s order. When pressed by CBS Bob Shaffer, if he will change the President’s executive order if elected, all Governor Romney said is that whatever he is going to initiate with respect to illegal immigration under his administration, will effectively overtake the executive order. Pressed even further and harder, if he will repeal the supposed amnesty, Mitt Romney failed to make a commitment.

Political pundits indicate that the reason why Romney has been unable to give an upfront response is because he is aligned with the Tea Party faction in the Republican Party. Supporters of the President executive order, indicate that the order is a ray of hope for many youthful Latinos and or Hispanics, who have been languishing in somewhat of a hopeless limbo, before the order. Quoting one of the supporters of the President’s action, this actually indicates that he truly gets it - the greatest concern of nearly all undocumented immigrants at this time, is the fear that their families will be broken apart, if the United States government continues to deport at the very unprecedented rate under President Obama.

Changing the Law: Supporters of the executive order further indicate that President Obama not only brought about renewed interests in resolving the immigration problem, but also huge insightfulness that could change the debate on how to move forward regarding resolution of illegal immigration, when congress gets around to debating the issue. Unfortunately, Senate republican leader Mitch McConnell insists that if the executive order leads to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, then it is arguably an amnesty; and, Republicans are truly against that. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla) sees the executive order as a backdoor opportunity to allow people to vote; Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of House Judiciary Committee, interprets the executive order as a breach of faith with the American People; an executive ploy that blatantly ignores the rule of law; and, a huge policy shift that may serve as a magnet for undocumented immigrants and amnesty.

Many objective observers or independent voters see the President’s action as a last ditch effort to get things done in the absence of true support for immigration reform from both chambers of congress. We now know that the Dream Act, S. 2205, initially introduced in Oct, 2007, by Senator Dick Durbin, and Co-sponsored by Charles Hagel and Richard Lugar, remains out there for deliberation or consideration. We also know that the 2010 re-introduced New Dream Act, Bill S.3992, with numerous changes to S.2205, is also out there for attention. Further, it is no secret that in May 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reintroduced the DREAM Act, with former supporters, Senator John McCain (R-AZ); Jon Kyl (R-AZ); Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator John Corny (R-TX), holding back their initial support for the bill. No wonder the bill failed to carry the required votes to prevent a filibuster in congress. In addition, if the State of California is able to accomplish passing the DREAM Act in their state within a short time of consideration, why is anyone blaming the President for issuing out an executive order, or doing part of what Congress has failed to do, which effectively brings a dream to reality for close to one million young undocumented immigrants? For the records, there are about three pieces of legislation and an executive order that congress can begin to act on, right this moment, if they want to correct for whatever anomaly or disagreements they have with the President issuing an executive order.

Complicated politics: Attempt by Democrats under President Obama to pass the Dream Act in 2010 lame-duck session met some vociferous antagonism from Republicans. As the  presumptive Republican Nominee was striving to boost his image with the Latinos and or Hispanics this week, he is probably finding out that the hard-core conservative Republican stance on undocumented immigrants is hardly going to work. This is probably one reason, why Mitt Romney sees the executive order as an attempt by President Obama to secure Hispanic votes, in a tight election landscape. In an attempt to win over more Latino voter for his aspiration for the White House, Mitt Romney advances the following hyperbolas: give green cards to advanced degree holders and those who serve in the Military. His stance on self deportation by illegal immigrants remains. While criticizing President Obama for advancing the amnesty order only to curry votes from Hispanics, Mitt Romney failed to offer details of his own proposals that Latinos and or Hispanics can believe in; and, which might help him make inroads into Latinos and or Hispanic votes, come November

There are some apprehensive supporters of Mitt Romney’s campaign, who say, it is probably too late, if not completely infeasible for Mitt Romney to recalibrate his statement during the Republican Party Primaries. One will recall that in the heat of the Republican Nomination debates and process, aspirant Mitt Romney said that those illegal immigrants will self depot. A laughable proposal, which critics’ retort, those who self-deport can easily self-reenter as usual! When another Republican aspirant, Governor Rick Perry of the State of Texas, cautioned about such a proposal, he was effectively ridiculed by Republican conservatives who support aggressive anti-illegal immigration stance. To this group, Mitt Romney’s position was best; and, Rick Perry’s, a disdain and unacceptable! The chicken has finally come to rousts towards the general election, as it has become rather difficult for Governor Mitt Romney to do an Etch-A-Sketch on the immigration issue.

Summing it up – changes in the immigration landscape appear to have crept into the 2012 Presidential Campaign politics and no one can stop it now. It is disheartening to realize that the President had resorted to an executive order to accomplish what the United States Congress has failed to do. To hackle the President for issuing the executive order; or, bastardize his action as circumventing the constitution, may actually be na├»ve, since the constitution gives the Presidency the power to issue executive order as it deems fit, absent Congressional authority. Two things that are incontrovertible from here on, the executive order from the Presidency will remain for the next two years as long as President Obama remains in office. The executive order may have changed the President’s fortune for the better with Latinos and the Hispanics in the Presidential Campaign for 2012.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Romney’s Goal as a President: Get rid of fire fighters, policemen and teachers!


Keywords or Terms: Public Safety Officers and First Responders; Monetary and Keynesian Economics theories; Government Expenditures or Programs; Stakeholders; Profits vs. Non-Profit; Trust and Commitment; Illusion and Doubts.

What’s not to like about a Presidential Candidate who wants to get rid of fire fighters, policemen and teachers? That’s quintessential Republican! (I can hear you laughing aloud). The presumptive Republican Party flag bearer has been quoted as saying, getting rid of first responders, public safety and or last point of defense professionals, fire fighters, policemen and teachers in Wisconsin, is a positive change. To quote him appropriately: "[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people." To the presumptive Republican Party Nominee, what the nation needs right now, is getting rid of public safety officials. This is exactly how to help the American people, if you are Governor Romney!

Now, except Mitt Romney has plans to turn America into another third world country or banana republic, it maybe in his interest to rethink this type of lousy loose talks, that is characteristic of some Republicans, who would like to privatize everything, including their mother’s social security check! In case Governor Romney is oblivious to some facts, local and state government expenditures, benefit directly or indirectly from some federal government programs and expenditures. Except his resentment of such government expenditures is just a bluff or slip, we, as the nation, will expect the presumptive republican nominee to be circumspect; and, abstain from making comments that is tantamount to ignorance. Investing in first responders like firefighters, policemen and classroom teachers are necessities, not luxuries. These types of expenditures guarantee that we are prepared to handle society eventualities; prevents unnecessary huge government spending in times of huge catastrophes; and, make room for a well educated labor force that can handle the management of a better future.

Once Again, we know Republicans are critical of increased government spending during recessions. Incidentally, given the gap in American household spending in the past three years, the only other option available to government under Keynesian Economics theory is to expend money, to help stimulate economic activities that would help generate employment. Conservative Republicans subscribe to the Monetarist Economics theory; wherein, the mantra is to shrink government by cutting government spending; hoping that this will help the economy grow better. Unfortunately, this idea or concept has been tried before under Republican Administrations, and it has failed woefully. The failures of excessive tax cuts, unyielding management of the economy and a choice to engage in two foreign wars are parts of the reasons for the dilemma we are going through, not the employment of public safety officials!

Notwithstanding, Republicans continue to subscribe to the failed doctrine of Supply-side Economics; one that has led the nation nowhere, except misery. Republicans continue to criticize Obama’s Administration for increased government expenditures on stimulus programs and plans; most of which went to save police officers, teachers and firefighters jobs in many states across the federation. In the world of Republicans, it is a proven fact that increased government expenditures do not help increased economic activities, nor make good on the gap in households expenditures during recessions. To these men and women of doubt, anytime government expend money to bring back life to the economy, the government is trying to tell the people how to think, what to do and what not to do. Except such increased government spending is used or earmarked to save banks, defray taxes for big multinational corporations or engage in wars, such investments are necessarily unacceptable; or sacrilegious!

Frankly, there lies the ignorance; there lies the unfortunate confusion regarding what government ought to be doing for the public; and what misinformed Republican politicians would like to get away with, with the public. The premature obsession with cutting down on federal deficits, by cutting down on government expenditures, is only but an illusion. Without some government investments or spending, the current recession will still be around or take a longer time to overcome. If we don’t have business activities going on, either through government spending or increased household expenditures, government can’t collect taxes; and without revenue coming into government, the likelihood is, government will go a borrowing or engage in printing money; which ends up increasing inflation. These are all economics jargons that many of us do not appreciate, want to deal with, or would rather ignore. It is on the notion of out site is out of mind, that Mitt Romney and his campaign team are playing on. Yes, increased government spending may help balloon our deficits temporarily; however, without it, the economy would be in doldrums or worse shape. Further, many of us would rather have our first responders available for our safety, rather than stay ignorant and delusional about what is expected of our government and what is expected of us as citizens.

Spending money on crucial public safety officials is synonymous with planning ahead for a rainy day. If we are to engage in the after-the-fact doctrine, or subscribe to reasoning like those of Mitt Romney and his Republican cohorts, who are often inconvenient with increased government spending in times of recession, then we are setting ourselves up for huge failures. Subscribing to the notion that we hardly should invest in the employment of firefighters, policemen and teachers, is a recipe for disaster or greater troubles, in times of emergency. It is much easier and prudent to invest in teachers and first time responders rather than offering tax brakes to people and corporations that do not need them. To hands off investments in aforementioned professionals is to lack good judgment in state and local government governance; and by extension, national government. If there is a trick to jobs creation without increased government expenditures in times of recession, we believe many governments that came before us, will have done that; or, engage in this endeavor.

Reading too much meanings to the result of Wisconsin governor’s recall vote, or characterizing the failure of the recall vote in Wisconsin as tantamount to cutting back on investments in the employment of firefighters, policemen and teacher is not only short sighted, it explains why Mitt Romney must not be voted into the Presidency. He has shown too much ignorance regarding what is essential for America and what confused Republican Party members are seeking for America. Now, from Romney’s statement, we can now understand why Republicans want to get rid of the United States Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services; repeal the Affordable Care Act and get the nation into militarism, in preparation for engaging in another lousy and unnecessary war. Once again, whatever economic problem the nation is going through, has very little to do with employment of public safety professionals like firefighters, policemen and teachers. If the presumptive Republican Nominee does not believe me, let him move to an outpost without firefighters, policemen and teachers!

Given the gap in household spending and current government investments in stimulus programs, given the exasperating banking crisis in Europe, and the unyielding problems of unemployment worldwide, it is imperative that we begin to ask Mr. Romney the following questions:
  • What are the major initiatives that you would like to bring into the White House regarding permanent employment and absence of future recessions in America?
  • What, outside the criticism of employment of public safety officers and teachers, do you plan for re-juvenating employment in state and local governments?
  • What is happening inside your campaign regarding your foreign policy agenda and how to move America ahead on the wars that we are currently committed?
Once we can get clear answers to these questions, we can now start to consider your suitability to replace the current occupant of the White House. Going by your current pronouncement regarding cutting jobs of our first responders and public safety officials, we hardly can predict what you’ll do, if we voted you into the office of the Presidency. We just don’t trust you as understanding the current problem of the nation. For us, the nation is not a business enterprise where everything is measured by how much profit you can bring to the stake holders!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Governor Romney, like his Republican Tea Party Membership, wants to take back his country!

Keywords or Terms: Defensive Argument; Public and Private Economic Sectors; Racist and Unconscionable Comments and leadership; Civility; American Politics; Bureau of Labor Statistics; All Men are created equal; Rights of every men or women are threatened, when the rights of one is abridged; Presidential candidate's responsibility; and, Free and Fair Election.

The Obama’s Campaign team’s central challenge, in addition to reelecting their candidate into White House oval office, includes fighting back criticisms when their candidate makes an oral or vocal slip. It is tempting to believe that their candidate is above board, that his comment was literary taken out of context; however, there are some slips that put a candidate on the spot, one that makes it seem he hardly has the grasps of what was going on with the American Economy. A subsequent clarification of what is now considered a slip may have helped put in perspective what the President meant to say; however, one slip like this puts the campaign team on the defensive. The Obama’s Administration might have been making comparative assessment between the economic performances of the private against the public sector, in its attempt to explain away the grinding nature of the current national economic environment; however, when the assessment or comment comes out as if the President was out of torch, then things get really murky and muddy. Further, when  the presumptive Republican's candidate response to the President's slip borders on extremity, like he wants to take back his country, one starts to wonder about the question of civility in American Politics once again. 

For several months, the American economy has been growing, but not at the pace that everyone will like. The latest statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics seems for a while a hot topic in the Presidential campaign process; however, one gets the feeling that half of the pundits hardly know what they are talking about, when they start to accentuate a meaning more than what the data shows. Politicians themselves have been falling over topics in labor economics they hardly understand. The poor jobs creations in a tepid economic environment and the less than stalwart unemployment statistics have nearly put Obama’s Administration in the defensive. The Obama’s campaign team has thought long and hard on their chances come November 2012, due to the jobs situation. What the campaign team does not need, is their candidate drawing attention to what may be considered a nemesis. The truth is, the economy is in a slump for now and the unemployment statistics is improving, no matter what many pundits will tell you. The Bureau of labor statistics has been doing unemployment data aggregates and for all you may doubt, the labor market, is scheduled for an upward swing. Yes, the European Economies may have been testy and twisty for the recovery of the American Economy; however, the Obama’s campaign team can do without their candidate shooting himself in the foot. Saying that the private economic sector is doing better than the public’s easily serves as a fodder for opponents, especially the Republican members of congress and their presumptive flag bearer!

Notwithstanding the error from President Obama, many political observers and gurus wonder why the Romney’s campaign team introduced to the debate what will be considered, a racist or unconscionable comment. Governor Romney indicated he and his cohorts will like to take back their country in response to President Obama’s slip. A comment to which many say: is that really appropriate? Everyone wants this election to be about ideas; great ideas that will help the nation move further, not get meshed in a campaign of race and racism. The reality is that our economy and national debts are out of whack; and what we now need are both philosophical and practical arguments that will provide answers to our fiscal problems and under-performing labor market.

Years of tax cuts have failed the economy and our nation's fiscal health. The extension of  President Bush’s tax cut, which President Obama is vehemently against, has been a bane of contention regarding how to move the economy ahead. The latest comment from President Clinton regarding an extension of these taxes only for a limited time seems compelling; however, it has not provided the more convincing argument for further give-aways to millionaires among us; a policy decision that has continued to pile up on our debts; and, keep the national economy in poor fiscal health. If Mitt Romney wants to engage in constructive debates, it is advisable that he keeps his campaign’s message to the issue of the economy and what he truly understands about the labor market; rather than, what will be construed as a racist and unconscionable comment, from someone who will like to fill the shoes of the leader of the free world. It is known that Mitt Romney subscribes to tax cuts that will further aggravate our poor fiscal health. It is also known that given the opportunity, the presumptive Republican flag bearer, will like to do away with Medicare the way many of us know it today. What we hardly know, is that he completely subscribes to extreme views held by the Tea Party faction in his party.

To constrain the Obama’s campaign team, Governor Mitt Romney may choose to spur debates in the area of improving America’s Economy or laying foundation for spurring economic growth and jobs proliferation. Making unproductive comments just for the sake of winning election will not just cut it for many American voters, knowing that about ten million of them are out of work, and there are chances that continued European banking crisis may hold back our economic progress and performance. And if Romney wants to avoid further controversy about his candidature, he is better off, distancing himself from the Tea Party Republican group. To be sure that Mitt Romney is not intentionally bending over to the Tea Party group for the sake of votes, it is better he remains civil, as the whole country, and probably the whole world, is watching what is going on in America's presidential campaign exercise. To make volatile comments regarding taking back America for a privileged group is a recipe for another debate far away from presidential campaign and exercise.

Presidential campaigns are expected to be uplifting; for, many observers expect them to be battle(s) of ideas, not prejudices. To keep the extremists at bay, Mitt Romney’s and the President’s campaign team must endeavor to be positive and intellectually stimulating in their campaign for the White House. Alongside distancing themselves from controversial and extreme groups, each party's flag bearer and their campaign teams must appreciate that this nation is greater than one party, one person or group. Presidential campaigning might include positioning yourself to win the election; however, this must not be done on the platter of bigotry; or, at the expense of civility and welfare of the nation. Most of all, to make one’s campaign for a national office credible, a political office seeker must endeavor to extend an umbrella of inclusiveness for all groups he is seeking to serve. A President is expected to pledge to defend all citizens of the nation, not attack any factional members of it. To continue to fall to the level of saying, I will, or we will like to, take our country from the opposition, is to portray an image of an outsider of the opposition; or synonymous to incivility in political discuss. Governor Romney response to President Obama's slip is unconscionable; and hardly appreciated by many Americans, Democrats and Republicans.

In other words, if Governor Mitt Romney wants himself to be considered a credible candidate or leader who is seeking the highest office in the land, he must make substantial investment in political ideology, resourceful arguments and comments that do not ostracize any group in the country. National Election's victory does not necessarily depend on huge political monetary contributions or attempting to classify others as outsider; rather, a candidate must endeavor to see himself as a unifier, a quality essential to successful leadership in a multicultural society. Campaigning for votes to special interest group(s) may impose a huge constraint or burden on a political candidate; however, at the stage of this country’s development, we would rather vote and celebrate an inclusive leader, one who is cautious of the makeup of the country, rather than defer to one, who sees anyone different from him or her as an outsider. We would rather accept transparent arguments based on facts; rather than a fiction of taking back our country from our present leader and President. Given the changing nature of America’s demography, we are certain that our future leaders will have to be dealing with issues and concerns of a multicultural society, not a monoculture one, as in the past.

Canvasing for votes from a multicultural demography in Presidential elections is evident and plausible in the coming decades; anyone seeking the office of the President therefore, must hardly see himself as a leader of one group as against another. The 2010 US Census has shown that the composition of this nation is titling away from a monoculture one; and any prospective leader must quit seeing this country in the context of a monoculture society. The past obsession of votes from just one segment of society is past long gone; and, probably would not be back very soon. Thus, when Mitt Romney subscribes to comments that indicate that he is hardly sensitive to the minority among us; then he is not ready to lead. If his ambition is to subscribe to clandestine faction or groups in his political party, then it is not impossible that many voters will declare that he does not possess the humbling and necessary qualities to lead a huge and diverse nation as ours.

Even, if your campaign team and manager are identifying with a strategy that portray you as hostile to other groups in the community you are attempting to serve, it is your duty to advise them that you will hardly stand for that position as you perceive your strategy as one of inclusiveness. Critics may argue that Obama's Administration is adhered too strongly to the Keynesian economic theory; however, what they will never say is that his administration is non-inclusive. President Obama's Administration has been inconclusive, even to groups which some of his supporters find abhorrent. In addition, President Obama's critics may not like how he has handled the American Economy, what they will never say is that, he is not a responsive leader. These are but two great reasons, why Republicans in many states will still vote for him, despite their reservation on how he has handled the economy. The most recent polling in the Wisconsin Governor's recall election bears this out: there are voters who voted for Scott Walker in the recall election, who will always vote for President Obama over Governor Mitt Romney!

There are so many potential obstacles to a candidate's victory in an election; bigotry must not be one. A progressive and reflective candidate would need to avoid controversies that could threaten or tarnish his authenticity. Mitt Romney must by now be wondering why some prominent conservative groups in his party are still not welcoming to his candidacy. It should have hit him that many voters, even within his party, still do not consider him as authentic. The relevant question here is why? Would these conservative Republicans, many in the Tea Party faction, want to roll back history; or, expect minorities to roll over like a fat dog, and get their tummies scratched or what? Buried in the hearts of some of these groups is the apprehension that Mitt Romney hardly seems to be authentic; just as they doubt the authenticity of the Republican flag bearer, so also they seek the abridgement of the right of minorities. For Governor Romney to subscribe to their position, is for him to cast himself in their like. This and other reasons are why many voters see Romney as unfit and probably a flip-flapper! Would this change? Would voters see him in other light? Answers to these and more questions are better found in Mitt Romney' actions an comments, henceforth. And as things stand regarding the campaign for the White House oval office, if he continues to make statements, that are considered as elitist, non-inclusive and probably racist, the more he can be sure, he will not have this people on his side come November, 2012.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Moral of Rising Unemployment: Why Presumptive Republican Nominee may not ride the latest data for too long?

Keywords or Terms: Unemployment Problem; Wall Street funk; Bureau of Labor Statistics; United States Congress; Moral latitude; Republican Party and Nominee; President Obama and Administration; History; Anthropologist; Positive, Believable, Open minded, Responsive, Integrative; and Forms of Government

The greatest challenge for the Obama’s Administration has been keeping down the unemployment rate. Unemployment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the month of May, 2012 hardly vindicate current public policies designed to address this cyclical problem of our economic system. The United States Congress, which has failed to accede to President Obama’s proposals for a jobs bill, hardly has the moral authority or latitude to pronounce that, the Obama’s Administration has not been doing much to fight the uncanny problem.  Although Republican members of congress may want to ride this complex problem since it plays very well to the advantage of their party’s flag bearer, failure to appreciate the hegemonic unemployment, hardly portrays these lawmakers as responsive to the immediate needs of the electorate and the public. Policy discourse of tackling unemployment tend to emphasize social economic deprivation of the masses; and when politicians in congress or aspiring prospective opposition party nominee, attempt to pun on an handicap or the failures of an existing administration, the scenario of public understanding of where this group is coming from is rather blatant: Pure Politics! The fact that Wall Street is in a funk is surreal and very discouraging at this time. Can opposition politicians continue to play on a singular failure of the current administration hoping to unseat the administration with overwhelming criticisms?  Can an opposition party be seen as responsive, if their memberships in the primordial lawmaking body fail to address the specific challenge facing the whole society? Can a flag bearer of an opposition party be seen as visionary or inspirational, if his campaign strategy is to deride current effort by the sitting administration without offering genuine alternatives?

From whatever source the Romney’s campaign team may be drawing its energy to unseat President Obama, obviously their vision of this nation hardly resonates with logical observers of economic indicators. Unemployment is a cyclical problem unfortunately associated with our economic system. The political realm of replacing a sitting administration every four years hardly resonates with the trough years of greater unemployment; i.e., an unemployment rate greater than four percentages. A President or a party's nominee may believe that he could bring down unemployment by initiating bills to resolve the problem; however, he still needs the backing of congress. Presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, may think he will be ennobled by an effort to resolve the unemployment problem, once he is voted into office; however, he still needs the support of congress to actually make a difference. Change hardly comes without cooperation. The challenge for Obama’s Administration has not been the failure of leadership or desire to bring about change in the unemployment rate; rather, it is that he has not received the needed support from congress to make a difference; as many Republicans have vowed to make him a one term President. Thus, the issue before the country is not the failure of President Obama to resolve the unemployment problem, but the failure of our political system of government to function as our fore-fathers conceived it. 

Our system of government and politics are only strengthened, where there is collaboration between at least two arms, or among the three arms of government, executive, legislative and judiciary. And regarding the current unemployment problem, the collaboration is even more important, when the executive and legislative arms are working closely together to do the work of the people. When the legislative arm, the United States Congress, is riddled with lawmakers determined to undermine the efforts of the executive branch to solve a nagging national problem, then the whole system fails. As Lord Pope said, for forms of government let fools contest, for what is best administered, is absolutely best. And as surmised by John Adams, the happiness of society is the end of government. If Republicans hardily communicate ease, comfort or happiness to the greatest number of people in the society, then they are least able to provide happiness to the people; and neither can they be the better alternative.

The central symbol or engineering of the three arms of government is based on the assumption that men and women, who end up as members in the three arms of government, will not have, or hold malice. The highest level of incivility experienced by the current administration could easily be traced to malice; and if I am not wrong, although the jury is still out, my response will be race. Now factor out the issue of race, the nagging unemployment problem has been with the nation, since day one of the Obama’s Administration. And except one has been living in space, the current inhabitant of the White House has made several efforts to fight the unemployment problem, including spending money to turn around the tide of fortune in jobs creation and reaching out to the other aisle of party politics. While he has made several pleas with Republican lawmakers to cast aside their reservations, differences or malice, his creative vision regarding solving the national unemployment problem has met poor response and sometimes antagonism. Republican lawmakers have stayed on the President's way to revitalize the American Economy. 

Seasoned Republican lawmakers and leaders do not see any benefit to their party, if President Obama’s vision and initiative are allowed to work; and, have increasingly argued against the President’s initiatives and proposals. Now, if the focus of our lawmakers is to work in the interest of the voters who have elected them into office, it should not be much of a problem, if the lawmakers pass the current bill before congress that will help stimulate employment in the public as well as private sectors. However, Republicans in congress are not ready to show leadership in this area; their attention is directed towards helping their party’s flag bearer to unseat President Obama. If the character of lawmaking is to influence the future of the led for better; then the failure(s) of the current congressional body has been monumental. If the construed intention of the President of the United Sates, Barack Obama, is to get the backing of congress to pass bills that will ameliorate the unemployment problem, the unconscious making of partisanship in congress, is leaving the nation in the dearth, by the failure to act or their abysmal effort.

The congressional indifference, is not only destabilizing the economy, as it has increased uncertainties in the market, which has led to the funk on Wall Street and a single day dip or drop in the stock market, two phenomenons hardly seen in close to half a decade or more, it has created room for doubt in the effectiveness of the executive branch. The inaction of congress to work with the current White House has led not only to the failure in the market, but also increased unemployment from last month, potential increased mortgage loan defaults, increased divorces and destruction of homes, and uncommon dislike for the current administration. If the ambition of the Republican lawmakers is to unravel Barack Obama's Presidency, they may just find themselves holding the bag, if the voters turn against them out of frustration. If the image of future Republican Administration is to undo every effort or bills passed by President Obama, then they are in for a rude shock, as their dream will only come true; if at all, if the Republican Party obtains majority in both chambers of congress. Without the last assumption happening, no one can see Republicans making much of a difference, no matter how they tout this promise in campaigns, or on the Republican Party’s platform come their convention. The best form of political leadership is found where there is collaboration; not unusual antagonism as we currently have with Republicans in government.

Will Republicans be seen as responsive to solving the problem of unemployment? If republicans continue to play evolving antagonisms, if their memberships continue to fan hate for the occupant of the White House, except he is a Republican, then they can hardly be seen as showing leadership in this sphere of national concern or realm of public concern. To bring about desired change, a party and its stalwarts must be positive, believable, open minded, responsive and integrative. These common characteristics as espoused by historians and anthropologists are essential for motivating constructive social change. Without these facets, republicans can hardly create an optimistic future for America, neither can they point a new direction for America and its unemployment problem, nor will they be seen as responsive to the needs of the country, nor integrative in their efforts. 

One is already seeing part of this failure, in the Republican Party’s campaign to unseat the present occupant of the oval office. For example, the presumptive Republican nominee has not been able to truly galvanize all his party’s member behind his candidacy. Just today, Candidate Ron Paul supporters in Washington State were actively jeopardizing and confronting Mitt Romney’s candidacy in their party’s convention. Not only are there not enough positive vibes for Romney’s candidacy, there are still elements of reservation in many past republican Presidential aspirants, who contested against Mitt Romney in the Republican Primary, about the viability of his candidacy. While many Republicans will like to believe that Mitt Romney is their choice candidate, many conservative Republicans and tea party faction, least buy into the flag bearer’s candidacy. Becoming truly integrative Party is an ethos of a forward looking party, the Republican Party has or continue to ostracize the LGBT community, disown minorities like the Hispanic and pro-choice groups; and still insist, it is a forward looking party. 

Providing a place for every shade of American is a sure way to revitalize a party; antagonizing to the extent of bringing down the whole political system, especially in the aspect of passing bills, is a sure way to define, a less than open institution. The nation’s experience of how Republicans have stood in the way of congressional progress in the past four years is a sure definition of a besieged culture within the Republican Party. If the primary goal of the republican leadership is to remain obstructionists, then the party is due a cataclysmic explosion. If the image of the Republicans Party is to be dynamic and responsive to the need of Americans, then there is a future for the party.

The economic problem that bemoans America is at this time, more than unemployment. There are mired of challenges considering the failing European economy; an economy that ours is remotely tied, even when we attempt to deny it. The unstable economic failure or monetary policies in Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and more, is pointer to something untold: if your prime customers are in debt or failing to make their note payments on time, it is unlikely they will be able to buy from you. When your major customers are under tight credit situation, it is unlikely, they will be increasing their orders and that means, huge factory inventory in America and consequential unemployment. At this time, can America afford a non-visionary or inspirational leader? Hardly so, if you ask me! If Mitt Romney is running an Etch-A-Sketch campaign, his leadership could hardly be visionary or inspirational. If he stands too much like a picture without the energy to communicate his plan for and to America, he is not the ideal person at this time. If all he can offer is standing before a company that failed because of reasons beyond President Obama’s Administrative actions, then, he is more of a finger pointer rather than a problem solver. He will likely point finger at what failed and not at the lessons learned!

One of the greatest qualities of a leader is someone with the ability to confront the challenge of a society with a vision hardly matched by an opponent or events surrounding him and the society. He must be someone who is always seeing the cup half-full rather than half empty. The absences of optimism and ability to articulate a plan forward by Mitt Romney, are making many voters, especially in the Republican party, still refusing to throw their weights behind his candidacy. Can a party’s nominee, who is unable to motivate his party members or set out new direction for his party’s membership, able to carry the weight of burden of national leadership during austere time? Can Mitt Romney as presumptive Republican nominee generate enough enthusiasms to carry the day come November 6, 2012? These are questions for Republicans to answer. They are also reasons why the Republican Nominee, Mitt Romney, may or should not be celebrating the ticking up of the national unemployment rate; nor deriding efforts of the Obama’s administration?