Equal Time: Better under Obama? Absolutely not

04/09/2012 8:54 AM |

I would like to reply to Troy Gustavson’s assessment that we would be worse off under a Romney presidency.

Regarding his assertion that the Detroit bailout was integral to the economic recovery, forget that the UAW gave up practically nothing for having the taxpayer bail out GM and Chrysler, which were bled white by the UAW.

Next the failure of the banking and housing industries. Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, head of the House Finance Committee during this debacle, was directly responsible for the housing crisis. In July 2008 he said “Fannie and Freddie (the two federal mortgage agencies) are fundamentally sound and not in danger of going under.” Six months later the whole house of cards came crashing down. During his tenure as committee chairman Mr. Frank lowered the requirements, which resulted in mortgages being granted to people who never had a chance of being able to afford the financial obligations. Fannie and Freddie went belly up under Mr. Frank’s watch and taxpayers got stuck with the bill.

Democratic Senator Chris Dodd was directly responsible for overseeing the banking industry. Shouldn’t he have known that Fannie and Freddie were bundling those worthless mortgages and selling them to the banks, who then sent them up the financial food chain, resulting in the whole house of cards coming down?

On Iraq and Afghanistan, give the president credit where credit is due. We’re leaving because we all feel that too much blood and treasure was wasted. And Osama was snuffed on his watch so I tip my hat there, too.

Next, Mr. Gustavson says our national health care system was a global embarrassment. By who’s assessment? Does anyone think a bill of almost 3,000 pages can be understood or implemented efficiently? Even Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote, “We have to pass it to find out what is in it,” has not come to pass. Instead of trying serious tort law reform to bring down malpractice insurance premiums, which can be passed down to patients, and allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines to increase competition, which would have cost nothing, they saddled us with this monstrosity.

Then we have the quote that, “Everywhere you look, we as a people are in better shape than when Bush was in office.” The average unemployment rate under Bush was 5.3 percent. Under Obama it is currently 8.3 percent, but everyone knows it’s really closer to 15 percent because they don’t count the underemployed or those who have just given up looking.

It’s worse for males under 25 and for black males under 25 it’s 17.5 percent. If that’s Mr. Gustavson’s definition of people being better off then please shoot me now.

It took Bush and the Republicans eight years to get our national debt to $8 trillion, but Obama doubled that in just over three years. This will be a crushing burden on our children and grandchildren.

Our energy policy is no policy under Obama. He killed the Keystone pipeline, which would have reduced our oil imports by 8 percent and created thousands of jobs. The Obama administration has for all practical purposes stopped any new drilling in the Gulf or anywhere else offshore. Thousands of jobs were directly and indirectly lost in Louisiana as a result of this policy. Gas is over $4 a gallon and heading fast for $5.

Everywhere you look we are in a lot better shape? I’d like to know where Mr. Gustavson is looking.

Finally, our status around the world under Mr. Obama. Let’s see, China is eating our lunch, Iran is giving us the international equivalent of the middle finger and Pakistan is playing us for chumps. Maybe Mr. Gustavson could get a new T-shirt with the slogan “Don’t Have a Clue” printed on the front.

Mr. Paterno lives in Cutchogue.