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July 25th, 2012

Stop acting so ugly and take care of business

Harry Alford
The American Dream is starting to fade away and that is very scary. The saddest thing about this is the recent behavior or attitude of President Barack Obama. He has abandoned leading us and has gone on full campaign mode with more than four months to go before the national election. He seems to be delirious in his character attacks against candidate Mitt Romney. It is like Nero sitting down with his fiddle while Rome was burning away. Is Obama our Nero? Let’s take a look at some of the examples.

God has blessed our country with natural energy resources such as oil, natural gas and coal. Maybe that’s why he is mad about it - God has blessed us. He is attacking the life blood of our energy needs. He wants us to stop using these products but has no clear solution or even a hint about how we can do without them. Our tariff free trading partner Canada has immense reserves of oil and would love to ship vast amounts via the Keystone Pipeline. Everyone but environmental extremists is cheering for this to happen.  What’s the big problem?  Our president is one of those environmental extremists. He wants to decrease oil quantities regardless of the negative affect it has on our economy (prices, jobs, business growth, etc.). Let us suffer; he has a “fiddle” to play.

The process of fracturing, A.K.A. fracking, has opened vast new reserves of natural gas for our nation. We now have more natural gas than any other nation on earth.  That makes us happy but it depresses our president. He has his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) trying to find ways to slow down the process and, at times, to shut it down. We need more natural gas in a desperate way but he would rather play that “fiddle”.

Then there is our abundant quantity of coal. This is the cheapest form of energy and many of our utility companies rely on it. The harvesting of coal is a serious job creator in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, etc. Our president doesn’t want to slow this down; he wants to kill it!  His henchman, the EPA, has issued the Utility MACT Rule which requires new mercury air standards that most utility plants cannot possibly meet. The result will be about 32 utility facilities shutting down. That is a tremendous amount of jobs (in this recession) and utility prices will skyrocket as supplies dwindle. Play that Fiddle!

Remember when our beloved President John F. Kennedy said we will put a man on the moon and lead the world in space exploration?  Well, the guy we have now just closed down NASA (JFK is rolling in his grave).  Our nation is now #3 in space behind Russia and China. If we want to go into space we have to buy a seat from them.  Many thousands of engineers are still unemployed as a result of this capitulation. Stop fiddling!

“America, the strongest nation on earth” - that saying is becoming passé. Our president has the crazy idea of slashing our military all the way back to 1940 levels. Hmm, isn’t that the year Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan considered us punks and later attacked? It is quite clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin considers Barack Obama a punk. He has a look of disgust when they are together. No one respects weakness especially when it comes with a fiddle.

No family or business can run properly without a budget.

Our president is trying to manage and lead a nation without a clear budget. That’s why in his short tenure he has increased our debt by over $4 trillion dollars (that’s trillion with a T). I can’t recall any other president in our history running our nation without a budget. It is lunacy or it’s like playing a fiddle while Rome burns. We are on the verge of financial ruin and there is no plan from the White House.

Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson vowed to wage war on poverty. He started the food stamp program with a budget of $268 million in 1964. Last year we spent over $78 billion in food stamps. We are becoming a nation of paupers and our president is playing the fiddle.

Finally, there is the low regard for the Black Church. How do you jump into the moral discussion of same sex marriage? That debate belongs to our church not the White House. This is an affront to our beloved long standing institution - just for a few votes.

Mr. President, stop the ugliness and tend to the crisis at hand. Raising taxes in a recession and killing jobs via all of the above is a blue print for disaster. Your record with Black procurement is now at 1.1% (GAO). Richard Nixon did better than you!

Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

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