I’m voting for Obama

When I cast my first general election ballot, I’ll be voting to reelect President Obama. Here’s why:

Health Care:

With the Affordable Care Act, President Obama achieved something that presidents as far back as Harry Truman had been trying to enact. Even the wildly popular Bill Clinton was unsuccessful in his efforts to pass universal health care. And just yesterday, Thursday, June 28th, the nation’s highest court blessed key parts of the law as constitutional. Within 18 months, the law will be fully enacted. While I will not bore you with overly complicated analysis of the law, I will present what the law means to me, and how it relates to my support for the President’s reelection. Universal health care represents, at a fundamental level, a concern for the society as a whole, and its members. With its provision to help those that cannot afford health care, the law recognizes that something like healthcare cannot be treated as some sort of a luxury object. It makes efforts to promote health among all Americans, not just those with economic means. And that is partly why I support the President for reelection. His actions display a desire to help America as a whole, and I believe that is integral to creating a more perfect union.

And further, while the Affordable Care Act may not be perfect, it represents a much better solution than that offered by the President’s opponent, Governor Romney, which at this point is to simply to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and provide no replacement. To me Governor Romney’s plan represents a regression to a more primitive situation – one in which each man is for himself, and so only those with the means to purchase healthcare can remain healthy. It benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and drives a wedge between different economic groups.

Economic Policy:

The economy was a big deal in 2008, and it is a big deal today. Yes, under President Obama we haven’t reached an all-time low in unemployment and every American isn’t a millionaire. But I believe the President’s economic policies are sounder than those of Governor Romney.

President Obama championed the auto industry bailout. Governor Romney famously proclaimed to “let Detroit go bankrupt”. Allowing the latter would have pushed us deeper into economic recession. A weak auto industry would have ripple effects throughout the entire economy. Companies that made plastics for cars would be hurt. Electronics companies that made car radios would be hurt. Marketing firms that made ads for cars would be hurt. All this would simply lead to more unemployment and less consumption, thus crippling the economy. Instead the President’s auto industry bailout did precisely what worked in the 1930s and 1940s to bring the US out of the Great Depression. And that was to inject money into the economy. More money for automakers means more money for employees which means greater consumption and a stronger economy.

On a different aspect of economic policy, tax policy also highlights an important difference between President Obama and Governor Romney. Governor Romney, and almost every single Republican member of the House of Representatives, has signed what is popularly known as the anti-tax pledge. Basically it means supporting no new taxes. Ever. And while the “no tax increase” mantra sounds nice, it isn’t practical at all as we always hear laments about America’s deficit and debt. To fix these problems, two solutions exist: cutting spending, and increasing revenue. Governor Romney would like to approach this problem by removing half of the solutions at the outset. This represents putting ideology over country. President Obama on the other hand is not operating under such constraints. Reducing spending and increasing revenue are both options. That, to me, is a much better way to solve the problem, and therefore I support the President for reelection.

Government should not be a business:

Governor Romney touts his business record as one of his primary qualifications to be President of the United States. I honestly do not think that a business record is a qualification for the nation’s highest elected office. The point of a business is to make a profit. The point of government is not the same. Government is supposed to be looking out for society and how to make it better. One such example of government making life better is that of the Interstate Highway System. Without such a system, the road trip I took with my dad last summer spanning nearly 5,000 miles would not have been possible. Further the Interstate Highway System allowed communities to develop in previously sparsely populated areas. Pearland, the city that I live in, was put on the map because of highways.

It’s highly unlikely that any private business would have decided to develop nearly 50,000 miles worth of roads connecting the nation. It is similarly unlikely that private industry would have put a man on the moon when NASA did. In both of these cases, government looked beyond simply making a profit, and instead did what was deemed in the best interest of the nation. That is not to say that private industry does not play a critical role in our society, it is simply that the motives of government and private industry are different. I believe that President Obama better understands the motives of government, and thus I support his reelection.

Social Issues:

We live in a society of people with different beliefs and backgrounds. I firmly believe that America should provide equal rights to all, regardless race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. President Obama’s support for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and his support for gay marriage affirm his belief in equal rights for all Americans. This is another factor in my decision to support President Obama.

An Inspirational Figure:

While I could go into more and more reasons why I support President Obama, I’ll end with an emotional factor that is part of my decision to support the President’s reelection. He was not born into a politically well-connected or wealthy family. He built himself up from any regular American. On the other hand, Governor Romney is the son of a captain of industry, and a former governor of Michigan. Whether or not it is fair, electing Governor Romney reinforces the notion that in order to achieve a position of power, one must be hereditarily endowed. I believe that President Obama’s reelection would further solidify the fact that America is the land of opportunities, and that all you need is hard work to achieve great levels of success. As the son of immigrants, and as someone about to enter college, the idea that my success is dependent only upon me, and not on political connections, is extremely inspiring to me. Thus, beyond the policy reasons I described earlier, I feel that President Obama’s reelection better inspires a new generation of Americans to achieve the heights of success. This further strengthens my support for President Obama’s reelection.

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by YourLocalSecurity.com

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9 responses to “I’m voting for Obama

  1. You forgot that he’s also trying to get Congress to not raise interest rates on student loans 😀 This will be a huge help for me and my sad, pathetic life, as I will be in school for God knows how long. I’m not sure if Obama being re-elected will solve all of or even most of our problems, but it’s little things like that that are helping simpletons like me decide on who to vote for.

  2. It looks as though you’ve really thought this out. For that I give you a hearty high five and a pat on the back. Democracy works when people think, and that seems to be exactly what you’re doing. Kudos.

    However, I respectfully disagree with your opinion. I’ll organize my thoughts in the same fashion as you, so everything lines up well.

    Health Care: The main point of contention here is universal health care as a fundamental right, rather than a “luxury item.” But we’ve got to face reality. While the dream of everyone having affordable health care seems really really nice, it IS too good to be true. Sure, health care needs reforming. But the problem is, is that the whole industry is too darn expensive. Obamacare attacks the problem of avaliability, not expense. If you attack the problem of expense, then the problem of availability sorts itself out. So why is healthcare so expensive? Health care lobbyists. These guys have huge power in Washington and have made health care a monopolized industry that looks nothing like it did 40 years ago. So Obamacare doesn’t really fix the problem. What’s worse is that it sets a dangerous precedent, an extremely dangerous one that the Supreme Court just confirmed. Insurance is not a tax. When the government forces you to become insured under penalty of a fine, it encroaches on your freedom. This is socialism, and there are no two ways about it. Now, many argue that isn’t all that bad. “Hey look at Europe! get with the program America!” To which I reply, “Yes, lets take a look at Europe.” The Europeans are financially royally screwed. Their system is unsustainable and the death knell of Europe is already ringing. Let’s not follow their example. The goal of health care is to reform the system we had before the 1980s when it actually was (relatively) affordable and available through natural capitalistic regulation. But even under this system, we have those who still are too poor to remain insured. What do we do? Now this IS the question. And the answer lies beyond politics and in the realm of spirituality and perception of mortality. We must come to the conclusion that yes, we will die, and yes it is entirely unfeasible to expect to be covered by insurance until the age of 105. I’m sorry, but this is reality. Any further discussion about this lies in the realm of philosophy.

    Economic Policy: Your (and Obama’s) economic policy is straight forward Keynesian at it’s finest. Of course, we’ve already had quite a few discussions about this before, but hey, let’s do it again. I hate to break it to you, but Keynesian policies of FDR didn’t end the Depression. That was WWII. When Obama says he will cut spending and raise taxes, that sounds great. But he’s already done it. And all the revenue will go towards Obamcare, which has already passed. So none of the “extra revenue” will go towards balancing the budget, it’s just going to Obamacare, a $500 billion budget. And although “no new taxes” seems bad on the outside, a proper reform of the tax code will counter these effects, which is exactly what Romney said he will do. Corporate tax rates haven’t been cut since 1988. We already have extremely high tax rates in the business sector. All in all, the issue is one of Keynesian v. Free Market. And further discussion of this could go on forever, so I’ll end it here.

    Government as a business: Sure it shouldn’t be a business, but it should operate as efficiently as one. The interstate highway system was signed into law by Eisenhower, a moderate conservative. So I don’t think it’s right to imply that conservatives like Romney would stop the highway system and privatize it. But back to the point. In order for the government to run as efficiently as a business, which it sure as hell doesn’t now, it does need to act a bit more like a business. It’s almost impossible to fire someone from a government job, and the pay is a lot more than it should be. Furthermore, government jobs don’t provide much incentive to work hard. However, I don’t even know if Romney could change that. If anything, he might have a more realistic view of the business world than Obama, but nothing more than that.

    Social Issues: Yeah, I don’t care about gay marriage that much. It’s not unconstitutional and it’s not really a big issue in my opinion. Whatever makes people happier, go with it.

    An Inspirational Figure: Well, he’s a good speaker (in stark contrast to Bush). But his success is not much of a symbol of “hard work Americanism.” His success is more like a symbol of the power of the race card, his favorite card in the deck. Obama doesn’t really inspire me at all. But most of all, we should vote for someone based on their character as a person and their views, not where they came from. The sympathy card should not be played in voting. Who cares if Romney is rich? I hate how the media has portrayed rich corporate people as just inherently bad and greedy. Why else do you think Occupy Wall Street was such a big deal to them? What ever happened to the Occupy movement anyway? It just quietly disappeared. If the worst attack you can make on Romney’s character is that he’s rich, then he must be a pretty good guy.

    Well, there’s my 2 cents. Thanks for the opportunity for an insightful discussion, Tejas.

    • Thanks for expressing your views. I didn’t want this to be a just left wing monologue, so I appreciate it :)!

      Health care: To some extent Obamacare does address the issue of health with the subsidies and the exchanges. As far as imposing a penalty for not having insurance, state governments do something similar with car insurance. Personally I feel safer knowing that the majority of drivers around me are insured, and in the case that something does happen, there is a system in place to fix what went wrong. Yes, car insurance can’t always cover every circumstance, but I still feel it’s better than nothing. So coming back to the point, the precedent for government mandating you to do something already exists – perhaps not at the national level, but at the state level for sure. And after all, entering a society does make you give up some of your rights, even John Locke discusses this. Also, not all of Europe is going down. Yes there are countries like Greece, but there are still countries like Germany. (And by the way, Germany has the oldest universal health care system).

      Economic Policy: World War II included an increase in spending. It helped bring the country back to full employment, but it wasn’t the start of the recovery. And after WWII we had the Cold War which also kept demand up. FDR’s Keynesian policies were working. And then in 1937 when he tried to balance the budget, we had the Roosevelt Recession.Obamacare might be additional spending, but CBO estimates show that implementing Obamacare would actually decrease federal deficits (http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12119/03-30-healthcarelegislation.pdf). As far as tax policy, my main point was that I believe the anti-tax pledge to be too extreme and something that hinders compromise. I don’t believe the President or members of Congress should operate with that type of restriction.

      Government as a business: Eisenhower wasn’t a businessman the way Romney is. Yes, government can be more efficient, but even as you mention, Romney may or may not be able to do anything about that. As far as the rest of the functions of government, I don’t feel that a businessman, especially one that emphasizes his business credentials so much, would be the right fit.

      Social Issues: Hey we finally agree on something!

      An Inspirational Figure: No, being rich is not a disqualification. And I have no intentions to make attacks on anyone’s character. If Obama and Romney swapped their policy positions, I’d jump ship. Now for the “race card”. Let’s assume that Obama’s ability to get into Ivies came only due to affirmative action, and had it not been for that, he would not have been able to get into a good college. Fine. Then let’s move to electoral success. Affirmative action doesn’t exist for electoral success, instead it’s possible that the opposite exists – the so called Bradley Effect or Wilder Effect. And if you look at the 2008 election, 95% of Blacks voted for Obama. But 88% voted for Kerry, 90% for Gore, 84% for Clinton in ’96 and 83% for Clinton in ’92. Blacks voting for a Democrat is not at all a new phenomenon. Perhaps more Blacks voted for Obama because they could identify with him, but I don’t think that changed the overall result.

      Once again, thanks for your comments. If nothing else, it made me to think a little more, and that’s never a bad thing!

  3. I voted for Obama in 08 – I regret it because he tried too many things in the first term. Should have focus more on economy in the first two years and then tackle health care. I give lots of credit to Obama for taking bold decision to go af…ter Osama in Pak. At this point I want to wait for all debates and then decide. I sincerely think two party system is not helping. Need good third option – independent candidate may work but not tea party candidate. I encourage people like you to blog more about encouraging decent independt candidate for 2016.good luck.

    • If he wanted to pass healthcare, he had to do it quickly. It’s unlikely that he would have a Democratic House AND a 60 vote majority in the Senate after the mid-term, no matter what the condition of the economy was. And after passing the Recovery Act (which, by the way, was within one month in office), there’s not too much more he could have done. You can help the economy, but you can’t just sit there and wait for it to change. The economy may be the biggest issue, but it’s not the only issue.

  4. Dear Tejas,
    Your article is well written.
    It emanates from the basic dharmic principle we, Hindus, strive to hold high. Dharma is simply doing “what is right”, regardless of consequences.
    Obama’s actions are dharmic and that is why you and I are in tune with them. Any ‘good at heart’ man, regardless of religious affiliation will see the goodness in Obama’s policies.
    The republicans are artificially forcing themselves to be adharmic. The tea party and other clowns like Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh are the villains steering even the good congressmen and senators away from the ‘good’.
    It is all like in the Mahabharatham War. Good saints sided with evil and finally got killed.
    All your points in your blog are good. I concur with your arguments. We are both “on the same page and wavelength”.
    You are young, dharmic and energetic. Keep up your focus to do only good.
    You will go a long way in your career.
    I wish you all the best..
    Ram Ganeshan

    • Thank you for your comments and kind words. It means a lot. Certainly what you said about simply doing the right thing is very important. If we look at it through the lens of the Bhagavat Gita, a politician’s job is to do what is right for the country, and not just worry about reelection. In this case Obamacare took a lot of work to pass and hurt Obama and Democrats greatly during the midterm elections, yet he stuck with it. Obama probably isn’t a saint, but it would probably have been easier to ignore or give up on healthcare.

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