10-reasons-to-vote-obama
Advertisement

10-reasons-to-vote-obama

Actress Kerry Washington recently said, “You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.”  This election will have an enormous impact on your future; and, especially for the LGBT community, the choice is clear!  And yet we still have a few in our community who don’t see the choice as clear. Some have become cynics claiming that “all politicians are the same” and “there’s no difference between these candidates”.  If that’s you, please consider this:

10-reasons-to-vote-obama

Actress Kerry Washington recently said, “You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is thinking about you.”  This election will have an enormous impact on your future; and, especially for the LGBT community, the choice is clear!  And yet we still have a few in our community who don’t see the choice as clear. Some have become cynics claiming that “all politicians are the same” and “there’s no difference between these candidates”.  If that’s you, please consider this:

obama1) EQUALITY/HUMAN RIGHTS —  President Obama and the Democratic Party have taken the position that whether you’re a lesbian, gay, transgender, straight, woman or man, you deserve to be treated equally, in all aspects of life, in the eyes of the law. The first bill Obama signed as president was the Lilly Ledbetter Act, giving women access to legal avenues to deal with salary inequalities, which Paul Ryan voted against, and about which Romney wouldn’t comment.

President Obama and the Democratic Party have made historic gains for LGBT Rights!  On the other hand, Mitt Romney has signed the National Organization for Marriage’s pledge calling for a federal constitutional amendment “defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”   The pledge also vows to create a presidential commission on “religious liberty” for the purpose to investigate pro-equality advocacy organizations.

This year, the GOP wrote anti-gay marriage into the party platform to restate the federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Yet in 2012 the Democratic Party made history by becoming the first American political party to include marriage equality in its party platform.  It says, “We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples.” Also included was the Employment Non-discrimination Act, saying that, “People should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.” [1]

In May, President Obama made history by becoming the first American President to endorse same-sex marriages! “President Obama and the Democratic Party are committed to ensuring all Americans are treated fairly,” says the new Democratic Party Platform. The Obama White House made history by hosting the first-ever White House conference on Bullying Prevention, bringing much needed attention to the bullying of LGBT youth.

The Obama Administration made history when it declared that the U.S. will no longer provide foreign aid to any nation that violates human rights due to someone’s sexual orientation. Hillary Clinton boldly declared to the United Nations that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”  The Obama Administration went a step further in 2009 by repealing the Global Gag Order, instituted by President Reagan, which had prevented the U.S. from giving needed foreign aid to any countries whose governments supported pro-choice programs for women.

Great accomplishments like ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, passing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, are just a few of many accomplishments of this Administration.

You can find a comprehensive list of President Obama’s Progress for the LGBT Community at:  www.my.barackobama.com/page/share/progress-for-lgbt-americans

 

2) Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS) — Four of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices will be in their 80’s by 2016. Regardless of what you think of President Obama, whoever is the President in the next four years will be appointing Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. These appointments will have unparalleled consequences on the direction of the nation, not to mention the LGBT Community – – since they serve not for four years, but for life.  Our community and other protected groups are already at risk due to currently having only four justices who regularly move human rights forward with their decisions.  Four years of a Romney administration would certainly cause any clear mandate on human rights to collapse and the court could reverse itself on so many major issues about which we care.

 

3) Outsourcing  vs. “Insourcing”– Most patriotic Americans agree, whether liberal or conservative, that the biggest problem with outsourcing our jobs out of the country is that it ignores the high cost it has on our society. While it might bring higher profits to the CEOs and investors of the transnational corporations, the losers here are mostly working-class Americans.

In the years of Bain Capital’s outsourcing of American jobs, Romney claims that he never had control of companies doing the outsourcing, but in those years he claimed to be “on leave,” Bain Capital described Romney’s role as:

  • Sole Shareholder
  • Sole Director
  • CEO/President
  • Managing Director [2]

While Romney is currently a major shareholder of Bain Capital, an auto parts manufacturing company in Illinois, Sensata Technologies, Inc. is presently being dismantled and their equipment and jobs are being shipped to China by Bain. Sadly, the American flag at Sensata was taken down while the Chinese employees came to be trained by the very employees who would be losing their jobs!

Romney’s history with outsourcing of jobs is toxic to the middle-class and is short-sighted.  It also flies directly in the face of his words about returning middle-class Americans to prosperity.  How can this be patriotic?  Of course, when asked, Romney claims he will reverse outsourcing, but his philosophy and his tax plans do not back up what he says.

I stand with President Obama who has made it clear that it doesn’t make any sense for us to reward those companies, and instead, we should be rewarding companies that invest in the United States by bringing our jobs home. 

If labor is so cheap overseas let’s bring back the tariffs to level the playing field.  Alexander Hamilton was a brilliant Founding Father who developed this plan that protected American industries and provided revenue. It worked well!  President Obama understands that in order to have a full recovery we must bring our jobs home.

The 2010 Democratic House passed the Bring Jobs Home Act that would have used President Obama’s carrot and stick approach to “insource” jobs back to the U.S. But this bill was blocked by a Republican filibuster in the Senate! In July 2012 the bill was once again blocked by the GOP Senate; they hope that you don’t know that they blocked this. They only expect you accept their explanation that the reason for the slow recovery is that the Obama policies have failed.

 

 

4) Citizens United/Corporate Personhood — When Governor Romney said, “corporations are people my friend” this referenced his support for a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case, known as “Citizens United.” When SCOTUS voted five to four that corporations are “persons” this opened the floodgates for unlimited anonymous corporate money to influence political campaigns without limiting foreign influence.  But if money is speech as the ruling stated, then those who have more money have more speech.

This may have been the most damaging ruling to our democracy in our lifetime!  Both Senator John McCain and President Obama have both taken strong stands against Citizens United.

I’ve heard cynics say, “If Obama is so opposed to it why does he accept Super PAC money?”  First of all, advertising by Super PACs by law must be 100 percent negative to take down the opposing candidate. This is independent money that can have absolutely no direct communication with either candidate so the PAC ads are not approved by Obama.  Secondly, everyone knows you “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.”

 

5) Plutocracy vs. Democracy — Now, more than ever, we have a government system that works hard for the big money transnational corporations and the very richest Americans, but not for the rest of us. If you have no problem with that, Romney is your candidate. In Romney’s closed door meeting with wealthy supporters in Boca Raton, he said, “These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. And so my job is not to worry about those people.”  Not worry about those people? The Romney Campaign had such a difficult time trying to present him as one who cares for all Americans, but they had plenty of money for damage control like this.

Sure there are wealthy Democrats as well! But the difference is that the wealthy in the Democratic Party support the common good for all of us, not just the elite.  Do you want a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy? If Romney wins… who will push back against this plutocracy? The good news is that while power may be congregating in the hands of a few, we each have one vote.  It’s imperative that each of us remember that our ONE VOTE counts, especially in this critical swing state!

 

6) Arithmetic!  — Reagan’s Budget Director, David Stockman recently railed, “Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.” [3] 

Governor Romney says he’s going to cut taxes by $5 trillion, and he’ll make up for the loss of revenue by abolishing tax loop holes. But he hasn’t been able to give details on which tax loop holes he would abolish to pay for the $5 trillion. If he abolished all loop holes it wouldn’t be enough, and that’s before we deal with the national deficit! What Romney has made clear is that he would abolish all taxes on dividends. This is a huge benefit to the richest of Americans, while the middle class once again gets stuck with the bill! 

President Clinton handed a $236 billion surplus to the Bush administration. Anyone telling you that President Obama has increased the national deficit more than any other president is ignoring the four main causes of our deficit: 

·    Two Unpaid Wars — President Obama applied the war funding to the books as President George Bush neglected to do! Yet the Republicans love to blame Obama for the wars.

·    Bush Tax Cuts For The Wealthy — Most Americans agree it’s time for shared sacrifice.

·      The Worst Economy since the Great Depression — The free-fall of our economy required stimulus spending to stop the hemorrhaging of losing 750,000 jobs a month when Obama took office.

·      Medicare Part D — The prescription drug program passed by the Republicans that prohibited the government from being able to negotiate lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. [4]

While Republicans are all talk about being fiscally conservative, the Democratic Party has a better track record with a vibrant economy. The strategy of the Republican Party of the last 30 years is based on the “Two Santa Theory” by Jude Wanninski. They want to be the Santa baring gifts of both tax cuts anytime and spending in a good economy. When these so-called “deficit hawks” are in power “deficits don’t matter” so they spend like drunken sailors, but they SCREAM about the deficit when not in power! [5]

Paul Ryan is our prime example as he voted for the two unpaid wars, the Bush Tax Cuts, and Medicare Part D with no way to pay for it. The end game is to use a manufactured crisis to destroy our social safety net which those who are elderly, sick, the vulnerable, the struggling middle class, etc. This is so backwards!

Those who scream about the deficit may not realize that when you compare the National Debt to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we were in worse shape coming out of WWII. Back then the ratio of our public debt was 112 percent, when now we’re around 69 percent. [6] Previously we dealt with it by growing our way out by massive infrastructure and public works projects. 

President Obama’s Jobs Act that the Republicans blocked in Congress is a significant way they’ve sabotaged the economic recovery.  Then the Republicans scoff saying that Obama’s plan doesn’t work. Yes, our recovery is slow but only because they’ve blocked Obama’s key jobs bill and blocked him from allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire on the top marginal rate. At least Senator Mitch McConnell was candid enough to admit early on that their number one priority wasn’t the economy, or jobs. He said it was to make Obama a “one-term President.”

In spite of the lack of cooperation from Congress we’ve gone from losing over 750,000 jobs a month to 31 consecutive months of private sector growth. Rather than the Republicans celebrating the fact that unemployment dropped below 8 percent they claimed the numbers were wrong!

Our defense spending has tripled since 1997.  Romney wants to increase the defense budget while most Americans would disagree.

 

7) Income Inequality Gap — While the middle class was hit the hardest by the Great Recession, the wealthiest Americans are thriving! The top 1 percent of households control more wealth than the bottom 90 percent of Americans.  [7]

There’s a strong relationship between inequality and social ills and health issues such as homicides, imprisonment, teenage pregnancy, obesity, and mental illness, etc. Thirty years of research comparing each U.S. state, and various countries shows that the greater the inequality, the worse the societal ills. [8]

Rather than asking those at the top to pay more in their effective tax rates, Romney would not consider that a priority.  Why not do away with corporate welfare? One in four major corporations pay no taxes at all! 

If you want a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthiest Americans, then Romney is your choice.  However, if you want a president who works to build from the middle class out, rather than the top-down, then vote for President Obama!

 

8) Clean, Renewable Energy — We all want to be less reliant on oil from the Middle East, and today we are less reliant than we’ve been in 16 years. President Obama is doubling our fuel efficiency standards, but we still lag behind both China and Germany in clean energy. [9] While I’d like to see President Obama be more aggressive here, Governor Romney would cut our clean energy investments and double-down on the GOP commitments to the oil industry. If the GOP in Congress is so concerned about the deficit, why did they vote to continue subsidizing the oil industry that has been enjoying soaring profits? This industry also enjoys $4 billion a year in tax breaks thanks to the GOP. [10] President Obama would prefer to use that money to invest in energy of the future and create jobs in clean energy.

President Jimmy Carter signed legislation that would have had 20 percent of our power grid coming from solar panels by the year 2000, but President Ronald Reagan dismantled the plan! Sadly, lead “directly to a dramatic increase in our imports of foreign oil.” [11]  Will we move forward or will we allow the GOP to dismantle our progress?

In the unlikely event that our current science on climate change is proven wrong, if we take the steps toward sustainability, clean energy, we will be better off anyway. It’s a win-win if we do, and lose-lose if we don’t!  Nature provides us with unlimited resources and technology is there. It’s up to us to move forward.

 

9) Wall Street Regulation — Thanks to the President’s Wall Street Reform bill, we have the Consumer Protection Agency, which is an important step in defending the middle class from dishonest practices of the financial institutions.  Romney threatens to repeal the president’s regulations setting us back to the Bush years.  As Floridians who were hit especially hard by the burst of the housing bubble, do you really want the proverbial “fox guarding the hen house” again? 

 

10) Health Care Reform — While Romney-Ryan believe healthcare is a privilege, Obama-Biden believe healthcare is a right. We’re talking about the basic healthcare, not a five-star hospital room with a view. Even if it wasn’t a money saving issue, it’s literally people’s lives and well being we’re dealing with! What good is anything if you don’t have your health? FDR said, “A necessitous man is not a free man.” I believe in an egalitarian society where every man and woman has the equal right to be free… including free from not having affordable healthcare.

 

Here’s the very serious problem with the so called “free market,” profit-driven health insurance system that we had without Obamacare. Anyone who becomes seriously ill becomes a liability to the insurance company. So insurance companies have staffs of experts who would find some technicality that would allow them to drop the patient; and that staff person would actually receive a BONUS for being successful! This was a practice called rescission, and it was a serious problem with our profit-driven insurance system! This is why in most developed countries it is a felony for an insurance company to profit offer basic insurance services. 

Obamacare ends abuses of insurance companies; it strengthens Medicare, and puts women in control of their health. Romney has promised to repeal all of Obamacare. Remember when he said while debating Obama that his plan would cover pre-existing conditions? His campaign somewhat retracted that statement, but has given mixed messages about what that means. [12] Perhaps his way of dealing with pre-existing conditions is to drive up the cost of healthcare and send everyone to the Emergency Room!

Obama’s willingness and commitment to pass the Affordable Care in his first term came at a high cost to him politically; he knew it would be unpopular yet he risked popularity because he so strongly saw America’s health care system as totally inadequate and entirely inequitable.  That’s how strong his commitment is!

 

IN CONCLUSION:

How is Romney going to be different than George W. Bush? At least Bush released eight years of his tax returns! [13] In some ways Romney threatens to be even more extreme!  Let’s move FORWARD to build on President Obama’s accomplishments. Americans are waking up to the fact that all through the 1900’s and to this day, the Republicans have and continue to block progress every step of the way whether it be Child Labor Laws, Civil Rights; Women’s health, and equal pay; LGBT equality; or moving from 20th Century fossil fuels to clean energy. 

Romney tried to twist Obama’s words saying that Obama has thrown in the towel when the President said that he can’t change Washington from the inside. The reality is that nothing will change in Washington until We The People demand the change.”We are the change.” No president or House Speaker has ever brought change to this nation without We The People DEMANDING that change!  WE repealed DADT, passed Obamacare, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, passed Wall Street reform, etc. and Congress, with the president could not have done it before We The People started a parade in which the president could jump in front and make it happen. THAT is how change happens.  But Obama has said all along that “WE are the change that we’ve been waiting for!” He didn’t say yes “I” can, but “Yes, WE can.” 

How can they say something has failed when what has failed is Congress’ willingness to do what’s best for the nation? Let’s give President Obama a Congress that will work with him to pass the Jobs Act, and the Bring Home Jobs Act.  THEN… you’ll see a real recovery! Give him a Congress that will back him up to move us forward.

We have two clear visions with these candidates. One will continue to protect the interests of the most powerful corporations and wealthiest Americans who are already doing exceptionally well, and potentially move human rights backward through draconian Supreme Court reversals, while President Obama will fight to strengthen the middle class in a way that will benefit all of us, and fight for equal rights for all.

 

________________________________________

[1]http://www.advocate.com/politics/election/2012/09/04/democrats-approve-marriage-equality-platform

[2]http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57472228/what-was-romneys-role-at-bain-during-outsourcing-/

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/opinion/paul-ryans-fairy-tale-budget-plan.html

[4]http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2011/07/transcript-big-picture-thom-hartmann-exposes-history-were-going-broke-14-july-11

[5] https://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/01/26-0

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

[7] http://stateofworkingamerica.org/subjects/wealth/?reader

[8] http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/why/evidence

[9]http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/compilations/whos-winning-the-clean-energy-race-2010-edition-329349

[10] http://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/gasprices

[11] http://archive.truthout.org/cool-our-fever66299

[12] http://factcheck.org/2012/10/whats-romneys-plan-for-preexisting-conditions/

[13] http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/web/presidentialtaxreturns

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here