I like to challenge the localized thinking of individuals to make global change

During this very tumultuous presidential campaign and even during President Obama’s first four years, I have questioned why I would vote for President Obama in 2012 as opposed to any other candidate.  I have wondered if in fact our country would be better off with another four years of President Obama.  I’ve listened to the voices of the opposed and wondered if there is just something I’m not seeing.  What is it about Mitt Romney that people are so fired up about?  Could he really be promising something that President Obama can’t deliver?  Are my loyalties blinded by the injustice that I feel this President has endured? The blatant disrespect and the declaration that “He will be a one-term President?”  Maybe I wouldn’t give Mitt Romney or any other candidate a fair chance because I wanted to shut those up who are so verbal about this “horrible” President that we have had to endure for the last four years.  I thought deep, long, and hard about my motivation for my decision to vote for President Obama in 2012 and this is what I have finally come up with:

Members of Congress are quick to talk about how “we” are suffering from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  I’ve heard many talk about “our” economy and how President Obama’s Bail Out Plan has put “us” in deeper debt by trillions of dollars.  Than I decided to check the salaries of Members of Congress and realized that “they” are really not part of the “we” who are experiencing hardship.  I realized that “they” are simply using the American people as a single-mother would her child to maintain control over the father.  I realized that “we” are simply pawns in a tug-of-war game between two power houses who only want to WIN at all costs.  Let’s look at what I discovered from the following website (http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/in-recession-congress-pay-increased.htm):

“The recession that began in December 2007 took a bite out of American workers’ paychecks over the next couple of years – perhaps a small price for those fortunate enough to hold onto their jobs during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

The recession began in 2007 – One year before Barack Obama was elected

Okay so there are those who argue that he took a bad situation and made it worse…hmmmmm.  Let’s look further:

While workers in private industry suffered financial setbacks, Congress pay grew at taxpayer expense during the depth of the recession, an analysis of federal economic data showed.

Members of the House and Senate saw their salaries go up by more than 5 percent, or $8,800, from the time the recession began through 2009, according to the federal government.

So are “we” really struggling?  It seems to me that some people are doing quite well, Thank you!

Oh and let’s not forget the argument against “Obamacare” which provides health care to many who would not otherwise afford it, college students who would get kicked off of their parent’s insurance at age 21, those with pre-existing conditions, and of course contraceptives for women.  Well, why would Congress want the American people to share in this benefit when:

The Congress pay figures do not include the generous perks and health benefits provided to lawmakers.

Let’s compare the ship Congress is sailing on to the dingy the American people are trying to keep afloat:

The per capita personal income in the Unites States shrunk by more than half a percentage point, or $254 a year, from 2007 through 2009, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Members of the House and Senate, meantime, earned $174,000 in 2009, up from $165,200 two years earlier.

The per capita personal income in the United States was $39,138, down from $39,392 two years earlier, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in March of 2010.

Members of Congress made about 4.5 times the national per capita personal income in 2009, the most recent data available. 

Wow, so what is the problem?  Why is Congress so upset with the President?  They seem to be doing quite well since 2007.  Oh that’s right…they want to focus on making President Obama a “one-term” President not decrease their salaries, make healthcare affordable and equal, not help our economy grow so American workers can experience a growth in personal income…but to make President Obama a “one-term” President.

I realized what all this really meant: The people who we hired our making 4 times more money than their bosses and we are not getting what we paid for!  And history shows that this has been the case much longer than President Obama has been in office.  Here let me show you some data:

Here’s a look at per capita personal income and Congress pay from 1990 through 2009.

  • 2009: Per capita, $39,138 – Congress pay, $174,000
  • 2008: Per capita, $40,166 – Congress pay, $169,300
  • 2007: Per capita, $39,392 – Congress pay, $165,200
  • 2006: Per capita, $37,698 – Congress pay, $165,200
  • 2005: Per capita, $35,424 – Congress pay, $162,100
  • 2004: Per capita, $33,881 – Congress pay, $158,100
  • 2003: Per capita, $32,271 – Congress pay, $154,700
  • 2002: Per capita, $31,462 – Congress pay, $150,000
  • 2001: Per capita, $31,145 – Congress pay, $145,100
  • 2000: Per capita, $30,318 – Congress pay, $141,300
  • 1999: Per capita, $28,333 – Congress pay, $136,700
  • 1998: Per capita, $27,258 – Congress pay, $136,700
  • 1997: Per capita, $25,654 – Congress pay, $133,600
  • 1996: Per capita, $24,442 – Congress pay, $133,600
  • 1995: Per capita, $23,262 – Congress pay, $133,600
  • 1994: Per capita, $22,297 – Congress pay, $133,600
  • 1993: Per capita, $21,385 – Congress pay, $133,600
  • 1992: Per capita, $20,799 – Congress pay, $129,500
  • 1991: Per capita, $19,818 – Congress pay, $125,100
  • 1990: Per capita, $19,354 – Congress pay, $96,600 (House) and $98,400 (Senate)

This Country may not be in the best shape it could be in, but can we really blame the current President for all of it?  I know it sounds like I’m trying to blame Congress for the shape we are in but that is far from the truth.  All of this data was just to give you a glimpse of what Congress makes compared to the American worker.  The real reason I am voting for President Obama is quite simple:

In 2004, George W. Bush ran for reelection. Though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not going well, and his efforts in Social Security reform had met with great resistance, Bush’s political core remained supportive, and he was able to win reelection over Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry in the November election. During his second term, Bush pushed for immigration reform, which received criticism from many conservatives, and eased environmental regulations, which received criticism from many liberals. The Bush administration’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans further pushed down his favorability rating.  In 2008, the final year of his presidency, the country faced enormous challenges. The United States was fighting two foreign wars, and the budget surplus left by the Clinton administration had transformed into a multi-trillion-dollar debt—the effects of military spending, tax cuts, and slow economic growth. In the early fall of 2008, the country was hit with a severe credit crisis that sent the stock market into free fall and led to massive layoffs. The Bush administration scrambled and encouraged Congress to enact a controversial $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to bail out the housing and banking industries.”

Wars, controversial tax cuts, Social Security reform, slow economic growth, severe credit crisis, massive layoffs, and (the cherry on top) a $700 billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Act to “bail out” the housing and banking industries. Any of this sound familiar to you?  They say that President Obama has taken a bad situation and made it worse and he has not “earned” their vote for a 2nd term.  Well, neither did the other guy, but he won anyway.

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