Day: January 17, 2011

President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address Fifty Years Later: Prophetic!

Fifty years ago today, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had three days left in office.

He proceeded to deliver what is often regarded as the second best Farewell Address, just behind George Washington in 1796.

He also gave the best speech he ever gave in office, without any doubt.

A famous World War II general, his utterances in that speech were particularly prophetic!

Eisenhower warned against the emergence of a “military-industrial complex”, a combination of defense contractors with the military, and he expressed concern that education and health care would suffer budget wise, and that democracy would suffer, as the military and the corporations would promote war and militarism.

What is often not recalled is that Eisenhower promoted cuts in the Pentagon budget, similar to what Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been advocating during the Obama Administration.

It is also often forgotten that Eisenhower warned against the escalation of the Vietnam war under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The defense budget cannot be allowed to be sacrosanct as the nation has to consider budget cuts, due to the national debt and the deficit!

Eisenhower was a sage that we should listen to now, a half century after he gave us the best advice possible!

Speaker John Boehner: Inappropriate Responses To His Position And Significance!

Speaker of the House John Boehner has demonstrated inappropriate responses to the position he holds, by recent actions rejecting gestures from President Obama.

In November, he refused to meet with the President on the budget at a White House meeting.

Last week, he rejected the offer of the President to travel on Air Force One to visit wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and to attend the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shootings.

Now he has turned down the offer to attend the State Dinner for the Chinese President, who is visiting the United States.

What Boehner fails to understand is that he is not just a Congressman from Ohio now! He is the Speaker of the House, two heartbeats away from the Presidency!

Therefore, he has a special responsibility to attend important meetings and significant events, and to bone up on dealings with foreign nations, as the burden of the office of the Presidency could theoretically fall into his hands at any time!

His significance in the government structure is such that he has a responsibility to stop acting in a petty, overly partisan manner!

Right now, he is an embarrassment to the distinguished office that he has inherited! 🙁

Budget Cuts In The Real World: Total Confusion Of Americans!

A CBS News Poll demonstrates the difficulties involved in the need to cut government spending.

77 percent want spending cut to deal with the deficit and the national debt, while only 9 percent want to raise taxes.

But ask people what should be cut, and then one realizes just how difficult it is going to be for either the Republican House or the Democratic Senate and President Obama to come to grips with the crisis.

63 percent say to cut cut Social Security for the wealthy, but how is the issue of what is “wealthy” to be determined, particularly in a nation where tax cuts for the wealthy have been part of policy under Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Republican Congresses, and was part of the Obama tax deal with the GOP in December? Interesting that people want the wealthy to lose benefits, and yet the Republican Party is bitterly opposed to any such idea.

58 percent support reducing money for projects in their area, what is now called “earmarks”, but is that really true when such “pork” helps creates employment, boosts the economy, and promotes infrastructure improvement and public works which people like and want?

55 percent want farm subsidies reduced, such as for tobacco, cotton, and dairy, but will GOP representatives and senators whose constituents want it and vote for the Republican party, really vote for that?

52 percent want to reduce defense spending, but it could be argued that it could undermine our national security, and would force the closing of naval, air and military bases in many states, affecting the economy in a detrimental way.

Other areas to cut spending get a negative reaction, such as 48-45, people are against eliminating the mortgage interest deduction; 54-43 against raising the retirement age; 56-41 against reducing money for student loans; 65-33 against raising taxes; 67-27 against reducing health care and education spending (which the Republicans want to do, including repealing the Obama Health Care plan); and 69-26 against taxing health care benefits.

So what it comes down to is that Americans want to “have their cake and eat it too!”, pay no more in taxes but only hurt others rather than themselves!

In other words, the American people don’t want to face reality, and that makes the job of the politicians extremely difficult over the next two years of the 112th Congress!