This weekend, President Obama discusses the budget that he sent to Congress this week. Its goals are ambitious with tons of spending and a promise to cut the deficit by $2 trillion in ten years. To say that this dynamic approach to our economic crisis has generated controversy is putting it mildly. The recent rant of CNBC analyst Rick Santelli represents the views of many in the country. President Obama’s call for citizens to be involved in their government cuts both ways. There is the loyal band of supporters who helped Obama get elected but there is also the loyal opposition. As James Pethokoukis of US News and World Report puts it:
Santelli, though, represents not a call to mere awareness but a call to action for those folks who, as Democrats like to put it, “work hard and play by the rules” — and who now are watching those that didn’t get rewarded. Here is what “Larry from L.A.” emails me:
“I was actually travelling and was watching [the Santelli rant] live from my hotel room while preparing for my day. It struck such a cord with me personally that it has, along with the way the stimulus plan has been handled by Congress and the Obama administration, ignited a fire in me to really get involved in the political process.”
Personally, I find Santelli’s approach uncharitable to say the least. The notion that we now lay a blanket label of “losers …. who don’t carry the water” on an entire population, many of whom were not trying to game the system, highlights a disturbing selfish streak in the current American mindset. No one has a crystal ball telling them what will and will not work to get us out of this economic crisis. If someone did, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Let’s hope that Barack Obama and the skilled economic advisors that surround him have a plan that works.
And now, the President of the United States of America: