First off, let me just say that I am still bitter and frustrated at the way the mainstream media manipulated the Democratic primaries, ensuring that Obama would win. If there was any justice in our political system, Hilary Clinton would have been our President. If you doubt this, google "Obama Hilary Time Newsweek covers" sometime. Secondly, being from Massachusetts, I had some experience with getting energized for a young black politician who was great at giving speeches and pumping up the crowd, but not so great at governing. Our current Governor Deval Patrick was the exact same way.
However, when Obama DID win, I really really hoped that he could do even half of those things he said. Sadly, it was not to be.
When Obama became President, I really did have high hopes for him. I rooted for him, I wished him well, and I tried to support him and his policies. Unfortunately it did not work out well for me.
I was going through a divorce at the time. As part of the financial arrangement that my former Wife and I had agreed to, I was responsible for paying off over 55k in credit card debt. Yes, 55k, some shared, and some that I did not find out about until later. I made some balance transfers, at low low rates, and I used some of my 401k money to cover the rest. I was still carrying 18k in credit card debt at 8.9%, and I was dutifully paying that down. Then, Obama decided he would reform credit cards. Awesome right? Well, the bill he got passed and signed into law was fine. Then the credit card companies and their lobbyi$ts came calling, asking if Obama would delay implementation for 6 months so that they could "train their employees and update their literature". Certainly a reasonable request, which Obama granted to them. Guess what happened next? My interest rate went from 8.9% to 18.9%. I had always payed at least double the minimum, and I had never been late. So naturally, I called them.
The first woman I spoke with told me that per my agreement, the rate was variable. I asked why it went up. She replied that it was linked to the prime rate. I responded that prime was at 3%, therefore my rate should be lowered to 6%, to equal prime plus 3%. She said hold on, and left the phone for a moment. When she returned, she told me it was instead linked to the Fed fund rate. I responded Great! The Fed fund rate is at almost zero! Is my rate then the Fed fund rate plus 3%, for an interest rate of just under 4%? She again left the phone for several minutes. Finally I was connected to a man, who told me flat out that they were raising everyones rates because they can do that now, but once the law takes effect, it would be illegal. Nice, real nice. Thanks Obama! Now I do pretty well for myself, but I was forced to dip into my retirement money again, in order to pay off the debt. Otherwise I would continue to hemorrhage cash to this credit card company, who was borrowing from the Fed at 0%, and charging me 18.9%. I was forced to take a 33% tax penalty on my withdrawal, and charged an additional 10% tax penalty at the end of the year when I filed my taxes. It hurt pretty bad. Imagine the people who did not have access to 401k money the way I did? They are now wage slaves to the credit card companies, with no way out short of hitting the lottery. Poor souls. There goes your consumer spending right there.
Well, it was my debt, I was responsible for it..... I bit the bullet and moved on. I still supported him, even though he had just cost me personally around twelve thousand dollars, and set back my retirement plans by a few years.
Now, being divorced, and having paid off the ex wife in order to keep my house, I found myself struggling to pay a mortgage with only one income. I was all alone now, and I could sure use some help! Losing that second income was tough, and with the collapse of the housing market, I owed a lot more on the house than it was worth. I couldn't sell it, and I didn't want to anyways.
I had heard of Obama's newest help for underwater homeowners, the Making Homes Affordable act or something like that. It sounded pretty good. Lower payments, maybe stretch the term a bit to get through the rough spot..... I called my mortgage holder, GMAC, and asked about it. They told me no problem, they would send me the paperwork, I could apply, and we could work out something that would be ok for me and ok for the bank. I hung up feeling way less stressed, better than I had felt in months. I eagerly awaited the paperwork and set about gathering the documents that I would need.
Two days later I received a foreclosure notice. Wait, WHAT???????
I called back GMAC and asked some questions. Why did I get a foreclosure notice? Because I was applying for a modification. Are you initiating foreclosure proceedings on my house? Yes sir, we are. Why? Because that way if you don't qualify for a permanent modification, we are already in position to take your house from you. So, even if I make the lower payments, are you reporting to the credit agencies that I am not paying my mortgage? Yes sir, that's what we do. So let me get this straight... while you say you are trying to work with me, you are destroying my credit, ensuring that I will not be able to refinance away from you to another bank, ensuring that if I am looking for a job I will fail the credit check, and you are positioning yourself to take my house if I miss any payments? Yes sir, that's how the program works. I told them to forget about the whole thing. Thanks again, Obama!
Now I'm a working man, and I'm in a union. I work for a private company, not the government, and my company made BILLIONS last year, and they are poised once again to shatter earnings expectations, even in this weak economy. They had over 27 BILLION in revenue for the 2nd quarter of 2011.
So, Obama passed Healthcare. Listen we can debate that bill til the cows come home and leave again, but let me just say that the problem with healthcare is the ever increasing costs, and his bill did NOTHING to adress that. And waivers? MY union got none of those. The transparency that was promised? The promise that negotiations would all be televised? A sad sad joke.
Now, it's 2011, and on August 6th at midnight, the Unions contract with the company expires. According to Obama's plan, my insurance is now a "Cadillac" plan. Don't ask me why, some underpaid teenage clerk in Omaha routinely tells my doctor, who went to medical school, and has known me over 15 years, what medications he can and cannot prescribe to me. So now, as you can imagine, there is no desire on the part of the company to absorb that 40% tax on my health insurance. This is a HUGE sticking point in contract negotiations. Over 65,000 hard working barely hanging on middle class people may be out on strike over this issue. On unemployment, out of work, and on the picket line. Instead of working at our good paying jobs, and paying way more than our fair share of income tax, we will be a further drain on the economy, until this gets settled.
PLEASE Mr. President, can you not do anything else to help me? Please? I know you mean well, but please just stop! I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. By my conservative estimate, my retirement has been set back at LEAST 7-10 years. I no longer can count on SS being there, since redeeming the IOU's might sink the country even further. I can no longer count on Medicare, and by the time I retire, if I am ever able to, health care costs will be beyond my reach. Money needs to be set aside, but at the rate I'm losing it, I simply won't have it to contribute. I'm trying to be responsible Mr. President, I'm trying to save for these things, but the goal posts keep moving! Please please please...... Just stop it already!
Now I will probably vote for you again, Mr. President, only because I realistically have no other choice. But gosh darnnit Mr. President....... You're KILLING me! And not just me. I'm am well off! I make good money! I HAVE a 401k. Think of the others, my friends and neighbors who are less fortunate than me. Think of the effects of your policies, think of the consequences! I am almost at the limit, I cannot absorb many more blows. Others are already knocked out. Many have had to be carried out of the ring. This is not what we thought you meant when you said "Hope and Change". Not even close.
So please, Mr. President, I beg you, I plead with you. Please, no more!
The author would like everyone to read his long insane manifesto on government, here it is:
I want my government to put the well being of it's citizens ABOVE ALL ELSE! Above any other country, or interest, and above the needs of the citizens of any other country.
Thanks for reading.