Tom Strini
Op Ed

The speech Barack Obama ought to give right now

By - Aug 1st, 2011 08:14 am
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Today is the deadline for a decision on how to raise America’s debt ceiling. It is not a matter of whether, but of how. And today, Barack Obama will sign an agreement that compromises the very values upon which he campaigned, and won the presidency.

Below is the speech I believe he should give to the American people once the deed is done. I believe a radical faction on the extreme Right really does have a coordinated plan to consolidate even more wealth into even fewer hands, and to erase our way of life forever, and that left unchecked, they will succeed. This is but one step down that path, and not the first, nor, sadly, the last.–Tom Strini

Barack Obama on the debt ceiling

Official White House photo by Pete Souza via Flickr.

My Fellow Americans,

The House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed upon a deficit ceiling bill and I will sign it. If I don’t sign, the nation will not be able to pay its bills, our credit rating will fall, and interest rates on our loans will rise to unmanageable levels. Faith not only in our government but in our economic system would be shaken. Economic collapse, even worse than we experienced before I took office in 2008, would be likely, possibly on a world-wide scale.

Therefore, I must sign this bill. But I must level with you, my fellow citizens: I am deeply ashamed of it. This bill, which I am compelled to sign, is a key part of a larger effort on the part of an elite and malignant few to transfer even more wealth to the wealthiest, even as it establishes a zero-sum, no-growth economy.

This larger effort aims to further enrich the greediest among us by attacking economic and environmental controls that any prudent society requires. This bill represents an attack on the middle classes and the poor. It seeks to protect exactly the sort of generational, aristocratic privilege our founding fathers warned against. It solidifies wealth won not by industry and creativity, but by inheritance. It absolves the wealthy from their obligations to the rest of us, to the society that sustains them.

This extremist movement attacks affordable public education, the mainspring of American upward mobility for generations. It attacks public health in all its forms. It attacks the research and modernization that would make us competitive in a global market. It attacks transportation advancement that would reduce our reliance on oil. It attacks the subsidies that make old age decent and dignified. It attacks decent wages for working men and women.

As the ill effects of this extremist effort take place — as your wages and home values tumble, your health care premiums rise, as the public safety net is cut to tatters, as you can no longer afford to send your children to public universities, as homelessness rises — I urge America to track a key statistic:

2% of the people own 40% of America’s wealth. Even that is not enough for the extremists who have forced my hand in this debt-ceiling matter. If that spread strikes you as obscene, I invite you to watch it grow even more lop-sided as the extreme right has its way. I will do what I can to arrest their recklessness, greed and disregard for working people. But in the end, only you, the American people, can stop them in their explicit campaign to create a crueler and more economically divided society.

Good night, and may God bless America.

0 thoughts on “Op Ed: The speech Barack Obama ought to give right now”

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is much, Tom, just and practical in what you write. It reminds of Alf Smith’s old saw, “What’s good for the ills of a democracy, is more democracy.”

    While the “malignant” conspiracy to aristocracy sounds quite a lot like the manifestation of a college fraternity late night drunken positing of the opposition argument for the United States and why the United States should fall of its own Constitutional and citizen imperfections on the assumption that something better, or the better people, would replace it, and given the last ten years, a fraternity most cited nationally for hazing and pranks led at its Yale chapter for a period in the 1960s by a president reported (New York Times) to have branded a “brother” with a hot coat hanger, it is, led by Karl Rove’s band of spoilers, nevertheless treason.

    Remember the old John Birch book by John Stormer, “None Dare Call it Treason”?

    Here’s the quote the title comes from:

    “Treason doth never prosper. What’s the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” — Sir John Harrington.

    So, these few swerving our ship of state, the political vessel of We the People, toward an un-proven scheme, with no historical evidence of it having worked anywhere, touch and traverse into disloyalty, and have become enemies of the United States because they belittle and diminish its power to serve We the People, in favor of a self-anointed few who seek total power over the economy, with government serving their pursuits alone, justified by their own self-serving way of thinking that contains no truth in the extremes of their works.

    These traitors claim it is just a matter of differing philosophical approach to how much a government should do. For decades, they have framed their “alternative” ideology by degrading and demonizing government, causing disrespect for Our Government among the People, saying “government is the problem” instead of maintaining respect and pin-pointing that “government has particular problems”. Instead, they seek to mess up the workings of government and destroy government’s worthy goals so that a few big-shots can have their ways over the rest of us. They even wrap their vile plots in “freedom”, while the results would have us owing them.

    So, if they prosper, how many among us will call them traitors? Will treason be lodged on them if their treason is all within the laws they pass, interpreted by their judges who cheat in their campaigns (Gableman and Ziegler)? Will the hunger and deprivation and chaos that derives from them rise up and break down their gated neighborhoods, drawing their fire from their NRA-blessed arsenals?

    Why take the chance? Maybe the “they” who declared the culture war, who conduct the culture war, are thrill seekers to whom the stability of steady growth is anathema, who long for the days of hustled markets leading to economic panics – just to shake up things. And they bring such chaos cloaked in economic “certainty”, on their terms.

    It’s the fix that’s the trick, their greed to lick.
    Constitution’s flaws re-examined re-framed re-writ

  2. Anonymous says:

    we need to recalibrate the government. ever been in a room that’s so filthy it’s impossible to think? empty it, clean it and then move back in with the things that work best for now.

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