Dear President Obama:
Congratulations on your reelection. Although I did not vote for you, I sincerely wish you the best of luck and fervently hope that you are able to work with our gridlocked Congress to enact measures that will help our economy. Frankly, I am discouraged by the past four years, and I don’t believe our country can take four more years of the same.
Today, nbcnews.com ran a post-election piece entitled “Now that he’s won, the six splitting headaches waiting for Obama”: Automatic spending cuts; taxes going up, by a significant amount—and not just on the rich; debt limit; confirmation of pivotal Cabinet members (replacements for Tim Geithner and Hillary Clinton) and regulatory chiefs; implementing the Affordable Care Act and appointing the members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board; and chaos in Syria, WMD—and don’t forget Iran.
And then there’s the small matter of the economy, supposedly the No. 1 concern among voters in this election.
Mr. President, I’m watching the stock market drop today and reading headlines about how you think you can do ‘Gangnam Style’ dance moves. Maybe you have the moves, but stockholders obviously have their doubts about your ability to lead us to economic stability and prosperity.
Granted, we all need a little levity in our lives, and like to see our leaders behave as regular people on occasion, but what we really need now are jobs—good paying jobs with longevity and benefits—the kind of jobs I grew up thinking every American could secure with the right training and motivation—just as anyone could grow up to be President of the United States.
Do I expect you to wave a magic wand and make 23 million jobs that will support middle-class families appear? No. Do I expect you to enact legislation that makes it attractive for manufacturers to produce goods here in the U.S. and create jobs at home instead of sending production offshore? Absolutely.
In January of 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in conjunction with the National Economic Council, published a document entitled “U.S. Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity.” A paragraph in the Executive Summary described the importance of manufacturing:
“A crucial component of the United States’ future competitive strength is a flourishing manufacturing sector. Manufacturing creates high‐paying jobs, provides the bulk of U.S. exports, and spurs innovation. While manufacturing continues to play a vital role in the U.S. economy and provides jobs for millions of Americans, it also has faced significant challenges, especially over the last decade. Manufacturing’s share of GDP and the number of workers in manufacturing has fallen, while the trade balance in manufactured goods has worsened. In the manufacturing sector, the Federal government has historically played an important role in providing a level playing field and must do so with renewed vigor to ensure that manufacturing continues to thrive in the United States. The current and future health of the manufacturing sector is strongly linked to the investments we make in research, education, and nfrastructure.”
No one who works in the sector my company supports—metal manufacturing—would disagree with these observations, which any of them could have written. What they might tell you is that precious time’s a wasting. While you will no doubt be very busy dealing with those six splitting headaches, don’t forget the manufacturers you tout as being job creat0rs. Those jobs they create add to the tax coffers that finance the programs you wish to fund.
Now’s the time to stand tough—to put your words into actions that truly level the playing field for U.S. manufacturers. In a post-election teleconference today, Governor John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable (BRT) said he believes you have a mandate—“not the margin, but a win,” which, in his opinion is a mandate.
His fellow presenter, Greg Casey, president and CEO of the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) said the mandate is for you and Congress to “come together to solve these problems” affecting our country and economy.
The American public saw fit to give you four more years—as you requested—to finish what you’ve started. Don’t disappoint us.
On a personal note, I’d love to see my unemployed family members with decent jobs in the near future. Then and only then will I believe that the economy is truly coming back.
Vicki Bell, U.S. voter
Follow fabcomlady on Twitter.
Become a fan of The Fabricator® on Facebook.