America, do you remember Election Day?


Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
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Does anyone remember the woman who told President Barack Obama that she was “exhausted” from defending him and his economic policies and waiting for the change she expected after voting for him?  Well, her name was or is Velma Hart, the ex-chief financial officer for Am Vets, a veteran services organization based in Maryland.  When Velma was laid off on November 22, she said it was part of the nonprofit’s effort to cut expenses.  Velma, then, wanted to be optimistic and positive.

According to ABC News.com, Am Vets executive director, Jim King, told The Washington Post that the nonprofit was looking for ways to survive financially.  “It’s not anything she did,” King told the Post for a story that appeared online.  “She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people.  It was a move to cut our bottom line.”  King did not state that Velma Hart was or was not the only employee let go.

But as Velma Hart stood during the town hall-style meeting on the economy televised by CNBC, some of us may remember her saying to President Obama:  “Quite frankly, I’m exhausted.  Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the man for change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.”  And that hurt!  Just when people may have thought Velma was off her rocker for that comment, on down the line would tell another tale.

On Election Day, America spoke out with a vote for Republicans to rule the House.  What this now means is that at a time when Democrats could have easily and willingly pushed bills through without much opposition, the President now has to get approval from the Republicans.  And Americans had no idea that the change they voted for would jump up and bite them you know where.

Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, used very colorful language at the time he learned that the Republicans would take control of the House as of 2011.  Boehner made a pledge to challenge all bills and projects set in place by President Obama.  Along with the ever verbose Healthcare Reform Bill, the Republicans made the Bush Tax Cuts there next main concern.  The Democrats and Republicans agreed to appoint a bipartisan working group to discuss the tax cuts.  The Bush Tax Cuts would continue to give those making more than one million dollars a year a tax cut.  However, the problem the Republicans have with President Obama’s plan is that he would only extend tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 and married couples making less than $250,000.  There are some rank-and-file Democrats who have jump ship to the Republican side to extend the tax cuts for everyone.    Word even has it that the President should design a detailed proposal for the Republicans to view.  But why should the President create a proposal?  The Republicans indicated that they intend to block all action on all Democratic-backed legislation related to tax cuts and government spending in the current post-election session of Congress — according to a letter the leadership has circulated.  If Republicans are successful at this, they will be able to end the Pentagon’s practice of discharging openly gay members of the military service and give legal status to young illegal immigrants who join the military or attend college.

As of December 1, 2010, Republicans held unemployment checks until the President agreed to extend the Bush Tax Cuts.

Now, back to Velma.  Still, with so many out of work — and the American people voting for a new government, Velma’s words may be becoming prophecy.  And, the only way to avoid this would be for the President to not extend the tax cuts to everyone…that is, cave in to the demands of the Republicans.  Yes, the people are tired and they probably do want change.  But, what if the President does give in to the Republicans?  Would he get any respect from the American people by doing this?  Or, would he be considered the worse President in history by not giving in – and letting the American people see just how wrong they were by voting for a Republican government?  Had the American people kept the Democrats in the House, we would not be having all this turmoil.  Or at least, I don’t think we would.  The President would probably still be going over to Korea and China and India, but the tax cuts would not have been an issue and unemployment checks would have continued as usual.

We do not need a weak President.  We do need someone who stands for something.  Yeah, those who are now not receiving an unemployment check may be more vocal now – demanding that the President takes the Republicans deal.  But, should the President just tell the American public, “This is what you voted for?”

No matter what the President attempts, he will be met with total opposition not only by the Republicans, but a few of his own members as well.   Then, even if the President does agree to the tax cuts, the Republicans may not keep their end of the bargain.  I do hope that the President does not give in and keep all the tax cuts.  I would really like to know what is wrong with America that they cannot see that the Republicans work and strive for the rich.  Extending the Bush Tax Cuts would only give more credibility to those making more than the lowest figure of $200,000.

Velma isn’t the only one “exhausted.”  With no support from anyone in his own party, does Barack Obama have a choice other than to “cave in” to the Republicans?  At least the unemployed would get their benefits…the rich continue to keep more of their money.  To me, this doesn’t stimulate any more growth than the 10.1% unemployment rate in the country.

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