The President has been traveling the country, asking ordinary citizens and high level officials alike for advice on the crisis facing the United States. Some of the responses he received;
“I feel so far from government. I feel like ordinary people are excluded from political power.”
“Some of us have suffered from recession all our lives.”
“Be bold, Mr. President. We may make mistakes, but we are ready to experiment.”
The responses are from a trip President Carter took while attempting to solve the nation’s energy crisis 30 years ago. I think Obama has been hearing the same thing this summer. President Carter delivered his “Crisis of Confidence” speech (from which I obtained the above quotes), daring to ask Americans to make sacrifices like conserving gasoline, for the good of the country. President Obama wants to pay for health care by asking people that make over $250,000 a year to make sacrifices, in the form of higher taxes. President Carter’s poll numbers jumped after the speech, but we know what happened the next year. Carter lost the election and Reagan took the solar panels off the White House (albeit years later). Maybe we sub $250k-er’s don’t have anything to sacrifice, or more likely Obama thinks if he asks we’ll boot him out like Carter, who also said;
“What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another.”
With that in mind I hope health care reform comes out better than the solar panels did.