A Failed Presidency?

national-debt

Every day we are reminded about the dysfunctional state of our national affairs.

The dictum of the Hippocratic Oath of” first do no harm” that medical students are taught is the very minimum expectation, but has even this been met?

The Promise vs. The Delivery

1) Promised reset with Russia – Delivered a resurgent Russia in Ukraine, Syria, the Baltics, cybersecurity, and more.

2) Promised red lines in Syria – Delivered more than 5-year and counting deadly civil war with chemical weapons, more than 500,000 dead, and millions wounded, displaced, and fleeing as refugees.

3) Promised end of war in Iraq and Afghanistan – Delivered continued troops and war in both with not an end in sight. 

4) Promised good deal with a moderating Iran – Delivered bad deal with continued aggressive Iran violating the agreement and on the path to reaching nuclear weapons.

5) Promised easing of ties with an opening of Cuba – Delivered one-sided deal and a continued hard-line communist Cuba abusing political opponents and human rights.

6) Promised defeat of ISIS terrorism – Delivered continued ISIS global terror (and it’s not workplace violence).

7) Promised closing of GITMO – Delivered GIMTO still open for business with dozens of dangerous terrorists. 

8) Promised a more unified America – Delivered a more divisive nation with raging inner city violence and civilian and police shootings.

9) Promised Obamacare affordable health insurance – Delivered unsustainable double digit premium growth and pending repeal and replacement.

10) Promised Dodd-Frank improved accountability financial reform – Delivered burdensome highly-regulated financial system stifling banking and lending leading to either significant scale back or complete repeal and replacement. 

11) Promised peace in the Middle East–Delivered a barrage of missiles, terror tunnels, shootings, stabbings, vehicular attacks, and arson for our friend and ally, Israel.

12) Promised government transparency to the American people – Delivered obscurity to the “media echo chamber” and devastating political email scandal and Benghazi fiasco. 

13) Promised fiscal and budgetary responsibility via Sequestration – Delivered a doubling of the national debt in 8 years to 20 trillion dollars! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via USA Today)

Is This The Way It’s Supposed To Work?

Is This The Way It's Supposed To Work?

As talk and warnings escalate about a potential government shutdown next week (not that long since the last time this happened a couple of years ago), one cannot help wonder is this the way government is supposed to work?

The partisanship and fighting has gotten so that either nothing significant gets done or get’s done by just one party leaving the other fuming.

The fight over healthcare reform pushed through for better or for worse has come back to haunt the Hill. Aside from a lot of talk about exchanges, I haven’t found many people that even really understand the changes or whether it actually benefits them or not.

The continuing Fed stimulus that many anticipated was going to start tapering off, but hasn’t, has left many concerned whether there is another huge economic bubble building and what will happen to stocks, housing, and jobs when the Fed finally does pull back.

The Sequestration which was never supposed to actually take effect, but was to replaced with more surgical budget cuts, continues to leave the nation vulnerable in terms of potential budget shortfalls for areas of national priority (e.g. defense and so on) and still leaves a mounting national debt (albeit growing at a slower pace).

The seesaw between the threat of military intervention and the potential for diplomatic solutions with Syria and Iran on no less than weapons of mass destruction have us asking whether these countries are serious, stalling, and really willing to give them all up or just buy time in their efforts to get over the finish line of proliferation, hiding, and burying the stockpiles.

Somehow we seem to be fighting each other more than we are tackling the issues.

Are we really talking with each other, listening with intent to understand, and seeing what is at stake?

We are playing brinkmanship on critical issues of national security that may leave us holding the toilet paper and plunger as we swirl around the bowl ready for the royal flush. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)