By Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo
Most of us outside of Illinois became aware of Barack Obama in 2004. He was a candidate for senator from that state and was asked to give a speech at the Democrat’s convention that year. He was interesting. A fresh face — in stark contrast to old Washington embodied by the Democrat nominee Senator John Kerry (D) Massachusetts. It would be a few years before we really started understanding who this man was politically.
Obama ran on feel good messages like, “Yes We Can!” and “Change You Can Believe In.” He was going to cut the deficit and fix everything George W. Bush did wrong. As soon as he got into office, of course, he raised taxes on regular Americans ($.62 per pack on cigarettes) and pushed through the Stimulus Bill which cost the American taxpayers nearly $1 trillion.
He pledged over and again to put every bill online for us to see for five days before they were brought to a vote. He would stop “corporate welfare.” He also promised transparency and listed seven things he’d stop:
1. Make Government Open and Transparent, 2. Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in pork barrel projects, 3. Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public (Republicans shut out), 4. No more secrecy 5. Public will have five days to look at a Bill, 6. You’ll know what’s in it (Republican Senators didn’t know), 7. We will put every pork barrel project online.
He must have gotten bored of the same ol’ same ol’ because now he’s added the non sequitur. It’s really a variation on a theme: The rich have what they have and that’s not fair. The regular/average American deserves it all too and we can get it for them by taking it from those evil rich people and corporations.
He started saying things like: “If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, corporate jet owners, hedge fund managers, oil & gas companies that are making 100’s of billions of dollars, then we have to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship, … we have to stop funding certain grants for medical research,” etc., etc. “I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or corporate jet owner that has done so well, to give up that tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.”
It was ridiculous. Do you really think that because rich people have earned a lot of money through hard work or entrepreneurial spirit or invention that people can’t go to college, …Or that the elderly can’t get care, etc., etc. The message didn’t work, and taxes weren’t raised on the “evil rich,” but, he must have felt the strategy still had legs because it’s back.
The Obama non sequitur reared it’s ugly head on March 29th. This time, the President once again, went after big oil. The President said, “Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.” Huh? Are oil companies somehow not American? The reason for the Rose Garden speech was to pit big oil against the American people and playing the two sides against the middle — that middle being Congress.
Do you really think the price per gallon will go down should Congress decide to increase the tax burden on these companies? He cannot run on his record or point to how he’s held to his campaign promises, or fixed the economy, or held unemployment to under 8 percent. So, the only real campaign plan is to find a boogie-man (or men and women).
If the gasoline prices happen to fall between now and the election, you won’t hear anything else about it. If they stay high or go higher, the President will remind us all how he tried to get Congress to go after the oil companies and how the REPUBLICANS refused. Smart. Underhanded. Disingenuous. Politics.