I didn’t want to vote for Obama, but between Obama and Romney, Obama was the better choice. I was going to vote for a third party candidate, but ironically thanks to some Wall Street Journal Internet test of political positions, I found that both of the third party candidates were too radical for me. I have voted for Ralph Nader in the past, because I thought he was a good, honest man, unlike the major party candidates. This year however, I didn’t know anything about the Green Party or the Libertarian Party candidates, and according to the Wall Street Journal they both espoused extreme positions. I often agreed with the Green Party on economic issues, but not on social issues. Similarly I often agreed with the Libertarians on social issues, but not on economic/financial issues. I think the Fed has saved the US from a horrible financial debacle brought on by Wall Street, which seems to be run by some of the worst people on earth. I think they are evil, but they may just be grossly incompetent.
So I was stuck between Obama and Romney, both of whom held more moderate positions on both social and economic issues, but I was closer to Obama. However, I am unhappy with a number of things Obama did or did not do during his first term.
– He did not end the war in Afghanistan, which everybody thought was the “good” war, but it turned out that everybody was wrong (except Joe Biden).
– He did not close the Guantanamo prison, leaving the US with its own “gulag” like the old Soviet Union. It’s like having a billboard that says, “The US is no longer a free, democratic country ruled by law.” No wonder foreign students are going home when they graduate.
– He continued the Bush tax cuts. These tax cuts have badly unbalanced the US economy, contributing to our running up a trillion dollar deficit every year. They are unsustainable, especially when they undercut financing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s one of the main reasons Rumsfeld said that you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want. The Republicans were happy to pocket a few thousand dollars in tax savings, although it meant many more troops would die in those wars because they did not have the best equipment.
– He did not try hard enough to get Elizabeth Warren approved as the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She created the bureau, and she should have been allowed to get it started. She would have faced fierce opposition from the Republicans in Congress, but Obama should have taken them on. It’s possible that the big banks hated her so much that the bribed Obama and Democrats to desert her, too. I’m glad she was elected Senator, but I would have preferred to see her take on the banks in the bureau she created. Hopefully she will be able to do some of the same things as Senator. It will be interesting to see whether she gets on any relevant committees, or whether the banks will bribe the Democratic leadership to stick her in the boondocks somewhere.
– Obama did not give us single payer health care, i.e., Medicare for everybody. He have us expanded health care based on a Republican model that is a gift to the health insurance companies and the medical community. It means much higher costs that a single payer system would have meant.
– He has continued the Bush Administration drone strikes, which in many cases have killed innocent civilians and in some cases US citizens. This is like Guantanamo. It shows the world that the US is not longer an honest, decent, just country of laws.
I am hoping that Obama will do better in his second term. His first task is to do something about the fiscal cliff in a way that will reduce the outrageous budget deficit. So far, I am not optimistic. They may reach some sort of a deal that will allow us to muddle through, but will do little or nothing to redress the fundamental problem of the debt that is destroying America.