Monday, May 16, 2016


Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     President Obama took a shot at Donald Trump when speaking at Rutgers commencement this past weekend.  "Class of 2016, let me be as clear as I can be: In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue,” Obama told Rutgers University graduates in a commencement address urging broad engagement with the world.  The president went on to take a shot at Trump’s ‘build a wall’ position, saying;  "The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it's becoming more connected every day. Building walls won't change that. The point is: To help ourselves, we've got to help others, not pull up the drawbridge and try to keep the world out."

     Throughout his remarks, the POTUS stressed critical thinking and reasoning over what he called anti-intellectualism.  "Facts, evidence, reason, logic, an understanding of science: These are good things. These are qualities you want in people making policy. ... That might seem obvious. ... We traditionally have valued those things, but if you're listening to today's political debate, you might wonder where this strain of anti-intellectualism came from," he said.  OK, so let’s talk some facts:

     Fact #1: The American economy is not good.  According to Capital Economics, consumer spending is down substantially in the past year.  That coupled with the manufacturing segment being in recession and corporate profits being down point to a full blown recession coming for the country.  The national debt is at 19.2 trillion dollars- $60,000 for every man, woman, boy and girl in the country.  That is nearly double what it was when President Obama assumed office.   There are three million more children categorized as ‘living in poverty’ is in America than there was in 2008.  Food stamp recipients have doubled in number the past eight years.  Salaries are down and the cost of living is up.  Less people are working than in last forty years. The past eight years have not been prosperous ones for the average American.  Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, and a professor at Berkeley says, “The next president will inherit an economy teetering on the edge of recession.”  The fact is the economy is in the tank and Obama’s legacy is that fewer people work in America than in the past generation.

     Fact #2: Federal government spending is out of control.  The federal government spends $7 million dollars a minute.  According to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest report, the 2016 budget deficit will ‘shrink’ to $642 billion.  Believe it or not, it is the smallest shortfall since 2008. The federal government should follow most states, including Oklahoma, and pass a balanced budget amendment.  The fact is the federal government is irresponsible when it spends more than it takes in. 

     Fact #3: Illegal immigration has increased dramatically under Obama.   He issued an executive order telling the Immigration Service to not enforce the law.  According to Homeland Security, the eleven million illegals in the US have less than a 1% chance of being deported under this president.  In the past four years, the president has deported illegals at half the rate he did in the first term.  President Obama announced in November an executive order that was intended to allow five million illegals to avoid deportation.  The state of Texas sued the federal government and won.  The SCOTUS will rule in June and is expected to come to a 4-4 stalemate, which will allow the lower court’s decision to stand and block the executive order.  The fact is our borders are not secure and there are illegal immigrates in our country that broke the law to come to America.

     Obama was right when he said at the commencement: "When our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they're not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up, when actual experts are dismissed as elitists, then we've got a problem."   America clearly has a problem because the current president expresses a complete disregard of the facts regarding the economy and government spending and makes us stuff up that is not within the authority of the presidency- like executive orders on immigration.  Yep, we’ve got a problem!    

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