It’s time to pray for America
an awareness of the privation throughout the world, Americans have
always been able to give thanks for the bounty of this land, even
during difficult times. But this year there is a storm cloud on the
horizon. Many people are losing confidence in the prospect for future
prosperity in this nation.
The housing bubble has
burst, and many people now find that the market value of their home is
less than the amount of the mortgage. Others who are even less
fortunate now stand to lose their homes because they cannot afford the
monthly debt service on adjustable rate mortgages that have reset at a
very high interest rate.
In addition, it is projected that the cost of heating homes will be at
an all-time high this winter. The price of a barrel of oil now hovers
around $100. As a result, the cost of driving a car, the major form of
personal transportation, has put another crimp in the family budget.
Health care costs have continued to rise beyond the reach of low-income
families. Medicare costs impose a burden on federal budgets. President
Bush has recently vetoed the expansion of the SCHIP program, which
would provide health care for more children from low-income families.
These problems are made worse by the fact that the president has
launched this country into a war we cannot win. The war has already
cost more than $500 billion, a number that will continue to grow as the
nation cares for the wounded and rebuilds military equipment that has
Bush has been unwilling to raise the taxes of the wealthy to finance
the war, so the nation’s fiscal budget has been imbalanced. The massive
sale of government bonds to foreign nations to balance the budget has
created a loss of confidence throughout the world in the soundness of
the U.S. dollar. Now the U.S. dollar has lost value relative to the
euro and other currencies.
With all of these problems, the United States has lost the respect of
other nations. If this were just after World War II, when the U.S. was
the only nation with its industrial capacity still intact, this loss of
respect could be ignored. But in this, the age of globalization, a
great power can lead only with the respect of others.
Wise Americans know that we need a change, a belief that has become the
theme of all the Democratic presidential campaigns. Yet judging by the
polls, there is considerable confusion about how to achieve that change.
The top two challengers are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. While
they seemed very similar in the beginning of this campaign, the
differences are now becoming pronounced. After the Bush administration,
the need to restore candor and transparency in government has become
critical. A candidate who cannot be candid in the campaign is not
likely to be open from the Oval Office.
Hillary has been shockingly disingenuous. First she supports driver’s
licenses for undocumented immigrants, then she opposes the idea. First
she chides Barack for his willingness as president to have diplomatic
meetings with enemies as well as friends of the United States, then she
supports the idea when it has public approval. She repudiates her vote
for war against Iraq, then she votes in support of Bush’s proposal to
condemn Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists. This is
clearly a saber-rattling measure. At first, Hillary claims she has no
ideas for reforming Social Security, so she would convene a bipartisan
committee to resolve the problem; then she says last week that she
would oppose extending Social Security taxes to “middle class” workers
— those with incomes above $100,000 per year.
It appears that Hillary’s touted experience has taught her the
duplicity that is no longer desirable to thoughtful voters. Hillary is
leading in the polls. It is time to pray for America.
“I guess they didn’t need us this year; there’s not that much to be thankful for.”