Saturday, March 28, 2009

An Example (or Two)

We all know that the President wants a middle class tax cut. This policy will ensure that 95% of working Americans get a tax break, while the wealthiest 5% go back to the rates they were paying under Ronald Reagan.

Some folks sincerely and totally oppose this policy. They might believe that it is a “redistribution of wealth” (of course, it is; but so is policy that ensures that the rich get richer while the poor and middle class get poorer). They might believe that it is morally wrong (after all morally pure, hard-working people earned their great wealth; this policy rewards lazy, immoral working people for being…lazy and immoral). They might believe philosophically that government should stay out of it-- to let the laissez (lazy)-faire free market do its thing (gotta love that free market). They might believe that a middle class tax cut that lets 95% of working families keep more of their hard-earned money is tantamount to Communism (now that’s some convoluted logic!) They might simply believe that it’s bad policy.

But suppose the President does secure such a tax cut. And suppose that after the tax cut kicks in, Americans start getting their heads above water, stimulating the economy with purchases they can afford, confidence returns, homes are being built and bought, employment improves, and the economy begins heading in a better direction. Then we have a successful policy, a successful President, and a successful America. I know: That would be horrible!

Now suppose the President secures such a tax cut, but the effect is to strangle the economy. Americans far and wide struggle more. There is no economic stimulation. Consumer confidence worsens. More banks refuse to lend. More homes are foreclosed upon. Unemployment increases. I call that failure in America, failure of policies, and failure of the President. And we can all rejoice that the President and his policies failed. Nevermind that the American economy failed.

Once again, this is the only legitimate way to measure failure. Implementing a policy isn’t the measure of success or failure. The outcome of the implementation is the measure. So those who are hoping (and praying) for the failure of this President and/or his policies are hoping (and praying) for the failure of America. If they truly want America to succeed in the next four years, they will have to bite the bullet and hope (and maybe pray) for the success of this President and his policies, even the ones they don’t think are worthy. Otherwise, I suggest they take a tip from Usher, and :"Hush".

Now imagine that a President wants to save the world from terrorism. His plan, his strategy, his policy is to invade a sovereign country and start a war. I may disagree with this policy as a strategy for protecting our nation and the world from terrorism. I might actually believe his policies make the world less safe, but I’m not gonna wish for his failure. I’m gonna wish that his wrong-headed, immoral, ill-informed policy is successful in ridding the world of terrorism. Anything else would be un-American. But the measure of his success will not be the day he announces “Mission Accomplished,” unless his policy has actually made the nation and the world safer.

1 comment:

Mary @ The Writer's Block said...

Tony,

Don't you think some of this (maybe most) rhetoric comes from an improper (or non-existent) understanding of God's sovereignty, the Christian call to pray for leaders, God's "raising Kings and deposing Kings"? I think the general comments of "hoping our President fails" are at the least, mean-spirited, and at the worst, horribly destructive and divisive.

My gracious, what if those voices were saying, "I don't agree with the President, but I pray for him, his administration, and I pray for God's leading through him"? Hmmmmm.

I guess that's how I feel. I don't agree with everything, but my whole spirit and soul hope and pray for this nation's best and God's glory to be revealed.

Because it's really all about God and the fact that HE'S on the throne, right?

Oh, and another thing... I just despise the hypocrisy of these talking heads. Let me just point out that if the situation were reversed and Chris Matthews were calling for Pres. McCain's "failure," would we ever hear the end of it from Rush and Repub. leadership?

Glad you're back. Enjoy reading your thoughts.