Sunday, September 2, 2012

Am I Better Off Today?

This past week, I've been hearing the Republican Party ask me, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago when Obama was elected?"

My reply, "Absolutely not!"

In the past four years:

I've learned what it's like to be unemployed, underemployed, live paycheck to paycheck, and use up all my "safety net" savings because of breaking my leg and being out of work for five months.  For the first time in my life, I wake up with anxiety attacks because I'm not sure I'll be able to pay my bills.

I've witnessed my child graduate summa cum laude from college and not be able to find a job that pays a living wage.  

I've witnessed my unemployed, uninsured brother rack up over half a million dollars in medical expenses that he'll never be able to pay.  The diagnosis:  sepsis from rotting teeth.  Not something you'd expect in a developed country like the United States in this day and age.   After 30 days in intensive care on two ventilators, the underlying cause of his illness was not addressed, so the whole sequence can be triggered again any time.  When he developed a blood clot in his lung after they sent him home, his caseworker told him his only recourse was to call 911... it was the only way he could receive treatment.

Something is wrong here.  

But do I think it's a failure of the Obama administration?  Hell no!  I admire what Obama has been trying to accomplish over the past four years:

Universal health care, education, women's issues, economic recovery... Obama's headed in a direction that I want to go.  Obama took what was an untenable situation and has chipped away at it.  Slowly, but surely, he is getting things back on track after a disastrous eight Bush years which set the stage for where we are now.  Has his track record always always perfect?  No, but his ideas are a lot closer to getting us to where we need to be than anything the Republicans are offering.  

Romney's constituency is the upper 1%.  Obama's constituency is the other 99%, which includes me.  

The choice for me is simple.  I still have to believe in hope.

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