Thursday, May 14, 2009

Again, Mr President?

I just received another request for a contribution to help the president push through his health care reforms. Please don't get me wrong - I like the guy. I'm delighted that he's president. I do not believe he's doing anything worse than any other presidential hopeful would have done in the face of this recession - and I think he's better. At least he seems like he's making a sincere effort and means well. That's better than I can say for the past eight years, when it was all about power grabbing more power. (Don't even bother, Republican apologists. Your sudden concern for Democracy is too little too late and the GOP track record has more holes in it than my mom's old noodle drainer.)

But why do I have to pay to get legislators to listen to my president? Why do I have to become part of the lobbying machinery? This isn't the way it's supposed to work. We elect our representatives, they ask our opinion and they vote. That's what we're told. But the lobbyists are louder. They offer much bigger incentives to their buddies. And it works. Look how badly the attempt to cap the credit card interest rates got clobbered. Do you really think anyone thought that interest rates should go above 15%? But you can't afford to tick off really powerful friends.

So instead of asking for my money, Mr. Obama, why don't you fix the system? You're president now and you've still got the wind beneath you. Squash the lobbying industry and then see how your efforts at reform go.

I'd like to help you, but I'm strapped. I didn't get the bailout that the banks got.

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