An Open Letter to Our New President
By Doug Patton
February 9, 2009
Dear Mr. President:
Recently, you stated that: "There will be a time for profits...Now is not that time." Not since you made Joe the most famous plumber in America by telling him (and all of us) that you wanted to "spread the wealth around" have you been so transparent about your attitude toward the private sector.
You complain about "excessive" CEO salaries and bonuses. And I must admit that it strains credulity to imagine the chutzpah it takes for some of these companies to engage in such indulgences with both hands outstretched to the federal government for bailout dollars in numbers most of us can't even comprehend. It is unseemly at best to watch these jackals presiding over companies that are hemorrhaging buckets of red ink while they fly off into the sunset in their corporate jets with their golden parachutes - paid for by American taxpayers.
Unfortunately, the same rules don't seem to apply to you and your cohorts in government. You have an equally arrogant, cavalier attitude toward the hard-working Americans who pay for your salary and your extravagant lifestyle. And you don't seem to play by the rules you create for the rest of us. Your new treasury secretary cheated on his taxes and yet was confirmed to oversee the Internal Revenue Service. Your nominee to run the health and human services department is the poster boy for limousine liberals who don't even pay for their limousines - or at least not the taxes they owe on them. And your attorney general believes in pardons for terrorists and tax cheats.
Meanwhile, you and your Democrat Congress act as though the revenue you are using for your pork-laden bailouts and so-called stimulus packages just grew on the money tree in the back yard at the White House and is yours to do with as you see fit. Well, let me remind you of something, Mr. President: that money you are doling out is money my great-grandchildren haven't even earned yet. It is tax revenue your successor five presidents down the line will have to steal from them in order to pay for this madness.
The saddest thing about this whole scenario, Mr. President, is that you are killing the one entity in our society that is actually creating jobs. Any high school Economics 101 teacher can tell you that in good economic times, 75 percent of new jobs in this country are created by small, independently-owned businesses. In times like these, when corporate America is slashing workforces like mad, that number is 100 percent!
And yet who gets the bailouts? Joe the Plumber or Sam's Handyman Service, who eek out a living trying to find enough work to keep themselves and one or two employees afloat? No, it's Citibank and the bloated auto industry. We're told that they are "too big to fail."
Well, let me tell you something, Mr. President. Granted, it would be a pretty big ripple through the economy if General Motors went under. But if you put every small entrepreneur in this country out of business, our economy, as we know it, will be gone.
Mr. President, small business owners are being crushed by a largely hysteria-created recession. Their credit has been cut off because of the irresponsible behavior of Members of Congress and the greed of some on Wall Street. These entrepreneurs aren't asking for a bailout. They just want you and your bloated, obstructionist government to get out of their way!
Not the time for profits, indeed! With all due respect, this is precisely the time when businesses need profits.
But then, the ignorant souls who voted for you - many of whom don't even pay taxes - have so wrapped yourselves in victim status and class envy that they are cheering you on as their new Fairness Czar; so I guess I don't expect you to listen to me. I won't have a real say in the matter again until the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2012. See you then.
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.