While the swelling rhetoric of Obama certainly played a big role in his election, it would be shortsighted to miss that it was clear, decisive, strategic thinking that put him in a position to be a candidate at all. Being disappointed in him for his record thus far is like being disappointed in Jon Stewart for having a rally to support civility and then being too civil (hmmmm, maybe that's a bad example).
So, yes, I'm a big Obama supporter (possibly to a fault). And, yes, I think that clear, decisive, strategic thinking is ultimately what it takes to 'win' out on Capital Hill, but I happen to think that some things are worth fighting for. I happen to think that there are some principles that should not be compromised. Unfortunately, the budget President Obama is presenting to congress crosses a line for me and I'm bummed. O-bummer.
The budget being presented (to quote a recent Huffington Post article), “attacks programs that assist the working poor, help the needy heat their homes, expand access to graduate-level education and undermine that type of community-based organizations that gave the president his start in Chicago.” I completely get that he is trying to overcome the largest deficit in our history. As a minister, I just happen to have a problem with him trying to do it on the backs of the lower and middle class. Go figure.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.” Approximately, 75% of the people in the US fall into the categories of lower and middle class. These are the people whose backs must bare the burden of this proposed budget. But this shouldn't be a game of numbers, which is what placing the deficit recovery burden on the lower and middle classes does. This should be a game of dollars. Considering that the upper class in the United States, the top 25%, own approximately 75% percent of the wealth, the solution needs to fall more squarely on their shoulders... but it doesn't, because they own Washington and don't have to bend their backs.
We, the working (and want to be working) class, must take a message from our brothers and sisters in Egypt. When will we stop bowing down with bent backs for the wealthy to ride as we labor? When will we cast aside the yoke of the lower and middle classes that the wealthy and well-to-do are only all to glad to use to steer us towards their will?
In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Those on the right love to quote scripture when in gives them an upper hand, but it is time to claim the gospel reality back. I do not want a church state, but I do want Christians to claim the gospel reality that lightens the burdens of the weary, gives hope to the hopeless and a hand up to those who have fallen down.
Mr. President, we the people, respectfully reject your budget. I personally refuse to believe (being the good Christian that you are) that you really think the solution to the deficit burden should be placed on the backs of those already weary with work, weary with finding work, weary with unmanageable hospital bills, weary with worries of sending kids to college and paying for our own retirement - worries so great that our backs are already bent from the strain of reality in such a way that it is hard, almost unbearable, to continue to bow our backs up every time the powerful try to break them and along with them our will.
We need you Mr. President. We need you to be our voice. With the state of our great nation this is no longer a negotiable point. This is a line that must not be crossed. A budget that takes further advantage of those who suffer the most is not acceptable.
We need you Mr. President, but here's the thing: as much as you have done for us (and I do see what you have done), we are Americans - we will bow our backs up again if we must, but we elected you so it would be easier, not harder. Please do not forget that. Please do not forget us. I promise you, either way, we will not forget.