Monthly Chairman’s Column – by Mike Lieberman
On November 6, I am voting for Barack Obama. As the chair of a local Democratic Party, that likely comes as no surprise. I support Barack Obama because he is willing to invest in America and Americans. Like Barack Obama, I believe in significantly increasing funding for higher education, through Pell Grants and management of student loan rates. Like Barack Obama, I believe that all Americans should have the opportunity to buy health insurance to protect themselves and the ones they love. And like Barack Obama, I believe in incentivizing American innovation to expand the American workforce and prepare us for the 21st Century global marketplace.
This is not to say that I believe Barack Obama’s record has been perfect. For example, I am worried about the ever-increasing debt our country continues to accrue, and I wish we had begun a drawdown of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan sooner.
But even though Barack Obama is not perfect, the choice for me in this year’s election nonetheless remains crystal clear. This is in part because, over the last two months, Mitt Romney has demonstrated himself to be eminently un-presidential – and indeed, completely out of touch with the global community he seeks to lead. Take for example his recent comment that 47 percent of the people in America are “victims” who do not pay income taxes, and instead depend on the government for handouts to which they feel “entitled.”
As numerous commentators have made clear since these comments were released, a large portion of the 47 percent Mitt Romney refers to are hardly “victims” – they include the elderly, military members, or other hard working Americans who have paid taxes for years through payroll taxes, sales taxes, and other mechanisms, and even now contribute to our society in countless ways.
Add onto this Mitt Romney’s recent comment that to be middle-class in this country means that you make between $200,000-$250,000 per year. Never mind that the median household income for a family in America is actually roughly $50,000. Indeed, even in Arlington, one of the wealthiest communities in the country, the median household income is just over $100,000.
And add on top of that Mitt Romney’s repeated thumbing of his nose at the rest of the world – whether by insulting Great Britain on the eve of the London Olympics, or provoking Russia at seemingly every opportunity, or wrongfully accusing the Obama Administration of “apologizing” for the recent attacks on embassies in the Middle East.
Mitt Romney’s comments, both candid and public, demonstrate that he is not only out of touch, but disdainful of those who make less money than he does, those who have to struggle just to get by, or those who do not have the benefit of being born in this country.
A President’s job is to represent all Americans – whether he agrees with them or not. It is also to lead the world by example through cooperation and mutual respect of our allies and their citizens. Across the board, Mitt Romney has shown he is simply not up to the job.
And so, given the choice between a proven leader in Barack Obama and an opponent in Mitt Romney simply not ready to be president, my decision is clear. Barack Obama will receive my vote on Election Day, with the sincere hope that he will continue to advance the policies needed to help all Americans, not just the wealthy few who happen to share Mitt Romney’s good fortune. I hope you will join me on November 6 in returning President Obama to office.