Open Letter to President of All the People

Written by William Pauwels on March 5, 2013

Obama_and_Biden_families_on-stage_at_the_2012_Democratic_National_ConventionMarch 3, 2013

Dear President Obama,

I do not understand your priorities in this your second and final term as President of the United States. You are clinging to a political orientation and strategy – perhaps appropriate in the past – but totally inappropriate for a President of all the people in his final term.

Your ongoing harangue against Republicans – perhaps effective in a competitive campaign – seems totally inappropriate in the final term of a President of all the people. It seems you should be welcoming ideas from all sources – even those you were required to oppose during a competitive campaign. 

It is wrong to exaggerate your mandate, which will only attract stronger opposition and criticism.  You should be responding to the glaring challenges facing our nation – unemployment – deficit government spending – and excessive and growing government debt. Note how President Clinton protected his legacy in his second term by working across the aisle on issues with broad support.

The federal government is loaded with excessive and unnecessary spending opportunities that should be eliminated in your second term. As you know, Sen. Tom Coburn has identified dozens of opportunities of wasteful, duplicative, unnecessary and obsolete spending situations.

Furthermore, the government is engaged in functions and services that could best be handled by the private sector, e.g., the Postal Service, Amtrak, airport security, real estate financing, student loans, medical insurance, education, etc. These are prime targets for the elimination of government spending – by any objective evaluation.

The government is also engaged in many contradictory efforts. For example, the Federal Reserve is pumping over $80 billion into the economy every quarter. Its purpose is to stimulate economic activity, prosperity, employment, etc. Yet, your Administration is calling for an increase of 24% in the minimum wage – to $9 per hour. Yet even amateur economists recognize that the minimum wage – especially a higher minimum wage – adversely affects the employment of our youth and the low-skilled segments of our population.  Frankly, the minimum wage should be eliminated – in favor of a “negative income tax” (income subsidy) for workers earning less than $18,000 per year.  That would cause a surge of employment – eliminate unemployment – and stimulate the overall economy.

Economists understand that national prosperity is a function of the collective productivity of our citizens. Yet our government taxes success and productivity – while rewarding idleness, via excessive unemployment compensation for almost 2 years. Similarly, the government pumps money into questionable developments and businesses – areas that have more than adequate employment opportunities – while failing to encourage free enterprise activities that supports youth and low-skilled employment.

Needless to say, I could go on; but government inconsistency is everywhere.  It would seem appropriate for the Chief Executive of the United States to eliminate this wastefulness and ineffectiveness and these contradictions.

Mr. President – it is time for you get out of your political and campaign mode and to demonstrate that you are indeed a competent and successful Chief Executive – by addressing the real problems facing our nation and society. Gay-rights, birth control, “social justice,“ etc. are not the strategic problems facing our nation at this time. You have done your part to address these issues. Time and momentum must take them forward from here. They may have been effective political levers – but it’s time to leave them behind. It is time for you to solve the strategic problems that will secure our nation’s future and your legacy.

I hope and pray that these thoughts will reach your evening reading pile and that you will give them appropriate consideration.

In God we must trust – but we must do our part!


Image: The Obama and Biden families on-stage, 2012 Democratic National Convention; source: White House (P090612CK-0875); author:White House/Chuck Kennedy; public domain

William Pauwels
William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.