Both President Barack Obama and Vice president Joe Biden have turned to the politics of fear to sell their latest economic stimulus package to the public. They have ratcheted up their ugly rhetoric as such tactics as reason, logic, and merit have failed to bring the American people around to their point of view.
Consider the recent remarks by Biden that "rape and murder will increase" if funding for new police officers doesn't materialize as a result of the failure to pass the president's jobs bill. In the same speech (directed at those who oppose their so-called jobs bill), Biden demonstrated his knack for unintelligent discourse when he stated, "I wish they had some notion what it's like to be on the other side of a gun!"
Somehow Biden would have you believe by his near-moronic remarks that if you were only the victim of violent crime that you would agree with President Obama's job bill. Well, I have not only had a gun pointed at my head, but the blade of a violent criminal's knife pressing against my throat. I couldn't disagree with Obama's job bill more. Not only is what Biden said insensitive and highly offensive, it is simply wrong. Wrong based on the facts, wrong based on logic, and the wrong direction for this country to go.
The latest crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at FBI.gov show that "overall, the estimated volume of violent crimes in 2010 dropped six percent compared to the 2009 figure, the fourth consecutive year it has declined."
How could this be? A 6 percent drop in violent crime last year despite the fact that Obama's job bill hasn't passed and those additional officers are not on the street protecting us. You would think that Obama would reprove Biden for such ill-stated remarks, but Jay Carney, Obama's press secretary, was defending Biden on behalf of the president.
In the old days before metallurgical assaying was well developed, real gold could be identified by means of a touchstone. The assayer would rub the gold against the touchstone and if metal flakes adhered to the touchstone, then it was concluded that it was gold. Obama and Biden tried to convince us the first stimulus package was "jobs-bill gold." Yet when their plan was implemented, few permanent jobs adhered to the economy. Now with Stimulus II, the "jobs bill," they're trying to convince us once again that it's real "jobs-bill gold."
Being a victim of violent crime, I'm a strong supporter of law and order and believe our police perform a critical service that is vitally needed. However, it's clear from the national crime statistics published by the FBI, that our most critical concern for the country at this moment in history is not crime but the lack of a robust economy. Spending scarce financial resources on more police when crime is down has a minimal stimulative effect on the economy.
With respect to stimulating the economy, spending money on government services at all levels is the least stimulative type of spending that can be done. It's much like trying to improve the economic fortunes of a business which cannot make a profit, due to a bloated workforce, by hiring more employees. Businesses make more money when they reduce spending on expenses and increase spending on investments.The government, like a failing business, is already too large and bloated. We need to reduce government expenses at all levels and convert those dollars to private investment, which is the most stimulative type of spending in our economy. A healthy and robust economy will generate much more revenue for the government to use for the hiring of police officers than will Obama's ill-conceived jobs bill.
In days of yore when the fool's gold wouldn't adhere to the touchstone, the huckster wouldn't give up. He would try to convince you with his fallacious arguments that it was the real thing, even though the gold flakes didn't appear. Now we see from the first stimulus package that since the jobs didn't appear, Obama and Biden are resorting to false and fear-promoting arguments about crime going up, (the tactic of the huckster) to sell their "jobs fool's gold" to the American public.
Let's see that the American people not be duped by the huckster as in the olden days. Let's send Obama and Biden, the modern-day hucksters, packing. The politics of fear appear to be the touchstone of the Obama economic plan.
Dickson is a retired executive in the energy and natural resources sector who lives in Pleasant View.