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Praying for success




April 29 marked Obama’s first 100 days as president. In our view, two issues have dominated the Obama presidency so far.

First was his decision to continue the Bush administration policy to borrow huge sums to restart the economy and initiate a budget to advance his social programs.

The second was to commit American military power to escalate the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both decisions will have great influence on the remainder of his presidency.

We believe the economy will continue to worsen. The soon-to-bereleased stress test of 19 major banks will show continued weaknesses. Chrysler will be sold to Fiat, and GM will probably go into bankruptcy or at least be a shell of its former self. Unemployment increases will continue, though at a slower rate. The awaited turnaround is months, if not years, in the future.

Overseas, Iran will continue down the path to production of nuclear weapons, North Korea is emboldened, and Afghanistan and Pakistan are closer today to becoming radical Islamic states than they have been since 9/11. Europe will balk at committing resources financially and militarily to reverse these trends.

While all of the above transpires, the president will spend political capital to advance his domestic social agenda of health care, green energy and education simultaneously and at least in the short term drive us deeper into debt.

To be fair, B ush doubled the debt in ei ght years and Obam a proposes to double it again during his tenure.

To his credit, the president has articulated a vision for America that, in our view, is sound.

It could become a kinder, gen tler America that improves care for its citizens, listens and consults, rather than dictates, on tough overseas problems while at the same time remaining true to American basic principles of liberty and freedom.

His vision is clear. His rhetoric supports the vision. In the next 100 days and beyond he must somehow convince the American people with substance, not rhetoric, that we have the financial, military, political and diplomatic power to move forward in each of these areas without serious setbacks or defeats.

Put in simpler terms, we understand where he wants to go. Now we must see how we pay for the trip in real dollars and lives.

Much is at stake at home and abroad, perhaps more so since 1929 and 1941 combined. We pray that he succeeds and also has fallback positions when the inevitable setb acks occur.

— The Commonwealth-Journal, Somerset


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