As I watched (a replay of) President Obama’s speech to Congress a couple of days ago, I found myself really missing and yearning for the great US of A.
For the past few months, I have been fairly immersed in and preoccupied with my new life in Mumbai. Politics in India, and the Anna Hazare movement have kept me enthralled. I have been a bit disassociated with the happenings in the US except via the various internet news sources that I scan and sometimes scrutinize. Location does matter after all. Similarly, I would not have been so engrossed in matters relating to India while in the US.
All this garbage about global this and global that, and the connected world is all well and good, and yes, today we are so much more connected than ever before, but let’s not mislead ourselves. Where we physically are present is where we pay the most attention. When that changes, you can assume that virtual reality has become…well, a reality.
Not that I am biased or anything (!), but it was great to hear President Obama sound like candidate Obama once again. His speech has been described as feisty and bold (by supporters, of course). Even Paul Krugman who has been quite critical of Obama’s compromises, had reluctant admiration and appeared to be pleasantly surprised about the solid content of the American Jobs Bill that he announced.
The Bill makes so much sense! The US desperately needs jobs. It also needs better schools and better infrastructure, not to mention needing businesses – small and big – to hire again. The tax cut incentives will help that program. Plus, parts of the proposed $447 billion jobs package have had bipartisan support in the past. Sure sounds like a win-win-win (to the naive at heart).
In fact, the Bill makes so much sense (it has been written in a way that pays for itself by taxing the wealthiest individuals and corporations – is that fair or not?), that I worry that it just won’t pass through the current ultra partisan politics – demonstrated so vividly during the debates about raising the debt ceiling.
After all, which Republican wants to see Obama succeed with this initiative, given that there are only 14 months left until the next election? These partisan politics instead of helping that country rebuild its core strengths are working to make them disintegrate bit by bit. What a sad state of affairs, where politics trumps people and the nation!
Funny/sad too how, today, so many nations are each going through their own independent and unique crises. One can only hope that they – whether it’s the US or India or any other country – will emerge better and stronger, without too much collateral damage, as they fight their way through their messes.
Come to think of it, which are those special countries not currently undergoing large scale crises? Canada and Switzerland maybe? Must be nice indeed.
Meanwhile, despite my misgivings, I will wait with bated breath to see if Congress does the right thing on the American Jobs Bill. I would welcome returning some day to live in a much stronger America than the one I left, in the midst of its severe economic calamity.