Friday, December 31, 2010

Opinion - The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The light at the end of the tunnel
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson
Dec. 31, 2010

In a few hours another year will be wrapping up. Some may disagree with me, but I think it will go into the history books as a catastrophic year of unbridled government growth at the expense of our freedoms.
Most voters still want Obamacare repealed and for the first time, Rasmussen says a majority of voters think it will be repealed.
I hope they’re right, but they’re probably whistling in the wind. While next year’s Senate may be cajoled into passing a repeal authored by the House, Obama will likely veto it. An override of that veto would be passed by the House but rejected by the Senate.
Taxes will not go up Saturday, but the budget-busting cost was tremendous. There was so much pork in the final legislation that our pig population in the United States may become an endangered species. Fortunately for those of us who like bacon, sausage or ham with our eggs, both Houses have passed legislation banning pork in the coming year.
We’ll see how that works out.
Confidence in those who represent us remains at record lows, while Pres. Obama’s approval inched to a new high of minus 11 percent. It’s the best I can remember since sometime late in 2009.
Undoubtedly our ‘campaigner extraordinaire’ turned a few heads with his festive “cum-bay-yah” of bipartisanship following the passage of the “Bush tax cuts extension.”
Only a little over a quarter (29 percent) of voters believes Congress has passed legislation that will improve our lives, while slightly less than a quarter (24 percent) believe Obama’s policies have us on the “right track” toward prosperity.
Even the Republican takeover of the House and significant gains in the Senate don’t have voters feeling any more optimistic. A significant majority (59 percent) believes they will be disappointed in the Reps when the next election cycle rolls around.
In summary, voters just don’t seem terribly excited about 2011.
Americans, however, are ingenious. Those who have not yet been poisoned by government largess will still find unique ways to solve their financial needs.
Some will resort to crime, as evidenced by the sharp increase in scams, fraud, robberies, burglaries and home invasions. Some will be grateful for the extension of unemployment benefits as they continue to seek the ideal job that will support them and their families in the manner to which they were accustomed. Others will find work at as many minimum wage part-time jobs as they can in order to pay the rent and utilities, and keep food on the table.
Some will show the enterprise and ingenuity that has made America great by developing new businesses and products and creating jobs for others… assuming of course that government bureaucracy at some level doesn’t shut them down.
Others will do what Americans have done for years. They will vote with their feet. To offset higher expenses and lack of opportunity everywhere else, they will move to states with the lowest unemployment and/or per-capita tax rates. If you want both, South Dakota or New Hampshire provides your answer. Lowest tax rates for the remainder of the top five are in Texas, Colorado and Alabama. The remaining three lowest unemployment rates are found in North Dakota, Nebraska and Vermont.
Ohio ranks 39th in unemployment at 9.8 percent, and 27th in per capita taxation at $1,962.93.
This doesn’t bode well for turning around the mass exodus of our youngest and brightest. Strike one.
One of the actions coming out of our nation’s capitol hasn’t received a lot of attention, probably because those we elected didn’t do it. The EPA – a bunch of bureaucrats who believe they are responsible to no one – did. It has enacted directives that could cost jobs and send our utility bills through the roof.
The target, of course, is the coal industry… a major employer and energy supplier in Ohio. Strike two.
Reports the first of the week indicate that Ohio’s $8.4 billion budget hole now stands at $10 billion. Will it be strike three?
Kasich said he will balance the budget, not only without raising taxes… but actually has removal of state income taxes on his agenda.
I’ve liked the man ever since I first saw him on Fox News, but I never got the impression he was a magician. Is he “Casey at Bat” or our “savior” in the bottom of the ninth?
I have a feeling that with a Republican House and Senate, and Republicans in the top five state posts, a few eyes will be on us to see how we handle our affairs of state in 2011.
Will we be the shining star for all to see, or like Casey in Mudville, will we strike out? Will the coming year reinforce the skepticism of voters nationwide? Or will it be the light at the end of the tunnel for the millions who voted for a better future three months ago?
We’ll see.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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