“This is just un-American! This is not the way things should be in my country…”
I took careful note of these words, as I sat in a bar and listened to a friend venting about his struggle. It was the week between Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, and my friend (we’ll call him “Dave”), a former colleague from the media industry who has been unemployed for several months, did not have an optimistic outlook for 2010.
“I figured that I’d go ahead and get the ‘Obama loan’” Dave told me as he explained the difficulty he had with his mortgage. By “Obama loan,” he was referring to the “Making Home Affordable” program, the Obama Administration’s effort to prevent home foreclosures and to “help” those who have difficulty keeping up with their loan payments.
The program enabled Dave to get his house re-financed, which in turn lowered his monthly payment amount. But for all the good that the program provided, there were strings attached.
Dave’s credit score was dramatically lowered in the process. Then, because of his lower credit score, two of his charge card accounts were cancelled. And now, so Dave told me, “the feds” (I presume by this he meant employees of the U.S. Department of the Treasury) monitor his checking and savings accounts, to make sure that he maintains a certain “minimum balance,” while also ensuring that he does not exceed a certain “maximum balance.”
It was a sad and bizarre tale, from a guy who for two years preached the gospel of Barack (he was an ardent Obama supporter even back when Hillary Clinton was the presumed 2008 Democratic presidential nominee), and who once proudly ran for public office as a liberal Democrat in the Republican-leaning state of Arizona.
Yet, after having experienced first-hand what was thought to be “Obama’s benevolence,” Dave had concluded that it is actually “just un-American,” and that “this is not the way things should be in my country…”
I’m guessing that there are a lot of “Daves” around the United States right now. While the President’s plummeting popularity may be based mostly on things that we can all observe publicly, I suspect that there are also many Americans who have had private, personal experiences with the many new ways that our government has intervened into the private economy, and what was purported to be an offer of “help” turned out to be a “cure” that was more painful than the ailment.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.