Thursday, May 01, 2008

Barack Obama First Action Reveals Approach

Looking for info how Barack Obama will enable personal responsibility as an approach to solutions to our own problems. But not dismissing for a moment that "government" creates these problems in large measure by how Washington works.

By no means a "libertarian," Barack Obama does have some interesting proposals.

He reveals an overall approach to government by noting his first action as President of the United States...

(Net the Truth Online)

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Taking Our Government Back
Manchester, NH | June 22, 2007
Billions of no-bid, no-strings-attached contracts have been handed out in New Orleans and Iraq and at Walter Reed Medical Center on the sole basis of who you know and the favors you've done, and yet we're somehow surprised when the families in the 9th Ward are still living in trailers, or our soldiers don't have the body armor they need, or our veterans are forced to come home to squalor and neglect.

This isn't the government they deserve. This isn't the America we believe in. And this is the kind of politics that will end when I am President.

Americans of every background and belief are hungry for a new kind of politics -- a people's politics that reconnects them with their government; one that offers not just a vote at the ballot box, but a voice in Washington and an assurance that the leaders we send there will hear it.

The people I've met across this country don't just want reform for reform's sake, they want reform that will help pay their doctor's bills, or ensure that their tax dollars are spent wisely, or put us on the path to energy independence. They want real reform and they're tired of the lobbyists standing in the way.

Look, we can't begrudge businesses for trying to make a profit. That's how the free market works. And every American -- rich or poor -- has the right to lobby their government. That's perfectly fine. But it's time we had a President who tells the drug companies and the oil companies and the insurance industry that while they get a seat at the table in Washington, they don't get to buy every chair. Not anymore.

I know that in every campaign, politicians make promises about cleaning up Washington. And most times, you end up disappointed when it doesn't happen. So it's easy to become cynical - to believe that change isn't possible; that the odds are too great; that this year is bound to be no different from the last.

But I also know what I've seen and what I've done. I know that for me, reform isn't just the rhetoric of a campaign; it's been a cause of my career.

When I arrived in Springfield a decade ago as a state Senator, people said it was too hard to take on the issue of money in politics. Illinois actually had a law that allowed politicians to pocket the money in their campaign accounts for personal use; that allowed any lobbyist or special interest to shower lawmakers with unlimited gifts...

...As a candidate for President, I've tried to lead by example, turning down all contributions from federal lobbyists and the political action committees that the special interests use to pass out campaign money.

Now, it's true that all of this represents a step forward when it comes to reconnecting people with their government. But it's also true that a step forward isn't good enough. Too often in Washington, special interests still exercise an effective veto on our progress, on issues from health care reform and drug costs to energy independence and global warming.

We saw how this happens during the debate over the energy bill this week. In the face of furious lobbying, Congress brushed aside incentives for the production of more renewable fuels in favor of more tax breaks for the oil and gas companies. And while we made some progress on fuel economy standards, we didn't get the bold, long-lasting solution that America needs to break its dependency on foreign oil.

So there's more cleaning up to do in Washington and Congress needs to start doing it so we can finally take action on the big challenges that demand solutions.

But we need to clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. I believe that the responsibility for a people's politics begins with the person who sits in the Oval Office. That is why on my very first day as President, I will launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history to make the White House the people's house and send the Washington lobbyists back to K Street.

First, we will close the revolving door that has allowed people to use their Administration job as a stepping stone to further their lobbying careers.

This Administration tried to fill the top job at the Consumer Product Safety commission with a lobbyist from the same manufacturing industry it's supposed to regulate. If Michael Baroody had taken that job, and he faced a complaint over an unsafe product, whose interest would he have served -- the mother worried about the lead in her child's toy, or the former boss who gave him a special $150,000 severance package on his way out the door?

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