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April 9th, 2011
03:20 PM ET

Letters to the President: #810 'Grateful? For what?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: At the last possible moment, a budget deal was done to turn aside a government shutdown, so that’s what I’m writing about.

Dear Mr. President,

I know that voters should feel relieved and maybe even grateful that you, your fellow Dems, and the Repubs finally managed to work out a budget deal in the final minutes before a government shutdown.

I know the consequences if you had not managed the trick would have been bad, and the stage for future budget wrangling would be even worse, if that is possible.

And yet, I suspect a great many citizens feel more as if they have been held hostage and they were finally released after many days, and much anxiety. Did you hear any great cheers arising beyond the Beltway once the deal was announced? I’m guessing the answer is no.

To be honest, I was counting up the days that have passed since you introduced the budget in February of 2010, and it was just mind blowing. To think that one of the greatest governments the world has ever known could find itself so paralyzed, so unable to act on such a basic matter as a budget, defies belief.

For whatever opinions people may have of your health care reform legislation, or financial fixes, or whatever, I have a suspicion that if you’d told voters ahead of time that the budget itself would come down to such a crisis, some of them would have surely said “Then tend to that first.”

Anyway, congratulations, I guess, on finally getting down to a deal, but I don’t think you should expect a lot of glad-handing over it in your upcoming travels. Seriously, you proudly announced that the Washington Monument will be open? That’s like me expecting a trophy for just paying my bills. No one would give me one, and they would think me daft for expecting it.

Hope your Saturday is going well. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Virgil Wulf

    Equality in pay checks and taxes, no billionaire politics and $100 million cap for the American dream. Another words no Medieval Economics. We have replaced Kings with Billionaires. Their about selfishness and greed and they preach this through their vast fortunes. (Tea party and the Koch brothers) I'm not going to be a serf in their Medieval Capitalist system. Either they become Equality patriots or off with their heads. Its the best of time or the worst of times.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  2. Ed Johnson

    It saddens me with the way our government consistently fails the American people. I'm so tired of these petty pathetic leaders of our community, acting like childish spoiled delinquents ready to take their ball and go home if they don’t get their way. For decades they have sat on their collective backsides doing just enough to ensure their next election and catering to corporate America. But doing nothing to ensure that all Americans succeed. Hence the gap between the rich and the poor. When you hear about the congress or about the senate, its never in regards to how the demacrats or republicans have helped America. It's in regards on which side won. Apparently the American people have been looking at it wrong. The congress and the senate arnt here to help us, they're here to compete against eachother. Obviously, that's more beneficial then working together. Like its a race. First side to 1000 wins?
    Well I say congratulations. YOU WIN... that a 1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee. You guys rock!

    April 10, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  3. madderkayne

    this is in response to your poll on the home page about who do you trust with the budget? republicans or democrats...I was puzzled why a huge NEITHER option was available.
    Both parties have proved their ineptitude at accomplishing anything and both parties have yet to address the real problem with the economy and that is that the only thing we export(Truly) is US Dollars and there is absolutely 0% chance of that solution doing anything more than driving us further down the rabbit hole

    April 9, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  4. Stephen, 1SG U.S. Army (Retired)

    Finally, those boneheads in Congress voted to extend the budget for a week so our service men and women will get paid. About time I'd say. Anyone in congress who voted against funding of military pay for our service men and women during time of war should be considered traitors. It should be treason for Congress to consider not paying our service men and women in time of war. Those congress men and women who voted against funding our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines pay in time of war should be arrested by Federal law enforce and charged with treason. It isn't just Egyptians who can use social networking to protest their government.

    April 9, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
  5. Kelly

    This country is in so much trouble, and the american people are suffering, and no one in Washington seems to care, that people don't have jobs, or food to feed their families, or are losing their homes. When are you people going to help us, the people who put you where you are. You have given money to companies and banks to bail them out, who is going to bail us out. We the american people need help!!!

    April 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  6. Fred Campbell

    I just find this whole thing appalling, not only did the government use the militaries livelihood hostage to make a point, but come to find out, that our armies pay was already adjusted to where they were suppose to receive half, thanks to the information super highway, Soldiers can check their mid month leave earnings statement a week before they are scheduled to get paid, everyones pay showed half, I called CNN and they were aware of it, yet no one reported it, leading me and about 500 of my army buddies to think that we are nothing but pawns to a crooked government, who we defend with OUR LIVES. Then the president came on tv and boldly lied totally to everyone. My trust is gone for this government. May God help us!!!

    April 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  7. Daniel from Tell City Indiana

    I respect CNN for their ongoing stories that cover the struggles of everyday people. With that said, I am one of those everyday people, and it bothers me to see so much stupidity in this world including our great country. The thought that the government was facing and still facing a shutdown is beyond me.

    We The People continue to struggle in these hard economic times, only to see or hear that our elected officials are battling over what seems to be their egos. There are very few times that I have been ashamed of being born and raised in this great country, and this is one of those times.

    Now I am not a college graduate nor do I claim to be the smartest of people, but what others seem to lack in common sense I try to make up for. Here is a thought, Japans economic downfall and horrible effects of the tsunami and earthquake are crippling their government. Why cant we as a country help them out more while also decreasing our debt as a whole.

    My suggestion would be to loan the japanese government a portion of our debt, possably being 1 trillion dollars and charging a 10% annual interest until the loan is paid off in full. Which could amount to 100 billion dollars taken off our debt annualy until the loan is paid in full. It would be a win win situation for both the japanese and the United States government.

    April 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm |