Thanks to Joe Biden for saying it in bumper sticker language--Osama bin Laden is dead, GM is alive.
However, when Republicans ask us if we are better off than we were four years ago, it would do us well to remind everyone where NC's Republican Senator Richard Burr thought we were almost exactly four years ago--
In the fall of 2008, during that year's financial crisis, Burr described his response to problems in the U.S. financial system:http://en.wikipedia.org/....
"On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, "Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to go tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday." I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine [sic] the last thing you were going to get was cash."
This statement attracted considerable attention from the national press when an April 2009 story in the News and Observer made it more widely known. In late April, Burr told WFAE, a public radio station in North Carolina, "Absolutely I'd do it [again]." He said that "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week."
This quote should also be brought up when Republicans talk about the need for "predictability" in markets before business will begin once again investing. We should absolutely connect the greater sense of security we have--both internationally and domestically--to the idea of whether or not we are better off.
I for one, can never forget the feeling of insecurity brought on by Presidents who love war more than peace, who protect their cronies more than they protect the American people.
During the last Republican administration, I literally woke up every morning for weeks wondering if there was going to be another terrorist attack.
For months, I was afraid to open mail from strangers, worried that it would contain anthrax.
For years, I was afraid to turn on the radio, wondering where we would be going to war next.
Even when it wasn't about foreign policy, the Republican Congress and the Bush administration managed to undermine any sense of security I might have in my future. After all, what kind of President stands up before the nation's citizens and says that Social Security can no longer be paid because it's backed up by nothing but filing cabinets full of IOUs?
Do I feel better off?
Do I feel that the world is more solid beneath my feet because I know I can rely on the government to protect my savings?
Because I have as a president someone who's bringing our troops home from war, rather than looking for excuses to send them?
A president who is committed to saving Medicare and Social Security so that I can have live my old age in dignity rather than dependence?
A president who has made sure that even before Medicare I can buy health insurance in spite of a pre-existing condition?
Yes, it's a tightrope act. Yes, unemployment is still high.Yes, my husband and I were making more money five years ago, it's true. Yes, unemployment is still high.
But we are no longer falling off a cliff.
And we are no longer living in fear. And for that alone, I am grateful.