I have heard a lot of talk lately about President Obama taking on too many problems at once. The economy is the major issue that the country is facing at this point. Candidate Obama made it clear that the President has to be able to tackle multiple issues at once during the campaign. While John McCain was "suspending" his campaign to "rush" back to Washington to work on the bailout package, Obama said, that as President, you have to be able to handle multiple crises at once.
It seems that some people are unable to make the logical link between our economic health and the spiraling cost of healthcare. One of the biggest problems that businesses face is paying for healthcare. From the big three automakers to the small business owner, paying for health insurance for workers can represent the difference between survival and bankruptcy. That doesn't even account for the almost 50 million Americans who do not have healthcare coverage.
If we do not improve our education system, the cost to society will only increases in the long run. The fact that only 50% of African-American students graduate high school represents a massive systemic failure. The cost increases when we allow a generation after generation of young adults to enter adulthood ill-prepared to compete for jobs or to care properly for themselves and inevitably, their children. The cycle of poverty can only be broken if the government takes steps to intervene in the process. Education isn't the only answer to the problem, but it is an important factor in breaking the cycle.
The longer we wait, the worse the problem gets. If now is not the time to address these problems, then when is the time? George Bush spoke on many occasions of the record breaking number of months of growth that took place during his administration. If that were the case, then why wasn't some of that money used for education? Why weren't some of those dollars used for healthcare? According to the Vice President, 9/11 was the reason for that. We were forced to go to war and so our priorities had to change. I don't believe that they would have taken any real steps in those areas, but my point is that even during "good" economic times we have never taken any real steps to address these issues.
The President is trying to make good on the promises he made during his campaign. It is very clear that our current economic crisis is his top priority. However, there are many other pressing issues that also need his attention. We are engaged in two wars, the Middle East conflicts continues to demand our attention, two nuclear nations (Pakistan and North Korea) are potential powder kegs, the drug wars in Mexico are now spilling over our borders, etc., etc., etc. The truth is that the President faces a myriad of problems. It is not only shortsighted but illogical for people to expect him to only handle one thing at a time. The President has explained his reasoning for wanting to change the healthcare system and improve education. They are tied to the long term growth and viability of our nation. Asking the President of the United States to be myopic in his approach is simply moronic.