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Editorial: Congratulations, Mr. President

Today President Obama joins Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on the list of modern presidents elected to a second term. We congratulate him.

We know what Obama will do in his second term because it will be a continuation of what he set out to do when he first took office: improve the nation’s economy, reduce the unemployment rate, increase America’s ability to compete by improving the education of its citizens, protect the nation from threat, extract it from war, reduce the deficit and combat climate change.

Our hope now is that Republicans, free of the requirement to be another brick in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wall against a second Obama term, will be willing to search for compromise. Their constituents should demand that they do so and keep them accountable. The nation can’t afford a repeat of the current do-nothing Congress.

Nor, as the recent devastating storm confirmed, can the nation afford politicians who continue to argue about climate change while the water rises. The United States must take immediate action to reduce emissions of the gases fueling climate change and prepare a comprehensive plan to cope with rising seas, fiercer storms, the more frequent inundations of coastal areas like those devastated by Hurricane Sandy, longer droughts, more frequent wildfires and all the other ills that accompany a rapid warming of the planet.

The president made a good start in his first term by doubling fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks over the next dozen years and supporting efforts to develop clean energy sources. But very little has been done to prepare the nation to deal with the new climate reality by protecting its coastal cities or moving them gradually inland.

The president should build on his signature health reform legislation by intensifying efforts to reduce the cost of health care. In doing so he would put a dent in the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid, the federal programs that are among the biggest impediments to a balanced budget.

Obama should lead an effort to reform and simplify the nation’s tax code, an effort that must go far beyond simply letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire. He should continue the attempt to improve America’s public schools that began with the well-meaning but badly flawed No Child Left Behind Act. His Race to the Top program to reward schools that improve student outcomes and improve teacher effectiveness has already begun to pay dividends. That program should be expanded and higher education made more affordable.

The president should continue the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure that began with the stimulus program to stop the economy’s slide into recession. Doing that without adding to the deficit will be tricky but possible at a time when the federal government can borrow money for practically nothing. The nation’s roads, bridges, rail systems, power grids and other systems are in such poor shape that the cost of refurbishing and upgrading them will be paid for by increased productivity. Abroad, the goal for the president should continue to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and foster democracy abroad without becoming entangled in more wars. At the risk of asking too much, we encourage the president to renew efforts to achieve compromise on immigration reform. Our current policy is neither efficient nor humane.

Much of what the president accomplishes in the next four years will depend on the willingness of Republicans to give up their policy of thwarting him whenever possible. The president began his first term, perhaps naively, with a promise to change Washington and work to end bipartisanship. He gave up on that particular change when his efforts failed. He should, in his second term, try to do so again, but with clearer eyes and lower expectations.

As both he and his opponent chanted mantra-like during the campaign, Americans can accomplish so much if they pull together.

Legacy Comments19

Hi Guys ! To say I don't like this new format would be an understatement! I give Kudos to the President. Nhdriver

I believe this new site is a disaster, it is common to have snags, but signing on is a huge snag, which does not bode well for more issues. You have to be very careful who you select for your webmaster. otherwise you get what we have here. Seems like a lot of folks are missing here, so I assume they are frustrated with signing on. I have called and E mailed and get no results. They do not call back,m answer e mails, etc. So we are on our own. Today it took me ten tries to get on. Sure would be nice if once you are on, you stay on for the day. I think everybody is having a bad time with this, not just one political party or the other. Folks missing on both sides of the aisle.

Looks as though I am definitly out of touch with the folks . I really was shell shocked that the President won. I thought the folks who were not happy with the way this country was going and the economy would win the day. Yet those same folks decided that the President should get another term. But, the turnout was very good. Better than expected. I wish I could say that I am hopeful, but I am not. What I worry about is that the change will be one that will put us in more financial hardship, the EPA will be able to put out more mandates and that will cost jobs. The reason I say that, is because folks are not really worried about the economy, they are more focused on social issues, green mandates, higher taxes, and more entitlements. So for me I worry the economy is about to get even worse. I sure as heck hope I am wrong. I would hate to see this country go into a recession. But I gotta tell ya, I am really worried it will.

BunnyHop, you are not out of touch with folks. This country is split directly down the middle on all issues. The President won because he had a good technical strategy. He played the war on woman card a trumped up phenomena, he play the Rich Romney card, he played the class envy card, he played the race card at times. Romney ran a much more principled campaign, much more honorable. Obama was out to win at any cost, for his legacy. Let's hope he changes the tone in Washington this time around. I too worry about more financial hardship. I have never in my life worried about my job and how the economy might affect it like I have over the last 4 years. If we go into a recession again, folks will be livid, all of the green mandates will not accomplish anything, higher taxes will just be spent on more social programs. I don't think that you are wrong, there are just not enough of us who live in high population centers to change the electoral college. People in the auto industry are just as worried as you and I but they voted for the candidate who they believe will benefit them. People on entitlements did the same. Here is how it breaks down..........if you depend on any programs, if you believe that somehow the wealthy don't pay enough, if you believe that the labor union is out for you, if you are so focused on abortion and issues like that then you voted for the person that you felt would better represent your views. If you are a self determined, entrepreneurial, driven, ambitious beyond just having a job you will pay for all of what those folks voted for. Don't worry, there will now be compromise. What we need to do is organize, moderate on some things like abortion. If Republicans were pro-choice but against funding and late term they would garner many more votes. Instead they take the all or nothing approach......that needs to change. Once in office we can do what Democrats do. We need to play the game their way.

Financial markets are all down today. Massive sell off............... What do smart investors know that the fine unnamed Concord Monitor Editorial Board doesn't seem to know???? Maybe that "4 more years" really mean four more years of the same economic problems and a President that can offer very little solutions. At this point, I say give the Dems whatever they want and the Republicans should stop fighting them. Maybe if we allow them to bring the country to financial and social ruin, the voters for the Dems will finally feel the pain of their vote. Obviously, they are not feeling the effects enough now.

JM, this new site format will not allow me to post schedules and spreadsheets like I used to. I just wrote a lengthy reply but, as frequently usual now, the comment was lost when I clicked submit. Very frustrated with the site now.

OK Buzz, check out my post below for instructions on how to log on. Once you write post, copy it, then submit. If it is lost, go back in immediately to the comment box and paste it and submit it again. That works. I get tired just having to jury rig the posts. Now to your point that you can't post schedules and spreadsheets, well, that just proves that there IS a GOD!

I'm hip to the copy before submit procedure. I learned that after the first time. Here's how it goes under the new CM downgrade to standardized, cost cutting, run of the mill: Click reply, then spend time writing the reply, then make a copy before clicking submit, then wait for about a minute for the blank screen, then wait and wait and wait for the blank screen to stay blank, then close the site and go to the site again to sometimes find that I'm signed in again, then find the editorial, then find the post, then click reply again, then paste the comment that I copied, then click submit again, then hope there's not another sign in message like there was again on my previous post. Way to go CM - on downgrading the site to compete with other internet sites. So you don't ideas and analyses that are presented with detailed schedules and spreadsheets?

To $Earthling below, can you gloat just a little more. Do Republicans watch Archie reruns when we are not watching Fox News? No, we are working to support the 47% of the people who don't pay any taxes. One pundit had it right last night, he said: "face it, half of the population wants "stuff" and they want government to provide it". There are self sufficient people and people who want bennies. Last night about half of those supporting the president wants bennies. Not SS or Medicare but government handouts, not to pay any income taxes, etc. Then you have those who own fancy homes on the ocean and lakes who have no issue with those between $75,000 and $125,000 pay for the bennies. I have come to the conclusion that in order to get the country out of the recession that property tax payers should take a second mortgage (guaranteed by the govt) out on their homes for 33% of the value of their home. Therefore, if you had a home worth $201,500 you would take out a mortgage of $67,000 paid directly to the government. If you had a home worth $670,800 you would take out a mortgage of $221,364 to help the cause. Are you willing to do that on your home?

At least you seem to be coming around on the revenue side of the equation. And I would probably go along with the 33% idea if everyone else did (including Romney on his $12 million and $10 million mansions in CA and NH), although I don't think it's the best solution by any means. What about the billionaires who have a huge portion of their wealth tied up in the stock market, in oil derivative speculation (like the Kochs), or in one of the largest privately owned corporations in the world (like the Kochs) - why just expect homeowners to fix the debt problem that was mainly caused by handing out huge tax breaks to the wealthy (like the Kochs)? So what's with the $670,800 figure? Let's see ....how might that oddball figure compare to the Koch's $44,000,000,000 wealth figure? : 670,800/44,000,000,000 = .0015% And let's see how a house that someone hypothetically owns with an oddball assessed value of $223,738 (not including a 25 acre current use tax break) compares to the Koch's wealth figure: So 223,738/44,000,000,000 = .0005% I'd say the .0005% guy should work together with the .0015% guy as a little guy team to ask the $44,000,000,000/($670,800+$223,738) = 4,918,740% big guys to step up and help solve the problem by paying a higher tax rate (like they did before the debt math flunkies, Reagan and Bush, cut their taxes and ran up the debt and finance charges to the current levels).

Let's see, I was just kidding but I do understand why you want to shift property taxes to income taxes. Of course, if you have already made your income, you don't have much to worry about except getting other people to subsidize your property as that is the reverse of what is happening now. So, my home is on 3 acres and valued at 178,341. My effective property taxes are right around $5,000. If my household income is $85,000 (which it is not) and we instituted a 5% income tax I would pay about $4,250 and added to the property tax (which those supporting and income tax claim would be greatly reduced minus the school tax) my tax bill would be $743. $4,250+$743=$4993. $7 less that I would pay, now, how is that going to increase revenue? For me it would mean less of an overall mortgage payment with taxes added in, but, it would not pay more into the state coffers. Beyond that, what is to stop a town from spending more on the schools anyway after the state redistributes the money to towns for schools. And.......beyond that, how do we know that the same shenanigans of creating ways to spend even more money would not continue. The only way would be to pass a constitutional amendment earmarking those funds ONLY for education and infrastructure. Democrats would never agree with that. They want more money to spend more money.

Fully half of the population do not agree with the Obama agenda so for the Monitor to suggest that this is a mandate, much less a mandate on climate change. Nothing was built by the stimulus. Fully half of the population do not agree with allowing the Bush Tax Cuts, and lets me honest, they are tax brackets, to expire. Fully half of the population do not agree with most of his policies. When we elect a president, we elect a spokesperson, not a person to go to Washington and work unilaterally. We elect a president as a spokesperson and leader, head of government. The Congress has NO obligation to "go along" with policies if they feel that they do not serve the constituents which they represent. Beyond that, Obama needs to learn how to play nice and reach across the aisle. This editorial is expected gobblygook from an editorial staff too partisan to be objective.

Nearly "half of the population" may have had their memory erased by a Men In Black flashy thing because they can't seem to remember that their party is responsible for 30 years of Republican tax cut/finance charge/war for no reason/crash the economy debt run up to the current level.

Sorry Buzz, but we will not see any movement in the economy for the next four years. That includes real estate. May your chickens come home to roost or you can house swap and then we all will be better off. Just house swap in another state please.

I'm wondering if all Republicans watch Archie reruns when they aren't watching Faux.

Earthling, You have won me over to the darkside. We should allow Hassan to have her beloved Income tax. My support comes with a caveat though. I would respectfully request that you post how much you paid in an income tax and what your property tax decreased. My guess is that you end up paying more to the state with an income tax and your property tax would be marginally reduced, if at all.

OK JM, if your property was worth $670,800 and the tax rate (to round it out) was $20 per thousand, your property tax would be $13,461. If the school portion was 2/3 of that and if it were removed from the property tax, the effective property tax would be $3,399. Then if you earned a mere $100,000 per year your income tax would be $5,000. That means that this particular taxpayer would save$5,000 or so and shift his / her burden to others. Nice tax break. Now, the local town would see this extra taxing ability available and they would supplement the school, build a new police station, new town hall, new fire engines, cruisers and slowly the property taxes would go back up. In five years it would be the same as it is now PLUS $5000 in income taxes. YOU ARE CORRECT!

Oyyy...where to begin. So Obamas re election is a mandate for doing something about climate change? Did I miss it? Did he even mention it? Debate it? Did anyone even ask? You said "The president should continue the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure that began with the stimulus program to stop the economy’s slide into recession." Yet, I cant point to anything, not one thing that was rebuilt or built with the stimulus. As Mark Steyn says, you could have built 83 sea walls for the price of one stimulus. Or rebuilt the nations electrical grid a few times over. Did I miss it? A new dam? Pipeline? Anything???

As a matter of fact, the Main Street that runs through my town ( a state highway, reworked with stimulous funds ), the I-93 widening project, paid with stimulous funds. I could go on and on, but that probably won't change you ossified viewpoint.

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