Vol. 7    No. 23
NOVEMBER 15, 2012

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000
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EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                               Challenges Ahead
I, like so many other people in the Madison area, felt a part of something special when President Barack
Obama appeared before the City County Building on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. on November 5 before a
cheering 18,000 person crowd. The President had a different demeanor this time as opposed to his
October 4th appearance on Bascom Hill on the UW-Madison campus. Then President Obama had just
“lost” the first debate in Denver the night before and he came to Madison to regain his momentum and
reposition himself as the crowd of 30,000 cheered him on.

On November 5, President Obama appeared to be more relaxed as if he could feel victory in his bones
and exuded a relaxed confidence as he spoke to the crowd. And after his speech, while the President
would normally just do a round of handshakes — and nothing more — this time around he was observed
giving folks hugs and signing a document or two. In his heart, President Obama knew he had won.

And while the exuberance of victory will certainly last on some level through January 21 when the
President has his public swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol — he will have already
been sworn in at a private ceremony on January 20 as mandated by the Constitution — the President will
already be hard at work on many of the issues facing us as a country even as I write this column.
President Obama’s historic victory on November 6 was like the first win in a NBA final series. You have
to feel good about that first win and you do gain some momentum with that victory. But if you don’t stay
focused and keep your eye on the prize, your team will lose the series in five games.

First up on the President’s plate is leading the country away from the “fiscal cliff” that the U.S. Congress
created when it couldn’t agree on deficit reduction measures. The fiscal cliff will automatically trigger
severe indiscriminate budget cuts on December 31 — enacted with no policy rhyme or reason — that
most economists predict would plunge the U.S. economy back into recession, if not depression. The
Congress must affirmatively act before then — and the President sign the law — even if it is to “punt” the
resolution of the issue to the next Congress.

A day after that, the Bush tax cuts expire. Everyone received a tax cut when these were implemented by
President George W. Bush back in his first term and so everyone’s taxes would go up on January 2. But
one must keep in mind that the wealthiest Americans received most of the tax cuts. And the capital gains
tax has been routinely lowered, which is the main source of income for more well-off Americans, to the
point where many pay lower taxes than middle class Americans who rely on wages for their income.

In addition to these tax cuts expiring, the two-percent reduction in the employee contribution to Social
Security is also set to expire. I personally don’t mind that “tax” going up as those contributions will
strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund, ensuring that Social Security will be there for future
generations.
President Obama campaigned on allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire while
leaving the tax cuts for the middle class intact. Over 60 percent of the American people support this and
President Obama is using the momentum of his election to forcefully advocate for his position and will be
out on the road in the near future speaking to the American people about his position and obtaining their
support.

These are just two issues — the fiscal cliff and tax cuts — that President Obama will have to resolve
before he is even sworn in for a second term. There are many national and international issues that he
will have to deal with in his second term.

President Obama will face a different environment during his second term. No longer will he have the
Republicans conspiring on January 21 to prevent his reelection for as the results of November 6
showed, it is the Republicans who will have to worry about getting reelected. They have to show
progress in solving the nation’s issues or they will surely be replaced.

How well President Obama succeeds in his second term depends on you and me. There is a reason that
President Obama will continue to leave the Capitol Beltway to address the American people. Especially
before the 2014 national election when many Congressmen will face reelection, President Obama will
need our support — President Obama always said “You did that” when referring to the accomplishments
of his first term — to enact legislation and formulate policies that once again begin to build the middle
class, which is what he considers his mandate to be.

You and I must continue to be politically active in support of the President in order to achieve victory in
this “seven-game” series. Yes we can! Si se puede!
***

We also congratulate our newly elected senator Tammy Baldwin. Two years ago when Tammy announced
that she was running for the seat being vacated by Senator Herb Kohl, many were skeptical that a
Madison liberal could win a statewide seat, especially with the tons of money that would be spent on the
race courtesy of the Citizens United ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. Tammy proved them all wrong. You
just have to love it when someone wins against the odds. With her many years of outstanding public
service, Tammy deserved to win and did. And it is a relief to know that at least in Wisconsin, you don’t
have to be a millionaire to be a U.S. Senator. Congratulations Tammy!