The Sunday breakfast conversation is always lively and usually about sports at the counter of the Highland’s Cafe at 85th Street and Third Avenue, in New York City. However, this week’s talk was all about politics and also extremely animated. The guy to my right had already struck up a conversation with another counter dweller and said: “I’ve always voted Democrat, but I’m worried about my business and Obama’s not showing me anything so I’m gonna give the other guy a chance.”
Like many disgruntled Democrats, he couldn’t utter the name Mitt Romney in public, but it was obvious who he was talking about. The consensus at the counter was clear: forget about social issues and other Republican agendas – we are scared to death about the economy.
The discussion focused on the fact that no one believed the federal government runs efficiently or effectively, so the idea of paying more in taxes to wasteful government agencies is like throwing gasoline on the fire instead of water.
I have conducted my own straw polls in various U.S. cities and I’ve yet to find anyone who believes our government is well run, except for President Obama.
Waste and mismanagement are the words frequently used to describe our federal government, yet I can’t recall the president ever championing or even discussing fiscal reform. Yes, Obama established a bipartisan commission in 2010 to address fiscal reform, but it’s not part of his campaign platform, despite deficit spending surpassing more than one trillion dollars per year.
I’ve been a registered voter for 38 years and I’ve always voted Democrat, straight down the line, but I’m unhappy with out of control spending and incompetent bureaucrats who seem to have no concern or regard about how they spend my hard-earned money.
There are many others like me on the fence – a socially liberal but fiscally concerned silent minority, who are close to or have already abandoned President Obama.
So far, rather than running on issues, President Obama has disappointed me by mounting a Karl Rove-style negative campaign.
I never thought it would happen, but for the second time in a week, I’m out in public talking about giving the other guy a chance.
Rob Taub is a writer and comedian. He is host of Tech Hub on WOR AM radio.