Mr. President: Please stop patronizing Americans

It's time for people to turn that frown upside down and smile from ear to ear. "Happy Days Are Here Again" because according to President Obama the $787 billion stimulus bill "has worked as intended."  Never mind the fact that unemployment is at 9.5 percent and the president assured Americans back in January that the stimulus package would prevent unemployment from reaching 8 percent. During his weekly radio address, this past Saturday, Obama reminded listeners that the stimulus, "has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and business," as well as helped state governments save jobs.

What intrigued me most about the president's radio address wasn't his blatant intellectual dishonesty, but his statement about tax relief.

Less than twenty-four hours before Obama's speech, I was asked by an intern in my office, "has the president implemented any tax relief?" My response was filled with sarcastic laughter, as I told the DePaul University law student, "If you call $13 tax relief than the answer is yes." I explained that the stimulus package included $400 in tax relief (cringing as I said "relief"), which came to about $13 a week and just shy of $8 a week starting in January of next year. But for some reason my colleagues didn't believe me.

"I don't believe any tax relief has been implemented yet," and "I think you're wrong," could be heard from my co-workers who came out of their offices to join the "rip Paulie session." I asked everyone if they noticed a minuscule increase in their checks since April. "I haven't gotten ‘expletive' back in my check," my boss so eloquently proclaimed.

Since we all work for a nonprofit group, there isn't one employee who is making enough money to not qualify for tax relief. But that is exactly the point. The tax relief the president so proudly speaks of is literally unnoticeable. How can American consumers ignite the economy when they don't even notice they have an extra $13 ($26 bi-weekly) in their paycheck? OK, who's kidding who? Even if John Q Public realized he had a couple of extra Abraham Lincoln's in his wallet, what do stimulus bill supporters honestly expect working Americans to do with it? Buy a new television, car or take a well-deserved and needed vacation. Did they honestly believe what amounts to three coffee drinks at Starbucks are going to provide any relief to working families and boost the economy?

What the president calls relief - I call offensive.

As far as Mr. Obama is concerned, he can't be called a liar. During his campaign for the presidency, he promised that 95% of Americans would see their taxes decline. In a sad and meaningless way he kept his promise.

Most disturbing is that he is also fulfilling his promise of "hope" and "change". Unfortunately they can only be found in the words "hopeless" as more and more Americans have no "change" to spare.

Paul Miller serves as communications director for the Sam Adams Alliance, a Chicago-based nonprofit that utilizes new media to promote government accountability and transparency.
It's time for people to turn that frown upside down and smile from ear to ear. "Happy Days Are Here Again" because according to President Obama the $787 billion stimulus bill "has worked as intended."  Never mind the fact that unemployment is at 9.5 percent and the president assured Americans back in January that the stimulus package would prevent unemployment from reaching 8 percent. During his weekly radio address, this past Saturday, Obama reminded listeners that the stimulus, "has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and business," as well as helped state governments save jobs.

What intrigued me most about the president's radio address wasn't his blatant intellectual dishonesty, but his statement about tax relief.

Less than twenty-four hours before Obama's speech, I was asked by an intern in my office, "has the president implemented any tax relief?" My response was filled with sarcastic laughter, as I told the DePaul University law student, "If you call $13 tax relief than the answer is yes." I explained that the stimulus package included $400 in tax relief (cringing as I said "relief"), which came to about $13 a week and just shy of $8 a week starting in January of next year. But for some reason my colleagues didn't believe me.

"I don't believe any tax relief has been implemented yet," and "I think you're wrong," could be heard from my co-workers who came out of their offices to join the "rip Paulie session." I asked everyone if they noticed a minuscule increase in their checks since April. "I haven't gotten ‘expletive' back in my check," my boss so eloquently proclaimed.

Since we all work for a nonprofit group, there isn't one employee who is making enough money to not qualify for tax relief. But that is exactly the point. The tax relief the president so proudly speaks of is literally unnoticeable. How can American consumers ignite the economy when they don't even notice they have an extra $13 ($26 bi-weekly) in their paycheck? OK, who's kidding who? Even if John Q Public realized he had a couple of extra Abraham Lincoln's in his wallet, what do stimulus bill supporters honestly expect working Americans to do with it? Buy a new television, car or take a well-deserved and needed vacation. Did they honestly believe what amounts to three coffee drinks at Starbucks are going to provide any relief to working families and boost the economy?

What the president calls relief - I call offensive.

As far as Mr. Obama is concerned, he can't be called a liar. During his campaign for the presidency, he promised that 95% of Americans would see their taxes decline. In a sad and meaningless way he kept his promise.

Most disturbing is that he is also fulfilling his promise of "hope" and "change". Unfortunately they can only be found in the words "hopeless" as more and more Americans have no "change" to spare.

Paul Miller serves as communications director for the Sam Adams Alliance, a Chicago-based nonprofit that utilizes new media to promote government accountability and transparency.