By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With challenger Mitt Romney failing to land a knockout blow in the dying days of his bruising campaign to oust incumbent President Barack Obama, I think, American voters would be ceding it to Mr. Obama to let him occupy the White House for another four more years.
Mr. Obama had also super storm Sandy to thank for that denied former Gov. Romney the last opportunity to decisively frame Mr. Obama as undeserving of a re-election.
The lasting impression of Mr. Obama consoling New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the devastated state left an impact that Mr. Obama would be there to help even if someone belongs to another party.
I agree with Mr. Romney that the economic meltdown and the high unemployment rate are two of the most compelling issues that should stop Mr. Obama from staying in the White House any minute longer.
But in his two debates with Mr. Obama and the vice presidential debate, Mr. Romney cannot deliver any concrete and specific measures that would crack the twin problems. Mr. Romney merely provided generalities and I am very disappointed.
Mr. Romney was like some big-time free agent hired by a baseball team but could not deliver a homerun at the bottom of the ninth inning when it mattered most.
Maybe if Mr. Romney pleaded to pass an immigration reform program in his first year in office as he suggested to Mr. Obama, perhaps, I would give him a grudging support. But Mr. Romney insisted that “I will not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally” although such immigration reform was passed under Republican President Ronald Reagan.
Or perhaps, if he would support proposals to overhaul the entire U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for its ineptitude in granting health and monetary benefits to all veterans, including Filipino veterans, maybe, I will switch my support to Mr. Romney.
But I heard nothing from him either on these two issues very close to the heart of Filipino Americans how he will deal with them.
When he said that in his Day-1 in the White House, he was going to undo the Affordable Care Act (euphemistically known as Obamacare), how will he reconcile with the Republican congressmen and senators, who supported this bill?
Governor Romney also promoted a five-point, actually six-point plan, to fix the economy: 1) Energy independence for North America in five years; 2) Opening up more trade, particularly in Latin America; 3) Cracking down on China when they cheat; 4) Getting us to a balanced budget; 5) Fixing our training programs for our workers. And 6) Finally, championing small business.
MACRO ECONOMIC PLANS IMPRESSIVE
These macro economic plans appear impressive. But Mr. Romney is short on details how he would implement them.
While I agree with Mr. Romney that he should not cut the military budget, I would like to know from him if he would be willing to increase the budget for the healthcare and monetary benefits of the veterans.
There is a pending petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit filed before the U.S. Supreme Court by the Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth against Sec. Eric K. Shinseki of the Department of Veterans Affairs and others.
The two veterans organizations want the Supreme Court to allow the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, California to review the U.S. government’s “systemic failures” in treating returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan “within five years after their service ends. If left unreviewed, the Ninth Circuit’s decision will condemn these ‘veterans to suffer intolerable delays inherent in the VA system,’” according to the petition.
The petition says, “Veterans and their families often are forced to wait years for the VA’s Regional Offices to reach a decision and the appellate process to be completed. The average time to pursue a claim that involves an appeal is now 4.4 years.
“Even though these benefits could help provide food and shelter, many veterans give up before completing the process. Indeed, during a single six-month period, 1,467 veterans died during the pendency of their appeals.”
COVER UP BY THE VA?
Perhaps, the Department of Veterans Affairs has not informed President Obama that there are 18 veterans, who commit suicides per day, among America’s 25 million veterans because they could no longer wait for the delay by the VA hospitals of their medical treatment for their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injury. And if this cover-up is true, then, it is still the President’s fault because the buck stops with him.
But if the President already knew about this dismal state of the absence of healthcare of returning veterans and still would not act on the recommendation of the two-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit, who decided in favor of overhauling the VA system, then, the President does not deserve to be re-elected.
The best that President Obama can do is to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” on the petition for certiorari by not opposing the petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court.
I just hope if military funding is increased by either Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney to take care of the injured veterans, the VA will also take care of the surviving injured Filipino World War II veterans. After all the Bible says, “ But many, who are first, will be last, and many, who are last, will be first.” (Matthew 19:30).
When U.S. President Roosevelt conscripted young Filipino soldiers to join America’s war against Japan in 1941, there was no Philippine sovereignty to speak of at that time because the Philippines was part of America’s unincorporated territory called Commonwealth.