100 days later and, surprisingly, challenges still exist

Coming up on Wednesday it will be 100 days since President Obama became the first socialist to lead America down the road of collectivism. However, I’m thinking something must be wrong because 99% 100% of the problems which existed before Obama’s inauguration still exist after Obama’s inauguration which is inexplicable considering the “hope and change” promises made during the campaign.

The Washington Post, of all pro-Obama places, did a story over the weekend of some rampant Obama supporters in South Carolina who seem to be losing their “hope and change” energy:

GREENWOOD, S.C. Her cordless phone stores 17 voice messages, and tonight the inbox is full. Edith Childs, 60, grabs a bottle of water, tosses her hat on the living room floor and scowls at the blinking red light. A county councilwoman, she spent the past 12 hours driving rural roads in her 2001 Toyota Camry, trying to solve Greenwood’s problems, but only now begins the part of each day that exhausts her. Childs slumps into an armless chair and steels herself for a 13-minute confessional.

“Hi, Ms. Edith, this is Rose, and I’m calling about my light bill. It’s $420. . . . There’s no way I can pay that.”

“Edith, it’s Francine. . . . They stopped by my house again today, talking about foreclosure. I don’t know what to do. Can you call me?”

Childs leans her head back against the wall and closes her eyes. Her hair is matted down with sweat, and thin-rimmed glasses sink low on her nose. Every few minutes, she stirs to jot notes on a to-do list that fills most of a notebook. She has to remind herself that she ran for county council in 1998 because she coveted this role: unofficial protector, activist and psychologist for her home town. Back then, the hardships of Greenwood — 22,000 people separated from the nearest interstate by 40 miles — struck Childs as contained. Now she sometimes wonders aloud to her husband, Charles: “When does it stop?”

“Yes, councilwoman, this is Joe Thompson calling. Uh, I’m having a bit of an emergency.”

Across the dark living room, one of Childs’s favorite pictures is displayed on a worn coffee table. It shows Childs with her arms wrapped around Barack Obama, his hand on her back, her eyes glowing. They met at a rally attended by 37 supporters on a rainy day in 2007, when Childs responded to Obama’s sluggishness on stage with an impromptu chant: “Fired up! Ready to go!” She repeated it, shouting louder each time, until Obama laughed and dipped his shoulders to the rhythm. The chant caught on. “Fired up!” people began saying at rallies. “Ready to go,” Obama chanted back. He told audiences about Childs, “a spirited little lady,” and invited her onstage at campaign appearances. By the day of his inauguration, when Childs led a busload of strangers bound for the Mall in her now-iconic chant, her transformation was complete. She was Edith Childs, fired up and ready to go.

But now, as Obama nears the 100-day milestone of his presidency, Childs suffers from constant exhaustion. In a conservative Southern state that bolstered Obama’s candidacy by supporting him early in the Democratic primaries, she awakens at 2:30 a.m. with stress headaches and remains awake mulling all that’s befallen Greenwood since Obama’s swearing-in.

On Day 4 of his presidency, the Solutia textile plant laid off 101 workers. On Day 23, the food bank set a record for meals served. On Day 50, the hospital fired 200 employees and warned of further job cuts. On Day 71, the school superintendent called a staff meeting and told his principals: “We’re losing 10 percent of our budget. That means some of us won’t have jobs next year, and the rest should expect job changes and pay cuts.” On Day 78, the town’s newly elected Democratic mayor, whose campaign was inspired partly by his admiration for Obama, summarized Greenwood’s accelerating fragility. “This is crippling us, and there’s no sign of it turning around,” Welborn Adams said.

On Day 88, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that South Carolina had set a record for its highest unemployment rate in state history, at 11.4 percent. Greenwood’s unemployment is 13 percent — more than twice what it was when Childs first started chanting.

“We have a lot of people who live in cold houses, with no jobs and no food,” Childs says.

Hundreds of them call her, and the most desperate travel to Childs’s single-story house on Old Ninety-Six Highway outside of town and knock on her front door. A retired nurse living with her husband on modest savings, she makes $725 a month for serving on the county council and uses that money to pay other people’s bills: $240 for her brother’s electricity, because he can’t find a job; $300 for a young family’s rent in a two-bedroom apartment, because they have a 5-year-old boy and no income; $168 for a friend’s water bill, because the county threatened to shut it off. When the $725 runs out — and it always does — Childs dips into savings and tells Charles she spent the money on a new outfit.

Here’s a crazy, borderline insane idea: Maybe if Obama didn’t constantly threaten to hose small businesses with obscene taxes, they might be more inclined to do some hiring? I don’t know, but I’m just saying that most sane, economically informed people agree that spurring job growth means cutting taxes and giving businesses reasons to expand. Then again, that pro-growth model is diametrically opposed to Obama’s first 100 days which has been more of an anti-growth, pro-socialism model.

Either way, the article continues:

Now Obama is president, and she still believes he will help rescue Greenwood County. But her enthusiasm has faded into a wary optimism. “He’s only one man, and there’s a lot to get done,” she says, a predicament she knows all too well.

“I never used to get tired, but I’m running out of energy,” she says. “It’s stressful. Maybe one problem gets fixed, but it’s not fixed for long, and while you’ve been doing that, four other people have called asking for help.”

And their messages are waiting.

“Hi, Edith, this is Helen Witherspoon. I’m calling because I have a problem with my hot water heater and I’m wondering if you might know of a church or someone who can help me.”

A message near the end causes Childs to wince. It is from Evon Hackett, her younger cousin, who has always reminded Childs a little of herself. Hackett has “never wasted a lazy hour in her life,” Childs says. But now she is desperate and unemployed, and her voice barely registers above a whisper as it plays on Childs’s machine.

“Hey Edith. How ya been? Just calling again to see if you heard from anybody who was hiring. . . . You know me. I’ll do anything. It doesn’t really matter what the work is.”

So let me get this straight, Ms. Childs, you still believe the government, meaning Obama, will “rescue” your state and your area? How is he going to do that? By promising ever-increasing taxes and ever-growing government? Is he going to begin creating individual jobs for people in your area?

Please, explain to me, Ms. Childs, how President Government is going to solve your problems and save the world? I’m dying to know!

Then there’s this, as the article continues:

Evon Hackett, 38, lost her job on Day 20 of Obama’s presidency. She was nearing the end of her Friday afternoon shift on the assembly line at Tyco Healthcare, stuffing three packets of diapers into each passing cardboard box for $8.59 an hour, when a manager asked to see her. Hackett cleaned out her locker on the way to his office.

“What, was he going to give me a raise?” she said. “Huh-uh. Not happening. Not in Greenwood.”

The job search that began that afternoon with a phone call to Childs has since grown into an odyssey in futility: Twenty-two job applications. Six interviews. Three drug tests. Once, Hackett received a call from a meatpacking plant, asking her to arrive at 7 a.m. Monday for a new employee orientation. She gushed to friends about the company’s good benefits and its $10.80-an-hour starting salary, and she woke up Monday morning at 5:15 to bundle into the heavy winter clothes recommended for an eight-hour shift in a gargantuan refrigerator. She borrowed a friend’s car and drove 40 miles on unfamiliar roads to the factory in Newberry. Fifteen minutes into the orientation, a manager called Hackett into his office. There had been a mistake, he explained. A clerical error. They had not intended to call her. Hackett was back home by sunrise.

Since then, mounting frustration has compelled her to distribute 50 résumés at a local job fair and to make road trips to factories in Clinton, Greenville and Abbeville. “There are no jobs in all of Greenwood,” she says. “I think we’re going to become a ghost town, or maybe some kind of town for rich, retired people.”

She voted for Obama and still holds out hope for the man she calls a “people’s president,” but she’s not interested in hearing his stories about flying to Europe or fighting pirates. “I guess he’s just working his way down the list, and he’ll get to us,” she says.

Working his way down the list?

I actually feel compassion for anyone waiting on the government to work it’s “way down the list” before they feel like they can be successful on their own.

I feel sorry for people who were used by Obama for their vote with false promises of “hope and change” solving all their problems.

Perhaps people are finding out that challenges which existed under President Bush still exist under President Obama because the government isn’t in charge of making you successful.

This is sad really, to watch these people hold themselves back because they’re waiting on Obama to tell them he’s “rescued” them.