I found editor-in-chief Bill Carlino's letter to the then-president-elect right on the money (Dec. 15, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009, page 6). I would not venture to guess that he even thought he was uniformly representing your readership - as no editor ever can. And I thought he showed a lot of respect in the tone and substance of his editorial.Using specific examples of what then-President-elect Obama promised during his campaign (even though the things he promised changed as the political winds shifted) to point out the flaws in his proposals is the appropriate way to discuss or debate those promises or proposals.
The concerned attitude the editorial expressed was pointedly delivered, and rightly so. The attitude expressed, and the tone and substance, were not flippant, and did not come across as juvenile. Unlike his supporters did to the last president, Mr. Carlino did not demean the individual. The new administration's core belief that "We won" is not a change from old politics, as was promised, but is in and of itself a juvenile response to the new responsibilities of governing.
There is no real willingness to work with the other side of the aisle to get things done - it's all political posturing. The new president seems to want to limit debate and then, when things aren't going his way, attempt to decree that the time for talking is over.
Standing in or representing opposition is patriotic, as many of us were told over the last eight years. I would encourage Mr. Carlino to continue an aggressive posture, especially if most of what the then-president-elect promised actually comes to the floor of either the House or the Senate. Do not give in to the pressure from one side of the political spectrum that wants to silence all dissent and debate.
How anyone could be "offended" by this editorial is beyond comprehension - surely the sign of a weak spirit. The attitude expressed by some of those that responded negatively to his editorial reflects the administration's attitude ("Readers disappointed in Obama editorial," Jan. 26-Feb. 22, 2009, page 7). They have newfound respect for the office of the president - even though the office hasn't changed, just its occupant. Where was that respect for the office during the last eight years? Did they ever give the last guy a chance, or the benefit of the doubt? Most likely not, as expressed by Mr. Garfield from Tarzana, Calif. - "You should really get over losing - and write about accounting issues." More of the same "We won" snobbery. It's possible to wish the new president well and hope he does a good job for the country and still oppose his policies.
Oh, Mr. Garfield, The New Republic is a left-leaning publication that slavishly supports the new president. You may want to get your references right.
I loved Bill Carlino's editorial, and he was right on. It's apparent to me that some of my colleagues in this profession are economic illiterates, especially if they don't think there is a connection between marginal tax rates and incentives to produce and invest, and if they think Obama should be given a chance to succeed while imposing fascistic corporatism on our country. If that's his agenda, why would I want it to succeed, honeymoon or not?
Don't listen to the whining wimps who want to sanitize Accounting Today of all political and economic commentary, turning it into the Journal of Accountancy - or what we call Pravda.
Keep up the thought-provoking, controversial opinions.
Founder, VeraSage Institute
Letters to the editor may be sent by e-mail to AcToday@SourceMedia.com. They may be edited for content and length.
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