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From the Farm

How much faith is too much?

January 30, 2009

Right now, I have to admit that I am certainly delighted to not be in President Barak Obama's shoes.

Can you imagine the pressure? I crumple under three deadlines merging together on one day. Imagine the pressure of carrying the hopes and wishes of almost 304 million Americans.

I feel for you Mr. President.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

I agree that his inauguration was history in the making. I was disappointed when I was unable to stay home from work, or even listen on the radio at work, to observe the grand celebration Jan. 20th. Can anyone say, "national holiday?"

So many Americans believe the newly-elected President is the answer to all their problems. That he is going to fix every problem regarding race, religion, economy.

Those kinds of expectations are out of this world.

Are we, as a hopeful nation, setting him up for our disappointment?

Upon looking back at the campaign process, hindsight is 20/20, I think President Obama appealed to one of the basic human needs - feeling like they will be heard and understood. I think what Barak Obama did was keep one word in the forefront - "We." That's what people wanted to hear. He presented himself as a person who is easily approachable. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of another president, in my short recollection of new presidents, who appealed to me in that way.

When it comes to Obama's stimulus package, I am not so sure giving money to those with outstretched hands is the end-all answer. I have held a government-paid position. I have seen how employees have said, "We need to spend the money, or we have to give it back."

Is there something wrong with having a savings account, or giving it back? I have a savings account and it works great when times get a bit lean. Aren't times a bit lean now? Maybe if we had given back it wouldn't be so bad now. Any entity that requests money from the government increases its budget every year. Maybe the funding amount from the previous year, would be enough for the following year?

I see new buildings being built, new computers being placed on desks; new carpeting being laid in hallways.

I know, I know. These needed upgrades have been budgeted, but do they really have to be budgeted? Do we have to replace carpet every few years? Heck, I am walking on 30-year-old carpet in my upstairs hallway.

Maybe this economic time is just one downward slide in the expected up-and-down flow of the economy.

Should I have to bail out people who have foolishly not planned for times ahead?

Isn't a government bailout going to increase the already massive national debt?

Speaking of debt, sometimes I think Obama's answer for America's emotional debt is more than any one person can handle. Emotional debt is the debt felt when we feel like we are not being heard.

I think we, as a nation, have placed an emotional debt on Mr. President that he can never be fully remedied. How can we expect him meet every expectation of every ethnic, economic and political group?

It cannot be done. There is not enough time, energy or money for that dream to be fulfilled.

I know one thing for sure. If President Obama fails to meet some of his goals in his first four years in office, he'll be elected president for a second term. I think that is just how much faith Americans have placed on our newly-elected leader.

Do you ever think that maybe we are placing too much hope on the back of our new President? Are we setting him up for failure? How can we expect him to fix all the things Americans want fixed?

As Andrew Young, chairman of Goodworks International, is quoted as saying in this week's Time, "... he has never once promised, 'Yes, I can.' He has never set himself up as a savior of the world."

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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