Obama must aid all Americans equally


Washington Post reporter Eli Saslow’s new book, “Ten Letters,” is more interesting than you would probably expect a book about letters presidents read to be. That is because of one small bit of information contained within the book’s pages. According to Saslow’s account, President Barack Obama admitted to sending personal checks to troubled citizens whose letters moved him. To be sure, the White House has yet to officially comment on this claim, but Saslow seems rather certain of it as the truth — at least, enough to include it in his book. If it is true that Obama sometimes sends checks to some of the desperate people who write to him, then we have a problem with our leader. We appreciate the gesture, but such an action is unethical for the president of the United States, who is supposed to treat the concerns of all citizens equally.

If Obama were just another average person, and not the most important political figure in the United States, then his decision to send checks to those in need would be nothing but laudatory. However, he is the president. As such, if he’s going to send personal checks to some people, he should be sending them to everyone. He could at least set up some sort of criteria, like those that are in place for people applying to receive welfare, for example. If you make below a certain amount, you can send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the White House, and Obama will return it to you with a check inside. If that sounds absurd to you, that’s because it is absurd and inappropriate conduct for a president to be engaging in.

Rather than sending checks to some of his supplicants when the spirit moves him, Obama should look at these letters as reasons to ensure that our rapidly dwindling social programs dwindle no more — and possibly even expand to the levels at which they need to be in order to meet the demands made upon them. The president cannot pick and choose who deserves his help. The entirety of the United States deserves his aid for whatever problems they may be experiencing.

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