What a bad week for America . . .

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just when the American people thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. In the span of just a few days last week, America took several blows right to the chin.

It started with a report that cited a new statistic: 1 in 7 Americans are currently receiving food stamps. Regardless of how you feel about food stamps as a program, it is disheartening to know that over 45,000,000 Americans are in need of food assistance.

Then, Americans watched in horror as their elected leaders fought tooth and nail against each other trying to get to a compromise that would actually help the floundering American economy. Instead, we saw partisan politics win in the end, and the financial markets tumbled for four days, erasing the entire gains of the year.

Shortly after the politicians in Washington held hands and told us they had saved America from going into default and losing its AAA rating, the internationally respected credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s lowered the credit rating of America for the first time in history. The effects of the ratings drop are still being analyzed and will surely be felt for weeks and months to come. This rating affects both national and global interest rates and the value of the dollar and decreases the strength of American economic policy around the world.

However, worst of all the horrible events of last week was the downing of a helicopter by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The attack killed 31 people, 25 of whom were American military personnel. Every lost soldier is a tragedy for their family and our country, but to lose so many lives in one attack makes the loss feel much greater. Please pray for the members of our armed forces and their families.

Unfortunately, I feel the outlook won’t get any better. The nation appears to be entering another slow period that will generate the same depressing financial statistics and make more families dependent on governmental assistance, and the country will sink further into a debt crisis. It will take Americans innovating ourselves out of this crisis by creating the next new “world changing” product or technology, making it ourselves in an American factory and selling it to the world with “Made in the U.S.A.” stamped proudly on it. Our politicians must understand we can no longer count on other nations to buy our debt and we can’t continue to act like we can pay it off later, and they must support our American businesses to allow them to compete globally.

The last bite…

This weekend, the family and I went to an old standard in LaPlace: La Carretta. Usually, I am pretty pumped about getting a warm cup of tortilla soup topped with shredded chicken and a large La Carretta salad topped with grilled chicken and their amazing balsamic vinaigrette. In addition, the service is usually better than most restaurants.

However, both my salad and the service were slightly below normal this time. In order to make sure the meal ended on a good note, Courtney and I went to McDonald’s for a hot fudge sundae. Nothing fixes a bad meal experience like McDonald’s ice cream. I give the mediocre meal and lackluster service at LaCarretta 4 (out of 5) crumbs!

 Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.