For the first time, President Obama is actually proposing an economic stimulus package which will provide some permanent benefit to the country, and everyone is condemning him. I am a fiscal conservative, so by nature I am opposed to government spending beyond the bare minimum (military, road, ports and courts). Starting three years ago and up until the beginning of September, every “stimulus” was simply spending with no true benefit.

First we bailed out the banks, then the automobile manufacturers. We threw a lot of money at states which resulted in a lot of signs telling us where the money was being spent, even though all of the projects were already underway before the money was approved.

Now for the first time, the President has proposed upgrading the country’s infrastructure. This means new projects on highways, railroads, seaports, airport, bridges and canals. The right claims this will just save the unions and only provide a single year of employment. The left claims that it is a waste to support the oil industry by encouraging more transportation. I feel that the President is correct. Infrastructure programs are beneficial long after the work is complete. Ask your grandparents about trying to get from Chicago to Los Angeles before the interstate system was completed or before jet aircraft and the building of O’Hare and LAX.

I also agree with the President’s decision to visit the Pentagon on September 11. I was shocked to hear that he was not going to ground zero, primarily because all of the news outlets made it sound like he was going golfing or something. The problem was he was not going to New York City, where these reporters are based. The Vice President was there, that should not be considered an insult. If we are to have the President physically attend every major remembrance, he would never have a chance to get anything else done.

Are the losses at ground zero somehow more important than the Pentagon? What about our losses at Pearl Harbor? The Northridge Earthquake? The San Francisco Earthquake of 1900? The Galveston Hurricane of 1901? The Gettysburg battle field? Should the President visit each of these sites on the appropriate anniversary?

He went to the Pentagon. He went to New Orleans. He even picked up a tar ball on the Gulf Coast. What is it that we want him to do? What can he actually do? He has been in office almost two years and New Orleans is still a mess. Does this become his fault?

We as Americans really need to think about what the President’s roll is. He is not a messiah, nor is he a pariah. He is a man, elected to be the executive of our government. He is to enforce the laws passed by congress and guide our foreign affairs. He can be a cheer leader, a consoler, even a lecturer, but he is not a rock star or super hero. I am more that willing to criticize any President’s policies, but to criticize every decision is to make a caricature out of yourself.

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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