Saturday, April 04, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama

Mr. President (and staffer),

I am a strong supporter of yours. I rented my own buses to Pennsylvania to bring volunteers to your campaign and spent a week working in Pennsylvania.

That said, I believe you need to seriously consider letting Mr. Summers resign. You fought against the corruption of the revolving door in your campaign. Mr. Summers defines that. I understand that he is intelligent and a confidant, but you need someone who is untainted.

I believe that there has been too much focus on preserving the institutions on Wall Street for their own sake, rather for the sake of the economy. This also extends to our behavior with AIG. We don't NEED AIG or Citi, we need them not to collapse and damage those affected. However, there is no implicit need for these companies to exist.

I believe this gets back to people in your administration having preconceived notions of the permanency of the financial system as it is now. It is outsized to our economy and therefore exerts an outsized influence on you and your administration. Having someone with such clear conflicts as Mr. Summers does (as shown in the Washington Post article today), inhibits him from making truly neutral observations. He is not a bad man, but he is compromised.

Furthermore, having these types of figures around you only gives opportunities to those who oppose you. Don't give them the opportunity. I also reject the notion that everyone who is qualified may be compromised. That is a cop out. You're the President, millions would jump at the opportunity to advise you.

I also wanted to note that this is the first time I've emailed you with a complaint since you capitulated on FISA immunity last summer. I am not one to write about every issue of the day, but your own reliance on the people and institutions that brought us this mess concerns me greatly.

I hope you are able to broaden your circle of advisors in light of this conflict and recognize that I am not some partisan attacking but a concerned citizen.

Thank you,

William Finkel

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