How Obama should fix the economy

Real people across the country answer the question: How will Obama affect your wallet? And what do you think the new President and Congress needs to do to right the economy - both in the short run and the long term?

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Hilton, with daughter Caroline, 16, and wife Nancy, 46
Cliff Hilton, 51, restaurant owner, Beaumont, Texas

President-elect Obama, I work 14 hours a day, seven days a week. Since I work that much, I can make a living. I employ 14 workers.

If I am to be taxed for working hard, make everyone that receives my money work as hard and as long as me. If they work seven days a week, they'll have less time to spend and want.

I live in a small apartment and drive a five-year-old car. I don't have cable TV or Internet at home. I keep the temperature at 80 degrees in the summer and never turn the heat on in the winter. My debt is a very small fraction of my net worth. I have cash to pay off my debt. I have lived a frugal life. If someone is to receive my money, they should be required to stay out of debt themselves.

I have chosen to eat good food and maintain my health. I don't take drugs of any kind. If someone is to receive my money, they should be required to maintain their health to the level of not needing health care. I worked two years before I could afford to purchase medical insurance with a $5,000 deduction. Some of my workers do not take care of themselves and want me to get them insurance for free. I could not imagine being required to do so.

I do not and will not support free public health insurance, retirement, protection, etc.

If I consider a plot of land, prepare the land (remove rocks, trees, weeds), plow the rows, plant the seeds, and pray to God for sunshine and rain, am I required to give the [harvest] to someone who never put their hands to help nor their money and health at risk for failure or success? Don't dilute my expectation. If I fail, I fail alone. No one wants to help pay for my failure. If I succeed, you should not want to take my money and give it to one who has failed.

Since you are now the President-elect, you must have worked pretty hard to get there. Others who supported you must have seen something in you that inspired them to give your campaign hard-earned money. Please do not require less from every single American that is receiving money from those that pay.

I will support you if you do nothing less.

NEXT: Help the middle class

Last updated November 12 2008: 4:10 PM ET
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