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Monday, January 17, 2011

Grading the President after 2 years in office

This Thursday, January 20th will mark the 2 year anniversary of Obama's inauguration and no better time than the present to grade the President on how well he is doing in office.  There will be no attempt to grade Obama on military policy, social issues, the Health Care legislation or anything else not financial since this is an economic blog, not a political one.

It is always a difficult task to grade a President because political biases and opinions always tend to seep through and distort objectivity.   A true-blue loyal Democrat might look at Obama as a 'Messiah'-like figure who can do no wrong and shift all the problems currently to former President Bush, while a dye-in-the-wool cloth-coat Republican will blame Obama for anything and everything, while in the process mis-labeling him as a Socialist to elicit fear of a pseudo-Communist takeover of the nation.  Both types of thinking represent deep Idiocy.

This is how 'A&G' sees the past two years.

In the past two years, the National Debt has Doubled and ALL of that money went to Corporations, Banks and Wall St.  It also went to foreign banks, hedge funds, the ECB, the IMF, private corporations like Verizon, McDonalds and GE... This is money that you, your children, grandchildren, etc.. will be expected to pay back through eventual austerity-- higher taxes, higher prices of food, gasoline, etc.. while receiving fewer social services as wages either drop or at best, stay stagnant in this service-sector economy.  And the audacity of calling it a 'recovery' is offensive to any thinking individual-  if you are in the tax bracket of the top 1%, it is recovery.. if you're in the bottom 99%, it is utter Nonsense.

 If you, the everyday person got anything, it was more debt load.  The $8000 homebuyer credits and $4000 cash-for-clunkers were nothing more than gimmicks to get you to incur more debt.  Most people rushed into buying homes that have been decreasing in value 25 straight months and/or gave up perfectly workable automobiles so you could enjoy something 'new'.   You also got an extension of the Bush tax cut which added another $900 Billion to national debt while saving $1500 to someone making $40,000/yr.  Of course the person making $40 Million./yr also benefited with a savings of $150,000 in taxes, but that's OK, right?

The Obama capitulation to the congressional Republicans last month also included a Social Security tax cut which will give workers and extra couple dollars in their pockets while speeding up the date which Soc. Sec. becomes insolvent, and triggering Congress to do massive cuts and extending the minimum retirement age for those to receive their benefits.  Meanwhile the states, cities and municipalities around the country are in horrific shape with Fed Chair Bernanke saying no money will go to help them.  

As mentioned earlier, the housing situation is in terrible shape with prices continually falling for 25 straight months, marking an official Depression in this area.  Most people's life savings are tied up in their homes and foreclosures are at an all-time high.  Obama promised he'd offer programs to re-finance so people could afford to stay in their homes or get more fair interest rates but the requirements were so intentionally stringent, few could meet criteria.

When Obama defeated McCain in Nov, 08, he immediately fired his economic team and replaced them with Clintonites with on-going ties to Wall St and banks.  After the Republicans won the House of Representatives, besides capitulating on the campaign promise to not extend Bush's tax cuts, he replaced those on his economic team with individuals more loyal and connected to Wall St. and Big Business than the people being replaced.

In two years as President, with a Democratic majority House of Rep. and Senate, Obama did not enact a single "Trickle-Up" type economic policy to help the middle class, the poor, the struggling, the disillusioned and disenfranchised, the person about to be foreclosed upon... not one.

Yes, unemployment was extended but for those over 99weeks without work and who completely drained their life savings, the response was a big "Get Lost!"  The President refused for two straight years to stick his neck on the line to fight for seniors and disabled to have a measly $250/yr increase in Social Security to keep up with the increased cost of living and the President did very little to nothing to help small business, with his Economic Recovery Chief, Larry Summers believing it was not government's role to help small business.. i.e. Main Street.

The entire economic policy of President Obama can be summarized in one word-- Reaganesque.   It really is a shame and that word is sincerely uttered.. a Shame.  He was elected by millions of people with the promise of "Hope" and "Change" from eight years of Bush, earning 96% of the black vote and 67% of the Hispanic vote while Completely ignoring their needs and suffering.

The totality of his governance economically has been that of  fiscal Conservative.  And the nation has suffered and will continue to suffer because of it..  and as referred to previously,  it is a Shame.

Grade-   F

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