Tuesday, March 13, 2012
~ Ahh yes... 'Change'.. If only..
Yesterday among other things we wrote, was the pretty straightforward message that the President has done nothing to make the lives of the bottom 99% any better than we all were four years ago. Not for Caucasians, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians or anyone else who does not identify themselves as super-wealthy.
We got a little friendly flak but we stand by it.
So today we're going to continue that theme by expressing as best we can what a successful Obama first-term in office would have looked like; policies that even if half had been implemented, the President would have a lead so large in the polls that Election 2012 would simply be a formality, much like Reagan's 1984 re-election was when he destroyed Walter Mondale and won 49 out of 50 states.
Before we begin, its important we state as clear as we can, we do not support Obama and his re-election in any way, shape or form. Our opinion of him as a President is pretty low based on his track record. That said, we are also in no way, shape or form endorsing any Republican candidate nor advancing Republican viewpoints as a better alternative.
We simply don't play that Left-Right game. Both are rotten and corrupt to the core, but of course its all set up so people only have two choices every election- "Dumbo" or the Ass, and most voters have to do the best they can to pick between two odorous choices.
Now, here's some ways how Obama could have been a great President during his first term in office:
1) Represent the needs of the 99% over the wants of the 1%
When Obama inherited the financial crisis from Bush, he had two choices:
A) Let the economy crash, thus causing major financial pain to all the corrupt individuals and institutions which caused the current depression, then rebuild the US financial system from within making it more fair and ecumenical, and representative of true Capitalism,
B) Bail out the banks and financials but then break them up into smaller units much like Ma Bell and Standard Oil had historically been broken up into smaller pieces. Then while having a Dem controlled Congress, he could have pushed forward a 21st century "New Deal" reminiscent of FDR's with a focus on massive job creation for people in all fields and endeavors.
Both options would have endeared him to everyday people as at least trying to help them get their lives on track both in the near and long-term future.
Obama chose option C) Conduct an economic policy much like Bush or McCain would have. Bailout the banks and financials. Make the stock market happy little piggies by allowing the Fed to create another asset bubble and continue devaluing the dollar while not pushing through any serious job creation bills that were not attached to stimulus spending.
On top of that, the President pissed away almost all his political capital and influence during his first two years to push through a watered down version ObamaCare (which is really a Federalized version of RomneyCare) that everyone hates.
2) Less tax cuts & more tax fairness
People voted Obama into office for many reasons.. one of which was Not to be a tax cutter, especially for the wealthy. He promised in his campaign he would not extend the Bush tax cuts. He's now done so twice. He's also pushed for a payroll tax and ultimate extension so that money that would go toward one's retirement could be received now; the average working person receiving $20/wk.
Of course in the process, that payroll tax break has gutted Social Security by an additional $600 billion and remember, the wealthy get the tax break too. If someone making $30k keeps an extra $20/wk, then someone making $300k is getting to keep an extra $200/wk and someone making $3mil/yr is keeping $2,000/wk... No one in government ever mentioned that to you huh?
If the President not only stopped these destructive tax cuts while currently operating a deficit in the government's operating budget, but pushed hard to increase taxes on the wealthy and corporations as well as close their loopholes, more revenue would be collected to help control the size of the deficit and he would be looked upon by most of the masses as one of them, not another lackey for the rich.
~ Warren Buffett... now there's a man of the people
And to those who argue that taxing more takes away incentive to create business, etc, that's complete BS. As long as people have the deep seeded need to make as much money as humanly possible and be better than their friends, family and neighbors with better houses, cars, yachts,etc.. there will always be the drive to work; to create and/or expand business and show superiority to the competition (while masking an immense inferiority complex).
3) Parade the financial criminals a la 'perp walk'
It is amazing after all this time since Lehman Bros collapsed back in 2008 that not one single major player which caused the financial crash and subsequent depression has been arrested and brought to trial... not one. Bernie Madoff was small potatoes-- yes he bilked others out of millions and was evil but in the grand scheme, his actions did not trigger the economic collapse.
People wanted (and still want to see) the big boys arrested and humiliated as they walk to the squad car in handcuffs. The list is long and people don't even know all the criminal players' names, but if the heads of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, AIG, Lehman, Citibank and countless other greedy enterprises were hauled off to jail like common criminals, the President would be more beloved than even that momentary instance when it was discovered we killed bin Laden.
4) Stop the wars
By the end of George Bush's failure of a Presidency, people were sick and tired of war.. tired of our troops being in Iraq and Afghanistan while the military budget kept expanding as the US Treasury was draining. Many people thought Obama was going to bring our troops home immediately, or at worst, within 6 months of being in office.
Nope.. didn't happen.
Not only did it take over three years before troops began withdrawing from Iraq and we're still stuck in Afghanistan, but we decided it was in the best interests of US foreign policy to invade Libya and assassinate Ghadafi. He was always a bad man but we guess the powers that be got tired of Libya being one of only two nations in the world not financially indebted to global banks (Cuba being the other), so it was necessary to kill him and take possession of Libya's gold.
And now there's uncertainty with Syria and Iran..
People are just tired of war.. tired of the financial and human cost.. Tired of wars without clear, concise aims or an intelligently conceived exit strategy.. Like it or not, Obama is a war President.
5) Restore what made America great- the Constitution
Obama promised when elected he would close Guatanamo Bay. Guess what..its still open. Who knows if secretly the CIA still uses waterboarding and other interrogation techniques-- no one says one way or another.
Many who voted for Obama also thought he would repeal or at least water down the Patriot Act, which allows the government to intrusively spy on its citizens indefinitely and arrest citizens as 'enemy combatants' without warrant or provide them legal representation, all under the guise of an all-encompassing 'War on Terror'.
Nope-- Obama pushed for its renewal.
Recently Congress passed a bill making it a felony to express protest or outward disagreement or disruption during any speech where a member of government was present. Guess who signed that act into law?
Instead of continuing or enacting policies which curb individuals' freedom, Obama would be greater liked and respected if he fought for the other side, doing all he could to preserve and strengthen freedom.
There's more the President could have done in his first term in office to be deemed a success, but we just touched on 5 major themes that is the difference between Obama being beloved and derided.
Its truly sad because whether Obama wins re-election or Mittens Romney wins, things are not going to get better anytime soon for regular working people...
It just isn't...
Posted by Susquehanna at Tuesday, March 13, 2012