Jun 262010

The House and Senate have reached an agreement and we have a financial reform bill. That means we’ll see significant improvements over the status quo as it existed yesterday. It also means we still haven’t addressed the gravest risks to the economy. And for those of us who care about this country, it means that we still have work to do.

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post

President of the United States Franklin D. Roo...
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I agree with the major premise of this article and support efforts to combat the Republican attempt to regain control. The conservatives have proven that they care nothing about the average American and will say and do anything to return to power.

That said, I think the article is a little disingenuous on multiple points. The first and most glaring is the comparison between Obama and FDR. It is true that FDR had an appreciation for fiscal conservatism, but he was also very bold in his positions to spend and promote the common person.

It was during his first 100 days that the New Deal was born. In his first inaugural address, FDR openly condemned the same caliber of criminals who Obama has brought into his inner circle:

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

And while FDR did balance the standard budget, he also created a second, “emergency” budget. It was through the emergency budget that funded the jobs programs that cut unemployment in half between the time he took office and 1936.

Once again, we need jobs. We don’t need temporary stimulus; we need federal government investment in infrastructure. Unless that happens, we will see a double-dip recession. What would FDR do? What will Obama do?

FDR did finally succumb to the pressure of the deficit hawks in 1938 and cut back spending. The result was that after growing at a compound annual rate of 9% since 1933, the economy took its first step backward.

We need Obama to take a lesson and stop playing pragmatic politician. His bent for passing marginal legislation is nothing more than a façade over business as usual. We need him to stand and be counted. I’d like to see Obama follow the model of FDR and call it the way he did on election eve 1936:

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

We need bold, courageous leadership, not more milquetoast. This financial “reform” legislation is just the latest farce of a captured Congress. And the notion that, as Obama has said, it’s “most significant financial reform since the 1930s” is patently absurd. Has he forgotten about the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, the repeal of Glass-Steagall that set the stage for the Great Banking Rip-off of 2007? Perhaps he was simply referring to the heft of the 2,000 page legislation?

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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