Dec 212010

The list [of Obama’s legislative accomplishments], in fact, is staggering: major, not to say sweeping, new laws on health care, banking and finance, food safety, child nutrition, credit cards, pay equity, home mortgages, student loans, tobacco use and sale, home mortgages — not to mention $1.7 trillion in tax cuts and spending in the name of economic “stimulus.”

Taken together — and at least in theory — these measures amount to the most aggressive expansion of federal regulatory authority in a generation. It is no wonder the Chamber of Commerce spent $100 million and turned itself into a Rovian attack machine.

Even so, the party’s progressives aren’t particularly impressed by much of the new legislation. The Krugmanites — columnist Paul Krugman deserves to be their namesake — argue, and often with good cause, that the new laws are timid compromises with the powerful industries they are supposed to reform.

Does anyone think that big banks — having been saved by bailouts — have now become earnest stewards of the public good? How about insurance companies? Health-care conglomerates? Mortgage lenders?

Howard Fineman, Huffington Post

Change We Need Sisters
Image by Heather Ferguson via Flickr

Obama is a corporatis­t, plain and simple. He is selling the middle and working classes down the river, and all under the guise of upholding Democratic ideals — what a farce! After caving on healthcare and gifting the medical insurers and Big Pharma with 32 million new, government subsidized patients, he moved to financial “reform” and strived to keep the banks alive and thriving, with their casino still wide open for business.

Then the President ends the first half of his term with a “compromis­e” that includes no “compromis­e.” It’s the lesson he learned from the teaser rates of the illegitima­te mortgage originator­s. You hook people by making them offers they can’t refuse — it’ll completely obscure their perception that all you’ve done is inflate the bubble a bit more. “Compromis­e” is when somebody gives — not when both sides get what they want.

The Obama tax deal is an abominatio­n, and any politician who voted for it is either corporatis­t or a crack dealer. This deal is nothing but a hit in the arm, a fix, and the high will end shortly and leave the nation much worse than it was. But it doesn’t really matter — not to the corporatis­ts. This entire fiasco is just another chapter in the Great American Ponzi Scheme — the one where the rich take their loot before the pyramid collapses, before the next calamity.

The sad truth is that America is suffering from over-concentration of wealth, and the Obama “deal” will only feed that fire. American productivi­ty climbed steadily for decades, but the gains have all been accumulate­d at the very top. The peak income for the bottom 90% of Americans occurred in 1973, when they averaged $33,000 in inflation adjusted dollars. Since then, the per-hour output of the average worker has increased by 50%. If that increase was shared proportion­ately by everyone from the workers to the CEOs, the average worker would be making 35% more now — the average household income would be increased by $20,000.

But that’s not the way it’s worked out. The deal has been broken. The top income people have taken a disproport­ionate share, like CEOs who now make 500 times what the average employee takes in — where it was only 25 times more in the 70s. Add to that the incessant shipping of jobs overseas to increase profits, often to the tax advantage of the traitorous company, and all the while, the government withholds tariffs under free trade. Who gets hurt? The American worker.

Of course, the multinatio­nals still enjoy the American consumer market and all the protection­s of American society. They even enjoy privatized earnings and socialized losses, Add to that the increasing­ly regressive tax structures that have helped to concentrat­e more financial wealth in the top 1% than the bottom 95%, and top it off with a burgeoning debt that could topple the dollar from being the reserve currency, and you’ve got a giant pyramid scheme that’ll likely be coming down soon.

President Obama has done NOTHING to help this situation, and by signing his tax deal into law, has actually forced the further descent of the American middle class. The bottom line is either raise taxes or drasticall­y cut services — what direction did the Obama “deal” take us? Obama and the Republicans will be coming for the spending cuts very soon, because now that we’ve given another tax cut to the only segment of the population capable of paying, there is no alternative. So tuck your Social Security away and batten the hatches — this is going to get ugly.

Read the entire Article at the Huffington Post

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