Betrayer-In-Chief

by lizard

A punch to the gut and kick to the balls.

That is what this administration has done by signaling yet another unbelievably spineless cave-in by continuing to use the deficit nuclear option with tax cuts to the rich (who are doing just fine) and the Debt Commission reporting their suggested slashes to the already tattered remnants of the New Deal.

This is class warfare, and the Obama administration isn’t even putting up a fight.

The last paragraph of Michael Hudson’s latest piece from Counterpunch is a good summary:

What we need is a Futures Commission to forecast just what will the rich do with the victory they have won. As administered by President Obama and his designated appointees Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke, their policy is financially and fiscally unsustainable. Providing tax incentives for debt leveraging – for most of the population to go into debt to the rich, whose taxes are all but abolished – is shrinking the economy. This will lead to even deeper financial crises, employer defaults and fiscal insolvency at the state, local and federal levels. Future presidents will call for new bailouts, using a strategy much like going to military war. A financial war requires an emergency to rush through Congress, as occurred in 2008-09. Obama’s appointees are turning the U.S. economy into a Permanent Emergency, a Perpetual Ponzi Scheme requiring injections of more and more Quantitative Easing to to rescue “the economy” (Obama’s euphemism for creditors at the top of the economic pyramid) from being pushed into insolvency. Bernanke’s helicopter flies only over Wall Street. It does not drop monetary relief on the population at large.

As Republicans at the state and national level wring their hands together and snicker about the scorched-earth policy they plan to unleash on us, the Democratic leadership appears utterly incapable of clearly articulating what is at stake here. Whether this incapacity stems from incompetency or complicity is not important.

Tax cuts for rich people will bury us deeper in debt. Slashing health and human services will create a level of desperation unseen since the Great Depression. How much longer is this insane charade going to continue? In two more years we will be even more fucked over than we are now, which for those paying attention, is kind of hard to believe.

The cuts that will be pushed through are not just some abstract attack on the “social safety net.” It will result in the ACTUAL LOSS of REAL JOBS. Jobs, I might add, that help keep the seething masses from turning into Visigoths and Gauls tearing down the gates of Rome.

It’s like John F. Kennedy said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

And we all know what happened to him.

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  1. You mean that once upon a time you thought that Obama was going to be savior of the poor? “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one cometh to the father but by me.”

  2. Chuck

    Lizard, I am a very pro jobs guy so could you expand on what real jobs will be lost and the time frame you think that will happen. What sectors of the economy? Any local businesses that might be shut down? Thanks.

    • lizard19

      Chuck, i know folks locally working in the social service sector that are wondering what more can be cut to programs that have already seen cuts in state funding. these are the folks on the frontlines of responding to mental health issues, and their ability to address those issues are already inadequate. that means more unstable folks on the streets and less resources to stabilize them.

      nationally, austerity measures that affect the masses hit like a slap to the face considering the financial sector still needs “quantitative easing” to keep them floating.

      and because our political process is corrupt beyond redemption, the assholes at the top are enriching themselves at pre-crash levels with our money.

      the situation is untenable. we are being asked to pay more for less services as wealth accumulates at the top. something’s got to give.

    • JC

      Do you view government jobs as “real jobs”, Chuck? Or is the only good job a private sector job?

      And when tax cuts for the rich rack up 700 billion more in debt in the next 10 years that our kids are going to have to pay back (if the country doesn’t go bankrupt first, and/or have a revolution), either the conservative notion that debt is a jobs killer applies to all debt, or it is a hypocritical utterance.

  3. Ingemar Johansson

    WTF, Kennedy was shot over his tax cuts?

  4. Whether this incapacity stems from incompetency or complicity is not important.

    I disagree – it is incredibly important for people to understand the nature of the “two” party structure, good cop/bad cop. Democrats are not “weak” and do not fold. They manage the leftist impulses within the country, dampering expectations and assuring the wealthy sector that progressive change will not occur. They are strong and resolute.

    JFK and tax cuts is a topic all by itself. The so-called “Laffer Curve” was not called that, but in the era of high marginal rates, incentives were built into the code to direct investment to areas that were beneficial for all of us. There were investment tax credits to spur building of factories, a depletion allowance to spur domestic oil production. The people behind Reagan revamped all of this to simply say “lower marginal rates and hope for the best”, which has led us to our current bubble mentality. They actually built incentives into the code to encourage people to disinvest in this country, pull their money out of companies. It is insane only if one falls for the illusion that these people think of anything remoting resembling greater good.

    I spent decades wondering who shot JFK and why. As I have come to believe now, it wasn’t a big deal, just a confluence of events having nothign to do with Vietnam or taxes or public policy in any fashion. JFK is thought by many on the left to have wanted to get us out of Vietnam – in fact, he initiated the invasion that Johnson followed through on. No one can know, but I doubt things would have gone differently had he lived. Presidents really have very little to do with foreign policy.

    • lizard19

      maybe i should have said it’s not important to me.

      personally, i’m more concerned with the consequences of their actions, and those consequences will be disastrous.

      • JC

        Well, it may not be important as to the outcome, but in my mind incompetence on this level equates complicity.

        Obama has been a political blunder since day one. Either his political team has reached new heights in fail, or it is complicit with the corporatist agenda. In any case a continuation of this style of governance will assure that this country gets its first woman president (and a republican no less), or we’ll have an independent uprising and Michael Bloomberg will be prez.

        Obama is well on track to be a one termer. People may have thought that the mid terms, with depressed youth and minority turnout were a normal cyclical event. But I don’t see how Obama rebuilds his coalition without a 180 degree turn around. And I just don’t see it coming. He’s setting himself up for a loss, or to bow-out. He’s complicit in my mind, and that’s really, really sad for a purveyor of hope.

      • Where are the progressive impulses? Does he have any? The other shoe has fallen again and again …

  5. JC

    “what will the rich do with the victory they have won”

    That’s an easy one. They’ll reinvest their winnings in the corruptible politician futures market. Never fails to turn a mega profit.

  6. once you start down the wrong path and end up in the wrong drainage of a vast wilderness it seems daunting to turn back. the most prevalent human reaction (other than panic) is to follow the drainage to the lowest point (which in the case of the Mckenzie river is a mosquito infested braided swamp …..

    obama did not set a new course on his compass and the same trail this country has followed since 1980 has us stuck to our armpits in muck and debt and winter is coming on strong.

  7. Turner

    Is everyone just assuming that the Obama administration is going to sell out like this? Shouldn’t we wait to see what they actually do?

    • JC

      We are seeing what they are doing–which is failing to lead. That and a bunch of mushy gobbly-gook talk out of Obama and his PR’s mouths.

      Obama sold his candidacy on change–a change in process and style in the WH. When that didn’t pan out, he started rebranding
      “change” as changing Washington and Congress, which in his words “takes a little longer.”

      The Obama admin has continually undercut its own policy objectives by confusing the message with a bunch of garbage meant to appease the right and the center. And he tries to buff up his image as a moderate by distancing the left. WHich leaves him nowhere, because centrist independents have already voted against him in the midterms, and will do so again in ’12. And the left is demoralized by being sold a candidacy that has failed to live up to its rhetoric.

      Liberals, Independents and the left wanted Obama to clearly articulate what he and his admin stand for. And then to fight for them. He has failed miserably at that, and will continue to fail unless he changes his style and begins to lead. But the words out of his mouth and from his advisers and PR flaks speak otherwise.

      So if people don’t pull Obama to the left by holding him accountable to his pronouncements as a candidate and as a President to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the rich, well, then he sure isn’t going to do it himself. And if he caves, it will be the end of his presidency, as far as the left is concerned.

  8. More blasphemy!

    You must not criticize The Great Leader!

    He is so intellectually superior to everybody else, that if you don’t like his policies it’s because you are not intelligent enough to understand them! His problem has been communicating his policies so that people of our limited understanding can grasp what he’s trying to do!

    Have faith! Hope & Change forever!

    • lizard19

      coobs, sometimes i think there IS a difference between folks on the demoralized left and those on the arrogant right.

      you see, when democrats fail to act on their rhetoric, folks on the left seem to be more inclined to hold them accountable. i know it’s a strange concept to absorb for lock-step rightwing party automatons (though not all of you fit this description).

      this tendency to be hyper critical of each democrat sell out to their new corporate base is one of the reasons the American left is a fractured entity flailing about, still reluctant to admit betrayal. the friction between party loyalists and us radicals on the fringe (who, according to Jon Stewart, all think 9-11 was an inside job) can be palpable.

      the right, though, is fracturing as well, which is why the tea party is such a fascinating phenomenon. unlike some who perceive it as a mere extension of the GOP, i see legitimate libertarian strands that the fringe left should acknowledge and reach out to.

      imagine if us radical progressive leftists tried to find some common ground with our mirror opposites on the right?

      i know i know, but you’re wrong. i am not smoking my “medicine.” it could begin by lefty’s denouncing Clinton, and righty’s denouncing Bush.

      this comment is getting kind of long winded. but maybe good fodder for a later post.

  9. “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” This story isn’t written quite yet.

  10. the bagman cometh….

    i see the way is being prepared for the owl. looks like Health Care Reform all over again. i know the idea is for max to give the white house plausible deniability when it comes to caving on this slap in the face to struggling and working americans everywhere but hasn’t HCR taught obama that max sucks at his job?

    republicans smell weakness and fear emanating from the white house now. the right won’t be satisfied until max caves completely on this so called “negotiation”. greed wins again. and bad behavior is rewarded again. so what else is new in the land of the expensive if you are poor and free if you are rich?

    cue the lights, music and send in the king of all the clowns to divert and abuse us once again…..enter max baucus.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/129537-senate-democrats-could-offer-package-to-extend-all-tax-cuts-for-two-years

  11. Chuck

    The system is corrupt PB.
    Max is going to take care of his wealthy buddies and the left wont call him out because they are on the earmark gravy train. That’s probably why you didn’t hear ANY protest of Max from the North Missoula Community Development Corporation or Missoula Democrats regarding the health care bill. They wanted their $950,000. There are many other groups, left and right taking Max cash besides the above.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/earmarks.php?fy=FY09&cid=n00004643&cycle=2010

    • Banned in Beantown

      I don’t think earmarks, which are insignificant and only political chatter, have anything to do with this. You are on the right track though. Keep digging.

    • JC

      The system is a morally neutral entity, Chuck. People are corrupt. ANd Max is corrupt.

      But like Beano says, earmarks aren’t the problem. Corporate contributions are. And those are party agnostic.

      And who cares what NMCDC thinks about the health care bill? MIssoula Dems on the other hand probably think that most of the bill is fine.

      What would you do with the health care bill? Repeal it? Guaranteed to raise the debt/deficit if you do.

  12. Chuck

    It is not insignificant if it buys their silence or support.

    • JC

      Silence and support for what? For not speaking out about your pet issues? SIlence about issues that you think are important?

      The whole country is full of businesses that ignore what you or I think is important. Get used to it.

      Maybe they’re just trying to do the business they were incorporated to do, which I know infuriates you to no end.

      If you really hate the NMCDC and DFHs that much, why don’t you run for City Council Chuck? At least you’d have a soapbox to rail against the liberal socialist agenda being foisted upon the poor citizens on Missoula’s north side.

  13. So much of our political discussion is point and bark. “Earmarks!” Woof woof! “Sharia law!” Woof woof! “Mosque!!” …

    “Stop the wars!” … oops – real issues never enter our duscussions.

  14. Chuck

    Wow JC. Who’s railing?




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