Monday, November 29, 2010

Since Obama Will Never Be Judged As A Good President, He Seems Determined To Prove He's More Destructive Than Bush!


The anti-people Cat Food Commission presidency

Obama has managed to piss off just about every core constituency that voted for him in 2008. It's basically why Democrats and left-leaning independents didn't show up at the polls 3 weeks ago and why the Democrats lost 63 House seats. It's also why many political observers are certain he's destined to be a one-term president who will go down in history-- aside from being the first African-American president-- as the president who followed George W. Bush and was just as awful. Who would have imagined such a thing was possible and that such promise would turn to shit?

I should also mention that in his shortsighted mania to try to make everyone like him he has only infuriated the right. No matter what he does, they will always hate him and always say he doesn't do enough (Look at that tweet from vicious right-winger Darrell Issa, the richest plutocrat in Congress within minutes of the President's announcement.). So now his base of support has eroded to some African-Americans and those who just blindly support the presidency as an institution. Today's decision to impose a two-year pay freeze on most civilian federal workers is probably the final nail in his political coffin.
The president’s proposal will effectively wipe out plans for a 1.4 percent across-the-board raise for 2.1 million civilian federal government employees in 2011 and 2012. The military would not be affected.

Obama will not be announcing a cut in what the U.S. pays well-connected contractors or in payoffs to the Taliban. Here's the press release the White House sent out this morning to try to put a good face on this latest mess:
Because of the irresponsibility of the past decade, the President inherited a $1.3 trillion projected deficit upon taking office and an economic crisis that threatened to put the nation into a second Great Depression. He moved quickly to get the economy moving again. Now, the economy is growing, and we have gained private sector jobs for the past 10 months. But families and businesses are still hurting, and our top priority is making sure that we are doing everything we can to help boost economic growth and spur job creation.

Now, we need to turn our attention to addressing the massive deficits we inherited and the unsustainable fiscal course that we are on. Doing so will take some very tough choices. Just as families and businesses around the nation have tightened their belts so must their government. That must be done in a targeted way that focuses our investments in what works and in what will lay the foundation for job creation and economic growth for years to come while cutting back elsewhere in our budget.

That is why the President has decided to propose a freeze in civilian pay for federal employees for two years, 2011 and 2012.

• This two-year pay freeze will save $2 billion for the remainder of FY 2011, $28 billion over the next five years, and more than $60 billion over the next 10 years.

• It will apply to all civilian federal employees, including those in various alternative pay plans and those working at the Department of Defense-- but not military personnel.

This was a decision that was not made lightly. From the doctors and nurses who care for our veterans to the scientists searching for better treatments and cures, the men and women who care for our national parks, and the thousands who make sure that the Social Security check is in the mail and that students get their scholarships, federal workers serve their fellow Americans. They do so often with great sacrifice and motivated by a patriotic love for their country. This freeze is not to punish federal workers or to disrespect the work that they do. It is the first of many actions we will take in the upcoming budget to put our nation on sound fiscal footing-- which will ask for some sacrifice from us all.

Except, of course, the Wall Street banksters whose greed and avarice caused the economic crash and who have gotten richer and richer since Obama was elected. Instead of making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share of taxes, Obama will now preside over giving them unwarranted and tyrannical tax decreases paid for my cuts to the middle class. He's as bad as any Republican-- but with a nicer bow on the package. He is, in effect, cutting the buying power, when you take inflation into account, of nearly one percent of the population. He should resign and go run for mayor of Chicago.

Among the progressive groups mortified at Obama's latest betrayal of working families on behalf of the Wall Street interests that financed his campaign are the Economic Policy Institute, Demos and The Century Foundation, all of which insist it's a mistake to freeze pay until the economic recovery from the recent recession has taken hold more firmly.
“We think that is a terrible idea. We should be raising wages,” Irons said in a press call. “It is unclear why the president would want to do this.”

“It reinforces the concern we have that the focus has shifted from creating jobs to deficit reduction. It is far too soon to be doing that. We need to be focusing on ways to lower 9.6 percent unemployment,” Anrig said.

The representatives argued that federal pay has lagged private-sector pay and the reduction announced by Obama today would exacerbate the difference.

EPI, Demos and The Century Foundation today released their own plan for reducing the deficit, titled “Investing in American’s Economy,” which they said reduces the deficit to a “sustainable” level while protecting economic growth and entitlement benefits.

In contrast to the plan proposed by the chairmen of the president’s deficit commission, the liberal groups’ plan focuses more heavily on raising revenue.

The deficit commission draft proposal relied on 75 percent spending cuts compared to 25 percent in revenue increases. Irons said the EPI-Demos-Century Foundation plan relies on about one-third spending cuts, one-third revenue increases and one-third reductions in tax expenditures such as tax credits.

The plan also proposed short-term stimulus spending in order to bolster the recovery, to the tune of $250 billion in 2011 and $200 billion in 2012. This spending would be focused on early childhood development, transportation infrastructure, expanding rural access to broadband, bolstering healthcare information technology and research, and development spending, Draut explained.

Paul Krugman was just as thrilled with Obama's rush to the rght: Yep, that’s exactly what we needed: a transparently cynical policy gesture, trivial in scale but misguided in direction, and in effect conceding that your bitter political opponents have the right idea.

Nothing is going to make me vote for any of the GOP kooks who want to replace him but it would be tragic for progressives to not challenge him in a primary where, at the very least, a progressive agenda can be laid out to contrast to Obama's conservative vision and the GOP's reactionary push. Blue America is urging Bernie Sanders to consider such an option. I have the impression that no one is even listening to Obama any longer. People-- including his most ardent former supporters-- just want it to be over. See if you can get through this whole thing:



At 2:24 PM, Blogger SallyB said...

2011 will mark my 3rd year on a frozen salary, so those Federal employees who are just now being told that their salaries will be frozen for two years are getting off lucky compared to some of us in the public sector, for whom life has been terribly hard in the face of this recession.

Sure, it's a bitch being a public employee in a taxpayer funded job during an economic downturn, but on some level, those of us who work those jobs know that we're the first to feel the pain when tax revenues go down that pay our salaries. Is it fair? Hell, no, but it's the price we pay for being public employees. We are often asked to make the deepest sacrifices, salary-wise, when times get tough.

I personally think that we ought to return to the marginal tax rates we had long ago when the super rich paid 90% of their income in taxes. They shelter so much of their income now in offshore tax havens that they often pay less tax than people like me, a $33,000 a year library assistant with almost 30 years experience. Living on a fixed income means I keep trying to find ways to tighten my belt even further and further as prices go up and my spending power goes down.

The price I pay for working in a public sector job......

At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with SallyB's comment. I'm not a public sector worker, but I have experienced massive drops in salaries offered to contractors in the electronics industries, down to close to 1/3 what i could bill in 1998, in actual dollars. If the opinion of the talking heads is up the pay, then that has to be across the board. If I am frozen or cut while the public sector continues to rise, then I am a loser twice.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Writeguy said...

You think Obama is bad? Just wait till the GOP gets back in power in Jan. Then you'll come flooding back to the President's side. This isn't his end, this is the start of his finest hour. Just you wait.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Barry Brenesal said...

Jacob, whatever his motivations for playing a GOPer, Obama is making nearly all the decisions a Republican would in the WH. Will a genuine GOPer prove worse? Sure; but it will 1) get rid of a truly awful corporatist who's killing the party, 2) drill into the entertainment-laden minds of Americans that the GOP is really responsible for things getting very much worse, and 3) provide an opportunity for the Dem Party to rebuild its trust with its core constituencies. Given the choice of this, or another four years of GOP Obama, I'll take getting rid of Obama--assuming the Dems can't find a good populist to run in 2012.

Which admittedly may be difficult, since nowawdays a requirement for accepting high office in the party seems to be checking your spine at the door.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Caro said...

>>Who would have imagined such a thing was possible and that such promise would turn to shit?

Those of us who imagined it were cursed and reviled and banned from most so-called progressive blogs.

And we were racists, too.

Carolyn Kay

At 6:22 PM, Anonymous Scoremore said...

You have to cut somewhere and you have to start somewhere, if it saves only $2 Billion, so be it, but lets not belittle any savings small or large because that’s the kind of attitude that helped get the Federal Government into this mess in the first place. Every Billion matters and if they cut enough of those Billions, they add up.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Caro, I can't imagine why anyone would ever imagine you were racist...

At 9:32 PM, Blogger libhom said...

I am outraged that Barack Bush is stealing money from federal employees instead of making wealthy donors pay their fair share in taxes. This administration is as corrupt and un American as the last one.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Caro said...

It's racist to call Obama a con man?

You Obots have cried wolf too many times. Nobody's listening any more.

Carolyn Kay

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous richierich43 said...

Obama is far better then any Republican considering running in 2012. He has not hit home run after home run for Progressives, but considering the circumstances he faces, I think he has done admirably. Obviously, you disagree, but you brought up the real issue facing us. Who would do better? In our current political climate, Bernie sanders or anyone close to his view points would be chewed up and spit out in minutes. Rather than blaming the president we need to counteract the right wing propaganda machine. Of course, the typical liberal reaction to a strong headwind is to eat their own.


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