Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Meet the new Oligarch, same as the old Oligarch

I had thought only Republicans were capable of making truly cynical speeches devoid of any real truth. President Obama has proven me wrong. In his speech he said “Because you don't negotiate with hostage takers, [except] when there's a risk the hostage gets harmed. Key thing is that this is a temporary compromise“. By that definition you would always negotiate with hostage takers and give them exactly what they want since hostage takers always have hostages that will be harmed.

And, since when is two years temporary? Especially considering that the next President will be a corporate Republican or worse. His claim that he must help the unemployed is a hollow claim because despite the Republican talk of the unemployed receiving 3 years of benefits there is nothing in the proposal to help the 99ers. With over 2 million out of benefits and the number growing rapidly, Obama’s concern is little better than crocodile tears for the people in the most need.

Corporations now put it right in their ads that “only those with jobs or recently laid off” need apply. The talking point is their skills are stale and there are 3 million unfilled jobs for lack of these skills. I’ll bet you a bowl of curry that they know exactly where to get workers with those skills and they’ll work for a third the pay. They come with the added benefit of being indentured to the company that gets them a visa. No shopping around for a better job, no complaining about working conditions or it’s back to Bombay on the next plane.

Now Obama is threatening the Democrats in Congress that the economy will collapse if they don’t give the hostage takers what they want. Obama is not stalling while the SWAT team comes rather he truly has Stockholm syndrome. Picture Obama as a newspaper heiress in a wig wearing a mini-skirt while brandishing a machine gun in a bank.

Obama said today that the economists have crunched the numbers and paint a rosy picture if we give into the rich holding a gun at the heads of the poor. These are the same economists who are always wrong when any new numbers come out. He has proposed no fundamental reforms but rather he is plowing ahead with more “free” trade. Like freedom and lunch, trade isn’t free. The founding fathers understood this. They fought a bloody war and literally risked all to free us from “free trade”.

With Obama’s new friends in Congress he will add trillions to the debt and provide no significant stimulus for the economy that continues to spiral toward a corporate oligarchy befitting a banana republic. It’s possible Obama has simply given up on reform and is simply playing the political game or maybe he has given up all together. The Republicans will continue to spin the failure of the economy as Obama’s fault since they agreed to “his“ plan.

The founders warned us about all the things that corporations do that they fought against but history was a long time ago. Obama’s knowledge of that era seems limited to the fact that he could not have entered the WH through the front door. Sadly he will give the keys back to that same corporate tyranny as he leaves.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Something to hold us until President Palin fixes everything

The corporate media is trumpeting the rumor that Obama was expecting at least 200,000 new jobs in November instead of 39,000 that were actually created. This is really an odd thing that the numbers could be so wildly wrong. The number of weekly jobless claims certainly didn’t suggest that we had turned any sort of corner on job creation. Rather the number would seem to be made up just to embarrass Obama and add pressure for Democrats to surrender to the Republicans holding unemployment benefits hostage.

The surrender being negotiated by Treasury Sec Tim Geithner would extend tax cuts for billionaires for another two years allowing the Republicans to run in 2012 on the continued bad economy as being Obama’s fault for the lack of “certainty” on the part of the job creating rich. Doubtless President Palin’s first priority will be to make the cuts bigger and permanent, assuming that she doesn’t launch the Armageddon first.

As a stimulus to the economy Obama is also going to accept a 2% cut in the payroll tax for one year. This approach to stimulus is only slightly better than giving the money to the rich. The poor who really need and would immediately spend the money will get little and this will be more than offset by the Republicans driving down wages. The middle class will typically get as much as a thousand dollars on average but again their wages are being driven down as well. The upper middle class and the rich however will each get 2140 dollars (twice that for a couple) on the maximum 107,000 that they are taxed on for Social Security and will not spend it.

The total cost of the proposed tax giveaways will cost more than the per year cost of Obama’s stimulus bill and that was one third tax cuts. The Republicans are guaranteeing that there will be no money for real stimulus programs while continuing to drive up the debt. Obama being desperate for the appearance of some success has finalized a truly stupid free trade deal with Korea further driving down the economy and cutting tariff revenue still further.

In a further giveaway to the really, really rich who can structure their income as capital gains, they will continue to pay an absolute maximum of 15% for the next two years. That is until President Palin reduces it to zero as Bush tried to do. While dynastic wealth will resume paying the “death tax” after a year off, the 35% rate on estates over the 10 million tax free exemption is the lowest since the start of the last Great Depression. President Palin will doubtless do away with the death tax and with all the rapture-ing and mass death going on, this will be very popular.