Obama’s Unprogressive Domestic Policies

December 17, 2008

Socialism for the Megarich

Barack Obama has been almost universally supportive of President Bush’s plans to throw free money from tax payers to extremely wealthy investors whose recklessness brought about this, the greatest world economic crisis in 70 years. Right now we are looking at EIGHT AND A HALF TRILLION DOLLARAS being handed out, at a time when all kinds of necessary spending on human needs and a sustainable economy are being rejected due to “lack of funds.”

Even more damning is the likelihood that financial regulation will not be reintroduced to prevent similar crises from repeating in the near future, and that many of the people who (almost purposely) engineered this disaster are now coming back to power in the new Obama administration. (Lawrence Summers and Robert Reich in particular.)

Obama supports a multibillion dollar giveaway to US automakers, whose commitment to producing fuel inefficient vehicles (and fighting of legislation to improve fuel efficiency standards) has brought them to bankruptcy. It does not appear that Obama will require much change in the kind of vehicles the “Big 3” produce as part of the bailout.

A Fake “Green Economy”

One of the few inspirations for hope in our current economic problems was the chance that they would cause the institution of the kinds of radical economic changes that humanity needs to survive coming resource shortages.

Obama has taken this theme, stripped it of legitimate accountability, expert opinion, and hard numbers, and turned it into his first major address to the nation. Now we hear that “rebuilding roads” (the opposite of a green solution) and “replacing wasteful lightbulbs in schools” (as opposed to just banning wasteful lightbulbs and other kinds of wasteful production, like hummers, as was done during WWII) is the best he can offer a world on the brink.

Earlier, his campaign had mentioned the cost of the bailout as the reason why they would not be able to follow through on their promises to greatly increase alternative energy production in the US.

Finally, Obama has consistently embraced ethanol as both a solution to resouce problems and a magic cure for rural America. In fact, grain ethanol is, to quote the UN, “a crime against humanity,” responsible for most of the doubling of grain prices that we saw this year, leading to great increases in hunger. As the Worldwatch Institute points out, the grain needed to make enough ethanol to fuel an SUV up just once could feed a person for one year.

In fact, as currently produced it takes more energy to produce ethanol than can be derived from it–it only exists dude to massive government subsidies, the same subsidies that cause non-subsidized farmers in the developing world to go bankrupt when “free trade” agreement banning their tariffs are enforced, as Obama plans to continue doing.

Taxes

It seems that Obama flat out lied about taking away the giant Bush tax cuts for the megarrich, and also hopes to to withdrawal his proposal to tax oil companies on the insane profits they’ve recently enjoyed at the expense of everyone else. He may still follow through on plans to cut taxes for the “middle class” (at a time when the US faces it’s greatest deficits and need for public investment ever), but keep in mind that when leading Democrats talk about the middle class, they mean people who make $250,000-$100,000 per year.

Obama opposes critical fuel taxes (supported by every leading environmental scientist and environmental body) that would be used to support the development of alternative energy.

There is now emerging historical consensus that targeted public spending–and NOT tax cuts for wealthy corporations and individuals–is the best way to help the real economy recover and grow.

Healthcare

Obama opposes universal healthcare (aka “single payer”) , which is supported by most Americans and is successfully used by most developed nations to provide healthcare to all their citizens at a fraction of the cost of what Americans spend per person each year. His plan amounts to forcing people to pay inefficient private insurance companies.

Selling Out

Obama’s congressional allies have claimed that he and them won’t be able to keep their promises to pass a major economic stimulus package due to “resistance from Republicans in congress.” The Democratic Party already controls the majority of both houses, and with just one moderate Republican could break any filibuster in the Senate. Therefore this claim is a lie.

economic-benefits1

Good public spending benefits the economy far more than tax cuts. Note that infrastructure spending that leads to renewable power, public transit and energy efficiency has an even greater return on dollar invested. Even greater is the value of simply regulating best-practices of efficiency into all new production, construction, and design.

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