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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Obama Caving to the Selfishness of the Propertied

I've been following politics less now that Obama has caved on his campaign pledge (or promise) not to extend the bush tax cuts for the rich.  The added growth expected in 2011 from ALL of the cuts is just a half of a percent of GNP growth.  I have read that the rich save their tax cuts rather than use them in ways that stimuate the economy.  As for savings, banks have enough capital to lend (this isn't why they are still skittish in 2010).  That the vacuous argument that tax cuts for the rich will somehow create lots of jobs and save the economy from another recession has had <em>any</em> weight or credance really discourages me about American political discourse.  That Obama didn't "just say no" is also discouraging. On December 14, 2010, Pat O'Reilly said on his Foxs News show that the "far left" is in retreat because Ameriicans have rejected it.  He said even Obama has rejected the left. I think the left has vanquished itself.  Perhaps it could be said that the left is willingly impotent. Where is Al Gore?  Ralph Nadar?  Micheal Moore?  silence.  Only the sound of Obama caving. He should have refused to sign a tax cut continuation for the rich and said the Repubs could refuse to extend the cut for lower and middle income people--it would be the Repubs provoking the resumption of higher taxes for everyone rather than just on those who can afford them.  We need a Teddy Roosevelt or an Andrew Jackson. Teddy stood up to Standard Oil, and Jackson stood up to the Second Bank of the United States. By contrast, Obama has operated largely in line with Wall Street (e.g., the bailout for the banks rather than foreclosed homeowners) and the health insurance industry (e.g. not even a public option, which was odious to the industry).  Barak Obama does not want to displease the powers that be; I suspect reelection has a lot to do with this state of affairs.  This raises the question: is there a counter in American politics to the selfishness of property?