This is a repeat of a blog published in December 2010. It is still applicable today, March 4, 2011, and I would add that my contention that President Obama shows no negotiation skills is clearly applicable. Now that he is negotiating the budget with Republicans, he is also not representing Democratic principles nor certainly those of Progressives.–Dr. Tom Baldwin, 3/4/11
Senator McConnell claimed on CNN-Sunday December 19, that the bill was 76% Republican, 12% Democratic and the rest could be argued. That’s about 80/20, exactly what Ronald Reagan said it would take to be a Republican. Interesting, huh?
Does anyone remember the calls from astronauts in space when they perceived that they had a serious problem? Their calls were very calmly: “Houston we have a problem.” Now Americans in the space outside of Washington don’t know who you call. Is it Ghostbusters?
The events we witnessed in passing the Tax Cut Bill were really inconceivable to anyone with a degree of common sense. The President set the stage by “negotiating” with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, those Republicans he labeled as holding him hostage, to agree to a tax cut for millionaires in exchange for obtaining payments for the unemployed through unemployment insurance. That was the beginning of this episode. Once they had an agreement it was sent to Congress for consideration.
Congress took this proposal and worked it to completion. The result was a bill that the President declared “mission accomplished”, the bill was signed and the glorification of compromise and bipartisanship was declared. Everyone was supposed to receive a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Washington.
No matter how one looks at this he/she can make some or all of the following obervations and perhaps have some of the following questions answered:
1. This place called Washington is a “Cuckoo’s Nest”. Maybe we need to call Jack Nicolson to tell us what to do.
2. Explain to us how a continuation of Reaganomics (Voodoo, trickle down, supply side) is going to get us out of this mess by continuing the Bush economic policies which brought us to our knees.
3. Explain to us how acceptance of a cut in payroll tax (social security contributions) is going to strengthen the social security system.
4. Tell us what is in this bill to solve the unemployment problem we have when this is simply a continuation of what we have been doing for the past ten years. The Bush years were the worst on public record for creating jobs.
5. Tell us what this is going to do for us about the deficit/debt problem which the Republicans have been screaming about and have been quite quite willing to contribute additional debt. This bill will increase the debt immediately starting in January.
6. Tell us how this “plan” is going to change the incredible wealth/income inequalities that have been going on for the past 30 years.
7. Tell us why corporations are not going to see this as an excellent opportunity to invest in foreign nations instead of here and tell us why banks are not going to see this nation as a bad investment.
Nope, I don’t see this as a good “deal” of the President buying this used car. It costs us at least 850 billion dollars and we’re going to borrow it from the Chinese. Frankly, I don’t want the President negotiating anything else for me in the future. And apparently there are a lot of progressives and Democrats that feel the same way.
The President tried to put lipstick on this Republican pig and make it look better, but that pig is sitting there with a big smile on its face and a big red R in the middle of its forehead.
But the torch has finally passed clearly from Bush to Obama. It is flaming out of control as we now enter an era of Obamanomics. As Robert Reich discusses in his excellent article in the link below it is basically a continuation of what we have had, with the eight year exception of the period that President Clinton gave us. The deficits are now President Obama’s, the unemployment is his, and the responsibility for the economy is his. In other words the buck stops right on his desk and he has alienated much of his base.
May I also add that the responsibility for the Afghanistan war is his as he has decided to increase the size of that war and spend more than 2 billion dollars a week there.
So how do I feel about this? I’m extremely disappointed and almost depressed. I had great hopes that there would be some significant change in 2008. I bought into, hook line an sinker, the theme of the campaign. But now when I hear the question from an obnoxious Sarah Palin who asks: “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out”? ; I will respond by saying: Not worth a shit!
I plan to respond, however, by moving on with some positive suggestions about our future.
Please see this article by Robert Reich recently posted to place this blog in the proper context:
Dr. Tom Baldwin, Biloxi, MS 12/18/2010