What MSNBC Won't Admit: Obama actually to right of Bachmann
According to financial economist and historian Dr. Michael Hudson:
It’s a good cop-bad cop charade. The Republicans are playing the role of the bad cop. Their script says: “You cannot raise taxes on anybody. No progressive income tax, no closing of tax loopholes for special interests, not even prosecutions for tax fraud. And we can get a lot of money back into the economy if we give a tax holiday to the companies and individuals that have been keeping their money offshore. Let’s free the wealthy from taxes to help us recover.’
Mr. Obama can turn around and pretend to be the good cop. “Hey, boys, let me at least do something. I’m willing to cut back Social Security. I’m willing to take over what was George Bush’s program. I share your worries about the budget deficit. We have to balance it, and I’ve already appointed a Deficit Reduction Commission to prepare public opinion for my cutbacks in the most popular programs. But you have to let me get a little bit of revenue somewhere.”
In the end the Republicans will make some small token concessions, but they’ll get their basic program. Mr. Obama will have sold out his constituency.
The problem is, how can Mr. Obama move to the right of where George Bush stood? The only way he can do this is for the Republicans to move even further to the right. So the Republicans are accommodating him by pushing the crazy wing of their party forward, the Tea Party. Michelle Bachman, Eric Cantor and their colleagues are coming with such an extremist, right-wing attitude that it gives Mr. Obama room to move way to the right as he triangulates, depicting himself a the less crazy alternative: “Look. I’m better than these guys are.”
He’s hoping that people will vote for him just because he’s not as extreme as the Tea Party. But the reality is that there is another alternative. People can “vote with their backsides” and stay home. There may not be many people showing up to vote on the Democratic side. So it’s possible for the Republicans to get in, now that there is so little real difference between their position and that of Mr. Obama. What’s the point of voting?
Yes, I know. How dismal. Sitting out the election is a vote for the rabid rat bastard Republicans.
But we are dealing with a BETRAYING CHARLATAN PRESIDENT. His along with the rabid rat bastard majority of pimped out to corporatists Dems’ betrayal of mainstream Americans is STUNNING.
Michael Hudson maintains that Obama’s economic war on the American people was already written up before now, like the invasion of Iraq was long before 9/11. Just waiting for a crisis to distract and confuse the American population to go full out PREDATORY on our democracy. Amiable “bankster puppet” Obama is just the actor to pull it off.
People would have thought before Mr. Obama was elected that the normal response to an economy falling into recession would be to increase counter-cyclical public spending. But the President is following neoliberal policy that makes the downturn much deeper, by cutting back government spending – especially on non-Wall Street programs. Instead of trying to get the budget back in balance by re-introducing progressive taxation, taxing wealth more highly than the lower income brackets, he is using tax revenues to help re-inflate the financial sector.
“He’s [Obama’s] going to go down as the man who brought on the depression that the Republicans never could have gotten away with. Only a Democrat posing as a left-winger could support the anti-labor, anti-wage, pro-Wall Street policies that his advisors have been pressing….The economy’s going under because Wall Street and investors realize that it’s a done deal.
Obama is escalating the depression to cut living standards and labor by 30 percent Hudson declares. He goes on:
The government will sell whatever it has, the Postal Service, to essentially buyers who will now borrow the money from the banks making a huge new market for banks and investment bankers, in privatizing and cutting up what used to be the public domain and turning it over to the wealthiest 10 percent of the economy.
“When I was in Norway one of the Norwegian politicians sat next to me at a dinner and said, “You know, there’s one good thing that President Obama has done that we never anticipated in Europe. He’s shown the Europeans that we can never depend upon America again. There’s no president, no matter how good he sounds, no matter what he promises, we’re never again going to believe the patter talk of an American President. Mr. Obama has cured us. He has turned out to be our nightmare. Our problem is what to do about the American people that don’t realize this nightmare that they’ve created, this smooth-talking American Tony Blair in the White House.”
Hudson says somebody has to lose when loans go bad and it is the taxpayers not the financial gangsters. Sec. Paulson’s 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) launched their protection and then came Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ($5.3 trillion) onto our government’s balance sheet.
Taking on the corporatists’ bad loans onto the government balance sheet protects the bondholders and big creditors and leaves the American taxpayers holding the bag. Makes sure the gangster capitalists DON’T LOSE ONE PENNY! Global governments are sacrificing their economies so that the financial sector predators in their countries won’t take any losses, either. WTF?
That tunnel vision is being fed to Mr. Obama’s by his Clinton- and Bush-era advisors, from Larry Summers to Tim Geithner. He is doing what nobody really imagined the kind of change that was possible when he was elected. He has let Michelle Bachman and the Republican Tea Party tax cutters move to the left of his position.
ARE YOU LISTENING? “HE HAS MOVED TO THE RIGHT OF MICHELE BACHMANN ET AL.!!!!”
Rep. Bachman recently pointed out that she voted against TARP from the beginning, as did other Republicans opposing the giveaway to the Wall Street interests. The Republicans also haven’t called to cut back Social Security to pay Wall Street. That’s the Obama-Geithner position. It’s put Democratic Congressional leadership in a bind, because they have difficulty opposing a president even though he’s moved to the right of the Republican Party.
Senators McCain, and Obama both believed that the economy actually needed to be led by Wall Street as central economic planner and resource allocator. Alan Greenspan voiced the ideology more nakedly, but Mr. Obama follows it to such an extent that Marshall Auerback has called him the “Tea Party President.”
So what is happening today was signalled even before Mr. Obama took office, by the right-wing economic appointments he made – Larry Summers, who had pushed bank deregulation and replacing the Glass-Steagall Act as his chief economic advisor; Tim Geithner, the bank lobbyist as Secretary of the Treasury; and Rahm Emanuel representing Wall Street the interests in the way that the Democratic Leadership Committee had done since the Clinton administration. Later, after Mr. Obama appointed Bush Administration carry-overs Ben Bernanke at the Fed and Defense Secretary Gates, he said that in order for there to be a recovery, the banks had to be made whole. That meant, not take a loss – and leaving their management in place even when the government took over their stock, as in the case of Citibank.
The Obama administration raised the financial sector’s bailout to $13 trillion. This has vastly increased the government debt. And now, Mr. Obama wants to bring it back down by cutting back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other social spending – to transfer wealth and income to the top of the economic pyramid. At the start of his administration he appointed a Deficit Reduction Commission led by advocates of cutting back Social Security and Medicare: Republican Senator Alan Simpson (McCain’s economic advisor!) and Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, representing the right-wing Democratic Leadership Committee cite above. The aim of this commission was to give Mr. Obama an “experts’ report” supporting the diametric opposite of the liberal constituency that voted for him.
This is how he is doing what politicians are supposed to do: delivering his constituency (liberals, racial minorities, urban dwellers and the poor – in fact, the American mainstream) to his campaign contributors.
In this respect the class war is back in business. We’re going into a depression that is unnecessary – except to drive down wage levels and strip away government obligations to pay for Social Security, Medicare and other public programs. This will enable the government to get rid of what remains of progressive taxation on the higher wealth and income brackets.
The stock market may fall, of course, and the bond market too as interest rates rise. But investors expect to be able to buy back these stocks at a lower price. Meanwhile, the game is over – the idea of investing in a growing market. The new game is to grab what one can and bail out. This is the post-bubble phase of the financial “cycle.”
The Democratic leaders feel boxed in. Nobody is prepared to challenge Mr. Obama in 2012. He still has his constituency in the Democrat party locked up. So they can’t run against him. Under Rahm Emanuel the Congressional leadership has promoted the worst of the Blue Dog Democrats. Fortunately, they were the major losers in the last election. But we’re still living with the consequences of Mr. Emanuel’s quip that a crisis is too good an opportunity to waste. He advised the President to use it to lock in the Democratic Leadership Committee’s pro-Wall Street program. This is the program of Clinton, Gore and Joe Lieberman. It is the mentality that led Mr. Obama to appoint Erskine Bowles and like-thinking members to the Simpson-Bowles Commission. He is now pushing its recommendations claiming that this is bipartisan. But I would say that it’s basically Republican, if I didn’t think that this really is where the Democratic Party also now stands – just as in Greece, austerity plans and privatization are being promoted by ostensible socialists.
Mr. Obama wants to cut $4 trillion out of the budget, while Republican leader Boehner only wants a 2.4 trillion cut over a shorter period. I’ve read that it was Obama, not the Republicans, who proposed putting Social Security cuts on the table. Why would he be proposing much larger cuts than the Republicans?
The main reason is that he is in a unique position to deliver enough Democratic votes to let the sell-out (“compromise”) go through. No Republican administration could get away with cutting Social Security. This is the most basic income protection program that Americans have. But now, it’s being depicted as a welfare program that is hurting the economy. Only a Democrat posing as a left-winger could really pull off what Mr. Obama is proposing.
Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Long Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His 1972 book, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. He is also author of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt and Global Fracture: The New International Economic Order, among many others. Dr. Hudson has been a consultant to foreign governments including Canada, Mexico and Russia. Visit his website at www.michael-hudson.com. That’s Michael dash H-U-D-S-O-N dot com.