Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

News Media Matters

02.16 We Shouldn't Stick Our Heads In The Sand, But We Do It Anyway [26:46 audio; Fear like Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.16 The Realized Temptations of NPR and PBS [With bribed-to-be-biased media and government, we all live in a "Truman Show"-style concentration camp]

02.15 Samantha Bee: Fox News 'soiling themselves over the Green New Deal' [video clips from Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert]

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

02.18 The Green New Deal Isn’t Too Expensive. Doing Nothing Is.

02.18 With the Green New Deal, Democrats Present a Radical Proposition for Combatting Climate Change

02.18 Dictator Trump

02.18 With Americans Outraged Over Trump's 'Power Grab Based on Lies,' Nearly 250 President's Day Protests Planned Across the Country

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.13 The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change [For the survival of life on earth, capitalism must be effectively regulated or banned]

02.12 Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' [Willfull ignorance of Trump, Republicans, corporate-media and corporate-Democrats is steadfast, if not worsening]

02.11 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else [and the poor will die out like the insects]

02.10 Green New Deal Targets Link Between Trade Policy and Climate Change

International & Futurism

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw

02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: More on Obama's Capitulation and Betrayal
WILL OBAMA RUN AGAINST PALIN IN THE PRIMARIES?

More on Obama's Capitulation and Betrayal

by Stephen Lendman
Thursday, 9 December 2010
There will be a price to pay for excessive borrowing and bad policies overall, especially ones leaving the housing market and jobs situation in disarray. The former is still cratering, the latter getting no stimulus help.

With help from Democrats controlling both Houses, Obama put a criminal cabal in charge of furthering the greatest wealth transfer in history. In the process, he's hollowing out America, eliminating the middle class, centralizing power, eroding social services, destroying jobs and communities, and creating poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, a permanent underclass, and depravation under militarized homeland repression.

A man of the people promising change, in fact, is a shameless demagogue, a serial liar, a hardline corporatist serving big money wealth and power against ideals candidate Obama professed. He facilitated a Wall Street coup d'etat, lavished handouts on other corporate favorites, and now his latest December 6 betrayal, capitulating to Republicans on tax cuts for the rich and super-rich, throwing crumbs at working Americans to soothe public anger.

Despite a clear victory for wealth and power, Obama calls his decision "a good deal for the American people," defending it as a back-door stimulus plan, saying:

Business must create jobs. "The single most important jobs program we can put in place is a growing economy. The single most important anti-poverty program we can put in place is making sure folks have jobs and the economy is growing....if the private sector is not hiring faster than (currently), then we are going to continue to have problems no matter how many programs we put in place."

Obama is no FDR

False as Roosevelt's New Deal agenda showed - 15 landmark laws enacted to deal with a troubled economy, including government funded stimulus to revive it. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) aid pumped billions into the economy in loans to banks, railroads, farm mortgage associations, other businesses and states.

The Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) refinanced homes to prevent foreclosures, extending short and longer-term loans for up to 30 years. It prevented over a million home defaults - about one-fifth of those owned, the equivalent of 10 million today, at a time half were troubled, and annual mortgage lending and residential construction was down 80%.

The Civilian Conservation (CCC) put unemployed men to work on numerous projects - building roads, bridges, dams, state parks, planting trees, and various forestry and recreational programs for the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, and Soil Conservation Service.

The Civilian Works Administration (CWA) supplied over $3 billion for various work and transient projects, created temporary jobs for over 20 million. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) then replaced it.

The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) established the National Recovery Administration (NRA) as an initiative to revive economic growth, encourage collective bargaining, set maximum work hours, minimum wages, at time prices, and prohibit child labor in industry.

The Public Works Administration (PWA) initiated projects to provide jobs, increase purchasing power, improve public welfare, and help revive economic growth by putting people back to work - on projects, including electricity-generating dams, airports, schools, hospitals, affordable housing, and more.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) became the largest New Deal agency, employing millions in every state, especially in rural and western areas. Its programs found jobs for about 60% of the nation's unemployed on projects like construction and various types of development, but also in areas of education, the arts, health, and other community initiatives for professional and white collar workers, plus other efforts to feed children and redistribute food, clothing and provide housing.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) provided navigation, flood control, electricity generation, economic development, and agricultural promotion in most of Tennessee as well as parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. It was Washington's largest regional planning agency and remains so today. It built 16 dams and a steam plant, produced electricity cheaply, and through the Electric Home and Farm Authority (EHFA) helped farmers buy major electric appliances with low-cost financing.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) restricted production by paying farmers to reduce and/or destroy crops and kill livestock to decrease supply and raise prices, inappropriately at the wrong time when millions were impoverished and hungry. It ran counter to vitally needed policy to produce low-cost food, make it affordable for millions, and relieve hunger. It also subsidized owners, not tenant farmers or sharecroppers badly needing help.

The Farm Credit Act helped farmers refinance mortgages over an extended time at below-market rates. By so doing, it helped them stay solvent. It also created the Farm Credit Administration to make loans for the production and marketing of agricultural products as well as regulate and examine banks, associations, and related Farm Credit System entities. It was a network of borrower-owned financial institutions to provide credit to farmers, ranchers, other agricultural interests, and rural utility cooperatives.

The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act provided refinancing help for farmers facing foreclosure.

Despite its flaws, failures and setbacks, FDR's New Deal was remarkable in what it accomplished - mirror opposite of Obama's betrayal, selling out to wealth and power interests at the expense of public need. In contrast, New Deal initiatives put millions back to work, reinvigorated the national spirit, built or renovated 700,000 miles of roads, 7,800 bridges, 45,000 schools, 2,500 hospitals, 13,000 parks and playgrounds, 1,000 airfields, and other infrastructure projects, including Chicago's lakefront.

It cut unemployment from 25% in May 1933 to 11% in 1937, before spiking after Roosevelt declared victory too soon. War production then restored economic growth, created full employment, and ended the Great Depression.

Overall, Roosevelt revived a sick economy. Obama's policies wrecked it by shunning massive job creation programs. Instead, he looted the Treasury for Wall Street, stresses warmaking over domestic stimulus, and ignores public need, except small measures like temporarily extending unemployment insurance, several tax credits, and adjusting the alternative minimum tax.

No Framework for Infrastructure, Good Jobs or Fiscal Health

Longtime market analyst/insider Bob Chapman said despite trillions of Fed QE, the economy is "barely to the plus side....Only the speculators in banking and on Wall Street are having a good time. This is the same monetary and fiscal management that was witnessed in the late 1920s. Credit growth and financial flows increased exponentially." America, European, and other "economies are making the same mistakes, thus, no one is going to escape....It is not going to be pretty as prices rise, wages stagnate and unemployment grows." Counterproductive measures "can only mean worse results in the end." Growing problems look increasingly insurmountable, bad policies exacerbating, not relieving, them.

Economist David Rosenberg says "the bond market (is) signal(ing) that there is no commitment in the United States to get its fiscal house in order....It remains to be seen if a temporary move to reduce payroll taxes" gives the economy life. "By definition, people only alter their behavior based on changes to their income, wealth and job situation that are considered to be permanent."

The 2008 tax rebates were "fleeting" and ineffective. The "hyperbole" about Obama's "fiscal package is amazing - USA Today said it's a "sweeping tax deal." Moody's Mark Zandi called it "a game-changer." Rosenberg said "have mercy on me, please. If there is a game-changer, it is that we supposedly have a new Congress that got elected on fiscal probity."

Obama's compromise adds $984 billion to the deficit through 2012. "Yet there is nothing here that resolves either the ongoing crisis in housing or employment." At best, maybe people with extended unemployment insurance "will be able to turn up the heat....middle class (recipients) will be able to fill their tanks" at higher prices, and rich folks already have plenty to do as they please, and don't need more they'll save, not spend.

"Under closer inspection, there wasn't really that much 'new' in (Obama's) announcement, except" that he "repeal(ed) everything he said he stood for during the election campaign like reducing the extreme income bifurcation exacerbated during the Bush era."

That aside, his "bells and whistles" still leave growth "totally abnormal," a slow-growth economy producing way too few jobs, what it mostly needs to revive. Moreover, state and local cutbacks add another cloud as well as possible European debt defaults. Key is that administration and Fed policies show "the US has no intention of getting its fiscal house in order."

There will be a price to pay for excessive borrowing and bad policies overall, especially ones leaving the housing market and jobs situation in disarray. The former is still cratering, the latter getting no stimulus help. On the contrary, Obama aggressively targeted labor, including through auto industry forced GM and Chrysler bankruptcy and reorganization wage-cutting, reverberating throughout the industry and others. At the same time, he intervened to quash any attempt to impose pay limits on executives of corporate swindlers, especially insolvent banks, leaving them free to speculate with public money but do nothing to increase lending to stimulate growth.

A Final Comment

Congressional Democrats still control both Houses with substantial majorities and will until the 112th Congress convenes in January. Yet, on December 7, New York Times writers David Herszenhorn and Sheryl Stolberg headlined, "Obama Defends Tax Deal, but His Party Stays Hostile," saying:

Despite Vice President Joe Biden's efforts to enlist support, he "failed to convince many of his old Senate colleagues to line up behind the plan at a tense lunch meeting....About a dozen Senate Democrats (voiced support). Aides said about 30 were firmly opposed, leaving 16 or so undecided" with no assurance deficit hawk Republicans will back their leadership's push for passage.

Opposition rhetoric from both Houses is strong. Senator Bernie Sanders called the deal "an absolute disaster and an insult to the vast majority of the American people," giving tax breaks to the rich, "driving up our deficit, and increasing the growing gap between the very rich and everybody else."

The same Bernie Sanders railed against Obamacare and financial reform, leaving industry giants unregulated, unaccountable, and unrestrained, then caved by voting to pass both. Expect a repeat if his vote is needed, as well as from enough Democrats to assure victory for Republicans and the wealthy, a giveaway transfer of more wealth to those already with too much, leaving working people on their own to take the hindmost.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on December 9, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: