PRESIDENT OBAMA’S IGNORANCE AND NAIVETE…

…has spread to the Senate Democrats. I believe they are completely ignorant of the economic prospects for the future of our country and they have completely misjudged the feeling of the public when it comes to the tax extension compromise, no, I meant the cave in by the President to the republicans.

Some economists are saying the framework of this proposed bill will have a “mild stimulative” effect on the near future, next year or so, to the tune of a potential bump in GDP of about 1% and about a million jobs added during that time. I believe the thinking by the President is if he can get a boost, though only temporary, to the economy and reduction in unemployment, that will be enough for him to win re-election in 2012. Conservative columnist and known “Obama Hater” Charles Krauthammer believes this is the case as well. By his thinking, the President snookered the republicans by getting the economy turn-around to claim as his own, therefore a win in the next election.

Because the republicans, particularly the extreme right-wing control the message in the country, they are already starting to label the deficit, with its almost 900 billion dollar addition thanks to this tax extension, as Obama and the Democrats responsibility. So, unless the Democrats can wrestle control of the message in this country away from the right-wing, Obama and the Democrats are toast in 2012.

Talk about hypocrisy! For the last year, the Democrats have railed about the huge deficit and the harm of not reducing it. They have even made a little progress. President Obama was left with a deficit of 1.43 trillion dollars by his predecessor and he has reduced that to 1.3 trillion after his first budget. Not much, but it’s a start. After the Democrats got bludgeoned in the mid-term elections, the Democrats, led by the President have changed their message to immediate economic measures for visible improvement for re-election purposes. They have taken a the headline page right out of the republicans playbook. We are over a week since the President’s proclamation that he can’t compete with the republicans at the negotiating table. Now he is acting shocked by the whole Democratic House caucus virtually saying they are opposed to the “compromise cave-in” by the President and the Senate Democratic leadership.

The President and the republicans have all misread the desires of the American people. Exit polling in November proved the people do not favor the extension of tax cuts for the top 2% of wage earners. The break-down is as follows; Democrats are 81% opposed to the tax cut extension for the wealthy, Independents are 68% opposed to that extension, and even republican voters by 52% are opposed to the measure. A CBS national poll a couple of weeks ago showed 67% of Americans are opposed to extending the cut-rate for the top 2% of income earners! So this begs the question; Who are Mitch McChinless and John Boner listening to? They obviously are not listening to their own constituencies. The polls reveal that fact. Isn’t it painfully obvious the constituency of the republican party is Wall Street and Corporate America? Those entities, led by the Chamber of Commerce and the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling, are taking charge of the governance of the United States. The President has the executive branch, majority in the Senate, and majority in the House. He claims he can’t get his agenda done because the republicans keep stopping him. He has the power and doesn’t know how to use it. Instead of fighting for what’s right, he simply gives in for expediency sake since January first is looming on the horizon.

How did this mess get to this point? Simple. The Democratic Party decided earlier in the year to table the tax extension debate until after the election. This was a huge mistake. A year ago, the Democrats should have started bringing bills for a vote knowing the republicans would oppose them or filibuster them. Simple solution, make the republicans bring their version of the bill to the floor for a vote. The Democrats would have had ample time to vilify the contents of the bill simply by painting it as more hand outs to the rich. Even if a bill came forward to the White House, the President has the power of the veto pen. The Democrats should have thrown it back on the republicans, force them to join in the governing of the country, and then prove how out of step with America they are. It’s not too difficult to prove loud and clear the constituents of the republican party reside on Wall Street and in board rooms. I’m still trying to figure out why Americans haven’t figured this out on their own. Why do I have to tell them? The really surprising thing is, where are the Tea-Baggers? The Tea-Bag movement is about individual and states’ rights. How can they sit by the side and watch as the big corporations in America are taking control of how America will be governed and watch our democracy erode until the country does become the third-world country it’s heading toward. The middle class, the once strong backbone of the country, keeps shrinking. The top 2% of the population controls about 70% of the wealth, and the percentage of families living under the poverty line is now about 14% and growing.

Now, via the gift the President and the republicans in Congress, are giving the top 2%, they have two more years to accumulate wealth at an accelerated pace. I find it fascinating that nobody seems to understand that tax cuts do nothing for the economy. Since they started in 2001, the country has gone from a 200 billion dollar budget surplus to a 1.43 billion dollar deficit. Also since that time, the economy has tanked, we’ve suffered through a record number of bankruptcies, a record number of home foreclosures, and record number of small business failures, and a sky rocketing number of unemployed workers. At the same time this phenonenen is occurring, the top 2% of income earners are getting wealthier and wealthier. The gap between the rich and poor is growing at an alarmingly fast pace. Our balance of wealth in the population is starting to look more and more like that of Uganda! This is not a good situation.

The republicans tired old line for the past ten years is that the country needs these tax cuts to spur business growth. As I cited earlier, it doesn’t work. The owners of the businesses that make more than a quarter million dollars in profit, about one half of one percent of the population, the corporate CEO’s and CFO’s, big attorneys, doctors, hedge fund managers, etc. take that tax break given them and put it in the bank. These people are not job creators, nor are the spenders, their savers. There is currently over three trillion dollars in cash laying in the accounts of American business and banks not being used for business growth. The republicans and the Chamber of Commerce say they are hesitant to spend the money because of the unknown nature of the tax cut extension. Well, they only got a two-year extension, so I guess that means they will continue to bank the money because they are unsure of what’s going to happen in 2012. This is simply bullshit! They have no intention to grow or invest in their businesses. They simply want to keep the cash, and welcome the extra free cash courtesy of the unfunded tax breaks.

The economy is headed for a hard fall. If this package goes through as written, it is going to add about 900 billion to the deficit. What happened to the outcry about the deficit that ultimately is going to crush the country’s economy. When China starts calling in the loans, the United States will be brought to its knees. What do the republicans and the President have to say about that?

This false deadline of the new year coming and the taxes going up is a non-issue. The House needs to dig in their heels and not give. Obama’s line about the good of the 98% of the people is bullshit. Congress, when a bill is finalized and approved, can write it retroactive to the first. That’s why this whole dog and pony show is crap. It’s political theater that’s bombing at the box office. These people are playing politics with this issue and ignoring the morality of its passage and the consequences. That free money being given to the top 2% is immoral. It does not help the country in the least and only and to the gap between the rich and the poor.

There is no doubt the country’s tax codes need to be re-written. They need to be simpler, they need to be rigid enough to eliminate loop holes, and across the board scaled to income. By simplifying and toughening the codes, the tax rates will indeed be lower for everyone by virtue of the elimination of loop holes and fraud. Now, we need politicians that have the spine to go after the tax system, without the influence of K Street, the Chamber of Commerce, the unions, and the Citizens United ruling. Part of tax code re-writing will need to include legislation that will make the Citizens United ruling void.

These are complex issues that became more difficult because a dysfunctional White House and spineless leadership in the Senate and the DNC. The President needs to move the rest of the “Chicago gang” out of the White House and bring in people who know and understand Washington. The DNC needs to be re-charged and start trying to get the message back from Fox News and the extreme right. They need a strong emotional leader that has an understanding of national politics, Governor Howard Dean comes to mind. That’s my view of things, my message has not changed since late spring of 2009. I’ve been consistent and I’ve been disappointed that the White House won’t listen to me. Thanks for today’s read and I look forward to reading your comments.
Cam Obert

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