Barack Obama’s Silly DOA Anti-Austerity Budget

In Barack Obama's world, there are those who do "spectacularly well"—meaning those who exploit their circumstances and other people to become fabulously wealthy, and there are those who are working hard to be those people. Yet, Obama wonders why in such a world, where the most heinous humans, soulless monsters of greed and hatred of poor people, are counted as doing "spectacularly well", there is not more general compassion. This from a man who regularly murders children and other innocent people with drone strikes.
In his weekend address to the nation, Barack Obama asked a question:
“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?”
Obviously, yes, “we” will—“we” have been doing it since the beginning after all. And what does “spectacular” even mean if everybody or most people can do it?

Well, that’s just one of the problems with Barack Obama. A lot of the time, he just doesn’t make much sense, even if his proposals are not wholly misguided.

So, why is now the time to call for passing a $4 trillion budget, one that demands at least some increases in social spending for poor and working class people? Shouldn't Obama have pushed for big spending to help most Americans all along?

Of course a lot of conservatives will tell you that Obama has been doing just that, which is why Americans dumped Democrats in the fall election. And they will tell you that when Democrats controlled Congress the first two years of Obama’s administration, the huge, communistic, entitlements to poor people nearly wrecked rich people and corporations (the “job creators”).

And these same conservatives will also tell you science is the work of Satan.

But the truth is the little bit of spending Obama got through his first couple of years mainly helped rich people and corporations expand their wealth and domination over America. Poor people, working people, got a few crumbs to make the most dire economic crisis since the Great Depression seem slightly less horrible.

And what about the much-beloved “middle class” the Democrats have pledged themselves to? The dirty little secret about them is that they don’t really exist any longer. The “middle” isn’t that, but should correctly be classified as the lower wealthy class. Even talking heads on television, people making millions of dollars every year, claim that they are “middle class”. Clearly, the meaning of key words has changed.

Meanwhile, rich people, banks, corporations all said the same thing to Barack Obama—hey thanks for the bailouts, the cash incentives and tax breaks (to hire people that, you know, we didn’t do), and especially thanks for driving American labor to the brink of ruin and insanity.

Because that last bit of the Great Recession—caused by massive sustained unemployment and the corporate reaction to it of reshaping "jobs" as a privilege Americans had to work for free to (possibly) earn, turned American workers into Chinese-style slaves. It also increased the profits the rich were getting from running their businesses. After all, as any Confederate slaveowner could have told you—and as many of their descendants in the Republican Party ARE telling us today—“free” is the best price to pay for labor.

So, now, Obama tells us:

“I want to work with Congress to replace mindless austerity with smart investments that strengthen America.”

So, how did the “mindless austerity” come into effect? Oh you know, through that across-the-board budget cuts that happened when Congress refused to work with Obama and the Democrats to avoid them. Those cuts, called “Sequester” budget reductions, were initially put into place to force the Democrats and the Republicans to work out some kind of “Grand Bargain”, which basically means throwing current Americans under the bus to save a mythical future America half a century from now.

As Paul Krugman recently said, and has been saying, this kind of economics, designed to bolster the wealth of an elite minority of current Americans by making the majority of Americans, who deserve assistance (in a civilized country anyway) even more than rich people, pay the cost of saving Americans in 2065, is heinous and stupid:
“Even where the long-term [debt] issues are real, it’s truly strange that they have so often taken center stage in recent years. We are, after all, still living through the aftermath of a once-in-three-generations financial crisis. America seems, finally, to be recovering — but Bowles-Simpsonism had its greatest influence precisely when the United States economy was still mired in a deep slump. Europe has hardly recovered at all, and there’s overwhelming evidence that austerity policies are the main reason for that ongoing disaster. So why the urge to change the subject to structural reform? The answer, I’d suggest, is intellectual laziness and lack of moral courage.”
Nevertheless, one cannot look at the Obama budget proposal and not think about how great it would have been if he had been making $4 trillion budget proposals, and getting them approved by Congress, all along. Or hey—maybe bigger budget proposals than that.

All over the world, and especially in Europe, the economics of austerity has failed. Even in the USA, where the economy has come back big time for wealthy people, the deep, structural and moral damage done to most Americans through savage budget cutting has been a mortal wound for millions of Americans. They have lost careers, homes, futures, and their families in the vast, GOP-style recovery.

Why did Barack Obama allow that to happen? Because for most of his presidency he preached at people that compromise was king of American politics, that “maturity” is reaching across the aisle to make a deal with the other side.

The problem was Barack Obama started out the negotiations by giving away the house (he had already lost the House) to people whose number one goal was to compromise with him when Hell froze over. The American people stood no chance with that kind of cowardly, hatefully stupid leadership in both parties, but Obama had the obligation to stand up to the Republicans, to protect the people, and he failed to do so.

What Obama should have done was to call upon the American people to descend on Washington DC—in the tens of millions—to demand their legislators do the work for the people, and not just for the ruling class. But, again, Obama failed to do this, as his ability to inspire action on the part of Americans began and ended at the voting booth on the two election days he won the Presidency. Why did Obama so often kowtow to the demands of Wall Street, corporations, and the rich ruling class? At this point we have to admit that a big reason he failed to stand up for the American people is because Obama is also the ruling class.

And so when Obama offers up this $4 trillion budget, one that stands no chance of being passed by Republicans, it is both a reminder of what the GOP is willing to do to Americans, as well as a reminder of what Barack Obama has utterly failed to do for Americans.