By Stephen Lendman
A previous article explained his sellout to Republicans last year on extending tax cuts to America’s aristocracy, accessed through the following link: http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/12/obama-capitulates-to-republicans.html
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It shouldn’t surprise that on April 8, he repeated what’s become a habit – breaking every major campaign pledge by backing reactionary Republican measures, harming working Americans most, besides governing lawlessly at home and abroad and much more, hurtling the nation dangerously far right, tipping it toward neoserfdom enforced by repressive harshness.
Last December he said:
“(W)ithout a willingness to give on both sides, there’s no reason to believe (the current) stalemate won’t continue well into next year….I am not willing to let that happen….it would be the wrong thing to do. As a result, we arrived at a framework for a bipartisan agreement,” what, in fact, was assured well in advance of his announcement.
Obama’s notion of “tough choices” includes:
— permanent wars;
— greater super-rich enrichment;
— temporary social benefit crumbs; as well as
— class warfare through neoliberal austerity for working Americans, mainly middle class ones, targeted for elimination.
Neither Obama or congressional allies explain, or that both parties accelerated it in recent years, most recently on April 8, again betraying loyal constituents who support him, besides America’s most needy.
On April 9, a White House Office of the Press Secretary announcement said:
“Obama praised the agreement reached to avert a government shutdown, which will invest in the country’s future while making the largest annual spending cut in history.”
In other words, Obama claims credit for benefitting working Americans by depriving them of vital social services. It’s the corrupted logic driving both parties in lockstep to hand America’s wealth to powerful interests by stealing it from all others.
In his weekly radio address, Obama said:
Cutting spending will “invest in our future.” How he didn’t say. “This is good news for the American people,” naming supposed benefits, in fact, entirely absent.
Disingenuously he added:
“Reducing spending while investing in the future is just common sense. That’s what families do in tough times. They sacrifice where they can, even if it’s hard, to afford what’s really important.”
With Main Street in deep depression, they’ve sacrificed plenty because Washington ignores them, spending recklessly on militarism, imperial wars, and lavish handouts to Wall Street and other corporate favorites – sacrosanct untouchable budget (off-budget, and hidden) priorities excluded from compromise.
A real one would have waged war on concentrated wealth and power, slashed defense spending radically, notably by ending imperial wars and occupations, replaced today’s dysfunctional tax code with a progressive one, guaranteed a living wage for everyone and enough income for the indigent, as well as other socially beneficial measures. In fact, no responsible policies were considered, just reactionary ones agreed to with much more to come.
On April 8, New York Times writer Carl Hulse headlined, “Deal to Cut $38 Billion Averts Shutdown,” saying:
Republicans and Obama “headed off a shutdown of the government with less than two hours to spare Friday night under a tentative budget” sellout to working Americans hurt most, described as a “compromise.”
Even Obama admitted, “Programs people rely on will be cut back,” saying they’ll have to begin “liv(ing) within (their) means” or, in other words, do without vital services eroded or lost ahead of much greater ones coming. He practically bragged, in fact, about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history” on the backs of those least able to afford it.
The “deal” involves social spending cuts for a stop-gap continuing resolution to fund government through April 14, as well as a broader agreement to do it through September 30, the end of the fiscal year. Next week, Congress will finalize the details, pass the measure and send it to Obama for his signature.
At least $38 billion in mostly unspecified social spending cuts were made, perhaps more, a down payment before greater ones coming, involving Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Along with other vital programs, they’re headed for incremental elimination to return America to 19th century harshness, an idea Republicans, Democrats, and Obama support.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to 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.