- Obama's leadership is defined by lawlessness, serial
lying and betrayal of the public trust.
- For ordinary Americans, his new proposal amounts to a
combination left hook, right cross haymaker, decking workers when they
- His September 8 "American Jobs Act" address
to Congress, in fact, demonstrated his contempt for working households
and their ability to see through another thinly veiled wealth transfer
scheme to corporate favorites and super-rich elites already with too much.
- In a word, it was more same old, same old - a disgraceful
laundry list of handouts instead of measures to create jobs, stimulate
growth, reinvigorate Main Street, strengthen America's middle class, and
help growing millions of impoverished, disadvantaged households most in
- None of that was anywhere in sight nor will political
Washington agree to it.
- No matter. On September 8, New York Times writer Mark
Landler headlined, "Obama Challenges Congress on Job Plan," saying:
- "....Obama challenged lawmakers on Thursday to 'pass
this jobs bill' - a blunt call....to enact his $447 billion package of
tax cuts and new government spending, designed to revive a stalling economy
and his own political standing."
- Fact check
- Tax cuts never create jobs, especially ones for the rich.
The Bush 2001 ones, extended in 2006, and again by Obama in 2010 didn't
increase investments or employment.
- If extended or increased now, they'll continue the decades
long historic income shift from middle and working class households to
corporate favorites and America's super-rich.
- That's the crux of Obama's plan along with deeper austerity
cuts, burdening ordinary Americans with the onus of paying for what should
be earmarked for them.
- Nonetheless, Obama told Congress to "pass this jobs
plan right away....The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national
crisis (created by him, Bush and previous administrations), we can stop
the political circus and actually do something to help the economy (read
its top 1% only)."
- Omitting details, he insisted that everything he proposes
will be paid for by increased austerity, including entitlement and Medicaid
cuts, harming America's retired, disabled and poor, getting nothing back
- Some plan! Yet Obama insisted he's "pretty sure
(he) know(s) what most Americans would choose. It's not even close....we
can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now
to improve people's lives."
- In fact, most everything he proposed will exacerbate
today's crisis, not alleviate it for working households.
- A same day Times editorial headlined, "The Jobs
- Obama's proposal was more "ambitious....robust and
far-reaching than expected - that may be the first crucial step in reigniting
- "(H)e was authoritative in demanding that Congress
pass his plan quickly....We hope Mr. Obama keeps his promise to take his
proposals all over the country. The need to act is urgent."
- Fact check
- Only the last statement was worthy in an editorial best
rebuked for not explaining who benefits at whose expense.
- Economist Jack Rasmus, a Progressive Radio News Hour
regular, did it well, headlining his analysis of Obama's proposal "Why
Less is More of the Same," saying:
- Obama's "Jobs Act" was another weak-kneed combination
of inadequate spending, "wrong composition and targets, and bad timing."
- In fact, no matter how it's directed, $447 billion "won't
achieve the job creation it claims." It's more of the same too little,
too late "for an economy in as deep an economic hole as it is, and
(one) facing growing downward momentum at home in the context of a global
economy also rapidly" sinking.
- In February 2009, when Obama proposed $787 in economic
stimulus, unemployment was about 25 million. Two and a half years later,
it's the same. How then can half a loaf do now what double it earlier couldn't.
It won't nor is that its intention, what America's media won't explain.
- In fact, it's more a reelection than jobs creation plan
if voters are dumb enough to buy it. Hopefully they'll understand how it
- Moreover, Obama's current plan is "seriously deficient"
as was his 2009 proposal. Both featured non-job creating tax cuts. "Then
and now, tax cuts simply cannot and will not create jobs," especially
given the depth of America's troubles. Yet tax cuts comprise 60% of his
- Despite well over $1 trillion in tax cuts in the last
two years, zero jobs were created - in fact, less than zero when factoring
in the replacement of full-time higher-paying jobs for uncertain lower
wage/low or no benefit temporary or part-time ones.
- George Bush's jobless recovery is a case in point. From
2001 - 2004, around $3 trillion in tax cuts were largely comprised of capital
gains, dividends, estate tax relief, business depreciation, and other corporate
- Over 80% went to America's wealthiest 20%. In fact, most
of it went to the top 5% and 1%, America's most disadvantaged nearly entirely
- As a result, "(w)e had the longest jobless recession
in US history up to that point. It took 46 months just to recover"
to 2001 levels. Moreover, most jobs created were in finance and housing
when speculative excess helped them boom.
- At the same time, millions of high pay/good benefit manufacturing
jobs were lost, offshored to low wage economies where they remained.
- Besides ineffective tax cuts, Obama also proposed state
subsidies as in 2009 to create jobs. In fact, since then, hundreds of thousands
of state and local government layoffs followed, continuing monthly.
- In 2009, $100 billion was allocated for infrastructure
spending to create four million jobs. It didn't happen. In June 2009, 6.4
construction workers were employed. Today it's less than 5.5 million.
- Obama's new plan is no better. Immediate job creation
is needed. Construction and infrastructure ones are long-term and won't
help over any duration when boosted by minimal funding.
- His plan to subsidize small business hiring is also flawed.
Besides minimal government help, bank loans are needed at a time their
availability have declined for "15 consecutive months."
- Washington's too-big-to fail bailout didn't restart lending.
Like big corporations hoarding $2 trillion, so are major banks in cash
reserves they've used for speculation, not credit to stimulate economic
growth and create jobs.
- An effective plan would let small business, responsible
for most job creation, borrow directly from the federal government at near
zero percent interest like major banks do from the Fed they own so effectively
get free money.
- After House Republicans massage Obama's plan they'll
likely cherry-pick business tax cuts they like best and add more, leaving
working households worse off than before because deeper austerity cuts
coming will pay for them as well as America's imperial wars.
- As a result, Rasmus appropriately renamed Obama's plan
"The Business Tax Expansion Act of 2011." Republicans love its
selected parts. So do Democrats by going along, especially with 2012 priorities
in mind to be reelected by making core constituencies believe harming them
- Today's political Washington doesn't prioritize job creation
and economic growth, just the illusion they're promoted when, in fact,
shifting America's wealth to its most well-off comes first, along with
letting working households bear the burden of paying taxes corporate favorites
and super-rich elites avoid.
- That's the America Obama wants continued and intensified
to entirely destroy America's middle class - that is, what's left of it.
- A Final Comment
- Last year, Congress declared a destructive payroll tax
holiday for workers by cutting the rate from 6.2% to 4.2% for one year.
Doing so, in fact, drained hundreds of billions from the Social Security
- As a result, it was irreparably weakened in its ability
to pay future benefits. The idea, in fact, is to destroy the program altogether,
perhaps first by privatizing it.
- It's easy to cut taxes, hard to restore them, especially
when economic conditions are weak. Maintaining the lower rates indefinitely
will cause massive benefit cuts before eliminating them altogether.
- When the original Social Security Act passed in 1935,
Franklin Roosevelt pledged the following:
- "We put those pay roll contributions there so as
to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect
their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there,
no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes
aren't a matter of economics, they're straight politics."
- FDR never met Obama or congressional Republicans and
Democrats. What he gave, they'll end, violating a government-mandated right.
- A payroll tax holiday is another step toward privatization.
It's a sure way to kill it, the way 401(k)s destroyed private pensions,
leaving workers at the mercy of marketplace uncertainties able to wipe
out life savings during hard times.
- Nonetheless, Obama proposed more of the same. By so doing,
he'll exacerbate a bad idea by reducing the current 4.2% to 3.1% in 2012
and giving employers the same benefit and more.
- For them, he also proposed a complete tax holiday for
new hires as well as on wage increases for current staff. In addition,
his plan includes tax cuts for hiring the long-term unemployed and veterans
out of work six months or more.
- Expect the usual pundits and "experts" to hail
the idea as an effective way to create jobs when, in fact, Obama's entire
plan may end up destroying them along with irreparably weakening Social
- A payroll tax holiday or cut any time is a bad idea,
besides doing nothing to create jobs. What's needed, in fact, wasn't proposed
by either Bush, Obama or Congress.
- It requires large amounts of stimulus spending for economic
growth. If effectively directed, it can sustain it inflation free the way
colonial America did for 25 years before British banks co-opted their money
- So did Lincoln with government created money, turning
America into the world's greatest industrial giant by launching the steel
industry, a continental railroad system, a new era of farm machinery and
cheap tools, as well as much more.
- In fact, America's post-Civil War years were its greatest
growth period before the Fed's 1913 creation, giving bankers money power
only governments should have.
- Taking it back, of course, is key to sustained long-term
prosperity. At this time, other steps in the right direction are compromised
as long as Wall Street controls the nation's money.
- It also controls government. Unless that changes, expect
political Washington to keep shifting the nation's wealth from those who
need it most to corporate favorites and others already with too much.
- As a result, America's epitaph one day may read it's
how an economic/military powerhouse hollowed out in disrepair, long surpassed
by other industrial giants that understood good policies and instituted
- Under Obama's plan and others like it, it's not only
assured, it's accelerating.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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