Obama's Grand Bargain 2.0
By Stephen Lendman
Obama's job creation plan targets social justice. It's old wine in new bottles. It prioritizes corporate tax cuts.
It scorns fairness. It ducks reality. It's same old, same old. It doesn't work. It never did. It's not designed to. It won't now.
Don't expect media scoundrels to explain. They're in lockstep with what helps business. They're comfortable with rich elites benefitting at the expense of most others.
In collusion with Republicans, Obama proposed more trickle down. He claims what never worked before will this time.
His ideas aren't new. He's selling snake oil. He's packaging it. A scam is a scam is a scam. He wants nominal corporate tax rates cut from 35% to 28%. He wants manufacturers paying 25%.
Average corporate taxes are 12%. Loopholes facilitate avoidance. US companies pay the lowest developed economy rate. It's half what they paid from 1989 - 2008.
Obama claims years of budget fights diverted attention from restoring middle class health. It's disappearing altogether. Gene Sperling heads Obama's National Economic Council.
He served Bill Clinton in the same capacity. He said Obama's "putting forward a new kind of 'grand bargain.' "
He claims business handouts will create jobs. They'll raise revenue for infrastructure. Other public works projects will follow.
So will manufacturing innovation centers and community college training. They'll close skill gaps. They'll stimulate economic growth.
They'll do none of the above. They never did before. They won't now. Claiming otherwise rings hollow.
Republicans dismissed Obama's plan. They did so out of hand. They're insatiable. They want more. Don't bet they won't get it. According to Senator Mitch McConnell:
Obama's plan "represents an unmistakable signal that the president has backed away from his campaign-era promise to corporate America that tax reform would be revenue-neutral to them."
In other words, cut corporate taxes, provide generous handouts, and make ordinary people bear the burden.
An unnamed administration official claims jobs will be created by a one-time transition fee. Supposedly it'll be on $2 trillion in foreign earnings held abroad.
Don't bet on it. Details aren't known. Money amounts generated may be meager at best. No one knows. No one's sure. No one's saying.
Obama proposed a permanent small business expensing increase to $1 million annually. He'll hold a two-day October 1 - November 1 conference.
He wants foreign companies encouraged to locate in America. He plans meeting with corporate CEOs. He'll urge them to hire longterm unemployed.
He tried similar stunts before. They didn't work earlier. They won't work now. They're like expecting business to self-regulate responsibly.
It's impossible. It's believing what never worked before will succeed brilliantly now.
Obama will meet separately with House and Senate Democrats. Lawmakers face FY end September 30 economic decisions.
They include federal spending levels. Raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit will be debated. Republicans demand spending cuts like they always do.
Expect Obama to cave like before. He's a pushover. He will again. Relief for beleaguered Americans remains more illusion than reality.
Economic conditions are weak. Main Street's in Depression. Things are getting worse, not better.
Economist John Williams reengineers economic data. He does so responsibly. He does it based on early 1980s modeling. He does it before calculations were corrupted.
Doing so belies reality. He pegs real unemployment at 23.4%. It's the highest since the 1930s. Real inflation's at 9.4%.
People who eat, drive cars, pay rent, have medical bills, heat and/or air condition homes, and have kids in college know inflation better than talking head tout TV economists. They're paid to lie, tell half truths and exaggerate.
Millions of working age Americans struggle to get by. They endure unemployment, poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair at record levels or close to it.
Privileged elites benefit enormously. They've done so more than ever on Obama's watch. Wealth disparity's at unprecedented levels. Bipartisan complicity worsens things. War on America's social contract rages.
Obama's plan assures widening the wealth gap. Grand bargain 2.0 assures betrayal. Force-fed austerity accompanies corporate handouts.
It's typical Obama. He's a con man. He's money power's point man. He sacrificed economic growth for Wall Street. He's got more of the same in mind.
His FY 2014 budget slashes another $630 billion from Medicare and Social Security. He plans trillions of dollars more in domestic spending cuts. He wants them when millions need help.
He showers it on corporate America. He shuns people needs. He's in lockstep with Republicans. They plan massive tax code changes. Business will get hundreds of billions more in benefits.
Ordinary people will pay more. They've be hung out to dry for years. They'll be thrown under the bus again. It's coming as America's economy heads south. It's when global economic conditions are weakening.
High-pay/good benefit jobs keep hemorrhaging. Low-pay/poor or no benefit ones replace them. In the past year, union membership declined by 500,000. Organized labor's fast disappearing.
Deficit cutting assures greater economic weakness. It's the new normal. It's trouble for middle America. It's disappearing. It's disaster for disadvantaged households.
Popular needs are ignored. Business is favored. A race to the bottom continues. Doublespeak duplicity hides reality. Obama's notion of change is double downed harshness.
He's in lockstep with Republicans. So are most Democrats. They pretend otherwise. Social injustice deepens. So does institutionalized inequality. It's happening in plain sight.
It's ugly. It's real. It hurts millions needing help. Hard times are getting harder. It's happening when America's privileged class benefits. It never had it so good.
Obama plans more of the same. He serves wealth, power and privilege alone. He ignores people in need. He's waging financial war on humanity. He's heartless, soulless and cruel.
He supports capital's divine right. Money power runs America. What it wants it gets. It's happening when 80% of US adults are financially insecure. They face unemployment, poverty or close to it, and welfare to survive at times in their lives.
It's a shocking indictment of social injustice. It's getting worse. America's being thirdworldized. According to Washington University/St. Louis Professor Mark Rank's survey data, 85% of US adults will experience financial insecurity at times in their lives by 2030.
It's defined as having income below 150% of the poverty line, being unemployed, and needing welfare to survive for a year or longer.
Hardship's growing among whites. It affects 90% of people of color. For the first time in 38 years, the number of "white single-mother households living in poverty with children" equaled or surpassed African-Americans enduring similar conditions.
According to Professor William Julius Wilson:
"It's time that America comes to understand that many of the nation's biggest disparities, from education and life expectancy to poverty, are increasingly due to economic class position."
"(I)nvisible poor" people fill urban, suburban and rural America. They're out of sight and mind. Their numbers are growing. They face deepening hard times.
They struggle to get by. They don't earn enough to do it. They earn nothing when unemployed. They need welfare much of the time. It's on the chopping block for elimination.
Medicaid, food stamps, and other benefits are eroding. In a decade or sooner, they may be entirely gone. Obama targets them. So do most Republicans and Democrats.
They're transforming America into a ruler - serf society. It's unfit to live in. It's beautiful for the privileged few alone. It's nightmarish for most others.
It's a monument to social injustice. It's institutionalized. It's a race to the bottom. It's a fast track to dystopian harshness. It's the new normal. It's the American way.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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