Unprecedented Inequality under Obama
by Stephen Lendman
It’s unprecedented in modern memory. Obama declared war on social America. He’s gone all out to destroy it altogether. More on this below.
On Tuesday, he’ll deliver his annual State of the Union address. Expect empty promises. Expect duplicitous rhetoric.
Expect beginning-to-end demagogic boilerplate. Expect a litany of lies. Expect pledges without follow-through.
Expect business as usual to continue. Expect deepening poverty, unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, human suffering and deprivation.
Expect continued force-fed austerity. Expect popular needs more than ever going begging. Expect social inequality increasing. Expect a widening wealth gap.
Obama aids lied. They said he’s got a “year of action” in mind. He’ll address inequality, they claim.
The same way he benefitted Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites and super-rich elites throughout five years in office.
The same way he plans more of the same ahead. The same way he treats ordinary people callously. The same way he’s mindless of human suffering.
The same way he force-feeds austerity. The same way he wants Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid handed to Wall Street crooks for exploitation and profit.
The same way he’s waging war on humanity. The same way he broke every major promise made.
Clinton administration speechwriter Jeff Shesol said:
“This presidency is not going to be defined from here forward by big legislative initiatives.” He’s a lame duck. Republicans control the House. Perhaps the Senate after November 2014 elections.
Obama has three years left in office, said Shesol. “I think people will want to get the sense that he knows how to operate in this environment and that there is a strategy.”
It”s same old, same old. It’s benefitting corporate giants and super-rich elites. It’s doing it at the expense of all others. It’s saying one thing. It’s doing other.
It’s continuing what he began on day one in office. Never perhaps in US history has a president more betrayed his faithful.
Never have so few benefitted at the expense of so many. Presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer lied saying his State of the Union address will offer “opportunity, action and optimism.”
He’ll promise “a set of real, concrete, practical proposals.” He’ll pledge policies for strengthening economic growth and jobs, Pfeiffer claims.
He’s done it throughout his tenure. His economic stimulus plan is corporate tax cuts. More of them. They’re planned. They’re coming.
It’s benefitting super-rich elites at the expense of all others. Obama’s legacy is written in stone. It’s unequivocal. It’s not kind.
He’ll be remembered as a president who said one thing, did another, and claimed otherwise. Inequality became unprecedented on his watch.
He let it fester. He let it grow. He did nothing to address it. His policies made things worse. He plans more of the same going forward.
On Tuesday night he’ll lie claiming otherwise. He’s a serial liar. Nothing he say has credibility. Nothing can believed. He’s a con man writ large.
Monied interests own him. He serves at their pleasure. He enriched them more than ever. He’s got lots of explaining to do. Expect no credible answers.
ObamaSpeak will substitute. His presidency is an unmitigated disaster. Rhetoric can’t erase enormous harm done.
His anti-inequality campaign rings hollow. It’s duplicitous. It’s fake. Straightaway in office, he prioritized cutting vitally needed healthcare benefits.
He targeted Medicare. He called doing it restoring fiscal discipline. He lied claiming it’s going broke. He said the same thing about Social Security.
When properly administered, both programs are sustainable longterm. Modest adjustments only are needed.
Universal healthcare (Medicare for all) would assure sustainability in perpetuity. Social Security was designed to be self-sustaining.
Its revenues are misused. They subsidize corporate handouts. They benefit Wall Street crooks. They finance warmaking. They enrich wealthy elites more than already.
Obama’s war on social America plans eliminating vital benefits altogether. Doing so assures greater inequality.
He lies claiming otherwise. He’s in lockstep with Republicans and most Democrats. He mandates austerity when stimulus is needed.
His agenda is anti-progressive. He’s a reliable corporate tool. He serves powerful monied interests. He ignores popular ones. He harms America’s most disadvantaged.
He’s done so throughout his tenure. He’s thirdworldizing America. Poverty, unemployment, inequality and deprivation are growth industries.
Growing millions struggle to get by. Help when it’s most needed is denied. Social inequality is deplorable. It defines today’s America.
It’s institutionalized. It’s unprecedented. It’s worsening. America’s 1% has more wealth than the bottom 95%.
Income inequality is greater than in all other developed countries. Over three-fourths of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.
Neoliberal harshness is policy. Bipartisan complicity force-feeds it. It’s institutionalized when vital aid is needed. Doing so wages financial war on millions.
Obama exceeds the worst of George Bush. He’s harming people most in need. According to Economics Professor J. Bradford Delong:
“(T)here is nothing on the horizon that would return the US economy (even near) its growth path before the 2008 financial crisis erupted.”
Underperformance is the new normal. Ordinary people suffer most.
“(I)f we combine the costs of idle workers and capital during the downturn and the harm done to the US economy’s future growth path, the losses reach 3.5 – 10 years of total output.”
“That is a higher share of America’s productive capabilities than the Great Depression subtracted – and the US economy is 16 times larger than (in) 1928 (5.5 times larger in per capital terms).”
Nothing in prospect suggests change. Future historians won’t treat Obama kindly. They won’t “regard the Great Depression as the worst business-cycle disaster of the industrial age,” said Delong.
“It is we who are living in” the worst of times. And given America’s direction, expect hard times ahead getting harder. Expect catastrophic disaster for growing millions.
Expect America looking like Guatemala. Expect police state harshness targeting resisters.
Obama’s phony campaign to change things is duplicitous. Expect more promises Tuesday night. Expect business as usual to follow.
America’s race to the bottom continues. Expect nothing substantive done to change things.
In December, Obama called income inequality the “defining challenge of our time.”
“(T)he combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.”
He’ll lie Tuesday night pledging change. In December, he said “over the course of the next year and for the rest of my presidency, (he’ll) focus all our efforts” on fighting inequality.
Hypocrisy substitutes for policy. He spent five years waging war on fairness. Expect nothing different going forward.
Expect business as usual to continue. Anti-populism remains official administration policy. It has bipartisan support.
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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