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Obama Destroys the Middle-Class

By       Message Mike Whitney     Permalink
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Astonishing! Under 1 percent GDP for the last three quarters. What a joke.

The reason the economy isn't growing is because the people in charge don't want it to grow. It's that simple. I mean, how hard is it to boost GDP: You spend a little money, you run up the budget deficits and "Viola" -- the economy grows! It ain't rocket science. What Obama and his paymasters want, is a subtler form of "structural adjustment." (Subtler than the Euro-model, that is.) This is typical of the Democrats; they're always trying to prove they can implement the same hard-right policies with more finesse than their blundering counterparts. But it all amounts to the same thing, doesn't it? Everyone knows that the middle class is getting clobbered while all the gravy is flowing to the parasites on top.

Here's something else from Beams article concerning the "disconnect between the level of profits and the rate of investment":

"While pre-tax corporate profits are at record highs, amounting to 12 percent of GDP, net investment is barely 4 percent of output. Increased profits are not being used to expand production, as took place in the past, but are increasingly being used to finance stock buybacks, so as to increase the rate of return on shareholders' capital...

"This result indicates that rising profits are no longer being produced by an expansion of the market, as they were in the past, but are increasingly the result of cost-cutting, as firms raise their bottom line by grabbing an increased share of a stagnant or contracting market from their rivals. In other words, the once 'normal' process of capitalist accumulation -- increasing investment leading to an expanding market, higher profits and further investment -- has completely broken down." ("US growth and jobs figures point to continuing economic breakdown," World Socialist Web Site)

This is more than a minor technicality. If corporate profits are being recycled into stock buybacks and dividends instead of capital improvements and investment, then Obama's deficit cutting policies are actually squelching growth rather than fueling it. Now take a look at this from Media Matters:

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"The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the sequester 'will halve U.S. growth in 2013.' MarketWatch explained:

"U.S. economic growth in 2013 will be 1.4%, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Tuesday... CBO said however that growth would be about 1.5 percentage points faster in 2013 if not for fiscal tightening including the so-called budget sequester." ("WSJ Ignores Experts To Downplay Harmful Economic Consequences Of Sequester," Media Matters)

Looks like the CBO nailed it, doesn't it? After all, there's only a small difference between 1.7 percent and the predicted 1.4 percent. For all practical purposes, they're the same. The economy is still not creating enough jobs, growth, or momentum. The world's biggest economy is essentially dead-in-the-water, just where Obama wants it to be. That way he can compress wages, increase hardship, and further concentrate wealth and power at the top. Hurrah for Obama, Champion of the 1 percent!

Most people have figured out what's going on by now. Our charismatic hologram president has led us down the primrose path. All the promises of hope and change were pure malarkey, not a word of truth to any of it. 10 million workers still can't find a job, 47 million people are on food stamps, 5 million borrowers are in some stage of default on their mortgages, the share of productivity gains going to workers is smaller now than anytime on record, "four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives" (Associated Press), and according to the Fed's 80-page tri-annual Survey of Consumer Finances, the median net worth of middle class families in the US fell by 38.9 percent between 2007 and 2010" while "the median value of a US home dropped by 42 percent."

Face it, Obama has been a disaster. Discretionary federal spending is lower than it's been in a half-century, while the budget deficits are falling faster than anytime since WW2. What does that mean? It means Obama is sucking the stimulus out of the economy to put more pressure on wages and to reduce working people to grinding third-world poverty. It's a stealth version of starve the beast, and it's working like a charm. The middle class is taking it in the stern-sheets while Obama's moneybags buddies laugh all the way to the bank.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.


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