He could have pushed the Public Option (sorry to bring this up Mr. President. We know how much it upsets you when we "f***king retards bring it up). He could have extended unemployment insurance. He could have fought unemployment by Just Saying No to outsourcing. He could have proposed a jobs program like FDR did in the form of public works, and improved the infrastructure to boot. He could have attacked the decade-old billionaire and millionaire tax empire by proposing to raise their taxes to help pay off the deficit they created. He could have done some of the above using reconciliation, or he could have shown some real leadership.
He could have been the transformational leader that we thought we elected.
Of course, he didn't. And of course, he wasn't.
Instead Obama chose to act as if the Republicans were in charge, which they were not, claiming they were holding a gun to his head, which they weren't - that he was being held hostage, which he was not.
He invited the Republican leadership to the White House, and offered to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years. These cuts originally were a "temporary" Bush-era ploy to "help the economy." They did nothing of the sort. Instead they handed tax-free windfall billions to the most privileged people in America. The cuts cost 544 billion dollars, and resulted in an economic crisis that began in 2008 and continues today.
In addition, he sweetened the "deal" by proposing a Social Security "tax holiday" (which will deprive the Social Security Trust Fund of 112 billion dollars), and an extension of the Estate Tax windfall that will benefit three-tenths of 1 percent of Americans (and cost Americans another 68 billion dollars over the next 10 years.)
There would be many other tax breaks for energy interests and select businesses as well.
Total cost for his proposal: More than 860 billion dollars. His "compromise" will cost more than the Bush/Cheney tax scam. It is almost as much as the total cost of the wars in Iran and Afghanistan since 2001. It is more than twice the cost of Medicare.
There would be no national debate.
There would be no debate at all.
Obama went over to the Republican side, drew a line in the sand, and thumbed his nose at the rest of us.
He declared that Progressives and Liberals shouldn't act like "sanctimonious purists." That they should put the interests of America ahead of their own interests. In other words, he accused his own constituency of not caring as much about the welfare of America as his plutocrat constituents do.
Republicans were surprised and delighted. (Some pretended to believe they could have gotten even more" but the reality is that most Republicans felt like they had just taken Ecstasy). Newspapers like the Washington Post hailed the "compromise" as "the most significant bipartisan vote since President Obama took office." He was congratulated by Senate minority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, who consistently receives a 100% score from the ultraconservative American Conservative Union.
Newt Gingrich approved and applauded. Need we say more?
You don't have to be an economist or a think-tank devotee to see why they were so happy.
Obama made fools of the American people.
The plutocrats know that in 2012, when Obama runs for reelection, America will still be held hostage. This is because in regular hostage deals, the criminals give up the hostages before they receive the pay off.
Obama never freed the hostages.
They are orgiastic because they know that Obama has no real intention to rescind the Social Security tax "holiday." He practically said so. Not in 2012, not ever.
As long as the Social Security trust fund is there to prop up the economy, Obama will siphon it off. Money will flow from the nest eggs of the working class into the pockets the ruling class.
And what did Obama get for regular Americans with his "compromise"?