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If Barack Obama Were Truly a Liberal...

By       Message Ed Ciaccio     Permalink
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If Barack Obama were truly a liberal, he would have created millions of federal jobs right after his first inauguration in 2009, when he had majorities in both the House and Senate, and most Americans were very supportive of him, so he could have used the "bully pulpit" of national TV as effectively as he had during the 2008 election campaign, to pressure the Republican minorities then in both chambers of Congress to go along with that liberal agenda.

Deficit spending is the tried and true method of getting out of economic depressions and recessions, as economist John Maynard Keynes taught us, and as FDR proved. The increased jobs and wages thereby created then lead to increased consumer spending, which leads to increased demand, which leads to increased production, which leads to more profits, which then, sooner, rather than later, helps decrease the deficit.

FDR's New Deal policies and the huge budget deficits from WW II spending, causing nearly full employment here, proved that policy works. As a result, the two decades following WW II were the best decades ever for the U.S. working and middle classes.

The fact that he has resisted such a proven policy, and that Democrats have gone along with that resistance, condemns Obama and the Democrats as enablers of continued, avoidable, massive, crippling unemployment which only the Plundering Class wants maintained in order to continue to suppress wages while their profits and wealth, from financialization and off-shoring U.S. jobs, increase at the expense of 90% of Americans.

This is why so many Americans are so justifiably displeased with Obama, why most Democrats currently running for election are distancing themselves from him, and why his failed presidency will most likely cause the Democrats to lose their Senate majority in the November midterm elections.

The Democrats have no one to blame but themselves if they lose the Senate. When they had majorities in both the House and Senate in 2009, Obama, enjoying very high approval ratings then, refused to use his "bully pulpit" to push for progressive reforms and his Democratic Congressional majority refused to push for such policies as well. That enabled rich Republicans to fund the "Tea Party" movement and cost Democrats the House majority in the 2010 elections.

That should have taught Democrats a lesson, but they are still too comfortable and greedy doing the will of the Plundering Class to care about the 90% still suffering from the Wall Street Banksters Depression of 2008.

Democrats have callously and foolishly gone along with the neoliberal austerity policies worshipped by Republicans and even some Democrats, policies which serve only the interests of the Plundering Class, which includes Obama, Biden, and all the many millionaires in Congress.

If Republicans gain the Senate majority, they will do even more, with their fellow regressives in the House, to block Obama in the last two years of his failed presidency. Hillary Clinton, already crowned by many pundits as the next president, is also a proponent of these failed neoliberal economic policies as well as of the failed, warmongering, neoconservative foreign policies which only succeed at generating more terrorists and more blowback while wasting hundreds of billions of our tax dollars, so nothing much will change for the better if she does get elected in 2016.

Questions for the Democrats if they somehow maintain their Senate majority:

1. Will you finally force the Republican minority to do an ACTUAL filibuster, as seen in the movie "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", instead of you caving before the mere THREAT of one?

2. Will you end all our wars of choice (illegal wars of aggression) and drone attacks (also illegal), especially in the Middle East and in Pakistan, and finally bring all those U.S. troops home?
3. Will you shrink the bloated "National Security" budget down to a sensible size and use those saved funds for the true benefit of most Americans, instead of for the U.S. global empire which benefits mostly the Plundering Class? The "National Security" budget, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, 17 intelligence agencies, the part of the Energy Department budget which funds nuclear weapons, the part of NASA's budget which funds military uses of space, and the so-called "Black Budget" for secret operations, adds up to more than One Trillion dollars per year, more than the defense budgets of all other nations combined. It also funds more than 900 U.S. military bases in more than one hundred foreign countries (most of which do NOT want those bases there), and nuclear-armed fleets on every ocean, all to maintain and expand the global U.S. military empire.
4. Will you oppose the anti-environment, anti-worker trade agreements Obama is secretly negotiating?
5. Will you oppose the tar sands pipelines and fracking, which will only increase the accelerating climate catastrophe which threatens the futures of our children and grandchildren?
6. Will you oppose Obama's modernizing of our nuclear weapons arsenal and his storing of our aging nuclear weapons supposedly "for future use against asteroids headed for the earth"?
7. Will you support a comprehensive nuclear weapons ban treaty?
8. Will you work for effective policies to slow down and eventually mitigate the accelerating climate catastrophe, especially the necessary eventual (but soon) end of reliance on fossil fuels?
9. Will you work for an end to the wasteful, inefficient, and foolishly risky (as shown by its poor response to the Ebola emergency), for-profit health INSURANCE system we are stuck with, even under Obamacare, and finally catch up to the rest of the developed world by instituting a single-payer or Medicare-for-All health CARE program, which most Americans prefer to the current system which wastes 25% on administration (paperwork) versus less than 7% in single-payer systems? Health care, like access to water, food, shelter, and education, are basic human rights, not privileges or for-profit schemes. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United States signed in December, 1948, asserts those basic human rights. It is time the U.S. lived up to that signature.
10. Will you push Obama to create jobs as FDR did, with federal programs which should do necessary work such as repairing/rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, retrofitting all buildings with insulation and energy-efficient technology, subsidizing and expanding production and installation of low-emission energy technologies as well as wind turbines and solar panels throughout the U.S., and hiring more well-trained teachers to enable lower class sizes , especially in schools in poor neighborhoods?
11. Will you abandon the foolish, failing austerity policies and commit to deficit spending to move to full employment, while abolishing corporate tax loopholes as well as corporate tax havens and raising taxes on the wealthy and increasing the tax on dividends and taxing stock transactions?
12. Will you support a new, 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act to keep investment banks separate from savings banks, as they so successfully were kept separate before the Republicans convinced the greedy President Bill Clinton to foolishly sign the repeal of Glass-Steagall?
13. Will you implement policies to end the unconsciously high level of U.S. economic inequality, the worst among developed nations?
14. Will you fight for women's reproductive rights nationally and locally?
15. Will you fight to reverse/repeal the anti-democractic Supreme Court decisions which equated speech with money (Buckley v. Valeo), and unleashed unlimited campaign funding (Citizens United and McCutcheon) which have turned elections into auctions?
16. Will you sue the Republican party for taking away voters' rights (mostly those of blacks, Hispanics and the poor) in states where they have passed voter limitation laws (so-called "Voter I.D. laws") based on the lie and myth of alleged "voter fraud"?

If the Senate Democrats cannot answer "yes" to these questions, why should they be kept as a majority? They are essentially already supporting the most regressive/Republican policies if they will not support the above policies.

Suggestion to those who still believe voting actually matters: don't vote for candidates from either of the two wings of the One Corporate Party. Instead, vote Green Party, if only to show your contempt for the Democrats and Republicans.


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Ed Ciaccio is a retired teacher who is active in the justice and peace community on Long Island, NY, and a writer whose work is featured at Dandelion Salad and has also been posted on Buzzflash and Information Clearing House as well as OpEdNews.

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