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In the end, as Glenn Greenwald points out, President Obama got the plan he was looking for all along. Obama may have wanted to address more revenues through "reforming" tax code loopholes....but he didn't fight very hard for that. No, Obama wanted a "big" package of spending cuts. In addition, Obama put Social Security and Medicare "on the table" for the "Super Congress" of 12 stooges to "reform" before year's end when they cut another $1.5 trillion of "belt tightening."
Yes, the Tea Party was permitted to take the credit (or blame) for ending any hope of economic recovery....but the final plan was Obama's all along. Barack Obama should now do the right thing and run for re-election as a Republican. With perhaps the exception of ending DADT, everything Obama has done as president would have been done by any garden variety Republican president.
Any Democrat or progressive who continues to put stock in anything Obama says from here on out is only blinded by partisan light. When Obama came out and said that just like families have to tighten their belts when times are lean...so too the federal government....I knew then that the American people had lost.
The federal government is not like your average family. The federal government can sell more debt to continue paying for it's bills and stimulate consumer demand through spending....the average family cannot. The federal government can print money during emergencies....the average family cannot. The federal government does not operate like your average family, and it was never intended to. But Bipartisan Barack agreed with his conservative enemies that the federal government, just like an average family during lean times, had to "tighten their belt" during such a nasty recession.
Many progressives called for Obama to fight the new confederate enemies of the Union, to not give in to their deficit and debt lunacy during 9.2% unemployment. However, when it all comes out in the wash....Obama agrees with the new enemies of the Union. And just like FDR in 1937, Obama has agreed to drive our economy back down into negative numbers to appease his fiercest enemies.
Who knows, maybe I'm wrong about all this and some jobs-nirvana will magically descend on our jobless landscape and there will be ponies and unicorns for everyone. But I doubt it.
The man who long ago announced his number one priority....making Obama a one term president....made it crystal clear what lies ahead for the United States....
“No president, in the near future, maybe in the distant future, is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get American headed in the right direction,” he said. “I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.”
This is how Grover Norquist's army of anti-American conservatives will finally "starve the beast." Through kidnapping and the subsequent murder of important federal programs through funding starvation....the new confederate army of Know Nothings will finally drown the beast in a Tea Party-made bathtub.
Every time the debt ceiling needs raising, McConnell will whistle for his Tea Party enforcers to pick which hostages they want to take and ole' Mitchy will then threaten to kill those hostages if even more government programs and agencies are not starved out of existence voluntarily. "So, we'll be doing it all over again"...and again and again.
Obama on Tuesday asked lawmakers to focus on jobs when they return from the August recess.
"We need to begin by extending tax cuts for middle-class families so that you have more money in your paychecks next year. … And while we’re at it, we need to make sure that millions of workers who are still pounding the pavement looking for jobs to support their families are not denied needed unemployment benefits," Obama said.
Extending the small payroll tax cut and extending unemployment benefits....is what "focusing on jobs" has come down to. That's it. Why? Because Bipartisan Barack agrees with his enemies that we are not socialists and that we just can't afford to spend any money on, you know, direct job creation. We must "tighten our belts" so that tax rates on our nation's wealthiest can be...lowered.
Obama, as TBogg at FireDogLake quipped yesterday, is playing the lead role in a "Barack and the Beanstalk" remake. The president, having traded the economic recovery and safety net cow for his "magic" austerity beans, only need wait for all the new jobs to grow heavenward.....he will anxiously wait for those, you know, "green shoots" to emerge.....so he can "win the future".
The closing scene will find Barack next to his Magic Beanstalk....looking everywhere for those new jobs. Maybe, like W. before him, Obama will produce a humorous Christmas video. A video of First Dog, Bo searching all over the White House for those jobs his Magic Beanstalk "compromise" was supposed to create.
"They must be around here somewhere", we hear Bipartisan and Magic Beanstalk believing Barack muttering as the curtain closes on his presidency.
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