Monday, March 2, 2009

Promises and Ideology

The budget plan that was recently presented by the Obama administration is definitely more in line with Obama’s campaign promises as compared to the actions of the administration since the inauguration. Decoding Obama’s actions since he became president is a very puzzling exercise.

There are three major things that Obama has done since he became president, namely:

1. Appointing administration officials who don’t even remotely agree with his political ideals, and even oppose them vigorously in some cases

2. Stomping on his own ideals in dealing with the economic crisis, alienating progressives who helped him get elected, and

3. Presenting a budget proposal that represents a 180-degree turn from numbers 1 and 2 in this description. The budget proposal is completely in line with what Obama campaigned, and won, the election on

How do you explain this seemingly strange and incoherent behavior? There are two important factors at play: economic crisis management and bipartisanship.

Obama does not know very much about economics and finance, which is a bit of a problem during times like these. I believe that Obama has been manipulated by Geithner and his henchmen (who all stem from Wall Street), into believing that propping up Wall Street with taxpayer money is the only thing that can be done to solve to crisis.

With respect to Obama’s bipartisan efforts, it seems that he has some sort of historic hang-up with Lincoln’s “team of rivals”, which makes him want to go down the bipartisan path. However, I think that this is the most incongruous and strange political strife in recent history.

Even though Americans hate to talk about ideology, there is no escaping the existence of it. In reality, the issue of ideology is very simple: it begins and ends with income distribution. The distribution of money in society is the very reason that ideologies came about in the first place.

Americans like to think about ideology in terms of specific issues, such as abortion, budget deficits, the military or gay marriage. However, in the big scheme of things, these issues will always be mere distractions compared to income distribution. That is, unless politicians are able to convince voter that these “issues” are more important than income distribution, which American politicians have been able to do for 30 years.

A budget proposal like the one that Obama just presented is exactly what Republican politicians have been trying to avoid for 30 years. How can anyone with any amount of political clarity of vision think that Republicans would go along with Obama after that? Republicans know that if Americans get a taste of, among other things, free health insurance, they will never want to go back.

Obama’s budget is definitely not bipartisan, and it is highly ideological. The only thing that this means, is that the American political landscape has finally broken free of the fear mongering surrounding issues like abortion, and is now actually focusing on issues that concern everyone.

Obama promised to deliver change, and this budget proposal is it.

Moreover, I advise that the winner-takes-all voting system should be destroyed.

1 comment:

Edward Murray said...

The Obama budget is PROPOSED and there is no guarantee that Obama is going to push it through. In fact, if we look at what he did with the stimulus package, I would say the signs are not at all positive.

In sharp contrast to the PROPOSED budget, Rahm Emmanuel spent this weekend trashing Detroit while the administration made another $60 billion available to AIG and loosened the terms of the original money given them.

The budget is all talk. These actions are real and sadly, the real actions all seem aimed at bailing out Wall Street bankers at taxpayer's expense.

From day one, the administration has been fast to help Wall Street while telling real workers like the millions involved in the auto industry to go pound sand.

More welfare for the rich, free enterprise for the poor in long saga of representative government which represents those with money and power.