On Wednesday, President Obama gave a speech about the greatest danger facing us. Wars? Environmental collapse? Joblessness? Homelessness? No, the federal deficit. With two years left on the job, Obama proposed a 12-year plan to fix the deficit that won’t fix the deficit. And how did he propose to fail at this misbegotten task? The President proposed to end no wars, make no serious cuts to the military, tax no estates or investments, raise no taxes on any billionaires, REDUCE corporate taxes, and give an unelected commission the power to slash Medicare.
This catastrophic class-war on behalf of the war profiteers has “progressives” cheering and collapsing with adoration, because Obama spent half the speech denouncing the Republicans’ budget plan. But if you set aside the rhetoric and look at Obama’s plan, a different reaction is likely. Step one, he said, is to slash away at domestic spending.
Step two, is to keep increasing military spending until it destroys us all. Obama claimed to have already cut $400 billion from the Pentagon and to want to do so again. But he has increased the Pentagon budget every year, and the $400 billion cut from one place has been more than wasted in another. His plan is not to reduce the Pentagon’s budget by a dime.
Step three in Obama’s plan is to give an independent commission the power to start killing off (“improving”) Medicare. For step four, Obama promised not to renew the Bush tax cuts for billionaires again. But he made that promise before and broke it. Shouldn’t the cheering wait until he keeps it this time? Obama added this delicate touch to his vague and almost vacuous plan:
“And as I called for in the State of the Union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well, to make our businesses and our economy more competitive.”
Here’s what Obama said in that State of the Union:
“So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years.”
At least until this speech informed them of their children’s hopeless future on the unchanging path of militarism, people were beginning to talk, just in recent weeks, about the need to challenge Obama. The only real solution will be turning DC’s Freedom Plaza into Tahrir Square and shutting this machine down. But a first step is publicly committing to not support Obama as long as he works for the war machine.