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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Change...

What types of change are you expecting? I'd like to hear your thoughts...

7 Comments:

At Thu Nov 06, 07:34:00 AM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Ok, I’ll go first by listing some of Obama’s most basic campaign promises. We should be able to check these off by 2012 no problem…

1. Tax cuts for working families
2. Affordable and expanded health care
3. A speedy withdrawal from Iraq

Source: http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/11/05/president-obama-promises/
(This link may not be live by 2012. Also the source is Republican but I am not.)

To make things more measurable, let me offer what I think are reasonable clarifications…

1. If you make less than $200,000 a year, the percentage you pay in federal taxes will be less. The burden will not be pushed off to states or other forms of taxes or fees.
2. You get health care through your employer, or you pay $1000 or less per year in today’s dollars. More conditions are covered. Copay is $20 and deductible is $1000.
3. We have no troops within the pre-war boundaries. We have no military bases in Iraq. We are not bombing or shelling the country. We possibly have intelligence operatives in the country, but nobody is trying to destabilize the government or the economy.

 
At Thu Nov 06, 01:21:00 PM CST, Blogger SteveL said...

I believe that tax cuts for working families are a huge mistake given the size of the National Debt and the looming shortfall in funding for Medicare and Social Security. For similar reasons the tax increases on the wealthy that Obama proposes are much to small. If Obama intends to finance his social agenda including Health Care, there is no way he can do it with the tax policies he has been advocating. If we must improve the cash flow of working families, and it seems that we should, then one time cash payments are the only responsible way to do it. Once you cut taxes it is extremely difficult from a political standpoint to raise them again.

The Republican and Democratic parties are peddling the same kind of fiscal irresponsibility that mortgage lender were selling to home buyers. The difference is that the financial crisis we are experiencing now pales in comparison to what will happen if the Federal Government goes broke. Anyone who believe that government has a role to play in the social welfare of this country should make fiscal responsibility a priority. Otherwise, we are simply playing into the hands of Republicans who are trying to bankrupt us.

 
At Fri Nov 07, 08:50:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

Thanks Steve! Yes, the economy will be a top priority. I predict that Ellen Brown will not be Secretary of the Treasury, though she would be on my short list. It will be key whether Treasury reclaims the power to issue money, or continues to serve the private banking cartel. Obama’s appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff is not encouraging. He served under Clinton.

I’m going make some more predictions. Since he didn’t promise it, I predict Obama will not make much progress on Green Party issues:

4. Single payer health care
5. Nuclear power phase out
6. Sign the Kyoto Protocol
7. Repeal the Military Commissions Act
8. Reverse the FISA laws allowing domestic spying
9. Test troops for depleted uranium
10. Repeal Taft-Hartley
11. Indict Bush and Cheney
12. Independent investigation of 9/11
13. Investigate $2 trillion missing Pentagon money
14. End NAFTA
15. Living wage of at least the federally-defined poverty level
…more at gp.org.

I hope I’m wrong. If we see progress on any of these, I will applaud Obama.

 
At Sat Nov 08, 07:32:00 AM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

How will all of this affect you personally? I can’t say how or when, but I predict you will be squeezed, more so than in the past. If it’s not home foreclosure or job loss without retraining, it could be rising costs, loss of investments, or inability to secure a loan. It could be drastic weather, an epidemic disease, or lack of clean drinking water.

You will probably be affected the most in ways you won’t miss because you’ve never had them and it has never occurred to you to want them. You will never live in an ecovillage. Until and unless you retire or live on less, you will never enjoy a shorter workweek. You will never have the satisfaction of knowing you are part of a sustainable worldwide ecosystem that minimizes suffering for all people, and works at minimizing suffering for animals.

There will be change, but I predict it will be incremental. We will pat ourselves on the back for balancing the budget, when really the federal debt never should have been owed to private bankers in the first place. More people will have health care, but we will still be paying more per person than Canada, England, and France. We will get out of Iraq but we will still be spending money on military bases throughout the world.

Maybe you have some rosier predictions for change. Given the euphoria of the last week, I would certainly hope so.

 
At Sat Nov 08, 08:42:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

I also predict that in the first weeks of Obama’s presidency, there will be some distraction like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was for the Clinton administration. I also predict that there will be much hand wringing about Republican filibusters, real or imagined, blocking the Obama agenda. I predict that the Democrats will not resort to the “nuclear option” to break filibusters. (If they do decide to use the nuclear option, I recommend they do it immediately, in strict Machiavellian fashion. Otherwise, go into the states of the most moderate Republican Senators, name names, and try to generate intense public pressure. Keep redrafting the legislation if necessary.)

 
At Tue Nov 11, 10:06:00 PM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

From a St. Paul Green:

I am expecting more federal fascism and less democracy. I find that Obama is a corporate bootlicker and that translates into more fascism being visited upon us Americans. A St. Paul Green who has observed him predicts dire things from his hand for Arabs and Muslims. Perhaps an increase in fascism will stimulate Americans to revolt in good ways, such as forcing Congress or the Minnesota Legislature to put a choke-chain on the health "insurance" corporations. Obama may have to acquiesce to such a revolt to preserve face.

 
At Thu Nov 13, 06:10:00 AM CST, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

So far, my predictions have been more optimistic, but yes, a slide into fascism is within the realm of possibility. I don’t like to think about it, but here’s one scenario. We have an economic collapse. The stock market falls over 2,000 points in one day, as one member of congress was warned before the bailout. The president declares martial law, using the Military Commissions Act, signing statements, and other powers that have already been handed to him by congress. The ATM’s and electricity could go out, and service stations could shut down. People are herded into concentration camps they call detention centers, which have already been built. You can search the web to see pictures and videos of them. Naomis Klein and Wolf describe the path to fascism, and some of the writings suggest we are already far along that path.

I believe there are conspiracies, but I don’t believe the conspirators are totally evil. If they were, then as the man said in “The Godfather,” we would be dead already.

A lack of information is clouding my predictive powers. Thom Hartmann said the recent bailout only buys more time. Maybe until after the election, maybe until after the inauguration. One thing I don’t know is whether the credit crisis is the result of greed and incompetence, or greed and scheming. Another thing I don’t know is whether Obama is in on it with the greed people. If he crosses them, he could be putting himself at risk. Ellen Brown in “Web of Debt” suggests that Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were all assassinated after crossing the corporate banking cartel. My “Occam’s Razor” or simplest explanation gut feeling is that Obama will allow enough reforms to keep the economy afloat, but that the corporate bankers will still be allowed to reap huge profits from interest on loans. There will be more spent on public works and infrastructure, but there will still be a national debt.

And I don’t believe the world is ending in 2012, but given all the partying behaviors by leaders from both corporate parties, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s the illuminati vs. the illiterati.

 

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