Monday, January 26, 2009

Republicans Want Stimulation

Obama is having some difficulty getting the Republicans to go along with his version of the stimulus legislation. The scheme tried by the tail-end of the Bush administration was to give lots of money to the financial corporations which they used to put in their vaults so they could give it out in bonuses when nobody was looking. They figured that if they tried that during the Obama administration it wouldn't work, so now they want tax cuts for the corporate bureaucrats.

The professionals (and Clintonites) in the Obama administration want to leave more money under the control of government bureaucrats, e.g., as tax cuts for the lower middle class and subsidies for government supervised projects. Obama reminded the Republicans when they met that the voting power has shifted back to the democrats because the Republicans didn't reward the "Reagan Democrats" for switching their votes to the Republican Party.

As the New York Times said, on 01/26/09:

Not long ago, at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, Richard S. Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers held forth on the state of the global economy before mesmerized journalists and cowering subordinates while other Wall Street stars mingled after-hours with the likes of Claudia Schiffer, the German supermodel.
This year, politicians, not corporate titans, are poised to be the big draw, echoing the broader power shift away from the free market as one government after another tries to prop up its sinking economy.

It seems reasonable for the two parts of the bureaucratic establishment to alternate the lead in their dance, but they can only continue the status quo if the white lower middle class and the people of color are prevented from being upwardly mobile. Obama will make this possible for a little while by the sheer "shock and awe" caused by his skin color; but unless the non-establishment has some sense of an improving situation, one in which their children have a shot at being part of the establishment regardless of ethnicity, they are going to feel that Obama isn't radical enough.

Obama has the potential for being quite radical. Remember the Inaugural Address:

The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

Note that he said "...all are equal...". Not just white people, not even just Americans, but all. So far his plans are just related to the american economy, but he is pragmatic as well as idealistic; and he is giving us notice that equal knows no barriers.

So don't worry if Obama bargains a bit to get more people on board. The purpose of the game is to get all on board, a globe full of equal people. And he's warned us.

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