Comment on this article |
Email this article |
Obama's Abominable State of the Union
by Stephen Lendman
30 Jan 2014
Obama's Abominable State of the Union
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's State of the Union address reflected beginning-to-end empty rhetoric. More on his comments below.
Throughout five years in office, he's been consistent. Duplicity defines his agenda. He says one thing. He does another.
In his first State of the Union address, he promised "to get our economy growing again, save as many jobs as possible, and help Americans who'd become unemployed."
He called jobs creation his "number one focus." He promised tax relief for ordinary Americans. He promised help for "8 million Americans paying for college."
Graduates are more indebted than ever. Outstanding debt tops $1 trillion. It's second only to mortgage debt.
For millions of young Americans, it represents many years of debt bondage. For too many, it reflects lifetime debt.
Obama's been more a jobs destroyer than creator. Phantom numbers conceal today's reality. Official ones are statistical illusions.
Real unemployment exceeds 23%. Longterm unemployment is at record levels.
Over 100 million working-age Americans have no jobs. It's 10 million more than when Obama took office.
In December, 74,000 new jobs were created. Five times that number "left the labor force." They can't find work.
They're nonpersons. They're ignored. They're not counted. They don't exist. America's official unemployment rate is 7.3%. It's one of many Big Lies.
So is job quality. Most high-pay/good benefit/full-time jobs no longer exist. Part-time/low-pay/poor or no-benefit jobs replaced them.
Many pay poverty or sub-poverty wages. Obama waged war on organized labor. Permanent job losses, rotten ones created, gutted work rules, forfeited security and lost futures followed.
Decades of hard-won gains were lost. Industry got major concessions. Workers were entirely left out. They're worse off today than in generations. They're entirely without rights.
Obama's economic program is no banker left behind. Or war profiteer. Or other corporate favorites. Or America's super-rich.
So-called economic recovery is fake. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions persist. Hard times get increasingly harder.
Millions struggle to get by. Obama ignores America's most disadvantaged. Anti-populism defines him.
He's beholden to monied interests. Neoliberal harshness is official policy. Force-fed austerity reflects it. Safety net protections eroded on his watch. They're disappearing when most needed.
Obama wants social America destroyed. He cut many vital programs. He wants Medicare and Social Security privatized en route to eliminating them altogether.
He wants America's wealth shifted to its privileged class. Inequality today is unprecedented.
He wants Americans left on their own sink or swim. He pretends otherwise. His rhetoric belies his policies.
His first State of the Union address promised "slash(ed) tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas." Corporate America got new ones instead.
He asked for "a jobs bill on my desk without delay." His plan involved corporate tax cuts. His 2009 $787 stimulus bill handed them $400 billion.
Doing so didn't create jobs. Through December 2010, more were lost than created. Rotten ones replaced good ones.
Bush and Obama are two sides of the same coin. Their policies benefitted corporations and super-rich elites hugely. They never had it better.
Obama heads a rogue administration. Bipartisan complicity created the greatest wealth disparity in US history.
Half or more of US households are impoverished or bordering it. Good jobs are disappearing in plain sight.
Nearly 50 million Americans need food stamps to eat. In November, $11 billion in SNAP benefits were cut through 2016.
Average households of three lost $29 a month. It's the equivalent of 16 monthly meals. SNAP aid is less than $1.40 per person per meal.
On Monday, bipartisan complicity agreed on $8.7 billion more SNAP cuts. Expect quick congressional passage. Expect Obama enacting greater harshness into law.
Feeding hungry Americans no longer matters. Before Obama leaves office, SNAP benefits may disappear altogether.
He demands gutting vital social programs. His rhetoric claims otherwise. It rings hollow.
His policies throughout five years in office reflects reality. He's no friend of ordinary Americans. He's mindless of those most disadvantaged.
Hard times are getting harder. Needy households are increasing exponentially. At the same time, corporate profits are higher than ever.
Obama's annual State of the Union addresses reflect an exercise in empty rhetoric. He's a fraud. He's a moral coward.
He's a serial liar. Nothing he says can believed. Americans are tired of broken promises.
Over 60% lack confidence in his intention to serve them responsibly. Over 80% distrust political Washington.
Obama's presidency reflects duplicity. It reflects promises made and broken. It reflects public betrayal.
Voter confidence in him is polar opposite from when he took office. He represented hope and change. He delivered business as usual.
His Tuesday night address was a litany of lies and false promises.
He lied calling "the state of our union strong." America is in protracted decline. It's losing its economic and political dominance. It's been this way for decades. It accelerated under Obama.
He lied claiming the "lowest unemployment rate in over five years." It's higher than when he took office.
He lied claiming "the United States is better-positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on earth."
China's growth rate heads toward overtaking America. Perhaps by 2020 or earlier. Other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) are some of the world's fastest growing.
China is the world's largest exporter. India is an information technology powerhouse. Brazil is a dominant agricultural exporter.
Russia is oil and gas rich. South Africa holds resources worth an estimated $2.5 trillion. Other developing nations way outpace US growth.
Obama lied about being "committed to making Washington work better, and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here."
His agenda throughout five years in office destroyed it altogether. Political Washington is beyond fixing. Tinkering around the edges won't work. Nor rhetorical promises made to be broken.
Obama lied about "the budget compromise…leav(ing) us freer to focus on creating new jobs, not...new crises."
In December, bipartisan complicity struck a budget deal no responsible government would accept. Monied interests are served.
War profiteers benefit enormously. Cuts target vital social programs. They're too important to lose. Deficit reduction is too meager to matter.
Obama acknowledged inequality. He stopped short of accepting responsibility for accelerating America's unprecedented wealth disparity. A race to the bottom continues.
He lied saying "(o)ur job is to reverse these trends." He's gone all out to sustain them. He's destroying middle America.
He lied about "build(ing) new ladders of opportunity into the middle class." He'll act unilaterally if Congress won't, he claimed.
"(T)hat's what I'm going to do," he said. He's done nothing throughout five years. Expect pathetically little ahead. Expect same old, same old.
He lied about wanting to close "wasteful, complicated (tax) loopholes." They benefit monied interests he supports.
He lied about "transition(ing) to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes..."
Finance reform masqueraded as change. It was business as usual. Wall Street crooks wrote the legislation. Their interests are well served. Ordinary Americans got scammed.
He lied about his energy policy "creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet." He's beholden to Big Oil.
He supports dangerous nuclear power. He largely ignores clean energy.
He lied claiming "new partnerships in trade with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help create more jobs."
The so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-nation agreement. It's a jobs destroyer. It force-feeds corporate intellectual property rules.
It supranational. It tramples on national sovereignty. It destroys privacy and other personal freedoms. The Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) is its US/European equivalent.
Obama lied about "fix(ing) our broken immigration system." Throughout his tenure, he waged war on undocumented immigrants. His policy is racist.
He deported more migrants than any previous administration. He exceeded the worst of George Bush.
He inflicts harshness indiscriminately. His policies are irresponsible. Militarizing Mexico's border is prioritized. So is increasing Border Patrol staff by thousands.
Obama's pathway to citizenship excludes most immigrants. Qualifying means waiting 13 years or longer. Hurdles imposed are enormous.
Immigration reform reflects business as usual. Comprehensive reform is a convenient illusion. "(L)et's get immigration reform done this year," said Obama.
He lied claiming "ideas (he) outlined can speed up growth and create more jobs." They haven't so far. They won't going forward.
He lied about wanting to restore benefits 1.3 million jobless workers lost the week before Christmas. In 2014, millions more will lose theirs. Rhetorically he opposes it. He proposed nothing to prevent it.
He lied about wanting "every child (to have) access to a world-class education." Throughout his tenure, he waged war on public education.
He wants it privatized. He wants it made another business profit center. He cut Pell Grants. He supports America's student loan racket.
His so-called Race to the Top sacrifices quality education. It mandates marketplace rules. It lets Washington bureaucrats decide what's best for children. It's another black mark on his legacy.
His American dream promise is empty. He lied saying "hard work pays off for every American." They're worse off today than in modern memory.
"In the coming weeks, I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour - because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty," he said.
Note: $10.10 x 40 hours a week x 52 weeks = $21,000. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $23,500.
It's woefully below reality. It's based on a decades old guideline. Households need at least double that amount to avoid poverty.
They don't need minimum wage protection. They need guaranteed living wages. Enough to cover all essential expenses. Enough to live like most working Americans did decades ago.
Obama's plan is deplorable. Whether or not it becomes policy doesn't matter.
What about all public employees. What about state and local ones. What about private sector workers. What about restoring lost benefits.
"Give America a raise," said Obama. His rhetoric rings hollow. Working American wages eroded for decades. Inflation adjusted, they decline annually. Real inflation is multiples higher than fake numbers.
Obama touted his Affordable Care Act. "That's what (healthcare) reform is all about," he claimed.
ACA is a healthcare rationing scheme. It enriches insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains.
It scams millions of Americans. It's polar opposite what's needed. Obama's agenda abhors fairness.
He ignored his multiple war crimes. He lied about exiting Afghanistan. America came to stay. Permanent occupation is planned. So is his war on peace, stability and security.
He lied about terrorist threats. "(T)hat danger remains," he claimed. "We have to remain vigilant."
"We must fight the battles that need to be fought."
Hegemons operate this way. America's only threats are ones it invents.
Permanent war is official policy. Unchallenged global dominance is sought. Obama didn't explain. His rap sheet is blood-drenched.
He's waging war on Syria. He's destroying another country. He's doing it lawlessly.
He lied about "preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." No program exists to do so.
Whether or not he lied about vetoing possible legislation imposing new sanctions remains to be seen. Earlier promised vetoes were hollow.
He lied about Hezbollah "threaten(ing) our allies." Israel is the region's only existential threat.
He lied about "the ideals we stand for and the burdens we bear to advance them."
Imperial lawless reflects official US policy. Obama's police state apparatus targets homeland resisters.
Mass surveillance watches everyone. Whistleblowers and activists are considered existential threats.
America's state of the union is deplorable. Obama's entire address reflected empty rhetoric. It's an annual duplicitous exercise. Expect business as usual to continue.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen (at) sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
This work is in the public domain