20 February 2009

Obama: No Change

Just a round up of some useful info. Peter Phillips, Professor of Sociology and Director of Project Censored at Sonoma State University, has just put out a piece revealing the incestuous and systemic financial ties between public office and defence corporations in the US government, continuing under Obama.

Obama's stimulus package has been cautiously welcomed by sections of both the left and right of the political spectrum. While there are definitely some positive components, and surely a step-in-principle in the right direction - highlighing the idea of focusing on the real economy, creating new jobs, and rebuilding a cleaner and more energy efficient infrastructure - there remain serious questions about how far the stimulus as packaged will actually achieve these noble aims. The idea is great - money needs to be used not to bail out insolvent banks, but to revitalize production along sustainable and equitable lines. But the stimulus doesn't do this effectively.

Jesse Jenkins, the director of energy and climate policy at the Breakthrough Institute in Washington DC, provided a detailed deconstruction of the stimulus when its details first became known. His basic verdict it: "Underfunded or not, the series of clean energy investments included in this version of the stimulus reads like a laundry list of piecemeal tax breaks and incentives that simply do not cohere into any kind of unified plan. It seems that there is no coordination between the different intended energy expenditures and no central objective or strategy behind then, other than creating new jobs."

Even Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was fairly scathing about the scope of the stimulus -

"We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm.

Officially, the administration insists that the plan is adequate to the economy’s need. But few economists agree. And it’s widely believed that political considerations led to a plan that was weaker and contains more tax cuts than it should have — that Mr. Obama compromised in advance in the hope of gaining broad bipartisan support."

Not to mention the fact that Obama's actual plans for renewable energy investments read almost identical to Bush's plans - neither of which therefore offer any meaningful way of actually weaning the US off of its oil addiction, as the impact of peak oil closes over the next 5-10 years.

Meanwhile, no one in the mainstream media commentary circus bothers to ask the question as to the symbiotic relationship between massive, excessive US defence expenditures - which Obama has no intention of reducing - endemic US government and consumer indebtedness, and the current financial crisis. Instead, Obama is busily investing precious taxpayer funds in expanding the frontlines of war in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to devastating effect.

2 comments:

  1. Nice to see regular commentary appearing here again Nafeez, after a couple of periods where I suspect you were one busy dude!

    It's too early to tell but I recommend you check out the preview film site www.coreofcorruption.com - a researcher there called Jonathan Elinoff has announced a 5-film (!) series on 9/11, BCCI, deep politics, the drug war, the JFK assassination and all the various threads. I have my hopes up for this as I've gathered that Elinoff (based on hearing his interviews and hearing others talk about him secondhand) is a very solid researcher. Cynthia McKinney posts a message of support on the site but it's obvious she hasn't watched the films just yet. The first installment is due out in about a month.

    I enjoy your writing and value it immensely, even when the subject matter is inevitably sober. Cheers mate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. On Facebook, I admin a group called Progressive Obama Watch:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?id=526643755&gv=12#/group.php?gid=59149294720

    ReplyDelete