Obama prepares sweeping cuts in social programs

Original article, by Patrick Martin, via World Socialist Web Site:

Barack Obama took the occasion of his first press appearance in Washington as president-elect to declare his determination to impose policies of budgetary austerity, including the elimination of entire federal programs and cost-cutting in the entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that are of vital importance to tens of millions of elderly and poor people.

Sure, the poor and the elderly will suffer, but we have to give the stimulus money to the bosses. After all, that’s the only way money will trickle down to the poor wretches of society. And this, mind you, is coming from a Democrat!

The president-elect made the statement on the eve of a speech Thursday in which he will make the case for a proposed stimulus package. It was a clear effort to appease both congressional Republicans and the sizable faction of fiscal conservatives among the congressional Democrats, reassuring them that while unlimited funds are to be provided to bail out big business, there will be a tight rein on spending for programs that support the needs of working people.

Any stimulus money should have a requirement where those companies that receive said money will show how many new hires will be paid for. If the vast bulk of the aid is not going toward new hires, those companies should be turned down. The way to stimulate the economy is to get more people working.

Obama’s remarks on Wednesday shed light on the basic character of his stimulus plan, which is tailored to the demands of the financial and corporate elite and will provide hundreds of billions in additional public funds to prop up corporate profits, while doing little to provide relief for tens of millions of working people facing the deepest slump since the Great Depression.

Make no mistake about it, the poor, middle and working classes are going to feel the brunt of any actions taken to try to turn around the economy. As this is being written, the UAW is going into concession talks with the automotive industry. These concessions are aimed at making the auto industry more competitive, but at the cost of a good standard of living for the workers. A Universal Health Care system would go further toward that goal and wouldn’t hurt the workers as bad. Needless to say, the trillions of dollars going toward the bosses would be enough to pay for several years of a Universal Health Care system.

Martin points out that there is likely to be a full assault on entitlement spending by the Obama administration. At this point, I wouldn’t put privatization past them. The bosses and Republicans should be dancing in the streets over what Obama’s announced so far and where he’s likely to go.

The rest of Martin’s article is a good read. You’ll get a feel for what we are facing as a country under Obamanomics (Bushonomics/Clintonomics/Voodoo Economics and Reaganomics, only with a few rhetorical flourishes! The poor, working and middle classes are about to be fleeced again. The question is whether they will rise up in their own self interests?

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  1. Remember Obama’s a Chicago Schooler.

  2. wants to look at what Obama actually said yesterday, here’s the video (6 1/2 minutes).

    If you watch or read the transcript, you’ll notice that he said nothing about sweeping cuts in social programs. He’s talking about cutting spending on programs that are either pork or don’t produce. This could just as likely mean things like an elimination of abstinence only sex education programs, which have been proven to not work.

    And the words Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid were not mentioned.

    • BobbyK on January 9, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I didn’t finish reading “the audacity of hope”.  I put it down in disgust.  

    It seemed to me Obama couldn’t write a criticism of the Right without adding a “balancing criticism” of the Left.  

    I knew then, he was going to disappoint.

    A Clinton like triangulation, “pragmatic” centrist, approach will just make the problems worse.  

    Since 1980 and especially in the last 8 years the pendulum has swung so far to the right it’s fallen off the clock.

    Our country needs to take a hard left turn, in a hurry, before we hit the wall.

  3. while all of the other human institutions and programs our society has had the good sense to support are starved to death.  That’s been the policy since St. Reagan.

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