America's Deplorable State of the Union
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's annual State of the Union addresses reflect beginning-to-end doublespeak duplicity. Empty rhetoric signals business as usual.
Policy prioritizes corporate empowerment, rewarding rich elites, letting popular needs go begging, funding America's war machine, and cracking down hard on non-believers.
Obama does what his supporters thought impossible. He governs to the right of George Bush. He's beholden to powerful monied interests. They own him. He's their man in Washington. Whatever they want they get.
He mocks rule of law principles. He deplores democratic values. He prioritizes wrong over right. He's waging multiple direct and proxy wars on humanity.
He's waging social and economic ones domestically. He's creating unprecedented levels of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger and deprivation.
Ahead of his address, White House blog
contributor Macon Phillips called it "just the beginning." Citizen Response will be introduced.
It lets listeners and viewers explain how they're "connected to (issues) and then share (what's on their mind) with friends."
Q and A will follow. Theater will substitute for substance.
Handpicked hundreds will "join a special #WHSocial
in person, and 100 White House followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ representing more than 20 states" nationwide.
They were "invited to watch the speech live from the White House and participate in a panel discussion."
On February 14, Obama will initiate "Fireside Hangouts." They'll imitate Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats. He delivered dozens on radio from 1933 - 1944.
Obama's no FDR. The difference between them is stark. Obamanomics substitutes for New Deal fairness. What Roosevelt created, Obama helps put asunder. He heads a bipartisan criminal cabal.
He prioritizes the greatest wealth transfer in history. He's beholden to powerful monied interests. He's a jobs destroyer, not a creator.
He deplores people needs. He believes whatever government does, business does better so let it. Reform on his watch is a four-letter word. Social justice is verboten.
He enforces a repressive police state apparatus. Fundamental freedoms are eroding.
He's heading the nation toward insolvency, tyranny and ruin. Roosevelt promised change and delivered. Obama prioritizes it solely for rich elites, Wall Street backers, war profiteers, and other corporate favorites.
He pretends he cares. He's a con man. He calls for job creation while destroying them. Over 25 million working age Americans are unemployed. Tens of millions more are underemployed. Poor jobs substitute for decent ones.
Wages don't keep up with inflation. Benefits are disappearing. Increasingly most Americans are on their own. The worst is yet to come.
Progressive Radio News Hour regular Jack Rasmus says except for America's wealthiest 10%, median household spending lags badly.
What's occurring transacts via credit cards, installment and student loans. Incomes are inadequate. Savings are fast depleting.
"Consumer spending based on real income gains is just not happening for the middle class." Expect conditions to "seriously worsen," he warns.
Higher taxes, soaring food prices, and gasoline expected to exceed $5 a gallon by spring will hit hard.
Declining middle class income is hugely important. Inequality defines today's America. The wealthiest 1% gained enormously.
Today's fundamental cause of dire economic conditions is "long-term and continuing growth of income inequality," says Rasmus. Unprecedented wealth disparity figures reflect it.
Economist Joseph Stiglitz says America's top 1% gets around one-fourth of all annually generated income. In 1979, it was 8%. In 1928, it was 22%. It's more extreme now than ever.
It "continues to grow worse at an accelerating rate," says Rasmus. From 1993 - 2000, America's wealthiest 1% got 45% of all income growth.
From 2000 - 2008, it was 65%. In 2010, it was 93%. It comes from high pay, bonuses, capital gains, dividends, interest, rents, and other capital income forms.
At the same time, corporate profits soared. In 2011, they exceeded pre-recession 2007 levels. They've been rising at the fastest rate in 31 years.
Pre-tax, they doubled their 2008 recession low by March 2011. Achieving them involved more than increased sales. Job cuts, lower wages, fewer benefits, less working hours, other employee hardships, lower taxes, and faster depreciation rules produced them.
In 2011, profits as a percent of operating costs were their highest in over 80 years. They came at the expense of ordinary households. They sacrificed so corporate America and rich elites could gain.
Rasmus calls income inequality a "double edged sword." Over 80% of US households suffered so its wealthiest and corporate American could profit.
Middle class households are shrinking. Income inequality is longterm. High unemployment and lack of decent jobs exacerbate crisis conditions. What began decades ago is worse than ever now.
It reflects 21st century America. It's harsh, unforgiving and deplorable. Obama ignores solutions. Rhetoric substitutes for meaningful policy measures.
Helping those most in need is ignored. Austerity is prioritized when stimulus is needed. Problems fester and worsen.
On January 30, economist Richard Wolff
addressed income inequality. Recent decades witnessed "a growing distance between higher and lower" levels, he said.
"Income inequality and poverty levels" grew. Western societies force-feed crushing hardships on ordinary people.
Key in capitalist societies "is how corporate boards of directors distribute (business) surplus(es) or net revenues (sales less direct production costs)."
Since the mid-1970s, real US wages for most workers stagnated or declined. At the same time, productivity rose. Corporations gained hugely. So did rich elites.
Today's inequality is greater than ever. Obama prioritizes keeping it that way. He personifies capitalism's failures. He deplores systemic change.
Expect nothing positive ahead on his watch. The worst is yet to come. Bet on it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.