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Does the new boss seem too much like the old one?

By J. Edward Nelson
AP - The new boss and the old boss at the inauguration

AP - The new boss and the old boss at the inauguration


The GOP has been expectantly critical of the Obama Administration since officially relinquishing the White House in late January 2009. The most divisive issue to date being health care reform. 

Surprisingly, costly legislation like Obama’s Economic Stimulus Package was met with lukewarm resistance by Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

My opinion of the current Administration after almost a year in the White House is that there is minimal variance in the substance of its foreign and domestic policies when compared to its predecessor, and I am not alone in my assessment.

Bush-ism Without Bush

Former Congresswoman (D-GA) and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney, in an interview on Russia Today which aired June 22, 2009, referred to the policies of the Obama Administration as “Bush-ism without Bush.” McKinney, who was one of the first national figures to criticize the Bush Administration’s dubious actions during 9/11, which some believe cost McKinney her seat in Congress, said that the Obama Administration had “failed miserably” concerning four principles – which she and other third party presidential nominees announced in a press conference just prior to the 2008 election – that the former Congresswoman believes is necessary in order to correct the failed foreign and domestic policies of the Bush Administration:

  1. a quick end to the Iraq War and an end to threats of war against countries like Iran and Russia

  2. the safeguarding of privacy and civil liberties

  3. no increase in the national debt 

  4. an investigation into the federal reserve system

Supporters of the Obama Administration perceive such criticism so early in its tenure as being unwarranted.

But let’s see, the Obama Administration is managing two hot wars in the Middle East with no discernible end in sight, just like its predecessor.

The newly elected Commander-in-Chief has put both China and Russia on the list of countries able to threatenAmerican interests with military force, espionage and cyber operations, putting them in the same category as Iran and North Korea (might as well put all 27 member states of the European Union on that very same list, each can certainly “threaten” American interests in the same general way).  

The multiple annual deficits which became the norm under Bush will continue under the direction of Obama, with the current Administration adding $1.6 – $1. 8 trillion to the national debt at year’s end.

Obama has also advised Congress to extend sections of the Patriot Act written by the Bush Administration during the dark days immediately following 9/11, which both liberal and conservative groups have complained is unconstitutional and gives government too much authority to snoop into the private lives of American citizens.

Instead of investigating the ultra-secretive Federal Reserve Bank and its presumptive roll in the economic collapse of 2008, Obama not only re-appointed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Fed – originally appointed by Bush – but also proposed that this privately owned institution, which the government currently cannot audit, regulate every facet of American industry in order to prevent future economic crises. Without so much as the suggestion that concurrent legislation be enacted which would give Congress the authority to scrutinize the Fed’s financial activities.

This is compounded by the fact that some economists (such as Peter Shiff who rose to famein late 2008 after a video collage of his media appearances predicting the overall economic collapse, expressed in sequential order, surfaced on YouTube) actually blame the Fed, at least in part, for causing the collapse by artificially lowering interest rates for several years.  Which then precipitated borrowing and resultant malinvestment on a broad scale throughout both Wall Street and Main Street.

Expressed in layman’s terms, these economists believe the Fed to be guilty of RIGGING THE GAME we call capitalism TO FAIL by creating economic bubbles, which result in economic recessions.  This contention has fueled nearly 300 Congressmen and women to co-sponsor a bill, H.R. 1207, solely to audit the Fed.

Utilizing McKinney’s four principles as a bench-mark, her criticism of the Obama Administration appears justified.  While criticisms by conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, who calls the Obama Administration “a failure,” ring hollow because he was a staunch supporter of Bush and the very same policies for eight long years.

The $787 billion Economic Stimulus Bill crafted by the Obama Administration just weeks after the inauguration, complementary legislation to the $700 billion TARP Bill pushed through the Senate by the Bush Administration, with the assistance of 2008 presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain, is the single most expensive piece of legislation sent to Capitol Hill by a first term American president in my lifetime.  Which our children may still be paying off well into their adult years. 

If proposed Health Care reform legislation championed by the Obama White House is also passed, this will only serve to intensify the degree of financial bondage steeped upon future generations of Americans.

With his first year as president nearly behind him, President Obama is on pace to match his predecessor in spending, increasing the national debt, and expanding the size and scope of the federal government.

To quote Lou Dobbs, conservative evening news anchor on CNN, and Bill Maher, liberal political satirist, best known as the host of Realtime With Bill Maher on HBO, “the new boss is beginning to seem a lot like the old one.”

The notable exception being that the new boss is known to articulate his words like a Rhodes Scholar, while the old boss, at times, appeared unable to locate a coherent sentence if one bit him on the genitals. Although apparently, that does not translate into substantive differences in government policy.

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  1. avmed says:

    A Bond Bubble? No, just the same old Ponzi Game. Inflation worries? Don’t worry about certainties. There’s no point.

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