Stephen Lendman | 02.14.2013
Obama's Failed State
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's State of the Union address didn't surprise. It reflected rogue leadership. It was beginning-to-end demagogic boilerplate.
Defending the indefensible took center stage. Rhetoric substituted for progressive policies. Bombast assured business as usual.
Priorities include waging war on humanity, force-fed austerity, ignoring public needs, institutionalizing a repressive police state apparatus, and cracking down hard on non-believers.
Doing so assures growing despotism, lawlessness, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, and deprivation.
Obama's address targeted Medicare. He called "medical care for the aged….the biggest cause of the nation's longterm debt."
He lied. Military spending, imperial wars, Wall Street bailouts, other corporate handouts, and tax cuts for the rich and business bear full responsibility.
Falsely blaming Medicare for Washington's malfeasance reveals bipartisan rogue leadership. It's indicative of what's to come.
In 2009, Obama prioritized cutting healthcare costs and "restoring fiscal discipline." He made doing so the top "pillars" of his agenda, saying:
We've "kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further."
"We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."
"The big problem is Medicare." Its cost is "unsustainable."
"Let's not kid ourselves and suggest that we can solve this problem by trimming a few earmarks."
The "biggest cost drivers in our budget are entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, all of which get more and more expensive every year."
"If we want to get serious about fiscal discipline - and I do - we will have to get serious about entitlement reform."
Medicare and Social Security aren't entitlements. They're insurance programs. They're funded by worker/employer payroll tax deductions. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify.
Obama did what he does best. He lied. He's a serial liar. He supports wealth and power. He’s beholden to powerful monied interests. They own him. He spurns popular needs. He prioritizes letting them go begging on his watch.
He proposed massive Medicare cuts. In 2010, 2011, and last November he urged more. He's waging class war on Americans.
He wants fundamental social benefits destroyed. He wants ordinary people hung out to dry. He wants them on own sink or swim.
In 2010, his Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF) recommended deep Medicare cuts, higher Medicaid co-pays, and restrictions on filing malpractice suits.
It urged other ways to end Washington's responsibility for healthcare. Obama's address reiterated support. Implementation assures disaster for millions.
Healthcare for millions already is unaffordable. Implementing Simpson-Bowles makes it more so when most needed. Illnesses will go untreated. Pain, suffering, and early deaths will follow. Rogue leadership assures it. Obama reflects the worst of irresponsible lawless leaders.
His jobs proposals reveal more. His address rehashed old schemes. His September 2011 "American Jobs Act" promised "putting more people back to work" with no plan to do it.
It showed contempt for ordinary households. It was same old, same old. It concealed another thinly veiled wealth transfer scheme.
It included a laundry list of corporate handouts. Excluded were ways to create jobs, stimulate growth, reinvigorate Main Street, strengthen America's middle class, and help growing millions of impoverished, disadvantaged households most in need.
Obama's address claimed trade deals offshoring jobs to low wage countries create them. He urge support for current ones being negotiated.
He wants the nearly completed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) adopted. It's a trade deal from hell. It's a secretive, multi-nation agreement.
Adoption assures unrestricted trade in goods, services, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, government procurement and competition policies, and intellectual property (IP).
Obama want secretive provisions established with no public oversight or knowledge of their destructive harm. TPP aims to rewrite global IP enforcement rules. It includes numerous other anti-populist mandates.
National sovereignty is at stake. Signatory countries must change domestic laws, regulations, and other policies to comply.
What's known subverts US laws. Congress is left powerless. Supranational TPP authority overrides national sovereignty. Investor rights are prioritized over public ones.
Obama called for replicating TPP with EU countries. He urged establishing a Trans-Atlantic Partnership. He prioritizes corporate empowerment over human rights and needs. He's got much more in mind.
He supports extrajudicial killing. He's got kill list authority. It's official US policy. Drones are his weapon of choice. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner.
He wants anyone he targets assassinated. US citizens are included. Rule of law protections don't apply. Summary judgment has final say. No one's safe anywhere. There's no place to hide.
His address made clear where he stands, saying:
"Where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans."
Police states operate that way. Murder, Inc. is official policy. He claimed he "forge(d) a durable legal and policy (enforceable) framework." He usurped diktat authority.
Doing so subverts fundamental international, constitutional, and US statute laws. They're null and void. His say overrides them. Unchecked power is policy. Full-blown tyranny's a hair's breath away. Congressional leaders are supportive.
Obama's entire address reflected rogue leadership. He wants public schools modernized by privatizing them. His immigration proposal mocks notions of welcoming tired, poor, wretched masses yearning to breathe free.
His energy program prioritizes drill, drill, drill. His cybersecurity scheme involves no-holds-barred cyberwar. His notion of economic prosperity is greater corporate empowerment and enriching America's privileged.
His housing program lets bankers scam ordinary people. His minimum wage proposal falls way below the poverty line. His Afghanistan plan is permanent occupation.
His budget-cutting program targets vitally needed domestic programs. His entire agenda reflects rogue leadership.
He's got much more in mind. He's got four more years to wage war on humanity. Expect him to take full advantage.
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.