This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Guest Post: President Obama's State of the Union: Ten Skirted Issues

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Nomi Prins

President Obama's State of the Union: Ten Skirted Issues

I confess; I expected to be bored out of my mind listening to President Obama’s campaign - I mean, State of the Union - I mean campaign, speech. I kept hoping some truly earth shattering story would sneak in there beforehand, like say some discovery that Mitt Romney had been having an affair with Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife while he was creating jobs at Bain capital, and we could all focus on that instead.

It turned out that my pre-determination proved accurate. I wonder if the members of Congress felt the same sense of same déjà vu that I did, as they were bopping up and down and applauding. 

Obama's speech was a compilation of highlights from his past ones. One part optimism, two parts repetition equals one total uninspiring. Maybe it’s so boring, because it matters so little at this point. Taking away popularity polls, our national threshold for belief in hope or change has been trampled, not just because of Obama or Romney, but of the whole political apparatus that thrives on deflection of reality and posturing. We don’t have the same energy to expend listening to politicians, the endless spin that renders fact obsolete, responsibility absent, and true accomplishment, unnecessary.

We saw Optimistic Obama in his first address to Congress in 2009: “While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

We got Presumptuous Obama in 2010: “As we stabilized the financial system, we also took steps to get our economy growing again, save as many jobs as possible, and help Americans who had become unemployed.”

We watched Philosophical Obama in 2011: “We are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -– the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.  That’s why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here… The future is ours to win.”

Now, we had Campaigning on Fairness Obama. He returned to the roots of his pre-Presidential words, having accomplished little to attain the goal that his words implied. Here are ten things that President Obama skirted: 

1) The cost of healthcare insurance. Obama tried to play both sides, slapping a populace spin on an insurance industry gift. “That’s why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a Government program.” He claimed he won’t “go back” on things like health insurance companies being able to cancel policies. He didn’t say that insurance premiums have already risen 22% in the past two years. Republicans hate Obama’s ‘signature’ healthcare reform bill because it unconstitutionally forces people to purchase insurance. Democrats support the bill because Obama passed it. The reality is – by the time it takes effect in 2014, premium costs may have doubled. Frame it however you want, that means health insurance could cost twice as much when this bill takes effect as it did before it was passed. Meanwhile, there are more people without insurance (because they can’t afford it) even though insurance companies can’t cancel policies or deny insurance for pre-existing conditions. This bill merely offers insurance companies a wider pool of customers, with a few restrictions on how much they can pillage them.

2) Student Loan Defaults. Obama claimed he wants to cap interest rates on student loans - which would be great, but can only work in this particularly low rate environment. He urged  colleges to keep costs down – again, something that’s worked out really well when he’s mentioned it before. This year, student loan debt surpassed credit card debt, breaching the $1 trillion mark, at an average of more than $25,000 per student (and up 47% over a decade ago, not all under Obama, but a bi-administration problem is still a problem). Not surprisingly, student loan defaults rates have risen alongside this debt increase. Nearly 9% of loans defaulted in 2010, of those that began repayment in 2009, vs. 7% that began in 2008.) Obama didn’t mention this growing problem. 

3) Youth unemployment. Obama took credit for the creation of 3 million jobs (I’m not going to debate that here). Regardless, youth unemployment is at its highest rate since 1948. The unemployment rate for those under age 25 is 18.1%, (31% for blacks) havin risen sharply since 2008. Do the math. High student loan debt + diminishing  job prospects =  bad ending. Work-study programs have to be intense to really alter that.

4) Big banks. The largest firms continue to grow their asset bases and fee extrapolation strategies from their captive customer base (If you’re say, a JPM Chase customer, it costs you $5 to extract your own money from a Bank of America ATM – both banks get a cut). It was Obama that re-confirmed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for another fourteen years (and yes, a bi-partisan Congress agreed), and who still keeps Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner around. Both men were gung-ho about the merger mania that dotted Wall Street in the fall of 2008 and making the ‘too-big-to-fail” banks bigger, as they now are.

5) Small banks. President Obama didn’t address the smaller bank closings occurring because the big banks got disproportionate subsides;, 389 smaller banks (with $297 billion in assets) failed from 2009 to 2011. Like during the early years of the Great Depression, this means less choice for individuals, less loans for local businesses, and consolidation of influence and market share for the big banks – which comprise Obama’s largest bundling base.

6) Borrowers. Despite a few tepid programs to help homeowners, the sheer number of foreclosures is higher today than it was in 2008. There were a record number of foreclosure filings:  2.9 million in 2010 and 2.7 million in 2011.  These are predicted to rise in 2012 amidst default surges and more lender notices than in 2011. 

Why? Because Obama’s program (that was supposed to help 5 million borrowers, and helped half a million) had to be approved by the banks. Banks don’t like citizen aid programs, even if they screwed them to begin with by fueling a $14 trillion toxic asset pyramid repackaging risky (for people), high interest-bearing (for them). Obama said, “The banks will repay a deficit of trust”? What?! When?! Where?!

7) Recent regulator incompetence. Regulators looked the other way, Obama said, pre-crisis. But he mentioned nothing about the regulators giving a pass since; the SEC bestows banks settlements for fraudulent mortgage asset products, without extracting any admission of wrongdoing. He missed saying anything about the lack of related DOJ criminal indictments. The top five banks agreed to pay $1.149 billion to the SEC to settle subprime-mortgage related fraud charges, with no admission of guilt or criminal indictments. (The SEC settlement of $285 million with Citigroup was rejected by Judge Rakoff in November, 2011 and is being re-negotiated.) And Obama wants to create a Financial Crimes Unit? What’s the SEC supposed to be doing? or the DOJ? or the FBI?

8) MF Global and customer money. On the same topic – the deficit of trust thing: Obama avoided any talk about his buddy, Jon Corzine or MF Global, the nation’s eight largest bankruptcy. He didn’t point out how diabolical it was to use and ‘lose’ customer funds that were supposed to have been kept separate from bad bets. He didn’t suggest having a solid separation between customer money and financial firm money - as in - don't have it at the same firm. He claimed to ‘we will not bailout you out again” and yet, we still are.

9) Banks hoarding. Obama neglected to mention the $1.6 trillion that banks are stashing at the Fed in the form of excess (and interest-bearing) reserves, which do nothing for the Main Street economy. Meanwhile, small business loans are at a 12-year low, having shrunk continuously since 2008.

10) Obama conveyed that we dodged a bullet with getting the banking system under control. He didn’t note the rising risk in the banking system: the largest four US banks (JPM Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs) control nearly 95% of the US derivatives market, which has grown by 20% since just last year, to  $235 trillion JPM Chase holds 11% of the world’s derivative exposure, Citibank, Bank of America, and Goldman comprise about 7% each. Goldman has 537 times as many (from 440 times last year) derivatives as assets and it’s still considered a bank holding company (as per Bernanke) that gets federal backing.

In all, the President's speech was reminiscent of George Clooney’s in Ides of March. We’ve heard it all before, maybe with slightly different words: America lost 4 million jobs before I got here, and another 4 million before our policies went into effect, but in the last 12 months, we added 3 million job. We must reduce tax loopholes, and provide tax incentives to businesses that hire in America. We must reform taxes for the wealthy (though he signed an extension of Bush’s tax cuts.) We must train people for an apparent abundance of expert jobs. We need more clean energy initiatives.  We created regulations (big sigh of relief he didn’t use the word ‘sweeping’) to avoid fraudulent financial practices. We will help homeowners. Wall Street must ‘make up a trust deficit.”   Like Jamie Dimon cares. 

In other words, Obama gave Wall Street a pass, while waxing populace. Don’t get me wrong. I expected nothing different. I will continue to expect nothing different, when he gets a second term, given the lame field of contenders all around.

 

- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:34 | 2096119 battle axe
battle axe's picture

He is doing it to pay back his buddy Warren Buffet. Now Warrens shiny choo choo's will be able to make even bigger profits...

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:05 | 2096136 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yep... it was that or Repubs rewarding the Koch Bros. and Big Oil by exporting the refined products with a tax break from the Gulf Coast...

So... both sides stank...

and the option that kept a few extra permanent jobs for the working stiff was taken...

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:28 | 2096100 wherewasi
wherewasi's picture

the worst part (based on his m.o.) is that now it's time for the goddammed road trip to say this crap over and over to the cameras... It is mind-numbing.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:31 | 2096106 Imminent Collapse
Imminent Collapse's picture

There isn't ten cents of difference between any of the candidates.  Unless the system changes, TPTB will continue to control it all.  Don't be distracted by that man behind the curtain.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:39 | 2096124 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Astute observations, Nomi, as usual. 

I'll start with a tweet sent from my boy, Dylan Ratigan:

Did those days go away? Obama in : "I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules."

Exactly.

That's why most people last night, didn't watch the speech.  That's why most young people under the age of 35, libertarian and liberal progressive alike, think the Government is a joke. 

Wall Street is Washington; Washington is Wall Street.  Einhorn is Finkle; Finkle is Einhorn.  The fact that politicans still can't seem to grasp this only proves more what corporate schills they are.  That, or maybe they really are that fucking dumb.  But yet again, as Upton Sinclair says, "If you are being paid to play dumb, you will usually do a good job of it".

No mention of:

MF Global (Which is susprising, considering even closest political allies like Jon Corzine who step on their dick usually get stomped upon by their allies running for office to stump for votes).

Inflation worries (Still not keeping up with the money supply index, nevermind the inflated CPI numbers.  Oh, and oil is hovering around $100 a barrel).

Jefferson County, Alabama (Because it not like people need running water or anything).

SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/NDAA (Because, you know, there haven't been any mentions of these acts on Twitter, haven't been signatures averaging 200K+ on these subjects DIRECTLY to the White House).

Just a bunch of blanket statements written by other people to enforce hackneyed political rhetoric that gets us no where.  It's like the football coach who says, "Well, we can run the ball, we can throw it, but instead we'll punt it because we are too worried to turn it over". 

Until the system grows some balls, our legislators/regulators won't write laws that have them.

 

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:40 | 2096127 Edna R. Rider
Edna R. Rider's picture

Obama's speech last night ensured his 2nd term.  Compared to the challengers he has a tremendous advantage of offering nuance (not having to 'stand apart' like the Republicans) and putting a fair bit of the blame on Congress (which is correct).  But what Obama has NOT done is lead the country in a particular direction; Obama is really no different than his predecessors, and Romney and Gingrich are exactly the same as Bush 2.  What is most shocking to me is that at this stage, with the election nearly wrapped up, is why doesn't Obama come out with 3 (or 5) 'Great Goals.'  For example, 1) flat tax on individuals and corporatations (that's the most demonstrably 'fair' thing anyone could do economically) and a nationwide VAT; 2) implement the Pickens Plan (basically use natural gas for everything you can); 3) fix our most obvious infrastructure problems--I fly a lot and the airports are a joke in the US.  The US reminds me of my American friends who spend 25% more than they make year after year and finally decide to 'cut back' and lo a month later I learned they did 2 things:  1) shopped at Costco more; 2) reduced their cable plan to just basic cable.  Wow, what strivers.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:40 | 2096128 steelrules
steelrules's picture

What's coming after Obama is going to be even worse, I've noticed that with each election over the last 20 years the plutocracy has become more emboldened.

Look for the end of food stamps, the gutting of medicare medicade and pensions, with even more moves towards totalitarianism.

As I write this the military is running exercises in Los Angeles, your emails are being read, your web history is being recorded, your wives and daughters are being groped and assaulted by the TSA, US customs is running check points inside the US, Homeland Security has militarized your police.

USA of the corporation by the corporation for the corporation.

Chris Hedges interview must watch   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO_iQSj8NLY

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:30 | 2096241 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

Thus, "Person of Interest". Pure propaganda to condition the populace for intrusive government surveillance.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:41 | 2096274 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

They won't go that extreme especially ending food stamps.  Medicare is going to be gutted though for those under 55 (thanks Boomers) and Medicaid is going to become a block grant to the states.  

If you eliminiated food stamps entirely, you would start to have people actually starve and/or go hungry that would number in the millions & when that happens you historically have the seeds for real social upheaval especially if it is concentrated in urban areas.  I have no doubt that the US would impose marshal law quickly though & use the National Guard/Army like in Detroit in '67 or with Katrina and fire on American citiznes if necessary to restore control.  

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 20:09 | 2098207 steelrules
steelrules's picture

Oh I think they will go after food stamps,  they want the riots to bring in martial law.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:40 | 2096130 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Hope? Nope!

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:48 | 2096140 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

"No more bailouts or free handouts.."

Then next breath, pissing away US Govt subsidies on green energy and propping up stinking mortgages

The Soros et al puppeteers have picked a Goldfish brained Marxist moron who simply cannot remember one autocued line from the next

..the US President is a global prize-winning village idiot amongst the cretins of the political class

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:52 | 2096311 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

As the US Govt settled a $700 million dollar mortgage fraud case for 0.03% of the actual total cost. 

Plus, we have already done some bailing out of the Euro via the Fed Reserve currency swaps.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:51 | 2096142 UTICA CLUB XX PURE
UTICA CLUB XX PURE's picture

Why won't the people support Dr. Paul for Christ's Sake???????

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:53 | 2096154 RiotActing
RiotActing's picture

Because he's a nut! Sorry its true, he might have the right idea when it comes to the economy and the constitution but start talking to this guy about science and abortion and he turns into a typical southern retard. Not to mention the banks would NEVER let him get into the White House... N E V E R.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:15 | 2096202 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Paul is right about stopping the pointless wars, downsizing a bloated military and decommissioning the Fed.

He loses me when he talks about total and absolute deregulation of markets, environment, etc.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:20 | 2096417 ONO47
ONO47's picture

On abortion, he wants to follow the Constitution. It is not an enumerated power, therefore it is a state issue. The Federal Government has no authority. 

I have never heard him speak on any science issues. Would you enlighten me?

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:53 | 2096155 freakscene
freakscene's picture

They will when Rand runs. I fear Ron's age has caught up with him as he's lost his ability to articulate his ideas so the average dumbass can understand them. He was never that good to begin with.

Kennedy / Nixon proved it's all about Flash a long time ago

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:46 | 2096508 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

a flash like Napalm?

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:53 | 2096157 RiotActing
RiotActing's picture

Because he's a nut! Sorry its true, he might have the right idea when it comes to the economy and the constitution but start talking to this guy about science and abortion and he turns into a typical southern retard. Not to mention the banks would NEVER let him get into the White House... N E V E R.

 

Sorry double post...

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:04 | 2096182 battle axe
battle axe's picture

He knows he will not be elected, he is setting up his sonny boy Rand for 2016. Then the fun begins..

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:51 | 2096148 RiotActing
RiotActing's picture

Obama isnt getting reelected because of the "lame field". He's getting reelcted because he has become the bank's butt buddy. They love him, they are going to stick with the horse they got. Whats the use trying to retrain someone? Romney might think he's actually in charge, cant have that!

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:10 | 2096195 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Bumma is (electoral) toxic toast

i'm happy to bet (take your money) he's getting the boot

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 14:30 | 2096938 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

Baritt Obamney will do the bidding of TPTB, just as Mirack Rombama is doing currently.  Whether either "thinks" they are in charge as they do the bidding of others is irrelevant.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:51 | 2096149 sbenard
sbenard's picture

The Telerprompter Tyrant was speaking again?

Emperor Obama is the Deceiver in Chief. Not a single syllable from his mouth can be believed!

He and his progressives are the greatest threat to individual liberty of our lifetimes!

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 10:53 | 2096156 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Wow what a bunch of strange looking freaks , did you get a good look of what those people in that building last night looked like...... The best chance for America was a meteor crashing and killing them all with not even any body parts left

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:05 | 2096183 Richard Whitney
Richard Whitney's picture

Nomi...in the last paragraph, you meant 'populist' not 'populace'.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:06 | 2096184 JR
JR's picture

Even Bill Moyers has figured out Obama’s hypocrisy and service to the bankers; here is an excerpt from his article Jan. 23, along with Michael Winship, THE WALL STREETERS OBAMA LOVES MOST:

… It’s startling the number of high-ranking Obama officials who have spun through the revolving door between the White House and the sacred halls of investment banking…

President Obama may call bankers “fat cats” and stir the rabble against them with populist rhetoric when it serves his interest, but after the fiscal fiasco, he allowed the culprits to escape virtually scot-free. When he’s in New York he dines with them frequently and eagerly accepts their big contributions.  Like his predecessors, his administration also has provided them with billions of taxpayer dollars – low-cost money that they used for high-yielding investments to make big profits. The largest banks are bigger than they were when he took office and earned more in the first two-and-a-half years of his term than they did during the entire eight years of the Bush administration. That’s confirmed by industry data.

And get this. It turns out, according to The New York Times, that as President Obama’s inner circle has been shrinking, his “rare new best friend” is Robert Wolf. They play basketball, golf and talk economics when Wolf is not raising money for the president’s campaign.

Robert Wolf runs the U.S. branch of the giant Swiss bank UBS, which participated in schemes to help rich Americans evade their taxes. During hearings in 2009, Michigan’s Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the permanent subcommittee on investigations, described some of the tricks used by UBS: “Swiss bankers aided and abetted violations of U.S. tax law by traveling to this country with client code names, encrypted computers, counter- surveillance training, and all the rest of it, to enable U.S. residents to hide assets and money in Swiss accounts.

“The bankers then returned to Switzerland and treated their conduct as blameless since Swiss law says tax evasion is no crime. The Swiss bank before us deliberately entered United States, actively sought U.S. clients and secretly helped those U.S. clients defraud the United States of America.”

And so it goes, the revolving door between government service and big money in the private sector spinning so fast it becomes an irresistible force hurling politics and high finance together so completely it’s impossible to tell one from the other.

http://www.salon.com/writer/bill_moyers/

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:16 | 2096190 quacker
quacker's picture

Many times in history we have seen nations get caught up in cult of personalities and follow certain men off a cliff.

Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and many more. The nation sinks into insanity all while the State apparatus endlessly chirps about how good things are.

Obama is such a figure. We were told this is John F. Kennedy to the Martin Luther King power. What we got was a two-bit banker with the heart and instincts of a tin-horn dictator. With him we are riding a wave of national insanity off a cliff.

And its seemingly impossible to find social commentators in the mainstream that understand this guy. They keep saying communist and socialist. Yet all you have to do is think Central America abut a century ago - those tin-horn clowns always yapping about redistribution while stuffing their friend's pockets with goodies from the sugar companies and various oligarchs. 

Obama is not just bad, he's something special. He's monumentally openly corrupt in a tin-horn dictator way that we have never seen before.

A steward of a nation's decline, relishing the decline and using the decline in a power grab to line the pockets of his masters, while ushering in further decline to perpetuate the loop.

The kind of person who only arrives when a nation goes on the chopping block - carved up and given to the plunderers before our eyes while he brazenly sheds the rule of of law as it applies to him and his friends. All the while supposedly fighting for "the little guy."

As if a gigantic and all encompassing lie was looking for body to possess. And the lie became human. Obama is a lie of a human being, a lie in the flesh.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:17 | 2096204 freakscene
freakscene's picture

That might be one of the better descriptions I've read on what is going on, especially "a steward of a Nation's decline". Much better prose that "managing the decline of the Nation" which is how it's normally phrased.

Well done.

I'd give +2 if I could.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:54 | 2096520 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I'll second that - poetic and haunting

America is so addicted to the pulpit fantasy heroes. Why can't we be like Iceland and others and grab it from the ground up

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:44 | 2096284 MeBizarro
MeBizarro's picture

Wake up.  This nonsense has been going on longer this and I would argue really started in earnest in the 90s.  Some would go back further and point to Nixon & taking us off the gold standard. 

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:06 | 2096356 quacker
quacker's picture

Real nice - start your post by saying "wake-up." What a fucking ass clown. Where did I say everything started with Obama? Like I never heard of Alan Greenspan and many before him.

Blow it out your ass.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:10 | 2096197 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

Also, Obama's refi proposal is another $36 billion aimed at the non Fannie/Freddie crowd. Probably won't pass the House and sets up more demagoging by Obama for the elecction.

MBA Purchase and Refi Applications Down 5% – Obama’s SOTU $36 Billion Refi Proposal

http://confoundedinterest.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/mba-purchase-and-refi-applications-down-5-obamas-sotu-46-billion-refi-proposal/

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:22 | 2096220 UGrev
UGrev's picture

a video showing that he's given the same SOTU speech every year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDDRiGIUYQo

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:56 | 2096325 freakscene
freakscene's picture

Thanks for posting this

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:40 | 2096268 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

How are we going to pay for it all?

We aren't.

When this mutherfucker (the economy) goes off the cliff- wait- when it hits the bottom with a sickening crunch- then all the velvet will be knocked off the iron fist.

Well know soon (tomorrow) but I think Obama's going down. The only trouble is that the alternative (Romney/Gingrich/Jeb/Hillary) will be a mean, nasty sonofabitch. The bankrupting of the economy spells the beginning of real, honest-to-goodness totalitarianism; complete with kolkhozes, gulags, internal passports, secret police, fear, darkness- the whole nine yards. The only thing that will make it interesting will be 1) that the internet will be basically uncontrollable, though monitored and therefore, dangerous 2) the strange sounds and strange other things that are happenning will explode in frequency, showing that "full spectrum dominance" is only a sex fantasy for the Gingrich-like perverts who run things, and not at all a reality. Earthquakes, hurricanes, CME's and all sorts of other natural mayhem will really fuck with the total control grid.

The more pressure is put on containing the Truth, the more it finds ways to seep through the cracks. It will be discovered that the Truth is not just about the nature of the Conspiracy, but deeper, more spiritual, and there lies the explanantion everyone is looking for.

This might not only be the last hopey-changey SOTU, but it might be the last one ever.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:56 | 2096322 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Our entire political, financial an government systems have become ever so polluted - beginning with only a few years after our founding as a sovereign nation.  This has come in the form of small, incremental change and creep that has inversely effected the wellbeing of our nation.

In order to correct the problem we must eliminate those items that are causing the problems.

The tax code and IRS regulation has been weilded to provide kickbacks and manipulate industry.  It has also been used to harm those who are adversely opposed to the interests of those in control of the government.  We need a flat tax and legal provisions preventing Congress from manipulating the laws to benefit themselves and their interests.  The IRS can be nearly eliminated at this point and the role of the IRS can be dramatically scaled back.

Campaing contributions have made our political system no greater than those of 3rd world dictatorship's.  It's downright bribery and needs to be eliminated.  Donations simply need to be illegal.  Municipal and county elections should only be personally funded.  State and national level elections should only be funced by personal finances and a publicly funded pool from which each candidate is granted an equal share.  Media at all levels will be required to provide equal time public service announcements for each candidate.  This levels the playing field and eliminates the billions of dollars worth of corruption that floods our election process.

Our financial and monetary system is far too complex and easily manipulated by those in power.  The fiat monetary system is and always has been doomed to fail.  Combine it with fractional reserve lending and it's mathematically impossible to sustain it's viability.  Complex investment vehicles and counter risk devices have overwhelmed the world's capability to handle them financially.  The system needs an overhaul and major amounts of simplification.

Healthcare reform isn't solved by letting government run it.  Our new system hasn't even been fully implemented and rates are already up 22% in just the past two years.  Healthcare's demise began the moment it was taken over by insurance companies and lawyers.  Health insurance reform is being held back by not allowing it to be competitive.  Why is this?  The control of care needs to be back in the hands of the physicians and their hipppocratic oath... the insurance companies need to deal with that and should be able to compete across state lines.  In order to reduce costs our nation needs major tort reform to eliminate the billions of dollars required by these hospitals, corporations, insurance companies use to defend themselves each year from litigation.

This is just a start but by correcting a few small issues we can truly get this country back on track and the power placed back into the hands of the people.  Until we change these and other problems, we will continue to errode as a nation.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:26 | 2096353 Monedas
Monedas's picture

So, with a few strokes on your keyboard you would drastically curtail free speech ? Political speech is what free speech is all about ? I find your campaign reform "Pornographic" !  Monedas 2012  Vote buying with government largess should be curtailed, though ! If the minority party couldn't even buy media time with their after tax dollars.....how could they compete with the "Media Machine" of the left and all the perks and advantages of the "Permocrat" party ? We need to level the playing field....but hands off free speech ! The political persuasion of all public employees should reflect the political persuasion of the citizenry !

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:58 | 2096328 Fix It Again Timmy
Fix It Again Timmy's picture

My SOTU address: "Beyond Redemption".  Goodnight citizens.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:00 | 2096338 Monedas
Monedas's picture

So, the borrowed money not spent in Iraq can be used to pay off the national debt and create make work, vote buying jobs ?    What a "Grandiose" mind our leader has ?    Socialist Fantasy Land !   Monedas  2012  We'd be better off with Million Dollar Boner as president !

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:24 | 2096427 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Suggestion to author of post:  learn the meaning of the word "populist" and its distinction in meaning from "populace".

 

It helps credibility to avoid this level of error.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:33 | 2096475 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Great article...covered all the major points. Unfortunately the Republicats will manage to yet once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory....I am preparing for 4 more 'Bama years.....pm's are the obvious place to start with an added allocation to ammo.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:57 | 2096538 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Traitors to the left of me,
Fascists to the right, here I am,
Stuck paying the tab for it all.

Traitors to the left of us,
Fascists to the right, here we are,
Stuck paying the tab for it all.

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:56 | 2096543 naiverealist
naiverealist's picture

"Republicans hate Obama’s ‘signature’ healthcare reform bill because it unconstitutionally forces people to purchase insurance."

I must take exception to this statement.  The only reason the repubs allowed this travesty to get through congress was because of this caveat.  The repubs are taking it to the Supreme Court to "validate" the fact that individuals will have to buy insurance from private companies, although they stringently say that they are trying to nullify the law.  The repubs want more than anything to have this validated by the supreme court.  It's the old "do anything you want to with me, but don't throw me into that briar patch" defense.  (Brer Rabbit's admonition to his captor, while diminishing the fact that Brer Rabbit was born in the briar patch and considered it home and was really the best place he could be - Uncle Remus reference).  The repubs had a version of a "healthcare" law online that was based upon individuals having to buy private insurance (from congress's benevolent funders).  It had an all inclusive grandfather clause in it thereby congress people could retain their gold plated policies.  This is the version that was allowed to pass and should have been vetoed by the president.

The problem is that it has never been an "insurance" issue.  It is a "cost of healthcare" issue that has been ignored by all because of the "bait and switch" pulled by both parties and the MSM.  The insurance companies add at least 30% to the costs of healthcare and do not effectively control the rising costs (rising costs equate to rising premiums and profits for the insurance companies, thereby enabling the funding of congress's reelection/slush funds).

Wed, 01/25/2012 - 12:56 | 2096544 the grateful un...
the grateful unemployed's picture

an impressive laundry list, so all we've managed is some of 10, bailing out the banks, Citi and BOA would face delisting if Citi hadn't done a reverse split, and BOA if the guy in the FED trading room wasn't hitting the buybuybuy button when it went below 5. of the less than credible accomplishments : catching Bin Laden. I don't think anyone believes him :ending the war in Iraq. we were asked to leave weren't we? : overthrowing Kadafii? That was good right up until the moment that kid in the Yankees cap blew the Libyan leaders brains out with his pistol. too much like the mean streets of America : the BP cleanup. it happened didn't it? : negotitiating the debt ceiling crisis? well the list just gets smaller and smaller.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:11 | 2224790 jmk
jmk's picture

Just vote the clown out of office before he declares himself President for Life like Vlady just did.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!