Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Hold Your Horses, Obama

Before you get too cocky, Mr President Elect, you might want to sit yourself down and listen to words of wisdom from “free” market ideologue Witold Gadomski. The man is free with his advice and it would pay you to listen and listen good. The fact is, Mr. Obama, you have carefully avoided saying where the money will come from to fund your election promises. Sure, you spoke about raising taxes “but only” for the top 5% of American earners. You have avoided the question almost as carefully as Gadomski has: he provides no figures to show that taxing the top 5% would not cover the costs. In fact there is no analysis at all. There are figures, alright but no context. For instance, the budget deficit is 400 billion dollars. Is that a lot? What percentage of the budget is that? Obama’s plan to extend health care would cost 65 billion dollars a year. Well, it’s more than I earn, but is it a lot of money for the USA?

Taxes will have to be raised, Gadomski says, to pay for all this. And not just taxes for the rich, he adds without any attempt to justify his claim.

Mr. President Elect, should you not have warned Americans that they would have to tighten their belts? There’s a crisis going on, you know. You should tell people, Gadomski repeats later in the article (and in the sub-head), that they have to tighten their belts. Because they are stupid, you see. This is the first they’ve heard of a recession. Lehman Brothers? Nope, means nothing. Credit Crunch? Credit what? AIG? Still going strong, right? Americans are unaware that the deflation of a massive housing bubble is causing economic problems. They don’t know anything about it at all and have no idea why their mortgages cost so much more than their houses are worth. Tell them, Mr. Obama, tell them.

It’s not all bad news, though. The financial markets have reacted well to your election, “expecting [you] will quickly choose a responsible [code for right wing] team to take care of economic policy and formulate a realistic [code for right wing] programme.” How Gadomski knows that this is what the markets expect is left unexplained.

If that’s all too much to be reading in a doubtless busy week, Mr. President Elect, you could just pay heed to the headline: “Obama must forget about his election promises as quickly as possible.” And they wonder why so many voters are too cynical about politicians to vote.

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