Obama is on the road talking about economic reform, but he is President. He must also act.
Talking up the economy is nice on the campaign trail, but once in office, it is actions that count, and the President has plenty of power to take the initiative without a recalcitrant, self-satisfied Congress. Given the structure of the U.S. financial system, characterized by profound Federal Government intervention regarding the availability of funds for business loans, tax law, and employment, building the real, main street economy requires the reform of what has become a financial system based on corporate exploitation. Via such means as appointing reformers and funding government programs to punish financial criminals (as was done even by Reagan in response to the S&L crisis), there is much that Obama can do right now by himself, without any Congressional interference, to improve the economic situation of the American people.
Instead, what we see is a stream of evidence that Obama in fact is quite happy with a weak Main Street economy and corporate control over the financial system:
- Appointing Small Fox Lew as Treasury Secretary and allowing rumors that he will appoint Big Fox Summers, like his pathetic first term appointment of Big Fox Geithner, send the message that he supports continued control of financial policy chicken coop by the Wall St. banks.
- Obama also appears to be keeping Elizabeth Warren at arms’ length, as those she represented some sort of alien force rather than the reform wing of his own party. (Someone please correct me if I am wrong about Obama’s attitude toward Warren!)
- Taking legal action is tougher than making appointments, but after five years, one would think that Obama could also have managed to give some evidence that he is pursuing financial criminals in Wall St. banks and the home mortgage industry more broadly. So far, only corporate fines worth far less than the fraudulent earnings gained by the guilty corporations have been assessed; the major guilty individuals remain not only free of jail, free from even defending themselves in court, but also free to enjoy their ill-gotten hundreds of millions. (That figure is correct – look at the earnings of the heads of Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, etc.)
Obama has great power to help the U.S. economy, but he is very carefully avoiding taking action. Why???
“Blankfein and Goldman Sachs employees have been major contributors for Democratic candidates, such as, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. With almost a million dollar contribution from Goldman Sachs employees and Blankfein, their company helped to raise the most money for the 2008 campaign for Obama.” [Celebrity Net Worth.]