imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Obama Government: Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich

by SF Workers Action Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009 at 3:43 PM

These past several weeks have witnessed a stunning attack on working people, with the Obama administration leading the charge. It started with Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, responding to the A.I.G. bonuses by pontificating about the sanctity of contracts: “We are a country of law. There are contracts. The government cannot just abrogate contracts.” Like a mad dog pursuing its prey, he pounced on the conclusion that absolutely nothing could be done about the bonuses. Unfortunately, Summers voiced no similar outcry when the Obama administration, only weeks earlier, insisted that the U.A.W. contracts be renegotiated as a condition for the auto industry receiving a bailout, suggesting that a different set of rules applies to the rich than to the rest of us who constitute the majority and work for a living.



However, when a public uproar swept the country in response to these bonuses, many of which were ear-marked for the financial wizards who helped drive the economy over the cliff, the Obama administration executed a hasty about-face. Suddenly, they too were “outraged,” along with everyone in Congress who wanted to keep alive any chance of re-election.

But then, Eliot Spitzer, former New York governor, weighed into the fracas, arguing that the bonuses were only the tip of the iceberg. The real scandal, he claimed, centers on A.I.G.’s decision to redirect billions of its public bailout funds to some of its trading partners, including Goldman Sachs. For weeks, A.I.G. had refused to divulge the names of these recipients and only acquiesced when threatened with legal action. According to Spitzer, the issue is basically this: if taxpayers are being forced to sacrifice by bailing out financial institutions, shouldn’t the financial institutions themselves be compelled to make their own sacrifices rather than being made completely whole by taxpayer money, as is happening when Goldman Sachs receives taxpayer money from A.I.G.? And one could add that, after all, the financial institutions had some responsibility in creating this financial disaster; we working people had nothing to do with it.

But even these setbacks for working people pale in comparison to the latest dog and pony show orchestrated by the Obama administration in response to the toxic assets that are dragging down the financial institutions here in the U.S. and around the world. As Paul Krugman, Princeton economist, observed: “…basically the plan hands out gold-plated toasters to anybody who participates.” Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, described it as “very badly flawed,” offering “perverse incentives,” that amount to “robbery of the American people.”

Basically, the program, which is trumpeted as a public-private partnership, will give billions of dollars of our taxes to subsidize private investors who buy the toxic assets. We will contribute 94 percent of the cost, leaving only 6 percent that the private investors must shoulder. If the toxic assets prove to be worthless, as their name suggests, we taxpayers will suffer heavy losses while the investors can walk away almost painlessly. However, if these assets turn out to be profitable, then the investors and taxpayers share in the proceeds on a 50-50 basis, not on the basis of 94-6, as one would think if fairness marked the bottom line. This kind of partnership resembles the kind that exists between predators and their prey. Or, as Paul Krugman noted, it’s like this: heads the private investors win, tails the public loses. Once again a different set of rules applies to rich as opposed to the rest of us.

All of the above can be summarized in this way: as long as the markets operate to make the rich even richer, we must consider them sacred. However, when they fail to deliver this outcome, the government must step in and, with our tax money, insure that the rich can continue their ascent to ever-greater heights of wealth while the rest of us languish in the dust, struggling to buy a home, keep a job, provide a decent education for our children, secure health coverage for ourselves and our family, and so on.

Finally, many of us harbor the illusion that when it comes to paying taxes, the rich carry the heavier burden. As Dorothy Brown recently pointed out: “There are effectively two tax systems in America: one for the very rich and one for the rest of us. Income from stock dividends and capital gains, which makes up a disproportionate amount of the earnings of the very rich, is taxed at 15 percent. But the bulk of what the rest of us earn — wages and interest from savings accounts — is taxed at up to 35 percent.” For this reason, billionaire Warren Buffett, to his credit, has complained that he was taxed at a rate of 17.7 percent on his million income while his secretary struggled under the onerous rate of 30 percent.

The government has embraced two sets of rules: one for the rich and another for the rest of us. Working people will have to organize themselves so that they can forcefully demand, not only a bailout for working people, but an entirely new and just set of rules that level the playing field. But they will have to come to the realization that the root of the problem lies in the fact that this is a class society, and anything of significance happens on that basis.

On the one hand, the rich own the economy and run it exclusively in their own interests in pursuit of the maximization of profits, regardless of the pain and suffering they inflict on the rest of us and the environment. They lay us off, foreclose our homes, and deprive us of health care without a second thought. And by giving millions of dollars to politicians, they in essence run the country, secure in the knowledge that the politicians will return the favor with preferential legislation and bailouts on demand.

On the other hand, working people labor long and hard only to be told that we are being laid off, or our pension has disappeared, or we have lost our savings on a stock market that operates according to unfathomable principles.

We must insist that the country operate in the interests of the majority. But this goal requires that we embrace truly democratic principles so that every important economic decision is discussed, debated, and determined by a vote. Only then will we succeed in abolishing classes, abolishing the privileges of the rich, and establishing a society where the full development of every individual is the fundamental premise embraced by all.
Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy