Obama Budget 'Partisan-Gridlock' Fake-Out!
Andre Damon in “Obama’s ‘pro-middle class’ budget: Cut corporate taxes, raise military spending, slash Medicare” calls out Obama’s supposed populist, legacy-saving, proposed fiscal budget for 2016 and the NYT’s propagandizing of it as an “unfettered case for spreading the wealth.”
More Obama and corporate media bullshit. What else is new?
In reality, the budget proposal, cynically packaged and promoted as a populist boon to the middle class at the expense of the rich, is dominated by corporate tax cuts, expanded military spending, and cuts to Medicare.
Any “token” and “trivial” progressive “elements" in the budget both Obama and the Dems, Damon asserts, know perfectly well will be rejected by a Republican Congress.
So forget any heralded social program and infrastructure enhancement! Pro-corporate and pro-military elements, on the other hand, are a LOCK.
Damon emphasizes that Obama’s chosen setting for the budget press conference said it all. It was the Department of Homeland Security in Washington. Domestic security and the military are, no surprise, Obama’s main priorities. No argument from the Repubs in terms of realpolitik, not the metaphorical big-time wrestling performances of faux-partisanship broadcast by the media.
Handily, Obama defended lifting the caps on military, intelligence and domestic security expenditures imposed back in 2013 from across-the-board sequester cuts. Social program caps will stay on tight, mind you.
And you believed the corporate media that Obama was going liberal in his lame-duckness? Lost another game of Lucy/Obama and the football!!!! Still trapped in the 5 stages of post-2008 Obama election grief are you?
Let me list some of the highlights from Andre Damon’s reality homework done for us -- his chasing down the REAL Obama budget mandates:
Increase Pentagon spending 7%
Add $38 billion to defense budget bringing it up to $534 billion
Additional $51 billion for wars in Iraq and Syria (including for the mythological “moderate freedom fighters” in Syria) and for a sustained US troop presence in Afghanistan (shhhhhh!)
Corporate tax cut down to 25% for manufacturers and 28% for other corporations -- down from 35%
Allowance for US corporations to repatriate past profits overseas at 14% tax rate and 19% for future profits -- down from 35%
$400 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Dept. of Health & Human Services
Increasing premiums charged to Medicare on upper-income patients to generate $66 billion over ten years opening the door of government health care for seniors to a "poverty program"
Cut another $116 billion in Medicare payments to drug companies for medicines for low-income patients
Cut $100 billion for the treatment of Medicare patients following their discharge from the hospital -- affecting primarily the elderly
What will guaranteed be stripped out by a Republican Congress? Damon:
The proposed tax increases include a 0.07 percent fee on some 100 large financial corporations and an increase in the capital gains tax from 24.2 percent to 28 percent for couples making more than $500,000 per year.
These would ostensibly be used to finance a plan to pay tuition—but not increase per-pupil funding—at community colleges, which would cost $60 billion, as well as an $80 billion proposal for increasing child care tax credits. The budget also proposes $478 billion in infrastructure spending over six years. These projects would be contracted out to private for-profit companies and would not take the form of government-run public works programs.
So in case any of the progressive elements squeak in, they will be exploited or destroyed by private corporate outsourcing.
Damon accuses the pro-middle class posturing of “social spending” by Obama and the 2016-election-conscious Dems as fraudulent!
Once again, the corporate media love to hype “partisan gridlock”, observes Damon, but, bottom line, the two corporate parties serve the SAME oligarchy and will ensure AUSTERITY, MILITARISM, and DOMESTIC REPRESSION!
[cross-posted on open salon]