What was particularly remarkable about Obama’s second term inauguration speech was the overwhelming emphasis on social issues and wealth redistribution, while simply ignoring the enlarged fiscal crisis that is intensifying almost daily, as well as totally turning his back on any foreign policy initiatives.
In a hubris reminiscent of history’s strong men, who warned what was coming down the pike as their reign solidified, President Barack Obama made it clear that Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, and entitlements as a whole were untouchable, while the renewable energy of tomorrow would open the door to climatological restraint that he had failed to push through Congress, as “cap and trade” floundered in the Senate.
With no chance for bipartisanship, as the fear of reelection worries combine within a wavering Republican House majority, the GOP feels trapped by the stigma of guilt if a blocking of debt ceiling increase results in a downgrade by American and other global rating agencies. The GOP Congresspersons, quivering at the thought of being stigmatized by such a turn of events, if resistance to an increased debt causes a government shutdown, and a resultant economic recession, are already making a peace offering with a four-month delay for budgetary restraint in the months ahead.
What was most concerning about the President’s speech was an overall strident tenor of warning to business in general, but independent businesses specifically, that seemed to indicate a further regulatory crackdown, as well as closing of “loopholes,” if not a downright increase in additional taxation.
While Big Business, especially multinationals, have the freedom of strategizing their manufacturing and financial institutions into most favorable business climates, independent businesses will be hard-put to fend off additional federal government restrictions that could add to the tightening of non-competitive positions against imports and the big business sector. While the heavy hand of lobbyists will continue to protect business/industry giants, there are no such havens for the smalls. How vigorously President Obama will pursue such ominous strategies remains to be seen.
But it is a certainty that the President credibly believes he is playing with a strong hand, allowing him to pursue a “progressive” agenda that he was hesitant to implement while the vaunted second term seemed to be elusive.
In the months ahead, the shoring up of the progressive base for the Democrat Party’s future will take precedence over the fear of ballooning debts and deficits. Banking on the Federal Reserve Board’s maintenance of near zero interest rates will ostensibly take the White House through the mid-terms, in which Obama’s long-term plans will be cemented by victories in the House, as well as the Senate, he believes.
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