Well, we have had about three years of non-stop campaigning from the Washington establishment, ever since Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took over the House in 2006, two years before Obama was even elected president.
In 2008 the Democrats completed their sweep into control of the White House, House and Senate in Washington and a huge margin of victory was achieved including a super majority in the Senate. We were told to believe that a super majority in the Senate means the minority party cannot stop the majority, yet we have heard nothing but whining from the president and Congress on how the Republicans are blocking progress.
I guess that makes me wonder why Obama, Pelosi and Reid along with all the Democratic campaign committees keep blaming the Republicans when nothing happens. According to the political pundits the Democrats had enough votes to silence the Republicans yet they let that power slip away. What really happened is the Democrats found themselves just as hard to get along with as the Republicans. This intra-party bickering has led to stagnation in Congress.
Now, in terms of getting things done Obama had a good run of luck at first getting the Bank Bailout, the Housing Bailout, the Auto (GM, Chrysler and Auto Workers) Industry Bailout, the AIG Insurance Bailout and of course his nearly trillion dollar economic stimulus all were approved. Have they worked?
Banks still aren't giving credit. The number of foreclosed homes have not been reduced. Lower interest loans for housing are still not available. GM remains marginal, Chrysler is still in trouble and the Auto Workers, well they lost their jobs but now own GM and will get their executive health care benefits. The AIG affair made Goldman Sachs about $13 billion and funneled about $64 billion into banks, some already receiving bailout money and others foreign owned. No one really knows what the Stimulus has done or even how much has been spent.
So in summary, he got a lot done right away but has it helped us or the bank executives? Has it saved small business or Wall Street? Are people able to keep their homes or still losing them? Are jobs being created as a result of the trillions of dollars already spent on bailouts and stimulus? Have new markets been created for green goods? Across the board the answer is no and that is the dichotomy of Obama's legislative record.
While claiming to do all these things to help Main Street Obama has almost exclusively helped Wall Street and labor unions and no one else. At the same time he has railed against lobbyists and special interests while hiring an army of lobbyists and coddling the special interests for campaign money.
The result is clear, Obama and the Democrats have become the favorite of Wall Street and the special interests as millions of dollars are pouring into the Democrats campaign funds. Whatever Obama and the Congress are doing, it sure has the backing of the big bucks on Wall Street, the recipients of the million dollar bonuses, and the free wheeling gamblers on Wall Street who consider your money their play money.
Okay, forget the things that got approved. Obama may no longer want to take credit for the series of big business bailouts, for saving executive bonuses, for keeping the credit market clogged up and for failing to get regulatory Reform through Congress. The unions did get a few bones tossed their way but when they compare it to the sharks on Wall Street they got little for their multi-million dollar investment in the Obama campaign.
Turn to pending legislation for a moment. Democrats got Card Check through the House and through a first round Senate vote, but it stalled. They waiting until Obama was elected and promised to champion the bill and the Senate had super majority that was achieved in the last election. In spite of these developments, the union bosses may want to get rid of secret union ballots in the workplace but the Senate still does not agree. I mean how could they, they are all elected by secret ballot. The bill remains stalled in the Democratic controlled Senate.
Obama's Cap and Trade bill to save us from energy dependence also passed the House, that Nancy has been busy fighting in the trenches for Obama, but it did not survive the scrutiny of reality and remains stalled, hopefully permanently. This was to be a dream come true for Al Gore, Goldman Sachs and all those who have figured out how to make a buck on the back of environmentalists. I mean how did Gore make over $100 million personally as the mouthpiece for the greening of America?
Let us see. Gore has a partner from Goldman Sachs handling his investment business to control which environmentally friendly companies will receive funding from the Greening of America, and of course Goldman stands ready to assist the Green economy by managing the carbon emission futures market which they already established. Does that mean Goldman will now control our oil futures and alternative futures markets? Not if the bill is dead on arrival which it seems to be once Congress discovered how they were being manipulated by the supposedly environmentalists on Wall Street, or is that really being controlled by Wall Street.
Wall Street regulatory reform has been stalled for over a year meaning the same things investment houses did to bend the rules and cheat the street on Wall Street remain available to them. If you don't believe Wall Street was the beneficiary of this inaction by Congress look what Goldman did to manipulate the near bankruptcy of Greece and other European nations for their own financial gain. Such predatory practices by those investing other people's money is criminal.
Obama also ran on a campaign calling for energy independence and promotion of alternative energy. That sounds good. But nothing has been done to achieve either promise. The Cap and Trade was flawed beyond repair and Obama has stubbornly refused to demand new production of our expansive oil, natural gas and coal reserves, reserves which could substantially lower our foreign energy demand. Drill baby drill Mr. President if you really want to be true to your word. If you don't drill, you are still protecting Goldman Sachs and their manipulation of the world oil futures.
Finally, health care reform, that giant puzzle that no one has seen, no one has evaluated, no one has been able to analyze and no one can guarantee that it will deliver any of the promises made. When we are considering a bill that impacts on 16% of our gross national product, we better know what the impact may be.
So don't tell me you are going to guarantee no one will lose insurance for pre-existing conditions, that 30-40 million more people are going to be insured, that there will be competition for insurance, that the cost of doctors and medicine will go down, that everyone with an existing plan will get to keep the benefits and pick their doctors, that no one's insurance premiums will increase, and that there will be no taxes on middle class America to pay for it when you can't deliver the goods.
You ask us to bet our futures as well as those of our children and grand children on your promises yet your own economic forecasters, your experts, have been wrong time after time on projections. If we believed your people America would still have 8% unemployment and millions of us would not be out of work. I'm afraid your inexperience at economics has already cost us too much. Let us just fix the things that can be fixed and then decide how we can expand health care, if it works on lowering insurance and health costs, to everyone.
So the pending stuff just doesn't look all that good. After our experience with what you got through, maybe that is a good thing. Maybe that is why the Senate has different rules, to protect us from empty promises. Maybe that is why you should listen to the people for a change and not suffer more losses like New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts. They could just be the tip of the iceberg.
So you just keep on promising bi-partisanship while stirring the fires of discontent. Keep on making exaggerated claims for the value of more promises on how we are going to get Wall Street and those nasty executives while acquiring an avalanche of campaign funds for the Democrats from those same bad guys and helping them get their million dollar bonuses. Keep on hiring those lobbyists you promised not to hire so special interests can control the national agenda.
Tomorrow we shall review the last two elements of Obama's first year in office, his foreign policy agenda and the forgotten agenda to help Main Street. I'm afraid the news isn't much better but at least we get to see the big picture of what we have realized in the post-election aftermath of the victory of the Chosen One and his impact on us Americans.