Re: Obama Is No FDR
Source Dave Anderson
Date 10/10/23/09:09

Duane Campbell comments on "Obama is No FDR" article



THERE ARE SOME ON the left making this argument.
There are several of the strong critics of voter mobilization and the Obama administration.

Adolph Reed comes to mind in "Why Labor’s Soldiering for the Democrats is a Losing Battle."

These folks were opposed to working to elect Obama in the first place. The error of the analysis is they criticize the moderate Obama policy agenda and successes. However, Barack Obama was not facing opposition from the Left. He was facing opposition from John Mc Cain, Sarah Palin, and the Republicans. We did not have a choice between a left candidate and Barack Obama. We had a choice between Obama and the Republicans. In the 2010 election, we face a similar choice although Obama is not on the ticket.

Next year in Congress there will be a vote on whether to extend unemployment benefits, and a vote on whether to further fund food stamps, etc.

A response above claims that the Obama administration has not done anything positive. That is simply absurd.

The economic crisis was caused by finance capital and the stimulus was too small. It was small because that is all they could get through the Senate. But, the stimulus was still the biggest jobs bill in U.S. history, and the biggest investment in public goods (schools, teachers, roads, bridges, clean energy, firefighters, cops, etc.). The health care bill has big flaws, including the lack of a public option. The nation should have gone for Single Payer to save money and to improve the system. But, Single Payer could not get through the Senate- it didn’t even pass the House. Remember, we were unable to establish Single Payer by a direct vote in California. How do you think it went in Tennessee, Nebraska, etc.? Obama and the Democrats succeeded at extending health coverage to virtually everyone and reining in major insurance abuses (on pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps, etc.) Every prior Democratic president for almost 60 years had tried and failed. Look at the history of social security. It started with much less.

The financial reform bill is a good start. There were very significant victories in reigning in the financial sector, and the Administration moved toward more financial regulation. (See my essay “The best way to rob a bank is to own one.”) The financial reform bill should have been stronger, re-implementing Glass-Steagall type protection, but the Republican Senators would not permit it, and they would not permit a vote on it.

The federal budgets Obama submitted have been the most progressive indecades . Progressives won a major victory on, and expansion of, the student loan program for college students. The Lilly Leadbetter Equal Pay law got passed, S-CHIP got expanded, the hate crimes bill got signed.

In August the Senate and the House passed, and President Obama signed an additional stimulus of 26 billion dollars to fund teachers, Medicaid, and public service jobs. None of this would have happened if the Senate or the House were in Republican hands.

We are now entering another slow down of the economy. This slow down was caused by the Republicans refusal to pass additional stimulus money for jobs, health care, and public works.

Obama is no FDR. But, FDR is not on the ballot. (and FDR was no saint- but that's another story)

Duane Campbell

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