[Update 11/11/10: So unsurprising. Huffington Post—White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts.]
Observing the actions of President Barack Obama in terms of his policy positions, I have come to the conclusion that he uses the “Shock Doctrine” to force the acceptance of rightward-leaning policy. It does not help that President is a member of the Ivy-League class and a millionaire (classic elements of the limousine “liberal”, which today means a politician who favors unpalatable policies for others, which will not affect the politician’s (President Obama’s) class because of political power or wealth).
Several issues come to mind as I contemplate this thesis.
Results of the mid-term elections. The reversal of power in the House (60-seat switch) will be used as the basis of proposing even further right leaning policy, as I explained in a previous post. President Obama was quite equivocal in his acceptance of the Republican ascendancy to power. If, as I believe, he favors right-leaning policy, what better scenario to use than the “shock” of Republican control.
Acceptance of the “Bush tax cuts” (soon to be the “Obama tax cuts”). Regardless that the tax cuts used to stimulate the factors of production have generated only wealth accumulation in the wealth classes, growing national debt, reduced national manufacturing and outsourcing of jobs, and a economic recession, one would think it would be clear that the tax policy is not working and a return to previous rates is warranted. But Obama is in the mood to “negotiate.” I think President Obama will accept an extension of the tax cuts in full and that they will be extended on an annual basis because no one will want to take the political risk of raising taxes to a level that existed in the near-past late 1990s to early 2000s.
Social Security. Despite the fact that every working age person in the United States pays for Social Security through the FICA tax (the benefits once received can also be taxed as income), The policy options on the table have involved all manner of benefit cuts so that the politicians can continue to use the surplus amount between benefits paid and contributions received for tax cuts and other non-Social-Security programs.
I have absolutely no confidence in President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.