The Dakini’s Liberal Report Card for Obama’s First 100 DaysPosted: January 31, 2009 Filed under: Team Obama | Tags: a liberal's report card, getting it right, Obama first 100 days Comments Off on The Dakini’s Liberal Report Card for Obama’s First 100 Days
I always give my class my grading rubric before handing out any grades. That way they know when I consider their performance it’s based on certain things that I expect of them. It’s only right to let them know what you expect ahead of time so there are no surprises on the final report. So, in that spirit, here’s my suggested list for items that a real liberal would accomplish in their first 100 Days. Do you suppose we’ll see any of them in Obama’s first 100 days?
1) Get the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. No more use of American troops for nation building and no more supporting Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘Lean Forward’ Policy. Those folks don’t want us there, we shouldn’t have been there in the first place. We need to leave ASAP.
2) Provide real Economic Stimulus in place of trickle down economics. Get rid of the majority of those tax cuts in the stimulus package which appear to be more Grover Norquist than J. M. Keynes. Let’s do the math so get out your calculator. (All those from those detractor sites that call me a Republican for being less than enthusiastic about President Reagan-Redux can use their fingers and toes. It’ll stop you from dragging your knuckles along the floor as you lurch backwards, so be careful.) My bottom line comes to this: $145 billion for low and middle, $580 billion for high and “other” per numbers from CNN money.
“Roughly $145 billion of the tax bill would be allocated for a tax cut for low- and middle-income workers.
There’s $130 billion in the other category. By far, the largest amount and percentage goes to big business and rich folks. President Obama should be held to account first for his broken campaign-promise about repealing tax-cuts for incomes over $250K then we should scream because this package has more for $ high and other than it does for low and middle. That’s even forgetting the massive transfer of wealth going on from the Federal Reserve bailout of the banks. So let’s review:
Low or middle income tax-cuts = $145 billion.
High income tax-cuts = $450 billion.
And other cuts = $130 billion.
So, at least $450 billion dollars of those tax cuts should be replaced with infrastructure spending or something a bit more FDR- like in my book. Senators! The ball’s in your court right now. Make the President live up to his teleprompter promises!
3. Get rid of the Patriot Act and get FISA right. Last time I checked it wasn’t very progressive to spy on journalists, American citizens and violate upteen different clauses of the constitution in the name of a war against terror. But then, I’m not the constitutional lawyer, I’m just an economist.
4. Declare complete support for the Geneva convention along with pledge to never use any form of torture. While there is some movement towards closing Gitmo, I’d like to hear a speech and see a written executive order saying that the US condemns and will not practice any forms of torture disallowed by the Geneva convention.
5. Restore Reproductive Freedom at all levels. This would include restoring support to our service women abroad and to poor women. It would also immediately reverse all those last minute edicts that let practitioners of women’s health opt out of providing health services because the flying spaghetti monster spoke in their ears and said dont’ do it. (Removing the global gag rule was a good first baby step, but so much more work is needed here that it hardly counts as progress.) Remove all barriers that undercut access to birth control, family planning services, and abortion.
6. Put us back on the road for the Kyoto Protocal. Get the thing signed and ratified. Put Al Gore on it if you have to as another czar, special envoy or whatever. Just do it!
7. Make Progress towards Universal Healthcare. This is just basic common sense. Just watching the US freefall again on the Human Development Index this year should give you enough ammunition to start this process. EVERY OTHER DEVELOPED nation is ahead of us in most standards of national social welfare because of our refusal to do this. Do it now!
8. Get the TARP right! Bailing out banks and high powered brokerages firms is not solving the problem. The root of this problem is in the mortgages. Go back to the root and solve the problem. We need something like the HOLC and Hillary and McCain had plans for it. Stop focusing on the folks that funded your coronation and your campaign and start giving some real help to the little people that put their faith in you. The liberal/progressive thing to do is to help the little guy, remember?
I actually could add to this list and it would include some big things like looking at social security and medicare, but since we’re talking 100 days, I’ll hold it to these items. Got any to add?