Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama's Promises Fall Short

On key issues, Obama either doesn't go far enough, or he hasn't said anything at all.

Not far enough:

  • Jobs. "Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs." So what? That's about $100 per person for the 10.1 million people who are out of work now--and with a recession upon us, there are going to be a lot more unemployed soon! What's really needed is a massive employment program. Repair roads and bridges, redo government computer systems so they are as good as corporate systems, provide childcare and after-school tutoring to everyone who needs it...there are jobs needing to be done everywhere.
  • Making Work Pay. "Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 an Hour by 2011," says the Obama platform. This is pitiful. For a full-time worker, $9.50/hour comes to not quite $20,000/year. This is enough for a single person in Alabama, where the cost of living is low. It is not enough for a parent in any of the 50 states. In Massachusetts, a two-parent, two-children family would need to work three full-time jobs at $9.50/hour to make ends meet. And that's right now, not in 2011! Raise the minimum wage to $12/hour immediately, and push high-cost states to set their standards higher.
  • Saving the Environment. "Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025." Way too slow! By comparison, the European Union is aiming at a 20% cut by 2020. With recent evidence of how fast the climate is changing, even that is too modest.
I could go on and on, but you probably have an example of your own. What issues are most important to you, and how does Obama address them but fall short?

Along with pressing the new administration to keep its promises, we have to make them exceed them. WE have to. They won't do it on their own.

1 comment:

Dennis Fischman said...

Dennis--just alerted to your writing by Shel Horowitz.

My take? This election was not "stolen" in the way it was in 2000 and
2004 because it DID NOT NEED TO BE--The establishment, the elite, the
oligarchs, the corporations, call our rulers what you will, were not
threatened by Obama. They are trusting that he will generally do
their will.

Why am I so cynical, you might ask? Look at what Obama has said,
what he has done, and who has given him money. And of these, I will
repeat the often said: "follow the money..."

Probably the most cogent review of who the real Obama is the the
following article from SAM SMITH, even if the opening two paragraphs
are needlessly snippy. The key point, besides the long laundry list
of the who, what, and where Obama has been, is in the final paragraph:
"Unfortunately, what's out there now, however, looks more like a
rock concert crowd or evangelical tent meeting than a determined and
directed political constituency. Which isn't so surprising given how
successful our system has been at getting people to accept sights,
sounds, symbols and semiotics as substitutes for reality. Once again,
it looks like we'll have to learn the hard way."

Paul Sheridan
Northport, ME