State of the Union

January 28, 2014

When President Obama delivers his fifth State of the Union address he is reported to be emphasizing the problem of economic injustice. At first glance, this would seem to be a good thing, since the extraordinary re-distribution of wealth to the top 1% has only accelerated in the past 4 years, and the ability of Americans to improve their financial situation has significantly declined.

I say “at first glance” because without a radical change of policy the Obama Administration will only continue to accelerate these trends. Maybe some of you remember Jim DeMint’s infamous “you lie” outburst during the first State of the Union address by Obama? Maybe it should have been held in reserve for this one. Let me explain why …

The fact is that 95% of the benefits of the “Obama Recovery” have gone to only the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans. The fact is that during the same Administration that has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all other Presidents combined, prosecutions of white collar crime has virtually stopped. Journalists, Congress, academics … all agree that illegal activity by Wall Street bankers has escalated since the taxpayer bailouts, illegal activity that has robbed the taxpayers of countless billions SINCE the bailout. I think we all understand now that Congress has been beholden to Wall St. and billionaire donors for years, but “say it ain’t so Barak”! 

A few years back, March 27, 2009 to be exact, President Obama held a meeting with the Lords of Wall St. at the White House.  During that meeting he reportedly cut a deal to not criminally prosecute any of the bankers for the massive fraud that had nearly destroyed the economy. At the time, the President denied this leak, but facts speak for themselves. Prosecutions of white collar crimes has reached an all time low under the Obama Justice Department, even as more and more evidence of white collar crime is being unearthed. 

Many of the rich and their hired apologists in government and the media accuse economic justice advocates of simply being envious of the rich and desirous of a something for nothing society. The fact is that much of what has caused such an unjust distribution of wealth has been a rigged tax code and illegal activity by banks “too big to fail”. We simply want a fair playing field.

When President Obama talks about the need to “protect the middle class” and to “restore the ability of Americans to improve their financial opportunities”, realize that his policies have been designed by Wall St. to protect Wall St. and not our own well being.  Without a radical reversal of his own policies, it would be a false promise (a lie).