The Obama Blunder That Gave Us Trump

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of Pub.L. 110–343, 122 Stat. 3765, enacted October 3, 2008), commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S. financial system, is a law enacted subsequently to the subprime mortgage crisisauthorizing the United States Secretary of the Treasury to spend up to $700 billion to purchase distressed assets, especially mortgage-backed securities, and supply cash directly to banks. The funds for purchase of distressed assets were mostly redirected to inject capital into banks and other financial institutions while the Treasury continued to examine the usefulness of targeted asset purchases.[1][2] Both foreign and domestic banks are included in the program. The Act was proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the global financial crisis of 2008 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The WPA was just one of many Great Depression relief programs created under the auspices of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which Roosevelt had signed the month before.

The WPA, the Public Works Administration (PWA) and other federal assistance programs put unemployed Americans to work in return for temporary financial assistance. Out of the 10 million jobless men in the United States in 1935, 3 million were helped by WPA jobs alone.

While FDR believed in the elementary principles of justice and fairness, he also expressed disdain for doling out welfare to otherwise able workers. So, in return for monetary aid, WPA workers built highways, schools, hospitals, airports and playgrounds. They restored theaters–such as the Dock Street Theater in Charleston, S.C.–and built the ski lodge at Oregon’s Mt. Hood.

The WPA also put actors, writers and other creative arts professionals back to work by sponsoring federally funded plays, art projects, such as murals on public buildings, and literary publications.

FDR safeguarded private enterprise from competition with WPA projects by including a provision in the act that placed wage and price controls on federally funded products or services.

In the months after the 'great recession', the unemployment rate peaked at 10.0 percent (in October 2009). Before this, the most recent months with unemployment rates over 10.0 percent were September 1982 through June 1983, during which time the unemployment rate peaked at 10.8 percent.

The highest rate of U.S. unemployment was 24.9 percent in 1933. That was during the Great Depression. Unemployment was more than 14 percent from 1931 to 1940. Unemployment remained in the single digits until 1982 when it reached 10.8 percent.

In exchange for their political support during the 2008 campaign, Obama promised the Clintons a healthcare bill and Hillary a Cabinet post... . Secretary of State...

His blunder was keeping his promise re health care...When what he should have done with his Democratic majority was to create and establish inextricable linkage between the needed bailout and  recovery of Wall Street and a bailout and recovery of Main Street through a series of FDR type amendments to the The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008....

His failure to produce immediate tangible, meaningful, and lasting economic and financial results for the average American voter produced the mid term defeat of Democrats which resulted in legislative obstruction, gridlock, and stagnation, electoral victory for Trump, and an illegitimate appointment to the Supreme Court...

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Comment by Ron Powell on July 9, 2018 at 10:39am

There's a reason why American voters gave FDR four terms....Obama should have followed the FDR formula, blueprint, and road map...

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on July 9, 2018 at 12:48pm

When you look at the revolving door Obama's administration had with Big Banks and Wall St. (for example his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel "earned almost $17 million in a couple of years alone as an investment banker) and the millions Obama has "earned" from giving speeches to the same people, you KNOW why he did what he did. 

In other words, he was owned by Big Banks and Wall St. every bit as much as the Clintons and the rest of the Democratic leaders.

Comment by koshersalaami on July 9, 2018 at 1:51pm

Obama didn’t do that because his ideas about economics came from his Harvard friends. 

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 9, 2018 at 2:07pm

As a hypothetical, I cannot disagree with this premise. That said, with the US a healthcare laughingstock on the global stage, and at the time the only chance with congressional majorities (which the Blue Dogs ruined anyway) he tried to save lives in another fashion. Of course, healthcare only works if you are not dead from starvation. Blaming the so called stagnation created by Bush on Obama, and implying he could have fixed it, which may have been true, or may not, is still mis-placed blame. Republican administrations have been running this country into the ground over and over since Hoover and earlier, only to be "bailed out" repeatedly by Dems who are then tagged as being inept at business. Fascinating, though quite instructive. I wish he would have done both, your idea and UNIVERSAL health care, but, the Blue Doggies ruined both, frankly. Traitors, all.

Comment by Ron Powell on July 9, 2018 at 3:56pm

@Amy;"In other words, he was owned by Big Banks and Wall St. every bit as much as the Clintons and the rest of the Democratic leaders."

@Kosh; "Obama didn’t do that because his ideas about economics came from his Harvard friends."

Obama did pretty much what would be expected of an Ivy League, Harvard Law graduate...None of whom are prepared to govern in a particularly progressive or even liberal mode...

Comment by Ron Powell on July 9, 2018 at 3:57pm

@MS; I'm not "blaming" Obama for the congressional stagnation that marked his tenure. I'm saying that his "blunder" made a do nothing Congress possible.

Had he taken an FDR style approach to securing a recovery that benefited the average American voter, a do nothing Congress would not have materialized and he would have been able to pass the baton to a Democrat who may have continued policies which would have favored or benefited middle and working class Americans...

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on July 9, 2018 at 4:08pm

Seems to me that if you make attendance of an Ivy League College a disqualifier for President we'd have been a LOT better off.  We'd have lost FDR, but we also wouldn't have had to put up with either Bush, either Clinton, Trump or Obama (all of whom have undermined the government process so badly that everything FDR did has been erased anyways).

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 9, 2018 at 6:22pm

You know Ron, arm-chairing and looking back, do we really forget what would have been the result of any perceived "radical" moves by Obama by the gigantic racist machine the USA actually is to a large degree? Lately, people have been saying about almost anything Trump says or does, "Can you imagine the outcry if Obama did that? It would have been revolution by redneck ..." and, they are right so while we must move forward lets not forget past is prologue.

Comment by Ron Powell on July 9, 2018 at 7:06pm

@MS; No arm chairing.here. I've been screaming this stuff for the better part of 50 years...

Trump v Obama re policies that benefit the average American?

No contest... We all know what would have happened if Obama was charged with any of the things that Trump is openly guilty of... But Obama isn't Trump....

Pick a lie, any lie that Trump has told and ask yourself how far Obama gets with it...

If Obama had expended some of his political capital on legislation and executive orders that were designed to bail out the American middle and working classes the Dems would not have lost the mid-term elections and  control of both houses of Congress....

Trump is screwing the very people that Obama should have helped during his first two years in office...

The Clinton's knew that pushing for health care legislation would just about exhaust any political capital Obama might have and put a damper on any "honey moon" a newly elected president might have with his own party in control of Congress...

Obama got snookered into focusing on health care when he should have been focusing on the bailout of the average American voter...

Comment by Maui Surfer on July 9, 2018 at 9:10pm

That's valid in on sense, but only easy to say if you have health care. If you don't as many still do not, then, well, ...

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