"By 1962, the United States ...owed...more than the total indebtedness of all other nations on earth!... Yet every year or so, politicians in Washington who claim they are opposed to inflation, ritualistically vote in favor of raising the so-called 'permanent' national debt ceiling another twenty or thirty billion dollars. Deficit spending, and the inflation it produces, constitutes a hidden tax against all Americans... Few policies are more capable of destroying the moral, political, social and economic basis of a free society than the debauching of its currency. And few tasks, if any, are more important for the preservation of freedom than the preservation of a sound monetary system."
-Ezra Taft Benson
—By Adam Serwer
| Mon Nov. 5, 2012 3:13 AM PS
When it comes to civil liberties and national security, the two major party candidates for president on the ballot Tuesday don't offer much of a choice.
"Regardless of who the next president is," says Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, "it must be up for debate in the next administration whether a global war-based approach is worth the costs to lives, American values, and our standing in the world."
It may not be. If Mitt Romney wins on Tuesday, a lot of things could change: Medicare could be turned into a voucher system; Medicaid could be substantially cut. Any Supreme Court vacancies would be filled with conservative jurists hostile to abortion rights, attempts to rectify racial inequality, or rein in the influence of money in politics. The Affordable Care Act, which will guarantee health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, could be toast.
But the expansion of the American national security state will likely remain unimpeded by whomever sleeps in the White House on January 20.
"We've basically reached a general consensus, both political and legal about where we are," says Harvard law school professor Jack Goldsmith, who worked in the Bush Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. "I think that consensus explains why Obama continued Bush's policies, and why the policies will continue no matter who gets elected president."
Barack Obama came into office promising to reform the PATRIOT Act, rein in Bush's warrantless surveillance, ban torture, and close Guantanamo. His torture ban remains in the form of a fragile executive order, many detainees at Gitmo have little hope of trial let alone release, and renewal of the PATRIOT Act steamrolled through Congress with the administration's support absent even the mild reforms civil-liberties-minded senators proposed. Obama said he'd only rarely use the state secrets doctrine to block national security policy from court scrutiny, but he's used it much the same way as his predecessor. Obama broke his own promise not to go to war without Congress when he intervened on behalf of anti-Qaddafi rebels in Libya, and Romney thinks he could do the same with Iran. While targeted killing began under Bush, Obama has expanded the covert global war on terror dramatically, even to the point of deliberately targeted American citizens.
There's no reason to think Romney would significantly change any of this.
"[Drone] technology—and its ability to limit American military casualties on the ground—is driving the policy regardless of who sits in the Oval Office," Yale Law professor Jack Balkin says. "It's unlikely that Romney would be better than Obama on civil liberties or human rights issues; he might be worse."
It is called inertia. Are they forgetting, for one thing, that 6 months before Obama's term gas prices were at the highest levels ever? US house prices falling 10% or more in 2008 alone, and seeing Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Washington Mutual, Wachovia, Citigroup, and AIG either fail, be bailed out or bought out.
It is frustrating that people make reference to all these serious problems only in the context of election time propaganda.
President Obama, or any other single leader in the G8 for that matter, can have just so much a serious impact on gas prices. Lets blame him for the high price of gold too!
Obama is running for office and these things have occurred during his administration. Isn't that the point of having a record, to show what your policies have done (whether good or bad)?
May we blame Obama for the high price of gold? Have his poor economic policies that have damaged the US economy and destabilized the US dollar has driven the price of gold up?
Of Course Obama has responsibility for what happens in his watch, but pretending that it makes a difference whether the president is a donkey or an elephant is misleading and distracts from the core of the issues. Had Obama actually taken vigorous measures to solve any of the main problems he wouldn't even had finished his term, let alone having a chance for reelection. Nowadays, the presidency is almost just a ceremonial post with little real power. Republicans and Democrats are branches of the same party that differentiate themselves only in token points for marketing purposes.
That's what is frustrating. Talk about corruption, inefficiency and misguided policies is right. But most are not the result of Obama's presidency, put preexisting conditions, although it is correct to point out that Obama has done nothing to fix them.
Ron Paul is the only one that has made real proposals for change.If one looks at the federal budget by far most of the monies go to 3 things:
- Taking care of sick and old baby boomers,
- servicing the debt, and
- keeping and expanding the empire.
Somethings needs to be done.
Obama, as part of the status quo, is guilty of keeping things the way they are. Rommeny will do no different, both are supported by the same interests, This election is the most expensive ever in the history of mankind. This is a business proposition, an investment.
Rommeny keeps changing his talk according to marketing needs and Obama does the same.
The last Republican administration, while having a discourse to please religious fundamentalists, was openly corrupt and immoral, skipping the line to high treason in the lust for loot.
There is not just the issue of spending but also the fact that the Constitution is being ignored and the foundation that this nation was built upon, i.e. individual liberties and freedoms, are being destroyed by both Republicans and Democrats. The two parties are not two sides with good and bad points each, but rather the same thing under different lighting, a mirage of choice.
There are differences, Obama is a middle class arriviste that climbed the ladder using skill and street smarts while Rommey is a crusty upper class man born with a silver spoon. But it is hard for Rommey to get to the right of Obama on policy, except in health care and token issues like abortion and homosexuality that are not in the realm of presidential responsibilities but are fertile ground for emotional charged hyperbolic propaganda: Marxism, socialism, evil, immorality, tax evasion, war on babies.
If Mitt Romney wins Medicare could be turned into a voucher system; Medicaid could be substantially cut: The Affordable Care Act could be toast. The interesting thing is that people that benefit from these programs are against them.