Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Administration Running in Place

After the Historic Election of Barack Obama and a Democratic Majority in both the House and Senate the transition team generated a lot of media coverage by announcing that plans were being made to "hit the ground running" on January 21, 2009. Since then there have been many mis-steps and it now appears that the Obama Administration is running in place. The nomination of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner hit snags right out of the gate with questions about not only his tax evasion problems but his over all view on what is needed to lift the Nation out of the severe recession and economic meltdown left by the Republican Bush Administration.

Secretry Geither does not exude confidence to the markets when he speaks and his long awaited speech on fixing the Banking System started a downward spiral on Wall Street and Global Markets that is still spinning out of control wiping away assests by the trillions of dollars on a daily basis. The supposed plan that Geither announced was not a plan at all but rather a general statement on the bad assets of the banking community. The Secretary did not offer any clear direction on how the Obama Administration would deal with the Banking Crisis, in fact all he did was reinforce the trickling in of Government Assets to the banks just as the Bush Administration and their Secretary of Treasury Paulson were already doing. In fact whenever Secretary Geither speaks it becomes clearer to the market that the plan is still being formulated with the aid of the very Corporations who caused the financial crisis with unregulated leverage. Instead of demanding that the Banks show their true assets, sell off their excess real estate, and fire their Boards of Directors while filing Bankruptcy, the current Administration of the Treasury is content to continue feeding money to a failing industry that refuses to eliminate excessive compensation and conspicuous consumption addiction.

If the United States problems were laid at the doorsteps of the IMF with the name of the Country withheld, it is a certainly that the IMF would recommend that the troubled banks be Nationalized, purged of bad assets and the remaining viable assets resold to Private Concerns to begin anew. Because the United States is the largest contributor of the IMF it it immune from the recommendations that the IMF would make to any other Country in a similar situation.

The Country had high hopes that the Obama Team would take office with clear and concise plans that would pass through the Majority Congress with ease. Instead the Country has received a Stimulus Bill watered down by acquiesces to the Republican Party that guided the Nation into this Economic Depression and general statements about the banking industry that will solve nothing. Every Day that the Obama Administration fails to introduce a real, bold and concise plan will further the economic turmoil by months.

Main Street America still bleeds as sales at local business slumps to record lows and more and more empty store fronts are seen on a daily basis. After eight years of Republican Dictatorship it was the hope of Main Street America that the Obama Administration was ready and would have tackled the problems plaguing the middle class immediately. More that 6 weeks into the Administration the economic crisis is being handled in the same way as the Bush Administration, pouring money into multi-national banks by the billions while ignoring the plight of the middle class.

The Obama Administration and The Congress have not even attempted to tackle one of the most egregious transgressions of the multi-national banks which is punitive credit card interest rates, late fees and charges. The Obama Administration saw fit to include tax cuts in the Stimulus Bill that they knew would only benefit those least affected by the economic downturn in hopes of winning Republican support. The Republican Support failed to materialize and a Stimulus Bill that is not a total spending bill is sure to fail to stimulate the economy. If the belief that a tax cut would somehow revive an economy that is reducing income on a daily basis would revitalize anything, then the Administration should have looked to regulate the loan sharking practices of the Credit Card Companies which by law are charging people and small businesses in excess of 50% interest if late fees and other charges are added to the outrageous interest rates that top 39.99%. By regulating the interest rates that can be charged, which was the norm before the Reagan Administration, the middle class and small business could be given instant "tax cuts". By limiting the interest rates that can be charged to 5% above Fed Fund rates, Americans and Small Business would see instant relief of over 25% as compared to the current loan sharking rates that banks are now charging. But as usual the Democratic Congress is not any different from their counterparts, the Republicans when it comes to real protection for the American People and Americana's small businesses that keep Main Streets alive. The Democratic Congress and Obama Administration are afraid to offend the large National Corporations that contribute massive funds to their hold on power.

If the Obama Administration hopes to prove that they really want change, they will get on it now and demand that Secretary Giether and the Congress tackle not only the Bankrupt Banks but offer relief to the American People and small businesses by stopping the illegal practices of the Credit Card Industry.
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