Published on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Common Dreams
Obama Does Populist Pantomime, Empowers GOP
by John R. MacArthur


Obama’s do-nothingness has reached new heights with the introduction by House Democrats early this month of a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour. The proposed law is called the “Catching up to 1968 Act of 2012” because a $10 minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, would still only be worth roughly what it was in 1968, when the minimum wage was $1.60.

Since Obama hasn’t had the courage or the will to fight the GOP for a higher top marginal income-tax rate, this is a practical way to help redress income inequality. It is practical, despite a Republican majority in the House, because upping the minimum wage is a winning issue for both parties: In 2007, when Bush the “right-winger” was still promoting stupidity in foreign policy, he wasn’t so stupid as to oppose the last increase in the minimum wage, a three-stage rise from $5.15 to the current $7.25.

Obama’s principal objective these days is not to offend the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or his Wall Street campaign contributors. He doesn’t want the Democratic Party to be a popular party; he much prefers doing a populist pantomime and blaming the Republicans for intransigence. The last thing he wants is a revived Democratic base that might start demanding action on other fronts, such as regulating banks by restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, something Obama has steadfastly opposed.

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Obama Does Populist Pantomime, Empowers GOP | Common Dreams