Thursday, April 07, 2011

What Obama needs to do to get my vote.

If the president thinks it’s tough dealing with congressional Tea Party freshmen from the hinterland, he’s going to have real trouble winning my vote in the months ahead.

Here’s what it’s going to take.....

Call out the super-rich, every day. I mean publicly shame them. Sorry, but I think that’s what it is going to take. Make it so that the fat cats can run, but they cannot hide.

If it’s Monday, profile the extravagance and greed of CEO #1. If it’s Tuesday, move on CEO #2 etc.

Obama needs to lay out his vision of equity and fairness. He needs to level the income playing field. He needs to connect the dots between the rich and a corrupt and collusive American political system.

In short, he must propose to drastically increase taxes on the rich and super-rich. Shut down off-shore accounts. Stop corporate welfare. Restore the estate tax and raise capital gains taxes.

Replace the current plutocracy with a true democracy.

Some constitutional reform would help. States with 10 percent of the population in this country can block reformist legislation thanks to the filibuster.

“Close the circle” on the Tea Party. By that I mean expose its contradictions and redirect the anger to the real source of our problems. Revive true populism.

Anyone in the administration who has made (or makes) more than $250,000 annually and has wealth of more than $1 million (that includes the president) has a choice. Be fired, resign or sell the mansions, yachts and third homes and give the excess above $1 million away to certified humanitarian organizations serving the poor and the working poor.

Call out the Supreme Court. When the court is worthy of respect, they will get it. We know politics even when it is cloaked in black robes.

End our wars and shut down our military installations here and abroad. We will no longer play the “cop on the block” to the world.

Cut the “defense” budget by two-thirds.

Get non-violent offenders out of the prisons. The exception: white collar criminals. Use the money saved to support education. Not "schools" and the "schools establishment," but education, which needs serious rethinking in the computer age.

Push universal health care. No more fun and games with the health insurance industry.

Get tough with China and Russia on human rights. Link trade with Human Rights. The message: If you want to trade with us, do not oppress your people. That goes for Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc. If it gets no response, the result would go a long way to returning jobs to these shores.

Whom will I vote for if none of this happens? I’m writing in Bernie Sanders, or maybe me or my cat.

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