When the New Conquer Will the Old Make Amend?


President-elect Barack Obama took his first steps in the Oval Office on Monday, less than a week after his glorious victory (breaking yet another record). The visit was planned to provide images of a peaceful transition and a warm and friendly welcome for the new first family. Of course all four participants knew their choreography, as seen on the picture above. 

Looking past the politicians’ charade, however, it is obvious that yesterday was not merely a tour of the Obamas’ future home but the beginning of a remarkable (and quick) transfer of power. Even though Barack Obama’s inauguration is not to be held until January 20th (70 days for us who like to keep count) he has already begun the time consuming task of deciding how many controversial policies of the Bush administration he will need to reverse to prevent America from falling into depression (at the time of this post’s writing the count is on a steady 200). Furthermore, as time is running short, Mr. Obama did not hesitate to urge the President to reverse some himself, particularly the decision to deny automakers to tap into the $700 billion bailout fund.  

The struggling economy is getting weaker as three major automakers in the U.S. (G.M., Ford and Chrysler) have come under threat of collapsing, with the G.M. (an iconic, century-old American corporation with business tentacles in every state) issuing a warning last week saying that they might not survive the year.

The collapse of “the Big Three” would be a deadly blow to the already struggling Americans as at least three million jobs would be lost. What’s more, the cost to local, state and federal governments would reach as much as $156.4 billion over three years, in lost taxes and higher outlays for unemployment, health care assistance and such. In spite of these alarming facts President Bush is persistent on his decision, unless (of course) the Obama administration drops its opposition to a free trade agreement with Colombia. The new administration will not commit to this proposal, Mr. Obama’s newly appointed chief of staff, Rham Emanuel, said in an interview with ABC.

The Obama administration’s firm stand on the Colombia agreement (which would violate human rights and has both labour groups and activists against it) indicates that the future President might be able to resist the temptations of taking the easy way out of the crisis. 

I join the many democrats who are willing to call Mr. Bush’s bluff; even he would not want to gamble that G.M. would fail on his watch and thus add a U.S. depression to his shameful legacy. Nevertheless, the U.S. cannot afford to lose its auto-industry, and as the time is running out (and it is running out fast) I can understand Mr. Obama’s decision to use his presidential voice before being officially appointed to the job. All of this does, after all, strenghten the fact that Barack Obama is more than ready to take over command.

– Kajsa, Admin Future for America


~ by politicsoftomorrow on November 11, 2008.

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