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$400 in Change

by GREGORY VICKREY

While the Obama administration continues to fly drones and launch missiles at human beings in the sovereign nation of Pakistan; and while the Obama administration extends the policies of the Bush administration on the points of rendition, torture, and state secrets; and while the Obama administration tells us healthcare for all is an impossible goal for our god-blessed nation, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

Most of us have a mighty fine tax credit of $400 coming our way.

While the Obama administration hears from experts who state global climate change is much worse than previously predicted yet provides billions in handouts to the coal industry; and while the Obama administration intends to send at least 30,000 more troops to further the occupation of Afghanistan; and while the Obama administration prepares to hand out trillions more of our tax dollars to corporations and banks that have raped our society, we can rest our unemployed hands.

Some of us may even be worthy of $800.

At least 30 attacks on Pakistani soil since June of 2008, says the AP – at least 4 with Obama’s name painted on the warheads. Dianne Feinstein – perhaps she received the information from her military-contractor husband – erroneously claims those drones were launched from inside Pakistan, and that makes it ok. Further, states Feinstein, we have an inked agreement with the Pakistani government to bomb within their borders whenever and wherever we like.

Fabrications, to be sure, but who cares when we have a mighty fine tax credit of $400 coming our way?

In these times, with our savior in the White House, his apologists throughout both houses of Congress, and his millions of blind supporters ooh-ing and ahh-ing down cliché Main Street and all over Facebook, one can not resist the following two trains of thought.

Go with the herd, and continue fawning over the man and the myth, Barack Obama.

It makes no difference that he supports limitless spying on you and me via FISA.  Obama and his apologists voted for the reenactment of FISA before the election and will now be its enforcers with nary a thought. But it does not matter in these dangerous times. He will probably do something about it later.

$400!

It does not matter that Obama and his Department of Justice maintain the Bush administration’s expansive reading of the state secrets privilege and rather like the idea of continuing rendition and torture. There is no need to read about that 9th Circuit court brief in the mainstream media.

Tax credit!

Why fret because the man will not seriously pursue healthcare for all and is doing his darndest to appoint a head of public health that opposes the very idea that good health is a human right? The notion of single payer and private delivery could have been a real stimulus in the recent package, but that would have been too much, too soon.

Maybe $800!

Or…

Coal gets at least $2 billion via the stimulus package in addition to the $2.8 billion it received from the Wall Street handout just a few short months ago but we don’t get any carbon tax or speculation tax to help cover the costs and bridge a portion of the pending deficit gap.

Maybe this should anger the environmentalists and fiscal conservatives a bit, given the recent climate status reports, the lack of policy in hand to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, and the fact that the largest pork handout in our history provides billions to Obama’s home state of Illinois for – yes – coal.

$400?

30,000 more of our brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons will be deployed to the occupation of Afghanistan in the coming months because, according to Obama, it is the “right war” – and his minion Holbrooke has already made it clear that these troops will be coming to kill and destroy rather than to simply lift up the lie of democracy.

Maybe this should tick off the anti-war crowd a bit, given that so many of them swooned at the man’s alter and placed bumper stickers bearing his name next to the peace signs already decorating their cars and now the myth of the man crumbles amongst the Pushtan ruins.

A measly tax credit?

Banks and other financial corporations will receive a second handout from the Obama administration and its apologists that will likely balloon beyond $2 trillion before all is said and done, even though last fall’s round of giveaways failed to crank up any portion of the economy; provided little fiduciary oversight; and actually handed out billions more of our dollars above and beyond the valued assets of a number of the largest pigs at the trough.

Maybe this should frustrate the rest of us who have lost our jobs, our homes, and our lives – not just recently – due to the complicity of Democrats and Republicans whose policies over the last 12 years, especially, brought us to these days of financial ruin and despondency.

$800 if we are married?

This must be some sort of colossal joke on America. If not, it’s past time to do something.

So where are the environmentalists and fiscal conservatives? Where is the anti-war crowd? Where are the rest of us?

Perhaps, collectively, we should be marching on Washington DC day after day after day, and bringing about real change rather than just “hoping” for it.

Conveniently, we should all soon have an extra $400 to get there.

GREGORY VICKREY works as a consultant for a variety of nonprofits. He can be reached at: indiahaus@gmail.com

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Gregory Vickrey is a consultant in the environmental and political arenas and may be reached at: gregory@gregoryvickrey.com.

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