Saturday 16th of January 2021

How Barack Obama Will Fix the “Worst Financial Crisis in a Century”

In a few short months, Barack Obama will inherit the highest office in the land and, along with it, the worst in the last century. Obama made the promise of economic restoration the keystone of his campaign. Indeed, many pundits credit his landslide victory to the recent economic implosion. Beating out an unhip old man who has about as much charisma as a mailbox and is eerily reminiscent of Bob Dole for the presidency is not exactly a challenging endeavor, but fixing the economy most certainly is. Obama has emerged triumphant in the election, but now the real work must commence: getting a nation back on its feet.

The Problems

Unless you have been cryogenically frozen for the last two months, you probably have a fairly solid idea of what has happened to the U.S. economy. Before explaining how Obama can resurrect our economy, we’ll provide a brief synopsis of the many economic ills that plague our nation:

  • The Financial Crisis. This ominous phrase has come to encompass so many things, but we will pare down the definition a bit to make it more manageable. The financial crisis refers to the plummeting stock market, on which so many aging Americans rely for their retirement nest egg. Moreover, the crisis also references the anticipated spike in layoffs and the general concern of every Joe Six Pack in America about how he will possibly be able to afford that next six pack. It’s just not as catchy if he has to become Joe 40 oz. in the interest of frugality.
  • Housing & Mortgages. The housing and subprime mortgage crisis has been lurking about a good while now and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Foreclosures have hit the so-called “Sun Belt” particularly hard, leaving many wondering how they will ever be able to keep their homes.
  • Taxes. Democrats contend that we live in a consumer-driven economy, which means that if consumers stop consuming, we are all in trouble. Ergo, if the middle class feels a financial pinch, the entire economy experiences a deleterious ripple effect. Left-leaning economists advocate the reduction of the tax burden on the middle class to ameliorate economic woes, as the middle class is the largest consumer group in the country.
  • Healthcare. Medical costs continue to rise exponentially, as does the number of uninsured people in America. Healthcare costs have risen four times faster than wages over the last six years. Basic healthcare is quickly becoming unaffordable for the average American family, which is an economic as well as a moral concern.
  • Energy. If you think the state of the economy is grim, look at the state of the planet and suddenly it doesn’t look so bad. The polar ice caps are melting, global warming remains unrelenting, and we as a country continue to leave a goliath carbon footprint. Rising gas prices are vexing, yes, but they are truly the least of our worries when the planet itself is in peril.

Here He Comes to Save the Day!

Obama saves Wall Street

So, in a nutshell, things are bad. The issue that most concerned voters, as cited in exit polls, was the state of the economy, something that the Obama/Biden ticket has sworn they will fix. You may ask yourself, how will a man who served a paltry 143 days in the Senate before campaigning to lead the free world fix an economy that’s a bigger hot mess than Courtney Love? To be sure, it’s an unlikely tale. However, we ask you to remember that Superman was just a small-town alien boy from Kansas, Batman was just an orphan with billions of dollars, and Jesus was just a blue-collar/white-robe carpenter. Clearly, anything is possible. Here is Barack Obama’s plan to rescue our ailing economy:

  • Kickstart the Economy. The Obama/Biden plan includes a provision to tax “excessive” oil company profits in order to provide American families with a $1,000 tax rebate to help them pay rising energy bills. Additionally, Obama would devote $25 billion to a State Growth Fund to prevent cuts in various forms of public assistance, and another $25 billion to a Jobs & Growth Fund to forestall anticipated cuts of more than one million jobs.
  • Tax Relief for the Middle Class. Obama and Company would cut income taxes for working families by $1,000. The Obama economic plan also calls for the elimination of the income tax for senior citizens making less than $50,000 per year. As an added bonus, Obama wants to simplify the filing process in order to enable millions of Americans to do their taxes in fewer than five minutes. What a guy, that Obama.
  • Trade. Obama supports “fair” trade with foreign nations, meaning he encourages free trade to the extent that it does not encroach on American jobs. His plan would include amending NAFTA to benefit American workers, ending tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs to foreign nations, and offering benefits to companies that support American jobs with good benefits.
  • Job Creation. The Obama economic plan endeavors to invest in the manufacturing sector to improve efficiency and technology. The plan also specifies a provision that would boost the renewable energy sector by requiring 25% of American electricity to be derived from renewable resources by 2025. The administration estimates that these various investments will create roughly five million “green” jobs.
  • Defend Labor. An Obama administration would work to enhance the ability of workers to form labor unions. The minimum wage would be raised and pinned to the inflation index to ensure that it keeps pace with the rising cost of living. The economic rescue plan of Obama and Biden also calls for the ban of the permanent replacement of striking workers.
  • Protect Homeowners. Obama seeks to provide a tax credit for all middle-class homeowners to help ease the mortgage crunch. In addition, his administration would crack down on fraudulent lenders and brokers, as well as ensuring that borrowers have true and complete information about their home loans.
  • Stop Predatory Lending. Through the establishment of a five-star rating system, Obama and Biden hope to better inform borrowers of the risk they are assuming with every credit card. The pair would also like to impose a universal 36% rate cap on payday loans to prevent struggling Americans from getting saddled with outlandish APRs.

The Secret Weapon: A New Treasury Secretary

One of the most daunting tasks facing our next president is the selection of a new Treasury Secretary. Speculation as to whom Obama will pick has risen to a frenzy in recent days, with New York Federal Reserve Bank president Timothy Geithner topping the short list. Geithner worked closely with the Treasury Secretary during the Clinton era, Robert Rubin. To his credit, Geithner tried to ring the alarm bells about the impending crisis on Wall Street long before the meltdown occurred. He admonished the country about the danger and uncertainty of credit derivatives, a commodity lawmakers much later decided did in fact require more federal oversight. Geithner is a political independent, a maverick, if you will, and has been a civil servant all his life.

Another possibility is Laurence Summers, another relic of the Clinton years. During Summers’ tenure as Secretary, America enjoyed its longest period of economic growth in history. However, Summers might also be a liability to Obama’s noble attempts to save an ailing economy. Summers had a hand in passing legislation that many critics say eroded the division between Wall Street and commercial banks and banned the regulation of credit swaps, both of which may have played a role in the current crisis on Wall Street.