10. We'll still have
Obamacare, the cynically misnamed “Affordable Care Act”
The problem is that Obamacare was written by
a health insurance company lobbyist to prolong his employer's parasitic
business model, not to make health care available or affordable.
A third of the health care dollar goes to
advertising, profits, fat executive salaries, lobbying and the paperwork
occasioned by thousands of insurers who make more money denying care
than providing it, instead of a single payer, like Canada, Medicare, or
for a National Health Plan point out, Obamacare will
not curb medical costs or stem the tide of bankruptcies caused by health
It won't force most employers who now don't offer affordable
coverage to offer it in the future, because the administration is
allowing employers to write its enforcement regulations, and it will
leave millions more, all poor and disproportionately people of color,
Worst of all, Obamacare's 2016 effective
date reveals it as a promise the administration never intended to keep.
Back in 1965, when computers with less power than today's laptops were
the size of boxcars, the Johnson administration passed Medicare and put
it into effect the same year.
That's the real comparison between the
achievement of Obamacare and the effective results of a previous
9. We'll probably
have reductions in Social Security proposed and enacted by a Democrat,
something no Republican could have initiated, that sets the stage for
further reductions in benefit by either party
In the tradition of Democrat
Bill Clinton, who did what Republicans tried and failed
to do, “ending welfare as we know it” in the 1990s, Barack Obama has
promised Wall Street that he would curb “entitlements” the code word for
cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
With poverty at record levels, the ending of
many defined benefit pension plans and the broken promise of retirement
security from 401K plans looming black seniors will still be more
dependent on Social Security than anybody, and the value of real
benefits will be declining, if Barack's first negotiating offer to
Republicans is any indication of his stance on this issue.
8. We'll have
solidly in place a new tradition of bailing out banksters and
speculators, and lots more immunity from prosecution for corporate
The so-called “Bush bailout” was only
George W. Bush in the last weeks of
his presidency, and opposed by Democratic majorities in both houses of
Congress called candidate Barack Obama to Washington to persuade
reluctant Democrats to vote for it.
After failing to pass the first time, Obama
swung half the black caucus and enough Democrats overall to secure the
passage of the $3 trillion Bush bailout. Once Obama assumed office, the
$3 trillion became $16 trillion, with a free pass for the Federal
Reserve to shovel more public money at Wall Street at will.
And for corporate lawbreakers, whether you
Goldman Sachs, knowingly peddling
worthless securities to pension funds
or Bank of America, which
foreclosing and evicting tens of thousands in cases where it
couldn't prove actual ownership, a phone, cable or internet
provider handing over access to billions of calls and emails
or British Petroleum, murdering its
Gulf Coast ecosystems, livelihoods and its own workers,
...the Obama administration's Justice
Department has come up with infinitesimal fines and immunity from
prosecution for past and future crimes as the answer.
7. When Obama leaves
office, we'll still have gentrification as the only model of urban
To be fair, this isn't the exclusive failure
of President Obama, it's the failure of vision of the entire black
misleadership class, stretching over decades.
But as the most powerful actor in the land,
the man whose career is the crowning achievement so far of the black
political class, Obama absolutely deserves to wear the jacket for
leaving things as bad as or worse than the day he assumed office.
6. The day Barack
Obama leaves the White House we'll still have the world's biggest prison
state, with three quarters of its inmates black and brown, the insane 40
years War On Drugs, and a black person murdered by police, private
security or vigilantes every day or so
The best the Obama administration and its
allies in Congress could do to address the 100 to 1 cocaine to crack
penalty disparity was cutting it to 18 to 1 without changing the
sentence of a single person already serving unjust time.
Hundreds of thousands of black and brown
youth are still doing years for mere grams of crack or minute scraps of
The police and prison state will, as before,
remain the nation's preferred means to address poverty, homelessness,
mental illness, immigration and many other social, economic and medical
5. We'll have US
troops in more than thirty African countries enforcing Western land
grabs and the corporate neoliberal order, and keeping Africa barefoot,
sick, hungry and afraid, but well-armed. And we'll have an even larger
overall military budget with more troops and more overseas bases than
under George Bush
During the Clinton and second Bush
administrations, the US bankrolled, trained and supplied the armies of
52 out of 54 African nations to ensure that the continent remained the
poorest and most war-torn on earth.
Under its first black president, the US has
stepped up the game with actual deployments of drones, mercenaries,
special forces and other US military units in more than thirty African
countries to enforce the neoliberal order in which Africa's wealth is
diverted from its people into the economies and overseas bank accounts
of the West and a handful of native kleptocrats.
Martin Luther King told us decades
ago that the number one purveyor of violence on this planet was the US
Barack Obama, who many fancifully associate
with King, hasn't changed that one iota.
4. When Obama leaves
office, it will be legal and acceptable for US presidents to
unilaterally murder with or without announcement of cause anybody,
anyplace on the planet within the reach of US drones, special operators
When Obama assumed office the US was
secretly imprisoning and torturing thousands in at least a dozen
countries around the world.
We are told now that torture and secret
jails are used less often now, that the preferred expedient being simple
murder via special ops team or drone.
3. The Obama
administration will have closed and privatized more public schools than
at any time in US history
This is already an accomplished fact. Under
President Obama, the US Department of Education has extended the
authority to certify school systems to private agencies controlled by
champions of privatization like the,
Eli Broad Foundations,
...and allowed the same actors to write its
Race To The Top program, which allocates federal education
dollars to the school systems that disband, privatize, and hand over
their assets to private actors the quickest.
2. We can cherish
the memory of 8 years of watching that pretty brown family in that big
White House, along with unprecedented black unemployment, declining real
wages, and the most drastic shrinkage of black family wealth since we
began tracking and comparing black and white wealth
Who needs economic progress when millions
can take down those old pictures of Martin, and the Kennedy boys, and
replace them with the likeness of Barack and Michelle?
1. After 8 years of
Barack Obama, black leadership and black America will have decisively
lost and forgotten the habit, the inclination, even the example of
standing against unjust and abusive power, and our former reputation
around the world as a people of struggle
The height of the black Freedom Movement was
only about 8 or 10 years, but it left an example of what it was to stand
for justice and righteousness against bad laws and bad governance that
inspired us and the rest of the world.
Black youth who will reach maturity in the
middle of this decade have no examples of struggle to look up to, only
accommodations to power and excuses for inaction and ineffectiveness on