Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
Barack Obama’s Presidency turns out to have been what neither his supporters nor his opponents expected. A balanced historical view of his performance in office will take a long time to develop, but enough is already known so that intelligent preliminary estimates can now be made: the following is just one historian’s attempt to do this, a year before his Presidency ends.
As with every President, Obama has done some things that are bad, and some that are good. The great question is: how will historians make sense of it all? The challenge is to identify his priorities. We’ll start here with the bad, because his good can’t be understood accurately outside the context of his bad. His priorities drove both, and did not change — and are producing his actual historical legacy, which will be what’s most-remembered about his Presidency.
He was no Abraham Lincoln, whose motives were what he said they were. That’s one of the reasons why both Democrats and Republicans misrepresent the type of person he is, the type of President he is, and the Obama Presidency itself — including his selections of the people to occupy the cabinet departments and the other key positions in his Administration. Republicans cannot criticize him honestly, because many of his actual motives are similar to theirs, and Republicans cannot acknowledge that he’s largely one of them except in his rhetoric (which often contradicts his actions). Many of his actions reflect longstanding Republican policies — against which the Democratic Party had long fought (and has now lost, under his Presidency — a ‘Democratic’ victory for the Republicans: one which, were a Republican President to have done it, would be far likelier to be able to be undone by some future Democratic Administration, which then would be accused by Democrats for reversing a ‘Democratic’ policy). Thus, his legacy will likely be especially longlasting, not only large.
Obama is a highly intelligent and competent person, and his priorities shaped many of the important changes that have occurred, both in America, and in the wider world, during his Presidency. Unfortunately, as will be demonstrated here, he happens to be also extremely dishonest, and very skillfully so: he’s the most skillful American politician since the time of Ronald Reagan, and perhaps the most deceptive person ever to occupy the White House. Neither the Republican view nor the Democratic view of Obama is realistic, nor can a realistic view of him become constructed by some sort of combination of those two views.
This is why no balanced view of his Presidency is possible which demands that he be interpreted in the light only of his stated goals and priorities. Many of those he not only didn’t achieve, but he actually and intentionaly blocked: he didn’t really want them.
One must start with his actions, not with his mere words. And one must acknowledge that, while some of his actions were good, some of his actions were bad. The problem in trying to understand the Obama Presidency is to dig deeper than his words, and deeper even than his actions alone, to the actual priorities that produced both. In his case, the good cannot be understood outside the context of his bad. If he were merely a bumbler, instead of a brilliant leader — which he has, in fact, been — then one could reasonably attribute the bad to mere errors on his part. But that’s not the case with him. Obama is actually an extraordinarily effective President.
This is the reason why Obama’s Presidency turns out to have been what neither his supporters nor his opponents expected. His exquisitely subtle and skillfully-applied dishonesty has greatly confused people on both sides. This is also the reason why many of Presidential candidate Obama’s campaign promises — on the basis of which he had won first the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in 2008, and then went on to beat Republican John McCain in the general election — were abandoned by him immediately when he won the election, such as, for example, his first promise about health care (as he announced it on the morning of 24 March 2007):
My commitment is to make sure that we’ve got universal health care for all Americans by the end of my first term as president.
There are some basic principles that this plan will have. Number one, we’re going to have to make sure that everybody is in. Number two, we’ve got to make sure that we apply some principles, because I think every expert agrees to in terms of how we save money and get more out of the dollars that we’re already spending. For example, we’ve got to put more money in prevention. It makes no sense for the children to be going to the emergency room for treatable ailments like asthma. And if we are giving them regular checkups with their primary care physician, then we’re going to save money in the system. Twenty percent of our patients who have chronic illnesses account for eighty percent of the costs. And so it’s absolutely critical that we invest in managing those with chronic illnesses, like diabetes. If we, for example, hire a case manager to work with them to ensure that they’re taking the proper treatments, then potentially we’re not going to spend $30,000 on a leg amputation if they’re diabetic. Application of medical technology can not only reduce administrative costs but it can also improve quality and reduce medical errors. We’re going to have to take those savings and apply them to those persons who can’t afford health insurance so that they can buy into the system that we’re subsidizing them in some fashion.
Another principle is that it’s going to have to be some form of pooling of costs of risk. And there are going to be a number of proposals, and they’re out. I heard in some of the previous questions that one pool would be the federal pool that already exists for myself and other federal workers. Some states, like California and Massachusetts, already started to set up their pools. Whatever the mechanism, we going to have to have a pooling system so that individuals have the benefits of being part of a larger group. And the final thing that I’ll just mention is that we’re going to have to do something serious about quality and how we spend our money. Not only do we have to put more money in prevention, but we’ve also got to make sure that, for example, if a generic works just as well as a brand name drug, that we’re not fighting drug companies to dictate what is on the formulary, what drugs are available under a plan but we make sure that the money is spent on the most efficient drug for that particular disease.
If we do all those things, I believe there’s no reason why we can’t end up with the kind of health care system that would ensure that every American has high quality, basic health care.
(The transcript is here.)
Gallup, which provides the most reliable estimates of the percentages of the American public who are insured and who aren’t, headlined on 7 January 2016 “U.S. Uninsured Rate 11.9% in Fourth Quarter of 2015,” and they presented a graph showing the comparable figures going back to the First Quarter of 2008 — which turned out to have been the only pre-crash figure in Gallup’s entire series. It also happened to have been the very time when Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the other candidates, were originally introducing their proposals regarding health insurance. So: it’s the real baseline for comparison. The uninsured figure then was 14.6%, which thus constitutes the real baseline for comparison between the pre-Obama norm, versus today’s Obamacare reality. When Obama was promising to reduce the figure to zero uninsureds, or universal insurance, that 14.6% is the figure he was actually promising the nation he’d reduce down to zero, or universal insurance (100% coverage). That figure rose to 18.0% by the Third Quarter of 2013, when Obamacare ultimately started. Many Americans were deciding then not to renew their existing health insurance policies, in the hope and expectation that better alternatives would soon become available to them in the new system. So, there was an artificial rise while Americans were in that limbo, awaiting the new system. But that rise didn’t produce a new baseline. Instead, it went in the opposite direction from what had been promised, but it was only temporary anyway.
Obama had said “My commitment is to make sure that we’ve got universal health care for all Americans by the end of my first term as president. … Number one, we’re going to have to make sure that everybody is in.”
Right now, 11.9% of Americans are not in. Pre-Obamacare, 14.6% had been not in. Obama’s promise, his “number one” “commitment,” was that “by the end of my first term as president,” it would be 0%. That’s “universal health care for all Americans.” It’s 100% of Americans who are “in.” By the time of “the end of my first term as president,” which was on 19 January 2013, Obamacare hadn’t even yet started (Republicans had delayed it with rants about its “death panels” and other such demagogic lies), but the uninsured-rate at that time was around 16.5% — that’s at the time when Obamacare started, not the 14.6% at the time Obama was running for President and promising to reduce that 14.6% rate down to 0%.
The uninsured-rate is now going up, not down, after having bottomed-out at 11.4% in the Second Quarter of 2015. It rose again to 11.6% by the Third Quarter of 2015, and was next the latest available figure, 11.9%, in the Fourth Quarter of 2015. Whether it will go back up to 14.6% can’t yet be known, and no prediction is being made here.
Obamacare thus increased the insured-rate from the pre-Obamacare norm of 85.4% (100%-14.6%) up to a high of 88.6% (100%-11.4%), and it’s now heading back down again; but, even if it turns around and starts heading back up again (instead of sinking below its current level of 88.1%), it will never be able to reach the other nations’ rate, which is 100% (the level that Obama, like all of the other Democratic candidates, was promising), unless Obamacare becomes replaced, by some form of socialization of either the health-insurance function (such as in France), or else the health-care function itself (such as in UK).
All other advanced industrialized nations have a 0% uninsured-rate. 100% of the citizens have health insurance there. It’s called socialized health insurance or socialized healthcare; and, in most countries, it is paid for via taxes on everybody, instead of as in America, via corporate-insurance premiums. And the quality of health care is superior in all of those other nations. (And that study also found: in the latest comparable year, the U.S. had by far the highest per-capita spending on health care (twice the average spending in the other advanced nations). The U.S. ranked lowest of all nations on “efficiency,” as well as in “equity,” “healthy lives,” and “overall.” In other words: the U.S. health-insurance system is atrocious: it robs the public in multiple ways. (But, since the loot is going to private investors, not to the government, the American public consider it to be ‘capitalism’ and thus okay.)
Regarding public-welfare matters, the historical record is clear that democratic socialism is vastly more efficient than is capitalism. Only the U.S. (and the countries that it most fully controls) fails to make the distinction between democratic socialism, such as exists in those other countries, versus dictatorial socialism or “communism,” such as had existed in the Soviet Union. Americans are ideologically mind-stuck decades behind reality, in the U.S-versus-U.S.S.R era — the ideological Cold War (which the West won — because the real contest was between democracy versus dictatorship, and not between socialism and capitalism). Barack Obama knew, when he made his campaign promises, that he wouldn’t challenge the American system; he wouldn’t challenge that misconception, because his billionaire-backers wouldn’t back him if he did that. If he were to have tried to educate the American public about the stark differences between democratic socialism and dictatorial socialism, then he wouldn’t have been able to win. He knew he wouldn’t even try to make the distinction clear, between socialism (which is democratic) versus communism (which is dictatorial). The billionaires simply prohibited that. Least of all would he praise democratic socialism: no billionaire would tolerate his doing that — all of them had gotten where they were via the existing system. Democratic socialism is something they all fear (even though billionaires in some other countries seem to have acclimated themselves to it, at least partially).
So: he simply lied to the public. There is no way “to make sure that we’ve got universal health care for all Americans” without socializing the health-care or health-insurance function. And Obama is smart enough to have recognized this fact. He was no fool. There is no way that, “Number one, we’re going to have to make sure that everybody is in,” except by socializing it. There is no way that costs will go down and quality go up in American health care, but by democratically socializing this function.
There is no way to have universal coverage other than to socialize either the healthcare function, or the health-insurance function, and Obama knew that.
In fact, here is what he told the very pro socialized health-insurance AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Conference in 2003 (probably on June 30th):
“I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal health care coverage. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim’s talking about because: everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care coverage, universal health care coverage, that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately.” (See him saying this in the video here.)
During his first year as President, before there was complete certainty that Obama wouldn’t include a “public option” in his plan (a device to serve as a possible wedge into socialized or single-payer health insurance — and progressives knew that it was an essential feature to include in any plan other than one that goes directly to single-payer), Politifact headlined “Obama Statements on Single-Payer Have Changed a Bit,” and identified the “Jim” that’s referred to in that 2003 video as “Jim Duffett, director of the Illinois advocacy group Campaign for Better Health Care.” And they spoke to him: “‘I’ve never felt that his core principles for accessible, guaranteed health care for everyone were ever compromised. He’s an organizer, and you have to figure out as strategically as you can, how to win,’ he said.” All progressives were simply expecting Obama’s plan to include its promised public option — a health-insurance option designed and run with accountability only to the public, none at all to the aristocracy (who own the insurance companies) — something that was overwhelmingly popular with the American public. But Obama never pushed for it. Senator Ted Kennedy wanted to draft that, but Obama refused to allow it.
By the time of 30 May 2007, Obama introduced the plan on which he ran for — and won — the Presidency: “BARACK OBAMA’S PLAN FOR A HEALTHY AMERICA: Lowering health care costs and ensuring affordable, high-quality health care for all.” It included: “Specifically, the Obama plan will: (1) establish a new public insurance program, available to Americans who neither qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP nor have access to insurance through their employers, as well as to small businesses that want to offer insurance to their employees.” That “new public insurance program” was his public option, and it was the first-mentioned of his plan’s six listed features. He gave it emphasis. And yet Obama blocked that feature from being included at all in the plan that, as President, he handed off to the conservative Democratic Senator Max Baucus to draw up and present to Congress, to win his signature.
Obama knows the score. He’s basically satisfied for America to rank at the very bottom in quality and universality — and at the very top in prices — on healthcare. This combination presents a huge drag on the entire American economy; every company (especially small ones) that operates here pays for it, even when they don’t pay for health insurance for their employees: sick days, disability rates, decreased performance, etc. But all of the big investors, the billionaires, want the profits that derive from the pharmaceutical industry, the medical-products industry, the hospital-industry, etc., which profits gain billionaires far more than sick workers can ever cost them. Anyway, those jobs and sick workers can be replaced cheaper, offshored to places like India — and Obama (especially with his proposed ‘trade’ treaties, TISA, TPP, and TTIP) is the all-time champion at assisting the offshoring of labor to cheaper countries. Obama is an international champion of capitalism, including of the international shell-game that his political opponent Mitt Romney famously profited from at Bain Capital, and that Obama criticized him for during the 2012 campaign. (Romney wasn’t even nearly as skillful a deceiver as was Obama. He generally believed what he was saying.)
Obama lied about several other things regarding his health-insurance plan, such as that he would fight for the inclusion in it of a “public option,” and his promise that his plan wouldn’t include any “healthcare mandate” or penalty to be paid by Americans who refuse to buy health insurance. He abandoned both of those promises as soon as he won the election. He never fought for them. He opposed them. Obamacare does include the individual mandate, and doesn’t include any public option. Obama had campaigned vigorously against Hillary Clinton’s plan because it had included the individual mandate — the requirement to purchase insurance. But as soon as he was elected, he started pushing for the individual mandate to be included in the plan that he assigned to the conservative Democratic Party U.S. Senator Max Baucus (instead of to the progressive Democratic Party U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy) to draft. (Republicans attacked him for its including the individual mandate, the requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance, but the individual mandate had originally been a Republican idea. And it had also been part of the health insurance plan that Obama’s 2012 opponent, Mitt Romney, had introduced in Massachusetts in 2006 and on the basis of which had been constructed the health-insurance proposal that came from each of the three major 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates: Obama, Clinton, and John Edwards. But now, after having produced the ‘Democratic’ plan — minus the public option that all Democrats proposed — Romney was condemning the plan that the ‘Democrat’ Obama passed with support from congressional ‘Democrats’.) This is called “bait-and-switch.” It makes suckers of voters, not people to be served but instead people who are manipulated for the benefit of the real beneficiaries: instead of there being a democracy, there is now a dictatorship via deceits. (Jimmy Carter recently called it an “oligarchy.”)
In other important ways, too, Obama was lying during his campaigns. I have addressed those in other articles, such as this one.
Concerning the issue of NAFTA and other U.S. Government policies for sending American jobs to cheaper foreign countries so as to increase the profits to America’s international corporations and thus raise the wealth of the U.S. aristocracy who own and control those corporations and who are also the major benefactors to all top U.S. politicians, here is one of Obama’s 2008 campaign-flyers (and Hillary was doing the same to him that he was doing to her — only not nearly as effectively):
By the time of 2015, even the Democratic Party’s loyal website the Daily Kos started to issue articles such as “The Liberal Apologies for Obama’s Ugly Reign.” Even that liberal site was no longer entirely in denial about the reality. And, unlike in the few prior instances where someone at that site had criticized Obama, the reader-comments to this critical commentary about Obama’s performance were no longer to blackball the writer for having pointed out the ugly truth: the readers were by now finally starting to recognize that they had previously been fooled, and that they had been fools for having refused, for such a long time, to acknowledge the by-now-obvious truth. (And, to many Democrats, it’s still not obvious enough. On the night when Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address, 12 January 2016, the latest Gallup report on his job-approval rating was 84% approval among Democrats, and 10% approval among Republicans. And one has no reason to assume that Republicans were disapproving his performance for any rational reasons — that’s not the Republican way of anything. The total result of that insanity on both sides was 47% approval, 49% disapproval, which likewise has no correlation with the reality of Obama’s job-performance. ‘Democracy’ that’s based on misinformed insanity of the public is no real democracy at all. It’s based instead on a manipulated public, which is bifurcated on bogus grounds.)
The same was the case across-the-board. For example, Obama’s policies on k-12 education were simply extensions of George W. Bush’s No-Child-Left-Behind school-privatization-and-high-stakes-testing, that were focused on punishing teachers and administrators who served people in the lowest-income school districts, and that did nothing to raise the quality of education for America’s children, to competitive international standards. Only teachers and administrators in low-income districts were fired. Punishing low-performing schools when it’s what the children bring to class from their impoverished backgrounds, not what the teachers and administrators are bringing to their students in their classrooms, that’s actually causing the low performance, may please billionaires (whose children can be educated just as they were before), but the poorest Americans suffer greatly from it, especially because that new system provides an even higher incentive for any new teacher to avoid even applying to get a job in a low-income district. Higher-income districts then receive yet more teacher-applicants than before. Most teachers prefer an easier job at a higher pay. However, the rich also benefit, by not needing to pay their teachers as a high salary as might otherwise be necessary to attract applicants. In other words: it’s perverse — yet it’s Republican policy in two successive Presidencies, one of which is nominally ‘Democratic’.
Furthermore, President Obama’s foreign policies have been outright catastrophic for the people in Honduras, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine, and harmful elsewhere (including Europe). They will be catastrophic for the entire world if his international-trade treaties, TPP, TTIP, and TISA, become passed into law. That’s the highest-priority item in his entire Presidency (higher even than Obamacare was); and, if he succeeds in it (as he probably will at least on TPP with almost solid Republican support for it), then democracy itself will shrivel, if not completely die, throughout the world. If all three of those proposed treaties become approved, then Barack Obama will certainly have been the worst President in all of American history, and maybe even the worst head-of-state in all of human history. The world was able to recover and get over Hitler and Stalin, even if many millions of their victims weren’t. But if Obama gets even just two of his trade-treaties pased, then the world itself will probably be doomed. (That’s a ‘prediction,’ but a conditional one; so, in that sense, it’s not fully a prediction.)
Now, for the good about Obama: This side of the issue was covered well by Michael Grunwald at Politico on 6 January 2016, under the banner “The Nation He Built: A POLITICO review of Barack Obama’s domestic policy legacy—and the changes he made while nobody was paying attention.” Grunwald admiringly reports there:
Obamacare would cover millions of the uninsured, a giant step toward the Democratic dream of health care for all. It also included dozens of less prominent provisions to rein in the soaring cost and transform the dysfunctional delivery of American medicine. It was the kind of BFD that the most consequential presidencies are made of, even though it had squeaked through Congress without any Republican votes, and few Americans truly understood what was in it. …
Tucked into the parliamentary maneuver that rescued his health care law was a similarly radical reform of the trillion-dollar student loan program. When Biden’s wife, Jill, a professor at Northern Virginia, introduced Obama that day, she called it “another historic piece of legislation.” The House Republican leader, John Boehner of Ohio, complained that “today, the president will sign not one, but two job-killing government takeovers.”
Obamacare wasn’t really a government takeover, but the student loan overhaul actually was; it yanked the program away from Sallie Mae and other private lenders that had raked in enormous fees without taking much risk. The bill then diverted the budget savings into a $36 billion expansion of Pell Grants for low-income undergraduates, plus an unheralded but extraordinary student-debt relief effort that is now quietly transferring the burden of college loans from struggling borrowers to taxpayers. It all added up to a revolution in how America finances higher education, completely overshadowed by the health care hoopla and drama.
Over the past seven years, Americans have heard an awful lot about Barack Obama and his presidency, but the actual substance of his domestic policies and their impact on the country remain poorly understood. He has engineered quite a few quiet revolutions—and some of his louder revolutions are shaking up the status quo in quiet ways. Obama is often dinged for failing to deliver on the hope-and-change rhetoric that inspired so many voters during his ascent to the presidency. But a review of his record shows that the Obama era has produced much more sweeping change than most of his supporters or detractors realize. …
What he’s done is changing the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat us, the academic standards in our schools and the long-term fiscal trajectory of the nation. Gays can now serve openly in the military, insurers can no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, credit card companies can no longer impose hidden fees and markets no longer believe the biggest banks are too big to fail. Solar energy installations are up nearly 2,000 percent, and carbon emissions have dropped even though the economy is growing. …
It’s fairly well known that Obama bailed out U.S. automakers, enacted an enormous economic stimulus package, signed the most sweeping rewrite of financial rules since the Great Depression, killed the Keystone XL pipeline and issued historic carbon regulations to fight climate change. But how many Americans are aware of his administration’s harsh regulations cracking down on for-profit diploma mills, inefficient industrial motors and investment advisers with conflicts of interest? Everyone knows the Obamacare website was a disaster, but few realize that Obama got some of the Silicon Valley techies who fixed it to stick around and start up a U.S. Digital Service, a groundbreaking effort to bring government tech into the 21st century. …
The economy was bleeding 800,000 jobs a month when Obama took office; it has now enjoyed a record 69 straight months of private-sector job growth, though economists disagree about how much credit Obama deserves for the recovery, and in any case wage growth has been tepid. The deficit has shrunk by nearly $1 trillion, and Medicare’s long-term solvency has been extended by 13 years. The resuscitated auto industry produced 11 million vehicles in 2014. Federal contractors can no longer discriminate against gays, women can now serve in combat and the rich are paying higher taxes. A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is policing unscrupulous mortgage brokers, payday lenders and other rip-off artists, and the financial system has much less risky leverage.
Before Obama, Americans were using more energy every year; now we use less energy overall, and more of that energy is clean. …
There’s lots more; you can see it all there. However, that article said nothing about foreign policy. Obama did have two positive achievements in foreign policy: the nuclear sanctions deal with Iran, and his acceptance of the 2015 global agreement to place restraints against future production of carbon gases. (He did that climate-control deal even though he wasn’t really supportive of action against global warming.) If Obama gets his ‘trade’ deals passed into law — especially if two or all three of them are — then the global-warming promises will almost certainly turn to dust. TPP and TTIP especially would make practically impossible any increase in economic regulation by governments, and this includes any increase in environmental regulations.
Obama was vastly less progressive than he pretended, but never as far right as the Republican Party moved in order to be able to stay to his right. The Republicans always moved even farther to the right so as to retain the loyalty of the voters in America’s conservative Party. Without the votes of Republicans in Republican primaries, no Republican candidate has even a chance of contesting in, much less winning, a general election. Thus, no matter how rightwing Obama actually performed, the Republican Party moved even farther to the right, and so America’s political center moved to the right even though the American public really did not. The public became politically almost inconsequential during the Obama years, continuing a long-term trend in that direction: “oligarchy,” otherwise called “aristocracy.”
What all of this — both the cons and the pros — exhibits consistently is that Obama brilliantly protected and carried out the basic agenda of America’s billionaire-class, while still doing enough on the ‘left’ so as to retain also the requisite loyalty of Democratic Party voters. This way, by serving the “oligarchy,” even while pretending to be ‘a man of the people,’ he will end his Presidency with at least as rich a future for himself and his progeny as Bill Clinton left his. (After all, Clinton not only passed NAFTA but he ended the Democratic Party’s FDR bank-reforms and restored essentially the pre-FDR regulatory system, which Wall Street loved.) In other words: Obama’s Presidential operation was a skillful business-plan, which will serve him and his family well, regardless of what it has done and might ultimately result in doing to the nation, and to the entire world.
Obama’s top priority is himself and his family. And he has served it brilliantly. Don’t believe what Democrats say about him, or what Republicans say about him. Believe his actual record, which has been presented here. That’s what a real historian will believe. The only substantial question that remains is how to explain his record, how to explain the man. The serious attempts to do that started only in 2010.
The following is adapted here from an earlier article I wrote, “The Two Contending Visions of World Government: The Origin & Broader Context of Obama’s ‘Trade’ Deals,” which digs deeper into Obama’s world-view; so, I close with this description of Obama’s personal background:
As the great independent investigative journalist Wayne Madsen has reported, in depth, in his many articles, such as (and these are repostings of originals from Madsen’s subscription-only website) “Obama’s CIA Pedigree” and “Details revealed about Obama’s former CIA employer” and “The Story of Obama: All in The Company,” and in his 2012 book The Manufacturing of a President: The CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama, Jr. into the White House, Obama’s parents and grandparents were in the pay alternately of the U.S.-aristocracy-controlled CIA and of the U.S.-aristocracy-controlled Ford Foundation; and the boss of Obama’s mother at the Ford Foundation was none other than Peter Geithner, who was the father of Timothy Geithner, the Wall Street operative who ran the U.S. Treasury Department in Obama’s first term and who bailed out the investors in the megabanks while he refused to bail out the uneducated and poor mortgagees they had suckered with excessive loans, and the pension funds and other outside investors in the fraudulent resulting ‘AAA’-rated Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSs, which the Federal Reserve until recently was buying up and transferring onto the backs of future U.S. taxpayers).
So, Obama was deep into service to America’s aristocracy, ever since he was in college; and his parents even raised him with money from the CIA and the Ford Foundation. Furthermore, Obama’s first employment was with the CIA front firm, Business International Corporation, in 1983 and 1984, though he might have been recruited by the CIA as early as around 1980. (Going back even farther than Madsen, some terrific independent investigators, such as Joseph Cannon and the libertarian Robert Wenzel, were already exploring Obama’s CIA connections within mere months of his having won the U.S. Presidency in 2008. And, then, after Madsen, Andrew Krieg, in his 2013 blockbuster Presidential Puppetry, brought all of this together into a much broader, well documented, recent history of the U.S. as being an oligarchic instead of a democratic nation. But nobody was onto Obama’s reality until Obama had already won the White House. Nobody. That’s how skillfully Obama constructed his act.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.