Obama-GOP compromise? I hope not

All ways in which President Obama and Republicans in Congress could reach agreement are bad for the American people.

All of President Obama’s initiatives that are good for the American people are unacceptable to the Republicans.

Bad for Americans, acceptable to Republicans

Pro-Business Trade Treaties

free-tradePresident Obama has pushed for new trade treaties that give foreign corporations the right to appeal for damages if countries pass laws that unjustly deprive them of profits.  Similar provisions in existing trade treaties have been used against environmental regulation, subsidies for renewable energy and financial regulation.  Proposed new treaties are believed to go further.

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement appears doomed, but the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (aka the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and the Trade in Services Agreement might sneak in under the public’s radar.   Corporate American favors these treaties, so the GOP might go for them.

Weakening Social Security and Medicare

obama_cutsPresident Obama repeatedly proposed changing the formula for Social Security benefits and raising the age for Medicare, in exchange for modest tax increases on upper income brackets.  Even though the tax increases are off the table, Republicans might go for such a “grand bargain” on other issues.

Starting New Wars

Obama-and-DronesIf President Obama discovers some new threat that he says requires military intervention in a foreign country, the Republicans in Congress are sure to support him—short of actually voting authorization, which he says he doesn’t need anyway.  Likewise for new authority for surveillance, preventive detention, drone strikes, prosecution of whistle-blowers, etc.

Tar Sands Pipeline  [Added 11/15/14].

The Canadian government and Trans Canada corporation want to bring corrosive tar sands bitumen from northern Alberta to oil refineries in the United States.  Republicans in Congress are strongly in favor of this.  President Obama’s stand on the Keystone XL pipeline is uncertain, but federal regulators have already quietly approved the alternative Alberta Clipper pipeline.  Overall the President is a strong promoter of energy development, including hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

Good for Americans, unacceptable to Republicans

Climate Change

waronglobalwarming63-300x0President Obama says that he wants laws and regulations that limit the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.  A larger segment of the Republicans deny that human-caused climate change is even taking place, let alone that something should be done about it.

Immigration Reform

The only feasible immigration reform, as I see it, is some provision providing a path to citizenship for the millions of unauthorized immigrants already in this country.  I admit this is not good, but the alternatives are worse.

obama-to-do-list-gop-congress-undo-cartoonImmigration from low-wage countries can’t help but drive down American wages.  Amnesty for unauthorized immigrants is unfair to all the immigrants who respected American law and got in line.  But since it is impractical to deport them all, the only alternative is to continue to have an exploitable underclass that is outside the protection of American law.

President Obama appears to be thinking along similar lines, and the Republican leaders hint they are open to compromise.  But so many Republicans campaign on opposition to unauthorized immigration that I can’t imagine any meaningful compromise.

Net Neutrality

12217_large_neutral-bitsThe President says he is in favor of net neutrality—that is, Internet services that are open to all on an equal basis.

He probably will have trouble with the Federal Communications Commission, which is headed by a telecommunications lobbyist that Obama himself appointed.  So Net Neutrality probably will require congressional legislation, which I don’t think Republicans will support.

Negotiations With Iran

iran.sanctionsOne of the good things President Obama has attempted to do is to end the pointless U.S. cold war against Iran.   The Republican-controlled Senate is likely to block any negotiated agreement.

A Functioning Government

61995_cartoon_mainDuring the past six years, Republicans in the Senate have repeatedly stalled routine Presidential appointments to key judicial and executive positions.

Maybe, now that they’re in the majority, they’ll change during the next two years to show good will, but I doubt it.

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2 Responses to “Obama-GOP compromise? I hope not”

  1. Gunny G Says:

    Reblogged this on BLOGGING BAD w/Gunny G ~ "CLINGERS of AMERICA!".


  2. Paul H. Lemmen Says:

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.


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