Saturday, February 25, 2012


OBAMA’S AMERICA: Open & Undefended Borders!



Here’s his Sec. Labor, HILDA SOLIS:

While in Congress, she opposed strengthening the border fence, supported expansion of illegal alien benefits (including driver's licenses and in-state tuition discounts), embraced sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with federal homeland security officials to enforce immigration laws, and aggressively championed a mass amnesty. Solis was steeped in the pro-illegal alien worker organizing movement in Southern California and was buoyed by amnesty-supporting Big Labor groups led by the Service Employees International Union. She has now caused a Capitol Hill firestorm over her new taxpayer-funded advertising and outreach campaign to illegal aliens regarding fair wages:


Michelle Malkin

The U.S. Department of Illegal Alien Labor

President Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is supposed to represent American workers. What you need to know is that this longtime open-borders sympathizer has always had a rather radical definition of "American." At a Latino voter registration project conference in Los Angeles many years ago, Solis asserted to thunderous applause, "We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not."

That's right. The woman in charge of enforcing our employment laws doesn't give a hoot about our immigration laws -- or about the fundamental distinction between those who followed the rules in pursuit of the American dream and those who didn't.

 Obama Administration Challenges Arizona E-Verify Law

The Obama administration has asked the Supreme Court to strike down a 2007 Arizona law that punishes employers who hire illegal aliens, a law enacted by then-Governor Janet Napolitano.  (Solicitor General's Amicus Curiae Brief).  Called the “Legal Arizona Workers Act,” the law requires all employers in Arizona to use E-Verify and provides that the business licenses of those who hire illegal workers shall be repealed.  From the date of enactment, the Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups have been trying to undo it, attacking it through a failed ballot initiative and also through a lawsuit. Now the Chamber is asking the United States Supreme Court to hear the case (Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria), and the Obama Administration is weighing in against the law.



Obama offers nothing to states, cities devastated by GM plant closures

By Tom Eley
3 June 2009

Plant closings resulting from Monday’s forced bankruptcy of General Motors will cause spiraling unemployment and deep cuts in social services in many cities and states across the country. The Obama administration, whose Auto Task Force dictated the terms of the bankruptcy, has offered no serious aid to the affected workers and their communities.

GM is carrying out at least 21,000 job cuts and the closure of 14 plants and warehouses in eight states. In addition, the company has announced its intention to dump franchise agreements with 2,300 dealerships by the end of next year. Many of these will be forced to close, eliminating as many as 100,000 jobs in all 50 states.

The gutting of GM, once the most powerful corporation in the world and a symbol of US industrial might, will send shock waves through the economy, cascading into more layoffs at parts suppliers and financial ruin for thousands of small businesses.

The bankruptcy will immediately result in state and local cuts in social services, health care and education, with city and state workers targeted for layoffs, wages cuts and other concessions. It will accelerate the foreclosure crisis and further drive down home prices, as tens of thousands of workers are no longer able to meet their mortgage payments.

The Obama administration is using the concessions and layoffs, agreed to by the United Auto Workers, to attack the wages and benefits of the entire working class. Corporations will take the concessions imposed on auto workers as a signal for similar measures against their own workers.

The state of Michigan, which already has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12.9 percent, will bear the brunt of the closures, with 42 percent of all national GM layoffs taking place there. Nearly 9,000 jobs will be lost in Michigan from Monday’s announced plant closures. The shutdowns are concentrated in southeast Michigan. They will be carried out in Flint, Livonia, Orion Township, Pontiac and Ypsilanti Township. On Friday, 700 workers were laid off when GM shuttered a stamping plant in Grand Rapids, in southwest Michigan.

It is estimated that since 2000, Michigan has lost 17 percent of its jobs—about three quarters of a million in all—as a direct result of the crisis in the auto industry. Now the state anticipates 520,000 job losses this year and next.

The consequences for the state’s limited social welfare system will be disastrous. According to one estimate, Michigan could lose an additional $18.3 billion in income. It already faces a $3 billion two-year budget shortfall, and officials recently revised downward their revenue estimate for the 2010 fiscal year by $1.7 billion, calling for an across-the-board spending cut of 8 percent.

“It’s clearly going to impact the safety net,” Governor Jennifer Granholm warned. “People, who are hurting, need services more, and we have fewer dollars.” Michigan has already carried out $300 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year.

Oakland County in suburban Detroit will lose three factories and 6,600 jobs, the most of any county. Oakland County was already in difficult financial straits due to declining property tax revenue, a result of layoffs and the foreclosure crisis. The loss of GM-related tax revenue will result in layoffs for county workers and sharp cuts in social programs, said Bob Daddow, Oakland County’s deputy executive. “I will be going to war,” Daddow told the Detroit News. “We will need to make cuts in all departments. We have been doing these cuts all along...but the worst is yet to come on governmental revenues.”

The closure of the GM Truck and Bus plant will deepen the social crisis in impoverished Pontiac, Michigan. About 1,100 workers will lose their jobs, and the city will lose 20 percent of its current tax base, or $10 million, said Fred Leeb, the city’s emergency financial manager. Leeb made clear that Pontiac’s working class would pay the price for the shutdown. “We fear that we are going to have to cut even more deeply,” he told the Detroit News. “And there will be concessions to ask from the (city) unions.”

Flint, Michigan has lost about 50,000 GM jobs in 30 years. One thousand more were added to the grim tally when GM said Monday it would close its Powertrain Flint North plant. Monday night, the Flint City Council met to enact a series of measures to bridge a $13 million budget deficit, including the layoff of about 90 firefighters and police and the shuttering of a fire station.

The city of Livonia, an inner-ring suburb of Detroit, will lose its GM engine plant, and with it $474,000 in annual tax revenue, about 1 percent of its total. City workers have already been asked to accept pay cuts. The Detroit-Livonia-Warren area had an unemployment rate of 14 percent as of May.

Ypsilanti’s Willow Run transmission plant laid off 600 workers on Monday, and 500 more jobs will be shed by December 2010. The township will lose 4.4 percent of its tax revenue, and Washtenaw County will see a loss of $3.8 million in tax receipts. The Ypsilanti Public Schools confront a $1.4 million deficit, which will be met primarily through teacher layoffs. The city faces a budget deficit of almost a half million dollars.

In Livingston County, Michigan, the GM bankruptcy may lead to a number of parts suppliers shutting down. Already hundreds of auto parts workers have lost their jobs in recent months, according to the county’s Economic Development Council director, Fred Dillingham. Metaldyne, which employs 100 workers in the county, last week filed for bankruptcy protection. “We have a number of companies with as much as 90 percent of their business from GM. We have an awful lot of trickle-down effect from GM,” Dillingham told Livingston Community News.

The closure of GM Mansfield in Ontario, Ohio is likely to result in the elimination of city jobs and pay cuts for municipal employees. With revenues already down a quarter million dollars, the city is bracing for disaster.

Spring Hill, Tennessee, which has seen its Saturn plant idled, most likely to be closed permanently, was a single-industry town. When GM opened the plant in 1990, fewer than 1,500 people lived there. Now it has 24,000 inhabitants.

The collapse of the Big Three has brought with it a sharp decline in funding for the arts and culture. The General Motors Foundation, which contributed $31.4 million to the arts in 2007, has told many art and cultural organizations, “mostly in Detroit,” not to count on any contributions this year, the Financial Times reported last week. Toledo, Ohio, recently announced that its three-day jazz festival, the Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival, would be cancelled this year after Chrysler said it would no longer provide $100,000 in annual funding.

In the face of this mounting social crisis, President Barack Obama has offered little more than rhetorical palliatives, telling workers that their “sacrifices” will ensure the future for coming generations. But for the auto workers’ children, the future foretells poverty amidst a crumbling social safety net.

On Tuesday, Obama sent Edward Montgomery, his director of recovery for auto communities and workers, along with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, to tour a Romulus, Michigan GM plant that thus far has not been slated for closure. This was followed by Solis’ appearance at a “worker round table” at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, the ostensible purpose of which was to discuss the retraining of workers for new jobs in the “green economy.”

The meeting was little more than a media stunt organized by the Democratic Party and UAW executives to present the Obama administration as a defender of jobs and divert working class anger along nationalist lines.

In her remarks, Solis outlined a series of “job training” programs that will supposedly equip workers for new high-tech and environmentally-friendly industries. But as Solis and Obama well know, these token programs cannot possibly provide decent employment for the vast majority of the workers who are losing their jobs as a result of the administration’s auto industry policy.

In what is shaping up as the worst job market since the Great Depression, even college graduates—many with degrees in engineering, computer science, robotics and management—face the highest rate of unemployment for those with a four-year degree in decades.

Among the Obama administration initiatives Solis outlined was $49 million in assistance to Michigan workers who have lost jobs due to “international trade,” federal assistance for the weatherization of homes, and summer youth programs. These are already existing programs. She could not announce any new programs to deal with the social crisis created by the bankruptcy of GM because the Obama administration has no plans for such programs.

After Solis spoke, the panel discussion was turned over to a number of local Democratic Party politicians and union officials. Don Skidmore, the Willow Run UAW local president, set the “America first” tone, declaring, “We’ve got to stop the bleeding of American jobs south of the border!” Another speaker demanded to know why Toledo, Ohio was able to keep its GM engine plant open.

UAW official Donnie Enersen denounced immigrant workers. “They’re coming into America, not paying taxes, not paying into Social Security,” he said.

The union officials are seeking to divide workers along national and even regional lines, in order to deflect attention from their real enemies—the Obama administration and the Wall Street financiers who are behind the carve-up of GM.

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with a small number of workers, most of whom were recently retired, who came to the meeting to demonstrate against the closure of the Willow Run plant. Corky, a GM worker with 12 years, said, “We thought we were going to stay open until 2010. On Friday when we walked out of work we thought we would be coming back in mid-July. I got a call from a fellow worker that night saying we were no longer going to work there.

“It’s unfair. We’ve made enough sacrifices. I’m tired of it. This was my seventh GM plant. For two-and-a-half years I was driving down to Toledo, Ohio to work, even when gas was $4 a gallon. I’ve made sacrifices. My dad is a retired GM worker and his benefits are being cut. I put my blood and sweat into every transmission that comes off the line.

“Yesterday when they announced the bankruptcy and plant closing I was all tears and emotions. Now I’m angry.”


Underlying the rise of the financial aristocracy—which exercises control over the entire political system—is the failure of the world capitalist system as a whole. In amassing its wealth, this tiny layer of the population, concentrated above all in the United States, has overseen a vast destruction of industry and social infrastructure. The ruling classes of every country now openly proclaim that the maintenance of their system depends upon an unprecedented destruction in the living conditions of the broad masses of the population.


Obama’s budget and the rot of American capitalism

15 February 2011

On Monday, the Obama administration released its proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2012. After committing trillions in federal bailouts to the banks and billionaires, the White House is demanding cuts that will devastate the working class, and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sections.

The $1.1 trillion in cuts for the next decade proposed by the White House is to be only the starting point for further cuts, as spokesmen for both big business parties acknowledge. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, declared, “We’ve got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next decade.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, “There’s no limit to the amount we’re willing to cut.”

Democrats and Republicans agree on gargantuan military spending, an uninterrupted flow of funds to the financial aristocracy, and continued tax breaks for corporate America and the wealthy. As a top White House official told the press at a background briefing on the budget, “The debate in Washington is not whether to cut or to spend. We both agree we should cut. The question is how we cut and what we cut.”

The Obama budget projects that the ten-year cumulative deficit will reach a staggering $10.4 trillion. By attempting to wring such vast sums from the hides of the population, the ruling elite is trying to set American society back to conditions not seen for generations.

Programs to be cut include not only those targeted by Obama and the Republicans in the current budget debate—home heating assistance, Pell Grants, WIC, Head Start, etc.—but the much larger entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare, which will face cuts later in the budget process.

The social impact will be incalculable. As hundreds of thousands of people face the bitter cold of winter without heat and gas, Obama is proposing halving the grossly inadequate federal assistance that is available. As students graduate with record debt and no job prospects, the administration is proposing significant cuts in government aid. Such gross indifference to social distress is repeated in every sphere.

Significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare—which amount to denying America’s elderly their right to pensions and health care—would have an even broader impact.

Behind the “debate” in Washington and the media over the budget is a massive lie—the claim that the budget deficits are a product of excessive social spending. Obama’s budget director Jacob Lew summed up this grotesque falsification an op-ed column published in the New York Times February 6, under the headline, “The Easy Cuts Are Behind Us.” Lew claimed that the causes of the projected budget deficits were “decisions to make two large tax cuts without offsetting them and to create a Medicare prescription drug benefit without paying for it, combined with the effects of the recession…”

This list is notable for what it leaves out: the cost of two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, which runs into the trillions; and the bank bailouts, where more trillions in public funds were placed at the disposal of the financial aristocracy, with no questions asked. The military budget by itself accounts for the lion’s share of the ten-year deficit: more than $7 trillion of the projected $10 trillion.

Lew’s more fundamental omission, however, is the grotesque class inequality that pervades American society. The top one percent of the US population owns over one third of the country’s wealth. The greatest wealth, however, is concentrated in an even smaller layer. Indeed, the $1.1 trillion in proposed cuts—which will have a terrible impact on the lives of millions of people—is somewhat less than the combined wealth of only the 400 richest Americans.

The arguments presented by the ruling elite for the cuts are staggeringly hypocritical. As they drown in floods of cash, they insist that no money is available for workers’ most basic needs.

Workers must reject this argument out of hand. They are not responsible for the orgy of swindling and profiteering that produced the 2008 Wall Street crash and pushed the world economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. On the contrary, an essential feature of the speculative binge was that the share of national income received by workers has shrunk to the lowest level in nearly a century.

Underlying the rise of the financial aristocracy—which exercises control over the entire political system—is the failure of the world capitalist system as a whole. In amassing its wealth, this tiny layer of the population, concentrated above all in the United States, has overseen a vast destruction of industry and social infrastructure. The ruling classes of every country now openly proclaim that the maintenance of their system depends upon an unprecedented destruction in the living conditions of the broad masses of the population.

These measures will provoke mass opposition. The revolutionary struggles in Egypt—in which protests and strikes of millions of workers and youth forced the resignation of a US-backed dictator that ruled the country for more than 30 years—point to the forms of struggle that will spread worldwide in the coming period. Mass unemployment, record inequality, and the corruption of the political system are common to Egypt and the United States, and are in fact universal. At the foundation of this system is the principle that economic life must be subordinated to private profit and the maintenance of the wealth of those who control the giant banks and corporations.

The working class can secure its interests only through the overturn of the capitalist system as a whole—that is, the reorganization of economic life to meet social need. In every aspect of its policies and of its social being, the ruling class itself makes the case for socialist revolution.

Patrick Martin

Obama’s Economic Advisers: International Socialists, Union Thugs, NBC Execs, Soros Scholars, Subprime Lenders, Amnesty Shills, and Campaign Cronies

Obama’s Economic Advisers: International Socialists, Union Thugs, NBC Execs, Soros Scholars, Subprime Lenders, Amnesty Shills, and Campaign Cronies

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