The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Attacks Dressed Up as Reforms

Mar 29, 2010

Having finally passed health care “reform,” President Obama proudly declared, “Tonight, we answered the call of history.

Fine words.

BUT for the first 14 months of its term in office, the Obama administration had openly continued all of the Bush administration’s basic policies. He handed out bigger and bigger gifts to the major banks and other companies, leaving taxpayers with a crushing bill of trillions and trillions of dollars.

The Obama administration gave billions to GM and Chrysler, and then extorted huge concessions from the auto workers, threatening to let the companies “fail” if the workers didn’t knuckle under.

The Obama administration continued Bush’s bloody war in Iraq, escalated the war in Afghanistan and even went into Pakistan.

The administration says there is an economic recovery. Yes, there is a recovery ... in corporate profits, mainly of banks, and in executive compensation.

But real unemployment is a disaster that continues to grow more grave, and millions more people are losing their homes.

In January, the Democrats began to pay for these open attacks on the working class. They lost Ted Kennedy’s old Massachusetts Senate seat to a Republican unknown, Scott Brown. More union members voted Republican than Democrat, according to the AFL-CIO, despite the union officials’ big efforts to get workers to vote Democratic.

Risking an electoral debacle in November, Democrats shifted public relations gears. They suddenly began to bombard us with announcements of “reform,” and still more “reform.”

The Obama administration announced it had passed a jobs bill–which consists of more tax breaks to big companies for hiring workers they would have hired anyway. It creates no jobs.

The Obama administration announced health care “reform”–which is nothing but a huge series of handouts to insurance, pharmaceutical, and hospital companies. The day after the reform passed, the health care industry’s stock prices shot up.

Geithner and Bernanke, Obama’s two economic chiefs, swore up and down that there would never be another bank bailout–while they continue to buy up billions of dollars of toxic assets held by the banks.

The Obama administration promised an educational “reform”–handing over more public schools to private companies, while closing down more neighborhood schools, laying off more teachers, increasing class sizes and attacking teachers’ seniority and wages, and, incidentally, pushing more students to drop out. It’s like Bush’s educational “reform,” just more so.

Of course, no one should believe that just because no Republicans voted for this, they are any different. When they were in power, they did the exact same thing. Now they are out of power, they are appealing and encouraging the most reactionary prejudices and superstitions in their loyal service to the capitalist class.

Both Democrats and Republicans have done nothing but bail out banks and corporations and prosecute their imperial wars of conquest. Both parties are henchmen for the capitalist class.

Today, the Democrats disguise their attacks with talk of “reform.” They just want our votes. The Republicans pretend to be in opposition. They also want our votes.

Why would any workers give either party a single vote?