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Obama’s trail of broken promises

Barack Obama campaigned on a ticket of ‘hope and change’ but, in office, has radically short-changed his young, Black and working class supporters. It was their huge mobilisation for his election campaign in 2008 that put America’s first black president into office and also swept the Democrats to victory in both houses of Congress.

Two years on, the Obama presidency has left a trail of broken promises. His priority in office has been saving US capitalism at the expense of those supporters. As well as maintaining Bush’s bank bailout, Obama’s own initiatives – a stimulus spending bill for the economy, healthcare “reform”, financial re-regulation – were either gutted or turned into measures favouring big business, under the pressure of the Republicans and Wall Street.

Obama refused to mobilise his supporters, while the right-wing, billionaire-backed Tea Party movement took to the streets, to attack his timid proposals as “socialist”.

Worse still he dropped his promised environmental reforms and a union rights bill, then restructured the Detroit auto industry by gutting workers’ jobs, pay and conditions. Unemployment rose to 10 percent, while the Afghanistan occupation dragged on and on.

Obama leads a capitalism in decline, with a stagnant economy, high levels of unemployment, and an historic debt crisis, and seemingly unable to challenge new international competitors like China.

The Republicans have a clear programme of refloating US capitalism on the backs of the working class, with union busting and vicious austerity. The Democrats have no real alternative and offer only a few concessions to their supporters.

That’s why American workers need a party of their own – not a bosses’ party like the Democrats. Today the new struggles of the working class have brought this goal of a working class party much closer. We must seize this historic opportunity.

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