Tuesday, May 5, 2009

U.S. to World - Obama is an American

Based upon the rock star greetings that candidate and President Barack Obama has received in Germany and elsewhere, I wonder whether some foreigners were under the impression that Obama would be the complete opposite of Bush and that, rather than declaring that the American way was always the right way, that Obama would instead put U.S. policy completely under U.N. control or under Hamas control or whatever.

So perhaps some starry-eyed people are getting a sharp dose of reality when they realize that U.S. President Obama is...um...favoring the U.S.

This is what he said on Monday:

Let's begin with a simple premise: Nobody likes paying taxes, particularly in times of economic stress. But most Americans meet their responsibilities because they understand that it's an obligation of citizenship, necessary to pay the costs of our common defense and our mutual well-being.

And yet, even as most American citizens and businesses meet these responsibilities, there are others who are shirking theirs. And many are aided and abetted by a broken tax system, written by well-connected lobbyists on behalf of well-heeled interests and individuals. It's a tax code full of corporate loopholes that makes it perfectly legal for companies to avoid paying their fair share. It's a tax code that makes it all too easy for a number -- a small number of individuals and companies to abuse overseas tax havens to avoid paying any taxes at all. And it's a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York.

The New York Times:

President Obama’s proposal to change the American corporate tax system is winning few fans in India, where some say it is aimed at curbing the country’s outsourcing industry.

That's what one "Times" says. The India Times adopts a more editorial stance:

There he goes again, bashing Bangalore. Not for the first time, US President Barack Obama invoked India’s much-celebrated economic h
otspot, which has become an all-encompassing metaphor to describe everything from job loss to globalization, to rally Americans for a protectionist cause....

The US President’s beef wasn’t really with Bangalore; the barb was aimed more at US firms and their wily ways. But Bangalore has become a catch-all term to hang US economic woes on. Obama has done it at least three times.

And if you think that I was exaggerating in the beginning of this post, it turns out that Obama had fans in Bangalore at one point, even as recently as January 20.

A group of techies in India’s IT hub of Bangalore canvassed for Barack Obama through emails and SMSes during the election campaign last year, but they could not make it to Washington to witness his inauguration as they have projects to finish and deadlines to meet.Staying full 13,000 km away from Washington, they raised a few thousand dollars for his election campaign and took out rallies to inform fellow Bangaloreans on why he is good for India and the world.

They cheered his historic win of Nov 4, but their hopes of being part of the millions at Washington Tuesday to witness the first African American taking oath as US president have been dashed.

“We had a plan to visit Washington DC and witness the historic moment of Barack Obama taking the oath as the first black president of America on Jan 20. But, unfortunately all of us are held up with our latest assignments and could not make our trip to Washington,” Balaji S. Venkat, the president of the Barack Obama Bangalore Fan Club, told IANS....

The club was formed by a group of techies in August last year to garner support for Obama. It has seven core members and several volunteers, mostly IT engineers and management consultants.

The club lobbied with Indian Americans to vote for Obama by SMSing and e-mailing them. It raised Rs.2,000,000 (approx $4,500) from Bangaloreans as contribution to the Obama campaign fund.

And, a little later in that January 20 article:

While Obama has spoken against outsourcing, the club believes he would never take any step against India’s interests.

“His statements are not anti-outsourcing. He is more concerned about creating internal job security for US citizens. That is absolutely justified, as he is head of the state,” said Balaji.

“He would certainly understand and encourage the logic behind outsourcing. We believe that he would always be a good friend for India and its businesses.”

Note to foreigners - if you want to buy a U.S. politicians, US$4,500 is a really paltry sum.
blog comments powered by Disqus