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Tue May 6, 2014, 09:46 AM

"Snap out of it, Dems." -- Eugene Robinson

"Snap out of it, Dems." -- Eugene Robinson

by Pluto

As a Washington Post subscriber, I'm pretty familiar with the writers. I read across the range from Right to Left, and I get all sorts of insights from both sides. Of course, the quality and tenor of the inspiration varies -- ranging from weary face-plams to acceptance of fair points that challenge my biases. And, then there is the Left, which reports on-the-ground-realities, and then indulges in describing the surreal reactions and declarations coming from the Right.

My favorite writer these days is Eugene Robinson. He is a comfortable guy with a cozy manner. He is not particularly confrontational and rarely gets exercised over hot issues, which he effortlessly dismisses. Clearly unthreatened by the partisan chaos constantly churning with mad urgency, his approach is laid back, his perspective is long, relaxed, smart, and comforting.

His theme today was "Time for some happy talk from Democrats." Says Robinson, despite Republican claims to the contrary, things are definitely looking up for Democrats. We ought to be spreading the news, he says, rather than reacting and fretting over Republic antics.

Friday’s announcement that unemployment fell to 6.3 percent was huge. The fact that the economy added 288,000 jobs in April — despite continued bad weather early in the month in parts of the country — suggests that the recovery has greater momentum than pessimists had feared. Economists were expecting decent numbers. These are great.

The stock market, meanwhile, is flirting with an all-time high…. During President Obama’s term in office, the Dow has more than doubled.

If President Obama is a socialist, says Robinson, he is truly a lousy one. Instead, he is a skillful capitalist who guided the economy out of its worst slump since the Great Depression. And he did it while saddled with the constant sabotage against the nation by the most useless and negligent Congress in American history.

Speaking of which, the Affordable Care Act — which is based, you’ll recall, on a framework developed in Republican think tanks — is clearly a success and may soon be seen as a triumph. More than 8 million people have signed up for insurance through the federal and state exchanges; Obama’s benchmark had been 7 million. Enough of these enrollees are young and healthy to ensure the program’s continued viability.

The disasters predicted by the Republican Party were all bogus. So much for the “death spiral.” It is now clear that nothing of the sort will happen. All their phoney stories about Obamacare failures proved to be lies and were thoroughly debunked.

Republicans will keep attacking Obamacare because it fires up the base, but the program is here to stay.

Robinson encourages Democrats to pull themselves together and use their achievements to campaign on. For example, he imagines an ad that goes:

“We promised you that these were the right policies to get the economy on track and reform health care. We said it would take time to see results and asked for patience. You gave us your trust, and now we’re seeing the benefits. This is just the beginning. Give us a mandate to keep moving forward on an agenda that is working.”

Would it hurt to show a little enthusiasm? he asks. He also proposes that Democrats ban the word “but” until after the mid-term elections.

Republicans are giving “but” a workout.

Unemployment may be down to 6.3 percent, they say, but too many people are leaving the workforce.

The jobs numbers for April may look good, but we don’t know if this rate of growth can be sustained.

Enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act may be impressive, but have all those people actually paid their premiums?

Everything above is dishonest and based on phoney numbers that Republican's cobble together to foster the notion that nothing is going well with Democrats in charge of the White House and the Senate.

When Democrats sound like the old “Saturday Night Live” character Debbie Downer — emphasizing what’s still ailing about the economy, promising to “fix what’s broken” in Obamacare — they reinforce the Republicans’ message rather than refute it.

Listen up, Democrats. You fixed the economy. You expanded access to health care. Oh, and you ended two wars.

Snap out of it

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/06/1297203/--Snap-out-of-it-Dems-Eugene-Robinson










Note:

Kos Media, LLC Site content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified


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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Snap out of it, Dems." -- Eugene Robinson (Original post)
ProSense May 2014 OP
JoePhilly May 2014 #1
tridim May 2014 #3
JoePhilly May 2014 #6
okaawhatever May 2014 #34
scheming daemons May 2014 #2
Ishoutandscream2 May 2014 #53
derby378 May 2014 #4
scheming daemons May 2014 #5
el_bryanto May 2014 #7
ProSense May 2014 #13
el_bryanto May 2014 #14
ProSense May 2014 #16
freshwest May 2014 #40
Cha May 2014 #42
ProSense May 2014 #8
mcar May 2014 #15
okaawhatever May 2014 #35
Cha May 2014 #43
sheshe2 May 2014 #9
Firebrand Gary May 2014 #10
calimary May 2014 #25
okaawhatever May 2014 #36
frazzled May 2014 #11
lame54 May 2014 #12
Demo_Chris May 2014 #17
ProSense May 2014 #20
Demo_Chris May 2014 #33
ProSense May 2014 #37
BlancheSplanchnik May 2014 #38
FiveGoodMen May 2014 #29
ProSense May 2014 #32
SunSeeker May 2014 #18
TwilightGardener May 2014 #19
ProSense May 2014 #21
modestybl May 2014 #22
Ikonoklast May 2014 #56
wyldwolf May 2014 #23
Hekate May 2014 #24
Jeff In Milwaukee May 2014 #31
smallcat88 May 2014 #26
DCBob May 2014 #27
gademocrat7 May 2014 #28
ProSense May 2014 #30
ProSense May 2014 #39
Cha May 2014 #41
Cha May 2014 #44
ProSense May 2014 #45
Cha May 2014 #49
Orsino May 2014 #46
Armstead May 2014 #47
ProSense May 2014 #48
Armstead May 2014 #50
ProSense May 2014 #51
Armstead May 2014 #54
ProSense May 2014 #55
spanone May 2014 #52

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 09:52 AM

1. I used to think that liberals were realtively optimistic.

That they could identify the positives, and then work to fix the negatives.

I've learned that's not the case.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #1)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:04 AM

3. FWIW the Liberals I know IRL are all positive and optimistic.

The focused "Liberal" negativity I see every day on DU is not the norm.

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Response to tridim (Reply #3)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:26 AM

6. True ...

... same for me IRL.

I notice it in the media too. The dem talking head will gloss over any positive and then turn into Eore.

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Response to tridim (Reply #3)

Tue May 6, 2014, 03:03 PM

34. Hear, hear. DU is probably the first place I've seen whataboutery used when someone mentions

something positive.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 09:58 AM

2. My 401K cannot afford another Republican administration


DJIA on the day Bush took office: 10,500
DJIA on the day Bush left office/Obama sworn in: 7,900
DJIA now: 16,500


My 401K on the day Bush took office: $101K
My 401K on the day Bush left office: $97K (despite putting 6% of my pay in for 8 years)
My 401K now: $271K


Democrats are better for everyone, economically.

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Response to scheming daemons (Reply #2)

Thu May 8, 2014, 10:16 AM

53. Amen!

403b was murdered in the Bush crash, and now it's at around 75K. Can't take another Republican hit.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:05 AM

4. The economy's "fixed?" Then where's my job?

No time to pat ourselves on the back. There is still plenty to be done.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #4)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:08 AM

5. Until unemployment is 0.0% there is more work to be done..... BUT....

That doesn't mean you don't celebrate progress in the meantime.

4 years ago, unemployment was at 10.1%. It is at 6.3% today. That's progress. That's movement in the right direction.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #4)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:29 AM

7. It's not about patting ourselves on the back

It's about contradicting a false narrative that the Republicans are propagating. Yes there's still a lot of improvement to be made, but things really are better than they have been, which shows that Democrats can govern. And if we remind the people of that, they will vote us back in and give us the opportunity to do the rest of what needs to be done.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #7)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:57 AM

13. There are

"It's about contradicting a false narrative that the Republicans are propagating. Yes there's still a lot of improvement to be made, but things really are better than they have been, which shows that Democrats can govern. And if we remind the people of that, they will vote us back in and give us the opportunity to do the rest of what needs to be done."

...those who want to only focus on the negatives. It's all about: Obama is going to do this or that. He appointed corporate tools. He criticized us. He's not looking out for us.

If you point out that something hasn't happened yet, you'll get the responses such as these: Are we supposed to wait until after the fact? He told us to hold his feet to fire. Being a good Democrat means being critical.

Does anyone not understand holding Democrats' feet to the fire? There is legitimate criticism of policies that are being considered. Focusing on preventing something negative is a good thing. Harping on it to claim that nothing is being done while ignoring the positives is disingenuous.

Also, there is little focus on fixing or strengthening policies that work because that would require two things: 1) Acknowledging the existence of these policies and 2) Focusing on GOP obstruction.

It's like a public option or single payer. The only time the naysayers bring these up is to attack Obamacare or harp on why these didn't pass.

Pushing Congress to address these issues isn't even on the radar.

For some reason, those who want to focus on the negatives above are less likely to agree with focusing on the GOP. The negatives have to all be about Democrats, who despite working to fix the mess, "don't really care about us."



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Response to ProSense (Reply #13)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:00 AM

14. That goes considerably farther than I would

Of course Obama has made some big errors in my opinion, and he's too cozy with Wall Street - pointing that out to push him further leftward is of course acceptable and even desirable.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #14)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:18 AM

16. I completely

"Of course Obama has made some big errors in my opinion, and he's too cozy with Wall Street - pointing that out to push him further leftward is of course acceptable and even desirable."

...agree. I still think that focusing only on the negative is the wrong approach. It leaves the impression that nothing needs fixing...that the only things that matter are those worth stopping. For example, net neutrality needs fixing. The action hasn't happened yet, and supporters know the right course (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024876742). Supporting the right action doesn't require spending every energy denouncing Democrats as sellouts (that is, unless the goal is to have people abandon the party before the elections). At some point, there needs to be action to support the right course. IOW, the net neutrality proposal doesn't mean everything this administration has done is to the detriment of average Americans.

Consider this from Elizabeth Warren:

"I've made no secret about my disagreements with the administration's policies, particularly as they relate to the largest financial institutions," Warren told HuffPost Live.


"Like I say in the book, the president chose his economic team, and when there was only so much time and so much money to go around, his economic team chose Wall Street instead of American families who were in trouble."


"But I also give full credit to the president," Warren continued. "If President Obama had not been in the White House, we would never have gotten the consumer agency through. He stood up for it, he fought for it, and he made sure that even when those on his own team might have been willing to throw that agency under the bus, that the consumer agency was something that stayed part of the financial reforms and stayed strong."

Posted here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024914331

The CFPB has been doing a great job, and the policies in place give regulators the tools to do their jobs.

Elizabeth Warren:

There is no question that Dodd-Frank was a strong bill—the strongest in three generations. I didn’t have a chance to vote for it because I wasn’t yet in the Senate, but if I could have, I would have voted for it twice.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/AFR%20Roosevelt%20Institute%20Speech%202013-11-12.pdf


Ally Bank To Pay $98 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024208931

Obama's CFPB under Richard Cordray "took $800 million from Bank of America"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024802019

CFPB Sues ITT Tech For Allegedly Exploiting Students, Pushing Predatory Loans
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024570346

Sen. Warren Praises New CFPB Mortgage Rules that Make Families, Economy Safer
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024295777

Banks Ordered to Add Capital to Limit Risks
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024798328

New York Financial Regulator Uses Dodd-Frank to Sue Auto Lender
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/new-yorks-top-regulator-sues-subprime-auto-lender/

SEC Will Require Companies To Report CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratios
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023694931

Why isn't there more focus on shareholders' say on executive pay?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877216

Executive order on federal contracting means real action on economic mobility
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024415803

CFPB, hard at work
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877283

Regulators Finalize Stricter Volcker Rule - Reuters/HuffPo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024158305

Senator Warren is very critical of how regulators have handled their jobs, and she is determined to hold them accountable and push for strong rules.

Brown, Warren Urge Fed To Address Risks Associated With Bank Ownership Of Physical Commodities
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024831309

That's the right approach, IMO.





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Response to ProSense (Reply #16)

Tue May 6, 2014, 09:34 PM

40. Excellent, as always. I have one complaint.

Why are these not in your Journal?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #16)

Wed May 7, 2014, 12:56 AM

42. Thanks for the quote from EW, PS.. and all the links that I'm putting in my Journal. :)

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Response to derby378 (Reply #4)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:39 AM

8. I need a job too, but I'm not in denial about then (2009) and now (2014). n/t

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Response to ProSense (Reply #8)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:08 AM

15. Well said ProSense

I've been unemployed for nearly a year and as a person of a certain age , there is no job in site.

I do not blame the President for my misfortune. I look at the recent jobs report and the ACA numbers as good news and see things as improving. Could they be better? Sure. Could the Dems and Obama do things more to my satisfaction? Sure.

But I know they have to get through the looney tunes in Congress first. They are the problem. They hold back progress and jobs.

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Response to mcar (Reply #15)

Tue May 6, 2014, 03:09 PM

35. I think keeping that positive attitude will put you in the front of the line for a job, too. When

there is more hiring in your field, you'll see your attitude and ability to assess blame will put you in front of others at the hiring line.

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Response to okaawhatever (Reply #35)

Wed May 7, 2014, 01:00 AM

43. +1!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:39 AM

9. K&R! eom

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:47 AM

10. Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick (you get the idea)

I have not been this fired up since the 2008 election, I'm so ready for this election! No apathy here, HELL NO! I'm ready to whoop the GOP's ass!

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Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #10)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:04 PM

25. THIS!!!!!^^^^^^^^^^^^

Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick!!!

I'll be back!

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Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #10)

Tue May 6, 2014, 03:10 PM

36. Absolutely, ME TOO!!!! nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:51 AM

11. We're too busy paying attention to what some nobody state senator from TN says

or some third-rate actor/anchor employed by Fox News. Or the latest outrageous statement from an about to be indicted first-term congressman.

I'm tired of us being hijacked from real discussions of accomplishments or policy initiatives by focusing on the faux outrageous statements meant to distract us from these things. It's why I stopped watching, for the most part, MSNBC and even John Stewart. It's a sucker's game, and it's actually harmful to focus on these things when there are real policy issues and differences to be presented to the public.

The Republican filibuster of the minimum wage legislation gets almost no attention while some nutter makes another Hitler comparison and it's headlines on Talking Points Memo. No wonder there is just a demoralized Democratic party.

In the meantime, we just fight amongst ourselves: the realists versus the idealists, the pragmatists and the hyperbolists. So what the public gets is calculated distractions from the right, infighting from the left, and nothing about the EPA getting to control coal pollution, or lives saved by Obamacare, or anything else.

Proceed ...

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 10:53 AM

12. Ended 2 wars? - I'll wait for the chickens to hatch before I repeat that one

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:19 AM

17. If elected we will do....

 

What? The total absence of any good answer is our problem. Note the word 'good' in that sentence, it's not that we lack proposals, but that we lack proposals that will benefit Democratic party voters. If you think the NSA and a surveillance state are good things, we're your party. If you love endless undeclared wars and think murdering children with drones is awesome, we've got you covered. If you always wanted an internet driver's license so the NSA can track you easier, we've got your back (and data). If you want tolls on interstates and secret trade deals and the end of Social Security we're the party for you.

I could go on, but why bother. And that's exactly the response we are going to face in the next few elections. The voters gave our party a chance. They elected Obama with a majority in the House and a super in the Senate. It simply does not get better than that. We used that power, not to do any of the things we promised, but to bail out billionaires and bankers, cut taxes, and ram through a mandate. Today, six years later, we are still at war, wealth and income inequality are at record levels, and we are left boasting about how many minimum wage jobs we have created.

But there it is. I'm sure the Teen Beat BORG will be along to tell me how handsome their pop idol is, but I don't care about that either.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #17)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:26 AM

20. I'm going to

If elected we will do....What? The total absence of any good answer is our problem. Note the word 'good' in that sentence, it's not that we lack proposals, but that we lack proposals that will benefit Democratic party voters. If you think the NSA and a surveillance state are good things, we're your party. If you love endless undeclared wars and think murdering children with drones is awesome, we've got you covered. If you always wanted an internet driver's license so the NSA can track you easier, we've got your back (and data). If you want tolls on interstates and secret trade deals and the end of Social Security we're the party for you.

I could go on, but why bother. And that's exactly the response we are going to face in the next few elections. The voters gave our party a chance. They elected Obama with a majority in the House and a super in the Senate. It simply does not get better than that. We used that power, not to do any of the things we promised, but to bail out billionaires and bankers, cut taxes, and ram through a mandate. Today, six years later, we are still at war, wealth and income inequality are at record levels, and we are left boasting about how many minimum wage jobs we have created.

But there it is. I'm sure the Teen Beat BORG will be along to tell me how handsome their pop idol is, but I don't care about that either.

...repost two responses here because your comment is a perfect example of the point I made above.

Repost:

There are those who want to only focus on the negatives. It's all about: Obama is going to do this or that. He appointed corporate tools. He criticized us. He's not looking out for us.

If you point out that something hasn't happened yet, you'll get the responses such as these: Are we supposed to wait until after the fact? He told us to hold his feet to fire. Being a good Democrat means being critical.

Does anyone not understand holding Democrats' feet to the fire? There is legitimate criticism of policies that are being considered. Focusing on preventing something negative is a good thing. Harping on it to claim that nothing is being done while ignoring the positives is disingenuous.

Also, there is little focus on fixing or strengthening policies that work because that would require two things: 1) Acknowledging the existence of these policies and 2) Focusing on GOP obstruction.

It's like a public option or single payer. The only time the naysayers bring these up is to attack Obamacare or harp on why these didn't pass.

Pushing Congress to address these issues isn't even on the radar.

For some reason, those who want to focus on the negatives above are less likely to agree with focusing on the GOP. The negatives have to all be about Democrats, who despite working to fix the mess, "don't really care about us."

Another poster responded:

Of course Obama has made some big errors in my opinion, and he's too cozy with Wall Street - pointing that out to push him further leftward is of course acceptable and even desirable.

Followup response:

I completely agree. I still think that focusing only on the negative is the wrong approach. It leaves the impression that nothing needs fixing...that the only things that matter are those worth stopping. For example, net neutrality needs fixing. The action hasn't happened yet, and supporters know the right course (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024876742). Supporting the right action doesn't require spending every energy denouncing Democrats as sellouts (that is, unless the goal is to have people abandon the party before the elections). At some point, there needs to be action to support the right course. IOW, the net neutrality proposal doesn't mean everything this administration has done is to the detriment of average Americans.

Consider this from Elizabeth Warren:

"I've made no secret about my disagreements with the administration's policies, particularly as they relate to the largest financial institutions," Warren told HuffPost Live.


"Like I say in the book, the president chose his economic team, and when there was only so much time and so much money to go around, his economic team chose Wall Street instead of American families who were in trouble."


"But I also give full credit to the president," Warren continued. "If President Obama had not been in the White House, we would never have gotten the consumer agency through. He stood up for it, he fought for it, and he made sure that even when those on his own team might have been willing to throw that agency under the bus, that the consumer agency was something that stayed part of the financial reforms and stayed strong."

Posted here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024914331

The CFPB has been doing a great job, and the policies in place give regulators the tools to do their jobs.

Elizabeth Warren:

There is no question that Dodd-Frank was a strong bill—the strongest in three generations. I didn’t have a chance to vote for it because I wasn’t yet in the Senate, but if I could have, I would have voted for it twice.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/AFR%20Roosevelt%20Institute%20Speech%202013-11-12.pdf


Ally Bank To Pay $98 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024208931

Obama's CFPB under Richard Cordray "took $800 million from Bank of America"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024802019

CFPB Sues ITT Tech For Allegedly Exploiting Students, Pushing Predatory Loans
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024570346

Sen. Warren Praises New CFPB Mortgage Rules that Make Families, Economy Safer
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024295777

Banks Ordered to Add Capital to Limit Risks
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024798328

New York Financial Regulator Uses Dodd-Frank to Sue Auto Lender
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/new-yorks-top-regulator-sues-subprime-auto-lender/

SEC Will Require Companies To Report CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratios
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023694931

Why isn't there more focus on shareholders' say on executive pay?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877216

Executive order on federal contracting means real action on economic mobility
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024415803

CFPB, hard at work
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877283

Regulators Finalize Stricter Volcker Rule - Reuters/HuffPo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024158305

Senator Warren is very critical of how regulators have handled their jobs, and she is determined to hold them accountable and push for strong rules.

Brown, Warren Urge Fed To Address Risks Associated With Bank Ownership Of Physical Commodities
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024831309

That's the right approach, IMO.





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Response to ProSense (Reply #20)

Tue May 6, 2014, 02:55 PM

33. Lot of spin there Pro, but the childeen we have killed are still dead...

 

Net Neutrality will join them soon, as will Social Security if Obama gets his way on Chained CPO, and you can add hundreds of thousands of jobs to that list with Obama's free trade frenzy. Those kids and jobs and privacy and security are all gone. What isn't gone is the special access mega corporations have to the White House, or taxpayer subsidized Wall Street bonus checks, or 'Too big to prosecute,' or permanent tax cuts for the wealthy. Those things are stronger than ever.

I admire your enthusiasm, but your aim is off. Direct your barrage of links at the clueless. I know better.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #33)

Tue May 6, 2014, 03:15 PM

37. More "if Obama gets his way"

"Net Neutrality will join them soon, as will Social Security if Obama gets his way on Chained CPO, and you can add hundreds of thousands of jobs to that list with Obama's free trade frenzy.

You know why you need to throw "dead" children into the mix: Your argument is all about things that haven't happened. You want to dismiss all the good things that have been done to advance your "spin" that Obama will destroy something.

"Those kids and jobs and privacy and security are all gone."

Wait, Obama took away "jobs and privacy and security"? Got links?

"What isn't gone is the special access mega corporations have to the White House, or taxpayer subsidized Wall Street bonus checks, or 'Too big to prosecute,' or permanent tax cuts for the wealthy. Those things are stronger than ever."

More attempts to dismiss policies with: but Obama gave them "access." The rest of that statement is simply nonsense, nothing remotely related to Obama's policies. This is real:

Obamacare boosting household income and spending

by Joan McCarter

It must have really killed the editorial board over at the Wall Street Journal to see this this story appear on the paper's website.

The Affordable Care Act, President Barack Barack Obama’s signature health law, is already boosting household income and spending.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending rose a better-than-expected 0.4% and personal incomes climbed 0.3% in January. The new health-care law accounted for a big chunk of the increase on both fronts.

On the incomes side, the law’s expanded coverage boosted Medicaid benefits by an estimated $19.2 billion, according to Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. The ACA also offered several refundable tax credits, including health insurance premium subsidies, which added up to $14.7 billion.

Of course it's helping consumers. It was designed to. Which also means it will help the economy when those consumers have a little bit more personal income to spend out in the marketplace. It will help insurance companies who will have more customers, many of whom won't ever require big payouts. That's one of the reason this model of health insurance reform was proposed first by conservatives!

Kudos to the WSJ for noticing, but don't expect anyone on the right to acknowledge that this story exists.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/04/1282095/-Obamacare-boosting-household-income-and-nbsp-spending


Early indications are the Affordable Care Act is working. With less than two weeks remaining before the March 31 deadline for coverage this year, five million people have already signed up. After decades of rising percentages of Americans lacking health insurance, the uninsured rate has dropped to its lowest levels since 2008...health care costs have slowed dramatically. The new law may well be contributing to this slowdown by reducing Medicare overpayments to medical providers and private insurers, and creating incentives for hospitals and doctors to improve quality of care.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024699353

With the recent closure of the initial enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there is enormous jockeying around interpreting the number of enrollees in state and federal exchanges. Proponents and opponents of the law are interpreting the preliminary numbers in the way that best makes their case. But what neither side is emphasizing enough is that enrollment in the ACA is far from over now that March 31st has passed. This is because millions of individuals will lose their insurance during 2014 – and Obamacare will be there to catch them.


Executive order on federal contracting means real action on economic mobility
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024415803

BOOM: Obama signs order to raise minimum wage for federal contractors...disabled workers included!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024489919

ARRA and the Earned Income Tax Credit

Update May 31, 2013 — This page has been updated to reflect the fact that the EITC changes under ARRA, which were to expire at the end of 2012, were extended through December 2017 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Update Oct. 31, 2011 — This page has been updated to reflect the fact that the EITC changes under ARRA, which were to expire at the end of 2010, were extended through December 2012 by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010.


The earned income tax credit is a refundable credit intended to help people who work but earn modest incomes. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a temporary increase in the EITC for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. In 2013, the maximum EITC for this new category is $6,044. ARRA also increased the beginning point of the phaseout range for the credit for all married couples filing a joint return, regardless of the number of children.

In 2013, the credit begins to phase out at $22,870 for married taxpayers filing a joint return with children and completely phases out at $43,210 for one child, $48,378 for two children and $51,567 for three or more children. For married taxpayers filing a joint return with no children, the credit begins to phase out at $13,310 and completely phases out at $19,680.

These changes applied to 2009 and 2010 tax returns under ARRA, and were extended by the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010 to apply to 2011 and 2012 tax returns. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended these temporary ARRA increases for five years through December 2017.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/ARRA-and-the-Earned-Income-Tax-Credit


Krugman: Obama and the One Percent
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024391415

The heatlh care law also raised the payroll tax for high income earners and taxed investment income.

Net Investment Income Tax

A new Net Investment Income Tax goes into effect starting in 2013. The 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax applies to individuals, estates and trusts that have certain investment income above certain threshold amounts. The IRS and the Treasury Department have issued proposed regulations on the Net Investment Income Tax. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail or hand delivered to the IRS. For additional information on the Net Investment Income Tax, see our questions and answers.

Additional Medicare Tax

A new Additional Medicare Tax goes into effect starting in 2013. The 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax applies to an individual’s wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act compensation, and self-employment income that exceeds a threshold amount based on the individual’s filing status. The threshold amounts are $250,000 for married taxpayers who file jointly, $125,000 for married taxpayers who file separately, and $200,000 for all other taxpayers. An employer is responsible for withholding the Additional Medicare Tax from wages or compensation it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. The IRS and the Department of the Treasury have issued proposed regulations on the Additional Medicare Tax. Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail or hand delivered to the IRS. For additional information on the Additional Medicare Tax, see our questions and answers.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions


Presidential Proclamation -- National Foster Care Month, 2014
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024910923

Gallup: Uninsured rate lowest since 2008
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/05/1296975/-Gallup-Uninsured-rate-lowest-since-nbsp-2008

Change
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024781130

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Response to ProSense (Reply #20)

Tue May 6, 2014, 05:51 PM

38. two



Thank you Pro. That's a lot of good info there.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #17)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:46 PM

29. That deserves its own thread!

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #29)

Tue May 6, 2014, 02:49 PM

32. Yeah, I'd love to repost my response. n/t

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:21 AM

18. I wish someone would post a gif of Cher saying that in Moonstruck.

I can't do it from my phone for some reason....

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:26 AM

19. I'm not bummed at all. I think Obama's doing a good job, and if people

still want to vote for Republicans in 2014, then fuck 'em--they're stupid. Just need to put out a RELENTLESSLY positive message, stop acting like downtrodden pants-pissers, and get Dem voters to the polls.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #19)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:51 AM

21. Well,

"I'm not bummed at all. I think Obama's doing a good job, and if people still want to vote for Republicans in 2014, then fuck 'em--they're stupid. Just need to put out a RELENTLESSLY positive message, stop acting like downtrodden pants-pissers, and get Dem voters to the polls."

...haven't you heard: It's the Democrats' fault if people don't vote for them because they're coporatist sellouts who haven't dont shit for people. They're no different from Republicans so why should people vote for them?

I seriously hope people who think like that stay away from voters.





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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 11:59 AM

22. The economy is hardly "fixed"

... outside of the "too-big-to-fail" financial system. The reason people are disgusted with the dems is that most of the party is so obviously on board with the repub agenda... but pretend to be working for the middle class. The utter lack of enthusiasm for Dems in this next election reflects the sense that Dems are weak and uncommitted to their nominal priorities.

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Response to modestybl (Reply #22)

Fri May 9, 2014, 12:31 AM

56. Prime example of a poster projecting their personal biases on Democrats as a whole.

The utter lack of enthusiasm for Dems in this next election reflects the sense that Dems are weak and uncommitted to their nominal priorities.


This applies to exactly not one Democrat that I know, they are champing at the bit for the mid-terms to come. They are organizing and getting ready to kick ass.






Is it me, or does it smell like FUD in here all of a sudden?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:01 PM

23. but #%#corporatist $&^#@!! DLC@@%@#$@@!!!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:02 PM

24. KnR. Gotta love Gene Robinson. This answers the question of whether or not he reads DU. nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #24)

Tue May 6, 2014, 01:25 PM

31. Whenever there's a particularly thorny or complicated issue...

I read Eugene Robinson. He is the master at sweeping aside the B.S. and getting at the heart of the issue.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:19 PM

26. Might also add

Republicans continue to push the same fiscal policies that wrecked the economy in the first place. And they're continuing to move backward on all the social issues.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:21 PM

27. As usual Eugene gets it right.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:29 PM

28. K&R

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 01:21 PM

30. Protestors take over Missouri Senate, Demand Medicaid Expansion

Protestors take over Missouri Senate, Demand Medicaid Expansion
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024915729

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 08:11 PM

39. Good advice from Bernie Sanders

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 12:52 AM

41. Oh SNAP!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 01:15 AM

44. Too bad about the negative ned dripping with venom .. this is really going to be upsetting..

POTUS Job Approval Surges to 49%, Dems +4% on Generic Congressional Ballot

POTUS APPROVAL

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Response to Cha (Reply #44)

Wed May 7, 2014, 11:16 AM

45. Adding this here

The Republican Party is the default

The Republican Party doesn't have to do anything to gain the advantage in elections.

They can vote more than 50 times to repeal a health care law despite the fact that people desperately need health care coverage.

They can spend all their time on bogus investigations from Benghazi to the IRS.

They can dismiss climate change as a hoax and support keystone.

They can vote to kill the EPA.

They can block immigration reform.

They can disparage and make fun of the poor, and cut the programs that help to keep them from becoming destitute.

They can dismiss inequality and support even more tax cuts for the rich.

They can block unemployment benefits.

They can block increasing the minimum wage.

They can block jobs bills.

They can do all of that and more and gain the advantage in the elections.

I guess the claim that a party has to earn people's votes only applies to Democrats.

If Democrats don't give people a reason to vote for them, then people will vote for the party that doesn't do a damn thing for them and is determined to ruin their lives.

Posted here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024919790

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Response to ProSense (Reply #45)

Wed May 7, 2014, 07:11 PM

49. Thank you for this, PS!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 12:10 PM

46. Robinson may not understand that the "it" is money...

...and that it Stepfords Democrats as well as Republicans.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 12:17 PM

47. I like Robinson but his shilling for GOP lite here is frustrating

I don't think the Democrats should be touting the fact that their policies are a slightly more effective version of GOP policies.

That's going to

1)Bore the pants off middle of the road folks.
2)Won't win over the hardcore right-wing who hate Pansy Liberals and Dark Skinned "Socialists"

and, most annoyingly
3)Just further cements the impression that Corporate Conservatism is the only valid approach to issues.



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Response to Armstead (Reply #47)

Wed May 7, 2014, 03:41 PM

48. This is nonsense.

"I like Robinson but his shilling for GOP lite here is frustrating.

I don't think the Democrats should be touting the fact that their policies are a slightly more effective version of GOP policies."

I mean, do you mean policies that determine whether someone lives or dies?

Reposting two responses here because your comment is a perfect example of the point I made above.

There are those who want to only focus on the negatives. It's all about: Obama is going to do this or that. He appointed corporate tools. He criticized us. He's not looking out for us.

If you point out that something hasn't happened yet, you'll get the responses such as these: Are we supposed to wait until after the fact? He told us to hold his feet to fire. Being a good Democrat means being critical.

Does anyone not understand holding Democrats' feet to the fire? There is legitimate criticism of policies that are being considered. Focusing on preventing something negative is a good thing. Harping on it to claim that nothing is being done while ignoring the positives is disingenuous.

Also, there is little focus on fixing or strengthening policies that work because that would require two things: 1) Acknowledging the existence of these policies and 2) Focusing on GOP obstruction.

It's like a public option or single payer. The only time the naysayers bring these up is to attack Obamacare or harp on why these didn't pass.

Pushing Congress to address these issues isn't even on the radar.

For some reason, those who want to focus on the negatives above are less likely to agree with focusing on the GOP. The negatives have to all be about Democrats, who despite working to fix the mess, "don't really care about us."

Another poster responded:

Of course Obama has made some big errors in my opinion, and he's too cozy with Wall Street - pointing that out to push him further leftward is of course acceptable and even desirable.

Followup response:

I completely agree. I still think that focusing only on the negative is the wrong approach. It leaves the impression that nothing needs fixing...that the only things that matter are those worth stopping. For example, net neutrality needs fixing. The action hasn't happened yet, and supporters know the right course (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024876742). Supporting the right action doesn't require spending every energy denouncing Democrats as sellouts (that is, unless the goal is to have people abandon the party before the elections). At some point, there needs to be action to support the right course. IOW, the net neutrality proposal doesn't mean everything this administration has done is to the detriment of average Americans.

Consider this from Elizabeth Warren:

"I've made no secret about my disagreements with the administration's policies, particularly as they relate to the largest financial institutions," Warren told HuffPost Live.


"Like I say in the book, the president chose his economic team, and when there was only so much time and so much money to go around, his economic team chose Wall Street instead of American families who were in trouble."


"But I also give full credit to the president," Warren continued. "If President Obama had not been in the White House, we would never have gotten the consumer agency through. He stood up for it, he fought for it, and he made sure that even when those on his own team might have been willing to throw that agency under the bus, that the consumer agency was something that stayed part of the financial reforms and stayed strong."

Posted here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024914331

The CFPB has been doing a great job, and the policies in place give regulators the tools to do their jobs.

Elizabeth Warren:

There is no question that Dodd-Frank was a strong bill—the strongest in three generations. I didn’t have a chance to vote for it because I wasn’t yet in the Senate, but if I could have, I would have voted for it twice.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/AFR%20Roosevelt%20Institute%20Speech%202013-11-12.pdf


Ally Bank To Pay $98 Million For Charging Higher Interest To Non-White Borrowers
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024208931

Obama's CFPB under Richard Cordray "took $800 million from Bank of America"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024802019

CFPB Sues ITT Tech For Allegedly Exploiting Students, Pushing Predatory Loans
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024570346

Sen. Warren Praises New CFPB Mortgage Rules that Make Families, Economy Safer
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024295777

Banks Ordered to Add Capital to Limit Risks
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024798328

New York Financial Regulator Uses Dodd-Frank to Sue Auto Lender
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/new-yorks-top-regulator-sues-subprime-auto-lender/

SEC Will Require Companies To Report CEO-To-Worker Pay Ratios
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023694931

Why isn't there more focus on shareholders' say on executive pay?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877216

Executive order on federal contracting means real action on economic mobility
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024415803

CFPB, hard at work
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024877283

Regulators Finalize Stricter Volcker Rule - Reuters/HuffPo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024158305

Senator Warren is very critical of how regulators have handled their jobs, and she is determined to hold them accountable and push for strong rules.

Brown, Warren Urge Fed To Address Risks Associated With Bank Ownership Of Physical Commodities
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024831309

That's the right approach, IMO.





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Response to ProSense (Reply #48)

Thu May 8, 2014, 12:07 AM

50. Of course you'd say that

1) It isn't only Obama that gets criticized for doing GOP like stuff. Dems in Congress who do it get criticized too. Just as demos who stand up for what liberals and progressives see as the public interest get praised.

2) If something makes me (and others) angry because we believe something is being done that is wrong , it'd be silly to make up something positive just for "balance."

"Gee I really don't like the fact that Obama appointed an Industry Insider and Comcast lawyer to head the FCC at the same time that Comcast is making a power grab to form a monopoly and take over the Internet for private profit....But the President was really good at the WH Correspondents Dinner the other night."

Balderdash.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #50)

Thu May 8, 2014, 09:30 AM

51. Well,

1) It isn't only Obama that gets criticized for doing GOP like stuff. Dems in Congress who do it get criticized too. Just as demos who stand up for what liberals and progressives see as the public interest get praised.

2) If something makes me (and others) angry because we believe something is being done that is wrong , it'd be silly to make up something positive just for "balance."

"Gee I really don't like the fact that Obama appointed an Industry Insider and Comcast lawyer to head the FCC at the same time that Comcast is making a power grab to form a monopoly and take over the Internet for private profit....But the President was really good at the WH Correspondents Dinner the other night."

Balderdash.

...you can say anything negative you want to. The facts are that Obama's Presidency brought the biggest expansion of health care in 100 years (yes, it affected every population, Medicaid and Medicare recipients and all Americans). There has been a significant shift in drug and sentencing policies. The repeal of DADT and massive progress on marriage equality and gay rights is being made. The NLRB has been revitalized. The CFPB has been implemented and energized. The strongest financial regulatory rules in decades are being written and implemented. Climate change is in focus, the EPA is reinvigorated and green energy initiatives are being funded like never before. There is diplomacy with Iran. Being anti-war is no longer a marginalized position (see the early 2000s). Inequality is in sharper focus than ever before. The Democratic Party has moved left, with liberals replacing moderates as the dominent bloc.



http://www.gallup.com/poll/166787/liberal-self-identification-edges-new-high-2013.aspx

Presidential Proclamation -- National Foster Care Month, 2014
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024910923

Gallup: Uninsured rate lowest since 2008
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/05/1296975/-Gallup-Uninsured-rate-lowest-since-nbsp-2008

Change
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024781130

That is what a transformational Presidency looks like.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #51)

Thu May 8, 2014, 11:52 PM

54. LIberals are moderates, always have been

That's the whole damn point.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #54)

Thu May 8, 2014, 11:55 PM

55. What the hell does that mean?

Did you respond to the wrong comment?


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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu May 8, 2014, 09:32 AM

52. k&r...

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