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Sat May 5, 2012, 08:08 AM

President Obama: War savings should be devoted to middle class, debt

Source: CBS

In his weekly video address, President Barack Obama said money saved from winding down the war in Afghanistan should be used, in part, to "strengthen the middle class."

Highlighting his trip to Afghanistan and the partnership agreement signed between the two countries earlier in the week, the president said, "It is time to focus on nation building here at home."

"As a new greatest generation returns from overseas, we must ask ourselves, what kind of country will they come back to?" Mr. Obama asked. "Will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules - a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?"

"I don't think we should prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that built a strong middle class," said the president.


Time to ‘Focus On Nation-Building Here at Home’
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/obamas-weekly-address-time-to-focus-on-nation-building-here-at-home/

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57428463-503544/obama-war-savings-should-be-devoted-to-middle-class-debt/



WEEKLY ADDRESS: A New Chapter in Afghanistan
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/05/05/weekly-address-new-chapter-afghanistan

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Reply President Obama: War savings should be devoted to middle class, debt (Original post)
cal04 May 2012 OP
rrHeretic May 2012 #1
Kolesar May 2012 #2
postulater May 2012 #3
tawadi May 2012 #15
4th law of robotics May 2012 #19
emilyg May 2012 #22
FreakinDJ May 2012 #4
RC May 2012 #5
KG May 2012 #6
Poll_Blind May 2012 #32
FailureToCommunicate May 2012 #7
Poll_Blind May 2012 #8
Autumn May 2012 #12
Lasher May 2012 #13
Poll_Blind May 2012 #20
Lasher May 2012 #27
may3rd May 2012 #29
Lasher May 2012 #33
may3rd May 2012 #9
think May 2012 #11
vfduiga8da May 2012 #10
Fearless May 2012 #14
may3rd May 2012 #30
gratuitous May 2012 #16
bvar22 May 2012 #17
lutefisk May 2012 #18
may3rd May 2012 #31
sulphurdunn May 2012 #21
Taverner May 2012 #23
AnotherMcIntosh May 2012 #24
Odin2005 May 2012 #25
saras May 2012 #28
WMDemocract Jul 2012 #34
sarcasmo May 2012 #26

Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 08:15 AM

1. Don't hold your freaking breath folks!!

 

I'm still waiting for the 'peace' dividend we were supposed to get when Ronnie, the commie killer, Reagan ended the
cold war with the Soviets. LOL

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 08:22 AM

2. Great message for a war weary nation

While we are on that topic, Cleveland is going to need a second span for the I-90 Innerbelt Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:02 AM

3. How can you save money that is not there?

Since we just add war expense to future debt there is not just a choice of where to spend it. The choice is to grow the debt or not.

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Response to postulater (Reply #3)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:22 AM

15. +1

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Response to postulater (Reply #3)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:25 PM

19. Yup

 

I could buy a new car today on credit. But I won't. So I'll put those savings towards buying a new dishwasher!

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Response to postulater (Reply #3)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:48 PM

22. +2

 

it's all blah-blah-blah -

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:06 AM

4. Lets just Close the Tax Loopholes the Outsource American Jobs

and be done with it

Its like the Gigantic Elephant in the middle of the room no one wishes to acknowledge

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #4)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:28 AM

5. While stepping around the stinky piles of excrement it produces.

 

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:40 AM

6. another fine speech!

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Response to KG (Reply #6)

Sat May 5, 2012, 05:35 PM

32. He's got the Hope part down. I just wish he was as good at the Change. nt

PB

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:43 AM

7. Isn't it mostly borrowed money anyway?

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:51 AM

8. Just like the billions we got from the Iraq War Peace Dividend, right? Oh, there was none?

Three things: First, even if this were real (which it's not, I'll explain more in a sec) Congress still would have to approve it, which it almost certainly won't. Read the last paragraph in the full article. Not going to happen. But let's say congress would do that. Second, notice there's no mention of how much money we're talking about, even generally? It's because (thirdly) there is no timetable as to when this situation would actually occur. The drawdown by 2014 has been talked about publicly since at least 2010, this has all been budgeted.

A "peace dividend" revolves around the concept that budgeted monies for war are freed up for other things in a case where the war expendatures end prematurely. Or, maybe put a clearer way, if the war comes in "under budget".

It didn't happen in Iraq, even when we were surprisingly shown the door. We have a much firmer timeline with Afghanistan and the drawdown has been budgeted.

There is no "Afghanistan Peace Dividend". There is none.

Not to mention this is all borrowed money anyway. If the Afghanistan war ends tomorrow, the concept that the money we had budgeted for it would go to social programs and paying off the debt is chimerical: It's borrowed money to begin with. If congress had any plans to borrow more money to put into social programs, it already would have.

The President's statement doesn't make any sense and it contains no figures or dates. It is make believe.

I'd even go as far as to say not only will there not be an Afghanistan Peace Dividend, but that withdrawl will go over budget, just as our replacement of troops with contractors in Iraq caused expected expenditures to skyrocket.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:56 AM

12. I wish I could rec your post

Smoke and mirrors

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #8)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:06 AM

13. Have you noticed we've just signed up for another decade in Afghanistan?

Obama just signed the agreement on Tuesday this week.

Obama cites 'obsession' on Afghanistan timeline Mon Jun-28-10

Uh oh... Obama scraps 2011 departure from Afghanistan back to 2014 Wed Nov-10-10

US troops may stay in Afghanistan until 2024 Fri Aug-19-11

About 25,000 Troops May Be Needed in Afghanistan After 2014, Planners Say Wed May 2, 2012

We don't have a much firmer timeline in Afghanistan. We don't have any real timeline at all.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #13)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:27 PM

20. My point was that it was budgeted, not necessarily that we were really leaving.

You might find this handy, it's the "Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement" we just signed with Afghanistan. I agree that it's open ended (it is) but we still have a better handle on that than with Iraq where we were basically kicked out because we would not allow the Iraqi government to prosecute our troops for their crimes.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #20)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:56 PM

27. You made some very good points.

I just wanted to make sure you and any spectators know about the additional 10 year commitment in Afghanistan. Frankly I am astonished to see how little it is being discussed at this website. And I am dismayed to see Obama talking about war savings less than a week after having signed the travesty.

The timeline in Iraq was uncertain partly because of Bush's stealth funding via supplemental appropriations. Obama made that better. I was confused about the timeline for withdrawal from there until I realized that it was governed by by GWB's SOFA.

I was relieved when Iraq accordingly showed us the door despite our pleas to let us prolong the occupation. But we couldn't stand the thought of actually pulling those remaining forces out of the area, so we moved them next door to Kuwait.

U.S. troops quietly surge into Middle East Sun Jan-15-12

Thanks for the link to the neoconservatives' latest wet dream.

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Response to Lasher (Reply #13)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:42 PM

29. One of these days, we need to close the bases in Germany. Been almost 70 years now

 

I don't think the fourth reich will rise from the ashes of the third by now.

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Response to may3rd (Reply #29)

Sat May 5, 2012, 06:22 PM

33. I heard Japan gave up awhile back too.

Instead of closing military bases on foreign soil, we're spreading our military presence. We just sent soldiers to Australia. Time to dust off that Domino Theory to enlighten a whole new generation of cannon fodder.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 09:56 AM

9. war savings should be devoted to returning war vets

 

no jobs at home to return to...
no home to purchase with no way to pay for it..
no life to return to they can call normal if those at home are jobless,homeless and penniless.

These people sacrificed the most and will be placed in the homeless shelter class and used for political gain

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Response to may3rd (Reply #9)

Sat May 5, 2012, 10:29 AM

11. +1

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Response to cal04 (Original post)


Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:17 AM

14. Just words.

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Response to Fearless (Reply #14)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:44 PM

30. another day, another trial balloon

 

Since may day, the intenet is being flooded with commercials .

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 11:28 AM

16. Yeah, a lot of things "should" happen

The question is what sort of political capital the President and his ruling Democrats are willing to expend on following through on their pleasant-sounding rhetoric.

While there isn't really a "dividend" as has been explained elsewhere in the thread, money borrowed to be spent in this country works a lot better than money borrowed to be thrown into the black hole of the military and war in Iraq or Afghanistan (or Yemen, or Pakistan, or The Phillippines, or . . . but I digress). For all our spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, what do we have to show for it? Two ruined countries (although Afghanistan has been pretty ruined for a long time, we sure didn't do squat-ah to help that situation in the last 10 years), a lot of dead people, and a returning military population that's going to cost a lot of money (or not) to take care of for the next 50 years.

What do you get for borrowing and spending money to improve roads? You put a lot of road workers to work, who buy stuff and live their lives, and at the end of it, you get a nice road. Or money spent to build modern schools, wired for the new information age, instead of depending on chalk and erasers? You get a nice new school with a modern physical plant designed to educate our children (I've heard they're our future, but we sure as shit don't seem to take care of them as such), hire teachers and administrators, and prepare them to have a better life than their parents have. We used to do that as a matter of course, but nowadays, you actually have to make a case for educating the next generation! You ever see us have to make a concomitant case for more war?

Those are just two examples; there are lots more. But the question goes back to what our political leaders are willing to do, and willing to stake their careers on: Retrieving the country from the maw of monied interests that profit from misery, or continuing to service those interests because that's who finances their endless campaigns for office.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:22 PM

17. ...AND the Choco Ration is going to be increased by 4 grams!!!

Double Plus Good!!


...even IF there were a magic Peace Dividend,
The RICH would just demand another Bailout and eat it up.
The Middle/Working Class is way, WAY back at the end of the line.



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their Campaign Promises.
Solidarity99!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:23 PM

18. Election year talk aimed at the uninformed

"...That’s why I’ve called on Congress to take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America.

Because we’ve got more jobs to create. More students to educate. More clean energy to generate. More entrepreneurs with the next great idea, just looking for their shot at success. We’ve got to invest in things like education and medical research. We’ve got to build newer, faster transportation and communication networks. And we’ve got to secure the care and benefits our veterans have earned, so that we serve them as well as they have served us."


Can we take half of the three billion per week that Iraq was costing us and spend that, too? I'm sure Congress will allocate that for "clean energy" and "faster transportation and communication networks".

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Response to lutefisk (Reply #18)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:46 PM

31. He's talking about how to spend the tax $$ they have yet to vote for

 

Congress isn't going to cut a thing without enough pork to bloat it off the record

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 12:30 PM

21. Kabuki Theater

Last edited Sat May 5, 2012, 04:25 PM - Edit history (1)

The same plot is used for tax reform. The President gets to play the populist card during the campaign, knowing full-well that military spending will not be reduced or diverted to social programs anymore than taxes will be raised on the rich. If by some miracle such foolishness were no longer stoppable by any one republican senator, exactly enough democrats would cross the isle to get the job done. Both parties have one play in their playbooks when it comes to taxes and military spending. With the republicans its "fake right go right" and with democrats it "fake left go right."

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:00 PM

23. No I think we need a big tax cut for those making over $500K a year

 

I mean, they are the JOB CREATORS!!!!!!


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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:01 PM

24. Is this like the "peace dividend" that we got when the Soviet Union fell apart?

 

That "peace dividend" was supposed to help better outselves, our children, and our grandchildren. No more excessive profits for the military-industrial complex.

Somehow, however, we now have endless wars. And endless profits for them. And endless debts for all of us.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:31 PM

25. WHAT ABOUT THE POOR???

I'm sick of hearing about Middle Class this and Middle Class that and the POOR are ignored!

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #25)

Sat May 5, 2012, 02:27 PM

28. Exactly. The only "middle class" are the enforcers for the rich.

 

The majority of Americans aren't middle class, even though they'd like to think of themselves that way. If you work for a living, instead of making management decisions, you're working class. Even if you manage others, if the decisions are coming down from above, you're working class.

And aren't included in America's future.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #25)

Fri Jul 13, 2012, 01:08 AM

34. It's not really the "middle" class anymore

What we thought of as the middle class during the post world war 2 has largely simply become an upper echelon of the poor. We've drifted back to a gilded age-like society, albeit one with a social safety net and the ability to wrack up debt due to 'easy credit.'

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sat May 5, 2012, 01:48 PM

26. The infrastructure needs help badly, this is the right message at the right time.

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