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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:50 AM
Original message
Obama to Offer Aid for Families in State of the Union Address
Source: NY Times

WASHINGTON President Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a package of modest initiatives intended to help middle-class families, including tax credits for child care, caps on some student loan payments and a requirement that companies let workers save automatically for retirement, senior administration officials said Sunday.

By focusing on what one White House official calls the sandwich generation struggling families squeezed between sending their children to college and caring for elderly parents Mr. Obama hopes to use his speech on Wednesday to demonstrate that he understands the economic pain of ordinary Americans. The proposals also include expanded tax credits for retirement savings and money for programs to help families care for elderly relatives.

The address is still being written, but one senior official, describing it on the condition of anonymity, said its main themes would include creating good jobs, addressing the deficit, helping the middle class and changing Washington.

With his poll numbers down and Democrats fearing disaster in this years midterm elections, Mr. Obama is at a particularly rocky point in his presidency and has been shifting his rhetoric lately to adopt a more populist tone. He heads into his first formal State of the Union speech in a radically reshaped political climate from even one week ago.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/us/politics/25obama.h...
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. What about us happily single and cheerfully childfree folks who are unemployed?
Or going to be soon? What do we get? Jack-sh*t?
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. We don't count. We can fuck off and die. eom
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. I Didn't See Anything Limiting Jobs To Those Who Are Married With Kids
That would be a remarkable condition of employment. In fact, isn't asking such questions verboten?
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Raising the child care tax credit doesn't create jobs, except for a few low paid day care ones..
And it means more people will be available for work, competing with the rest us unemployed people.

The House job creation bill looks to be tax cut-heavy too. Tax cuts are NOT that stimulative.
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SnakeEyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. They are...
When they are targeted at the proper places, in particular the lower incomes. Get money in their hands and they will spend what they get and do so fairly quickly because they need to.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Well that would be things like sales tax cuts and more credits to the working poor
Poor being the operative word. These are tax credits going mostly to upper middle class families (note the non-refundable part).
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laylah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. My thought exactly! nt
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northernlights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. if we're not activiely increasing the (slave) population
we have no value. Seriously. We can eat shit and die as far as *any* proposals go.

As for "help the middle class" great. Now that they've downsized the middle-class, it gives them fewer people to help. The former middle class, along with the poor, can also go eat shit and die.

x(
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. I used to go to childfree meetups in my area
I found that most people there were pretty liberal on most issues but many of them loathed both political parties. They hated Republicans because of the Famblee Values crap and they hated the Democrats for the way they saw them as walking wallets to subsidize parents.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. These "initiatives" nibble around the edges of the problem.
The middle class needs middle-class jobs to survive. Initiatives that help some people over here a little and some people over there a little will not solve anything.
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. But Any Initiatives Designed To Promote Employment Are Derided As Corporatist
Any incentive to private employers to hire people will also be attacked as corporatist, whatever that means. So, President Obama is in a lose, lose situation.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. So he oughtta do something that will be labelled socialist instead.
Public works.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. They will be if they are corporate giveaways that don't create jobs in the U.S.
What good does it do me for some company to get stimulus funds and then hire a bunch of people in India to do the work?

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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. What's been attacked is that past incentives have been tax cuts that never resulted in more jobs.
Incentives that could only be used to create more jobs would be quite welcome. Except by those to call it socialism.
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. And, bailouts that were spent on jobs overseas and bonuses, and nothing for us, the taxpayers
who paid for those bonuses.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Stimulus funds to companies need to be tied directly to job creation in the U.S.
And those companies need to be held accountable if they don't keep their promises.
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. How exactly would that work?
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Clawback provisions. eom
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
37. Not seeing how that would actually accomplish anything
A lot of factors go into new hires and the major factor is the health of the company and their projections for growth. It's stupid just to hire people unless there is a legitimate need for additional employees. If business is down, hiring employees doesn't raise revenue.
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SlingBlade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Please. After 8 years of Bush ?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
43. Funny thing. FDR figured out a way to employ arrchitects, artists, actors, roofers, etc. with being
labeled corporatist.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I agree wholeheartedly.
We need real, substantive intervention. It's time to make some major investments in the people and the infrastructure that supports them. The tax credit BS doesn't do much for you if you're unemployed, or if your income is so low that you're not paying income taxes now.
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. +1 n/t
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
17. Will they come in purple?
Or would that cost more than they can afford? I do understand that they need to prop up Wall Street profits and defense contractor bottom lines, though. :sarcasm:
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d_r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
20. the child care tax credit
you know, I understand that if you don't have young children you won't benefit from that tax credit. Sometimes that happens. I don't own a house anymore so I don't benefit from that tax credit. I don't have money to buy a hybrid car so I didn't get that tax credit. Etc.

What I think is good about raising that tax credit is that the current amount is too low to get adequate care.

Child care in this nation is of poor quality.

Child care professionals ARE underpaid.

I think this is good to have a tax credit that is more realistic to the actual costs of child care. Right now, it doesn't.

I learned a long time ago that you should do the job you signed up for and not begrudge what somebody else gets. One thing might not benefit you, but something else might. On a national level, this can benefit both working families who have small children and those who work caring for children. I think of scenarios where that would benefit even people who don't have kids (for example, your co-worker has more reliable care and so shows up for work rather than you having to cover for him because of his child care needs).

If you don't have children, then you are not paying child care costs in the first place, and so you don't need a tax break on them. We don't do each other any good by bickering over the crumbs the system drops.

I also hope that the cap on student loan payments includes ways for people to get student loans out of default if they defaulted under the older guidelines. Right now, payment rates on default student loans are based on what you owe, not what you make, unless you go to wage garnishment. It would be nice if this benefits people who have already fallen under on this, rather than just those who are already making it the way it is now.

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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Look, I understand why they're doing it.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 01:15 PM by Hello_Kitty
Same reasoning behind Clinton's child care tax credit valentine to parents in the 90s. It's pandering to an important voting bloc and it may work. But it's not going to stimulate the economy and it's not going to create jobs for millions of unemployed people.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Please elaborate on your plan. Also please detail your plan to fix the....
housing market.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I don't have to. If you like what is being proposed, you defend it. eom
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I'm not hearing any solutions. nt
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. What a coinky dink, neither am I. eom
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. And yet you are the one complaining about the solutions offered...
Usually in those cases, people put forth alternate proposals.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Because they are more of the same trickle down wishful thinking.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 02:14 PM by Hello_Kitty
Will they help people with high child or elder care costs? Sure, but that's not the majority of Americans and the savings from those tax credits are more likely to be spent paying down debt or saving by those families.

I'm no longer economically middle class so I realize these programs weren't intended to help me. But they are tying this to job creation and that's just bull.
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. Hmm, $500 Billion In The Original Stimulus On Spending Was Not Exactly Pocket Change...
So, it is not quite accurate to characterize President Obama's approach as relying on supply side economics. Indeed, his policies have been the most Keynsian over the past few decades.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. That's a terribly weak defense...
Hello_Kitty wasn't elected to address the nation's economic issues. She/he probably has enough to do in her own job; she shouldn't be required to do Obama's job too. She is simply commenting (as many here are stating) that these proposals are weak, half-ass, "throw-the-dog-a-bone" gestures that won't amount to squat in the large scheme of things. If you disagree, tell us why you believe this isn't a marginal, incremental, "nipping-at-the-edges", typical DLC half-measure, and how it will provide meaningful help to the millions who are sinking into the abyss.

As for alternate proposals... multiple alternate proposals are posted on DU every day (and on countless other sites). There's no lack for better proposals - what's lacking is any sense of passion or creativity in the WH and Congress when it comes to addressing the structural issues that are destroying the middle-class. There's always plenty of passion for serving the needs of corps, Wall Street, and the M.I.C. But when it comes to addressing the needs of the rest of us 1) it's always an afterthought after the fat-cats are taken care of, 2) it usually gets dropped by the wayside or compromised away long before it reaches fruition, and 3) it is always accompanied by much angst and hand-wringing over the deficit.
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. There is a time-tested solution for finding solutions to economic problems.
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daa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
32. More Obama BS
From Brad DeLong

Of course, below the fold is:

he president is calling on Congress to nearly double the child care tax credit for families earning less than $85,000 a proposal that, if adopted, would lower by $900 the taxes such families owe to the government. But the credit would not be refundable, meaning that families would not get extra money back on a tax refund...

That means: if your annual household cash income is more than $85K or less than $30K, you get nothing.

If your cash income is between $30 or $40K, there are nine chances in ten you get zero. If your cash income is between $40K and $50K, there are two chances in three you get zero. Even if your cash income is between $50K and $85K, there is still one chance in four you get zero. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/1001289_who_...

I don't have the tax-units-with-children-by-cash-income numbers handy, so I cannot figure out here and now on the fly what the proportion of families with children who get zero from this policy initiative is. But it's high.

http://www.google.com/reader/view/#search/delong/0
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. The truth comes out. Thanks for posting that.
It appears to be just another con that won't amount to squat.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. You internetshits don't know squat.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Self delete
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 07:10 PM by Cha
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #32
42. so elderly couples on fixed income with rising expenses get to pay in more? Sign me up!
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
30. Absurdly inadequate...
:(
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optimator Donating Member (606 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
33. the MOST IN NEED are Obama's least priority
these fucking pathetic proposals add up to jack shit.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
40. I see the big whine squad is out in force unrecing this..
I rec'd it.
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Cass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
44. What I would like to see is the mortgage modification program become mandatory
for any financial entity who received bailout money. As it is now, it is a voluntary program and something like only 12% of modification requests are approved.

The President's proposals sound ok but I'd lke to know more about them once he actually talks about them and we get subsequent analysis of them.
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