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E. J. Dionne: At Last: A President, Not a Ref

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:45 AM
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E. J. Dionne: At Last: A President, Not a Ref
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/at_last_a_president... /

At Last: A President, Not a Ref

Posted on Apr 13, 2011

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

snip//


There are at least four things to like about his approach. First, without mentioning Rep. Paul Ryan by name, he called out Ryans truly reactionary budget proposal for what it is: an effort to slash government programs, in large part to preserve and expand tax cuts for the wealthy. Thats not right, he said, and its not going to happen as long as Im president.

Second, he was willing to speak plainly about raising taxes, and he insisted correctly on restoring the Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthy. Tax reform, which he also proposed, is a fine idea, though there is ample reason for skepticism as to how much revenue it can produce. It would be far better to return to all of the Clinton tax rates and then build tax reform on that base, in particular through higher taxes on investment income.

Third, he was right to focus on the need to cut security spending. Any serious effort to reduce the deficit cannot exempt defense. Its laughable for Republicans to criticize defense cuts and then be utterly unwilling to increase taxes to pay for the defense they claim we need.

Finally, he was eloquent in defending Medicare and Medicaid. He proposed saving money by building on last years heath reform law. There are two ways to reduce the governments heath care expenses. One is Ryans path, which, Obama said, lowers the governments health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. The alternative, which the president rightly embraced, lowers the governments health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.

snip//

For all that, there was a bigness about Obamas speech that was a relief after his recent sojourn as a sideline judge. We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we cant just think about ourselves, he said. We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. Obama is back on the field, and this is where he needs to stay.
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:47 AM
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1. k and R
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:34 AM
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2. Happy to Kick & Rec
Amen!
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66 dmhlt Donating Member (935 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:39 AM
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3. Your Link doesn't work - Here's one that takes you to the original
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. It worked for me, but thanks for the option. nt
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Three important paragraphs from that link:
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 07:55 AM by Stuart G
from Dionne's column:

President Obama has finally decided to take his own side in the philosophical struggle that is the true engine of this nations budget debate.

After months of mixed signals about what he was willing to fight for, Obama finally laid out his purposes and his principles. His approach has difficulties of its own, and much will depend on execution. But the president was unequivocal in arguing that the roots of our fiscal problems lie in the tax cuts of the past decade that we could not afford. And he raised the stakes in our politics to something more fundamental than dry numbers on a page or computer screen.

We are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government, he declared. But there has always been another thread running throughout our history a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation. We believe, in the words of our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. I hope all those DUers who said Obama was
going to cut Medicare read this article. Maybe these DUers will be able to understand Dione even though they couldn't understand Obama.
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CanonRay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:52 AM
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7. Long overdue, but better late than never
I like the "leader, not a ref" statement, that really sums up his Presidency to date.
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Pholus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:06 AM
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8. I've been waiting for something like that speech for TWO YEARS.
Now, if the actions match the words I'm back on board!
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