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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:33 AM
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"Obama speech frames a 2012 choice for the country"
Analysis: Obama speech frames a 2012 choice for the country
By Dan Balz, Wednesday, April 13, 9:49 PM

Under pressure from Republicans, President Obama offered a broad vision for solving the nations long-term fiscal problems Wednesday. This was not a speech about dollars and cents as much as it was an appeal for Americans to think about what kind of country they want and how they define shared sacrifice.

Obamas address left many questions unanswered, but there was no doubt that the president and his White House advisers regarded it as one of the most important political speeches he will make in his second two years in office. It was an effort to regain the offensive in a debate that will dominate budget negotiations for the rest of this year and will probably shape the choices voters will face in the 2012 presidential election.

Obama appeared to have two goals in mind. First, he sought to demonstrate that he is serious about solving the debt and deficit problems that threaten the countrys fiscal future. Second, he needed to prove to Democrats that he is prepared to take on the Republicans and fight for policies that his party has long stood for.


By all the old rules of politics, Obama would appear to be on solid ground in many of his arguments. He said he will oppose Republican proposals to turn Medicaid into a block grant to the states and to sharply limit the amount of money the government spends on health care for poor people. He said he is against turning Medicare into a voucher program, as Ryans blueprint proposes, even though some Democratic deficit-reduction plans move somewhat in that direction.

Both of those stances have proved to be winning arguments in past political debates, but its not clear this time whether Obama has a real plan for saving enough money in Medicare to ensure its future financial solvency.

The president also called for cuts in the Pentagon budget, which Ryans plan would not touch.

His sharpest distinction with the Republicans came over taxes. Republicans insist that the deficit should be reduced without raising taxes. Obama renewed his call to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, drawing heavy criticism from the GOP.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:52 AM
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1. Hmmm. That's a tough choice.
I think I'll choose the guy who is not a sadistic psychopath.
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