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Mon Oct 1, 2012, 06:08 PM

The Question they are going to ask Obama in the first debate (knowing Jim Lehrer, more than once)

... Lehrer is a shameless toadie to the GOP and their Corporate buddies. So I'm sure he will ask versions of this question several times.

ON PBS's Washington week, Friday Sept 28, two of the participating 'journalists' offered up the one question they would ask of Obama:


MR. BABINGTON (AP): I think if I would ask Barack Obama, .... you’ve been in for four years, you say you can make things better,

.....why didn’t you make things better in the four years that you’ve had?

..... What can you do differently, especially given that Congress is not going to become pro-Democratic?
(that's actually 2 questions but math (and any form of logical discourse) obviously, isn't Mr. Babington's strong point.

First of all, I am amazed that anybody in the media is aware that the Senate has been anti-Democratic! I mean, since Obama enterred the WH it seems as if, 'filibuster' has been a taboo word on M$M. Everybody on M$M talks as if Obama has not experienced any battles with the GOP over his implementing his economic policies such as the stimulus bill or later his jobs bills. IT would seem, listening to the media, that Obama has gotten everything that he wanted in the way of economic measures - how else would they lay all the responsibility for the rather lackluster recovery solely at Obama's feet?

Secondly MR. Babington, you said you would ask the President: "why didn’t you make things better in the four years that you’ve had" .. that was your first question. I'll volunteer an answer myself, to see if I can enlighten you a bit (apparently working for the AP doesn't insure you'll be aware of current events).

...... Soooooo, here goes:

[div class="excerpt" style="background: #BBCCFF"]On the day of Barack Obama's innauguration, the leaders of the Republican party decided they would engage in a campaign of obstruction of everything Obama would try to do. Mitch McConnell declared that the top priority of the Republican party was to see that Barack Obama was not elected to a second term. To that end, the Republicans set records for filibustering legislation. They have fought everything Obama tried to do to produce a recovery from the economic disaster they created. (see "Why Washington is tied up in Knots" - Time http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1966451,00.html )

President Obama's first legislative act to repair and rebuild the economy from the Great Recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), was filibustered by the Republicans such that Obama had to agree to downsize the stimulus by converting 38% of it to tax cuts in order to win two Republican votes to get the bill passed. At the outset of a depression, people worried about whether they would have a job in six months will not spend a tax cut, but will save it our use it to pay down their debt. Either way, that portion of the ARRA converted to tax cuts would not be stimulative to the economy. The Republicans knew this. That’s why they demanded a large portion of the stimulus be converted to tax cuts. This resulted in the original stimulus being smaller than it should have been (without the conversion of 38% of the stimulus to tax cuts the stimulus would have been 61% LARGER (1/(1-.38) = 1.61).

In the Budget Battle of 2011 the Republicans threatened to force a closure of the Government if the Democrats didn't agree to cuts to domestic programs. In the Debt Ceiling extension battle, the Republicans threatened to force a U.S. default on its debt if Obama didn't agree to significant cuts in Government programs - in that same fiscal year. These domestic spending cuts lead to states laying off policemen, fireman, teachers and other public servants - adding to the number of already unemployed. The Wall Street Journal published an article which pointed out that if it weren't for cuts to Government domestic programs, the unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower than it was at mid-year 2012 ("Unemployment Rate Without Government Cuts: 7.1%", WSJ, May 8, 2012).

The threat of a default on the U.S. debt lead Standard and Poor's to the extraordinary step - never before taken - of downgrading the United States Credit rating. (Standard and Poors cited among the causes for the unprecedented step “political brinksmanship” and public policymaking being “less stable…less predictable”:

“The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as
America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,
and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt
ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in
the debate over fiscal policy."

United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'AA+'
Due To Political Risks, Rising Debt Burden; Outlook Negative, Standard and Poor’s, 05-Aug-2011]


The Republican party’s threats of Government default and Government closure have so concerned businesses that they have held off hiring full-time permanent workers, keeping the unemployment rate elevated and restraining the recovery. Businesses have been sitting on a five trillion dollar hoard of cash and have refrained from hiring back more people. Businesses do not want to hire full-time permanent people, only to lay them off in six months. Not knowing how far the Republicans might go to kill the recovery, businesses rather than hiring more people, have been making more use of over-time and contract labor ("The $5 Trillion Stash: U.S. Corporations' Money Hoard Is Bigger Than the GDP of Germany",The Atlantic, July 18, 2012; “Cash-Hoarding Companies Neither Spend Nor Lend, Fouling Economy Further”, Huffington Post, July 12, 2012).

Any appraisal of the success of President Obama’s economic policies that leaves out the fact that these policies prevented the economy from collapsing even further and reaching an unemployment rate of perhaps 11%, or higher, is incomplete and invalid. The Congressional Budget Office report concluded that President Obama’s economic policies, in fact did just that (“Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output From October 2009 Through December 2009", CBO, February 23, 2010 and “CBO: Unemployment would have topped 11% without stimulus”, USA Today, 2010-02-23).

The Republican filibustered and prevented President Obama’s American Jobs Act from being passed. Moody’s Analytics concluded this bill would have raised the GDP 2%, increased employment by about 2 million jobs and lowered the unemployment rate about 1% (Analysis of the Obama Jobs Plan, Moody's Analytics, Sept 9, 2011). So, a decrease of the unemployment rate of 1% prevented by the Republicans and an increase in the unemployment rate of 1% caused by Republican demands for more domestic spending cuts to preclude a Government Default and Government shutdown had a significant negative impact on the recovery. The total impact of these acts of legislative sabotage is an unemployment rate that is 2% points higher than it would have been had Obama been able to more fully realize his policies of stimulating the economy out of this Republican Trickle Down Deregulation disaster. The cited efforts to sabotage the stimulus notwithstanding, the CBO has concluded that the unemployment rate without the ARRA, would be 3% points higher than it is now.

... are you getting the picture Mr. Babington??

Now, I would be remiss, Mr. Babington, if I did not inform you of some sources of information for you to gain a better understanding of what has been going on in Washington the past several years. One is the book by Thomas Mann (The Brookings Institution) and Norman Ornstein (the American Enterprise Institute (note: a conservative group)) entitled: "It's Even Worse than It Looks" wherein they detail the machinations, over the last few years, of the Republican Party which they call an "insurgent outlier". These two scholars of the political scene also wrote an oped in the Washington Post entitled: Let's just say it: the Republicans are the Problem". Here's an excerpt from that piece(emphasis my own):

"We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges."

Now, to address your second question: "What can you do differently, especially given that Congress is not going to become pro-Democratic?"

My answer is: "I am going to 1) urge the voters to vote for all Democrats seeking a seat in either the Senate or the House and throw out all Republicans campaigning for a seat in either of these bodies so that we can get something done in Washington. And I will thoroughly inform the public of the tactics of obstruction which the Republicans have used so destructively to impair their Government from taking action to address the problems we face as a nation today. And I will, 2) state that there is no reason to elect someone to office who is only interested in deconstructing our Government and reforming it as a Corporate Feudalist government, where corporations and the super wealthy are the new Lords of the land and anybody who works for a living (that is, anyone who is not rich enough to live off of their investments - note professionals like Doctors, Lawyers etc are, for the most part, in this group) are the serfs."

If on the other hand anyone thinks it's appropriate to reward those who would obstruct and tear down our Democratic Government, then you should vote for my opponent."

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Reply The Question they are going to ask Obama in the first debate (knowing Jim Lehrer, more than once) (Original post)
Bill USA Oct 2012 OP
Recoverin_Republican Oct 2012 #1
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2012 #2
DCKit Oct 2012 #3
Liberal_Stalwart71 Oct 2012 #5
qwlauren35 Oct 2012 #4
Bill USA Oct 2012 #6

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:56 PM

1. Jeez! that's good for comments elsewhere on the web!



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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:21 PM

2. The premise would be false: "Why haven't things changed when you had overwhelming majorities..."


Of course we know that's not true! We did NOT have a filibuster-proof Senate. And then, there were fake Democrats like Max Baucus and Blanche Lincoln!

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Response to Liberal_Stalwart71 (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:04 AM

3. But, certainly, not limited to Max and Blanche, either. nt


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Response to DCKit (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:06 AM

5. Yep. Those who the two examples I gave, but there are plenty more.


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Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:43 AM

4. That's actually the question I dread also.

Obama never casts blame. So his response will not be like that. I think he will point to what he has done despite of Congress. However, I also am waiting to hear what he thinks he can do if he still has a Republican congress.

I really hope that question will be asked.

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Response to qwlauren35 (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:35 PM

6. I think what Obama could have been doing in his campaign is urging people to vote for

Democrats running for seats in either the Senate or House. Then he could have gone through an accounting of all the filibusters and obstructing tactics the Republicans used as a case for kicking as many GOPers out of Congress - because of all the enumerated examples of legislative terrorism and destructive obstructive politics.

This way he could talk about it and perhaps avoid what he fears: that the Republicans will scream like a kid on the playground: "Awwww, yore just makin excuses!!"

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