Obama: This Is Not Class Warfare; Itís Math Susan Crabtree | September 19, 2011, 11:19AM
President Barack Obama ignored warning from Republicans against proposing tax increases Monday and rolled out a plan to reduce the deficit consisting of a mix of spending cuts and revenue raisers in an combative speech designed to persuade the public to embrace a balanced approach to bringing down the nation's debt.
In remarks in the White House Rose Garden, Obama drew stark contrasts between Republican's penchant for backing "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires" while requiring seniors, the middle class and the poor to tighten their belts and accept sacrifices.
"During this past decade, profligate spending in Washington, tax cuts into multi-millionaires and billionaires, and two wars have turned a record surplus into a massive deficit," Obama said. "If we don't act, the debt will eventually crowd out everything else, eventually affecting us from investing in things like education and Medicaid. We need to cut what we can't afford to pay for things we need."
Even before Obama delivered the speech, which clearly laid out the differences between both parties in the 2012 contest, Republican leaders were reacting angrily to early reports outlining the President's "go big" push, calling on Congress to cut deficits by $4 trillion over 12 years and institute automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases if a first target isn't reached by 2014.
I finally agree with the administration again (and prosense) and someone suggests that it isn't passable and that no Dem would sponsor it?
This is the kind of bill the entire progressive caucus has been chomping at the bit for for two years! I don't think he will have that much trouble finding sponsors in the house.
As to whether it is passsable, that is a different question entirely. It the Teahaddists want to justify protecting the millionaires and especially the billionaires at the cost of the rest of us I think the American people will recognize them as the wild eyed extremists that they are and most of them will be out of office quite soon.
even if he could get this to pass, it will not get the unemployment % rate out of the shit can... correction: out of the bottom of the shit can in the next 14 months. This is running on a negative what if, not a positive achievement with positive results. It is going to be a painfull campaign season. If the puke canidate is not a member of congress and manages to keep a positive attitude, just like Obama did in 2008, well it's going to be bad for us. Sorry if this offends but I have been saying for 3 years now that the economy will be the issue in 2012 and nothing out of the administration really has worked.
42. ProCents, I'll have to learn the details, but for once I agree with Obama.
Raise taxes on the rich. I haven't heard what his cuts will be yet. But raising taxes on those who have increased their earnings and wealth during this recession in which so many have lost their homes is an excellent proposal.
It's up to us to let our Congressmen and women know that we won't vote for them if they don't support Obama on the tax increases.
I'd love to be able to find inpiration in a speech. But a politcian is a politician. Whether republican or democrat, they are all the same. Hell.. if I can't get inspired by a political speech, I'd like plain words that says "here is what we are going to do...." Firey rhetoric does nothing.
Recovery begins with realism and there is nothing to be gained by kidding ourselves. On the topics that I know most about, the administration is beyond being a disappointment. It's beyond inept, unprepared, weak, and ineffective. Four and again two years ago, the people demanded change. As a candidate, the President promised change. In foreign policy and the core economic policies, he delivered continuity instead. That was true on Afghanistan and it was and is true in economic policy, especially in respect to the banks. What we got was George W. Bush's policies without Bush's toughness, without his in-your-face refusal to compromise prematurely. Without what he himself calls his understanding that you do not negotiate with yourself.
Galbraith's is NOT a lone voice in our wilderness! Many DUers have been steadily, and carefully, documenting the relentless subversion of our party's fundamental ideology during Obama's administration--inevitably enduring much hateful and sarcastic vitriol from fellow DUers--particularly from the increasingly pitiable Obama sycophants.
A fellow DUer, truth2power, posted the following in the wee hours of a recent morning:
I think this country is on a suicide mission. We are governed (sic) by the worst slime to be found anywhere...guys in diapers and infantile brats who don't even care if their own district gets hurricane disaster aid until even MORE of what's left of our social safety net is looted.
Across the globe, the vast hoi polloi is witness to the sordid underbelly of our species' monstrous hedonism, made manifest in the coffers of the uber wealthy (a tiny, exclusive group comprised of greedy wankers of various political stripes). We KNOW that our politicians--almost to a ONE--are sock puppets for the uber wealthy. We RECOGNIZE that those representatives who truly represent US (Bernie Sanders, Sheila Jackson Lee, Dennis Kucinich, Al Franken, to name a few of the VERY few...) fight a sisyphean battle just to be granted a few minutes of media coverage--often to be pundited into the oblivion of ridicule.
Acknowledging we have a problem is THE key first step in recovery...
We can ill afford to elevate Mr. Obama to hero status, just as we can ill afford to issue a blanket condemnation of his efforts.
Our nation is witnessing the inception of a global catastrophic re-ordering of our economic behaviors. Since our nation has led the hundred-meter-dash toward the uber hedonistic disaster capitalism du jour, We the People MUST work together to arrive at a global strategy for global recovery.
Obama's lackluster performance as POTUS is not surprising to me. I doubt there's a 'leader' on this planet who could stop the speeding bullet of corporate megalomania. Still, I am among those who have noticed that some of Obama's decisions warrant the increasingly vociferous adjurations from progressive democrats that he NOT be a sock puppet for the uber wealthy.
Dismissing our concerns as the 'rage' of 'a bunch of burnout rage-addicted jerks' is both demeaning and disingenuous, and it will not help us regain our footing in these perilous times.
(Sad that you perceive these discussions as 'pissing contests'...)
162. it seems odd to me to get angry about a proposal to tax the rich
This is a bad thing? Galbraith thinks so? I certainly would agree with Galbraith about past performance, but I think this current proposal IS something positive - for a change. I have my doubts that it will pass, but it is certainly worth fighting for.
Of course, I am sure that nothing short of apocasocialism now!! is gonna stave off the almost inevitable global catastrophe that you are predicting, but I still don't see the point about raging about a positive step.
Now one of the other people, well he/she has some income and has never liked progressive taxes. They hit a little too close to home or something.
I am not "angry" about a proposal to tax the rich. I am not 'raging' about a 'positive step.' I didn't quote Galbraith because he thinks taxing the rich is a 'bad thing' (quite the opposite).
I quoted Galbraith because, contrary to ProSense's rather misleading post, not every economist is sold on Obama's performance as POTUS. Moreover, it's just as likely that not every economist views Obama's 'new' jobs plan as the optimal path to economic recovery.
Still, I am hopeful that Obama's current proposal IS something positive. However, I've been hopeful many, many times before. Like so many other DUers, I remain skeptical about the 'hidden agendas' of monied interests, and the ongoing corporate malfeasance. I've yet to see the corporate criminals who've tanked our global economy held responsible for their crimes...
Blind allegiance predicated by party affiliation epitomizes the kind of 'patriotism' Samuel Johnson called 'the last refuge of a scoundrel.' We can ill afford such arrogance within our own ranks, even as we struggle to expose just such false patriotism among the rank and file Republicans (Eric Cantor comes readily to mind).
These are, indeed, perilous times. And--while I may disagree with much of what ProSense posts--I have become much more optimistic about our species having witnessed growing numbers of us becoming politically aware AND involved. We, collectively, MUST be the change we hope to see in this world.
My observation about the 'hidden agendas' of monied interests:
The prospect of Rumsfeld in a courtroom cannot possibly be relished by the Obama administration, which has now cast itself as the last and staunchest defender of the embattled former officials, including John Yoo, Alberto Gonzalez, Judge Jay Bybee, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and others. The administration employed an unprecedented twisting of arms in orer to keep evidence in a lawsuit which Binyam had filed in the UK suppressed, threatening an end of cooperation between the British MI5 and the CIA.
The Obama Justice Department's active involvement in seeking the dismissal of the cases is by choice, as the statutory obligation of the US Attorney General to defend cases against public officials ends the day they leave office. Indeed, the real significance of the recent court decisions, one by the 7th Circuit and the other a DC federal court, may be the clarification the common misconception that high officials are forever immune for crimes committed while in office, in the name of the state. The misconception persists despite just a moment of thought telling one that if this were true, Hermann Goering, Augusto Pinochet, and Charles Taylor would never have been arrested, for they were all in office at the time they ordered atrocities, and they all invoked national security.
67. I have to say I am pretty disappointed with how long the first stimulus took to implement.
We need to be impressed with the efficiency and speed at which government works. I don't think there is anything that can substitute for it, but I do think that when government doesn't seem to run as it ought to, I wonder what we are paying for.
No wonder Eisenhower was so concerned. They had the U.S.A. by the ass clear back then. Vietnam is a perfect example. Now we are doing another Vietnam in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is perfectly clear why they did away with the draft.
He is a crypto conservative fool running a show that caters to wall street speculative gambling and ultimately negative investment. I would not buy a damned apple from that charlatan. Even John Stewart got video of him on camera coaching a young bond trader on how to lie to break the law and not get caught.
Why should we put out government loans to build infrastructure for an extremely short term resource that would primarily enrich the oil companies and pay the government back absolutely paltry interest rates on the money lent out? It is the height of fiscal irresponsability. Too much squeeze and too little juice. It would be far better to sink the entire principle in more green energy start ups in renewable resources. Of course that wouldn't be as profitable for the wealthiest corporations in the history of the world.
The total production is going to be a million barrels a day but that isn't until 2020 in all likelihood. No one is certain about how long it will last and the EIA has another number at 350K barrels per day. In either event we currently use about 18 million barrels a day so at absolute best in 8 years time it might supply 5% of our total oil.
Sadly it makes use of fracking a process that all but garauntees groundwater pollution, and has even done so already in North Dakota where they are using this process at its currently low level of production of 225 K barrels per day. So either increase pollution by 50% or multiply it by almost 4.5 to arrive at the amount of damage it can do to groundwater. Groundwater is not some crazy plant or a spotted owl or a little lizard. Groundwater is what we drink, what we feed our crops, and what we use for most of the processes required for life and production.
So, once more, it is a really stupid idea brought to us by a really stupid charlatan of a financial advisor.
It's a difficult way to turn a profit, as many energy companies have found over the last several decades. Shale oil is no game changer. At best, it's a fall-back energy source when we reach the point where getting energy from rock is our last, best alternative.
73. Shale oil? Talk about an addict looking for crack rocks in the couch cushions
Shale oil is scraping the bottom of the barrel wrt oil production.
The amount of money required to move our energy grid to renewables is measured in TRILLIONS of dollars. The money we'd get back from Bakken oil shales isn't even close to enough to make a dent in solar installation, but the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere WOULD be enough to make a dent in things like a stable climate, ocean acidity, ice cap coverage, etc.
90. Of course and this should have happened over two
years ago. Re-instating taxes on the wealthy is a no-brainer. Two continuous wars, a few other "covert wars," the largest income disparity in the world, 20% real unemployment,etc.., how can anyone even deny it?
The blatant part is the timing. It is election time let's throw some crumbs on the peasants. It is just an election gimmick, but it must be passed. So, of course if (and it can easily be passed, by using his bully-pulpit, because we actually have only ONE CORPORATE PARTY in American politics.) it is passed, we will have another "lesser of the evils" election and so it goes...a perfectly choreographed number on Americans again.
Yep, that means Obama is damned if he does or doesn't (especially if he doesn't), the majority have TALKED about the necessity to primary President Obama to death. Sadly, that is ALL WE have done. Here it is the bottom of the eighth and we have no-one as our clean-up batter. Just the same old bullshit.
That is what pisses me off. We are nothing but talk. We have bitched and complained over the injustices and have not have not gotten anyone to represent us. So here comes the shit. Obama might fight for this election time nugget instead of immediately caving.
I don't want him to cave, but I want a real peoples President to represent what we already know is the right course, in the upcoming elections. Ideally, we would let Obama (and help) do this,
yet still run an honest Progressive in the elections. No more lesser of the 2 evils....
with anything that this President does. I guess you'd prefer the rethugs to run the country like they fucked it up from 2000 to 2006 and 8???????? How do you think this country got in the mess its in, in the first place or have you been out of town off this planet???
Seriously, we need THIS President Obama more and the Bipartisan President Obama a hell of a lot less.
Precisely how well has the unending capitulation worked? How well has compromising our compromised, comprise before even taking it to the bargaining table worked? How good has it been for ourside to twist ourselves into pretzels to accomodate Republican demands? In terms of policy or strategy has this been a win for us so far?
and then something MIGHT be able to pass that doesn't turn our stomachs.
when he's re-elected in 2012 (start wanting it, the alternative would be a fucking disaster worse than *), and we DON'T take back the house (which i anticipate), then the GOP will start playing for 2016, and may be more willing to compromise. Obama didn't start the endless-campaign-at-the-expense-of-america, the GOP did when they chose obstruction and general dickery.
152. I still get my SS and my daughter still has her medicare. There are
a lot of things I still have that the rethugs want to take away from all of us. We are one step away from losing the SCOTUS for the next 40 years if we let rethugs take over. But then you know these things.
205. No I did not but I am old enough to remember that it was not the gop
that helped me with anything in my entire life. Obama may be the president (which protects the SCOTUS) but he does not rule alone - I am hoping for a Democratic congress that will stop him in this kind of idiot actions.
I have one other reason to believe he will not destroy these programs like the rethugs want to: he was elected the first black president - he does not want to go down as the first black president who betrayed the people who voted for him. History would not be kind.
10. The same Obama that asked for public sector Unions to sacrifice is now
a friend of the seniors whose pensions he wants sacrificed, the teacher whose belt he wants tightened and the poor whose numbers keep increasing. Some of us have memories that can't be wiped clean w/ words that hope to change our conclusions of whose where on what.
"I do say, though, to my friends in the public sector unions that it is important that you are on the side of reform where reform is needed. Because the truth of the matter is, is that at a time when everybody is belt-tightening, there is nothing wrong with a union saying to itself, you know what, we know budgets are hard right now. Let's sit down and say we're willing to negotiate so that we're making some sacrifices to maintain the number of teachers in the classroom and keep class sizes at a reasonable level. We're willing to make some modifications in terms of how our pension systems work so that they're sustainable for the next generation of teachers as long as it's a conversation, as opposed to it simply being imposed and collective"
isn't it, that Mr. Obama expects various members of our vast Hoi Polloi (both middle class and lower) to fully embrace austerity, yet he continues to avoid holding war criminals responsible for their crimes, and the 'Wall Steet' criminals responsible for their fraud...
Compelling these vile hedonists/criminals to PAY for their crimes--and stopping our fruitless and resource-draining military presence in virtually EVERY nation on this planet--would be a faster and more effective way to put our economy on the road to recovery.
(Just waiting for my post to be slammed, and/or to get 'teh list' in response...)
A majority of the citizenry have already decided this is what should be done. The people were at this point many months ago. It's amazing that DC has been so slow to acknowledge popular sentiment and represent the will of the people.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." ó Frank Zappa
37. Where do I go to sign up for the double-blind clinical trial of the
new drug to cure worker-resistant the terminal disease, zombie-ism? What about informed consent? Long-term side effects? Is there a pretty blue ribbon to self-identify support? What if I get the placebo instead of the drug that either works or doesn't? A PSA or info-commercial, even slated for non-prime time hours, is gonna cost a fortune, no?
It is not just what gets proposed in speeches, he must act through leadership and negotiations to stand behind a democratic agenda, including not only the bully pulpit but the veto as well.
Part of what the dems need to do on a massive prolonged basis is to fight back on the level of ideas and to start driving the ignorant, selfish and ultimately country destroying nonsense of the repukes back to the dark corners from which it came.
He needs to change the understanding, the conventional thinking of the independents away from the myths of the right.
100. I don't think enough Republicans will be shamed to vote for this...and that's a good thing.
President Obama's bill won't turn the economy around before the election.
We need the Republican obstructionism. The Republicans must be scape goats. The Republicans are, after all, responsible for the mess we are in.
People are starting to turn against the Tea Party extremists. It's about time.
The label, the Party for the Rich, needs to hang firmly around every Republican neck.
The lie, the Rich create jobs, needs to be thoroughly debunked. We had 10 years with the Rich getting richer. Where are the jobs?
I can't think of a good slogan...one must be found. The general population aren't patient enough to listen to professorial lectures.
We need slogans, short and snappy and to the point...things like... The Rich got richer...where are your jobs? -or- Sure the Rich created jobs...in India and China and ... but not here. I'm not very good with slogans...help think of some good slogans!
OBAMA: And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share.
He was doing fairly well till then. He sure left the door open for changing benefits on Medicare in return for tax increases - then he can say, "see, everybody has to share the sacrifice" - seemingly one of his favorite notions. As if the lower roughly - what? 85%? higher? - of us have not already "sacrificed" up the wazoo for the Banksters and our Corporate Overlords.
I sure as hell would like to be wrong, but I refuse to hope.
70. The bashing here will simply never end. He does something people here hate, they howl
like screech monkeys (he hates liberals, he hates old people, he's a Republican!). He does something people here have suggested/demanded that he do, and they howl like screech monkeys again (it's just for getting re-elected! He doesn't mean it! Too late!). I swear to God, it's asinine. Once again, much of the criticism leveled at him is PERSONAL DISLIKE of the man, not his policies.
Lets just hope he sticks to it, no matter what the Pukes do or say. He at least needs to make the contrast between our side and their side extremely clear. The lines have been too blurred in the recent past.
We need alternatives to the Pukes not an echo chamber!
Dude, take it easy broseph. I can't believe you didn't get censored. I remember a time when repubs and dems didn't hate each other so much. They hate you and say the same things as you do. Politicians finally figured out that the only way to get total control over everything is to have us viscously attacking each other. Its standard war practice. Sow discord among those you wish to conquer. Divide and destroy if you will. Until the anger and resentment goes away, there will never be anything like the USA of my childhood. Try and be positive with your arguments. Use facts and information to spread your message. The other way only makes Dems look foolish and causes more fighting. Be smarter than that. The fight is always won by the smarter opponent. Right now, that is not you.
161. I'm feeling better now since I turned the cable news off.
Those talking elephant buts just irk me to no end. I just wish they would stop playing political games with our lives. They are cruelly playing with fire, they don't care if the whole house burns down.
112. Gotta do that "Branding." Strategists told him to use Warren Buffet as his "foil"
against the Repugs. Don't you see how he works it? Get the Think Tanks to set up his speeches and give him a "message or hook" and then send him out to swindle or hoodwink folks because he gives a GREAT SPEECH...when he's "On His Game" which hasn't been often in the last 12 months or so...but he thinks he "hit it outta' the park" with this one. Even though, it was a rehash of the rest of his speeches freshened up with the veto thread which means little if we look at his real track record. :-(
104. When he says that, he dulls our blade to fight against it
If it is not true, then what is this? (graph would look much worse if it were up to date)
Here is what FDR said : These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of power.
It's always a disappointment. Why should THIS TIME..be different? What's changed for him? We Dems have no power over him. He wants the Indie and Repugs (who aren't Tea Partiers) and the rest of us be damned...His Party...(supposedly) that is. The one he's trashed over and over. Who is left ...left to believe what comes out of his mouth ...no matter how good it sounds. It was a "Campaign Speech." His polls are down...and it's nothing more than about the campaign.
but I am hoping that a sitting President has to have campaign actions, not speeches. I'm sure you hope you are wrong. I have to hope one more time. If it is a speech and not action then I will be a voter without a candidate.
he say that he is going to increase the top tax rate to 79%, he can say that he is going to bring in universal health care, he can say that he is going to end illegal detention, he cay say that he is not going to tax the poor or slash their pensions - but what he DOES is entirely different.
We have seen what Obama says and does - and they are never the same thing, in fact they are Polar opposite - if there is one time I would never, ever, ever listen to a word this guy has to say its when he is campaigning - because apparently he will say anything, whatever it takes to sucker in all those lefty, greeny, progressives to get elected so that he can then sort out his mates finances and set big business up for their final departure from america to the international stage where they will not be bothered by ridiculous, petty national regulations.
98. That would be what is known as synethesia - it is a condition.
But no - it is not a rage induced state.
As it happens I have no affiliation with either party - I am Australian - OOPS !!
I hold a masters in political philosophy and international relations - so, as you may guess my interests are in facts, truth and reality.
Obama is a classic "Egyptian Dancer" - one hand is offering you everything, while the other is taking.
It just blows my mind how people can even consider this guy to be anything but a Republican - the only conceivalbe reasoning as that people simply do not understand what a progressive left leaning liberal is - because the ACTIONS of Obama are absolutely, unequivocally, without any doubt what so ever NOT left leaning, progressive or liberal - he is further right that Nixon, Reagan and in a lot of respects Bush.
How can he be anything but a Republican when this is the case.
Ah forget it, I was going to spend 10 minutes writing up a long post on all of the bills passed in the first two years. All of the laws repealed. The pulldown in Iraq. Saving the auto industry. Passing a gigantic stimulus bill. Health care reform that focuses on pushing employers to provide health care to their employees. Saving hundreds of thousands of jobs in the public sector. Gay rights. Real success in the middle east. Including a military engagement in Libya where we toppled a 40 year dictator and only spent 5 billion. We spent 3 trillion on Iraq. A clear retraction from insane Israeli settlement policy.
Ah fuck it. I am not going to do that. I'm so sick of these posts that make Obama look like he has done absolutely nothing.
167. Class warfare and the rich is winning, & the morons plead their case!
Yeah it's class warfare, and we're the ones who are being had. With Foul news to whip up the rubes and the T-Party re-in-actors to march in front of the Corporate TV cameras telling us not to tax the rich, the media circus will blur and confuse the issue, carefully hiding the truth in plain sight! Strange days indeed. www.whatnowtoons.com Left of center political cartoons since 2003
What have they been doing since the B actor took office, over the past 30 years? Why has that not been class warfare? Why don't Ed Schultz and other TV talkers show where tax on rich folk was under Ike, a REPUBLICAN..as in over 90%.
BTW hurray for non greedy to the last dime rich people like Buffett and Mark Cuban. Rich guys with the human emotion called empathy and a trait that is real patriotism.
Obama should have struck this note in January 2009 so I'm hoping he doesn't revert back to his center right form once he wins again.
All progressive need to keep the heat on, to shame the wingnuts and also the MSN, who have been pretty much ignoring the Wall Street protests even though they all all over it when 45 tea baggers congregate.
Obama did promise Medicare beneficiaries that he'd veto any legislation asking them to sacrifice without also raising taxes on upper-income earners. But he didn't issue them a complete pass.
Instead, his administration is borrowing from corporate America's playbook by proposing to raise a range of costs for future retirees, while mostly shielding Medicare's 48 million current beneficiaries. Under the president's plan, starting in 2017 ...
... All told, Obama's plan would cut Medicare by $248 billion over 10 years and squeeze another $72 billion from Medicaid. Some of Medicaid savings involve shifting costs to the states by rejiggering the federal payment formula and limiting a strategy currently used by states to draw more federal dollars.
Two leading organizations that supported Obama's health care overhaul law are expressing concerns about his latest plan. AARP says it could result in arbitrary cuts to Medicare. Families USA, a liberal advocacy group, says the Medicaid cuts could undermine coverage for the uninsured.
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