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Thread: FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger

  1. #1
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    FACT CHECK: Obama and his imbalanced ledger

    By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Calvin Woodward, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – The ledger did not appear to be adding up Tuesday night when President Barack Obama urged more spending on one hand and a spending freeze on the other.

    Obama spoke ambitiously of putting money into roads, research, education, efficient cars, high-speed rail and other initiatives in his State of the Union speech. He pointed to the transportation and construction projects of the last two years and proposed "we redouble these efforts." He coupled this with a call to "freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years."

    But Obama offered far more examples of where he would spend than where he would cut, and some of the areas he identified for savings are not certain to yield much if anything.

    For example, he said he wants to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies." Yet he made a similar proposal last year that went nowhere. He sought $36.5 billion in tax increases on oil and gas companies over the next decade, but Congress largely ignored the request, even though Democrats were then in charge of both houses of Congress.

    A look at some of Obama's statements Tuesday night and how they compare with the facts:

    ___

    OBAMA: Tackling the deficit "means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit."

    THE FACTS: The idea that Obama's health care law saves money for the government is based on some arguable assumptions.

    To be sure, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the law will slightly reduce red ink over 10 years. But the office's analysis assumes that steep cuts in Medicare spending, as called for in the law, will actually take place. Others in the government have concluded it is unrealistic to expect such savings from Medicare.

    In recent years, for example, Congress has repeatedly overridden a law that would save the treasury billions by cutting deeply into Medicare pay for doctors. Just last month, the government once again put off the scheduled cuts for another year, at a cost of $19 billion. That money is being taken out of the health care overhaul. Congress has shown itself sensitive to pressure from seniors and their doctors, and there's little reason to think that will change.

    ___

    OBAMA: Vowed to veto any bills sent to him that include "earmarks," pet spending provisions pushed by individual lawmakers. "Both parties in Congress should know this: If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it."

    THE FACTS: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised that no bill with earmarks will be sent to Obama in the first place. Republicans have taken the lead in battling earmarks while Obama signed plenty of earmark-laden spending bills when Democrats controlled both houses. As recently as last month, Obama was prepared to sign a catchall spending measure stuffed with earmarks, before it collapsed in the Senate after an outcry from conservatives over the bill's $8 billion-plus in home-state pet projects.

    It's a turnabout for the president; in early 2009, Obama sounded like an apologist for the practice: "Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts, and that's why I've opposed their outright elimination," he said then.

    ___

    OBAMA: "I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits."

    THE FACTS: Republicans may be forgiven if this offer makes them feel like Charlie Brown running up to kick the football, only to have it pulled away, again.

    Obama has expressed openness before to this prominent Republican proposal, but it has not come to much. It was one of several GOP ideas that were dropped or diminished in the health care law after Obama endorsed them in a televised bipartisan meeting at the height of the debate.

    Republicans want federal action to limit jury awards in medical malpractice cases; what Obama appears to be offering, by supporting state efforts, falls short of that. The president has said he agrees that fear of being sued leads to unnecessary tests and procedures that drive up health care costs. So far the administration has provided grants to test ideas aimed at reducing medical mistakes and resolving malpractice cases by negotiation, but has recommended no change in federal law.

    Trial lawyers, major political donors to Democratic candidates, are strongly opposed to caps on jury awards. But the administration has been reluctant to support other approaches, such as the creation of specialized courts where expert judges, not juries, would decide malpractice cases. In October 2009 the Congressional Budget Office estimated that government health care programs could save $41 billion over 10 years if nationwide limits on jury awards for pain and suffering and other similar curbs were enacted.

    ___

    OBAMA: "The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don't agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it — in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes."

    THE FACTS: Obama's fiscal commission did not simply recommend cutting excessive spending; it proposed that the deficit could only be tamed by cutting $3 for every $1 of new revenue raised — in other words, a painful mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Instead, Obama proposed an overhaul of the corporate tax system that would eliminate loopholes and tax breaks but also reduce tax rates. The net effect would be neutral; it would not reduce or raise any revenue. Obama has yet to sign on to any of the ideas, even though he promised when creating the panel that it would not be "one of those Washington gimmicks."

    ___

    OBAMA: "To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations."

    THE FACTS: With that comment, Obama missed another chance to embrace the tough medicine proposed by the commission for bringing down the deficit. For example, he ruled out slashing benefits or partially privatizing the program, and made no reference to raising the retirement age. That left listeners to guess how he plans to do anything to salvage the popular retirement program whose trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037 without changes.

    ___

    OBAMA: As testament to the fruits of his administration's diplomatic efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons, he said the Iranian government "faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before."

    THE FACTS: That is true, and it reflects Obama's promise one year ago that Iran would face "growing consequences" if it failed to heed international demands to constrain its nuclear program. But what Obama didn't say was that U.S. diplomacy has failed to persuade Tehran to negotiate over U.N. demands that it take steps to prove it is not on the path toward a bomb. Preliminary talks with Iran earlier this month broke off after the Iranians demanded U.S. sanctions be lifted.

    ___

    Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, giving the GOP response: "Whether sold as `stimulus' or repackaged as `investment,' their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much, taxes too much and spends too much in order to do too much."

    THE FACTS: The economic stimulus package passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in February 2009 didn't raise taxes. Instead, about a third of the package — nearly $300 billion — was made up of temporary tax cuts. The biggest was Obama's Making Work Pay credit, which provided up $400 to individuals and $800 to married couples. There were dozens of other tax cuts, including a more generous child tax credit, a tax credit for buying a home and a sales tax deduction for buying a car. Many, but not all, of the tax cuts have since expired.

    Obama's health care law imposed new taxes, including a penalty for some people who don't get qualified health insurance, starting in 2014. But Obama extended Bush-era tax cuts that were due to expire at the beginning of the year. He also enacted a new one-year cut in the payroll tax for 2011 for just about every wage earner.

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
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    Basically a Republican talking point response that finds fault with anything and everything that Obama said. We have no choice but to invest and spend on infrastructure, education and energy etc. Cant wait to see specific Republican proposals to cut spending.

    On Public Investment, Republicans Again Show They Aren't Serious
    By Steven Pearlstein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    When talking about the federal government and its budget deficit, Republican politicians love to score points by noting that "you'd never run your household or your business that way."

    Then again, you'd never run your household or your business by ignoring investment. Yet now that President Obama has proposed stepped-up public investment in infrastructure, energy, education and basic research, Republicans have suddenly decided their favorite analogy no longer applies.

    Asked about investment on the television talk shows Sunday, House Republican leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) each declared it was just another Democratic ploy to spend more money. Instead of Obama's "invest-and-grow," Republicans now offer "cut-and-grow," which will take its place beside "government ownership of the means of production" and "tax cuts that pay for themselves" in the Pantheon of Economic Nonsense.

    Republicans, it turns out, have no public investment strategy, just as they have no health-care strategy and no agreed-upon blueprint for reducing federal spending. What they have are poll-tested talking points, economic delusions and an overwhelming partisan instinct to say "no" to anything Barack Obama proposes. In their response to the president's State of the Union message, they remind us once again that they are not serious about economic policy and not ready to govern.

    In framing his retooled economic and political strategy, the president emphasized using public money to leverage private investment and innovation, once a popular Republican theme.

    In the short term, administration officials expect the bigger boost to the economy is likely to come not from jobs directly funded but from additional private investments spurred by increased confidence and a renewed sense of national purpose - "our Sputnik moment," as Obama called it.

    There is a similar emphasis on the private sector in the president's proposal for a National Infrastructure Bank, which will not only help to insulate the government's investment decisions from the political process but will focus on projects with demonstrable financial returns. Toll roads, smart grids, wind farms, freight lines and air-traffic control systems would compete for funding on the basis of their ability to generate user fees to repay the bank's bondholders.

    In the energy sector, Obama expects to untap tens of billions of dollars in private investment with modest amounts of seed money and the right regulatory incentive - in this case a requirement that 80 percent of electricity comes from environmentally clean sources by 2035.

    While high-speed or new transit projects may never generate enough revenue to cover the original investment, the president cited the experience with the transcontinental railroads and the interstate highway system - both started during Republican administrations - which showed that such projects could more than pay for themselves indirectly as a result of the private development they stimulated.

    You don't have to be Republican to question whether more education spending will be a worthwhile investment in human capital or just more money poured into an inefficient and unaccountable educational establishment. Through the Education Department's "Race to the Top" grants, the administration has already demonstrated its determination to use additional funding to leverage needed reforms. One would hope a similar strategy could now be used with these new investments in higher education, getting schools to improve productivity through creative use of technology and new teaching and learning techniques.

    Even with the proposed increases, of course, federal investment still will amount to a small slice of the budget. Other than interest on the national debt, all the rest is consumption: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, fighting wars, protecting the safety of workers and consumers, national parks, food stamps, farm subsidies, housing vouchers. Most Americans, I suspect, would consider some of that spending pretty vital, which is why Republican plans for across-the-board cuts are just plain dumb.

    As it happens, a bipartisan deficit commission has just finished laying out a plan for reducing the government's consumption spending, reforming the tax code and modestly increasing tax revenues. While Obama acknowledged the necessity of painful cuts in domestic spending, it was disappointing that he didn't use Tuesday's nationally televised speech to embrace the broad outlines and deficit reduction targets in the commission's report. White House officials are concerned that if the president "laid all his cards on the table," it would weaken his bargaining position in upcoming budget negotiations with Republicans.

    However, as the president should have learned from health-care reform, the danger in tailoring his strategy to the partisan back and forth on Capitol Hill is that he risks losing the more important battle for broad popular support. By endorsing the markers laid down by his own commission, Obama could have taken the the deficit issue away from Republicans and gained the political credibility he needs to push through his investment agenda. To use the president's phrase, that would have been doing "big things."

  3. #3
    Havakasha is offline
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    The State of the Union
    Published: January 25, 2011

    This nation faces huge problems — putting millions of Americans back to work, investing to compete in a 21st-century global economy and wrestling down a long-term budget deficit that threatens everyone’s future.

    Ever since the 2010 campaign, we have heard precious little in the way of serious solutions — mostly just smoke-and-mirrors spending cuts from Republicans and their usual clamor for more tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Tuesday night’s State of the Union address was President Obama’s chance to rise above that pinched vision, to help Americans understand that while government cannot do everything, it is indispensable in reviving the economy, spurring innovation, educating Americans and keeping them healthy and making the nation competitive globally.

    Mr. Obama took on those issues, and the Republicans, squarely. Rebutting their single-minded focus on slashing discretionary domestic spending, Mr. Obama said we have to “stop pretending” that cutting this kind of spending “alone will be enough.”

    The speech was a chance for Mr. Obama to talk about the need for government investment in highways and railroads, schools and new, clean-energy industries. And we were encouraged that Mr. Obama set national goals in these areas — 85 percent of the nation’s energy should come from clean energy by 2035; 80 percent of Americans should have access to high-speed rail within 25 years; and 98 percent should have access to high-speed wireless within five years.

    These are grand, and expensive, ideas, and it was vital that Mr. Obama talked about the need to pay for new spending.

    He proposed eliminating taxpayer subsidies for oil companies, for example, to help pay for his clean-energy initiative. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed,” the president said, “but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

    Mr. Obama also is calling for extending his proposed three-year freeze on some discretionary programs to five years. The White House said that would create $400 billion in savings over 10 years — a deep cut at a bad time, but far saner than Republican calls to slash spending so deeply that it would surely cripple the recovery.

    The White House said Mr. Obama needed to make some proposal like that to remain in the debate. That is likely true. But he also made clear that there is no long-term solution without cutting military spending and mandatory spending on Medicare and Social Security.

    He made a strong case for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy when they expire in two years. “Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break,” he said.

    That’s important, but letting high-end tax breaks expire won’t raise enough revenue to pay for needed investments or reduce long-term deficits. Mr. Obama proposed to simplify both the corporate income tax and the personal income tax, but he did not call for raising other taxes. Americans may not want to hear that taxes have to go up, but until Mr. Obama and other political leaders are willing to say so, credible deficit reduction will remain out of reach.

    Mr. Obama’s speech offered a welcome contrast to all of the posturing that passes for business in the new Republican-controlled House. On Tuesday, House Republicans pushed through a resolution calling for reducing spending on domestic programs to 2008 levels. In a fragile economy, cutting spending on transportation, education, scientific research, food safety and childhood nutrition will do huge damage.

    At times Tuesday night, Mr. Obama was genuinely inspiring with a vision for the country to move forward with confidence and sense of responsibility. Americans need to hear a lot more like that from him.

  4. #4
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    "Basically a Republican talking point response that finds fault with anything and everything that Obama said. We have no choice but to invest and spend on infrastructure, education and energy etc. Cant wait to see specific Republican proposals to cut spending."

    Good to see you are objective. It's funny how you are the only one without "talking points" lol. You are "talking point" exempt I suppose.

    Infrastructure is not the answer. We've built our infrastructure. Our nation is mature. China and India are not. They are where we were in the 50's. Yes, I would agree that our "infrastructure" probably could use a refresher. I driven of 1000's of bridges, and only one is crumbling, and that happens to be right here in Ann Arbor where they are waiting to bilk the federal government for the funds lol (they already got a good portion from the state).

    High Speed Rail? Is there demand for it? I'd like to see the marketing study. Remember, the USA has SW Airlines lol.

    The answer is and has been "level the playing field" such that manufacturing returns to the US and can prosper. Most dislike manufacturing in China because you lose control. "Hey, why you use such expensive red paint? I have good red paint for you". In case you don't understand, lead (Pb) had been a common heavy metal used in pigments. Alternative red pigments are indeed very expensive.

    I also would like to see what the republicans can come up with in terms of spending cuts. Personally, as politicians, I don't believe they can, but their position makes for good debate.

  5. #5
    Atypical is offline

    This Should Really Go To Puke Watch

    Hogwash, Mr. President by Robert Scheer

    What is the state of the union? You certainly couldn’t tell from that platitudinous hogwash that the president dished out Tuesday evening. I had expected Barack Obama to be his eloquent self, appealing to our better nature, but instead he was mealy-mouthed in avoiding the tough choices that a leader should delineate in a time of trouble. He embraced clean air and a faster Internet while ignoring the depth of our economic pain and the Wall Street scoundrels who were responsible—understandably so, since they so prominently populate the highest reaches of his administration. He had the effrontery to condemn “a parade of lobbyists” for rigging government after he appointed the top Washington representative of JPMorgan Chase to be his new chief of staff.

    The speech was a distraction from what seriously ails us: an unabated mortgage crisis, stubbornly high unemployment and a debt that spiraled out of control while the government wasted trillions making the bankers whole. Instead the president conveyed the insular optimism of his fat-cat associates: “We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.” How convenient to ignore the fact that this bubble of prosperity, which has failed the tens of millions losing their homes and jobs, was floated by enormous government indebtedness now forcing deep cuts in social services including state financial aid for those better-educated students the president claims to be so concerned about.

    His references to education provided a convenient scapegoat for the failure of the economy, rather than to blame the actions of the Wall Street hustlers to whom Obama is now sucking up. Yes, it is an obvious good to have better-educated students to compete with other economies, but that is hardly the issue of the moment when all of the world’s economies are suffering grievous harm resulting from the irresponsible behavior of the best and the brightest here at home. It wasn’t the students struggling at community colleges who came up with the financial gimmicks that produced the Great Recession, but rather the super-whiz-kid graduates of the top business and law schools.

    What nonsense to insist that low public school test scores hobbled our economy when it was the highest-achieving graduates of our elite colleges who designed and sold the financial gimmicks that created this crisis. Indeed, some of the folks who once designed the phony mathematical formulas underwriting subprime mortgage-based derivatives won Nobel prizes for their effort. A pioneer in the securitization of mortgage debt, as well as exporting jobs abroad, was one Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE, whom Obama recently appointed to head his new job creation panel.

    That the financial meltdown at the heart of our economic crisis was “avoidable” and not the result of long-run economic problems related to education and foreign competition is detailed in a sweeping report by the Democratic majority on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to be released as a 576-page book on Thursday. In a preview reported in The New York Times, the commission concluded: “The greatest tragedy would be to accept the refrain that no one could have seen this coming and thus nothing could have been done. If we accept this notion, it will happen again.”

    Just the warning that Obama has ignored by continually appointing the very people who engineered this crisis, mostly Clinton alums, to reverse its ongoing dire consequences. As the Times reports: “The decision in 2000 to shield the exotic financial instruments known as over-the-counter derivatives from regulation, made during the last year of President Bill Clinton’s term, is called ‘a key turning point in the march toward the financial crisis.’ ”

    Obama appointed as his top economic adviser Lawrence Summers, who as Clinton’s treasury secretary was the key architect of that “turning point,” and Summers protégé Timothy Geithner as his own treasury secretary. The unanimous finding of the 10 Democrats on the commission is that Geithner, who had been president of the New York Fed before Obama appointed him, “could have clamped down” on excesses by Citigroup, the subprime mortgage leader that Geithner and the Fed bailed out along with other unworthy banking supplicants.

    Profligate behavior that has hobbled the economy while running up an enormous debt that Obama now uses as an excuse for a five-year freeze on discretionary domestic spending, that small part of the budget that might actually help ordinary people. Speaking of our legacy of deficit spending, Obama stated, “ … In the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets. But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in.”

    Why now? It is an absurd demarcation to freeze spending when so many remain unemployed just because corporate profits, and therefore stock market valuations, seem firm. Ours is a union divided between those who agree with Obama that “the worst of the recession is over” and the far larger number in deep pain that this president is bent on ignoring.
    Last edited by Atypical; 01-27-2011 at 08:04 AM.

  6. #6
    Havakasha is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiriuslyLong View Post
    "Basically a Republican talking point response that finds fault with anything and everything that Obama said. We have no choice but to invest and spend on infrastructure, education and energy etc. Cant wait to see specific Republican proposals to cut spending."

    Good to see you are objective. It's funny how you are the only one without "talking points" lol. You are "talking point" exempt I suppose.

    Infrastructure is not the answer. We've built our infrastructure. Our nation is mature. China and India are not. They are where we were in the 50's. Yes, I would agree that our "infrastructure" probably could use a refresher. I driven of 1000's of bridges, and only one is crumbling, and that happens to be right here in Ann Arbor where they are waiting to bilk the federal government for the funds lol (they already got a good portion from the state).

    High Speed Rail? Is there demand for it? I'd like to see the marketing study. Remember, the USA has SW Airlines lol.

    The answer is and has been "level the playing field" such that manufacturing returns to the US and can prosper. Most dislike manufacturing in China because you lose control. "Hey, why you use such expensive red paint? I have good red paint for you". In case you don't understand, lead (Pb) had been a common heavy metal used in pigments. Alternative red pigments are indeed very expensive.

    I also would like to see what the republicans can come up with in terms of spending cuts. Personally, as politicians, I don't believe they can, but their position makes for good debate.
    The article you posted was not objective in my opinion.
    I am tired of pointing out what i consider are simplistic talking points from the Republcan critique.
    Its certain we will never agree. No problem.

    "i agree our infrastructure could use a little refresher". Read any major report on this nations infrastructure and you will see if it jibes with your comment.

    So only "one bridge" is crumbling in your experience? Now thats an objective study that we should use to determine how the nations bridges are doing. LOL.

    Uncertain about high speed rail for the west, midwest, east, and south corridors?
    Thats fine. I will research the studies.


    And here it is once again. Maybe it will sink in .

    On Public Investment, Republicans Again Show They Aren't Serious
    By Steven Pearlstein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    When talking about the federal government and its budget deficit, Republican politicians love to score points by noting that "you'd never run your household or your business that way."

    Then again, you'd never run your household or your business by ignoring investment. Yet now that President Obama has proposed stepped-up public investment in infrastructure, energy, education and basic research, Republicans have suddenly decided their favorite analogy no longer applies.

    Asked about investment on the television talk shows Sunday, House Republican leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) each declared it was just another Democratic ploy to spend more money. Instead of Obama's "invest-and-grow," Republicans now offer "cut-and-grow," which will take its place beside "government ownership of the means of production" and "tax cuts that pay for themselves" in the Pantheon of Economic Nonsense.

    Republicans, it turns out, have no public investment strategy, just as they have no health-care strategy and no agreed-upon blueprint for reducing federal spending. What they have are poll-tested talking points, economic delusions and an overwhelming partisan instinct to say "no" to anything Barack Obama proposes. In their response to the president's State of the Union message, they remind us once again that they are not serious about economic policy and not ready to govern.

    In framing his retooled economic and political strategy, the president emphasized using public money to leverage private investment and innovation, once a popular Republican theme.

    In the short term, administration officials expect the bigger boost to the economy is likely to come not from jobs directly funded but from additional private investments spurred by increased confidence and a renewed sense of national purpose - "our Sputnik moment," as Obama called it.

    There is a similar emphasis on the private sector in the president's proposal for a National Infrastructure Bank, which will not only help to insulate the government's investment decisions from the political process but will focus on projects with demonstrable financial returns. Toll roads, smart grids, wind farms, freight lines and air-traffic control systems would compete for funding on the basis of their ability to generate user fees to repay the bank's bondholders.

    In the energy sector, Obama expects to untap tens of billions of dollars in private investment with modest amounts of seed money and the right regulatory incentive - in this case a requirement that 80 percent of electricity comes from environmentally clean sources by 2035.

    While high-speed or new transit projects may never generate enough revenue to cover the original investment, the president cited the experience with the transcontinental railroads and the interstate highway system - both started during Republican administrations - which showed that such projects could more than pay for themselves indirectly as a result of the private development they stimulated.

    You don't have to be Republican to question whether more education spending will be a worthwhile investment in human capital or just more money poured into an inefficient and unaccountable educational establishment. Through the Education Department's "Race to the Top" grants, the administration has already demonstrated its determination to use additional funding to leverage needed reforms. One would hope a similar strategy could now be used with these new investments in higher education, getting schools to improve productivity through creative use of technology and new teaching and learning techniques.

    Even with the proposed increases, of course, federal investment still will amount to a small slice of the budget. Other than interest on the national debt, all the rest is consumption: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, fighting wars, protecting the safety of workers and consumers, national parks, food stamps, farm subsidies, housing vouchers. Most Americans, I suspect, would consider some of that spending pretty vital, which is why Republican plans for across-the-board cuts are just plain dumb.

    As it happens, a bipartisan deficit commission has just finished laying out a plan for reducing the government's consumption spending, reforming the tax code and modestly increasing tax revenues. While Obama acknowledged the necessity of painful cuts in domestic spending, it was disappointing that he didn't use Tuesday's nationally televised speech to embrace the broad outlines and deficit reduction targets in the commission's report. White House officials are concerned that if the president "laid all his cards on the table," it would weaken his bargaining position in upcoming budget negotiations with Republicans.

    However, as the president should have learned from health-care reform, the danger in tailoring his strategy to the partisan back and forth on Capitol Hill is that he risks losing the more important battle for broad popular support. By endorsing the markers laid down by his own commission, Obama could have taken the the deficit issue away from Republicans and gained the political credibility he needs to push through his investment agenda. To use the president's phrase, that would have been doing "big things."
    Last edited by Havakasha; 01-26-2011 at 03:41 PM.

  7. #7
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    That's the third time you've posted that article, and candidly, I don't find it to be objective. In fact, it is somewhat inflammatory. Yes, clearly we won't agree. You want the government to drive employment, and the repukes want the private sector to drive employment. They don't want "cut and grow". That's a stupid and inflammatory assertion. What they want is a smaller more effective government that fosters private sector growth (much like the governments policy to foster home ownership). It's not a horrible idea. In fact, it really has excellent benefits. A smaller more effective government will allow each and every tax dollar collected to be more effective. I believe you are a businessman. Certainly you know overhead cost money.

    The world of fiat money has convoluted what is right and wrong. We have to run our households and businesses a certain way because it is against the law to print money to pay our debts. What is at stake is the dollar being the worlds reserve currency. We need to be good stewards of the dollar and its position as the worlds reserve currency. You can agree to that, right?

  8. #8
    Havakasha is offline
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    It might seem inflammatory to you, but the author is far from a flaming liberal.
    Please don't misstate my point of view. I don't want "gov't to drive employment" i just think there are areas where gov't can provide the "seed" money to stimulate private investment. I just listened to a Republican from California (i believe San Diego Mayor) who acknowledged that this forumula worked very well in computer technology and in other areas and continues to be needed if we are going to remain competitive in the world.


    There is nothing wrong with smaller and more efficient govt. I believe we all want that. We just have differences of opinion as to whats essential to keep and what to do to keep this country competitive into the future.

    I hope you are in favor of ending billions of subsidies to oil companies?
    Last edited by Havakasha; 01-26-2011 at 06:13 PM.

  9. #9
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havakasha View Post
    It might seem inflammatory to you, but the author is far from a flaming liberal.
    Please don't misstate my point of view. I don't want "gov't to drive employment" i just think there are areas where gov't can provide the "seed" money to stimulate private investment. I just listened to a Republican from California (i believe San Diego Mayor) who acknowledged that this forumula worked very well in computer technology and in other areas and continues to be needed if we are going to remain competitive in the world.

    There is nothing wrong with smaller and more efficient govt. I believe we all want that. We just have differences of opinion as to whats essential to keep and what to do to keep this country competitive into the future.

    I hope you are in favor of ending billions of subsidies to oil companies?
    If not inflammatory, I certainly don't find it objective. It certainly appears as a liberal hachet job. Your idea of seed money is addressed in my post about Evergreen Solar shipping jobs to China. To recap, of the 100's of "seed money" businesses, only 10's come to fruition. Do you like those odds? Do you like those odds with our tax dollars? As I recall, you lauded a federal loan to a solar company who used the same technology (CdTe) as the market leader (First Solar). How wise is that money spent? I'm sure someone on that staff is a democratic supporter. There is no other explanation why our government (with our tax dollars) would support a company whose technology is secondary and exactly similar to another companies. I hate to be conspirecy theorist, but nothing else makes sense.

    You do want government to drive business. Just stop with the act.

    Lastly, the oil companies? I heard a figure of 39 B. Is that in the ball park? To take one of your parties talking points, 39 B is jack shit - mere 10th's of a percent on trillions. But be my guest, make moral purpose - show those oil companies.

  10. Ad Fairy Senior Member

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