Weekly Address 04-16-11

 Posted by at 08:34  Politics
Apr 162011
 

“America’s Fiscal Future”

From the White House weblog:

The President discusses his plan for our fiscal future, a comprehensive and balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript after the break.

Continue reading »

Apr 152011
 

Click and enjoy. Please. Thank you. (Done your taxes yet?)

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As usual, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Bonus video (may not be viewable outside the United States):


 

The Obama Plan

 Posted by at 14:49  economy, Politics
Apr 132011
 

President Obama spoke at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. today. He laid out his plan to cut the country’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years while at the same time ensuring the country’s wealth and prosperity…

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

There were several things to cheer in this speech, but here is the moment that I cheered the loudest:

In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.

(Emphasis mine.)

The full transcript follows the break.

(I am still of the belief that we need to be concentrating more on continuing the recovery from The Bush Recession and a bit less right now on reducing the deficit. Reducing the deficit can be dealt with after we get the country back on its feet.)

Continue reading »

Apr 122011
 

Eugene Robinson:

Far-right Republicans are winning the budget wars because they understand something that nobody else in Washington seems to grasp: The old truism about politics being the art of the possible is no longer true…

Their inspired tactic — which has worked so well that they would be crazy to abandon it — has been to take a wildly extreme position and stick to it with the obstinacy of a mule. When Democrats offer to negotiate, Republicans increase their demands. The result is that they shift the battlefield and end up fighting on terrain so friendly that they literally can’t lose.

Go. Read the entire column. I think you’ll find yourself nodding in full agreement. Especially if you have been paying attention these past few months.
 

Reducing the deficit

 Posted by at 08:29  Politics
Apr 112011
 

I did some thinking in the shower this morning. That is where I sometimes do my best thinking. Here’s what I was thinking:

Reducing the deficit. That seems to be all the rage among politicians these days. I don’t really see the need to reduce the deficit right now. After all, you don’t save the beast by starving it to death. However, if you really are serious about the whole reducing the deficit thing, here is how you do it:

  1. Tax the churches. They are, in truth, nothing more than big businesses built upon fantasy and human insecurity. And they have a lot of money. A lot of money. So, tax the churches.
  2. Eliminate the tax breaks for the super rich. The millionaires and billionaires do not need the tax breaks and will, thank you very much, get along just fine without them. So tax them at the same rate at which they were taxed when conservative god Ronald Reagan occupied the White House.
  3. Do away with the corporate tax loopholes. It is simply ridiculous that huge corporations like General Electric and Exxon/Mobil can make record profits every year, pay their executives millions and billions of dollars and yet pay no federal taxes. If, as the Roberts Supreme Court maintains, corporations have the same rights as people, then they should be paying taxes just like the rest of us people.
  4. No more bailouts for the banks and huge corporations. They should have to sink or swim just like the rest of us. Besides, they just use the billions we give them in bailouts to give their executives big fat salaries and bonuses. Also, see the thing about the Roberts court above.
  5. And, last but not least, stop electing Republicans. Republicans do not know how to manage money. They don’t.

So that is what I was thinking about in the shower this morning. How about you?
 

Weekly Address 04-09-11

 Posted by at 09:00  Politics
Apr 092011
 

In his Weekly Address, the President discusses the importance of the bipartisan budget agreement that represents both a significant investment in the United States’ future – and the largest annual spending cut in our history.

The transcript follows the break.

Here are the President’s remarks following the budget agreement that was reached at the last hour last night:

Continue reading »

Shutdown of 2011

 Posted by at 18:17  Politics, Republicans
Apr 072011
 

It is appearing more and more likely that the Tea Party (which now controls the Republican party) is going to get the shutdown of the U. S. government that they have been hoping for. There are now less than five hours left.

Bob Cesca has a rundown of some of the riders to the budget that the Tea Partiers are insisting on and to which the Democrats cannot and will not agree. Click here.

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Apr 062011
 

Wasserman Schultz Picked as D.N.C. Chairwoman

Wasserman Schultz
Wasserman Schultz

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was named Tuesday as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, with President Obama selecting her to lead the party’s fund-raising and organizational efforts heading into the 2012 election cycle.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz, 44, accepted the position during an afternoon call with the president. She succeeds Tim Kaine, who served as the party’s national chairman for the last two years but announced earlier Tuesday that he is running for a Senate seat in Virginia.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. disclosed the decision to members of the Democratic National Committee, asking them to “welcome her as President Obama’s choice.” The president, who is locked in a budget showdown with Republicans, did not publicly announce the news.

“In selecting Debbie to lead our party, President Obama noted her tenacity, her strength, her fighting spirit and her ability to overcome adversity,” Mr. Biden said. “President Obama expressed great admiration for her as a leader, and he was honored that she accepted this important challenge on behalf of the Democratic Party.”

I do not yet know Rep. Wasserman Schultz. It will be interesting getting to know her and I look forward to working with her.
 

Of, by and for the 1%

 Posted by at 20:54  economy, Politics
Apr 042011
 

There is an article in the May issue of Vanity Fair that you need to read since everybody will be talking about it. It was penned by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner and professor of economics at Columbia University. Let me get you started…

Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

It’s no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous—12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades—and more—has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

Economists long ago tried to justify the vast inequalities that seemed so troubling in the mid-19th century—inequalities that are but a pale shadow of what we are seeing in America today. The justification they came up with was called “marginal-productivity theory.” In a nutshell, this theory associated higher incomes with higher productivity and a greater contribution to society. It is a theory that has always been cherished by the rich. Evidence for its validity, however, remains thin. The corporate executives who helped bring on the recession of the past three years—whose contribution to our society, and to their own companies, has been massively negative—went on to receive large bonuses. In some cases, companies were so embarrassed about calling such rewards “performance bonuses” that they felt compelled to change the name to “retention bonuses” (even if the only thing being retained was bad performance). Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin.

Click on the article’s title to continue reading. Ignorance is no excuse.