Skip to main content

In his weekly address, President Obama congratulated new members of Congress, praised the tax legislation passed by the House and Senate, and outlined his position on the looming next fiscal battles:
I believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology all which are critical to our prosperity in a 21st century economy.  But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code.  The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.

And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up.  If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic.  The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.  Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
The Weekly Address
Honolulu, Hawaii
January 4, 2013

Hi, everybody.  Over the past year, as I traveled across the country campaigning for this office, I told you that if I was fortunate enough to be re-elected, I’d work to change a tax code that too often benefited the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

This week, we did that.  For the first time in two decades, we raised taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans in a bipartisan way, while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have thrown our economy back into recession.

Under this law, more than 98% of Americans and 97% of small business will not see their income taxes go up one dime.  We also made sure that millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their children and send them to college.  Companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research they do, the investments they make, and the clean energy jobs they create.  And two million Americans who are out of work will continue to receive unemployment benefits so long as they are actively looking for a job.

But all this was just one more step in the broader effort to grow our economy and shrink our deficits.  We still need to do more to put Americans back to work while also putting this country on a path to pay down its debt.  And our economy can’t afford more protracted showdowns or manufactured crises along the way.  Because even as our businesses created 2 million new jobs last year – including 168,000 new jobs last month – the messy brinksmanship in Congress made business owners more uncertain and consumers less confident.

We know there’s a path forward.  Last year, I signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction.  This week’s action further reduces the deficit by $737 billion, making it one of the largest deficit reduction bills passed by Congress in over a decade.  And I’m willing to do more.

I believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology all which are critical to our prosperity in a 21st century economy.  But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code.  The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.

And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up.  If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic.  The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.  Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.

I congratulate the newly sworn-in Members of Congress, and I look forward to working with the new Congress in a bipartisan way.  If we focus on the interests of our country above the interests of party, I’m convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue in a manner that reduces our deficit and protects the middle class.  And we can step up to meet the important business that awaits us this year. Creating jobs and boosting incomes. Fixing our infrastructure and our immigration system.  Promoting our energy independence while protecting our planet from the harmful effects of climate change.  Educating our children and shielding them from the horrors of gun violence.

These aren’t just things we should do – they’re things we must do.  And in this New Year, I’ll fight as hard as I know how to get them done.  Happy New Year, everybody.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  There is no debt ceiling (8+ / 0-)

    If Congress doesn't want to borrow more money, it needs to pass a balanced budget now.

    The bills have to be paid. Republicans appear to be completely ignorant about how this works.

    Americans can make our country better.

    by freelunch on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:02:42 AM PST

  •  No bargaining on the debt ceiling, AND ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... significant tax reform?

    But spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code. The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.
    Look at the standard the President has set. Set that against the Romney/GOP approach that any revenue raised from the wealthy in tax reform should/must be reflected in tax rates [for the wealthy].

    What a year this could be!

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:05:14 AM PST

    •  They could actually do some good things with (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, DRo, Sharon Wraight, freelunch, rebel ga

      the tax code.  I'm not holding my breath though.

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:14:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they could...but I'm betting Congress won't. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, RainyDay, squarewheel

        In a darker day and long ago, I had something to do with tax matters and the Hill.

        Every provision - every provision in the huge tax code and the attendant regs, the opinion letters of the IRS and Tax Policy learning in the Treasury department - has a beneficiary, usually several, and often they are legion.

        The idea that the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee ultimately will approve significant, substantial, game-changing tax reform has the most dismal odds of anything I can think of in DC today. Yes, including the debt ceiling and the sequester.

        Why, you might ask? Because the very devils are in those provisions. Each affects its beneficiary taxpayer(s) in a very important way, so much so that it is quite unlikely that rates could change enough to compensate for the loss of My Particular Bennie. It's just that simple.

        There are provisions in the code that not even the sponsor remembers which constituent he/she put it in for. (One arcane provision benefited one taxpayer; the first letters of the paragraphs spelled the taxpayer's name.) Does anyone check on these? Yeah, they try, but in the press of the last minute legislative fracas, no way can even the Joint Tax Committee Staff (the most professional government group, in my judgment, in Washington, DC) vet anything but the language. Policy? - you gotta be kidding. Like earmarks used to be (and - shhh - still are!), who needs policy if passage depends on securing the vote of the Congressman from Boonesville.

        Even where a provision is very broad-based policy, there are groups who will passionately protect it and that interest group will frame the debate, not the interests of The Average Voter. For example:

        - mortgage deduction. The realtors will protect this with every fibre of their out-sized profits.

        - dividend rates. The GOP and the business world embraces this as preventing double taxation. That is all they will need to repeat and repeat and ...

        - carried interest treatment as capital gain, not income. The big contributors and some small town insurance salesmen protect this one as if killing it would imperil their way of life. (Which, for some, it might. After all, it was one of Mitt's favorite havens.)

        It's a grand idea our President has there ... but do not count on results or added revenues until the bill gets through conference and hits the President's desk. Before that, make no promises, no threats. In fact, this briar patch is best left completely alone for Congress, who caused most of it, to deal with.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:40:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  At least I haven't heard him talk about (0+ / 0-)

      "broadening the tax base." We all know what that means.

      Every time a Republican says that phrase, I want to hit something.

      Maybe the President considers the raise in payroll taxes to be enough of a tax hike on the 99%. If so, I'm more than willing to accept that hike, though its existence makes me even angrier about the Bush estate taxes and Bush corporate taxes and other shit like that being made permanent.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:52:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was surprised the payroll tax cut was killed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        Foregoing it lost lots of revenue, to be sure, but in the past, President Obama defended maintaining the cut because of the adverse impact that raising the tax would have on struggling families. He was right before and not enough has changed to change that view.

        As far as Obama's overall approach to tax reform, the full phrase he used in today's weekly message was:

        "The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans."
        Think about that. It announces a sweeping negation of business tax breaks, very intentionally crafted into the laws over along period of time. It would seem to include accelerated depreciation on machinery and equipment, the investment tax credit, contributions to worker pensions and all manner of "tax expenditures" that favor particular types of businesses and business activities. Every single one of which has vigorous adherents.

        If the President really knows what he said - and I, for one, think he does - the business community's lobbyists will be on the gravy train express should Congress dare to take up reform this wholesale!

        It would be much easier to phase out the effect of business deductions, credits, preferences, etc., so that businesses pay a minimum tax of, say, 20% even if they have preferences that exceed that threshold.

        Pass the popcorn, folks, there's entertainment ahead.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:18:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Today's GOP is like little Gremlins....they (6+ / 0-)

    just want to see what they can break.  We'll see if Wall Street can put them back in their cage.

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:12:45 AM PST

  •  Tax the Rich & End Corporate Welfare! (8+ / 0-)

    How To Raise Taxes: Think Eisenhower!!!

    Quoting J.J. Goldberg at forward.com:  

    [...] Eisenhower inherited a top marginal income tax rate of 92% from his predecessor Harry Truman when he entered the White House in 1953. He quickly lowered it to 91%, where it stayed until Lyndon Johnson lowered it again to 77% in 1964 and then 70% in 1965.  

    During his eight years in the White House, Eisenhower managed to reduce the federal deficit by 75% — down to a quarter of the size he inherited — while building the Interstate Highway System and launching America’s space program. GDP growth averaged 3% per year. Unemployment averaged just under 5.5%.  

    Reagan, entering office in 1981, inherited Johnson’s 70% top marginal income tax rate and immediately lowered it to 50%, then to 38.5% and finally to 28%. His theory was that high taxes stifle economic growth, while lowering taxes unleashes growth and creates jobs. It was a great national experiment, and the result was conclusive: It didn’t work. Growth averaged 3.4% per year during Reagan’s presidency, hardly better than Eisenhower’s, while unemployment averaged a shocking 7.43%, far worse than Eisenhower’s and hardly better than the much-maligned Obama record. [...]  

    So the next time you listen to a presidential debate, remember that nobody up there is taking the Democratic side. The debate we’re having today is between a robust Reaganism and a faint, timid echo of Eisenhower Republicanism. In fact, when you get down to it, the Democrats can’t even bring themselves to take Eisenhower’s side with any conviction. We’re all touting variations on a flimflam theory that’s been tried and proven a colossal failure.

    ——–

    How To Cut Spending: End Corporate Welfare!!!     

    As Rex Nutting of Marketwatch noted in his 12/18/2012 article “Why isn’t Obama demanding corporate welfare cuts?”, “$2.6 trillion could be saved [...] It’s possible to achieve all the budget savings we need for the next 10 years simply by cutting the fat out of discretionary spending programs and tax expenditures [removing all of the corporate welfare] without raising tax rates on the wealthy or cutting the safety net at all.”     

    Oil and gas companies, which are raking in record profits, certainly don’t need $4 billion a year in subsidies, and even the oil company CEOs admit they don’t need it!     

    Why are cuts to Social Security and Medicare even being discussed while literally billions in corporate welfare are constantly spilling out of the Treasury? 

    White House petition to End Corporate Welfare: http://wh.gov/...

  •  Funny how he didn't mention entitlements (9+ / 0-)
    I believe we can find more places to cut spending without shortchanging things like education, job training, research and technology
    What about short-changing seniors?

    He will cave* on entitlements just like he will on the debt ceiling.  Wait for it.

    *Actually, cutting back on entitlements for him is not a "cave" since he's been into doing that for quite a while.  He'll just make it look like a cave (or a concession or being pragmatic).

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:22:07 AM PST

    •  and yet it hasn't happened (6+ / 0-)
      Actually, cutting back on entitlements for him is not a "cave" since he's been into doing that for quite a while.
      •  Not because he hasn't tried. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, shaharazade, squarewheel

        The biggest tell other than what he said about it, is his formation and chair appointments to the Catfood Commission.  What could be a more blatant endorsement of cutting entitlements than appointing Simpson and Bowles as Chairs?

        Time will tell.  I just hopes he continues to fail in this regard.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:11:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meant to include this link: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lady Libertine

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:18:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  but I thought (0+ / 0-)

          nobody should believe anything he says and just watch his actions?  His actions are that he saved entitlements from the sequester and has actually expanded entitlements via ACA.

          And did he implement any of the Simpson/Bowles recommendations?

          •  It's more important to watch what he doesn't say. (0+ / 0-)

            Also, his actions did not save the chained COLA, he put it up on the table (or, if you prefer, left it there) and it was the Repubs who didn't take his offer.  As for the Catfood Commission, they didn't vote them out of the commission leaving him less leverage to push for them.  But then, I suppose, his offer on chained COLA and the Commission were all part of an n-dimensional chess game.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:11:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There is no reason in the world (0+ / 0-)

            that people who want Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid to continue shouldn't watch this President with caution and skepticism, though not, perhaps, with cynicism and despair.

            If things turn out fine in two months, I'm sure we'll all be willing to buy you guys dinner. I doubt there's one suspicious person on this site that wouldn't be delighted to be wrong about this.

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:57:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  yes there is a bigger tell (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          accumbens

          during the first presidential debate, he volunteered the information that his views on Social Security are very similar to Romney's.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:54:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There might actually be a few Democrats (4+ / 0-)

      who need votes from people over 50.  Somehow, we got kicked out of the Democrat's big tent.

      I don't know what is wrong with the party.  They can screw the Republicans forever if they eat into their vote with seniors.  Instead, they are going to delude themselves that all they need are votes from people under 50.

      Sorry kids, I am a mean old woman.  If you screw me on Social Security don't expect me to vote to support education.

      Stop the generational warfare!!  

      •  It's not generational greenbell (0+ / 0-)

        not to be a jerk here, but it's important not to let them make SS and Medicare into wedge issues.  Here's how cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will hurt younger generations:

        A lot of seniors have families, many of them my generation, who will be taking in their moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, great-aunts, etc. if/when their elders can no longer support themselves independently. My generation just lost 54% of its net worth between 2007 and 2012.  A lot of us are underwater, underemployed, and underpaid.  Adding one or two mouths to feed could be what pushes these families into poverty.

        Now, a lot of senior citizens will not accept this situation, and therefore, in addition to having a domino effect of poverty if DC cuts Social Security and Medicare, I expect that the suicide rate among people over 50 will also go up. Please understand that I am not advocating for people killing themselves. What I'm saying is, I know the American people, and a lot of them will not accept the loss of their independence and the prospect of being a financial burden to their children, no matter how the children feel about it. So in addition to many families of my generation being pushed into poverty by the addition of extra expenses that we have to pick up b/c the government took our money for Social Security and then refused to pay on the back end, many families of my generation will also have to face the pain of losing their elders before their time.

        That's what I see coming if serious cuts of any kind are made to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:07:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If I had a dollar for all of the predictions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zizi

      made on this site that turned out to be nothing but hostile bullshit...

      Impeach Norquist!

      by kitebro on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:11:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they would probably not total as much as those (0+ / 0-)

        based on blind faith in Obama.  

        And, for that matter, I like how you equate criticism with hostility.  Next, you'll be using the word "haters."

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:26:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I admit that all the signs are (0+ / 0-)

      that that is what he's going to do. But it hasn't happened yet. We should plan to make a lot of noise in the next two months. We should also plan what we're going to do if what we fear is coming actually comes.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:53:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly right, Mr. President (9+ / 0-)
    The wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations shouldn’t be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.
    Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan campaigned on the claim that these loopholes are easy to determine and close. Just because they lost the election is no reason to ignore those loopholes. In fact, if they're true, patriotic Americans as they claim to be, they'll help in this task. So, let's get on with it.

    How 'bout we start with that carried interest thingy, Mr. Romney?  Then, let's "please proceed" to those tax give-aways to oil companies that don't even need them.

    The more loopholes we can close, the less we have to cut into the muscle and bone of the programs Americans need.

    “Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.” -- Ronald Reagan, 1984 debate with Walter Mondale

    by RJDixon74135 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:24:55 AM PST

  •  Every time I think I can't get any (6+ / 0-)

    more proud of him, I get more proud of him. I also think in this new year and beginning of a new term we should be thinking of the Obama family. They have sacrificed a tremendous amount for us, living in the bubble and, for the girls, giving up a normal childhood. Barack Obama is a good president, and may even be a great president, but whatever your view of him is there any doubt but that Michelle Obama is the greatest First Lady ever?

  •  Great way to frame the issue! (6+ / 0-)
    ...one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up.
    The Tea Party cultists are threatening to be deadbeats, to not pay their billls.

    What ever happened to personal (or national) responsibility?

    The filibuster is a crime against democracy.

    by schuylkill on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:30:12 AM PST

    •  Precisely, the President has framed that well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schuylkill, oysterface

      and our argument with baggers can be that they always lecture us on personal responsibility and paying our bills. Well then the Republicans need to be reminded they need to pay the bills  !!

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:53:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  More gravitas needed, IMHO, not "Hi everybody." (0+ / 0-)

    Just my $0.02, but I think he should drop the familiar, informal tone of "Hi, Everybody" and adopt a more 'presidential' tone. E.g., "My Fellow Americans," "Dear Fellow Americans," "Dear Country Men and Women," or do like Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr (blech) did, and just say "Good morning," or just start talking, while looking at the camera. Jimmy Carter seemed to do the same (though I haven't seen as comprehensive a list of his 'fireside chats') -- "Good Evening," or just start in.

    I know some of us like President Obama's folksiness, but I think it would give him more power to accomplish what we want if he took on more gravitas.

    Not a big deal, just minor image polishing. :-)

    •  I rather like that about him , just speaking for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, winsock, zizi

      myself , of course.  i think that is why people can relate to him and his family and another reason they are so fond of him on a personal level too. He always does well in polling on this.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:55:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on the occasion (0+ / 0-)

      The weekly address can be more informal, a bit like FDR's "fireside chats" or Carter's, as you mention. FDR often began with "My friends..." but he did change it up.  I rather like an informal tone in that context, to a degree, anyhow.

      Obama won't begin his state of the union address with "hi everybody."  And he shouldn't.  There's a time and place for everything.

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:14:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It all depends on President Obama (5+ / 0-)

    refusing to negotiate over the debt ceiling and being willing to let the Republcians shoot the hostage.  President Obama's second term and place in history depends on this.

    I don't know what he will do. Past histpry suggests this is more bluster than not and he will compromise to avoid the Rs shooting the hostage.  On the other hand, I think he understands how this normalizing this hostage taking undermines our system and constitutional form of government.  With control of the House, Rs should be able to force compromises with the senate on legislation (on policy) or force gridlock.  Using the debt ceiling as a hostage allows them to dictates policy in an undemocratic way.

    President Obama will again take this oath:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."    
    I hope he sees this crisis as implicating that oath.  

    So past history may be no guide.  

    We will see.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:36:17 AM PST

    •  The President is one person... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      He can do a lot, but in essence it's us that can make the difference. Progressive voices are getting heard. The criminal essence of GOP policies and activities, although underreported, are adding up and will be an ever growing albatross upon a party that has segregated itself away from not only the poor, the dark and the immigrant, but also people that are educated, informed, tolerant, gay, atheist, female or anyone else who just doesn't look right.
      We just need to come together and invite those in the R party and independents into a world of reality, opportunity and inclusiveness. Let's make optimism power us to the goals for which this nation was designed, and call GOP obstructionism and divisiveness out for what it is; sabotage against the rest of us.

  •  Civil Cold War (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, greenbell

    The Republicans will work with you about as much as Confederate southerners worked with Lincoln. You/we are in a civil cold war. You and every other Democrat should accept that truth and use every means at your disposals to combat the right. Sure, Lincoln made peace with the evil Confederate South, but only AFTER he destroyed their ability to wage war against the Union.

  •  What I take it to mean is that the President, (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid, and other senators are saying .that increasing the debt limit, to pay for functions and measures already obligated by congress, was a routine task of congress until the last one decided to hold the good faith and credit of the United States hostage. This time the President will not negotiate over this congressional responsibility.  They will do what they will do.  But those who still have a brain and some sense of responsibility to the public, are put on notice that, if they they raise the issue and are not able to induce bargaining, they will either have to back down or take the country into default.  Either way, the onus will be entirely theirs and they will know this before raising the issue.  It is basically like saying that we will not negotiate with terrorists.

  •  Where is the public outcry? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg

    I don't understand why people are screaming for cuts in oil, agriculture and drug company subsidies.  No one says a word about that.  Cut corporate welfare, not senior benefits.

    •  a lot of people are confused, I bet (0+ / 0-)

      even I'm confused about some of this (the deficit figures) and I've been paying more attention to all this sh*t than I should.

      Also, nobody's listened to the public for a long time. People get tired of screaming at the wall.  Last time 'the people' said anything about politics, DHS and corporate security collaborated to shut them down by beating the crap out of them, and very few politicians of either party even took notice.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:11:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP added 2 expensive war rooms to the house (0+ / 0-)

    and now refuse to pay the 2nd mortgage.  They want to rip the roof off instead.

    We can get this, but the GOP is going to have to stop being crazy for at least a little while.

  •  I find 2 things here that interest me most. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi

    I think the focus on "bills you racked up" is the opening salvo for the 2014 campaign.  Expect a clear picture of how Republicans have skyrocketed the debt, particularly during his SOTU address.  

    When Obama took office in 2009 he created a study group to analyze government spending, find waste, find overlaps.  He's already used that data to improve Medicare and help small businesses.  Overlapping agencies have been combined or their oversight shifted.  Defense contractors have new guidelines for fulfilling their contracts or forfeiting payment.  That's how he's cut the budget so far.  NO CUTS TO SS, MEDICARE, OR MEDICAID.  None.  Zip. Zero.  No cuts.  None.  I'm repeating myself because it's time for a reality check on the frenzies indulged in here for the last 2 weeks.  No cuts!  4 years in office, no cuts.  None.

    I'm pretty sure spending cuts will be those recommended by his advisors, the people who actually know where bloat and fraud exist.  Many will be in defense spending. I urge you to consider, when defense cuts are mentioned, that we've never had a President this committed to the welfare of our soldiers and their families.  No matter who tries to panic you about defense cuts, keep that in mind.  

    I'd also like to mention this.  In focus groups Team Obama ran prior to 2012, the single most important thing they learned was that people could not believe Republicans were crazy enough to gut the safety net, crash the economy, starve children, destroy the middle class.  When shown actual video of those proposals they blew it off as "campaign talk".  "they 'd never really do that." was the response.  

    More tough talk from Democrats can't change that perception. What it's taken is Obama's strategy of laying out bait and letting the Republicans en masse lay out their plans.  

    We won big in 2012 because of that, more great Progressives than I can wrap my brain around!  The wussy, weak compromiser in chief built those wins by playing a slow, steady game with the Republicans.  Since it's a strategy that works, expect more of it.  

    I'm appalled that more people here are not getting how amazing this is.  The Republicans owned Strong on Defense, Fiscally Responsible, Able to Keep Us Safe, with a side of Government is Bad, for decades.  In one term Obama changed that narrative.  Now he will show them as profligate spenders, debt creators, fools on Foreign Policy, warmongers with no interest in who dies for oil or gold or lithium, while continuing to teach Americans why government is in their best interest.

    PS. Tim Geithner managed TARP, the auto rescue, and mortgage aid so well it only cost taxpayers 7 billion dollars.  Might be possible that his inside knowledge saved our asses.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:31:53 AM PST

  •  Social Security, Medicare And Medicaid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock

    Are critical to elderly people's dignity in older years.  That's just as important as "prosperity."

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:49:14 AM PST

    •  What's more, prosperity can't last without (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stewarjt, Bobba Louie

      a well-arranged society taking care of its disabled, sick and/or elderly citizens. Social Security is both the hallmark and the core of civilized society which should want its members to thrive on an even footing, which in turns enables economic prosperity. Social Darwinism has proven time and again to be diametrically opposed to being beneficial to all but a select few on the top of the income and property ladder.

    •  this is part of prosperity! (0+ / 0-)

      this is not an issue that just affects the elderly.

      If Congress wants to make these cuts without having serious contraction in the economy, perhaps even recession, they'd better be giving some serious consideration to John Conyers' full employment bill. Or perhaps, directing the Fed to fulfill the part of its stated mandate where it says that the Fed is supposed to strive for full employment.

      And said "full employment" had better be at a living wage, not a NAFTA special with sweatshop fries on the side.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 12:15:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Economics Of Counter-Cyclical Spending (0+ / 0-)

    The best way to cut down on deficits is to get the economy growing more substantially. Wish we could see Democrats take this line in their rhetoric. The deficit is a long term issue. That Obama uses the austerity line limits our ability to contrast ourselves from the Norquist led GOP crazies.

  •  Why is it so easy for him to say this (0+ / 0-)

    "And as I said earlier this week, one thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they’ve already racked up.  If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic"

    Now, while it was so impossible for him to say it in the summer of 2011? Because of the election? Did he really think that the above message would have lost them the election? Cause if that's so, it's really sad. And if it's not, I don't see what the explanation is for the change between his stance of 2011 and his stance now.

    Also, I have to say, the math around here is beginning to confuse the hell out of me. I don't get how Barack Obama can say that we just cut the deficit by 737 billion, while the CBO seems to be saying that if nothing changes we just added 4 Trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, because of all the Bush tax cuts we just made permanent.  Somebody who's better at math than I am explain how the hell this works.

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:44:37 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site