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View Diary: Obama in weekly address: Congress must act now to stop sequester (99 comments)

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  •  I can't understand (4+ / 0-)

    why the Republicans can't get this. Austerity has NEVER worked (anywhere in the world). Stimulus has ALWAYS worked. They are just so WRONG that it takes your breath away and points inexorably to a patently obvious ulterior motive - crippling the economy to anger the electorate and regain power - that I can't believe very many Americans are blind to this. Obama is doing a good job pointing this out, but because the far right won't listen and the big media outlets insist on showing the two sides as being of "equal" relevance, much of America is totally in the dark. I know an Appellate Court Judge here in my town who truly believes that Eric Cantor will save America from some sort of financial meltdown. He's a JUDGE, for god's sake! I am beginning to think (and I told my wife this just the other day) that we need to stop talking to them and start swinging at them with two-by-fours (with nails in them, if necessary).

    Republicans want smaller gov't for the same reason crooks want fewer cops. - James Carville

    by wyckoff on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:11:24 AM PST

    •  but Obama isn't against austerity (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, zinger99, bdop4, slinkerwink

      He's not proposing to shrink the sequester. He just wants to rearrange it.

    •  Obama is not doing a good job pointing this out (10+ / 0-)

      He has been pushing cuts as much as anyone. We just feel grateful around here b/c he wants to get some revenue in addition to the cuts--and because his cuts are not as horrible as the cuts proposed by Paul Ryan. But he wants to do deficit reduction to the tune of 4 trillion dollars in a weak economy that just got gut-punched with an iron poker.

      Anyone who in a weak economy talks about 4 to 1 or 2 to 1 cuts--hell, anybody who talks about any cuts that eliminate jobs--should be put out to pasture, frankly, as either being crazy or disingenuous with regard to saving the American economy.

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:18:31 AM PST

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      •  No he hasn't, but even the leftie (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wyckoff, NedSparks, emal, TFinSF, Beetwasher, askew

        blogosphere is pushing this meme.  Helpful.  He's never once stopped pushing for more spending and in fact uses money in the budget to stimulate the economy.

        What we need to get is his skill in taking Republican talking points and turning them into progressive policies.  Republicans can't use the tried and true lies as well after they're co-opted.

        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 Feb 23, 2013 at 07:47:17 AM PST

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        •  Thank you for that n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          I love OCD

          Republicans want smaller gov't for the same reason crooks want fewer cops. - James Carville

          by wyckoff on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:54:51 AM PST

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        •  You Can't Generate Real Economic Growth (6+ / 0-)

          through a deficit reduction lens. This is his strongest statement to date:

          "After all, as we learned in the 1990s, nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. That has to be our driving focus. That has to be our North Star. Making America a magnet for good jobs."

          If that's the case, then WTF are we talking about deficit reduction? Sure, cut loopholes, but every dollar should be reallocated towards creating jobs through infrastructure repair, tax incentives for new technologies and education to retool the labor force.

          Every dollar spent now to "reduce the deficit" delays economic growth which is the only thing that will eliminate it altogether.

          •  Yep. n/t (0+ / 0-)

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:00:29 AM PST

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            •  Nope. 20th Century politics won't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew

              take us forward.  This is sophisticated anti-propaganda politicking and for those of us who pay attention it's working miraculously well.

              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 Feb 23, 2013 at 11:33:29 AM PST

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          •  we talk about it because the media (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PorridgeGun

            talks about it.  We talk that talk because "Tax and Spend Democrats" is the most successful lie of the last 5 decades, and has been the driving force behind the shitty welfare reform of Clinton's years, Bush's argument for privatizing everyfuckingthing, and Dem's inability to get ANYONE to talk honestly about piss-on-us economics.  

            Notice who was President when that talking point got neutered.  When Keeps Us Safe shifted to Democrats.  When Strong On Defense stopped meaning the neo-cons.  When Fiscally Responsible began to be greeted by their own voters with a laugh.  

            You can natter away about the words until hell freezes over.  What counts is that long-entrenched narratives have changed in 4 short years because Obama's really really good at twisting their memes into policies and budgets that reflect progressive ideals.  

            If we spent less time thinking tough talk was the solution we could maybe see that small, frequent actions are what keep this economy afloat while the RW does everything possible to tank it.  

            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 Feb 23, 2013 at 11:29:05 AM PST

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        •  Nope. You can start with Paygo. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          And go on from there to using Simpson-Bowles as a starting point for negotiations, to putting chained CPI on the table when even insiders on the Hill didn't understand why he should have specified one damned cut. He had Boehner on the ropes, and he could have kept pressuring him to specify the cuts if the Repubs wanted to shrink government so damned bad.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:00:12 AM PST

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          •  Have you ever noticed that the earned (0+ / 0-)

            benefits programs were protected?  That Republicans haven't jumped on chained CPI?  That Pay-Go isn't what happened with the latest fiscal cliff?  

            Look at results and stop fretting about words.  You may not grasp the significance of the change we're in.  I have, I'm blown away that even the media can't stop what people are seeing about the Republican Party.  That's not an accident.

            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 Feb 23, 2013 at 11:39:46 AM PST

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            •  Why is it that we're suppose to look at the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD, greenbell

              results on this issue and this issue only. Should we not take the president at his word?  Because he's been saying he's going to "reform" entitlements since he was running the first time. Is this like how we're suppose to call him a liberal even though he has explicitly stated otherwise?

              •  He also has dissed FDR and praised Reagan. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell, PorridgeGun

                This "sophistication" is just more Third-Way garbage.

                if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:23:34 PM PST

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                •  So what's your plan? Vote for one of the (0+ / 0-)

                  Paul triumvirate?  It's hard to argue with reality so you call me Not A True Progressive?  It's funny that in the 3 months I've been making these arguments not one True Progressive has responded with anything but not-meant-to-be-factual statements, some kind of name-calling, or mansplaining why I don't see how AWFUL THIS IS.  

                  I feel your pain.

                  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 Feb 23, 2013 at 01:56:57 PM PST

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                  •  My plan is to criticize the president (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PorridgeGun, HCKAD

                    when he tried to enact an agenda I disagree with. If you want to pretend like that's the same as wanting to elect one of the Paul triumvirate(Hadn't heard that phrase before, I like it, BTW) then that's fine. We got Obama elected and now we're just suppose to shut up when he does something we don't like? Do you really think chained CPI isn't bad? Or do you just think the president is a liar when he says he wants to make it happen?

                    Most importantly, why in the hell are we even talking about entitlements, SS has nothing to do with the deficit and anyone who's being even slightly honest should admit that.

                •  Pretty much not true. Are you reading (0+ / 0-)

                  Glenn Greenwald?  Curious about how these things stay alive after debunking.

                  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 Feb 23, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM PST

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              •  He did reform Medicare. He's kept his word. (0+ / 0-)

                He reformed the fraudsters into jail after years of easy pickings.  He reformed the Part D prescription administrators out of their profiteering.  He reformed obscene profits out of durable equipment providers.  He reformed co-pay charges for diagnostic testing out of existence and added tests that were never covered.  He reformed end of life planning into the doctor's office.  

                This would be why I'm more inclined to trust him than I am to trust various bloggers who have lit their hair on fire every three months for 4 years plus, despite the fact that in those 4 years SS hasn't been privatized, stripped, altered, gutted, weakened, AND Medicare has been vastly improved.  

                When this starts up again I'm forcibly reminded of Wayne LaPierre:  sure, he hasn't done it YET he was waiting for his second term.  

                Maybe it's smarter to see how reform built a better more responsive Medicare?  Maybe there are ways to do the same with SS so Republicans have no leg to stand on when they light THEIR fucking hair on fire?

                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 Feb 23, 2013 at 01:49:59 PM PST

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            •  Reality tells me that the only reason we don't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PorridgeGun

              have chained CPI is that the insane portion of the right wing hates Obama so much they're not willing to give him a success on anything. We keep being saved from crappy policy by a bunch of insane racists.

              Reality also tells me that the Overton window phenomenon is real, and basically both parties are now agreeing on economic views that start with Reaganomics and go rightward from there.

              But hey, believe whatever you want to, and if you support your beliefs by looking down on others as being insufficiently sophisticated about the political inside game, you will not be alone.

              if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:22:56 PM PST

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              •  No there are a lot of people who agree (0+ / 0-)

                with me, so I don't fear aloneness.  

                Was Reagan serious about building a strong middle class?  I did not know that.  Good on him!  I missed his support of financial regulations and strong unions and a strong manufacturing base and green energy and training people for today's jobs and reducing the cost of health care as well.  I was probably just busy then.

                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 Feb 23, 2013 at 02:05:58 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Since more than 75% of Americans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          want to preserve Social Security intact, even to the point of paying higher taxes to pay for it, there seems little point in having a Democratic president argue  repeatedly for cutting it.

          Do us outsider amateur plebes get to know the object of this eleventy-dimensional chess game? If it's making Republicans look bad, they are perfectly capable of doing that themselves.(See 2012 elections, rape).

           And yes, I get that triangulation is like herding Republican lemmings off a cliff. Republicans have to differentiate themselves from the Democrats, because their entire movement is based on hating Democrats. So you keep taking Republican positions, forcing them to differentiate from you by retreating into more and more extreme forms of rightism. It's very clever politics which unfortunately requires an economic blood sacrifice, because public policy goes rightward along with politics. Eventually the Democrats win--YAY!--because they're the only party left that looks sane. Unfortunately, by the time that happens, the middle class is decimated by the terrible right wing policies that have been adopted by both parties.

          Hence the split in this site. Those who love the Democratic party the way I love the Baltimore Ravens are cheering b/c the actions of the Democrats are politically smart--in a way. At least, at the end of the day, the Democrats will be the political party in power, probably representing a large part of the big money in this country. So, hooray for us and beating the Republicans.   Those who love the Democratic party because they want humane and functional public policy are horrified, b/c a lot of working- and middle-class people are going to be terribly hurt in the process. Sorry if that's too "twentieth-century" for you.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:43:38 PM PST

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          •  Too bad Social Security and Medicare are 20th (0+ / 0-)

            Century programs -- sooo, retro dontcha know.  

            But hey, don't trust what he SAYS.  He's just fibbing for our own good.

          •  So you don't think chained CPI might be (0+ / 0-)

            one of those suggestions Republicans ought to jump on and don 't so isn't that interesting.  I find it fascinating.  I wonder how many programs they cherish have automatic COLA.  Farm subsidies?  Oil subsidies?  

            I also wonder if there's a way to protect SS from the Republicans for a few years.  I could use a break from that panic I live in when they gain power.

            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 Feb 23, 2013 at 02:23:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  No more cuts (4+ / 0-)

        They aren't going to help.

        I challenge all the deficit hawks.  Show me how the deficit at its current level is hurting the economy.

        Where is the inflation?

        Where is the devaluation of the dollar?

        This is a made up crisis.  It's a chapter right out of Naomi klein's disaster capitalism.  And I had enough of it!

        Get to work on growing the economy.  On doing things we need to do such as repairing the infrastructure. And stop focusing on the deficit.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:59:15 AM PST

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        •  Increased employment will, of course, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          snoopydawg

          help to reduce the deficit. Unlike all the austerity plans from Paul Ryan's bill to the fiscal cliff bill, which according to the CBO actually increased the deficit.

          While spending public money on creating government jobs does spend money (increase the deficit) it also enables those government workers to spend money in the private sector, which creates jobs in the private sector and enables workers in the private sector to pay taxes and stop drawing unemployment, food stamps, etc. Which both grows the economy and reduces the deficit.

          Whereas cutting government jobs cuts the amount of people's wages/salaries, in exchange for losing what they used to pay in taxes and paying out unemployment and food stamps to laid off government workers. Also, we start to have crappy roads, bridges, education, etc etc etc.

          Really not much of a choice here, if you give a damn about the United States of America.

          if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:06:22 AM PST

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    •  Of course austerity works (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal, NoMoreLies, TexasTom, jm214

      The problem is that the actual goal of austerity is not the stated goal. Austerity works great at funneling money to the rentier class, and given that they are it's prime proponents I think it's a fair wager that we' re being had.

    •  You give the Republicans in Congress (12+ / 0-)

      too much credit.

      They are not behaving as they are because they believe that austerity is a good path to take.  They are motivated by two things:

      ~desire to see the President fail.  The only thing they hate more than President Obama is his success.  They will do whatever they can--including harming the economy and a majority of our citizens--in order to be able to blame him for it.

      ~desire to eliminate the middle class.  They want to take away the basic structures of the New Deal, the Great Society and now Obamacare and leave ordinary citizens on their own.  They'd like to pull out the underpinnings of public education and unions and secure government employment, and privatize all our country's services.  The ultimate goal is to enrich their friends at the top, get rid of the middle class and the political and economic muscle it brings, and have the bulk of the population work as wage slaves to the wealthiest masters.  This may sound harsh, but every policy they bring forth--this includes Republican governors in swing states--is leading toward this goal.

      "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

      by SottoVoce on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:43:20 AM PST

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