Deal, no deal, or lousy deal? One problem of the giving hostage takers what they want is that the next time hostage takers want something they will take hostages. I wonder when will Pres. Obama ever learn? Yogi Berra once said “it is like déjà vu all over again.”

I predicted that at the last minute a lousy grand bargain would have been signed into law by Pres. Obama. Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think that such a poor deal would be negotiated.

The issue of tax rates on the wealthiest Americans was never an important issue to me. The important issues are 1) getting people back to work; 2) getting workers a decent salary for their work; 3) providing the necessities of life including food, shelter and medical care for our citizens; 4) reversing global warming; and 5) educating the people so that they can make intelligent decisions. The deal does nothing to address these problems.

If the deal did nothing, that would be an improvement. Despite the deal we still went over the cliff. Falling over a cliff is not the problem. As Clinton might say “it is the landing stupid.” Right now the landing looks terrible. So now we fall for sixty-days and look for a safety net. Republicans are holding the safety net hostage.

Unfortunately, Pres. Obama will once again negotiate with the hostage takers. This time he will be missing the big stick of having tax rates automatically rising. I doubt that Pres. Obama will have the courage to do the right things. First, Pres. Obama must remove the hammer of the debt ceiling from Republican hands. This can easily be accomplished by minting 10 $1 trillion coins.

Second, Pres. Obama must refocus the debate to getting people back to work. Occupy Wall Street did refocus the debate; but, for too short a period of time. Pres. Obama can do this by arguing that putting people back to work and pain people higher wages will produce the revenue to reduce the deficit. He needs to make the point that good paying jobs is the path to government surpluses and debt reduction. Austerity is the path to ever increasing deficits and a much higher debt burden.

Third, Pres. Obama needs to take social security reform off of the table. (Seniors will work longer if there are good paying jobs for the.) If anything Social Security benefits should be increased and the age for receiving full benefits should be reduced. Money to pay for this can easily be found by removing the cao on the payroll tax.

Fourth, Pres. Obama needs to put healthcare back on the table. The problem Medicare is facing is the same problem that all citizens are facing. The problem is rapidly rising health care costs. Obama care does not sufficiently address this problem to stem the tide. Pres. Obama needs to acknowledge that fact and bring healthcare reform once again to the table.

Fifth, Pres. Obama needs to address climate change directly. A carbon tax is long past due. More effort needs to be put into exploiting “green” energy sources. Much more effort needs to be placed in developing better “green” energy sources. We need to take care to more efficiently use the energy that we have. Finally we must look for better ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Sixth, Pres. Obama needs to put infrastructure on the table. Our bridges are falling down. Our water mains and sewer mains are springing leaks. Potholes are growing. Our mass transit systems are overcrowded. All of this leads to lower productivity and an inability to compete.

Finally, Pres. Obama needs to change the education system in America. Tuition at public colleges and universities should be reduced to zero. Students seeking degrees in professions that should be highly paid and where there are shortages should be paid to go to school. K-12 should be available to everyone who needs it. Education must be not only career specific, but also well rounded.

So here we are. Like Wiley coyote we are falling off a cliff with an anvil over our heads. It is like déjà vu all over again.

Artist: John Fogerty
Song: Deja Vu (All Over Again)


Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you try to read the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

Day by day I hear the voices rising
Started with a whisper like it did before
Day by day we count the dead and dying
Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Could your eyes believe the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

One by one I see the old ghosts rising
Stumblin' 'cross Big Muddy
Where the light gets dim
Day after day another Momma's crying
She's lost her precious child
To a war that has no end

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you stop to read the writing at The Wall
Did that voice inside you say
I've seen this all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again
It's like Deja Vu all over again

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