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I ask this question because I do not know. The contrast between Obama's soaring rhetoric when he gets "Fired Up" and the reality of his executive appointments and their words and actions makes me ask, in the bluntest of terms, between the Super-Duper-Uber rich and everyone else, whose side is President Obama on?

Dear President Obama, you can't cut the baby in half. 98% of America is HURTING. The worst problem facing the richest 2% of America is that their taxes might go up 3%. The rest of the 98% of voters in America are HURTING, and they need your help, Mr. President, and I'm sorry to say it but we MUST make the perfect the enemy of the good if the good isn't good enough.

   We can't keep giving into the richest people in America without HURTING the rest of America. We can't craft vital reforms against FRAUDULENT industries by working with the fraudsters. We can't prop up Karzai for another 4 years. We can't keep cutting the baby in half without getting mixed results.

We need someone to really fight for working class people who are being told to sacrifice EVERYTHING when the richest 2% of Americans ($250,000 - Warren Buffett) are not willing to take a 3% hike in taxes on their millions of dollars.

More below the fold

Crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com

We need help. This is class war. Is Obama on our side or not? He can't cut the baby in half, not while we are losing our homes with no job security. 98% can't give anymore, we're tapped out. The rich have to take this one on the chin for the team, team America (fuck yeah!). Are the rich patriotic or not? Is Obama on our side, or theirs?

We can't have wars AND cut taxes at the same time. The only President who ever tried this was George W. Bush. Guess how that worked out (Hint: You are standing in it.) If we are going to have our longest war ever, which we are doing RIGHT NOW, we can NOT cut taxes. If we are going to cut spending to decrease the deficit CAUSED BY wars and tax cuts that went mostly to the rich I would say either stop the wars or the tax cuts that CAUSED the deficit. Anything other than this is trying to appease both sides and cut the baby in half. But that isn't keeping people in homes that they're being fraudulently foreclosed on, that isn't stopping the richest 1% of Americans from pushing another 10 million Americans into poverty for their own gain. Helping BP clean up their mess isn't fixing the fact that BP might do it again. Working with the health insurance industry to reform the health insurance industry doesn't mean you get a fixed industry, it means you get a reform that is totally FIXED. We can't keep cutting the baby in half, not when half isn't good enough, not when staying at war another 4 years is always an option, or when your opponent whom you are negotiating with CAUSED the problem. You can't cut the baby in half without pissing off both sides, and one side will NEVER EVER VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS. We call them Republicans.

The prefect MUST be the enemy of the good when the good isn't good enough, or when the good actually sucks but we are told "It is this or nothing". If the reason to vote for Democrats is "It is this or nothing" then the perfect is not only the enemy of the good, but what is being called the good is insane.

So, my question to those readers who might still be with me here is, whose side is President Obama on in the class war, the richest 2% and their special interests or the other 98% of us? The last President, who is ranked 5th worst ever, used to call the richest of the rich of America "His base". Whose base is Obama really working to keep, the wealthy status quo represented by the people and institutions around him, or the rest of us. I hope it is us, because splitting the baby in half isn't change or a cause for hope.

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:07 AM PST.

Poll

Whose side is President Obama on in the class war

39%52 votes
19%26 votes
31%42 votes
9%13 votes

| 133 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar, I blame this all on Cenk Uygar (39+ / 0-)

    Cenk Uygar is George Soros on pot and steroids, more powerful than the richest 2%, Goldman Sachs, Blackwater and the Incredible Hulk combined, Obviously this is all his fault. You can tell because Democrats STILL have yet to form a cogent message on what they stand for and why they govern the way they do. Obviously, Cenk is single handedly ruining the Democratic party.

    Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

    by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:07:26 AM PST

    •  The GOP has had FOX news for over 10 years. (19+ / 0-)

      The Dems are now 10 years behind
      They didn't listen when they were
      told to run
      they missed the starting gun

      And we run and we run
      to catch up to those bums
      but they're leading
      racing around to come up
      behind us
      again.

      America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:26:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. We can NEVER win if the press will NOT (7+ / 0-)

        tell the public why what we are doing is better for the public than what the GOP wants to do.

        Fair and balanced is the truth killer/equalizer.

        If one party is based on LIES that benefit only the rich and the other is more on the side of truth and fact, by going all "fair and balanced-y" on us, it makes both side seem honest. It is like socialism, but for credibility, as if the press MUST make the GOP look as credible as possible not matter how badly they FAIL the lower 98% of the economy. The media is redistributing Democrats credibility. Ironic

        Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

        by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:34:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The ruling class has had ALL Mass-reach Media (6+ / 0-)

        for over 40 years.

        FOX is just the incubator to float the "divide and conquer" ideas which Media Central then picks up and uses to construct a narrative. Which then becomes the entire field of "conventional political wisdom." Whereby people are duped into accepting a truncated view of what is "politically possible."

        The actual interests of the people are never in the field of "politically possible."

        The system works.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:39:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, we need something to compete with (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, xxdr zombiexx, kbman

        Fox and right wing talk radio.

        There is also another threat to getting our message out...churches. Either churches who are against liberals because of abortion, who believe that the bible tells them that gays are evil or on the other side - churches who are preaching that Obama is perfect because he is "our" president.

        Both are road blocks to real progress. Churches who play in politics need to pay taxes.

        "If DADT is going to end, the President could stop enforcement of that policy, pending that change. Why isn't he?" - Rachel Maddow

        by Ginger1 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:53:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, but no ... (0+ / 0-)

      I am in now way "hurting" because I don't have a billion dollars in the bank.  And neither are at least 78%-83% of the people included in the 98% figure.

  •  In the end, we cannot look (25+ / 0-)

    to this President or any other.  No one will fight for working people but themselves, and they are not doing it.  

    Real hard times are coming for many, worse than now, as the Rs suck all $$ and demand from the economy by cutting gov't spending.

    Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

    by TomP on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:13:28 AM PST

  •  Whose side is the prez on you ask. (21+ / 0-)

    It reminds me of the old Pete Seger lyric;
       "They say in Harlan County,
        There are no neutrals there,
        You'll either be a union man,
        Or a thug for J. H. Blair.

        Which side are you on boys,
        Which side are you on?"

    It's time for Barack to stand up and be counted on our side.    

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:14:13 AM PST

  •  i know you love your polls (4+ / 0-)

    to measure interest, but in this case it might behoove you to delete it. The question is loaded and unhelpful.

    •  In this case, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hillbilly Dem, soothsayer99

      it reveals the true purpose of the diary.

      The question is not so much a "question" as it is a statement.

      This is not a book (Atlas Shrugged) to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown, with great force. - Dorothy Parker

      by edwardssl on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:25:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apologies (9+ / 0-)

      The poll reflects the way I feel. War profiteering and tax cuts for the rich caused the deficit. Anything short of stopping the wars AND the tax cuts for the rich is a cave in, imho. Cutting the baby in 1/2 is a cave in too. If the wars are THAT necessary end the tax cuts for the rich. To make a weak argument is just that, a weak argument. With all due respect, laughingplanet, cutting the baby in half is THE source of the voter enthusiasm gap on the left. We will never win Republican voters or GOP votes in congress without pursuing BAD policy and weak politics that do NOT inspire enough people to come out and help us win elections. We need a NEW strategy, not half of the old one. There are no moderates in the class war, you are either being taken advantage of or taking advantage of someone for profit, and I'd say the lines are between the Millionaire plus crowd and everyone else.

      There is a class war. An economic struggle between the very wealthy and everyone else. I honestly think there are three choices in the question, whose side are you on, the rich, everyone else, or a mythical middle. I'd like to see what other readers think, based on my view. Even more so, I'd like to feel more hopeful about the future.

      Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

      by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:27:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It does give a barometer (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep

        of what many are thinking and feeling at this point:

        Poll

        Whose side is President Obama on in the class war

        The richest 2% of America
        38% 42 votes

        The other 98% of America
        20% 22 votes

        Cut the Baby in Half and declare the bipartisanship gods appeased
        31% 34 votes

        Pie
        10% 11 votes

        | 109 votes

        In a get what ya give kind of world: If we keep drawing lines in the sand over and over again and they all ignore it every time... And they already showing signs of caving to the crazy that is GOP. Then they can enjoy the same kind of ZERO support from us that they have given us.

        ePluribus Media
        Collaboration is contagious!

        by m16eib on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 12:19:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be disingenous (0+ / 0-)
      There is no way to delete or edit a poll once the diary is published.
  •  Another answer to yoru question. (13+ / 0-)

    No, I don't think he is on the side of the 2%ers.  I think he cares about the vast majority of folks.  I believe he thinks that Summers/Geithner econ policies will help the majority of people.

    I think the fundamental problem so far is that his bipartisanship fetish would work with a loyal opposition, but the Rs seek to destroy our economy for partisan purposes.  You cannot negotiate with economic terrorists.  

    He constantly legitimizes their positions by saying they are acting in good faith when it is apparent to all they are not.  That reeks of weakness.  In doing so, he is sucking all the enthusiasm from a lot of Dems.    

    The times demanded a fighter and he is a conciliator.  Hell, this was apparent in 2007.

    And on that, his re-election will rest.  I don't know if he can change.

    Rather than hope, he is bringing despair to many who want a better nation.  Rather than building a new Democratic majority, he is bleeding Dems to a revitalized R Party.

    It is not too late, but why should anything be different now?

    Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

    by TomP on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:23:11 AM PST

    •  Maybe I'm being *very* cynical about this... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom, TomP

      ...but honestly, I think if unemployment drops under 7% the Prez will get re-elected. If not, chances are he won't.

      Just my unsubstantiated, coffe-induced gut feeling...

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:26:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think he wins (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grannyhelen, TomP

        In most scenarios. He's also handy for the GOP go deflect blame onto as things get worse.

        http://www.readymade.com/projects/gallery_kit_1_2010_/next_step#steps

        by Salo on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:38:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hope you are right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          grannyhelen, T100R

          Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

          by TomP on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:42:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disagree - and I doubt the GOP will mount (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, GWboosebag

          a serious challenge at the next election - it'll just be more ankle-sniping.

          Now, as far as the left goes...I think we spent so much time & energy organizing in opposition to Bush & in the 06 and 08 elections, we felt some sort of karmic reward was due. I'm not saying folks didn't work - I know I did for the pathetic losing campaign of Martha Coakley - but I think we felt that we did all of this work and it only got us a very limited amt of positive result.

          In many ways we're still playing defense, and I think that's just demoralizing sometimes.

          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

          by grannyhelen on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:43:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hell, if it is trending (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Tom, grannyhelen, Tam in CA

        toward 8% he might have a chance.  It will not be under 7% by 2012.  

        It needs to be trending down, however, and below 9% at least for him to have a chance.  I think it will be below 9% by then.  I hope it will be closer to 8%.

        Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

        by TomP on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:42:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope so, too - I just picked 7% out of the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          ether as an example of what would positively get him re-elected, & not necessarily what is likely.

          As Salo said above, tho, right now the GOP isn't really looking very serious about a challenge - it's more about the same old, same old faces preening for the cameras.

          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

          by grannyhelen on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:45:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What program now proposed will bring it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          under 9%? In fact, what going on now would indicate that it won't increase, move toward 10, 11, even 12%?

          I'm not seeing that we are doing anything, even talking about doing anything, which will reverse the impoverishment trend we see in all areas. Am I just missing it?

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:55:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No program will pass. (0+ / 0-)

            So, no proposed program will bring it under 9%.  Unless you believe this is permanent, the fact that we are having GDP growth should slowly reduce the unemployment rate.  I am no oracle.  

            Trumka: "Absolutely Insane" to Extend Tax Cuts for Millionaires

            by TomP on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 11:40:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't lay (0+ / 0-)

              one out. Then we have "Republicans won't help you" at least.

              And, with massive public pressure, who can say we won't get something like we need.

              I don't see GDP growth as really reflecting life on the ground, either. Hell, increased insurance premiums figure into that, as does paying more for food. I know everything I buy, except maybe milk, has gone up from 3% (rent) to 10-50% in the last year, but the "official" CPI-Urban figures peg inflation at 1.2%.

              Not to pimp my diary, but I think you'd be interested to read this I put up yesterday. It relates both to political reality, and conversations here at DKos. http://www.dailykos.com/...

              Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

              by Jim P on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 11:48:31 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  So true, Tom (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, Major Tom

      Rather than hope, he is bringing despair to many who want a better nation

      What we are left with is a man who is only concerned with what will get him re-elected, and that has filled me with despair.

      Daniel Ellsberg - "It was always a bad year to get out of Vietnam."

      by allenjo on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:27:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being a fan and supporter of Barack, (10+ / 0-)

      does not prevent me from agreeing with everything in your post, because I do. As you say, it is not too late. But the clock ticks. The Rethugs stall. Do it now, Mr. President. Time's awastin'.

      The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

      by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:37:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know Tom... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, Major Tom, blueoasis

      ... he has been given the benefit of the doubt for so long, and each time he dependably sides with the 2%. Why would you continue to believe that he is on our side?

    •  He's operating with mid-90s wisdom in mind. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, blueoasis, T100R

      You can tell this by the people he's picked, all who cut their political teeth, or became "made men" at that time. They were experts (including the financial people) at that time. Since, all this expertise, turned out to be a severe fantasy.

      In 1995 the thing was "Get legislation passed, and work with Republicans to do this. Trust the Financial Sector to keep the Economy humming." That's what polled well. That's what the smart people did: looked bipartisan, have a checklist of enacted legislation, let Wall Street run free.

      At the time we were prosperous, and our military surely could force any solution on anyone in the whole world.

      Since then, it's been demonstrated repeatedly that the Republicans want to totally destroy any Democratic figure, above even the well-being of the nation. Our military is ineffective when confronted with guys on scooters, and the Financial Sector turned out to be insane with greed.

      Look at everything done to date, and ask "Is this appropriate in 1996?" and it'll look right. But, of course, the mid-90s was an entirely different landscape than what we have now.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:52:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I keep hoping that Obama has that moment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, TomP, GWboosebag

    of realization when he grasps the futility of reaching out to the corporate gangsters and declares war on those who are actively at war with him.

    Obama has the reputation for being smart, but I'd like him to flash some of that intelligence on the class war.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:23:21 AM PST

  •  Can't spell BipartisanshiP (7+ / 0-)

    without BP.

    Just a coincidence, I suppose.

    I don't think it's so much a "side-taking' question as it is that the Power of the President just isn't what is is cracked up to be

    or

    Republican presidents can do whatever they want, and Dems can't even boil water correctly.

    America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:23:28 AM PST

  •  lots are asking, and have been. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, jalenth, soothsayer99

    the right:
    whose side is obama on?

    the left:
    whose side is obama on?

    isreal:
    on whose side is obama?

    some conservative lady:
    whose side is obama on?

    ell oh ell.  this is like a stock question at this point.

    being critical of something or someone doesn't insulate you from criticism. ~me

    by mallyroyal on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:29:47 AM PST

  •  government, politicians and policy (4+ / 0-)

    is not a monolith, its not the borg, it doesn't move and act as one.

    The Justice Department announced today the most far reaching criminal cases on insider trading ever undertaken according to press sources.  They are attacking the foundation of a lucrative consulting business model that sets up industry briefings available to only a select few and which move millions of dollars into the pockets of a select group. Its is a serious effort to defend the little guy in the class war, to protect the pensions and savings of ordinary people.  That is a good thing.   But its not looking specifically at a dozen other financial market abuses, so its not a perfect thing.   Do you want them to take it back?

    The Defense Department is moving up its report one lousy day, very much a too little, too late, approach, but in the spirit of giving the Congress the opportunity during the lame duck session in which the Democrats might be successful at repeal, its still a good thing.  Do you want them to take it back because they should have done something 18 mos. ago without a report?

    The final rule on medical expenditure requirements is out, it gave the health insurance industry some expenses for records keeping, re-admittance prevention and other administrative expenses, but cut off a number of other expenses the health care industry wanted badly.   It will force more money into health care and may result in refunds to policy holders that are estimated to run $164 annually on a private policy. A pittance in some ways, unless you are writing checks out every month and always fifty or one hundred dollars short to pay all the bills.  Then ten to fifteen dollars on a bill starts to look like real money.  But its not perfect, another imperfect part of an imperfect bill, will you join Republicans in asking for it to be repealed?

    TSA is refusing to change its policies.  The Homeland Security abuses continue unabated.  Will you abandon the Democrats and the Obama Administration and embrace withdrawal from politics or a third party over it?  If not, why not, after all how else do we get perfect?

    In reality, Obama can be a better and more forceful advocate, he can be the national truthteller without insisting that the perfect be the enemy of the good.  He needs to be standing up, pointing out the choices in stark words that expose the self-defeating phrase that 'they are all the same' as part of the Republican lies.  There are real differences, good differences, differences that save lives, and we need to be selling those differences to the public.  The policies may fall short, but the idealism of striving to make things better for ordinary people, the other 98%, shouldn't be sold short.

  •  Wait a minute. I forgot. So did you MOT. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, MinistryOfTruth, T100R

    In his acceptance speech, senator-elect Rand Paul said that there are no rich people, no middle class and no poor people. It's all okay. Whew.

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:32:51 AM PST

  •  I think we all have a pretty good idea (8+ / 0-)

    who President Obama is, after almost two years in office. He's a president who feels the need and responsibility to talk to all legislators, regardless of party. Some presidents are like that, some aren't. He is.

    Please don't take this personally, but I don't think these diaries do any good any longer. What's needed is actual get out there and show our disappointment type of action.

    People seem to be just sitting in front of a computer all day complaining or writing letters to a President who isn't going to read them.

    That's not how the GOP picked up all their seats. I don't even know if a rally would do any good to show our feelings about the tax cut extensions for the wealthy.

    It may be too late. And more importantly, a lost opportunity.

    Democrats used to be good at this sort of thing.

    •  Tipped for a genuine comment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Major Tom, Kristina40, T100R, New Dawning

      that made me reflect.

      Please don't take this personally, but I don't think these diaries do any good any longer. What's needed is actual get out there and show our disappointment type of action.

      You are right. I needed to vent. Thanks

      Trying to claim the moral high ground by remaining above the fray just gives attackers more room to swing the axe. ~ Kossack aluluei

      by MinistryOfTruth on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:43:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wars while cutting tax (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, Hillbilly Dem, mightymouse

    Total madness.   If anything they need to be increased. Or the army told to evacuate.

    http://www.readymade.com/projects/gallery_kit_1_2010_/next_step#steps

    by Salo on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 09:44:27 AM PST

  •  I think of Obama (5+ / 0-)

    as a reasonable, intelligent, concerned individual who really thought he could bridge the partisan divide. I think the realities of the Presidency punched him right in the nose. And I think he's still trying to remain true to his nature.

    The problem is, I can only assume, he hasn't yet come to terms with what opposes him. The Republicans want the country to fail. The media is an entertainment industry. The elite 2% don't know the meanings of the words "enough" nor "sacrifice."

    He desperately wants to remain reasonable, but the media will never give him credit for it. He's going to have to start throwing punches before the electorate drift away in despair.

  •  Obama doesn't have to cut the baby in half (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, CTDemoFarmer

    He just needs to cut off 2% of it.  

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

    by accumbens on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:11:40 AM PST

  •  I don't believe in class warfare (0+ / 0-)

    I don't believe making more money than me, makes you a bad person.

    I don't think letting rich people keep their money is a moral failing.  

    I don't believe 98 percent of the country is hurting.  

    I myself fall in that well under 250k category and my wife and I are doing well.  

     

    If Obama was an old white guy you would think he is doing a better job.

    by mim5677 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 10:35:14 AM PST

  •  In keeping with my recent contrarian take... (0+ / 0-)

    (and I gave a tip and rec, so it isn't that contrarian):

    - should we be extending any tax cuts?  For anybody except folks on unemployment or social security or SSI?  The US is spending a fortune every couple of minutes in "AfPak" (which I can't seem to find by that name on a map).  The right is advocating for tax reductions and draconian cutbacks in the safety net, such as it is.  Wouldn't there be some virtue in saying no tax cuts at all until these wars end?  Shared responsibility.  Everyone, if you've got a job, suck it up.  

    - is it even helpful to drag out the old perfect enemy of the good incrementalist thing?  Maybe that isn't even the issue.  Maybe the issue is how consensus keeps pitching practical care for the least and poorest, practical economic policy, as absurd perfectionism, and endless compromise with jingoistic grandstanding as good.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Mon Nov 22, 2010 at 11:28:14 AM PST

  •  People don't realize how far to the right (0+ / 0-)

    the Overton window of "sensible discussion" has moved. When deficit panels led by Simpson & Bowles or Rivlin & Domenici don't even mention a Tobin tax and temporary reduction of SS retirement age, but are hailed as reasonable because a few of their proposals anger conservatives, you know that the world has tipped so far to the right that progressive policy has fallen off.

    Clinton People wouldn't favor expanding big finance, now would they? The answer is yes. Look at the Clinton economic advisers- Bob Rubin, Larry Summers, Alice Rivlin. Rivlin opposed the ill fated Clinton health plan, she may have good intentions but she is very distrustful of government medicine. A sales tax on financial instruments is widely discussed in Europe, hardly a taboo subject. Now, it would impact the high frequency traders that have taken such a large role in our stock exchanges. Does high frequency trading help small town America? How could it? It takes a bite out of the value of stocks that our pension funds (if we are lucky enough to have any) invest in. It serves no social function.

    Keynesians would temporarily reduce the age of retirement to free up some jobs now. Again, these deficit panels don't even discuss this. The liberal New York Times is silent about this tilt, which has gone on for 35 years (no, Krugman is not, but he sometimes overstates & distorts these issues). It’s impossible to resolve budget deficit without control of Medicare, which the Republicans loathe, and control of our military activism. The deficit panels ignore Medicare (hint: the answer is NOT free enterprise).

    Trying to make budget deals with people who hate your race and have convinced themselves that you are taking over the country. How can that work? We are back to 1858. Read Lincoln's Cooper Union speech. Southerners were convinced that the North was trampling on them, that things were out of hand. The last liberal President was Richard Nixon (speaking of domestic policy). Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton tried to accommodate de-regulation and conservatism.

    Clinton agreed that the Glass Steagall Act was a problem. That really fueled speculation. A Tobin tax would reduce speculation. Is Obama even further to the right than Clinton? I don't know, but his economic advisers make me worry. Nobody talks about intelligent and effective regulation, that’s almost as taboo as the Tobin tax. No respectable figure, certainly not our President or a single Cabinet member, says that Big Finance is too big.

    Is another Civil War coming?

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