In case you missed it, President Obama is still challenging the tired old Republican tactics -- tactics that fail to address America's National Credit Card problem in any "serious" or "courageous" way ...
Obama, Before Facebook Crowd, Presses G.O.P. on Budget
By Jackie Calmes -- April 20, 2011
In a town-hall-style forum with the 26-year-old Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, Mr. Obama seized on a question about the House-passed budget [...]
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical,” Mr. Obama said. “And I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous.” He added: “I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere. I think he’s a patriot. I think he wants to solve a real problem, which is our long-term deficit. But I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way.”
“Nothing is easier,” Mr. Obama said, “than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless and don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout.”
He joked to the billionaire Facebook founder that wealthy Americans -- “people like me and, frankly, you, Mark” — should pay higher taxes to reduce deficits. But Republicans, he said, would further reduce taxes for rich taxpayers and corporations and cut deeply from clean energy, education and transportation programs “to make his numbers work."
“I guess you could call that bold. I would call it short-sighted,” Mr. Obama said, provoking another burst of applause.
Wow. More please.
Here's the AP snippets from Obama's recent meeting with Facebook employees:
Video: Obama Calls GOP Budget 'radical, Not Courageous'
The Associated Press
It's good to see President Obama building and expanding on the lines in the sand speech, he gave last week. America must not forget our recent history, and HOW we got stuck in this Fiscal Mess in the first place ...
Text of Obama’s 4/13 speech on deficit
But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program – but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts – tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.
To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our national checkbook, consider this: in the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.
Of course, that’s not what happened.
One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates. It’s a plan that aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years, and one that addresses the challenge of Medicare and Medicaid in the years after that.
Those are both worthy goals for us to achieve. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history.
A 70% cut to clean energy. A 25% cut in education. A 30% cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That’s what they’re proposing. These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget. These aren’t the kind of cuts that Republicans and Democrats on the Fiscal Commission proposed. These are the kind of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America we believe in. And they paint a vision of our future that’s deeply pessimistic.
It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them. Go to China and you’ll see businesses opening research labs and solar facilities. South Korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science. Brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run half their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but biofuels. And yet, we are presented with a vision that says the United States of America – the greatest nation on Earth – can’t afford any of this.
It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors. [...]
This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. [...]
Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; [...]
The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.
The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism. [...]
Without Opportunities, hope is soon lost. Lately those "opportunities" have been in short supply, given the unemployment statistics, that the Bush Experiment left us with.
America has problems, but we've had problems before -- and we've usually rose to the occasion, to fix them.
Republican Vision for America says that "We Can't afford it."
Whatever it, may be -- unless it is more Tax Cuts for the Rich, of course.
The Democratic Vision for America says that "We Can afford it"
-- if it is -- giving the Powerless a helping hand, or educating America for 21st century opportunities, or building the infrastructures that will be the foundations for the Future.
Yes, we can.
We simply just have to take Alan Greenspan's recent advice, to find the hopeful way forward.
The Bush Tax Cuts got us into this Fiscal Mess -- letting them expire will help get us out of it ...
Greenspan Says U.S. Should Let Bush-Era Tax Cuts Expire
By Sara Forden, bloomberg.com - Apr 17, 2011
We should “allow the Bush tax cuts to expire,” Greenspan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today, calling the economic crisis “imminent and dire.” We should “put the rates back to where they were during the Clinton administration,” he said.
Greenspan said it will be hard to rein in the budget deficit because data show that if a disproportionate amount of the change come from tax increases “it won’t work,” while the impact of cutting back on spending is “almost insignificant.”
Cutting Spending is insignificant ... without addressing the Revenue issue, according to the former Federal Reserve Chairman.
Here's the specific Greenspan quote, that we should be committing to memory:
Alan Greenspan: U.S. Must 'Let Bush Tax Cuts Lapse' (VIDEO)
by Yepoka Yeebo, The Huffington Post -- 04/18/11
Appearing on MSNBC's Meet The Press on Sunday, Greenspan [...]
"I think this crisis is so imminent and so difficult that I think we have to allow the so-called Bush tax cuts all to expire," Greenspan said. "That is a very big number," he continued, adding that taxes should return to the higher levels instituted by the Clinton administration in the 1990s not just for the wealthiest taxpayers, but for all Americans."
Hear that Paul Ryan? Hear that GOP? Hear that Tea Party?
A fellow Ayn Rand disciple, and a chief architect of our "current Fiscal situation" says whole-heatedly:
"WE HAVE TO ALLOW the so-called Bush Tax Cuts all TO EXPIRE."
-- NOT to give even more Tax Breaks to the Rich, on the backs of the Powerless, as the Paul Ryan plan so clearly advocates. As President Obama so clearly points out.
Wow. This should be headline news: Greenspan disses the Ryan Plan.
-- Greenspan calls for a return to Clinton-era Tax Levels, to boot.
Now I wouldn't go so far as to call Paul Ryan "a Patriot" as the President did -- but I guess he has to work with the guy.
It seems to me Paul Ryan's Vision is symptomatic of the GOP's much larger problem --
the problem of DENIAL.
They -- the GOP -- created this National Credit Card Mess, with all the reckless spending over the last decade --
It is about damn time, they acknowledge that Fact, and start to "reverse the unproven course" they have put us on. Those Tax Cuts did NOT Create Jobs, thank you very much.
The GOP really needs to take Greenspan's advice -- and start working on the Country's very serious LACK OF Revenue Problem.
You see GOP, the thing about "Shared Sacrifice" -- it requires everyone --
even especially the Wealthy to "share in" the Patriotic Pain.
If you want a better world, a better County, a land of better Opportunities -- then you got to Pay your fair share of Taxes, to build it.
-- Afterall it's "the Patriotic" thing to do.
The Powerless can't pay for everything. At least, not if we lived in "a fair country", that is.
"Fair is fair", just ask "the new and improved" Alan Greenspan, about the "shared road" ahead, that awaits a once hopeful America ...