Archive for September 19th, 2011



19
Sep
11

reaction

Chris Cillizza (Washington Post): In a remarkable act of political gauntlet-throwing, President Obama castigated House Speaker John Boehner for his approach to reducing the country’s deficit, called on Members of Congress to do what’s “right” when it comes to debt reduction and issued a veto threat if a bill that does not meet his standards comes to his desk.

“This is not class warfare, it’s math,” Obama said in response to early Republican critiques of his proposal. At another point he said that GOP members should be “called out” for signing a pledge not to raise taxes ever.

But Obama saved his choicest words for Boehner. Obama said the Speaker had “walked away from a balanced package” during the debt-ceiling negotiations and added that Boehner’s approach to debt reduction was “not smart…it’s not right”.

…. What that means, wethinks, is that Obama has given over the idea of being the compromiser-in-chief – the prevailing sentiment of the first eight months of 2011 – in favor of taking the fight to Republicans and forcing them to respond in kind or feel the political consequences.

…. The 2012 election may still be 14 months away but the central debate on which it will pivot began in earnest this morning.

Full article here

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Greg Sargent: This has to be the clearest sign yet that Obama has taken a very sharp populist turn as he seeks to frame the contrast between the parties heading into 2012. During his remarks this morning, Obama directly responded to Republicans accusing him of “class warfare,” but rather than simply deny the charge, he made the critical point that the act of protecting tax cuts for the rich is itself class warfare, in effect positioning himself as the defender of the middle class against GOP class warriors on behalf of the wealthy.

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Don (in the comments in the thread below): Just in case anyone forgot, tomorrow is September 20, 2011, the day DADT is officially over. Is this guy for real or what, he changes the arch of justice and then just goes on about his business quietly. President Obama “gave “Boehner 98% of everything he wanted, which turned out to be ocean front property in Oklahoma. And now Boehner is in a race against time, come November Boehner has to either accept what President Obama gives him or accept what the Super-Committee gives him, which President Obama has already said he will veto if revenues are not included. And this, Professional Lefters, is how it is done.

*drops microphone, turns around and walks away*

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Steve Benen: ….. The president has operated under a set of assumptions – GOP leaders are reasonable people, willing to compromise in good faith, acting with the nation’s best interests at heart – that have always seemed rather fanciful.

With the introduction of the American Jobs Act and today’s debt-reduction plan, President Obama and his team appear to have thrown out the old playbook …. It’s about time. The White House suffered some major setbacks, but officials have apparently decided to send congressional Republicans a new message: no more Mr. Nice President.

…. The new playbook is predicated on more realistic expectations: Republicans are going to say no to everything anyway …. What are the major concessions Obama has included in his economic plan? There aren’t any; that’s the point….

….. It took a while, but President Obama seems to have decided to break out of the box Republicans have spent years trying to weld shut. Between the American Jobs Act and today’s debt-reduction plan, the White House appears more invested in presenting what should pass, and less concerned about what might pass.

It’s the difference between following and leading.

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Andrew Sullivan: Every single poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly supports higher taxes on the wealthy as part of a package to cut the deficit. The margins are staggering: the NYT poll shows a majority of 74 – 21; even Rasmussen shows a majority of 56 – 34. What the president proposed this morning is simply where the American people are at. If he keeps at it, if he turns his administration into a permanent campaign for structural fiscal reform, I don’t see how he loses the argument.

Full post here

19
Sep
11

bob & chez

Extreme Liberal has a terrific post (which I linked yesterday – here) with a transcript from a recent podcast from The Bob and Chez Show (featuring Bob Cesca and Chez Pazienza).

In case you you don’t listen to podcasts, the video above has an extract from the show (recorded after OFA New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters attacking Firebaggers and Paul Krugman).

It’s the best analysis of the Firebaggers I’ve heard. Be good to yourself, subscribe to The Bob and Chez Show on iTunes. 😉

19
Sep
11

“this is not class warfare, this is math”

Full video:

President Obama talks about cutting the deficit from the Rose Garden of the White House, September 19

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“I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare.”

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“It’s also about fairness. It’s about whether we are, in fact, in this together. And we’re looking out for one another. You know what’s right. It’s time to do what’s right.”

19
Sep
11

monday

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Washington Post: When President Obama unveils his deficit-reduction plan this morning in the Rose Garden, the proposal sure to draw the most attention is his call for people making $1 million or more to pay more in taxes.

And there are (smart) politics everywhere in it. Here’s why.

1. Polling: The numbers on taxing the wealthy are very clear. In a July Washington Post/ABC poll, 72 percent of those tested supported raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more as a means of reducing the debt …. In our 50-50 political world, those numbers are as close as you can get to a political slam dunk.

2. Populism: Obama is an awkward populist, at best, but if ever there was a time when populism could sell, it’s now….

3. Middle class: These earners are, without question, the swing vote of the 2012 presidential election …. and at a time when many members of the middle class are feeling more and more squeezed economically, the idea of getting the wealthy to pay more will seem to many of them like a political no-brainer.

…. Make no mistake: President Obama has picked a political fight on the most solid ground on which he has to stand at this turbulent time. Winning it would help turn around his political fortunes as the calendar turns to 2012.

Full article here

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Warren Buffett says he’s absolutely “fine” with President Obama calling the new plan to establish a minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year the “Buffett Rule.”

….. the billionaire told the FOX Business Network the administration “asked me if they could use my name (on it) and I said, ‘Sure. It’s what I believe.'”

Buffett has long argued that the wealthiest Americans tend to pay a smaller portion of their income in federal taxes than middle-income earners because some millionaires and billionaires often get much of their income from capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate than basic wages.

Buffett has argued that the “billionaire-friendly Congress” has coddled the wealthy and that that practice should end.

…. When asked if he’s heard complaints or gotten friendly jabs from his wealthy friends about the Buffett Rule, Buffett quipped:

“Well, I’ve employed a food taster, but other than that…”




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