Sunday, March 01, 2009

Obama: I came here to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November.



As Limbaugh fulminates over the Democratic party's cruelty towards poor people by daring to try and help them, Obama reminds us all that this was, in fact, what he was elected to do. Obama promised to cut taxes for 95% of Americans and to end Bush's tax cuts for those families earning over $250,000 a year.

And, in this budget, he keeps that promise.

Here, he also reminds us of what he inherited: "A trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis and a costly recession".

So that's the reality of what the policies Limbaugh supported produced. But Obama sounds as if he is ready to take these guys on:

"I realize that passing this budget won’t be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry won’t like the idea that they’ll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that’s how we’ll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders won’t like the idea that we’re ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that’s how we’ll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won’t like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that’s how we’ll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries. I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:

"So am I."
That's why Limbaugh and others are sounding so crazed about this guy, I think they know that he is actually serious about what he says. And it scares the shit out of them.

Obama:
"The system we have now might work for the powerful and well connected interests that have run Washington for far too long. But I don't. I work for the American people. I didn't come here to do the same thing we have been doing or to take small steps forward. I came here to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November."
That's fighting talk. And it's no wonder that Limbaugh, Hannity and others are wary of this guy. He's serious. And he is arguing that he has the will of the American people behind him.

He's coming at them like a juggernaut. And he's ready for a fight.

UPDATE:

More and more establishment commentators are starting to say what I have been saying for a while. Obama is declaring Reaganism to be dead:
If [Lyndon] Johnson’s rallying cry was an end to poverty in the world’s richest nation, Mr. Obama’s is an end to the Reagan Revolution. With the proposed tax increases on couples making more than $250,000, Mr. Obama has declared that trickle-down economics — the theory that the entire country benefits as the nation’s richest amass and spend — was a fantasy. He denounced it in moral terms, declaring in his budget that “there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few.”
I have never understood why anyone took Reagan's audacious defence of greed so seriously in the first place.

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8 comments:

Steel Phoenix said...

He is continuing the massive increase in spending. If he is going to continue to have supporters, he is going to have to make some deep cuts. It doesn't matter who you tax, there isn't enough money in our system to pay for everything. Something has to go.

The dollar is up 19% in the past year. That is our problem. The money that has been allocated has to be forced into the system. There has been plenty of stimulus. It is time to put it to work and start making the deep cuts before the inflation crushes us.

Ryan said...

The country needs our president to be a unifier. It does not need someone to "fight for the poor." It needs someone to teach the poor that they can become rich. This can be done by telling people that they are in charge of their own destiny. Obama did not reach the station in life on assistance alone. Some doors were opened for him but he did it on his own. He struggled at times but he got there. A handout, while sometimes being necessary, only tends to lead to more handouts.

Most people don't want handouts. They would rather do it on their own. This mindset encourages a dependent state. Generation after generation of welfare recipients can verify this.

Unify the nation. Tell those who are down on their luck now that things are getting better. Be positive at all times. Even if things don't look great, they are always getting better. People would attitudes like this changed the world for the better. Don't turn classes against one another. We don't need a fighter as a president. Obama will be on the poor's side as long as he keeps giving them handouts. But how does being given something without earning it help anybody? The less fortunate will continue to blame outside circumstances for their results in life. They will stay less fortunate. And the cycle will continue.

Preach empowerment and independence. A monetary boost will put the "people" in the right direction but what will keep then on that path?

Ryan

Kel said...

SP, He has already said that he is going to cut any programmes which are unneccesary.

Ryan:

The country needs our president to be a unifier. It does not need someone to "fight for the poor." It needs someone to teach the poor that they can become rich. This can be done by telling people that they are in charge of their own destiny.

And was Bush a unifier? Obama is not "fighting for the poor", he's levelling the playing field after years of a government which only appeared to look out for the rich, rewarding them with massive tax cuts.

The less fortunate will continue to blame outside circumstances for their results in life. They will stay less fortunate. And the cycle will continue.

So are you saying that less fortunate are to blame for their own circumstances?

Steel Phoenix said...

Sorry to Invoke Godwin's law so early in the comments, but Hitler was big on unification too. It is not a good goal. The unity should be behind individual ideas when they have merit, not the leaders.

Positive attitude is just as useless. The people know when they are being lied to. If there is something to be positive about, show them. If you don't tell them about the problems, they won't trust you enough to follow where you lead.

The less fortunate are partially to blame for their own circumstances. They are born to a caste. This is limiting, but can be overcome. Taxation and regulation are also obstacles that can be overcome. People in this country who are born able of body and mind have a path to success, some easier than others. If the government wants to help, they can get out of the way. Taxing the rich may be a good idea, but taxing the poor is just mean.

"The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." –Benjamin Franklin

Kel said...

Sorry to Invoke Godwin's law so early in the comments, but Hitler was big on unification too. It is not a good goal. The unity should be behind individual ideas when they have merit, not the leaders.

Agreed.

The less fortunate are partially to blame for their own circumstances. They are born to a caste. This is limiting, but can be overcome.

It can be overcome, but that currently tends to be the exception rather than the rule, especially in both the US and Britain.

"In a comparison of eight European and North American countries, Britain and the United States have the lowest social mobility."

"Comparing surveys of children born in the 1950s and the 1970s, the researchers went on to examine the reason for Britain's low, and declining, mobility. They found that it is in part due to the strong and increasing relationship between family income and educational attainment."

"Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: 'These findings are truly shocking. The results show that social mobility in Britain is much lower than in other advanced countries and is declining - those from less privileged backgrounds are more likely to continue facing disadvantage into adulthood, and the affluent continue to benefit disproportionately from educational opportunities."


George W. Bush is the proof that being born further up the ladder makes one's life journey a Hell of a lot easier.

Obama has identified education as currently one of the main disadvantages for the poor and is both proposing putting more money into education and encouraging working class parents to demand more of their children.

He's on the right path. Educational opportunities do more than anything else to level the playing field.

Steel Phoenix said...

The more bureaucratic society gets, the more it sets us into a path from birth.

To quote famous graffiti:
"go to work, send your kids to school
follow fashion, act normal
walk on the pavements, watch T.V.
save for your old age, obey the law
Repeat after me: I am free"

I find that whenever the subject comes up in practice, they are talking about the quantity of education rather than the quality. We only have so many days to walk this earth. Those of us who run the maze set in front of us may on average do better, but is it the maze or the mouse that makes the destiny? It may be the very education system that freezes social mobility. Especially in the digital age, the responsibility of education should be to grant literacy and the desire to learn. Once you ignite that spark, you can let people find their own way, and most of them will find a better one. I for one have learned so much more out of school than I ever did in it. 15 years of education and most of them were wasted. I posted a TED talk the other day that is somewhat relevant on the ethical nature of autonomy.

daveawayfromhome said...

Dang, everytime I hear someone nostalgic for the good old days of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, I think, does no one know anything about post-war America? Cheap education (in state-funded schools), the GI bill, a marginal tax rate on the wealthy that'd give them a heart attack if it was suggested now. Funny thing, though, rich people continued to be rich despite all those taxes, and they continued to invest money in new enterprises. Odd, huh?
Sure there were problems, and an industrial base and export market actually existed then, but they werent what made America great - it was what an educated and expanding middle class did with those things that made America great. Now we have a shrinking middle class, and education which has moved out of ordinary peoples' easy (or even mildly difficult) reach, even as clever folk tell us how going into (personal) debt for an education is a great investment. If it's such a great investment, then why do Republicans oppose public education spending so much?

Thirty years of trickle-down, from tax-cuts for the rich to "what's good for business is good for America" and we've got bupkis to show for it (except a few very wealthy individuals).

Most Americans arent asking for handouts. They are asking that the incredible wealth that exists in this country (what we havent traded for oil and cheap plastic goods, that is) be used for everyone, including the people whose hard work went into making all that money for folks who own the companies. Just because management can get away with an amount equal to 1% (or less) of their own salaries doesnt make it right.

Kel said...

SP:

It may be the very education system that freezes social mobility.


It is. As things currently stand, those born with money are able to buy their children a very good education and, therefore, for the most part, ensure their future lifestyle. For the poorer in society, it is much more of a lottery system. Sure, there are some rich kids who fail even with the best of life's chances given to them, but in the US and the UK, the social class of your parents predetermines, in most cases, the class in which you will live your life.

I for one have learned so much more out of school than I ever did in it.

That's an entirely different thing. I am talking about an education which leads to qualifications and jobs, you are talking about general knowledge.

Dave:

Most Americans arent asking for handouts. They are asking that the incredible wealth that exists in this country (what we havent traded for oil and cheap plastic goods, that is) be used for everyone, including the people whose hard work went into making all that money for folks who own the companies.

I hear you Dave. Here in Britain one in four people want private education scrapped. I am with them. They have recognised that this is the route through which the middle class guarantee their childrens future. They also recognise that, were the children of the wealthy to go to the same schools as the children of the poor, that the wealthier members of society would not accept the current standards in the public school system and would fight to improve them, through increased taxation if necessary.