Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Obama on tax cuts,the budget and a possible Geico commerical.

In his long awaited speech on the budget, Obama, as part of deficit reduction has proposed ending the Bush tax cuts for the upper 5% income earners ( along with making unprecedented cuts in Medicaid,Medicare and social security).  Obama did say some good things. He finally did what Democrats should have been doing for years and that is lay the blame for the current fiscal mess entirely at the feet of the Republicans who are entirely, 100% responsible for the the deficit and it's unconscionable size, although he didnt do it as strongly as needed. A forensic accounting degree would come in handy here in order to pick the pieces of this mess apart. But while some of what Obama had to say produced a positive reaction from non-partisans like the Center For Tax Policy and the Concord Coalition, one thing  has to be kept in mind about Obama -- he never means what he says and he never follows through on what he promises. Whether its closing Gitmo, promising a public option on healthcare reform, ending the Bush tax cuts, ending banks investing in derivatives, promising to use public funds in his presidential campagin, he has a history of saying what he needs to say at the time for personal political reasons and then always reneges.

Some of the speech was typical Obama, saying things that simply were not true. One example was his statement about bipartisan deficit reduction:

"We have come together before to reduce the deficit and we can do it again".

 I don't know on what planet Obama was on when that happened but it wasn't the planet Earth. The parties have never come together to reduce or eliminate the deficit.

In 1992 when Bill Clinton introduced his budget which included a 5c a gallon gasoline tax all of which was earmarked for eliminating the deficit, every Republican in the House and every Republican in the senate voted against it. They called multiple press conferences where they all said the same thing -- Clinton's budget would explode the deficit, drive up unemployment and send the country into a deeper recession. It took Al Gore as president of the senate to end the deadlock and cast the deciding vote on Clinton's budget which passed by one vote and only with Democratic votes.

Clinton's budget ultimately resulted in the lowest unemployment in 40 years, eliminated the deficit, saw the greatest economic expansion in American history, balanced the budget and produced a $5 1/2 trillion budget surplus. The Republicans batted 1.000. They were wrong about everything.

So what will Obama actually do? Obama's proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid are already being met with strong opposition by Democrats. And John Boehner has said that any tax hike is a deal breaker. So will Obama stick to his guns on eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?

There is a rumor Geico is readying a script for a commercial to run during the upcoming budget battle. It goes something like this:

"Will choosing Geico save you 15% on car insurance? Does Obama lie, renege,  reverse himself, and sell out to Republicans?"

Of course, you can always do your own commercial. I'll save this one for 2012.


Anonymous said...

We all know Bill Clinton had a bimbo problem but he cared and still cares. Bill thinks about ways he can help make life a little easier for the common folks.

Obama? He has no principles, no nothing really. He is only in it for himself.

Atlanta Roofing said...

That is kind of my entire point. We need to switch up to a tax system that is straight forward, and impossible to dodge. Sure, if we get rid of a capitol gains specific tax, and go to a straight forward tax on all income, administered at a set rate, it would inevitably allow us to tax the super rich more than we currently do. At the same time, it would make it impossible for those that fall in all categories to do fancy accounting tricks to avoid taxes.

Anonymous said...

Obama talks a good game but then he always capitulates to the far-right crazies.

Obama is nothing but talk, so I pretty much ignore whatever he says -- tomorrow he will just DO the opposite of whatever he promised.

I agree with what Cenk Uygur writes here - but I agree MORE with what Glenn Greenwald writes here:

And, I'll tell you something else: You would never have heard FDR give such a pussyfoot speech as Obama gave yesterday. FDR would have thundered at the right-wingers and the greedy rich -- and in fact, he DID, time and time again.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

"Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred.

"I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master."
- - - - - - - - - - - -

FDR did NOT pussyfoot around; he protected this nation's vulnerable and forced the Very Rich and the corporations to pay their full share toward making this a better, fairer and more humane society.

So, bah humbug to any praise for Obama over that mealy-mouth speech he gave yesterday. It was nothing more than his usual words and was just the intro to his complete capitulation to the crazies on the ultra far right.

How many more times will Democrats play Charlie Brown to Obama's Lucy?

Give it up -- Obama IS the enemy.

We need a REAL Democrat -- Hillary -- to CHALLENGE Obama for the nomination.

Hillary will fight for long-held Democratic values and policies -- Obama NEVER will (trust me on this: I haven't been wrong about Obama yet).

"obama" is now a verb: To "obama" means to surrender before the fight even begins. Good thing Obama wasn't the American general at Bastogne when the Germans told him to surrender or his forces would be annihilated, to which the American general replied, "Nuts" ! ! !

Will Obama EVER say "nuts" to the far-right crazies? The answer is always "no."

Marc Rubin said...

"I agree with what Cenk Uygur writes here - but I agree MORE with what Glenn Greenwald writes here:"

I read both and disagree with both. Was it a "shrewed political calculation" to drop the public option and sell it out to healthcare industry lobbyists? Considering that this is the primary reason, along with other lesser sellouts to Republcians during his first two years that resulted in the Democrats losing 80 seats in the House and the worst defeat by a political party in 80 years it doesnt seem too shrewd.

While I agree with some assessments, that blind, sheep-like Democrats both in and out of congress will stupidly support Obama, both writers sound like they suffer from Battered Obama Syndrome and ignore that he is simply the most underhanded, dishonest duplictious president since Nixon. Thats not a strategy that is who he is and who he's always been and unlike Uygur's self delusion that Obama will change and find a backbone that he simply has never had if only Democrats demand it, he is still dodging the central issue which is he and Obama's other supporters were Kool-aid drinkers during the primaries but he still doesnt want to admit it. Everything Obama is now was fully on display every day while he ran for the nomination. Obama is simply being who and what he always has been and nothing will change as long as he is president.

Anonymous said...

Well, I regret if I seemed to imply that I agreed with every word in those articles, since I didn't. But I thought both writers made some good points and these days it's not that easy to find people who will criticize Obama with ANY rationality.

I, along with you and a few others, spotted Obama for the fraud he was way back in the early primaries and did all I could to enlighten anyone who would listen. Most wouldn't. And I was called a lot of nasty things for doubting The Sun God Obama.

It's slim pickings finding anyone who will write with ANY common sense about Obama. The rightwing commenters predictably call him a "socialist," a "communist" or whatever as a way of "explaining" what they don't like about him. In truth, there is much for the rightwingers to LOVE about Obama since he seems to push THEIR agenda more frequently than he pushes anything resembling a Democratic agenda. The left-wingers who loved Obama are now trying hard to digest his many criminal actions, actions against even the very people he swore to protect (such as whistle-blowers).

I don't need to apologize for anything since I worked hard trying to un-mask and de-mythologize Obama from the get go.

But, other than coming here (and a very few other places) to read and enjoy, I have a hard time keeping my lunch down when I read most of the junk in the old or new media.

Anonymous said...


I cannot find the quoted words "shrewd political calculation" or any reference to the public option in either article.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Obama could have raised taxes on the rich when he had a supermajority. What a joker.

Marc Rubin said...

"I cannot find the quoted words "shrewd political calculation"

the headline of the article in Salon is: "OBAMA'S BAD NEGOTIATING IS ACTUALLY SHREWD NEGOTIATING".

The writer goes on to try and make the point that Obama isnt being outmanuvered by Republicans but that his capitulation is actually an outcome he wants for political reasons to appeal to centrists.

i used the term "political calculation" because thats what the writer was suggesting it was.

As for the comment on the public option, that is soley MY observation, that if capitulating to Republicans on the public option was supposed to be shrewd (i.e. moving to the political right of center) it didnt exactly turn out that way for congressional Democrats.

Marc Rubin said...

" I thought both writers made some good points and these days it's not that easy to find people who will criticize Obama with ANY rationality."

I agree with that. Finding any liberal commentators willing to criticize Obama for anything is rare, though on his MSNBC show Uygur still seems to find ways to try and get Obama off the hook instead of blaming Obama and the Democratic leadership for their capitulation, but most of all to admit they just made a horrendous mistake in supporting Obama as the nominee. They still dont seem ready for that but if they did, they would stop having expectations of Obama and start looking elsewhere for a nominee for 2012.

Anonymous said...


I'm not disagreeing with you. As I wrote, this is one of the few places in the old or new media that I can find sanity.

I was not challenging you, I was concerned that I had overlooked some point.

I agree that waiting for Obama to act like a Democrat or even an honorable person is useless; he is scum -- always was and always will be.

He will not respond to anything but the lure of money for his re-election. He cares about no one but himself and nothing but his re-election.

Obama is the worst bait and switch of all time.