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Show ALL Forums  > Politics  > If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?      Home login  
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 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 176
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?Page 8 of 22    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)
Wow, it's so easy to win arguments when you get to make up statements to argue against.


So prove me wrong and we'll go from there. Show me one democrat who says the top 10% of the country paying the lion's share of all income tax is plenty, and they really don't need to pay anymore, and I'll concede.
 Cdn_Iceman
Joined: 12/1/2010
Msg: 177
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 3:33:58 PM

What a concept, use your own abilities to make your own fortune as opposed to taking something from someone else.
Yeah that floors me too, some one out there tell me what is wrong with that concept? Isnt that what made America great in the first place?
 CMonster
Joined: 12/4/2004
Msg: 178
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 3:48:01 PM

Isnt that what made America great in the first place?

It's one of the reasons why the Pilgrims came over. It's why [most] immagrants come. I feel an affinity for those who come, learn the language and build their own businesses.

People can complain that they feel that the jobs are being taken by immagrants put there's good portion who are doing on their own AND employing others, and I think that's a good thing. It's not as is Americans are beating on doors in order to start and run their own companies so why shouldn't immagrants get a chance.

Perhaps the self employed immagrants can inspire natural born Americans to begin being accountable for their own lives and build something great like our forefathers. This country had been great in that allowed everyone to have the opportunity to make the life that they want. No one is forced to work for anyone else but people choose to and then complain about the people who take most of the risks; go figure.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 179
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 3:49:03 PM

So prove me wrong and we'll go from there. Show me one democrat who says the top 10% of the country paying the lion's share of all income tax is plenty, and they really don't need to pay anymore, and I'll concede.

Is that what you said in the post I mocked? No, it isn't.

If you post ridiculous shit, someone is going to come along and point that out. Just happened to be me this time.
 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 180
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 5:15:44 PM
Well, allow me to apologize, I figured the area you quoted was what you "mocked" me on, which was democrats don't have any respect for those who build a business from the ground up. And they don't. Oh, they love for it to happen, as they think of it as a new source of supplemental income for their utopian fantasies (which is why fewer and fewer are doing it at the moment) but they have no respect for it, as the more profit a person makes from that business, the more they start saying he isn't paying his fair share of his profits after all the risks he took and hours he put into it. They feel that now, since he has "made it" he should be handing it over to those who didn't. And that's BS!!
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 181
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 5:30:41 PM
As Ronald Reagan would say, "There you go again."

You're making shit up. Nobody says that someone who has built a successful business should be stripped penniless and homeless. Should he pay taxes? Der. It's sort of how government runs. And government is how civil society is maintained. And civil society is where businesses are able to thrive. A businessman may grumble about it, but he knows that without taxes, he couldn't run his business.
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 182
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 6:07:33 PM
"The Republican party is flirting with some pretty strange candidates right now. I think the potential voter reach of a Perry or Bachman is too small to win. There's just too much craziness and dangerous radicalism there."

The powers that be have already chosen Romney. Perry was thrown in to make it look like the voters have a choice. The Romney~Perry rivalry is there to make us think that there's some significant difference between the two. The only question is who Romney will choose as a running mate and I think he's going to choose Bachman (or more likely she'll be chosen for him). That's the bone the establishment will throw to the Tea Party. Obama is toast in any case so this is all just more political theater.
 RichenLosAngeles
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 183
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/24/2011 9:24:10 PM
Riots on Wall Street?
Obama operatives pulling a well-timed PR stunt?
 Bladesmith81801
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 184
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/25/2011 12:07:29 PM

Riots on Wall Street?


Riots? What riots? Have you ever seen an actual riot? What I see are peaceful, 1st amendment protected protests.


Obama operatives pulling a well-timed PR stunt?


Or people actually, y'know, fed up with Wall Street banksters getting away with criminal acts? Because, if you noticed (When you're not busy calling them "rioters") they ain't too pleased with Obama or "Place" Holder either. Tin Foil ruins your hairdo, I hear.
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 185
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 9/25/2011 3:08:42 PM
I didn't vote for Obama the first time so the answer this time around would be def not. I didn't vote for McCain either I went 3rd party last election.
 CMonster
Joined: 12/4/2004
Msg: 186
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/3/2011 4:08:29 PM

Or people actually, y'know, fed up with Wall Street banksters getting away with criminal acts? Because, if you noticed (When you're not busy calling them "rioters") they ain't too pleased with Obama or "Place" Holder either.

Or possibly fed up with the Feds themselves. It may not be criminal, but it's damn questionable; ok, "stupid" if it has to be said. It seems that White House had some early concerns about the solvency of Solyndra prior to "investing" over half a billion dollars in the company (before it's bankruptcy of course).

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/us/politics/e-mails-reveal-white-house-concerns-over-solyndra.html
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 187
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/10/2011 9:43:20 PM
Things are about as bad for Obama as they're likely to get in regards to the economy. And the Republican candidate will run on the economy - it's pretty much always the main election issue, even in good times when it doesn't dominate the speeches.

So this is interesting:

If you doubt this, look at the latest 2012 electoral map from Real Clear Politics, which divides the states into five categories: Likely Obama, Leans to Obama, Toss-ups, Leans G.O.P.. and Likely G.O.P. To make things simpler, let’s combine the “Likely” and “Leans” categories.

Likely Obama/Leaning Obama: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC. Total electoral votes: 201.

Likely GOP/Leaning GOP: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming. Total electoral votes: 191.

Toss-ups: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin. Total electoral votes: 146.

Now a "nameless" opposition candidate always polls better than a real one. Just the nature of politics - once there's an actual candidate some support drops off and the incumbent has an opponent to attack.

I find this surprising - I'd have thought Obama would be polling worse. Putting Marco Rubio on the ticket for VP should move Florida over to the GOP side, but it still looks better than expected for Obama's reelection.
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 188
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/11/2011 4:49:32 PM
I'm still a registered Republican....at least for now. I'm very hopeful that Romney will win the primary. I would actually consider campaigning for him. He is more moderate than any of our other choices. (Other than Ron Paul, perhaps...but he has some extreme ideas.)

If I were the "praying type", I would be asking for anyone BUT Bachmann as his running mate. That would cost him my vote. Just like the last time around with Palin on the ticket. They are two peas in a pod. They both speak before they think. NOT vice-president or presidential material IMHO. (Think Biden) I would vote for Hillary first.

If the majority of Republican voters choose Perry over Romney because of his religion, I WILL become a registered independent. And I don't think I'm the only one to feel this way. If the party keeps moving right, they will lose their moderate voters.

Even though Obama is a heck of a nice guy, he will never get my vote. His economic policies just don't jive with my beliefs. But I do think he has done a fair job in other aspects. I don't have much faith in his cabinet though.

My Dad was a business owner. He said more than once, "It's not so much what you know, it's who you hire." Not that Dad was ultra successful...but that particular statement resonates with me.
 Doremi_Fasolatido
Joined: 2/14/2009
Msg: 189
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/11/2011 7:55:10 PM
Yes, I would vote for Pres. Obama again in '12. I'm not overwhelmed with excitement about it but he'll screw me less than any of the others. A choice of the lesser of 2 evils.
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 190
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/12/2011 6:37:11 AM
Would you think him to be a "heck of a nice guy" if I were to show you proof that he prefer a newborn, fully developed, baby die in a bucket over a period of up to hours, than pass legislation to save its life?


Since this statement is extremely inflammatory...yes. I absolutely think you should provide proof.
 unYOUsual
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 191
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/12/2011 8:30:45 AM
Tried to post his stance and statements made by Obama regarding this subject they were deleted by the Mods....do some research you will see to what she was referring...
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 192
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/12/2011 3:56:43 PM
^^^^
Thank you.
 BigBadNIrish
Joined: 1/31/2011
Msg: 193
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/12/2011 7:53:42 PM
The Obama Nation: on Abortion



Opposed legislation protecting born-alive failed abortions
Obama has consistently refused to support legislation that would define an infant who survives a late-term induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. He insists that no restriction must ever be placed on the right of a mother to decide to abort her child.
On March 30, 2001, Obama was the only Illinois senator who rose to speak against a bill that would have protected babies who survived late term labor-induced abortion. Obama rose to object that if the bill passed, and a nine-month-old fetus survived a late-term labor-induced abortion was deemed to be a person who had a right to live, then the law would "forbid abortions to take place." Obama further explained the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not allow somebody to kill a child, so if the law deemed a child who survived a late-term labor-induced abortion had a right to live, "then this would be an anti-abortion statute."

Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238 Aug 1, 2008

1997: opposed bill preventing partial-birth abortion
In 1997, Obama voted in the Illinois Senate against SB 230, a bill designed to prevent partial-birth abortions. In the US Senate, Obama has consistently voted to expand embryonic stem cell research. He has voted against requiring minors who get out-of-state abortions to notify their parents. The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) gives Obama a 100% score on his pro-choice voting record in the Senate for 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Source: Obama Nation, by Jerome Corsi, p.238-239 Aug 1, 2008

http://www.ontheissues.org/Archive/Obama_Nation_Abortion.htm

Yes, I still would vote for President Obama again....if the GOP presented one viable candidate in 2012...I'd have to make a choice, but with what trash they're presenting for candidates...there really is no choice...Obama 2012
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 194
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/13/2011 4:46:18 AM
Voting against a particular bill that seeks to stop partial birth abortion is NOT the same thing as SUPPORTING it. Voting against a bill for ANYTHING, because you disagree with HOW the law proposes to address the issue, does NOT mean you want the problem or concern to continue.

I am the sort of conservative who DOES believe that HOW you do something and WHY you do something, are as important as WHAT YOU DO.

Therefore, if you show me that this or that politician voted this or that way on a particular bill, I would have to have a LOT more information than just the vote, to decide what that politician was really doing.

Thus, trying to pretend that Obama (or any other opponent to these sorts of bills seeking to put government between the doctor and the patient) is somehow SUPPORTIVE of killing babies, is hypocritical manipulation of the facts.
 unYOUsual
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 195
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/13/2011 4:52:25 AM
The scary thing about Obama supporters is that they see nothing wrong with anything he does or has done...Reminds me of those cults in the 80's where people had to be saved by kidnapping them and deprogramming them...

Not really sure what the point is of the above post..he voted against allowing babies who somehow survived late term abortion procedures and who were no longer in the womb to receive life saving assistance just as the poster stated.

Weird that I posted the same exact statements and they were deleted ...


Thus, trying to pretend that Obama (or any other opponent to these sorts of bills seeking to put government between the doctor and the patient) is somehow SUPPORTIVE of killing babies, is hypocritical manipulation of the facts.
Pretending that it is not supportive of killing babies is BS...Fact is if the baby survived Obama stated that he thought the baby should be allowed to die..can't change reality with your Liberal interpretation of things...

 CMonster
Joined: 12/4/2004
Msg: 196
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:57:41 AM
The scary thing about Obama supporters is that they see nothing wrong with anything he does or has done...

Perhaps the evolving details behind Solyndra will help bring more things to light. I can't imagine why the President was a proponent of this. Way to waste tax dollars which are so supposedly so badly needed to support the people.



The Associated Press

Treasury officials: Never saw a loan like Solyndra

By MATTHEW DALY
Washington

Two senior Treasury officials said Friday that they had never seen a loan restructuring similar to an Energy Department loan to a failed solar panel maker.

The half-billion dollar loan to Solyndra Inc. was restructured earlier this year so that private investors moved ahead of taxpayers for repayment on part of the loan in case of a default.

Treasury officials Gary Grippo and Gary Burner told a House committee they had never seen that occur in a federal loan. Grippo is a deputy assistant treasury secretary and Burner is chief financial officer at the Federal Financing Bank, which made a $528 million loan to Solyndra in 2009.

The two Treasury officials stopped short of declaring the loan restructuring illegal, as some Republicans allege.

"I can't give you a legal interpretation on that, sir," Burner told Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.

Grippo, who oversees the financing bank, said it was not Treasury's job to make legal interpretations. Instead, he said Treasury officials correctly raised questions about the deal in a series of emails and memos.

"Our role is to be as helpful as we can," Grippo said.

The testimony by the Treasury officials came after a hearing on the Solyndra loan erupted in a partisan skirmish. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., called the hearing "a rigged proceeding" and a "kangaroo court."

Solyndra, of Fremont, Calif., was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under a stimulus-law program to encourage green energy and was frequently touted by the Obama administration as a model. President Barack Obama visited the company's headquarters last year, and Vice President Joe Biden spoke by satellite at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing plant.

Since then, the company's implosion and revelations that it received preferential treatment from federal officials have become an embarrassment for Obama and a focal point of GOP criticism of the president's green energy policies.

Waxman and other Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee criticized Republicans for not allowing the Energy Department to testify Friday and for blocking the release of an Energy Department memo that outlined the legal basis for its decision to restructure the $528 million loan to Solyndra.

"We are going to get only one side of the story. That's no way to run an investigation," said Waxman, a former chairman of the energy committee.

Republicans said Democrats were aware of the hearing terms before it started, but later agreed to enter the Energy Department memo into the record. Energy officials will be called to testify at a later hearing.

Democrats say they want "to get the facts on the table," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. "That's what we're trying to do."

The three-hour hearing focused on newly released emails that show that the Treasury Department was concerned that the loan restructuring, approved earlier this year, could violate federal law.

Administration officials have defended the loan restructuring, saying that without an infusion of cash earlier this year, Solyndra would likely have faced immediate bankruptcy, putting more than 1,000 people out of work.

Even with the federal help, Solyndra closed its doors Aug. 31 and let all its workers go.

A six-page memo released by the committee Friday outlines the legal basis for the Energy Department's decision to ensure that investors who provided additional funding to Solyndra would be repaid before the federal government if the company defaulted on the loan.

The Feb. 15 memo by Susan Richardson, the loan program's top lawyer, said the restructuring was allowed because a clause preventing private investors from moving ahead of taxpayers only applies to the original loan.

Continuing to block subordination -- the legal term for placing taxpayers' interest second -- is "inconsistent with the statutory scheme" and would make it harder for the government to restructure loans for troubled companies, Richardson wrote.

Under terms of the February loan restructuring, two private investors -- Argonaut Ventures I LLC and Madrone Partners LP -- stand to be repaid before the U.S. government if the solar company is liquidated. The two firms gave the company a total of $69 million in emergency loans. The loans are the only portion of their investments that have repayment priority above the U.S. government.

Argonaut is an investment vehicle of the George Kaiser Family Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. The foundation is headed by billionaire George Kaiser, a major Obama campaign contributor and a frequent visitor to the White House.

Madrone Partners is affiliated with the Walton family, descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton.

Barton and other Republicans ridiculed the Richardson memo, which Barton likened to a "fairy tale" that allowed DOE officials to do whatever they wanted.

"They basically say, we think we can subordinate it because the secretary of Energy has broad authority to do whatever he wants to do. That's not a real, reasoned legal opinion," Barton said.

He and other GOP lawmakers cited emails from Mary Miller, an assistant treasury secretary, indicating that the deal could violate the law because it put investors' interests ahead of taxpayers. Miller told a top White House budget official that she had advised that any proposed restructuring be reviewed by the Justice Department before it was approved.

"To our knowledge that has never happened," Miller wrote in an Aug. 17 memo.

Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., called Miller's memo "startling" and said it appears that DOE violated "the plain letter of the law" in approving the restructuring.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., called the GOP claims overstated.

"There was no criminal or serious misbehavior here, there just was some dumbness," Dingell said.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9QCAI2G0.htm
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 197
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:27:07 AM
^^^^^ Some people are calling this Obamagate lol. The guy has really alienated a lot of his own base and def really haven't shown anything to the the middle worth keeping around for another 4 years.

I do give him credit though on a few things like keeping Guantanamo bay open, continuing the efforts to help keep this country safe from terrorist attacks from overseas and also has actually done a better job in border security then any other prez has so far, but everything he has done or tried to do, has turned out is just horrible so far. The economy and jobs loss continues to get worse overall. Spending billions of dollars of tax payers money to programs like cash for clunkers and companies that were suppose to stimulate the economy but instead has turned out do be disastrous. Rasisng taxes during a time where taxes don't need to be rasied on anything. Hell even Bill Clinton on David letterman recently was against his idea of raising taxes on anyone saying that no ones taxes need to be raised taxes during a bad economy like this. Obama's own Dem base has told him he needs to fire his staff and start with a clean slate, because a lot of them don't know what the hell they are doing. He has really got himself painted into a corner and unless something magical happeneds between now and election day he is done.
 Ready4SomethingFun
Joined: 3/17/2008
Msg: 198
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/15/2011 1:14:24 PM
I do give him credit though on a few things like keeping Guantanamo bay open


Okay, but wasn't one of the first things he did as "prez", was to sign it's closing into law? The only reason it remains open is because of an immediate backlash. So really you can't credit Obama for keeping it open, credit those whose voices kept him from doing what he wanted to do which was close it.



also has actually done a better job in border security then any other prez has so far


Maybe, but at the same time his administration spends loads of taxpayer money on lawsuits against states who try to do anything to try to combat the illegal alien problem on their own turf. So, yeah, he makes an effort to keep them out, but once they're in, they're golden, baby!
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
Msg: 199
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If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/15/2011 2:49:20 PM
Cash for clunlkers was a waste.


Last year, the US administration spent $2.85bn on supporting the sale of 360k autos, by paying owners of older vehicles to destroy them with sodium silicate.

At the time, most people in the chemical industry, and many experts, regarded this 'cash for clunkers' programme as being a complete waste of money. And they
became even more concerned when European governments followed with similar programmes.

Now a new study for the US National Bureau of Economic Research finds that it "had no long run effect on auto purchases". Their analysis suggests it increased sales by 360k in summer last year, "but then quickly hurt sales by about the same amount, in effect stealing sales from the future".

Of course, they can't also measure the negative impact on chemical companies and converters of suddenly having to ramp up production, only to then see it collapse again. But this clearly happened, causing major disruption to the supply chain. Equally, all the anecdotal evidence suggests the same pattern occurred in Europe.

The underlying problem is that many politicians simply fail to accept that short-term fixes, such as the clunkers programmes, housing tax credits etc, cannot provide 'escape velocity' to overcome the real issues underlying the current Crisis. Vast sums of money, and time, are being wasted whilst they remain in this state of denial, as the blog will discuss in more detail at the weekend.

http://www.icis.com/blogs/chemicals-and-the-economy/2010/09/cash-for-clunkers-a-waste-of-m.html


Obama proposes raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for $447 billion jobs bill


President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.

During a Rose Garden appearance, Obama pledged to send Congress the American Jobs Act on Monday evening when the legislative body resumes its session. Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.

Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue over 10 years, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas tax loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.

Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.

Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said: “It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators is the kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past. We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn’t appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit.”

The cost of the jobs plan would be in addition to the $1.5 trillion that a bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” is tasked with finding to reduce the country’s spiraling deficit. However, the administration said that it is open to other ways to pay for its proposal. If the committee settles on a plan to reduce the deficit by the $1.5 trillion and also the amount of Obama’s jobs package, the tax hikes will not longer take effect, White House officials said.

During his Rose Garden announcement, Obama was surrounded by American workers he said would be helped by the bill, and he held aloft a thick sheaf of papers secured by a large binder clip to display the legislation. The bill tallies 155 pages.

“This a bill that will put people back to work all across the country, that will help our economy in moment of national crisis,” Obama said. “It is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this the bill that Congress needs to pass: no games, no politics, no delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.”

Since unveiling the proposals in a speech to Congress last Thursday, Obama has launched a concerted push to win public support. He rallied students at the University of Richmond on Friday. And he is scheduled to visit a high school in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday and to travel to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Friday to tout the plan.

In a statement released after the president’s remarks, Boehner said: “While we have a different vision for what is needed to support job creation in our country, we appreciate the President’s pledge to transmit legislation to Congress and will immediately request that it be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.... It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties and help put Americans back to work.”

Republicans have expressed some willingness to support parts of the plan, which includes a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and direct aid to state and local governments. GOP members have said they generally support giving tax breaks to small businesses, for example.

However, most Republicans have balked at the high-priced spending proposals, and want Obama to explain how the country will pay for them.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement: “Democrats are prepared to act now on the American Jobs Act, which is fully paid for. Republicans must join us to address the American people’s top priority: job creation.”

In his Rose Garden remarks, Obama said his economic proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and he hammered Republican opposition. For weeks, Obama has been trying to cast his administration as working with urgency to address the economy as Republicans dither.

Obama said he and Vice President Biden talked Monday morning about an article in a Washington newspaper in which a Republicans aide was quoted as saying the aide was not sure why the GOP would want to cooperate with the president because it’s not good for the party’s politics.

“That’s the attitude in this town, ‘Yes, we were for this before, but we do not know why we would be for them now,’” Obama said. “The next election is 14 months away. The American people do not have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action. The notion that they are not going to try to do what’s right for the American people because it’s not convenient for their politics -- we see that too much around here. It’s exactly what folks are tired of. . . .These are not games we’re playing here. Folks are out of work, businesses are having trouble staying open.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/obama-calls-on-congress-to-pass-jobs-bill-no-politics-no-delays/2011/09/12/gIQA8uk3MK_blog.html




FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech

Summary

President Barack Obama misrepresented the House Republicans’ budget plan at times and exaggerated its impact on U.S. residents during an April 13 speech on deficit reduction.
■Obama claimed the Republicans’ "Path to Prosperity" plan would cause "up to 50 million Americans … to lose their health insurance.” But that worst-case figure is based in part on speculation and assumptions.
■He said the GOP plan would replace Medicare with "a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry." That’s an exaggeration. Nothing would change for those 55 and older. Those younger would get federal subsidies to buy private insurance from a Medicare exchange set up by the government.
■He said "poor children," "children with autism" and "kids with disabilities" would be left "to fend for themselves." That, too, is an exaggeration. The GOP says states would have "freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations." It doesn’t bar states from covering those children.
■He repeated a deceptive talking point that the new health care law will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion. That’s the Democrats’ own estimate over a 20-year period. The Congressional Budget Office pegged the deficit savings at $210 billion over 10 years and warned that estimates beyond a decade are "more and more uncertain."
■He falsely claimed that making the Bush tax cuts permanent would give away "$1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire." That figure — which is actually $807 billion over 10 years — refers to tax cuts for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000, not just millionaires and billionaires.
■He said the tax burden on the wealthy is the lowest it has been in 50 years. But the most recent nonpartisan congressional analysis showed that the average federal tax rate for high-income taxpayers was lower in 1986.

For more about the president’s deficit-reduction speech, please read our Analysis section.

Analysis

This week, President Barack Obama laid out his ideas on how to curb the growing deficit over the next decade and more — and he spent much of the afternoon speech at George Washington University criticizing a deficit-reduction plan, called "Path to Prosperity," released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. But his critique strayed at times from the facts.

Medicaid Assumptions


The president made several claims about the Republicans’ proposal for Medicare, Medicaid and the health care law. Obama claimed that the plan would cause "up to 50 million Americans … to lose their health insurance." But that figure is partly based on speculation and assumptions.


Obama, April 13: It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents — may be one of yours — who wouldn’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some of these kids with disabilities are — the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.

The White House told us that 34 million of the 50 million people the president referenced would be covered under the new health care law, but Ryan’s proposal largely repeals the legislation. That means those persons wouldn’t be covered. Technically, those currently uninsured individuals don’t have insurance to lose, but certainly the Republican plan would be expected to cover tens of millions fewer than current law. What about the other 16 million?

To come up with that, the administration speculated on what states might do when faced with fewer federal Medicaid funds, as the Republican proposal stipulates. Under the Ryan plan, the federal government would spend an estimated $150 billion less on Medicaid in 2021. The administration figures that’s a 19 percent reduction in Medicaid spending, which, the administration assumes, would lead the states to spend less on Medicaid. It then assumes that there would be a corresponding 19 percent reduction in enrollment in 2021, which it says would be 15 million people.

That’s a whole lot of assuming.

The Ryan proposal would give states block grants – in lieu of the current federal matching funds — which would go up each year based on population and the consumer price index for urban consumers. It also eliminates money for acute care services for elderly Medicaid recipients. States would get less money than they are expected to under current law, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says they’ll have to make tough budgeting decisions. But that’s a far cry from saying 15 million Medicaid enrollees won’t be covered.

CBO says the plan would reduce federal Medicaid spending by 35 percent in 2022 and more in future years. It says states "could" limit eligibility, but that measure is among several other possibilities to make up for the loss of federal dollars. And the CBO adds that "to some extent" rising health care costs "would cause states to implement such changes anyway."


CBO, April 5: Because of the magnitude of the reduction in federal Medicaid spending under the proposal, however, states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding. To maintain current service levels in the Medicaid program, states would probably need to consider additional changes, such as reducing their spending on other programs or raising additional revenues. Alternatively, states could reduce the size of their Medicaid programs by cutting payment rates for doctors, hospitals, or nursing homes; reducing the scope of benefits covered; or limiting eligibility. To some extent, under CBO’s long-run projections, the rise in health care costs under current law would cause states to implement such changes anyway. However, given the size of the reduction in federal spending under the proposal, the magnitude of the changes would probably have to be greater.

It’s anyone’s guess as to how states would react in 10 years to Ryan’s proposal. The same goes for how states will cope with rising health costs. The administration’s 15 million figure is speculation, and so are Obama’s claims that "poor children," "children with autism" or "kids with disabilities" would be left "to fend for themselves." The Ryan plan in no way says that states don’t have to cover such individuals. Instead it says that states would have "freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations."

Medicare Exaggerations

Obama also had plenty to say about the GOP plan’s impact on Medicare. He said it "ends Medicare as we know it” and went on to characterize it as “a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs.”

Saying the plan throws the elderly to “the mercy of the insurance industry” is an exaggeration and ignores elements of the plan that require insurance companies to cover all seniors and to charge the same rate based on age. The Ryan plan is a fundamental change in the way Medicare works, however.

Here’s what Ryan proposes:
■For those 55 or older by the end of this year, Medicare stays the same. They can remain on the traditional Medicare program as it is.
■Starting in 2022, the system would change. New enrollees would get what Ryan calls “a premium-support payment” to help them purchase private insurance on a new Medicare exchange. Carriers participating in the exchange would have to offer certain standard benefits, cover anyone who applied, and would be required to charge the same rate for those of the same age.
■The average “premium-support payment” would be $8,000 for 65-year-olds in 2022, which is about the same amount CBO projects the government will spend per 65-year-old that year. Upper-income folks won’t get the full amount – the top 8 percent in terms of income distribution would have to pay a greater percentage of their premium costs.
■Obama calls this a “shrinking benefit,” but Ryan’s plan calls for the government payments to increase based on increasing age of the recipient and the CPI-U (consumer price index for all urban consumers). The plan would, however, require beneficiaries to pay more for their health care than under current law.
■The government would also set up medical savings accounts for certain low-income individuals, with the first annual federal contribution at $7,800.
■The Ryan plan also gradually increases eligibility for Medicare to age 67 by 2033.

Obama calls the Medicare payment a “voucher,” while Ryan maintains in his proposal that “[t]his is not a voucher program, but rather a premium-support model.” We’ll steer clear of a semantic debate between politicians. It’s accurate to say this is a government subsidy that would be paid directly to the insurance plan that a senior chooses.

Obama went on to say that seniors wouldn’t get “guaranteed health care” and if the “voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own.”

It’s false to say seniors would be in the “open marketplace." Instead, they would buy coverage through the Medicare exchange Ryan envisions. And as we said, the private insurance companies in the exchange would be required to cover any eligible senior who wanted insurance.

It is true, according to a CBO analysis, that seniors would pay more under the Ryan plan than under current law. The Ryan plan saves the government money but shifts a greater financial responsibility to Medicare beneficiaries. CBO said:


CBO, April 5: To summarize, a typical beneficiary would spend more for health care under the proposal than under CBO’s long-term scenarios for several reasons. First, private plans would cost more than traditional Medicare because of the net effect of differences in payment rates for providers, administrative costs, and utilization of health care services, as described above. Second, the government’s contribution would grow more slowly than health care costs, leaving more for beneficiaries to pay.

Obama claimed that 10 years from now, 65-year-olds would “have to pay nearly $6,400 more” for Medicare coverage. That’s an accurate reflection of what CBO estimated. (See Figure 1, and calculate the beneficiary’s costs based on an $8,000 government contribution in 2022.)

The president implied that not everyone would be able to afford insurance under this system, and CBO does say that because of the added costs “some individuals would therefore choose not to purchase insurance.” It makes no estimate of how many would forego coverage.

Of course, Obama agrees that the government has to find ways to curb Medicare spending. But it’s unclear what exactly those methods would be. He said: “We will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services that seniors need.” He also called for saving money by getting generic drugs on the market more quickly and implementing “new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results.”

Trillion-dollar Uncertainty

Obama also repeated a deceptive talking point about his health care law, saying: "Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion." As we wrote earlier this year, that’s a rough calculation based on a 20-year projection from CBO, a projection it says is uncertain. The 10-year deficit reduction figure was $230 billion, updated to $210 billion in February.

We checked this claim when Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi used a higher number, saying the health care law will "save taxpayers $1.3 trillion" The Democratic staff of the Ways and Means Committee calculated that long-term figure by combining CBO’s 10-year deficit reduction estimate and a much looser estimate for the subsequent decade. CBO said that the law and the reconciliation legislation would lower the deficit in the second 10-year period by “a broad range around one-half percent of gross domestic product.” But CBO didn’t give a specific figure. Instead, it said the estimate was uncertain.

In March testimony before Congress, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said: “CBO does not generally provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year projection period,” and noted that the “impact, however, becomes more and more uncertain the farther into the future one projects.” He called the second decade estimate “a rough outlook.”

$1 Trillion in Tax Cuts for ‘Millionaires and Billionaires’?

The president also spent time in his speech discussing the need to raise taxes and promised to resist a Republican plan to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. (They’re scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.) He said making the Bush tax cuts permanent would provide $1 trillion in tax cuts for “millionaires and billionaires.” That’s not true. By the president’s own figures, the cuts are worth an estimated $807 billion over 10 years for all individual taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000 — not just those earning more than $1 million.


Obama: In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.

In December, the president and Republican leaders agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years for all taxpayers. But in his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal, Obama calls for allowing those tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012, as scheduled, for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000. The budget proposal also would restore the estate and gift taxes to their 2009 levels.

The president’s budget (table S-2) says the tax proposals would result in $709 billion in additional income-tax revenue and $98 billion in additional estate and gift taxes from 2012 to 2021. That’s a total of $807 billion over 10 years, not $1 trillion, and not all of it would come from "every millionaire and billionaire in our society."

How much are the Bush tax cuts worth to millionaires? They’re worth an estimated $32.7 billion this year alone, according to an analysis the Joint Committee on Taxation produced during last year’s debate. That’s a lot of money, for sure, and without exaggeration.

A $200,000 Tax Cut for the President?

Obama underestimated, however, the impact of the Bush tax cuts on his own finances.

The president said the Republicans — by proposing to make the Bush tax cuts permanent for all taxpayers regardless of income — "want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut." That raised a curious question: How much did the Bush tax cuts save the Obamas? To find the answer, we took the president’s 2009 tax returns and plugged his information into the Tax Policy Center’s tax calculator, which allows you to compare your federal tax liability with and without the Bush tax cuts.

The Obamas had a 2009 adjusted gross income of $5,505,409, mostly from the sales of his books. They paid nearly $1.8 million in federal taxes. The tax calculator showed the Obamas would have paid about $300,000 more in taxes without the Bush tax cuts. So we’ll give a pass to the president on this one — even though it sounds like he already got a big break.

Update, April 18: The White House released the Obamas’ 2010 tax returns today. They made substantially less money last year than in 2009, because of fewer book sales. Their 2010 adjusted gross income was $1,728,096, and they paid $453,770 in taxes. The TPC tax calculator shows the Obamas would have paid about $86,000 more without the Bush tax cuts. So, while Obama underestimated the impact of the tax cuts on his 2009 income, he overestimated the impact on what he earned in 2010.

A Taxing Burden

Obama also argued that the "wealthy" could afford to pay more in taxes since their "tax burden" is the lowest it has been in 50 years. But it depends what measure one uses. The CBO’s most recent analysis showed that the average federal tax rate for high-income taxpayers was its lowest in 1986 during the Reagan administration.


Obama: I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more.

The White House based that claim on its own analysis of 2005 tax data for the 2010 Economic Report of the President. It calculated the effective tax rate of individuals making more than $250,000 a year and those making more than $2 million, by dividing the amount of income by the amount paid in federal income and payroll taxes. The figures were also adjusted for wage growth, the report said.

"This analysis suggests that the effective tax rates that applied to high-income taxpayers reached their lowest levels in at least half a century in 2008," the report said.

But the White House’s own analysis showed a similar tax burden in the late 1980s. Here is the administration’s graphic representation of the effective tax rate for those income groups:


It does show those making more than $250,000 and those earning more than $2 million paying a lower effective tax rate in 2008 than in 1960. The decline was much greater for those making more than $2 million. But both groups of high-income earners were paying just about the same rate in the late 1980s as they were in 2008, according to the White House graph. The rates increased during the 1990s and began to fall again during the early years of the last decade. Update, April 15: We originally said that the rates in the late ’80s were "similar or possibly lower" than they are today. The Office of Management and Budget later provided specific figures that show the tax rates in the ’80s were similar. The OMB figures show that those earning more than $2 million paid the same rate (25 percent) in 2008 as they did in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and those making more than $250,000 paid 25 percent — the same rate since 2003. The latter group had a rate of 26 percent in the late ’80s.

The administration isn’t alone in estimating effective tax rates, though. The CBO, in a June 2010 report, provided statistics for average federal taxes paid by income group from 1979 to 2007. The CBO found that high-income taxpayers had the lowest tax burden in 1986. (The CBO analysis included the four largest sources of government revenue — individual income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes and excise taxes. It calculated the average tax rates by dividing taxes paid by "comprehensive household income," which includes all cash income plus additional sources of income such as Medicare benefits and food stamps.)

According to the CBO, the top 1 percent of all households — those making at least $352,900 — paid a total average federal tax rate of 29.5 percent in 2007. But in 1986, they paid a full 4 percentage points less, 25.5 percent. Taxpayers in the top 5 percent (who earn at least $141,900) and 10 percent (at least $102,900) also paid lower rates in 1986.

The top 5 percent had a total average federal tax rate of 27.9 percent in 2007, but just 24.6 percent in 1986. The rates for the top 10 percent: 26.7 percent in 2007 and 24.3 percent in 1986.

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/04/factchecking-obamas-budget-speech/




Bill Clinton: New taxes only after upturn

Former President Bill Clinton’s position on when the government should raise taxes took another turn during his Wednesday night appearance on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Clinton said last night he does not think now is the time to raise taxes on anyone because the economy is not growing, but advocated for a hike on the rich after the situation improves.

“Should you raise taxes on anybody right today — rich or poor or middle class? No, because there’s no growth in the economy,” Clinton said on the “Late Show.” “Should those of us who make more money and are in better position to contribute to America’s public needs and getting this deficit under control pay a higher tax rate when the economy recovers? Yes, that’s what I think.”

With that, Clinton reemphasized his support of the “Buffett Rule,” President Barack Obama’s proposed tax increase for those earning annual incomes of $1 million or more — with one critical difference.

Obama’s proposal would take effect in 2013, but Clinton says he prefers a much less specific time to institute the Buffett Rule: whenever the economy recovers.

On Friday, Clinton shot back at an American Crossroads ad that used a September interview he gave to Newsmax to attack Obama’s jobs plan. Left out of Clinton’s statement was the critical issue of timing he raised to Newsmax and Letterman.

In the Newsmax interview, Clinton said he opposed raising taxes while the economy remained down — a statement he reiterated on last night’s “Late Show.”

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending, either one, until we get this economy off the ground,” Clinton told Newsmax in the Sept. interview. “This has been a dead flat economy.”

American Crossroads leapt on the comments, going up with an ad last week hitting Obama’s plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans featuring lines from Clinton’s interview.

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes,” Clinton says in the ad. “It won’t solve the problem.”

The two lines, however, were more than three minutes apart in his discussion with Newsmax — the second statement came later in the interview when the former president said he would pay the increased tax on the wealthy. “It’s okay with me, I’d pay more, but it won’t solve the problem,” he said.

Clinton quickly shot back at American Crossroads, issuing a statement last Friday saying the group mischaracterized his statements. But unlike his comments to Newsmax and Letterman, Clinton left out his oft-repeated argument in favor of boosting millionaires’ taxes when the economy “recovers” or gets “off the ground.”

“The Republican Group American Crossroads has used a quote from me in a video opposing President Obama’s jobs plan and the ‘Buffett Rule,’” Clinton said in a statement to POLITICO Playbook on the ad. “The advertisement implies that I opposed the ‘Buffett Rule.’ In fact, I support both the American Jobs Act and the ‘Buffett Rule.’ I believe that it’s only fair to ask those of us in high-income groups — who have received the primary benefits of the last decade’s economic growth and the majority of its tax cuts as well — to contribute to solving our long term debt problem.”

“What I did say was that the ‘Buffett Rule’ cannot solve the problem alone. Reducing the debt requires three things: more economic growth, more spending cuts, and more revenue. Right now, the most important thing is to put America back to work. That’s why I support the American Jobs Act.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1011/65855.html#ixzz1atCBSyTN
 SteelCity1981
Joined: 8/16/2005
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History
If you could do it again: Would you vote for Obama Today?
Posted: 10/15/2011 2:50:20 PM
Cash for clunkers was a waste.



Last year, the US administration spent $2.85bn on supporting the sale of 360k autos, by paying owners of older vehicles to destroy them with sodium silicate.

At the time, most people in the chemical industry, and many experts, regarded this 'cash for clunkers' programme as being a complete waste of money. And they
became even more concerned when European governments followed with similar programmes.

Now a new study for the US National Bureau of Economic Research finds that it "had no long run effect on auto purchases". Their analysis suggests it increased sales by 360k in summer last year, "but then quickly hurt sales by about the same amount, in effect stealing sales from the future".

Of course, they can't also measure the negative impact on chemical companies and converters of suddenly having to ramp up production, only to then see it collapse again. But this clearly happened, causing major disruption to the supply chain. Equally, all the anecdotal evidence suggests the same pattern occurred in Europe.

The underlying problem is that many politicians simply fail to accept that short-term fixes, such as the clunkers programmes, housing tax credits etc, cannot provide 'escape velocity' to overcome the real issues underlying the current Crisis. Vast sums of money, and time, are being wasted whilst they remain in this state of denial, as the blog will discuss in more detail at the weekend.

http://www.icis.com/blogs/chemicals-and-the-economy/2010/09/cash-for-clunkers-a-waste-of-m.html


Obama proposes raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for $447 billion jobs bill



President Obama would fund his $447 billion plan to create jobs largely by raising taxes on wealthier families, White House aides said Monday after the president again called on Congress to support the package.

During a Rose Garden appearance, Obama pledged to send Congress the American Jobs Act on Monday evening when the legislative body resumes its session. Aides revealed for the first time that the plan will include limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.

Eliminating those deductions will bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue over 10 years, said Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration also is recommending closing oil and gas tax loopholes and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. All of the new rules, which would take effect in 2013, would bring in an estimated total of $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the president’s jobs bill, Lew said during the White House’s daily press briefing Monday.

Obama has proposed similar tax hikes on the wealthy in the past, but they were rejected by Congress.

Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said: “It would be fair to say this tax increase on job creators is the kind of proposal both parties have opposed in the past. We remain eager to work together on ways to support job growth, but this proposal doesn’t appear to have been offered in that bipartisan spirit.”

The cost of the jobs plan would be in addition to the $1.5 trillion that a bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” is tasked with finding to reduce the country’s spiraling deficit. However, the administration said that it is open to other ways to pay for its proposal. If the committee settles on a plan to reduce the deficit by the $1.5 trillion and also the amount of Obama’s jobs package, the tax hikes will not longer take effect, White House officials said.

During his Rose Garden announcement, Obama was surrounded by American workers he said would be helped by the bill, and he held aloft a thick sheaf of papers secured by a large binder clip to display the legislation. The bill tallies 155 pages.

“This a bill that will put people back to work all across the country, that will help our economy in moment of national crisis,” Obama said. “It is based on ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. And this the bill that Congress needs to pass: no games, no politics, no delays. I’m sending this bill to Congress today, and they ought to pass it immediately.”

Since unveiling the proposals in a speech to Congress last Thursday, Obama has launched a concerted push to win public support. He rallied students at the University of Richmond on Friday. And he is scheduled to visit a high school in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday and to travel to the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina on Friday to tout the plan.

In a statement released after the president’s remarks, Boehner said: “While we have a different vision for what is needed to support job creation in our country, we appreciate the President’s pledge to transmit legislation to Congress and will immediately request that it be scored by the Congressional Budget Office.... It is my hope that we will be able to work together to put in place the best ideas of both parties and help put Americans back to work.”

Republicans have expressed some willingness to support parts of the plan, which includes a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure spending and direct aid to state and local governments. GOP members have said they generally support giving tax breaks to small businesses, for example.

However, most Republicans have balked at the high-priced spending proposals, and want Obama to explain how the country will pay for them.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement: “Democrats are prepared to act now on the American Jobs Act, which is fully paid for. Republicans must join us to address the American people’s top priority: job creation.”

In his Rose Garden remarks, Obama said his economic proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, and he hammered Republican opposition. For weeks, Obama has been trying to cast his administration as working with urgency to address the economy as Republicans dither.

Obama said he and Vice President Biden talked Monday morning about an article in a Washington newspaper in which a Republicans aide was quoted as saying the aide was not sure why the GOP would want to cooperate with the president because it’s not good for the party’s politics.

“That’s the attitude in this town, ‘Yes, we were for this before, but we do not know why we would be for them now,’” Obama said. “The next election is 14 months away. The American people do not have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action. The notion that they are not going to try to do what’s right for the American people because it’s not convenient for their politics -- we see that too much around here. It’s exactly what folks are tired of. .?.?.These are not games we’re playing here. Folks are out of work, businesses are having trouble staying open.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/obama-calls-on-congress-to-pass-jobs-bill-no-politics-no-delays/2011/09/12/gIQA8uk3MK_blog.html





FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech

Summary

President Barack Obama misrepresented the House Republicans’ budget plan at times and exaggerated its impact on U.S. residents during an April 13 speech on deficit reduction.
¦Obama claimed the Republicans’ "Path to Prosperity" plan would cause "up to 50 million Americans … to lose their health insurance.” But that worst-case figure is based in part on speculation and assumptions.
¦He said the GOP plan would replace Medicare with "a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry." That’s an exaggeration. Nothing would change for those 55 and older. Those younger would get federal subsidies to buy private insurance from a Medicare exchange set up by the government.
¦He said "poor children," "children with autism" and "kids with disabilities" would be left "to fend for themselves." That, too, is an exaggeration. The GOP says states would have "freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations." It doesn’t bar states from covering those children.
¦He repeated a deceptive talking point that the new health care law will reduce the deficit by $1 trillion. That’s the Democrats’ own estimate over a 20-year period. The Congressional Budget Office pegged the deficit savings at $210 billion over 10 years and warned that estimates beyond a decade are "more and more uncertain."
¦He falsely claimed that making the Bush tax cuts permanent would give away "$1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire." That figure — which is actually $807 billion over 10 years — refers to tax cuts for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000, not just millionaires and billionaires.
¦He said the tax burden on the wealthy is the lowest it has been in 50 years. But the most recent nonpartisan congressional analysis showed that the average federal tax rate for high-income taxpayers was lower in 1986.

For more about the president’s deficit-reduction speech, please read our Analysis section.

Analysis

This week, President Barack Obama laid out his ideas on how to curb the growing deficit over the next decade and more — and he spent much of the afternoon speech at George Washington University criticizing a deficit-reduction plan, called "Path to Prosperity," released by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. But his critique strayed at times from the facts.

Medicaid Assumptions


The president made several claims about the Republicans’ proposal for Medicare, Medicaid and the health care law. Obama claimed that the plan would cause "up to 50 million Americans … to lose their health insurance." But that figure is partly based on speculation and assumptions.


Obama, April 13: It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents — may be one of yours — who wouldn’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some of these kids with disabilities are — the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.

The White House told us that 34 million of the 50 million people the president referenced would be covered under the new health care law, but Ryan’s proposal largely repeals the legislation. That means those persons wouldn’t be covered. Technically, those currently uninsured individuals don’t have insurance to lose, but certainly the Republican plan would be expected to cover tens of millions fewer than current law. What about the other 16 million?

To come up with that, the administration speculated on what states might do when faced with fewer federal Medicaid funds, as the Republican proposal stipulates. Under the Ryan plan, the federal government would spend an estimated $150 billion less on Medicaid in 2021. The administration figures that’s a 19 percent reduction in Medicaid spending, which, the administration assumes, would lead the states to spend less on Medicaid. It then assumes that there would be a corresponding 19 percent reduction in enrollment in 2021, which it says would be 15 million people.

That’s a whole lot of assuming.

The Ryan proposal would give states block grants – in lieu of the current federal matching funds — which would go up each year based on population and the consumer price index for urban consumers. It also eliminates money for acute care services for elderly Medicaid recipients. States would get less money than they are expected to under current law, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says they’ll have to make tough budgeting decisions. But that’s a far cry from saying 15 million Medicaid enrollees won’t be covered.

CBO says the plan would reduce federal Medicaid spending by 35 percent in 2022 and more in future years. It says states "could" limit eligibility, but that measure is among several other possibilities to make up for the loss of federal dollars. And the CBO adds that "to some extent" rising health care costs "would cause states to implement such changes anyway."


CBO, April 5: Because of the magnitude of the reduction in federal Medicaid spending under the proposal, however, states would face significant challenges in achieving sufficient cost savings through efficiencies to mitigate the loss of federal funding. To maintain current service levels in the Medicaid program, states would probably need to consider additional changes, such as reducing their spending on other programs or raising additional revenues. Alternatively, states could reduce the size of their Medicaid programs by cutting payment rates for doctors, hospitals, or nursing homes; reducing the scope of benefits covered; or limiting eligibility. To some extent, under CBO’s long-run projections, the rise in health care costs under current law would cause states to implement such changes anyway. However, given the size of the reduction in federal spending under the proposal, the magnitude of the changes would probably have to be greater.

It’s anyone’s guess as to how states would react in 10 years to Ryan’s proposal. The same goes for how states will cope with rising health costs. The administration’s 15 million figure is speculation, and so are Obama’s claims that "poor children," "children with autism" or "kids with disabilities" would be left "to fend for themselves." The Ryan plan in no way says that states don’t have to cover such individuals. Instead it says that states would have "freedom and flexibility to tailor a Medicaid program that fits the needs of their unique populations."

Medicare Exaggerations

Obama also had plenty to say about the GOP plan’s impact on Medicare. He said it "ends Medicare as we know it” and went on to characterize it as “a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs.”

Saying the plan throws the elderly to “the mercy of the insurance industry” is an exaggeration and ignores elements of the plan that require insurance companies to cover all seniors and to charge the same rate based on age. The Ryan plan is a fundamental change in the way Medicare works, however.

Here’s what Ryan proposes:
¦For those 55 or older by the end of this year, Medicare stays the same. They can remain on the traditional Medicare program as it is.
¦Starting in 2022, the system would change. New enrollees would get what Ryan calls “a premium-support payment” to help them purchase private insurance on a new Medicare exchange. Carriers participating in the exchange would have to offer certain standard benefits, cover anyone who applied, and would be required to charge the same rate for those of the same age.
¦The average “premium-support payment” would be $8,000 for 65-year-olds in 2022, which is about the same amount CBO projects the government will spend per 65-year-old that year. Upper-income folks won’t get the full amount – the top 8 percent in terms of income distribution would have to pay a greater percentage of their premium costs.
¦Obama calls this a “shrinking benefit,” but Ryan’s plan calls for the government payments to increase based on increasing age of the recipient and the CPI-U (consumer price index for all urban consumers). The plan would, however, require beneficiaries to pay more for their health care than under current law.
¦The government would also set up medical savings accounts for certain low-income individuals, with the first annual federal contribution at $7,800.
¦The Ryan plan also gradually increases eligibility for Medicare to age 67 by 2033.

Obama calls the Medicare payment a “voucher,” while Ryan maintains in his proposal that “[t]his is not a voucher program, but rather a premium-support model.” We’ll steer clear of a semantic debate between politicians. It’s accurate to say this is a government subsidy that would be paid directly to the insurance plan that a senior chooses.

Obama went on to say that seniors wouldn’t get “guaranteed health care” and if the “voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own.”

It’s false to say seniors would be in the “open marketplace." Instead, they would buy coverage through the Medicare exchange Ryan envisions. And as we said, the private insurance companies in the exchange would be required to cover any eligible senior who wanted insurance.

It is true, according to a CBO analysis, that seniors would pay more under the Ryan plan than under current law. The Ryan plan saves the government money but shifts a greater financial responsibility to Medicare beneficiaries. CBO said:


CBO, April 5: To summarize, a typical beneficiary would spend more for health care under the proposal than under CBO’s long-term scenarios for several reasons. First, private plans would cost more than traditional Medicare because of the net effect of differences in payment rates for providers, administrative costs, and utilization of health care services, as described above. Second, the government’s contribution would grow more slowly than health care costs, leaving more for beneficiaries to pay.

Obama claimed that 10 years from now, 65-year-olds would “have to pay nearly $6,400 more” for Medicare coverage. That’s an accurate reflection of what CBO estimated. (See Figure 1, and calculate the beneficiary’s costs based on an $8,000 government contribution in 2022.)

The president implied that not everyone would be able to afford insurance under this system, and CBO does say that because of the added costs “some individuals would therefore choose not to purchase insurance.” It makes no estimate of how many would forego coverage.

Of course, Obama agrees that the government has to find ways to curb Medicare spending. But it’s unclear what exactly those methods would be. He said: “We will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services that seniors need.” He also called for saving money by getting generic drugs on the market more quickly and implementing “new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results.”

Trillion-dollar Uncertainty

Obama also repeated a deceptive talking point about his health care law, saying: "Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion." As we wrote earlier this year, that’s a rough calculation based on a 20-year projection from CBO, a projection it says is uncertain. The 10-year deficit reduction figure was $230 billion, updated to $210 billion in February.

We checked this claim when Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi used a higher number, saying the health care law will "save taxpayers $1.3 trillion" The Democratic staff of the Ways and Means Committee calculated that long-term figure by combining CBO’s 10-year deficit reduction estimate and a much looser estimate for the subsequent decade. CBO said that the law and the reconciliation legislation would lower the deficit in the second 10-year period by “a broad range around one-half percent of gross domestic product.” But CBO didn’t give a specific figure. Instead, it said the estimate was uncertain.

In March testimony before Congress, CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf said: “CBO does not generally provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year projection period,” and noted that the “impact, however, becomes more and more uncertain the farther into the future one projects.” He called the second decade estimate “a rough outlook.”

$1 Trillion in Tax Cuts for ‘Millionaires and Billionaires’?

The president also spent time in his speech discussing the need to raise taxes and promised to resist a Republican plan to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. (They’re scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.) He said making the Bush tax cuts permanent would provide $1 trillion in tax cuts for “millionaires and billionaires.” That’s not true. By the president’s own figures, the cuts are worth an estimated $807 billion over 10 years for all individual taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000 — not just those earning more than $1 million.


Obama: In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.

In December, the president and Republican leaders agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years for all taxpayers. But in his fiscal year 2012 budget proposal, Obama calls for allowing those tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012, as scheduled, for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000. The budget proposal also would restore the estate and gift taxes to their 2009 levels.

The president’s budget (table S-2) says the tax proposals would result in $709 billion in additional income-tax revenue and $98 billion in additional estate and gift taxes from 2012 to 2021. That’s a total of $807 billion over 10 years, not $1 trillion, and not all of it would come from "every millionaire and billionaire in our society."

How much are the Bush tax cuts worth to millionaires? They’re worth an estimated $32.7 billion this year alone, according to an analysis the Joint Committee on Taxation produced during last year’s debate. That’s a lot of money, for sure, and without exaggeration.

A $200,000 Tax Cut for the President?

Obama underestimated, however, the impact of the Bush tax cuts on his own finances.

The president said the Republicans — by proposing to make the Bush tax cuts permanent for all taxpayers regardless of income — "want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut." That raised a curious question: How much did the Bush tax cuts save the Obamas? To find the answer, we took the president’s 2009 tax returns and plugged his information into the Tax Policy Center’s tax calculator, which allows you to compare your federal tax liability with and without the Bush tax cuts.

The Obamas had a 2009 adjusted gross income of $5,505,409, mostly from the sales of his books. They paid nearly $1.8 million in federal taxes. The tax calculator showed the Obamas would have paid about $300,000 more in taxes without the Bush tax cuts. So we’ll give a pass to the president on this one — even though it sounds like he already got a big break.

Update, April 18: The White House released the Obamas’ 2010 tax returns today. They made substantially less money last year than in 2009, because of fewer book sales. Their 2010 adjusted gross income was $1,728,096, and they paid $453,770 in taxes. The TPC tax calculator shows the Obamas would have paid about $86,000 more without the Bush tax cuts. So, while Obama underestimated the impact of the tax cuts on his 2009 income, he overestimated the impact on what he earned in 2010.

A Taxing Burden

Obama also argued that the "wealthy" could afford to pay more in taxes since their "tax burden" is the lowest it has been in 50 years. But it depends what measure one uses. The CBO’s most recent analysis showed that the average federal tax rate for high-income taxpayers was its lowest in 1986 during the Reagan administration.


Obama: I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more.

The White House based that claim on its own analysis of 2005 tax data for the 2010 Economic Report of the President. It calculated the effective tax rate of individuals making more than $250,000 a year and those making more than $2 million, by dividing the amount of income by the amount paid in federal income and payroll taxes. The figures were also adjusted for wage growth, the report said.

"This analysis suggests that the effective tax rates that applied to high-income taxpayers reached their lowest levels in at least half a century in 2008," the report said.

But the White House’s own analysis showed a similar tax burden in the late 1980s. Here is the administration’s graphic representation of the effective tax rate for those income groups:


It does show those making more than $250,000 and those earning more than $2 million paying a lower effective tax rate in 2008 than in 1960. The decline was much greater for those making more than $2 million. But both groups of high-income earners were paying just about the same rate in the late 1980s as they were in 2008, according to the White House graph. The rates increased during the 1990s and began to fall again during the early years of the last decade. Update, April 15: We originally said that the rates in the late ’80s were "similar or possibly lower" than they are today. The Office of Management and Budget later provided specific figures that show the tax rates in the ’80s were similar. The OMB figures show that those earning more than $2 million paid the same rate (25 percent) in 2008 as they did in 1988, 1989 and 1990, and those making more than $250,000 paid 25 percent — the same rate since 2003. The latter group had a rate of 26 percent in the late ’80s.

The administration isn’t alone in estimating effective tax rates, though. The CBO, in a June 2010 report, provided statistics for average federal taxes paid by income group from 1979 to 2007. The CBO found that high-income taxpayers had the lowest tax burden in 1986. (The CBO analysis included the four largest sources of government revenue — individual income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes and excise taxes. It calculated the average tax rates by dividing taxes paid by "comprehensive household income," which includes all cash income plus additional sources of income such as Medicare benefits and food stamps.)

According to the CBO, the top 1 percent of all households — those making at least $352,900 — paid a total average federal tax rate of 29.5 percent in 2007. But in 1986, they paid a full 4 percentage points less, 25.5 percent. Taxpayers in the top 5 percent (who earn at least $141,900) and 10 percent (at least $102,900) also paid lower rates in 1986.

The top 5 percent had a total average federal tax rate of 27.9 percent in 2007, but just 24.6 percent in 1986. The rates for the top 10 percent: 26.7 percent in 2007 and 24.3 percent in 1986.

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/04/factchecking-obamas-budget-speech/




Clinton said on the Letterman show that he does not think now is the time to raise taxes on anyone because the economy is not growing, but advocated for a hike on the rich after the situation improves.

“Should you raise taxes on anybody right today — rich or poor or middle class? No, because there’s no growth in the economy,” Clinton said on the “Late Show.” “Should those of us who make more money and are in better position to contribute to America’s public needs and getting this deficit under control pay a higher tax rate when the economy recovers? Yes, that’s what I think.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQUyd-rMl9g
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