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Old 04-14-2011, 07:57 AM  
chiefsnorth chiefsnorth is offline
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WSJ: Obama's toxic speech

WSJ: Obama's toxic speech and even worse plan for deficits and debt.


Did someone move the 2012 election to June 1? We ask because President Obama's extraordinary response to Paul Ryan's budget yesterday - with its blistering partisanship and multiple distortions - was the kind Presidents usually outsource to some junior lieutenant. Mr. Obama's fundamentally political document would have been unusual even for a Vice President in the fervor of a campaign.

The immediate political goal was to inoculate the White House from criticism that it is not serious about the fiscal crisis, after ignoring its own deficit commission last year and tossing off a $3.73 trillion budget in February that increased spending amid a record deficit of $1.65 trillion. Mr. Obama was chased to George Washington University yesterday because Mr. Ryan and the Republicans outflanked him on fiscal discipline and are now setting the national political agenda.

Mr. Obama did not deign to propose an alternative to rival Mr. Ryan's plan, even as he categorically rejected all its reform ideas, repeatedly vilifying them as essentially un-American. "Their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America," he said, supposedly pitting "children with autism or Down's syndrome" against "every millionaire and billionaire in our society." The President was not attempting to join the debate Mr. Ryan has started, but to close it off just as it begins and banish House GOP ideas to political Siberia.

Mr. Obama then packaged his poison in the rhetoric of bipartisanship - which "starts," he said, "by being honest about what's causing our deficit." The speech he chose to deliver was dishonest, even by modern political standards.

***

The great political challenge of the moment is how to update the 20th-century entitlement state so that it is affordable. With incremental change, Mr. Ryan is trying maintain a social safety net and the economic growth necessary to finance it. Mr. Obama presented what some might call the false choice of merely preserving the government we have with no realistic plan for doing so, aside from proposing $4 trillion in phantom deficit reduction over a gimmicky 12-year budget window that makes that reduction seem larger than it would be over the normal 10-year window.

Mr. Obama said that the typical political proposal to rationalize Medicare's gargantuan liabilities is that it is "just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse." His own plan is to double down on the program's price controls and central planning. All Medicare decisions will be turned over to and routed through an unelected commission created by ObamaCare—which will supposedly ferret out "unnecessary spending." Is that the same as "waste and abuse"?

Fifteen members will serve on the Independent Payment Advisory Board, all appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. If per capita costs grow by more than GDP plus 0.5%, this board would get more power, including an automatic budget sequester to enforce its rulings. So 15 sages sitting in a room with the power of the purse will evidently find ways to control Medicare spending that no one has ever thought of before and that supposedly won't harm seniors' care, even as the largest cohort of the baby boom generation retires and starts to collect benefits.

Mr. Obama really went off on Mr. Ryan's plan to increase health-care competition and give consumers more control, barely stopping short of calling it murderous. It's hardly beyond criticism or debate, but the Ryan plan is neither Big Rock Candy Mountain nor some radical departure from American norms.

Mr. Obama came out for further cuts in the defense budget, but where? His plan is to ask Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen "to find additional savings," whatever those might be, after a "fundamental review." These mystery cuts would follow two separate, recent rounds of deep cuts that were supposed to stave off further Pentagon triage amid several wars and escalating national security threats.

Mr. Obama rallied the left with a summons for major tax increases on "the rich." Every U.S. fiscal trouble, he claimed, flows from the Bush tax cuts "for the wealthiest 2%," conveniently passing over what he euphemistically called his own "series of emergency steps that saved millions of jobs." Apparently he means the $814 billion stimulus that failed and a new multitrillion-dollar entitlement in ObamaCare that harmed job creation.

Under the Obama tax plan, the Bush rates would be repealed for the top brackets. Yet the "cost" of extending all the Bush rates in 2011 over 10 years was about $3.7 trillion. Some $3 trillion of that was for everything but the top brackets—and Mr. Obama says he wants to extend those rates forever. According to Internal Revenue Service data, the entire taxable income of everyone earning over $100,000 in 2008 was about $1.582 trillion. Even if all these Americans—most of whom are far from wealthy—were taxed at 100%, it wouldn't cover Mr. Obama's deficit for this year.

Mr. Obama sought more tax-hike cover under his deficit commission, seeming to embrace its proposal to limit tax deductions and other loopholes. But the commission wanted to do so in order to lower rates for a more efficient and competitive code with a broader base. Mr. Obama wants to pocket the tax increase and devote the revenues to deficit reduction and therefore more spending. So that's three significant tax increases—via higher top brackets, the tax hikes in ObamaCare and fewer tax deductions.

Lastly, Mr. Obama came out for a debt "failsafe," which will require the White House and Congress to hash out a deal if by 2014 projected debt is not declining as a share of the economy. But under his plan any deal must exclude Social Security, Medicare or low-income programs. So that means more tax increases or else "making government smarter, leaner and more effective." Which, now that he mentioned it, sounds a lot like cutting "waste and abuse."

Mr. Obama ludicrously claimed that Mr. Ryan favors "a fundamentally different America than the one we've known throughout most of our history." Nothing is likelier to bring that future about than the President's political indifference in the midst of a fiscal crisis.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
donkhater donkhater is offline
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From Obama's speech:

So here’s the truth. Around two-thirds of our budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and national security. Programs like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and tax credits for working families take up another 20%. What’s left, after interest on the debt, is just 12 percent for everything else. That’s 12 percent for all of our other national priorities like education and clean energy; medical research and transportation; food safety and keeping our air and water clean...

....The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.


These two lines from Obama's speech speak the truth about the liberal view of wealth in America. That it is the government's money and they ALLOW you to keep it through tax cuts and credits. That is the basis of their fiscal belief. Anyone who believes that the Democrats are serious about cutting spending and shrinking the size of government, let that soak in and ponder that for a moment.

Now, I don't believe the Republicans are really all that serious about cutting government either (so far), but at least they have the fundamental belief that a person's wealth is THEIRS and that the ability to aquire wealth and keep what you EARN is key to freedom and liberty.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
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His designs only vary between the status quo and slamming on the gas in the direction we are already headed. I dont think there are many voters out there dumb enough to think he cares about reducing spending.

It's questionable he even cares about non-government jobs or inflation. None of his agenda seems to be aimed at dealing with these.

His agenda seems to mostly be focused on sidestepping the public's wish that government get its finances under control while adding as much permanent spending as possible.
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Its a joke that people and Obama refers to tax cuts as spending...The money earned and saved by tax payers is the tax payers money NOT the federal governments money.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chiefsnorth View Post
His designs only vary between the status quo and slamming on the gas in the direction we are already headed. I dont think there are many voters out there dumb enough to think he cares about reducing spending.

It's questionable he even cares about non-government jobs or inflation. None of his agenda seems to be aimed at dealing with these.

His agenda seems to mostly be focused on sidestepping the public's wish that government get its finances under control while adding as much permanent spending as possible.
All Obama has to say, "the rich need to pay their fair share" and the logical brain process of his base shuts down and they believe anything he says. Dumb or smart has nothing to do with it his base just chooses to believe.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chief Henry View Post
Its a joke that people and Obama refers to tax cuts as spending...The money earned and saved by tax payers is the tax payers money NOT the federal governments money.
The simple fact is, we currently have the lowest tax burden in modern US history, and Ryan's stupid plan (which relies on fantasyland assumptions like an unemployment rate lower than we've ever had, so his projected savings on the debt is a lie) proposes to take taxes lower. You don't have to like it, the country can't afford more tax cuts. Ryan's plan is not a serious attempt to reduce the deficit, its an attempt to exploit a crisis for political gain.

Medicare and Social Security need to be revised to account for modern life expectancies and save money, but to solve the entire deficit problem only on the poor and elderly, after we took the money they paid in, all to fund record-low taxes for everyone else is immoral.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
The simple fact is, we currently have the lowest tax burden in modern US history, and Ryan's stupid plan (which relies on fantasyland assumptions like an unemployment rate lower than we've ever had, so his projected savings on the debt is a lie) proposes to take taxes lower. You don't have to like it, the country can't afford more tax cuts. Ryan's plan is not a serious attempt to reduce the deficit, its an attempt to exploit a crisis for political gain.

Medicare and Social Security need to be revised to account for modern life expectancies and save money, but to solve the entire deficit problem only on the poor and elderly, after we took the money they paid in, all to fund record-low taxes for everyone else is immoral.
The reason the tax burden is so low is because nearly half of all Americans no longer have to pay any income tax at all, not because the top 1% are paying a third of all tax revenues, you moron.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
donkhater donkhater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
The simple fact is, we currently have the lowest tax burden in modern US history, and Ryan's stupid plan (which relies on fantasyland assumptions like an unemployment rate lower than we've ever had, so his projected savings on the debt is a lie) proposes to take taxes lower. You don't have to like it, the country can't afford more tax cuts. Ryan's plan is not a serious attempt to reduce the deficit, its an attempt to exploit a crisis for political gain.

Medicare and Social Security need to be revised to account for modern life expectancies and save money, but to solve the entire deficit problem only on the poor and elderly, after we took the money they paid in, all to fund record-low taxes for everyone else is immoral.
OK. So you think it's stupid. But instead of recognizing that a stake has been set and work from there to change the parts he doesn't like, Obama basically scolded Ryan in front of nation. How does that embolden anything? Yes, I know the Republicans do it too, but someone has to move off this dialouge for SOME movement to happen to fix the debt. Why is it unreasonable to think the POTYS should be the one guy to do that?

Honestly, not raising the debt ceiling is the ONLY way we will see any cuts whatsoever. Our representatives and president has basically shown that they will NOT do anything meaingful about the debt if they aren't forced to.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
The simple fact is, we currently have the lowest tax burden in modern US history, and Ryan's stupid plan (which relies on fantasyland assumptions like an unemployment rate lower than we've ever had, so his projected savings on the debt is a lie) proposes to take taxes lower. You don't have to like it, the country can't afford more tax cuts. Ryan's plan is not a serious attempt to reduce the deficit, its an attempt to exploit a crisis for political gain.

Medicare and Social Security need to be revised to account for modern life expectancies and save money, but to solve the entire deficit problem only on the poor and elderly, after we took the money they paid in, all to fund record-low taxes for everyone else is immoral.
So it IS moral to take people's money away from them to pay for past government stupidity. Is there any room to cut spending or transfer Medicare and Medicaid to the states?
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
OK. So you think it's stupid. But instead of recognizing that a stake has been set and work from there to change the parts he doesn't like, Obama basically scolded Ryan in front of nation. How does that embolden anything? Yes, I know the Republicans do it too, but someone has to move off this dialouge for SOME movement to happen to fix the debt. Why is it unreasonable to think the POTYS should be the one guy to do that?

Honestly, not raising the debt ceiling is the ONLY way we will see any cuts whatsoever. Our representatives and president has basically shown that they will NOT do anything meaingful about the debt if they aren't forced to.
Barry does not have it within him to "rise above the fray"...he IS the fray...
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:54 PM   #11
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The WSJ in an Op-Ed piece doesn't agree with a Democratic President's economic initiatives?!? Shocking!!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
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The WSJ in an Op-Ed piece doesn't agree with a Democratic President's economic initiatives?!? Shocking!!!
Fox is fair and balanced it's says so right on their logo. So there.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:35 PM   #13
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After reading some of the post on here for years and years along with this thread, liberal democrats think the money that is earned by tax payers is the politicians money FIRST - BEFORE it becomes the workers and tax payers money.

What a sad state of affairs we are in
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
The simple fact is, we currently have the lowest tax burden in modern US history, and Ryan's stupid plan (which relies on fantasyland assumptions like an unemployment rate lower than we've ever had, so his projected savings on the debt is a lie) proposes to take taxes lower. You don't have to like it, the country can't afford more tax cuts. Ryan's plan is not a serious attempt to reduce the deficit, its an attempt to exploit a crisis for political gain.
Where do you get your analysis that the tax reform section of the Ryan plan is a net tax cut? The bipartisan commission recommended tax reforms much like those included in the Ryan plan (broadened base, lower rates) and frankly they are long overdue. The shape of the tax code is far more important here than any specific numbers Ryan used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
Medicare and Social Security need to be revised to account for modern life expectancies and save money, but to solve the entire deficit problem only on the poor and elderly, after we took the money they paid in, all to fund record-low taxes for everyone else is immoral.
I'm looking forward to seeing where you come up with this "record-low" nonsense. You shifted from "lowest in modern history" (by which I assume you mean the last 2 or 3 decades) to "record-low" which is absurd.

When Medicare is the primary source of the problem, Medicare should be the primary source of the solution. And as for the poor, beggars can't be choosers. It's not immoral to reduce your charitable donations from one year to the next. The donees need to be grateful for whatever you give because you don't owe it to them.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:46 PM   #15
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The reason the tax burden is so low is because nearly half of all Americans no longer have to pay any income tax at all, not because the top 1% are paying a third of all tax revenues, you moron.
This is a fantastic point. The distribution of that lower tax burden has been shifting toward greater progressivity for most of the period of "modern history" that alnorth is focused on.
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