Obama Budget Plan Better Than GOP Path To Prosperity

Obama Budget Plan Better Than GOP Path To Prosperity

I have often said that President Barack Obama could be a really good president, particularly if he distanced himself from the party leadership and its endless rhetoric. Obama, like most presidents set their agenda and then let the party leadership distribute it across the land while they retreat to the oval office and wait for the results. But, I felt that the president let the leadership dictate the agenda at the onset. Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Harry Reid set the tempo during Bushes lame duck session and as Obama entered the Oval Office it wasn't so much about his goals per se, as that stale old party line. On Wednesday, however, I believe that Barack Obama has finally separated himself from the same old rhetoric and told us what he in fact would and wouldn't accept. Believe it or not, I happen to agree more with what Obama had to say than Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity, a.k.a. The Great American Austerity Plan has to offer.

Hey, I always said that I was a former Democrat turned Independent. When ever, and where ever, I voted Republican it was because their idea resonated better at the time than the very stale dream the Democrats were peddling over and over again. It is true, though, that I will remain fully committed to a smaller government and less layers of bureaucracy. That will not change! Nor will my idea that we need real and meaningful Immigration Reform as opposed to Illegals just being granted another amnesty with a slap on the wrist and a meager fine.

Government, however, still has an obligation to the people when it comes to some guarantee of social programs; i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc.. Let's face it, many of us are merely one misfortune away from financial ruin.

Government, though, needs to work smarter and leaner. Government waste has always been an issue as has the immense power of special interests that jack the cost of everything through the roof. Like I have previously said - we need to stop overpaying for everything from prescription pills to missiles. Bloated bureaucracies with their enormous staffs and incidental costs must be reined in as well. To say that the governments house is in financial disarray would be an understatement and as such, that must be the very first place that our elected yokels need to attack with vim and vigor.

I probably agreed, in principle, with 75% of what President Obama had to say on Wednesday. I do not believe, however that Social Security and Medicare should be given a bigger part of  the blame for our runaway deficit over the root cause - which is the defense budget. The defense budget, with all its many money streams, is the single greatest contributor to the National Deficit. Matter of fact, anyone who has ever been in the military will tell you how appalling it is with what the average base throws away daily just in food.

Of course, the greatest waste of money in the military is the extravagant costs associated with weaponry - all purchased at a premium cost. Bullets costing five to ten times what they are worth do not kill any less effectively! Then again, there is a hell of a lot of "military research" projects that linger on for decades without conclusion or just outright abandoned after billions have been spent. The defense budget, for all practical purposes, is a giant black hole sucking good money after bad. Fighting a war on three fronts is absurd too.

While I mostly agreed with the president, his plan offered very little in the fine details. Sure, it can be considered that much of his speech today was the opening salvo in a bid for re-election according to the political pundits, but I am still encouraged that he at least put everything on the table for review and/or compromise. If the GOP refuse to sit down and bargain in good faith, they essentially cut off their own nuts.

GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner immediately shot down Obama's desire to let the Bush Era Tax Cuts expire for the wealthiest of those on top of the economic food chain was a game-stopper - well Mr. Boehner - Fu$k You! Any politician that continues favoring the rich avoiding paying their fair share, I will vote against them. Period! When the rich pay less in taxes than I do, then that is my game-changer.

In previous posts, I said that the Tea Party Caucus was a bunch of phoneys that reside at the far right extreme. That wasn't said without lack of merit or proof. I telephoned Adam Kinzinger's office and made my opinions known, particularly regarding Paul Ryan and his smoke and mirrors, Path to Prosperity. Since then I have a received a form letter thank you from Adam Kinzinger in which he again laid out the same old rhetoric of the extreme right while ignoring every single comment I made.

Well, was he even listening? Of course not and that is exactly what this Tea Party Caucus fraud is all about. But I am not one to be snubbed so I took the time to call Kinzinger's office again and this time I was more direct with his aide. I said as easy as it was for our diverse district to elect him and rid itself of Debbie Halvorson, it will be just as easy to rid ourselves of him. Our district is not your typical locked-in on any one ideology or another, rather what we want is representation that will reflect our wants and desires for our district. It will go with the candidate that adheres to that principle and given that many of us here want reform, we also do not want this bogus caucus to stick it to what is left of the middle class.

So here is the deal - politicians better get the message that their continued rhetoric is unwelcome. Since President Obama offered a clearer compromise position that is more in line with my way of thinking on how cuts should be handled, I strongly suggest that John Boehner not stick to hard to the notion that the rich will again continue to screw over the rest of the citizenry with their plethora of tax breaks.

America is a funny place - if you mess with the middle of the road too long - you may just get run over.

And right now Obama's plan sounds way better than Boehner and Ryan's.


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  • Good piece Mike-The Path to Prosperity, aka the plan to eliminate the poor and elderly, is the embodiment of Republican dogma-more money in the pockets of the rich, while giving the little guy an even smaller piece of the pie. It's so conspicious in its absurdity that the lack of public outrage is indicitive of how uninformed people are. Thanks for the work you do-

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Thanks Kool King - Not only is the Path to Prosperity conspicuous in its absurdity, did you catch the rhetoric Paul Ryan spewed on Chicago Tonight last night? Talk about absurd.

    Thank You for your compliment and your comment, it is greatly appreciated.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    What plan? I saw campaigning, but no details.

    Obama rolled out his proposed budget in Feb only to go back and make massive changes to it after the Pachyderms unveiled their massive changes to Obama's two and a half month old budget proposal. That's not leading, that's following. I think the administration was surprised that the public wasn't as outraged as they thought after Ryan made his $6T budget cut.

    None of the proposals made by Ryan or Obama's v 2.0 will get passed anyway. Most likely the senate and house will both be in opposition control after 2012 so if this campaigning doesn't work over the next few months by our President, look for him to move back to the center.

    He can get re-elected but the senate is tipping over, too many seats at stake.

    What a flippn mess.

  • In reply to fireman451:

    Fireman, I will agree with you that none of the proposals will get passed anyway. I also pointed out that most pundits viewed the speech as the opening salvo for the re-election bid and I see that is exactly how you perceived it. But my point was that - at least Obama broke free, to some degree, for the first time and actually said what he would or wouldn't accept. That in itself was another opening of the door for a compromise as I see it.

    Like I said, I agreed in PRINCIPLE but that it lacked the fine details. But there was a plan of sorts that called for a balance of cuts and taxes, whereas the Ryan / Boehner Camp continues to take the hard line on saying no to any tax increase. Even though their position is largely protecting the rich.

    Obama, I thought was pretty clear that it would be the rich who would be affected with higher taxes, not the average person. I will say this, Obama must define that so that small business owners, who often file as individuals as opposed to as corporations, do not get caught in a gray area trap.

    That would be a valid argument for the GOP - but I am not opposed to the Exxon Mobil's, Conoco Phillips' and/or General Electric's paying their fair share. I even offer this disclaimer - I own GE stock - still, they need to pay their fair share of the burden.

    Look, I don't know about you, but, if your username is any indication that you are a regular kind of Joe Fireman - Then I don't see how you could be opposed to letting the Bush Era Tax Credits expire. AGAIN - so long as small business owners that file as individuals are rightfully protected.

    But you are more than right about this being a flipping mess.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Again, spot on. And let me add the average American voter isn't much interested in details anyway-and the President's speech yesterday reflects that. Ryan's proposal may have details-but simply, they're bad details-they're exactly what's wrong with the plan! And as Mike alluded to, it was comforting to see the President draw a line in the sand if you will-to essentially say the buck stops here and I'm ready for a fight on this matter. Not all spending, not all revenue, etc. is created equal-the President needs to continue to illuminate the stark differences that exist between the parties with respect to this budget situation.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Just want to be clear-I obviously care about the details of the President's plan-but a speech such as yesterday's is not meant to get into the intricacies of the plan-just provide the philosophical framework of it.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    I am with you on that; it was refreshing, at least for me that Obama actually drew a line in the sand as you stated. Obama moving to the middle will anger those at the extreme of the party, but I think it necessary and not only that - it was a good tactical move against Boehner / Ryan. If the GOP continues their hardline, I can see a huge defeat for them in 2012. Most people, regardless of their ideology, want at least a fair attempt made at a compromise that will protect important social programs.

    Ryan claims the voucher thing has been misrepresented by the press and that the insurance pool would be a competitive market based pool similar to the current Medicare setup we already have. But I just trust the embedded lobbyists enough to think that there wouldn't be any collusion amongst them. Personally, I still believe that the Ryan / GOP approach will lead to more burdens being placed on the states, and that ain't going to work.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Comrade Michael

    Lets get this straight. We are living in a country where 45% of the people pay no taxes at all, and the top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of all taxes, and you tell me they aren't paying their fair share? The problem in tis country isn't not enough taxes, it's TOO MUCH SPENDING.

    Rather than come forth with leadership and a plan to right the ship of state, Obama, the campaigner in chief, has decided to fall back on his usual tactics of encouraging class warfare.

    I agree with Fireman451, the whole thing is a flipping mess. All Obama gave us was a campaign speech and a pretty lousy one at that.

  • In reply to Dadulous:

    Should I call you Mr. Incredulous or "Zipy60521" - Comrade? And who exactly are those top 10% of taxpayers? You have to stop buying that tripe and oh yea I'll let you pay my tax bill this year and I ain't in that top 10% comrade.

    I wasn't in total disagreement with fireman either, but the point was a line was drawn in the sand by Obama. And if you have read my blog for the past year you would know that I am not the biggest of Obama supporters. But I'll tell you this much, what Ryan and his Path to Prosperity is - is the forebear of the Great American Austerity Program mimicking the UK - and then my friend we will be comrades.

  • In reply to maciric:

    Tripe? Tripe would be tasty compared with the trash Obama is trying to feed us. If Obama has drawn a line in the sand, it leads to nowhere but massive debt and financial ruin for us ALL.

    It's the spending stupid! What we need is spending cuts, not more spending, not tax raises. Just less government and less government. How about you go to your precious Obama, Pelosi and Reed and ask them for a little bit of leadership for a change?

    And, no I don't want to pay your tax bill. I pay enough already. ( I bet I pay mor e in taxes each year than you earn)

  • In reply to Dadulous:

    Be careful with the name calling. I already told you I am not an overt Obama supporter. You obviously pick and choose so perhaps go back into my archive before you resort to dumb ass comments. I am all in favor of smaller government, but Ryan is proposing austerity while ignoring the most egregious spending - the defense budget. $178 billion is peanuts in that arena.

    So far as Pelosi, Reid and Frank go I have written my share of the dislike I have for them. The line in the sand is that Obama finally stopped hee-hawing and said what he would or wouldn't accept. That is a departure from his usual hedging. As for Ryan reducing the Corporate Tax Rate to 25% that is all fine and dandy, if most of them actually paid any tax at all once they get their write-offs.

    Both sides leave a lot to be desired - but rhetoric does not solve the issues. Until special interests are prevented from controlling votes on both sides of the aisle, there will just be more rhetoric and no appreciable results. Just more legislation packed with unintended consequences.

    If you pay more in taxes than I earn then that pleases me and I congratulate you on your successes.

    Now you want to keep it a civil debate or not?

  • In reply to maciric:

    Your repeated references to defense spending are unfortunately ignored; to address it would require a divergence from simple talking points (it's spending stupid). Where were the Budget Hawks btw during the Bush administration? I think Federal Spending/Debt rose a tad during those lamentable 8 years.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    Kool King, I have wondered about that myself. I am ex-military and support defense but damn, there is a point too. I have to admit though, I did vote for Bush at least once and I have to assume part of the blame there. Bushes decision to put us at war with Saddam was nothing more than retribution for the attempted assassination of GHWB. I fully agreed with going after Osama in Afghanistan / Pakistan, but Iraq? Unnecessary and we are still paying a high price for that. Of course, letting Musharraf have all that nice foreign aid while subverting our efforts in the region was a smooth move too, huh?

    Yea Dubyah added plenty to the deficit for sure, but I still question that "surplus" Clinton left also. Much of that was based on slight of hand and paper shuffling. Let's face it, both sides stick it to us and while I agree it is the SPENDING, it comes to Where We Are Spending.

    The rhetoric from both sides is deafening and now that we are upon another campaign cycle, it will just escalate while spending goes unchecked some more.

    Then again, that is why I don't buy either ideology entirely.

  • In reply to maciric:

    There is no issue with who spent what and who gave us the deficit we now have. Reagan quadrupled it and Bush finished the job. The figures and graphs are for all to see, government figures. I would attach the relevant sites but iPad isn't capable. there is also a fascinating graph on poverty rates in the US which perfectly match which party is in power. Ditto for economic growth. Obama, the socialist to the baggers, has added 4,000 points to the Dow jones, extended the Bush cuts for the rich, and helped continue Bush's bale out of Wall street, so he is only better because he could not be worse.but to blame Obama for spending us out of the greatest recession since 1933 as the baggers do is to traffic in historical ignorance. The Facts are full of LIb-rul bias.

  • In reply to Celt:

    Celt, thanks for the comment(s). I will compile a list of web links from various outlets; government, non-government, right and left, etc.. You are right there is much data out there and one must take a few of them with a cautious approach. I will say this, whether right or left, both have left an indelible mark on the budget with a spend now, save never attitude. I agree that Bush did some major damage as that is indisputable. There are many slights of hand formulas when it comes to calculating our deficit. But I will post them and let people try to decipher the numbers. I don't think I am trying to use a ploy, though as I reviewed numbers from many sources and most, like the GAO, would be viewed as credible. I will stand by my belief that both sides have done their share of damage once the digging is done.

  • In reply to koolking83:

    They all suffer from amnesia, or something less rare. They had complete control for 8 years, and most of the last 3 decades. They got their tax cuts for the rich and created zero jobs, as is zilch, nada, nothing. They got their deregulation of the financial sector and we got socialism for the parasitic rich and a melted down economy now being paid for by teachers and firemen and the poor.how the fuck they can be taken seriously when bleating about spending or economics is a mystery, until you remember they also own the media and it vacuous talking heads.

  • In reply to Dadulous:

    Your figures are wrong and this is an old ploy. taxes include sales tax, payroll taxes and more. The percentage of corporate taxes as part of the budget is at an all time low. GE, Citibank, Shell, Exxon and many other companies who make billions in profits pay zero in income tax, indeed get billions in subsidies and rebates for paper losses. The vast majority of Americans have seen their standard of living frozen at 1970 levels,even while their productivity has increased to be as good as any in the world. the top one percent have increased their take many times over, all while privatizing public wealth. They were recently bailed out after the greatest transfer of wealth the world has ever seen. Maybe you should change your moniker to Credulous. now they have their beady eyes on the social security pot, which they want a percentage of in fees etc, having done such a fine job adding value to their recent investments. SS collected 2.3 Trillion dollars mostly from working people and with compound interest that is a lot of money. The fact that this government of corporate whores,
    Democrat and Republican, spent the money on their defense
    company friends and assorted wars they love but never fight in, doesn't change the fact that this is still owed to the people who paid for it. You are either rich or have the mentality of a slave, apeing your betters.

  • In reply to Celt:

    And your point is what? That only the GOP created the mess? And no I ain't rich and don't particularly appreciate the mentality of a slave shit from you. Corporate America has hedged their bets quite well across both sides of the aisle while you are stuck in academia. If you want to comment or debate an issue then do so without the insults otherwise I'll block you. I don't do that shit towards you. Just make your point.

  • In reply to maciric:

    MC, that post was in response to incredulous, not you, hence the comment that he was either rich, and therefore protecting his own interests, a very understandable position, or, if not rich, with the mentality of a slave in that he was defending his masters and those who would impoverish him.

  • In reply to Celt:

    OMG I thought you were blasting me out of left field. I am so sorry. Yea I try to keep it civil, because even opposing viewpoints cannot compete with each other when there are preconceptions. Plus, I always thought I was more a Libertarian type of thinker since I don't fit the complete mold on either side; i.e. I like smaller government, but believe in social programs (so long as we root out the fraud of course). I remember someone calling me extreme right once but I had to laugh when I responded that I believe in a woman's right to choose and I have no problem with Gays getting equal protection (although that lifestyle isn't for me) - so as it is personal politics and ideology don't always lie in direct agreement with party ideology.

    All I ever ask people to do is look beyond the obvious and ask truthful questions, even about their ideology. Democrats or Republicans don't bother me, per se - just the extreme fringes of each because it stifles compromise and diplomacy.

    Again, sorry I misread that - don't know what I was thinking except it was early in the AM.

  • In reply to maciric:

    To add, I appreciate the civility of your blog, and agree with much of your commentary. Incredulous' s comment about paying more taxes than you earn is typical crass stuff and both presumptuous and irrelevant. His bleating about paying taxes is likewise annoying. I remember Silicon valley millionaires, who made their money from a government funded invention, the Internet, whining about how they made all their money on their own violation without help from the great unwashed and therefore should not be overly burdened paying for things they do not need. As if having no children should relieve you of taxes for the local school, or having no car should allow you a refund on the road building taxes. In what universe do these people reside?

  • In reply to Celt:

    You know, it is funny too that most people who make lots of money have no problem paying more. They understand where their successes came from. Given that, though, I remember reading somewhere that in Denmark that they pay like 48-55% in taxes and some scuffed at the idea. Well, it works there because they have a different attitude towards society - and besides people actually see how the money is spent; they all have healthcare and can go to college for free (well not free considering their taxes paid for it) - the difference is that their politicians don't steal the money. I am sure Americans would pay more too - if they were assured (really assured and protected) that the money went to where they said it was going.

    This notion that Social Security is broke is B.S. - it has been robbed over and over again.

    So far as Incredulous goes, oh well. All I can say is that I have made my share in my lifetime and pissed it away too. I have been on both sides of the economic scales. Right now my belief is that we are one disaster away from ruin and much of that is not because of the people - but by bad government and special interests. if anyone disagrees with that - well I guess they aren't paying attention or busy defending their masters?

  • In reply to Celt:

    No problem. We should have a tax on sex so people would boast about how much they pay and pad their tax bill to pay more. otherwise, I pay more than you earn mantra is crass and revealing. I am Libertarian only on private matters. I don't think it makes sense in the economic sphere were big money will always have its way. The whole I made my own money spiel and am an individual who stands on my own feet meme is absurd. Why shouldn't Taxpayer investments in big selling drugs for example, or the Internet, not get an actual return on investment like any private investment? Why hand this research over to private firms to reap the rewards and then have them use the profits to propagate the idea that they are being restricted by big bad government. I would love to give them real free enterprise.

  • In reply to Celt:

    The Libertarian thing is more of a way of thinking and I agree that it probably wouldn't work in the political mainstream today of the US. After all, most of its concepts are socialist / anarchist in nature anyhow. But from a free-thinking point of view where either the Dem or GOP ideology doesn't quite measure up in its totality, it can justify one's own perceptions of what is acceptable for them. Like I said earlier, I embrace ideas from both sides but that wouldn't make me an ideal candidate to represent either. Definitely agree on the free enterprise.

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