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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

President Barack Obama laid out his vision for reviving the American middle class and slammed Congress for instead focusing on an “endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals,” during a major economic address at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

During his Wednesday afternoon speech, President Obama called for renewed focus on what he calls “the cornerstones of middle class security”: good wages, a good education, stable housing, a secure retirement, affordable health care, and more opportunity with less inequality.

The president began the first in a planned series of speeches on America’s economic future by declaring that “Today, five years after the start of that Great Recession, America has fought its way back.”

“With new American revolutions in energy, technology, manufacturing, and health care, we are actually poised to reverse the forces that have battered the middle class for so long, and rebuild an economy where everyone who works hard can get ahead,” Obama said. Still, he acknowledged that too many Americans are not seeing the benefits, as inequality continues to grow with no end in sight.

“Reversing these trends must be Washington’s highest priority,” Obama said.

“I care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to use every minute of the 1,276 days remaining in my term to make this country work for working Americans again,” the president later added.

To that end, he laid out a number of plans to improve the economic outlook for middle-class Americans. Many — such as universal preschool, creating a new mortgage refinancing program, boosting investment in renewable energy, and raising the minimum wage — have been proposed by the White House before. Others, such as the president’s suggestion of “new partnerships with some of the hardest-hit towns in America to get them back on their feet,” or his exhortation for Americans to “tell the world that America is open for business,” were more aspirations than specific plans. Still, the president’s overall message was clear: despite all of the background noise in Washington, his administration remains focused on the middle class.

While the president stressed his own concern for middle-class Americans, he attacked House Republicans for failing to address the real issues affecting Americans. “Unfortunately, over the past couple of years in particular, Washington hasn’t just ignored the problem; too often, it’s made things worse,” Obama said.

Lamenting Washington’s tendency to “careen from crisis to crisis,” Obama slammed House Republicans’ “endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals.” Specifically, he attacked the GOP for attempting to use the threat of allowing America to default on its debt to extract painful spending cuts, and for taking a “meat cleaver” to the budget in the form of the sequester.

“We’ll need Republicans in Congress to set aside short-term politics and work with me to find common ground,” Obama said. “I’m laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot. Now it’s time for you to lay out yours.”

The president may want to be careful what he wishes for. The New York Times reported Wednesday morning that congressional Republicans are indeed laying out their plan — and it is primarily centered around attacking President Obama’s top legislative priorities. While a growing faction of Senate Republicans are threatening to shut down the government unless Obamacare is defunded, House Republicans are pushing the most dramatic series of budget cuts in decades. Among many other spending reductions, the House proposes slashing the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 34 percent, national endowments for the arts and humanities by 50 percent, education grants for the poor by 16 percent, and the labor department by 13 percent.

“It’s about time we cut some spending around here,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) told the Times, ignoring the $1.5 trillion in spending cuts to which Democrats agreed in 2011, and the rapidly shrinking federal budget deficit.

“These are tough bills,” House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) concurred. “His priorities are going nowhere.”

So unless something changes dramatically in the coming months, President Obama should probably not hold his breath as he waits for Washington to “set aside the kind of slash-and-burn partisanship we’ve seen these past few years.”

Video of President Obama’s speech can be seen here.

Photo: President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base July 24, 2013 in Maryland. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

  • jmprint

    I’m in agreement with Paul Ryan . . . Let’s cut out the insurance budget for congress immediately, and bring their pay to minimum wage, since they are not worth their pay.

    • Kurt CPI

      Hear, hear!

  • Dominick Vila

    The fact that House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY) believes that President Obama’s priorities: “good wages, a good education, stable housing, a secure retirement, affordable health care, and more opportunity with less inequality” should not be our focus and will get us nowhere, highlights one of the most basic differences between Democrats and Republicans. One party focuses on what is most beneficial for the middle class and those who have been left behind, the other focuses on what is best for the elite because of the discredited assumption that some crumbs may trickle down to most Americans.

    • Kurt CPI

      These are all admirable and worthy goals. But a government that runs 2 trillion dollars deeper in debt every year can’t possibly afford to finance them. That needs to be done by bringing business back to American shores, repatriating the billions of dollars that should be working in OUR economy instead of a foreign one, and providing the kind of assurances that will guarantee American manufacturers that they won’t have their investment earnings confiscated 5 years down the road.

      • Allan Richardson

        Fact: the deficit is smaller today than 8 years ago.
        Fact: businessmen who outsource jobs are the ones giving big money to, endorsing, and in one case running for President as, Republicans.
        Fact: taxes are not “confiscation” of earnings, they are the “dues” we pay for the advantages of living in an ordered society.
        Fact: trickle down economics has NEVER worked, not in 1932 and not in 2006. The time comes occasionally, and has been here since 2007, when even a “free market” economy MUST “redistribute” or even run a deficit temporarily to get money in the pockets of people who will SPEND most of it, to create the demand that causes “job creators” who are NOT creating jobs to start doing so.
        Fact: the economy HAS been recovering since 2009, but we need to make it grow even faster to get everyone a good job. And the group of political leaders who have OBSTRUCTED that recovery for five years, for the AVOWED goal of stopping the President from succeeding, by keeping most Americans in a bad economy in order to blame HIM for what THEY are doing, is the Republican Tea Party leadership.

        • Kurt CPI

          The deficit is only smaller if you count budget items and ignore things like fannie, freddie and other non-budget agencies that rely on US government bonds and credit to underwrite their services. Although budget deficit spending has indeed decreased (2009 under Bush being the highest in history), the amount of debt continues to pile up and percentage of GDP to interest on that debt balloons along with it.

          You’re absolutely right about businesses outsourcing (not just outsourcing, but building massive infrastructure) supporting Republicans. Like I said, it’s market economics, pure and simple. Republicans advertise themselves as being accommodating to business where Democrats are perceived as threats. The problem is that regardless of ideology, if the US marketplace can’t compete for that business capitalization, we all lose. Government programs that don’t create any marketable product only add cost, whereas industry adds jobs and revenue.

          Trickle-down economics absolutely has worked in the past when the economic environment supports it. Capitalism can’t be allowed to run rampant of course, or all the capital would end up in one place. That has definitely been allowed to happen to a great extent, largely because we allow special interests to finance elections. Of course the rich will get richer when they are permitted to buy legislation! And the courts fully support this as “free speech”.

          Why do you think “job creators” create jobs? Because they think it’s a nice thing to do? C’mon, businesses hire when demands for their products and services require more employees. Why is this such a hard concept? If we stopped building auto parts in Mexico, Japan and China and instead built them here, we’d have a whole lot more auto-industry workers. But that ain’t gonna happen if Mexico has a more attractive set of rules that permit the auto company to be more profitable (news flash: business is for profit).

          Taxes are necessary to finance government and the services it provides. No right thinking person would see it any other way. But loss of jobs is not the fault of businesses, its the fault of failed economic policy. And as more and more jobs go elsewhere, exports decline and the trade deficit grows, money is printed out of thin to cover the balances and the Federal Reserve owns the Whitehouse, maybe we’ll rethink our strategy.

          Neither Democrats nor Republicans understand this and you won’t get any apologies for either of them from me. I’m a member of the Get Real party. But the line of [email protected] in the Presidents speech today – well, I’m callin’ it for what it is.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            The answer to that outsourcing problem? Not one dime of our tax dollars should these corporate welfare piggies get. If they won’t hire or create jobs in their own country, let them get their tax cuts, breaks and subsidies for the foreign countries they are doing business in.

          • Kurt CPI

            that’s exactly what they’re doing.

          • Russell Byrd

            Reagan’s own economic guru flatly admitted that trickle-down was voodoo economics. He got fired for his troubles.

            By the way, I am talking about David Stockman.

            Here is an interesting article:

            http://flaglerlive.com/8577/david-stockman-reagan-nixon-bush-trickledown/

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          Alan …Amen and what a wonderful post…It should be shoved into the face of every GOP House bull.

      • Dominick Vila

        The problem with “repatriating” the billion of dollars our entrepreneurs are investing in countries like China and Bangladesh, for example, is that we don’t have a dictatorial form of government to enforce it. The logic used by our businessmen to invest abroad is influenced by a desire to maximize profits and market expansion. For them, the probability of getting a piece of the pie in huge markets such as China is irresistible. Obviously, if they did the same in the USA we would not be in the mess we are in. Unfortunately, they know that our highly competitive market is saturated, and prefer to pursue higher sales and a greater return on investment elsewhere.
        I am sure the possibility of seeing their investments nationalized in countries like China has been considered, but it is evident that they decided it was a risk well taken, perhaps because China’s focus on investment and trade make that country communist in name only.

        • Kurt CPI

          Aha! someone who gets it! Maybe it would require dictatorial power to create a favorable environment such as China. Call me overly optimistic, but I believe we have the advantage of being the biggest market fr those Chinese produced products. It’s not just about labor costs, Intel’s CEO says it would cost a BILLION more to build the same factory in the US – and that’s before he hires a single union employee. That’s not being competitive for Intel’s jobs and products, is it?

          • Dominick Vila

            Most Intel employees are not Union members, they are highly paid professionals. There is a good chance, however, that if assembly line work was brought up to the USA – and unlikely probability considering the circumstances and corporate goals – some of the employees doing routine assembly line work would choose union representation to guarantee livable wages and an adequate benefit package. Needless to say, that would mean revenue losses for Intel compared when we compare the remuneration and benefits that most American workers enjoy compared to what those in China and other countries enjoy. The question is what options do we have? Should we compare ourselves or emulate the working conditions in countries where workers often earn $1 an hour, where healthcare and pensions are paid for by the government, and where employees often work in dilapidated buildings with padlocks on the doors to ensure they cannot leave until a whistle blows? Or should we try to emulate more progressive industrial nations such as Germany, Scandinavian countries, The Netherlands, Japan and Australia, to name a few, where people enjoy a high standard of living and corporations realize a profit in spite of cost by focusing on quality, process improvements, automation and other approaches designed to maximize profit in a highly competitive and expensive environment? Those are the kind of options that we must consider as a society, instead of trying to find facile excuses for what is happening as a result of inadequate investment in the USA, American investment overseas, outsourcing, inadequate focus on education and infrastructure, lack of interest in modernization and process improvement, and the loss of the work ethics that transformed this country from an agricultural society into the industrial giant that became the envy of the world. Unrealistic expectations, lack of discipline, refusal to make the kind of sacrifices that are needed to maintain our hegemony and provide future generations with the opportunities to prosper and succeed are contributing factors for the socio-economic challenges we are dealing with. We don’t need more politicians, lawyers, or movie stars, what we need are more Edison’s, Ford’s, and Gates’ capable of introducing revolutionary technologies and concepts that allow us to grow intellectually, professionally and socially.

          • Kurt CPI

            “…revolutionary technologies and concepts that allow us to grow intellectually, professionally and socially.” And don’t forget economically. My brother is friends with a group of musicians from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. They are somewhat a Celtic-roots band and quite successful in a relatively progressive country. They make a trip to Ireland every year and have said they would move there if they could afford the taxes. That’s fairly telling to me coming from Canadians. The Netherlands national debt is around 75% to GDP and Germany’s is approaching 90%. Remember no economy in history has ever recovered from that. So I’d like to wait and see if that model doesn’t implode before jumping on the bandwagon. Greece and Italy may be anomalies or they may be the inevitable conclusion to that model. Time will tell, and likely sooner than later. With the kind of debt the US has incurred (it’s increasing by what, $200 million per minute, 24/7/365? – I’d have to double-check, but I’m pretty sure that’s an accurate figure), all it would take to topple us is if the international medium of exchange were no longer the US dollar. Doesn’t matter what other medium – gold, euros, asteroid mines, you pick – we enjoy our ability to consume products from abroad because we print our own paycheck. We can pay ourselves any amount we want. If that were no longer the case, we’d have to exchange based on our currency’s real value. It’s real value is dependent on the tangibles we have to sell/trade to the international community. We don’t have a lot of that anymore. This all fits together as just another facet of economic balance. No matter how you figure it, there has to be balance. After WWII we enjoyed having the scales tipped strongly in our favor. We had manufacturing infrastructure. Europe, in ruins, didn’t. We were the fabricators. We were the distributors, sales force. We owned it all. But it ain’t so anymore. Now we have to compete. Domestic policy can only be perpetuated when it leads to that balanced condition. There are plenty of solutions, but nobody wants to talk about them because they’re not politically correct. I’m not worried though, in the end all things equalize. It’s too bad we can’t have that happen in a controlled fashion. Instead we’ll stay on the present course until the pressure is no longer containable.

          • Dominick Vila

            I agree with much of what you said, although I have trouble believing that our national debt is caused by Americans earning livable wages and enjoying the benefits of an adequate benefit package.
            Our financial problems are caused by many reasons, high among them is our refusal to pay for what we need and benefit from. Irresponsible tax rates, at a time when we were engaged in two wars of choice, contributed to the end of the surplus that existed hen Bill Clinton left office. The effects of lower government revenues, while spending went up at a rapid rate to fund our crusades was a recipe for disaster and we are still paying for that misguided idea.
            The erosion of manufacturing jobs in the USA, as a result of robotics, new technologies and concepts, and a deliberate decision by our entrepreneurs to invest abroad has more to do with the government revenue losses than the effects of organized labor. There is no question that fighting for higher wages and a better benefit package, including paid vacation, paid Holidays, paid sick leave, safety regulations, and participation in 401k plans, to name a few, add cost to the business community and makes our ability to compete against foreign markets much more difficult. What is the alternative? Should we accept lower wages and no benefits because that is the norm in Third World countries and in emerging super powers such as China? Shouldn’t we focus instead on what works well in other countries, instead of embracing mediocrity?

      • RobertCHastings

        And the Republicans are in the process of bringing those jobs back? While the nominal corporate tax rate IS among the highest, the ACTUAL rate is MUCH lower for, as with the wealthy, the tax codes makes MANY provisions to protect wealth. This country will NOT get going like it was thirty years ago until the issue of wealth inequality is effectively dealt with and the middle class gets back to where they were before Reagan.

  • Gicarmo Alysimcarli

    Today’s liberals are mostly marxists. No question.

    • RobertCHastings

      Marxist, in what way? The economy that Obama is pushing, along with economists like Robert Reich and John M. Keynes, very simply sees America prospering when the middle class is prospering. When the middle class is not trapped in debt and can buy those things that create jobs through their purchase, even the wealthy do better, even when the wealthy pay a much higher percentage of their incomes in taxes. Since the advent of conservative “trickle down”, the middle class has lost or remained stagnant in income, while the wealthy have gone from the top 5% getting about 12% of wealth to today, when the wealthy get over 30%, and most of that is not invested in ways that create jobs. While the middle class pretty much HAS to spend most of their disposable income (and thus create jobs), the wealthy spend much less than half of their disposable incomes in ways that support jobs. It’s really a pretty simple contract – if the wealthy actually did things to create jobs, they would be creating even more wealth for themselves and for everyone else.

      • Gicarmo Alysimcarli

        I understand your confusion and your frustration.

        For collectivists engaged in practical political affairs, the ways and means of chasing socialist illusions are critically important.

        • RobertCHastings

          What is critically important is having voters engage in meaningful, informed discussions about the issues. You lose out in so many ways. Apparently, you don’t even possess a good dictionary.

          • Gicarmo Alysimcarli

            Recject the juvenile dogma of today’s liberals:

            Arguably, centralized control of private property is the most effective way to chase collectivist illusions such as “social justice”.

          • RobertCHastings

            Been reading “The Prince” lately? Who said anything about centralized control of private property? Money is actually the physical manifestation of the contract between the people and their government, binding the two together in the beast you call “social justice”.

          • jointerjohn

            RobertCHastings: You are a bright and insightful person with impressive persuasion skills and language mastery. As it pertains to Gicarmo Alysimcarli however you are in a duel of wits with an unarmed opponent. He clearly has read only the Classic Comics version of governance and likely the one from the Senator Joe McCarthy era. Communist bogeymen everywhere! Take heart sir, time is on our side. Each time a young American turns eighteen, voting age, another nail is driven into the coffin of the republican party. Much like that great old movie with Jimmy Stewart, “It’s a Wonderful Life”? The difference is we are George Bailey and the republican party is Mr. Potter. Every time a young American turns eighteen I hear a bell ring, another angel just got it’s wings.

          • RobertCHastings

            Love it!

        • Russell Byrd

          Reading your posts made a word come to mind: Sloganista.

          • GreginPottsville

            Hey Russell, why doesn’t the President give an economic speech in Detroit?

          • Russell Byrd

            Well Pottyhead, why doesn’t he give one in Tacoma? And actually, right-wing brinkmanship by that piece of crap Governor had a whole lot to do with that bankruptcy. I know you won’t hear that on Faux Noise, but it still is as it is. And what does Obama have to do with the blame for Detroit anyway. Oh, I know, our first black President is automatically to blame for everything. For you, every article’s topic is just a blind for more Obama blame games. Grow up and take the bedpan off your head.

            Mary had a little lamb and Obama was the father. Yeah, that is how you think.

    • jmprint

      So when you came to this country were you illegal?

      • Gicarmo Alysimcarli

        Grandparents escaped the Italian fascists in the 1930s. Granny notes that Obama’s a mini-Mussolini. Not as creative, or smart, though. In Italy, O’Bongos would have been forced to exile by now.

        • jmprint

          Obviously not all Italians feel the same way. I know a few that don’t. Not sure why she would say he should be exiled by now. He has done a lot of good for this country. Those that hated Obama on day one will hate him on his last day regardless of what he accomplishes.

          • Gicarmo Alysimcarli

            Forza Nuova still hangs nooses everywhere whenever an African tries to do anything in Italia.

          • RobertCHastings

            Oh, so you are fascist AND a racist? Should have known.

          • jointerjohn

            Oh you are good! You are very good.
            Do you find as I do that outing these human dung piles is kind of fun, but intellectually like shooting fish in a rain barrel? If we just let them talk they will out themselves every time.
            I spent eight successful years as a state level law enforcement officer, an investigator. First day in class was to be cagey. These neo-cons are too fundamentally dumb to even learn HOW to be cagey. They would wash out of Police Training Institute class after the first week. There is no place there for weak and easily twisted minds.

          • Russell Byrd

            Very well said.

          • RobertCHastings

            You are absolutely right. Given the rope, they will not only hang themselves, they will actually help others who would like to hang them.

          • Russell Byrd

            I once had a class with an Italian woman in attendance. She was from Sardinia and had married an American. She made it plain that neither of them had any medical coverage in this country. Yet, if her American husband became ill why they were visiting in Italy, then he would be instantly covered by the Italian state run healthcare system. Amazing what a country can do when they temper capitalism with socialist principals. And I can attest that the standard of care is pretty good. Seems odd the richest nation ever to exist, by several times over, can not figure this simple concept out.

          • RobertCHastings

            It’s a very simple concept. If a social program will detract from the wealth being accumulated by the top 5% (or less) and does not directly benefit them in some way or another, then it is not a good social program. This is what the Occupy Wall Street Movement was trying to emphasize; unfortunately, not that many people were listening. Conservative and Tea Party propaganda has shifted attention away from the rape of the middle class, to the benefit of a wealthy upper class for all the rest of us, a theory that has been clearly disproven.

          • Russell Byrd

            Absolutely agree.

          • jmprint

            Aren’t you glad we live in the Unites States of America.

          • GreginPottsville

            Those that hated GW Bush on day one still hate him today. Those who still believe all that hope and change baloney dwindles daily.

          • jmprint

            So why is it that Paul Ryan is threatening to shut down the government if Medicare cuts aren’t made and threatening to defund the ACA completely. Can you explain

        • Russell Byrd

          So you are saying that Obama is a fascist communist. Seems to fit your hare-brained philosophy to a “T.”

  • kevin

    Obama care bad for us

    • jmprint

      ACA is great for us.

    • Allan Richardson

      Which “us” are you speaking for? Insurance company CEO’s? Funeral directors? Advertisers of “sucker” health plans on TV?

  • Kurt CPI

    Folks, read the highlights of the Presidents economic plan. Here they are with the unspoken portions added:

    “Universal preschool” -paid for by the taxpayers.

    “A new mortgage refinancing program” -where the taxpayers pick up the difference between what the bank is owed and what the mortgagee can pay. Of course the taxpayers are still expected to pay their mortgages as usual as well as paying those of others.

    “Boosting investment in renewable energy” -even though the industry isn’t profitable, so once again taxpayers will pay the wages and costs of this “investment boost”. Make no mistake, that “investment” he speaks of is YOUR tax dollars.

    “Raising the minimum wage” -increasing the burden on mom & pop businesses in yet another way. Let’s see – so far businesses and individual taxpayers are paying for this entire program.

    “New partnerships with some of the hardest-hit towns in America” -grants, subsidies, etc. once again picked up by the taxpayers.

    “Tell the world that America is open for business” -while doing everything possible to force the businesses that he refers to, to move offshore where they can operate profitably. Right, Apple?

    Mr. President, it accomplishes nothing to tell the world that America is open for business. What we need is an economic policy that supports, fosters, and encourages business, particularly domestic manufacturing – because that is the real and tangible measure of GDP. If America could be persuaded to reopen the doors of its businesses the world would know – we wouldn’t have to tell them.

    • jmprint

      Universal Preschool – Employing more teachers. less on unemployment. Gving our future

      Renewable energy – Will be profitable when in full force. (just like the drug companies are testing new drugs, they are not profitable most use grants, but when it goes to market, boy those drugs store sure do make a fine profit 6000% in some cases)

      Raising minimum wage is long overdue. you would be surprised how many small companies pay their employee way above minimum wage, it’s the huge corporations that are crying. They don’t want to share their billions.

      You are correct about our jobs overseas. Companies that operate in other countries should not have any tax breaks at all, zero, zilch. In fact they should be taxed royally.

      • Kurt CPI

        Universal Preschool – Employing more teachers. less on unemployment.

        Well, at least they’d be working. But whether government pays people to run a “free” daycare or pays them unemployment, the funding comes from the tax base. All net tax revenues are from the private sector (public employees pay taxes, but the money they pay in taxes came from taxes in the first place, so there’s no new tax revenue generated). The answer is to put people to work in the private sector (at a decent wage) and let them fund the daycare/preschool, not just expect the already oppressed taxpayers keep footing the bill for more free services.

        The reason companies operate overseas is because they receive favorable treatment on the part of those countries. Those governments (the non-corrupt ones) realize that the money entering their economy as a result of that business translates to prosperity for their population. Private industry also provides incentive to work, where government programs do just the opposite in many cases. The only way to get Apple, GE, Bain Capital (Mitt Romney) to bring (invest) their billions domestically is to offer them something close to the same deals they’re getting elsewhere. It’s just plain ole’ market economics – you’re not going to pay $200 for the same toaster you can get down the street for $100. The US wrote the book, but at some point we forgot to read it. Government spending only adds to the problem long-term (It may help in limited situations, but only if there’s a hope of a return on investment). President Obama keeps using the term “investment”, but to be an investment there must be at least a reasonable expectation of a return. Otherwise we need to re-define the word to mean “debt-spending”.

        • jmprint

          I understand how a company works, I’ve been in business 33 years, but your thinking is what makes the middle class disappear and the hard working poor unable to sustain.

          • Kurt CPI

            Your thinking is what makes the middle class dissapear. You can’t have government creating jobs just for the sake of jobs. It only creates more debt and produces no _marketable_. value. Infrastructure is to support industry. Building infrastructure accomplishes nothing if there’s no industry to take advantage of it. We’d be far better off (we, the working class) if we just said bring those billions home and employ our folks. All that influx of money amounts to exactly the same thing as debt-financed stimulus except without the debt. Once we have industry in good shape we’ll have products to sell, a trade balance, more employment, more tax revenues, you name it.

          • jmprint

            I don’t expect for the government to create jobs. I expect the government to govern the economy, not my bedroom.

            Building infrastructure keeps us from falling off bridges, that are broke and need to be fixed.

            I agree with you, we need the jobs to come back home, people don’t mind paying higher prices for products, if they are made in America, we just don’t have that choice.

            The reason jobs went overseas, was because of Corporate mongers want to be billionaires, and the expense of sweat hogs.

          • Kurt CPI

            “I don’t expect for the government to create jobs….”

            I refer you back to the first line of my original post, “read the highlights of the Presidents economic plan”. Government creating jobs is exactly what the President has outlined…

            Indeed, building infrastructure keeps us from falling off bridges. I should have said “building infrastructure has no economic benefit…”

            Don’t you want to be a billionaire? 🙂 But in all seriousness, even though CEOs and their managers make obscene amounts of money, it’s a drop in the bucket (at least in profitable corporations) compared to the bulk of corporate profits which go out as dividends to the shareholders. Those people invest (truly). They loan their money to a corporation who in turn promises to use it to make a profit and distribute to them an equitable share of those profits. Corporate laws require this because that keeps them from willingly squandering other people’s money. It’s the “corporate monger’s” job to maximize profits for the people they promised to to that for. No matter what we do here at home, internationally this is the way the field of competition works. In order to compete, we have to offer a competitive platform. The reason jobs went overseas is because we do not. And all the government spending in the world cannot make up for that loss.

          • jmprint

            Look it has really gotten out of hand when water companies, electric companies and other service companies, that serve the people give outrages bonuses to the top elite, just because they did their job. And then they turn right around and increase the rates to make profit. Doesn’t make sense. And then what about the CEO who gets fired for doing a bad job and then receives an incentive package, that no hourly employee will ever see.

            “And all the government spending in the world cannot make up for that loss.” You are correct, that is why we MUST stop the mongers from getting all the tax breaks.

          • Kurt CPI

            I agree 100% with your ideals. I’m just saying that the reality is it won’t help. In fact it’ll have the opposite effect. To win the game, you have to play. If you change the rules (and keep changing them), people will take their dealings to where the rules are consistent and politicians can’t change them at a whim.

          • jmprint

            That is just it, we have been playing their game for the last thirty years, and look where it took us!

          • Kurt CPI

            It worked until our international competition started out-playing us.

  • old crow

    Bring all that money that’s off shore and tax the owners of such accounts, and make it illegal to have such accounts.

  • tax payer

    I don’t think he’s the only one counting the days, when he has to leave the Presidential Office. I am counting too and I learned how to count a longtime ago.

    • Russell Byrd

      Only 1275 left to go.

      Bwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

  • Catskinner

    What good would it do for Congress to get to work? Whatever legislation they passed would have to wait for Obama to get back from vacation to sign it, and the way he’s going he might never get back.

    • BillP

      Gee I guess President Obama should be more hard working like W was!!! Whenever I heard this type of comment I know the originator has no clue as to what is going on. 3 1/2 more years. Beside the Reprublican house would actually have to work and put together something other than repeal ACA. That seems to be the only thing Speaker Boehner tries to do – 40 times I believe.

      • Russell Byrd

        The crying shame is the “originator” could not care what is going on. That poster is just here to disrupt.

        • latebloomingrandma

          Lana seems to have disappeared and Catskinner popped up. Do they rotate among liberal forums to annoy?

          • Russell Byrd

            Several posters have expressed the opinion that they are one and the same. I am beginning to believe we have several that switch names when the urge takes them. I have noticed that occasionally they will refer to something that the “other” poster actually said. I guess one problem with being a breathtaking liar is getting their stories consistently straight. Both lana and Catskinner do have a habit of telling whoppers that are ludicrously stupid. Hope you have been well.

    • jointerjohn

      First you tell us that President Obama is masterminding everything to make himself the first world dictator and then you tell us that he is vacationing and not on the job. OOPS! Too stooopid to see the inconsistency huh?
      Catskinner, go tell this stuff to your dumb-ass corporate automaton friends, we are way too smart here to fall for such snotty, pre-adolescent tripe. Deflection like yours accomplishes nothing, just like your political party that just got a public spanking from the President today. Some of us love our country and want it to succeed and move forward. Get the hell out of the way with your childish comments and let the grown-ups get something done.

      • Catskinner

        Well, jj, I didn’t know my party–the Green Party–got a spanking. And I don’t recall saying Obama is trying to become a penis-spud.

        • Russell Byrd

          Oddly, I just pushed the enter key on a post where I remarked how your posts are usually stupid and over the top lies. And, shazam, there you are.

        • RobertCHastings

          “penis-spud”, where did that one come from? Did JJ say something about that one, or are you just interpolating? So, how many representatives did the Green Party put in Congress, and how many did they have on ballots around the country. You are right – that was not a spanking, that was just plain and simple ass kicking.

          • Catskinner

            Dick-tater; but as long as the two crooked parties are in power, honest parties aren’t going to have much of a chance.

    • Allan Richardson

      Catskinner, you know very well that a President can sign a bill ANYWHERE on Earth he happens to be when it is passed. Air Force One has plenty of fax machines on standby 24/7 when the President is out of Washington.

      • Russell Byrd

        Doesn’t it seem odd, and smell of racism, that ‘skinner claims to despise both parties, but spends most of his time bashing Obama?

  • jnsgraphic

    The GOP claims to be Christian, yet if Christ came to their door seeking shelter, they would look at him as another homeless person and turn him away! These are the same people that turn there backs on middle class America, demand cuts to the programs that help them and then turn around and give more power to the wealthy and corporate America, while they take advantage of corporate welfare and tax loop holes when they’re profitable. The GOP has nothing to offer to help move our economy or this country forward because in the end they will make the Presidents 2nd term a success; they would rather see the President and our country fail, than do their part to get involved in democracy. Congress continues to drag their knuckles and get paid to do nothing… in 2014 the GOP house has got to go!

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Leaving a nation on its knees, without advantages to get ahead is an abomination. What the GOP is doing to itself as a result of misguided Koch billionaire ideology is self-destructive. And just what on earth would make the GOP bull male domination party think for one second Middle Class Americans will not move forward without them? They are not czars of our tax dollars. We pay THEIR salaries. Their constant attempts to turn a government of the people, for the people, by the people into a corporation that turns us into their employees using our tax dollars is never never going to fly. But, they live in the Koch built dream world where no worker earns a dime, begs for healthcare and lives on scraps the billionaires choose to throw our way. Think again oh mighty Bulls of the GOP.