By Jonathan Alter

Obama Replants Goalposts In Political Midfield

February 1, 2013 4:19 pm Category: Bloomberg View, Memo Pad 69 Comments A+ / A-
Obama Replants Goalposts In Political Midfield

In the summer of 2011, when the “Grand Bargain” on deficit reduction failed, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of “moving the goalposts” — shifting his demands to the left.

After Boehner objected, Obama quickly moved the goalposts back and said he wanted to keep talking. But the Speaker thought it was too late and the deal collapsed.

Goalpost-shifting is back in style. Behind the soaring rhetoric of the inaugural address and his announcement of a bold immigration plan, the president is engaged in a carefully calibrated effort to move the debate away from the right side of the field.

In their interactions over the last two years, a chastened Obama started in the center and the Republicans started on the right, and the never-found compromise lay on the center-right.

Since winning re-election, Obama is starting on the center-left and the Republicans are moving toward the center-right. With any luck, they will find compromise in the center. The real center.

Of course, they won’t get there until they move beyond the bad blood of their end-of-the-year failure to do anything significant about the budget.

The House leadership says Obama delivered boring “I won” lectures to the Speaker and doesn’t have a clue about how to negotiate; the White House says the Speaker can’t deliver his own caucus.

Both sides have blown chances to strike a deal on favorable terms. Republicans should have done so in July, 2011 instead of holding out for a big 2012 electoral victory that never came. Democrats should have accepted Boehner’s December, 2012 offer of a 1-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases instead of taking the risk of allowing fights over budget deadlines to overshadow priorities such as immigration and gun safety.

Even as they lick their wounds after the election, Republicans should take comfort in how far they have shifted the center of gravity in U.S. politics over the last two years.

Consider the coverage of Obama’s second inaugural address. Pundits outdid each other in describing how liberal it was.

It wasn’t. With the exception of its first-ever mention of gay rights, the speech was essentially an eloquent rear-guard action defending the 20th-century consensus on the role of government.

Pages →  1 2

Obama Replants Goalposts In Political Midfield Reviewed by on . In the summer of 2011, when the “Grand Bargain” on deficit reduction failed, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of “moving the goalp In the summer of 2011, when the “Grand Bargain” on deficit reduction failed, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of “moving the goalp Rating:

More by Jonathan Alter

When Obamacare Polls Are Accurate Without Being True

As Republicans form a circular firing squad, nervous Democrats continue to believe that this is a depressing time when the future of Obamacare is on the line. There is some reason for worry: the Koch brothers are spending millions trying to get young people to “opt out” of seeking health insurance at the state level,

Read more...

Bush’s Long-Shot Campaign To Be Seen As Truman

April 26 (Bloomberg) — The dedication this week of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum was more than an opportunity for the five living U.S. presidents to compare notes on what Stefan Lorant called “the glorious burden” of the office. It also was the beginning of Bush’s campaign for rehabilitation. As Bill Clinton

Read more...

Congress’s Notorious B.I.G. Agenda Just May Pass

April 12 (Bloomberg) — That sound you’re hearing may be the cracking of gridlock in Washington. Bipartisan bills on three of the big issues of 2013 — the budget, immigration and guns — could pass Congress this spring. If the B.I.G. agenda goes through, the public will cheer, providing incentives for politicians to do more.

Read more...

Tags

Comments

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.gagie Tom Gagie

    The word “ENTITLEMENTS” is a lie.
    WE the WORKERS payed into the SS.
    These CLOWNS in CONGRESS need a lesson in that.
    Take their perks that they do not earn awat,put them on SS,Get rid of their 1 term perk and get them in the real world.
    Produce or get thrown out period.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      The word entitlements is not a lie – what’s a lie is the GOP lumping welfare programs like Medicaid and SSI in with the entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare. They’re doing this so they can implement drastic cuts to the true entitlement programs along with reducing budgets for WELFARE programs Medicaid and SSI. Social Security and Medicare are ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS because as you pointed out, everyone pays into them, and is therefore, ENTITLED to receive the benefits that they PAID FOR!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    The truth is that mainstream Americans are mostly centrists. We lean left on some issues, and we lean right on others dependent on our values, experiences and circumstances. Democrats, like myself, consider social programs an absolute necessity and believe investment is the key to sustainable growth and low unemployment. Republicans believe social programs are a socialist scheme, ineffective and expensive, and believe personal responsibility and trickle down economics are the key to sustainable growth and progress.
    Needless to say, we also have strong views on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, civil rights, and equality, but in spite of our differences, when it really matters, we are all one.
    The fact that our leaders move the goal posts does not mean they have abandoned their promises, it means they are trying to please the majority of Americans. It is up to us to let them know where we stand and what our aspirations are. Unfortunately, most surveys and polls are so skewed and designed to support the interests of their donors or constituents that they are often worthless.

    • middleclasstaxpayer

      So Democrats consider “social programs” a necessity….how do you feel now that UNION MEMBERS, some of the most highly paid workers in the US, do NOT want to pay their “fair share” for Obamacare, but expect the rest of us to pay for them instead????? Is this going to be another liberal “social program” that the rest of us have to pay for?????

      • nobsartist

        Hey dumbass, what about the corporate welfare programs that you are so fond of. Like defending the middle east from each other while enriching the defense contractors with no bid contracts and no tax on profits, all at our expense.

        Or the BILLIONs in welfare we pay the oil companies for fucking us in the ass on a daily basis.

        People that complain about our fucked up health care system and complain about people getting free stuff are assholes. Sort of like you middleclassjackass.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          We’ve all heard the saying: “it takes one to know one” Thanks for clarifying exactly what kind of cretin you are!

      • elw

        Your comment is so vague I have no idea what you are talking about. What Social Programs and Union members are you referring to? How does Obamacare fit into that mixture? Who is the “rest of us?” Most union members are from the working middle class.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          You need to catch up on current news….UNION MEMBERS are now demanding a WAIVER from requiremnets to participate financially in Obamacare….after blindly backing Obamacare, they now realize HOW MUCH it’s going to cost them, so they are demanding that they be allowed a Govt SUBSIDY to PAY FOR their share of the extra costs involved in Obamacare. Real smart folks, these union guys…blindly & ignorantly support a liberal cause, then want someone else to pay for it when it becomes too expensive?????

          • elw

            And that has to do with entitlements in what way?

            Your claim is a gross over exaggeration; in any regard, demand is a far cry from getting and I do not see the difference between unions making demands than those made by hospitals or large healthcare systems pretending to be religious organizations. You need to stop watching the Right-wing media and open your mind to facts instead of the fairyscaretails told by the crazy right. You would be less angry.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Liberal Union demands are ALWAYS met somehow, as liberals need the Union vote to stay in power. Right now it’s just a “demand” but soon it will be a “right” granted by a desperate liberal gov’t that needs to feed its base to remain in control. And of course, everyone else pays for liberal ideas! When it “other people’s money” the sky’s the limit!!!

          • elw

            So in other words, you have no idea or facts about what you are talking about. Just vague accusations based on nothing but what you think will always happen.

          • RobertCHastings

            Where are you getting this stuff? The unions have no standing in the discussion on waivers, legally or otherwise. They are just as much vested in Obamacare as the rest of us are, and IF THE STATE WHERE THEY LIVE decides against the mandates of Obamacare, it is not the fault of the Democrats, but the governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Prick Perry of Texas who have decided against the insurance markets, putting the burden back upon the individual taxpayers, and, consequently, costing the voters in their states their coverage. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh and get backs on your meds.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            The only ones that have announced their decision to not participate in the MEDICAID expansion needed to fund ACA are a handful of Republican governors in red states. Whether some Unions like ACA or not is irrelevant. They are not in a position to reject Federal law, especially one upheld by the Supreme Court.

          • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

            Fox Fake News And Rush Limpdick!!! Where All The Good Trolls Go For Current Events!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        1) The fact that some Union members don’t want to participate in the Affordable Care Act does not mean ALL union members reject that program.
        2) The highest paid workers in the USA are medical doctors, chemists, physicists, engineers, computer networking and computer science graduates with Master Degrees and other professionals. The fact that union workers make more than people working in retail stores and restaurants does not mean they are highly paid.
        3) The social programs we – and the government – refer to as entitlements are Social Security and MEDICARE. The reason that term was adopted is because we – including union members – pay FICA throughout our professional lives, and pay MEDiCARE fees, after we retire. As a result, we are entitled to get the benefits that were promised to us in exchange for the taxes/fees we paid and continue to pay, the same way we are entitled to collect benefits from an insurance company in exchange for the premiums we paid them.
        4. ACA is not perfect. Most liberals would have preferred a single payer system to reduce cost by eliminating the middle man. Sadly, the main ACA beneficiary, in addition to the uninsured, are the insurance companies that will increase memberships by millions of people. In theory, premiums should go down and healthcare costs should go down as a result of people no longer going to Emergency Rooms when they need medical care, and the government not having to subsidize part of the cost incurred by our hospitals. ACA may not be perfect, but it is a step in the right direction.

        • middleclasstaxpayer

          Thanks for your comments.
          Regarding #1, Once some Union Members are given “waivers” from Obamacare, ALL UNION MEMBERS will demand it.
          Regarding #2, By “workers” I was referring to blue collar people…Union Workers are the highest paid blue collar workers in USA, yet they still demand waivers from Obamacare, forcing the rest of us to pay for THEIR SHARE of benefits.
          Regarding #3, you are correct.
          Regarding #4, Obamacare should have never been supported by an ignorant Congress (who never read the 1000′s of pages of rules), nor an ignorant liberal public, who never understood its consequences.
          Regarding COSTS of Obamacare, It is becoming obvious, even to ultra-liberal Union Members, that costs are not declining, but instead will be RISING dramatically for health insurance BECAUSE of Obamacare, hence their demands for waivers. Before Obamacare, we had 15 Million who did NOT pay for medical care (they went to the Emergency room instead, and for free). Now we will have literally HALF THE US POPULATION given Gov’t SUBSIDIES for healthcare, meaning the OTHER HALF of our population will be paying for them. So we went from 15 Million on the dole for health coverage to over 160 MILLION people. An 1100 per cent increase? How does THAT make sense???

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

            Sorry, but you’re wrong about Obamacare: 1st, the reason costs for Obamacare have gone up is because the only part of Obamacare that has gone into effect is the part that would drive up premiums: requiring insurance companies to provide additional coverages, like for children until 26, like reducing the costs of drugs for seniors in the donuthole, like not being able to keep people from being insured because of preexisting conditions. It’s not until next year that the part of Obamacare will take effect that should dramatically reduce premiums; when everyone has to have insurance and then two things should happen: 1) healthcare providers should be over time able to drastically reduce their fees because they won’t have to charge 4-8 times their normal fees to cover for the deadbeats who can’t pay for the healthcare they get; and 2) insurance company premiums should drop for two reasons: a) as Dominic mentioned earlier they will have millions more insureds to spread their costs among and b) the healthcare costs they are covering should be much loweer. Just to give you an example of how much ERs are padding their charges, one of my grandsons got injured playing soccer, he needed 8 stitches to seal a gash in his leg, the ER costs for putting in 8 stitches was $1,500. When my grandson needed the stitches removed, the ER wanted 800 dollars to remove 8 stitches that would probably take a nurses aid 2 minutes to remove.

            And do you know why our healthcare costs are through the roof?
            Because Reagan signed a flawed law that has virtually no controls built into it that forces hospital ERs and other healthcare providers to HAVE TO PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE TO ANYONE WHO COMES INTO THEIR OFFICE AND CLAIMS IT’S AN EMERGENCY. That’s why about 40 million Americans, many who could well afford it, chose to not buy insurance and assume they could get treatment at the ER if the needed it. Unfortunately,
            millions often uninsureds get diseases that costs a lot more than they can possibly afford and pay for, hundreds of thousands of
            dollars; so their playing Russian Roulette with their healthcare ends up foisting their medical costs on those of us who are insured.

            And most of your last post is total nonsense, and I’m not even going to waste my time trying to respond to your obvious ridiculous numbers that were made up. None of them are even close reality.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            Obamacare will be fully implemented in 2014. That is when Congress will appropriate the funds needed for the MEDICAID expansion needed to fund the program. At first, states will get 100% of the funding they need for the expansion from the Federal government, after 3 years (I can’t remember the exact period of time off the top of my head) states will get 90% of the funding needed for the MEDICAID expansion.
            The cost of healthcare in the USA has been rising since I was a child, over seven decades ago. Rising insurance premiums have been a burden for most coporations for years. Employee contributions have been rising and insurance coverage has declined in an effort to contain cost and remain competitive.
            The cost of healthcare, at least in theory, is likely to decline or remain constant after ACA is implemented in 2014. The big question is what is going to happen to the red states that reject ACA? Bear in mind that after ACA is implemented the Federal government will no longer subsidize Emergency Room care since treatment will be available to everyone via ACA. What that means is that states that reject ACA will have to subsidize ER costs out of their budgets or tell their uninsured that they are on their own.
            I think it is important to point out that most industrialized countries have healthcare programs as good or better than ACA, have no problem paying for it, and the cost of healthcare in those countries is a fraction of what we have been spending.

          • nobsartist

            This ACA is a disaster. I am moving to Canada.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

            Sorry, but you don’t have enough information now on the impacts of ACA to call it a disaster. So far, only the part of ACA that drives up premiums has been implemented. In 2014 when everyone has to have insurance, there should be a big impact on premiums, for two reasons: 1) healthcare providers should be able to drastically reduce their charges because they won’t have to charge 4-8 times what their costs are to cover for all the deadbeats who don’t pay for their care, and 2) insurance companies will have around 40 million more insureds to spread their risks among so this should allow them to reduce premiums. It will take time for all this to play out; so NO ONE knows today just what the eventual impacty of ACA will be. That includes you.

          • nobsartist

            The “churches” all get waivers. What is your problem? Did you just discover that because of “right to work” laws, you make half of what union members do so now you hate all of them?

            We should all hate the religious also I guess.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Any fool can see what’s happening with Obamacare….one by one, special interest groups (unions, freeloaders, even entire states), are opting out of this ill-conceived plan. In the end, half the nations’ workers will end up paying for the other half’s share……I guess that’s what Obama was referring to when he said we all need to pay our FAIR SHARE??? What he really was saying was….half of you will be paying for the other half who are sly enough to find any excuse NOT to pay THEIR FAIR SHARE!

          • nobsartist

            Speaking of paying “their fair share”, when are the laws going to go back to where the wealthy pay their fair share? I think “fair” is for the wealthy to have the same left over after taxes that the lowest paid has left but that isnt going to happen. Do you actually understand what the bush tax cuts were? I do not think so.

            You should define what “fair” means to you.

            Do you think its fair that Obama gave the auto companies 12 years of no tax on profits?

            When do I get my “12 years of NO tax”? When do I get the same tax breaks as Boeing?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

            The fact that GM and Chrysler won’t have to pay taxes for years has nothing to do with “Obama giving them anything”. The reason they won’t have to pay taxes for up to 12 years is not about a gift from Obama, but due to the tax code which allows any corporation to decrease its taxes by LOSS CARRY FORWARDS FROM PRIOR YEARS. GM lost money for so many years, that they can carry forward their losses for years to come to offset their taxes. If you had billions of prior years losses (GM had 45 billion) you wouldn’t have to pay taxes either. This is just one more example of you making comments aboutl issues you really don’t know anything about.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        Bear in mind that the Obamacare one-year waivers issued by the HHS, whose authority to do so is under scrutinity and intense criticism, is not limited to Union members. It applies to most food industry companies, and especially the fast food industry, because of concerns over increased cost.
        Obamacare forbids insurers from placing annual and lifetime limits on existing health plans. This stipulation endangers plans offered by sectors of our economy such as the fast food industry, which offers limited coverage health plans to their employees. Since providing comprehensive coverage would be too expensive for those companies, and complying would involve higher premiums, higher prices for consumers, or dropping the existing programs, many employers opted to seek waivers until the consequences of this problem are clearly understood and a detailed explanation is offered by the HHS as to how the Federal government plans to address this issue.
        Needless to say, employees in the food industry – both Union and non-Union members – object to the loss of the healthcare coverage they currently enjoy, regardless of how limited coverage may be, ignoring the fact that losing it would automatically make them eligible for better and more affordable healthcare coverage under ACA.

      • Germansmith

        Do not forget government workers. In an ever growing government these people have benefits and pension guaranteed paid by us the taxpayers to badly manage and implement policies and programs that we do not want.

        I also do agree (this time only) with nobartist about corporate welfare. He is mostly correct as well in his rude, crude, low class post.

        Disregard his rudeness, some angry people used to go kick their dogs, now they go around insulting people they do not know in total anonimity

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          Government is not growing under Obama – it grew by over 2,00,000 under Bush but Obama has reduced the size of government by over 565,000 by streamlining many agencies and by getting us out of the Iraq war and winding down the war in Afghanistan.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

            You are correct, in fact, the size of government based on number of civil servants is at one of its lowest levels in modern history. Moreover, the lavish benefit package civil servants had was dramatically reduced by President Reagan. Their pensions are now based on 401k plans, similar to those offered by most private sector corporations.
            What government detractors never point out is that the GS scale and the benefit package offered to civil servants, when compared to those offered by large corporations and on comparable qualifications, experience and responsibilities, has actually not kept up with private industry. That is the reason they have so much trouble recruiting and have such a high attrition rate.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A4FWDOYB2YY4ORNTZ2UW5CSWXQ fidel

      Now you are Democrats ,2 days ago you was a Republican, You may Strong Comment again the Hispanic People and my Party (Democrats),You like make Comment every day,Is Better with The Independent Flag.

      • lessthantolerant

        Wow, English certainly isn’t in your vernacular is it?

    • Germansmith

      Dominick. I would disagree with the article
      I am a Centrist that was pushed to the right because of the leftist policies of the Obama administration.
      Pushing down our throats Obamacare and its many taxes and regulations, Open Gays in the military, Women in combat, banking regulations and now gun control does not make this administration very democratic. (I am not saying I totally disagree with some of those above)

      I do agree with you that most of Americans are reasonable people with a centrist view, but both parties are controlled by their extemes and that is why we have such a divide. The only reason Obama won re-election was because most Americans could not stomagh a corporate weasel like Romney in the White House.

      Just when I think we can not elect a worst President (Bush) the stupidity of people in large groups prove me wrong again….

      • lessthantolerant

        This Bush Lite groid is pretty embarrassing to humanity isn’t it?

      • http://twitter.com/CitizenObservr OccupyYourLocalMedia

        Pushing down our throats?
        Obama was elected, twice, on his record and on his plans.
        Republicans had to gerrymander to keep control of congress AGAINST the will of the people.
        Obama got Osama, while Bush rejected offers of Osama by the Taliban themselves.
        Obama ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan. Which war was it that Bush ended??
        Obama’s policies has returned our economy to growth (except for the last one quarter) and the Stock Market is reaching new levels.
        Republican Outsourcing is what has killed American Labor. Democrats tried to stop outsourcing, but Republicans blocked them. So you can thank Republicans for destroying jobs and keeping them destroyed while they work to destroy the only thing keeping innocent people from starving in the streets – the social programs.
        You DON’T want banking regulations?
        Gays already served in the military but was forced to live a LIE because of religious intolerance and ignorance. Being gay is as natural as the other FIFTEEN HUNDRED animal species which exhibit homosexuality from courtship to pair bonding to parenting. Even conservatives believe in gay equality (though not as many as I would like.)
        If you look at the polls, Americans side with Obama and the Democrats on all of the issues you listed. You know, democracy and what not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Maurer/100000910841619 Joan Maurer

        Most people in this democracy support openly gay men in the military- why should only stright men be killed. Women have been on the front lines in our military for more than ten years – this is regulations catching up to reality.

        Most Americans want both banking and gun control that is effective.

        You think you are a centerist and you might have been twenty years ago but what you are now is obsolete.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fern.woodfork Fern Woodfork

      I Couldn’t Agree More!! Too Bad These, Mostly The GOP/Tea Party Problem Is They Seem To Be Working For The Koch Brothers And Lobbyists Not The Majority Of The American People!!!

  • nobsartist

    The truth is, both parties are the same and could care less about mere Americans.

    Now if we are talking about arabs or jews, its a different story.

    Here is an idea- charge the entire middle east for the crap they have created at the chumps in washingtons expense.

    After the arabs and jews are of no consequence, perhaps our “royal” president can get off of his dead ass and start doing something for the Americans that elected him.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Does it really feel that good to have your head so buried in the sand that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You may not be a Republican but many of your posts sound just like one of them – totally clueless about reality. Maybe some day you’ll come down and live on the same planet with the rest of us!!!!

      • nobsartist

        At least my head is not up my ass like yours appears to be. I doubt that I will be joining you or your clueless chumps any time soon.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

          nobsartist, making his money polishing nobs!. He works hard for the money! Cut that deficit, nobs! Don’t sprain a neck muscle!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          Actually, I’m not accustomed to associating with total morons, so if you’d prefer not to join us sane folks, that’s just fine with me.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          I forgot to mention that I’m getting the notion that you don’t like facts (the truth) – which is everything I’ve commented back to you – you’re welcome to do some research and contradict whatever I’ve pointed out – but I spend a lot of time doing research to substantiate many of the comments I make. You apparently like to spew comments based on your perceived notions with little to back up what you’re saying. I’m going to make a prediction for you – I’m old enough to remember when FDR was in office and so I’ve been around to personally experience all the presidents since then – and having accessed them all, I’m going to predict that when history looks back on Obama’s presidency, even the accomplishments of FDR are going to pale in comparison to what Obama has already and will accomplish in his second term.

          As I’ve pointed out before, a group of researches that have been tracking Obama since he started campaigning for the presidency, say that during all that campaigning Obama made over 500 descernible promises. Of those, this research group claims they can verify that he’s fully kept more than 250 of those promises (I forget the exact numbers); and that he has partially followed through on another 125 (those that the GOP hasn’t fully blocked )- The remaining 125 or so promises are mostly those which the GOP’s determination to make him fail has not allowed him to do much with.

          Of the presidents I’ve seen, only FDR comes to mind as a president thatwas as determined as Obama is to do whatever he can to help the country and its people; such that he would actually have followed through on such a range of his promises (not getting distracted by other party priorities, etc.). You make a lot of virtually unfounded denigrations of people which I find repulsive; very much like Mitt Romney, who did nothing during his campaigning but spout lies and distortions one right after another. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re only in these comment threads to spew nonsense, you’re in the very wrong place -as from what I’ve seen, the vast majority of posters here are people who care about what their commenting on and use some sense of common sense in their comments – which you obviously don’t.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RFEPMKNCBVGJYV2X7LBNDGRUEY William

    Reagan was the first in the GOP to attack Unions, Social Security, and created the trickle down economics. If the President wants to follow his example he will lose my support forever.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      William, unfortunately he did a lot worse than that: not only did he do what you mentioned, he also instilled even deeper in the demented minds of most Republicans that tax cuts would spur economic growth (which has been proven a categorical failure by Bush who after giving the country the biggest tax cuts they’d seen in a decade succeeded in posting the most abysmal job creation and economic record in 100 years) and he greatly accelerated deficit spending by averaging 8.7%/yr budget increase (he was the first of the true druken sailor spending GOP presidents); AND he started the practice of keeping many of his pet projects out of his budgets, resulting in every budget created by him and the two bushes being nothing more than budgettal scams on the American people (congress passing GOP budgets that covered only 50-75% of the true spending). For the GOP today to whine about Obama not creating a budget is pure hypocracy: they know full well that Obama has not only created a budget every year and has used it to effectively reduce spending, they know the budgets that they’ve passed over the past 30 years have all be FAKES!!!! and totally worthless!!! Which is why they’re responsible for more than 90% of our current deficits.

  • elw

    I have long thought that political compromises are true compromises when you hear complaints from both sides of the isle. I also believe that our political pendulum is beginning its return swing towards the left, about time, after 30 years of moving right. We have a lot to fix and that will not be easy with the make-up of the Congress and the Supreme Court as it is today. It has taken us 30+ years to get in the mess we are in today, so it will take more than one moderate/progress/liberal President to help us get back the middle where most American’s feel the most comfortable. Remember that when the next election comes due and make sure you keep voting, even those local elections are important.

  • montanabill

    Center left? Only to this crowd. He is far, far left. If that seems center left to anyone, better check where you are.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_REQQEMPOQISA3W6B42SHFMKTEM Andrew

    Here’s the problem, Jonathan Alter: the so-called “entitlement programs” (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) are actually earned benefits programs that HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEFICIT! As a fellow MSNBC contributor and sometime host, Ezra Klein, has said, cuts in those programs plus many of the “sequester” cuts are simply “big dumb spending cuts”. Yesterday, I wrote a response to an article imploring our politicians in DC to not bring about another “Roosevelt Recession”.

    A little background on what a “Roosevelt Recession” is: in 1937, four years into the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt got a little nervous about all of the deficit-spending he and the Democrats were doing to get the country out of the GOP-created financial mess known then as “The Great Depression”. In one of the very few mistakes FDR made in his dozen-year administration, FDR cut government spending dramatically in 1937 in an austerity program much like the GOP are proposing now (which leads us to a great question: has any GOPer been correct about anything outside of the Abe, Teddy and Ike Administrations?!?), which sent the country into a recession and angered Americans enough to give many House and Senate seats back to the GOP in the 1938 midterms. Because of that, economists refer to such austerity plans during this kind of recovery as a “Roosevelt Recession”.

    One of the 9 Tenets of the Republican Party is incompetence. The GOP constantly prove this to be correct and want to bring about another Roosevelt Recession by instituting an austerity program that would not touch the national debt whatsoever. This is why Klein calls them “big dumb spending cuts”. There’s only one area of the budget where cuts need to be made: defense. $600 billion per year is equal to the next 15 countries’ defense budgets COMBINED. As far as I know, the only real war we’re waging is against the terrorist forces in Afghanistan…why in the world do we need to spend more than a HALF-TRILLION dollars on defense? And, besides–the GOP consider the Afghani War spending as “emergency spending”—it’s not even part of the defense budget! :( ssmdh

    Listen up, people, and listen well: I’ve already posted my plan to balance the budget WITHOUT ANY SPENDING CUTS for fiscal year 2014 and beyond. However, since the plan involves raising taxes on the “people” that have been the biggest beneficiaries of the wealth-creating/furthering Bush 43 tax cuts/loopholes (the wealthy and big corporations), the GOP will never go for it. How many times must I write this before you start realizing the truth?!? GOP Conservatives met with captains of industry and the wealthy in 1970 and birthed the “Starve the Beast” program. Quite simply, STB is a program to cut taxes as a means to cut the size of government until it’s “small enough to drown in a bathtub”, as STB devotee and traitor Grover Norquist (he of the treasonous “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”–smh) has infamously said. Do you get it now?!? The GOP doesn’t WANT THERE TO BE A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT! What they want is a fascist corporate plutarchy (FCP), where the plutarchy (plutocratic oligarchy led by Norquist, Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, the Koch brothers, etc.) combines with big corporations (Koch Industries, etc.) to take over the former government functions. The GOP’s infatuation with “privatizing” everything is proof of this. And, oh by the way, under an FCP, money available to be spent on social programs such as Social Security, etc., gets distributed to the wealthy and big corporations as tax cuts/corporate welfare and subsidies, etc., because those programs would cease to exist.

    There are now three stripes of Republicans: moderates, Conservatives (Cons) and Tea Party Militia members (Baggers). What the moderates fail to realize is that they keep voting for the Cons and Baggers in DC and state capitols. The Cons and Baggers are on board with the STB and FCP philosophies. I’ve railed on constantly about how the moderates blew a golden opportunity to stop this treasonous GOP BS back in November. They should have voted for Democrats, who are now the true GOP moderates. We’re a Center-Left country and that fact scares the sh!t out of the Cons and Baggers. What’s worse is that this country going Left, not Right (or Wrong, as I correctly refer to it) because of the demographics. The STB and FCP philosophies are the GOP Cons and Baggers’ pathetic and desperate attempt to keep power. People old enough to remember the “Apartheid” government in South Africa, where a white superminority ruled over the native African supermajority, have to recognize the GOP as trying to establish the same thing. But, hey, GOP moderates…you can continue to remain ignorant of the truth and keep voting for and supporting the Cons and Baggers, especially in the 2014 midterms. I hope you like our divided and ineffectual government, because that’s what we’re going to keep getting so long as you vote for and support the Cons and Baggers… ssmdh :(

    • sigrid28

      In a nutshell. Thanks! Some of us hear you loud and clear.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        Unfortunately, the party of “personal responsibility” remains intent on doing everything they can to ensure policies such as trickle down economics, continuous warfare, and Starving the Beast, continue indefinitely so that they can continue to accumulate wealth and seize total control, not only over the economy, but over society.
        Andrew is correct, since a plurality of Americans support Social Security and MEDICARE, and increasing numbers of Americans support ACA, the only recourses left are demonization and a concerted effort to STB by refusing to appropriate the funds needed to keep those government programs running. Their decision is influenced, in part, by ideology, but mostly by greed and intolerance.
        How do they achieve that? The instrument is disinformation, the candy is low taxation.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

      One of the reasons for GOP/Tea Bag push for defense spending in contractors in the military industrial complex. Billions of that 600 billion dollar a year in defense is adding on to the billions these billionaires already have. More is more. The GOP/Tea Bags represent wealth, and its easy finding their motives by following the money. Most of the contractors who are selling Q-Tips to the government for 1k a pop are GOP/Tea Bags. Obama/Biden would do good by getting a list of these contractors, vete their neccissity and worth, and cut them. I would bet then the government could save 200 billion a year easy.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

        Robert, you may be interested to know that Obama started a war on fraud in the defense industry his 1st year in office. Do a search on War on Fraud in the Defense Industry and check out a paper written by Thomas Gallagher of Pepper Hamilton llc that describes some of the cases that have been prosecuted. The Obama administration has actively pursued fraud in the defense and healthcare sectors which have recovered billions of fraudulently charged monies over the past 4 years – more than the last 3 presidents combined.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

          Thanks independents1.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Great post!! My only correction to your comment above is that Medicaid is not an entitlement program, it is a welfare program like SSI and is fund by taxes; we do not pay into the program (Medicaid) and therefore are not ‘Entitled’ to receive its benefits.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F4IITY7IUMGAMAX7E2MIC6FQC4 harry day

    on the gun issue this is a fight we should not be having the constituton is clear we have a right to keep and bear arms with out infrigment it is settled in the constitution, so the government should move on to other important issues that are very important to our country insted of wasting time .

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Sorry Harry, without infrigment only means the government can’t keep you from owning a gun – IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHATEVER WEAPON YOU WANT!!!! When Madison wrote the amendment, the definition of ARMS was a single shot revolver and a single shot musket.

  • onedonewong

    Barak won’t even agree we have a deficit problem as far as he’s concerned keep spending $$ we don’t have …What difference does it Make.. So what that now every newborn faces a debt load of $175,000. They will just have to borrow from some other fool Lets remember his education was as a quota recipient so its about a 3rd grade level for most americans

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      He won’t agree that we have a deficit PROBLEM to the degree that the GOP is trying to claim BECAUSE WE DON’T!!! Certainly, having the deficit we have isn’t great, but IT IS NOT THE DISASTER THE GOP IS TRYING TO CLAIM!!! America’s debt to GDP ratio is about 67% whereas virtually every other industrialized nation like America runs a debt to GDP ratio of 80% or higher; even Canada’s is over 85% and Japans is around 100% and virtually every country in Europe runs around 90%. Have you read a lot of articles lately about Canadians claiming the country is on the verge of bankruptcy??? Of course not!! The GOP is making a big fuss now for two reasons: 1) they’re president is not in office (they didn’t make a peep about Bush running 1/2 trillion deficits/yr when a Republican was in office); and 2) they’re trying to scare Americans so they can do their best to gut every program that helps those in true need (medicaid, SSI, social security and medicare). It’s just another GOP devious plot. So wake up nitwit!!!!

      • onedonewong

        Hmmm Google isn’t your friend is it?? Our Debt to GDP is 110% there are only 4 other countries in the same pot of piss we are in Greece, Spain Ireland and Japan.
        No the GOP only deals with facts and don’t subscribe to the Messiah con

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

          Sorry, you’re wrong again. When you calculate a debt to GDP ratio you don’t include debt that you owe to yourself; which in America’s case is about 5.8 trillion dollars. Doing a current calculation (16.4 trillion current debt minus 5.8 trillion of it owed to ourselves equals 10.6 trillion divided by a 15 trillion GDP equals 70.1%.) I had picked up the 67% from an article on calculating a debt to GDP ratio that was written about 6 mos ago, sorry I was little off.

          And the GOP deals with facts???? The GOP doesn’t know what facts are!!! Romney’s magical tax plan was a pure hoax – 300 economists said it didn’t compute at all. Romney’s magical jobs plan was also proven to be a pure ruse: the studies that were suppose to back it up were either for a period much longer than 4 years (like more than 10), and some were based on totally different assumptions than what Romney was proposing. You gotta be kidding!!! The GOP can even add 2 + 2 and get 4!!!!! Give me a break!!!!!!!!!

          • onedonewong

            Yea I forgot that calculation when you try to understate your true red ink. Your post of just dropping the $6T is utter nonsense and the ONLY place I’ve seen that reasoning is the Atlantic and Salon. Certainly no economic or business opinion piece would be that obtuse.
            Over 1000 economists that aren’t on the govt payroll have said that baraks agenda will ruin this economy. The 300 you quote were alllll on the govt payroll.
            As for your Messiah math is something that quota recipients were exempt from air guitar and drugs were his majors at Harvard

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GGHNYPK4GNCRYZLXWVZ447WHJM Plznnn

    The way the Democrat party keeps deficit spending and taxing, soon just the interest on our National Debt will erase ALL the social programs. How “compassionate” is that? OUR children’s future is bleak because of your “compassion”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      You are clueless aren’t you?? Democrats don’t do deficit spending unless 1) they’re handed a budget that has significant deficit spending in it, or 2) are forced to deficit spend in order to repair a disaster that the GOP has passed them. Unfortunately, Obama was handed both scenarios by Bush – a deficit budget (10/1/08-9/30/09) which included 1.6 trillion in deficit spending (driven up by TARP and the auto bailout monies that BUSH negoticated), and the worse economic disaster in American history. From and economic standpoint the depression FDR inherited from Hoover pales in comparison to what Obama inherited from Bush. Just look back at Clinton, he inherited significant deficit spending from Bush Sr., and turned that into 3 years of surplus budgets. In fact, every Dem president since FDR, except for JFK who followed Eisenhower who was an independent running on the GOP ticket, EVERY and I’m going to repeat EVERY, DEM president has inherited a defict budget from the GOP president he replaced AND every dem president has actually reduced the deficit spending. Unfortunately, except for Clinton and FDR and Obama, American voters have been too stupid to let a democrat stay in the presidency long enough to actually get to reduce deficit spending enough to achieve a surplus budget. Obama has already reduced deficit spending faster over the past 3 years than any president since WWII. If the GOP would stop being obstructionists and pass his jobs bill they’ve been sitting on for 2 years (see Whitehouse dot gov The American Jobs Act), my guess is we could see 1 or 2 surplus budgets during Obama’s 2nd term.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X2KKGDYW2F5T5XUT6233KBNWSI robert

    So long and good riddance!

  • Germansmith

    sorry
    I sent you a link disproving that assumption, but that message is now under the review of censorship…good luck

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

    I am saddened by the fact that “the economy and jobs”does not have a more central focus. However I am well aware that the history of this country shows that the growth of our industries have been strongly supported and enhanced by government action. The Republicans are VERY aware that FDR stabilised and improved the depression through government action and expenditueres; and the do NOT intend to allow it to happen again. HAVING FAILED TO MAKE HIM “A ONE TERM PRESIDENT” THEY NOW INTEND TO ASSURE THAT HIS PLACE IN THE HISTORY BOOKS IS SEEN AS A FAILURE. And, too hell with the 54 % of americans who voted for him.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HGC4BGWVYXV76PHZBPSPOOU5GA Independent1

      Ed, I’m not sure if you’ve taken the time to go to whitehouse dot gov and check out the job plan that the GOP has been sitting on for two years. If not, you can see from it that Obama hasn’t forgotten about jobs or the economy, I think he’s waiting a little to see if the GOP House has decided to do something other than play games for another two years. His administration has developed a very sweeping jobs plan (The Americans Job Act) that touches a wide range of the problems facing the country and would create millions of jobs if the GOP House would only come together and pass it (without loading the bill down with all kinds of giveaways to the oil companies, agri-business and whomever else they want to subsidize for the kickbacks they get).

  • johnygo

    The Republican party hijack Christianity, just like Hitler unite Germany to kill the Jew.
    Hitler hate and kill Gay, lesbian ,and homosexual .
    The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life” 700 club , Pat Robertson, G W Bush , Glen Beck, Rush Limbooo. – Adolph Hitler – Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February,1935

  • bchrista

    HARRY DAY I have read the second amendment a hundred times and I don’t caome up with the same interpretation that everybody does and if Madison were alive today I would like to know what he really meant when he wrote ” the right of the people to bear and keep arms shall not be infringed,’ because he could not have foreseenthe total disaster that he created, that people would take the Second amendment as a right to arm themselves with assualt weapons and high capacity magazine and armor piercing ammonition, He was basing his belief that things would stay the same forever and if another country tried to invade us the people would form a militia to repel them(national guard) and that they would need to keep a weapon in order to defend themselves, never realizing that we would form Militaries to protect us , remember this was a new country and there hadn’t been enough time to recruit men into an army, and that there weren’t enough people to form a good size army, they fought the Red Coats with the help of the Indians and some Frenchmen that had landed in what is now known as Louisana , I believe it was called some kind of land purchase, actuaally Louisana was taken over by the Spanish during that time only thing was that the Spanish were not colonizers, they came took what they could find of value and left, but to get back to the right to possess guns I don’t think Madison would have left that paragraph in the Second Amendment if he had forseen what it would do to life today, he would have change the part about keeping guns, because all the excuses made today are bullshit, people that use guns illegally don’t take the time to point, aim and shoot and that is what all schools teach and that hesitation will get you killed.

  • lessthantolerant

    Obama’s only desire concerning a football analogy is to be a center so some big strong man can stand behind him while he is bent over, sort of like he does now with his secret service detail. or when Mooshelle dons her dildos to plow him.

  • Germansmith

    And Joan , what you are is a bad reader.

    I did not express my disagreement with those policies. What I expressed is the way SOME of those policies were implemented by executive order and the precedent that creates. Expanding the executive power may be Ok with Democrats as long as a Democrat is President. I wonder what the opinion would be when a Republican President decides to use Executive Power in a similar manner. I personnally do not care about gays in the military or women in combat (I still think it should be left to each service to make their own policies regarding either case as not affect combat readiness Ex I still believe women should not serve in a submarine)

    Our framers designed our government to be cumbersome and not swift to change, and they did it that way as to avoid the dictatorship of the mayority.

    The Banking Regulations enacted are cumbersome, but most important would not have and will not avoid any future banking defaults similar to the one we had.

    The real culprits our our mortgage default crisis are still free, doing business, controlling both political parties and will send us in another recession if it fits their plans.

scroll to top