Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, September 30, 2016

President Barack Obama slammed Mitt Romney in a major campaign address this afternoon, framing the 2012 election as a choice between his balanced approach to growth and deficit reduction (complete with infrastructure spending and higher taxes), and Romney’s promise to return to the economic policies of the Bush administration. Democrats — especially those close to Wall Street — had been fretting that Obama’s populist rhetoric was a risk factor both politically and financially, but the President demonstrated that he believes otherwise.

“There is one place where I stand in complete agreement with my opponent: this election is about our economic future,” Obama said at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland.

“What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take. And this election is your chance to break that stalemate,” Obama continued. “At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two paths for our country.”

Here’s the full video of the speech:

The Republican path, Obama declared, would be a return to George W. Bush’s economic polices which “did not grow the economy, they did not grow the middle class, they did not reduce our debt.”

A recent Gallup poll reported that the public still blames Bush more than Obama for the current economic mess, even though the former president has kept his head down since leaving office and the Obama Administration rarely mentions Bush by name. So Obama laid out a narrative of how Bush’s economic policies — tax cuts for the rich, slashed budgets for education and infrastructure, no push to expand access to healthcare — weakened the economy well before the 2008 financial crisis, and how Romney’s policies would be little different.

Obama pushed deficit reduction, mainly by highlighting the extent to which the Bush policies were wasteful “If you want to give the policies of the last decade another try, then you should vote for Mr. Romney,” Obama said.

The President then laid out his own agenda, saying that

I believe we need a plan for better education and training and for energy independence, rebuilding our infrastructure, for a tax code that creates jobs in America and pays down our debt in a way that’s balanced. I have that plan, they don’t. And if you agree with me, if you believe this economy grows best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules, then I ask you to stand with me for a second term as president.

Obama sounded like his old “post-partisan self” when a promise to reach across the aisle and work with Republicans — but it came at the end, and he made clear that this time around he wasn’t going to act as there was a point where they could meet in the middle. “I’m convinced that there are actually a lot of Republicans out there who may not agree with every one of my policies but who still believe in a balanced, responsible approach to economic growth and who remember the lessons of our history, and who don’t like the direction their leaders are taking them,” he said.

President Obama’s full remarks are here.

  • ballsnow

    If GW Bush’s policies were so bad, why did Obama keep so many of them in place after he was elected? Obama said numerous times, that he talked to Bush daily and liked Bush’s policies.

    • WhutHeSaid

      That’s pretty nutty. Why would Republicans whine, snivel, and stamp their feet so much if Obama’s policies were the same as GW? Oh…there IS that racial thing – almost forgot.

      • DurdyDawg

        At least (up to now) we didn’t have a bunch of ‘obozos’ infiltrating our forum.. (I’m gonna miss that guy!)..

    • rustingdreams

      You’re confused! Obama is trying to solve our problems by both cutting spending and increasing revenues by raising taxes on the wealthy (a balanced approach) along with investing in areas that will create jobs for the middle class. Listen to the speach he gave today. It lays his plans out in detail. Personally, it made a lot of sense to me.

      • what5 about a balanced approach that taxes the 48 % who pay NO TAXES , haven’t a clue on econmics like you and vote for this Bozo who is destroying the American economy because he Hates this Country …what was it his mentor said God Damn America

        • johninPCFL

          Meh, the 48% pay SS and Medicare plus local property and sales taxes. The pay of the very wealthy increased by 300+%, the rest of the nation by 1%, so it seems like the wealthy have a good reason to pay a little more to preserve the status quo. After all, we DO have the best government money can buy.

          Or, to put it in a Biblical perspective, from those to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48.) Maybe you disagree with God?

        • WhutHeSaid

          By God, you must have an asbestos tongue — otherwise, it would have burst aflame by now.

          NOBODY in this country pays ‘no taxes’. That’s a bald-faced lie. The difference is that Republican zealots want BILLIONAIRES to avoid taxes (as if they don’t do that already), yet use those in poverty as an excuse for it. How much of a nitwit do you have to be to advocate many hundreds of billions in tax cuts for billionaires and big oil (paying the lowest taxes in 60 years) while squealing like a stuck pig over school lunches for poor children?

        • joyscarbo

          Just because your dumb ass keeps saying it doesn’t make it any more true, Mike. There are soooooo many other neo-conservative, wingnut, racist, republican websites, why don’t you go there?

    • Now I know that a SNOWBALL LIE MR ballsnow and U said if Bush was so bad.
      There no if and or but about that It’s the TRUE…He lie to stop a war for greed only.
      Never look of the live lost your son daughter husband wife lost for greed.
      Plus he was force to keep the tax cut in place of paying for USA debt, but the delay cause USA to lose it A rating..

  • Ball Snow You Need To Stop Lying The Do Nothing Congress Block Him For Getting Rid Of The Trickle Down Bullsh*t!! Where The Hell You Been In The Last3 1/2 Years!! He Only Extended Them To Help The American People!! First Time They Was Going To Shut Down The Whole Government Second Time They Was Going To Let The Unemployment Money Run Out So Stop Lying !!! Romney Loves To Lie A Lot Also Matter A Fact All The American Taliban Members Are Just A Bunch Of Flip Flopping LIARS!!!

  • tru4you5

    AS an american citizen I am now 83yrs old & I say this is the President who will help us to never look back.

  • johninPCFL

    This recession is tough. The Ford recession lasted all the way through the Carter presidency and three years into the Reagan presidency, even after Reagan began raising taxes and spent $600B per year in deficit. The Reagan and GHWB recovery added $5T to the national debt.

    So, after $3.5T added to the national debt, Reagan’s presidency ended. GHWB then tried to raise taxes to pay for Reagan’s spending but still added another $1.5T to the national debt and was voted out. But raising those tax levels allowed Clinton to only add $1T to the national debt over eight years.

    GWB cut taxes and started adding $1T per year to the debt. Wouldn’t you like to change THOSE policies?

  • riobob111

    President Bush was Cheney’s puppet and allowed this terrible recession.
    Bush was a very bad president and Cheney a very powerful and corrupt vice.
    It will take years of powerful corporations to be controlled and keep America working
    We need to take back our country and eliminate coruption. Obama can do it with a better Congress.

  • karinursula

    That is the keyword. A better Congress. A Congress not like this, who vowed 4 years ago to bring this President down, and not giving a damn that they bringing us down, the 99 %

    • Yup this Republican Congress is causing a lot of mess in the economy , that’s a wake up call for all not to vote Republicans . I used to vote for Republican but I changed my mind when they made this country fall apart .

      • U are right Mr Philipp Santos American is better after Bush. But would be out of the hole more Bush cause if the GOP would have pass just one job bill.
        This President could and would have done more if not for the No NO NO No NO Congress. And I can’t understand why they are attacking Woman Student
        Education Healthcare Funding Vet Teacher Police Fireman Senior Hispanic
        Black & Gays oppposing equal pay. They get away in calling our student slut. They are like a man who blow up his house to get rid of a fly.
        And I never seen so much HATE

        • u are so perfectly right!!! we need to use our votes to send the republicans packing!

      • I can only say thank you Philipp… muchas gracias

  • TheOldNorthChurch

    Two Great Americans

    John Kennedy –
    The scarlet thread running through the thoughts and actions of people all over the world is the delegation of great problems to the all-absorbing leviathan – the state. … Every time that we try to lift a problem to the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of the people.

    Thomas Jefferson –
    I place economy among the 1st and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debt we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.

    We have reached the danger point feared by both of these great American Presidents.

    This current President’s message only lays out a direction to go down the slippery slope at a greater pace.

    Stop welfare in the tax code both corporate and personal tax payers. Cut Government spending back to inflation adjusted and population adjusted levels of 1999. Stop being the worlds policemen and policewomen. Put Medicare and Medicaid on a sustainable path that can do what it was intended for. Stabilize Social Security and stop lying to the American people. Yes raise taxes raise them on all and every American and pay-off our National Debt. Get our country back to a strong financial position beholding to know one.

    That should be the message any responsible member of government.

    The Founding Fathers and Leaders that followed have warned us repeatedly. They knew a government couldn’t control all the aspects of its citizen’s lives without controlling those very citizens. They designed a government to keep us free give us the choice to make our own decisions requiring us to take individual responsibility. They knew when a government sets out to control all outcomes in life it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.

    Did we lose this lesson or did we choose to no longer teach it to no longer believe in it?

    Today our government has crossed over a great divide. How did we allow this? When did we lose our faith in the idea – that government was beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power – do we not believe in our capacity for self-government or do we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

    America – time is not on our side. Today you and I must choose between up or down. Up to the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the depths of totalitarianism. We do not stand alone, only a handful of our countrymen, a mere twenty in every hundred, believe that this government designed by this administration has their consent to continue to govern their lives.

    So my friends we have come to a “Time for Choosing”.

    This year, with our every action, every word, every breath, and every heartbeat, has but a single resolve, and that is freedom – freedom made orderly for this nation by our constitutional government; freedom under a government limited by laws of man and of man’s God; freedom – balanced so that liberty lacking order will not lead to Tyranny nor the rule of the mob.

    Abraham Lincoln said this of his Party: “It is composed of strained, discordant, and even hostile elements”. Yet all of these elements agreed on one paramount objective end slavery” – today let us agree on one equally important objective: To arrest the progress of Tyranny and destruction of the Greatest Country ever to exist. We must end Tyranny and place it on the course of ultimate extinction. Reverse our course straight back to freedom straight back to liberty leading us to prosperity.

    Today, as then, the task of preserving and saving freedom at home and safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny are equally great. Today like then these are not forces from abroad, but from within. This task is great enough to challenge all our resources all of our resolve. Anyone who joins us in all sincerity, we must welcome. And let our allegiances, so focused and so dedicated, not be made fuzzy and futile by unthinking and stupid labels.

    “By renewing our commitment to the original values of the American Revolution and to the principles of “We the People,” we can best preserve our liberty and expand the progress of freedom in the world, which is the purpose for which America was founded.”

    “They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

    “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail….” – Ronald Reagan

    I say to President Reagan and all those who loved him; we will not fail.

    The time for talking to each other is over. “In every generation, we are called to decide whether the sun is raising or setting on America. We must keep refreshing the tree of liberty with the spirit of rebellion.” We must answer the call issued to us by patriots like Kennedy, Jefferson and Ronald Reagan, and we must keep the revolution alive.

    My Country, ’tis Of Thee, sweet Land Of Liberty, let Freedom Ring.

    • joyscarbo

      Nice sermon, Church….but your party’s math just doesn’t make any sense. Reagan taxed and spent A LOT. He was also responsible for creating many social ills- the homeless, more poverty. He slashed public health spending which is why we have antibiotic TB today. He was a bad actor who knew how to read a teleprompter. Nothing he said was of from his intellect. He was a C student in economics who was only themouthpiece for a corrupt adminsitration. You make the man out to be a saint. He wasn’t and no man is.

      • TheOldNorthChurch

        Your sentiments are not held my the majority of American’s. What Reagan did was take America out of the worst economic downturn since the “Great Depression” and begin an economic expansion that lasted for twenty years. Had Kennedy continued in office he was headed in a similar direction with similar policies. America is a free country who affords achievement through self-responsibility and initiative.

        Unfortunately, what Bush-Obama have done is taken the country in the reverse direction. Both are failures as leaders.

        • joyscarbo

          I lived through those years as well. 2007 is the closest our nation has come to The Great Depression- not back in 1980. Reagan spent and taxed as much as any Dem. I, personally, don’t think of Reagan as a “great” president. He was a figurehead, not some great political intellect. He’s an actor from many “B” movies. Sorry if you don’t care for the reality of it…but it’s truth. Eisenhower helped to lift our country. He put our tax dollars into the infrastructure and lifted our economy. Bill Clinton was a great president. I don’t judge a leader by the personal mistakes he makes that really only concern him, his wife and his God.
          Obama could do more for our country if we didn’t have the neo-conservatives blocking every avenue of positive change. I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit by and watch these right wingnuts take our country and rob the middle and working class and poor.

          • TheOldNorthChurch

            This President is an Amateur. He had control of the entire Federal Government for two years and accomplished little. In a few weeks we will see if his “biggest accomplishment” is even Constitutional. He has no other accomplishments and he has no great political intellect.

            He is allowing the USA to go down the pathway of mediocrity do to his lack of talent and ill conceived message. Hillary should have been the Democrat nominee.

            Since 2007 we have dropped from and annual 146,047 million average working American to the last twelve months average of 141,072 million. As you guest I am not a Big Government or Big Business fan. Let them control the system like they do now and this is where will will remain. Roads and bridges are the buggy whips of this century. To get back to the employment level of 2007 we now need to reach 153,000 million jobs. It will not be done with Big Government or Big Business, just as it has never been achieved in our or any other country”s history. Get the “Bigs” out of the way and we will recover.

  • thigpeav

    The President delivered an Economic speech that moved Americans. President Obama’s plan will help Americans in the short-term and long-term. Today 1 million jobs can be created now if the Republican Congress will act and sign the bill. The Republican strategy is “say no to anything that will make the President and his Administration look good”!! This way, the people will have no choice but to vote him out of office. In the meantime; Americans are suffering from the Republican political agenda and rhetoric. Since the Republicans took over the House and Senate; Americans have paid the price. Now it’s time for the Democrats to win back the House and Senate, because Americans want to move this country forward.

  • joyscarbo

    SIMPLE TRUTH: IF WE DO NOT LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES, WE ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT THEM!!
    The “voodoo, trickle-down and make the wealthier even more rich” economics DON’T WORK!!!!!
    The wealthy can’t and won’t do anything and don’t give a good godamn about the struggling middle class or poor. They won’t help you keep yo from losing your house. They own and operate businesses that have robbed people of their pensions, paid less and less for their workers benefits such as healthcare, cut wages and put MILLIONS of citizens out of work. We have delapodated highways, bridges, schools and other public works. We, the REAL people of the US- not some bloated billionaire, not some huge corporation- IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Do not fall for this BS coming from the neo-conservative repubs!

  • This whole budget crisis is just political fakery.
    Fact: The “national debt” == total money spent by Government minus total taxes collected.
    Fact: Money supply == total money spent by Government minus total taxes collected.
    Surprise: Money supply == national debt.
    Fact: There is no legal US money supply except that created and spent by the Federal Government.
    Question: Where would the Chinese get legal US dollars to lend to us?
    What we actually borrow from the Chinese is goods and services, which gives them a lien on goods and services which we will produce in the future. We will have to share our goodies with them.
    Fact: Every dollar reduction in the “federal debt” reduces the money supply in the civilian economy by one dollar. Do you find that there Is too much money in circulation​? Are you receiving more that you would like? Of course not.
    What we have in this country now is a crisis in liquidity – – too few dollars in circulation per person. Federal debt reduction, no matter how implemented, will make this worse.
    Remember: Under the current fiat currency system, the Federal Government can create — from nothing – – – all the money it needs to pay its bills, including Chinese, Medicare and Social Security. They don’t even have to print it or mint it – – – it’s just a data entry in the FED’s books. It comes from the same magical source that baseball scoreboard numbers come from. The Government neither has nor does not have money; it creates money.

    • Absolutely correct John!
      The United States is Monetarily Sovereign. This happened when we went off the gold standard in 1971. The U.S. actually creates money by paying its bills! Therefore, no amount of debt is unsustainable by the US government.
      In actuality, the government could eliminate all income tax, FICA tax, pay for universal healthcare and still pay off all its debt with the click of a button!

  • OBAMA FOR ANOTHER TERM I SAY, HE HAS A JOB TO DO AND SHOULD BE ALLOW TO COMPLETE HIS JOB.

  • KEEPING IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: THIS ELECTION RESULT IN ARIZONA REFLECTS-WE CAN NEVER ALLOW THIS AGAIN IN AMERICA! The historical facts are in regarding what happened to our American economy as result of the eight years of Bush the presidency and the Republican policies! The net median worth of Middle Class American families lost nearly 40% after adjusting for inflation! “The drop, much steeper than previous Fed quarterly reports have suggested, underscores the severity of the 2007-09 recession that decimated the housing market and resulted in massive layoffs that slashed people’s incomes.” THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH IS: And if anyone has forgotten, this recession was the direct result of Republican created policies such as: Starting two Wars: Giving Tax breaks that gave obscene benefits for Billionaires and Millionaires; providing bailouts of hundreds in Billions of tax payer funds to the Wall Street Bankers that nearly created a depression due their greedy money gambling policies; Creating a Medicare Drug bill that gave Billions in profits to the Pharmaceutical companies: Continue providing tax paid subsides to Oil companies that were making billions in profits; Continue providing tax break subsides to large corporations to export tens of thousands of American jobs (unemployed Americans) to China to create cheap labor jobs there to make billions in profits; AND ABSOLUTELY PAID FOR NONE OF IT! to create a such horrendous deficit and put it on the backs of future young Americans! The SECOND INCONVENIENT TRUTH IS: American voters need to assess more about these financial condition changes, the new Fed data supports frequent objective statement that the terrible economic situation was INHERITED when this President took office in 2009. At the same time, the slow and halting recovery since mid-2009, when the recession officially ended, has been influenced by republican obstructionists with record filibusters in the Senate to make sure NO new American jobs are created and how the eight years after Bush left the presidency and the Republican policies who are literally lying about their past role to leave this President vulnerable so they can to win the elections in November to re-continue the their same dangerous Federal Policies that caused a near economic depression!

  • Protect the middle class, and eliminate poverty. It’s time for the wealthy to pay their FAIR share.

  • dan

    Romney is a draftdodging ,flip fopping liar, but you still have 40% of the voters tea baggers and fellow travlers who would like to believe he will be any different than Bush. ‘lol”.If you want to see this country set back 80 years of progress, by all means vote republican and that is exactly what you will get.When you find yourselves homeless and unemployed it will dawn on you, that the republican party is owned by wall street.But then it will be too late this country will not survive another four years of unslaught by wall street and their republican lackeys.’THE BALL GAME WILL BE OVER.”

  • If congress would stop fighting ALL ideas of this President, maybe we could get started fixing the economy. The present congress vowed to bring down Obama and they are surely giving this mission their best. Our government should try working together for the good of the people again, as is the original purpose of the Constitution.

  • Dan, u seem to know these folks too well. I do hope that Democrats, Independents and reasonable Republicans who have ears can hear u loud and clear….

  • Wow Mr Dan, u seem to know these guys too well. I just hope & pray that Democrats, Independents and reasonable Republicans can hear you loud & clear….

  • Wow!! u seem to know these folks too well. I only hope & pray that my Democratic colleagues & Independent as well as resonable Republicans can hear you loud & clear.

  • Its a shame how we as Americans forget too quickly or use sentiments in placing people in positions of authority as if we are in the third world. I thought we judge folks by ideas, policies and innovations, I thought we are supposed to be competing with the likes of China in all ramifications rather than living in the 19th century…. well, my little contribution is; if we need to move this nation forward like the democratic slogan say, we must go out enmass and put wall street & Romney behind us… Obama deserves to finish what he has started; he deserves a 2nd term.

  • aristokay

    As an American immigrant in my mid-30s with beautiful family and a successful career struggling to live the American dream, I believed President Obama is the right candidate president to be reelected to continue fighting for the middle class families so that we will be able to continue thriving to raise and educate our children and ground children so they will have a better future and be the driving force to continue build our American economy stronger than ever before. I believed, “We”, the American people mostly we the middle class families should go to the pools in November and Vote for President Obama so he will continue bring the Changes this economy needed and bring “Our” America back on track like former President Bill Clinton did on our country’s historic surplus during his administration. We can not afford to go back to the Bush’s Era at all. We should move forward with the president that is already on the road to redeem our country from this current staggering economic crisis. The economy is improving right now, so, let us move forward on supporting president Obama’s economic plans. WE CAN DO THINGS TOGETHER AND WE WILL SUCCEED. WE ALL FELLED TOGETHER, AND LET US ALL RISE TOGETHER WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA.

  • CharlesMUGIMA

    Mr President, I believe with most of your policies, but Do not be a partaker of evils in this country
    eg unscientifical issues like same sex marrieges. You Claim to be a scientist, Then please tell us how the AMERICANS will move forward without bringing forth children, and how same sex couples can reproduce for continuity of American population which is the future of this Great Nation in the whole world…..

    If misguided, Then GENTLEMEN can change their minds as easy as they change policies for a BETTER UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.