Monday, September 19, 2011

We can’t just cut our way out of this hole

Obama spoke today about his number one priority since the Republicans told him it was his number one priority, deficit reduction.

IF THIS DOESN’T CONVINCE THE REPUBLICANS TO PASS THE JOBS ACT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL: “They should pass it right away. I’m ready to sign a bill. I’ve got the pens all ready.” Say, if you’re serious about deficit reduction, maybe cut down on the number of pens you use just to sign your name.

AND I COULD “SAVE” A LOT OF MONEY IF I STOPPED BUYING ALL THAT COCAINE AND ALL THOSE MAGIC BEANS: “And we save an additional $1 trillion as we end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

HE WAS FOR LEAVING PEOPLE AT THE MERCY OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT: “Because while we do need to reduce health care costs, I’m not going to allow that to be an excuse for turning Medicare into a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.”

SOME OF HIS BUREAUCRATS CAN FIND AS MANY AS SEVEN DIMES OF WASTE AND INEFFICIENCY EVERY HOUR THEY SPEND SCOURING THE BUDGET: “So this is how we can reduce spending: by scouring the budget for every dime of waste and inefficiency”.

THE FIRST RULE WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A HOLE... “We can’t just cut our way out of this hole. It’s going to take a balanced approach.”

IT SHOULD GIVE IT TO THOSE WHICH GIVE THE LARGEST CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS: “Our tax code shouldn’t give an advantage to companies with the best-connected lobbyists.”

NOTE THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS ARE “FAMILIES” BUT THE MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES ARE ALONE. POOR LONELY MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES. “And any reform should follow another simple principle: Middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires.”

His strongest bit of rhetoric attacks the Republicans’ no-tax pledges as support for unfairness in that every billionaire evidently pays less than every secretary. Putting aside whether that’s a caricature of our, yes, ridiculously uneven tax code, this isn’t even a full-throated defense of progressive taxation. Hell, it could be a defense of the flat tax.
It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million. Anybody who says we can’t change the tax code to correct that, anyone who has signed some pledge to protect every single tax loophole so long as they live, they should be called out. They should have to defend that unfairness -- explain why somebody who's making $50 million a year in the financial markets should be paying 15 percent on their taxes, when a teacher making $50,000 a year is paying more than that -- paying a higher rate. They ought to have to answer for it. And if they’re pledged to keep that kind of unfairness in place, they should remember, the last time I checked the only pledge that really matters is the pledge we take to uphold the Constitution.
Which explains why he’s okay with having broken every single one of his campaign promises, I guess.

HOWEVER, TAKING OUT A FEW HEDGE FUND MANAGERS WITH PREDATOR DRONES WOULD JUST BE FUCKING COOL: “I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare.”

WHAT, NOBODY? “Nobody wants to punish success in America.” Actually, let’s test that proposition.

WHAT BOTH PARTIES AGREE: “Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount -- by $4 trillion.” Wow, they both agree on the same arbitrary number? It’s almost the same as only having one political party.

WE CAN’T AFFORD TO DO WHAT NOW? “Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare. We can’t afford to do both.” So if we raise Medicare fees we can’t also ask the rich to pay their fair share in taxes, is that what you’re saying? You know that makes no sense, right? “Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both.” Seriously, did no one check this speech for logic?


WHO YOU CALLING ORDINARY? “I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans.”

THE V WORD! HE USED THE V WORD! “And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share.” So we can afford to do both those things after all?

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