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Obama Debt Speech George Washington University April, 13 2011

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Kristina
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« on: April 13, 2011, 11:45:47 pm »

Transcript: Obama Debt Speech George Washington University April, 13 2011



The George Washington University
Washington, DC
April 13, 2011


Good afternoon.  It’s great to be back at GW.  I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you.  I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class.  You’re welcome.

Of course, what we’ve been debating here in Washington for the last few weeks will affect your lives in ways that are potentially profound.  This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending.  It’s about the kind of future we want.  It’s about the kind of country we believe in.  And that’s what I want to talk about today.

From our first days as a nation, we have put our faith in free markets and free enterprise as the engine of America’s wealth and prosperity.  More than citizens of any other country, we are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government.

But there has always been another thread running throughout our history – a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation.  We believe, in the words of our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves.  And so we’ve built a strong military to keep us secure, and public schools and universities to educate our citizens.  We’ve laid down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce.  We’ve supported the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives, unleashed repeated technological revolutions, and led to countless new jobs and entire industries.  Each of us has benefitted from these investments, and we are a more prosperous country as a result.

Part of this American belief that we are all connected also expresses itself in a conviction that each one of us deserves some basic measure of security.  We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff, may strike any one of us.  “There but for the grace of God go I,” we say to ourselves, and so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities.  We are a better country because of these commitments.  I’ll go further – we would not be a great country without those commitments.

For much of the last century, our nation found a way to afford these investments and priorities with the taxes paid by its citizens.  As a country that values fairness, wealthier individuals have traditionally born a greater share of this burden than the middle class or those less fortunate.  This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well – we rightly celebrate their success.  Rather, it is a basic reflection of our belief that those who have benefitted most from our way of life can afford to give a bit more back.  Moreover, this belief has not hindered the success of those at the top of the income scale, who continue to do better and better with each passing year.

Now, at certain times – particularly during periods of war or recession – our nation has had to borrow money to pay for some of our priorities.  And as most families understand, a little credit card debt isn’t going to hurt if it’s temporary.

But as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon.  They knew that eventually, the Baby Boom generation would retire, which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like Medicare, Social Security, and possibly Medicaid.  Like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college years, America had to start borrowing less and saving more to prepare for the retirement of an entire generation.

To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit.  They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush and President Clinton; by Democratic Congresses and a Republican Congress.  All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice, but they largely protected the middle class, our commitments to seniors, and key investments in our future.

As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus.  America was actually on track to becoming completely debt-free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed.  We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program – but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending.  Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts – tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.

To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our national checkbook, consider this:  in the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.

Of course, that’s not what happened.  And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place.  When I took office, our projected deficit was more than $1 trillion.  On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more.  In this case, we took a series of emergency steps that saved millions of jobs, kept credit flowing, and provided working families extra money in their pockets.  It was the right thing to do, but these steps were expensive, and added to our deficits in the short term.

So that’s how our fiscal challenge was created.  This is how we got here.  And now that our economic recovery is gaining strength, Democrats and Republicans must come together and restore the fiscal responsibility that served us so well in the 1990s.  We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt.  And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments [spending/taxes] we need to grow, create jobs, and win the future.

Now, before I get into how we can achieve this goal, some of you might be wondering, “Why is this so important?  Why does this matter to me?”
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Kristina
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2011, 11:46:45 pm »

Here’s why.  Even after our economy recovers, our government will still be on track to spend more money than it takes in throughout this decade and beyond.  That means we’ll have to keep borrowing more from countries like China.  And that means more of your tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on all the loans we keep taking out.  By the end of this decade, the interest we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion.  Just the interest payments.

Then, as the Baby Boomers start to retire and health care costs continue to rise, the situation will get even worse.  By 2025, the amount of taxes we currently pay will only be enough to finance our health care programs, Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt.  That’s it.  Every other national priority – education, transportation, even national security – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.

Ultimately, all this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy.  It will prevent us from making the investments we need to win the future.  We won’t be able to afford good schools, new research, or the repair of roads and bridges – all the things that will create new jobs and businesses here in America.  Businesses will be less likely to invest and open up shop in a country that seems unwilling or unable to balance its books.  And if our creditors start worrying that we may be unable to pay back our debts, it could drive up interest rates for everyone who borrows money – making it harder for businesses to expand and hire, or families to take out a mortgage.

The good news is, this doesn’t have to be our future.  This doesn’t have to be the country we leave to our children.  We can solve this problem.  We came together as Democrats and Republicans to meet this challenge before, and we can do it again.

But that starts by being honest about what’s causing our deficit.  You see, most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but they like the stuff it buys.  Most of us, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we should have a strong military and a strong defense.  Most Americans believe we should invest in education and medical research.  Most Americans think we should protect commitments like Social Security and Medicare.  And without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political skills tell me that almost no one believes they should be paying higher taxes.

Because all this spending is popular with both Republicans and Democrats alike, and because nobody wants to pay higher taxes, politicians are often eager to feed the impression that solving the problem is just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse –that tackling the deficit issue won’t require tough choices.  Or they suggest that we can somehow close our entire deficit by eliminating things like foreign aid, even though foreign aid makes up about 1% of our entire budget.

So here’s the truth.  Around two-thirds of our budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and national security.  Programs like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and tax credits for working families take up another 20%.  What’s left, after interest on the debt, is just 12 percent for everything else. That’s 12 percent for all of our other national priorities like education and clean energy; medical research and transportation; food safety and keeping our air and water clean.
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 11:47:45 pm »

Up until now, the cuts proposed by a lot of folks in Washington have focused almost exclusively on that 12%.  But cuts to that 12% alone won’t solve the problem.  So any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to put everything on the table, and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget.  A serious plan doesn’t require us to balance our budget overnight – in fact, economists think that with the economy just starting to grow again, we will need a phased-in approach – but it does require tough decisions and support from leaders in both parties.  And above all, it will require us to choose a vision of the America we want to see five and ten and twenty years down the road.

One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates.  It’s a plan that aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years, and one that addresses the challenge of Medicare and Medicaid in the years after that.

Those are both worthy goals for us to achieve.  But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history.

A 70% cut to clean energy.  A 25% cut in education.  A 30% cut in transportation.  Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year.  That’s what they’re proposing.  These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget.  These aren’t the kind of cuts that Republicans and Democrats on the Fiscal Commission proposed.  These are the kind of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America we believe in.  And they paint a vision of our future that’s deeply pessimistic.

It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them.  If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them.  Go to China and you’ll see businesses opening research labs and solar facilities.  South Korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science.  Brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run half their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but biofuels.  And yet, we are presented with a vision that says the United States of America – the greatest nation on Earth – can’t afford any of this.

It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors.  It says that ten years from now, if you’re a 65 year old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today.  It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher.  And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy insurance, tough luck – you’re on your own.  Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.

This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit.  And who are those 50 million Americans?  Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid.  Many are poor children.  Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome.  Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care.  These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.

Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.  Think about it.  In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined.  The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each.  And that’s who needs to pay less taxes?  They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs?   That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.
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« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 11:48:21 pm »

The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.  As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan.  There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.  There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill.  And this is not a vision of the America I know.

The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism.  We take responsibility for ourselves and each other; for the country we want and the future we share.  We are the nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness.  We sent a generation to college on the GI bill and saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare.  We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.

This is who we are.  This is the America I know.  We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit investments in our people and our country.  To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms.  We will all need to make sacrifices.  But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in.  And as long as I’m President, we won’t.

Today, I’m proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years.  It’s an approach that borrows from the recommendations of the bipartisan Fiscal Commission I appointed last year, and builds on the roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction I already proposed in my 2012 budget.  It’s an approach that puts every kind of spending on the table, but one that protects the middle-class, our promise to seniors, and our investments in the future.

The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week – a step that will save us about $750 billion over twelve years.  We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs I care about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs.  We’ll invest in medical research and clean energy technology.  We’ll invest in new roads and airports and broadband access.  We will invest in education and job training.  We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.

The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget.  As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world.  But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.

Just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense.   Over the last two years, Secretary Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending.  I believe we can do that again.  We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world.  I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete.
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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 11:48:43 pm »

The third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget.  Here, the difference with the House Republican plan could not be clearer:  their plan lowers the government’s health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead.  Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.

Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion.  My approach would build on these reforms.  We will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments.  We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market.  We will work with governors of both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability from Medicaid.  We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results.  And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.

Now, we believe the reforms we’ve proposed to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023, and an additional one trillion dollars in the decade after that.  And if we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.

But let me be absolutely clear:  I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society.  I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs.  I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves.  We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.

That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security.  While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older.  As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations.  But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.

The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code.  In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans.  But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society.  And I refuse to renew them again.

Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions.  And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, like homeownership or charitable giving, we cannot ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 while doing nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize.
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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 11:51:13 pm »

My budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2% of Americans – a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over ten years.  But to reduce the deficit, I believe we should go further.  That’s why I’m calling on Congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple – so that the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.  I believe reform should protect the middle class, promote economic growth, and build on the Fiscal Commission’s model of reducing tax expenditures so that there is enough savings to both lower rates and lower the deficit.  And as I called for in the State of the Union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well, to make our businesses and our economy more competitive.

This is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next twelve years.  It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget.  It will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. It calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in spending from the tax code.  And it achieves these goals while protecting the middle class, our commitment to seniors, and our investments in the future.

In the coming years, if the recovery speeds up and our economy grows faster than our current projections, we can make even greater progress than I have pledged here.  But just to hold Washington – and me – accountable and make sure that the debt burden continues to decline, my plan includes a debt failsafe.  If, by 2014, our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy – or if Congress has failed to act – my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code.  That should be an incentive for us to act boldly now, instead of kicking our problems further down the road.

So this is our vision for America – a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and rising opportunity for our children.

Of course, there will be those who disagree with my approach.  Some will argue we shouldn’t even consider raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans.  It’s just an article of faith for them.  I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more.  I don’t need another tax cut.  Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut.  Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare.  Or by cutting kids from Head Start.  Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without.  That some of you wouldn’t be here without.  And I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me.  They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them.  Washington just hasn’t asked them to.

Others will say that we shouldn’t even talk about cutting spending until the economy is fully recovered.  I’m sympathetic to this view, which is one of the reasons I supported the payroll tax cuts we passed in December.  It’s also why we have to use a scalpel and not a machete to reduce the deficit – so that we can keep making the investments that create jobs.  But doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option.  Our debt has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don’t begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order.

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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 11:51:38 pm »

Finally, there are those who believe we shouldn't make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, out of fear that any talk of change to these programs will immediately usher in the sort of steps that the House Republicans have proposed. And I understand those fears. But I guarantee that if we don't make any changes at all, we won't be able to keep our commitment to a retiring generation that will live longer and will face higher health care costs than those who came before.

Indeed, to those in my own party, I say that if we truly believe in a progressive vision of our society, we have an obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments. If we believe the government can make a difference in people's lives, we have the obligation to prove that it works -– by making government smarter, and leaner and more effective.

Of course, there are those who simply say there's no way we can come together at all and agree on a solution to this challenge. They'll say the politics of this city are just too broken; the choices are just too hard; the parties are just too far apart. And after a few years on this job, I have some sympathy for this view. (Laughter.)

But I also know that we've come together before and met big challenges. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill came together to save Social Security for future generations. The first President Bush and a Democratic Congress came together to reduce the deficit. President Clinton and a Republican Congress battled each other ferociously, disagreed on just about everything, but they still found a way to balance the budget. And in the last few months, both parties have come together to pass historic tax relief and spending cuts.
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 11:52:41 pm »

And I know there are Republicans and Democrats in Congress who want to see a balanced approach to deficit reduction. And even those Republicans I disagree with most strongly I believe are sincere about wanting to do right by their country. We may disagree on our visions, but I truly believe they want to do the right thing.
So I believe we can, and must, come together again. This morning, I met with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to discuss the approach that I laid out today. And in early May, the Vice President will begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties with the aim of reaching a final agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit and get it done by the end of June.

I don't expect the details in any final agreement to look exactly like the approach I laid out today. This a democracy; that's not how things work. I'm eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum. And though I'm sure the criticism of what I've said here today will be fierce in some quarters, and my critique of the House Republican approach has been strong, Americans deserve and will demand that we all make an effort to bridge our differences and find common ground.

This larger debate that we're having -- this larger debate about the size and the role of government -- it has been with us since our founding days. And during moments of great challenge and change, like the one that we're living through now, the debate gets sharper and it gets more vigorous. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing. As a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates that we can have.

But no matter what we argue, no matter where we stand, we've always held certain beliefs as Americans. We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can't just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made these liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. And we have to think about what's required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.

This sense of responsibility -- to each other and to our country -- this isn't a partisan feeling. It isn't a Democratic or a Republican idea. It's patriotism.

The other day I received a letter from a man in Florida. He started off by telling me he didn't vote for me and he hasn't always agreed with me. But even though he's worried about our economy and the state of our politics -- here's what he said -- he said, "I still believe. I believe in that great country that my grandfather told me about. I believe that somewhere lost in this quagmire of petty bickering on every news station, the 'American Dream' is still alive…We need to use our dollars here rebuilding, refurbishing and restoring all that our ancestors struggled to create and maintain… We as a people must do this together, no matter the color of the state one comes from or the side of the aisle one might sit on."

"I still believe." I still believe as well. And I know that if we can come together and uphold our responsibilities to one another and to this larger enterprise that is America, we will keep the dream of our founding alive -- in our time; and we will pass it on to our children. We will pass on to our children a country that we believe in.

Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/us/politics/14obama-text.html?pagewanted=8&_r=1
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2011, 11:54:24 pm »

Michael McAuliff
Michael McAuliff mike.mcauliff@huffingtonpost.com Become a
Obama's Fiscal Plan Appeases House Liberals, Sours Republicans


First Posted: 04/13/11 08:01 PM ET Updated: 04/13/11 08:53 PM ET



WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama succeeded in uniting his party and reminding Republicans who lives in the White House with his first major fiscal policy speech Wednesday—a step forward on an issue already setting off a partisan firestorm on Capitol Hill.

Obama outlined a plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years and said doing so will require a mix of tax hikes, drastic spending cuts and entitlement reforms. House Democrats hailed the president’s tough talk on refusing to extend tax cuts for wealthy, and several concurred that his tone constituted a veto threat in the event Republicans fight to preserve the Bush-era cuts.

“He drew a line in the sand today,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. “I hope [Republicans] understand their ability to walk away from negotiations and say they won may have just ended.”

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said he was “pleasantly reassured” by Obama’s fiscal plan.

“The president’s remarks were similar to ones I already made: To whom much is given, much is required,” said Johnson. “He put the onus where it belongs in terms of long-term debt.”

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) lauded Obama’s speech as “a defining moment for the principles and values of the two parties” and said it served as an opening salvo for Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign.

Asked if he had concerns about Obama conceding too much to Republicans in his efforts to cut spending, Larson said the president “has a more difficult job” than Democratic lawmakers. But he acknowledged some are frustrated with Obama’s insistence on cutting deals with the GOP.


“Let’s be honest: It’s annoying to people, especially Democrats, when he’s … constantly reaching out to the other side,” Larson said. “He’s bound and determined [to do so]. Is that frustrating to Democrats? You betcha. But it’s part of the process.”

Other Democrats said their more liberal colleagues aren’t helping the party by bashing Obama for not embracing more progressive positions, whether it be in his fiscal policy or other major issues.

“Some on the left don’t want to take any responsibility for the political dynamic we have to live with for the next two years,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “It must be very special to be in that special corner.”

The administration’s efforts to play nice with Republicans were on full display after Obama’s speech Wednesday when, shortly after the president slammed the House GOP budget plan put forward by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), a White House official “rushed to the back of the room to shake Ryan’s hand,” according to pool reports.

And Obama also announced Wednesday that he tapped Vice President Joseph Biden to lead bipartisan meetings with Hill leaders in May to try to strike a deal on a deficit reduction plan by the end of June.

Meanwhile, House Republicans trashed the president’s plan as not “serious” and a “non-starter” because it includes taxes, and, by their lights, ignores Social Security.

Not only were they not impressed; several invited to attend the speech griped that Obama had wasted their time.

“I don’t know about my colleagues, but I thought to myself, ‘Did I miss lunch for this?’” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the GOP House conference chairman. “This was not a speech designed to win the future; this was a speech designed for the president to attempt to win re-election."

Ryan said he went expecting an “olive branch” but got something “excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate and hopelessly inadequate.”

“What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; what we heard today was a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief,” Ryan said. “This is very sad and very unfortunate. Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the only concrete proposal was raising taxes. “That’s unacceptable,” he said. “That’s not serious.”

Ryan added that the event amounted to Obama trying to retreat from his own fiscal policy commission's work, led by Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson.

“This wasn’t a plan; this was punting,” he said. “He punted on his budget. He’s now punting to a new commission to come up with smaller savings targets than what he came up with his last commission that he’s disavowed.”
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2011, 11:56:11 pm »

Sam Stein stein@huffingtonpost.com Become a fan of this reporter

Obama Debt Speech: Tax Increases, Medicare Changes Included In President's Plan



WASHINGTON -- In an effort to recast the debate over the nation’s fiscal future, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years. The plan was put together largely from the outline produced by his own deficit commission co-chairs.

The proposal, which comes as House Republicans get set to vote on a budget of their own and a bipartisan group of six Senators chart their own deficit-reduction framework, includes a mixture of tax hikes, drastic spending cuts, reductions in the Pentagon’s budget and smaller entitlement reforms. It would seek to achieve a final balance of three dollars in spending reductions for every dollar generated in additional tax revenue.

"Now that our economic recovery is gaining strength, Democrats and Republicans must come together and restore the fiscal responsibility that served us so well in the 1990s," the president said in a speech at George Washington University. "We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt. And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments we need to grow, create jobs and win the future."

In a nod to the likelihood that a compromise won’t be reached, President Obama also included a “debt fail-safe” trigger, mandating that Congress pass across-the-board spending reductions if the nation’s debt is not on a declining path as a share of the economy by the second half of the decade.

“The exact design of that we would have to work out, obviously,” said a senior administration official, previewing the President’s speech. “I think what is important is the idea. [...] The goal of a fail-safe is actually to give confidence that no matter what happens, a degree of deficit reduction will be met,” the official said.

White House advisers projected the president’s fiscal framework would reduce deficits as a share of the economy to about 2.5 percent of GDP by 2015.

The politics surrounding the proposal appeared almost immediately complicated. Even before the President announced his plan, Congressional Republican leadership, fresh off a White House meeting of their own, hosted a press conference in which they announced a tax hike to be a non-starter in negotiations and re-affirmed their commitment to the budget proposal introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
Story continues below

In his Wednesday speech, Obama took on the Ryan approach in harsh terms, calling it a vision that would see "roads crumble and bridges collapse," young Americans unable to go to college, seniors left uncared for, Medicare ended, and 50 million Americans left without health insurance.

"The fact is," said Obama, "this vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America."

And yet, the president also acknowledged in his speech that not all Democrats are enamored with his approach. Indeed, officials both on and off the Hill, expressed skittishness with many aspects of the administrations plan, chief among them the $1-to-$3 revenue-to-spending cut ratio.

“The three-to-one ratio is the big issue,” said one high-ranking Democratic congressional aide. “It’s to the right of many [Democrats].”

Even members of the President’s own deficit commission were worried that the new blue-print, while demonstrating admirable leadership from the administration, came up a touch short in terms of shared sacrifice. Former SEIU president Andy Stern wrote in an email to The Huffington Post that the plan failed to promote “responsibility for our country's largest corporations to pay their fair share and contribute to deficit reduction.” It also, Stern warned, did not set aside “obvious capital for investment to Win the Future” -- a reference to the presidential motto for job-creation.

The disagreement and debate seemed at odds with the president's actual plan, which stayed closer to broad themes than policy specifics.

According to a fact sheet sent out by the White House, the President would set “a goal” of holding the growth in base of security spending below inflation, which would save $400 billion by 2023. This would be “in addition to the savings generated from ramping-down overseas contingency operations” -- in other words: ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would only help reduce the deficit. But if the fail-safe trigger were to come into play, the administration said that national security spending would not be subjected to the mandatory cuts. The total savings, Stern notes, fall short of those proposed by Rep. Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) Sustainable Defense Task Force report on Pentagon spending.

Under the Obama proposal, non-security discretionary spending would be cut to levels that would save $770 billion by 2023. In addition, there would be cuts to mandatory spending with the goal of achieving $360 billion in savings in that same time frame. The tax system would be simplified and the savings would be used to pay for lower corporate rates. In addition, the income tax rates on the highest earners (families making over $250,000 a year) would revert to pre-George W. Bush rates.

On Social Security, the Obama proposal is most vague, expressing that the retirement program is neither in crisis nor a contributor to the nation’s “near-term deficit problems.” But the president said Social Security should be reformed for long-term results. How it would be changed, the fact sheet doesn’t say, except to note that Obama “supports bipartisan efforts to strengthen Social Security for the long haul.”

On Medicare, the president’s vision is similarly broad. Obama rules out a voucher system as envisioned by Rep. Ryan. The senior administration official who previewed the speech said the president “does not support raising the Medicare retirement age.”

"I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society," Obama said in his speech. "I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs."

Instead, the administration is choosing to build off the legislation passed during Obama's second year in office. His proposal calls for setting “a more ambitious target” to hold down Medicare cost growth and reducing excessive spending on prescription drugs -- one of the few specifics that got cheers from progressive advocates briefed on the plan. In order to get there, the president proposes strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is tasked with finding excessive and unnecessary spending within the system.

This story has been updated to include elements of President Obama's speech. Follow further updates on the live blog below.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 03:05:54 pm »

Either vote for the Constitution Party candidates or Ron Paul who isn't controlled by the fractional-reserve tyrants or just give it up.

Obama is nothing more than a multi-racial mascot for Wall-Street and the Bilder-banksters.

If Americans refuse to see the fractional-reserve debt slavey they are currently living in then they deserve to go to the FEMA Camps.

Shut up Obama, your Presidency is as farcial as you are.
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2011, 12:35:40 am »

Wow.  So Obama gives one of the most progressive speeches by a President since FDR and you are just back to your same old birther/FEMA Camp bull ****.

I have news for you:  the Constitution Party or the Libertarian Party is never going to win crap in this country. You have two choices:  Republican and Democrat. 

BOTH parties get donations from Wall Street. The difference is that the Republicans DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU.  They want to get rid of your Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, get rid of unions, eliminate the minimum wage, send your jobs overseas and get you to pay all the taxes while giving the rich a pass. The Democrats at least stand up for these basic values, the Republicans actively want to screw you over in favor of the rich.

So stop being distracted, get on the right team and actually fight for the workers of this country while we still have a country worth fighting for!  And that includes every other BS Birther/Conspiracy Theorist/Nonsense Spewer on this and every other website.
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2011, 04:13:55 pm »

Right the Democrat Party isn't full of puppets and shills having their strings pulled by the Bilderbergers.    Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

What has Obama done ?   Seiously !!!

Has he stoppped any wars ? NO !!!

Has he ended fractional-reserve banking ?  NO !!

Has he stopped the anti-war effort ?  YES !!!!

Has he helped Black America find more jobs ?  No !!

Has he secured the borders ?  No !!!

Has he done anything for the blue collar class ?  NO !!!!

Has he even proved his eligibility to be President ?  NO !!!

He's a multi-racial Hitler but because liberals are public school educated they have no idea how similar their policies are.

Bush was white and Republican and has done the same thing Obama is doing now.  But hey he's a multi-racial GQ man so his actions mean nothing to uneducated liberal minded audience that spends more time in the clubs and watching American Idol.
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2011, 10:37:06 pm »

Quote
What has Obama done ?   Seiously !!!

Try this on for size:
OBAMA ACCOMPLISHMENTS

July 10, 2010

Apparently, there seems to be a bit of confusion over this issue. I was able to find MANY examples of President Obama's accomplishments (at least 100, in fact) with a few simple clicks on the Internet. I didn't list them all but provided a link at the bottom for you to iew them yourself.

Here goes:

1. Signed an executive order on government contrast waste and spending-http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/economy_in_government_contracting >br>

2. Signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving women equal pay to men-

3. Renewed dialogue with NATO and allies on strategy issues- http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/04/Afghanistan-and-NATO

4. Announced plan to end war in Iraq (and we're on track for it. too!) - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html?_r=1http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/18/general-withdrawal-iraq-track/

5. Provided funding to families of fallen soldiers to defray expenses for them when the body arrives at Dover AFB- http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/pentagon-will-help-families/

6. Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986203.stm

7. Signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is responsible for saving and/or creating 2.1 million jobs- http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx

8. Launched the Recovery.org website to show where your tax dollars are going, giving transparency to government- http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx

9. Making Home Affordable plan- http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/

10. Launched a $15 billion plan to help small businesses- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-to-small-business-owners

11. Investing in education programs to both provide jobs now and for the future- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education

12. Gave the VA $1.4 billion to improve services for veterans programs- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans

13. Signed in law to SChip law to help underprivileged children be covered by health insurance- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans

14. Repealed Bush's restrictions on stem cell research- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/09/obama-administration-stem-cell-funding

15. Ended the stop-loss program which made soldiers serve as many as 4 tours in war- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123741885685978043.html

16. Signed into law the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the way the Pentagon acquires weapons- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapon_Systems_Acquisition_Reform_Act_of_2009

17. Signed into law the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, giving the authority to investigate and prosecute fraud in the lending industry which led to the financial meltdown- http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/obama-signs-hou.html

18. Signed into law the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act to help families on the verge of foreclosure keep their homes- http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/obama-signs-hou.html

19. Started laying out a plan for Mexico-US border security- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Administration-Officials-Announce-US-Mexico-Border-Security-Policy-A-Comprehensive-Response-and-Commitment

20. Announced strategy to deal with international nuclear threat- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-By-President-Barack-Obama-In-Prague-As-Delivered

21. Improved the Freedom of Information Act, giving it more transparency- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Freedom_of_Information_Act

22. Signed into law the Credit Card Accountability. Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, putting the brake on sleazy practices of credit care companies and protecting consumers- http://www.newsunfiltered.com/archives/2010/02/pew_finds_credi.html

23. Endorsed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 which puts the brakes on offshore tax havens- http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26-body-armor_x.htm

24. Helped reverse the DOW from around 8000 when Bush left to the biggest weekly gain in a year on July 9, 2010-http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/nyse/stocks-climb-again-posting-the-biggest-weekly-gain-in-a-year/19548493/

25. Provided a tax cut to 95% American workers- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/12/only-12-of-americans-thin_n_460559.html

26. Cracked down on companies denying their workers sick leave, pay, and insurance and also avoiding paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/business/18workers.html

27. Increased funding for pell grants, providing more low income students with access to college funds- http://www.ourfuture.org/report/2009031325/obama-s-budget-supporting-students-not-banks

28. Signed into law the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, enabling better care for veterans- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Signing-of-the-Veterans-Health-Care-Budget-Reform-and-Transparency-Act

29. Launched an investigation against Anthem Blue Cross over their jacking premiums up by 39%... pressure on Anthem cause them to reverse itself- http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/02/congress_opens_probe_into_anth.htmlhttp://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

30. Extended unemployment benefits for over 2 million people by 20 weeks in November 2009- http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

31. Created the American recovery and Reinvestment Act which has saved/created more than 2 million jobs and improved the economy by 3.5%- http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2311303720100223

32. Economic policies helped unemployment drop to 9.5%. More jobs started opening up and hiring and joblessness dropped dramatically from over 700,000 on January 20, 2009, to 125,000 in June, 2010... Most of these job losses are attributed to temporary Census workers not doing the Census anymore. Jobs, being a lagging indicator (Economics 101), jobs are ALWAYS the last thing to improve in any economy.

33. Seven of ten economic indicators have improved, showing signs that the economy has and continues to improve-
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-19/leading-economic-indicators-index-in-u-s-rose-1-4-in-march.html

34. Allocated funding to help fireman and police officers save their jobs, thus keeping communities safer- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/188/increase-funding-for-local-emergency-planning/

35. strengthened the Endangered Species Act- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/188/increase-funding-for-local-emergency-planning/

36. Launched a criminal and civil investigation into the Gulf oil spill- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/bp-criminal-investigation_n_596626.html

37. Did NOT apologize to BP for making them take responsibility for the mess they created, as the GOP has done. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/06/17/2010-06-17_texas_rep_joe_barton_apologizes_to_bp_ceo_tony_hayward_over_white_houses_20_bill.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/17/gop-outraged-by-shakedown_n_615686.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100708/ap_on_el_se/us_gulf_oil_spill_gop_candidate

38. Did NOT suggest that taxpayers foot the bill for the spill instead of BP like John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Tom Donohoe and other GOPers think we should.
http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/38857-tom-donohue-republican-tax-payers-should-pay-for-bps-mess/

http://www.businessinsider.com/boehner-bp-2010-6

39. Gave tax credits for first time homeowners through the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act- http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/

40. Did NOT screw over out of work Americans by blocking the extension of unemployment benefits in June of 2010-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/30/unemployment-jobless-fails-senate_n_631710.htmlFor even more, click here: http://simplifythepositive.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-accomplishments-of-president-barack.html
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Krista Davenport
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2011, 10:38:11 pm »

Quote
What has Obama done ?   Seiously !!!

Try this on for size:
OBAMA ACCOMPLISHMENTS

July 10, 2010

Apparently, there seems to be a bit of confusion over this issue. I was able to find MANY examples of President Obama's accomplishments (at least 100, in fact) with a few simple clicks on the Internet. I didn't list them all but provided a link at the bottom for you to iew them yourself.

Here goes:

1. Signed an executive order on government contrast waste and spending-http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/economy_in_government_contracting >br>

2. Signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving women equal pay to men-

3. Renewed dialogue with NATO and allies on strategy issues- http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/04/Afghanistan-and-NATO

4. Announced plan to end war in Iraq (and we're on track for it. too!) - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html?_r=1http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/18/general-withdrawal-iraq-track/

5. Provided funding to families of fallen soldiers to defray expenses for them when the body arrives at Dover AFB- http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/pentagon-will-help-families/

6. Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986203.stm

7. Signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is responsible for saving and/or creating 2.1 million jobs- http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx

8. Launched the Recovery.org website to show where your tax dollars are going, giving transparency to government- http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx

9. Making Home Affordable plan- http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/

10. Launched a $15 billion plan to help small businesses- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-to-small-business-owners

11. Investing in education programs to both provide jobs now and for the future- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education

12. Gave the VA $1.4 billion to improve services for veterans programs- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans

13. Signed in law to SChip law to help underprivileged children be covered by health insurance- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans

14. Repealed Bush's restrictions on stem cell research- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/09/obama-administration-stem-cell-funding

15. Ended the stop-loss program which made soldiers serve as many as 4 tours in war- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123741885685978043.html

16. Signed into law the Weapons Systems Acquisition Reform Act to stop fraud and wasteful spending in the way the Pentagon acquires weapons- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapon_Systems_Acquisition_Reform_Act_of_2009

17. Signed into law the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, giving the authority to investigate and prosecute fraud in the lending industry which led to the financial meltdown- http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/obama-signs-hou.html

18. Signed into law the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act to help families on the verge of foreclosure keep their homes- http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/obama-signs-hou.html

19. Started laying out a plan for Mexico-US border security- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Administration-Officials-Announce-US-Mexico-Border-Security-Policy-A-Comprehensive-Response-and-Commitment

20. Announced strategy to deal with international nuclear threat- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-By-President-Barack-Obama-In-Prague-As-Delivered

21. Improved the Freedom of Information Act, giving it more transparency- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Freedom_of_Information_Act

22. Signed into law the Credit Card Accountability. Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, putting the brake on sleazy practices of credit care companies and protecting consumers- http://www.newsunfiltered.com/archives/2010/02/pew_finds_credi.html

23. Endorsed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 which puts the brakes on offshore tax havens- http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26-body-armor_x.htm

24. Helped reverse the DOW from around 8000 when Bush left to the biggest weekly gain in a year on July 9, 2010-http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/nyse/stocks-climb-again-posting-the-biggest-weekly-gain-in-a-year/19548493/

25. Provided a tax cut to 95% American workers- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/12/only-12-of-americans-thin_n_460559.html

26. Cracked down on companies denying their workers sick leave, pay, and insurance and also avoiding paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/business/18workers.html

27. Increased funding for pell grants, providing more low income students with access to college funds- http://www.ourfuture.org/report/2009031325/obama-s-budget-supporting-students-not-banks

28. Signed into law the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, enabling better care for veterans- http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Signing-of-the-Veterans-Health-Care-Budget-Reform-and-Transparency-Act

29. Launched an investigation against Anthem Blue Cross over their jacking premiums up by 39%... pressure on Anthem cause them to reverse itself- http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/02/congress_opens_probe_into_anth.htmlhttp://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

30. Extended unemployment benefits for over 2 million people by 20 weeks in November 2009- http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/04/30/anthem-blue-cross-rate-request-saving-californian/

31. Created the American recovery and Reinvestment Act which has saved/created more than 2 million jobs and improved the economy by 3.5%- http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2311303720100223

32. Economic policies helped unemployment drop to 9.5%. More jobs started opening up and hiring and joblessness dropped dramatically from over 700,000 on January 20, 2009, to 125,000 in June, 2010... Most of these job losses are attributed to temporary Census workers not doing the Census anymore. Jobs, being a lagging indicator (Economics 101), jobs are ALWAYS the last thing to improve in any economy.

33. Seven of ten economic indicators have improved, showing signs that the economy has and continues to improve-
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-19/leading-economic-indicators-index-in-u-s-rose-1-4-in-march.html

34. Allocated funding to help fireman and police officers save their jobs, thus keeping communities safer- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/188/increase-funding-for-local-emergency-planning/

35. strengthened the Endangered Species Act- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/188/increase-funding-for-local-emergency-planning/

36. Launched a criminal and civil investigation into the Gulf oil spill- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/01/bp-criminal-investigation_n_596626.html

37. Did NOT apologize to BP for making them take responsibility for the mess they created, as the GOP has done. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/06/17/2010-06-17_texas_rep_joe_barton_apologizes_to_bp_ceo_tony_hayward_over_white_houses_20_bill.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/17/gop-outraged-by-shakedown_n_615686.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100708/ap_on_el_se/us_gulf_oil_spill_gop_candidate

38. Did NOT suggest that taxpayers foot the bill for the spill instead of BP like John Boehner, Michele Bachmann, Tom Donohoe and other GOPers think we should.
http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?/topic/38857-tom-donohue-republican-tax-payers-should-pay-for-bps-mess/

http://www.businessinsider.com/boehner-bp-2010-6

39. Gave tax credits for first time homeowners through the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act- http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/

40. Did NOT screw over out of work Americans by blocking the extension of unemployment benefits in June of 2010-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/30/unemployment-jobless-fails-senate_n_631710.htmlFor even more, click here: http://simplifythepositive.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-accomplishments-of-president-barack.html
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