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I watched Obama's speech at an Associated Press luncheon yesterday. Not only did the president call out the phony equivalency seekers in media for their "both sides are equally at fault" style of "journalism", but Obama once again clearly and methodically detailed the utter bankruptcy of Republican economic doctrine. Transcript here. Here are a few excerpts....
No matter how many times President Obama says this, his political enemies will never accept it....
"So I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history."
Obama is either an advocate for the capitalistic free market or he's a Manchurian socialist devil whose lies cannot be resisted by reasonable-thinking people. You decide.
What our politicians have traditionally done....
"For generations, nearly all of these investments -- from transportation to education to retirement programs -- have been supported by people in both parties."
"What leaders in both parties have traditionally understood is that these investments aren't part of some scheme to redistribute wealth from one group to another."
Up until Obama became president, Republicans and Democrats agreed to compromise with each other for the sake of improving the lives of the American people. Neither side got everything they wanted, but both sides were willing to hammer out compromises which moved the nation forward. Not anymore. Obama clearly defined what has changed. The Republican Party. No matter how far to the right Democrats have moved under Clinton, and now Obama, it's never far enough. Republicans have hardened themselves into believing that only extreme Republican policies and ideas can be passed into law. If Democrats want to help Republicans in passing these extreme Republican ideas, then fine.....if not.....total gridlock.
Trickle down, supply-side, or voodoo economics....
"In this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled down from the success of a wealthy few."
Key word..."never". The Republican doctrine of supply side economics.....cut taxes and regulations for the powerful.....fill their coffers with cash....and then wait for some of that cash to "trickle down" to the rest of us......does not work and has never worked. The U.S. economy, after the bankster caper, needs a broad based recovery. We need more jobs and more money in the hands of millions of average Americans for a broad based recovery to happen. And yet, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate has embraced the Paul Ryan plan....which continues to cut taxes and regulations on the powerful and the rich...while burdening seniors, college students and the poor with higher costs through drastic cutbacks in the safety net and ending Medicare as we have known it.
Obama, describing the total failure of conservative economic doctrine...
"And yet, for much of the last century, we have been having the same argument with folks who keep peddling some version of trickle-down economics. They keep telling us that if we'd convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts -- especially for the wealthy -- our economy will grow stronger. They keep telling us that if we'd just strip away more regulations, and let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity, that somehow we'd all be better off. We're told that when the wealthy become even wealthier, and corporations are allowed to maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, it's good for America, and that their success will automatically translate into more jobs and prosperity for everybody else. That's the theory."
"Now, the problem for advocates of this theory is that we've tried their approach -- on a massive scale. The results of their experiment are there for all to see. At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans received a huge tax cut in 2001 and another huge tax cut in 2003. We were promised that these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth. They did not. The wealthy got wealthier -- we would expect that. The income of the top 1 percent has grown by more than 275 percent over the last few decades, to an average of $1.3 million a year. But prosperity sure didn't trickle down."
"Instead, during the last decade, we had the slowest job growth in half a century. And the typical American family actually saw their incomes fall by about 6 percent, even as the economy was growing."
Obama lines worth noting....
"...the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal."
"Meanwhile, these proposed (GOP) tax breaks would come on top of more than a trillion dollars in tax giveaways for people making more than $250,000 a year. That's an average of at least $150,000 for every millionaire in this country -- $150,000.
This is supposed to be about paying down our deficit? It's laughable."
On the Ryan-Romney budget plan....
"This congressional Republican budget is something different altogether. It is a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism. It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who's willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that's built to last -- education and training, research and development, our infrastructure -- it is a prescription for decline."
Speeches like the one yesterday before the AP crowd....are what I expected from Obama back in 2009. Yesterday's speech should have been given numerous times immediately following the bankster crimes. Americans deserved to know...then....what the crooked, greedy, irresponsible paper shufflers had done to the U.S., and the world.
Better late than never.
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