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Reich writes: "I can't help believe the President could have done better than this. After all, public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side. Republicans would have been blamed had no deal been achieved."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


Lousy Deal on the Edge of the Cliff

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

01 January 13

 

he deal emerging from the Senate is a lousy one. Let me count the ways:

1. Republicans haven’t conceded anything on the debt ceiling, so over the next two months - as the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default - Republicans are likely to do exactly what they did before, which is to hold their votes on raising the ceiling hostage to major cuts in programs for the poor and in Medicare and Social Security.

2. The deal makes tax cuts for the rich permanent (extending the Bush tax cuts for incomes up to $400,000 if filing singly and $450,000 if jointly) while extending refundable tax credits for the poor (child tax credit, enlarged EITC, and tuition tax credit) for only five years. There’s absolutely no justification for this asymmetry.

3. It doesn’t get nearly enough revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent - only $600 billion over the next decade, which is half of what the President called for, and a small fraction of the White House’s goal of more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction. That means more of the burden of tax hikes and spending cuts in future years will fall on the middle class and the poor.

4. It continues to exempt the first $5 million of inherited wealth from the estate tax (the exemption used to be $1 million). This is a huge gift to the heirs of the wealthy, perpetuating family dynasties of the idle rich.

Yes, the deal finally gets Republicans to accept a tax increase on the wealthy, but this is an inside-the-Beltway symbolic victory. If anyone believes this will make the GOP more amenable to future tax increases, they don’t know how rabidly extremist the GOP has become.

The deal also extends unemployment insurance for more than 2 million long-term unemployed. That’s important.

But I can’t help believe the President could have done better than this. After all, public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side. Republicans would have been blamed had no deal been achieved.

More importantly, the fiscal cliff is on the President’s side as well. If we go over it, he and the Democrats in the next Congress that starts later this week can quickly offer legislation that grants a middle-class tax cut and restores most military spending. Even rabid Republicans would be hard-pressed not to sign on.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

 

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-49 # Barbara K 2013-01-01 07:41
This deal was the best we could get for now. We realize that. But the unemployed will still be getting their benefits, and that could have been a catastrophe to those folks. They can come back later with a tax raise for the $250,000 - $400,000 group. In 2 months, there will be less Tbaggers to deal with. There was no way to get the perfect deal right now. Rid ourselves of the Tbaggers and we can get back on track. We cannot get the great deal while the Rs refuse to compromise. Going over the cliff was not a good option, too much is at stake. When learning the details of this thing, it looks pretty good for Obama.
 
 
+53 # Bruce Gruber 2013-01-01 07:58
No deal would have forced ALL their hands and hurt the middle class and poor to the extent the 'fraudulently' defined "entitlements" and handouts were individually identified and publicly exposed to scrutiny and reduction. Tax increases, when applicable, on low incomes are painful when budget alternatives are virtually impossible, but $10 a week in tax increase avoidance, surely, is not "the best we could get for now".

The elites have each dodged thousands of dollars of taxes by the Obama capitulation. They can keep that extra Lexus at their vacation condo. And their kids are guaranteed an extra half million in life lottery winnings by the "the best we could get for now".

I have come to love and anticipate MORE from your insights. Press on!
 
 
+19 # Carrol 2013-01-01 08:11
Reich: "1. Republicans haven’t conceded anything on the debt ceiling, so over the next two months - as the Treasury runs out of tricks to avoid a default - Republicans are likely to do exactly what they did before, which is to hold their votes on raising the ceiling hostage to major cuts in programs for the poor and in Medicare and Social Security. "

And this of course will be exactly what Obama wants. He is a full-fledged supporter of Neoliberal Austerity but his followers will claim it is the nasty Republicans.
 
 
+21 # Doubter 2013-01-01 10:03
Isn't it time to start calling B.H.O. and the whole gaggle of Democrat politicians "D.I.N.O.s"?
 
 
+30 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-01-01 10:34
Reich can't believe that Obama did not do better on this. Yeah, that is because he is a Democrat. He KNOWS the Democrats are better than the Republicans---b ut unfortunately this does not mean that they are any good.

$250,000.00 income does not put you in the 'middle class'. With that much coming in each year, you are in the top 2% of all the people. That means a hell of a lot of very wealthy people will paid a pittance in taxes as they enjoy inherited wealth with out fair taxing. By these two facts the wealthy will continue to avoid paying, the nation will have to cut governmental services to the people and our society. No way those drones (remotely controlled 'Representative s') will vote to end the wars or try to mitigate global climate change.
 
 
+9 # dquandle 2013-01-01 11:57
Exactly, cuz the difference between Obama and the "Republicans" is absolutely nonexistent.
 
 
+18 # Saberoff 2013-01-01 08:23
BS!
 
 
+37 # bigkahuna671 2013-01-01 10:13
Sorry Barbara, but it's not the best deal we could get for now, it's exactly what the GOP wanted and it's exactly what Pres. Obama was willing to take because he's spineless. He surely can't have forgotten that he won this election, can he? If you truly believe he can come back later and get a tax increase for the $250-400K group, you're dreaming. Reich is right in saying this was a lousy deal on the edge of the cliff. This will be just the first of many "deals" the Pres makes in which he allows the GOP and the TBaggers to have their way and screw the people who reelected him. Usually you are tougher on the Pres than you are here and I've come to expect that of you. I've supported this Pres and made the same kinds of excuses for him, but at some point, he has to realize he's got to do for us what he's promised all along and stop with his bending over the barrel and allowing the GOP to stick it to him. We can only hope it happens soon before he gives everything away to Boner, Mick the Twitch, and Eric (Dems) Can't-Have-Anyt hing!
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2013-01-02 09:56
Quoting Barbara K:
This deal was the best we could get for now. We realize that. But the unemployed will still be getting their benefits, and that could have been a catastrophe to those folks. They can come back later with a tax raise for the $250,000 - $400,000 group. In 2 months, there will be less Tbaggers to deal with. There was no way to get the perfect deal right now. Rid ourselves of the Tbaggers and we can get back on track. We cannot get the great deal while the Rs refuse to compromise. Going over the cliff was not a good option, too much is at stake. When learning the details of this thing, it looks pretty good for Obama.


Why was "going over the cliff" not a good option? for who? It would have wiped out the tax breaks for the rich permanently and then the dems could have immediately come back with proposals for tax relief for the 99% (or 98 or whatever) which would have put the republicans in the position of having to publicly oppose tax breaks for all but the very wealthy. so this may look "pretty good" for Obama (and will give him permanent tax breaks when he becomes the ex-president) but, as Reich points out, it pretty much screws the rest of us.
 
 
-22 # 666 2013-01-01 07:48
obamanauts, was it good for you?!
 
 
+2 # 666 2013-01-02 15:40
keep clicking thumbs down, the check's in the mail...
 
 
+56 # Milarepa 2013-01-01 07:49
Well, it's the usual, isn't it - dribble, dribble, dribble, a drive to the basket, and the whistle blows ending the game. Easy to say the president means well, but does he? He works solidly off the status quo, a little to the left, a little to the right, a little up, a little down. The man can't help himself. A devastatingly submissive opening to his second term. He just wants to play ball with those Republicans, doesn't he. As if he'd never been insulted. Come to think of it maybe he hasn't. Which would be worse.
 
 
+21 # Virginia 2013-01-01 10:25
It appears it's what his bosses want. And let's face it, they control the economy. It's pretty obvious when Obama moves to the left of center the stock market dives as the old coots move their money around to tip the scales and send little tremors through an already unstable system on the verge of collapse.

If we're going to go through another 4 years of walking on eggshells to appease the elite this country will fall apart in civil unrest and revolution. Yes, Obama has a mandate but the reason he didn't have a landslide victory was because he was considered the lesser of the evils, not for the popularity of his (or his handlers') Centrist ideals.
 
 
-2 # BradFromSalem 2013-01-02 05:47
Milarepa,

Explain how President Obama could force Congress to approve 100% of what he originally proposed?
 
 
+61 # alanvance 2013-01-01 08:05
Letting the deadline pass would have restored pre-Bush rates to a wider swath of filers with no effort. A sense of shame and survival would have forced the GOP to join in lowering rates for the 98% of filers oddly and almost universally labeled "the middle class," and extending benefits for the LT jobless. There would be a fight over sequester with or without the cliff, so-called, so why not later when so much already have been achieved?
 
 
+81 # ghostperson 2013-01-01 09:10
I simply do not understand the man or why he persists in negotiating with himself and caving in when he has the upper hand. People were ready to let him go the whole distance to break GOP stranglehold on functional government and its incessant holding citizens hostage to impose its extreme Randian ideology.

From this point on, I will no longer follow the news because I can't take the constant brinksmanship of this ship of fools.

The whole pack isn't worth the powder it would take to blow them up.

I am disgusted.
 
 
+16 # womyn 2013-01-01 10:46
I am afraid this is all a part of the bigger plan, pre-designed,
and it continues the divide between the 99% & 1%.

Much like the 2008 economic collapse, this, too, disgusts me but doesn't surprise me.
 
 
+25 # CL38 2013-01-01 09:11
For some reason, Obama can't seem to stop giving in to bullies. "Obama on the Couch" by Justin Frank deals with some of this.
 
 
+51 # tswhiskers 2013-01-01 09:15
Why did the Dems have to agree to make the tax cuts permanent? This is crazy! You say it's better than nothing, but PERMANENT TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY? Give me a break! It should have been reversed. Make tax cuts for 5 years, NOT permanent. And it makes the Dems seem weak to hyper-conservat ive Reps. We should have waited for the new House members to begin serving. This just proves that Dems don't have the iron in their souls needed to deal with Republican thugs and bullies. I am disappointed in Obama and the Dem party. I can't get over this; at a time wen the Fed govt. desperately needs more money we give the rich permanent tax cuts. This proves to me that the Dems will never really be able to withstand the persistence of the Reps. Altho the Constitution was probably not written with the possibility of near total non-participati on of one political party in mind, it is too bad, that Dems. just don't have the same persistence in their makeup. I would dearly loved to see the fight that might have ensued.
 
 
+55 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-01-01 09:17
"But I can’t help believe the President could have done better than this. After all, public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side."

My only quarrel with what Reich says is this: Obama does not have the public on his side. The public is on the side of a position Obama appeared to endorse, but it was all hypocritical posturing. When the chips -- the blue ones -- were down, he cavalierly sold us out.

Vintage Obama.

Note to Obamacrats: When you predictably gives this post your thumbs down, have the courage to state your reasons.
 
 
+14 # lorenbliss 2013-01-01 10:31
"Vintage Obama indeed": the shape-changer-i n-chief, Obama the Orator (again) transforming himself into Barack the Betrayer; a White (hearted) Republican enabler disguised as an African-America n Democrat; a mortal enemy of lower income, elderly and disabled people deftly concealing his own Ruling Class malevolence behind the purposeful smokescreen of Republican rhetoric; most of all the president who slaps us in the face with irrefutable proof U.S. elections are the biggest of Big Lies: vote for a Democrat, get a Republican. Happy New Year from the rulers of Moron Nation, where the One Percent in its now-eternal omnipotence has reduced all political participation to a doomed and therefore pointless, ultimately meaningless waste of time.
 
 
+12 # Chick Dante 2013-01-01 09:19
Not to worry folks. The Tea Baggers in the House will reject the Senate bill and off the cliff we go. They will reject it for several reasons but primarily because it is not enough austerity for the poor and middle class, not enough pain, not enough damage to the economy and not enough insanity for the Koch Brothers, Freedom Works and The Tea Party Express.

As bad a deal as Obama got in the Senate, it establishes a baseline position from which Atilla and his Huns can begin to "negotiate" (used loosely) even a worse one. As bad as the fiscal cliff is, Kibbe and his lunatic fringe will make sure to make things even worse.

Outsourcing the whole government to the Klan might not spark enough outrage to fix the dysfunction as we have now. We have become a nation of " Cousin Eddies" from the National Lampoon Vacation movie. And as Ron White says, "You Can't Fix Stupid."
 
 
+11 # tm7devils 2013-01-01 09:24
I'm an Independent with Democratic leanings and I like Obama(he's better than anyone the Republicans could put up) but he has at least one shortfall - he's playing Slow-Pitch Softball when he should be playing hardball. He should know what the people want...and he should be giving it to them on a silver platter - since the right wing is so tarnished and out of step with the majority of this country.
This is no time for "woosy-ism", if the Republicans in congress aren't brought up short..then the middle class will pay the price.
He's got the high ground, and if he doesn't use it to his (and our) advantage, he will become just another '2.0 GPA' president
The ball is in your court, Mr. President!
 
 
+7 # wwway 2013-01-01 09:29
I'm disapointed and for the same reasons. However, politics is the art of the deal and that requires patience with a huge push. Americans have largely rejected the ideology of Republicans. Republicans put all their cards on the table in 2010 and 2012 elections to give Americans a clear picture of their plan and the thinking behind it. Americans waffled in 2010 and rejected it in 2012. The question is, are Americans going to be fickle like they were in 2010 when they got mad at Democrats instead of Republicans? It took Republicans 30 years of convincing Americans to throw themselves to the wolves and it's going to take time to reverse that course....if Americans are willing to take that course with a stiff upper lip and patience.
 
 
+19 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2013-01-01 09:33
To say that "the public supports this position or that position" and that is why the Republicans "should respect and support" what Obama wants is simply laughable. I've been around for 72 years. I was raised as a Republican and when I "grew up" I left the party. The Republican Party rarely cares about public opinion, what the public thinks. Just the way they are wired. Their view is "why do you need a government outside of corporate interests? Hell, we are the government. You damn Democrats just get in the way of what we are ordained by God to do." Bunch of arrogant bastards.
 
 
+11 # OldSalt 2013-01-01 09:34
Well what can you expect from the lesser of two evils? Obama is a Dem in name only. He talks like a progressive but delivers like a moderate Republican. Wake up Peeps!
The 1% own both parties. Join the Green party if you are true progressive or join the Libertarian party if a true conservative. You will not be represented by either the Dems or Repugs.
 
 
+5 # PatriotMom 2013-01-01 09:40
Who truly are the "ship of fools?" I'd say there are 2 ships running parallel. The 2 major parties & the fools that vote them. They are corporate ONE and the same now, & have been for a few decades. Look at the voting records not the party name.
Here are some solutions by the first person to warn us all & coin the phrase "Republicrats" a decade ago but only those who were willing to listening heard it. US Green Party is now the new blue. http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/15286-focus-17-solutions-for-a-better-america-in-2013
 
 
+8 # walt 2013-01-01 09:43
Obama seems to lack the ability to fight. He seems more content with being a mediator.

How does he continually fail to see how the Republicans are playing him into the corner every time? As Robert Reich states, "..After all, public opinion is overwhelmingly on his side. Republicans would have been blamed had no deal been achieved."

We will now see the same Republicans play more games with a new debt ceiling debacle as in 2011. It never ends!

The only hope may be taking Congress in 2014. In the meanwhile, Obama remains an object of GOP manipulation.

The good news, however, is that we don't have Romney and Ryan entering the scene. Imagine how that would be.
 
 
+4 # 4yourinformation 2013-01-01 09:51
It's all explained in the Harper's article that followed the DLC vetting of Obama before he ran for Prez.

NOV. 2006 Harper's- Barack Obama Inc. : The Birth of a Washington Machine
 
 
+16 # in deo veritas 2013-01-01 10:00
Screwed again. We should be used to it but if we accapt this sellout we have no hope. Maybe the HR will not support it and we can have another, better shot at something meaningful in the next round. This is a battle between what is right and the consummate greedy evil we have been facing that has grown over decades.If we do not keep fighting it will be impossible to avoid being ashamed to be Americans. We have beome the object of ridicule and scorn in the eyes of those around the world who have looked to us as a role model. We are a role model-but of what?Not the principles this country was founded upon. Not what so many of us risked our lives to defend in wars not of our making.
 
 
+13 # Sensible1 2013-01-01 10:02
Obama caved and got nothing in return. The Republicans will use this dribble of a donation as a wedge to force more cuts on lower income middle class and we will be unable to negotiate. This is nothing more than a Trojan horse and an end to any further conciliation by the party of NO.
 
 
+7 # brianf 2013-01-01 10:20
Perhaps the best thing that could happen now is that it doesn't pass in the House, or only with changes that the Senate can't accept. Then the starting point would be no Bush tax cuts, which is how it should have been looked at all along.

Democrats and Republicans should be able to agree to tax cuts for the poor and those making less than, say $50,000 per year. Above that, any tax cuts would have to be balanced by cuts to such spending as fossil fuel subsidies and military spending or increases in capital gains taxes for those making more than $250,000. That is how you bargain.
 
 
+10 # JSRaleigh 2013-01-01 10:32
Dear Professor Reich;

Can you cite any credible evidence that Obama wanted a better deal than the one he has agreed to?
 
 
+3 # LML 2013-01-01 14:37
JSRaleigh - You are absolutely right!!!
There is no credible evidence that he wanted anything different than what he got!!
 
 
+2 # Scott479 2013-01-01 10:33
Obamabots to the rescue-stand for your man/boy who's incapable of standing for you!
 
 
0 # UnoPatriot 2013-01-01 10:43
Obama and the Dems have been stonewalling long enough at the expense of the American people.
 
 
+8 # calibadger 2013-01-01 10:47
Barbara,

Going over the cliff is simply a rupurt murdockian/fox disinformation network construct. Suspect BHO is simply setting himself up for the big payday after 2016, much like Clinton Inc. has been doing since '01. Now all he needs is for Michelle to become the next Senator from Wall St. to secure their after-office sinecure.
 
 
-9 # Barbara K 2013-01-01 11:40
calibadger: Going over the cliff sounds like a good idea. But when you consider the millions who would have their unemployment benefits stopped immediately; the SS checks not going out, as the govt. would shut down; Congress not being paid (which would be a good thing), taxes couldn't be filed as the IRS wouldn't be set up; and Medicare checks not going out, it just couldn't be allowed. I watched TV last night regarding the entire thing, and was surprised at all that would be impacted if it went over the cliff. Just going over the cliff would not guarantee that the deal would have been any better, but would have been a big challenge to others who use these services. They will go back in 2 months and will have less Tbaggers and finish the Bill. IF INTERESTED, TURN TO C-SPAN 2 RIGHT NOW AND LISTEN TO WHAT IT WOULD HAVE AFFECTED TO GO OVER THE CLIFF. Sen. Durbin is discussing it right now. Losing unemployment benefits for millions just cannot be allowed, as the economy would most certainly collapse then.
 
 
+10 # NurseJudyCA 2013-01-01 10:54
Well if the sequester is postponed for 2 months doesn't that hit around the same time as the debt ceiling fight? Therefore, if the anorexic Repulsives refuse to pay their bill, then defense gets no money. So doesn't Obama have some bargaining chips left?
 
 
+6 # vilstef 2013-01-01 10:54
Obama seems to be a really lousy negotiator. Why hasn't Hillary or his wife or the Big Dog given him a Master's class in negotiation. I'm annoyed with him because I think I could've done better.
 
 
+2 # Michael Lee Bugg 2013-01-03 14:59
Thank goodness Obama is not a trial lawyer - he would plea bargain every case even if his client was obviously innocent! He always brings his pillow to a knife fight! Obama early on often said two things: "that is a fight I want to have!" and "Now make me do it"! The only people he has fought are the progressives and liberals who elected his Republican-lite butt and he really only meant the second one. W. Bush had an excuse, Bush is an arrogant, ignorant, fool; Obama has no such excuse. Perhaps Obama is the Manchurian Candidate? He sure is making Herbert Hoover look like a better alternative! FDR and LBJ are spinning in their graves! Unless he pulls a big surprise in the coming weeks he barely looks better than Twit Wrongney!
 
 
+8 # rlhollow 2013-01-01 10:56
More Democrats (real Democrats) are needed in the Legislative. States need to get busy.
 
 
+10 # joysch 2013-01-01 11:00
What a terrible ending. Obama brought up the $400,000 number. With compromising on the Estate taxes, surely $250,000 could have been the number. But the whole framework for these negotiations have been ridiculous. It has been a political game instead of a recognition that more money is actually needed. More money, and less pain, could have been raised by beginning at a 1% hike with $150,000, and raising it an additional 1% every $50,000 up until a top rate of 45%.
 
 
+6 # tbcrawford 2013-01-01 11:12
As bad as the failure to resolve our financial issues, how tragic none of these negotiations address what we can do to make our country stronger economically. Rushing to give in on estate taxes and higher income relief is abominable. The media frenzy doesn't help. Have heard no positive ideas, just he said, she said...and they didn't say a damn thing of importance! Anyone know how to bring home and tax foreign profits, raise the Social Security cap, establish a financial transaction tax, reduce our ludicrous military commitments, allow medicare to negotiate drugs...everyon e probably has their own idea...but no...just who can pay the least tax. I don't know about the rest of the country but from the West Coast, there is comforting intelligence... only problem it's being smothered by inanity nimby! Happy New Year indeed.
 
 
+9 # MainStreetMentor 2013-01-01 11:26
In my opinion, this "compromise/cap itulation" is (at least partially) the result of the President surrounding himself with extreme right-wing RepubTeacan advisors. He listens to no one else - certainly not you and I, the middle class citizens of America.
 
 
+6 # Robineagle 2013-01-01 11:41
Well, Robert, this is why I encouraged you to run against Obama in the Democratic primaries, which you flatly refused to do. Certainly you must be aware by now that the President is much more interested in compromising with the Republicans than in standing up for his electoral base.

Until we begin to challenge him and the Democratic leadership in Congress we are going to continue to see things like this happen.

By the way, why did you include adding in military spending at the end of your article. The automatic spending cuts for the military would have been one of the best things that would have come from the fiscal cliff. The US spends as much on the military as all of the rest of the world combined.

Clinton cut defense spending by a 1/4 in the 90s. Bush pushed it right back up again and then some; and Obama continues to increase it.

Our military focus and spending is making us less secure not more.

Rob Wheeler
robwheeler22 a gmail.com
 
 
+3 # MainStreetMentor 2013-01-01 11:56
"Republicans would have been blamed had no deal been achieved."

Mr. Reich: This is NOT about "placing blame" ... this is about the survival of the middle class and America. It would appear you comment might have been made due to the "brain washing" by the GOP/Faux News about placing blame - NOT finding a workable solution to the issues at hand.
 
 
+4 # Smokey 2013-01-01 12:51
Happy New Years Day!

What have we learned during the first hours of the year 2013?

Occupy people, especially, may be starting to identify their priorities - the really big concerns - for the next two years and beyond.

SIMPLY STATED: 1) Protect the essential programs that middle-income and low-income consumers need; 2) Develop a fair taxation program; 3) Build a progressive Congress.

Obama? Don't expect too much or too little from the guy. He won his big victory in November and he'll never run for public office again. Keep some pressure on Obama. Build a better Congress. Organize, organize, organize.
 
 
+4 # fredboy 2013-01-01 13:58
Sad little people, sissy little times.

I always learned and taught problem solving from the point of view of opposite thinking. It prompts one to explore all causation and solution alternatives.

One solution completely overlooked was allowing the U.S. to go over the economic cliff. We would all pay slightly more taxes--and the federal government's key programs would be funded. We would cut Defense by 20 percent--and friends in the military say there is upwards of 50 percent waste there, so it would be unnoticed.

Instead, everyone bitched about keeping tax cuts and "Protecting our military." A pretty sad situation when a nation's military whines for protection. :)
 
 
+2 # BKnowswhitt 2013-01-01 14:47
It's a one party system of the lesser of two evils - yeah it's less but still evil. Obama is NOT an african american of the 60's - he doesn't know what it was really about. And so he wants to be 'the most liked president' - he caves in all the time .... and will continue to do so .. he's a politician with very little statesman ....
 
 
+2 # Western_Sage 2013-01-01 15:17
Amen, Mr. Reich. It becomes clearer every day that votes and voters do not count as much in the minds of our politicians as money and the wishes of the few who donate the most to THEM. If fundamental changes to this equation aren't made soon, our American egalitarian democracy will finish its three-decades-l ong collapse and the American experiment will become merely a footnote in the history of Mankind.
 
 
+4 # Kimc 2013-01-01 19:27
Folks -- this is what the collapse of civilization looks like in its early stages.
There is a way to fix it, but it will take work, determination, and, hardest of all, change.
The way we will take back America from the corporations is:
1) Take our money out of the big banks and Wall St, and don't patronize those corporations any more than you must. (Put your money in member-owned credit unions. Or read "Locavesting".) Wall St cannot be tamed: it must be eliminated. Capitol Markets were introduced into America to fuel industrial growth. They no longer do this – their job is done.
2) We will start a lot of worker-owned, democratically- run businesses, where the people who do the actual work get the say and share the profit.
a) Form locally sustainable economies
3) We must elect progressive candidates to protect us from the destruction planned by the conservatives.
4) We will start our own scrip, and gradually replace the old Dollar with the New Community Scrip, which We the People will control with our own banks or credit unions and regulating agencies.
5) Assume the frame of moral/ethical leadership. (Read George Lakoff.)
 
 
+5 # BKnowswhitt 2013-01-01 19:39
Now that i ripped my team that is Team Obama let's be clear. None of this none of it would be going on if it were not for the egregiously abusive fiscally irresponsible policies of the Re-Puke Party since King George II also known as W. You want to talk about imbalanced and abuse of government? A war on lies run out of his Texas home far far away from Washington? (Oh yeah that's correct he wasn't really elected - so why would he have run it out of Washington) - at least this guy tries to do it in the city he was elected to perform in. 'Hillbilly Politics' run out of the southern USA got us into this mess. If we continue with their kind of politics there will be no more democracy. It's a sorry state of affairs we let it go this far ... Thank God we don't have Mitt Romney in there now at least ...
 
 
+3 # BKnowswhitt 2013-01-01 19:55
One last zinger. Everyone talks about how the military has done so much. How they keep America safe. Granted 9/11 required some military intervention. However terrorism is not resolved by invading countries. So they so called solution by invading Iraq and Aghan as 'protecting America' doesn't fly in the face of reality. Many many many join the military for the 3 squares and the government paid life then they hide behind the guise of protecting our values and suck off the government. It's time to address and talk about this particular type of welfare reduction especially since it's the least effective means to fight terrorism .. and is pretty much unnecessary unless of course a countries use of the military real intentions is more than that ..
 
 
+2 # Hey There 2013-01-01 22:55
Servicemen's pay is notoriously poor. Where the expense lies is contracting services out to private corporations and purchase of military equipment that has a hefty price tag such as ships, airplanes, tanks, drones, missiles and so forth.
I'm certain that if living wage jobs were available then more likely than not many of those enlisted now would opt out of the service.
 
 
+2 # sharag 2013-01-01 22:36
If anyone believes this is the best deal we could get right now, then I have a car I can convince you to buy.

Even when Obama holds ALL the cards in the deck, he still blinks first.
 
 
0 # Milarepa 2013-01-02 01:14
... further - BO's been playing this game for four years now, made a few scoring passes. When is HE gonna score? When's he gonna start sinking from mid court, supposedly his specialty. Time to get out there and score, baby!
 
 
+1 # Milarepa 2013-01-02 07:19
lorenbliss, I like what you say, even more the way you say it.
That's one powerful blast!!!
 
 
+1 # Hasmenés fiú 2013-01-02 20:19
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free...and we shall push them over the fiscal cliff to oblivion! (Amerika today, so sad)
 

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