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The report begins: "President Obama is taking a populist turn with his assault on tax breaks for corporate jet owners. Obama is pressing Republicans to sacrifice part of the $3 billion tax credit in a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling."

President Barack Obama announces the release of his long form birth certificate at the White House, 04/27/11. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama announces the release of his long form birth certificate at the White House, 04/27/11. (photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

For Obama a Turn Towards Populism

By Keith Laing, The Hill

03 July 11


Obama takes populist turn with attacks on tax breaks for corporate jet owners.

resident Obama is taking a populist turn with his assault on tax breaks for corporate jet owners.

Obama is pressing Republicans to sacrifice part of the $3 billion tax credit in a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling. He proposes changing the break so that private corporate jets can only be written off as a business expense for five years, rather than seven, as currently allowed under the law.

Like his previous attempts to take on a populist tone, the proposal has drawn the ire of the business community, which Obama has courted assiduously since the Democrats defeat in midterm elections.

Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons said that for Obama, the rewards for going populist might outweigh the risks of another brushfire with business.

"Democrats are happy," Simmons, a principal at the Washington-based consulting firm The Raben Group, told The Hill in an interview.

"People may argue with his tone, but I'm sure the president is frustrated," Simmons continued. "The business community is frankly doing OK. It's working people in this country who are really catching it. The stock market is up, the auto industry is coming back, but we haven't seen job growth."

Republicans disagreed and said the president is simply showing his tax-and-spend colors.

"Quite frankly, I am both disappointed for our country and shocked at some of the rhetoric," Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview with the conservative National Review. "It was rhetoric, I thought, that was more appropriate for some left-wing strong man than for the president of the United States."

Rubio, who many conservative activists hope will be the Republican Party's vice-presidential nominee next year, said Obama was playing class warfare.

"After seeing the press conference, I would swear our president was from Texas," Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said in a statement released by his office. "That was quite the two-step."

Stutzman said he expected Obama to "offer a clear message that would resonate with the American people." Instead, he said the president "continued to hide behind jargon and campaign rhetoric."

"When asked a very simple question on whether he would raise taxes on the American people in the midst of a recession as part of a debt ceiling deal, he dodged it," Stutzman said. "I think that the American people understand that this is just a chapter and verse from the tax and spend playbook he's followed since day one."

The president, hardly known for being a podium-pounding populist, has tried to cast Republicans as more interested in trying to protect wealthy jet setters than working Americans in negotiations over the debt ceiling. In his roughly one-hour news conference this week, he invoked the tax breaks for corporate jet owners six times.

"There's been a lot of discussion about revenues and raising taxes in recent weeks, so I want to be clear about what we're proposing here," Obama said at the opening of the news conference. "I spent the last two years cutting taxes for ordinary Americans, and I want to extend those middle-class tax cuts. The tax cuts I'm proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners."

Critics pointed out that Obama used to be in favor of similar credit.

"Nine months ago, this president extolled the virtues of shortening depreciation schedules to stimulate jobs," National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen said in a statement. "Now he seems to want to reverse course and push ahead with punitive treatment for general aviation, an industry that creates jobs, helps companies succeed and serves communities all around America."

It's easy to see why Obama might see an advantage in targeting corporate jets, which conjure images of Wall Street billionaires at a time when the country still suffers from high unemployment.

Obama has taken aim at the well heeled in the past, most notoriously when he called Wall Street executives "fat cats" - a statement that still stings in the financial world.

The dust-up over planes brought back to mind Obama's repeated run-ins with the tourism industry in Nevada after he evoked trips to Las Vegas as examples of excess among Wall Street bankers.

"You can't go take that trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on taxpayers' dime," he said during a 2009 town hall, drawing the ire of even friendly Democrats like Senate Majority Harry Reid.

Obama characterized the corporate jet tax breaks the same way this week.

"It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we've got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit," he said Wednesday.

"And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we've got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship," he continued.

"That means we've got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make," he said.

The aviation industry said Obama's comments were "disparaging."

"General aviation plays an important role in our economy and took a substantial hit in the recent recession," Aerospace Industries Association President Marion Blakey said in a statement. "We feel that disparaging comments from the president regarding business jet users are not conducive to promoting jobs, investment and economic growth."

But Simmons, the Democratic strategist, said that if Obama ever wanted to have a discussion about taxes on favorable terms, he had to point out things like the corporate planes.

"I don't that's think the totality of what he's talking about. It's a provocative example," Simmons said. "If he doesn't get taxes on the table now, it's going to be hard to go back and put them on the table later."

And it is hard to envision a scenario where the debt ceiling is raised without them, Simmons added.

"Every bipartisan plan has them," he said.

Obama might also find comfort in that the fact that donations from the aviation industry seem to lean slightly Republican, so his own 2012 fundraising may not take much of a hit from the fight. The campaign finance watchdog group MapLight pointed out this week that two groups in favor of keeping the tax breaks for corporate jets, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the National Business Aviation Association, have given generously to lawmakers in both parties, but donated more to Republicans.

Between 2001 and 2010, the organizations donated $225,060 to Democrats and $245,500 to Republicans, MapLight said. In the same ten years, aircraft parts and equipment companies had given $1,286,906 to Democrats and $1,702,497 to Republicans, while airplane manufacturers had donated $1,010,638 and $1,434,510 respectively.

Airports and other aviation service facilities had given $575,932 to the GOP and $644,005 to Democrats, MapLight added. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+35 # Activista 2011-07-03 13:40
"Obama is pressing Republicans to sacrifice part of the $3 billion tax credit in a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling. He proposes changing the break so that private corporate jets can only be written off as a business expense for FIVE years, rather than SEVEN, as currently allowed under the law."
Obama is joking again? We move MEDICARE up 2 years and cut tax from 7 to 5. WIN WIN situation - 40 something with Excel - how clever!
The problem are WARS (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya) - half of taxes go to military spending - ONE YEAR is ONE million per soldier in Afghanistan.
I our small town has $1 million budget deficit - I tell them - take one soldier home.
+2 # D12345 2011-07-03 16:52
We disagree about Alice Walker and the "flotilla" but this is brilliant.

Take one soldier home!!!

That is great....
+72 # Virginia 2011-07-03 14:04
Where's Paul Harvey for "the rest of the story"? Obama needs to go the extra step and tell Americans that their tax dollars are paying for Wall Street's bad gambling debts and that they used government workers', unions, and corporate retirement and pension funds to feed their bad habits. This isn't just about foreclosure fraud and rape. This is about unregulated securitization which is a parasite still feeding off the carcass of the REOs as they re-securitize the damage keeping the darkest Twilight Zone alive and paying the gas and lease payments for their luxury jets, limos and vacation villas. Stop the foreclosures, regulate derivatives and stabilize the economy. Therein lies your winning platform, Mr. President.
+13 # Bill Holcomb 2011-07-03 14:59
But will the president cavein? Again?
+4 # Sukumar 2011-07-03 20:58
Of course! You need to ask?
+22 # reiverpacific 2011-07-03 15:04
I LOVE the apologist, clutching at a straw, easy bandying about of the word "populist" "populism" and such.
Gimme a bloody break! It's like getting a compliment for pickin' just one token flea off a dog while it keeps scratching at the rest of the pesky population still embedded in it's fur and skin (the analogy is there).
I really enjoy Jim Hightower's (a true "Populist" and latter-day Wobbly type) proposition that all elected officials from the Pres' on down, should wear the corporate logos of those who purchase their influence, like NASCAR drivers and certain pro golfers!
And a chart should be posted on Wall Street, the Capitol and the Pentagon, in full public view every day, of the ever-shifting power-swapping score-sheet, like the Dow Jones, Nasdaq, S. & P. etc; perhaps call it the "Foot-in-Door" index!
All else is fluff and business as usual!
+47 # Gord84 2011-07-03 15:38
The Republicans call Obama "Tax and Spend" Whereas the Republicans are "Borrow and Spend" Look at their record!
+20 # lanie940 2011-07-03 20:25
Exactly! The Republicns borrowed from China,etc to pay for the freaken wars, and now we milldle clas and Seniors are suposed to take a hit, just so the freaken wealthy don't? How fair is that. Republicans can take their reasoning and stick it whee the sun don't shine!
+1 # Lee Black 2011-07-05 10:33
It seems that Obama has taken a lot of bad press because he hasn't lived up to his promises but I don't understand how he could have accomplished more when he is besieged by politicians that refuse to compromise. As the Republicans said in 2009, our first goal is to bring down the President.
+28 # jlohman 2011-07-03 15:42
Obama needs to do a helluva lot more than taxing corporate jets. He was elected and then immediately started ruling from the right. if he would have kept his promises he'd be so popular he'd not need to raise a penny. instead, $1 billion is now needed. Go figure.
+34 # guodr 2011-07-03 15:42
Reestablish the PROGRESSIVE tax rates of the Eisenhower years when the top rate was 90%
This happens every sixty years or so when The Chamber of Commerce Republicans get control. One percent of the population owns twenty five percent of the GNP. These people have so much loot that they control the news media, they have huge propaganda organizations which they palm off as "Think Tanks", they control elections. We have the same size military we had during the cold war to fight a third world country. Clinton tried to rein in this huge white elephant and was accused of "hollowing out the military" by the propagandists
We have given up democracy for oligarchy. We need to change the founding documents to reflect this by changing "Of the people, by the people, and for the people" to "some of the people".
-33 # woohooman 2011-07-03 15:54
IMPEACH OBAMA - He is George Bush II - he promised to get us out of the wars - he has expanded them into 5 countries total!

He has trashed the US constitution after swearing to defend it - he has violated the war powers act - IMPEACH OBAMA !!!!
+5 # geraldom 2011-07-04 11:05
I know that I'm going to get slammed here by the readers who so love Obama, but, to some degree, I must be somewhat sympathetic to the views expressed here by woohooman as well as DesignCreature below. I can understand woohooman's anger & I cannot condemn him for his feelings.

When I voted for Obama in Nov of 2007, at the time I wasn't voting for the lesser of two evils as I've always done in the past. I thought I was voting for someone who actually was telling the truth & would in fact represent the best interests of the common man in this country. Now, come Nov of 2012, if I'm forced to choose between Obama & a Republican, I will once again be voting for the lesser of two evils.

Obama has in fact further decimated our Constitution, whatever we may have left of it, over & beyond what Bush has done to it. Obama has not only not repealed the Patriot Act along with every other abomination passed under the Bush admin, he has embraced the Patriot Act and has continued to extend it.

Obama has done very little to help the downtrodden affected by the economic meltdown caused by the banksters & has done very little to create decent jobs, while, on the other hand has helped the banksters rake in even more money. The banksters have gotten richer as the fate of the common man in this country has gotten worse.
+3 # josephhill 2011-07-04 16:50
I'm with you, Woohooman and Mr. Mencher!! We need a viable 3rd-party to save us from the "two" parties we have. Neither major party candidate will EVER do anything to upset the status quo--or the status quo ante--crowd on Wall Street.

The sooner we start organizing a 'Green-Labor-Pr ogressive Party' the sooner we can stop voting for "Lesser Evils" all the time. The USA is supposed to be a democracy....wh at kind of 'democracy' offers its citizens only 2 options (both of which are OWNED by the plutocrats?!
+4 # geraldom 2011-07-04 21:08
josephhill, I fully agree with you, but the problem is that the Repubs have fully closed the trap, not only on us, but on any other political party that just may want to compete against them, including the stupid Dems who have become their own worst enemy.

To start with, the Repubs have taken almost complete control of our electoral system. HAVA, the Help American Vote Act, has been cast in concrete. All 50 states are now required to use fraudulent & corrupt e-voting machines, & I also include the optical scanners as well in that statement. People have this false impression that optical scanners cannot be corrupted, but they can & they are.

2nd, under the Bush admin, the Repubs have succeeded in corrupting almost the whole of our federal judiciary with lifetime appointed judges like John Roberts & Samuel Alito on the U.S. Supreme Court.

3rd, the Repubs have succeeded in taking control of many of our state govts, all 3 branches of state govt, again, including the judicial branch in those state govts, and, most important of all, the supreme courts in those states.

I'm hoping that someone can possibly tell me how we can (legally) overcome these seemingly impregnable barriers when we have a president and a Democratic Party that are not only blind to what's happening, but has helped and assisted in creating the problem.
-1 # rm 2011-07-06 16:30
I'm with woohooman, Mencher, and josephhill. Well said, guys!

We don't help anyone in America by being apologists for Obama and wallpapering over his concessions and weaknesses. What Obama really needs is tremendous pressure from the left. We need to make it so hot for him that he fears us more than he fears the right wingers in congress, Wall Street banks, the NY Times or WashPost. He needs to know at every minute that if he lets us down, we'll dump him in a skinny minute.
0 # Terre 2011-07-04 21:51
Interesting..yo u voted for Obama in Nov 2007?
How was that possible?
0 # geraldom 2011-07-05 09:02
Oops, I was off by one year. Blame it on my age. So what's the point.
+4 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-07-05 06:27
[quote name="woohooman "]IMPEACH OBAMA - He is George Bush II - he promised to get us out of the wars - he has expanded them into 5 countries total!

He has trashed the US constitution after swearing to defend it - he has violated the war powers act - IMPEACH OBAMA !!!![/quote

HEY! LISTEN UP YOU "KOCH BRANDED TEABAGGER!" What dimemsion were you been living in from 2001-09? YOUR KOCH BROTHER FUNDED RETHUGLICANS have BLOCKED efforts to end these CORPORATE WARS. They have NO DESIRE to hemorrhage their "Creation of Wealth;" one of MANY! As far as the U.S. Constitution "being trashed" goes, where were you (and your pointed hat puppet comrades) when the REAL TRASHING of the Constitution began under Reagan & Bush 1, and ESCALATED beginning on 09/12/2001 throughout the balance of his presidency? You, and nitwits like you, have allowed the Kochs, Limbaugh, and the like to be their "commie lite pawns," under the guise of their PSUEDO-PATRIOTI SM! AM-SCRAY!!! S'matter, hmmm? Rethug and bagger bloggers boring you to death?
-2 # geraldom 2011-07-05 11:11
TrueAmericanPat riot, to be honest, I'm surprised that RSN posted your comment since we're not supposed to be insulting or call people names.

I don't know when the trashing of our Constitution began, but it was well before Reagan was pres. I suspect that it began sometime after WWII. When Reagan became pres, it began to accelerate some thru both H.W. Bush & even Clinton. G.W. Bush & the Repubs accelerated its destruction greatly, with the help of the Dems, by successfully installing well over 300 of his ideological & politically corrupt judges, all lifetime appointments, into the federal judiciary, with the cherry on top being the appointments of Roberts & Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Obama has continued the decimation of our Constitution by not only not repealing the Patriot Act & the Mil Commissions Act, & the FISA Bill, he has embraced them all.

You're right when you say that the Repubs have blocked Obama at almost every turn, but Obama & the Dem Senators should have invoked the nuclear option at the very start when the Repubs publicly admitted that they were going to block whatever Obama tried to do. Bush would've invoked the nuclear option if the Dems had tried to block his supreme court justices.

Obama is no innocent. His voting record as Senator & his choices for advisers as pres proves that.
-7 # DesignCreature 2011-07-03 15:55
The president can make turns or spin in circles for all the good it will do us, the people. The man is a game player not a game changer. Get ready for the bus is coming to be thrown under.
-21 # Still_Standing 2011-07-03 15:58
Oh, puh-leeze, this is just another calculated fraud by this con artist. Does anyone on the Left take Obama seriously anymore? In my book, he wore out his welcome about a year ago and whenever I see his lying face come on the screen, I change the channel.
-30 # woohooman 2011-07-03 16:04
END the Obama Nation !
+12 # lanie940 2011-07-03 20:28
OH pulease. I sure as hell don't want another suck up to the filthy Rich Republican! Where are the trickle down jobs? I know they flowed over to India and China.
-6 # Progressive Patriot 2011-07-03 16:07
Of course he's ignoring the _primary_ causes of the huge national debt .... George Bush's huge tax cuts for the greedy rich, followed by two hugely expensive wars (and now we're involved in at least 4 other places, too).

Why don't we just bomb China, and get it over with.
-1 # Lee Black 2011-07-05 10:36
I'm with you on the first statement, the 2nd is a little rash.
+9 # Merschrod 2011-07-03 16:12
Let's get real, I do noty know the facts about how much there is in write offs of corporate jets, but if you write it off in five instead of 7 years you have slightly less taxes , but then you have greater taxes b/c no write off from then on. What is the average life of a corporate jet? Aren't they usually leased andf therefor fall under another schedule?

Picking on a few nits is not going to clean up the lousy situation. The whole head needs a shaving - the more hair, the greater the shave.
+5 # Marysandy 2011-07-03 16:16
Finally, at long last, what a relief! 100% more emphasis on Public Works programs added to the already stated strategies and we've got something to move on. I don't care if Obama is re-elected or not, although I'm one of his supporters, if I know he's spoken the truth and educated the nation. That's what a true leader does; win or lose. Playing to a base is beneath Obama and the Democrats; if that's what they choose to do, I'd rather give my vote to a third party.

+7 # Dr. Bob 2011-07-03 17:11

Your "third party" talk reminds me of how Dubba was elected. .
. . . recall . . . there are several "Dubba act-a-likes" in the wings of the GOP.. . . scary scenario.
+1 # rf 2011-07-04 07:10
There is almost no difference between Dubbya and Obamya...he has acted like a Republican since day one with his installation of Geither and team. The entire Democratic party are being disingenuous because the big losers if the debt ceiling is not raised are big business. It would suck for the rest of us but people who actually produce something would be OK...not CEO and the skimmers on Wall St....the scum!
-1 # josephhill 2011-07-04 17:18
Exactly what planet are you living on, Dr. Bob?! It's because of voters like you that we continue to end up with these elected officials.

I was proud to vote for Nader in 2000 and I was proud to vote for the Green Party candidate in 2004 and 2008; and if the so-called "Democratic" Party behaves true-to-form, I expect that ALL my future votes will go to candidates whom I can believe in. If everybody would do the same, it would put both the DNC AND RNC into panic mode.

Both the Reps and Dems are quite happy to continue with the current "Lesser Evilism" campaign strategy. Voters prove over and over again that they are so afraid of 'The Greater Evil', they are willing to settle for mediocraties like Obama.

Frankly, I think it is a sign of rank cowardice to accept the current state of politics where both parties feed at the same trough and obey the same masters. The only tool that we citizens have is our VOTE, and if we keep squandering it by casting it for one or the other 'media-approved ' and 'corporate-vett ed' candidates (who are the only ones covered and taken seriously) we can wave bye-bye to anything resembling democracy in this country
+2 # josephhill 2011-07-04 16:59
MarySandy writes "...That's what a true leader does....".

A "true leader" is precisely what Mr. Obama is NOT. Given the state of our economy and the ever-widening gap between 'owners' and 'workers', a TRUE leader would be out on the stump exposing the contradictions between the idea of "America the Free" and the reality of a Hobbesian "war of all against all"
+3 # DPM 2011-07-03 16:19
This is just a bunch of meaningless blather for public consumption. The president will "CAVE" ONCE AGAIN.
+22 # Ken Hall 2011-07-03 16:22
This should not be characterized as populism, it is merely good sense, and would be reported as such if conservatives didn't have a stranglehold on the major media. If deficit hawks were serious about cutting the deficit, which they are not, letting tax cuts expire and closing loopholes in the tax code would be far more effective in reducing budget deficits than further draconian cuts to education, healthcare, pension funds, etc. The Repubs are raising the old specter of "tax and spend". When they controlled the executive and legislature during Bushco, they were doing "borrow and spend"! But, hey, I know, don't confuse conservatives with the facts, might hurt their feelings a la Paul Ryan's recent complaint about Obama's cruelty. Have these people no shame??!!!
+15 # soularddave 2011-07-03 17:04
There have been CRIMES committed, and we find that those who prosecuted the phony war are now immune? The Bushes gave away the store (tax breaks for the wealthy) while borrowing money to have a profitable war.

"we've got to make some tough choices here", he says. Well how about making the easy and obvious ones first??? There was an election a few years ago, and many of us had HOPE that our candidate would right the wrongs and put the country back on track. Didn't happen, despite all the good things that did work out.

What is being held over the President's head? Why does it seem so plausible to us and impossible to him? What am I missing? Do we really need a bunch or contributions from unscrupulous corporations to get elected, or would the support of millions of approving voters not be enough?

Please do the right thing soon and save our Republic from self destruction.
+13 # m 2011-07-03 17:09
''Obama is pressing Republicans to sacrifice ''''part '''' of the $3 billion tax credit..''


Looks like the era of wimp-populism is upon us...

Corporate Greed and the relentless expanding Corporate power to fulfill even more GREED NEED.., IS DESTROYING AMERICA.... and certainly tearing down everything that once made America the shiny beacon of hope and the place where AMERICANS en masse Prospered in a World which once upon a time envied us greatly

Americans need to get out, way out and travel more.

Don't worry, not nearly as many people as you might think still want to come here...
+12 # jwb110 2011-07-03 17:17
How about the President proposes a 75% cut in Federal taxes on people making $80,000 and less. Would the Republicans come to the defense of the middle class if there pork barrels suddenly were running on empty. It would certainly make it obvious that all tax breaks for the wealthiest are paid for by the poorest.
Should the President start slashing taxes where they would do the most good the GOP would s**t the bed but it would hard to back peddle when their rhetoric so tends toward tax relief. The question would be answered for relief to whom.
Let the debt ceiling stay where it is and cut taxes on the poorest. That is how you play rough in politics and until this President starts to play that rough by stealing the GOP agenda and turning it back on them it will be Republican Business as Usual.
With greatly reduced revenues all of the Federal Budgets would have to "tighten their belts", not just entitlement programs. I am way in favor of that.
It takes a lot of nose thumbing and other fingering by a President to get by these bullies. He had better stop trying to make deals with these gangsters. A moral high road requires morality on both sides of the road. The GOP have no morals plain and simple. Don't treat them like they do
Ruthlessly cut taxes for all!!!!
+10 # Charlie W 2011-07-03 17:23
A good start Mr. President but only a start. You have done a good job so far of getting us out of the deep ditch Republicans drove our economy into the last time they controled congress. Back then we had a President named Bush who never never saw fit to veto a single Republican tax spending bill they sent to him by the dozens to sign. The mess they left you also carried clear instructions that they would not lift a finger to help as they wanted to see you become a failed President, ousted after only one term. Best you take some more bold populist steps Mr. President and call for the complete restoration of the Bush tax cuts that drove our economy into the deep ditch you are working to pull us out of. Cutting taxes while starting two unfunded wars and a unfunded Medicare Part D, was the insurance they purchased with our tax dollars to insure your failure Mr. President. Bold action is needed to wake up the voters else I fear we turn over what's left of the national treasury to those who did their best to empty in order to insure your defeat come November 2012. Yep! time for bold, populist action with a promise to voters to deliver on.
+1 # rf 2011-07-04 07:14
Bold action! From this mega-wimp, at best, turn-coat other wise.
+10 # geraldom 2011-07-03 17:40
The acid test to this new Obama, and it is a new Obama if he is being sincere and honest here, will be when the August 1st, 2011, drop-dead date comes around to see what he finally does.

o Will he cave in to Republican demands and destroy the entitlements?

o Will he stand his ground in his demands of repealing the tax cuts for the very wealthy?

o And, does he have the huevos enough to call the Republicans' bluff, even if the rise in the debt ceiling isn't approved?

Obama has made many wonderful speeches in the past in support of a more progressive agenda, but, in the end, he has always betrayed his voting base by caving in and giving the Republicans what they wanted.

So let's see what he finally does in the end before saying what a great man he is.
+4 # futhark 2011-07-03 18:09
"Populist" for whom? Looks like more pandering to the corporate globalist plutocrats to me!
-7 # Thomas Milcarek 2011-07-03 18:22
obama is a lying whore... sure he will lie again like last time only to dissappoint after he is reelected. If you dumb enough to believe this republican in drag you deserve what you get. I for one will do everything I can to see he is not NOT reelected!
+8 # D12345 2011-07-03 18:33
THis article is not even from a mildly liberal source. It is one of the beltway "on the one hand on the other hand" websites. And note that a ton of space is given to every jackass Republican crying class warfare, but not a word from Sanders or any left leaning politician.

RSN....choose better sources....we can get this junk anywhere!
+16 # wfalco 2011-07-03 19:11
If Democrats can not make political gains with this issue then they will never succeed with any talking points.
Republicans are portraying any tax increase or ending of a write off for only this country's wealthiest as an attack on all Americans. "Tax increases "are intended to frighten everyone in right wing rhetoric. This is how they win. They misinterpret the truth to make it sound as if all of us get hurt by the big government bogeyman.

"Taxes for the rich only. Make them pay their fair share like the rest of us."

This may not seem like much to many of us on the left, however, this bit of a populist message is important.
We have been given a golden opportunity by the greedy Republicans who assume no one is listening too closely. The populist messages must be "hands off my Medicare" and "fair taxes for all." It has to be portrayed as the rich versus everyone else.

We may have reached an important watershed in American history where not everybody believes they will get rich. I have a feeling that the brutal reality of being poor or, at best, lower middle, is the perceived lot in life for most. This is the new American realism.
+3 # billy bob 2011-07-03 19:22
Well said.
+10 # MainStreetMentor 2011-07-03 19:31
“Iraq has WMDs “ – (paraphrased – the entire membership of the Bush/Cheney regime)

“If we don’t “bail out the banks” our economy will fail” – (paraphrased from Paulson)

“ … so be it” – (Weaker of the Mouse)

“We refuse to raise the debt ceiling, and will NOT eliminate or even cut, tax breaks for the mega-wealthy and ultra-rich – you’ll do exactly as we dictate or we’ll put the country into receivership” – (Repub-Tea-cans et al)

Let’s just this one time, call their bluff and go into receivership as the investment bankers SHOULD have done under the Bush/Cheney administration. I’m willing to forego what little I have if it might mean the flushing of the Toilet of Wall Street Investment Bankers and all associated with that industry who caused the economic chaos we experiencing today. Don’t make ANY capitulations, Mr. President, or even compromises. Let them carry the burden of their actions into the next century – and see where their selling of America over the last 12 years gets them now.
+3 # giraffee2012 2011-07-03 21:29
Steven Cobert got a "superpack" last week = he can obtain money without revealing the source. I had a dream (yeah I stole the line) that Cobert gets big bucks from (sources unknown remember) and then puts up a Perot type who is none other than the Independent from Vermont = Bernie Sanders who would stand up to the TP/GOP ..... Ok - so I had a dream (while I was wide awake)

BTW, anybody think about Medicare and Social Security like this: Some of us PAY INTO the system and expect to "use the benefits" around age 65 -- but look at all the illegals and handi capp that draw from these "entitlements" (which are entitlements for those) - -I'm not saying we shouldn't give the less fortunate a life-line but NOT in our SS / Medicare. + the fraud is unchecked.

Lumping all the extra people who never paid into these is no wonder these "entitlements" are "entitlements" == once again the Right mixed apples & oranges and throws it in our faces.

Lastly, is it part of our constitution for a governor to remove "elected" state congress-people and replace them with whomever they want? I think Walker should go to jail for such a deed.

Register now - vote 2012 - no more TP/GOP - no matter what
+2 # josephhill 2011-07-04 17:26
Colbert is brilliant! I'm not quite sure what he's up to yet; but I have no doubt he will end up having a significant part in the politics of 2012.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2011-07-04 21:38
I worked and paid in as does everyone else. I was rejected for Disability due to some bs and got SSI it is not a bargain but I am glad for the meds part since living on $400 and under who can afford meds. I am looking for work but do not put down those of us who worked since we are 18.
Many immigrants pay into their own form of SS and when they come here, this government does little. Canada actually helps theirs to pay off bills, save homes. We put people into debt, give bad mortagages in bad times.
But for those who never paid in as you say...If your mother never worked and your father did, he dies...she has the right to collect. That's not fair?
Want to fight something...go after Welfare. Another is paying for Interpreters. You want SS whether yours or ours, learn to speak English.
-1 # tamtom 2011-07-03 23:31
I agree to 2 trillion in cuts from medicare and social security and in exchange you give me some minor tax cuts so my base wont be so mad at me.
+2 # epcraig 2011-07-04 01:00
Obama backs nuclear power, collects their campaign contributions, too. Naturally, despite Fukushima, he supports nuclear power. That Republicans seem intent on nominating loons is unfortunate.
+3 # larryoinpdx 2011-07-04 11:03
The headline should have read "Obama Returns, If Only Briefly, To Populist Rhetoric."
0 # Texan 4 Peace 2011-07-06 15:36
Let me get this straight: "populism" now means "changing the break so that private corporate jets can only be written off as a business expense for five years, rather than seven"?
It boggles the mind. I'm sharpening my pitchfork.

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