13 April 2011

Live Blog on President's Speech

So far, so good. He's talking about how from those with more, more must be expected.
We must restore fiscal responsibility. The video is breaking up, but he's saying "We have to live within our means" "pay down the debt," etc. Let's see how much he talks bout the revenue side as opposed to cutting essential social programs.

11:00  He's saying the interest on the debt will squeeze out other priorities if not addressed.

We can solve this problem, doesn't have to be our future. Have to be honest about what's causing our deficit.
Spending popular, higher taxes aren't. Politicians eager to say all we need to do is eliminate waste and abuse, but that isn't enough.

Foreign aid 1%.

Truth: 2/3 of budget is medicare, medicaid, social security, and national security. Only 12% is "Discretionary."

Much of which is really important, too.

So far, Repubs want to focus only on 12%.

Any serious plan requires us to put everything on the table.
Not required to balance budget overnite, but we need tough decisions now.

Mentioning Ryan plan, gives him credit.  (Boo).
Now saying Ryan plan would lead to a "fundamentally different America than what we've known."
Big cuts in education, transportation, clean energy.
Not waste or excess.
These cuts say we can't afford the America we believe in.
Deeply pessimistic view of the future. Can't afford to fix crumbling infrastructure, educate our youth.
China is doing better, so is So. Korea.
We're being told that America can't afford any investment, or to keep promise to care for our seniors.
Plan says instead of guaranteed health care, you get a voucher, if not enough, tough. Ends Medicare as we know it.
Says 50 million Americans have to lose health insur. in order to balance the budget.
Mentions nursing home care.
Somehow we can afford $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy.
Mentions decline in ordinary folks' income. (yay).
Questions need for rich to pay less taxes!? (yay)
Takes 33 seniors to pay for president's tax cut.
Not courageous. No courage in asking the most vulnerable without political clout to make all the sacrifices.

So far so good.

We take responsibility. We built a railroad across a continent. GI Bill. Saved seniors from poverty with Soc. Sec. + Medicare.

We don't have to forfeit our investment in our people and our country.

We will all have to make sacrifices (MMmm)
As long as I'm president we wont.
4 Trillion in deficit reduction thru balanced approach.
Every kind of spending on the table.

1st step:  Keep annual domestic spending low, building on budget negotiations.
No sacrifice in core investments to grow jobs.
We will win the future.
2d step: find additional savings in "Defense" budget.
No cuts that compromise defense of homeland or "America's interests." Debt itself is a threat to security. We can find savings while still doing this job.
We need to not only eliminate waste, but fundamentally review mission and role in the Changing World. Pres. will make decisions.
3d Further reduce Health Care Spending. Their plan: make seniors and poor to pay. OBama plan: reduce the cost of health care itself. (Good)
We will reduce wasting money, and we will demand more efficiency, cut drug costs. New incentives for lower costs. Look at all evidence to reduce spending while protecting access. Strengthen MEDICARE + MEdicaid will save 500 billion without cutting essential services. Obama will preserve HC programs as a promise we make. No voucher program with shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs (Yay). No abandonment of fundamental commitment.
Includes commitment to Soc Sec.
Soc Sec not cause of deficit, but needs to be strengthened. No slashing of benefits. No privatization.
It can be done. (Ick). Very vague, and no commitment to no increase in ret. age. or cut in benefits.
4th.  TAX expenditures. Agreed to Bush tax cut extension to avoid tax increases on Middle Class. Draws line: refuse to extend them again.

Eliminate many itemized deductions.
Limiting itemized deductions for wealthiest 2% saves 320 Billion.
Go further: reform individual tax code to make it fair and simple.
Reducing tax expenditures to lower deficit.
Also reform corporate tax code.

If recovery goes well, we can make better progress.
Debt fail safe: if by 2014, if debt not falling as share of economy: plan requires more spending cuts and "spending" reductions in tax code. Incentive to act boldly now.

We need to live within means while investing in future: everyone sacrifices, but no one bears all burden.

11:23 Many will disagree. Some will argue no new taxes ever.
Tax burden on rich lowest in half a century. The richest can pay "a little" more.
Most wealthy Americans would actually agree, he says.
Washington needs to ask more from the rich.

Others say we shouldn't even talk about cutting spending until there is recovery. Use scalpel, not machete, to reduce deficit.
Doing nothing is not an option.
Need to begin process to get fiscal house in order.
Some say no reforms to MED,MED,SSN because of fear of Republican type changes. Obama says reforms needed in order to make programs sustainable. (Hmmmm)

"We have obligation to prove we can afford our commitments."
Smarter, leaner, more effective.

Some say that politics is too divisive, no way to come together.
He says he has some sympathy for this view.
First Bush raised taxes.
Clinton found a way to balance the budget.
Some Republicans agree with balanced approach.
End of June: final agreement to reduce deficit. Biden will coordinate.
We need to bridge differences and find common ground (Impossible!)
Debate gets sharper. That's OK... this is an important debate.
We need to think about our country that made liberty policy, think about our fellow citizens, and about what's retired to preserve the American dream for future generations. Not a partisan idea. It's patriotism.
Quotes Florida man "I believe in that great country my grandfather told me about."
We need to use our dollars here, restoring what our Ancestors struggled to create and maintain; regardless of politics, etc.
Still believes that if we can come together and uphold our responsibilities to each other we can pass on that dream to the future, etc.

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