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The Package President Obama Should Propose Today

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Breakfast with Barack

I called the office of my Congressman, Rep. Jim Moran, today to ask him to vote against the debt ceiling deal. The GOP got 98% of what they wanted in this deal – let them vote for it. What about the threat of default? Would you rather see the economy & seniors take a short-term hit through default, or watch the economy, seniors, education, transportation, and regulatory protections all suffer permanent hits under this deal? And considering the stock market is down this morning, I question whether we’ll even be any better off in the short-term under this draconian 98% GOP plan.

Barack Obama lost a battle everyone saw coming but him. If I was Barack Obama, I would immediately propose a plan to reduce the deficit & revitalize the economy that would:

  • Immediately end the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000
  • Create a low tax on carbon pollution from the biggest emitters that's gradually ratcheted up over time 
  • End key subsidies for Big Oil, corporate jets, etc. 
  • Use much of the revenue to fund transportation projects, unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed, and any from a list of dozens of job-creating projects
  • Use the rest of the revenue to reduce the deficit by billions of dollars

Would Republicans immediately block it? Of course. But poll after poll shows this is exactly what the public wanted in a balanced deal and got left out. Let Republicans explain to the public why they’re voting to fully preserve tax cuts for the rich instead of putting people to work fixing roads and bridges in their own districts.

If the president continues to let Republicans drive the narrative of cut, cut and cut as the economy continues to slide, it’s hard not to see a Republican president & a Republican Congress being swept into office in November 2012 by voters tired of a president not just unable to create jobs for American workers, but apparently unwilling to go to war for them.  

  • Teddy Goodson

    the little folks, including seniors, who got shafted on Social Security and Medicare just as Alpha Granny talked about in The Great Betrayal. After this, how will we ever be able to claw back and re-weave the safety net?

  • From Ezra Klein:

    Last week, we learned that the economy had been much weaker than we had thought over the past three years, and that the recovery was continuing to sputter because businesses, governments, and individuals weren’t spending enough. So what are we doing? We’re letting the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits expire, which will further cut spending among individuals. We’re cutting government spending, which will remove that source of demand. And we’re somehow assuming that businesses will invest more even though their government contracts just got canceled and their customers just saw their paychecks and benefits shrink.

  • Senator Bernie Sanders got it right in his statement yesterday that this deal reduces the deficit and the debt on the backs of middle- and low-income families while giving the wealthiest Americans a free pass — the same free pass they have had for the past 12 years — 10 years of Bush and 2 years of Bushbama.

    President Obama is too damn theoretical.  He has clearly demonstrated an inability — not an unwillingness, but an INABILITY — to fight.

    I agree with each of your proposals but you know as well as I do that there’s less than a snowball’s chance in hell of Obama doing any of that.  He’ll spend the rest of his six years in office rolling over in front of the Republicans.