Progressive Independence

Michael Kwiatkowski

Michael Kwiatkowski
Location
Ohio, United States of America
Birthday
May 18
Bio
I'm a Green Party member in Ohio, and active on several blogs that include my own. This year I am helping to spread the word about Green and other Third Party candidates for public office.

Michael Kwiatkowski's Links

Salon.com
SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 1:28PM

Obama’s Plan: Cut the Safety Net

Rate: 2 Flag

So now we’ve heard Barry’s big “jobs speech” and it turns out to be the exact opposite of what is needed to rescue the crumbling nation.  No surprise there.

Obama’s so-called “jobs plan” is huge cuts in the payroll tax that are designed to manufacture a real future shortfall in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which will then be used as the rationale for imposing deep cuts on, or even the elimination of, all three programs.  Corporate tax cuts will drain even more revenue from the treasury, which will make extending unemployment insurance for the unemployed who currently qualify, not to mention infrastructure repair, highly unlikely.

Hugh over at Corrente Wire explains in greater detail what this “plan” entails:

$65 billion cut payroll taxes in half from 6.2% to 3.1% on first $5 million in payroll
and from 6.2% to 0 on first $50 million in wages for new hires…

$175 billion to cut employee payroll taxes in half from 6.2% to 3.1%

You know how right-wing extremists have been lying for years now about Social Security’s trust fund being empty, filled with nothing but IOUs?  That was a deliberate lie then.  But now, with Obama’s cuts in the payroll tax that resulted from his shady deal to reduce the deficit on the backs of working Americans, and with further proposed cuts, what was once a total fabrication would become a reality as collection outpaces replacement revenue.

Before Obama stepped in to do what George W. Bush couldn’t, Social Security was solvent until 2037 or 2042, depending on which figures you looked at.  This means that the trust fund would have been able to pay 100% of benefits until 2037 or 2042, by which point action would need to be taken to ensure that there is enough money to cover all of retirees’ benefits.  But under existing and proposed cuts in the payroll tax, the point at which the trust fund begins experiencing a shortage would arrive far sooner, thus providing the rationale for imposing steep cuts in the program.

The far right, and this group has always included Obama and his cronies, has been trying to gut the safety net for decades.  Now they are closer to achieving their goal than they’ve ever been, no thanks to a Democrat in the White House.  This sick joke is something that Democrats fail to get, not only to their own party’s peril but to the nation’s as well.

Also telling in Obama’s no-jobs plan is that it doesn’t actually add new help for the growing number of unemployed; it merely proposes to extend unemployment benefits for those already receiving them – jobless people whose unemployment benefits already ran out are still up a creek without any paddle.  So while one in four Americans (possibly as many as one in three) is either unemployed or severely under-employed, there is no income coming in to support people as they continue their never-ending search for work.  This means a lot of hungry people clogging up bread lines at the church food banks who should be devoting their time to looking for work, but now can’t because they have to spend that time begging already overburdened churches for a little bit of food to get them through the next few days without starving.

The proposed corporate tax cuts, which are ridiculous in the face of historically low taxes on corporations (many of which pay no taxes at all)), is another sick joke played on the public.  Reagan’s depraved trickle-down lie, which has been standard political orthodoxy for decades now, has yet to produce jobs for working people, who have watched as the jobs they once had are shipped to third world countries where labor and environmental laws either don’t exist or are even more lax than our own.

The proposed money for infrastructure repair, while a seemingly large amount, isn’t nearly enough to get this monumental task done, and is unlikely to pass the Republican-dominated House.  Even if that were to happen, Obama made no mention of exactly how such projects would be paid for, a critical omission in his speech.  They would have to be paid for by ending America’s wars and taxing the wealthy, neither of which Washington politicians, including and especially Obama, are willing to do.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: Obama’s latest EPIC FAILURE.  It’s too little, too late, and serves as merely the next step in gutting what’s left of our safety net.

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Tell it like it is, Mike. And with people like you working on it, we should be able to get rid of Obama on January 20th, 2013.

Right on!

Whoever the tea party allows the Republicans to nominate will take his place, and everything will be much better.

Right?
Obama will lose in 2012 regardless of what progressives do. He has only himself to blame for that.
I am about certain Obama will be a one term president--and that one of the Republican clowns will win in 2012.

Most of the blame for that will fall with the unrealistic expectations and shortsightedness of people devoted to a progressive agenda. Obama, and the Democrats in congress, have gotten as much from this toxic political climate as anyone or any group could possibly get. Progressives unwilling to see and acknowledge that are primarily responsible for the short vote that will put a tea party vetted and approved Republican in office.

Obama, by the way, will suffer a small personal loss when that happens. Americans, progressives, and the rest of the world will suffer a galactic sized loss.

If you feel good that you are helping make it possible, fine for you. I hope you feel just as good when you finally wake up and see what you have helped to happen.
Pray tell us, what is "unrealistic" about expecting Obama to live up to the promises he made on the campaign trail? It's not like he hasn't been able to try. He still have his party's nominal control in the Senate, and he has the veto pen. No excuses for refusing to do his job. He ran as a Democrat but instead chose to govern as a far right Republican. That is no one's fault but his.
Pray tell us, what is "unrealistic" about expecting Obama to live up to the promises he made on the campaign trail?

Because I cannot think of a single politician anywhere in the world who has ever done that. Of all the examples you could have used to refute what I said, this is the worst possible choice. Expecting ANY politician to do what he promises on the campaign trail is not only unrealistic…it is naïve to the point of absurdity.

It's not like he hasn't been able to try. He still have his party's nominal control in the Senate, and he has the veto pen. No excuses for refusing to do his job.

He has not refused to do his job…you are simply refusing to accept that he is doing his job the way he thinks it should be done.

He ran as a Democrat but instead chose to govern as a far right Republican.

That is almost too absurd to deserve response, but I will do so anyway. If you think what Obama has done is to govern as a far right Republican…just wait until January 20th 2013 when a real far right Republican will take the office. Then you will realize how unrealistic and unreasonable you are actually being.

That is no one's fault but his.

What he has done or not done is his to answer for. If you want to characterize it as “fault”…that is your right. I think he is doing the best he can under the conditions in which he is working, but I do understand the right of the far left to be unreasonable.

Try to divorce yourself from your anger and disappointment, Mike...and take a look at the reality.
Because I cannot think of a single politician anywhere in the world who has ever done that.

Then you're not thinking hard enough. See Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Dennis Kunich, Lyndon Johnson Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and a host of other politicians who promised to do certain things and then did them.

Johnson promised us Medicare, and we got Medicare. Kucinich promised to try to get Bush and Cheney impeached, he tried to get Cheney impeached. The Roosevelts vowed to go after big business and they did it. Reagan and Bush both promised to destroy the safety net, and they did their damned best to keep that promise even though they failed during their terms in the White House. But no thanks to Barry Obama, their promise is closer to fulfillment than it has ever been.

He has not refused to do his job…you are simply refusing to accept that he is doing his job the way he thinks it should be done.?

Oh yes he has refused. His job is to end the wars and he has refused. His job is to nenforce our laws against torture, the thugs who committed that war crime, and the monsters who ordered it be carried out. He has refused. His job has been to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet he has refused to do so by ramping up illegal surveillance and other crimes against the Constitution. That you refuse to acknowledge Obama's refusal to do his job is not my fault.

That is almost too absurd to deserve response, but I will do so anyway. If you think what Obama has done is to govern as a far right Republican…just wait until January 20th 2013 when a real far right Republican will take the office. Then you will realize how unrealistic and unreasonable you are actually being.

What is "moderate" about protecting torturers? What is "moderate" about launching an illegal war? What is "moderate" about slashing the safety net? Nothing. You know this for a fact. Obama is a right-wing extremist. This, to, is indisputable fact. He is a right-winger who holds extreme right-wing positions. Deny it all you want, but it's true regardless of what you choose to believe.

What he has done or not done is his to answer for.

Exactly. And he will answer for his utter refusal to be the change he promised at the polls next year, when his far right campaign meets cold hard reality as millions of Americans turn their backs and millions more are denied the right to vote and to have their votes counted by the GOP. Obama is repeating all the mistakes of Clinton and Gore on an even larger scale than they did, but he is too stupid to care. But then, that's what he gets for refusing to "look back" and learn from history's errors.
Mike, you are out of control.

It is my opinion that Obama has done the best he can do considering the conditions under which he is working. It is my opinion that nobody could have done appreciably better.

It is my opinion that none of the politicians you mentioned come anywhere near to “living up to the promises made during campaign.” In any case, anyone coming to the Oval Office discovers information that changes what he thinks should be done…and I think all of us ought to welcome changes made under those conditions.

It is my opinion that the liberals and Democrats who unrealistically expected much more from Obama…or anyone else holding that office these days…are really the problem…and because of your (and their) unrealistic expectations, they are now in a hissy fit—effectively aiding and abetting a situation that will harm our country and the world more than the likes of the terrorists targeting us.

Some day you and the others will wake up to what you are doing and regret it. Until then, continue in your stupor. That is your right.
Considering I was never in your control to begin with, your comment is silly. Your opinion is worthless since it is based on nothing more than deluded Obama-worship and completely devoid of facts, filled instead with personal attacks that do nothing to support your false assertions.

The fact is that Obama is a right-wing extremist from the DLC wing of the Democrat Party who had large majorities in both houses of Congress throughout much of his first two years and who refused to use the power afforded him to reverse and the evils committed by the Bush-Cheney regime. He has the power of the veto pen and a smaller yet still capable majority in the Senate. But we're supposed to believe that he's helpless against Republicans, that the best he can do is capitulate endlessly? I think not.

Voters are nowhere near as stupid as you prefer to think, which is why so many of us sat home and didn't turn out to vote in 2010 — why should we when the Democrats do absolutely nothing but use, abuse, and threaten us in return for the votes we gave them in 2006 and 2008 — when they're not bending over backward to pass Republican legislation written by and for large corporate interests?

No no no, liar-boy, it is YOU who are unrealistic. You want to live in a fantasy world where the GOP is all powerful and voters are stupid not to realize this, be my guest. But don't you dare presume to blame anyone but Obama, his sycophants, and the Democrats for their failures.