Tag Archives: Obama speech
President Obama wants his jobs bill passed. Does everyone understand that now? For those of you living in a cave in Iraq without wi-fi, there is a supposed jobs bill here in America, and President Obama wants it passed right now, today, no questions asked! Obama wants you to know that if Congress does not pass his jobs bill, he will be on TV, on a bus tour across America and in the news every single day until… the 2012 elections continuing his very unpresidential "Pass My Jobs Bill" temper tantrum. That is what he promised/threatened to do in his 112 minute speech to the nation yesterday. That, and blame Republicans again. Is the President of the United States so out of touch with the voting public that he thinks this type of childish tantrum on national TV will magically persuade the 54% of people who now disapprove of Barack Obama to vote for "four more years?"
The first hurdle towards passing Obama’s jobs bill reared it’s ugly head in the Unites States Senate on Wednesday. This was seen in the example of an epic battle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (L-D) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Harry did not have the votes needed to pass the jobs bill due to bi-partisan opposition and Mitch wanted a vote on it right then and there on Weds. In this battle of Senate titans, which was televised in it’s entirety on Cspan, ( yes we watch Cspan now and then) we saw Harry capitulate, grovel and complain, while yet not really explaining why he refused to give Obama his much-demanded vote on the jobs bill. Mitch held his ground and said " Let’s give the President the vote he wants here today." Back and forth, over and over, both aging fighters were hitting each other with the all-to-common politically correct verbal feather punches and counter-
hugs, punches. Neither man would back down and this battle looked to end in a stalemate by Weds. evening. On Thursday, President Obama went on another 112 minute rant to the nation stating that they had better pass his jobs bill or the people would "run them out of town." ( referring to Republicans only , because Democrats had nothing to do with the 6 trillion dollars of debt they have slapped onto the backs of our children, according to Obama) By this time the nation was being exposed to Harry’s games in the Senate by citizen journalists, political activists, and grassroots Tea Party groups across America. Immense pressure was being put on poor old Harry Reid, and he seemed to crack near the end of Obama’s speech, as Fox news announced that Harry Reid would indeed allow the Senate to hold a vote on Obama’s jobs bill later on that day. ( Thursday) Apparently, this was just another of Harry Reid’s irresponsible games being played once again, because as of right now, it looks like the vote was not held. We all know how by now Harry’s past games have been played. Remember when he was caught bribing Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) during the health-care debate? That resulted in what are known as the Corn-husker kick-back and the new Louisiana Purchase in which your own tax dollars were used to buy their votes for Obama-care. Harry Reid has been playing these types of games for decades up there in the U.S. Senate. (at taxpayers expense) When harry announced that they would vote on the jobs bill yesterday, he must have had some more kick-back schemes lined up, in which he thought he could buy the votes needed to pass the jobs bill. The vote did not happen last night as had been announced. While the reasons for it not happening are not yet clear, it now looks like Harry Reid is losing at his own game.
Why is there bi-partisan opposition to Obama’s jobs bill ?
Maybe it is the fact that the jobs bill really isn’t a jobs bill after all, upon closer inspection? What if it is proven that Barack Obama is fighting not for jobs for ordinary citizens, but is, in fact simply begging for another half a trillion taxpayer dollars to pay back his vote-buying Union bed-pals, assorted crony-capitalists such as G.E., and strengthen his campaign coffers just like he did with the 826-billion-dollar-taxpayer-fraud now know as the fake stimulus package ? That debacle did not stop us from the current 9.1% unemployment rate we have which is crushing the middle class of America. The bullet points in Obama’s latest Stimulus Package-light run right along with the same lines as the lies that were told during the last stimulus package propaganda tour, except that this time we are being promised that. "The U/E rate will drop a couple of points," instead of the fallacy of 8% that Obama told us the last time we saw this scheme to defraud the American taxpayer. When researching The American Jobs Act in a browser, the first 15-20 pages are all from teachers unions and assorted Obama political operatives that are nothing more than parroting Obama’s misleading talking points verbatim. As Obama’s lifelong pal, Weather-underground terrorist and Chi-town community organizer Bill Ayer’s always says, " Tell a lie long enough, and the uninformed masses will eventually believe it." How many times have we seen Barack Obama on TV, on the radio, in the faux news fluff pieces, and flying around the country in perpetual campaign mode demanding that Congress pass his jobs bill now and put " Americans back to work" recently? .Too many to count. Tell the lies loud enough and long enough and the sheep will eventually believe it. That is why Barack Obama is spending millions of taxpayer dollars and wasting valuable time demanding his jobs bill be passed, time that could be better spent governing and leading this country, instead of preaching about this Stimulus-light.
If Obama”s jobs bill was designed to actually help Americans get back to work, then the bill would simply sell itself to Congress. That did not happen.
In an article from nationalreview.com, we see just why Obama’s jobs bill seems to be stuck in the mud in Congress and doomed to sink:
Transportation funding: The bill sets aside $50 billion for transportation projects, mostly in the form of grants and guaranteed loans, including $27 billion for “immediate transportation infrastructure investments” on highway and rail projects, including:
$4 billion in grants for “high-speed rail projects,” at least 85 percent of which must be spent on “the development of entire segments or phases of intercity or high-speed rail corridors.”
$2 billion (on top of that $4 billion) for Amtrak.
$2 billion for “airport improvement.”
$105 million for “the Puerto Rico highway program.”
The Transportation department, run by Ray LaHood has seen huge increases in taxpayer funding since Obama took office, yet we still stare 9.1% long-term unemployment in the face today. Remember the "shovel-ready jobs" promise during the original stimulus rip-off ? A huge part of as to why all of the transportation/infrastructure spending of Stimulus 1 failed was because that Unions now get all federal construction contracts over $25 million dollars. No bids are allowed by private companies unless they are Unionized, no getting the best price for the taxpayer-funded projects, thus shutting out small companies that are not politically connected and Unionized. Federal transportation spending under Barack Obama has already increased by a whopping 549% ! In 2008 we spent $10.7B and in the last two years under Obama we have spent..$58.7 billion dollars in transportation and infrastructure funding, yet we have seen very little improvement in our infrastructure, as Obama himself stated in his last speech. Why is that? If we add the 50 billion dollar increase in transportation spending that is asked for in the jobs bill, transportation spending will have increased by 1016% since 2008 levels. No that is not a typo, it is actually a 1016% increase in transportation spending. If we cut Obama’s Union bed-pals out of the picture and actually put these contracts up for fair bids, we just might see some actual improvement, instead of just a bunch of government signs stating how great the stimulus scheme was doing for us all.
Just like when Congress illegally created the FFB Congressional loan sharking bank for themselves back in 1973, Obama’s jobs bill also creates another "bank."
Infrastructure bank: The AJA establishes the “American Infrastructure Financing Authority” (a.k.a. the infrastructure bank) as a “wholly owned government corporation.” The purpose of this new “government corporation,” is according to the bill, “to facilitate investment in, and long-term financing of, economically viable infrastructure projects of regional or national significance.
Who decides which projects are “economically viable” and “of regional or national significance”? A board of unelected bureaucrats, that’s who. AIFA’s board of directors will consist of 7 members, each appointed by the president, “not more than 4 of which” can be from the same political party. They will preside over an annual fund of $10 billion that is set to grow to $20 billion after two years, before settling at $50 billion (annually) after 10 years. By 2014, AIFA’s “administrative costs” alone will reach up to $50 million per year. A few other notable provisions of the infrastructure bank:
It Creates a “Center for Excellence to provide technical assistance to public sector borrowers.”Contains a provision prioritizing “geographic diversity” in the selection of projects for funding. Nothing to see there folks, just move along.
Additionally, there is billions of dollars in Green Energy Solyndra-style fraud and taxpayer abuse embedded into the jobs bill that is sure to enrage many Americans upon discovery. We also have President Obama once again saying this jobs is completely paid for and will not increase our national debt. What the people need to be told is the fact that this fake jobs bill which is really just another stimulus fraud, will in fact be paid for by massive tax increases. Add to that the so-called millionaires surtax of an additional 5.6% that was slipped into the Senate jobs bill yesterday, on Obama’s orders and we see the fact that Obama is indeed breaking numerous additional stated promises about "not raising taxes during the current recession." Another aspect of this farce of a jobs bill comes out into the sunlight when we research The American Jobs Act on the internet. As stated above the first 15-20 pages are mainly from teachers unions saying how wonderful it is that Barack will be putting them "back to work" with his jobs bill. In keeping things real, I just went down to do a simple poll at the local bus stop.There were 18 kids there this morning waiting for the school bus, ranging from 10 yrs old to 18. I asked a simple question: "Have any of you been sitting in a classroom where there was no teacher present at any point during this school year ? " Of course that has never happened they all stated. "How could we be out here going to school if there were no teachers in class? ", a 10 year old asked me. My point exactly. So much for "Putting the valuable teachers back to work with his jobs bill" propaganda Obama spewed yesterday. When the teacher’s Unions explode the number of teachers to an unmanageable level, the first to go during common sense budget cuts are the ones whom are essentially worthless or were not needed to begin with. That is just a plain hard fact of life that even a 10 year old can understand.
Senate Majority obstructionist and denier of reality, Harry Reid is simply playing a game he cannot win when it comes to passing Obama’s fake jobs bill. Realistic Senate Democrats up for reelection in 2012, will note vote for this bill simply because they couldn’t ram it though quickly enough, as was Barack Obama’s plan.The people are wise to this Stimulus-light jobs bill fraud, and are getting wiser by the minute, much to Harry’s dismay. The more we look into this jobs bill, the more we see that it is not an actual jobs bill that was designed to help the working class people of America. House Speaker Boehner is very aware of that fact, and poses yet another problem for Harry Reid in getting Obama’s jobs bill passed. Good luck Harry. 2012 just can’t get here fast enough.
UPDATE: This just in: Reid triggers ‘nuclear option’ to change Senate rules, end repeat filibusters. As I stated earlier in this article, Harry Reid has been playing the nasty game of partisan, totalarianist politics for a long time now. Hold your ground Mr. McConnell.
President Obama just wrapped up his most recent speech (112 minutes of it) in which he both started and ended with the temper-tantrum-like, “Pass My Jobs Bill Now” obvious 2012 reelection style campaign rhetoric. President Obama spent an ample amount of his TV time today towards blaming Republicans for not passing his jobs bill already, even though it is in fact, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats who have refused to vote on it. Last we heard Mr. President, it is a known fact that Congress is made up of both parties, and your Liberal Democrats hold the majority in the U.S. Senate today, just in case you weren’t aware of that fact. It is nothing short of amazing in how the lead- mouthpiece of the Liberal Party USA, Barack Obama can never seem to find a thing that Democrats are responsible for during the last 5 straight years of Congressional rule. ( 2007-2010 plus Senate rule today ) When it comes to any criticism, it is like they don’t exist in Obama’s world. It was just announced that, after being exposed by Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell yesterday on the Senate floor in his refusal to act on Obama’s demands to vote on the jobs bill, Harry Reid has now agreed to hold a vote on Obama’s supposed jobs bill. Good luck Harry. Last we heard, Obama’s supposed jobs bill has bi-partisan opposition in the U.S.Senate.
President Obama was asked if he would sign the current Chinese Currency Manipulation bill in Congress which has bi-partisan support , which he totally dodged by talking about the history of China’s doing just that, yet once again he refused to be clear as to whether he would sign the bill as asked. That non-committal to denounce China as a currency manipulator is exactly how China has gotten away scott-free for decades without any firm repercussions.
When asked about the current Solyndra pay-for-play scandal where half a billion tax dollars were funneled into Democratic campaign coffers, Obama stayed on message in denying any wrong-doing, and also said it is up to the Dept. of Energy to take these risks on behalf of the taxpayer in so many words. FYI, Mr. President, the political appointees in fact, do not have authorization to “make bets” with taxpayer dollars any where in the U.S. Constitution. As a much-ballyhooed Constitutional scholar, one would think you would know better than to to try to sell that load of bunk there.
President Obama once again defended his political operative over at the DOJ, Eric Holder in trying to convince the public that Holder knew nothing about the Fast and Furious government-sponsored gun-running program that resulted in the murder of 2 border agents and hundreds of citizens .E-mails and other correspondence prove Holder and the Obama administration were in fact informed about that program and allowed it to proceed. Again we see that President Obama refuses to hold anyone accountable for this travesty of injustice. Simply denying the facts will not make it go away Mr. President, as you are starting to see by Rep. Darell Issa now demanding a special prosecutor, promising to “get to the bottom of it, no matter what it takes.”
President Obama took some parting shots again at the GOP towards the end of his latest TV appearance, where he demanded that they tell him what they do not agree with in his jobs plan several Republicans have already expressed these concerns, but maybe Obama missed them, considering he has been on the campaign trail for the better part of two straight weeks now. As a voting citizen, I have one simple problem with Obama’s supposed jobs plan and a very simple way to solve what I see as the biggest problem with his supposed desire to “create or save” jobs in America. Pass the bill on one condition: Every contract funded by this jobs bill must be put up for bids in order to ensure the taxpayer gets the most bang for their buck. That way, all of the infrastructure, road-building and new construction projects in Obama’s new jobs plan, will not be used to buy Union crony-capitalists votes for his 2012 reelection campaign. What say you Congress? Draw up the amendment and then take that message to “We the people” that you will in fact, pass Obama’s jobs bill as long as it does not cut out the 85% of the workers in this country who do not belong to Unions. That’s all Obama’s latest stimulus plan 2.0 is, that he is trying to sell to Congress so heavily recently. As far as We the People running Republicans out of town if they don’t pass your fake jobs bill, the main target to be run out of town as of right now is you Mr, President, which is backed up the recent number of your very own 55% disapproval ratings show. Gosh, how I hate having to watch these retreads of Obama’s campaign speeches that always contain a heavy dose of blaming everything under the sun for his blatant failures as the leader of this country, instead of taking one ounce of responsibility. 2012 just can’t get here fast enough.
In looking back at past presidential reelection campaigns, we see that an incumbent president faces the dilemma of having to fend off vigorous challengers for his job, while also having to be politically correct and acting somewhat presidential in public at the same time. When a sitting U.S. President comes out with blatant untruths and nasty, vitriolic rhetoric towards an as-yet-not-chosen adversary, (some 13 months before the elections) they come off as petty tyrants fearful of losing power, not presidential. In another campaign fundraiser speech in San Diego California last night, Barack Obama proves to be in early panic mode, while also proving himself to be the greatest denier of reality to ever take a podium in America. There is also a glaring example of how Barack Obama is once again caught stating things that are simply not true in order to woo deep-pocketed Liberals.
Barack Obama has stated many times that he does not, in fact watch the GOP debates, as if to portray to the people that he is unbeatable in his 2012 reelection bid. Then he proves to the nation that he does in fact watch the debates in several of his statements last night at another fundraiser in San Diego:
“I mean has anybody been watching the debates lately?” Obama said. “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.” So much for denying that you are paying much attention to the GOP debates, Mr. President. Yes, the Presidential incumbent panic mode appears to be ramping up considerably within the Obama reelection community ever since Governor Rick Perry entered the race. Notice that Rick Perry was made the main target right off the bat last night? So Texas has had wildfires, and Barack Obama believes that it proves the liberal global warming propaganda of today to be a fact. Here is a little history lesson the president might want to acknowledge from CNN’s History of Wildfires:
After a summer of sparse rain, sporadic wildfires in Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick reached disastrous levels in October 1825. Strong winds spurred the conflagration, which burned through forests and settlements in Maine and along the Miramichi River in Canada. Among the worst wildfires in North American history, the Miramichi fire burned 3 million acres, killed 160 people and left 15,000 homeless. ( emphasis mine)
Considering that in 1885, (some 60 years after the Miramichi wildfire) German mechanical engineer, Karl Benz designed and built the world’s first practical automobile to be powered by an internal-combustion engine. On January 29, 1886, Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car, we see that the biggest wildfires in U.S history did not have a single thing to do with climate change and gasoline-burning cars, period. Barack Obama wants you to believe otherwise, which is why he uses the Liberal Climate Change propaganda as a main plank in his reelection campaign speeches. In this example here, he also uses it to bash Texas Governor Rick Perry at the same time. In the meantime Barack Obama would like everyone to run out and buy a Chevy Volt from Government-Union- Motors, (GM) even though the state of Texas is facing shortages of electricity largely due to Obama’s Extreme Political Activists (EPA) forcing the closure of major coal-burning electricity plants due to the over-regulation based on their junk science. At the same time, let’s also acknowledge the fact that Barack Obama is flying around the country on the taxpayer’s pollution-spewing corporate jet while Congress is still mired in the FEMA funding stalemate. The very same taxpayer-paid FEMA funding that was created to help with tragedies such as the people of Texas whom are currently trying to recover from massive wildfires. The tax dollars taken from the working class people to pay for FEMA programs are to be used to help states and cities recover from natural disasters, not your political agenda Mr. President. Get back to Washington D.C and tell Senate majority tyrant Harry Reid that also. WE The People are coming to take back our Liberty in the 2012 elections, and Barack Obama darn well knows it.
A United States President spending too much time on the campaign trail 13 months before the elections points to a president in full panic mode. This current taxpayer-funded campaign trip will hit the Liberal cities of Seattle, Wash., to Medina in the home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirely, to two more fundraising events in California’s silicone valley, to last night’s speech in San Diego, and finally ending up in Denver, Colorado. Is it any wonder as to why Barack Obama is widely portrayed as leaving this country leaderless while spending countless days on the campaign trail such as this latest one? Being our President means leading this country in solving the endless problems in Congress that currently plague this nation, not running around the country begging hypocritical crony-capitalists for $35,800 a seat just to help spread your campaign propaganda. America needs a leader today, not a campaigner in chief.
Barack Obama is so out of touch with reality about just how the American people truly feel about his failure to deliver on his promises of the 2008 campaign, along with how disgusted they are with his economy-crushing policy agenda, that he all but calls them completely ignorant morons in the following statement. Obama said 2012 would be an especially tough election because people are discouraged and disillusioned with government, but he also said he was determined because so much is at stake. (Panic city proven right there) We The People are Disillusioned? With Americans currently staring at 9% unemployment, record housing foreclosures, very high gasoline prices, a country that hasn’t had a firm budget going on 3 straight years of Democratic rule, $15 trillion dollars of debt being slapped onto the backs of our children, our very own government caught red-handing enabling the sale of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels, the Solyndra solar panel pay-for-play Democratic slush fund that cost taxpayers half a billion dollars, the Obama-care destruction of our health-care system looming, along with the collapse of our Social Security/Medicare fund due to Democrat’s refusal to address the unfunded liabilities in it that has many Seniors in fear for their survival, and you say WE The People are somehow disillusioned? Those facts say that you are the one who is truly disillusioned Mr. President, not We The People.
Further proof of the Obama-panic-mode setting in can be found in the yet another statement made in San Diego, ( not to mention that it contains a very nasty lie) when Obama referred to the Floridians at the most recent GOP debate: “It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have healthcare” For a sitting President to tell that ludicrous lie as a pathetic attempt to denounce the folks of Florida at the GOP debate is petty and disgusting, to say the least. It also shows just how out of touch with the reality of the voting public that Barack Hussein Obama really is. Obama now has an actual record that he must defend in an election, and that record now points to an abysmal failure of his policies and incompetence. So what is an incumbent President to do to remain in the White House for four more years while staring in the face of record disapproval ratings? He has nothing more to offer than to revert back to the undefined hope and change rhetoric of 2008, and hope that Americans will be fooled by his supposed charm and charisma, with an added dose of class warfare thrown in, as is the usual pattern that fake Democrat’s have used throughout history to cover up their agenda and remain in power. Since the 2012 election campaign of Barack Obama will be pretty much a 2008 Hope n Change 2.0 retread, let’s revisit that campaign as a reminder of how uniformed the American public was when they were duped into voting for this community organizer in chief.
In the 2008 Presidential elections, we all heard candidate Obama state that we are just 8 days away from, “fundamentally transforming America.” Almost 3 years into his presidency, Americans are now realizing that Barack Obama’s main agenda is exposed as a Liberal anti-capitalistic ideology of transforming America into a failed Socialist nation through Marxist wealth redistribution policies. And they do not like it one bit. Campaigner-in-Chief Barack Obama also reiterates his Marxist transformation of America platform in this statement, also made in San Diego last night: “This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country,” the president said. “2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election.” Damn straight Mr. President, the 2012 elections are indeed a choice about the direction that America has been heading in since you were elected on the undefined hope and change fraud in 2008, and we intend to change that direction for the betterment of all Americans in 2012, simply by ensuring that you are a one-term President. (Relegated to the dustbin of other presidential failures in U.S. history, such as Mr. Jimmy Carter.) Carter was simply a Liberal- Democratic puppet, surrounded by a slew of economically- illiterate advisers, while you, on the other hand have proven yourself to be an anti-American, conniving long-time student of Weather-underground terrorist Bill Ayers and the radical community organizer Saul Alinsky, hell-bent on destroying American freedoms and liberty through the collapse/takeover/government intrusion into the very American capitalistic system that has made us the greatest nation on earth for over two hundred years. If Barack Obama thinks that We The People will allow him to continue to destroy American culture and Liberty through another fours years of his Marxist policies, he is the one who is truly disillusioned. (In the above link we see a long list of Alinsky students, including democrats Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Miller, and ex-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. )
In summary, we will end this short Obama campaign-panic-mode expose’ with a quote straight from Barack Obama’s life-long mentor, Bill Ayers: ” The only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism is revolutionary war.” Barack Obama’s first major political announcement was back in 1995 when he announced his intentions of running for the U.S. Senate…. from Bill Ayers living room. For a very serious, detailed history of just how Barack Obama was injected into American politics, who was behind it all, and a better understanding of the Obama agenda of today, check out The Obama File.
Barack Obama must once again fool the American voting public into ignoring his proven deep seated radical ideology, in which America is brought to her knees by collapsing our country under the weight of big government Socialism using the Bill Ayers/Saul Alinsky taught Marxist revolutionary tactics of class warfare and wealth redistribution to divide the country and remain in power. America has recently awakened to the reality that another four years of Barack Obama could truly transform America…. to the detriment of the American way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without government intervention. This is what the 2012 Presidential elections comes down to, a vote for American freedoms and prosperity, or a vote for the stealth Socialism that Barack Obama is currently injecting into the American way of life.
Obama explained his vision for the road to deficit reductions on Wednesday. In a speech that was light on details and heavy on the campaign rhetoric, he reminded Americans of the things most critical to his “progressive vision”.
Obama claims that his plan will cut $4 Trillion from budget deficits over 12 years. Where would that leave the total debt which now totals more than $14 trillion?
To sum it up, everything is on the table, except social security, and perhaps not transportation, education or clean energy. Tax hikes are definitely on the table, but only for the very rich. The video and full text is below for your perusal.
Good afternoon. It’s great to be back at GW. I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.
Of course, what we’ve been debating here in Washington for the last few weeks will affect your lives in ways that are potentially profound. This debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending. It’s about the kind of future we want. It’s about the kind of country we believe in. And that’s what I want to talk about today.
From our first days as a nation, we have put our faith in free markets and free enterprise as the engine of America’s wealth and prosperity. More than citizens of any other country, we are rugged individualists, a self-reliant people with a healthy skepticism of too much government.
But there has always been another thread running throughout our history – a belief that we are all connected; and that there are some things we can only do together, as a nation. We believe, in the words of our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, that through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. And so we’ve built a strong military to keep us secure, and public schools and universities to educate our citizens. We’ve laid down railroads and highways to facilitate travel and commerce. We’ve supported the work of scientists and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives, unleashed repeated technological revolutions, and led to countless new jobs and entire industries. Each of us has benefitted from these investments, and we are a more prosperous country as a result.
Part of this American belief that we are all connected also expresses itself in a conviction that each one of us deserves some basic measure of security. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff, may strike any one of us. “There but for the grace of God go I,” we say to ourselves, and so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities. We are a better country because of these commitments. I’ll go further – we would not be a great country without those commitments.
For much of the last century, our nation found a way to afford these investments and priorities with the taxes paid by its citizens. As a country that values fairness, wealthier individuals have traditionally born a greater share of this burden than the middle class or those less fortunate. This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well – we rightly celebrate their success. Rather, it is a basic reflection of our belief that those who have benefitted most from our way of life can afford to give a bit more back. Moreover, this belief has not hindered the success of those at the top of the income scale, who continue to do better and better with each passing year.
Now, at certain times – particularly during periods of war or recession – our nation has had to borrow money to pay for some of our priorities. And as most families understand, a little credit card debt isn’t going to hurt if it’s temporary.
But as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels, and our leaders began to realize that a larger challenge was on the horizon. They knew that eventually, the Baby Boom generation would retire, which meant a much bigger portion of our citizens would be relying on programs like Medicare, Social Security, and possibly Medicaid. Like parents with young children who know they have to start saving for the college years, America had to start borrowing less and saving more to prepare for the retirement of an entire generation.
To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush and President Clinton; by Democratic Congresses and a Republican Congress. All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice, but they largely protected the middle class, our commitments to seniors, and key investments in our future.
As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt-free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.
But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program – but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts – tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.
To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our national checkbook, consider this: in the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.
Of course, that’s not what happened. And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit was more than $1 trillion. On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more. In this case, we took a series of emergency steps that saved millions of jobs, kept credit flowing, and provided working families extra money in their pockets. It was the right thing to do, but these steps were expensive, and added to our deficits in the short term.
So that’s how our fiscal challenge was created. This is how we got here. And now that our economic recovery is gaining strength, Democrats and Republicans must come together and restore the fiscal responsibility that served us so well in the 1990s. We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt. And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments we need to grow, create jobs, and win the future.
Now, before I get into how we can achieve this goal, some of you might be wondering, “Why is this so important? Why does this matter to me?”
Here’s why. Even after our economy recovers, our government will still be on track to spend more money than it takes in throughout this decade and beyond. That means we’ll have to keep borrowing more from countries like China. And that means more of your tax dollars will go toward paying off the interest on all the loans we keep taking out. By the end of this decade, the interest we owe on our debt could rise to nearly $1 trillion. Just the interest payments.
Then, as the Baby Boomers start to retire and health care costs continue to rise, the situation will get even worse. By 2025, the amount of taxes we currently pay will only be enough to finance our health care programs, Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt. That’s it. Every other national priority – education, transportation, even national security – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.
Ultimately, all this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy. It will prevent us from making the investments we need to win the future. We won’t be able to afford good schools, new research, or the repair of roads and bridges – all the things that will create new jobs and businesses here in America. Businesses will be less likely to invest and open up shop in a country that seems unwilling or unable to balance its books. And if our creditors start worrying that we may be unable to pay back our debts, it could drive up interest rates for everyone who borrows money – making it harder for businesses to expand and hire, or families to take out a mortgage.
The good news is, this doesn’t have to be our future. This doesn’t have to be the country we leave to our children. We can solve this problem. We came together as Democrats and Republicans to meet this challenge before, and we can do it again.
But that starts by being honest about what’s causing our deficit. You see, most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but they like the stuff it buys. Most of us, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we should have a strong military and a strong defense. Most Americans believe we should invest in education and medical research. Most Americans think we should protect commitments like Social Security and Medicare. And without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political skills tell me that almost no one believes they should be paying higher taxes.
Because all this spending is popular with both Republicans and Democrats alike, and because nobody wants to pay higher taxes, politicians are often eager to feed the impression that solving the problem is just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse –that tackling the deficit issue won’t require tough choices. Or they suggest that we can somehow close our entire deficit by eliminating things like foreign aid, even though foreign aid makes up about 1% of our entire budget.
So here’s the truth. Around two-thirds of our budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and national security. Programs like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and tax credits for working families take up another 20%. What’s left, after interest on the debt, is just 12 percent for everything else. That’s 12 percent for all of our other national priorities like education and clean energy; medical research and transportation; food safety and keeping our air and water clean.
Up until now, the cuts proposed by a lot of folks in Washington have focused almost exclusively on that 12%. But cuts to that 12% alone won’t solve the problem. So any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to put everything on the table, and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget. A serious plan doesn’t require us to balance our budget overnight – in fact, economists think that with the economy just starting to grow again, we will need a phased-in approach – but it does require tough decisions and support from leaders in both parties. And above all, it will require us to choose a vision of the America we want to see five and ten and twenty years down the road.
One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates. It’s a plan that aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years, and one that addresses the challenge of Medicare and Medicaid in the years after that.
Those are both worthy goals for us to achieve. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history.
A 70% cut to clean energy. A 25% cut in education. A 30% cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That’s what they’re proposing. These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget. These aren’t the kind of cuts that Republicans and Democrats on the Fiscal Commission proposed. These are the kind of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America we believe in. And they paint a vision of our future that’s deeply pessimistic.
It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them. Go to China and you’ll see businesses opening research labs and solar facilities. South Korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science. Brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run half their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but biofuels. And yet, we are presented with a vision that says the United States of America – the greatest nation on Earth – can’t afford any of this.
It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors. It says that ten years from now, if you’re a 65 year old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy insurance, tough luck – you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.
This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. And who are those 50 million Americans? Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.
Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.
The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said, there’s nothing “serious” or “courageous” about this plan. There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know.
The America I know is generous and compassionate; a land of opportunity and optimism. We take responsibility for ourselves and each other; for the country we want and the future we share. We are the nation that built a railroad across a continent and brought light to communities shrouded in darkness. We sent a generation to college on the GI bill and saved millions of seniors from poverty with Social Security and Medicare. We have led the world in scientific research and technological breakthroughs that have transformed millions of lives.
This is who we are. This is the America I know. We don’t have to choose between a future of spiraling debt and one where we forfeit investments in our people and our country. To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.
Today, I’m proposing a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years. It’s an approach that borrows from the recommendations of the bipartisan Fiscal Commission I appointed last year, and builds on the roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction I already proposed in my 2012 budget. It’s an approach that puts every kind of spending on the table, but one that protects the middle-class, our promise to seniors, and our investments in the future.
The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week – a step that will save us about $750 billion over twelve years. We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs I care about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs. We’ll invest in medical research and clean energy technology. We’ll invest in new roads and airports and broadband access. We will invest in education and job training. We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.
The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America’s interests around the world. But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.
Just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense. Over the last two years, Secretary Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again. We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete.
The third step in our approach is to further reduce health care spending in our budget. Here, the difference with the House Republican plan could not be clearer: their plan lowers the government’s health care bills by asking seniors and poor families to pay them instead. Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself.
Already, the reforms we passed in the health care law will reduce our deficit by $1 trillion. My approach would build on these reforms. We will reduce wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments. We will cut spending on prescription drugs by using Medicare’s purchasing power to drive greater efficiency and speed generic brands of medicine onto the market. We will work with governors of both parties to demand more efficiency and accountability from Medicaid. We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. And we will slow the growth of Medicare costs by strengthening an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.
Now, we believe the reforms we’ve proposed to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid will enable us to keep these commitments to our citizens while saving us $500 billion by 2023, and an additional one trillion dollars in the decade after that. And if we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.
But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations.
That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older. As I said in the State of the Union, both parties should work together now to strengthen Social Security for future generations. But we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.
The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. And I refuse to renew them again.
Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, like homeownership or charitable giving, we cannot ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 while doing nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn’t itemize.
My budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2% of Americans – a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over ten years. But to reduce the deficit, I believe we should go further. That’s why I’m calling on Congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple – so that the amount of taxes you pay isn’t determined by what kind of accountant you can afford. I believe reform should protect the middle class, promote economic growth, and build on the Fiscal Commission’s model of reducing tax expenditures so that there is enough savings to both lower rates and lower the deficit. And as I called for in the State of the Union, we should reform our corporate tax code as well, to make our businesses and our economy more competitive.
This is my approach to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next twelve years. It’s an approach that achieves about $2 trillion in spending cuts across the budget. It will lower our interest payments on the debt by $1 trillion. It calls for tax reform to cut about $1 trillion in spending from the tax code. And it achieves these goals while protecting the middle class, our commitment to seniors, and our investments in the future.
In the coming years, if the recovery speeds up and our economy grows faster than our current projections, we can make even greater progress than I have pledged here. But just to hold Washington – and me – accountable and make sure that the debt burden continues to decline, my plan includes a debt failsafe. If, by 2014, our debt is not projected to fall as a share of the economy – or if Congress has failed to act – my plan will require us to come together and make up the additional savings with more spending cuts and more spending reductions in the tax code. That should be an incentive for us to act boldly now, instead of kicking our problems further down the road.
So this is our vision for America – a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and rising opportunity for our children.
Of course, there will be those who disagree with my approach. Some will argue we shouldn’t even consider raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It’s just an article of faith for them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don’t need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without. That some of you wouldn’t be here without. And I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them. Washington just hasn’t asked them to.
Others will say that we shouldn’t even talk about cutting spending until the economy is fully recovered. I’m sympathetic to this view, which is one of the reasons I supported the payroll tax cuts we passed in December. It’s also why we have to use a scalpel and not a machete to reduce the deficit – so that we can keep making the investments that create jobs. But doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option. Our debt has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don’t begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order.
Finally, there are those who believe we shouldn’t make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security out of a fear that any talk of change to these programs will usher in the sort of radical steps that House Republicans have proposed. I understand these fears. But I guarantee that if we don’t make any changes at all, we won’t be able to keep our commitments to a retiring generation that will live longer and face higher health care costs than those who came before.
Indeed, to those in my own party, I say that if we truly believe in a progressive vision of our society, we have the obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments. If we believe that government can make a difference in people’s lives, we have the obligation to prove that it works – by making government smarter, leaner and more effective.
Of course, there are those who will simply say that there’s no way we can come together and agree on a solution to this challenge. They’ll say the politics of this city are just too broken; that the choices are just too hard; that the parties are just too far apart. And after a few years in this job, I certainly have some sympathy for this view.
But I also know that we’ve come together and met big challenges before. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill came together to save Social Security for future generations. The first President Bush and a Democratic Congress came together to reduce the deficit. President Clinton and a Republican Congress battled each other ferociously and still found a way to balance the budget. In the last few months, both parties have come together to pass historic tax relief and spending cuts. And I know there are Republicans and Democrats in Congress who want to see a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
I believe we can and must come together again. This morning, I met with Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to discuss the approach I laid out today. And in early May, the Vice President will begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties with the aim of reaching a final agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit by the end of June.
I don’t expect the details in any final agreement to look exactly like the approach I laid out today. I’m eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum. And though I’m sure the criticism of what I’ve said here today will be fierce in some quarters, and my critique of the House Republican approach has been strong, Americans deserve and will demand that we all bridge our differences, and find common ground.
This larger debate we’re having, about the size and role of government, has been with us since our founding days. And during moments of great challenge and change, like the one we’re living through now, the debate gets sharper and more vigorous. That’s a good thing. As a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another, this is one of the most important debates we can have.
But no matter what we argue or where we stand, we’ve always held certain beliefs as Americans. We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. And we have to think about what’s required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.
This sense of responsibility – to each other and to our country – this isn’t a partisan feeling. It isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea. It’s patriotism.
The other day I received a letter from a man in Florida. He started off by telling me he didn’t vote for me and he hasn’t always agreed with me. But even though he’s worried about our economy and the state of our politics, he said,
“I still believe. I believe in that great country that my grandfather told me about. I believe that somewhere lost in this quagmire of petty bickering on every news station, the ‘American Dream’ is still alive…
We need to use our dollars here rebuilding, refurbishing and restoring all that our ancestors struggled to create and maintain…We as a people must do this together, no matter the color of the state one comes from or the side of the aisle one might sit on.”
I still believe as well. And I know that if we can come together, and uphold our responsibilities to one another and to this larger enterprise that is America, we will keep the dream of our founding alive in our time, and pass on to our children the country we believe in. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.