Say what?

If the L.A. Times is right, this is the best news we’ve had in a while. You know, I don’t even care why Obama’s finally taking a strong liberal position on this budget. I don’t care if his campaign staff polled the reaction, choked on the numbers and it’s a cynical response to get re-elected. (And I’m not saying it is — this may have been his intention all along, and if so, I was clearly wrong. If it wasn’t, it doesn’t matter as long as he’s now changing course.)

All I care about is, a Democratic president should not be kicking the nation’s neediest when they’re down and then lining the pockets of the already-rich. So today, I’m going to allow myself to hope that the president is simply doing the right thing for the right reasons:

Reporting from Washington— President Obama will call for shrinking the nation’s long-term deficits by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and requiring them to pay more into Social Security, drawing a barbed contrast with a Republican plan to save money by deeply slashing Medicare, Medicaidand other domestic spending.

Obama will offer some spending cuts, including trims to the Pentagon’s budget, but his speech Wednesday is likely to provide Americans with a vivid choice between higher taxes or fewer benefits, issues that will color the national debate straight through the 2012 election.

The debate has little middle ground and poses substantial political risk for both sides.

Democrats hope to repeat the experience of 2005, in whichPresident George W. Bush‘s proposal to privatize parts of Social Security proved to be a staggering miscalculation that cost his party heavily in the next year’s election. They think voters will not accept a Republican proposal put forward by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that would replace guaranteed Medicare benefits with a limited voucher.

[…] Obama would end tax breaks for households earning more than $250,000 a year, trim Pentagon spending, lift a cap on the amount of income that is assessed for Social Security, and save on Medicare and Medicaid through alterations to healthcare delivery, administration officials said. He will speak about 1:30 p.m. Eastern time on the campus of George Washington University.

9 thoughts on “Say what?

  1. I don’t care about his reasons at all. I just care whether he does the right thing, period. But we’ll have to see.

    We’ve been teased and then disappointed before.

    Carolyn Kay

  2. “Here, I’ll hold the football for you!”
    “Honest… I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!”
    or “It’ll never happen again sweetheart. I promise.”

  3. It’s one thing to say it in a speech. It’s another thing altogether to have Obama actually work for it. I heard a lot of pretty inspiring speeches between 2006 and 2008 and saw all of it reneged on since then. Fool me once . . . et cetera.

  4. Isn’t this the man you was just on teevee boasting about extending the tax breaks for the rich?
    Sounds to me like he is in campaign mode and is hoping like hell that the peeps listen to his words and forget his record.

  5. Obama is an empty suit. Just another servant of our corporate masters. We haven’t had a real president since Jimmy Carter.

  6. Obama says things in campaign mode which do not hold for him when he is in governing mode (which seems to be mostly his pre-compromise, then move even further to the right mode, along with behind closed doors negotiations…to the right).

    Now, since he’s starting less rightward, I figure he’ll compromise on…ta dah!…the Obama/Peterson Cat Food Commission’s co-chairs’ report, which did not pass, but, hey, it’s what Obama was after when he set up a conservative packed deficit commission. Recall that there is some mention of raising taxes on some things and also cutting deductions on some things.

    I can hope to be wrong on this, but I don’t think he has it in him to stand firm on anything that isn’t right of center.

    Remember that he was strong, even very strong, with words on not letting the Bush tax cuts be extended? But he caved, said he was forced to do it, but in doing so gave the Republicans even more than they’d demanded?

    Let us Hope he can indeed Change. But do not depend on it.

    He also does his best caving/achieving what he actually wanted to do…behind closed doors…as in his WH meetings with Congressional leadership for the most recent “cave” or “compromise” or just getting things where he wanted them to be. As in his closed-door secret meetings with the Big Health Industry Players prior to even launching his profit protection plan for such businesses.

    Oh, and in his 2012 campaign, he won’t be talking about his monumental “caves’; he’ll highlight his leftmost “words” along with his praise of bipartisanship.

    But, again, let us Hope. Just do not depend on anything he says which sounds like close to a leftish position, something liberal, or from the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party. He’s a corporatist, which he may try to hide, but that’s what he does.

  7. i’ve had it with Obama – he’s had long enough to turn things around and blew it at every turn!

  8. uh, if he was gonna call for tax increases for bill- and millionaires why didn’t he f’in do it last year?

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