Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating

By Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) – 12/13/11 06:05 AM ET

After observing President Obama for the last three years, it has become obvious to me that the president might prefer to be a university professor rather than do the job he holds today. While he might not realize that he feels this way, the evidence is very clear to those who work with or watch him closely.

Let me be clear — I’m not trying to disparage professors. But anyone who wonders why the president is not crushing the weak Republican field only needs to examine how President Obama has behaved more like Professor Obama:

‘IDEA DISEASE’


In the president’s first year in office, his administration suffered from what I call “idea disease.” Every week, and sometimes almost every day, the administration rolled out a new program for the country. There was no obvious prioritization and, after the rollout, very little effort to actually pass the latest idea/imperative/plan/edict. Instead, the new programs just kept coming, with the new proposals constantly stepping on the previous day’s message. This rampant “idea disease” squandered the tremendous goodwill generated by the Obama campaign’s message of “hope,” tainting the president’s personal appeal. As Democrats in Congress, we often felt like we were drinking water out of a fire hose, trying to simultaneously deal with past failures of the Bush administration and the avalanche of new initiatives from Obama. This lack of focus also made it easy for congressional Republicans to stall and foil many of President Obama’s best initiatives — which they did with relish!

Report: Democrats drop demand for new tax on millionaires in payroll tax standoff

POSTED AT 10:00 PM ON DECEMBER 14, 2011 BY ALLAHPUNDIT

 Not so much a big win for us as a big loss for them.

Democrats backed away from their demand for higher taxes on millionaires as part of legislation to extend Social Security tax cuts for most Americans on Wednesday as Congress struggled to clear critical year-end bills without triggering a partial government shutdown…

Republicans minimized the significance of the move. “They’re not giving up a whole lot. The tax they wanted to implement on business owners was something that couldn’t pass the House and couldn’t pass the Senate,” McConnell said in a CNBC interview.

Jettisoning the tax could also require Democrats to agree to politically painful savings elsewhere in the budget to replace the estimated $140 billion the tax would have raised over a decade.

In its most recent form, the surtax would have slapped a 1.9 percent tax on income in excess of $1 million, with the proceeds helping pay for the extension of tax cuts for 160 million workers. Senate Democrats have twice forced votes on the proposal in what officials have described as a political maneuver designed to force GOP lawmakers to choose between protecting the wealthy on the one hand and extending tax cuts for millions on the other.

CNN calls it a “major concession,” which is true insofar as this was part of The One’s big populist Elizabeth Warren-esque push against “the one percent” ahead of the election. His base will hate being forced to drop it given how well tax hikes on the rich poll, even though realistically there was no way Democrats were going to walk away from extending a payroll-tax cut for the middle class to try to get Republicans to bend on this. The quid pro quo, I take it, will be the GOP agreeing to drop the Keystone pipeline provision from whatever compromise bill ends up on the House floor. Which means less revenue and fewer jobs in exchange — hopefully — for new spending cuts, or just maybe another hundred billion or so in deficit spending. Doesn’t feel like a major victory, but at least the kabuki phase of these dull negotiations is over.

Poll: Democrats drive increasing fear of big government

POSTED AT 9:10 PM ON DECEMBER 12, 2011

BY TINA KORBEHotAir

No matter how hard I try to be optimistic when I watch the GOP debates, I almost always come away feeling nervous about November 2012. But, then, I come across an encouraging indicator about the general direction in which public opinion has moved since 2008. Low Obama approval. High Obamacare disapproval. Increased numbers of independents, in general — drawn more from Democratic ranks than Republican. And I feel hopeful again.

Today, this Gallup poll served that hope-reviving purpose. As it turns out, whatever the Occupy Wall Street protests seem to signify, a majority of Americans fear big government more than they fear big business. Specifically, 64 percent of Americans say they think big government will be the biggest threat to the country in the future, while just 26 percent name big business as the biggest threat.

That’s not unprecedented or anything: Historically, Americans have always been more apt to be wary of government than business. In fact, in 1999 and 2000, an ever-so-slightly larger percentage of Americans — 65 compared with today’s 64 — said they see big government as a threat.

But what is notable about the recent rise in distrust of big government is that it has been driven by Democrats. Gallup reports:

Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009. The 32% of Democrats concerned about big government at that time — shortly after President Obama took office — was down significantly from a reading in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.

By contrast, 82% of Republicans and 64% of independents today view big government as the biggest threat, slightly higher percentages than Gallup found in 2009.

Lower percentages of Democrats, Republicans and independents are now concerned about big business than was the case in 2009.

If polls teach us anything, it’s that public opinion is perennially changing, but I still think this demonstrates in some small way the American people’s astute understanding — at a time of 8.6 percent unemployment — that jobs depend on expanding businesses, whereas increased government very often creates perverse incentives that undermine economic growth. And that should have electoral implications.

The supercommittee failed because Democrats insisted on $1 trillion in new taxes

By Jon Kyl, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, Jeb Hensarling, Fred Upton and Dave Camp, Published: November 25

We do not choose to add more to the blame game for failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction , but one Democratic talking point needs debunking: that the talks failed because of Republicans’ attachment to the Bush tax cuts.The untold story of the negotiations is the significance of the Republican offer of fundamental tax reform. It is critical to understand the interplay between the proposal(dubbed the “Toomey plan”) and existing tax law.

First, a bit of history. The 2001 and 2003 changes to the tax code reduced marginal rates for all taxpayers as well as the rates for capital gains, dividends and the death tax. For technical reasons, all of these provisions expire at the end of next year — meaning that if Congress does not act, Americans will face the largest tax increase in our history.

This prospect has put a wet blanket over job creation and economic recovery. It would be the wrong medicine for our ailing economy. As President Obama has famously said, “You don’t raise taxes in a recession.” Partially to avoid this result, but also to try to meet the Democrats partway — given their absolute insistence on big, new tax increases — Republicans offered a proposal that would have both reformed the current code and produced significant new tax revenue.  Read More >>>

 

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