Obama continues to bully a bad tax plan down the throats of America.
President refuses to caucus with his own Democrats, stiff-arms them
From Denny: President Obama continues to refuse to caucus with his own Democratic Party. How illogical and insane is this? Answer: very. For some reason this President has adopted a President Nixon autocratic condescending leadership style of which the Democrats are now thoroughly in revolt.
Black Caucus refuses to support the President
Even the African-American caucus does not support him on this Bush Tax Cuts plan he tried to ram down every one's throat. Obama never consulted with any of his own party but rather this plan just suddenly appeared out of thin air via Obama and his senior advisers who met solely with Republican leadership. Increasingly, the Democratic leadership is abandoning Obama on key issues - like national security.
Democrats part ways with Obama
Here's how the Democratic leadership have gone their own way on current legislation up for vote:
* On a $1.1 trillion provision to keep the federal government funded for the next year there was a provision attached to prevent Obama from spending any funds to try terrorism suspects in a civilian court instead of a military commission. The language contained in this provision basically keeps open the Guantanamo Bay prison indefinitely.
Think about the recent fiasco where there were 285 counts against a terrorist and the weak federal government case was such that he was only found guilty on one count. Then it was back to Guantanamo for him. Definitely a complete waste of taxpayer monies.
House Democrats furious with Obama
In an interview with The Hill this is one reaction to the provision. Many other Democrats, including Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), a member of the defense appropriations subcommittee, said they didn’t even know the provision was included - until the rule for the bill hit the floor. Democrats began defecting in large numbers when that happened:
“This is a lack of leadership on the part of Obama,” fumed Moran (D-Va.) “I don’t know where the f*** Obama is on this or anything else. They’re AWOL.”
Obama threw down ugly ultimatum
It was yesterday the House Democrats completely rejected Obama's Bush Tax Cuts plan. Obama told them "to take it or leave it." So, they decided to leave it. Obama did not count on that. Why is Obama jamming up his own Democrats and fighting with them, refusing to meet with them to caucus? In fact, Obama walked out on a meeting with House and Senate Democrats. Instead, he chose to meet with only the Senate Republicans and proceeds to make a unilateral agreement. Then Obama fights with his own party to ram it down their throats. None of this makes any sense.
Since the rejection vote, Speaker Pelosi said, "Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families, to create jobs and economic growth, to assist millions of our fellow Americans who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and to do this in a fiscally sound way."
White House Press Secretary Gibbs
Now ask if the White House response makes any sense: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said "the president is confident Congress will approve the tax package despite its rejection by House Democrats. At the end of the day the bill will pass both houses." This is where the heart of the matter lies - with the deaf White House. They listen to the Republican Party of No yet refuse to hear their own Democrats. "What's wrong with this picture?" is all the buzz in the progressive liberal blogosphere - and among voters.
"We have tremendous concerns about what was given away by the White House," DeFazio commented after the vote. We have given our leadership license to force the Senate and the White House back to the table to get a better deal for the American people."
When DeFazio was asked if the leadership had agreed he said, "Well, they're not going to get a bill if they don't." So much for Press Secretary Gibbs' glib response. Apparently, the White House does not accept these House Democrats mean business and will hold out for as long as it takes.
The Obama Bush Tax Cuts Plan proposal
What did Obama propose?
* 13 month extension of unemployment benefits
* two year extension of ALL Bush Tax Cuts that adds to the national deficit to feed the rich
* and a few minor details that don't amount to much of anything for the middle class benefit
Obama a lousy and weak negotiator
As it stands, Obama basically got about $100 million in unemployment benefits for 13 months as a trade in exchange for almost $800 billion in tax cuts for the rich to last two years. Now why did Obama take a paper towel to a gun fight? Clearly, he does not know how to negotiate. Either he's incompetent, corrupt, greedy or "C" all of the above multiple choices. A high school kid could have done better than this. As it is, Americans pay unemployment insurance out of every paycheck to cover them for benefits should they require them. There is no excuse, legally or otherwise, as to why they should be denied their own insurance they paid out.
How did Obama give away our rights, our winning hand and common sense?
What happened here? Obama went into these negotiations with the overwhelming will of the people on his side to not give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. Even 55 percent of Republicans don't want it. Almost 70 percent of all Americans don't want it.
Why does Obama want to rush up the vote on this tax plan?
Obama had a winning poker hand and lost the game too quickly - which means something is stinking in this White House. It's as if he intended to throw the game in order to win some side bets that would pay higher. What could that be? Try the fact that Obama, senior advisers Axelrod and Plouffe, Sec. Geithner and a lot of his cabinet are all recent millionaires. The reality is that they don't want to see their taxes go up come 31 Dec 2010. This is all about self-interest, disgustingly plain and oh, so corrupt simple.
Estate Taxes revision proposal
As to estate taxes, well, I think both sides of the aisle are completely crazy and greedy. Why? Explain to me why when our parents pass away they should pay yet again on their estates? They already paid taxes on those monies and assets. It's an insult to them to pay when they die too. Maybe have death taxes for the wealthiest since they find ways to elude taxes in their lifetimes anyway. Getting some kind of taxes out of them after death might be the only way.
As to estate taxes Obama and the Republicans decided upon a ceiling of $5 million and 35 percent taxes. The Democrats originally wanted the ceiling at $3.5 million and 55 percent taxes. See? They are both crazy.
Adding Ethanol Tax Credits to revise plan
Currently, to sweeten the deal to get the bill passed Obama has now signed off on adding ethanol tax credits and a $3 billion one-year extension of energy production tax credits.
Sen. Bernie Sanders Filibuster of tax plan winning hearts and minds
Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the Senate's leading liberals and darling of voters nationwide, is filibustering the Obama Bush Tax Cuts plan. "I'm not here to set any great records or to make a spectacle," Sanders said as he began his speech. "I am simply here today to take as long as I can to explain to the American people the fact that we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides."
Sanders Filibuster getting national attention
Well, Sen. Sanders has the attention of Washington with his old-school speech-making blasting the tax deal, filibuster style. Media folks are buzzing about his speech and over at Twitter his name is the sixth most popular hash tag topic. The nickname for his speech that went viral with Beltway reporters? Filibernie. And get this: the Senate TV server had to be shut down temporarily because there were too many people trying to watch Filibernie all at the same time it could not handle the overload of viewers.
Some bullet points contained in his speech:
* a detailed case for more infrastructure investment
* higher corporate tax rates
* reducing the federal budget deficit
* Sanders said Wall Street bankers and the wealthy will be the real beneficiaries of the tax plan
Excerpts from Sanders Filibuster
Says Sanders as he mocks the pampered wealthy, “How can I get by on one house? I need five houses, ten houses! I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We've got the money, we've got the power, we've got the lobbyists here and on Wall Street. Tough luck. That's the world, get used to it. Rich get richer. Middle-class shrinks."
Senators who support Filibernie opposition to tax plan
Two of my favorite Senators also support Sen. Sanders publicly: liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and my own Democratic centrist from Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu. They both joined Sanders on the floor in supportive conference.
Here is what Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) had to say about the Obama tax plan version both she and Sen. Brown oppose: "It's morally corrupt." And that about says it all.
*** More in the news about this ugly tax deal:
On tax-cut deal, ignore Bill Clinton - from economist Robert Reich
*** UPDATE 17 DEC 2010: House Democrats put up a fight over the estate taxes but eventually relented when a suspicious poll was published that suddenly announced that the American public - who had been 70 percent against the tax cuts - was now miraculously 70 percent for the tax cuts plan. The reality is that two-thirds of Republicans and Independents (that are made up of two-thirds former Republicans) wanted the bill. Democrats were 54 percent against the bill.
The real reason this bill passed so quickly is when the Tea Party folks made a huge fuss - and rightly so - about the $8 billion in pork attached to the $1.2 trillion funding bill to keep the government running. You guess it: the funding bill was attached to the tax cuts bill. The Tea Party squawking gave the Democrats the cover necessary to cut out the pork - but also the funding bill with it, to be raised later for consideration. Meanwhile, the federal government may shut down.
Talk about getting everything. The Republicans were poised for the almost $1 trillion tax cuts to the rich PLUS $8 billion in pork that went mostly to their party. Greedy pigs that just don't know when to stop gobbling up everything in sight. It's shady doings like this that angers the American public at our politicians. Will these guys ever learn?
President Obama signed the bill today. The least he could have done in his "deal" while giving away the store is get an equal two years unemployment extensions for the two years of tax cuts to the rich. He could have folded in The 99ers (people who are now two years or longer unemployed) - who are millions without any unemployment benefits for six months now. Their plight has been completely ignored by their government.
So, as it stands there are millions of unemployed without any unemployment benefits to survive from day to day. We also have a federal government about to shut down for lack of funds. Buy hey! The rich got their tax cuts and are jingling plenty of money in their pockets saying, "Ho! Ho! Not!"
The idea that these tax cuts would spur the wealthy to start hiring again is preposterous. Big Business is still cutting jobs by the thousands and sending them overseas. Why hire American workers when you can get cheaper labor overseas while enjoying tax loopholes here in America? It's a win-win for the wealthy holding all the cards in the game.
*** Photo by David Katz @ flickr from the 2008 campaign
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10 December 2010
Sellout Obama and Bush Tax Cuts Firestorm Angers America
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