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Obama stakes second term on ambitious reform

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“President Obama? He believes ... that the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough,” said rising star Senator Marco Rubio, giving the Republican rebuttal speech.

That's right, keep stroking the buzzwords for your radicalized base...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TheQuetion: Hiking the minimum wage at this point would only further damage the lower skilled in the country by making it harder for them to find jobs.

Then don't complain when unemployment remains high forever because wages are the same as they can get for free while they look for jobs that can actually pay the rent.

If a small privately owned store has 8 employees making the minimum wage working

Your argument works all the way down to $1 an hour wages. There has to be a point where both businesses and people can survive. Businesses raise their prices all the time. Taking wages off the table isn't a good long-term strategy for a country.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nancy Pelosi said in an interview the other day that We (Washington) doesn't have a spending problem. Goes to show you exactly how out if touch and far from reailty these people are. And imagine, we have to do 4 more years of this crap!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sorry, Obama has been running the country like Vegas gambler, always playing, playing, playing his (our) money until there is nothing left.

Bass, do you have any statistics with which to back this up? Can you name any program(s) that Obama has instituted that cost vast amounts of money? I would be interested to hear because, as far as my information tells, baseline spending under Obama has fallen to a level not seen since Eisenhower.

So - please: let me know.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

... that can then be taxed to create more debt.

Followed you until the last point. If you want to be polemic, you might at least try to make sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TheQuestion: I believe that the wage should be determined by the employer and the willingness of employees to work at the given rate.

So that would put 100% of the power in the hands of business. You're OK with that? You don't think any oversight is needed?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Allegedly speaking, the state of union's translation would be: Obama 2.0 pushes for more deficit thus digging deepest holes for the future of America. The numbers do not lie, like it or not. The disappearing of middle class has been replaced by government dependency class who will go to vote for more of the same, "Ask what the nation can do for you, and not what you can do for the nation"!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yeah, right. He is wagering nothing as he cannot be voted out. And all this talk of a Presidents "legacy" is just so much hot air. He will never cut gun crime as long as 2nd Amendment stands as is. Budget deficit reduction is a joke - will never happen. War in Afghanistan over? I doubt it. Having totally destroyed the place (what there was left) US will cut and run. Like Iraq. Middle class has been systematically robbed since the post war boom - and that ain't going to change anytime soon.

his lips moved, but I don't think much truth came out of them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obama pretty well laid out the carpet of liberal hopes for the future of America, and in doing so, he has challenged Republicans to get in line, get out of the way, or be blamed for obstructionism. Rubio of course complained that America cannot afford a $9 minimum wage or universal kindergarten coverage; it will be interesting to see how this plays out as they try to defend against defense cuts at the same time.

A problem is that Obama came out FOR these proposals. The NYMag recently noted, "Obama’s urging is largely irrelevant to the prospects for legislation — or even harmful. (60 percent of Republicans supported a path to citizenship in a recent poll, but the total dropped to 39 percent when Obama’s support was mentioned.)" In other words, GOP membership can be for anything as long as there are no Obama fingerprints on it.

Passing legislation was likely not his purpose, though; obviously, given the makeup of the House and the - what, instability? of the GOP, significant legislative achievement is unlikely. He has drawn the line in the sand, however, and made quite clear which types of America the Democratic Party aims for.

The lines for the 2014 elections have been clearly written here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There's a fundamental difference between Dems and conservatives:

Democrats actually think up and propose ideas.

The GOP/TP simply say 'No', 'no', and occasionally 'No!!!!' 

That is weak, apathetic, spineless and anti-American and yet conservatives do it with such grace, deftness and ease it's very easy to believe that they actually do have absolutely zero constructive ideas....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Saw an interview with Republicans on TV last night... scary bearded people with baseball caps driving 4x4s and banging on about Obama playing the race card, etc... As a non-American I would rather have Obama in control of you Americans than some muppet who kept putting his foot in his mouth wherever her went. The world doesn't need a hawk, international relations all over are bad enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Neither the Republican or Democrat models will actually work because they are too polarized on the right and the left. But one thing it certain - it won't be solved here and I doubt the people in the beltway have the brass to get the job done either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Domestically, Obama said he wanted a bill to reform the broken immigration system to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship within months."

Can anyone explain what is broken about the US immigration system? Is there not already a process whereby people can become US citizens? Perhaps it takes too long &/or requires people demonstrate that they can contribute to society?

Wonderful message being sent- if you can somehow manage to sneak into the country, you can get citizenship "within months."

Wonder if the $2.5 trillion deficit reduction (through 2022) includes any allowance for increases in entitlements when all the illegals suddenly become US citizens. Probably not because we all know all the illegals are just hard-working tax-paying individuals with no intention of signing up for any welfare, food stamps, WIC, housing assistance, medicaid, or any other Government assistance.

Is there any other country that so easily grants citizenship (with full entitlement to all the benefits the Government has to offer)? Seriously. I may need to find somewhere else to live....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then don't complain when unemployment remains high forever because wages are the same as they can get for free while they look for jobs that can actually pay the rent.

And that's when we cut entitlements or at least link them to employment. Want a better job? That's great, but I don't think I should have to finance that searching process. As long as you're of sound mind and body there is always a crappy job that needs doing.

Your argument works all the way down to $1 an hour wages. There has to be a point where both businesses and people can survive.

Oh I agree, and that's why I'm against any minimum wage. However as I'm not likely to win that argument I tend to only pipe up about it when the topic of an increase arises. I believe that the wage should be determined by the employer and the willingness of employees to work at the given rate.

Businesses raise their prices all the time. Taking wages off the table isn't a good long-term strategy for a country.

If you raise the wage and businesses, in turn, raise their prices to reflect the new purchasing power what has been accomplished? It's not an increase in real wages and the idea of matching minimum wage to the inflation index creates a catch 22 of inflation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So that would put 100% of the power in the hands of business. You're OK with that? You don't think any oversight is needed?

Frankly? Yes. I don't believe that an individual should be told how and when to use their own money nor do I believe that the government has a moral authority to dictate who a business can hire. Raising the minimum wage has, time after time, has had either no or detrimental effects on those it intends to help. The same goes for poorly worded workers rights legislation but that's for another day.

Business interests and employee interests are not mutually exclusive. Small and large businesses are, more likely than not, willing to pay more money for more experienced workers but having millions of people working in an underground economy serves nobody.

Even as a college student I wouldn't work for less than $4 per hour nor would I work in an unsafe working environment. Those are my standards and I found an under-the-table job that provided just that (oddly enough it was as a janitor at a school). They benefited from a lower cost worker, I benefited from having a job and eventually they liked me enough to put me on the books.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's clarify. Are you against raising the minimum wage or having a minimum wage?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's clarify. Are you against raising the minimum wage or having a minimum wage?

Both. I'd rather not have one at all but as that isn't what is being discussed in Washington at the moment I have to content myself with being against raises.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Consolidating that much power in the hands of business owners would be disastrous. As of now it's already well under cost of living increases so just be happy with that. No peasant class for you....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@bass

Look on the bright side. It might have been four years of Romney : /

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@luca

Yep, with a proven background business record of starting businesses, Staples center, Burger King, AMC etc, but alas....

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Unfortunately for Mitt, running the USA isn't (yet) quite the same as running a hamburger chain. Give it eight years and it might be....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@luca

Unfortunately for Mitt, running the USA isn't (yet) quite the same as running a hamburger chain. Give it eight years and it might be....

Sorry, Obama has been running the country like Vegas gambler, always playing, playing, playing his (our) money until there is nothing left. Give it 4 more years and watch China hide under the rug when he comes asking for more money at an almost 0% interest. Hopeless economy, hopeless president.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Democrats actually think up and propose ideas.

The GOP/TP simply say 'No', 'no', and occasionally 'No!!!!'

Whatever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ok. Then just say "yes, yes, yes" til it all goes to the hotspot in a handbasket. Happy now? It's all yours.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

" Followed you until the last point. If you want to be polemic, you might at least try to make sense."

Geez, is that so hard to follow? REALLY????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@laguna

http://politicalmathblog.com/?p=1786

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-facts-about-the-growth-of-spending-under-obama/2012/05/24/gJQAIJh6nU_blog.html

Here you go.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The $9 minimum wage line really bugged me. With youth unemployment hovering around 25% the last thing we need is to push more high school and college students off the bus as low income jobs contract even further than they already have. Of course everybody wants to have a job that pays more and that normally requires college or trade school or internships, but in order to get there we all need to be able to find the jobs to pay our way and that means taking the crud jobs meant for the young and inexperienced. These jobs aren't meant to support a family or form a career around.

Why have a bus-boy when you can just have the waiter clear their own tables? Why have a door greeter at all? Hiking the minimum wage at this point would only further damage the lower skilled in the country by making it harder for them to find jobs.

The counter argument is that it increases purchasing power but that only works if the same number of individuals stay employed after the minimum wage is hiked. A higher minimum wage amounts to another barrier to hiring especially for small and midsize businesses. If a small privately owned store has 8 employees making the minimum wage working 30 hours a week at $7.25 an hour its around $1740 a week to employ all of them (or 217.50 for each individual). Raise that hourly rate to $9 and it now costs $2160 (or $270 each) an overall increase in weekly expenditures of $420, or roughly $1,680 per month or a little over $20,000 extra per year more than what they were originally paying. For many small businesses this is a major blow to their operating income and would be more than enough to ruin a business if it's profits were already meager. Faced with this problem the owners can either take a 20,000 annual loss, raise their prices which may alienate customers, or they can let go of 2 employees and have the other 6 pick up the slack. None of these are particularly good looking options and in the end everybody loses.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As of now it's already well under cost of living increases so just be happy with that.

I'm a libertarian, I'm never happy.

No peasant class for you....

We already have that, they're undocumented workers. Millions of people already work under-the-table for less than minimum wage, what I suggest would only allow these people to work without fear of reprisal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All so much talk. about time US politicos showed some action. President not helping with his partisan nonsense.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The numbers don't lie: the GOP, without a doubt the most destructive party in modern American politics backed by the largest bunch of anti-American conservative voters in recent history, has caused untold damage to America.

Every GOP administration in the last 20 years has ratcheted up government debt and tried valiantly to shaft the middle class. 

Quite frankly, they don't deserve to be listened to, debated with or consulted, and Obama is fully justified in slamming them on the SOTU.

Thank god Romney lost and that changing demographics are making it unlikely the GOP will ever win again - without cheating, of course.

Obama is trying to make the best of the crippled economy offloaded to him by the GOP, the members and supporters of which now love to berate him for not fixing fast enough. 

Only when conservatives acknowledge that they and their warped beliefs are the root cause of most of their nation's disasters will America have a hope of becoming the great nation it once was before the GOP destroyed it.

Good luck Mr. President. 

You are going to need it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

time to polish up the resume and get ready to emigrate. my country has lost any trace of fiscal sanity

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Obama economics explained: The government goes into debt by spending money it doesn’t have to create jobs that don’t exist which generate wealth that never was that can then be taxed to create more debt.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@sushi

There's a fundamental difference between Dems and conservatives:

Democrats actually think up and propose ideas.

April 1st is still a few weeks away.

The GOP/TP simply say 'No', 'no', and occasionally 'No!!!!'

They should, in fact, They should say, NO WAY!

That is weak, apathetic, spineless and anti-American and yet conservatives do it with such grace, deftness and ease it's very easy to believe that they actually do have absolutely zero constructive ideas....

I wonder if you will see any flaws in the Dems, that are apathetic, spineless, over-cocky, unwilling, partisan to the hilt, selfish, lying and they do it with grace and boldness with ease and confidence thinking that the entire US wants to follow and listen to their failing policies.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If anyone believes Obama, they are fooling themselves.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

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