A Rising Economy Lifts Obama Going Into State of the Union Night

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Another Class Warfare State Of The Union.

WASHINGTON — Anyone who has closely followed President Barack Obama since 2015 opened might wonder what he has left to say Tuesday night when he delivers the annual State of the Union address.

In a bid to generate excitement for the agenda-setting speech, Obama broke with tradition this month and began unveiling proposals from the address before he formally announces them to a joint session of Congress and a nationally televised audience. He’ll make it even more of a farce by using it as an opportunity to once again try to convince the American people that you can get something for nothing. Sure, he wants to tell you about his tax plan to fight inequality, but the sophisticates are wondering aloud why such ideas should even be in his speech, given their low likelihood of being enacted—though this standard never seems to apply to the Congressional proposals bound for Obama’s veto. The president will deliver important, acutely aspirational rhetoric about income inequality, fiscal policy, education initiatives, national security and maybe even a few lines about fighting ISIS.

He did it with healthcare and got away with it, in no small part due to Republicans failing to offer alternatives and conservatives who just couldn’t bear to vote for Mitt Romney. Today’s NBC/WSJ poll puts it at 46 percent — his highest rating since the 2013 government shutdown — with 49 percent approving of his handling of the economy. Viewers may already have heard about his proposals to boost homeownership, pay for two years of community college and increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans. While Obama’s proposals are dead in the water for Congress when considered alone, it makes more sense to think of them as opening offers in a negotiation. Obama will push a plan to increase taxes by $320 billion over 10 years on the wealthy by closing tax loopholes and imposing a fee on big financial firms.

House of Representatives (with Democrat Nancy Pelosi first sitting behind him, then Republican John Boehner). 2009: “[W]hile our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before” – Obama speaking in the midst of the country’s economic free fall and right after passage of the American Recovery Act, a.k.a., the stimulus. 2010: “Don’t walk away from [health-care] reform. Thomas Jefferson changed the custom with his first annual message on Dec. 8, 1801, by sending written copies to both houses of Congress to be read by clerks of each chamber.

His proposal to use higher taxes on inheritance and capital gains, to lower the burden on middle- income Americans, sets up a counter-point that Republicans will have to move toward, unless they want to wait until 2017. Obama’s aim is to help those left behind by an economic revival taking hold six years into his tenure, which began with the Democrat facing a crippling financial crisis. “Now that we have fought our way through the crisis, how do we make sure that everybody in this country, how do we make sure that they are sharing in this growing economy?” Obama said in a White House-produced YouTube video preview of his speech. Jefferson wanted to simplify what he believed to be an aristocratic imitation of the British monarch’s speech from the throne, which he thought was unsuitable to a republic. Anyone who was in a frenzy about Mitt Romney’s presidential trial balloon should be paying attention to what Obama says now, because the candidates from his own Democratic party will spend the next year alternatively running toward and away from him. You’d think that such findings would complicate the ongoing GOP argument that Obama’s executive actions — and his offering of proposals that Republicans won’t support (such as the community college plan) — supposedly show that he is not heeding the will of the electorate, as expressed in the 2014 elections (the only recent elections that matter).

The GOP leadership already lost control of the narrative and put the President back on offense after an ill-timed and ham-handed vote to overturn Obama’s immigration directives. Any Democratic candidate who can’t at least match Obama’s plans will be considered too centrist by the base of the party during the primary, but the eventual nominee may very well need some space to run away from Obama’s policies in the general election. That’s because, even if Obama’s recovery does continue — and even if the overall public supports some of his individual initiatives — what will probably matter most to Republicans in Congress is that rank-and-file GOP voters will continue to demand minimum compromise and maximum resistance. But White House officials are betting that Republicans, also under pressure to help the middle class and needing to prove they can govern, will be willing to compromise on some aspects of the plan. “So are they going to agree on everything? Let’s get it done” – Obama exhorting Congress (especially Democrats) after Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts looked to imperil health-care reform. 2011:”Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner.

Wilson also is widely credited with transforming the speech from a report on the activities of the executive branch into a blueprint for the president’s legislative program for the coming congressional session and year. Don’t forget that Obama, as president, still has a free hand in foreign policy, lame duck or no—consider the recent deal with China on carbon emissions, for example. And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend — Gabby Giffords” – with the new GOP-controlled House and after then-Rep. A few lawmakers will make a fuss about “bipartisanship” and “trying to work with the other side.” That’s why in recent years there’s been a spate of declarations about lawmakers from opposite parties sitting with one another. This arugula-eating, latter-day Robin Hood will tell people in a soaring voice that income inequality can be solved if only more people paid their fair share to the government.

And he’s still got quite a slate of challenges: The muddled response to the Islamic State and authoritarian governments in the Middle East, figuring out how to restrain Russia from further belligerence while keeping the European Union on his side, and maneuvering towards two sets of global trade deals that his party dislikes but he hopes to make his final accomplishment in office. He will carefully thread the needle, not quite blaming the wealthy for the wages that have plummeted and the millions not working, but leaving that to the citizens he’s so confident aren’t smart enough to avoid being Gruberized yet again. White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer: “The improving economy is the backdrop for the speech and context for the economic debate over the next two years. We have proof that President Obama’s strategy is working, and the Republicans now have a Chicken Little problem — all the doom and gloom they predicted did not come to pass.” The question is whether (if the economy and Obama’s numbers continue recovering) Republicans will feel any pressure to respond with ideas of their own to address wage stagnation.

The speech will also allow Obama to update Americans on the struggle against Islamic extremists, two weeks after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks. They deserve a simple vote” – after the Newtown, Conn., shootings. 2014: “For decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system. The Motor City Madman had declared the president a “subhuman mongrel” and said other things so-threatening that the rock star received a visit from the Secret Service. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough.

President Reagan launched this practice of stocking the gallery in the House chamber with notable people, sometimes as props, to emphasize a political point or salute American values. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.” – 2009 Financial reform: “I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system. It is time to put in place tough, new common-sense rules of the road so that our financial market rewards drive and innovation, and punishes short-cuts and abuse.” – 2009 Repealing “Don’t’ Ask, Don’t Tell”: “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. – 2010 Defeating Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda’s core leadership: “In Pakistan, al Qaeda’s leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Two weeks before Reagan’s address, Skutnik bounded into the freezing Potomac River near the 14th Street Bridge to save passenger Priscilla Tirado bobbing in the ice-clogged water.

Richard Burr. * INSIDE TEAM HILLARY’S DELIBERATION: Ann Gearan has a useful peek inside the deliberations underway among Hillary Clinton and her top advisers as she mulls how to avoid the mistakes that doomed her 2008 bid. People can also watch an “enhanced” broadcast of the speech on the website, complete with data, graphs and charts explaining the policies Obama will talk about. Obama’s proposal naturally won’t take into account a wide range of factors that actually determine whether someone is wealthy including overall cost of living, debt, potential future expenses, the volatility of business income, investments, the costs of children, or other dependents and disposable income. Early indications are that Clinton will seek to assemble a coalition comprised of Obama voter groups — millennials, minorities, socially liberal upscale whites — and white working class women. * A LEFT-RIGHT ALLIANCE AGAINST TRADE DEALS? And we’ve sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.” – 2011 Cap and trade: “So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.” – 2009 Closing Guantanamo: “That is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists – because living our values doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.” – 2009 Ousting the Assad regime in Syria: “A year ago, Qaddafi was one of the world’s longest-serving dictators — a murderer with American blood on his hands.

For instance, a professional couple making between $300,000 and $500,000 a year (a one-percenter) but have college and graduate loans, a large mortgage, a low savings rate, live in a high tax, high cost climate and carry significant credit card debt, are not as wealthy as someone making $100,000 per year who has a much lower debt ratio and lives in a less expensive state. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.” – 2014 2011: “And tonight, more than two centuries later, it’s because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.” They are small business owners, lawyers, doctors, engineers, consultants, accountants and countless other regular folks – often two income professional families or business owners – just trying to do the same thing so many other Americans are – own a home, run a business, raise a family and pay bills. As Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack in 1956, he prepared a seven-minute, filmed summary of the message from his retreat in Key West, Florida, that was broadcast nationwide. That prompted catcalls from Democrats and a glare which could have killed corn from then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sitting directly behind Obama.

The President also thinks you should be taxed on your inheritance upon acquiring it even though you may not sell the asset producing the capital gains. Gross was freed last month as part of Obama’s historic announcement that the U.S. would end 50 years of hostility toward Cuba by restoring diplomatic relations. People worry about how they are going to pay their growing tax bills, find work, afford healthcare and put their kids through college to say nothing about providing for an aging parent and having money left for retirement.

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