Saturday, April 16, 2011


Last Wednesday, President Obama delivered an excellent address on the deficit, budget cuts, and American values. As part of his solutions, he proposed tax increases. But he didn't say "tax increases". Instead, he referred to:

"reducing spending in the tax code"

I consider this linguistic atrocity to be an impeachable offense.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raising the Debt Limit -Non-negotiable

President Obama should declare that the Democrats will not negotiate on this issue. The question is whether the increase is necessary - for the country and world markets. The question is not what concessions or spending cuts the Republicans can wring from the President.

Why? Once he begins to bargain, there is really no limit to what Obama would be obliged to concede to save the country from default. He cares. Make the Republicans vote up or down on the issue.

A difficult position to take, but the President should be absolutely firm. The place for negotiation is the 2012 budget, not connection to action the nation must take.

The Deficit Speech

President Obama is scheduled to address deficit issues today, presumably outlining its causes and the dangers. And his plans for attacking the problem.

But let's hope that he does not continue to praise the recent compromise. He should acknowledge that now is not the time for major reduction in government spending. The economy needs the government to spend (wisely) to preserve jobs and increase economic activity and employment.

However, long term, much needs to be done. Taxes must be raised, particularly on those who have benefited unequally in recent years. Defense spending must be drastically reduced, Social Security must be preserved for the long run, and, above all, our costly health care system must be fixed. Medicare -for-all is the ultimate solution to rid ourselves of the private insurance middlemen, but we still somehow need to find a way to reduce the core costs of health care in the U.S.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In Praise of a Budget Loss

Maybe President Obama and the Democrats did the best they could in fending off more drastic budget cuts and cultural intrusions by the Republicans. After all, it's tough to fight a party that will threaten to hurt the country in order to get its way. But the end result was bad, and allows even more cuts than the Republicans originally proposed.

But it sounded exceedingly strange when President Obama actually praised the budget deal in his speech. He sounded positively proud of the size of the cuts. Maybe, it was a relief to reach a settlement, but he should have emphasized extreme regret for the loss of needed programs and reduction in spending just when our struggling economy needs more.