fresh voices from the front lines of change







In a speech today President Obama called the Republican proposals a “prescription for decline.” The President reminded listeners how we got where we are — Republican policies that led to collapse — and said that Republicans are now “doubling down” with their new budget.

In the speech, the President said that the country tried tax cuts under Bush, with bad results,

“At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans received a huge tax cut in 2001 and another huge tax cut in 2003. We were promised that these tax cuts would lead to faster job growth. They did not. Yes, the wealthy got wealthier. The income of the top 1% has grown by more than 275% over the last few decades, to an average of $1.3 million a year. But prosperity never trickled-down.”

The Bush tax cuts created massive debt, and did nothing other than make the rich way, way, way, way richer. So now instead of fixing things they insist on doing that even more,

“You would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle-down economics were made painfully clear, the proponents of this theory might moderate their views a bit. You would think they’d say, “You know what? Maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy, and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. Maybe at a time of growing debt and widening inequality, we should hold off on giving the wealthiest Americans another round of big tax cuts.”

In fact they are “doubling down,”

“Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal. In fact, renowned liberal Newt Gingrich first called the original version of the budget “radical” and said it would contribute to “right-wing social engineering.” Newt Gingrich!

And yet, this isn’t a budget supported by some small number of Republicans in Washington. This is now the party’s governing platform.”

What The Republican Budget Would Do

The President enumerated some of the things that would happen to people if this Repubican budget is implemented,

The year after next, nearly ten million college students would see their financial aid cut by an average of more than $1,000 each. There would be 1,600 fewer medical research grants for things like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and AIDS. There would be 4,000 fewer scientific research grants, eliminating support for 48,000 researchers, students, and teachers. Investments in clean energy technologies that are helping us reduce our dependence on foreign oil would be cut by nearly a fifth.

If this budget becomes law and the cuts were applied evenly, starting in 2014, over 200,000 children would lose their chance to get an early education in the Head Start program. Two million mothers and young children would be cut from a program that gives them access to healthy food. There would be 4,500 fewer federal agents at the Department of Justice and the FBI to combat violent crime, financial crime, and help secure our borders. Hundreds of national parks would be forced to close for part or all of the year. We wouldn’t have the capacity to enforce the laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

Cuts to the FAA would likely result in more flight cancellations, delays, and the complete elimination of air traffic control services in parts of the country. Over time, our weather forecasts would become less accurate because we wouldn’t be able to afford to launch new satellites. And that means Governors and mayors would have to wait longer to order evacuations in the event of a hurricane.

… That’s just a partial sampling of the consequences of this budget.

“This is not an exaggeration. Check it out for yourself.”

Republicans depend on the pubic just not hearing about what they are proposing. And, if they do hear about it, not believing anyone would do such things, and therefore will think the people telling them about the Republican budget are making it up. “Really, how could anyone believe that people would actually propose a budget like this? S0 something must be wrong with you for saying they would.” Is there any other way to explain it?


The President called this pulling back from investing in our country’s future a “prescription for decline.”

“By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”


The President spelled out the differences in tax proposals. Republicans want to dramatically cut taxes on the rich – even more. The President wants to start taxing them at least at the same rate as the rest of us. (Romney only pays 15% taxes on him millions of income.)

“We also have a much different approach when it comes to taxes – an approach that says if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we just can’t afford to spend trillions more on tax cuts for wealthy Americans who don’t need them and weren’t really asking for them and that we cannot afford. At a time when the share of national income flowing to the top 1% of people in this country has climbed to levels last seen in the 1920s, those same people are also paying taxes at one of the lowest rates in 50 years.”

The President explained that low taxes for the rich mean either more deficit or higher taxes on the rest of us.

“If we want to keep these tax rates and deductions in place – or give out even more, as the Republicans in Congress propose – it will either mean either a higher deficit or more sacrifice from the middle-class.”


In closing the President appealed to our patriotism.

We believe that in order to preserve our own freedoms and pursue our own happiness, we can’t just think about ourselves. We have to think about the country that made those liberties possible. We have to think about our fellow citizens with whom we share a community. And we have to think about what’s required to preserve the American Dream for future generations.

This sense of responsibility – to each other and to our country – this isn’t a partisan feeling. It isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea. It’s patriotism.

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