The grownup in the room spoke today about cutting the deficit by 4 trillion (with a “t”) that presented an alternative to the Ryan “Road to Prosperity” budget. To progressives, like me, it sounded good and was dynamic. In the speech he outlined what needs to be done and I am glad he took Ryan’s insidious “voucher” “medicare” program substitute off the table as well as addressing the inequities with the tax system.
As the President said about the Ryan plan and vouchers:
“It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors. It says that ten years from now, if you’re a 65 year old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy insurance, tough luck – you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.”
To make a grave point we hear the Republicans quoting the mysterious group called “The American People.” John (when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking) Boehner uses it quite frequently in his pronouncements to give credence to what he is pronouncing. Such as “the American people” do not want taxes to go up. Or, “the American people” have told us loud and clear they don’t want Washington to be ‘business as usual.’ Well, you know and I know, even with Boehner’s mandated week-off for House members to go back to home districts to listen to “the American people” they must be missing something. Well the American People have talked about budget cuts and taxation: (NBC/WSJ Poll April 2011)
As for Unacceptable cuts in the budget the “American People” say
Social Security 77%
As for raising taxes on the top 1 or 2% of the wealthiest of Americans the “American People” say
Acceptable to have the rich pay a larger tax 81%
Unacceptable to have the rich pay a larger tax 17%
As Obama said this morning:
As a country that values fairness, wealthier individuals have traditionally born a greater share of this burden than the middle class or those less fortunate. This is not because we begrudge those who’ve done well – we rightly celebrate their success. Rather, it is a basic reflection of our belief that those who have benefited most from our way of life can afford to give a bit more back.
So the battle begins. Beyond the rhetoric of fine speeches comes the hard work of negotiating. Republicans call this “class warfare.” It is. And it’s in reaction to the class warfare the Republicans have waged against the middle class. Obama needs to fight beyond the fine words. I believe that most of the “American People” want this country to progress.
…and so it goes