Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama's 'Robin Hood' Budget

I like the sound of Obama's budget agenda. He outlined the main points in his 'not-a-State-of-the-Union' speech before Congress several nights ago, but the actual document is now before them.

As expected, the Republicans are already screaming.

You see, the people who got all of those tax breaks during the Bush years, leading to the now astonishing gap between the rich and the rest... just lost them. Not only have they lost their hefty tax breaks, but they will finally have to pony up and pay their share in the rebuilding of America -- the America that has encouraged the prosperity they currently enjoy (but want to keep all to themselves.)

"This will ruin our economy!" scream the (wealthy) Republican representatives. I wonder what their poor constituents think about that?

Read on...

In $3.6 Trillion Budget, Obama Signals Broad Shift in Priorities
Bold Agenda for Social Spending, Energy and Taxes Faces Fierce Fight

The president's budget would raise taxes on the highest-earning Americans, create a $1.2 trillion deficit in 2010 and curtail Medicare payments to insurance companies to pay for a $634 billion health care fund for the uninsured and a $150 billion energy package.

President Obama delivered to Congress yesterday a $3.6 trillion spending plan that would finance vast new investments in health care, energy independence and education by raising taxes on the oil and gas industry, hedge fund managers, multinational corporations and nearly 3 million of the nation's top earners.

The blueprint, meanwhile, would overhaul programs across the federal bureaucracy to strengthen assistance for millions of people who have borne the consequences of what Obama called "an era of profound irresponsibility," helping them pay for college, train for better jobs and save for retirement while taking less of their earnings in taxes.

The ambitious agenda for the fiscal year that begins in October would not come cheap. This year's budget deficit, swollen by spending to combat a severe recession, would hit a record $1.75 trillion, or 12.3 percent of the overall economy, under the president's plan, the highest since 1945. While Obama inherited the bulk of that gap, his budget would make room for a fresh round of spending that could hit $750 billion to prop up troubled financial institutions.

Next year's deficit would approach $1.2 trillion. But Obama proposes to cut that figure roughly in half by the end of his first term, in large part by levying nearly $1 trillion in new taxes over the next decade on the nation's highest earners, defined as families with gross income of more than $250,000 a year.

In unveiling the 134-page volume that outlines his spending priorities, Obama acknowledged that his proposal would "add to our deficits in the short term to provide immediate relief to families and get our economy moving." But he argued that the economic crisis should not be used as an excuse to delay costly investments intended to modernize the nation's economy, enhance its workforce and, ultimately, reduce government spending.

"What I won't do is sacrifice investments that will make America stronger, more competitive and more prosperous in the 21st century -- investments that have been neglected for too long," Obama said. Citing the need to "break free" from foreign oil, reduce "crushing health-care costs," and improve public education, Obama said: "These investments must be America's priorities, and that's what they will be when I sign this budget into law."

With its immense scope and bold prescriptions, Obama's agenda seeks to foster a redistribution of wealth, with the government working to narrow the growing gap between rich and poor. It is likely to spark fierce political battles on an array of fronts, from social spending to energy policy to taxes.

Alice M. Rivlin, a Brookings Institution economist who served as former president Bill Clinton's budget director, called the plan "gutsy and quite good."

"It has a strong flavor of the Obama philosophy, which is tilting the playing field away from upper income and toward the rest of America," she said.

Republicans quickly attacked the document as a recipe for economic disaster, saying it would raise taxes on businesses and consumers in the middle of a recession in order to bankroll a massive government expansion.

"The era of big government is back, and Democrats are asking you to pay for it," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). "The administration's plan, I think, is a job killer, plain and simple."

Job killer? Bah. Please -- stop insulting our intelligence. You make no sense, man. How will taxing the rich and creating jobs for the rest of Americans be a 'job killer?' GOP backwards-talk doesn't work on us anymore.

Sorry Mr. Minority Leader, but this is called tipping the scale back into balance.

Our 'Robin Hood' President is simply taking back everything that was stolen from us over the last 8 years of greed and plunder. He's taxing the rich to give back to the poor. And these days 'poor' includes a vast majority of us who used to be middle class.

I sure won't be taxed in this new arrangement (would that I was that comfortably set financially!) Who knows... I may even be able to finally afford that masters degree.

Up until 2000, I had my own American dream. Sure did. It died a terrible death (with the towers on 9/11; our small business never survived the loss of 95% of our business overnight.) But maybe a new dream can arise from the dust. Finally. Eight years later.

You just never know.

Hopefully the Blue Dogs will stay on leash. In truth, they are closet Republicans. They believe in the social progress, education and health care, but are generally terrified of spending money (although they didn't seem to blink when Bush blew through billions on the war in Iraq.) I don't trust them... however I think the Democrats will have the votes without them.

As for the GOP? They are nothing but a nonsensical noise machine these days. They continue trying to convince us that we don't want what we wanted so badly, that we flocked to the polls in record numbers to guarantee that they wouldn't steal another election and deprive us all again.

Their same ol' cries of indignation are not only boring... but astoundingly hypocritical. Nothing new here.

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