EVERYTHING IN THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT IS PAID FOR
We should pass this bill right away. As President Clinton noted on “Meet the Press” yesterday, economists say it will add 1.3% to 2% to what our GDP otherwise would have been, reduce unemployment by 1% or more from where it otherwise would have been, and put more than a million people back to work.
Mitch McConnell, on the same program, naturally dismissed all this out of hand. And John Boehner was shown saying we should work in a bipartisan way – none of this “my way or the highway” stuff – and that tax hikes of any kind were off the table. (It would be his way or the highway on that.)
They are just certain that the tax rates on the rich that we’ve had for the last several years – which have been accompanied by massive job losses – are the way to go.
They are certain that the Clinton tax hikes – which were accompanied by 23 million net jobs created – proved themselves a mistake.
It’s concerning that so many people fail to see that this is nuts. Concerning that Bush could have told the American people that “by far the vast majority” of the benefits from his tax cuts would go “to people at the bottom of the economic ladder” – without widespread outrage at the grotesque dishonesty.
What no one said on “Meet the Press” – and what I’ve not heard said anywhere – is that the “Warren Buffett millionaire’s tax” being proposed is NOT “more taxes,” it’s shifting tax CUTS from those who least need them to those who most do. From those least likely to spend the cuts (and stimulate the economy) to those most likely to. It’s funding payroll tax CUTS for the middle class by hiking taxes on millionaires so that they pay closer to the 28% they paid under Ronald Reagan instead of the 15% that Bush told us would create jobs – but didn’t.
And by the way? If we do get an overall tax increase (with more coming in from millionaires and billionaires than going out in cuts to the middle class) . . . and if we use that additional revenue to fund a more aggressive private-sector job-creating infrastructure program in the short-run and deficit reduction in the long-run . . . that would be good. Reagan raised taxes on the middle class (specifically, the payroll tax) and slashed taxes on millionaires; Obama proposes to shift that back a bit. (And not to impose the hike on millionaires until 2013.)
Guess what? Turns out that the half-billion-dollar bankruptcy of Obama Administration solar showcase Solyndra was not quite as portrayed in the press. This piece exposes what it calls the “Five Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Solyndra.” First, that the biggest Solyndra investor was an Obama contributor who stood to profit – he was not and did not. Click to read the other four. To which I would just add: look, in any new industry – be it the Internet or, once upon a time, the auto industry – lots of new ventures fail. That doesn’t mean, with so much at stake as we compete with China and others for a share of the world market in alternative energy, we shouldn’t take some risks. And when you take risks, some fail. Even so, the author of “the five biggest lies” argues this money was not wasted. Click the link.
ISRAEL – AGAIN
Joe P.: “Obama is going to lose my vote on the issue of ISRAEL. He’s been terrible.”
☞ No, he has been terrific. Virtually the only people questioning Obama’s Pro-Israel record are the Republicans. The top Israeli military leaders, and the left and the right of the Israeli government, have praised Obama. Even AIPAC and a Hasidic newspaper have issued statements in support of the President.
- Israeli President Shimon Peres:
“I want to take advantage of this opportunity to express my appreciation to President Obama and say in a clear voice – President Obama is a friend of the Jewish people and the state of Israel and there is no doubt in this matter.
- Michael Oren – Israeli Ambassador to the US:
“I think we are closer today in our two positions than we have been probably any time before… We agree on the principles of moving forward. The Obama administration is committed to a two state solution based on direct negotiations and dealing with all the core issue. That is precisely the Israeli position—we see totally eye to eye on that.” – Michael Oren, September 16 on CNN’s The Situation Room
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
Bloomberg was asked at a press conference Thursday whether he has any reservations about the President’s Middle East policies. The mayor described himself as strongly connected to Israel, and added: “I think there’s nothing the President’s done or said that gives me pause to think he doesn’t understand and feel the same way.”
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama [with respect to the Egyptian attack on the Israeli embassy]. I asked for his help. This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, “I will do everything I can.” And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude. This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States. This alliance between Israel and the United States is especially important in these times of political storms and upheavals in the Middle East.”
- Former Director of the Mossad Efraim Halevy:
“I believe the leadership that the President of the United States showed on that night [of the Cairo embassy rescue] was a leadership of historic dimensions. It was he who took the ultimate decision that night which prevented what could have been a sad outcome – instead of six men coming home, the arrival in Israel of six body bags. And I want to say to you very openly and very clearly that had there been six body bags, there would have been a much different Israel today than we have been used to seeing over recent years. This would not have been one more incident, one more operation, one event. And the man who brought this about was one man and that was President Barrack Hussein Obama. And I believe it is our duty as Israelis, as citizens of the free world, to say, not simply thank you President Obama, but also we respect you for the way and the manner in which you took this decision.” – September 13
- Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (formerly Ariel Sharon’s top foreign policy advisor):
“I can tell you in a very categoric way, and I believe also an authoritative way, that we have not had a better friend than President Obama.” – September 9
- Defense Minister Ehud Barak Corrects Fox News Host on Obama’s Support for Israel:
“No. Our countries are good friends. And I’m the minister of defense, I can tell you that I can hardly remember – I was in uniform for decades – I can hardly remember a better period of support, American support and backing and cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us than what we have right now.”
☞ Okay? Can we stop bashing the Administration for being bad on Israel? Can we stop bashing it for investing in solar energy? Can we stop bashing it for being unable to get Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to do almost any of the things that cry out to be done to spur the growth in jobs and rejuvenate our infrastructure?
Quote of the Day
To the old money, the world is a conspiracy of thieves. To the new money, the world is a department store.~Lewis Lapham
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