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09:29 PM on 09/09/2011
Gee!, Robert, why do you think Obama was picked for president by the socialist demo party? Intelligence and experience? Ha! the guy is style, delivery (with a teleprompter) and little else.
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katmeyster
my comments are of a sensitive nature . . .
09:25 PM on 09/09/2011
People who are unemployed, can't get work, losing their houses, not taking care of their health, skipping meals for their kids -- they need help NOW. And Republicans will do everything in their power to ensure that Obama does not get re-elected. They do not care one whit about people who are not wealthy and will not vote for them.

I also agree with Prof. Reich that the plan is not big enough -- but the urgency to do something, anything, is very real to millions of people.
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11:37 PM on 09/09/2011
Well the urgency is almost 3 years to late. Obama's response to this crisis has been too slow and too little.
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librul1001
Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity
08:06 AM on 09/10/2011
How would YOU do it?
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Waiting for Something
My micro-bio goes to 11. It's one louder.
10:24 AM on 09/10/2011
The republicans ran on jobs nearly a year ago. What have THEY done?
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TREKMIND
To go where no politics has gone before.
08:18 PM on 09/09/2011
One thing to be glad about is conservative republicans are saying no to all this conservative ideas that they themselves have come up with and now Obama is using. In a way conservatives are saving Obama from himself by saying no, because all these conservative Ideas will do more damage to the country. One day in the future conservatives will be crying on how they could had implemented so much of their conservative agenda but didn't because the President in charge had a D attached to his name and he was the wrong color.
08:05 PM on 09/09/2011
What plan? Where's the beef?

Sounds more like a confidence scheme. Promise people you will deliver an acceptable return on your nearly trillion dollar stimulus (unemployment below 8% and a growing economy). When that doesn't happen, you asked the people to fork over more of their retirement money (Social Security) and this time you will give them..... something.... what did he promise the return was going to ... be?

I guess we have to guess,... cause the confidence man said it with feeling and determination. YES! This time he will succeed. He promises.... Or did he.....?

I guess we will have to pass it to see the actual plan.. Nancy is good at that.
08:01 PM on 09/09/2011
Mr. Reich, given what you've admitted and what we're dealing with in obstruction of the highest kind the DO NOTHING 212th CONGRESS, I'll take it.....I know I've been saying that alot lately, but with weak DEMS unwilling to fi ght or run on their records and a POTUS shunned b/c well (you know why).......again I'll take it!

"$450 billion sounds like a lot -- and is more than I expected -- but some of this merely extends current spending (unemployment benefits) and tax cuts (in Social Security taxes), so it doesn't add to aggregate demand."

Here's a few things it does do, it reaches back to catch those that have fallen far further and for far longer than the rest of us. It allows those who couldn't imagine finding a job after months and months outside the workforce to be reinvigorated with hope.

As for what you rightly suggest will be left undone, I say we'll have to vote and win on it!!!....After all, what you suggest is what they and you know they couldn't allow to happen if the strategy they've employed since (day one) 2009 is to have a chance of success.
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PCMartin
Bullish on cat food and refrigerator boxes
07:56 PM on 09/09/2011
I really like Robert Reich, but he seems unwilling or unable to revisit the theory and real-world results of the "free trade" policies that he and his Clinton administration colleagues pushed through in the 90s. Unless we stop blindly chanting the free-trade mantras multinational corporations have been inundating us with and switch to strategic, managed, or fair trade, a lot of the multiplier effect of any stimulus we launch here is going to take place in China.
01:30 AM on 09/10/2011
I did not hear Reich cheering the global free trade policies, and if you read his books, you see he merely states it in the sense that some of it, maybe a lot, is inevitable and we need to realize that and deal with it. Read his "Future Of Success" if you want to understand what you may not be getting from this blog essays.
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PCMartin
Bullish on cat food and refrigerator boxes
03:14 AM on 09/10/2011
I understand what you are saying. My response is that accepting the "global free trade policies" we currently practice as inevitable is the very problem I was talking about. I think trade policy is a major lacuna in Reich's blog posts about the decline of the working and middle classes and about the growing gap between rich and poor.
ThatsTheTheWayItIs
religion, ideology, partisanship are delusional
07:44 PM on 09/09/2011
Prof Reich is more wrong than usual. Obama's tax cuts are for workers not for the rich. Payroll tax cuts, tax credits, extension of unemployment - all progressive tax cuts. Republicans hate his proposed tax cuts, their first reaction was negative.

With all due respect, Prof Reich served in Clinton administration and was ignored, as he describes in his book "Locked in the Cabinet" (read the book - see I'm plugging authors book! - now please post this :-) Clinton listened to Wall Street, Robin Rubin instead. Clinton did not take Prof Reich's advice, was quite popular because of it. Obama would be wise to do same.

Only 20% of Americans call themselves Liberal. Prof Reich's ideas are far out of the mainstream. Despite pleas here, Obama's job is not to shove unwanted Progressive policies down the throat of a public who "doesn't know what's good for them" (but Liberals do.)
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8arrows
Crushing my enemies and driving them before me
03:29 AM on 09/10/2011
Twenty percent is a lot, given how diligently you people on the right have worked to demonize the word over the past fifty years. Given that polls show that liberal policies are widely supported, I'd say people are afraid of being labeled "liberal" rather than being conservative.
05:57 AM on 09/10/2011
The right never had to "demonize" the word liberal. The liberals took care of that all by themselves. But if you really want to compare percentage of liberals to conservatives in this country please go right ahead. I think you would find the results very interesting.
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M Jeffrey
05:45 AM on 09/10/2011
Conservative means no faith and no courage
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shutterbabe
“We can't stop here, this is bat country!”
07:32 PM on 09/09/2011
I listened to the Presidents speech on the radio. I read the full text on the WH website to see how it translated into the written word. Caught the video replay on the news, visual flashes that created an entirely different impression.

Audio: I was proud of Obama's Shock and Awe speech, that fire in the belly presentation which mirrored the reason I voted for him.

Website text: Excellent writing, especially in closing. However, the President invoked “pass this” and derivatives of that phrase fifteen times. His repetitive pleas seemed canned to me, more a campaign slogan than a sincere notion. It seemed disingenuous considering the historical surroundings of that moment.

Visually: I am captivated, distracted. Why can't Boehner display one iota of interest? A reflex called a smile? The dignity of showing RESPECT? His agenda, so easy to read on his face.

This bill is a blind call to pass something that has not been defined in details yet. It will create fiscal challenges and political ones that might be insurmountable.

My questions: Pass what? Pass it when? How can this President convince his foes? We have an election season ahead of us. With the faltering global economy, my elation has turned to else. Not because I believe that Obama is not worthy. There are greater forces to overcome, the "devil" in their resistance which will not yield relief for good American's who only want to work to sustain their lives and their families with honor.
08:07 PM on 09/09/2011
The next best thing to convincing them is showing them up for what they really are :-)
socialjustice4achange
Paying attention to the man behind the curtain
09:59 PM on 09/09/2011
Redundant repetition is what little children rely on for evidence of truth. The more time they hear it, the truer it must be.
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shutterbabe
“We can't stop here, this is bat country!”
10:41 PM on 09/09/2011
Point well taken. Repetition can also mean conviction, sj4ac. When we plant a thought in our subconscious mind and continually nourish it emotionally in this manner, there is a certain hope that it will one day become a Reality.
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Helzapoppin
07:14 PM on 09/09/2011
As usual, Obama isn't really trying to solve the problem, he's just playing the room. The GOP isn't going to let anything pass that will actually help anyone, so Obama is playing the "I care" card with a token effort. At least he realizes that whoever wins the perception war on being the most serious about jobs will be the one who wins the White House next year. The GOP haven't quite grasped that concept yet. That said, there will be no real effort to address the jobs crisis anytime soon.
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kasjuh
06:40 PM on 09/09/2011
Letting the tax cuts expire is simply not enough. Roosevelt/Truman had it right in their aggressive policy to redistribute wealth, setting top tax rates for the wealthy at 90%. This is not socialism, as some would claim. It was bold and brilliant operational strategy. And none among the wealthy suffered. It created an atmosphere of enterprise across a wide spectrum and a vibrant middle class that didn’t exist before. It worked well for Democratic and Republican presidents alike, up until the Reagan presidency, which fell for the false lure of Supply Side Economics. Throughout those years the ratio of debt to GDP expressed in percentage remained a healthy negative, turning sharply positive with the Reagan administration.
Moreover, high tax rates for the wealthy was a bulwark against an elite who longed for the pre-1930’s. when they truly believed they owned and ran the country, served by a dollar-an-hour farmer/worker population that could be quelled by armed force if they dared to rise up.
Now, the astonishing rise in the number of billionaires in the nation from 200 to over 400 in the years 2000 to 2010 and the omnipresent irresistible attraction of power are visibly manifested in the lockstep behavior of the opposition in Congress. A strongly principled president is kneecapped at every turn, forcing compromises that result in messages to Americans that the best that could be gotten for them was half a loaf.
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4eva
.-.. --- ...- . --..-- / -. --- - / .... .- - .
08:06 PM on 09/09/2011
No one paid taxes at 90% or 80% or 70% ... ever.
That may have been the nominal rate but no one paid taxes at that rate.
High nominal tax rates are only good for the economy in one sense ... it employs a lot of tax accountants and lawyers.
06:31 PM on 09/09/2011
Even if passed, and that's unlikely, it won't be effective as this does not address the millions of homeowners whose house is underwater. With deleveraging going on, tax cuts won't produce a single job. And corporations are sitting on huge profit. Giving them another tax break won't produce a single job. The only way out is to create direct job: repair all the highways, schools and bridges. Build wireless access for every home. Clean every single park, river and whatever needs a thorough job. Just put people to work in every which way possible until the economy can run on its own.
11:00 PM on 09/09/2011
Um, didn't the President emphasize tax cuts for *small* businesses?
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alex61
05:28 PM on 09/09/2011
Obama could have said, "This my jobs bill. I am sending millions of illegal immigrants back home so that the American jobs they stole can go back to unemployed American workers."
05:37 PM on 09/09/2011
so an unemployed 55 year old accountant can go pick lettuce for 5 dollars an hour and no benefits??
Sergeant
Dress Right
06:01 PM on 09/09/2011
Too good to pick lettuce?
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05:12 PM on 09/09/2011
Seems it has yet to occur to Turtleman et. al. that if they don't pass the plan, they reinforce the view of the people that Congress is worthless and does nothing to help in a time of need, (historically low approval rating of 13%) and that, my friends, will go a long way to UNSEATING the Party of NO. Their re-elections are also on the line in 2012 are they not? (some anyway) Let them plod onward into oblivion. They will get their just desserts.
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alex61
05:29 PM on 09/09/2011
Dream on. The party of "NO" will continue to be the party that says no to liberal foolishness.
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06:08 PM on 09/09/2011
not if they don't have a vote anymore they won't!! They can shout noooooo all the way HOME.
05:06 PM on 09/09/2011
Not only is the boost not big enough, a portion is shooting blanks. To extend unemployment benefits has no ECONOMIC function and will not help Make anything for nothing is made. No benefit. It is not the money, but what goes the other way that makes us all rich.

With equal pay we can all trade with one another and multiply wealth with each other. Large wads of money to banks, we have seen, does not make work.
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alex61
05:22 PM on 09/09/2011
Bailing out the financial sector was intended to save "main street,"-the rest of us. At least we have gotten most of the TARP money back.
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ruleoflaw66
And I'd opt out of 'fans' too if I could.
07:28 PM on 09/09/2011
Wrong. TARP was intended to save Wall Street. Period. And it did. They've healed nicely as have our record setting profit corporations.

Main Street? We're still stumbling around with the walking ebola.

Oh, and check those tarp numbers--ongoing loans, guarantees and zero interest money through the fed discount window have us nearing 3 trillion given to the banks, and most of that will never ever come back to us.
05:36 PM on 09/09/2011
"To extend unemployme­nt benefits has no ECONOMIC function and will not help Make anything for nothing is made. No benefit."

Agreed. It just adds more time to the clock but does nothing to turn the tide.

Same with the tax cuts, about $110 a month per family, which will go to paying minimums on credit cards (banks make the profit) or to general consumption like groceries...which again really isn't moving the job needle.

Band-aids wont stop the bleeding. Tax cuts are not an effective stimulus...and the Republicans will get their tax cuts and then say "I told you so" when the stimulus effect is muted.

We've been using only 1/3 of stimulus money to directly create jobs and that is not productive.
donniebnyc
We are the 99% and we vote.
06:42 PM on 09/09/2011
You are wrong about unemployment. Unemployed people spend their unemployment checks on things like food and rent. This money goes directly into the economy. It isn't much so it won't "turn the tide" as you say, but I believe sometimes we need to spend money because it is the right thing to do even if it doesn't create jobs. These people need help and we should help them.

I can't speak for you, but I want to live in a country where we do not abandon people who are unemployed through no fault of their own. That's where the benefit is.

You are right that the tax cuts won't help much and the the job creation part is too small. Obama has decided to go small in the hope that the repubs will vote for it. I believe he is wrong about them. The repubs in the House and Senate have become traitors to this country. There is no other word for people who would harm this country and their fellow citizens for the cynical goal of preventing the President's re-election.

They showed their true colors during the debt ceiling debacle. How any elected official could bring this country to the edge of default simply to make the President look bad is incomprehensible. The fact that so many Americans fall for their lies is very frightening.
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William50
05:04 PM on 09/09/2011
You can say he can give a speech but has no form or substance to it. A prepared speech using every point to have every one get a little but no real depth in it to say where he was going. In other words it was a political speech but not an economic policy direction.
This was to create jobs for America and give direction in troubled times, instead it was a long list to make the Republicans look bad and having no chance of helping Average Americans.
Comes the moment, comes the man---did not happen here.
If you want a strong American middle class, with full employment so your job covers the cost to live in your town, you will not find that in any of the people in Washington DC or running for elections by both absolute parties. The have remade failed policies, spun new lies and talked you to death. But they have not walked the walk or completed any promise. I can.. Average Americans can build this nation, give you a new future in America and still without having three wars have a strong united America!