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Monday, September 19, 2011

Obama Awakening?

I have been discouraged about President Obama in recent months and I recognize that one speech does not make for a changed presidency, but this morning’s speech was a continuation of a new tone and vision that has marked recent proposals and speeches. It gives hope to progressives that the President might yet have a chance to not only restore his political prospects but to more importantly take aim at the true causes of our economic plight. The only hope for victory and a victory worth having is to see the President spend the next 15 months with the kind of spirited determination to take the argument to the extreme economic agenda of today’s Republican party that marked today’s speech. 15 months of this cannot erase the tragic economic decisions that Obama and his team have made during this first term, but it does clarify what is at stake in the coming election. Here were key lines that I hope he will be consistent in stating and explaining and defending in the week's to come:

“This is not class warfare, this is math”

“I reject the idea that asking a hedge-fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or teacher is class warfare. I think it’s just the right thing to do.”

“Warren Buffett’s secretary should not pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett”

“I will not support any plan that puts all the burden…on ordinary Americans”

“Anyone who assigns some pledge to protect every single tax loophole so long as they live, they should be called out, they should have to defend that unfairness, explain why somebody who is making $50,000,000 a year in the financial market should be paying 15% on their taxes when a teacher making $50,000 a year is paying a higher rate.”

“We are not going to have a one-sided deal that hurts the folks most vulnerable”

“Towards the payments of debts there must be revenue, that to have revenue there must be taxes and no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant” Quoting George Washington

“Our responsibility to put country before party”

This is “about fairness, about whether we are in fact in this together and we are looking out for one another”

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