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Here's what Move On just emailed me about their take on the Obama budget. Anybody got any comments?

10 things you should know about Obama's plan (but probably don't)

The plan:

1. Makes a $634 billion down payment on fixing health care that will go a long way toward paying for a more efficient, more affordable health care system that covers every single American.3

2. Reduces taxes for 95% of working Americans. And if your family makes less than $250,000, your taxes won't go up one dime.4

3. Invests more than $100 billion in clean energy technology, creating millions of green jobs that can never be outsourced.5

4. Brings our troops home from Iraq on a firm timetable, finally bringing the war to a close—and freeing up almost ten billion dollars a month for domestic priorities.6

5. Reverses growing income inequality. The plan lets the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and focuses on strengthening the middle class.7

6. Closes multi-billion-dollar tax loopholes for big oil companies. 8

7. Increases grants to help families pay for college—the largest increase ever.9

8. Halves the deficit by 2013. President Obama inherited a legacy of huge deficits and an economy in shambles, but his plan brings the deficit under control as soon as the economy begins to recover.10

9. Dramatically increases funding for the SEC and the CFTC—the agencies that police Wall Street.11

10. Tells it straight. For years, budgets have used accounting tricks to hide the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts, and too many other programs. Obama's budget gets rid of the smokescreens and lays out what America's priorities are, what they cost, and how we're going to pay for them.12

P.S. Turns out there are way more than 10 amazing things in Obama's budget and we couldn't resist sharing just a few more.

1. Stops unnecessary government subsidies to big banks, health insurance companies and big agribusinesses.13,14,15

2. Expands access to early childhood education and improves schools by investing in programs that make sure every child has a qualified, strong teacher.16

3. Negotiates for better prescription drug prices using Medicaid's tremendous bargaining power.17

4. Expands access to family planning for low-income women.18

5. Caps the pollution that causes global warming, and makes polluters pay to support clean energy innovation.19


1. "Climate of Change," The New York Times, February 27, 2009

2. "Obama Calls His Budget Sweeping, Needed Change," The New York Times, February 28, 2009

3. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

4. "Obama Expects Fight Over $3.55 Trillion Budget Plan," Bloomberg News, February 28, 2009

5. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

6. "The Economic Cost of War in Iraq and Afghanistan," The New York Times, March 1, 2009

7. "Tax Cuts," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

8. "Energy Budget Is Sunlight After Eight Years of Darkness," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

9. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

10. "Obama unveils budget blueprint," CNN, February 26, 2009

11. "Obama budget would boost SEC, CFTC, FBI," Reuters, February 26, 2009

12. "Obama's budget," Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009

13. "Student Loans," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

14. "Health Insurance Stocks Dive on Medicare Advantage Cuts," The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2009

15. "Agriculture," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

16. "Investing Wisely in Our Children," Center for American Progress, February 26, 2009

17. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

18. "Obama Offers Broad Plan to Revamp Health Care," The New York Times, February 26, 2009

19. "Setting 'Green' Goals," The New York Times, February 26, 2009


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2009 10:36 pm (UTC)
Those are all nice big broad statements. Which are almost meaningless without huge amounts of detail, alas. I.e., it'd be nice to see some form of universal health care. But there's about a billion ways you could do it badly enough that the money might as well be flushed down the sewer, so just saying you're spending a buttload of money on it is not necessarily encouraging. As another example, how in the WORLD do you say a job can "never be outsourced"? What do they mean by "green" energy? If a lot of that isn't towards nuclear power, he's already making a big mistake, as that's by FAR the greenest technology that has any hope of meeting current energy demands.

Mar. 1st, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Not only that, but it includes money for monitoring volcanoes, something which is very important to residents of Washington State, Alaska, and Hawaii. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a state which has suffered greatly due to lack of adequate disaster preparedness, is a fool not to realize this.

(Oh, and while I'm at it, I'm also in favor of "overhead projectors," when they're actually projection equipment for planetaria. Anything that furthers coming generations' interest in astronomy, or any other science, is a good thing.)
Mar. 1st, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
Of course, Obama IS, in fact, a politician, so you're a fool to believe a word of it.
Mar. 1st, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
That's a darn fine example of an ad hominem argument. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

A thing is not true or untrue because of who says it.
Mar. 1st, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
If you insist...
Very well

Point by point...

1. Our health care system is not "broken". Is it perfect....no. But it is the best in the world and I challenge anyone to make the case that the institution that has been unable to improve the efficiency of ANYTHING can do so when it comes to health care.

2. If BOBO allows the Bush cuts to expire, taxes will go up for those under 250K. (and he will)

3. About as worthwhile as FDR's Civil Works Program. They'd be better off building bridges and walls...at least those will endure for a period of time.

4. Oddly enough...the MSM is reporting that BOBO's "timeline" is the same as Bush's projections (2011) and on that note, the campaign promise was immediate pullout....FAIL

5. See point 2. Also...injustice is taking money from those who have earned it to supplement non-producers. As Paul said in the New Testiment....those who won't work, shouldn't eat.

6. Also closes the door on more American jobs as business owners adjust to the tax increases to maintain their way of life. I'm in agreement with Neil Boortz here. BOBO supporters should be the 1st ones laid off.

7. With all the actual pork that's in the plan, I'll let this one slide except to ask where in the US Constitution is free education provided as a right.

8. He just created a 1 trillion dollar budget. All he has to do to half it is not pass another "stimulus plan" in the next few years. Just like the slick used car salesman who doubles prices then offers "half off"

9. After all the banks are nationalized, there isn't going to be much left to police. Perhaps BOBO can hire some more people to heard the tumbleweeds in the spirit of FDR's CWA.

10. There has been absolutely no transparency in this administration so far (except for the leaks that have revealed the criminal behavior of his cabinet appointees). I don't expect that to change.

....well, that was fun. I might tackle the remaining points later if I feel like it.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...

Your statements contain many fallacies. I am not persuaded.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
State specifics then....

You don't have to be impressed now, as time plays out my predictions, you will be (well, probably not...you'll just blame Bush).
Mar. 2nd, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
I have not argued any position or made any statement one way or the other, except with respect to your employment of fallacies to further your weak arguments. I can see, however, that your statements are consistently incoherent and irrational.

Here is one specific for you: the mention of Bush is what is known as a "red herring." I mean, what did I say to bring that up?
Mar. 2nd, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)
YOU haven't said anything and that's the problem. You have only taken pot shots at me without providing any substance of your own. I believe most would consider that trolling (I certainly do). If you find my arguments so "weak" then refute them. Let's see how enlightened you are...

If you continue to refuse to provide a substantive counterpoint (as I did when you called me out) then I will consider this conversation over.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
I am simply following the Socratic method. The burden of proof is always on the person making an assertion. You have failed. Good night.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
1. Our system may be the best around... for those who can afford it. The problem is the large portion of the population who can't afford it. A lot of the cost isn't in the care itself, it comes from the intermediaries who make their living getting between the patient and the physician and charging a fee to be there. More comes from insurance companies who've forgotten how to run an insurance pool. A government program at least has the opportunity to reduce the amount of overhead to only the government's inefficiency instead of the current 3-4 layers of inefficiency.

2. Quite possibly, but at least we'll be getting some services back in return.

3. Again quite possibly, but at least it'll be putting paychecks in the pockets of people in the US. That alone'll be a big help to the economy.

4. The end date is the same, because that's the deadline Bush negotiated with the Iraqis. Obama, unlike Bush, is actually setting a plan forth to meet that deadline (or actually get it done early. The plan's a compromise based on what the field commanders think they need (eg. troops for security up through the fall elections there).

5. And what about those who will work, except that nobody will hire them? There's an increasing number of those every day. And didn't a certain Nazarene preacher have a few things to say about helping others?

6. Not going to comment, except for one word: danegeld.

7. It's not a right, just a really really good idea in a world where a good-paying job requires an education and critical-thinking skills.

8. Well, I suppose he could have not done anything about the economy. Bets on what shape the country would be in with every major national bank out of business and the Dow down to 3500 and dropping? Me, I'm not going to blame the janitor getting out the mop and bucket for the mess his predecessor created.

9. So far Obama's trying to avoid nationalizing the banks. It's not his fault Wall Street's proven unable to exercise any common sense.

10. So far I've heard more plain talk about what he's doing out of Obama than out of Bush. Of course, he's only had what, 5 weeks? I'll give it until this time next year and see how things have progressed.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
To begin with, thanks for picking up lemmozine's slack.

1. I'm very much middle class and I have absolutely no problem buying insurance. I agree that costs can be brought down, but past precedent has shown that government intervention only leasts to mismanagement and increased inefficiency.

2. I'd rather keep my money, thanks!

3. That was the thinking behind the CWA. Of course, if your not in Pelosi's back yard where most of this money is going, you're not going to see any benifit. Once again, I'd rather keep my money.

4. In this case, I'm only stating what was reported. I'm still in the process of verifying some of that stuff. But, once again, even if it is a compromise, it is a broken campaign promise. The anti-war crowd has not been pleased with this.

5. Note the language in my statement. Those who WON'T work. I am not implying that all those who are unemployed are not willing to work. There are, however, plenty of people in this country who are milking the welfare system who are capable and unwilling to get a job. I have no sympathy for them nor should they be rewarded for their behavior. As to Jesus, there is a great deal of difference between charitable giving and government handouts. While I am very much against the new deal and great society mentality of forced charity (which is not at all biblical) via government, I do put my money where my mouth is when it comes to charity. Last week, for example, we gave our old washer and dryer (still in good working condition) to a single mom through our church.

6. Dangit! You made me open wikipedia, LOL

7. I still object on constitutional grounds, but as I stated before, there's so many items in the "stimulus" plan that are more objectionable than this that I'll grant a pass.

8. Doing nothing would have been better than what he did. Economists are pretty much in agreement that the "stimulus" plan is going to stunt the recovery. We are repeating the mistakes of the Great Depression and I wouldn't be surprised if the Dow hit 2-3K anyway. Bush (and moreso the Fed under Bush) did plenty of damage, but Obama's actions will only prolong our agony (as FDR's actions did).

9. The problem with Wall Street has been a few bad apples. Just like the Enron situation. A few bad execs and now they are all evil. The government however, is condoning the bad activity by propping up those who have proven not to have common sense. Those businesses should be allowed to fail and get out of the way of better run companies.

10. All I have seen from both the White House and Congress is business as usual. Again, I don't expect things to change.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
I'd rather keep my money too. But under the current circumstances, doing that would leave me in worse shape than giving it up. I'd also note that short-term "profit now over all else" thinking is what got the economy into the current mess. Had more companies, banks and people thought more about where the consequences of their decisions would leave them a couple years down the road, we might not be seeing the Dow down more than 50% and still dropping and major national banks not having enough money to cover their obligations.

As for #4, if Obama had kept to his plan he'd undoubtably be being critized for ignoring the military, probably by the same people claiming he's breaking his campaign promises. I see it as a sign of more maturity than Bush showed: when the military can make a good argument that a course of action is in fact stupid, Obama's willing to listen to them and take their advice instead of giving political promises priority over good military strategy. I find this a refreshing change.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
If you honestly believe the right-wing meme that Roosevelt's policies worsened the Depression (a meme being more and more aggressively pushed in an effort to derail anything even vaguely resembling similar solutions by the Obama government), you are displaying an utter ignorance of the actual history involved. Go read this article and then read a REAL book about the Depression and the New Deal, one that doesn't cherry-pick statistics and cobble up assumptions to support an anti-government agenda.

Unless, of course, you're one of those typical conservatives who has always hated the New Deal and Great Society programs anyhow because God forbid everybody should pull together and help those who truly cannot help themselves.
Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
You have unwittingly paid me an outstanding compliment. I was unaware of such a meme and am very curious to see it. Due to time constraints in my personal life, I have actually been winging it in this discussion. Something I don't often do. I have plenty of books and reference material available to me, but just don't have the time I'd like to have to actually dig out some quotes and examples. It's good to know that my rantings can illicit such a reaction from a fuzzy thinking liberal.

Also, by the language of your post, I get the impression that you have confused me for a Republican. I am, in fact, a Libertarian. Extremely well versed in not only constitutional law, but also in the histories of the various Republics that have existed throughout time. Lately, I have tended to focus on the Wiemar Republic and the Great Depression as I see many things in those events that can easily happen in our future. Especially if the current administration continues on it's present course. Once again...don't take my word for it, just watch as history is once again repeated. It's too late to turn back now after all.

Once again...thanks for the compliment!
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Re: If you insist...
It's fairly common among the GOP. I commented on an extreme case elsewhere.
Mar. 1st, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
...and for the record.

If all politicians are lairs and BOBO is a politician....well I'm sure you can figure it out.

...and yes...all politicians ARE liars.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
Hey, if I'm not allowed to call former President Bush "The Shrub"

You're not allowed to imply that Obama's a chimpanzee with the name you call him. That? Is crass.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Who says you can't refer to Bush as "The Shrub". I certainly have no problem with it (although it is equally crass)

...there is a story behind my adoption of that nickname, BTW.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
So, are you a racist? Do you adhere to a particular philosophy, such as that of the skinheads, the KKK or Adolf Hitler? Just curious.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
Barack Hussein Obama is not a liar. His words speak truth, even if they are an uncomfortable truth that you may not always want to hear, much like Al Gore exposing the truth about the fate of our planet.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
As a Moderate - an endangered species, I think - I'm going to take the middle approach. I'll watch to see if any of this pans out. There's never enough detail to satisfy everyone, and there can be too much.

As for the knee-jerk reactionary nay-sayers, save it until your doom&gloom comes true. We had enough of that for the past 8 years, I think.

Mar. 2nd, 2009 01:14 am (UTC)
I think that as the economy goes down, the folks in Washington should take a percentile pay cut, too. And they lose their health insurance as well -- they get to pay for their coverage out of pocket, just like most of America.

How about a little incentive for actually solving the problem, rather than shaking their head sadly at "those folks."

I've noticed that the people who say "Trust the System" are the ones who aren't really hurting....
Mar. 2nd, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
That's because they're benefiting because they trust the system.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
I'm going to point all the doubters to this. This is what we've elected our leader to do and we know it will be done! Yes, we do!
Mar. 2nd, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Question: who are you? Because you're doing a darn-good job keeping us from figuring out who you are. *wink*

If I were a gambling man, I'd bet you were a conservative. hehe
Mar. 2nd, 2009 07:05 am (UTC)
Side note on transparency
If you haven't already seen it, take a look at http://www.recovery.gov/.
Mar. 2nd, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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