A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
April 14th, 2011
By Dan Miller
As I read the advance text of President Obama’s thoughtfully smart proposals to reduce the deficit, some options British Prime Minister Hacker (fictitious) considered for a party political — his first after becoming PM in Yes, Prime Minister — came to mind.
During intensive preparation for his address, Hacker was asked “What is the broadcast to be about?” He responded,
I couldn’t think what he meant for a moment. Obviously the broadcast is to be about me. I explained this to him, and he saw the point entirely. However, he wanted further clarification on one small matter of detail: what exactly was I going to say?
I couldn’t see that his mattered much, but he wanted to know which policies I’d be referring to. I explained that it would be the usual: go forward together, a better tomorrow, tighten our belts, all pull together, healing the wounds, that sort of thing.
He was happy with that, but urged me to consider what I’d say specifically. My first thought was that I’d talk about specifically tightening our belts, healing specific wounds in our society.
But Malcom pressured me to consider saying something new. I’d never considered that
So here’s what President Obama wants us to do:
We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt. And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments we need to grow, create jobs, and win the future.
Following these crystal clear objectives, President Obama expressed dislike for the Republican alternative.
[T]his is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.
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