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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GOP To President Obama: Enough With The Campaigning

Toon by AF Branco
Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 12, 2012
The Senate resumed consideration Harry Reid's bill,  S. 3637, a bill to extend the FDIC’s Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program for two years.  The program also supplements the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

 The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) normally insures bank account deposits up to $250,000. During the financial crisis, the TAG program was created to eliminate the cap on insuring deposits from $250,000 to infinity. 

Proponents of TAG argue that by incentivizing people to hold static large sums of money in banks, those banks will be able to lend more. However, according to the FDIC, lending has decreased since TAG was first enacted, not increased.  TAG encourages people to put large sums of money into banks that may be troubled, meaning that if those banks begin to fail, taxpayers will be responsible for paying for any depositor's losses in a TAG account. 

IIt is strange for Democrats to want to put the taxpayer on the line for bailing out corporations and wealthy individuals with liquid assets over $250,000 if their banks fail, but also want to raise taxes on the same wealthy Americans because they believe it will help the middle class. 

Yesterday, as soon as the Senate voted 76-20 to move ahead with S. 3637.  However, before any other action was taken, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filled the amendment tree to block amendments and then filed for cloture to cut off debate on the bill which is questionable. This is yet another vote Democrats will claim is a “filibuster” but is in fact once again the result of how they have run things in the Senate.  Also yesterday, the Senate voted 95-0 to confirm John E. Dowdell to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The House reconvened today and completed action on the following:
Passed by Voice Vote:
H.R. 5817 — "To amend the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to provide an exception to the annual privacy notice requirement."
S. 3542 — "To authorize the Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security (Transportation Security Administration) to modify screening requirements for checked baggage arriving from preclearance airports, and for other purposes."
S. 1998 — "To obtain an unqualified audit opinion, and improve financial accountability and management at the Department of Homeland Security."
H.R. 6364 — "To establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, to designate memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I, including a National World War I Memorial on the National Mall in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes."
H.R. 6190 (FAILED 229 - 182) — "To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to allow for the distribution, sale, and consumption in the United States of remaining inventories of over-the-counter CFC epinephrine inhalers."

The Hill wrote yesterday, “Two high-ranking Senate Republicans on Tuesday blasted President Obama for hitting the road in his efforts to pressure Republicans amid “fiscal cliff” negotiations. ‘Everyone knows there’s a difference between governing and campaigning, although the president can’t seem to give up campaigning,’ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. ‘We get it, the president won the election. The American people understand that, but now they expect him to step up and deal responsibly to help govern the country and deal with our fiscal problems,’ he added.”

“In his most recent event Monday,” The Hill noted, “Obama met with auto workers at a Daimler Detroit Diesel plant in Redford, Mich. Last Friday, the president visited a middle-class family in Virginia that he said would be hit hard by higher taxes, and earlier this month he visited a toy factory in suburban Philadelphia, where he warned that Republicans would be giving middle-class families a ‘lump of coal’ if they allowed tax rates on working families to rise. GOP senators on Tuesday said the president should return to Washington and focus on negotiations. ‘The real question is, where is the president?,’ Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said at the same press conference with Cornyn. . . .  ‘The president seems to be content with just traveling around the country, doing a victory lap or something when he ought to be here in Washington, D.C., sitting across the table from the people who can help us avoid what would be a very, very bad situation for our country economically,’ he continued.”

The AP adds today, “Obama's campaign to rally public support for his fiscal cliff positions has irked some Republicans. And continuing to publicly lambaste GOP lawmakers as obstructionists for not giving in to White House demands that tax rates rise on the top 2 percent of income earners could undercut trust between Obama and Republicans in their private talks. . . . Republicans have made clear that they see the president's public campaign as a hindrance to private negotiations. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Tuesday that the White House appears to be placing ‘a higher premium on politics than the American jobs that are at stake.’ And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said that the country already knows ‘the president is a very good campaigner. What we don't know is whether he has the leadership qualities necessary to lead his party to a bipartisan agreement on a big issue like this.’”

As Leader McConnell pointed out, the only thing Democrats seem to want to talk about, in rallies elsewhere or in Washington, DC, are higher taxes. “Democrats campaigned for two years saying we needed to take a balanced approach to our problems. Yet now that the President’s been reelected, they’re walking back, and the only thing left are the taxes.” . . . “The President and his allies have taken so many things off the table the only thing left is the varnish. The President now seems to think, after his re-election, that if all he talks about are the need for tax hikes, and that’s all reporters write about, we’ll all magically forget the part about needing balance. It’s a classic bait and switch. And we’re seeing new versions of it nearly every day now.”

He concluded, “Look: the election is over. The President may enjoy these political rallies, but it’s time to get serious. The American people are gravely concerned about the nation’s future. They’re counting on us to prevent the kind of crisis here that we’ve seen unfolding across Europe. Republicans have engaged in these discussions in good faith. We’ve agreed to make tough choices. The question is, where’s the President? Where’s the only man in the country who can make it happen? Well, it appears that with just a couple weeks left to resolve this crisis, he’s busy moving the goal posts. Instead of leading as he was elected to do, he’s out campaigning and playing games with the nation’s future.”

Today, Rob Engstrom, V.P. US Chamber of Commerce, responded to the delay in preventing the fiscal cliff: "This isn’t a game. There are real lives and real small business livelihoods at stake in the debate over the fiscal cliff, and that means our economic recovery is at stake too.  According to U.S. Chamber small business members, 83% of those surveyed say the impeding fiscal cliff will negatively impact their business. 59% will reduce their workforce as a result and 73% will forgo plans for expanding their operations.  We’ve heard economists and policy experts tell us going off the fiscal cliff will lead to a recession – but now we’ve heard from real small business owners saying they will lay off employees, shrink operations, and forgo investments, all of which will lead to declined growth."

House Speaker John Boehner said today that the president’s failure to put forth a plan that is both balanced and begins to address our debt crisis is stalling a solution to the fiscal cliff and putting American jobs at risk. He said, "...  [A]s of today the president’s plan to avert the fiscal cliff still does not meet the two standards that I laid out the day after the election. His plan does not fulfill his promise to bring a balanced approach to solving this problem.  It’s mainly tax hikes.  And his plan does not begin to solve our debt crisis.  It actually increases spending.

“Our plan meets these standards.  It cuts spending, and paves the way for real job growth in our country.  In the five weeks since we signaled our willingness to forge an agreement with the president, he’s never put forth a plan that meets these standards. And frankly, that’s why we don't have an agreement today. . . [T]he longer the White House slow-walks this discussion, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff – and the more American jobs are placed in jeopardy."

Tags: Washington, D.C., fiscal cliff, loss of jobs, increased taxes. Barack Obama, enough with the campaigning, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 4:22 PM - Post Link


Blogger retarmy6793 said...

Do we really expect Democrats to CUT spending? Their idea of cutting is not raise spending by as much as they want to. That is a Democrat cut. Don't get me wrong, I can count on one hand the Government programs that have been stopped when they were scheduled to,and I have no fingers on the hand.


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