Archive for Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obama, GOP trade barbs in rare face-to-face encounter

January 30, 2010


Tax credit idea for job creation retooled

Baltimore (ap) — President Barack Obama renewed his call for tax incentives to create jobs Friday, saying a greater effort is needed even though his administration has “stopped the flood of job losses.”

Obama wants to give companies a $5,000 tax credit for each net new worker they hire in 2010. Also, businesses that increase wages or hours for their existing workers in 2010 would be reimbursed for the extra Social Security payroll taxes they would pay.

No company could reap more than $500,000 from the combined benefits, one of several features meant to tailor the program more to small businesses than to large corporations.

House Democrats rejected a similar proposal last month after questioning how it would work. On Friday, some GOP lawmakers called the retooled plan too tepid; Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana described it as “a tax credit which was last promoted by President Jimmy Carter.”

— In a remarkably sharp face-to-face confrontation, President Barack Obama chastised Republican lawmakers Friday for opposing him on taxes, health care and the economic stimulus, while they accused him in turn of brushing off their ideas and driving up the national debt.

The president and GOP House members took turns questioning and sometimes lecturing each other for more than an hour at a Republican gathering in Baltimore. The Republicans agreed to let TV cameras inside, resulting in an extended, point-by-point interchange that was almost unprecedented in U.S. politics, except perhaps during presidential debates.

With voters angry about partisanship and legislative logjams, both sides were eager to demonstrate they were ready to cooperate, resulting in the GOP invitation and Obama’s acceptance. After polite introductions, however, Friday’s exchange showed that Obama and the Republicans remain far apart on key issues, and neither side could resist the chance to challenge and even scold the other.

Obama said Republican lawmakers have attacked his health care overhaul so fiercely, “you’d think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot.” His proposals are mainstream, widely supported ideas, he said, and they deserve some GOP votes in Congress.

“I am not an ideologue,” the president declared.

But Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., pointedly asked Obama: “What should we tell our constituents who know that Republicans have offered positive solutions” for health care, “and yet continue to hear out of the administration that we’ve offered nothing?”

Obama showed little sympathy, disputing Price’s claim that a Republican plan would insure nearly all Americans without raising taxes.

“That’s just not true,” said Obama. He called such claims “boilerplate” meant to score political points.

Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana defended Price on the health care proposals. He said a GOP agenda booklet given to Obama at the start of the session “is backed up by precisely the kind of detailed legislation that Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and your administration have been busy ignoring for 12 months.”

Obama shot back that he had read the Republican proposals and that they promise solutions that can’t be realized.


cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

Fox news cut away from this televised event because it was making the GOP conference look really bad. Obama spoke like an well informed adult and well the GOP with a couple exceptions sounded like the usual tea party loons.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

Thats why your own GOP er's are saying afterwards that this televised conference may not have been a good idea , it made the GOP appear rather uniformed , talking point driven . Your little freshman congressman that got all histrionic is the same guy that put up the bill to ban airport scanners as "pornographic". Oh Wah wah , Nancy won't talk to me , thats cuz you're a bunch of hollow lunatics who are unable to sustain your ideology when put into a logical discussion with the opposition. If the repubs have such great ideas on health care why were not any of these proposals brought forth when the held the majority for some 10 years running ?

frank mcguinness 8 years, 3 months ago

Cowboy please don't waste your energy on nancyboy.

He'll argue against everbody including his own party.

You were correct that several republican house members and a few staffers said that obama got the best of them.

Tom (nancyboy) has too much wax in his ears he can't even hear what his own party is saying.

To further that point I took a trip down newsmax lane last night and even that partisan site clearly stated that obama was on point last night.

Oh well nancy is too far fringe.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 3 months ago

After watching it, I was disappointed in both sides. Obama seems to lecture everyone like he knows what is best for everyone.

WilburM 8 years, 3 months ago

Seems like everyone sees what they want to here. In contrast to "commuter" I saw a lively give and take among politicians who were mostly acting like adults. Obama can be condescending, but he stood in there and responded to to all their questions -- even those that were essentially speeches.

We ought to have more of this -- much more -- sometimes in public, sometimes in private -- and out of talking at each other might come some possibly talking to each other, and ultimately working with each other. But first there needs to be real discussion between serious folks. This was a decent start.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree, WilburM. Too much policy is made behind closed doors, all too often written by the lobbyists who essentially run our government.

Policy discussed and made out in the open is the best way to decrease the rampant corruption that now besets our government.

WilburM 8 years, 3 months ago

Actually my point was that just some of the discussion between legislators should be in the open. But privacy -- when you don't have to respond to every interest group that's looking over your shoulder -- also has real virtues. That's when meaningful compromise can be made without instant allegations of selling out. RE lobbyists -- they've been doing this for years (decades, centuries) -- in the end, it's the legislators whom we elect and who are responsible for their actions.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

Certainly a bit of privacy is necessary to obtain the compromises you mention, WilburM, but I think we'd get a whole lot more compromises, which are different from sellouts, if legislators would openly acknowledge how they've been arrived at, and which quid pro quos have been traded.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

“Wow! Fox News must be partisan liars then I suppose."

Did hell just freeze over or did I just hear Tom utter a true statement? I heard a guest on Hannity last night saying that we should execute people like the underwear bomber straight out and that ~150 House seats are in play in 2010. And that was just in the 10 minutes or so that I was tuned in.

Time for some accountability all the way around. Hold something out there as truth that isn't and the BS flag will be thrown. If we're ever going to have an honest debate that leads to results, we must to stick to the facts - both parties.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

"WOW! Give me a crack at Obama, I'll reduce him to tears."

In your fantasy dreams, maybe. Tom, it takes a pair and a sharp brain to get in the ring. Otherwise, you'd be toast by default.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

"But didn't Obama campaign largely with a pledge of 'transparency'?"

BS penalty on you Tom.

Along with many other things, the suggestion of putting earmarks online. Sunshine at last. There's more coming The guy's just getting started.

For those that spew the BS on a regular basis, they should be very afraid.

camper 8 years, 3 months ago

I gotta say that the Republicans looked very uninformed except for a couple of em, and Obama looked the exact opposite.....on the ball, sharp. He basically said that he is open to all ideas (which is all good in these times of partisan lunacy), and says to the Republicans "if you got a good idea, tell me. Why would I reject something if it costs less?, I'm no idealogue." paraphrase.

Then as one commentator pointed out regardeing a Republican suggestions on health-care reform. Just why are they all of a sudden experts? Why did they not offer this up when they controlled congress and executive offices. Hypocrisy at the extreme.

georgiahawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Camper, either the repub's did not have solutions back then or they had a total lack of leadership.

Or both!

Scott Drummond 8 years, 3 months ago

Who here remembers all the right winger hysteria about Obama being nothing but a teleprompter reader? Ha, yet another right wing lie exposed.

Obama's finally on the right path: engage and expose these fools.

camper 8 years, 3 months ago

scott3460 I remember it well. Thought it was nonsense, because President Obama is about the 1st politician in my lifetime who actually talks like he is not speaking from a script verbatim. It is rare when you get a chance to see a President speak off the cuff in this manner.

FOX news said "cut" after it was obvious the repubs were getting exposed for what they are as you say.

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 3 months ago

Obama was on point. He said he would start calling them out on BS and he did. Keep up the good work Mr. President!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.