Archive for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Speaking in Osawatomie, Obama sees ‘make or break’ time for middle class

President Barack Obama visits patrons at We B Smokin' bar-b-que on the outskirts of Osawatomie, Kansas, during his last trip to Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.  Obama will be in Lawrence to visit Kansas University on Friday.

President Barack Obama visits patrons at We B Smokin' bar-b-que on the outskirts of Osawatomie, Kansas, during his last trip to Kansas, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. Obama will be in Lawrence to visit Kansas University on Friday.

December 6, 2011, 3:17 p.m. Updated December 6, 2011, 5:27 p.m.


President Barack Obama gestures while speaking about the economy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kan.

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking about the economy, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011, at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kan.

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— Declaring the American middle class in jeopardy, President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined a populist economic vision that will drive his re-election bid, insisting the United States must reclaim its standing as a country in which everyone can prosper if provided "a fair shot and a fair share."

While never making an overt plea for a second term, Obama's offered his most comprehensive lines of attack against the candidates seeking to take his job, only a month before Republican voters begin choosing a presidential nominee. He also sought to inject some of the long-overshadowed hope that energized his 2008 campaign, saying: "I believe America is on its way up."

In small-town Osawatomie, in a high school gym where patriotic bunting lined the bleachers, Obama presented himself as the one fighting for shared sacrifice and success against those who would gut government and let people fend for themselves. He did so knowing the nation is riven over the question of whether economic opportunity for all is evaporating.

"Throughout the country, it's sparked protests and political movements, from the tea party to the people who've been occupying the streets of New York and other cities," Obama said.

"This is the defining issue of our time," he said in echoing President Theodore Roosevelt's famous speech here in 1910.

"This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those who are fighting to get into the middle class," Obama said. "At stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement."

For Obama, saddled with a weak national economic recovery, the speech was a chance to break away from Washington's incremental battles and his own small-scale executive actions. He offered a sweeping indictment of economic inequality and unleashed his own brand of prairie populism.

He spoke for nearly an hour to a supportive audience, reselling his ideas under the framework of "building a nation where we're all better off."

Billed as an important address that would put today's economic debates in context, Obama's speech seemed a bit like two packaged into one.

The first was that of the campaigner, full of loft and reclamation of American values. The second was the governing Obama, who recited his familiar jobs agenda, his feud with Congress over extending a Social Security tax cut, even his fight to get his consumer watchdog confirmed.

Obama tied himself to Roosevelt, the president and reformer who came to this town in eastern Kansas and called for a "square deal" for regular Americans. Roosevelt said then the fight for progress was a conflict "between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess."

It is a theme Obama is embracing in a mounting fight for re-election against Republicans who, regardless of the nominee, will attack his stewardship of the economy.

One of the leading contenders for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney, ridiculed Obama for comparing himself to Roosevelt.

Obama "said that he is like Teddy Roosevelt," Romney said at a campaign event in Paradise Valley, Ariz. "And I thought, 'In what way is he like Teddy Roosevelt?' Teddy Roosevelt of course founded the Bull Moose Party. One of those words applies."

Kirsten Kukowski, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, said, "Maybe instead of trying to be like other presidents, Obama should try being president."

Obama took aim at the Republicans, saying they would only return the same structures that led to America's economic downturn. "Their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules," Obama said. "I'm here to say they are wrong."

The president conceded that the country is in the midst of a consuming re-examination on his watch, prompting national movements against both government spending and an economy that many feel disproportionately favors the elite. Obama went on the offensive about income equality, saying it distorts democracy and derails the American dream.

Responding to those who want to cut taxes and regulation in the belief success will trickle down, Obama said: "Here's the problem: It doesn't work. It's never worked."

Obama noted that Theodore Roosevelt was called a "radical, a socialist, even a communist" for putting forth ideas in his last campaign such as an eight-hour work day, a minimum wage for women, unemployment insurance and a progressive income tax.

Left unsaid: Roosevelt's Bull Moose campaign in 1912 failed to return him to the White House.

Obama attempted to sum up the pain and peril for a society where the middle class is struggling. But he also called for individual responsibility.

"In the end," he said, "rebuilding this economy based on fair play, a fair shot and a fair share will require all of us to see the stake we have in each other's success."

Obama also challenged he big banks that took bailouts from American taxpayers, pointing to "a deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street." He said banks that were bailed out had an obligation to work to close that trust deficit and should be doing more to help remedy past mortgage abuses and assist middle-class taxpayers.

Ben Feller contributed from Washington. AP writers Erica Werner and Kasie Hunt contributed to this report.


Bruce Janssen 6 years, 6 months ago

Didn't the J-W send a reporter? A photographer?

Enlighten your readers.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah! And what did they have for lunch? We demand to know EVERYTHING!

opinion 6 years, 6 months ago

They were going to send Mr. Rothschild but he had a case of the tingles.

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

no. it doesn't. that is not at all what the President nor the Democrats want or stand for. You have a bone stuck in there where your brain should be.

ksjayhawk74 6 years, 6 months ago

Hateful, ignorant, ill-informed comments from people who didn't watch the speech or read the article in 3, 2, 1...

kochmoney 6 years, 6 months ago

Does the cognitive dissonance hurt? Does it help when you vomit Fox talking points like a mantra instead of trying to actually analyze what's being said?

Now, I'm not going to tell you he's done a great job of walking the talk these last three years, but it's hardly been because he's turned the country into a socialist state.

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

you see only what you want to see. and it has nothing to do with reality. one day perhaps you'll understand that small thoughts are part of the problem

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll tell you what, its_just_math, I'm just about sick to death of your unending degradation of anyone who thinks differently from you. You are entitled to an opinion, however jaded and uninformed it may be, but I'll be damned if I'll let you stoop to calling people dummies simply because you have a different opinion from them. You have no idea how to engage in civil discourse, and your arguments suffer dramatically from that very issue. If you have better ideas, then bring 'em on. Otherwise, it might make your vitriol sound better and more civilized if you'd just preface your name-calling lack of substance with something like, "In my opinion........". You may not know it but many, many people far more intellectual than you disagree with your knee-jerk upholding of the Republican party and its vision of how the country should run over everyone else. Be that as it may, most of those people can state an opinion without belittling the opposition and, glory be, be listened to!! It's people like you, who have been told by Fox News, Glen Beck, Jerry Falwell, ad nauseum, that anything left of center is wrong and everything Republican is right. You've got no idea who you're talking to and I, for one, am through being called names by one such as yourself. Give it a break, kiddo, and join in a rational discussion, with problems and suggested solutions, and be part of the solution to those problems rather than a bee under everybody's blanket. Perhaps you've heard the adage about flies and honey? Your vinegar approach has lost its allure, and I'm finished with staying silent about you. Quit it.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Degradation? How so? I mentioned him as a perfect example of people who exopound upon the evils of the present president and have nothing constructive to say about how to fix any problem. And, too, I believe, if you'll search my comments forever, you'll never find a single degrading thing I've said about Beck. In fact, today is the first time I've ever mentioned him. Again, I ask that you, like math, have some ammunition when you try to fire your gun. Makes a hunting trip so much more productive.

appleaday 6 years, 6 months ago

You've crystallized my thoughts exactly.

Mary Alexander 6 years, 6 months ago

I love what you said here, You are totally right on all counts. Good job.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Apparently, I did not make my point clear. Maybe you missed the part where I said people can voice an opinion without the name-calling and belittling and be listened to. If so, then perhaps you might read the opinion again. In any case, I did not say my position was right to the exclusion of anyone's, let along those of you on the right side of the aisle, but that rational, civil discourse is preferable and will eventually lead to a meeting of the minds. Again, you have misunderstood, and have used name-calling as a tool to cover your lack of understanding. Sorry you feel that you have to resort to that type of "conversation" to buttress your point.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 6 months ago

In and of itself, one could say the speech was a good one. But the entire philosophy of this administration to even the playing field is to bring the successful down to the level of the less successful. None of the ideas put out by this administration have done anything to help the middle class whatsoever. The stimulus program delayed true economic recovery, almost 1/2 of the population do not pay income taxes yet the President & Democrats continue to spout that the richest must pay their fair share. They are, and most of everyone else's at that. How about making it easier to start a business, and reducing federal entitlements? I can't tell you how many people I know who are receiving some form of federal handout who do not want to go out and make more money because they would lose the government's free money, and hence, they are stuck at the bottom of the ladder w/o any hope of bringing themselves out of it.

The Republican full opposal to increasing taxes on the wealthy does not fall out of greed, it is simply because it will not accomplish anything, and probably have the opposite intended effect. "Get-evenism" always fails. Trickle-down economics does work, and it has worked in the past.

Of course there are fixes needed in the system that hinder middle class growth and accedance to the upper class, like a complete and total replacement of the tax code. But the President's populist tone is purely to fear-monger and garner votes. He is the most divisive President we've had in at least a generation, and he doesn't seem to care.

Kansass 6 years, 6 months ago

Good speech. It was like watching a blue dog come into a red yard and lift his leg.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

More like a lame duck lost in the 58th state when he thought he was in Texas. At least the teleprompter didn't make him say he was still in Hawaii on vacation.

Richard Payton 6 years, 6 months ago

Senator Mitch McConnell doesn't want to extend the tax holiday. McConnell is like a parasite on the middle class.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a story to me: one that has a result without any contributing factors. Yeah, she just sits there and waves to let you know how she's beating the system, huh? Probably has no other assets or means other than her unemployment, huh? What year, make and model is this SUV? I am sure that you've given us all the facts we need to make an informed conclusion. Kind of how the Republican party has given us all the information we need to make a choice to throw out the president come next November, huh? I mean, you said it and I believe it. The party said it and you believe it. Sounds jsut hunky-dory to me.

kochmoney 6 years, 6 months ago

Ronald Reagan called to say he made up that story, too.

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 6 months ago

If she is collecting unemployment, which I really can't fathom how you would know that, she is probably fairly recently unemployed. If she qualifies for unemployment from a previous job, she was most likely there long enough to qualify for her retirement benefits, also. In order to qualify for unemployment, you have to have been laid off or fired. You don't qualify if you "quit".
You seem to have, on good authority, knowledge of somewhere that will finance an SUV for someone on unemployment, since there is no possible way, on your planet, she could have paid cash for it. On your planet, banks will finance people on a temporary income. And, lastly, on your planet, it's your business.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 6 months ago

I have personal knowledge of individuals who did not start looking for a job until their unemployment expired. One kept flying across the country to see Billy Joel concerts.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure that sort of thing happens, far more than we'd like to admit, over here on the left side. However, apocryphal tales lend little to the discussion unless they point to an endemic problem with the system. I have doubts about Antonym's story, but that doesn't mean there aren't things that need "fixin'". It only means I doubt that particular story and that, in any case, it doesn't contribute anything useful to the discussion at hand. I have knowledge, personally, of people who refused to take unemployment assistance, had financial hardship as a result, and still bootstrapped themselves to success. That, too, is of little import when we're talking of the millions who can not achieve success for whatever reasons. The issue seems to me to be to create a system whereby the government, along with business and industry, can try to solve the economic problems we now face.

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 6 months ago

Exactly. As my ex husband would say, "Stop it with all your stupid common sense logical stuff!"

Kontum1972 6 years, 6 months ago

why don't u go do something about her if she bothers u so much....if she collects unemployment mb she worked for a longtime to have that dealers are having a hard time and they are practically giving those things away to move them off the buddy sells cars in lawrence and he wanted me to trade in my truck for a new one, my 1994 truck runs great and its paid for....why do i want a car payment? Why do you even care? I do not give crap what my neighbors do...or drive...

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Unlike the current slate of Republican non-candidates, who can't channel anything or anybody.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Your use of that "name" shows a total lack of respect for rational discourse and means nothing to thinking people. Secondly, I'm not "dpoching" anyone personally, but the Republican party is in total disarray over who to run against Obama, simply because the party can not agree within itself as to the direction the country should go, let alone how to proceed on the way. Give me concrete examples as to how this is false thinking, not personal attacks on me as a person and I'll be glad to talk with you rather than at you. You seem to have no way, just like the Republican party, to refute facts or to come up with rational ways to fix anything and that is not debate. That is pettiness and is contrary to your stated goal of removing Obama for something or someone better for the country.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

You know, "the Anointed One", head of the "regime".

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Big Daddy = black guy in charge to invictus.

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that you confused President Obama with the CEOs of corporations that downsized American jobs and created them abroad. The CEOs have been doing this for years, but especially under George W. Bush.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually, GE has been sending jobs overseas since 1996. Look at how they gutted their upstate New York operations and left the Schenectady area a blighted mess.

Obama is not responsible for this. It is the result of corporate greed, in the interest of lowering the cost of labor, thus gutting the middle class, and in the interest of the corporation avoiding paying their fair share for things like national defense, public safety, and human services.

The fact that Obama approached executives from the corporate world to examine the problem demonstrates that Obama wishes to work with them in coming to a solution. The fact that corporate greed won out is not Obama's fault.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, to be fair, we could immediately implement some policies that reward companies for keeping jobs here and/or punish them for outsourcing them.

Or we could just regulate them and require that they provide a certain percentage of jobs here.

Of course, congress would have to pass such legislation.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 6 months ago

Exactly my point. Obama can do little if congress does not support his initiatives. A great place to start would be by rescinding the tax deduction that is available to a business for the cost of relocating overseas. When democrats suggested legislation [S-3816] that would end the tax incentive for shipping jobs overseas, the republicans immediately saluted the corporate lobbyists and blocked the bill, in the interests of corporate profits at the expense of American jobs.

Another possible measure would be to change the way that foreign income is taxed or repatriated. The list goes on and on. Bottom line, Obama cannot enact anything without the backing of congress.

Have a great day Jafs

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 6 months ago

Jobs are going overseas because it is too expensive to build anything here. Labor unions are pricing themselves out of the workplace. Excessive govt regulation and requirements, federal and state are making it unattractive to do anything here. Does anyone really think that corporations have an innate desire to move work overseas? They are forced to do so. Look what has happened to the steel industry, the television industry, our automobile many countless jobs now exist in call centers in Bangalore instead of the midwest? This is more than a Republican/Democrat issue. And this country will continue to hemorrhage jobs until pay, benefits, and regulation come under control.

progressive_thinker 6 years, 6 months ago

It is cheaper to make things in Bangalore, China, and many other places because it is permissible in those countries to destroy the environment; ignore the safety of consumers, workers, and the public; and to keep their workers living in poverty. That is exactly the track that the right wing has the United States on as we speak.

America is better than that.

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

would you pay the premium price for one that was made elsewhere?

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll build you one for $500, but it will probably have chinese parts in it.

jgkojak 6 years, 6 months ago

and just how are people "robbing" you if you work? You pay taxes, and you've always paid taxes, and your taxes now are lower than they were at any time in recent memory. I hardly see how that is "robbing". Likewise, a millionaire's surtax or letting the Bush tax cuts go away - changing the top marginal income tax rate from 35 to 40 percent does not make a person a socialist.

Maxandwillie 6 years, 6 months ago

In a system of checks and balances the President is neither responsible for all the good or all the bad things that happen in our country. The role of Congress and compromise play a role in all decisions. Thus both sides of the aisle need to stop pointing the figure at each other and start doing the work that needs to be done.

Obama's speech today was crazy. He was asking the mega rich to pay more to help those who do the work making them rich. Crazy radical!

kochmoney 6 years, 6 months ago

He also had the audacity to think people should have upward mobility if they're hard working and innovative. The nerve!

coleja 6 years, 6 months ago

All the Obama haters need to quit running their mouths about things that they do not know about. While you all steady talking bout what he hasn't done you need to realize what he's done and tried to do. He doesn't want to take away from the rich he wants the rich to contribute. When I work I pay taxes. Period. Obama wants to help the middle class not just bail us out for the time being. As much as people want to complain about what is not being done realize that the reason things aren't getting done is because of Congress not because of Obama. Politics 101 people: any type of legislation the President wants to pass has to be approved by Congress FIRST. You want change I suggest electing new Senators and Reps because they hold the real power in this country. Bush was in office for 8 long years. How he got re-elected I do not know but for every year he was in office this country sunk deeper and deeper into the hole it's in now. You expect Obama to fix it in 3 years? Give me a break. Obama gave a great speech and he deserves some credit for even stepping into the hole with a shovel trying to dig us out of this mess. Even if the man didn't succeed in 100% of the way he doesn't deserve to be bashed, bad mouthed, or even straight disrespected.

Brock Masters 6 years, 6 months ago

News alert - the rich do contribute. They pay most in taxes now. Now do some skate by and pay a lower tax rate - yep, no doubt, but so what. Fix that problem without lumping all rich people together and say they don't contribute.

Obama had control of both Houses for two years and he didn't accomplish much so don't blame Congress. A true leader can lead the both parties.

BTW, I was there today and like in person, I told him he sucks. Yeah, #heblowsalotevenwithateleprompter

Of course I'm kidding so don't get riled up.

Brock Masters 6 years, 6 months ago

As i think about it, what is your take on these broken promises that didn't require anyone but Obama to make happen.

Close GITMO Five days of public comment before signing a bill End no bid contracts above $25,000 End the Patriot Act End the Bush tax cuts

I could go on, but I'll leave it at those broken promise.

Jimo 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually, all of those require Congressional acquiescence, not Obama ruling as a monarch. And the GOP has obstructed with their "Nein Nein Nein" policy for the last 3 years. Surely you passed high school civics and know this, no?

Gitmo can't be closed unless there's somewhere to send the prisoners and Congress has refused to appropriate money for this.

Bills are available for five days of public comment while they are in the Congress. The WH website is available for comment about anything at any time. Relatively few bills are assembed by a conference committee from differing Senate and House bills when it isn't know far in advance what's in them. The last significant piece of legislation that was done with way was the ACA. (Pelosi's infamous comment that 'we have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it' remark was about this process.) Apparently, some take this promise to mean that bills would sit on the President's desk for five days before signature. It's unclear what that would accomplish as the President can't alter what Congress has passed and practically Congress doesn't have time on its calendar to start from scratch. House Speaker Boehner promised a 72 hour comment period before passing legislation but the House broke that promise almost immediately. Again, the only practical way to alter a bill is before it is passed in Congress not afterward.

Government contracting is controlled by statutes passed by the Congress. Presidents do not 'rule by decree'. Obama has set a goal for agencies to reduce their non-competitive contract awards but unless Congress alters its laws the President can't just unilaterally rewrite the law.

Only Congress can end the Patriot Act.

The Bush tax cuts seem to be the only broken promise you list but this is only because the law already required their termination. Of course, everyone also remembers that the Party of the 1% took the American people hostage and the tax cuts for the 1% were the ransom to be paid.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

"All the Obama haters need to quit running their mouths about things that they do not know about. "

At least we know we are in Kansas and not Texas. As for "Obama haters need to quit running their mouths" specifically, ROFLMAO.

kochmoney 6 years, 6 months ago

So does he. It's called a "joke," and anyone watching the speech could clearly see it being delivered as one, but I realize that it's easier to attack something silly like that than do the hard work of giving the content of his speech a fair critique.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

He tells a lot of "jokes". That's what makes him hilarious and embarrassing at the same time.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Way to address the answer to your uninformed post--no fact, just keep on believing your own anti-Obama criticisms.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 6 months ago

About 40-50% of Americans end up paying virtually no income tax. The percentage of income taxes paid by the wealthiest of Americans has steadily increased over the years. You want a fair tax code? Reduce tax rates, eliminate loopholes, credits, & subsidies, and even if you kept it revenue neutral, the net effect would be stimulative over the long run. How much do we spend each year just filing taxes? It's over 1% of GDP in and of itself!

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

About 47% don't pay any "federal" income taxes.

And, the group that did that research has said publicly that many on the right are misunderstanding and misinterpreting their research, and using it in ways they disagree with.

kansasplains 6 years, 6 months ago

The Journal-World really failed this time. Apparently they failed to send a reporter and photographer to report on this event. It's a real shame, because Google News just had top coverage (it was the first thing on their web page), and the third down after the New York Times and Wall Street Journal was the University Daily Kansan!

That's not to say that I don't support the Journal-World. Their staff does some incredible stories, and they are right on top of so many things. But on this one, had they been there, it would have been such a great story, with great pictures.

Instead, it is just a small AP story. It is very unfortunate, and I hope the Journal-World staff does some serious thinking about what has happened.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Question on the street: Did you attend Obama's speech?

Follow up question: Can you tell us what it was like?

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

Answer: I did the next best thing, I went looking at used cars. What was it like? The car that the salesman said was in perfect shape broke down in an intersection.

Jimo 6 years, 6 months ago

I've noticed a decline in serious news coverage ever since the World Co. sold the newspaper off. This is just one more example.

But hey, plenty of stories about sales at Target or cookie recipes. And sports -- always and everywhere sports stories. Bread and circuses, don't you know?

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

FACT: The Democrats N E V E R had full control of the Senate. Between several empty seats, 2 independents, and 4-5 blue dog dems, there was N E V E R a filibuster proof Senate. And the Republicans followed their leader, Grover Norquist, in making it impossible for a democrat to govern. Obama tried, and the GOP chose to play for party ideology over the good for the country.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 6 months ago

+1 Did they swear an oath to Grover or the constitution?

Jimo 6 years, 6 months ago

Indeed. Why is that being a Republican these days having a knowledge of civics worse than a failing high school senior? The last time Democrats had control of Congress was pre-1994.

Today, we have a Republican controlled Congress. Nothing can pass without GOP votes.

Domestic law is controlled by the Congress. The President doesn't get anything more than the power to comment about what Congress does or does not pass until there's a bill on his desk.

Maybe if some would turn off the Propaganda Channel their knowledge of events would rise to the level of those who randomly guess.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Blue dog dems are still democrats.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 6 months ago

And I have one other comment. Why doesn't the Journal-World, in a separate section, carry speeches like this? People would find it easy to go to the speech and read it, and then form their own opinions.

It shouldn't be necessary to indicate where to find the speech. One possibility, for example, is:

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 6 months ago

And one more comment: there must be good editorials throughout the state. Why can't there be a special section in the Journal World for editorials and columns from other Kansas papers?

Check, for example, the following:

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

TARP was a Bush program (more correctly Hank Paulson). Yes, Obama was in favor of it, but so is Romney. What's your point? The Mafia was losing bad at the track and threatened to cut off our garbage pick-up, so we paid the protection money. The Mafia started winning at the track, but we still get lousy garbage pick-up. So do you want someone who is trying to use moral persuasion to change things, or someone who openly expects his pay-off from the Mob?

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

Then you are for Ron Paul, and he is the ONLY person you can support. Anyone else would be a lie - either gung ho on extending the empire or too afraid to challenge it.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

If we're going to bail out banks, etc. we should include some requirements on how that money is spent.

That's pretty easy to do, I think, and should have been done with all of the bailouts.

For example, we'll help out your bank that's in trouble, and you have to use a certain percentage of those funds to re-negotiate mortgage rates and keep people in their homes, if they can afford the new mortgage rate payments.

This would apply especially well to ARM's that recently skyrocketed, if people had been paying them just fine before the jump.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I also have some sympathy for just letting them fail.

One of my problems with it, though, is that many people who weren't responsible for the problems would have suffered.

And, I also believe that people should be prosecuted.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

Insensitive to the point of not really thinking through the impact of millions of Americans losing their retirement.

Just sit and think about that consequence for a little bit before so boldly supporting the tough-love policy, and actively attempting to steer our national economic policies in that direction.

I mean really think about that. Millions of Americans losing what they've worked for most of their adult lives. How long would it take them to re-build their nest eggs? What happens to millions of aging Americans without a nest egg?

I'm not defending TARP per se. Just saying that the whole concept of "too big to fail" is a new status for the U.S. government to assign to a handful of private organizations.

The simple reality is that nothing constructed by humankind is "too big to fail", and that goes for the U.S. as a nation. What the phrase actually implies, when applied to U.S. private businesses, is "too big to fail, without devastating consequences to the American way of life".

Suppose you allowed the big banks to fail, and millions of Americans lost their nest eggs and had to start over, regardless of their age. Run that analytic model out over 5 years and where are we then?

Surely, even the most insensitive Libertarian can entertain the idea that within the U.S. economic system, certain companies may have been allowed to grow so large, with so many Americans trusting their livilihoods therewith, that the failure of said orgnization would trigger a crisis that the current (and expected) safety nets in place would fail to sufficiently achieve their goals.

And taking that thought experiment a little further, what do you suppose happens when a country as large as the U.S. experiences significant failure in thier system of social safety nets?

Again, not saying that the status of "too big to fail" was accurately applied to all the organizations that received TARP money -- but every single critic I've heard complain about it never seems to want to dive very deep in considering a true worst-case scenario.

Instead I hear a lot of people dismissing the unthinkable consequences as highly unlikely, painting a much more acceptable "worst-case", and using that as the foundation for their criticism.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 6 months ago

I wouldn't walk across the street to listen to this man!

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd walk across the street to get further away from him!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

It is Mr. Obama's policies that have made matters much worse for the middle class. How can manufacturing come back to America when Mr. Obama places a myriad of regulations and roadblocks? He attacks coal fire power plants and raises our electric rates unnecessarily and destroys any hope of economic development and growth. We cannot create jobs when our big-government will not allow it!

Scott Tichenor 6 years, 6 months ago

Yea, regulation sure is an evil thing. Look how well banking and real estate did under the Bush era's look the other way policies. Fine bit of logic there.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

many of the factors that exacerbated the housing bubble situation are the direct result of regulation rollback. That is, the system got so outta whack because banks started doing what they previously were not allowed to do (because of regulations).

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

The consequences of the risks that were allowed to be taken by the big banks in the wake of deregulation far, far, far, outweighed any amout of security afforded to consumers by said big banks growing ever larger.

Not to mention that by gobbling up as many small banks as possible reduces competition.

I'm not making up facts moron. How can you sit there (I assume with a straight face) and honestly suggest that deregulation did not lead to:

a) riskier and riskier investments of consumer savings by big banks b) more and more convoluted and obfuscated financial instruments c) fewer and fewer local options for savings banks, as one by one they were absorbed by the big fish.

See it for what it is for crying out loud.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

Others already have. Google 'financial deregulaton timeline'. Read all about it, and see if you can discern a pattern.

One by one, the rules put into place after the great depression were declawed in the spirit of global competition, with greenspan bearing the torch.

Most arguments for deregulation had immediate appeal, because it seemed like we were getting our butts handed to us by the japanese. Things might have worked out except for the fact that investments got riskier and riskier, while those selling the financial products with which to make the investments kept loading more and more sugar onto the marketing campaigns they were pitching to customers.... those being you, me, our parents, et al.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

1) I never said it caused the financial crisis did I? 2) I never said it caused the housing bubble did I?

You said name one. I named one. There are many more, but I figured I'd start with more recent history and move backward. Sometimes it helps in discerning patterns. Regardless, this particular action seems to be a contributor to the risky trading practices of big banks that did indeed lead to the financial crisis.

Don't you think that getting rid of the uptick rule exacerbated the conditions leading to the financial crisis? If not, then please give me a libertarian explanation as to why.

Same for this one:

Quickly following this bit of deregulation, investment banking leverage (debt to equity ratios) jumped from the former ceiling of 12:1 to up around 30:1 or higher.

For whatever reason (I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it was profit-driven) investment banks figured it would be a good move to triple the amount of debt they could keep on their books.

The only thing standing in the way was the pesky SEC rule. In 2004, the rule went away.

This raises some interesting questions for further research:

1) Why did the SEC drop the rule? How much did financial industry lobbyists spend to get this done, and where did that money come from?

2) Since operating a business with a debt to equity ratio of 30 to 40 doesn't seem like a very sustainable strategy, why didn't the invisible hand of the market force these investment banks to shape up? Shouldn't consumers have taken their money out once they realized what was going on, and that their investment bank was taking undue risk?

Please explain, LO, which government regulations compelled investment banks to adopt such risky behaviors? Which gov't regulations compelled consumers to continue take out mortgages from commercial/investment bank hybrids, when they should have known full well what was going on?

Or, you can try to explain why getting rid of the leverage cap for investment banking didn't actually contrubute to the financial crisis at all -- but you'd have to counter all the arguments by the many, many economists who say it did.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

You know, it's funny, not ha-ha, but really amusing that you say over and over that government doesn't create jobs, and now you say government will not allow the creation of jobs. Which is it? Or, as I suspect, are you simply taking the opposition road any time there is a hing that someone might be supporting the government and how it works?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

The idea, as I understand it, of government stimulus spending is not that it creates long term sustainable jobs, but that it "jump starts" a sluggish economy, gets people earning and spending money, and that influx of money helps the private sector get started again.

Of course, it would be better if the private sector just did this on it's own, but it doesn't seem to be doing that.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

Corporations won't come back home unless it's cheaper for them to do so.

Cutting the corporate tax rate won't be enough to do that. The cost savings from cheap labor overseas is too great an incentive for corporations to move back.

The hard fact to swallow for many, is that the global economy is far from homogenous. Technology has allowed advances in communications and logistics to outpace any equalizing factors in disparate labor markets around the world.

The result, is that it's way cheaper to move production to a place where production is cheap, and keep you market where sales are high. The fewer roadblocks that are in the way to allow a company to do this, the more readily they will make the jump.

And by roadblocks, I'm not just talking about gov't regulation. Lack of capital is another roadblock. The smaller your business is, the less capital you're likely to have. Thus the roadblocks are fewer for larger corporations than they are for small business. Which is why you see the (seemingly obvioius) result of far more larger companies moving thier production processes over seas, compared to small business.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

I too am mystified by the LJW coverage. If you move off of the front page to Kansas Government, this story doesn't even show. And I realize that KU BB is sacred, but I'm not sure a pic of Teahan merits top coverage over a visiting president - even if it was Attila the Hun.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

like fun...Obama is by far the worst President in my life-time. He has increased our debt more than any other President and he sees big-government as the answer to all of our problems.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm sure that more than one person has previously pointed out to you that what you say above is simply not true.

So I ask you, when confronted with a challenge of veracity, do you simply ignore it?

If so, what compels you to avoid the truth?

If not, why do you insist on repeating lies?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

o k if what debt numbers do you see projected for his 4 yrs. in office? If is is less than the trillions that have been projected in the articles that I have read that tell me what number you believe it will be?

Kontum1972 6 years, 6 months ago

obtw,,it was Geo Bush jr who gave away the surplus Pres. Clinton built up... that is one reason our economy went haywire....i kept the check and never cashed it. So tell us how you are in debt?

MB living beyond your means...?

I just retired after 30 years of work and i am living great...and having fun not working..i only went on unemployment once in my life and that was after i came back from vietnam and could not find any kept me going until i decided how my future was going to turn out...i went to college on the GI bill and graduated then went back to work on my Masters. OBTW i got a great job and as i said i retired from it.

what do u do for a living?

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Remember it was Newt and the Republican Congress that actually presided over the balanced budgets in the 90's. Without the fiscal discipline of the Republicans at that time Clinton would have implemented a health care entitlement that would have consumed any surplus. Remember "Hilary Care"?

Oldsoul 6 years, 6 months ago

"It's great to be back in Texas." The comparison is not too flattering, and unfortunately in many ways it's probably an easy mistake to make.

trinity 6 years, 6 months ago

Prez should come back&eat We B Smokin' for breakfast some time; for-real fresh squeezed OJ but ya gotta get there before they run out of oranges, lol. Some of THE very best grub around!!! And plus it is fun to have your meal&watch the planes come&go on a nice day. :)

Fossick 6 years, 6 months ago

Washington Post awards the speech Three Pinocchios: "To bolster his case about unfairness, the president is also relying on a suspect statistic about billionaires paying as little as 1 percent in taxes. Even if true, it is a clearly a rare event. Moreover, it is certainly surprising that the White House would rely on such a dubious, unverified source for a major presidential address.

Bloody right wing media...

The Post itself gets the fourth Pinocchio for trying to spin this campaign speech as a "major presidential address."

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

a) the washinton Post is a well known conservative paper.

b) By their own scale: 3 pinocchios = significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions. However in Kessler's analysis, he doesn't mention any contradictions, and the only possible factual error he points out is the 1% taxes paid by billionaires, which he even concedes could be a case, albeit a rare one.

Instead, Kessler appears to be attempting to imply that Obama implied that billionaires paying 1% in taxes is commonplace. Obama never said that. But he did say that it is the height of unfairness. Kessler also appears to be attempting to imply that Obama was blaming everything wrong with the economy on the Bush tax cuts. Obama never said that either.

Kessler and the Wash Post diidn't even apply their own scale correctly.

I'd say that the Washington Post gets their fourth Pinnochio for attempting to portray themselves as a legitimate fact-checking organization when everybody who knows anything about them knows that they are one of the foremost conservative media oulets around.

Looking to the Washington Post for an unobjective view of Obama would be like looking to the Wall St. Journal for an unobjective view of Wall Street.

Fossick 6 years, 6 months ago

"a) the washinton Post is a well known conservative paper."

Yeah, dude, it's just like Fox News except not. Perhaps you have it confused with the Washington Times, which actually is a well known conservative paper.

"appears to be attempting to imply..."

Rule #16 of social intercourse: thou shalt not weasel word other people and then criticize them for it. Obama said "some billionaires" and then when called on it, "An administration official conceded the White House had no actual data to back up the president’s assertion." In other words, he's making it up. Obama gets three pinocchios just for that, whether the WaPo "appears to be attempting to imply" it's common or not.

Here's the problem with Obama's statement in the first place: he's applying an income tax rate to an asset base, throwing out a BS number, and proclaiming it unfair. If I own a billion dollars, say in gold, I'm a billionaire. If I pay no income tax on it (because it's not income), is that unfair? Of course not. No matter how much I own, the income tax only applies to income. But a president who's just throwing numbers can make it sound unfair, which is precisely what he's trying to do, because this is a campaign speech, not a presidential address.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 6 months ago

my favorite part of the speech was when Obama said "It's good to be back in Texas". Yoinks.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

Freudian slip? Kansas is resembling Texas more and more under Brownback.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

"... Well, it is great to be back in the state of Tex – [laughter] – state of Kansas. I was giving Bill Self a hard time, he was here a while back.

As many of you know, I have roots here. I'm sure you're all familiar with the Obamas of Osawatomie. Actually, I like to say that I got my name from my father, but I got my accent – and my values – from my mother. She was born in Wichita. Her mother grew up in Augusta. Her father was from El Dorado. So my Kansas roots run deep."

That is exactly what Obama said. Context can be your friend.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 6 months ago

That's called a good recovery, not an intentional joke. LOOK at his face when he makes the slip up. That's not the facial expression of a man who just told a joke; that's the facial expression of a man who just dropped the game winning touchdown.

I don't think it matters, but if it had been Rick Perry with that slip up, it would have been torn apart by this forum.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure I saw any comments on Perry not knowing the age at which people vote (not 21) or the date of the Presidential election (not Nov. 12). Did you? Even if it was a slip and a recovery by Obama, and I don't believe it was, so what? If you don't think it matters, why bring it up? Is your point really just to prove the Perry makes even worse slip ups?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

Finally, a politician speaking on Kansas soil who makes sense, supports the middle class, and asks all to pay their fair share.

If only for an hour.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll bet he never said "Corporations are people," or call to put children to work as janitors.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

from an Occupy protest sign:

"I'll believe coporations are poeple when Texas executes one of them."

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Now you're a fan of Michael Moore?

I think it's a good, and fair question and I'd like to hear Obama's answer to it.

But it's abundantly clear that anybody running for political offices at that level has to raise vast amounts of money, and where does that money come from if not from people with lots of money?

It's a big problem - I'd like to see it solved.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Another former best buddy of Barry is going to prison. Blago got 14 years. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

did you know your handle is an anagram for crack_lens_poop_pan?

Mixolydian 6 years, 6 months ago

hahahhaa, the 12 year old in me is laughing hysterically at that. Too funny.

But, hrrrumph hrrumph hrrumph, let's get back to seriousness, we are, after all, talking about a campaign speech.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

You should school yourself about Illinois politics. There are very distinct Democratic camps. Blago was a complete outsider. He raised all of his campaign moneys, especially as governor, outside of the party. The regular Dems didn't trust him, they were just slow (it's better to at least have someone calling themselves a D) to see how corrupt he was. Because he didn't need the party, there was little they could do to control him.

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

You should school yourself about Illinois politics. There are very distinct Democratic camps. Blago was a complete outsider. He raised all of his campaign moneys, especially as governor, outside of the party. The regular Dems didn't trust him, they were just slow (it's better to at least have someone calling themselves a D) to see how corrupt he was. Because he didn't need the party, there was little they could do to control him.

Alexander Smith 6 years, 6 months ago

well mr Liberty.. if you right on free market and cooperation, then explain to me why the bailouts had to happen, why the house market is so jacked up as developers were allowed to build were no potential for growth would happen, why corporations are allowed to come into towns and crush local business and after the economy is nuked they leave with out consequence, why oil companies allowed to give CEOs 400+million retirement packadges while the public suffers, why big business is allowed to send jobs overseas so the stock holders get richer, why the GOP do not support environmental safety, WHY the do not support the rail industry, why the bring religion into our legal system and let it rule the laws.

There has been to many cases were the free market and those who control it cannot be trusted and DO NOT look out for the best interest of the USA. If you believe they do,, I got some prime land to sell you in the Sahara Forest.

The last time I checked.. the USA is about WE THE PEOPLE.. the GOP its "I" the people and screw you. We are a global economy now, if we stick with the GOP ways of doing business,, the USA will keep falling. RIght now we have dropped to 24th as the most economic stable countries and we are no longer in first place as the most economic progressive countries. We are expected to fall out of the top 5 in three years. Pretty sad..

Also, unlike the GOP, the DEMS are trying to work with the otherside to keep this country going, the GOP refuse to work together and act like spoiled children. Right now the GOP has done NOTHING for the USA since they took over congress. and right now they have NO Candidate that stands a chance against Obama.

This is what is going to happen next election ..whether the GOP take pres or not.. The GOP has failed with the promise when taking over Congress. The Dems will take over both house and senate again and if the GOP does not get their ducks in a row... will not get PRes either. Then the country will move forward.

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

Every time you mention "government protection from...." you do realize that most of the time it's Republicans and Libertarians within the government protecting a private interest from regulation, don't you?

gudpoynt 6 years, 6 months ago

The lack of environmental safety is because the govn't is protecting polluters?

For every case you can possibly think of where this is might be true, I'll raise you 10 cases where a regulation is working to prevent further destruction of the environment by private interests who care more about their profits than their planet.

Be a libertarian if you must. But do you have to be a libertarian tool? Do you have to shrivel up at the mere thought of government cooties?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

You're wasting your time and energy.

Libertarians are strongly anti-government, except for some very basic functions.

True believers will not change those views, just because of your arguments.

beaujackson 6 years, 6 months ago

Lots of Obmama stickers have been scraped off bumpers.

meggers 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting observation from someone who can't manage to spell the president's name correctly. So tell us, how many cars did you vandalize in your efforts?

blabber 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

BAA has lifted himself up to the mentality of a high schooler. Congratulations on the improvement.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

And the high schooler mentality continues. Nice.

At some point, doesn't an adult get embarrassed by the things he writes?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Let's wait and see if Obama's staff reports you, and you're asked to apologize.

Somehow I doubt it.

Steve Stucky 6 years, 6 months ago

I was little dissapointed in the speech. What we really need is a candidate with a "hope and change" message.

beaujackson 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes, I did misspell Obama. Correct spelling: Muslim traitor.

George Lippencott 6 years, 6 months ago

I note a bunch of negative comments above. Perhaps they may have jumped to a conclusion that I have not yet reached. Nobody (except perhaps LO) can argue with a desire to make our society more just in the distribution of rewards. The issue is “How”!!!

There were few details in the speech. Raising taxes as so far proposed by the administration will have virtually no effect. Short term stimulus is at best a placebo. Just how do we redistribute wealth “justly”?

This theme is not new. Three years ago I bought into the populace rhetoric. I have seen almost no change leading to a more just society (except perhaps Obama Care and it levies the costs on all of us – not the rich). I accepted the trust me card once. I will not accept it again.

Perhaps I have missed all the proposals to achieve the desired more just society. Can some of you fill me in? Or are there no such proposals?

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

OK, I'm interested. In what manner can your suggestion be initiated, and how will it make it better for the middle- and lower classes? I'm not arguing, but just want to know what your position is. I agree that things have not gotten a lot better, but still believe they could have been terriffically worse, without the stimulus/bailout/whatever that you were against. Any suggestion that will alleviate the pain of the country deserves an ear. Please let me know what you have in mind. Thanks.

James Minor 6 years, 6 months ago

The populace concept works alot better than survival of the fittest. The GOP only has to offer proposals that will definetly take us into a depression. Oh that's right the "Eye of Newt" has a better idea and all we have to do is elect him and then he will tell us what it is.

George Lippencott 6 years, 6 months ago

I did not say I like the Republicans. I asked for the solutions. There is a difference

William Weissbeck 6 years, 6 months ago

After a day and a half, LJW has buried this story in their web edition. Go ahead try to find it. Progressive change takes time. TR became president in 1900, but didn't start moving toward Progressive policies until later, especially after the Panic of 1906. His New Nationalism speech was in 1910 after he was out of office and clearly unhappy with Taft's policies. Wilson was elected in 1912 and put through a progressive platform - the income tax was passed, but this was cut short with WWI. We then endured 12 more years of government hands off from Harding, Coolidge thru Hoover, until the Progressive platform could be renewed in the New Deal. It takes time. TR proposed national healthcare in 1912. We still don't have that.

George Lippencott 6 years, 6 months ago

I did not seek results in my comment. I asked for details on the solutions to be implemented

oldbaldguy 6 years, 6 months ago

they all had barbeque. i was there today, it is a great barbeque. the owner said the president took ribs back with him. this would have been an important specch three years ago. where has he been? i forgot taking money from wall street like the rest of them. teddy did not do that.

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