Senate Defeats Obama’s Jobs Bill

President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan failed to clear the Senate on Tuesday evening, despite the best pleas and weeks of campaigning by President Obama. The bill received a simple majority of 51 votes but fell short of the necessary 60 to end debate. Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana were the only Democrats to vote against the bill. Both of them are facing tough re-election campaigns next year.

The president’s Jobs Bill also has little chance of clearing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Mr. Obama called on lawmakers to “do the right thing” and “put country ahead of party,” and pass the $447 billion jobs bill earlier in the day. He said Republican opponents will have a hard time explaining to voters why they rejected it.

With the American economy stagnated and unemployment currently at 9.1 percent, Mr. Obama said the act would put thousands of teachers, police and construction workers back on the job. He said taxes for workers and small businesses would be cut. “This is a moment of truth,” Obama told a union crowd in Pittsburgh. “The time for gridlock and games is over. The time for action is now.”

President Obama’s Bill has been much criticised in recent weeks and Senate Leader Harry Reid even had to change the proposal on how to pay for the bill in the last week, in an attempt to secure support from his own Democratic Party for the bill. Reid after inserting a provision to pay for the bill by raising income tax rates, by 5.6 percent on people who earn more than a $1 million a year, accused the GOP of blocking the legislation both to deny Obama a victory and to protect millionaires at the expense of the rest of the country.

Republicans fundamentally opposed the measure over its spending to stimulate the economy and its tax rise on millionaires and many small business owners.

Reacting to the vote, Mr Obama said: “Tonight’s vote is by no means the end of this fight.” In a statement after the vote, Obama said his bill contains proposals Republicans have supported in the past but that the GOP had obstructed the Senate from moving forward on the jobs bill. Obama says he will work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to see that individual proposals in the bill gain a vote as soon as possible. Obama says that each vote will lead to lawmakers having to explain their positions.

He challenged lawmakers to “explain to their constituents why they’re against common-sense, bipartisan proposals to create jobs”.

The House and Senate are expected to use the remainder of the week to approve U.S. trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, one of the few areas of agreement between Republicans and the administration on boosting the economy.

The White House and Democratic leaders must now resort to Plan B: The Democrats will need to  look at ways of breaking the jobs bill into pieces that would be easier to pass, such as payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and construction spending.

Both parties will no doubt use the outcome as a political tool ahead of next year’s presidential election, as Democrats have accused Republicans of failing to approve a measure that would cut high unemployment. In return, Republicans have said Democrats are trying to increase taxes, which would kill jobs.

One thing is clear, President Obama is continuing to use the bill as a vehicle for making Republicans look bad. Many of the components of the bill were rejected in 2009, by the then Democratic controlled Congress, so it is politicking of the highest order to say the Republicans are to blame. I am certain some component parts of the bill will pass once broken up.

The challenges of kick starting the United States economy in the next year are not economic, they remain political, so perhaps Standard & Poor were justified to downgrade the U.S. credit limit over sixty days ago.

The impasse continues leaving the economy at the mercy of the markets and speculators yet again.

Do Nothing is Not an Option When it Comes to the American People

Bookmark and Share   President Barack Obama took to the podium in the East Wing of the White House today, for a hastily arranged Press Conference. The President intending to take the fight to Republicans over his Proposed Jobs bill, instead adopted, his now familiar lethargic, long-drawn out replies to journalists questions. Interestingly, he provided support for the Wall Street protests and attacked the risks bankers took as being irresponsible. On the other hand, the president promoted and justified the risk taking, when responding to questions on the Solyndra case.

President Obama tried to throw down the gauntlet to Republicans insisting they should pass his $447bn programme for creating new jobs or be punished by voters in next year’s Congressional elections. The president didn’t appear comfortable in his response when asked by a reporter, if he was trying to use President Truman’s tactic, of running against a “Do-nothing Congress.”   The Obama administration are embroiled in some of the toughest fights of their three year term between a shockingly bad economy, mounting debt and scandals ranging from the Solyndra case through to the “Fast and the furious” case. The one theme running through all the challenges facing the administration is denial, and a distinct lack or willingness, to take responsibility for any of the issues.

Speaker Boehner said the president had shown no leadership by holding rallies around the country to promote his $447 billion jobs bill, rather than negotiating with Republicans, to pass legislation that would bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

“I’ve had my share of disappointments this year, but nothing has disappointed me more than what’s happened over the last five weeks, to watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading, and spend full time campaigning,”

“I can’t tell you how dangerous our situation, our economy’s in and how dangerous the situation in Europe is,” Boehner said. “And yet the president, some 14 months before the election, throws in the towel and decides he’s going to spend all of his time out campaigning. We’re legislating, he’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

 While it is fair to say that the last year hasn’t exactly being the beacon of legislative accomplishment, the general public are increasingly growing tired with all parties in Washington D.C., in failing to take real meaningful action.
While President Obama may have appeared to be talking tough, some of his choice of words like “Preaching” or “Here’s some homework for you,” still give the appearance that the president is guilty of the very charge his is attempting to level at the Republicans, which is, being out of touch with the people.

The best advice I could give the president is to take time to meet and listen to his fiercest critics. A good leader should never be afraid to take criticism and more importantly, act on it. Harsh critics often give you the most direct and honest feedback you’ll get as a leader. The important thing is that you be prepared to take it onboard and act on it, it is an opportunity not a hindrance.

The president needs to stop lecturing and trying to convince voters that he is not playing politics, the only thing that is going to turn the nation and his own fortunes around, is action!

There is an old childhood tale we tell our children here in Europe to stop them from telling falsehood’s, it is called “The boy who cried wolf.” The president needs to understand that he doesn’t carry the political influence or enthusiasm among voters that he did four years ago. The reason for this is because of his policies, leadership and the economy. He cannot carry on blaming the BIG, BAD, Republicans why? Because, people in tough times want a leader who talks about their concerns and pains, not about the cost or bruises he has endured politically.

People want to be inspired, enthused and above all, have belief that their leader will turn things around. President Obama needs to re-think his strategy and stop blaming others for the poor state of the country and start taking action; this may involve working with Republicans. He is absolutely correct; next years elections will give voters an opportunity to decide the members in Congress faith. The note of caution I would lend the president is that above all, they are voting for the leader of their nation, if you cannot provide that required leadership, the outcome of the presidential election will be a fore gone conclusion come November 2012, and he’ll then only have himself to blame, a honest fact. The most proactive step the Obama administration took on job creation this week was the farcical Tweet for Jobs initiative. I’m sorry, but I expect more from any president.

There was more bad news for the President before the press conference with the release of a new QUINNIPAC UNIVERSITY POLL showing the President’s approval ratings now stand at just 41% with 55% of responder’s disapproving of the president’s job performance. Tomorrow will see the monthly unemployment figures released for September with many commentators expecting the figure to stay at 9.1% at least.

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Yeah, but isn’t Social Security a ponzi scheme?

Talking about Social Security like it is just some government program that takes taxes from young workers and gives it to retired seniors as a ponzi scheme used to lose elections for Republicans.  But that was back when young, optimistic voters actually thought Social Security would be there for them.  Seriously, is there anyone out there still that gullible?

The height of our nation’s fiscal health came when Bill Clinton played a shell game with Social Security and called it a balanced budget.  Obama has cut Social Security taxes by 2%, despite the program’s fiscal uncertainty, and now wants to cut Social Security taxes in half and pay for it with taxes on the rich that even his own party wouldn’t vote for in 2009 when he last proposed it.  Meanwhile, as Newt Gingrich pointed out in last night’s debate, Obama has now threatened twice to cancel Social Security checks if Republicans don’t vote for his budgets.  What was an illusion of certainty to generation X is a joke to the youngest voters.

Who should be scared, seniors or future retirees?

When Rick Perry says Social Security is a lie and a ponzi scheme, believe it or not he resonates with my generation and younger.  We grew up being told that Social Security was a broken system and not to count on it.  We all got 401k plans and IRA plans because we knew Social Security wouldn’t be there for us.  Honestly, I don’t know a single person my age or younger who says “Boy, I can’t wait to retire and collect Social Security”.  We know it’s a lie, and if we get it, it will be icing on top of what we have saved for ourselves.

So let’s cut through the crap.  Who really has the best answer on Social Security?  Rick Perry wants to move it to the states and let the states run it.  Romney wants to increase the retirement age and change the way Social Security is calculated so that you don’t get paid as much.  But the majority of the candidates on last night’s stage want to offer private accounts for Social Security that future Presidents can’t dip into to balance their budget and future Presidents can’t cancel if they don’t get their way with the legislature.

In fact, of the candidates with scary language on Social Security, Perry and Romney are the ones whose stated plans would keep Social Security closest to what it is today.  Both have acknowledged affinity for private accounts, but both are looking to fix and make the current program solvent.  Cain leads the way on a fundamental overhaul of Social Security by turning it into private accounts, while Newt and Bachmann both support the idea.  Ron Paul’s view on social government programs seems a little up in the air after this last debate, going from a scrap it all approach to a we should get rid of it, but probably won’t approach.

Social Security will never be fixed until we are honest about it.  That much, Perry has spot on.  And Republicans who attack Perry for verbally assaulting Social Security may win senior Democrats, but will lose young Republicans.  Social Security is a ponzi scheme, and Perry isn’t the first person to call it that.  It is a lie, especially when it is slated to go bankrupt before most of us (including myself) will start collecting.  It is not a guarantee as long as the President can withhold checks or raid the fund in order to pretend he balanced the budget.  It is not supported by the Federal constitution.

Democrats can fear monger with seniors on this issue all they want, but anyone under 38 years old should think twice before voting for a party that can’t be honest and speak plainly about Social Security.

 

 

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