Categorized | National, Politics

Obama: Income Gains Continue to Flow to Top 1%

 

 

Budget Debate a Battle for Middle Class Future, President Says

 

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

GALESBURG, ILLINOIS (Bloomberg/Yahoo News) –President Barack Obama is shifting his attention to the budget battles looming later this year by casting his differences with congressional Republicans as a struggle over the future of middle-income Americans.

“Our focus has to be on the basic economic issues that matter most to you, the people we represent,” Obama said at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, the first of two addresses he delivered yesterday.  

“And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class and everybody who is fighting to get into the middle class could not be higher.”

When members of Congress return from their August recess, they and the president will confront a host of decisions affecting the economy, including determining federal spending levels and raising the government’s $16.7 trillion debt limit.

Republican lawmakers are demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit while Obama argues for spending increases for infrastructure improvements, expanded educational opportunities and more support for research — a recurring drama in fiscal negotiations since 2011.

Obama will follow up his renewed effort with a speech today at a port facility in Jacksonville, Florida, making the case for improving the nation’s roads, bridges, airports and harbors.  In the coming weeks he will break out other pieces of his economic agenda, such as policies to improve education and make college more affordable. 

Washington’s Focus

Following months when the focus of Washington has been on the president’s second-term job appointees, his push for a new immigration law, attempts to block his signature health-care law and Republican-led investigations into his administration, Obama is seeking to use the power of his office to return attention to the economy.

“With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball,” Obama said in Galesburg. “I am here to say this needs to stop.”

Even as the economy continues to expand and add jobs four years into the nation’s recovery from its worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans at the middle of economic ladder haven’t regained lost prosperity.

The economy grew at a 1.8 percent rate during the first three months of the year, more slowly than its 2.5 percent average pace during the last two decades. The unemployment rate, at 7.6 percent in June, remains above its 6 percent average over the past 20 years.

 

Household Income

While the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index is up more than 18 percent this year and has nearly doubled since Obama took office in 2009, the median household income of $51,500 in May remains 5 percent lower than in June 2009, the official end of the recession, according to estimates by Sentier Research.

“Unfortunately, there is little real progress that has been made for the middle class,” Lance Roberts, chief strategist, said. 

Obama may be setting an argument that blame for inaction “can be laid squarely at the feet of the Republicans.”

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has signaled he’s ready for a confrontation with the White House and the Democratic-led Senate over the debt ceiling.

“We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending,” Boehner told reporters July 23 in Washington.

Obama has said he will refuse to accept anything short of a clean debt-limit increase.

 

Government Spending

In Galesburg and a later address in Warrensburg, Missouri, the president accused his critics of being short-sighted. He said the U.S. must maintain funding for education, training, infrastructure and research to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

“If we don’t make investments in education and manufacturing and science and research and transportation and information networks, we will be waving the white flag while other countries forge ahead,” he said at the University of Central Missouri.

Obama spent a portion of his Galesburg speech on the brewing — and past — debt ceiling debate.

“We’ve seen a sizable group of Republican lawmakers suggest they wouldn’t vote to pay the very bills that Congress rang up, a fiasco that harmed a fragile recovery in 2011, and one we can’t afford to repeat,” he said.

 

Debt Debate

In the debt ceiling debate two years ago, lawmakers and the White House battled for months before Obama signed an increase into law on Aug. 2, 2011, the day the Treasury Department warned that U.S. borrowing authority would expire.

While Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its AAA top credit rating as a result, investors indicated they weren’t concerned about the government’s debt or ability to pay bills.  The yield on 10-year Treasury notes in Aug, 2011, when S&P announced the downgrade, was 2.56 percent. The yield fell as low as 1.39 percent in July, 2012.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told a congressional panel last week that another prolonged debate over the debt ceiling could hamper the recovery. He also said continued tight fiscal policy threatens to restrain growth. 

 

Republican Reaction

Republicans yesterday said Obama is offering more of the same prescriptions he has offered since he was first elected.  Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, released a statement before Obama arrived in Illinois saying the president got most of his economic package passed in his first term.

“We now know what the results have been,” Cornyn said. “Add it all up, and we’ve been experiencing the weakest economic recovery in the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression in the 1930’s.”

Boehner, in a House speech, said Obama’s address would accomplish nothing. “It’s a hollow shell,” he said. “It’s an Easter egg with no candy in it.”

He called on Obama to speed approval of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline, delay implementation of the health-care law that Congress passed in 2010 and “stop threatening to shut down the government unless we raise taxes.”

* * * * * * * * *

One Response to “Obama: Income Gains Continue to Flow to Top 1%”

  1. the great con says:

    Good write-up. Extremely helpful and seeking this particular info. Thank you along with all the best.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Climate change endangers Gulf Stream
    Eco Watch - Climate scientists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf announced the findings of their new study, which shows that the rapid melting of the polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970. The scientists say “the slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temper […]
  • A teacher on standardized tests
    Emily Talmage has seven years of teaching experience in New York City and Maine, as well as a masters degree in urban education from Mercy College and a masters degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.Emily Talmage, Washington Post -  As a teacher of 20 vibrant, curious, and, yes, often challenging fourth graders at Mont […]
  • There are only two big forest areas left in the world
    Think Progress - Findings, published in the journal Science Advances, offer some of the longest-term evidence available on how ecosystems and species react to habitat loss and fragmentation over time. The trend is distinctively negative. “There is a consistent loss of species — birds, butterflies, plants — across every experiment, and these experiments varie […]
  • Higher education costs soaring
    Washington Post - With rare exceptions, sticker prices at colleges go nowhere but up. In 2012, Sarah Lawrence College in New York crossed a threshold for tuition, fees, room and board that dozens of others have now topped: $60,000 a year. Sometime soon, prices will surpass $70,000. Factoring in books, plane tickets, other expenses and inflation, a student en […]
  • Harry Reid may have more than physical health problems
    “The record book that records will be written about the eight years of Obama and Reid, never in the history of the country — never in the history of the country — have we produced more for a president and somebody that’s led his party than we’ve done together,” - Harry Reid  on KNPR radio. […]
  • Ex girlfriend describes Andreas Lubitz' strange behavior
    Daily Mail, UK - Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz told an ex-lover he was planning an act so heinous his name would be remembered for ever, it was claimed today as police revealed evidence found at his home suggests he had a 'serious psychosomatic illness'.The 26-year-old Germanwings stewardess, known only as Maria W, revealed to a German newspaper how Lubi […]
  • Iowa governor is a much more fun email denier than Hillary Clinton
    Jeff Guo, Washington Post - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has insisted for years that doesn’t own a smartphone or use e-mail. That’s what he has staff for — to e-mail, to tweet, to Instagram, to Facebook on his behalf.But in what local papers are portraying as a gotcha moment this week, it was discovered that Branstad indeed gets e-mails on his personal BlackBerr […]
  • Word: Bergdahl
    Djelloul Marbrook:  Prosecuting Bergdahl is a farce. Bergdahl but not Petraeus, who divulged sensitive data? Bergdahl but not the high-level brass who licensed the horrors of Abu Graib? Bergdahl but not Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush?... Bergdahl was sick, the others were plain evil. We’re acting like the schoolyard bully who preys on the we […]
  • Infrequently asked questions
    Working Maine […]
  • Links: The young
    Young news Colleges & universitiesGeneration gap Statistics Student loans & debt GROUPS CENTER FOR CAMPUS ORGANIZING EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY STUDENT ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COALITION Academic Freedom AD HOC COMMITTEE TO DEFEND THE UNIVERSITY FNDTN FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION Student Debt Student Debt […]
  • Word
    In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant - Charles DeGaulle […]
  • Oklahoma U: Beyond blaming
    […]
  • Furthermore. . .
    Marijuana legalization didn't eliminate racial disparities in Colorado's pot arrests It's OK to leak government secrets - as long as it benefits politiciansChris Hedges  Here's an oldie. "Friendly Fascism" by Bertram Gross (1980). Basically, every prediction in this book came true. Seymour Hersh returns to My Lai, forty-seven ye […]
  • Things that suggest to TSA that you may be a terrorist
     82 other TSA tips discovered by the patriots at Intercept […]
  • US takes ownership of a new Iraq war
    Daily Beast - Don’t hold your breath for a formal announcement, but the U.S. just declared ownership over the war in Iraq. The newest round of airstrikes take American military power out of a supporting role and into the lead.Wednesday’s Pentagon statement that the U.S. would begin conducting airstrikes to support an Iraqi military campaign was a high-water […]