Monday, December 06, 2010

If President Obama Were More Like Harry Truman, Part II

The President would address the nation and say:

"My fellow Americans:

When I campaigned on a pledge to end the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent millionaires and billionaires and a return to the rates that were in force under President Clinton, it was not a question of ideology but of fairness to the hard-hit middle class, and more important, of what is best for the country. Adding another $100 billion to our deficit is unsustainable. The damage done to our economy from these irresponsible fiscal policies enacted under the previous administration is enormous. 

As your President, I will not acquiesce with the party whose policies drove us into this economic ditch in perpetuating those failed policies. Our economy is too fragile and we cannot afford to borrow more money from our creditors overseas to give the richest two percent a tax cut they do not need. As your President, it is my responsibility to stay the course toward economic recovery and build on the progress we have already made. 

It's time for the minority party to act responsibly and compromise to give all Americans a tax cut we can afford on incomes of up to $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. The top two percent will pay a modest tax on incomes above these levels. This is a fair compromise that both parties should agree to for the good of the nation. A recent poll shows  53 percent of the American people support this policy while 14 percent favor letting the tax cuts expire altogether. That is an overwhelming 67 percent of the American people who oppose the intransigent Republican posture of extending tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires we cannot afford to give. 

Let me be clear. Any bill that reaches this desk that does not include a cap on tax cuts for the top two percent as I have outlined, and does not also include an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for two million Americans whose benefits expire at the end of the year, will be subject to [opens drawer and pulls out presidential pen] a presidential veto. 

I sincerely hope it will not come to this, but no one should question my resolve. I appeal to the Republican leadership to act responsibly, for the good of the country.

God bless you and God Bless the United States of America.

President Barack Obama 

This is fiction, I know. The reality is this President is about to sign on to a craven "compromise" with the Republicans to extend tax cuts for the rich for another two years in exchange for releasing two million unemployed Americans held hostage by Republicans. And that clown, Newt Gingrich had the gall to say the Democrats are playing "class warfare?" That's their default position, a kind of Orwellian doublespeak to neutralize the argument. The "class warfare" is being waged by the Republican Party against the middle class.

Senator Robert Menendez is right to equate negotiating with Republicans to "negotiating with terrorists." Stretching the metaphor to its logical path, Frank Rich of the New York Times speculates the President is suffering from a form of the 'Stockholm Syndrome'. If the President cannot draw a line in the sand now, when he still has Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, what happens when the new Republican Congress is sworn in next year?

It's so outrageous to see these Republican bullies, "successful blackmailers" says the New York Times, roll the President, the Democratic Party and the nation, without a fight. Here's what you do, here's what Harry Truman would do: JUST SAY NO! Stand up to bullies and THEY WILL BACK DOWN!


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