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Category Archives: President Obama

A new New Deal

Infrastructure

The bridges, roads, schools, airports, ports, dams, waterways, energy system , and our aviation system all need to be upgraded. This is fact; if we don’t do this we will be economically un competitive.  We need schools that are safe, energy efficient, and structurally sound. We need airports that are safe, and energy efficient, and an aviation system that efficient for the air traffic controllers and the planes that navigate this system. Right now planes have to criss-cross the country from one satellite beacon to another. Doesn’t it make sense to have one system that allows the plane to travel one straight course? This is why we need to invest in infrastructure. We need bridges that won’t collapse. Every investment we make will create jobs. America is falling apart, and we can’t keep letting our infrastructure fail and crumble away.

Why invest now?

  • Low interest rates: Right now interest rates are at near zero rates, so any money we borrow will cost little to us to pay back.
  • Jobless recovery: Right now we need jobs! Infrastructure creates jobs because construction workers will be paid to improve the roads, rebuild schools, or rebuild an air traffic controller tower. Construction worker need jobs! Every person who can find a job will take it.
  • Low impact of deficit: infrastructure spending adds to the debt once in a lump sum type of payment. This spending won’t add to the deficit over the long-term.
  • Economically competitiveness: Many other developing country are spending more in intrastructure than we are. If we have bad roads, bridges, and aviation system who’s going to want to do business with us?

The People’s Budget: Porgressive Causcus’s FY2012 Budget

Putting America Back to Work and Restoring American Competitiveness

  • Education

In addressing the nation’s long-run fiscal challenges, investments in education enhance the long-term growth potential of the economy by investing in the skills of our present and future workforce. The nation’s human capital can be increased in many ways, including through formal and informal education, experience gained over time on a job, and training in the workplace. Front-end investment in Pre-K, K-12 and higher education is the most important contribution we can make to our economic growth in the long run. A more skilled workforce can produce more, and higher-skilled workers tend to earn higher wages.

  • Transportation

Rebuilding our highways and waterways will create jobs in the short term and is at the heart of our international competitiveness in the long term. Our budget dramatically increases transportation outlays through a surface transportation reauthorization bill as outlined in the president’s 2012 budget request.

  • Infrastructure

The new Infrastructure Bank will provide loans and grants to support individual projects and broader activities of significance to our nation’s economic competitiveness. For example, the IBank could support improvements in road and rail access to a West Coast port that benefits farmers in the Midwest, or a national effort to guarantee private loans made to help airlines purchase equipment in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). A cornerstone of the IBank’s approach will be a rigorous project comparison method that transparently measures which projects offer the biggest value to taxpayers and our economy. This marks a substantial departure from the practice of funding projects based on more narrow considerations.

  • Energy Independence

With only 3% of the known oil reserves in the world, the United States cannot become energy independent or measurably affect the world price of oil simply by drilling more within our borders. We need to set loose the clean energy industry that is ready to take hold if we make the public investments in transportation and storage. Our budget will unleash American ingenuity and talent to build a new clean energy economy in which the United States will regain its rightful place as a world leader, move energy independence and address our global warming challenges.

  • Housing

The middle of a historic recession and a “jobless recovery” is not the time to cut support for affordable housing. Investments in housing are one of the most potent job creation tools we have, because every dollar invested in housing creates two dollars and twelve cents in additional economic activity and induces as much as seven additional dollars in indirect economic activity. Providing housing not only reduces the rate of homelessness, which costs state, local and federal governments tens of thousands of dollars for every homeless family, but provides the vital backbone for creating long-term economic viability for every family in America: a place to call home.

http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/files/The_CPC_FY2012_Budget.pdf

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Why the stimulus helped America

The Recovery Act wasn’t a big package of spending that was wasted; this package saved America from another Great Depression. This package included spending in education, clean energy, health care, infrastructure, and tax cuts. And estimated by the non-partisan CBO this act created 1.6 million jobs. The Right wing political pendents who claim the Recovery Act wasted money are flat-out wrong. The recovery Act prevented thousands of teachers from being laid off by giving money to the state to finance education. The act provided money to scientists and researchers to progress science in America. Also, the act invested the largest amounts ever in clean energy, and America’s crumbling infrastructure. The Obama administration even produced Recovery.gov in which every tax payer could see where funds were going; every single dollar.  When the private sectors lacks demand for its services the federal government needs to step in to produce demand, and demand increases creates jobs. For all you righties saying the Recovery act cost 1 trillion it was 787 billion dollars. Check your math there’s a 213 billion dollar differences. finally, Republicans failed to admit that under Obama and the Recovery act in the bill there was the largest middle class tax cut ever! This included tax credits for clean energy, education, homebuyers, and child care.

Here’s the Recovery act as it was appropriated in Congress:

  • Aid to low income workers and the unemployed
    • Senate – $47 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increased by $25 a week, and provide job training; $16.5 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 12 percent through fiscal 2011 and issue a one-time bonus payment; $3 billion in temporary welfare payments.
    • House — Comparable extension of unemployment insurance; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 14 percent; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies and $1 billion for community action agencies.
  • Direct cash payments
    • Senate — $17 billion to give one-time $300 payments to recipients of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security, and veterans receiving disability and pensions.
    • House — $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance payment to the elderly, of $450 for individuals and $630 for married couples.
    • Conference – $250 one-time payment to each recipient of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security (Regular & Disability) Insurance, Veterans pension, Railroad Retirement, or State retirement system.
  • Infrastructure
    • Senate — $46 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $11.5 billion for mass transit and rail projects; $4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $5 billion for public housing improvements; $6.4 billion for clean and drinking water projects.
    • House — $47 billion for transportation projects, including $27 billion for highway and bridge construction and repair and $12 billion for mass transit, including $7.5 billion to buy transit equipment such as buses; and $31 billion to build and repair federal buildings and other public infrastructures.
  • Health care
    • Senate — $21 billion to subsidize the cost of continuing health care insurance for the involuntarily unemployed under the COBRA program; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $22 billion to modernize health information technology systems; and $10 billion for health research and construction of National Institutes of Health facilities.
    • House — $40 billion to subsidize the cost of continuing health care insurance for the involuntarily unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.
    • Conference – A 65% COBRA subsidy for 9 months will apply to workers laid off between Sept. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009. Those already laid off have 60 days to apply for COBRA.
  • Education
    • Senate — $55 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in education aid and provide block grants; $25 billion to school districts to fund special education and the No Child Left Behind K-12 law; $14 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $400 to $5,250; $2 billion for Head Start.
    • House — Similar aid to states and school districts; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.
    • Conference – The Conference Report merged most education aid with the State Fiscal Stabilization fund (administered by the Department of Education)and gave power over the funds to each governor under voluminous restrictions. The Governor is “Required” to spend $45 billion of the money on education to restore funding to 2008 levels but the mechanisms to enforce state maintenance of effort at 2005-06 levels are complex and potentially impossible to implement.[21] Hard hit states such as Nevada cannot possibly find enough funds to get to the 2005-06 state funding levels for education.[22] Some states with no current budget cuts for education, such as Arkansas and North Carolina, may get nothing.[23] This will result in a monumental 50 state legal and political fight over how to re-budget to best take advantage of the Federal legislation. Many states will further reduce state funds for education to the 2005-06 minimum so these state resources can be used for other state priorities and the net gain for education will be far less than the total Federal appropriation.
  • Energy
    • Senate — $40 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including $2.9 billion to weatherize modest-income homes; $4.6 billion for fossil fuel research and development; $6.4 billion to clean up nuclear weapons production sites; $11 billion toward a so-called smart electricity grid to reduce waste; $8.5 billion to subsidize loans for renewable energy projects; and $2 billion for advanced battery systems.
    • House — $28.4 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, including $6.2 billion to weatherize homes; $11 billion to fund a smart electricity grid.
  • Homeland security
    • Senate — $4.7 billion for homeland security programs, including $1 billion for airport screening equipment and $800 million for port security.
    • House — $1.1 billion, including $500 million for airport screening equipment.
  • Law enforcement
    • Senate — $3.5 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.
    • House — Comparable provision.

 Taxes ($275 billion)

  • New tax credit
    • House— About $145 billion for $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax credits in 2009 and 2010. For the last half of 2009, workers could expect to see about $20 a week less withheld from their paychecks starting around June. Millions of Americans who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes could file returns next year and receive checks. Individuals making more than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000 would receive reduced amounts.
    • Senate — The credit would phase out at incomes of $70,000 for individuals and couples making more than $140,000 and phase out more quickly, reducing the cost to $140 billion.
    • Conference- Tax Credit reduced to $400 per worker and $800 per couple in 2009 and 2010 and phaseout begins at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. Note retirees with no wages get nothing.
  • Alternative minimum tax
    • House — No provision.
    • Senate — About $70 billion to prevent 24 million taxpayers from paying the alternative minimum tax in 2009. The tax was designed to make sure wealthy taxpayers can’t use credits and deductions to avoid paying any taxes or paying at a far lower rate than would otherwise be possible. But it was never indexed to inflation, so critics now contend it taxes people it was not intended to. Congress addresses it each year, usually in the fall.
    • Conference – Includes a one year increase in AMT floor to $70,950 for joint filers for 2009.
  • Expanded child credit
    • House — $18.3 billion to give greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for low income workers in 2009 and 2010. Under current law, workers must make at least $12,550 to receive any portion of the credit. The change eliminates the floor, meaning more workers who pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.
    • Senate — Sets a new income threshold of $8,100 to receive any portion of the credit, reducing the cost to $7.5 billion.
    • Conference – The income floor for refunds was set at $3,000 for 2009 & 2010.
  • Expanded earned income tax credit
    • House — $4.7 billion to increase the earned income tax credit — which provides money to low income workers — for families with at least three children.
    • Senate — Same.
  • Expanded college credit
    • House — $13.7 billion to provide a $2,500 expanded tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
    • Senate — Reduces the amount that can be refunded to low-income families that pay no income taxes, lowering the cost to $13 billion.
  • Homebuyer credit
    • House — $2.6 billion to repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to July 1, unless the home is sold within three years. The credit is phased out for couples making more than $150,000.
    • Senate — Doubles the credit to $15,000 for homes purchased for a year after the bill takes effect, increasing the cost to $35.5 billion.
    • Conference – $8,000 credit for all homes bought between 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009 and repayment provision repealed for homes purchased in 2009 and held more than three years.
  • Home energy credit
    • House — $4.3 billion to provide an expanded credit to homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient in 2009 and 2010. Homeowners could recoup 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500 of numerous projects, such as installing energy-efficient windows, doors, furnaces and air conditioners.
    • Senate — Same.
    • Conference – Same;
  • Unemployment
    • House — No similar provision.
    • Senate — $4.7 billion to exclude from taxation the first $2,400 a person receives in unemployment compensation benefits in 2009.
    • Conference—Same as Senate
  • Bonus depreciation
    • House — $5 billion to extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up its depreciation through 2009.
    • Senate — Similar.
  • Money losing companies
    • House — $15 billion to allow companies to use current losses to offset profits made in the previous five years, instead of two, making them eligible for tax refunds.
    • Senate — Allows companies to use more of their losses to offset previous profits, increasing the cost to $19.5 billion.
    • Conference – Limits the carry-back to small companies, revenue under $5 million
  • Government contractors
    • House — Repeal a law that takes effect in 2011, requiring government agencies to withhold three percent of payments to contractors to help ensure they pay their tax bills. Repealing the law would cost $11 billion over 10 years, in part because the government could not earn interest by holding the money throughout the year.
    • Senate — Delays the law from taking effect until 2012, reducing the cost to $291 million.
  • Energy production
    • House — $13 billion to extend tax credits for renewable energy production.
    • Senate — Same.
    • Conference – Extension is to 2014.
  • Repeal bank credit
    • House — Repeal a Treasury provision that allowed firms that buy money-losing banks to use more of the losses as tax credits to offset the profits of the merged banks for tax purposes. The change would increase taxes on the merged banks by $7 billion over 10 years.
    • Senate — Same.
  • Bonds
    • House — $36 billion to subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, teacher training, economic development and infrastructure improvements.
    • Senate — $22.8 billion to subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction, industrial development and infrastructure improvements.
  • Auto sales
    • House — No similar provision.
    • Senate — $11 billion to make interest payments on most auto loans and sales tax on cars deductible.
    • Conference – $2 billion for deduction of sales tax, not interest payments phased out for incomes above $250,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Act_of_2009

 

Obama’s…had some accomplishments?

1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending
2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices
3. Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women
4. Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB
6 Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information
7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier’s family
8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act
9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible
10. Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House
11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration
12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date
13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan
14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research
15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research
16. New federal funding for science and research labs
17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards
18. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect
19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools
20. New funds for school construction
21 The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out
22. US Auto industry rescue plan
23. Housing rescue plan
24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan
25. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying
26. US financial and banking rescue plan
27. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed
28. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with theGeneva Convention standards
29. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops
30. The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010
31. Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols
32. Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic
33. Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions
34. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office
35. Successful release of US captain held bySomali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job
36. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast
37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles
38. Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales
39. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government
40. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children
41. Signed national service legislation; expandednational youth service program
42. Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones
43. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions
44. Expanding vaccination programs
45. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters
46. Closed offshore tax safe havens
47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
48. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
49.. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices
50. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources
51. Lower drug costs for seniors
52. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings
53. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel
54. Improved housing for military personnel
55. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses
56. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals
57 Increasing student loans
58. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program
59. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy
60. Established a new cyber security office
61. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.
62. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts
63. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness
64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient
65. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced
66. Improving benefits for veterans
67. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration
68. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud
69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco
70. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules
71. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports
72. Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons
73. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive
74. Making more loans available to small businesses
75. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare
76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court
77. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans
78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000
79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel
80. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan
81. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan
82. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans
83. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production
84. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters
85. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket
86. Held first Seder in White House
87. Attempting to reform the nation’s healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured
88. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform
89. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform
90. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2010/03/30/president-obamas-accomplishments/

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in President Obama