Vice President Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr., Speaks On The Budget And Economic Policy

By Jueseppi B.



Remarks on the Budget and Economic Policy




From The Washington Post:


 (Opinions and comments from me, Jueseppi B, appear in bold italics in parentheses)


Biden hits Republican budget plan, launching election-year attack on GOP policies




Vice President Biden delivered a blistering critique Monday of the House Republican budget plan, kicking off a midterm campaign effort aimed at winning votes by highlighting what Democrats say would be the catastrophic effects of the conservative vision shaped by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Biden said the GOP plan, passed this month, would devastate the middle class and eviscerate programs that help the poor while cutting taxes for the rich. The remarks launched what aides described as a months-long effort to attack Republicans on economic policy, in an attempt to reprise a successful 2012 campaign strategy.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden said at George Washington University. “What they clearly value, this new Republican Party, is more tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class . . . because they genuinely believe in their hearts that that’s the way in which you build a 21st-century economy.”


Biden’s argument comes as Democrats search for a political message that can gain traction ahead of the November elections. While portraying Republicans as out of touch was enormously successful two years ago, Democrats this year face a far more challenging electoral terrain.


“The vice president is lashing out because he has no answer for the question Americans are asking: Where are the jobs?” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), in response to Biden’s remarks Monday. “This administration has overseen the worst economic recovery in our history and has a budget that never balances, ever — and hysterical attacks from Joe Biden won’t change that.”


(One thing is clear, The TeaPartyMorons have no job plans, ideas or legislation for jobs either, and thats a fact, Jack.)


Biden argued that the Republicans’ budget is inconsistent with the values they espouse.


“They say they value education for our children. They say they agree with us that the best-educated country will seize the day in the 21st century,” the vice president said. “But yet they cut domestic spending by 15 percent below our budget. They won’t say exactly where they’re going to do it, but here’s what across-the-board cuts would be — and that’s what they’ve done in the past.”


Biden’s critique echoes that of the left-leaning Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, which has argued that neither the Ryan nor the Obama budget would adequately fund domestic programs. An analysis by the group this month found that the Ryan budget, compared with Obama’s budget, would pour $1 trillion less into domestic programs by embracing the deep spending cuts known as sequestration and then cutting programs by an additional $800 billion over the next 10 years.


The group has also argued that nearly 70 percent of the Ryan budget’s overall cuts would come from programs that serve people with low or moderate incomes.


Ryan has taken strong exception to the liberal critiques, saying his budget projects $43 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, compared with the $48 trillion the federal government is expected to spend without new legislation. “Nearly $43 trillion is enough,” his office said recently.


(Ryan is a dumbass idiot.)


The topic of Biden’s speech suggested that he may play something of a “bad cop” to Obama’s “good cop” as the midterm strategy unfolds. White House officials have said that the strongest role Obama can play this summer and fall is to draw contrasts between GOP and Democratic thinking on the economy.

The president has been doing that primarily by noting his own proposals — to raise the minimum wage, for instance, or to promote pay equity for men and women. While he has criticized Republicans, he has mainly focused on what Democrats bring the to the table.

Biden’s sharp focus on the House Republican plan suggests that he will be hitting the GOP harder in hopes of revving up the Democratic base and painting the GOP budget in the darkest light possible.

“House Republicans have a plan to balance the budget and create jobs,” Ryan spokesman William Allison said. “But the administration doesn’t have much to brag about. Now all they’ve got left are baseless attacks and stale rhetoric.”


(Here’s a news flash for all the lying foolish TeaPartyMorons, if your group had a plan to “balance the budget and create jobs,” you would have done it years ago. Your party is full of turtle feces)











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A Brand New Day™: Weekly Address. White House Blog Updates.


By Jueseppi B.




Peter Welsch
Peter Welsch

February 01, 2014
06:00 AM EST


In his weekly address, President Obama discussed the goals he laid out in the State of the Union address to expand opportunity for all so that every American can get ahead and have a shot at creating a better life for their kids.




VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: Temas del Estado de la Unión de 2014

February 01, 2014 | 2:43 |Public Domain


En el mensaje de esta semana, la Directora de los Medios Hispanos Katherine Vargas habló sobre los temas del Estado de la Unión del martes. El Presidente presentó un conjunto de propuestas prácticas y concretas para hacer crecer la economía, fortalecer la clase media, y para empoderar a todas las personas que desean ser parte de la clase media.




Weekly Address: Restoring Opportunity for All

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, the President discussed the goals he laid out in the State of the Union address to expand opportunity for all so that every American can get ahead and have a shot at creating a better life for their kids.


The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, February 1, 2014.


Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
February 1, 2014


Hi, everybody.


This week, I delivered my State of the Union Address. Today, here’s the three-minute version.


After four years of economic growth with eight million new private sector jobs, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than five years.  And with the economy speeding up, companies say they intend to hire more people this year.


But while those at the top are doing better than ever, average wages have barely budged.  Inequality has deepened.  Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by.  And too many still aren’t working at all.


Our job is to reverse those trends.  It’s time to restore opportunity for all people – the idea that no matter who you are, if you work hard and live up to your responsibilities, you can make it if you try.


The opportunity agenda I laid out on Tuesday has four parts. This week, I took them on the road.


Job one is more new jobs: jobs in construction and manufacturing, jobs in innovation and energy.


In Wisconsin, I talked with plant workers at GE about part two: training more Americans with the skills to fill those new jobs.


In Tennessee, I talked with students about part three: guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education, from early childhood, through college, and right into a career.


And with steelworkers in Pittsburgh, and retail workers in Maryland, I laid out part four: making sure hard work pays off for men and women, with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health insurance that’s there for you when you need it.


These ideas will strengthen the middle class and help more people work their way into the middle class.  Some of them will require Congress.  But wherever I can take steps to expand opportunity for more families on my own, I will.  I’m going to ask business leaders, education leaders, and philanthropic leaders to partner with us to advance these goals.


And every single day, I’m going to fight for these priorities – to shift the odds back in favor of more working and middle-class Americans, and to keep America a place where you can always make it if you try.


Thanks.  Have a great weekend.  And enjoy the Super Bowl.





January 31st 2014: Photo of the Day


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House, Jan. 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House, Jan. 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



White House Schedule – Week Of February 3rd to 6th 2014




On Monday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.


On Tuesday, the President will deliver remarks on education. In the evening, the President will host the House Democratic Caucus for a roundtable and reception at the White House. The Vice President will also attend.


On Wednesday, the President will deliver remarks at the Senate Democratic Issues Conference.


On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. The Vice President and the First Lady will also attend. Later, the President will meet with President Martelly of Haiti at the White House.


Details about Friday’s schedule will be released as they become available.




Proud To Be


Published on Jan 27, 2014

Watch the #BigGame commercial the NFL would never air. Get involved by contacting the Washington Professional Football Team, the NFL and the Washington Post.




President Obama Gets Asked “How Are You?” in a Google+ Hangout

January 31, 2014 | 4:23 |Public Domain


During a virtual road trip on Google+, President Obama answered questions from people joining around the country. Including Rob in Portland who asked, “How are you?” Watch what President Obama had to say.




Press Briefing

January 31, 2014 | 47:43 |Public Domain


White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.




Remarks by the President on Giving the Long-Term Unemployed a Fair Shot

January 31, 2014 | 20:58 |Public Domain

East Room.




West Wing Week 01/31/14 or “West Wing Week Turns 200!”

January 30, 2014 | 6:57 |Public Domain


This anniversary episode, hosted by the President, coincides with this year’s State of the Union Address. We’ll take you behind the scenes and on the road to speak directly with Americans like you about your lives and your families, and how together we can make sure that every American who works and studies hard has a real chance to get ahead.



Friday, January 24th

  • The President participated in pre-State of the Union preparations.


Tuesday, January 28th


Wednesday, January 29th

  • The President toured the Costco in Lanham, Marylandand spoke on the company’s leadership on employee pay.
  • Later that day, the President toured the US Steel Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania to speak on making hard work pay off for every single American.


Thursday, January 30th

  • The President toured the General Electric gas engines factory and discussed the rebounding of the U.S. manufacturing sector in Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Then, the President delivered a speech on educational opportunity at McGavock High School



The White House Blog




Kori Schulman
Kori Schulman

January 31, 2014
07:51 PM EST


President Barack Obama participates in a virtual road trip across the country via Google+ President Barack Obama participates in a virtual road trip across the country via Google+ Hangouts to discuss the issues and policies that he laid out in the State of the Union address, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. January 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


This afternoon, President Obama traveled (virtually) around the country via Google+ Hangout to answer questions about his State of the Union Address from everyday Americans. Starting on the West Coast and heading East, the President spoke to Sheila in San Francisco about immigration reform; Darnell, a fry cook at a fast-food company in Milwaukee, about raising the minimum wage; and Rob in Portland who simply asked, “how are you?


Watch the full video of the Hangout below, or over on YouTube. And be sure to follow the White House on Google+ for more opportunities to engage with the President and his administration.




New Transit Projects Connect Communities to Opportunities


Road Trip with President Obama


President Obama Extends Best Wishes for the Lunar New Year


President Obama Travels the Country to Promote Opportunity for All


Mad Men, Working Women, and Fair Pay









President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House, Jan. 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House, Jan. 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Harriet Tubman born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913

Harriet Tubman born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913




President Barack Obama signs a memorandum directing the federal government not to discriminate against those long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices

President Barack Obama signs a memorandum directing the federal government not to discriminate against those long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices





cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

Barack Hussein Obama Takes A Seat With “The Leads” Jake Tapper, For CNN.


By Jueseppi B.





CNN Big Moments in January Promo


Published on Jan 31, 2014

A promo featuring some highlights from the biggest interviews on CNN in January.




From CNN:




CNN Exclusive: President Obama says he’s not recalibrating ambitions


By Jake Tapper and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN


Waukesha, Wisconsin (CNN) — Once, Barack Obama spoke of what he wanted for his presidency in terms of healing a nation divided. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” he said.


Today, Obama is talking about executive orders and executive actions — with a pen or phone — if a divided Congress won’t or can’t act on an agenda he laid out this week in his State of the Union address.




But in an exclusive interview airing Friday on CNN, the President insists he has not recalibrated his ambitions.


“In no way are my expectations diminished or my ambitions diminished. But what is obviously true is we’ve got a divided government right now,” Obama said.


“The House Republicans, in particular, have had difficulty rallying around any agenda, much less mine. And in that kind of environment, what I don’t want is the American people to think that the only way for us to make big change is through legislation. We’ve all got to work together to continue to provide an opportunity for the next generation.”


Just days after his address to the nation, where he blended hopeful calls for a unified approach with declarations of presidential independence through executive orders, he sounded less than confident that Congress would come around.


“I think there are some issues where it’s going to be tough for them to move forward, and I am going to continue to reach out to them and say here are my best ideas, I want to hear yours,” the President said during the interview conducted in Waukesha, Wisconsin.


“But, as I said in the State of the Union, I can’t wait. And the American people, more importantly, cannot wait.”


Among the actions the President has taken is securing commitments from some of the nation’s largest companies for a plan to boost hiring of the long-term unemployed.


“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including, some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Wal-mart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say let’s establish best practices,” Obama said.


“Because they’ve been unemployed … so long, folks are looking at that gap in the resume and they’re weeding them out before these folks even get a chance for an interview.”


In a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from security at the Winter Olympics to the legalization of pot, here is what else the President had to say:


‘The imperial presidency?’

Since the President announced 12 areas where he would take executive actions — from raising the minimum wage for federal workers to creating a “starter” retirement savings account — that would bypass Congress, he has been under fire from a number of Congressional Republicans.


Sen. Ted Cruz described the actions as “the imperial presidency,” and House Republicans have threatened to rein in the President’s use of executive actions.


“I don’t think that’s very serious,” Obama said, adding that every president engages in executive actions.


CNN Exclusive: Obama’s diminished expectations?


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Barack Obama gives his first interview since the State of the Union to CNN’s Jake Tapper.



He said his administration has been disciplined, taking such actions sparingly.


“We make sure we’re doing it within the authority that we have under the statute,” Obama said. “But I am not going to make an apology for saying that if I can help middle class families and folks who are working hard to try to get in the middle class do a little bit better, then I’m going to do it.”


“It’s a tough argument for the other side to make that not only are they willing to not do anything, but they also want me not to do anything.”


And that he said would only make the low opinion Americans have of Congress even lower.



‘Not going to prejudge

The one area where Obama says he believes he can work with Republicans is on the subject of immigration and the path to citizenship, a cornerstone issue for Democrats.


Obama: GOP made progress on immigration


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Obama discusses immigration reform in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.




The major sticking point between Democrats and Republicans will likely be whether or not the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in this country be given a path to citizenship. Obama refused to say whether he would veto a bill that did not contain such a provision; it is likely that House Republicans would not pass any bill that included a path to citizenship.


“I’m not going to prejudge what gets to my desk,” he said.


On Thursday, House Republicans released a one-page document that outlined what they called the standards of immigration reform, which calls for legal status, but not citizenship.




“I think the principle that we don’t want two classes of people in America is a principle that a lot of people agree with, not just me and not just Democrats. But I am encouraged by what Speaker (John) Boehner has said,” Obama said.


“… I genuinely believe that Speaker Boehner and a number of House Republicans, folks like Paul Ryan, really do want to get a serious immigration reform bill done. And keep in mind that the Senate bill and the legislation that I’ve supported already calls for a very long process of earning citizenship. You had to pay fines. You had to learn English. You had to pay back taxes. And you had to go to the back of the line. And at the end of that, you could get citizenship.”



The marijuana experiment

When it was pointed out that the President’s remarks to The New Yorker magazine about marijuana — which he described as a bad habit but not any worse for a person than alcohol — contradict the administration’s official policy on marijuana, Obama stood by his views.


Exclusive: Obama talks about pot


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Barack Obama talks to CNN’s Jake Tapper about marijuana legalization in an exclusive interview.




The President declined to say whether he would support removing marijuana as a “Schedule One” narcotic, a classification that includes heroin and ecstasy.


“I stand by my belief based on the scientific evidence that marijuana for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,” he said.


Obama said his main concern is the criminalization of marijuana use.


“My concern is when you end up having very heavy criminal penalties for individual users that have been applied unevenly and, in some cases, with a racial disparity,” he said.


“I think that is a problem. We’re going to see what happens in the experiments in Colorado and Washington. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder has said that we are going to continue to enforce federal laws.”


At the same time, the President said the federal government doesn’t have the resources to police whether somebody is “smoking a joint on the corner.”


Rather, he said, the government was working to make sure that drug traffickers and the spillover of violence from the drug trade are not “creeping out of this experiment that is taking place.”


Obama offered what he described as a “cautionary note” for those who see legalization of marijuana as a panacea.


“I think they have to ask themselves some tough questions, too. Because if we start having a situation where big corporations with lots of resources and distribution and marketing arms are suddenly going out there, peddling marijuana, then the levels of abuse that may take place are going to be higher,” he said.



‘Win back confidence’

Obama did not suggest that he was disappointed with National Intelligence Director James Clapper for not being honest in his testimony before Congress last year about the mass surveillance programs that were revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.


Clapper later justified his untrue answer by saying it was the “least untruthful” one he could give. “Least untruthful” was not exactly a term Obama used on the campaign trail.


So did he have concerns about what Clapper said?


“I think that Jim Clapper himself would acknowledge, and has acknowledged, that he should have been more careful about how he responded,” Obama said.


“His concern was that he had a classified program that he couldn’t talk about, and he was in an open hearing in which he was asked, he was prompted to disclose a program, and so he felt he was caught between a rock and a hard place.”


The President acknowledged that the leaks, including details about the wide-ranging use of the surveillance programs, damaged the confidence of Americans as well as other nations.


“It’s going to take some time” to win back that confidence, he said. “It’s going to take some work, partly because the technology has just moved so quickly that discussions that needed to be had didn’t happen fast enough.”



Russia understands ‘the stakes here’

Neither the President, his wife nor his daughters will be attending the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


Asked what he would tell close friends who asked if they should attend amid security concerns, he said: “I’d tell them that I believe Sochi is safe and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings.”


Obama on Olympics: I’d tell friends to go


Published on Jan 31, 2014

President Obama tells CNN’s Jake Tapper that the 2014 Olympics held in Sochi, Russia will be safe.



Much has been made about Russia’s ability to keep the athletes, coaches and spectators safe in a region where terror threats are very real.


“The Russian authorities understand the stakes here. They understand that there are potential threats that are out there, and we are coordinating with them,” he said.


“We’ve looked at their plans. I think we have a good sense of the security that they are putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there.”


In large settings like the Olympics, there is always some risk, Obama said.


“I don’t want to completely discount those. But as we’ve seen here in the United States, at the Boston Marathon, there were some risks if you have lone wolves or small cells of folks who are trying to do some damage,” he said.


That said, the President encouraged Americans traveling to the Olympics to register with the U.S. State Department and read the material posted on its web site about “prudent measures” people should take.



‘In harms way

During his State of the Union address, the President brought many to tears with a tribute to Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, a veteran who was on his 10th deployment when he was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.


Remsburg, who is now disabled, was sitting with first lady Michelle Obama when he was given a prolonged standing ovation.


Obama had met Remsburg before he deployed, before he was wounded.


As commander-in-chief, Obama said he meets what he describes as “amazing” service members who make up the country’s all-volunteer military.


“But it also means only 1% of the American people are in harms way, and their families are the ones bearing that burden,” Obama said. “Which means that when we make decisions about war, it is that much more important for lawmakers and the president to understand that there are consequences to this.”


Jake Tapper reported from Waukesha, Wisconsin; and Chelsea J. Carter wrote from Atlanta.



Paul “PX 90″ Ryan’s Budget Plan Unveiled: It Looks Very Familiar!!!


By Jueseppi B.



House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget Tuesday that he says balances the budget in 10 years. Ryan invited President Obama and Senate Democrats to come together and put forth their ideas on how to balance the budget.




Paul Ryan Unveils House Budget Plan


Published on Mar 12, 2013

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget Tuesday that he says balances the budget in 10 years. Ryan invited President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats to come together and put forth their ideas on how to balance the budget. (March 12)






The following stories on Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget are courtesy of The Washington Post, The Huffington Post & The New York Times.



From The New York Times:


There’s nothing wrong with President Obama speed-dating members of Congress. Meeting face to face over food and wine, as Mr. Obama has recently done with several groups of lawmakers from both parties, may ease the demonizing politics of the last four years — along with the president’s well-earned reputation for aloofness. And given how little some Republicans know about his budget proposals — one senator confessed he had no idea what Mr. Obama wanted to cut before last week’s dinner — the shared meals were probably overdue.



But Mr. Obama should have no illusions about the core beliefs of some of his Republican dining partners, or their willingness to accept change. That was made clear on Tuesday when the House Budget Committee chairman, Representative Paul Ryan, unveiled his 2014 spending plan: a retread of ideas that voters soundly rejected, made even worse, if possible, by sharper cuts to vital services and more dishonest tax provisions.

The budget, which will surely fly through the House, was quickly praised as “serious” and job-creating by the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, though it is neither. By cutting $4.6 trillion from spending over the next decade, it would reverse the country’s nascent economic growth, kill millions of real and potential jobs, and deprive those suffering the most of social assistance.

All the tired ideas from 2011 and 2012 are back: eliminating Medicare’s guarantee to retirees by turning it into a voucher plan; dispensing with Medicaid and food stamps by turning them into block grants for states to cut freely; repealing most of the reforms to health care and Wall Street; shrinking beyond recognition the federal role in education, job training, transportation and scientific and medical research. The public opinion of these callous proposals was made clear in the fall election, but Mr. Ryan is too ideologically fervid to have learned that lesson.

The 2014 budget is even worse than that of the previous two years because it attempts to balance the budget in 10 years instead of the previous 20 or more. That would take nondefense discretionary spending down to nearly 2 percent of the economy, the lowest in modern history. And in its laziest section, it sets a goal of slashing the top tax rate for the rich to 25 percent from 39.6 percent, though naturally Mr. Ryan doesn’t explain how this could happen without raising taxes on middle- and lower-income people. (Sound familiar?)

There’s no need, of course, to balance the budget in 10 years or even 20; these dates are arbitrary, designed solely to impress the extreme fiscal conservatives who now compose the core of the Republican Party. That same core in the House will almost certainly reject the 2014 Democratic budget expected from the Senate on Wednesday. It will take a far more evenhanded approach, cutting spending by $1 trillion while eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy and spending $100 billion on job training and infrastructure.

If the Ryan budget is any indication, Mr. Obama’s quest to bring reason to an unreasonable party may be doomed from the outset.

A version of this editorial appeared in print on March 13, 2013, on pageA24 of the New York edition with the headline: The Worst of the Ryan Budgets.




Paul Ryan Budget Plan Explained


Published on Aug 13, 2012

“Paul Ryan’s budget takes us back to 1950. That’s not a metaphor. That’s a statistic. When the CBO projected Ryan’s plan four decades into the future, it concluded that the size of government would shrink to 15% of the economy by 2050. How small is 15%? As a share of GDP, it would be the smallest government since 1950/’51. Here’s Ryan’s proposed 2050 budget and our real 1950 budget, side by side…”.* What would the impact be on education, the border patrol, FDA, FAA, FBI, Medicare, and Social Security? The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.








Barack Hussein Obama‘s Anger Management Translator Luther’s response to Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget:  “Take this shit and shove it where the SUN don’t shine SON, I’M THE PRESIDENT.”




From The Huffington Post:


Paul Ryan Budget: House GOP Unveils Blueprint To Slash Medicaid, Medicare And Repeal Obamacare

By  &  


WASHINGTON — House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rolled out his latest budget proposal, offering an ambitious blueprint that promises to balance the budget in a decade by repealing President Barack Obama’s health care reforms and slashing Medicare, Medicaid and programs to help the poor.


Ryan’s previous budgets — used by Democrats as weapons in the last campaign season — did not strive for balance in any such near term, and even then many analysts predicted they would not work. Many deem a 10-year balancing plan as impossible to follow without wreaking havoc on the economic recovery.


Ryan was deaf to such objections, arguing that Congress has an obligation not just to achieve a sustainable debt — which Democrats say they favor — but to reduce it.


“This is not only a responsible, reasonable balanced plan. It’s also an invitation. This is an invitation to the president of the United States, to the Senate Democrats, to come together to fix these problems,” Ryan said in a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday that laid out the $4.6 trillion in cuts he hopes to achieve in 10 years.


“We don’t think it’s fair to let critical programs like Medicare go bankrupt. We don’t think that it’s fair to take more from hard-working families to spend more in Washington,” he said. “The most important question isn’t how do we balance the budget, but why? A budget is a means to an end. An end is the well-being of the American people. An end is a growing economy that produces opportunity and upward mobility.”


Even as his budget claims to repeal Obamacare, it pockets the savings achieved under the health care law and keeps the revenue raised by it. It also seeks to cut Medicare by an additional $129 billion over 10 years by creating a voucher-like program seniors could choose instead of regular Medicare. It would cut Medicaid some $757 billion by converting the program into block grants for the states. Other programs — among them food stamps — would be cut by some $962 billion.


The budget plan includes no cuts in Social Security. Obama has suggested changing an inflation measurement to cut more than $100 billion from the program.


Democrats were quick to hammer the proposal, saying it was another attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and poor while not asking the wealthy to do more.


“It’s deja vu all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said even before Ryan spoke. “This budget reflects the same skewed priorities the Republican Party has championed for years, the same skewed priorities Americans rejected in November.”


Indeed, MItt Romney ran for president largely on a budget plan that resembled that of his running mate, Ryan, and lost decisively. Democrats also picked up seats in the House and Senate running against the philosophy of the Ryan budget.


Ryan argued that the election’s outcome didn’t matter.


“The election didn’t go our way. Believe me, I know what that feels like,” he said. “That means we surrender our principles? That means we stop believing what we believe in? Look, whether the country intended it or not, we have divided government. We have the second largest House majority we’ve had since World War II. And what we believe in this divided government era, we need to put up our vision.”


He also suggested maybe voters did agree with the GOP.


“Are a lot of these solutions very popular, and did we win these arguments in the campaign? Some of us think so,” Ryan said.


The White House reacted by saying that while sacrifices would be required on all sides, Ryan’s budget didn’t achieve that.


“While the House Republican budget aims to reduce the deficit, the math just doesn’t add up,” said spokesman Jay Carney in a statement. “Deficit reduction that asks nothing from the wealthiest Americans has serious consequences for the middle class.”


Reid elaborated on that point.


“The Ryan Republican budget will call for more tax breaks for the wealthy and an end to Medicare as we know it, and draconian cuts to education and other programs to help America’s economy grow and prosper,” Reid said, calling the plan’s apparent balance “gimmickry.”


“While House Republicans are doubling down on the extreme budget that the American people already rejected, Senate Democrats are going to be working on a responsible pro-growth budget that reflects the values and priorities of middle class families across the country,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is due to release the Senate’s version of the budget Wednesday — its first in four years.


Democratic aides familiar with the document said it will include $975 billion in revenue from closing tax exemptions on higher-end earners and an equal amount in spending cuts — including $275 billion in health care cuts. It also aims to replace the across-the-board cuts from sequestration.


The Democratic budget would not seek to eliminate the deficit in 10 years, striving instead to stabilize the debt as a relatively small percentage of the gross domestic product. It aims to bring the total deficit reduction from the last couple of years of financial battles to $4.25 trillion over a decade.


Ryan acknowledged that the recent $600 billion in revenue raised from the fiscal cliff deal helps his budget, and that he would not try to undo the law that achieved that income. Yet Obamacare was another matter, he says, even though his plan keeps the $716 billion in savings it achieves from Medicare.


Ryan argued that the president’s signature health care law would prove to be disastrous for the nation’s health care system, resulting in a “rude awakening” for the American people.


“We don’t like this law. This is why we’re proposing to repeal this law in our budget,” Ryan said. “More importantly, we believe that this law is going to collapse under its own weight.”


The Senate Democrats’ version would preserve the funding to continue implementing the Affordable Care Act, which itself brings down the deficit by about $200 billion.


This article was updated after publication with details about the Senate Democrats’ budget proposal.




Rep. Paul Ryan Offers ‘Opening Bid’ on Budget Plan


Published on Mar 12, 2013

House Budget chair Rep. Paul Ryan put forth a blueprint that he says would cut the federal deficit by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years. Democrats dismissed the proposal, saying the math doesn’t add up. Nancy Cook of National Journal joins Jeffrey Brown to explore the politics and math behind Paul’s budget bid.






From The Washington Post:



Ryan sets stage for a budget duel, targets health-care law


By Updated: Tuesday, March 12


Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are drafting radically different budget blueprints that offer little room for compromise, even as President Obama presses lawmakers to take another shot at a far-reaching agreement to tame the national debt.


On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) rolled out a 10-year spending plan that would revive the most controversial prescriptions from last year’s GOP budget, including a partial privatization of Medicare and a repeal of the health-care law that is Obama’s signature policy achievement.


Meanwhile, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) briefed her colleagues on a competing plan, to be released Wednesday, that would raise taxes by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade and spend nearly $100 billion on a new jobs package — ideas Republicans have firmly rejected.


“They’re opening bids. But they’re opening bids from three years ago,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the bipartisan Concord Coalition, which champions deficit reduction. “The real question is: Do they start a negotiation this year? It’s not where they start, it’s where they finish. So you can take both of these budgets with a big grain of salt.”


Obama seemed to do that Tuesday in a lunchtime meeting with Senate Democrats, the first of four sessions he plans to hold this week with rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties.


While the White House issued a statement criticizing Ryan’s blueprint as “the wrong course for America,” Obama told Senate Democrats to expect a months-long debate over fiscal issues that will begin in earnest only after each chamber has approved its own partisan vision for improving the economy and shrinking the national debt.


“The best course now is to let the budgets go, get them into [a] conference [committee] and try to reconcile the two,” Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) said the president advised senators during the closed-door meeting.


Still, a senior administration official acknowledged that the dueling blueprints illustrate the immense challenge of trying to forge a compromise between a president and Democratic lawmakers, who insist on a big dose of new tax revenue to reduce borrowing, and Republicans, who refuse to consider any additional revenue beyond the relatively modest tax increase adopted Jan. 1.


Ryan, who campaigned against Obama last year as the GOP vice-presidential nominee, is offering the more uncompromising spending planby far, one that Democrats say ignores Obama’s convincing reelection victory less than five months ago.


In addition to repealing the president’s health-care expansion, the 91-page blueprint proposes rolling back the administration’s Wall Street reforms and opening federal land to oil drilling. Ryan also would protect the Pentagon from automatic spending cuts known as the sequester by shifting those reductions to domestic agencies. And he proposes to trim domestic agencies by an additional $250 billion over the next decade.


All told, Ryan would slice $4.6 trillion from projected spending, with more than half of those savings — $2.7 trillion — coming from the big health-care programs, primarily Medicaid and Obama’s Affordable Care Act.


That would let him wipe out deficits by 2023 without raising taxes. Ryan also calls for an overhaul of the tax code, but he would eliminate an array of tax breaks to finance a reduction in the top rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent, a goal Democrats say would reduce taxes for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.


At a Capitol Hill news conference, Ryan defended his decision to reprise policies that Obama and other Democrats opposed during the 2012 campaign.


“The election didn’t go our way. Believe me, I know what that feels like. That means we surrender our principles?” Ryan said. “We think we owe the country a balanced budget. We think we owe the country solutions to the big problems that are plaguing our nation: a debt crisis on the horizon. A slow-growing economy. People trapped in poverty. We’re showing our answers.”


As Ryan prepared for a vote on his budget in committee this week and before the full House next week, Senate Democrats were crafting a more modest blueprint that nonetheless retreats from the terms of the budget deal Obama has offered House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and, more recently, Republican senators gathered for dinner with the president last week at a Washington hotel.


Full details of the plan will be available Wednesday. Democratic aides and lawmakers briefed on the document said it proposes to replace the sequester cuts with $1.85 trillion in alternative policies over the next decade, including nearly $1 trillion in new taxes — far more than the $600 billion Obama is seeking.


Murray also proposes nearly $1 trillion in spending cuts, with just $275 billion coming from health programs, short of Obama’s $400 billion offer. And she seeks $100 billion for a new “economic recovery protection plan” that would fund infrastructure projects and education programs — and was quickly derided by Republicans as a new burst of “stimulus” spending.


In a statement, Murray called her plan “a responsible pro-growth budget that reflects the values and priorities of the middle class.” But Republicans pounced on the call for new taxes.


After 1,413 days without a spending plan, “all the Democrats can come up with for a budget is a trillion-dollar increase in taxes,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.).


Despite the sniping, there were signs that both sides are open to a compromise. In contrast to the combative tone Ryan adopted last spring, when a Republican takeover of the White House and the Senate seemed like a real possibility, Ryan this year acknowledged that Obama is unlikely to adopt his proposals. And he repeatedly referred to his spending plan as “an invitation” to open negotiations.


Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) welcomed Obama’s outreach to the GOP, which will continue Wednesday when the president returns to Capitol Hill to meet with House Republicans.


“I told the president on Friday I hope he’ll invite all of our members down for these dinners,” McConnell told reporters. “We all know that with the president’s request to raise the debt ceiling here again, later this summer, we’ll be discussing again the possibility of finally solving our huge deficit and debt problem.”


Paul Kane contributed to this report.









Maybe Paul should focus more on being a pretty boy and leave politics to those who actually care about the “47%’.


















The Daily Word From Barack’s House

By Jueseppi B.






Watch: Signing the Violence Against Women Act





Today, President Obama will sign legislation to strengthen and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The new law will provide resources for thousands of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault — and better equip law enforcement officials to stop violence before it starts.






Tune in to at 1:55 p.m. ET to watch.



Photo of the Day: New Secretary of the Treasury……



President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in the Oval Office, March 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



In Case You Missed It


Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:


Senate Delays Negatively Impacting our Judicial System 
An infographic illustrates the unprecedented delays in the judicial confirmation process: 78 percent of President Obama’s circuit court judges have waited more than 100 days for a vote, compared to 15 of President Bush’s nominees.


President Obama Holds First Cabinet Meeting of Second Term 
The President welcomed new Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew and new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to his Cabinet.


The Changing Face of Veteran Reintegration 
Team Rubicon works to engage our returning veterans so they can continue their service by providing aid in disaster relief.



Today’s Schedule


All times are Eastern Standard Time (EST).


9:30 AM: The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing.



12:25 PM: The President meets for lunch with Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Paul Ryan.



12:30 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney.



1:55 PM: The President signs the Violence Against Women Act; The President and the Vice President deliver remarks.




Obama ‘Dinner Dates’ The Very GOP Lunatics Who Want To Topple Him



Talking Points Memo: President Obama has invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to lunch Thursday at the White House. Rep. Chris Van Hollen has also been invited…





Talking Points Memo: President Obama dined with 12 Republican senators at Jefferson Hotel in Washington on Wednesday night. In attendance, per the White House:


Senators Lindsey Graham, Bob Corker, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, Dan Coats, Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, Mike Johanns, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, John Hoeven and Saxby Chambliss.



Read More From Talking Points Memo.      



Partnering with the People of Yemen


Rashad Hussain
March 07, 2013




Editor’s Note:  On March 7, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns led the U.S. delegation to the Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting in London, United Kingdom. This meeting reaffirmed the international community’s continued support for the people of Yemen during their historic transition process, including the upcoming National Dialogue and, ultimately, national elections in early 2014.  The United States is committed to the Friends of Yemen process and its goal of supporting Yemen as it endeavors to achieve meaningful political, economic, and security sector reform. As part of this commitment, Rashad Hussain, Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic States, recently traveled to Yemen. (by USAID)



As a part of our on-going efforts to deepen and expand partnerships with Muslim communities around the world, I recently visited Sana’a, Yemen. I heard first-hand from Yemeni government officials, civil society, and religious leaders about a variety of issues, including the country’s political transition and National Dialogue, U.S.-Yemen cooperation, and U.S. engagement with Muslim communities around the world. I was impressed by the passion and optimism of Yemen’s vibrant civil society, and by the determination and sincerity of its people. There is so much more happening in Yemen than what is conveyed in news headlines that I wanted to share some of my observations.
Just before my arrival, the government announced that the National Dialogue would officially begin on March 18. I spoke with a broad array of civil society activists about their goals and concerns about the National Dialogue.  I encouraged the full and active participation of all parts of Yemeni society in the National Dialogue, and highlighted the important role that civil society plays in ensuring the Dialogue’s success. 


I also met with a group of influential religious leaders and discussed a range of issues, including violent extremism, protecting human rights, and U.S. policies in the region. Religious leaders play a vital role in Yemeni society, and I emphasized their importance in ensuring the health, protection, and prosperity of their communities. We discussed efforts to promote humanitarian assistance and the protection of religious freedom, especially for minority groups. In discussions regarding violent extremism, I highlighted the importance of discrediting the destructive ideology of terrorism, and noted that no grievance justifies the killing of innocent people. I also questioned the idea that terrorism occurs as a response to certain policies, asking what foreign policy grievance could drive someone to bomb a religious center or a Friday prayer.


The leaders showed a clear understanding of their responsibilities, and expressed their willingness to partner with the United States on these and other initiatives. The Foreign Minister and officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs also welcomed our interest in expanding partnerships with Yemen and suggested various areas of potential cooperation, including in addressing the challenges facing Yemeni youth. 

In all of my meetings, I emphasized the U.S. commitment to continued assistance in addressing these critical needs and in partnering with the people of Yemen. The U.S. government gave Yemen over $119 million in humanitarian aid last fiscal year, and plans to provide significant support this year given the severity of the crisis.  The international community needs to do its part to help Yemen address its humanitarian challenges, and I will continue to urge our partners to support the UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan.

What struck me the most by my visit was the enthusiasm and hope in the eyes and voices of the people I met. Yemenis are working to build a democratic and prosperous Yemen, and we are honored to be able to support their efforts.


Rashad Hussain is the U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

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