Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama’s Refusal to Negotiate with Congress

I don’t know about you, but I get so tired of all the finger-pointing in Washington DC. Right now, they’re blaming everyone but themselves on the government shut down. It’s ridiculous how our federal government is going out of it’s way to make it more painful than necessary in order to get a large public outcry. Whether that’s by orders of the President or other heads of Departments should be investigated and punished in order of its priority.

This morning I woke up to the mantra on the news being that the President refuses to sit down & negotiate with Congress. My knee-jerk reaction was that, instead of negotiating a budget, they should start Impeachment proceedings.

Then before noon today, Boehner and a few other Republicans held a press conference for the sole purpose of very publicly stating that accusation. Mere minutes after this press conference, there was a news “alert” that President Obama called Speaker Boehner, only to reiterate that he will not negotiate linking the government shut down to the  debt ceiling increase.

Makes for a very boring piece of political theater, but positioned with the pictures from last week with a bunch of Republicans sitting around the negotiation table waiting on the no-show Democrats, this makes it that much more difficult for anyone to continue pointing the finger at the Republicans.

But after walking away for a little stretch break, I realized that it’s not the President’s job to negotiate with Congress.

The US Constitution states very clearly that it is Congress’s job to propose a budget. That budget gets sent to the other House of Congress for consideration, during which they can debate, edit, and either vote against, or vote for with changes, that are then sent back to the originating House for either ratification, farther changes, or elimination.

A Bill's path to Law

A Bill’s path to Law

IF the budget gets approved by both Houses of Congress, it then goes to the President to either Sign into Law, or Veto. His action at this point is the only action with which he can be held responsible. It’s not until after a budget is made Law that the President has any responsibility, and that is how he, as head of the Executive Branch, determines how his share of the budget will be distributed within that Branch.

IF the President Vetos  the budget Bill, Congress can Override it by a two-thirds (2/3) vote. With the massive number of Democrats in the Senate, that would be a major feat indeed. How many of his lap-dogs would be willing to vote against him?

Therefore… it’s Congress’ job to hammer out the budget and the President’s job to either Sign or Veto. The President plays no role in this, therefore his presence is NOT required. I understand, though, wanting him there for the negotiations. It would potentially make shorter work knowing up front what the President would approve or veto.

The Democrats, led by Harry Reid, are very publicly stating, “Give us a clean Continuing Resolution and a clean Debt Limit Increase, THEN we’ll negotiate.”

REALLY?!?!?!?!? Isn’t this exactly what the Democrats have promised for years? “Give us what we want and we’ll negotiate later?” The problem is, “later” never comes. That’s a deal the Republicans are wise to reject, knowing full well that that rug would be pulled out from under them after the CR & debt increase go into effect.

Our Nation keeps doing the same extremely stupid things that every household knows is detrimental for our future! We (us as individuals and the US as a nation) HAS to live within our means. We cannot continue to live on a deficit, and we have to be wise in our use of personal and public funds. That’s the platform of the Tea Party, and they’re being vilified for having the guts to stand on principle for what’s right and best for this country.

What’s really funny is that it was leaked on the news last night that there were a few members of Congress who were negotiating behind closed doors.

I sure wish someone could explain the need for all this political theater. Just do your job and history will bestow all the accolades due you!

What happens when one is considered “fortunate”?

By now everyone’s familiar with the gist of Obama’s plan to address this nations deficit and dire financial circumstances: by raising the taxes on those who are “fortunate.” For the purposes of this post, though, I’m going to set aside the fact that our problem isn’t a revenue issue but a spending issue, and focus solely on the word “fortunate.”

At what point is one considered “fortunate” – financially speaking? Monopoly ManWell, Obama has, in the past used the $250 thousand annual salary as this magical beginning point.

You’ve probably heard numbers thrown around lately giving certain statistics regarding which “fortunate” members of our society pay how much of the total federal revenues received from income taxes. There’s a very good report by The Tax Foundation which uses actual IRS data. It’s pretty easy reading and you can see the numbers for yourself. Here are some points to take note of:

  • In 2008, “the top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers… earned 34.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.”
  • “Overall, these data on high-income tax returns appear to confirm that the recent recession…”, like most recessions, “occurred for the same reason, a sharp decline in income at the high end.”
  • The top 25% of income earners had a sum total AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) of approx $5,678,179 Million (yes, that’s over 5 Trillion) and were taxed at an average of 15.68%, thus paying $890,614 MILLION in taxes. (That would be over $890 Billion dollars. )
  • “… taxpayers with an AGI of $159,619 or more in 2008 constituted the nation’s top 5 percent of income earners. To break into the top 1 percent, a tax return had to have an AGI of $380,354 or more”
  • The top 1% of income earners paid 23.27% of their AGI in taxes. (That would be $88,508.38 out of the $380k quoted above.) Top 5% paid 20.7% of AGI in taxes. (That would be $33,041.13 out of the $159,619 quoted above.)  The top 5-10% paid 12.44%. Top 10-25% paid 9.29%.

Could you imagine having a small business and working your butt off at least 18 hours per day, “24/7/365″ as they say, and having an AGI of  $159 thousand dollars and having to turn around & give $33 thousand to Uncle Sam? OR doing very well, having an AGI of $380 thousand and having to give away $88 thousand of it?!?!?

Did you know that if you win the lottery or report your gambling earnings, the Federal Government will take 40% of those winnings as taxes on “unearned income”? Based on the stats above, the folks who work their butts off to earn that money may as well have been gambling or playing the lottery instead of working hard to make a buck. AND hire employees for good paying jobs. Which would you rather do?

Let’s look at it like this. Most people believe they could live comfortably if they were earning $50,000 annually during their retirement. In order to be earning that much money in interest and dividends – remember you’re not working so you don’t have an “income” – you’d have to have ONE MILLION DOLLARS invested and earning 5% interest (which you just about can’t find any more). Want to be earning $75,000 annually so you could travel and live a life of relative luxury? Then you better have $1.5 Million in those investments earning 5%.

And guess what? You’re still gonna have to pay taxes on that “income” too.

Does any of this sound very “fortunate” to you? And Obama wants to make it worse!