So I caught president Obama’s speech last night. Aside from the lack of specifics on certain issues or proposals, I was left wondering: wait a minute, was this Barack Obama, or Shaft? No seriously, I was pleasantly surprised at the brothas tone. Hell, throw in a few “eat the cake Anna Mae” lines along with the frequency of the “pass this jobs bill” line – which was uttered 12 times – and I’m pretty sure jobs would come knocking at our doors within 24-48 hours. Why? Because Barack has spoken! No but seriously: this is the Barack I’ve been waiting to see . And boy did he do the damn thang!

In the face of all the disrespect from opponents on the right, and dissatisfaction from many on the left. President Obama delivered as impassioned a speech as he has in a very long time. Personally, I think he failed to live up to the expectations of many prior to his speech. And I would say that many of “us” were pleasantly surprised, and are now recharged for the fight. Please believe, it’s on!

Pass the muh’fuggin bill right now, Congress!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the proposal by Ezra Klein:

The proposal itself is called “The American Jobs Act” and amounts to about $450 billion worth of ideas that have, at other times, commanded a bipartisan consensus.

– It completely eliminates the payroll tax for workers, which amount to a $175 billion tax break, and cuts it in half for businesses until they reach the $5 million mark on their payrolls, at a cost of $65 billion. The idea there is to target the tax cut to struggling small businesses, rather than the cash-rich large businesses. It also extends the credit allowing businesses to expense 100 percent of their investments through 2012, which the White House predicts will cost $5 billion.

– It offers $35 billion in aid to states and cities to prevent teacher layoffs, and earmarks $25 billion for investments in school infrastructure.

– It sets aside $50 billion for investments in transportation infrastructure, $15 billion for investments in vacant or foreclosed properties, and $10 billion for an infrastructure bank. It also makes mention of a program to “deploy high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans,” but it doesn’t offer many details on that program.

– It provides $49 billion to extend expanded unemployment insurance benefits. $8 billion for a new tax credit to encourage businesses to hire the long-term unemployed, and $5 billion for a new program aimed at supporting part-time and summer jobs for youth and job training for the unemployed.

– It also encourages the Federal Housing Finance Authority to make it easier for underwater homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

If all of that could be spent out in 2012 — a big if, but given the reliance on tax cuts and state and local aid, much of it could certainly hit before the year’s end — it would be bigger, in annual terms, than the Recovery Act. The White House also promises the entire proposal will be paid for, and the specific offsets will be released next week.

The plan, taken as a whole, attempts to include every single theory of how to address the jobs crisis. If you believe we need more direct spending, you’ve got the infrastructure component. More tax cuts? The plan has $250 billion in tax cuts. More help for the unemployed? Yep. More deficit reduction? Next week, the White House will release a package that offsets this plan and reduces the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion on top of that.

Read the White House fact sheet here

Still not happy that cuts to Medicare & Medicaid is the sacrificial lamb of the day. Once again, it would appear that poor and working poor folks must bare the brunt of that shared sacrifice. But hey, what else is new in America, right? Nothing definitive about revenue increases, just gank the poor.

More at The Real News

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RiPPa is the creator, publisher, and editor-in-chief of The Intersection of Madness & Reality. As a writer, he uses his sense of humor, sarcasm, and sardonic negro wit to convey his opinion. Being the habitual line-stepper and fire-breathing liberal-progressive, whether others agree with him, isn’t his concern. He loves fried chicken, watermelon, and President Barack Obama. Yes, he's Black; yes, he's proud; and yes, he says it loud. As such, he's often misunderstood.


  1. This isn’t the person that I voted for. He missed his opportunity the first two years of his administration when he had a Democratic House and Senate. He hasn’t sounded like a liberal since ’08.

    Tax cuts again? Who is gonna pay the rent when its due, even if its too damned high??

    Still he would do well to bring that Shaft routine out on a more regular basis.

  2. Don’t forget the “I’ll cut corporate taxes if you eliminate corporate loopholes part”, he even hit the Republican Presidential candidates with that line. I doubt this is a bill that can be passed, but what it is sets up a whole lot of hot water for republicans and does to the Tea Party what they did to Blue Dogs in the Mid term elections. Here are all you ideas that you say you think will work:Why didn’t you vote for them?

    He wasn’t supposed to be specific about his plan, he’s done that before and it has failed miserably. The republicans can muddy specifics into “but where’s”, he was specific about which republican states he was trying to send money to, he hit Boehner, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Eric Cantor. He hit John Mccain and Kyl with his pay companies to hire veterans, slapped Mitch Mcconnel all upside his hanging jowls with that line about pay roll tax cuts. And by proposing the youth Jobs program he got in the ass of the CBC too. The 99ers are covered by the bonus for hiring workers out of work for more than 6 months, if you are a democrat and don’t fight for that he can give you his “Joe Wilson” look, he offered to cut the corporate tax rate “Grover Norquist your pie is ready”, and with the line about the pledge republicans signed but allowing tax cuts to rise on the middle class he hung that big old unconstitutional albatross around all of the conservatives necks.

    He has finally learned how to play the game in our current social setting, fixing the country is a long process. Mid term shellackings happen often, happened to Reagan, happened to Clinton, it would have happened to W except after 9/11 there was so much unity going on towards keeping the status quo that until “Mission Accomplished” it was damn near impossible to run against a republican, until Katrina happened and Iraq wore on past what everybody expected. When people started to actually look beyond the veil of “OMG we were attacked” and started paying attention to what was happening in Washington again the first election AFTER people stopped only thinking about 9/11 the republicans got shellacked in congress.

    Take the whiny ass kids out back by the window, beat their asses so everybody can see and then bring them back inside so that the sniffles remind the rest of the children “Oh teacher is in charge or else we will get our asses beat too”. You can not negotiate with brats, bullies, or ingrates all they know is that in a negotiation they have SOME POWER and they are going to ride that power until you take it from them. Call their bluff, make them have to do what they claimed they would and thus shut them up. There it all is, what everybody claimed they wanted, now don’t vote for it and see what happens to you.

  3. I think Obama has increasingly revealed himself as a Trojan Horse for projects and plans that liberals would otherwise never consider.
    * Cutting financing to SS
    * Proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid
    * Cutting the corporate tax rate to make things more “competitive” for American companies.

    Does anyone doubt that if a President Bush had proposed this that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee would be running to the nearest microphone to loudly denounce this as unacceptable?

  4. I just watched the speech on Friday night.  Barack knows how to deliver oratory in a style that is definitely attention getting. That has been one of his strongest suits and it serves him well. 

    I will give him his props in terms of the attack he waged by using words.  He worked the script and not only did he feature many major players in the opposition and the resistance, he used their work to do it.  It was reviving for the politico in me.

    However, until I see a pen in his hand signing the bill into reality, it’s a nice speech, but he really needs to stand up like Shaft and bring it on! 

    I watched John during the speech.  Body language reveals a lot.  Several time he tweaked physically while Obama was speaking.  At one point in time he worked really hard to control not making a facial gesture when Obama was using the oppositions talking points to talk to them.  I had to laugh because all that posturing and just say no to everything tactic has come back to bite him and Eric in the butt.  Do they really dare to stand up and say no to unemployed people?  The GOP has more older voters than the Democrats.  I think medicare needs to be reworked.  I have watched my mom and my second mother deal with the  system and it really is one helluva mess.Now that the speech has been delivered. He needs to keep the fiyah up on burn ’em status.  I also believe that the people of these United States need to do our civic duty and let the naysayers know that we want jobs, we want them now, and just saying no–is not the right answer.  While we’re supporting this legislation, where are our community organizers and planners at?  We all are not unemployed and no one asks my race or gender when it is time to pay my taxes.  If we are truly going to deal with high unemployment and reach people in our community, we need to have a game plan that can give us access to the money.

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