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Remarks by the President at Laborfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2:11 P.M. CDT

 

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Milwaukee! (Applause.) Hello, Milwaukee! (Applause.) Thank you. It is good to be back in Milwaukee. It is good to be -- I’m almost home. (Applause.) I just hop on the 94 and I’m home. (Applause.) Take it all the way to the South Side.

 

It is good -- it is good to be here on such a beautiful day. Happy Labor Day, everybody. (Applause.) I want to say thank you to the Milwaukee Area Labor Council and all of my brothers and sisters in the AFL-CIO for inviting me to spend this day with you -- (applause) -- a day that belongs to the working men and women of America.

 

I want to acknowledge your outstanding national president, a man who knows that a strong economy needs a strong labor movement: Rich Trumka. (Applause.) Thank you to the president of Wisconsin AFL-CIO Dave Newby. (Applause.) Our host, your area Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Sheila Cochran. I hear it’s Sheila’s birthday tomorrow. Where is she? (Applause.) Happy birthday, Sheila. (Applause.) I’m proud to be here with our Secretary of Labor, a daughter of union members, Hilda Solis. (Applause.) And our Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is in the house. (Applause.) And I want everybody to give it up for people who are at the forefront of every fight for Wisconsin’s working men and women -- Senator Herb Kohl; Congresswoman Gwen Moore. (Applause.) Your outstanding mayor and I believe soon to be outstanding governor Tom Barrett is in the house. (Applause.) And I know -- I know your other great senator, Russ Feingold, was here earlier standing with you and your families just like he always has. Now he’s in his hometown of Janesville to participate in their Labor Day parade.

 

So it is good to be back. Now, of course, this isn’t my first time at Laborfest. Some of you remember I stood right here with you two years ago when I was still a candidate for this office. (Applause.) And during that campaign, we talked about how, for years, the values of hard work and responsibility that had built this country had been given short shrift, and how it was slowly hollowing out our middle class. Listen, everybody who has a chair, go ahead and sit down, because everybody’s all hollering. (Applause.) Just relax, I’m going to be talking for a while now. (Applause.) Everybody take -- (applause) -- got a lot of hardworking people here, you deserve to sit down for a day. (Applause.) You’ve been on your feet all year working hard.

 

But two years ago, we talked about some on Wall Street who were taking reckless risks and cutting corners to turn huge profits while working Americans were fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat. We talked about how the decks all too often were stacked in favor of special interests and against the interests of working Americans.

 

And what we knew, even then, was that these years would be some of the most difficult in our history. And then, two weeks later -- two weeks after I spoke here -- the bottom fell out of the economy. And middle-class families suddenly found themselves swept up in the worst recession of our lifetimes.

 

So the problems facing working families, they’re nothing new. But they are more serious than ever. And that makes our cause more urgent than ever. For generations, it was the great American working class, the great American middle class that made our economy the envy of the world. It’s got to be that way again. (Applause.)

 

Milwaukee, it was folks like you that built this city. It was folks like you that built this state. It was folks like you who forged that middle class all across the nation.

 

It was working men and women who made the 20th century the American century. It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. (Applause.) The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label. (Applause.)

 

And it was that greatest generation that built America into the greatest force of prosperity and opportunity and freedom that the world has ever known -- Americans like my grandfather, who went off to war just boys, then returned home as men, and then they traded in one uniform and set of responsibilities for another. And Americans like my grandmother, who rolled up her sleeves and worked in a factory on the home front. And when the war was over, they studied under the GI Bill, and they bought a home under the FHA, and they raised families supported by good jobs that paid good wages with good benefits.

 

It was through my grandparents’ experience that I was brought up to believe that anything is possible in America. (Applause.) But, Milwaukee, they also knew the feeling when opportunity is pulled out from under you. They grew up during the Depression, so they’d tell me about seeing their fathers or their uncles losing jobs; how it wasn’t just the loss of a paycheck that hurt so bad. It was the blow to their dignity, their sense of self-worth. I’ll bet a lot of us have seen people who’ve been changed after a long bout of unemployment. It can wear you down, even if you’ve got a strong spirit. If you’re out of work for a long time, it can wear you down.

 

So my grandparents taught me early on that a job is about more than just a paycheck. A paycheck is important. But a job is about waking up every day with a sense of purpose, and going to bed each night feeling you’ve handled your responsibilities. (Applause.) It’s about meeting your responsibilities to yourself and to your family and to your community. And I carried that lesson with me all those years ago when I got my start fighting for men and women on the South Side of Chicago after their local steel plant shut down. And I carried that lesson with me through my time as a state senator and a U.S. senator, and I carry that lesson with me today. (Applause.)

 

And I know -- I know that there are folks right here in this audience, folks right here in Milwaukee and all across America, who are going through these kinds of struggles. Eight million Americans lost their jobs in this recession. And even though we’ve had eight straight months of private sector job growth, the new jobs haven’t been coming fast enough. Now, here’s the honest truth, the plain truth. There’s no silver bullet. There’s no quick fix to these problems. I knew when I was running for office, and I certainly knew by the time I was sworn in, I knew it would take time to reverse the damage of a decade worth of policies that saw too few people being able to climb into the middle class, too many people falling behind. (Applause.)

 

We all knew this. We all knew that it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole created by this economic crisis. But on this Labor Day, there are two things I want you to know. Number one: I am going to keep fighting every single day, every single hour, every single minute, to turn this economy around and put people back to work and renew the American Dream, not just for your family, not just for all our families, but for future generations. That I can guarantee you. (Applause.)

 

Number two -- I believe this with every fiber of my being: America cannot have a strong, growing economy without a strong, growing middle class, and the chance for everybody, no matter how humble their beginnings, to join that middle class -- (applause) -- a middle class built on the idea that if you work hard, if you live up to your responsibilities, then you can get ahead; that you can enjoy some basic guarantees in life. A good job that pays a good wage. Health care that will be there when you get sick. (Applause.) A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. (Applause.) An education that will give your children a better life than we had. (Applause.) These are simple ideas. These are American ideas. These are union ideas. That’s what we’re fighting for. (Applause.)

 

I was thinking about this last week. I was thinking about this last week on the day I announced the end of our combat mission in Iraq. (Applause.) And I spent some time, as I often do, with our soldiers and our veterans. And this new generation of troops coming home from Iraq, they’ve earned their place alongside the greatest generation. (Applause.) Just like that greatest generation, they’ve got the skills, they’ve got the training, they’ve got the drive to move America’s economy forward once more. We’ve been investing in new care and new opportunities and a new commitment to our veterans, because we’ve got to serve them just the way they served us. (Applause.)

 

But, Milwaukee, they’re coming home to an economy hit by a recession deeper than anything we’ve seen since the 1930s. So the question is, how do we create the same kinds of middle-class opportunities for this generation as my grandparents’ generation came home to? How do we build our economy on that same strong, stable foundation for growth?

 

Now, anybody who thinks that we can move this economy forward with just a few folks at the top doing well, hoping that it’s going to trickle down to working people who are running faster and faster just to keep up, you’ll never see it. (Applause.) If that’s what you’re waiting for, you should stop waiting, because it’s never happened in our history. That’s not how America was built. It wasn’t built with a bunch of folks at the top doing well and everybody else scrambling. We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn’t come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn’t do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell. We did it with sweat and effort and innovation. (Applause.) We did it on the assembly line and at the construction site. (Applause.)

 

We did it by investing in the people who built this country from the ground up –- the workers, middle-class families, small business owners. We out-worked folks and we out-educated folks and we out-competed everybody else. That’s how we built America. (Applause.)

 

And, Milwaukee, that’s what we’re going to do again. That’s been at the heart what we’ve been doing over these last 20 months: building our economy on a new foundation so that our middle class doesn’t just survive this crisis -– I want it to thrive. I want it to be stronger than it was before.

 

And over the last two years, that’s meant taking on some powerful interests -- some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for a very long time. And they’re not always happy with me. They talk about me like a dog. (Applause.) That’s not in my prepared remarks, it’s just -- but it’s true.

 

You know, that’s why we passed financial reform to provide new accountability and tough oversight of Wall Street; stopping credit card companies from gouging you with hidden fees and unfair rate hikes. (Applause.) Ending taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street once and for all. They’re not happy with it, but it was the right thing to do. (Applause.)

 

That’s why we eliminated tens of billions of dollars in wasteful taxpayer subsidies, handouts to the big banks that were providing student loans. We took that money, tens of billions of dollars, and we’re going to go to make sure that your kids and your grandkids can get student loans and grants at a cheap rate and afford a college education. (Applause.) They’re not happy with it, but it was the right thing to do. (Applause.)

 

Yes, we’re using those savings to put a college education within reach for working families.

 

That’s why we passed health insurance reform to make coverage affordable. (Applause.) Reform that ends the indignity of insurance companies jacking up your premiums at will, denying you coverage just because you get sick; reform that gives you control, gives you the ability if your child is sick to be able to get an affordable insurance plan, making sure they can’t drop it.

 

That’s why we’re making it easier for workers to save for retirement, with new ways of saving your tax refunds, a simpler system for enrolling in plans like 401(k)s, and fighting to strengthen Social Security for the future. (Applause.) And if everybody is still talking about privatizing Social Security, they need to be clear: It will not happen on my watch. Not when I’m President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

That’s why -- we’ve given tax cuts -- except we give them to folks who need them. (Applause.) We’ve given them to small business owners. We’ve given them to clean energy companies. We’ve cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans, just like I promised you during the campaign. You all got a tax cut. (Applause.)

 

And instead of giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas, we’re cutting taxes to companies that are putting our people to work right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

See, we want to invest in growth industries like clean energy and manufacturing. You’ve got leaders here in Wisconsin -- Tom Barrett, Jim Doyle -- they’ve been fighting to bring those jobs to Milwaukee, fighting to bring those jobs here to Wisconsin. I don’t want to see solar panels and wind turbines and electric cars made in China. I want them made right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

I don’t want to buy stuff from someplace else. I want to grow our exports so that we’re selling to someplace else -- products that say “Made in the U.S.A.” (Applause.)

 

AUDIENCE: U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

 

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. There are no better workers than American workers. (Applause.) I’ll put my money on you any day of the week. And when the naysayers said, well, you can’t save the auto industry, just go ahead and let hundreds of thousands of jobs vanish, we said we’re going to stand by those workers. If the management is willing to make tough choices, if everybody is willing to come together, I’m confident that the American auto industry can compete once again -– and today, that industry is on the way back. They said no, we said yes to the American worker. They’re coming back. (Applause.)

 

Now, let me tell you, another thing we’ve done is to make long-overdue investments in upgrading our outdated, our inefficient national infrastructure. We’re talking roads. We’re talking bridges. We’re talking dams, levees. But we’re also talking a smart electric grid that can bring clean energy to new areas. We’re talking about broadband Internet so that everybody is plugged in. We’re talking about high-speed rail lines required to compete in a 21st century economy. (Applause.) I want to get down from Milwaukee down to Chicago quick. (Applause.) Avoid a traffic jam.

 

We’re talking investments in tomorrow that are creating hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs right now.

 

Because of these investments, and the tens of thousands of projects they spurred all across the country, the battered construction sector actually grew last month for the first time in a very long time. (Applause.)

 

But, you know, the folks here in the trades know what I’m talking about -- nearly one in five construction workers are unemployed. One in five. Nobody has been hit harder than construction workers. And a lot of those folks, they had lost their jobs in manufacturing and went into construction; now they’ve lost their jobs again.

 

It doesn’t do anybody any good when so many hardworking Americans have been idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America that needs rebuilding.

 

So, that’s why, Milwaukee, today, I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads and rails and runways for the long term. (Applause.) I want America to have the best infrastructure in the world. We used to have the best infrastructure in the world. We can have it again. We are going to make it happen. (Applause.)

 

Over the next six years, over the next six years, we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads -– that’s enough to circle the world six times. That’s a lot of road. We’re going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways –- enough to stretch coast to coast. We’re going to restore 150 miles of runways. And we’re going to advance a next-generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers. (Applause.) I think everybody can agree on that. Anybody want more delays in airports?

 

AUDIENCE: No!

 

THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t think so. That’s not a Republican or a Democratic idea. We all want to get to where we need to go. I mean, I’ve got Air Force One now, it’s nice. (Laughter.) But I still remember what it was like.

 

This is a plan that will be fully paid for. It will not add to the deficit over time -– we’re going to work with Congress to see to that. We want to set up an infrastructure bank to leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investments.[/b] We’re going to continue our strategy to build a national high-speed rail network that reduces congestion and travel times and reduces harmful emissions. We want to cut waste and bureaucracy and consolidate and collapse more than 100 different programs that too often duplicate each other. So we want to change the way Washington spends your tax dollars. We want to reform a haphazard, patchwork way of doing business. We want to focus on less wasteful approaches than we’ve got right now. We want competition and innovation that gives us the best bang for the buck.

 

But the bottom line is this, Milwaukee -- this will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul. It’s a plan that history tells us can and should attract bipartisan support. It’s a plan that says even in the aftermath of the worst recession in our lifetimes, America can still shape our own destiny. We can still move this country forward. We can still leave our children something better. We can still leave them something that lasts. (Applause.)

 

So these are the things we’ve been working for. These are some of the victories you guys have helped us achieve. And we’re not finished. We’ve got a lot more progress to make. And I’m confident we will.

 

But there are some folks in Washington who see things differently. (Boos.) You know what I’m talking about. (Applause.) When it comes to just about everything we’ve done to strengthen our middle class, to rebuild our economy, almost every Republican in Congress says no. (Boos.) Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no. (Laughter and applause.) If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no. (Laughter.) They just think it’s better to score political points before an election than to solve problems. So they said no to help for small businesses, even when the small businesses said we desperately need this. This used to be their key constituency, they said. They said no. No to middle-class tax cuts. They say they’re for tax cuts; I say, okay, let’s give tax cuts to the middle class. No. (Laughter.) No to clean energy jobs. No to making college more affordable. No to reforming Wall Street. They’re saying right now, no to cutting more taxes for small business owners and helping them get financing.

 

You know, I heard -- somebody out here was yelling “Yes we can.” Remember that was our slogan? Their slogan is “No we can’t.” (Applause.) No, no, no, no.

 

AUDIENCE: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

 

THE PRESIDENT: I mean, I personally think “Yes we can” is more inspiring than “No we can’t.” (Applause.) To steal a line from our old friend Ted Kennedy: What is it about working men and women that they find so offensive? (Laughter.)

 

When we passed a bill earlier this summer to help states save jobs -- the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and nurses and police officers and firefighters that were about to be laid off, they said no. (Applause.) And the Republican who thinks he’s going to take over as Speaker -- (boos) -- I’m just saying that’s his opinion -- (laughter) -- he’s entitled to his opinion. But when he was asked about this, he dismissed those jobs as “government jobs” that weren’t worth saving. (Boos.) That’s what he said, I’m quoting -- “government jobs.”

 

Now, think about this. These are the people who teach our children. These are the people who keep our streets safe. These are the people who put their lives on the line, who rush into a burning building. Government jobs? I don’t know about you, but I think those jobs are worth saving. (Applause.) I think those jobs are worth saving. (Applause.)

 

By the way, this bill that we passed to save all those jobs, we made sure that bill wouldn’t add to the deficit. You know how we paid for it? By closing one of these ridiculous tax loopholes that actually rewarded corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. (Applause.)

 

I mean, this -- this was one of those loopholes that allowed companies to write off taxes they pay to foreign governments –- even though they weren’t paying taxes here in the United States. So middle-class families were footing tax breaks for companies creating jobs somewhere else. I mean, even a lot of America’s biggest corporations agreed that this loophole didn’t make sense, agreed that it needed to be closed, agreed that it wasn’t fair -– but the man who thinks he’s going to be Speaker, he wants to reopen this loophole. (Boos.)

 

Look, the bottom line is this: These guys, they just don’t want to give up on that economic philosophy that they have been peddling for most of the last decade. You know that philosophy -- you cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; you cut all the rules and regulations for special interests; and then you just cut working folks loose -- you cut them loose to fend for themselves.

 

You remember they called it the ownership society, but what it really boiled down to was, if you couldn’t find a job, you couldn’t afford college, you were born poor, your insurance company dropped you even though your kid was sick, that you were on your own.

 

Well, you know what, that philosophy didn’t work out so well for middle-class families all across America. It didn’t work out so well for our country. All it did was rack up record deficits and result in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I mean, think about it, we have tried what they’re peddling. We did it for 10 years. We ended up with the worst economy since the 1930s and record deficits to boot. (Applause.) It’s not like we haven’t tried what they’re trying to sell us.

 

Now, I’m bringing this up not because I’m trying to re-litigate the past; I’m bringing it up because I don’t want to re-live the past. (Applause.)

 

It’d be one thing, Milwaukee, if Republicans in Washington had some new ideas, if they had said, you know what, we really screwed up, and we’ve learned from our mistakes; we’re going to do things differently this time. That’s not what they’re doing.

When the leader of their campaign committee was asked on national television what Republicans would do if they took over Congress, you know what he said? He said, we’ll do exactly the same thing we did the last time. (Applause.) That’s what he said. It’s on tape.

 

So basically, here’s what this election comes down to. They’re betting that between now and November, you’re going to come down with amnesia. (Laughter.) They figure you’re going to forget what their agenda did to this country. They think you’ll just believe that they’ve changed.

 

These are the folks whose policies helped devastate our middle class. They drove our economy into a ditch. And we got in there and put on our boots and we pushed and we shoved. And we were sweating and these guys were standing, watching us and sipping on a Slurpee. (Laughter.) And they were pointing at us saying, how come you’re not pushing harder, how come you’re not pushing faster? And then when we finally got the car up -- and it’s got a few dings and a few dents, it’s got some mud on it, we’re going to have to do some work on it -- they point to everybody and say, look what these guys did to your car. (Laughter.) After we got it out of the ditch! And then they got the nerve to ask for the keys back! (Laughter and applause.) I don’t want to give them the keys back. They don’t know how to drive. (Applause.)

 

I mean, I want everything to think about it here. When you want to go forward in your car, what do you do?

 

AUDIENCE: D!

 

THE PRESIDENT: You put it in D. They’re going to pop it in reverse. They’d have those special interests riding shotgun, then they’d hit the gas and we’d be right back in the ditch. (Laughter.)

 

Milwaukee, we are not going backwards. That’s the choice we face this fall. Do we want to go back? Or do we want to go forward? I say we want to move forward. America always moves forward. We keep moving forward every day. (Applause.)

 

Let me say this, Milwaukee. I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. I know there’s still a lot of hurt out here. I hear it when I travel around the country. I see it in the letters that I read every night from folks who are looking for a job or lost their home. It breaks my heart, because those are the folks that I got into politics for. You’re the reason I’m here. (Applause.)

 

And when times are tough -- when times are tough, I know it can be easy to give in to cynicism. I know it can be easy to give in to fear and doubt. And you know, it’s easy sometimes for folks to stir up stuff and turn people on each other, and it’s easy to settle for something less, to set our sights a little bit lower.

 

But I just want everybody here to remember, that’s not who we are. That’s not the country I know. We do not give up. We do not quit. We face down war. We face down depression. We face down great challenges and great threats. We have lit the way for the rest of the world.

 

Whenever times have seemed at their worst, Americans have been at their best. That’s when we roll up our sleeves. That’s when we remember we rise or fall together –- as one nation and as one people. (Applause.) That’s the spirit that started the labor movement, the idea that alone, we may be weak. Divided, we may fall. But we are united, we are strong. That’s why they call them unions. That’s why we call this the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

I’m going to make this case across the country between now and November. And I am asking for your help. And if you are willing to join me and Tom Barrett and Gwen Moore and Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, we can strengthen our middle class and make this economy work for all Americans again and restore the American Dream and give it to our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

 

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

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Guest Diane Brennan

The one and only idea Republicans seem to have is to extend the tax cuts for the rich. But as we are seeing this year, having lower tax rates has no positive effect on the economy. We need to increase tax rates on the rich and get rid of the 0% estate tax so that we can pay down the deficit. It also sounds like the Republicans want to change social security so that people can't retire until they are 70. I don't think that this is going to be very popular with voters. The Republicans don't seem to have a single idea for how to bring back jobs.

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Guest human

How about this; Freeze ALL government pay raises for ALL government employees for 2 years.

Rewrite government pensions to reflect private pension plans.

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The one and only idea Republicans seem to have is to extend the tax cuts for the rich. But as we are seeing this year, having lower tax rates has no positive effect on the economy. We need to increase tax rates on the rich and get rid of the 0% estate tax so that we can pay down the deficit. It also sounds like the Republicans want to change social security so that people can't retire until they are 70. I don't think that this is going to be very popular with voters. The Republicans don't seem to have a single idea for how to bring back jobs.

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How about this; Freeze ALL government pay raises for ALL government employees for 2 years.

Rewrite government pensions to reflect private pension plans.

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Now, that is a literally million dollar idea. That includes all branches, department heads, political appointees, etc...

 

What are your suggestions for the private sector? Small businesses and community banks?

 

Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration don't fail us now. We are on a mission from God to save our Country.

 

 

I love NPR. Read this and get back with me.

 

http://www.npr.org/t...oryId=129712761

 

 

Adding It Up: How Much Tax Does A Taxpayer Pay?

 

 

Harlan and Tess Milkove, who met during their freshman year of college, are both 26 years old and both work as engineers. They own a home in Stratford, and they have an 8-month-old son, Ethan.

 

A gas station near their home offers the first glimpse at their tax picture: Harlan Milkove pulls his car in to fill up the tank, and 12 1/2 gallons later, his receipt says he spent $44.91.

 

"They don't break out the taxes from that," he says. Connecticut residents pay 60.3 cents per gallon in state and federal gas taxes. For the Milkoves, who use about 1,200 gallons a year, that adds up to just over $700.

 

But that's a small piece of the big picture; there are many more taxes to tally. At home, Milkove spreads tax returns, receipts and various bills on the dining room table. He pulls out his laptop, where he tracks the family's spending.

 

"This looks scary, but it's very organized," he says. The table is buried. Tess flees to the living room.

 

We tally up state and federal income tax, social security and Medicare taxes using data from their 2009 returns. These taxes, taken out of their paychecks each month, account for more than three-quarters of the Milkoves' tax burden.

 

The property tax on their home comes to just under $5,000. And in Connecticut, they also have to pay property tax on their two cars.

 

"Car tax due is $433.84, and Tess' is $395.52," Milkove says, reading from the bills. "It's like an extra car payment for each car — comes out pretty close."

 

Milkove is one of those people who carefully tracks just about every dollar spent, so we're able to get a good picture of how much sales tax they pay in a year. We look at spending for the first six months of 2010 and double it. Aside from groceries and clothing, most purchases are taxed at 6 percent. The sales tax grand total for the year is $400.

 

They don't smoke, but if they did, they'd pay more than $4 a pack in taxes. They do drink, a little. We figure they pay about $65 a year in alcohol excise taxes.

 

The Milkoves are going on a couple of short vacations, so we add in hotel taxes, rental car taxes and about $85 worth of taxes on just two round-trip plane tickets. Then we dig into their phone bills and find yet more taxes.

 

"There's a public safety communications surcharge, county sales tax, state telecom excise tax," Milkove says, reading from his phone bill. The cell phone and home phone bills both are about 20 percent tax.

 

"That's kind of disgusting," he says after doing the math. But an entire year's worth of telecom taxes doesn't even add up to 1 percent of the family's tax total.

 

"People get very frustrated at taxes that are relatively small compared to big taxes," says Gerald Prante, an economist at the Tax Foundation, a Washington-based tax-tracking think tank.

 

"I mean, if you look at this list," he says, looking at the tax tally that Milkove came up with, "everything is chump change compared to the federal income tax.

 

"Taxes he's bearing directly, this is a pretty comprehensive list," Prante says. But there are other taxes that people pay indirectly.

 

When the Tax Foundation looks at this larger picture, it finds that Americans on average pay 28 percent of their income to taxes — though it varies widely by income.

 

The Milkoves, it turns out, are paying just over 24 percent.

 

After doing all of the math, Harlan Milkove seems more tired than anything else. "It's not fun. I wouldn't recommend it," he says. "You wasted an evening, and it just ticks you off."

Edited by Luke_Wilbur

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Guest Daniel

‎14.6 million unemployed well lets subtract 12,000,000 illegal people and we have 2.6 million unemployed.

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Guest LAW

Remarks by the President on the Economy in Parma, Ohio

Cuyahoga Community College West Campus, Parma, Ohio

 

2:06 P.M. EDT

 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Ohio! Thank you, Cleveland! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you very much, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat. We've got some business to do today. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!

 

THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. Thank you.

 

Before we get started I want to just acknowledge some outstanding public servants who are here. First of all, somebody who I believe is one of the finest governors in this country -- Ted Strickland is here. (Applause.) The lieutenant-governor and soon-to-be junior senator from the great state of Illinois -- or Ohio -- I was thinking about my own home -- Lee Fisher is here. (Applause.)

 

I used to hear that line all the time about “senator from Illinois” -- that would be me. (Laughter.)

 

Outstanding mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson is here. (Applause.) The mayor of Parma, Dean DePiero. (Applause.) Somebody who is fighting for working families each and every day, Senator Sherrod Brown is here. (Applause.) And three of the hardest-working and finest members of the House of Representatives -- Dennis Kucinich, Marcia Fudge, and John Boccieri. (Applause.)

 

Good afternoon, everybody. It is good to be back in Ohio. (Applause.)

 

You know, in the fall of 2008, one of the last rallies of my presidential campaign was right here in the Cleveland area. (Applause.) It was a hopeful time, just two days before the election. And we knew that if we pulled it off, we’d finally have the chance to tackle some big and difficult challenges that had been facing this country for a very long time.

 

We also hoped for a chance to get beyond some of the old political divides -– between Democrats and Republicans, red states and blue states -– that had prevented us from making progress. Because although we are proud to be Democrats, we are prouder to be Americans -– (applause) -- and we believed then and we believe now that no single party has a monopoly on wisdom.

 

That’s not to say that the election didn’t expose deep differences between the parties.

 

I ran for President because for much of the last decade, a very specific governing philosophy had reigned about how America should work: Cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires. Cut regulations for special interests. Cut trade deals even if they didn’t benefit our workers. Cut back on investments in our people and in our future -– in education and clean energy, in research and technology. The idea was that if we just had blind faith in the market, if we let corporations play by their own rules, if we left everyone else to fend for themselves that America would grow and America would prosper.

And for a time this idea gave us the illusion of prosperity. We saw financial firms and CEOs take in record profits and record bonuses. We saw a housing boom that led to new homeowners and new jobs in construction. Consumers bought more condos and bigger cars and better TVs.

 

But while all this was happening, the broader economy was becoming weaker. Nobody understands that more than the people of Ohio. Job growth between 2000 and 2008 was slower than it had been in any economic expansion since World War II -– slower than it’s been over the last year. The wages and incomes of middle-class families kept falling while the cost of everything from tuition to health care kept on going up. Folks were forced to put more debt on their credit cards and borrow against homes that many couldn’t afford to buy in the first place. And meanwhile, a failure to pay for two wars and two tax cuts for the wealthy helped turn a record surplus into a record deficit.

 

I ran for President because I believed that this kind of economy was unsustainable –- for the middle class and for the future of our nation. I ran because I had a different idea about how America was built. (Applause.) It was an idea rooted in my own family’s story.

 

You see, Michelle and I are where we are today because even though our families didn’t have much, they worked tirelessly -– without complaint -– so that we might have a better life. My grandfather marched off to Europe in World War II, while my grandmother worked in factories on the home front. I had a single mom who put herself through school, and would wake before dawn to make sure I got a decent education. Michelle can still remember her father heading out to his job as a city worker long after multiple sclerosis had made it impossible for him to walk without crutches. He always got to work; he just had to get up a little earlier.

Yes, our families believed in the American values of self-reliance and individual responsibility, and they instilled those values in their children. But they also believed in a country that rewards responsibility; a country that rewards hard work; a country built on the promise of opportunity and upward mobility.

 

They believed in an America that gave my grandfather the chance to go to college because of the GI Bill; an America that gave my grandparents the chance to buy a home because of the Federal Housing Authority; an America that gave their children and grandchildren the chance to fulfill our dreams thanks to college loans and college scholarships.

It was an America where you didn’t buy things you couldn’t afford; where we didn’t just think about today -– we thought about tomorrow. An America that took pride in the goods that we made, not just the things we consumed. An America where a rising tide really did lift all boats, from the company CEO to the guy on the assembly line.

That’s the America I believe in. (Applause.) That’s the America I believe in. That's what led me to work in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant on the South Side of Chicago when I was a community organizer. It’s what led me to fight for factory workers at manufacturing plants that were closing across Illinois when I was a senator. It’s what led me to run for President -– because I don’t believe we can have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class. (Applause.)

 

Now, much has happened since that election. The flawed policies and economic weaknesses of the previous decade culminated in a financial crisis and the worst recession of our lifetimes. And my hope was that the crisis would cause everybody, Democrats and Republicans, to pull together and tackle our problems in a practical way. But as we all know, things didn’t work out that way.

 

Some Republican leaders figured it was smart politics to sit on the sidelines and let Democrats solve the mess. Others believed on principle that government shouldn’t meddle in the markets, even when the markets are broken. But with the nation losing nearly 800,000 jobs the month that I was sworn into office, my most urgent task was to stop a financial meltdown and prevent this recession from becoming a second depression. (Applause.)

 

And, Ohio, we have done that. The economy is growing again. The financial markets have stabilized. The private sector has created jobs for the last eight months in a row. (Applause.) And there are roughly 3 million Americans who are working today because of the economic plan we put into place.

 

But the truth is progress has been painfully slow. Millions of jobs were lost before our policies even had a chance to take effect. We lost 4 million in the six months before I took office. It was a hole so deep that even though we’ve added jobs again, millions of Americans remain unemployed. Hundreds of thousands of families have lost their homes. Millions more can barely pay the bills or make the mortgage. The middle class is still treading water, and those aspiring to reach the middle class are doing everything they can to keep from drowning.

 

And meanwhile, some of the very steps that were necessary to save the economy -– like temporarily supporting the banks and the auto industry -– fed the perception that Washington is still ignoring the middle class in favor of special interests.

 

And so people are frustrated and they’re angry and they’re anxious about the future. I understand that. I also understand that in a political campaign, the easiest thing for the other side to do is to ride this fear and anger all the way to Election Day.

 

That’s what’s happening right now. A few weeks ago, the Republican leader of the House came here to Cleveland and offered his party’s answer to our economic challenges. Now, it would be one thing if he had admitted his party’s mistakes during the eight years that they were in power, if they had gone off for a while and meditated, and come back and offered a credible new approach to solving our country’s problems.

 

But that’s not what happened. There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power -- the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.

 

Instead of coming together like past generations did to build a better country for our children and grandchildren, their argument is that we should let insurance companies go back to denying care for folks who are sick, or let credit card companies go back to raising rates without any reason. Instead of setting our sights higher, they’re asking us to settle for a status quo of stagnant growth and eroding competitiveness and a shrinking middle class.

 

Cleveland, that is not the America I know. That is not the America we believe in. (Applause.)

 

A lot has changed since I came here in those final days of the last election, but what hasn’t is the choice facing this country. It’s still fear versus hope; the past versus the future. It’s still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward. That’s what this election is about. That’s the choice you will face in November. (Applause.)

 

Now, we have a different vision for the future. See, I’ve never believed that government has all the answers to our problems. I’ve never believed that government’s role is to create jobs or prosperity. I believe it’s the drive and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs, our small businesses; the skill and dedication of our workers -- (applause) -- that’s made us the wealthiest nation on Earth. (Applause.) I believe it’s the private sector that must be the main engine for our recovery.

 

I believe government should be lean; government should be efficient. I believe government should leave people free to make the choices they think are best for themselves and their families, so long as those choices don’t hurt others. (Applause.)

 

But in the words of the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, I also believe that government should do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves. (Applause.) And that means making the long-term investments in this country’s future that individuals and corporations can't make on their own: investments in education and clean energy, in basic research and technology and infrastructure. (Applause.)

 

That means making sure corporations live up to their responsibilities to treat consumers fairly and play by the same rules as everyone else. (Applause.) Their responsibility is to look out for their workers, as well as their shareholders, and create jobs here at home.

And that means providing a hand-up for middle-class families –- so that if they work hard and meet their responsibilities, they can afford to raise their children, and send them to college, see a doctor when they get sick, retire with dignity and respect. (Applause.)

 

That’s what we Democrats believe in -– a vibrant free market, but one that works for everybody. [/b (Applause.) That’s our vision. That's our vision for a stronger economy and a growing middle class. And that’s the difference between what we and Republicans in Congress are offering the American people right now.

 

Let me give you a few specific examples of our different approaches. This week, I proposed some additional steps to grow the economy and help businesses spur hiring. One of the keys to job creation is to encourage companies to invest more in the United States. But for years, our tax code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries.

 

I want to change that. (Applause.) I want to change that. Instead of tax loopholes that incentivize investment in overseas jobs, I’m proposing a more generous, permanent extension of the tax credit that goes to companies for all the research and innovation they do right here in Ohio, right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

And I’m proposing that all American businesses should be allowed to write off all the investment they do in 2011. And this will help small businesses upgrade their plants and equipment, and will encourage large corporations to get off the sidelines and start putting their profits to work in places like Cleveland and Toledo and Dayton. (Applause.)

 

Now, to most of you, I'll bet this just seems like common sense. (Laughter.) But not to Mr. Boehner and his allies. For years, Republicans have fought to keep these corporate loopholes open. In fact, when Mr. Boehner was here in Cleveland he attacked us for closing a few of these loopholes -– and using the money to help states like Ohio keep hundreds of thousands of teachers and cops and firefighters on the job. (Applause.)

Mr. Boehner dismissed these jobs we saved –- teaching our kids, patrolling our streets, rushing into burning buildings -– as “government jobs” -– jobs I guess he thought just weren’t worth saving.

 

And I couldn’t disagree more. I think teachers and police officers and firefighters are part of what keeps America strong. (Applause.) And, Ohio, I think if we’re going to give tax breaks to companies, they should go to companies that create jobs in America -– not that create jobs overseas. (Applause.) That’s one difference between the Republican vision and the Democratic vision. That’s what this election is all about. (Applause.)

 

Let me give you another example. We want to put more Americans back to work rebuilding America -– our roads, our railways, our runways. When the housing sector collapsed and the recession hit, one in every four jobs lost were in the construction industry. That’s partly why our economic plan has invested in badly needed infrastructure projects over the last 19 months –- not just roads and bridges, but high-speed railroads and expanded broadband access. Altogether, these projects have led to thousands of good, private sector jobs, especially for those in the trades.

 

Mr. Boehner and the Republicans in Congress said no to these projects. Fought them tooth and nail. Though I should say it didn’t stop a lot of them from showing up at the ribbon-cuttings -- (laughter) -- trying to take credit. That’s always a sight to see. (Laughter.)

 

Now, there are still thousands of miles of railroads and railways and runways left to repair and improve. And engineers, economists, governors, mayors of every political stripe believe that if we want to compete in this global economy, we need to rebuild this vital infrastructure. There is no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains or the most modern airports -– we want to put people to work building them right here in America. (Applause.)

 

So this week, I’ve proposed a six-year infrastructure plan that would start putting Americans to work right away. But despite the fact that this has traditionally been an issue with bipartisan support, Mr. Boehner has so far said no to infrastructure. That’s bad for America -– and that, too, is what this election is all about.

 

I’ll give you one final example of the differences between us and the Republicans, and that’s on the issue of tax cuts. Under the tax plan passed by the last administration, taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year -- for everybody. By the way, this was by design. When they passed these tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, they didn’t want everybody to know what it would do to our deficit, so they pretended like they were going to end, even though now they say they don't.

 

Now, I believe we ought to make the tax cuts for the middle class permanent. (Applause.) For the middle class, permanent. These families are the ones who saw their wages and incomes flat-line over the last decade -– you deserve a break. (Applause.) You deserve some help. And because folks in the middle class are more likely to spend their tax cut on basic necessities, that strengthens the economy as a whole.

 

But the Republican leader of the House doesn’t want to stop there. Make no mistake: He and his party believe we should also give a permanent tax cut to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.

 

AUDIENCE: Nooo!

 

THE PRESIDENT: With all the other budgetary pressures we have -– with all the Republicans’ talk about wanting to shrink the deficit -- they would have us borrow $700 billion over the next 10 years to give a tax cut of about $100,000 each to folks who are already millionaires. And keep in mind wealthy Americans are just about the only folks who saw their incomes rise when Republicans were in charge. And these are the folks who are less likely to spend the money -- which is why economists don’t think tax breaks for the wealthy would do much to boost the economy.

 

So let me be clear to Mr. Boehner and everybody else: We should not hold middle-class tax cuts hostage any longer. (Applause.) We are ready, this week, if they want, to give tax cuts to every American making $250,000 or less. (Applause.) That's 98-97 percent of Americans. Now, for any income over this amount, the tax rates would just go back to what they were under President Clinton.

 

This isn’t to punish folks who are better off –- God bless them. It’s because we can’t afford the $700 billion price tag. (Applause.) And for those who claim that our approach would somehow be bad for growth and bad for small businesses, let me remind you that with those tax rates in place, under President Clinton, this country created 22 million jobs and raised incomes and had the largest surplus in our history. (Applause.)

 

In fact, if the Republican leadership in Congress really wants to help small businesses, they’ll stop using legislative maneuvers to block an up or down vote on a small business jobs bill that’s before the Senate right now. Right now. (Applause.) This is a bill that would do two things. It would cut taxes for small businesses and make loans more available for small businesses. (Applause.) It is fully paid for, won't add to the deficit. And it was written by Democrats and Republicans. And yet, the other party continues to block this jobs bill -– a delay that small business owners have said is actually leading them to put off hiring.

 

Look, I recognize that most of the Republicans in Congress have said no to just about every policy I’ve proposed since taking office. I realize in some cases that there are genuine philosophical differences. But on issues like this one -- a tax cut for small businesses supported by the Chamber of Commerce -- the only reason they’re holding this up is politics, pure and simple. (Applause.) They’re making the same calculation they made just before my inauguration: If I fail, they win. Well, they might think that this will get them to where they want to go in November, but it won’t get our country going where it needs to go in the long run. (Applause.) It won’t get us there. (Applause.) It won’t get us there. (Applause.) It won't get us there. (Applause.)

 

So that’s the choice, Ohio. Do we return to the same failed policies that ran our economy into a ditch, or do we keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out? (Applause.) Do we settle for a slow decline, or do we reach for an America with a growing economy and a thriving middle class? (Applause.) That’s the America that I see. We may not be there yet, but we know where this country needs to go.

 

We see a future where we invest in American innovation and American ingenuity; where we export more goods so we create more jobs here at home; where we make it easier to start a business or patent an invention; where we build a homegrown, clean energy industry -- because I don’t want to see new solar panels or electric cars or advanced batteries manufactured in Europe or Asia. (Applause.) I want to see them made right here in the U.S. of A by American workers. (Applause.)

 

We see an America where every citizen has the skills and training to compete with any worker in the world. That’s why we’ve set a goal to once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. (Applause.) That’s why we’re revitalizing community colleges like this one. (Applause.) That’s why we’re reforming our education system based on what works for our children, not what perpetuates the status quo. (Applause.)

 

We see an America where a growing middle class is the beating heart of a growing economy. That’s why I kept my campaign promise and gave a middle-class tax cut to 95 percent of working Americans. (Applause.) That’s why we passed health insurance reform that stops insurance companies from jacking up your premiums at will or denying coverage because you get sick. (Applause.) That’s why we passed financial reform that will end taxpayer-funded bailouts; reform that will stop credit card companies and mortgage lenders from taking advantage of taxpayers and consumers. (Applause.)

 

That’s why we’re trying to make it easier for workers to save for retirement and fighting the efforts of some in the other party to privatize Social Security -- because as long as I’m President, no one is going to take the retirement savings of a generation of Americans and hand it over to Wall Street. Not on my watch. (Applause.)

 

That’s why we’re fighting to extend the child tax credit and make permanent our new college tax credit, because if we do, it will mean $10,000 in tuition relief for each child going to four years of college. (Applause.) And I don’t want any parent not to be sending their kids, in good time or bad, to college because they can’t afford it.

 

And finally, we see an America where we refuse to pass on the debt we inherited to the next generation.

 

Now, let me spend just a minute on this issue, because we’ve heard a lot of moralizing on the other side about this -- government spending and debt. Along with the tax cuts for the wealthy, the other party’s main economic proposal is that they’ll stop government spending.

 

Now, it’s right to be concerned about the long-term deficit. If we don’t get a handle on it soon, it can endanger our future. And at a time when folks are tightening their belts at home, I understand why a lot of Americans feel it’s time for government to show some discipline, too. But let’s look at the facts. When these same Republicans -- including Mr. Boehner -- were in charge, the number of earmarks and pet projects went up, not down.

These same Republicans turned a record surplus into a record deficit. When I walked in, wrapped in a nice bow was a $1.3 trillion deficit sitting right there on my doorstep. (Laughter.) A welcoming present.

 

Just this year, these same Republicans voted against a bipartisan fiscal commission that they themselves had proposed. Once I decided I was for it, they were against it. (Laughter.) And when you ask them what programs they’d actually cut they don’t have an answer.

 

That’s not fiscal responsibility. That’s not a serious plan to govern.

 

Now, I’ll be honest -– I refuse to cut back on those investments that will grow our economy in the future -– investments in areas like education and clean energy and technology. (Applause.) I don't want to cut those things. And that’s because economic growth is the single best way to bring down the deficit –- and we need these investments to grow.

But I am absolutely committed to fiscal responsibility, which is why I’ve already proposed freezing all discretionary spending unrelated to national security for the next three years. (Applause.)

 

And once the bipartisan fiscal commission finishes its work, I’ll spend the next year making the tough choices necessary to further reduce our deficit and lower our debt -- whether I get help from the other side or not. (Applause.)

 

Of course, reducing the deficit won’t be easy. Making up for the 8 million lost jobs caused by this recession won’t happen overnight. Not everything we’ve done over the last two years has worked as quickly as we had hoped, and I am keenly aware that not all of our policies have been popular.

 

So, no, our job is not easy. But you didn’t elect me to do what was easy. (Applause.) You didn’t elect me to just read the polls and figure how to keep myself in office. You didn’t elect me to avoid big problems. You elected me to do what was right. And as long as I’m President, that’s exactly what I intend to do. (Applause.)

 

This country is emerging from an incredibly difficult period in its history -– an era of irresponsibility that stretched from Wall Street to Washington, and had a devastating effect on a lot of people. We have started turning the corner on that era. But part of moving forward is returning to the time-honored values that built this country: hard work and self-reliance; responsibility for ourselves, but also responsibility for one another. It’s about moving from an attitude that said “What’s in it for me?” to one that asks, “What’s best for America? What’s best for all our workers? What’s best for all of our businesses? What’s best for all of our children?” (Applause.)

 

These values are not Democratic or Republican. They are not conservative or liberal values. They are American values. As Democrats, we take pride in what our party has accomplished over the last century: Social Security and the minimum wage; the GI Bill and Medicare; civil rights and worker’s rights and women’s rights. (Applause.) But we also recognize that throughout our history, there has been a noble Republican vision as well, of what this country can be. It was the vision of Abraham Lincoln, who set up the first land grant colleges and launched the transcontinental railroad; the vision of Teddy Roosevelt, who used the power of government to break up monopolies; the vision of Dwight Eisenhower, who helped build the Interstate Highway System. And, yes, the vision of Ronald Reagan, who despite his aversion to government, was willing to help save Social Security for future generations -- working with Democrats. (Applause.)

 

These were serious leaders for serious times. They were great politicians, but they didn’t spend all their time playing games or scoring points. They didn’t always prey on people’s fears and anxieties. They made mistakes, but they did what they thought was in the best interests of their country and its people.

 

And that’s what the American people expect of us today -– Democrats, independents, and Republicans. (Applause.) That’s the debate they deserve. That’s the leadership we owe them.

 

I know that folks are worried about the future. I know there’s still a lot of hurt out here. And when times are tough, I know it can be tempting to give in to cynicism and fear and doubt and division -– and just settle our sights a little bit lower, settle for something a little bit less. But that’s not who we are, Ohio. Those are not the values that built this country.

 

We are here today because in the worst of times, the people who came before us brought out the best in America. Because our parents and our grandparents and our great-grandparents were willing to work and sacrifice for us. They were willing to take great risks, and face great hardship, and reach for a future that would give us the chance at a better life. They knew that this country is greater than the sum of its parts -– that America is not about the ambitions of any one individual, but the aspirations of an entire people, an entire nation. (Applause.)

 

That’s who we are. That is our legacy. And I’m convinced that if we’re willing to summon those values today, and if we’re willing to choose hope over fear, and choose the future over the past, and come together once more around the great project of national renewal, then we will restore our economy and rebuild our middle class and reclaim the American Dream for the next generation. (Applause.)

 

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

 

END

2:53 P.M. EDT

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Guest human

You really got to lighten up on the drugs.

 

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‎14.6 million unemployed well lets subtract 12,000,000 illegal people and we have 2.6 million unemployed.

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Guest LAW

‎14.6 million unemployed well lets subtract 12,000,000 illegal people and we have 2.6 million unemployed.

 

Every once-in-awhile we are on the same page human. It is time for the Democrats and Republicans to not be like Palestine vs. Israel.

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Guest human

I tried Law, I tried, and all I got for my efforts is folks actively trying to run me over.

Democrats sicking their dogs on me, democrats whom I got along well with threatening my life.

 

I am out, because this time I came real close, and I do mean real close to playing a game "which is not a game" called SHIRT ON, SHIRT OFF.

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Every once-in-awhile we are on the same page human. It is time for the Democrats and Republicans to not be like Palestine vs. Israel.

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Guest dErEK

I feel your pain. Maybe Aloe Blacc's single "I Need A Dollar" from the forthcoming album Good Things will give you a better understanding to the souls on the street.

 

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Guest human

How about we make fluorescent lamps here in the States rather than abroad?

 

Anyways OPEC is considering 160 billion "I think" in new refineries, so we will have fossil fuels for some time to come.

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Guest greenzen

That is good news. My mom and pop always said to not play around with outlets. We have to stop this party bickering and start reporting breakthroughs.

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Guest The Oracle

On a bright note, Warren Buffet said there's 'no way' we're going to have a double-dip recession.

So that's nice.

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Guest human

I am really hoping the democrats keep the house and senate.

Why?

 

Because they will view it as a vindication of their own policies and will continue with there policies no matter what.

 

You can imagine what it will do to you.

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On a bright note, Warren Buffet said there's 'no way' we're going to have a double-dip recession.

So that's nice.

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Guest Basel

Today Precursor LLC released a first-of-its-kind research study on the impact of the largest and most powerful Internet company, Google Inc., on the Internet, economy, pricing and jobs. Google Inc. is expanding beyond its search monopoly to dominate other parts of the Internet at such an alarming rate that Google Inc. increasingly is the Internet for most consumers. Precursor President Scott Cleland said:

 

  • "There is no net-economic growth or job creation from Google's 'free' Internet sector model, only a deflationary price spiral, negative growth, property devaluation, and hundreds of thousands of job losses in over 20 industries. Consumers don't win long term from a monopoly-gatekeeper of 'free' information access and distribution."
  • "Many will be amazed to learn that when Google rebrands its current YouTube-Double-Click video advertising business as 'Google TV' this fall, it already will own an Internet video-streaming monopoly with 80% of the Internet audience, almost a billion viewers, 2 billion daily monetized views, and 45 billion ads served daily."
  • "Lax antitrust merger enforcement is responsible for tipping Google to monopoly and facilitating its monopolization of consumer Internet media. If antitrust authorities do not wake up soon, a wide swath of a trillion dollar sector with millions of jobs – i.e. video, maps, books, analytics, travel, etc. – will suffer the same fate as the music and newspaper industries."
  • "While I expect the study to generate a healthy debate over whether Google's behavior is pro or anti-competitive, pro or anti-consumer, and pro or anti-innovation, any rigorous analysis of the facts will lead to the same conclusion of this study – that Google's exercise of its market power is spreading to many other industries and spreading at an alarming rate."

The core recommendation of the study is that the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division and the European Commission's Competition Directorate should sue Google for monopolization.

 

About the study's author:

 

The study was conducted over the last few months by Scott Cleland, President of Precursor LLC, a leading techcom research and consulting firm. (See: www.Precursor.com.)

 

  • Formerly, Cleland was an Institutional Investor Magazine top independent telecom analyst in 2004 and 2005.
  • He has a high-profile track record of being first to spot big anomalies involving the Internet.
    • In late 2000, Cleland was the first analyst to expose that Internet traffic was in reality growing 90% slower than what the market assumed, heralding the bust of the dot.com bubble that wiped out $4 trillion in market capitalization.
    • In 2002, Cleland was the first analyst to discern that WorldCom's model did not add up and to predict its bankruptcy.
    • In 2007, Cleland was the first analyst to predict that Google's acquisition of DoubleClick would tip Google to monopoly; an assessment the DOJ affirmed in 2008 in blocking the Google-Yahoo ad agreement via a threatened monopolization case.

    [*]A leading expert on Google, Cleland publishes two Google watchdog sites www.GoogleMonitor.com and www.Googleopoly.net, and he has testified before both House and Senate subcommittees on Google.

The views expressed in the Googleopoly VI study are solely those of the author and not the views of any Precursor LLC clients.

 

The link to the Googleopoly VI study is: http://googleopoly.net/Googleopoly_VI_Presentation.pdf

 

The link to the Executive Summary is: http://googleopoly.net/Googleopoly_VI_Summary.pdf

 

The link to Cleland's Bio is: http://www.precursor.com/bio_long.htm

 

 

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Guest LAW

While members of Congress are at home in their districts, President Obama asks Americans that agree that it’s time to put country before party and pass stalled bills to help grow our economy to let them know.

 

 

In this week’s address, President Obama told the American people that although the United States leads the world in new ideas, innovative businesses and creative entrepreneurs, too many Americans are still struggling to get by. It is time for Congress to act on the President’s proposals, including extending the payroll tax cut, cutting red tape, and getting our construction workers back to work, so that we can get our economy on firmer ground and ensure that anyone who wants a job can find one. President Obama believes the American people deserve more than political brinksmanship, and urges anyone who is frustrated by the gridlock in Washington to let their elected officials know that it is time to put aside partisanship and act in the best interests of the country.

 

Remarks of President Barack Obama

As Prepared for Delivery

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Washington, DC

 

On Thursday, I visited a new, high-tech factory in Michigan where workers are helping America lead the way in a growing clean energy industry.

 

They were proud of their work, and they should be. They’re not just showing us a path out of the worst recession in generations – they’re proving that this is still a country where we make things; where new ideas take root and grow; where the best universities, most creative entrepreneurs, and most dynamic businesses in the world call home. They’re proving that even in difficult times, there’s not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with us.

 

That doesn’t mean we don’t face some very tough economic challenges. Many Americans are hurting badly right now. Many have been unemployed for too long. Putting these men and women back to work, and growing wages for everyone, has got to be our top priority.

 

But lately, the response from Washington has been partisanship and gridlock that’s only undermined public confidence and hindered our efforts to grow the economy.

 

So while there’s nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics, and that’s what we’ve got to fix. Because we know there are things Congress can do, right now, to get more money back in your pockets, get this economy growing faster, and get our friends and neighbors back to work.

The payroll tax cut that put $1,000 back in the average family’s pocket this year? Let’s extend it. Construction workers who’ve been jobless since the housing boom went bust? Let’s put them back to work rebuilding America. Let’s cut red tape in the patent process so entrepreneurs can get good ideas to market more quickly. Let’s finish trade deals so we can sell more American-made goods around the world. Let’s connect the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan to businesses that need their incredible skills and talents.

 

These are all things we can do right now. So let’s do them. And over the coming weeks, I’ll put forward more proposals to help our businesses hire and create jobs, and won’t stop until every American who wants a job can find one.

 

But we can no longer let partisan brinksmanship get in our way – the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right. That’s what’s holding us back – the fact that some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.

So you’ve got a right to be frustrated. I am. Because you deserve better. And I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering.

 

Members of Congress are at home in their districts right now. And if you agree with me – whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either – let them know.

 

If you’ve had it with gridlock, and you want them to pass stalled bills that will help our economy right now – let them know.

 

If you refuse to settle for a politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems; if you believe it’s time to put country before party and the interests of our children before our own – let them know.

 

And maybe they’ll get back to Washington ready to compromise, ready to create jobs, ready to get our fiscal house in order – ready to do what you sent them to do.

 

Yes, we’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we need to be. We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and it’s going to take time to get out of it. That’s a hard truth – but it’s no excuse for inaction. After all, America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government, and we’ve got work to do. And when we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country. There’s no stopping our people. There’s no holding us back. And there is every reason to believe we’ll get through this storm to a brighter day.

 

Thanks for listening, and have a nice weekend.

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Nathaniel Charles Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild, OM, GBE, FBA is a British investment banker and a member of the prominent Rothschild family of bankers has taken a $314 million dollar bet against the euro as fears continue to grow that the single currency will break up. The member of the banking dynasty has taken the position through RIT Capital Partners, a 3 billion dollar investment trust of which he is executive chairman.

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