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2010 WHITE HOUSE
200 Pic Slideshow
THE WHITE HOUSE
Statement by the President and on
Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith -- are some of the very values that make us Americans. and heritage. The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- Unity,
As families across America and around the world light the Kinara today in the spirit of umoja or unity, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.
CLICK HERE: To learn more about Kwanzaa
According to the U.S. Constitution, there are three different branches of government: Executive, Judicial, Legislative. Each branch has its own responsibilities.
If you listen to the howling from Congressional Democrats , one would think that the deal the President cut with the GOP just dropped out of the sky, and he just strolled on into negotiations with them, without any CONTEXT whatsoever.
Here’s the thing.
The President might have gotten a better deal, hell, he might not have had to make a deal at all..
IF CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS HAD TAKEN CARE OF BUSINESS.
It was Congressional Democrats who didn’t do squat about the 99ers. They’ve known about them for months…how do I know that? Because I heard rant upon rant from Ed Schultz about this topic.
The extension of unemployment benefits was no surprise either for Congressional Democrats. At any time, with a majority in the House, and Senate, they could have done unemployment benefit extensions.
Now, we get to the tax cuts.
Was the President the only person in Washington that knew that the tax cuts were going to expire and a vote needed to be taken on them?
The Congressional Democrats were asked to vote on the tax cuts and make them an issue for the fall elections – by the President – in September.
They could have decoupled the tax issue between those making less than $250,000 and those making more than $250,000. They could have done an up or down vote on the tax issue BEFORE November 2010.
But, they didn’t.
Not only did they not, but now, we’re getting a list of Congresscritters who weaseled their way to the White House, begging off a vote on the tax issue.
So, the DEMOCRATS in Congress FAIL to live up to their legislative responsibilities. They chose NOT to vote on Unemployment Extensions. They chose NOT to add another tier to take care of the 99ers (which is the only part of the President’s deal that I disagree with entirely). They chose NOT to vote on the tax cuts by decoupling them. They chose NOT to vote on them at the beginning of the lame duck session. They chose NOT to ram through their proposal on the Estate Tax that they’ve had on the table for at least a year.
So, they chose NOT to do all those things.
AND, now, they have the NERVE to be yelping like a beaten dog when the President steps in and tries to clean up their neglect. Their mess.
A Good Deal...
For THE PEOPLE !
At a Senate Budget Committee hearing in 2009, I asked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to tell the American people the names of the financial institutions that received an unprecedented backdoor bailout from the Federal Reserve, how much they received, and the exact terms of this assistance. He refused. A year and a half later, as a result of an amendment that I was able to include in the Wall Street reform bill, we have begun to lift the veil of secrecy at the Fed, and the American people now have this information.
It is unfortunate that it took this long, and it is a shame that the biggest banks in America and Mr. Bernanke fought to keep this secret from the American public every step of the way. But, the details on this bailout are now on the Federal Reserve's website, and this is a major victory for the American taxpayer and for transparency in government.
Importantly, my amendment also required the Government Accountability Office to conduct a top-to-bottom audit of all of the emergency lending the Fed provided during the financial crisis to be completed on July 21, 2011, which will take a hard look at all of the potential conflicts of interest that took place with respect to this bailout. So, in many respects, details that the Fed was forced to divulge on Wednesday about the $3.3 trillion in emergency loans that until now were totally kept from public scrutiny, marked the beginning, not the end, of lifting the veil of secrecy at the Fed.
After years of stonewalling by the Fed, the American people are finally learning the incredible and jaw-dropping details of the Fed's multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street and corporate America. As a result of this disclosure, other members of Congress and I will be taking a very extensive look at all aspects of how the Federal Reserve functions and how we can make our financial institutions more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans and small businesses.
What have we learned so far from the disclosure of more than 21,000 transactions? We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short term loans from the Fed.
We also learned that the Fed's multi-trillion bailout was not limited to Wall Street and big banks, but that some of the largest corporations in this country also received a very substantial bailout. Among those are General Electric, McDonald's, Caterpillar, Harley Davidson, Toyota and Verizon.
Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations including two European megabanks -- Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse -- which were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed's purchase of mortgage-backed securities.
Deutsche Bank, a German lender, sold the Fed more than $290 billion worth of mortgage securities. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, sold the Fed more than $287 billion in mortgage bonds.
Has the Federal Reserve of the United States become the central bank of the world?
The Fed said that this bailout was necessary to prevent the world economy from going over a cliff. But three years after the start of the recession, millions of Americans remain unemployed and have lost their homes, life savings and ability to send their kids to college. Meanwhile, big banks and corporations have returned to making huge profits and paying their executives record-breaking compensation packages as if the financial crisis they started never happened.
What this disclosure tells us, among many other things, is that despite this huge taxpayer bailout, the Fed did not make the appropriate demands on these institutions necessary to rebuild our economy and protect the needs of ordinary Americans.
For example, at a time when big banks have nearly a trillion dollars in excess reserves parked at the Fed, the Fed did not require these institutions to increase lending to small- and medium-sized businesses as a condition of the bailout.
At a time when large corporations are more profitable than ever, the Fed did not demand that corporations that received this backdoor bailout create jobs and expand the economy once they returned to profitability.
I intend to investigate whether these secret Fed loans, in some cases, turned out to be direct corporate welfare to big banks that used these loans not to reinvest in the economy but rather to lend back to the federal government at a higher rate of interest by purchasing Treasury Securities. Instead of using this money to reinvest in the productive economy, I suspect a large portion of these near-zero interest loans were used to buy Treasury Securities at a higher interest rate providing free money to some of the largest financial institutions in this country. That is something that we have got to closely examine.
At a time when Wall Street executives are now making more money than before the financial crisis, how many big banks that paid back TARP funds in 2009 to avoid limits on executive compensation received no-strings-attached loans from the Federal Reserve?
At a time when millions of Americans are paying outrageously high credit card interest rates, why didn't the Fed require credit card issuers to lower interest rates as a condition of the bailout?
The four largest banks in this country (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) issue half of all mortgages in this country. We now know that these banks received hundreds of billions from the Fed. How many Americans could have remained in their homes, if the Fed required these bailed-out banks to reduce mortgage payments as a condition of receiving these secret loans?
We have begun to lift the veil of secrecy at one of most important agencies in our government. What we are seeing is the incredible power of a small number of people who have incredible conflicts of interest getting incredible help from the taxpayers of this country while ignoring the needs of the people.
Knowledge is Power...
Pass It On !
"This will be a significant net plus for the country," Clinton said of during a surprise joint appearance with Obama in the press briefing room.
The unusual session followed a private meeting between the two presidents in the Oval Office to discuss the economy and other issues.
"This is a good bill and I hope my fellow Democrats will approve it," Clinton said of the agreement to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all taxpayers for two years, continue jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and cut Social Security payroll taxes next year.
Many Democrats have opposed the deal, complaining that Obama didn't fight hard enough to cut off the tax breaks for top earners.
Clinton said Obama got the best deal he could, given Republicans' insistence on extending the tax cuts for all. He said the deal will "maximize the chances the economic recovery will accelerate and create jobs and minimize the chance it will slip."
After a quick opening statement from the two presidents, Obama said he had to rush off to a holiday party but that Clinton would stay and take questions.
"I feel awkward being here and now you're going to leave me all by myself?" Clinton said.
Whatever awkwardness he felt must have washed away fast. The former president stuck around and fielded questions on a host of subjects from taxes and the economy to Haiti and health care.
B4B NOTE: This major endorsement might put a damper on those who are Obama bashing out of still being disgruntled that Hillary lost....hating on him so she can resurrect in '12 (you know who you are). Think again...now what ? Bottom line: The O hating only helps the OTHER side. Time to Wake Up...FOR America !
Q&A: What does the Obama tax deal mean ?
Learn the MAJOR benefits to Middle America
instead of JUST Whining
The extension of Bush-era tax cuts negotiated Monday by the White House and Republican leaders would affect taxpayers, economic growth and even the political hot potato of federal deficits.
The agreement must still work its way through Congress. Here is a primer on how it would work:
Question: On what did President Obama and the Republicans agree?
Answer: The parties agreed to extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for everyone, regardless of annual income, for the next two years. In addition, they agreed to keep the top tax rate of 15% on dividends and capital gains during the period and to adjust the alternative minimum tax so that 21 million households would not be pushed into higher tax brackets.
Q: What does that mean for taxpayers?
A: Tax cuts and related deductions worth more than $3,000 a year to a typical working family would continue after Jan. 1 rather than expire as originally scheduled. More than 100 million middle-class families would save about $2,000 a year, the White House said.
Q: Are tax credits included?
A: The agreement would renew for two years the credit for students seeking college degrees. The maximum credit remains $2,500.
The $1,000 credit for each child also would be extended for two years.
Q: What happens to the estate tax?
A: Under the proposal, estates of up to $5 million would transfer free of federal taxes. After that, the maximum tax rate of 35% would kick in.
Q: Economists describe the agreement as an economic stimulus. How does that work?
A: There are two broad areas, aside from specific business taxes, that are expected to have a stimulative effect. The first is a payroll tax cut and the second is the extension of unemployment benefits.
Q: What happens with payroll deductions?
A: The current payroll tax would be decreased by two percentage points to 4.2% from 6.2% for one year. The government estimates that would put about $1,000 into the paychecks of a family earning $50,000. For those in the top bracket, earning $106,800 or more annually, that would be savings of $2,136.
The administration said the money saved, about $120 billion for 155 million workers, probably would be spent rather than saved, providing a significant economic boost. Some economists disagree on the effect.
Q: What is happening with jobless benefits?
A: Extended unemployment benefits began expiring last month. The agreement would continue the extended benefits for 13 months, through the end of 2011. The White House said that the 2 million jobless Americans who would have lost their payments this month — and 7 million who could have lost their assistance next year — would keep getting benefits.
The administration said this provision, costing some $56 billion, also would help create 600,000 jobs next year.
Q: How would the package be financed?
A: The agreement does not include any spending cuts, so the costs for unemployment benefits and the lost revenue from payroll deductions probably would be made up by borrowing, increasing the federal budget deficit.
Knowledge is Power
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
December 7, 2010
Statement by the President on the
Passing of Elizabeth Edwards
Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. This afternoon I spoke to Cate Edwards and John Edwards, and offered our family’s condolences. I came to know and admire Elizabeth over the course of the presidential campaign. She was a tenacious advocate for fixing our health care system and fighting poverty, and our country has benefited from the voice she gave to the cause of building a society that lifts up all those left behind.
In her life, Elizabeth Edwards knew tragedy and pain. Many others would have turned inward; many others in the face of such adversity would have given up. But through all that she endured, Elizabeth revealed a kind of fortitude and grace that will long remain a source of inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.
RIP Elizabeth Edwards
You Will Be Missed.
Well Said Mr. President !
B4B NOTE...NEWSFLASH ! (to my fellow ignorant Dems) He is NOT a dictator or just The President of so-called Progressives (should be called RE-gressives). He is President of ALL....which believe it or not includes the Pubs, Blue Dogs, Baggers, etc. THAT at times forces compromise. In this case it was the only way to help 4 million struggling Americans to SURVIVE. ANYONE who finds that unimportant is a sad, pathetic, selfish-minded person who needs SERIOUS self-evaluation and needs to Google the word 'karma'.
CLICK B4B MAIN PAGE for VIDEO
Unemployment Extension, Tax Cuts
Benefits to Extend 13 Months Instead of Just 3 !
President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a tentative deal concerning an extension of unemployment benefits and the Bush-era tax cuts.
Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans agreed Monday to a tentative deal that would extend for two years the Bush-era tax cuts, continue unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months.
The deal will also cut payroll taxes for workers, part of an effort to encourage employers to start hiring.
The deal was announced late Monday afternoon after having been in the works for several weeks. The announcement follows political wrangling that saw proposals from both sides of the aisle fail.
The White House said the deal will likely result in an average saving of $3,000 for the average family. The deal will also revive the Estate Tax. Under the current proposal it would exempt inheritances of up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.
Mr. Obama said that he was disappointed with having to extend tax cuts to those making more than $250,000, but he said that millions of Americans will receive extended unemployment benefits in the coming months due to the deal.
The deal follows a weekend in which Senate Republicans expressed interest in reaching a deal, often noting that a deal was currently in the works.
The White House noted that it expects major opposition from congressional Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden is expected to travel to Capitol Hill tomorrow in an effort to pitch the bill to key figures.
B4B NOTE....GREAT JOB MR. PRESIDENT ! As the Dem and Pub Senators held UI benefits as RANSOM...The President has shown HIS commitment to middle America AND wants the UI extension for 13 MONTHS (!!!) instead of just 3 months ! Ignorant pro-left-follower Obama haters are more dangerous to America than the Tea Baggers....so pay them NO MIND ! They're more concerned with 'winning' (whining) than what is best for THE PEOPLE/AMERICA !
U.S. faces new ' Sputnik Moment '
Discusses economy, tax cuts and unemployment benefits
(WRAL) Winston-Salem, N.C. — President Barack Obama said Monday during a visit to a North Carolina community college that the U.S. needs to put more emphasis on math and science education and worker training.
Obama also told a select group of students and faculty at Forsyth Technical Community College and Winston-Salem business leaders that he was confident that Congress would agree on legislation to extend income tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the month.
"A middle-class tax hike would be very tough not only on working families but would also be a drag on our economy," he said.
Any compromise needs to include extending jobless benefits to millions of unemployed Americans, he said.
"It's the smart thing to do," he said. "If millions of Americans who aren't getting unemployment benefits stop spending money, that slows down business. That slows down hiring. That slows down our recovery."
Earlier Monday, Obama and Gov. Beverly Perdue toured two biotechnology classrooms at Forsyth Tech and talked with students and faculty.
During his speech, he noted that the U.S. has fallen from first to ninth place worldwide in terms of the percentage of its population with college degrees. He also cited studies that show the U.S. lags in math and science education.
"The most important contest we face is not between Democrats and Republicans. It's between America and our economic competitors around the world," he said. "In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind."
China, India and other countries are now investing more in education and infrastructure than the U.S., Obama said. He compared the global economic challenge to the space race of the 1960s between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and said the U.S. must take action to meet a new "Sputnik moment."
"If the recession has taught us anything, it's that we cannot go back to an economy that's driven by too much spending, too much borrowing (and) running up credit cards," he said. "We've got to rebuild on a new and stronger foundation for economic growth.
"We need to do what America's always been known for – building, innovating, educating, making things," he continued. "We don't want to be a nation that simply buys and consumes things from other countries. We want to create and sell products all over the world that are stamped with three simple words: Made in America."
Vowing to return the U.S. to the top position worldwide by 2020 in the percentage of college graduates, he called for more spending on education while trimming other spending to cut the federal deficit, saying the U.S. cannot afford to cut back on programs that affect future economic growth. He noted that Forsyth Tech students are learning on equipment bought with federal stimulus funds.
"The best antidote to a growing deficit is a growing economy," he said. "Cutting the deficit by cutting investments in areas like education (and) innovation is like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing the engine. It's not a good idea."
Obama also called for investing 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in scientific research in areas like renewable energy to produce new industries and jobs. He said tax credits for research and entrepreneurial investment are needed, and he suggested allowing businesses to be able to write off all capital investments they make in 2011 to jump-start the economy.
The U.S. also needs to work to expand its exports – Obama has set a goal of doubling exports within five years – and to invest in infrastructure, he said.
"We're the nation that built the transcontinental railroad. We're the nation that took the first airplane into flight. We constructed a massive interstate highway system. We introduced the world to the Internet. America's always been built to compete," he said. "If we want to attract the best jobs and businesses to our shores, we've got to be that nation again."
B4B NOTE: WARNING ! (Major Ignorance Ahead) It is NOT The President but the DEM Senators who " will CAVE " and extend tax cuts for the rich. But the Professional Left and fellow whiny, ignorant Lefties will blame THE SENATOR'S caving on The President ! Intentional sabotage to help the evil side will lead to America's demise. Just SAD ! (and I repeat....IG-NO-RANT !!!) MEANWHILE, The President is faced with the Senate (both sides) holding the extension of unemployment benefits literally as hostage which FORCES him to go against his actual wishes of tax cuts for only $250K and under in order to help over 4 million struggling Americans. He stated from day one that he could NOT do it all on his own...that he would need OUR help. That meant demanding that our legislators (Senators and Congresspeople) do the right thing. But instead, he has only been self-destructively abandoned by many of his weak, so-called supporters and ignorantly blamed through lack of knowledge and understanding of basic 8th grade civics and the legislative process. Everyone caught using the phrase " Obama should...." needs to be reminded....this is NOT a dictatorship ! Ignorance is Dangerous ! P.S.S. After the tax cut for the rich is extended for 1 or 2 years, expect the conniving GOP, aided by corporate media, to rant that companies STILL can't hire until the cuts are permanent. (you'll hear the 'uncertainty' word over and over) They'll then use their future intentional lack of job creation as 'proof' that they need a Republican majority in the Senate and a Repub President in 2012 in order to REALLY create jobs. And unless there is a significant case of Americans waking up....they will indeed succeed. (and America will TRULY suffer.)
The proposals are likely to trigger widespread resistance from the interest groups that would be directly affected, such as seniors and home builders, but the panel's co-chairmen said the tough decisions must be made to put the country on a more fiscally sustainable path."Throughout our nation's history, Americans have found the courage to do right by our children's future. Deep down, every American knows we face a moment of truth once again," the co-chairmen's report said. "We cannot play games or put off hard choices any longer. Without regard to party, we have a patriotic duty to keep the promise of America to give our children and grandchildren a better life."
The proposal would achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction through 2020, reduce the deficit to 2.3% of gross domestic product by 2015, overhaul the tax code, cap government revenue at 21% of GDP and reduce debt to 40% of GDP by 2035, the co-chairmen said.
The 18-member commission is set to discuss the proposal Wednesday morning and plans to hold a vote on it Friday. The chairmen are expected to come up short of the 14 votes needed to issue a formal recommendation to Congress and the White House, but the proposal is nevertheless expected to frame the debate in the next year over which budget changes are necessary to cut into the country's growing debt.
"Getting this deficit under control is going to require some broad sacrifices and that sacrifice must be shared by the employees of the federal government," Obama said in a speech Monday afternoon explaining the decision. He added, "I did not reach this decision easily, this is not a line item on a federal ledger, these are people's lives."(read rest of article)
President Obama received 12 stitches after suffering an injury during a basketball game, according to a White House statement:
"After being inadvertently hit with an opposing player's elbow in the lip while playing basketball with friends and family, the President received 12 stitches today administered by the White House Medical Unit. They were done in the doctor's office located on the ground floor of the White House."
The medical unit that treated Obama used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and results in a smaller scar. Obama was given a local anesthetic while receiving the stitches.
(In Hiatus) Welcome to the OFFICIAL SITE for Blacks4Barack !...a multi-racial, net/grassroots organization est. in Feb. 2007 to increase support for Barack Obama for President. Recognized nationwide Greg Jones (Cleveland, Ohio) is National Director. ALSO ! You can listen to archives of the Obama TALK RADIO show NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH with Greg Jones. Scroll down to visit our one-of-a-kind 'Memory Lane' below 4 the World's Most COMPLETE review of Historic Campaign '08 and More!
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