Tag Archive: President Obama

Capital Gains, Gains & More Gains

Ever wonder how the rich keep getting richer and richer? Wonder no more. With power and precision, Robert Lenzner unmasks the method in “The Top 0.1% of the Nation Earn Half of All Capital Gains.” That was the headline of Lenzner’s recent StreetTalk column at forbes.com, and he cut immediately to the chase:

“Capital gains are the key ingredient of income disparity in the US-and the force behind the winner takes all mantra of our economic system. If you want [to] even out earning power in the U.S., you have to raise the 15% capital gains tax.

“Income and wealth disparities become even more absurd if we look at the top 0.1% of the nation’s earners-rather than the more common 1%. The top 0.1%-about 315,000 individuals out of 315 million-are making about half of all capital gains on the sale of shares or property after 1 year; and these capital gains make up 60% of the income made by the Forbes 400.”  

NJ JOBS: Obama’s Jobs Act Proposals in a Sink or Swim World

President Obama spoke forcefully last night and announced a bold $447 billion plan which could help New Jersey put more people back to work, put more money in the pockets of those who already have a job, and incentivize employers. If fully implemented it would push sufficient money into our economy to reduce unemployment and grow our GDP in 2012. While Republicans appear more receptive than anticipated, it is questionable whether the entire plan will be enacted. The plan itself is a one-year shot-in-the arm to prime the pump and provide relief, but it is not a panacea. For Obama, New Jerseyans, and most Americans there is much in the balance. Our President appears determined to swim, not sink, but will have to negotiate the rough currents with all his wits and cunning.  

NJ JOBS: The Governor and the Legislature Working Together

Tomorrow President Obama will deliver his much anticipated jobs speech. His goal should be to present programs which will meaningfully boost immediate job creation and be able to gain passage in a dysfunctional congress  – a daunting task. One program being considered is Fix America’s Schools Today which would help our construction industry. Other job-related aid to states is important as they struggle with balanced budget requirements.

In the meantime back to New Jersey where there are tasks for our own government. In the first NJ JOBS diary we discussed the “wrong Track” approach currently being taken, then in the second diary the need to revitalize our manufacturing sector. In the third diary we discussed infrastucture jobs both to prime the pump and provide relief.  

NJ JOBS – Putting People Back to Work: Wrong Track

As we pass through Labor Day Weekend and the upcoming week when many politicians and the rest of us return to normal tasks, lets talk JOBS – “right track and wrong track” as the pollsters say. Yesterday’s jobs report, indicating that nationally employers added no new net jobs, reinforced the need for policies to put people back to work. Nationally unemployment remains at 9.1% and in harder-hit New Jersey at 9.5%. On Thursday President Obama will present his initiatives. Help from the federal government is important, but our state government also needs to do more.  

NJ Teachers & Union Members: Here’s What Pres. Obama is Thinking About You

And it’s mixed.

This isn’t strictly New Jersey, but it’s germane as hell when you consider that Gov. Christie is building a national future for himself on the backs of public employees in New Jersey. And Democrats and independents will want to know where the president stands – in clear opposition? Christie’s making NJ the forefront – along with states like Wisconsin and Ohio – of a national GOP attempt to shift public thinking away from its historical support of union workers as the bedrock of the middle class to a belief that union workers are the people greedily stealing from and ruining the middle class. But unlike the leaders of those states, our governor has skillfully maneuvered that message – here, but especially nationally to movement conservatives hungry for his 2012 candidacy – into big-league GOP stardom. Is it presidential? He keeps demurring, but he does it like wallflower who can’t stop lifting her skirts for all the boys to see. Especially the boys in Iowa.

But Barack Obama is the president. Blue Jersey, is the president’s message strong enough, consistent enough, and clear enough to oppose the well-funded anti-union propaganda campaign of Gov. Christie and his disciples?

You tell me.

Here’s a portion of Pres. Obama’s remarks, yesterday at an outdoor Town Hall-style gathering at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, northern Iowa. The questioner is Bev Kromgezmi, a high school social studies teachers who taught some of the people in yesterday’s crowd. His answer, after the jump.

THE PRESIDENT:  How was she?  Was she a good teacher?  (Applause.)  You got thumbs up.

    Q    What can I say?

THE PRESIDENT:  What did you teach?

Q    High school social studies.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s important stuff.

    Q    Many unions, especially public sector unions, helped you get elected in 2008.  Those public sector unions and their members gained their salaries and benefits through collective bargaining.  Recently, those benefits have been under attack.  And I realize that this is a state issue mostly, but what can you do to help support collective bargaining in the states and, most of all, support the public sector unions, the middle class, many of whom are union members?  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Jump for his answer.

NJ Teachers & Union Members: Here’s What Pres. Obama is Thinking About You

And it’s mixed.

This isn’t strictly New Jersey, but it’s germane as hell when you consider that Gov. Christie is building a national future for himself on the backs of public employees in New Jersey. And Democrats and independents will want to know where the president stands – in clear opposition? Christie’s making NJ the forefront – along with states like Wisconsin and Ohio – of a national GOP attempt to shift public thinking away from its historical support of union workers as the bedrock of the middle class to a belief that union workers are the people greedily stealing from and ruining the middle class. But unlike the leaders of those states, our governor has skillfully maneuvered that message – here, but especially nationally to movement conservatives hungry for his 2012 candidacy – into big-league GOP stardom. Is it presidential? He keeps demurring, but he does it like wallflower who can’t stop lifting her skirts for all the boys to see. Especially the boys in Iowa.

But Barack Obama is the president. Blue Jersey, is the president’s message strong enough, consistent enough, and clear enough to oppose the well-funded anti-union propaganda campaign of Gov. Christie and his disciples?

You tell me.

Here’s a portion of Pres. Obama’s remarks, yesterday at an outdoor Town Hall-style gathering at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, northern Iowa. The questioner is Bev Kromgezmi, a high school social studies teachers who taught some of the people in yesterday’s crowd. His answer, after the jump.

THE PRESIDENT:  How was she?  Was she a good teacher?  (Applause.)  You got thumbs up.

    Q    What can I say?

THE PRESIDENT:  What did you teach?

Q    High school social studies.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s important stuff.

    Q    Many unions, especially public sector unions, helped you get elected in 2008.  Those public sector unions and their members gained their salaries and benefits through collective bargaining.  Recently, those benefits have been under attack.  And I realize that this is a state issue mostly, but what can you do to help support collective bargaining in the states and, most of all, support the public sector unions, the middle class, many of whom are union members?  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Jump for his answer.

Socialists v Stalinists

The Washington Post reported, on August 6, 2011, that John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and the “Young Guns,” their Republican comrades in the House of Representatives, PLANNED as far back as January, 2009 to use the debt ceiling to create a political crisis. It seems to have worked. The Republicans held fast, Obama and the Democrats blinked. The rating agency Standard & Poors, S&P, downgraded their rating of the credit-worthiness of the United States of America, President Obama’s core supporters seem to be abandoning him. And the stock markets are plummeting – the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1000 points in 3 days.

President Obama Speaking at 10:30 on National Security

12:40am UPDATE: I’ve posted President Obama’s speech here.

No other news about it.  Kinda weird.  Will update, unless you all take the bait and do it in the comments.

Here’s the live feed.

My bet, written at 10:27 p.m., is that we caught Osama bin Laden.

Edit at 10:38: Rumors are bin Laden.  POTUS speaking at 10:45 now.

11:50 p.m. Update

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Wisniewski offered the following statement on the news of Osama bin Laden’s death:

“The news of Osama bin Laden’s death is a profound moment for not only New Jersey families, but for every American,” said Wisniewski. “Hopefully this news can help the many New Jersey families who lost loved ones on that tragic day and in the years since continue the healing process. We owe a great debt of thanks to the members of our armed forces and intelligence community for this significant victory for our country.”

A Dream Deferred

After a Senate vote on the Dream Act, mainly along party lines, we found once again the dream deferred for immigrants – in this case young people who arrived here with their parents and are willing to go to college or join the armed services to gain citizenship. We continue to need a sane policy that provides a proper path to citizenship and border protection. In spite of President Obama’s increased efforts at border enforcement, there has been no movement from Republicans on a path to citizenship. From the Pilgrims onward, America has been nourished by those who came to our land. Today many citizens just demonize them.

In the meantime in NJ immigrants contribute mightily to our state. However, their incarceration is carried out without the rights normally extended to others, and some are mistakenly detained and deported. Friends, family, lawyers and clergy have difficulty visiting them. Their food and medical care is subpar. This results in human rights abuses and inhumane treatment.

Last week it was announced that Essex County is the apparent winner of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) competition to build a new 2,700 person immigrant jail. There were so many problems with treatment of inmates in the New York City ICE Varick Center that they closed the facility. Many of the detainees were transferred to NJ. Soon there will be new cells for even more immigrants from NJ and elsewhere at a remote Newark location adjoining the Essex County Detention Center.

Essex County will not see all of this money either as a private, for-profit company, namely Community Education Centers, or CEC, is said to be involved in the planned expansion. Reform Jersey Now board member and Christie confidant Bill Palatucci is a Senior VP of CEC. This below-the- radar prison company has long held lucrative contracts and a cosy relationship with the state Department of Corrections. These are contracts which could just as easily be held by a broader group of organizations including the non-profit NJAC. The result of DOC actions has been reduced costs for its operations, but little evidence of benefit for the inmates. The same might be expected with a CEC-Essex County deal.  

As IRATE-First Friends of Elizabeth says, “Immigrant detention is morally wrong, legally suspect and wasteful of taxpayer funds.” On this Christmas Day let’s include the dreams of immigrants in our thoughts.

That Duck Can Fly!

Give credit where credit is due. Who would have thought that the lame duck congressional session would be so productive and bring important benefits to NJ? Not me.  I still wish that several months ago President Obama had drawn a line in the sand against keeping the same low tax rate for the very wealthy and providing them with an unconscionable break on estate taxes. However, look at what in a very short period he has accomplished. After the elections the Republicans remained the party of NO threatening obstruction against all manner of bills. Then we found out that Obama was able to resucitate the duck and it took off in flight.

keep quackin’, there’s more below the fold