Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cut trillions - tax the rich is Obama's formula for jobless

Washington – The pre-screened question flashed on the monitor in the White House East Room.

It was House Speaker John Boehner, asking “After embarking on a record spending binge that left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?”

The scene was a first-ever Twitter Town Hall, an hour-long event staged Wednesday by co-founder Jack Dorsey and the administration's communications office.

Mr. Obama homed in on two typos in the Speaker's question, saying, “John obviously needs to work on his typing skills.”

The more than three dozen invited Twitters who sat with eyes glued to their cell phones following the program at the White House tittered in response.

It's an open secret that President Obama and Speaker Boehner have been locked in back channel negotiations over a solution to the debt crisis, a way to cut government spending while holding the line on taxes as the deadline to increase the nation's debt ceiling approaches on August 2.

Then he called the question “slightly skewed” and explained that with 4 million jobs lost before he took office and another 4 million lost in the interim, he is bailing as fast as he can, but finding it hard to keep up with the tide.

“People may not have been prepared for how long this was going to take.”

He repeated his often-told proposal, saying the nation needs a massive overhaul of its infrastructure – roads, bridges, sewer systems, electrical power grids, broad band connections, and water works.

Trillions of dollars thus invested would put millions of workers – especially those in the construction trades – back on the job, he pointed out.

His solution to the twin perils of deficit spending and a huge burden of debt service is to cut trillions in government spending while raising taxes on the ultra-rich.

“The debt ceiling is not something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners, for oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars because the price of gasoline has gone up so high.”

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