Contradictions in Black and White

President Obama is expected to speak a bit later this morning. This, after a weekend of speculation about what lies ahead for the nation, is sure to ignite controversy and drive approval ratings even further down. So, with that in mind, I wanted to take a look at the speech he made on the 8th of this month and compare it to what will be announced later today. If you want to re-familiarize yourself with that speech from earlier this month, the text in its entirety can be found here.

Oh -but before I get knee-deep in this mess, did anyone pay attention to the Occupy Wall Street demonstration this weekend? What? Is it news to you too? That figures. The media in its entirety and for whatever reason, declined to cover it. This is definitely a major storm that’s on the horizon and one I’m sure will grow more desperate before any solutions are found. Use the hashtag #overhaulwallstreet if you want to follow it on Twitter because as of now, you won’t find media coverage. OK…so back to the Obama mess.

Here’s how I’ll do it – the president’s words from his 9/8 speech, verbatim, will be put in bold print followed by the Associated Press piece that’s currently running and includes the low-down on today’s speech. These, of course, are just a few of the contradictions, though there are many.

I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans

Today: President Barack Obama’s proposal to reduce long-term deficits with $1.5 trillion in new taxes will be announced today. The plan stands little chance of passing Congress.

(Yeah – nothing controversial with that, right?)

________

In addition to the trillion dollars of spending cuts I’ve already signed into law, it’s a balanced plan that would reduce the deficit by making additional spending cuts; by making modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid

Today: $580 billion in cuts in mandatory benefit programs, including $248 billion in Medicare and $72 billion in Medicaid and other health programs. Other mandatory benefit programs include farm subsidies.

(I’m thinking “modest” should be used loosely in this instance…seriously…$580 billion?)

________

But what we can’t do – what I won’t do – is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades. I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety.

Today: And if Congress fails to adopt the deficit-reduction recommendations of a bipartisan joint Congressional committee this fall, the Defense Department will be required under debt ceiling legislation passed in August to find about $900 billion in savings over the coming decade. Cuts that deep will almost certainly entail reducing personnel benefits for active and retired troops, Pentagon officials and analysts say.

(Maybe I’m confused about what “basic protections” are? Cuts in benefits for our military?)

________

Of course, so much of the brouhaha in Washington is subjective. What one says can be construed in a dozen ways, but it’s difficult to slow dance around much of what was said and what’s sure to be said today. One thing’s for sure: we’ll hear it from the president himself in a couple of hours.

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