April 14th, 2011
President Barack Obama took to the airwaves Wednesday afternoon to outline his vision of how to reduce the nation’s deficit, while keeping the nation strong. Republicans countered with their own vision of what this country could be under their tutelage.
In a nutshell, the roles haven’t shifted dramatically in recent years, though the context has.
Few have the conceit to seriously ponder how to gauge the measure of one’s life, and you can count me among them. But no doubt it is a topic near and dear to those in the twilight of life.
Returning the federal budget to sustainability over the next decade will require a combination of cuts in discretionary spending programs, reforms in entitlement programs and increases in tax revenues. Many elected officials and interest group leaders believe that solidifying the nation’s finances can be accomplished with changes in only one or two of these areas. Democrats want to cut military spending and raise taxes on the wealthy, while Republicans want to cut domestic programs and reduce Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
With the limited exception of those of us lucky enough to live in Vermont, this is a lousy time to be a liberal. And it’s not going to get any better.
After years of battling Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, Democrats and Progressives in the Legislature have the luxury of working with new Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin. While Shumlin has put the kibosh on increasing taxes for the super-rich — he knows that would be political poison in his first term — he has otherwise set a remarkably progressive tone.
Finally some warmth! The patches of snow are almost gone in the shade-licked corners of the yard. As I write, we are having a true April shower, no sleet, no snow, just an honest rain.
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Today, President Obama spoke on the budget negotiations that have tied up congress over the past few weeks. While critiquing the Republican approach to budget-building, he laid out his own spending plan, which includes spending cuts that he said will cut the national deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years.
Below is a video, via www.whitehouse.gov, of today's speech, followed by a full transcript of the event, as released by the White House.