Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Biden to Helm Task Force on Middle Class

By Anne E. Kornblut
For anyone expecting Vice President Biden to disappear in a sea of strong-willed Cabinet heavyweights, an event at the White House on Friday morning was a signal: President Obama is really interested in giving Biden a higher profile.

At a crowded ceremony in the East Wing of the White House, Obama launched a task force on the middle class -- and put Biden in charge of it. Obama acknowledged that the task force comes at a moment of crisis -- just as the economy is experiencing, he said, the "worst contraction in close to three decades" with the release of new data showing the economy had shrunk 3.8 percent last quarter.

"This isn't just an economic concept. This is a continuing disaster for America's working families. As worrying as these numbers are, it's what they mean to the American people that really matters," Obama said. He said that Biden will be especially suited to the task of studying the middle class and coming up with solutions, given his working-class, Scranton roots.

Biden announced that his chief economic adviser, Jared Bernstein, will be the executive director of the task force -- a welcome announcement to more liberal economists and the labor movement, who regard Bernstein as one of their greatest allies within the administration. The task force also has its own web site -- astrongmiddleclass.gov -- that will not only post information but also solicit ideas, Biden said.

The first task force meeting will take place on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia, to focus on green economy jobs (ones, in other words, that help revamp the infrastructure of the country to make it more environmentally sound). It will meet monthly, with a different topic at each gathering. When Biden told the audience that it would be "fully transparent," despite coming out of the vice president's office, the group laughed and burst into applause -- the unspoken contrast being with former vice president Dick Cheney, known for his secrecy.

To be sure, the "task force" label can sometimes indicate an issue is being swept under the rug or delayed to a later time. But the group created on Friday directly ties Biden to the most pressing issue on Obama's docket, the economy. And the event, timed to the release of the new economic data, capped a week of intense wrangling between the White House and Congress over an economic stimulus package -- part of a broad push by Obama to demonstrate that his administration is dedicated to the middle class. That makes whatever Biden does -- or does not do -- with the task force unusually notable. Gearing up for the day, Biden published an op-ed in USA Today arguing that "for years, we had a White House that failed to put the middle class front and center in its economic policies."

"President Barack Obama has made it clear that is going to change," Biden wrote. He described it as an "important long-term task" to make sure that middle class families feel the benefits of the economic recovery once it begins, in areas such as education and job training, business development, and the reform of childcare. Biden promised "clear, specific steps we can take to meet these concerns and others" in keeping with the administration's promise of operating "in a fully transparent manner."

Biden is also scheduled to make a high-profile foreign trip next week, to a security conference in Munich, on Obama's behalf.

At the event, Obama hailed the role of organized labor, saying he had sharply disagreed with the Bush administration's approach to the labor movement. "The American economy is not and has never been a zero sum game. When workers are prospering, they buy products" and that helps keep businesses strong, Obama said.

Obama also said he was signing three executive orders to help workers, including one that required federal contractors to inform employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Board, and another ensuring that qualified employees keep their jobs even when a contract changes hands.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 30, 2009; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Economy , Joe Biden  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama, the Stimulus and the Permanent Campaign
Next: Twittering the RNC Chair's Race

Comments

Must Read?Yes 33
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.

The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.

The figures are significant because they show that the bailed-out banks, being kept afloat with U.S. taxpayer money, actively sought to hire foreign workers instead of American workers. As the economic collapse worsened last year — with huge numbers of bank employees laid off — the numbers of visas sought by the dozen banks in AP's analysis increased by nearly one-third, from 3,258 in fiscal 2007 to 4,163 in fiscal 2008.

The AP reviewed visa applications the banks filed with the Labor Department under the H-1B visa program, which allows temporary employment of foreign workers in specialized-skill and advanced-degree positions.

It is unclear how many foreign workers the banks actually hired; the government does not release those details. The actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 foreign workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year among all U.S. employers.

Posted by: lucygirl1 | February 1, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Chuckbuk:

I also belong to a union: The Fraternal Order of Police. I am a lodge secretary. That does not mean that I am a defender of unions. I just know that I am not bigger than the game. I wanted people to know that in the interest of full disclosure.

My experience with police unions is that they have over-corrected the issues that as labor we have had. I work with people that should not be cops. It's not because they are corrupt or incompetent. It's because they are lazy. Why are they lazy? It's because they know that no matter how little they do, they will not lose their job or pay grade because they are so heavily protected by the Unions.

I recognize that this might not be the same case for a locksmith, but it is true of my profession. I don't want to take away the rights of workers to organize. However, we have a President that is bolstering support for unions via labor laws and funding.

If you look at the most heavily unionized industries you can write a list of the most distressed industries: airlines, auto manufacturing, steel, construction.

I'm not trying to say that those industries are solely in trouble because of their unions, but the unions do prevent them from maneuvering.

Chillbear Latrigue - CLatrigue@live.com

Posted by: clatrigue | January 31, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

chillbear –

so much to respond to, here. not just your comments, but some of these other threads warrant a response as well.

item 1: i like that you use the term “darwinism” as it applies to my point, but it’s not entirely accurate insofar as his whole theory was predicated on the assumption that each species had (at the very least) a fair opportunity to compete for existence and i’m not so sure, as it applies to this discussion, that this is the case. keep in mind we’re talking about the middle class and its struggle to survive, and on the one hand, sure. you could make a case that no small entity, or start-up, or small business, has any more right to exist than a multi-national conglomerate. fair enough. as you point out, it’s about delivering a superior or equivalent product/service at a comparable price. however, i’m sure you’d agree that mom and pop don’t have the same marketing power as any of the massive companies you reference. the playing field is uneven. not to get on a tangent, but another unfortunate byproduct of the loss of those mom-and-pops is the sense of community that is lost with them. in any case, i would argue that unionizing in and of itself is a form of darwinism. these entities (and i’m talking more about labor forces, now, not baristas, lol), must adapt to survive. and as the gap between the haves and have-nots widens, unions are one of the few ways left to facilitate that. look, i’m a union locksmith at a major state university in California, and trust me, i’m not getting rich. in fact, a state-wide study last year tells me i’m underpaid my about 18% when compared with local market value. however, because we are organized, i get great benefits and live well. i own my own home and live comfortably in a beach community. but it’s not because my employer felt a moral obligation to compensate me fairly. trust me; the compensation at the higher levels is nothing more than obscene and is a constant subject of scrutiny and ridicule in the state press. we have fought hard for what we have, and i make no apologies.

item 2: to blakeshouthwood –

this comment is nothing but racist hate-speak. are you serious?? i live in san diego, 20 minutes at most from the border, and sure i hear people speaking Spanish, but i challenge you to tell me how this states economy (uh, the 7th largest in the world, last time i checked) would survive without immigrant workers, legal or otherwise. in addition, who’s going to pay to deport 5 million undocumented workers?? don’t be stupid. obama has a very pragmatic approach to this problem: all undocumented aliens must pay back taxes, fines, and are pushed to the back of the line for legal status.

item 3: xcaliber –

yes, yes, yes. where is the outrage?? where?!?

-james

Posted by: chuckbuk | January 30, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Remember these names, they took our tax money and should be prosecuted:

John Thain as the chief executive of Merrill Lynch was paid $83 million last year.

Lloyd Blankfein, President and Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs took home nearly $54 million.

Both of these companies back in October took a $10 billion bailout.

It's time to take our money back legally. We should urge our legislators to place charges against these individuals for fraud and false reporting.

Posted by: Xcalibar | January 30, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Chuckbuk:

You made some very rational comments. I agree that Starbucks and Walmart's corporate policies are akin to business Darwinism. However, I don't agree that a mom and pop operation has any more right to exist than a multi-national corporation.

In the case of Starbucks, they are basically selling a commodity: coffee. As a coffee aficionado, though, I can definitely tell the difference between SBUX and a substandard cup.

If a mom and pops place opens, I give it a try. If they beat my beloved Starbucks in quality, price and convenience, they are getting my business. On the other hand, if the coffee sucks, it's more expensive and the location is bad, I'm sticking with the corporate brew.

The entrepreneurial spirit doesn't mean that you should be able to open a small business and never have to fight competition. It means overcoming the obstacles by providing an excellent product at an affordable cost.

To pull in two other companies, Microsoft is a much larger company than Apple, but how many Zunes do you see on the streets? The smaller company made a better product and wasn't squeezed out by the larger competitor. Please, if any of you own a Zune, I mean no offense.

Chillbear Latrigue - Clatrigue@live.com

Posted by: clatrigue | January 30, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I agree that California is now a state of Mexico and not the United States. It's rare to hear English spoken here. More than half the births in California are to illegal aliens. And it's not just illegal aliens from Mexico, they are from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay,
Columbia, and Venezuela. The flow of illegal aliens into California exceeds more than 1 million per year and it is also where most of the drugs that flow into America pass through via the Mexican Border.

California doesn't seem like America at times; it seems more and more like Mexico City.
******

that sucks, nobody wants to feel like a forigener in their own country

Posted by: dummypants | January 30, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

JC 505:

dont you understand that the only reason the middle class wasnt the strongest it has ever been during the Bush presidency is that health care premimum costs rose even faster than wealth creation?

thus, the extra money that would normally go into wages and salaries for middle class people disproportionally went to the "benefits" side of employment compensation, since most employers offer health care as part of compensation.

its not that the economy wasnt working, health care was simply broken.

and its not going to get any better, because while obama says he is going to "fix" it, he has no plans to reduce the cost of health care only plans to expand coverage.

and expanding coverage is fine, if we can afford it.

and its great if we can afford it, but unless we actually make health care cheaper then the middle class under Obama will be in even worse shape than under Bush, because expanded coverage at same costs actually equals higher costs.

Posted by: dummypants | January 30, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree that California is now a state of Mexico and not the United States. It's rare to hear English spoken here. More than half the births in California are to illegal aliens. And it's not just illegal aliens from Mexico, they are from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay,
Columbia, and Venezuela. The flow of illegal aliens into California exceeds more than 1 million per year and it is also where most of the drugs that flow into America pass through via the Mexican Border.

California doesn't seem like America at times; it seems more and more like Mexico City.


Posted by: blakesouthwood | January 30, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Saving the American middle class is not an option, after 8 years of elitist GOP rule: it's the LAW!

Posted by: JC505 | January 30, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

None of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

Posted by: longrowtohoe | January 30, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

"A VP like me dot gov"

"first black president dot gov"

"two state solution dot gov"

"my piece of the stimulus pie dot gov"

"pork its the new white meat dot gov"

Posted by: dummypants | January 30, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse


first it was "who runs gov dot com"...

then it was "recovery dot gov"...

now its "a strong middle class dot gov"?

what is going to be next?

"pull out dot gov"? "tax hikes dot gov"?

"health care 4 U dot com'?

seriously, lets think of some good ones folks

Posted by: dummypants | January 30, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Week 2

Dashle - overlooks $100,000 tax liability
Rangel - writes tax laws but doesn't pay taxes
Blago - senator for sale
Dodd - writes mortgage law gets sweetheart rates
Richardson - Pay to Play New Mexico
Hillary - live off $250 million of potentates wealth
Emmanuel - Chicago machinist
Barama - Free House from Rezko
Franks - oversees fannie may while living with its CEO
Michelle - $300,000 puff PR job with Chicago Hospital District
Geithner - Head of IRS failed to pay taxes for four years
Caroline - illegal housekeeper, payroll taxes unpaid
Holder - pliant enabler of Pardons

Posted by: georgejones5 | January 30, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The more Obama talks down the economy, the bigger hole he digs for you and me.

Posted by: StarsAndStripesForever | January 30, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse


first it was "who runs gov dot com"...

then it was "recovery dot gov"...

now its "a strong middle class dot gov"?

what is going to be next?

"pull out dot gov"? "tax hikes dot gov"?

"health care 4 U dot com'?

seriously, lets think of some good ones folks

Posted by: dummypants | January 30, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember that old bammie rally line, 'Yes, we can!'

Oh, how stupid liberals loved that line - chanting it like zombies at bammie rallies.

bammie has changed his tune. Now he is ranting 'NO, I CAN'T!'

This is hysterical.

The obama unemployment line will soon run from one blue coast to the other!!!

Posted by: MYSTICMOUSE44 | January 30, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

It seems that there are a lot of people that are doing the same as
the reporter in California who shut himself in the closet and re-
ported the Iraqi war as if he were there, you never here much a-
bout such foolishness but this is what is happening in Washington
and around the country, come on people get out there and let you
government know what you need to survive and then demand it.
What else you got to do, your not working and if you are you are
probably paying for the guy next door to set home and collect
unemployment or worse yet welfare.

Posted by: captainray | January 30, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Chillbear – a few things. The larger point I was trying to make was the compensation gap between executives and the rank-and-file is way, WAY out of whack. In fact, I’d venture a guess that even the manager of the local Walmart doesn’t earn what he should; you’d probably have to be at corporate headquarters to make the real dough. This is where the moral outrage should be – it has nothing to do with redistributing the wealth. It’s about honest compensation vs. outright greed. Your point about unskilled labor is well taken. The wage for a greeter at Walmart was likely never intended to support a family, or be a career position. Conversely, however, how do you justify all these incompetent CEO’s running their companies into the ground then taking HUGE muli-million dollar bonus packages – now mostly taxpayer monies- when they’ve failed? It’s GREED, plain and simple. Given that, I will never denigrate any work force that is willing to organize and fight for a more even playing field. Will higher wages brings higher prices? Sure, to an extent, but how about the executives taking a little less in compensation? How about compensation based on performance? In keeping with our example here, its Walmart/Starbucks itself that has gotten this country acclimated to a glut of cheap goods at rock bottom prices. Keep in mind that usually the Walmart/Starbucks of this world enters a new market largely at the expense of the once-thriving local mom-and-pop that is now run out of business, killing the entrepreneurial spirit on which this country was built.

Posted by: chuckbuk | January 30, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Instead of conducting a study of how we are coping with our loss, I strongly suggest that Vice President Biden first study the disaster itself and identify how this thing behaves. For in order to identify a solution, I would think that we first need to evaluate it's behavior and determine whether we are battling a fire, or a flood, or perhaps a combination of both ... and then devise a solution. Otherwise, we might end up throwing more water on a flood.

Posted by: jralger | January 30, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, who won significant backing from trade unions in his Democratic presidential campaign, said there could not be a strong middle class, the focus of his economic recovery plan, without a strong labor movement."

When the United States was the world's economic superpower and had no competition from the war devastated economies of Europe and Asia; the union movement did bring many uneducated mopes into the "middle class". Unfortunately, those days are over. Obama and his allies shouldn't live in the past, dreaming of a long lost worker's paradise where labor costs were free to rise without limit.

Obama needs to realize he's living in the 21st century.

Posted by: magellan1 | January 30, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

To all the union bashers who have commented herein, it is obvious to me that you know very little about history. The Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act of 1935)gave workers the right to collective bargaining, form unions, and strike offending employers. Without unions there would be no such thing as an 8-hour day, 5-day work week. No benefits or retirement of any kind would be provided. The middle class was built because of unions. Without unions, there would be two socioeconomic classes: corporate robber barons and the landed gentry vs. all the others who work for them. The union busting began with Reagan and since then real wages have fallen. I make less now than I did almost eight years ago thanks to the undermining of unions. When left to their own devices, we see what companies do to their workers...WalMart is a great example: forced overtime without pay for overtime hours worked and threats of termination if they log the overtime or refuse to work it. When workers are paid living wages and provided health/retirement benefits, they are more productive. These same workers are the ones who consume the bulk of the products produced. I was a flight attendant and was very grateful for the union or the airlines would have had us working until we dropped regardless of the safety risk to the passengers. Pilots are covered by the Federal Aviation Regulations while flight attendants are not, which makes the union an absolute must. Unions not only advocate for the workers but they act as filters for employers in that many unions, such as trade unions (operating engineers, iron workers, carpenters, etc.) mandate apprentice through journeyman programs before full membership is granted, which means SKILLED workers are on the job. For those of you who look down your noses and cast aspersions about the "lowly, unskilled" workers at WalMart, you should be ashamed. Bringing everyone up to making living wages and eliminating poverty HELPS EVERYONE, including you who live in ivory towers on bloated salaries and inherited trust funds. I dare any of you naysayers to walk up to a commerical airline pilot (say one like the US Air pilot successfully made an emergency water landing on the Hudson River) and tell him that you think he should not belong to a union. Unions ensure quality workers who bring experience, training, job knowledge, and good work ethic to every employer in all sectors. Care about all your fellow human beings and stop pointing fingers. Our president needs our support...together we can turn things around.

Posted by: politico5 | January 30, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

To all the union bashers who have commented herein, it is obvious to me that you know very little about history. The Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act of 1935)gave workers the right to collective bargaining, form unions, and strike offending employers. Without unions there would be no such thing as an 8-hour day, 5-day work week. No benefits or retirement of any kind would be provided. The middle class was built because of unions. Without unions, there would be two socioeconomic classes: corporate robber barons and the landed gentry vs. all the others who work for them. The union busting began with Reagan and since then real wages have fallen. I make less now than I did almost eight years ago thanks to the undermining of unions. When left to their own devices, we see what companies do to their workers...WalMart is a great example: forced overtime without pay for overtime hours worked and threats of termination if they log the overtime or refuse to work it. When workers are paid living wages and provided health/retirement benefits, they are more productive. These same workers are the ones who consume the bulk of the products produced. I was a flight attendant and was very grateful for the union or the airlines would have had us working until we dropped regardless of the safety risk to the passengers. Pilots are covered by the Federal Aviation Regulations while flight attendants are not, which makes the union an absolute must. Unions not only advocate for the workers but they act as filters for employers in that many unions, such as trade unions (operating engineers, iron workers, carpenters, etc.) mandate apprentice through journeyman programs before full membership is granted, which means SKILLED workers are on the job. For those of you who look down your noses and cast aspersions about the "lowly, unskilled" workers at WalMart, you should be ashamed. Bringing everyone up to making living wages and eliminating poverty HELPS EVERYONE, including you who live in ivory towers on bloated salaries and inherited trust funds. I dare any of you naysayers to walk up to a commerical airline pilot (say one like the US Air pilot successfully made an emergency water landing on the Hudson River) and tell him that you think he should not belong to a union. Unions ensure quality workers who bring experience, training, job knowledge, and good work ethic to every employer in all sectors. Care about all your fellow human beings and stop pointing fingers. Our presiddent needs our support...together we can turn things around.

Posted by: politico5 | January 30, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Start by deporting illegal immigrants, and reining in immigration generally. The influx of particularly low-skilled workers has undermined the US economy, and made life very difficult for citizens"

I've seen such comments before, and they always floor me. Immigrant workers are serving the American economy by taking low-skilled and low-paying jobs that most Americans seem to think are beneath them. This 21st century service economy would be brought to it's knees without immigrant workers cutting our grass, taking our fast-food orders, painting our houses, even watching our children while we are busy at our "professional" jobs.

Please. Spare me.

Posted by: gauntowl | January 30, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I have felt so sorry for Biden, who has played his silent V.P. role like a Pro.


No one misses that he completely disagrees with Obama.

Obama looks like an abuser of the eldery, near Biden. Biden looks like a poker face waiting until the Obama house of cards fall and the game and pile of chips are his.

Biden has tolerated it, but now has been given a voice.

Obama, (the little terror), will not like what Biden says, needs, and wants, to fix the economy for the small business, and middle class.

Finally, someone Presidental is in power.

I really hope the old Bulldog Biden takes a D.C. bite on Obama and puts him in his place.

Posted by: dottydo | January 30, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Louisiana Enacts the Most Comprehensive Advanced Biofuel Legislation in the Nation

Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law the Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative, the most comprehensive and far-reaching state legislation in the nation enacted to develop a statewide advanced biofuel industry. Louisiana is the first state to enact alternative transportation fuel legislation that includes a variable blending pump pilot program and a hydrous ethanol pilot program.

Field-to-Pump
The legislature found that the proper development of an advanced biofuel industry in Louisiana requires implementation of the comprehensive “field-to-pump” strategy developed by Renergie, Inc.:

(1) Feedstock other than corn;
(2) Decentralized network of small advanced biofuel manufacturing facilities;
(3) Variable blending pumps in lieu of splash blending; and
(4) Hydrous ethanol.

Renergie looks forward to working closely with the Obama-Biden administration to:
(a) reduce U.S. dependency on imported oil;
(b) repeal the ethanol import tariff;
(c) maximize the environmental benefits of ethanol-blended transportation fuels; and
(d) create jobs in rural areas of the United States by growing ethanol demand, specifically hydrous ethanol demand, beyond the 10% blend market.

Please feel free to visit Renergie’s weblog (renergie.wordpress.com) for more information.

Posted by: brianjdonovan | January 30, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The "panic manic Obama drama tax plan" boondoggle has been shoved to Biden now that it is completely broken.

Biden, to fix the middle, will have to demand a pork slash and use the Republican plan with little tax payer cuts and little money.

Thank you President Biden.

Posted by: dottydo | January 30, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Chuckbuk: "Look no farther than the Walmart business model if you want an example of corporate greed taking down this nations economy. Non-union employees make poverty wages and have little (or no) benefits, while the company – because it’s such a large, slobbering behemoth with unparalleled buying power - actually dictates to it’s vendors what it will be charged for it’s inventory, or they just discard that vendor like yesterday’s trash and move on to someone else that will make a similar product for a few cents cheaper, often in China, made in sweatshops with lead paint. Meanwhile, all the small businesses that’ve been left behind often are forced to shut their doors, and all the unemployed workers from that factory can’t afford to buy the very same cheap crap they used to produce."

And what will you do when you dismantle Walmart? Let's say for example that you unionize Walmart. Presumably, wages and benefits will go up. That means Walmart's costs go up. Who is going to pay for the cost increases? The consumers. So, because the completely unskilled laborers of Walmart unionize and demand to make a living wage, everyone is taxed at the register.

Do you not realize the reason that jobs are outsourced so frequently is because the Unions have put a gun to managements head?

Union: "Pay us what we want or we'll strike."

Industry: "If we do, we will price ourselves out of the market."

Union: "Not our problem."

Industry: "We can either take losses, which makes it pointless to be in business or seek cheaper labor markets."

And there go the jobs. Since Walmart can't send their cash registers overseas, they will either price themselves higher and then shut down. When Walmart raises their prices, that is inflation. Before you know it the increased wages that the Union fought for are now eaten up by the higher cost of living.

The small businesses that can't compete with Walmart, can't compete because their products are more expensive. Otherwise, why would I want to deal with Walmart?

Here is another way that your unions can make us lose jobs. When Walmart raises prices with all of their overhead and increased wages. Amazon.com and the hundreds of other sites that aren't subject to wage pressure since they don't have legions of cashiers and stockers, steal market share from traditional stores.That means store closings. This would be fine if the dot coms were hiring someone for each job lost, but they have technology scaling down their labor needs.

The bottom line is that it is time to embrace Walmart since low paying jobs are better than no jobs at all. However, keep in mind that unless you are a manager at Walmart, you shouldn't expect to be able to support a stay at home spouse, two kids and a dog on your wage.

It is unskilled labor. There is nothing wrong with it, but you have to expect unskilled labor wages.

Chillbear Latrigue - CLatrigue@live.com

Posted by: clatrigue | January 30, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

nope, wiggan you still dont get it ... i'm so glad people like you are in the minority for a change ... hopefully, people that think like you with narrow-minded beliefs of what is "ruining" this country will stay in the minority. then, hopefully, we can start run this country the way it was meant to be run.

btw, obama was not my top choice for president, but i had to vote against the corrupt republican agenda. im no fan of democrats either, but this kid obama seems to have a good head on his shoulders and i like what i hear so far.

Posted by: joeshoulders | January 30, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Someone here thinks that the Republicans are playing Obama? Whoa. Obama is playing the American people like a super card shark. He and his cronies believe in poverty. It is their chief instrument of control.

Wake up!!!

Posted by: aloysius1 | January 30, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"... we will prevail over you vermin over and over again"

Vermin? You mean your fellow Americans? Why do you hate America?

Posted by: mikem1 | January 30, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It was nice to hear Barack criticize Wall Street's bonuses when they have driven their own industry and our economy into the ground, but that isnt the HALF OF IT!!


Shame is spending $350 billion in taxpayer dollars, promising transparency and then not telling them where you spent it...

Shame is taking trillions of dollars in losses of private banks and companies and dumping them onto taxpayers!!

Shame is rewarding the worst behavior in this country, and punishing those who have saved and lived prudently.

WHERE ARE THE NATION-WIDE PROTESTS?!!!!

This isn't just shameful, it is unconstitional and criminal!!!

Posted by: misssymoto | January 30, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Cornleaf said, "He said that Biden will be especially suited to the task of studying the middle class and coming up with solutions, given his working-class, Scranton roots."

This ''Task Force'', led by working-class- roots-turned-Aristocrat Biden, is lip service and ''appearances of change'' with no teeth or legislative mandate to do anything...

...make recommendations?....when it is Dem-controlled Congress and President, it is they who do the dictating.

Biden is ''turn-coat'' when it comes to his ownb socio-economic ''roots'', changing coat sides -opportunely as needed by himself, his President and party.

Posturing. No substance. No plan.
Where is the ''change'', and where is the ''plan''?

Press needs to ask hard questions and not pander to their party agendas. Americans need investigative, uncoerced reporting.

PLEASE!

Posted by: Accuracy | January 30, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Rooster-
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Assuming that you genuinely believe in these lofty goals (without any hint of self interest), don’t you also have to ask what tradeoffs are inherent in reducing the population to a state of perennial subordination to their government?

Posted by: dcn1 | January 30, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Leveling the playing field" is another term for Communism. Obama is should just be honest and wear a hammer and sickle on his shirt.

Posted by: birvin9999 | January 30, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

California is absolutely burdened by illegal aliens taking advantage of every nook and cranny of free social welfare programs. The entire system is run by hispanic management and there is never any validation of citizenship to gain entry into these programs. In essence, it is a massive social welfare system here in this state that dwarfts any other state in the Union and it has paralyzed the entire state. Politicians want the hispanic vote so they never put a stop to it. Now our sales tax will go up to 10.5% etc., and we are paying for all this. How can the middle class support their own families if they are supporting all of Mexico? Tell me Mr. Biden?

Posted by: slarsen1 | January 30, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Former Reagan appointee, Paul Krugman, and even former Friedmanite, Jeffry Sachs, concede that welfare state governments are doing a better job than the U.S. has recently.

But, then they're educated.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Have some of you folks forgotten that Obama is addressing ALL People - not just Black People? The majority of this mess is because of wealthy White America's greed! But because he is a fair president and good human being, Obama has pledged to help ALL Human Beings! Get past the race factor and embrace change!!! NEXT!

Posted by: rights4all | January 30, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Refering to this as a slump in the economy is worthy of Herbert Hoover.\ Like calling the Mariana Trench a dip in the ocean floor.

Posted by: laurelphoto | January 30, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

dcn1-
If you think my desire to see children get proper healthcare, workers get paid what they deserve, for the environment to be protected, for democracies to be respected, and for executives to answer to their shareholders is "nefarious", then your probably too far gone reason with.

"Nefarious" indeed. You guys have lost it.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse


George Orwell was a socialist and he warned us about people like you.Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 3:30 PM
Actually rooster, Orwell was a useful idiot when he went to Spain to report on the civil war. These experiences lead to an awakening about the evils of authoritarian socialism. Try reading his nonfiction “Homage to Catalonia” it might help you to better understand his fictional works and understand the reasons why your comrades in the old Soviet Union banned his books.
He was actually warning about mindless groveling livestock, like our leftist friends, yielding too much control to the state.
It’s truly amazing the way you guys can reconstruct reality to suit your own nefarious purposes!

Posted by: dcn1 | January 30, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

You Socialists are laughing now, but you will be back home in your sewers soon enough. You disgusting thieves and slave drivers will stop at nothing to put down productive people and companies. Not until everyone is as pathetic and spineless as you are. No worries, US history has shown that we will prevail over you vermin over and over again

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | January 30, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I am certain that the "Task Force" already has the view that all jobs should be union jobs. Unions declined because they were unnecessary for the most part. If you look at what they did to GM, Ford and Chrysler you will see what they pose for other industries. A big push will be to discard the democratic practice of secret ballot so that the unions can identify individuals who vote not to have a Union so that they coerce them into changing their minds. Auto manufacturers in the South are outstanding employers and do not need Unions to collect dues, pay to Union bosses and contribute to the demise of the industry. You want crooks; look no further than in some of our Unions (Service Employees, etc)

Posted by: Mindboggle | January 30, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

President announces orders aimed at "leveling the playing field" for America's workers.

Start by deporting illegal immigrants, and reining in immigration generally. The influx of particularly low-skilled workers has undermined the US economy, and made life very difficult for citizens.

Posted by: Client-9 | January 30, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Look no farther than the Walmart business model if you want an example of corporate greed taking down this nations economy. Non-union employees make poverty wages and have little (or no) benefits, while the company – because it’s such a large, slobbering behemoth with unparalleled buying power - actually dictates to it’s vendors what it will be charged for it’s inventory, or they just discard that vendor like yesterday’s trash and move on to someone else that will make a similar product for a few cents cheaper, often in China, made in sweatshops with lead paint. Meanwhile, all the small businesses that’ve been left behind often are forced to shut their doors, and all the unemployed workers from that factory can’t afford to buy the very same cheap crap they used to produce.

It kills me when I read this ignorant right-wing bulls**t.

I’m with Ryan007 – let them all head up to Alaska with that crazy whacked-out psycho and create their own little Branch Davidian-like utopia.

Posted by: chuckbuk | January 30, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama is courageous. Don't you love it? The Republicans had eight years, and look where they left us. Now they are screaming about everything Obama tries to do. Finally, you have decide what you stand for and have the courage to do it.

As Geroge W. "Herbert Hoover" Bush said, "I'm the decider." He and his GOP friends decided us into a depression. Let's hope Obama can begin to decide us out the depression. It will take time (the GOP dug us in way deep!), but I think Barack Obama can get it done.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 30, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be some sort of confusion with this Administration as to what the mission of a business is. From what I can gather from the snippets of President Obama's speeches that I read here and on the AP, the purpose of a business enterprise is to bloat itself with as many workers as it can possibly handle so that they can own enormous houses. All right, that's a bit much, but my understanding of a business is to provide as many goods and services as it can sell, while efficiently employing as few resources (including labor) as possible.

The corresponding AP article delves a bit more into the pro-Labor laws that Mr. Obama signed today. This Administration appears be setting an anti-business agenda during one of the worst economic downturns in this nation's history.

If businesses don't have a free hand to employ labor as it sees fit for it's own welfare, the labor may soon not have a place to be employed.

Posted by: clatrigue | January 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The truth is, no one on this board *knows* whether this is a good or bad plan and all the crystal ball reading is just so much mental M*asturb*tion. What we do know is that when Bush came into office, there was a budget surplus. In eight years, the best thinking of him and -- for most of the time, a Republican led House and Senate -- has brought this country to the brink of a second Great Depression.

So. It might be helpful to stop acting like you KNOW this is good or bad and give it a chance. Oh, right. Republicans hope it fails so they can regain power.

Posted by: monk4hall | January 30, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

rights4all:

Right on! I'm glad you agree. I say clear the credit (with guidelines as you said). For all of the good, hard working people out there, I really believe that could help.

Posted by: Obama2008 | January 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Wiggan is completely wrong, pulling up the conservative dogma that government is inherently bad. What actually happened was that the lack of management competence in government was the problem. Problems in 2008 can't be blamed on decisions made under Clinton. What actually happened, actually, was that changes implemented under the Bush administration in 2005 relaxed the rules on mortgage lending in an effort to keep home prices bubbling.

Republican rants about "socialism" are just efforts to divert responsibility. The Bush regime interfered in the free market to favor producers over consumers, lenders over borrowers, and managers over employees and shareholders. These errors converged last fall, and it's up to Democrats to rebuild the economy, as Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, and Roosevelt had to do in the past. (Carter only served one term, so Reagan benefited from the economic turnaround that Carter started.) Republicans are always ready to transfer wealth away from the community into the pockets of favored elites.

Conservatives are also obsessing about tax cuts putting money in people's pockets. That's not what the economy needs. We don't need an extra $10 a paycheck for workers, we need whole jobs for people who don't have them. That's going to create wealth to pay off the debt that the Republicans have bestowed on us.

A million people making an average $45,000 is much better in economic terms than 900,000 people making $50,000, even though the aggregate income is the same. The difference is a hundred thousand people not needing welfare payments, thousands of kids not facing a choice between hunger and crime. The Republicans have dug a hole too deep to fill right away; all we can do is build a bridge across it until consumer confidence and business investment can be restored naturally.

Posted by: lartfromabove | January 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

jdcw-
You're a brainwashed sychophant to the predatory class.

The people rule. Get used to it.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I think maybe they should have people like me who are are actually struggling to sit in and give comments or suggestions to help
with the problem. sometimes it just takes an ordinary person to solve a problem.

Posted by: marlolstevenson | January 30, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The fat cats are secretly scared to death that one day they might have to do real work. That's why they try to make us afraid of terrorism and socialism. They don't want us to see how they're the real oppressors and the real reason terrorists have such succesful propaganda campaigns against us in the first place. We pay for their sins, just like we do their work for them.

Jesus said, "Be not Afraid." So I can't be a good Christian and give in to the fear they try to induce in us at the same time.

They're also scared to death of us not being scared. Too bad for them.

It's a new day.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

You Repuglican right wing dim witted tards truly are disgusting. The GOP is digging it's own grave as fast as the economy is going into the dumps. Maybe you can all gather up and move to Alaska or Texas, secede from the US and create your own Evangelical Christian Conservative movement...I nominate Palin and Limbaugh as leaders of your party.

Posted by: ryanr007 | January 30, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Obama, Unions did not "save" jobs, they helped them out the door.

Posted by: morningglory51 |"
-----
Do you work?, do you like your weekends?, do you like having safe working conditions?, benefits?
--------------
Do you like receiving the same pay as the person next to you that works only half as hard? Do you like seeing lazy co-workers continue working? Do you like to see employees rewarded by how long they have worked there, or paid for their performance?

Posted by: jdcw | January 30, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Wiggan: Yeah it's all the minorities fault even though I know more "whites" who are losing their homes because they made stupid greedy decisions like trying to "flip" a house or maybe they JUST LOST THEIR JOB.

Knock-off blaming the minorities, the bill was passed because people were discriminated against based on the color of their skin even though they were just as qualified as other non-minorities.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 30, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to burden my grandchildren with Billions dollars in debt and interest, so that I can get $10 per week!

Biden keep your middle-class bailout. Our grandchildren will thank you.

Posted by: jdcw | January 30, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama2008
I am so with that idea of clearing credit of good folks who may have fallen into a tight situation! Of course it would come with some guidelines, but I really think that would also help stimulate the credit portion of the economy thur getting folks to spending again

Posted by: rights4all | January 30, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Obama, Unions did not "save" jobs, they helped them out the door.

Posted by: morningglory51 |"
-----
Do you work?, do you like your weekends?, do you like having safe working conditions?, benefits?

No mention of NAFTA?, globalization?, the refusal to adapt and retrain the American worker?

It is exactly what Obama is trying to do, reinvent the blue-collar worker into a green-collar worker. THOSE kind of jobs cannot be shipped overseas to the lowest bidder so some greedy corporation can make as much profit as possible and pay no taxes.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 30, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

ChangeWhat-
George Orwell was a socialist and he warned us about people like you.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Reading some of these posts, I feel like I'm missing something.

How was middle class and the overall strength of this nation when the administration was handed (not earned) to our last president? Anyone see a before and after scenario? Can we put two and two together to understand what works and what doesn't? Is it really that hard to do right by people? Is it that hard to be fair? It is backed by history, that plenty in the wealthy segment tend to take advantage of the lesser, when there are a lack of regulations. Middle class are educated and they do have skills, and they do work hard or they wouldn't even be in that economic ladder segment (so I don't understand some of the REPEATED type of language from a stereotypical political group of people) about working hard, needing education, and skills like middle class has zero. Bottom line, middle class has been taking an inproportionate rip off instead proportionate tax cuts and proportionate benefits the extreme wealthy has. Furthering those types of policies will lead to the narrowing of middle class, so far so there will be wealthy and poor classes only! That's not fair. That's not right at all for sure.

Posted by: Obama2008 | January 30, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Well on the rebuilding thing, look back to the Community reinvestment act of 1977. The idea was to encourage loans to minorities and low income people. Sounds good right? Well this act over time morphed in the 90s in the Clinton adminstration to a law which required Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac to meet a 20% quota of all of their loans going to minority and low income people. It was a beatiful, Kumbaya rainbow idea for our poor downtrodden fellow Americans in pain.

Well the banks could not find that many poor, minority people who could meet the 20% down, 3x your annual income requirement that qualified most loans at that time. They could not meet their quota. Something had to change.

Well this is when they dispensed with those requirements and just gave loans to people regardless of their fiscal solvency. Those loans had the appearance of federal backing and AAA status, and were bundled and sold as commodities. Those bad loans were the root of our present financial crisis.

So before you blame Iraq and bailout misappropriations for our crisis, you must look at the root cause. The root cause was Government imposing some kind of social idealism without regard to fiscal reality on private industry. Had we never had that quota, there would never had been bad loans, and this entire fiscal crisis would never have happened.

Be careful when you discard fiscal sanity in your pursuit of liberal utopia. You do not need to go back that far in history to really see how disasterous that can be.

Posted by: Wiggan | January 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

ChangeWhat, taking the Kool-Aid intravenously I see and regurgitating Rush "The fat druggie hate machine" Limbaugh talking points (or LIES).

Posted by: JRM2 | January 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Working class families should be given more support by the government, especially with the neglect shown to other than the rich and business interests in the previous administration. However, the poor and near poor, from a moral perspective, merit greater support.

Middle class individuals and families, who are retired, need tax relief too. The "stimulus" plan passed by the House apparently has no tax reduction for retired people or spouses temporarily not employed.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | January 30, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"I am not sure if those being laid off by Pfizer and AOL have ambitions in street paving"
-----
I think the thinking here is that people get jobs paving a street or rebuilding a bridge and maybe they can afford to buy products from Pfizer or from AOL's advertisers.

It's the middle class that has had it's back broken.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 30, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

What? White collar workers are not prepared to help pave America's streets? Paint bridges? Restring electric power lines? Such a sad commentary on America's schools. I know! We put America's Republican executives out in the hot sun and replace them with the white collar workers that executives threw out of their jobs. At least we will know the $18,400,000,000.00 in post-bailout Wall Street bonuses is going to help repair America's infrastructure.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 30, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

"It is entitlements that are bankrupting our government"
---
Yet no mention of Wall Street bonuses, or rebuilding Iraq rather than rebuilding America, Bushs' tax cuts for the wealthy amounting to 49% of the deficit.

Bush thought it was OK to give $158b so people could put it back into the retail industry and $7000b with NO OVERSIGHT so why do you have a problem with giving some money to the poor so maybe they can buy clothing to get a better job, or feed their children?

Not all of the disadvantaged are at fault here, some have become that way because of circumstances beyond their control.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 30, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The current proposal is to create public works jobs. I am not sure if those being laid off by Pfizer and AOL have ambitions in street paving - or if that level of employement would pay their mortgages. Worse yet, women and wome owned businesses are left out completely. The problem is that we have a 1930's plan for 2009 - and the time have changed.

The green jobs sounds promising, but a Biden led task force sounds like a PR gimmick. Something to make AMericans think that something is being done as opposed to studied. Just like the "equal pay" bill that only gives broader litigation rights without mandating equal pay for equal work. They make out to be a female bill when it is not.

If Obama wants to be female friendly then mandate that 50% of all jobs created with the stimulus go to women who have the same income as men (i.e. do not give the low paying flagman jobs to women just to meet the quota). And insist that 50% of all federal contracts go to women owned businesses. That would be true action.

Sadly we get smoke and mirrors, and taks forces. that do little to level the playing field or helping anyone in 2009.

Posted by: mgd1 | January 30, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Change -

Get your facts straight.

Bush was President for the past 8 years. GOP majorities in Congress for 6 of them until they blew it and Dems gained a slim majority in 2006. They couldn't overcome fillibusters of vetoes when they tried to reign in the disastrous Bush policies. Fact Bush took a budget surplus and now we have record debt. Fact Bush and GOP congress cut the taxes for big oil and the wealthy several times. Fact GOP bills gutted regulations on Wall Street, Banking, lenders, Insurance and commodities trading leading to Enron, commodities manipulation, Madoff, and the expansion of derivatives.

Fact Bush and Paulson stated the economy is fundamentally sound last summer. Get your facts straight. There are Dem fingerprints but the knife was driven in by the GOP.

Posted by: Juked | January 30, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

No, Joeshoulders, I do understand what Obama is all about.

He thinks it is fair to give government checks to people who pay no taxes. He thinks this is a good thing. He does not understand that giving more free stuff to people who pay nothing only adds feul to the entitlement culture fire.

It is entitlements that are bankrupting our government. Some 40% of Americans pay no federal taxes, and that bottom 40% of freeloaders derive the most from government services. It is no wonder why we are accelerating faster and faster into debt, because this morally bankrupt me-first generation will continue to vote for more and more entitlements.

Obama, Pelosi and Reid are going to give them that entitlement culture. It is in their interest to hook lower class America on government handouts. By making all of you dependendant upon them for your very life, they lock up their hold on power.

Every parents job is to teach their kids to become functioning independent adults in society. However the entitlement culture represents a return to dependance and a step backwards. How can you face yourself in the mirror when you pay nothing for this countries upkeep in the form of taxes, and in the same breath yammmer for the government which you paid nothing for, does not provide enough services?

Who gets stuck with the bill for all the freeloaders? Why those who went out, learned a marketable skill, worked hard, and earned enough money to put them in a tax bracket where they actually pay for government. What is the incentive then in our tax system? The harder you work and the more you succeed, the more Pelosi, Reid and Obama leech off of you to give your money to people who do not work hard, learn marketable skills.

Posted by: Wiggan | January 30, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

moon-base-alpha

spoken like a true Communist

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 30, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse


...and yet again I reiterate, your solution is a A MAXIMUM WAGE, or RELATIVE WAGE SALARY CAP, you know like the one placed on the NFL to strengthen the league and prevent the black athelete from demanding too much pay...

...well a SALARY CAP relative to wage needs to be placed on WALL STREET & CORPORATE AMERICA in order to strengthen America & prevent the white non-athelete from asking for too much pay...

...this is your solution...

...it has been written...

Posted by: moon-base-alpha | January 30, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Juked

Fannie, Freddie, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxie Waters, Barry Obama, Socialist led inept Congress all pandering, buying votes of illiterate minorities with free mortages. Your Socialist party has its smarmy corrupt finger prints all over the economic turmoil. Get your facts straight. And all those identified including Barry were on the campaign dole of Fannie and Freddie while Bush and the Republicans were trying to reign in the free mortgage Socialist program. The Socialist program that is at the root cause of the problem. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT! Libs have such a difficult time with facts.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 30, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The predatory class, who did this to us, with the permission of some of us, now has an overwhelming economic advantage in trying to keep us from doing anything about it.

CEO's rewarded themselves for last year's pathetic performance, by granting themselves $18,400,000,000 in bonuses, money they stole from us. No shame.

Free market snake oil.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

i just read comments by "Wiggan" about what he considers "the underlying assumptions of the Obama administration"

i hear many comments like this and it's amazing to me how so many just don't get it. obama is not at all interested in helping people that choose not to help themselves. he has said, nearly every time speaks on this issue, that this plans helps "hard-working americans" so many honest, skilled and very hard working americans have been victims of a system that clearly couldn't care less about them or their families.

a system that has no problem giving elaborate raises and bonuses to already grossly overpaid executives while thousands of the same company's skilled workers are let go.

there are so many other reasons to support obama's plan, but for me that reason this reason alone is enough,

Posted by: joeshoulders | January 30, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Hey right wing whack jobs. Your trickle down economics didn't work in fact they were disastrous to the world. Tax cuts for the wealthy, Iraq, unfunded mandates, deficit spending, binge spending by GOP congress, no regulation and no oversight are what got us here.

If the middle class does not have discretionary income they cannot support home prices, businesses or anything else. Thanks to 8 years of stagnated wages and a deficit spurred in part by tax cuts for the wealthy we are overlooking a cliff unless we get middle America working and prosperous.

Posted by: Juked | January 30, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

mlimberg-
We've been lab rat subjects of the Milton Friedman Chicago School of Economics experiment for the last fifty years. During that time we've lost 80% of the buying power we previously had per hour of labor, in spite of our increased productivity per hour from technological advances. Paul Krugman knows this. So does James Galbraith. Naomi Klein does a great job of explaining how it happened, and how we might fight back.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...

Here's another idea! =)

After the huge bailout was passed (unbelievable) and taken advantage of with taxpayer money, I say clear or renew credit history of individuals across the nation, or those in need to start anew. THAT will get them spending for sure. There are a lot of people out there who can afford monthly expenses of an apartment, but have difficulty getting a home, being tied down. If the big companies get a clean slate, hey why not? Clear the credit =) Let them start over too. Fair and square =)

Posted by: Obama2008 | January 30, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hussein Obama Mr. Doom & Gloom and I remember hearing all the time Bush is using scare tactics...... Obama is just in over his head... that's what you get when you elect an empty suit with the gift of gab....

Posted by: Theo7 | January 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I would call Obama and the most inept Socialist led Congress a Disaster. A complete Socialist Disaster!

Posted by: ChangeWhat | January 30, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

i really appreciate what president obama is doing.. especially assigning vice president biden a critical role in this attempt at bringing this financial meltdown in line..

but what this all does is really make me wonder.

how ONE PERSON SUCH AS GEORGE W BUSH screw things up SO MUCH!?!?

and PLEASE don't anyone say this was the democrats fault.. or it wasn't bush's or anything alse. because i don't and won't believe otherwise.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | January 30, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah...Obama is going to "save the world".
Hey Obama, Unions did not "save" jobs, they helped them out the door.

Posted by: morningglory51 | January 30, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Biden is an absolute tard. Can't we stick HIM in a bunker somewhere and throw away the key?

Posted by: bug45 | January 30, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The support for the unions Obama promised this morning does not mean that he is in their pocket – union leaders are not that smart. It means that they are in his pocket. Similarly, he is not in the pocket of the Pelosi and Reid Democrats in Congress, who are no smarter – they are in his pocket. And this is why Obama is so dangerous. Count the number of times this morning he used “I,” “my,” and “mine.”

Posted by: suegbic | January 30, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Task Force? We don’t need no stinking task force! Just do what we have been telling you to do for the past several years! End NAFTA, curb outsourcing by the use of punitive taxes and tariff’s. End, immediately!, the H1-B, L-1 and other guest worker visas. Add a $10 fee for every U.S. service call handled by one of those Indian call centers. The Call Center tax and ending the H1-B visa, alone, would provide jobs for at least 4 million unemployed U.S. workers. End outsourcing and make it so painful on the corporate traitors that have practiced it hat those jobs return home and this depression would be ended within 12 months. Our economy depends on consumer spending - 90% of business profit is derived from middle class people buying things. Why, then, do you morons in Washington, then, even bother to listen to the free trade crooks who blather about the benefits of trade when the result of their twisted practices surrounds us with it’s wreckage? End it! End them! Economic treason is no less treason because it is practiced by some corporate swine in a three piece suit.
The people in France, Spain, Greece, Iceland, all over the world recognize that and have ben rioting in the streets over their country’s free trade practices. Do you really think that wont happen here?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 30, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

There used to be a maximum wage cap. it was called "Income Tax" unfortunately it no longer applies to the "haves and the have mores" as W. described the GOP base.

Posted by: KennyBoy | January 30, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Man you guys should have listened to me.... just think where we would be if you had Pat Leahy as Veep. We'd have Cheney on a rack and Bush bobbing for apples and doing nakid cheerleading pyrmids at Abu Ghrabe. Instead we are throwing out wind farts. Biden is a joke.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | January 30, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

America, we are now Subjects in the Great Economics Experiment of 2009....

Posted by: mlimberg | January 30, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

We are the government, that's why the predatory rich want us to be stupid enough to oppose ourselves.

It is decreed. The people rule.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Less Milton Friedman, more James Galbraith.

Posted by: rooster54 | January 30, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Orion
What happened to Obamer's CHANGE for the Better. Still sounds like the same stupid garbage you wing nut lefties have spouting since Lincoln. Then it was pro-slavery and anti-freedom

Posted by: albee703 | January 30, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Has obama started a put America first program yet? Has he stopped the visa labor programs and sent the h1b here back to their country? well, has he?

Posted by: DwightHCollins | January 30, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

A United America = A Strong America. "Put the Middle Class first"? So what "Class" is put second? Which citizens make up this class? Who are the third class citizens? Stop the classism! It is divisive and Un-American. A someone they would likley consider "Middle Class" This political divide-and-conquer strategy is disgusting and has gone far enough. Knock it off! They are starting to sound like Hugo Chavez

Posted by: GWashinton | January 30, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The underlying assumptions of the Obama adminstration here are:

(1) Americans are entitled to jobs, rather than jobs going to people because businesses objectively want them in their employ.
(2) It is the governments responsibility to retrain workers, rather than the individual's responsiblity to obtain a marketable skillset on his/her own.
(3) When there is an economic downturn, the government is obligated to step in and help everyone out, rather than the individual is expected to be responsible enough to plan for financial downturns on his/her own.

Overall, this spells out a new state of dependance of the American worker on government. Gone is the role of the government in providing the infrastructure and tax structure to attract businesses to want to set up shop in the USA and hire American workers. In its place is the expectation that big government is going to come to your rescue and cushion your fall.

So relax America! Don't train yourself, the government will do it for you! Don't save up 3 mos salary to deal with layoffs and job downturns, the Government is going to pay your mortgage! Your job, your education, your health care are all entitlements financed by deficit spending, and the big big lovely government is here to take all ofyour troubles away and wipe your bottom when you crap your pants.

Posted by: Wiggan | January 30, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

As scrivener50’s post illustrates, we have an ominous mental health problem in the US.
Attention deficit disorder (inability to focus on the topic) has reached epidemic proportions.
Paranoid delusions and insane conspiracy abound on street corners of our cities. At one time these misguided souls were allowed to confront their internal demons from the safety of institutions; now they lurk in the padded cells of the blogosphere crying out for stronger medication.

Posted by: dcn1 | January 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It's unbelievable how a the left wing nuts cases like moon-base-alpha who have soiled this earth for thousands of years with failures are crawling out from under their rocks to demand that their brainless ideas be implemented by the Socialists/Democrats in control of this country. These morons will stop at nothing to destroy the USA.

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | January 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION ALL TRUE AMERICAN''s !!!!and a few Repiglicans; Notice how none of the Republicans are ranting and raving about the Ceo''s stealing Billions of dollars in Bonus''s and Raping the American''s of Tarp money etc, but just listen to them holler about giving Woman''s Rights of the same pay and letting the less fortunate trying to get a better deal other than taking it in the shorts from the Greedy Repig''s. Remember the Repig''s who are up for office in 2010.!!!!! When you Repiglicans start to protest Halliburton Raping America for 50 Billion and when The Fuld's, Lay's, and the Thain's giving back Billions then you will have the right to gripe about the little man.

Posted by: orionexpress | January 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's see what pearls of wisdom the Team Obama cheerleaders are saying....

Forgive student loans- Ha... I worked through college and paid my way. No Free Rides or Bailouts. It's a stick in the eye to those that chose the hard-way of working through school.

Foreclosures, gloom and doom- Get off your honkers and move to where there are jobs. I did and it works!!!

The answer is a Maximum Wage- In the land of opportunity, if you can make it lawfully, it isn't a crime. this deters innovation.

Increase the Minimum Wage- Increases the price of goods and services for everybody or cause more layoffs.

Windfall tax big oil 66%. $6/gallon gasoline, do I hear $8????

Allow no business expense deductions for commodity trading and tax all profits at 90%- Why invest?

Tax all calls answered by foreign call center workers at a rate of 15 cents per minute or part thereof (and end the annoyance of speaking with "mike" in delhi for citi and "alice" in manila for united)- Why not just hang-up or stop doing business with the company? Besides, with all of the TARP funding, the effect is about the same as a "self-licking ice cream cone."

Figure out an appropriate amount of duty to levy on items manufactured overseas to bring the cost in line with american manufacturing costs; it is total crap that we can train displaced workers for the "new economy". Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill mean anything and what it did for the Great Depression?


National health insurance for all.- In the UK, everybody has mediocre to poor health care. Sorry, I'll pay for my own and keep the level of service I choose. The operative word is "Choice" not "Change."

I recommend that the rich instead be used as TARGETS...- In New Mexico, I can live like a king on 80k/yr. In northern Virginia, it won't by you a pup-tent or bench in Central Park, NYC. So, how do you define "rich?" Considering the disparity between things, I would suggest that "Rich" when indexed from 1969 wages, would amnount to $2 million a year/$4 million a year/joint. We can soak these folks at a 35% rate, everybody else pays 10% and eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The more you work, the more you get. if you don't work, you don't get.

My suggestion- Give homeowners a chance to re-fi @ 2% and declare an income tax holiday for 2009. That will stimulate the economy.

Say "No" to bailouts and freebies. Let's all get refreshed with Jim DeMint in 2012.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | January 30, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This task force astrongmiddleclass.gov is just a ponzi scheme. They collect email addresses and beg for money just like Obama's campaign did for 2 years up until the ignauguration. They just want to get contributions and "pay to play" politcs. Obama and his camp use the press and pay them off.

Democrats are against the way the stimulus money if being spent. We hope the Republicans have the cojones to vote against the package and resubmit real job creation solutions.

Build nuclear power plants.
Build solar panel fields.
Build cars in America.
Build healthcare clinics.
Build electric power grids.
Create jobs innovative space programs.

Posted by: gracedelvillar | January 30, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

It's silly season again.. wake up Republicans..your party was kicked out the whitehouse. You cannot make the rules.. you are not in charge..there is a new sheriff in town..get it...a new sheriff... and your taxe cut policy is a failed policy.. I heard a "Republican strategist" on one of the cable channels last night say that a tax cut should be given to working people so that they can take their kids out for ice cream.. what limited thinking... how about giving a person a job so that they can keep the heat on and put food on the table and clothes on their backs.. how about that ..you idiots... ice cream.. lunacy..absolute lunacy.. stop only thinking about people who have jobs.. a job is a premium in America today as Americans we will only be as strong as our weakness link and right now is the time to make sure that those who want a job can get a job.. the people at the top have run this tax cut business in the ground and those tax cuts to businesses have not lead to jobs the cuts have only lead to more money in the pockets of the senior executives...and the proof is in the statistics..just look at the rate of unemployment and Bush just left office a few weeks ago. So his tax cuts did not work....

Posted by: sabrina2 | January 30, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

This is an outrage. Obama and the Democratic Party have just sold the country down the river to their true masters the Unions. How much of the already pork laden stimulus package is going to go to pay for the bloated crime ridden union coffers? The cost of unions is not sustainable. This will kill the stimulus and is pork plain and simple to the Unions.
These projects should be open bidding and go to the low qualified bidder. As that would not be union companies there will be action taken to allow only unions companies to bid.]

We have been sold out. If you want to do something to help the country take 50 billion or so and use it to find the estimated 40,000,000 illegal aliens and register or deport them. Cut off all entitlement programs for illegal aliens. To give you an idea of the cost savings in California an estimated 20% of the budget goes to pay for entitlement programs for illegal aliens. Sanctuary cities like San Francisco are broke yet they continue to build entitlement programs to sign illegal aliens up for health and food programs.

Enough. This is not change. This is the same old BS of government pandering to buy votes. This time when it fails there are going to be some very angry citizens that are going to ask why the government could not stop spending and focus on what we can afford.

This is disgusting and the death of the stimulus package. Welcome to the Socialist States of America home of the Worlds Largest Government TATA. We can be proud.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | January 30, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

how can anyone expect biden to do anything right - the fool did not even know that the only JOB that the vice president has is to be the president of the senate.
and he is going to be transparent - wait until the first time old joe decided that he will use executive privilege, or refuses to respond to a request under the freedom of information act, and gets sued for it.
lets see how transparent ol joe is.

we had a great economy in 2006 and then the left took over congress. two years later we are in the toilet, the leftist complaints about the modest deficits spent by the gop during war, well those complaints are now a thing of the past, as the plan to hit us with the largest single defitic in our history.
and it only took the left 2 years to screw the economy up, i cant wait until they get lil hussein to join in. it will take 50 years to clean up their mess.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | January 30, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Businesses should stop hiring illegals!

Posted by: FutureJumps | January 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Moon Base Alpha (got to love that screen name) I agree that there should be a maximum wage cap. I think more in the area of 15%. I might be a little more liberal? 10% does sound a little conservative to me.

You do have some good ideas.

Posted by: edeckel | January 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Steve 94 - as opposed to George Bush and all the Republicans who lied to us for over 10 months telling us the economy's fundamentals are strong all the while we WERE ACTUALLY IN RECESSION?? They were lying hoping the news would not get out until after the election. Obama is telling us the truth, even though people like you don't want to hear it. That is what he promised.

Conservatives and Republicans are taking some serious drugs, like their fearless leader, Rush Limbaugh. All the while, they continue to jerk each other off and in front of each other, like their spiritual leader, Ted Haggard.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 30, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

MANDATORY USE OF E-VERIFY, BY FEDERAL CONTRACTORS, WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO GO INTO EFFECT JAN. 15, THEN FEB. 20, HAS NOW BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL MAY 21, 2009.
THIS MEANS THAT ILLEGALS CAN TAKE THE JOBS GENERATED BY THE STIMULUS PACKAGE!!!
JOBS THAT LEGALLY, AND RIGHTFULLY, BELONG TO AMERICANS!!!
FIGHT BACK AMERICANS!!!
OBAMA IS PUTTING THE EMPLOYMENT OF ILLEGALS AHEAD OF 12 MILLION UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS!!!
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/laus.nr0.htm
Unemployment Rates for States
Monthly Rankings
Seasonally Adjusted
Dec. 2008p
29 MAINE 7.0
29 NEW YORK 7.0
31 CONNECTICUT 7.1
31 NEW JERSEY 7.1
31 WASHINGTON 7.1
34 MISSOURI 7.3
35 ALASKA 7.5
36 ILLINOIS 7.6
37 KENTUCKY 7.8
37 OHIO 7.8
39 TENNESSEE 7.9
40 MISSISSIPPI 8.0
41 FLORIDA 8.1
41 GEORGIA 8.1
43 INDIANA 8.2
44 NORTH CAROLINA 8.7
45 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 8.8
46 OREGON 9.0
47 NEVADA 9.1
48 CALIFORNIA 9.3
49 SOUTH CAROLINA 9.5
50 RHODE ISLAND 10.0
51 MICHIGAN 10.6
http://www.bls.gov/web/laumstrk.htm

Posted by: buzzm1 | January 30, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Forgive student loans. When kids graduate from college, they are ready to buy homes, or as renters, buy cars, clothing, have babies, etc. They are instant consumers. Except that in the past 10 yrs, they have been leaving college with an AVERAGE student loan debt of 60g's. We have destroyed the entrants to the middle class, and their chance to be consumers, before they ever had a chance. Use either TARP or some of the stimulus package to give student loan relief to so many college graduates.

Posted by: cowznof | January 30, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't seen Team Obama do anything yet."

Oh really? Or perhaps it should be "Team Obama hasn't done anything I like yet" ?

Of course, ignoring the fact that this administration is just into it's 10th day. How much did you produce in the first 10 days of your last job?


Posted by: mikem1 | January 30, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It is being reported today that a laid off H1-B contract worker, 35-year-old Rajendrasinh Makwana, planted a virus a government database, that was going to completely destroy it. Now, I can't for the life of me, figure out why we have any of these cheap Indian guest workers here when we have between 3 and 4.5 million unemployed U.S. citizens trained and able to do those jobs, but this points out the danger of having these parasites in this country in the first place. The government is due to issue between 150,000 and 400,000 new H1-B visas in March! Between Microsoft, IBM, HP, Intel, Boeing and a whole host of other hi-tech firms, more than 100,000 layoffs of U.S. hi-tech workers was announced since last week....and not one H1-B worker. Write your COngressman and the President about this outrage. End the H1-B program and ship every H1-B worker back to India immediately.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 30, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

1. windfall tax big oil 66%.
2. allow no business expense deductions for commodity trading and tax all profits at 90%.
3. tax all calls answered by foreign call center workers at a rate of 15 cents per minute or part thereof (and end the annoyance of speaking with "mike" in delhi for citi and "alice" in manila for united).
4. figure out an appropriate amount of duty to levy on items manufactured overseas to bring the cost in line with american manufacturing costs; it is total crap that we can train displaced workers for the "new economy".
5. national health insurance for all.

Posted by: w04equals666 | January 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

perhaps the first thing Biden and team can do is some remedial math with the Republicans who apparently believe that you can flush your economy down the the toilet of defense expenditures and wars, spending out the wazoo while giving the fat cats tax breaks. Arrest some people, damn it. Our police forces maim and kill people for stealing far, far less.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | January 30, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Team Obama must immediately join with GOP defenders of the Constitution to dismantle the nationwide extrajudicial punishment network -- authoritarian bureaucrats and intel/security offers "

Oh, my. Who let YOU loose?

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | January 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse


...moon-base-alpha calling Earth…

…I would like to be on this Task Force as I feel they will be to soft on the greedy rich...

...so is there anyway that I could be appointed or be a part of this Task Force because I fear that they will fold under the pressure and weight of the gluttonous fat arse of the Republican elitists…

…for I too am tired of the rich being used as AMMUNITION for some...

...I recommend that the rich instead be used as TARGETS...

...and TARGETED for higher taxes, more accountability, and a little work every now and then. Tax breaks and shelters and deferments and deductions for liposuction need to be eliminated and the rich need to be made to pay their fair share in taxes...

...and TARGETED for restrictions to be put into place to prevent the rich from taking more then their fair share of monies produced from working middle-class labor…

…and TARGETED for more disclosure laws to be injected into profits gained from a Wall Street that has become nothing more then a wall separating the ‘haves’ from the ‘have nots’ in America…

...and TARGETED to be made to work or risk fines attached to the double chins of their sedentary lifestyle...

...and TARGETED for making overgrown, angry flaring white-headed pimples the only thing still produced by Americans...

…so is there any way that I can get on this Task Force please…

…moon-base-alpha calling Earth…


Posted by: moon-base-alpha | January 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The only way we can get anywhere is to immidiately reduce the trade deficit to zero on a month by month basis. About $70 Billion per month is a start. It is highly complex, but can be done without adversely affecting our friends overseas. There has to be a separate team with Presidential mandate. This would require some serious computing power and trade modeling. I have friends who do DoD work, who can help.

Posted by: kmguru | January 30, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

What horse manure! This crap is simply payback to the unions for the millions of members' dollars they spent to elect this phony. He and Biden care more for their pets than they do the middle class.

Posted by: LarryG62 | January 30, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen Team Obama do anything yet. They appear to be competent at having ceremonies and taking pot shots at the previous administration, but thus far they haven't shown they can find their feet with a compass in on hand and a Garmin in the other.
Yet another task force, this one to be headed by Biden, (or is it Jared Bernstein?) has been announced with great fanfare. So what? Study the middle class? Why? It's just another study like the one that studied sperm whales. How's that study working out for middle class America?

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | January 30, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Right.

Folks FROM Scranton should stick together.

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | January 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah "leveling the playing field" is really working great where ever applied like Zimbabwe and Venezuela and Cuba.

Put Al gore in charge of the project. He is the smartest man alive having invented the internet.

Posted by: msmithnv | January 30, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Hum.... We'll see. If the task force is filled with "experts", corrupt CEO's, and the usual Washington trash, then we'll know that nothing will be done. If they actually go out and talk to ordinary people and take their advice, we might just get somewhere. In the meantime, we all know we are bleeding jobs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are being offshored right now and we have to not just end outsourcing but reverse it. The best way to do that is with TAXES -- raise them! Bring back trade tariffs on goods and services that are outsourced, add punitive taxes onto investment, investors, any business that has, within the past 1o years, outsourced a job, a plant, or a technology. Oh, and end this free trade nonsense.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | January 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama needs to stop putting down the economy. We know it's bad, but having "our leader" always coming out and being so negative isn't going to help consumer confidence. Show us some hope!!

Posted by: Steve94 | January 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

...THIS IS THE WAY TO STOP THE RAPE OF AMERICA BY THE GREEDY RICH & POWERFUL...

NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw reported in March of 1996 (yes, 12 years ago the writing was on the wall) that the average CEO's salary of the top seventy-six businesses in America went up nearly 15% in 1995 to over two million dollars, this at a time when more workers than ever were laid-off by these same corporations.

According to the February 26, 1996 issue of Newsweek magazine, AT&T chairman Robert Allen made $3.3 million in salary for 1995. Add to that an extra $5 million in stock and options after he announced the layoffs of 40,000 workers in January of 1996. Walter Shipley, CEO of Chemical/Chase Manhattan earned $2.4 million in 1997 and also laid-off 12,000 workers.

To put this all in perspective, there is on average one spouse and two children depending on each laid-off worker's income to survive, thus essentially creating four persons with no income for every one laid-off.

Is this ethical? Not hardly. Is it fair? Certainly not. Is it legal? It most certainly is. It is not legal to steal a $3.00 package of hamburger if you need to feed your children, yet it is legal for a corporation to lay-off or freeze the salaries of their laborers while giving their executives a monumental raise or bonus if they so desire. Absolutely legal. And this is where the law must change.

The answer is a Maximum Wage...
"Increase the Minimum Wage!" This is the same tired solution always coming from our government. It is time for some real change. What this country needs is a Maximum Wage, a 'salary cap' whereby no corporate CEO can be paid more than 10 times the lowest paid worker in that company. This means that if the highest paid CEO of a company presently makes $2 million, then the lowest paid worker, be it the secretary or the custodian, must be paid $200,000 per year.

Restructuring needed, not mass layoffs.

A law such as this will result in the decrease in pay for the gluttonously rich. A Maximum Wage will require a sacrifice from a small minority of people who can easily afford it, and will give a large majority an easier way of life.
With more money being spread around more evenly, the result will be more buying power for a larger number of people and more small business opportunities, thus creating a boom in the economy.

The American worker feels alienated due to the lack of respect afforded him or her by management and the government alike. However, with a Maximum Wage, the American worker would once again feel as though he is getting fair compensation for his labors, and consequently, his or her productivity will increase.

A Maximum Wage could be implemented in the Auto Industry on a temporay basis until such time that they begin showing a profit and display that they have the wisdom to carry on responsibly without any further govt intervention.

This is the answer.

Posted by: moon-base-alpha | January 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50: You need professional help.

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | January 30, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

working on task forces are fun!
so are think-tanks....

We have no middle class.
Re-define it.
All the equations that are written into our current laws and codes are over 40 years old. Perhaps if they start with the universal language of mathematics and tweak some decade old equations in the law/code, we can see some progress.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 30, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

While Bush was spending lots of money going to war, the Democrats were flushing the housing market down the toilet.

Now, in response to the failing economy, which Bush inherrited from Clinton, BHO wants to spend even MORE money. Fake money. Taxes upon taxes that my kids, and your kids will have to pay.

Meanwhile, BHO and Pelosi and their fat friends fatten themselves on this money, line their pockets with it, and might eventually give us some crappy government handouts. But who knows?

I have one word to describe those idiots in Washington - Bolshevik.

Posted by: AZITDad | January 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

What is the "middle class?" Based on tax policy, it appears that $250K annual income is the upper limit. What if I have $5M in assets (I wish!), but no earned income? Am I middle class? What if I have $500K annual income, but a net worth of -$500K? Am I upper class, no class or what? What's the bottom end? Is there a "lower class" that Biden will ignore? I don't see a definition on Biden's task force website. Do Biden's "working-class, Scranton roots" make him middle class? Throwing around vague terms like "middle class" isn't very helpful. Let's show a little transparency and define the target.

Posted by: GaryJean | January 30, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

PRESIDENT OBAMA THINKS THAT WALL STREET BONUS ARE A DISASTER WHAT DOES HE THINK OF DEMOCRAT CONGRESS GIVING THEMSELVES A $5000.00 DOLLAR PAY RAISE FOR BEING THE WORST CONGRESS IN HISTORY THE LAST TWO YEARS NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL A DISASTER AND HARRY REID AND PELOSI COULD AT ANY TIME CALL FOR A VOTE ON THE FLOOR TO CANCEL THIS PAY RAISE BUT GREEDY HARRY AND PELOSI WILL NOT SACRIFICE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BUT WANT ALL OTHERS TO SACRIFICE SO COME ON PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAK UP AND SAVE THIS TAX PAYER MONEY.

Posted by: 3918john | January 30, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

reading the post by scrivener50 made my skin crawl. What a wacko!

Posted by: familynet | January 30, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My friend just had his house foreclosed on. He used to sell real estate in Las Vegas.
Another friend is barrowing money from her parents to help pay the expensive yearly bills to help care for their autistic son.
Two other friends are both living off of their wives' salaries that are paying their rent/mortgage becuase they are both out of work.
Another friend hasn't had health benefits in years and has only had contract accounting jobs.
I haven't had a job since 9/11 when my job went to Bangalore. I spent the past five years caring for my bedridden parents so that they didn't have to go to a nursing home.
We need to embrace technology and jobs and health care and make it happen RIGHT NOW and not wait another minute.
Otherwise America will collapse - which it's doing right now
before our eyes. Capitalism is failing. America is in a Great Depression and everyone knows it. Those that don't admit it are in denial.

Posted by: blakesouthwood | January 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

CAREFUL, MR. PRESIDENT! THE LONG KNIVES ARE OUT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, AND ALSO, CONSERVATIVE DEMS.! DON'T GO OFF THE DEEP END AND EXCLAIM AND REMARK ON THE FAILING ECONOMY-THERE'S MUCH WORSE TO COME-AND YOUR SHRIEKING AND THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD ON USELESS SUPERFICIAL "FIXES" TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING WILL BACKFIRE-SPECTACULARLY!

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yes, indeed. Give Biden something to do. A Task Force? Ideal.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | January 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

VP BIDEN: TO SAVE THE MIDDLE CLASS, TEAM OBAMA MUST TAKE DOWN
THE BUSH-CHENEY EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK
THAT HAS DESTROYED UNTOLD THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN FAMILIES

Team Obama must immediately join with GOP defenders of the Constitution to dismantle the nationwide extrajudicial punishment network -- authoritarian bureaucrats and intel/security offers and their nationwide network of citizen vigilantes fronted by federally-funded volunteer programs.

This nationwide, Gestapo-like rogue operation has made a mockery of the judicial system for the past eight years and has claimed many victims from all strata of society.

Crimes against humanity are being committed across the nation via the use of so-called "directed energy weapons" which the Bush D.O.J. recently confirmed are being widely deployed to police forces nationwide.

These RADIATION weapons emit silent, pulsed bursts of various forms of radiation -- and are degrading and damaging the health of those on the receiving end as well as their operators.

This weaponry has NO PLACE in civilized society -- much less in the hands of security personnel who interact with the public.

The widespread deployment of this weaponry virtually assures its misuse. Imagine if rogue actors tried to use its silent, deadly force to induce illness, or to disable our political leaders.

Perhaps they already have.

Victims of this extrajudicial punishment network also see their finances and livelihoods expropriated and destroyed by coordinated "multi-agency action" "programs of personal destruction" that deny them due process of law while degrading their lives and destroying their families.

The IRS, under Bush-Cheney, has been transmogrified into an ideological weapon of social control and recrimination by these covert "Multi-Agency Action"s.

Treasury Secretary Geithner, DHS Secretary Napolitano, Defense Secretary Gates and especially incoming Attorney General Holder and Bush-era FBI Director Robert Mueller must address these abuses IMMEDIATELY, before these affronts to the Constitution destroy more American families -- and subvert the Obama presidency.

The authoritarian bureaucrats and officers behind these "programs of personal destruction" remain entrenched. They cannot be co-opted or reformed. They must be removed from power and brought to justice.

Team Obama, the victims of The American Gestapo continue to suffer. And those who have survived their social genocide of the past eight years are prepared to give testimony. Here is this journalist's account:

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens

http://my.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company