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Obama Touts Economic Policies As Republicans Fight Internally Over Budget

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Obama Touts Economic Policies As Republicans Fight Internally Over Budget

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the Council of the Great City Schools Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 16, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss efforts to strengthen educational opportunities for students in city schools. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

By Michael A. Memoli and Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

CLEVELAND — As congressional Republicans find themselves tangled over their newly introduced spending plans, President Barack Obama tried Wednesday to seize the moment to talk about government spending on his terms, namely a focus on opportunities for the middle class.

Noting that Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio often asks, “Where are the jobs?,” Obama told a crowd in Cleveland he was there to “not only answer that question” but also to renew a central debate over the two major parties’ economic visions.

Obama said that his administration’s policies, such as investing in manufacturing and the landmark Affordable Care Act, have helped the nation emerge from a deep recession but that the Republican budget would “double down” on the theory that wealth trickles down from the rich to the rest.

“Reality has rendered its judgment,” Obama said in a speech to the City Club of Cleveland. “Trickle-down economics doesn’t work and middle-class economics does,” he said, using the White House’s umbrella term for its fiscal policies.

Meanwhile, Republicans who have the majority in both chambers of Congress are bogged down in trying to make their budgets workable as well as palatable to the party’s competing factions.

More than two months into the new Congress, they are grasping for legislative victories and looking to the House and Senate budgets unveiled this week as chances for a win in Washington. The chambers are expected to approve the budgets next week.

“Hopefully that will be an opportunity for us to show some success,” said GOP Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Republicans are trying to present a unified front in their budget proposals, as internal debates have spilled out publicly between defense hawks, who want to bolster military coffers, and deficit-minded conservatives, who prefer to hold the line on new spending.

Although both of the party’s budgets largely boost military spending at the expense of domestic social programs, House and Senate Republicans are at odds over how to accomplish that goal while still adhering to strict budget caps agreed to in a 2011 deal with the White House.

Senate Republicans made clear Wednesday that they view the House approach as essentially a gimmick. It calls for hiking defense spending by increasing money for an account used for wars that was not subject to the so-called sequester limits established in the 2011 deal. Senate Republicans prefer establishing a separate, new defense account funded with unspecified savings elsewhere, but it also would not be held to the 2011 caps.

Either way, those cause “real heartburn for conservatives” because they maneuver around the limits, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said.

Those differences and others — including the House’s proposed Medicare overhaul that the Senate rejects — risk leaving the GOP unable to pass one budget.

Such a setback would derail not only the goal of increasing Pentagon spending, but also other priorities, including the effort to repeal Obama’s health care law.

“I’m absolutely confident we’ll do our duty,” said Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, head of the Republican Senate’s campaign committee. “It’s one of the most important votes we’ll have this year.”

The GOP’s scramble to make the numbers add up with concrete legislative proposals while Obama spoke in broad, aspirational terms further illustrated the contrast between the White House and Republicans who control Congress.

Obama no longer has to worry about being re-elected, and since the November midterm election has made full use of the presidential bully pulpit to present his vision for the country without necessarily fretting over the short-term political consequences for him or his party.

On Wednesday, he said he wanted to “take a little credit” for the nation’s economic recovery.

Republicans have been loath to acknowledge any role Obama’s policies might have had in the nation’s improved economic picture, with deficits on the wane and rising confidence among voters.

“Republicans are proud to take credit for helping force some fiscal responsibility on the Obama administration,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Wednesday as his party’s Senate majority released its budget for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The White House countered that the House GOP is trying to balance the budget in part by further slashing investments that would benefit the middle class.

“House Republicans start their deficit reduction plan by promising large, expensive new tax cuts to high-income households,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “In fact, the only specific tax proposals in the House Republican budget are tax proposals that benefit the wealthy.”

White House officials are eager to promote the notion that Obama has kept Republicans on their heels with a vigorous start to what he calls the “fourth quarter” of his term, a time when presidents often see their influence wane. Obama began the year with campaign-style trips in the run-up to a State of the Union address that challenged Congress’ new Republican majorities on a host of domestic issues.

Democrats who shied away from the president before the midterm election now praise Obama’s approach. Some, including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is the Democrats’ ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, have more leeway to push the party toward even more liberal policies.

“The president feels liberated,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the assistant Democratic leader in the chamber. “He doesn’t have to measure his actions against the impact on a campaign, and there are many things that he wants to say to the American people in the last two years of his presidency.”
Memoli reported from Cleveland and Mascaro from Washington. Tribune Washington Bureau staff writer Christi Parsons in Washington contributed to this report.

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the Council of the Great City Schools Leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 16, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss efforts to strengthen educational opportunities for students in city schools. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)



  1. docb March 19, 2015

    Good, Do not let the gop bag do nothings get away with lying about the economy…

    1. JPHALL March 19, 2015

      This type of talk is long overdo!

  2. DAK27 March 20, 2015

    Perhaps it would of been better to use the “bully pulpit” from your very FIRST day, Mr. President. Call out every lie the GOP tells, every day, over and over and over. YOU are the President and people will listen.

  3. Bren Frowick March 20, 2015

    “I’m absolutely confident we’ll do our duty,” said Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi

    And I am absolutely confident they will not.

  4. Eleanore Whitaker March 20, 2015

    Look, it’s time senior citizens faced facts. You now have a middle aged generation who believe it is perfectly okay for their parents and grandparents to work an entire lifetime with nothing to show for that work.

    The ages of the GOP power drunks today are pretty much the same: Issa, Ryan, Walker, Cruz, Cotton, Rubio, Jindal, Inhofe…all middle aged men hot to take whatever they can of what seniors earned for 4 or more decades. This is the worst tribute they pay to their generation. They are unwilling to expend elbow grease to earn a living. Most of them aged out of their parents homes at age 45 and went into culture shock when they realized life wasn’t handed to them on silver platters as it was in McMommy And McDaddy’s home.

    So you bet they are hot to destroy whatever their parents worked long years for. SS …paid for by their parents..Medicare…paid for by the parents.

    Don’t be fooled that these “conservatives” are “conserving” their own incomes. They expect a salary increase and price increases on goods and services every year. Compare that to their parents who understand that you had to learn to live on the salary you EARNED. But these lazy butts don’t EARN. They TAKE. Mostly from taxpayers.

    The TOP 10 states that eat up welfare, Medicaid, unemployment and SSDI are all red states with one exception, Maine, which is basically a purple state. It’s time to slap these silly, selfish, self-centered little spiteful brats back down to place.

    If they worked as hard as they run their mouths, they wouldn’t be so covetous of what seniors and others earn.

    1. bikejedi March 20, 2015

      How do you spew such nonsense when Obama has doubled poverty in 6 short years

      1. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2015

        Get your butt to confession liar boy. When your GOP president left office, this country was involved in 2 wars, 8 million were unemployed and the poverty rate climbed to a 17 year record…back to the poverty in Bush ’41s presidency…What’s with you jackasses of the right?

        I watched Consuelo Mack last night and one of the top financial experts stated that in the last 6 years, equities have doubled what they were in 2002…the Bush Presidency.

        Listen CON boy, maybe your Big Daddy taught you how to bully others by your lies and gaming of the system and cheating others so you can get yourself nice, fat, bald and rich…and maybe Big Mama sat on her butt for all the years she was supposed to teach your ethics and morals as well as principles to live by…but your BS doesn’t fly with me.

        The poverty rate today is half what it was when Bush was president and you are too chicken livered to admit that a President like Obama did this. That’s because you Dixie Rebel Boys still live like it’s the antebellum Big Daddy days of plantation life.

        Nothing you swaggering drawling apes say holds water with educated people. Grow the hell up you two bit bum bigot.

        1. bikejedi March 21, 2015

          Man Louis was right and he was lucky to get away from you . Lets see where your math skills are . 27 Million on food Stamps when Obama took office and 49 Million last year … All that in 5 short years . Also avg incomes are down $4000 /yr and we have the greatest number and percentage of Americans working part time jobs thanks to Obamacare . You arguments and hate are invalid … So just keep hating other Americans K .. It isn’t any Conservative’s problem that Obama sucks so bad and just remember TEXAS has created more jobs then the other 49 ( or 57 States if you are Obama stupid ) States combined … Stick that in your Hopium pipe and smoke that

          1. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2015

            Get used to women like me Stars and Bars Boy. Women are not going to pay equal taxes, get ripped off by you men who pay us 77 cents for every dollar you earn for doing the same jobs and then open your fat yaps and try to push women out of leadership roles.

            As to Louis …he is mentally ill. You relate to him because you are as well. Let me guess Mr. Biker Boy has a shaven head, pumped fists and a bloated gut from too much booze right?

            Texas gets $1.87 for every dollar it pays in federal taxes. It is NO. 2 in states that get the biggest helpings go tax subsidies.

            Texas men are nothing but a bunch of blowhards. Rick Perry has NO balls and Cornyn’s balls are so deflated he needs Viagra to overdose on to get it up.

            As to Cruz…He isn’t even a real Texan. He was was Alberta Canada with a Mexican father. Texas gets $14 billion for Big Oil and then shares the $50 billion it gets for border patrol when it allows the hiring of maids and yard workers who in the US illegally. Don’t bother to deny it…Riddle 2011 law was passed in TX to allow hiring of illegals.

            Now shove that Lone Star And Stars and Bars flag up your butt. You are NO American….and I hope Mexico demands Texas be returned…they are the biggest bills the rest of us pay for every year.

          2. bikejedi March 21, 2015

            What does women’s pay have to do with anything we are discussing ? Well since you brought it up … Dem Women like Nancy Pelosi Hillary Barbara Boxer all pay their women staffers about 18% less then their male staffers . No Dem in a leadership position has a female chief of staff . The Republicans on the other hand pay their women basically equally and have many woman in leadership positions . Once again it sounds like your argument is with other Liberals maybe you should spew your hate towards them ,

            I weigh 180 and I am 6 ft tall . I have a resting heart rate lower then 60 beats a minute and I am 3 pounds away from the weight I left High School . I am an avid Bicyclist … Look at my Bike pictures to see how fit I am … I am folically and don’t need to shave my head … Generally trim it very short ..Louis was smart to get away from such a joyless souless bitter and hateful soul such as yourself

            the Liberal argument about which States gets money belies which States have large Military infrastructures factor that in to it K .

            Why do you hate your fellow Americans and judge Texans so .. Is it because most Texan men actually produce testosterone and that offends you . Is it because you are attracted to girly liberal men ? No wonder it didn’t work with Louis he obviously produces testosterone

            You still havent tried to explain how Obama is a success while he has doubled poverty … Is that because you can’t ? Keep on hating Lenore and live a bitter life K

          3. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2015

            What is has to do is that men like you know that so long as you keep underpaying women, you have them in your control. As for Texas, my taxes support their lazy butts. That Oil Industry is going down the toilet. More than half the Northeast is already invested in solar energy to stop TX from becoming a worse freeloader state than it already is. What will TX do when there are no more oil jobs in the next 5 to 10 years? Or do you think we will hand you our land so you can tear it apart with oil rigs that pollute which WE also pay for clean up from oil spills?

            Louis got away from me because I forced him to stand down. That’s what I do to men who think they are Mr. MAN and try to bully me. I do not stand down to men like you. YOur egos are already more than I care to endure. I take guys like you down by chewing up bullies and spitting them out. If you don’t like that…stop posting and responding…the ball is in your court pallie …not mine.

          4. bikejedi March 21, 2015

            Once again it has nothing to do with this conversation and you still haven’t answered my question . We already discussed why Texas gets Tax Dollars and it has little to do with the Oil Industry which isn’t going anywhere . Why would you think Oil is going anywhere what liberal non think tank came up with that silly talking point ?

            You didn’t force Louis to do a thing he left you and that is apparent . You wouldn’t have to stand down from me because I would never have anything to do with someone as joyless angry and bitter as you . You also would not like me because I am a real man and not a liberal girly boi … I still haven’t gotten you to answer so I will ask you to respond to the question again

          5. Eleanore Whitaker March 21, 2015

            I don’t post the ugly mugs like yours. No one likes you CONs because you are all bullies, selfish to the max, self-important and blowhards whose egos are about to get all of you into a heap of trouble. I already answered your question.

            Unemployment is not at the 9% it was in 2008 when YOUR president’s DOL reported 8 million jobs losses from 2004 to 2008. As for the national debt, it has been decreased by over $3 trillion by simple math you GOP asshats never bother to use.

            I hate your kind of man because you think you are all gods. Think about Brute Boy.

            As for the economy …right now Wall Street is in love with our President and you are wrong..That $14 billion the GOP voted to hand Big Oil last year and already another $15 billion is proposed by your pork barrel politicians for 2015…IS FOR BIG OIL.

            Sorry if you hate truth…that’s no surprise for a dipshit from a freeloader state that thinks the rest of us have to do without while you lap up all of the money we earn.

          6. bikejedi March 21, 2015

            I’m confused are you saying your mug is ugly ? The wording of that sentence is confusing . You don’t have to be the most attractive person Eleanore to at least have the confidence to post a picture . And I only posted a better picture of myself to show you that I am indeed fit and good looking .

            You didn’t address how anyone even a Liberal can claim Obama’s economy is a success when he has doubled poverty incomes are way down everyone is working part time jobs and income disparity is at an all time high … Those were the question I asked . You citing of Liberal talking points doesn’t explain how anyone can consider obamanoics a success with all of those negatives

            And I live in Chicago Illinois …… Yes a freeloader Dem Blue State that is so far in debt that we could tax our resident at 100% level and still not fix our UNION Pension debt .

            I love the truth and that is what Liberals hate … Facts and Logic confuse you … No real financial analyst on Wall st likes Obamanomics they do love how he created a Market bubble on the backs of the Tax Payers with the QE policy of the Fed … But you don’t understand the QE policy or even what it is am I right ?

          7. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

            I am sorry you, such a decent and smart guy, are again wasting your time with this crazy idiot COW.
            She is too dumb to understand (much less accept) what you are trying to show her.

          8. bikejedi March 22, 2015

            I think the key word is accept …She is so bitter and full if irrational hate for her fellow Americans that she doesn’t want to accept logic or facts …She would rather just hate Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          9. Louis Allen March 23, 2015

            She can not and will not ACCEPT logic/facts because:
            a) of what you very well say: her bitterness and her irrational hate for her fellow Americans and for MEN especially;
            b) her complete, utter obtuseness of mind that does not permit her to do/say anything that was not included in her talking points spoon-fed to her by her leftist/liberal/”progressive”/socialist HANDLERS.
            She is an un-thinking, submissive SLAVE to this stupid liberal ideology that hates anything truly American.

          10. bikejedi March 23, 2015

            Well we already see she won’t stray from Liberal group think …She has made that point quite apparent . Its as if she is incapable of interpreting any factual data and saying ” gee maybe Obama and his peeps are lying to and using me to repeat their lies ”
            Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          11. bikejedi March 23, 2015

            Oh and you are right she is totally submissive to her liberal rulers

            Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          12. Eleanore Whitaker March 22, 2015

            Two mental patients…hahahahahahahah….Both doing the Thorazine shuffle…Louie walks around with glazed eyes trying to get rid of his DTs while Biker Boy walks around trying to learn to shut his fat face.

          13. Eleanore Whitaker March 22, 2015

            The problem with men like you is your too biased, too macho, too linear view of facts. As Patrick Moynihan once said, “You can have YOUR own opinion. Not your OWN facts.”

            I am going to call your bluff…Find an unbaised link that shows that poverty in the US has increased…the billionaires are laughing at you. The increase in millionaires as well.

            And, if you are referring to poverty among the Middle Class, much of that is due to huge changes in hi-tech industries that require more education than DUHbirds like you have.

            Sorry if the jobs in the US are no longer blue collar. So…provide the unbiased link or STFU>

          14. bikejedi March 22, 2015

            Eleanore all you have to do is go on the Govts own website …Dept of Ag to be exact and you will find that when Obama took office there were 27 Million in poverty and on Food Stamps ..last year there were 49 Million …Poverty in the middle class is expanding because most full time workers are being transitioned to part time status as Companies scramble to get out of the expense of obamacare ..Several large Corporations have announced they were going to do that and that was chronicled in both the WSJ and IBD ..Maybe you should try reading about the economy if you are going to try to defend Obamas train wreck of an economy …So do some Google searches educate yourself and don’t just believe everything liberal sites spoon feed you for talking points …To further underscore the point look at last Aug and Sept Jobs reports ..in Aug Obama touted a 280,000 job increase but if you actually read through the report you would see that 500,000 Full Time Jobs were lost …So what happened ? Well big companies transitioned those 500,000 to part time positions and because you then need more workers to do the same man hours so they hired 280,000 mostly part timers …As for myself I worked on Mainframes for IBM was a Manager of tech support groups there …After that I worked in Nuclear Energy and later in life I changed direction all together and was in Law Enforcement …see I was a member of a Public Union ….So I think I am probably more technologically proficient than you and five of your liberal friends put together Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          15. Eleanore Whitaker March 22, 2015

            You refuse to go to .gov websites unless it proves your point. Sorry but you are wrong. The DOL.gov website reported in 2008 that from 2004 to 2008, more than 8 million Americans LOST jobs. In 2015, that number has been reduced to less than 6 million, the number reported in 1998. Try again. If 8 million Americans lost jobs during the Bush Administration, what about that can’t you admit?

            Furthermore, if you check out the current GOP budget and the Ryan budget of 2012, you see which party IS responsible for poverty.

            I don’t care if you are King of Dubai…You are wrong. You are not willing to look at the whys…only the who’s. That’s more bias than you will ever admit.

            The present GOP budget according to 5 top US economists will drain the middle and lower classes while it enriches hot shots like you. Now…stuff a sock in it.

          16. bikejedi March 22, 2015

            Louis is right …First off we aren’t discussing Bush’s economy and that is history .. We are discussing Obamas train wreck …Try to stay on topic and stop just going for its all Bush’s fault ..because Obama own his policy …Bush isn’t responsible for that . The last days if Bush were horrid but he warned the Dem Congress 26 times that the economy was going to collapse under the weight of the subprime debt ..Its in the Congressional record .. The Dem Congress did nothing in fact Bawney Fwank said all was well . Now let’s get back to the topic of the article and this thread and can you stop just using the everything is Bush’s fault lie …as I pointed out he isn’t responsible for Obamas policy Obama is ..Also this current economy and the poverty Obama has created has Nothing I repeat Nothing to do with a Ryan Budget that hasn’t been voted on or implemented as of yet so stop with the nonsense already …Now read the jibs reports already …Do yourself a favor and try not to be so closed minded and maybe there would be hope that you can find a real man again…
            Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          17. dpaano April 8, 2015

            That’s good looking? Boy, are you delusional!!!

          18. bikejedi April 8, 2015

            The good news for me is attractive women find me attractive …where’s your pic …never mind

          19. Louis Allen April 10, 2015

            It is now pretty obvious that dpaano is falling for you.
            Be careful, she is as moronic as my ex-wife Lenora ….

          20. bikejedi April 10, 2015

            I thought dpaano was a guy ??? Why don’t they post pictures of themselves ? …oh never mind I probably don’t want to see
            Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

          21. Louis Allen April 10, 2015

            LOL !!!
            She is a “she”, …. and as obtuse as my dear Lenore ….
            Be well.

          22. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

            So, NOW you ADMIT that we were married?
            That took a long time ….
            Now, go back to your PIGSTY.

          23. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

            Correct in every count, …. especially about the witch (No, not Pelosi, the whittaker kind !)

          24. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

            Soooooooo luckyyyy !!
            Gooooood riddance !!!
            She is even CRAZIER now. Listen to her !

          25. bikejedi March 22, 2015

            I just don’t understand why even the most loyal liberal can think this is a success when Obama and the Dems have doubled poverty
            Sent from my ZTE Sonata 4G, a Cricket 4G smartphone

      2. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

        Because she is a liberal moron ….
        (short answer)

  5. terry b March 20, 2015

    We spend way to much on the military. Eisenhower would be the 1st person who would agree with that statement. The borrow and spend republicans would not.

    1. bikejedi March 20, 2015

      Why would even Liberals still be buying and defending anything this man says with his track record of lying ? How can you defend economic policies that have seen the doubling of those in poverty as anything other then an unmitigated disaster ? How’s your daughter ? Why did you run away and not answer my questions on the other thread ?

      1. demz taters March 21, 2015

        Our economic policy has been heavily shaped and dominated by the right since Reagan. Now, after 35 years of doubling down on tax cuts and pushing costs on to the states, none of the promised benefits have come to pass and somehow it’s all the fault of liberals. This from the same people who proclaimed Obamacare a failure after one week.

        1. bikejedi March 21, 2015

          Obama’s economic policy is his and his alone . Gruber Liberals want to give him credit for the tax payer boosted stock market and unemployment going down albeit using the U3 method . When you factor in that he has doubled the number of those in poverty and on food stamps and that thanks to Obamacare we have the greatest number and percentage of Americans working part time jobs … No one did that but Obama and his Social Policies .. Please stop playing the blame game and just face it .. It isnt Bsuh’s fault it isn’t Reagan’s fault it is Obama’s fault … He sucks basically

          1. PeteMartin March 21, 2015

            bikejedi – Answer me a question then: Do you believe that conservative “trickle-down” economics works?

          2. bikejedi March 21, 2015

            The term trickle down is mostly a Liberal term . There is a very interesting piece on that subject right now in Forbes right now you might want to look at that . As for Reagan’s economic policy it was proven sound and produced real FULL time jobs with benefits . Incomes went up income disparity was at very low levels . It was an economy that benefited all

      2. Louis Allen March 21, 2015

        Because the guy is a morally and intellectually bankrupt coward.
        That’s why.

  6. Scoop Jaxson March 20, 2015

    I’m not sure people yet understand how truly delusional Obama actually is.

  7. bikejedi March 20, 2015

    Look at what all that lying has done to Obama . He sure has gone grey . How can he tout his economic policy when he has doubled poverty in 6 short years ?


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