Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who the Hell Do They Think They Are?

We apologize if we come off a bit blunt today, but it struck us that in recent discussions with other media professionals around the country, the comment that keeps finding its way into our conversations - even from some of our Republican colleagues - about the current GOP Congressional "leadership" is the same: "Who the hell do they think they are?"

We're glad that President Obama finally took on the hubristic Republicans yesterday at his press conference, both on the budget and on the issue of leadership. Frankly, we think he should have done it a LONG time ago.

If you missed the President's press conference, you can watch or read the full transcript at Whitehouse.gov, when you have time. In the spirit of being blunt, however, we decided to rewrite our own short version of his remarks yesterday. This is the address we wish he'd given.

"Good morning, everybody.

We all know how crappy the economy still is out there - and I know there are a ton of people, especially on the Republican side, bitching and whining that my administration still isn't doing enough to fix our economy after they nearly destroyed it. I don't think I need to remind you - again - that I'm not the only one that controls this government. At a certain point we need to say to our Republican friends that they just need to do their own damn jobs.

Right now, there are a whole list of things Congress could do, if they truly wanted to get off their asses and deal with reality. Right now, Congress has a bill they're sitting on that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to patent a new product or idea. Right now, Congress could send me a bill that puts construction workers back on the job rebuilding infrastructure, by providing loans to private companies, states and local governments. Right now, Congress could pass some new trade agreements which would actually help level the playing field for once between the U.S. and countries in Asia and South America. And right now, we could give middle-class families the security of knowing that the tax cut I signed in December will be there for one more year. All of these things are the homework that is sitting on the desks of Congress, RIGHT NOW, still half-finished, after they've had a LONG time to complete it.

My 10 year old and 13 year old daughters get their homework done before their deadlines every day - what the hell is your problem, Congress?

We all know the single biggest thing we could do to help the economy and create jobs is to get this budget done, and tackle the nation's deficit. Our budget committee, led by Vice President Biden, has busted butt to find more than one trillion dollars worth of spending cuts already.

Still, that hasn't been enough for our Republican friends. They want to defy the laws of mathematics, and never raise taxes again, especially for millionaires and billionaires. Yet somehow, they still expect to magically balance the budget. EVERY economist - ours, theirs, economists from other countries - have all said the same thing: What the Republicans want isn't possible. Period.

It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we actually want to reduce our deficit, instead of just BS-ing everyone about this. For instance, if we choose to keep tax cuts for billionaires, then college kids, cancer patients, and old people will suffer - and you won't ever again be able to trust that hamburger you love so much.

The bottom line is this:  Any agreement to reduce our deficit is going to require tough decisions and balanced solutions by leaders on all sides. Only a few people have what it takes to make the tough decisions in life. That’s why they’re called "leaders".

There’s no point in procrastinating any further. We have got to get this done. If, by the end of this week, we have not seen substantial progress on the budget, then members of Congress are going to have to suck it up and cancel their vacations - which they seem to be on all the time.

They're in one week, they're out one week. They come back for a few days, and leave again. And then they have the gall to say, "Obama has got to step in and take care of this." Congress? You need to be here. I’ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. I've done healthcare reform, and Iraq, and Wall Street - and I've even been on diplomatic missions around the world while I did all this. It's time you stay here and get your work done, for once.

Let’s get it done, people. I'm tired of being jerked around - and so are the American people. It's time you did your job."

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