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View Full Version : Obama "screws up" or does the right thing?



David Guyatt
02-04-2009, 10:27 AM
If he did the right thing, then why the criticism? Bush would've applauded his Cabinet pick for not paying taxes and would've lauded running double standards.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090204/twl-obama-admits-screwing-up-41f21e0.html

Obama admits 'screwing up'
Wednesday, February 4 08:40 am

US President Barack Obama has admitted he "screwed up" after the withdrawal of two key government nominees over unpaid taxes. Skip related content

The messy political developments threatened to blunt Mr Obama's effort to take his economic message to the US through a series of TV interviews.

Former senator Tom Daschle pulled out as Mr Obama's pick as Health and Human Services secretary, citing a growing chorus of criticism over his failure to fully pay taxes from 2005 through 2007. He has since paid more than $140,000 (97,200) including interest.

Mr Obama admitted making a mistake. He said: "I think I screwed up, and I take responsibility for it, and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again."

The President said he wanted to assure the US that under his leadership there would not be "two sets of standards, one for powerful people, and one for ordinary folks who are working everyday and paying their tax."

Mr Daschle's departure was a deep blow to the White House because it not only cost Mr Obama his services as a Cabinet secretary but removed him from the second important role he was to play in shepherding the administration's hopes of overhauling the nation's health care system.

It came just hours after Nancy Killefer pulled her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, saying she didn't want her failure to submit payroll taxes for household help to be a distraction for the President.

She had faced but subsequently settled a Washington city government tax demand of $946 (656) on her home.

Jan Klimkowski
02-04-2009, 07:31 PM
Obama is at least making the right noises...

Unlike supposed socialist, Gordon Brown [my emphasis]:


Gordon Brown is hoping to secure an international agreement to help clamp down on tax avoiders, it emerged today.

The prime minister said at Commons question time that the outcome of a court case in the US could lead to more information sharing on the strategies being deployed by corporations to cut their tax bills.

Brown made his comments after he was challenged by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, about the findings of a Guardian investigation into the scale of the tax gap, the amount of money being lost to the exchequer by companies using complex strategies to cut their tax liabilities.

Clegg said that British firms were using loopholes to avoid paying 14bn in corporation tax. Accusing Brown of having "one rule for fat cats and another rule for everyone else", Clegg asked why Brown was not "getting tough" on tax avoidance. "Instead of going on about British jobs for British workers, isn't it time to go on about British taxes for British companies?" Clegg asked.

Brown said that it was "possible to get an international agreement for the exchange of information in relation to tax cases" but that the government was first awaiting the outcome of US court proceedings relating to a Swiss tax avoidance case.

The prime minister went on: "That would be the way that we could move forward our proposals, that we could have both the exchange of information on tax and clamp down on these tax evaders."

But Clegg said that the prime minister was "living in denial" on the issue.

"He is the one who created a system which let big companies run circles around the Treasury, peers in the other place [the House of Lords] not pay their full taxes in this country, and let City bosses pay less in tax on their capital gains than cleaners do on their wages," Clegg said.

The billions lost by Brown could be used to fund "big, permanent tax cuts" to British families, he added.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/feb/04/international-information-tax-avoidance

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
02-05-2009, 03:18 AM
The depressing thing was not the taxes. It was that Tom Daschle was chosen to begin with. As Glen Greenwald said of him, in DC it is known "that there are whores and there are whores and then there' Tom Daschle" His wife was the one that got the 15 Billion airline bailout to the airline -- on 9/12. He had made 5 million in lobbying fees, since leaving the Senate like 4 years ago.

The tax scandal was the good part of Tom. What does it say about Obama that he chose Daschle? So far its 1932 and we are getting Bill Clinton again.

Myra Bronstein
02-05-2009, 03:26 AM
The depressing thing was not the taxes. It was that Tom Daschle was chosen to begin with. As Glen Greenwald said of him, in DC it is known "that there are whores and there are whores and then there' Tom Daschle" His wife was the one that got the 15 Billion airline bailout to the airline -- on 9/12. He had made 5 million in lobbying fees, since leaving the Senate like 4 years ago.
...

Egg-xactly.

Daschle was chosen to insure continuity. He's the corrupt corporate system personified.

David Guyatt
02-05-2009, 10:09 AM
Just to underline Brown and Co's complete ball-less complicity in these things (sorry wrong thread for this rant), yesterday saw the spectacle on the Daily Politics show of novelist Frederick Forsythe asking why no sanctions (legal or financial) had been imposed by the government on City bosses who used tax-payer rescue money to reward themselves with massive bonuses. The bonus system in the City has always been fronted as rewards for spectacular performances and profits made during the year. This time, however, it was spectacular losses and incredibly poor performance.

So Forsythe argued, why were they awarded? Answer because City boardrooms can award bonus to themselves without care or compunctions. And did.

Thereafter it was a pitiful sight to see assembled talking heads, including one government minister waffling on with reasons why the fat cats should not be sanctioned. The view - said the government minister - was that the City has to drive the country out of the looming chaos and the government therefore needs them.

Oh okay. Criminal negligence as a legal principle no longer holds it seems.

We didn't need them thar City fat cats to make this mess, but they did so out of sheer unadulterated greed, so now we apparently need them to solve it, but will they? And why should they anyway when they get so heavily rewarded for the chaos they already visited on us all.

Reward the guilty, punish the innocent and hold this up as the way forward.

Nice to see Gordo's high standards in action eh.

Jan Klimkowski
02-05-2009, 07:19 PM
Nice to see Gordo's high standards in action eh.

The old adage that one should judge a politician not by his words, but by his actions, has never been truer.

That said, when Brown banged on year after year about having miraculously altered the economic cycle to ensure there would be "no more Boom and Bust", he was writing his own political epitaph.

Just as Tony Blair wrote his ironic epitaph by declaring:


I would never do anything to harm the country or anything improper. I think most people who have dealt with me think I'm a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am

And Peter Mandelson's lasting contribution to political thought will be his statement that:


New Labour is intensely relaxed about people becoming filthy rich

Myra Bronstein
02-06-2009, 03:03 AM
Nice to see Gordo's high standards in action eh.

The old adage that one should judge a politician not by his words, but by his actions, has never been truer.

That said, when Brown banged on year after year about having miraculously altered the economic cycle to ensure there would be "no more Boom and Bust", he was writing his own political epitaph.

Just as Tony Blair wrote his ironic epitaph by declaring:


I would never do anything to harm the country or anything improper. I think most people who have dealt with me think I'm a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am...


The most reliable red flag I've identified about people is this: whenever they tell me what they're like; they're the opposite. People with integrity demonstrate their integrity with deeds, they don't describe it with words.

Which is another way of saying: "The old adage that one should judge a politician not by his words, but by his actions, has never been truer."

Peter Lemkin
02-06-2009, 08:29 PM
These guys woudn't know morality, legality or guts if they were mugged by all three simultaneously. Read this...

President Obamas nominee to head the CIA, Leon Panetta, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday as part of his confirmation hearings. Panetta said he believes waterboarding amounts to torture but discouraged prosecutions against those who carried it out.

Leon Panetta: Ive expressed the opinion that I believe that waterboarding is torture and that its wrong. More importantly, the President has expressed the same opinion. Having said that, I also believe, as the President has indicated, that those individuals who operated pursuant to a legal opinion that indicated that that was proper and legal ought not to be prosecuted or investigated.

Panetta is expected to win an easy confirmation despite Republican opposition.

Jan Klimkowski
02-06-2009, 09:08 PM
Leon Panetta: Ive expressed the opinion that I believe that waterboarding is torture and that its wrong. More importantly, the President has expressed the same opinion. Having said that, I also believe, as the President has indicated, that those individuals who operated pursuant to a legal opinion that indicated that that was proper and legal ought not to be prosecuted or investigated.


So, all They need is for a high-ranking government law officer to declare, in a legal opinion which can be kept secret on grounds of National Security, that Torture x or y or z is proper and legal, and Their operatives have a Get Out Of Jail card.... Forever and ever... Amen....

Magda Hassan
02-06-2009, 10:16 PM
They were only following orders.
Wasn't acceptable in 1946 and isn't acceptable now.

They should also charge the law makers for creating the monster as well as any one who has tried to put it into practice.

Peter Lemkin
02-07-2009, 06:53 AM
Leon Panetta: Ive expressed the opinion that I believe that waterboarding is torture and that its wrong. More importantly, the President has expressed the same opinion. Having said that, I also believe, as the President has indicated, that those individuals who operated pursuant to a legal opinion that indicated that that was proper and legal ought not to be prosecuted or investigated.


So, all They need is for a high-ranking government law officer to declare, in a legal opinion which can be kept secret on grounds of National Security, that Torture x or y or z is proper and legal, and Their operatives have a Get Out Of Jail card.... Forever and ever... Amen....

Hey, Jan, NOT JUST waterboarding, but whatever clandestine 'legal' opinion they invent for absolutely anything...i.e. the way the country has been run since the Second World War to today and, it seems, through Obama - continuity is just another word for 'change'. (Ya see, I have this secret legal opinion that states that.) Ha!:thefinger:

Magda Hassan
02-07-2009, 07:43 AM
You have to love the chutzpah don't you? What is it with these guys? Everything that was done in the name of Apartheid and everything done in the name of the Third Reich was completely legal. It doesn't make it right, fair, proper, correct, sensible, moral, ethical, just. It will end the same way.

Peter Lemkin
02-07-2009, 09:39 AM
......It doesn't make it right, fair, proper, correct, sensible, moral, ethical, just......

You must be one of those pie-in-the-sky, bleeding-heart-'liberal', namby-pamby-socialist, malcontent, revolution-loving, one-with-the-People, progressive-troublemakers! How dare you bring up such issues as above - all obscene words in the halls and dungeons of power!

Its neo-Medievalism - get used to it! [Our new serfdom - sadly most serfs don't want to storm the 'castle'.] Moreover, remember Nixon opined that 'if the President does it, it is legal' - and I don't believe any laws have been changed nor any Supreme Court rulings rendered to contradict or thwart that sick and unconstitional idea....despite all the hand-wringing and head shaking. [Had they, Bush would have been behind bars from day 1].

David Guyatt
02-07-2009, 09:47 AM
You truthers are all the same.

I love Obama and all his nifty secreted swings and slides and no looking back attitude. Right on. Onward I say!

To a "brave new world".