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Earl Bockenfeld

Minnesota is holding a dress rehearsal for the US debt ceiling standoff and the GOP gunfight at the OK corral, to protect all needy millionaires and the US welfare Queens, the mega-Corporations.

The governor said his last offer would have raised income taxes only on those earning more than $1 million a year -- an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, according to the Revenue Department.

Republicans rejected the proposal, Dayton said, because they "prefer to protect the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else."

The Republicans have starved infrastructure, made college costs higher by cutting Pell grants, and they've made Government dysfunctional by starving the government of any needed revenues. They stand on their soapbox, repeating Grover Norquist's nonsense and the Americans for Tax Reform propaganda and pretending that kicking folks off Medicare is Christian. When was the last time you heard about "death panels"? They've pointed out that Jesus would give tax breaks to the wealthy, while forcing the crippled soldier, or handicapped child to work for their benefits just like the rest of their "Christian" brethren. They now have made government into a war zone.

We had a robust, progessive income tax from the time the 16th ammendment to the U.S Constitution was ratified up until the the 1980's. During that time we built the largest economy in the world, the largest middle class, the largest job creation engine, and the biggest group of rich people. Someone needs to push back on the tax policy advocated by today's GOP - I guess that is us.

rhl

Much as I like and admire the President and the things he did for the economy (the auto bailout saved this region from an even worse fate), and much as I find the Republicants appalling and repulsively wrong-headed, I am still just another statistic in the vast sea of unemployed and under-employed folks out here in the real world. We supposedly came out of the recession some time ago, but it's hard to swallow that when unemployment is still somewhere around 10% in many areas of the country.

There is a bit of good news, however. Next week I'm slated to start a new job after having been out of work for way too long. As this is "the new normal," the job is only part time and the pay is much less than I used to make (of course), but given the realities of the job market it could be worse.

Lance Mannion

rhl, I hear ya. As much as I admire the President, that's how much he infuriates me. It's as if he doesn't believe that we're all frustrated, worn-down, and scared, or that we have any reasons to be. Instead, he worries about the bankers' feelings. There are times when I feel like saying the hell with it, might as well let the Republicans take over everything and let them burn the place down like they want to. Let's see what survives. But I know that disasters, financial as well as natural, have a way of crushing everybody not just those who deserve to be crushed. I know this isn't your point. But I got to vent.

Congratulations (duly muted) on the new job. Good luck. I hope it will lead on to better and brighter things.

actor212

I'm not sure I agree that he's done nothing, Lance. The bailouts probably did save the economy, as much as we're loathe to think this. The trouble is, no one, not even FDR, had experience on the ground running trying to stop an economy from bleeding. Obama made mistakes, true, but it's not like he had a handbook to read from.

Victoria

I usually read everything I can get my hands on on a topic, study non-verbal expressions like a woman obsessed, then come to a pretty firm opinion on the matter. In this business of "Has Obama failed us?" I remain in a frustrated state of "I don't know." Frank Rich's piece in New York Magazine about how little regulation has come to Wall Street and how jobs continue to lag captures a lot of my concern. Recently, I have seen disturbing signs of significant lay-offs, long delayed from the 2008 collapse. A bad sign.

In June, I had some lab work done at a local hospital. Every single interaction there - from the switchboard to the business office to the lab and later lab results - had some kind of snafu. I think I figured out why. The hospital had to enact another round of lay-offs and a significant number of personnel were scheduled to have their last day on 6/30. In short, the whole system was "infected" by the stress of this loss. This is what really worries me in the big picture - we seem to be a nation overcome with incapacitating PTSD, which means that whole systems are not functioning. How much can a President accomplish within such overwhelming breakdown? I'm still trying to work that one out. What I do know for certain: the Republicans who are getting elected will make it worse.

rhl

The Republicans have controlled the narrative since the moment Obama was elected. How has the anger that started against Bush and his policies that pushed the economy down the toilet been transferred directly to Obama? Do tea partiers really believe that restoring banking regulations and making the bankers accountable for their actions will have a negative effect on the economy? There's just such a disconnect between the reality of peoples' lives at ground level and the political rhetoric and the way it can whip up frenzies of fear and anger that discourage thought.

I'm hoping that the more exposure there is to the Republicans running for president, the more that people will see what's beyond the soundbites. Maybe. But I wish Obama would push back harder and louder.

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