Obama is playing politics and just casting blame

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Each year he has been in office, President Barack Obama has presided over another $1 trillion addition to the U.S. national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion.

So, having dramatically deepened the fiscal mire of the nation, and conspicuously declined to support bipartisan efforts to address the problem, the president now campaigns across the nation, blaming it on Republicans.

He throws in a heaping helping of class warfare by claiming that the wealthy are not shouldering their “fair share” of the fiscal burden, despite the fact that the top 1 percent of income earners pay almost 40 percent of all the income-tax revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service, while the top 5 percent pay almost 60 percent. …

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On Thursday, after Senate Republicans declined to renew the payroll-tax cut, he said, “Now is the time to put country before party and work together on behalf of the American people. And I will continue to urge Congress to stop playing politics with the security of millions of American families and small business owners to get this done.” …

His words would carry more weight if the president led by example. But the president who adds another $1 trillion to the nation’s indebtedness each time he produces another federal budget is no position to lecture others about fiscal responsibility.

And as for playing politics, nobody is doing this more devotedly than the president. These days he is not working with others on behalf of the American people, he is deflecting blame and sowing division in the hopes of benefiting just one American — the one who is seeking re-election to the White House.

The Columbus Dispatch


Climate change is about responsibly facing reality

It says something about the global consensus on climate change that experts and diplomats are now at work at their 17th annual conference since a 1992 U.N. pact was signed. The meeting began this week in South Africa, and concludes next Friday.

More than 190 nations are involved in these joint efforts to understand the scope, dangers, challenges and most effective ways to slow human-caused planetary warming. …

The need is evident. What’s lacking is even a shard of agreement on who will do what, when — or how costs can be managed in a rocky global economy. …

The Kyoto Protocol that held most older industrialized nations to emissions limits — although not the United States, which refused to sign because China, India, Brazil and other emerging economic powers weren’t restricted— will expire next year with no clear template for what comes next.

But doing nothing is not an option. Given the long time spans required to rebalance greenhouse gases, all emitting nations need to accept responsibility for reducing their share of emissions while helping the most vulnerable impoverished populations around the world cope with climate-change-related disruptions. …

Climate change is not about bogus science. It is about doing what humans do best: Recognizing reality, and adjusting to it.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer