Can Obama reclaim the magic? Probably not.

One of the thorniest challenges for Democrats in the post-Reagan era — following the exodus of many white, working class voters to the GOP — has been the lack of voting zeal within the remaining “progressive coalition” that defines the left.

The vast majority of polls show that if Democratic-leaning groups (minorities, young people, urban liberals, etc.) voted with the same intensity as Republican-leaning groups (white, older, rural conservatives), there would be little contest in American presidential elections.

Democrats would win hands-down.

But the simple truth is that the left-of-center “silent majority” has proved nearly impossible to harness with any consistency.

Barack Obama pulled it off in 2008, stitching a patchwork of groups that were anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-corporate and anti-Washington.  In doing so, he defeated a much more seasoned, well-known Republican war hero, John McCain, by nearly 10 million votes.

But by 2010, the left-of-center coalition had fallen back into somnolence and disarray.  The tea party shouldered its way into the national consciousness.

It was a stunning, and completely typical triumph:  A much smaller group of conservative Americans organized more effectively and more persistently, shifting the national agenda, and swinging control of the House in dramatic fashion.

2012, according to most pundits’ predictions, won’t be a wave year like 2008 or 2010.  But it doesn’t need to be either of those things for conservatives to fare well against Democratic candidates, including Barack Obama.

In a “normal” year, Republican-leaning voters will typically outperform their Democratic-leaning counterparts and there are signs that this is happening.

According to a Gallup poll in July, Democratic zeal in 2012 is about on par with Republican enthusiasm in 2008.  In other words, down more than twenty points over the last four years.  Republican enthusiasm, meanwhile, is 16 points higher than in 2008.

Those trends are reflected in much of the progressive movement’s impatient rhetoric about Obama.

One day last week Huffingtonpost — a zeitgeist journal for left of center voters – was headlined with an article suggesting that the “hope” of Barack Obama’s presidency has been “killed,” with Obama himself described as a “DC establishment man.”

The front page of the popular website included a lengthy opinion article by liberal actor John Cusack suggesting that Obama “gutted” the US Constitution.

I hear this kind of language frequently from my more progressive acquaintances, many of whom view Obama’s first term as a “failure” — though for profoundly different reasons than Mitt Romney or Rush Limbaugh.

Some still plan to vote grudgingly for the Democrat, because they dislike the Republican ticket even more.  But I suspect that many progressive voters will sit this election out, particularly students, African American and Hispanics, and far-left liberals.

Team Obama hopes to counter apathy and disarray on the left with a state-of-the-art get out the vote organization, one that merges traditional neighborhood activism with new- and social-media pushes.

But it’s an open question whether Twitter and Facebook can revive enough of the 2008 magic to lift Barack Obama to a second term?

All of which brings us to this week’s Democratic convention in Charlotte.

We already know that many union groups are in a grump, angry that Obama chose to hold the rally in North Carolina, a state that has weak pro-union laws.  That doesn’t bode well, but it may be typical in a left-in-a-muddle sort of year.

Against headwinds like that, Obama will try to rally his base, urging the alphabet soup of factions to put aside short-term disappointments and irritations to embrace again some version of the broad, hopeful vision that he offered four years ago.

Republican rhetoric aside, the president has a fair amount of red meat to offer liberals.

Obama ended the war in Iraq, pushed through the closest thing to universal healthcare that America has ever seen, ended segregation against gay people in the military, took a political thrashing for subsidizing alternative energy technologies, and helped to save the US automobile industry that unions rely upon — all while dealing with the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

He also managed to pull off four years as the first black man in the White House in our nation’s history.  It’s a feat that modern pundits have largely downplayed or ignored, but one which I suspect historians will spill a lot of ink over.

Still, liberals are a famously stubborn, impatient crowd and I’m not sure that’s enough.  I suspect that when the votes are counted in November, a big chunk of America’s silent majority will remain, well, silent.

In these final weeks of the campaign, left-of-center voters will wring their hands over voter suppression by Republicans.  But I suspect that far, far more Democratic voters will be lost to liberal apathy than to conservative chicanery.

 

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156 Comments on “Can Obama reclaim the magic? Probably not.”

  1. mervel says:

    He also has effectively dismantled Al-Quida (both through killing Osama Bin Laden and hounding them around the globe), something that was the whole point of all of our wars. I wonder if his war and foreign policy successes and his single minded destruction of the terrorists networks make the Far Left uncomfortable?

    I know just objectively I feel safer with this President than I would with Romney in the lead.

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  2. JDM says:

    In 2008, Obama was an unknown and his past completely hidden on purpose.

    In 2012, Obama has a track record, and his past is completely hidden on purpose.

    His past doesn’t matter, at this point. He will lose solely on his own track record.

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  3. Paul says:

    “We already know that many union groups are in a grump, angry that Obama chose to hold the rally in North Carolina, a state that has weak pro-union laws.”

    They are in a grump because they can’t find a job.

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  4. anon says:

    The American auto industry is back on its feet, Bin Laden is dead, we are out of Iraq, the stock market has doubled since January 2009, and jobs are growing somewhat compared to job losses of 700,000 a month at the end of Bush II term. Sounds like a “losing” record. No wonder Republicans prefer to run against a straw man, an imaginary Obama that one ex-governor recently called “liberty limiting, radical, left wing, anti business reckless spending, tax hiking “. The Obama that Republicans see, like the occupant of the chair on stage Thursday night is invisible to the rest of us.

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  5. Pete Klein says:

    If you are looking for a savior, and it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat, you will always be disappointed.
    I find it especially interesting that Republicans who claim to be rugged individualist seem to believe Romney or anyone else in government can save them.
    If Romney actually believes it is the private sector alone that creates jobs, shouldn’t he be busy starting a company that will hire 12,000,000 people?
    I think Romney just wants to be President. He really wants to get a great health insurance policy and a great pension plan for life, paid for with taxes from the little people, things he would deny to the little people because it would raise his taxes too much.

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  6. Paul says:

    anon, it looks like the DNC has decided to lean on the same argument that you make above. Things are looking good. Last week when asked the “are things better now that 4 years ago” question even the democrats were saying no. Now it appears they have decided to take a new line and say yes. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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  7. Paul says:

    Can the current president get lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to work together? I don’t think he can with how he is governing now. I saw a good article last week in the Wall Street Journal about how this president has not been effective in working with the folks on the hill. Bill Clinton called legislators day and night. Bush and other presidents had dinners and retreats with law makers at the white house and at camp David. The president seems to be somewhat of an introvert when it comes to these kinds of things. If he could come out of the shell he might have some better luck with his agenda. If he is re-elected hopefully he will work on this.

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  8. John Warren says:

    “within the remaining ‘progressive coalition’ that defines the left”

    A progressive coalition defines the left?

    Yeah, right, and Obama is a Socialist. That’s another false right-wing talking point, and a seriously false premise to begin your arguments.

    You are confusing Progressives with Democrats; that’s code for the right-wing Socialist conspiracy theorists.

    A little historical perspective would go a long way to foster an informed understanding of today’s politics.

    And on Labor Day… [shakes head]

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  9. Walker says:

    NYT: Truth and Lies About Medicare

    Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

    Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.

    The likelihood that they would stand by that irresponsible pledge after the election is close to zero. And the likelihood that they would be better able than Democrats to preserve Medicare for the future (through a risky voucher system that may not work well for many beneficiaries) is not much better.

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  10. PNElba says:

    Here’s another “good” article in the WSJ calling for a National Corporation Day. Nope, it’s not a joke.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443864204577623882621734906.html

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  11. JDM says:

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  12. PNElba says:

    JDM – Please stop making fun of Clint Eastwood.

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  13. mervel says:

    But there is no funding in the Affordable Care act for Medicare. Its not crazy to show that indeed the act would pull resources away from our current programs. That is not a lie to question the impact of the Affordable Care act on both Medicare and Medicaid.

    The BIG lie was that the affordable care act would not cost anything more, which is insane.

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  14. mervel says:

    So you see its all “lies”, I think the big lie is to say someone is lying when you simply disagree with them.

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  15. Paul says:

    PNElba, that is an opinion piece. You should check out the article I was referring to it really is pretty interesting. I am sure that even you think the president has some room for improvement. Nobody is perfect.

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  16. mervel says:

    The only way to know if Obama is lying or not is to re-elect him. For this reason alone I say we should re-elect the man; to see what happens.

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  17. dbw says:

    Why would voters be apathetic? David Gergen, and others are talking about the importance of this election as far as the direction the country is concerned. If that theme is repeated widely enough by the candidates and the media that will only build interest in this campaign. If voters feel there a great deal at stake, they will want to participate. As for Brian’s thesis, we might have some indication soon enough from tv ratings and any bounce for the president coming out of the Democratic convention. With so few undecided voters, it will come down to the ground game, or possibly an event such as Israel attacking Iran.

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  18. Paul says:

    The president should also explain at the convention why some of his good people are jumping ship and who they might be replaced by. Romney should have also talked about who would be working for him. Hillary and Geitner are well liked by some moderates (I like them). Why the exodus?

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  19. Walker says:

    Why explain anything, if people are just going to assume you’re lying?

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  20. mervel says:

    The one thing the Executive Branch has actual control over is the power to kill people using the military. Under our current system this can be done with one word from a President with no counsel with no approvals. Longer term wars need some support but not real actual declarations of war. Domestic policy on the other hand and the external forces that largely control our economy, the Executive branch has only marginal control over.

    I will say that I think what this President has had total control over, he has done an effective job.

    For example I think the odds of us withdrawing from Afghanistan in the next four years under Obama are high and under Romney low. The odds of us starting another major war in the Middle East against Iran is higher under Romney than under this President. So even if Obama is a total failure in this domestic plan, these facts would be more important.

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  21. mervel says:

    The next step is for him to have the fortitude to take on military spending as Clinton did in the 1990′s.

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  22. Kathy says:

    Sometimes, I think we are all debating on the peripheral. Who of us has expended the effort to delve into the details of all the issues? I do as much as I can, but I have been appalled at each camp coming right out and saying Ryan is lying, etc.

    Question: is Obama and his administration borrowing money from Medicare to pay for national health care or not?

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  23. PNElba says:

    Paul – I’d check it out if there were a link.

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  24. Paul says:

    I read it in the print version. Here is a link but you have to pay for most of the Journal online.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443855804577601122668425562.html?KEYWORDS=camp+david

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  25. Walker says:

    “So, they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”

    Ryan’s comments are highly misleading. Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut funding from the Medicare program’s budget. Still, the number has a slight basis in fact.

    The health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. The total anticipated savings comes to $716 billion over the next 10 years, as determined by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    We should note that both parties agree Medicare spending is increasing too fast as baby boomers retire and medical costs increase. The government needs to find savings so those costs don’t overwhelm the federal budget in the future.

    “Question: is Obama and his administration borrowing money from Medicare to pay for national health care or not?”

    Politifact says: “Ryan said Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” This gives a very misleading impression…
    Ryan’s statement is exaggerated and we rate it Mostly False.”

    More from Politifact:

    Ryan said “So, they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”

    Ryan’s comments are highly misleading. Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut funding from the Medicare program’s budget. Still, the number has a slight basis in fact.

    The health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. The total anticipated savings comes to $716 billion over the next 10 years, as determined by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office…

    So, yes, Obama’s law did find $716 billion in spending reductions. They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law made significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But the plans have actually cost the government more than traditional Medicare. The health care law scales back the payments to private insurers.

    Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care.

    Obama and fellow Democrats say the intention is to protect beneficiaries’ coverage while forcing health care providers to become more efficient. Even with the health care law’s cost-saving measures, the overall Medicare budget is still projected to go up for the foreseeable future.

    So, yes, Obama’s law did find $716 billion in spending reductions. They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law made significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But the plans have actually cost the government more than traditional Medicare. The health care law scales back the payments to private insurers.

    Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care…”

    (Politifact)

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  26. Walker says:

    Oops, sorry, that was supposed to start with “Question: is Obama and his administration borrowing money…”

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  27. Pete Klein says:

    dbw, I would hope Israel is not stupid enough to attack Iran. I would also hope the USA is not stupid enough to attack Iran.
    Speaking as one who is 69, one of the main reasons I continue to work is because Medicare sucks. It doesn’t begin to compare with the health insurance I have at my job.
    Now if we had national health care, I might consider retiring and we could do away with both Medicare and Medicaid – and all of our elected officials and everyone who works for the government, including teachers and everyone in the military would be under the national health care umbrella. Everyone! No exceptions. Of course, this should also mean the elimination of all health insurance. Everyone in the same boat. Unless, of course, you are rich and want to spend your own money on face lifts.

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  28. hermit thrush says:

    I have been appalled at each camp coming right out and saying Ryan is lying, etc.

    i’m appalled at, you know, ryan’s lying itself. or maybe “lying” isn’t quite the right word, since i think ryan seems to genuinely believe a lot of what he says. but that doesn’t stop it from being false! here’s jonathan chait:

    The thing about Ryan is that he has always resided in a counter-factual universe. He is a product of the hermetically sealed right-wing subculture. Many of the facts taken for granted by mainstream economists have never penetrated his brain. Ryan burst onto the national scene with a dense, fact-laden attack on the financing of Obama’s health-care bill that was essentially a series of hallucinations, pseudo-facts cooked up and recirculated by conservative apparatchiks who didn’t know what they were talking about or didn’t care. His big-think speeches reflect the influence of fact-free conservatives and collapse under scrutiny.

    lots of supporting links at the link.

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  29. JDM says:

    New poll from theHill.com

    Fifty-two percent of likely voters say the nation is in “worse condition” now than in September 2008, while 54 percent say Obama does not deserve reelection based solely on his job performance.

    http://thehill.com/conventions-2012/dem-convention-charlotte/247263-hill-poll-voters-think-second-term-undeserved

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  30. JDM says:

    Warm up the bus.

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  31. Kathy says:

    Hermit, I don’t need another opinion (Jonathan Chait). I could also link to many, many critiques of the liberal position.

    I want FACTS.

    I see Walker wrote a lengthy post and will have to read it when I have time later.

    That said, I realize the economy of a country is perhaps more complex than a business or our personal finances. Yet, I like what I saw Romney do in MA and I think the basics of the Ryan budget plan seem practical.

    BTW, I liked the atmosphere of the RNC in terms of not personally attacking Obama. Let’s see what the DNC is going to be like. I already hear that there will be speakers re: Bain Capital which I think is pretty sad.

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  32. Kathy says:

    In my email inbox. These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting. Any disputes?

    * Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings.
    * Save America ‘s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings.
    * International Fund for Ireland — $17 million annual savings.
    * Legal Services Corporation — $420 million annual savings.
    * National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings.
    * National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings.
    * Hope VI Program — $250 million annual savings.
    * Amtrak Subsidies — $1.565 billion annual savings.
    * Eliminate duplicating education programs — H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
    * U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings.
    * Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy — $20 million annual savings..
    * Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding — $47 million annual savings.
    * John C. Stennis Center Subsidy — $430,000 annual savings.
    * Community Development Fund — $4.5 billion annual savings.
    * Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid — $24 million annual savings.
    * Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half — $7.5 billion annual savings
    * Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% — $600 million annual savings.
    * Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings.
    * Technology Innovation Program — $70 million annual savings.
    * Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program — $125 million annual savings.
    * Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization — $530 million annual savings.
    * Beach Replenishment — $95 million annual savings.
    * New Starts Transit — $2 billion annual savings.
    * Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts — $9 million annual savings
    * Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants — $2.5 billion annual savings.
    * Title X Family Planning — $318 million annual savings.
    * Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million annual savings.
    * Economic Development Administration — $293 million annual savings.
    * Programs under the National and Community Services Act — $1.15 billion annual savings.
    * Applied Research at Department of Energy — $1.27 billion annual savings.
    * Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership — $200 million annual savings.
    * Energy Star Program — $52 million annual savings.
    * Economic Assistance to Egypt — $250 million annually.
    * U.S. Agency for International Development — $1.39 billion annual savings.
    * General Assistance to District of Columbia — $210 million annual savings…
    * Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — $150 million annual savings.
    * Presidential Campaign Fund — $775 million savings over ten years.
    * No funding for federal office space acquisition — $864 million annual savings.
    * End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
    * Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act — More than $1 billion annually.
    * IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget — $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
    * Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees — $1 billion total savings. WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?
    * Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees — $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
    * Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of — $15 billion total savings.
    * Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.WHAT???
    * Eliminate Mohair Subsidies — $1 million annual savings.
    * Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — $12.5 million annual savings WELL ISN’T THAT SPECIAL
    * Eliminate Market Access Program — $200 million annual savings.
    * USDA Sugar Program — $14 million annual savings.
    * Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — $93 million annual savings.
    * Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program — $56.2 million annual savings.
    * Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs — $900 million savings.
    * Ready to Learn TV Program — $27 million savings..WHY?????
    * HUD Ph.D. Program.
    * Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

    * TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

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  33. Paul says:

    The “magic” ain’t coming back. It seems to be long gone. It has been replaced by this very sarcastic tone the president now uses when he criticizes Romney and the republicans like he was doing in Ohio yesterday. (yes they are doing the same thing) My guess is that this will play well with his base and maybe turn off moderates and independents. It strikes me as a desperate tone not really something very becoming for the president. He has either changed a lot in the past four years or he is only now showing his true colors.

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  34. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    I’m still a bit baffled why the Obama administration hasn’t made a greater effort at explaining to and/or reminding their constituents that the next president may very well appoint four Supreme Court Justices in his next term……..If this possibility alone isn’t reason enough for everyone to vote, conservatives and progressives alike, then I don’t know what is. Given the scare tactics both sides are using, they seem strangely quiet on this subject.

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  35. Walker says:

    Kathy, here are some reactions. I’m obviously not going to try to argue against each and every cut– some certainly seem worthy of elimination.

    * Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings. [If you really think that NPR/NCPR would be improved by being loaded up with advertising, this is a great idea.]

    * Legal Services Corporation — $420 million annual savings. [The corporation seeks to ensure equal access to justice under the law for all Americans by providing civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it.]

    * Save America ‘s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings. [Save America's Treasures is a federal public-private partnership.... The Program oversees the management of the federal competitive matching grants which help preserve, conserve, and rescue our nation's most significant cultural and heritage resources, including historic structures, collections of artifacts, works of art, maps, manuscripts, and sound recordings.]

    * National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings. [Ronald Reagan intended to push Congress to abolish the NEA completely over a three-year period upon entering the office in 1981. However, this plan was abandoned when the president's special task force on the arts and humanities, which included close Reagan allies such as conservatives Charlton Heston and Joseph Coors, discovered "the needs involved and benefits of past assistance", concluding that continued federal support was important.]

    * National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings. [The NEH is dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. -- Since 1965, the Endowment has sponsored noteworthy projects such as
    · "Treasures of Tutankhamen," a blockbuster exhibition seen by more than 1.5 million people
    · The Civil War, the landmark 1990 documentary by Ken Burns seen by 38 million Americans.
    · Library of America, editions of novels, essays, and poems celebrating America's literary heritage
    · United States Newspaper Project, an effort to catalog and microfilm 63.3 million pages of newspapers dating from the early Republic
    · "We the People" is an NEH program designed to encourage and enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history, culture, and democratic principles. The initiative supports projects and programs that explore significant events and themes in American nation's history, which advance knowledge of the principles that define America.]

    * U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings. — [The agency was established to advance economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle income countries. USTDA’s stated mission is to “promote economic growth in developing and middle income countries, while simultaneously helping American businesses to export their products and services, thereby creating U.S. jobs,” and the agency currently works in 66 countries.]

    Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings. [There goes the Lake Clear Airport.]

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  36. Paul says:

    Walker, you should be getting paid for this! You make a good lobbyist. I agree with you many of these programs are good and some are bogus.

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  37. Mervel says:

    You can’t get to a balanced budget by sifting out little programs. Yes they should be reviewed, but they sometimes serve as a distraction. Whenever I hear about budget remedies that don’t include the big three:
    Defense, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, I tune out, its not real.

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  38. Pete Klein says:

    The base is called the base for a good reason. The base is base.

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  39. Mervel says:

    62% of the Federal Budget is those three programs, the rest is in two other categories, discretionary (18%) and interest on the debt.

    So the programs above are all in the 18%, sure we can chip away at the 18%, but we will never get there, besides the 18% is where all of the investment areas are, roads, bridges, education, science, technology, all of them are jammed into that 18%. Think of the important things we could do if we got serious about cutting the 62%.

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  40. Paul says:

    Mervel,

    All we need to do is lower taxes on the middle class and raise taxes on the wealthy. Problem solved.

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  41. scratchy says:

    Kathy:

    I don;t think there is anywhere near 2.5 trillion in savings over 10 years from that list, I did a rough count and came around 350 billion.

    That being said most, if not all those cuts should implemented immediately (even the corporation for public broadcasting, I don;t think other taxpayers should have to subsidize my radio or television viewing’).

    Taxes will have to be raised. France is moving ahead on a plan to tax income over 1 million at a 70% (the first million is taxed much less), something which I hope the US will adopt.

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  42. Paul says:

    The Post had an interesting take on the DNC platform that just came out:

    “If Republicans from 1960 to today moved in fairly linear fashion to ever-more conservative stances on the economy, taxes and a slew of social issues, the Democratic evolution over the same period is a more jagged series of experiments with activist and statist approaches, interspersed with more traditional paeans to family, faith and individual initiative. ”

    The headline:

    “For Democrats, a meandering party platform”

    They tend to go with how the political wind is blowing.

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  43. Walker says:

    “They tend to go with how the political wind is blowing.”

    It’s called representing your constituents.

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  44. Paul says:

    “It’s called representing your constituents.”

    So their constituents “meander”? I suppose you are right.

    Look at the article. It is more than that.

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  45. Paul says:

    This Washington Post opinion piece touches on some of the same things in the WSJ article I referenced earlier. It is an opinion piece so I take it with a grain but it is interesting:

    “Just when the Democratic Party needs more of Bill Clinton, there is less of him. The former president is a reed of his former self, trimmed by heart disease and a veggie diet. Still, when I saw him last week, people flocked to him and he held forth, synthesizing the great issues of the day, describing the black Scroogian heart of the Republican Party, holding me (among others) close until, with reluctance, I drew myself away. He is the anti-Obama. He gives so much of himself. Barack Obama gives so little..”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-barack-obama-enigma-in-chief/2012/09/04/2ce8270c-f6b5-11e1-8b93-c4f4ab1c8d13_story.html

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  46. mervel says:

    Paul I disagree, the math does not get there with that solution. Unless you are saying those making above 100K are the wealthy? Then yes that would work and I guess given our income distribution they would be considered wealthy.

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  47. oa says:

    Mervel, Social Security is not in deficit, and not in crisis. It should be taken out of your big three. It is easily fixed. Lift the cap on FICA so it applies to all earned income. Presto. Fixed. No crisis.
    And yes, Ryan is lying about the fact that Romneycare is stealing from Medicare.

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  48. TomL says:

    Well, I have to say while watching the first night of the Democratic Party convention, the magic was still there. The convention hall looked like America, the speeches were inspiring, and the crowd was highly energized.

    It was quite a contrast from the Republican convention, which seemed to be a bit dour and dispirited (Chris Christie and Clint Eastwood were the most memorable speeches), and with a party delegate pool of mainly middle-aged plus white people. Apparently out of 2500 delegates, under 50 were African-American.

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  49. JDM says:

    TomL: “Apparently out of 2500 delegates, under 50 were African-American.”

    It’s the 21st century, and you’re still counting how many people show up with different color skin??

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  50. Walker says:

    JDM: Yes.

    And you can bet that if the Democratic convention delegates were 98% black, conservative “news” sources would be counting up a storm.

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