David Love: The other side caters to their base, which includes the Tea Party, billionaires and hard right wing values voters. From time to time, the president needs to show that he cares about black people, as symbolism can go a long way.
Robert Reich: President Obama laid out the problem correctly and effectively. He explained why jobs and growth must be the nation’s first priority now — not the federal deficit.
Brent Budowsky: Great presidents know the difference between empty public gimmicks and game-changing public policy. They demand creative ideas, not mediocrity or defeatism, from those who advise them.
David Love: It is not surprising that Perry — whose Texas board of education erased black and Latino civil rights leaders and their accomplishments from the history books — would try to turn the narrative of the civil rights movement into a fight over tax breaks. But it is outrageous, nonetheless.
Robert Reich: A bold jobs plan is also good politics. With more than 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs, the wages of people with jobs falling, and an economy on the verge of a double dip, the President has to come out fighting on the side of average people.
Ivan Eland: The good news is that if the committee can’t reach an agreement on the fiscal changes, or if Congress rejects its work, defense (including homeland security) and domestic programs have to take equal cuts.
Tom Hayden: Launch a campaign progressive to the core, with no compromises on ending tax cuts for the rich and trillion-dollar wars.
Robert Reich: Anyone who characterizes the deal between the President, Democratic, and Republican leaders as a victory for the American people over partisanship understands neither economics nor politics.
Robert Reich: Standard & Poor’s insists any deal must also contain a credible, bipartisan plan to reduce the nation’s long-term budget deficit by $4 trillion — something neither Harry Reid’s nor John Boehner’s plans do.
Paul Loeb: Obama has forgotten the basic lesson of negotiation — you don’t hand everything over before you start, particularly to people who have utter contempt for your values and goals.
Carl Bloice: All across the country social services, which largely benefit lower income women, men and children are being cut back and people who made them function are being added to the ranks of the unemployed.
Brent Budowsky: Let’s add a “repatriate prosperity” provision that would require participating global companies to increase the size of their American workforce by a designated amount, within a designated window, such as six months, in order to receive the tax holiday.
Robert Reich: In truth, the most important variable explaining the rise and fall of tax revenues as percent of GDP has been the business cycle, not the effective tax rate.