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Unlike GOP’s traveling clowns, Biden tells it like it is

joe bidenVice President Joe Biden entered the election-year campaign fray last Thursday, telling a senior-citizens audience at Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek, Fla., key differences between what President Obama and Democrats offer, and what Republican/Tea Party opponents want to do.

In a refreshing change from the hard-sell snark, lies and distortions Republican president wannabes have been dishing out for months, Biden spoke with quiet confidence and in terms respectful of the intelligence of his listeners.

We especially like this portion of Biden’s remarks.

Last year with the help of my two colleagues, we cut spending by $1 trillion. We also made a deal — we also made a deal with our Republican friends to cut it by another $1.2 trillion and set up that super committee, remember? What did they come up with? Nothing.

And we were on our way, on the cusp of negotiating — I was doing most of the negotiation for an agreement that would have cut the overall deficit by $4 trillion. But the Republicans, they walked away from it. Why? Because they wanted to maintain every major tax cut for the very wealthiest and have them move in perpetuity.

Look, they wanted an additional trillion dollars in tax cuts. And I want to explain to you — when you say that, it’s like, a trillion, that doesn’t — I mean a trillion, I can’t even — you can’t even calculate that.

Let me put it this way, of that trillion dollars, $813 million of that trillion dollar tax cut will go to households making over $1 million a year. Three hundred and fifty — 315,000 of the wealthiest families in America, average income $3.1 million a year, would get a $100,000 tax break per year for the next 10 years through that.

Look, we’re not asking anybody very wealthy to change their standard of living. We’re not — no serious. We’re not asking them to do anything they can’t do now. On $3.1 million, you don’t need another $100,000 to maintain your home, to drive the vehicle you drive, to vacation where you want to vacation. But when we ask you to take a 20 percent cut or a 30 percent cut in your Medicare or your Social Security or your children, that changes the standard of living.

Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t think it’s fair, and we don’t think it’s right. And more importantly, we don’t think it’s in the interest of the economic growth of this country. Folks, it’s simple math, either preserve Medicare and fix Social Security and draw down the deficit, or you spend another trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthiest. You can’t do both of these things. You can’t do both, and we refuse — we refuse to shift the burden and responsibility of putting America’s fiscal house in order on the backs of those who will have to change their standard of living, who have played by the rules, who have worked hard all their life and have earned the retirement benefits they’re getting.

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We mentioned Republican candidates’ lies and distortions. For more on that, we turn to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who last Wednesday cited GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney for outperforming at lying in a field of tough competitors for the title of Most Dishonest Republican Candidate Ever. This segment from Maddow’s March 21st show deserves an Emmy for telling it like it is.

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Maddow is quick to say she’s not a journalist. We’re just as quick to say she’s doing a better job of reporting solid political news than many who say they are journalists.

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11 Comments

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    There are almost no “journalists” left in America. Most of them are paid apologists for the Plutocracy. The “librul media” Klanbagger lie is both a myth and a bad joke.

  2. The republicans have nothing to run on. All they can do, and they do it well, is lie.

  3. S.W. Anderson says:

    J.R., corporate associates don’t make the best muckrakers, that’s for sure. But if you look at The Nation, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, New Yorker, Think Progress. ProRepublica, and so on, there’s still some good reporters and solid investigative work being done. The situation isn’t as good as it should be, especially in broadcast news, but it isn’t a total loss either.

    Critter, Republicans run on the ignorance, anxieties, resentments, selfishness and paranoia of a sizable minority of the population. You’re right about Republicans need to run on lies for lack of an honest, constructive agenda that would appeal to the rest of the population. The lies are intended to pander to their base and to reel in as many fence-sitting know-nothings as possible.

  4. jim marquis says:

    This is off the subject but the other day I was thinking about how little turmoil Biden has been involved in compared to his VP predecessor. It’s like day and night.

  5. John Myste says:

    Biden’s remarks failed to acknowledge an axiomatic break. Conservatives don’t understand equality. They perceive things, not based on their real worth to a spender, but solely on a value that a receiver, in this case the U.S. Government, puts on it. Therefore, a dollar is a dollar, and charging one person a one dollar and another person two dollars seems unjust to them. To them, the fact that person A would have used her dollar to feed her child that night and person B would have used his dollar to help pay for his 400.00 meal (or would have stuffed it under his mattress with most of the rest of his dollars), is irrelevant.

    The dollar is not seen based on what it would have purchased, a child’s beans or something a rich person would simply use another dollar to purchase. Getting rid of the dollar has a real-world opportunity cost, which is an economics term that relates to true value, and is a term conservatives axiomatically cannot comprehend.

    You cannot think rationally about economics, if one of the most basic concepts violates the integrity your worldview to such a degree that it redefines your faith in your definition of equality.

    Conservatives have an axiom that does not make sense. They can study economics, but it won’t help. Anything they learn that contradicts their faith in their arbitrary assumptions will be discarded. Biden can try to reason with them all day, and it won’t do a bit of good until he challenges their underlying axioms. I don’t really see how he could do it, though. You cannot fight faith with reason.

  6. “You cannot fight faith with reason.”

    John, that is a great statement. But, if not reason, how do you fight faith? Faith that requires neither facts or truth is what?

    1. John Myste says:

      Let me revise my former statement:

      “You cannot fight faith.”

  7. Jack Jodell says:

    The longer and louder this excellent Vice President speaks the better off we all are. GO BIDEN, GO!

  8. Tom Harper says:

    I was all set to make a tongue-in-cheek comment about Bain Capital purchasing Etch-A-Sketch and outsourcing all its workers. After watching Rachel Maddow’s video, I realize this won’t be necessary. Just another chapter of “You can’t make this sh*t up.”

  9. S.W. Anderson says:

    Jim, Biden can be longwinded at times, which can lead to the occasional foot-in-mouth episode. But he’s smart, seasoned, sensible and, I believe, has never forgotten that being a public servant is about serving the public. He’s a genuinely nice guy, as well. So yes, that makes him the exact opposite of his v.p. predecessor.

    Myste, I like your analysis too. Good point. I’ve long condemned conservative Republicans as being people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing for the same reasons. However, I might be guilty of overstatement. They do know the value of money and power — the things they really care about.

    Jerry, faith by definition requires neither facts nor truth. That’s why exploiting and manipulating people’s religious beliefs has for millennia been a favored tactic of those driven by lust for wealth and power.

    Jack, Biden is a great retail-level campaigner. I watched him in his past runs for president, and came away impressed. I hope the administration sends him out a lot this year.

    Tom, somebody better check under Romney’s campaign bus. There’s liable to be a body under there. :)

  10. Maddow may not be a journalist in the true sense of the term, but as a former news researcher I have always felt that she and her team always dug a little deeper and left no wart unturned. And, as we know, the GOP has a lot of warts.

    I too hope that Biden is unleashed to hit the campaign trail and not just to senior establishments.