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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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THE DANCE

Obama’s Priorities: Immigration, the Economy, Energy, Taxes; Hagel Still Front Runner for Defense (Video)

Last week, Miami Beach's Jewish elderly population's favorite presidential candidate Pat Buchanan endorsed Hagel’s nomination.
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Photo Credit: NBC

OBAMA: “At a certain point, if folks can’t say ‘yes’ to good offers, then I also have an obligation to the American people to make sure that the entire burden of deficit reduction doesn’t fall on seniors who are relying on Medicare. … The offers that I’ve made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me. … I offered to make some significant changes to our entitlement programs … They [Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way. But the way they’re behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme. …

“Democrats and Republicans both say they don’t want taxes to go up on middle class families. … If we can get that done, that takes a big bite out of the fiscal cliff. It avoids the worst outcomes. And we’re then going to have some tough negotiations in terms of how we continue to reduce the deficit, grow the economy, create jobs.” …

GREGORY: “Would you commit to that first year of your second term getting significant [entitlement] reform done?” …

OBAMA: “David, I want to be very clear. You are not only going to cut your way to prosperity. One of the fallacies I think that has been promoted is this notion that deficit reduction is only a matter of cutting programs that are really important to seniors, students and so forth. That has to be part of the mix, but what I ran on and what the American people elected me to do was to put forward a balanced approach. To make sure that there’s shared sacrifice. … And it is very difficult for me to say to a senior citizen or a student or a mom with a disabled kid, ‘You are going to have to do with less but we’re not going to ask millionaires and billionaires to do more.’” …

GREGORY: “So what is your single priority of the second term? What is the equivalent to health care?”

OBAMA: “I’ve said that fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority. I will introduce legislation in the first year to get that done. … The second thing that we’ve got to do is to stabilize the economy and make sure it’s growing. Part of that is deficit reduction. Part of it is also making sure that we’re investing, for example, in rebuilding our infrastructure, which is broken. And if we are putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, our schools, in part paying for it by some of these broader long-term deficit reduction measures that need to take place that will grow the economy at the same time as we’re also setting our path for long-term fiscal stability.

“Number three: We’ve got a huge opportunity around energy. We are producing more energy and America can become an energy exporter. How do we do that in a way that also deals with some of the environmental challenges that we have at the same time? So that’s going to be a third thing. But the most immediate thing I’ve got to do starting on January 1st, if Congress doesn’t act before the end of the year, is make sure that taxes are not going up on middle class families. Because it is going to be very hard for the economy to sustain its current growth trends, if suddenly we have a huge bite taken out of the average American’s paycheck.”

GREGORY: “Those are four huge things and you didn’t mention … new gun regulations. … Do you have the stomach for the political fight for new gun control laws?”

OBAMA: “David, I think anybody who was up in Newtown … understands that something fundamental in America has to change. And all of us have to do some soul searching, including me as president, that we allow a situation in which 20 precious small children are getting gunned down in a classroom. And I’ve been very clear that an assault rifle ban, banning these high capacity clips, background checks — that there are a set of issues that I have historically supported and will continue to support. …

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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2 Responses to “Obama’s Priorities: Immigration, the Economy, Energy, Taxes; Hagel Still Front Runner for Defense (Video)”

  1. It looks like President Obama will nominate Chuck Hagel on Monday.

    A Hagel win makes a nuclear armed Iran more likely.

    It will certainly harm any chance of a negotiated settlement. Why would you buy the cow if you can drink the milk for free?

    Please contact your Senator to ask them to vote no on Hagel.

    Here are some contacts.

    Gillibrand, Kirsten E. – (D – NY) Class I.
    478 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-4451
    Web Form: http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/contact/.

    Schumer, Charles E. – (D – NY) Class III.
    322 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-6542
    Web Form: http://www.schumer.senate.gov/Contact/contact_chuck.cfm.

    Lautenberg, Frank R. – (D – NJ) Class II.
    324 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-3224
    Web Form: http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/contact/routing.cfm.

    Menendez, Robert – (D – NJ) Class I.
    528 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-4744
    Web Form: menendez.senate.gov/contact/.

    Blumenthal, Richard – (D – CT) Class III.
    702 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-2823
    Web Form: http://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/contact/.

    Nelson, Bill – (D – FL) Class I.
    716 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-5274
    Web Form: http://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm.

    Boxer, Barbara – (D – CA) Class III.
    112 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-3553
    Web Form: http://www.boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/.

    Cardin, Benjamin L. – (D – MD) Class I.
    509 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-4524
    Web Form: http://www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/.

    Mikulski, Barbara A. – (D – MD) Class III.
    503 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510.
    (202) 224-4654
    Web Form: http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/contact/.

  2. jakesarna says:

    Wow, Obama really thinks everyone else is a sucker. Obama says Hagel “apologized” for that comment. Yeah, it’s a little too convenient that hagel apologizes 1 day before this interview, and that his apology was only directed to the gay community. Wouldn’t you think that if there’s 2 major comments that Hagel said that offended 2 different groups he would have killed 2 birds with one stone? Why didn’t he apologize to the Jews for that comment also? And now we get back to Obama and everyone else a sucker. He told Hagel to apologize for the gay comment and I wouldn’t be surprised if he told him that he didn’t have to for the Jewish lobby comment. We all can see where this is going. Obama swore he would handle Iran if it continued enrichment. And Obama loves to play dumb when there’s an issue he wants to duck. And Hagel will be handling Iran the exact same way Obama wants it handled, but we’re now all of a sudden going to be hearing that Obama is only “listening to his peers”. Let’s get one thing straight, whenever Obama wants something done, he’ll do it regardless of everyone else’s opinion except (valerie jarret). While Obama says wonderful things about Israel (as talking points only ie unshakable), I have no doubt Obama is secretly/privately isolating Israel more and more. He never stands up to Erdogan when he threatens Israel thus enabling Turkey to embrace radical islamafacation, he secretly helped the Muslim brotherhood take control of Egypt and across the ME. You see what Obama is doing is building houses of cards all over the world. The shift is happening at such a rapid pace, but it’s like a Booby trap. When Obama is out of the office, and let’s say a republican wins 2016. And don’t appease like Obama, the cards start crumbling and all of a sudden we find ourselves with a middle east that looks like those protests on 9/11/12 24 hours a day, but with a difference, the radical Muslim brotherhood in power (and getting US taxpayer money).

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