I realize that passing this budget won't be easy. Because it represents real and dramatic change, it also represents a threat to the status quo in Washington. I know that the insurance industry won't like the idea that they'll have to bid competitively to continue offering Medicare coverage, but that's how we'll help preserve and protect Medicare and lower health care costs for American families. I know that banks and big student lenders won't like the idea that we're ending their huge taxpayer subsidies, but that's how we'll save taxpayers nearly $50 billion and make college more affordable. I know that oil and gas companies won't like us ending nearly $30 billion in tax breaks, but that's how we'll help fund a renewable energy economy that will create new jobs and new industries....
I know these steps won't sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they're gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this:
So am I.
The system we have now might work for the powerful and well-connected interests that have run Washington for far too long, but I don't. I work for the American people. I didn't come here to do the same thing we've been doing or to take small steps forward, I came to provide the sweeping change that this country demanded when it went to the polls in November. That is the change this budget starts to make, and that is the change I'll be fighting for in the weeks ahead -- change that will grow our economy, expand our middle-class, and keep the American Dream alive for all those men and women who have believed in this journey from the day it began.
I actually know some good hearted diligent serious-minded progressive people who were capable of hearing nothing in that address but the words "clean coal" (which seemed to me too incidental even to excerpt). Yes, "clean coal" is bs tossed off for the greenwashing corporatists to munch on. Yes, Obama has not automagically implemented universal single-payer healthcare with a stroke of his pen, even if that is the system most sensible progressive people strongly prefer for enormously good reasons. But if that is all you can hear in these words, all you can see in this budget, then, honestly, you need your head examined.
If you are a serious democratically-minded progressive person, there is in my view no better place to put your energy and devotion, your organizational effort, your agitational attentions than in the ferocious support of this President and in the exposure of the lies and dirty tricks of those who would oppose him in the work of enacting this budget. That's not because Obama is perfect, or because his budget is a paragon, but because there has never been anything this good and this real for the likes of us to build on in our lives, and because there is never going to be anything better than this in our lives if we truly fail in this, no better opportunity I can see to build a bit of the road together that takes us closer to where we want to be going than right here, right now. Push from the left, but fight to support the good he would enable that others would crumble.