SOTU and Debates

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ryan Lizza, Washington correspondent for The New Yorker magazine, talks about the Republican candidates, the president's speech and his New Yorker piece on post-post-partisanship.


Ryan Lizza

Comments [23]

Amy from Manhattan

A bigger problem is not that Obama thought he could go in & change the culture by himself but that so many of his supporters also thought he could do it by himself. There seems to be a widespread attitude (on all sides) that the president has all the power & if he can't get his agenda through, it's all his own fault, & then they turn against the president instead of the obstructionist Congress when he doesn't. I think this is exemplified by the audience that responded to Obama's saying he couldn't do (OK, I don't remember what it was) by chanting, "Yes, you can! Yes, you can!" They seemed to forget his campaign slogan was "Yes, *we* can," not "Yes, *I* can."

Jan. 25 2012 12:37 AM
jen lynch from manhattan

Bob from Westchester--that is a very fair point, that IRA and 401K income would be taxed at ordinary income rather than capital gains rates. However, I don't truly know what kind of an effect raising the capital gains tax rate would have on older Americans, the average middle class American, the economy in general, etc. Nor do most of the general population, because the press isn't spending any time investigating this issue. Instead, it is much easier to crow about Mitt and his $40 million at 15%.

Most of the journalism surrounding the tax issue and income inequality in general is mindless and pandering. It is the Toddlers and Tiaras of political coverage.

Jan. 24 2012 12:27 PM
Lenore from Upper West Side, Manhattan

Once again the riff about how because of polarization, the Repubs are sooo right wing and the Dems are sooo liberal. Would it were true that the Dems were sooo liberal. They have also sold themselves to Wall Street.

As Lizza mentions at the end of the talk, Obama never made a case for the equality aspect of his own domestic agenda. Neither do most of the Democrats. We need a real Democratic Party that will advocate vigorously for a real liberal agenda, not a fearful sold-out parety of silent wimps. I wouldn't want to see them behave as horribly as the Republicans, but a little more moxie wouldn't hurt.

Jan. 24 2012 10:40 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Harry, being independent is just that - thinking on your own with being a sycophant to an entrenched political party.

Jan. 24 2012 10:38 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

@ Jen Lynch: You miss an important aspect -- retirement investments of older Americans tend to be overwhelmingly in IRAs an 401(k) plans, on which they will pay the higher ordinary income rates when start making withdrawals (even if the underlying income is capital gain). Conversely, Mitt Romney and many one-percenters set up their investments to get capital gains and dividends, taxed at a lower rate (or in the case of "qualifying dividends on stock held for more than one year, ZERO percent!).

Jan. 24 2012 10:34 AM
Phil from Park Slope

People haven't sorted themselves geographically as much as the parties have stoke the so-called "culture wars" as a means of solidifying power. Creating fear of fellow Americans as the "other" is key to creating constituencies around blocks of policies.

The recent NYT column about conservative co-option of fundamentalist Christianity was a perfect example of this.

Jan. 24 2012 10:32 AM
tom from astoria

Hey you guys, I know whats going to be in the speech because I heard a 40 minute run through at theApollo the other night. A president will try out elements of a speech in front of audiences. he listed republican presidents from lincoln to eisenhower and how they did big investments during wars, etc. , REBUILD America --build it here, not abroad was anther theme

Jan. 24 2012 10:31 AM
Harry Bewles from Brooklyn


No such this as "Independent"

You either a hateful, selfish Republican or your NOT.

No in between in today's politics

Jan. 24 2012 10:31 AM

Obama was gonna reform government but he thought he better do other stuff?...I think you my friend are coocoo for cocoa puffs.

Jan. 24 2012 10:30 AM
The Truth from Becky

WTH??? when was President Obama..."anti Washington" Full of crap this guy and did he just say Kumbaya??? oMG!

Jan. 24 2012 10:30 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Does this guy know what the essence of being independent is? What a load of nonsense.

Jan. 24 2012 10:28 AM

Ryan Lizza gives every indication of amassing a good deal of primary resource material with almost no ability to actually analyze it. Even cursory examination of the primary material on Obama gives _nothing_ like the rose-tinted glasses view that Lizza is describing.

Jan. 24 2012 10:28 AM

there are more than 2 sides...yet MSM forces 2 parties on us time after time...

Jan. 24 2012 10:28 AM
Chriss from Montclair

Does Mr. Lizza address how even Democrats say that Obama failed to invite folks over, play golf, go out for drinks, or otherwise have relationships with those in his own party.

It seems like he went in a loner and either expected folks to just do what he said, or, which I think is more likely, he was so woefully inexperienced with basic politicking that he failed to realize how important personal relationships were.

Think: Reagan and O'Neil.

Jan. 24 2012 10:28 AM
Jane Jameston from NYC

O Bum ah.

He just does not understand that to todays Republicans, he is still black.

Jan. 24 2012 10:27 AM
The Truth from Becky

I am sure President Obama was not "ignorant" or "naive" to the fact that Washington already had limits..don't be insulting.

ALL candidates run the same line on the voters and none of them have the ultimate power to change a damn thing.

Jan. 24 2012 10:25 AM

Are you saying Obama had ideals he gave up?..

Jan. 24 2012 10:25 AM
Jim from New York

This is not money that came from income from buying stocks after working as a professional. This is income which is reported as a capital gains or dividends because of loop holes in our tax system. As well, what Reuters is reporting is that the Romneys transfered over $100 million dollars to their children without paying a penny in gift tax -- saving them $35 million.

This is a loophole only available to those running hedge funds, and with carried interest. Our tax system is grossly unfair when we ask the richest to pay a smaller percentage on the initial income, and then NOTHING when it is transfered to the next generation.

Jan. 24 2012 10:24 AM
Jeremy718 from Williamsburg

Dear Brian,
I love your show. But I grow tired of the constant pre-election coverage. Every tv news network is covering it to death - the Daily Show too ... can't you put it on a back burner for awhile? I don't know that I can listen to another 10 months of repetitive and redundant conversations.
Sorry to gripe - but I'm just over it.

Jan. 24 2012 10:23 AM

Capital gains tax is not double taxation!! All income should be treated equally.

The corporate tax is the double tax, because employees/ investors are already being taxed. The corporation should technically not be taxed according to the double taxation argument.

Jan. 24 2012 10:21 AM
Andrew Burke from Manhattan

Does Mr. Lizza think that the $4.1 mil that Romney has given to the Mormom Church will be an issue with evangelical voters? Will he tithe 10% of his salary as President to the church?

Jan. 24 2012 10:17 AM
Chriss from Montclair

Jen beat me to it:

Is the Press intentionally misrepresenting Mitt's taxes, or are they just dumb?

Not explaining the difference between a tax on Capital Gains (which may or may not have been bought with AFTER tax dollars) and a tax on regular income is dishonest.

The question is: Did Mitt acquire those gains with "Stock" payments, or with investment he bought with AFTER TAX money.

Sadly, this only shows how complicated our tax structure is, and how dumb folks are about them.

Jan. 24 2012 10:14 AM
jen lynch from manhattan

Mitt's Tax Rate: Only recently has the press begun explaining that the lower tax rate is mainly a result of capital gains tax. When will the press begin to explain that capital gains tax is what older Americans can expect to pay when they begin to cash in their investments in their retirement? Most one percenters (except the super duper rich) live off their ordinary income, so raising the capital gains rate will have no effect. But it will hurt older Americans if it is raised. Cruel joke.

Jan. 24 2012 10:07 AM

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