Monday Morning Politics with Mara Liasson

Monday, January 27, 2014

US President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on February 12, 2013 at the US Capitol in Washington. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty)

President Obama's team is promising that 2014 will be a "year of action," starting with tomorrow night's State of the Union speech. NPR national politics correspondent Mara Liasson previews the address and discusses the latest news out of Washington.


Mara Liasson

Comments [34]

@RUCB, I would add that I think we are in violent agreement.

Jan. 28 2014 11:09 AM

I know that we had a ~90% tax rate in the 50's. I know that it dropped even more in the 80's under the demigod of the Republican party. I'm stating that as a matter of pure political pragmatism, a 95% tax rate can't be accomplished. I felt the same way about single payer healthcare. I would LOVE it, but if Obama had pushed for it, we'd have 100% of nothing right now.

Jan. 28 2014 10:57 AM


You forget our own history. During Eisenhower we had a top marginal rate of 92% - not that anyone actually paid it.

Take away 95% of a $500M earner and he still has $25M/yr. For those who focus on consumption it looks like a lot of money.

I would back 50% for $10M+ earners...and maybe even 70% at $100M.

Jan. 28 2014 10:34 AM
scott from soho

The attempt to add a new pre K tax is awesome. I hope we get a list of rich people's names and addresses so we can send thank you cards for taking care of our childrens needs. I'm certain it will continue to enhance their education after looking at the current results of the $23 billion spent last year on this amazing educational system.

I hope we we can continue this cycle of screwing over children and teachers and continue enriching the political cronies that pretend to educate our kids.

Keep up the propaganda Brian.

Jan. 27 2014 09:55 PM
Meredith from nyc

Liasson today used the typical Fox points---Dems should watch out they don't push for redistribution, so they should stress 'growth'. She ignores just who has done the 'redistributing' and who reaped rewards from the growth of last decade.

I was shocked to hear this on wnyc. This is a reporter for PUBLIC media? It sounds like Fox news slogans with no thought or facts. (also she has a very hard, unpleasant voice).

But is her prestige such as a national reporter that Brian has her on before Obama's big speech? Is he afraid of being criticized for being 'liberal'? I am puzzled.
Anyway here's what I found about Mara--part of an article below.

A Fair And Balanced Look At Mara Liasson
November 07, 2013 5:12 PM

Stephen Voss

What to do about NPR's national political correspondent ?

This is a regular issue raised by some NPR listeners who object to Liasson's second role as a contributor to Fox News. They say that she, like Fox, tilts to the right.

"Would you please consider letting Mara Liasson go?" wrote listener Michael Duba in what is typical of the several complaints that come in almost every time Liasson does a story. "Her affiliation with the Tea Party channel and willingness to just go along with whatever is said by others on the fake news shows she appears on has ruined whatever small remaining shreds of credibility she had left."

Joan Jones, of Madison, Wis., wrote, "If Ms. Liasson wishes to be respected, I suggest that she refrain from using Republican or 'Tea Party' talking points in her reporting. In her reporting on the Affordable Care Act in particular, you are obligated to go beyond the talking points to get to the truth of an issue."

Jan. 27 2014 07:18 PM

I wish we didn't associate taxing the rich with redistribution. That makes it such a non starter. If Bill Gates was taxed at 80% he'd still be wealthy. How come we're so afraid of pissing off billionaires?

Jan. 27 2014 12:43 PM

@RUCB You're dead wrong on asserting that I'm trying to scare myself. You obviously missed my point. I'll pose it as question for you. So what if it was the top .001%? You think it will be a successful strategy? Do you really think that it's going to come to fruition? I didn't think so.

Jan. 27 2014 12:37 PM

As much as I like the idea of taxing the 1% at 99% (or, whatever), I don't think it solves the problem.

I'd rather see us fix the damn problem(s); Put people to work, increase productivity, initiate a living wage, campaign reform, term limits, shut down the Wall St. Kasino™, ELIMINATE big banking and most of all "de-rig" the upside down funnel vacuum!


Jan. 27 2014 11:39 AM

@Mr B

If you had said that Obama has been inconsistent and sometimes even incoherent about his jobs plans, I would agree. He has one but he hasn't been hammering the GOP over their lack of one much either.

Rescuing the banking and finance portion of the economy while letting the working man twist - 'cept for Cash for Clunkers and some HARP monies - is certainly an undersized effort compared to the magnitude of the problem. Something bold that puts a million people on payrolls is more in order. It would cut our current deficits in half. High speed rail to eliminate trucking between cities of 1M of population?

Obamacare isn't a disaster. Paying $2k for a policy that covers 50% of costs until $6500 spent is no party. It doesn't help as much as BHO could have hoped but it does condition everyone who uses the healthcare system to be paying something for it. How that something is collected - as a tax or an insurance premium -- is the next fight, imo.

Jan. 27 2014 11:22 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ RUCB_Alum

The POTUS has no jobs plan, never did. Sure, GOP criticism of Obama has been especially strident but to a large degree that's coming from the radical Tea Party puppets in congress. Obama got Obamacare, which is a disaster, and has settled into the 1% central bank consensus when it comes to economic policy.

Jan. 27 2014 10:56 AM

@Rich P from Long Island

"95% tax rate on the top 1%....good luck with that."

The caller said 95% tax rate for those earing $500 million or more...Not really the same as the one percent. More like the .001 percent.

You are misremembering his words in order to scare yourself. Did it work?

Jan. 27 2014 10:50 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Home rule for NY? They have it in Cook County and as a former resident I can say that it's an unmitigated disaster. NYC is a special case. We're home to Wall Street and the biggest city in the country, so yeah, NYC should be able to impose a luxury tax on residents. For the rest of NY or any state, no, bad idea for obvious reasons.

Jan. 27 2014 10:49 AM

@concerned citizen from New York

"The Republicans took his cue in their fighting."

You couldn't be more wrong, concerned. The GOP stalled, blocked and denied the President any progress on his agenda that would have helped the nation.

-Denied a filibuster-proof Senate majority for six months with disputed MN results
-400+ filibustered appointments
-No action on JOBS(!) since the GOP takeover of the House

It's just too typical to think that all of this was a 'reaction' to the President's tone. It's also horse sh*t.

Jan. 27 2014 10:47 AM



So stupid.

Jan. 27 2014 10:38 AM

An economy dependent on the populace spending 120% of their income is NOT sustainable!!

It is BEYOND time for a new capitalism.

Quarter over quarter of RECORD profits is NOT sustainable. You can only squeeze so much out of the vassal!

Jan. 27 2014 10:35 AM

@ dboy, That's because when it goes up it's called Capitalism, and when it comes down it's called Socialism.

Jan. 27 2014 10:33 AM

It ALL goe$ up!

Nothin' comes down!!

Jan. 27 2014 10:28 AM

Mara referring to "Redistributionist Democrats", like it's any significant part of our body politic, is laugh out loud funny. Just who are, where are, these "Redistributionist Democrats"?

And just what is this mechanism of this mighty "Redistribution" anyway??

Possibly Implementing new and very modest taxes to a segment of the population (the wealthy) who already have historically low tax rates, is not "redistribution". It's called paying for things that the majority supports and that democracy enables.

Sadly, I agree with RUCB_Alum of his characterization of Ms. Liasson.

Jan. 27 2014 10:26 AM

Hey, Abortion from Larchmont!!


Jan. 27 2014 10:26 AM
BK from Hoboken

@Tim - 95% too tax rate?! That is the sort of talk that keeps any decent debate from occurring. Yes the top guys new to pay more, but what would you rather have- a good chunk increase in minimum wage or higher tax rates on the rich?
Most recent caller re: start at the bottom nailed it!

Jan. 27 2014 10:23 AM

Larry Lessig:

GET THE $$$® OUT!!!

Jan. 27 2014 10:23 AM
Rich P from Long Island

I think I heard Bernie Sanders call in as "Joe Citizen";-). 95% tax rate on the top 1%....good luck with that.

Jan. 27 2014 10:23 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Well, they may agree that inequality is a problem. But they (and, perhaps, the guest) don't understand (1) what causes it and (2) its ripple effects. And so, HOW can they possibly fashion an effective solution?...

Jan. 27 2014 10:22 AM
concerned citizen from New York

The state of our union is disunion. The President needs to keep his word as a man of consensus and reach out to all Americans, including Republicans instead of attacking and demonizing them as he has from the get go. He is the President and he sets the tone. The Republicans took his cue in their fighting.

Jan. 27 2014 10:22 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I feel sorry for Pope Francis that he has to talk to him. Yech.

The state of our union is in peril. Conflict around the world is coming closer, and we aren't reforming our lives.

Jan. 27 2014 10:21 AM

You can have all the early education you want, NOTHING will change "inequality" or immobility until the criminals like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein are put in jail!!

It's called justice and it's not just for black and latinos!!!


Jan. 27 2014 10:20 AM
steve from upper west side

The State of Our Union is... bought and paid for. Our election system, our election districts, our elections themselves and our elected officials are all corrupted by the unlimited wash of mysterious, anonymous money...

Jan. 27 2014 10:19 AM
antonio from baySide

Executive order: High speed rail and a street-car network in EVERY small to medium city...

Right there, jobs in the real estate sector, local business and tourism.

Jan. 27 2014 10:17 AM

Wow, Mara, I am sooooo tired of the Right leaning media - you, Hume and others - attempting to tell the President to avoid redistribution. The American worker has experience FLAT incomes over the last decade, while the economy has grown by 50%. Talk about that redistribution!

The state of our Union is dismal. The Bush Tax cuts have drained the Treasury of its surplus and the cash reserves to begin to pay out the bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund can only be raised by increasing taxes. Rather than act rationally, the GOP have played 'stall ball' and attempted to legitimize the theft from the Treasury.

Unless action is taken to close tax loopholes (corporate and personal), limit and fix the rates innovatively, the greedy hoarders will have won.

I don't want to live in a country run by the Koch Bros.

Jan. 27 2014 10:17 AM

early childhood education good...government controlling education bad.

Jan. 27 2014 10:16 AM

The state of our union is divellent.

Jan. 27 2014 10:12 AM
antonio from baySide

The reason the Mayor should not take the handout from the Governor is because (ready for this?)

THE MONEY IS THERE!!! Please enough with all the canards..
"The rich will leave New York" ugh...
Please it's fair. Enough with this gilded age...

Jan. 27 2014 10:11 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

The "Conservative" D'Souza, that got fired from his job, after being seen entering a hotel with a woman that was not his wife? No way?

Jan. 27 2014 09:03 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The March for Life San Francisco was held on Saturday, media didn't cover it either. See for atheists and agnostics for life. Conservative film maker Danesh D'Souza is being charged with illegal funding of a senate campaign (that failed), could it be because of his upcoming movie 'America' in July? With the Congressional election in November? Sounds like political targeting.

Jan. 27 2014 08:56 AM

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