President Obama Needs More Shoes

During a 2007 campaign speech in Spartanburg, South Carolina, then-Senator Obama promised he would fight for collective bargaining rights if he was elected president.

“And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.”

Two years ago, President Obama passed up an opportunity to make good on that promise when Wisconsin workers lost their collective bargaining rights. Some people suggested mailing pairs of comfortable shoes to the White House to help the President out.

Once again, our President needs those shoes. He says he is concerned that Americans have gone too long without a minimum wage increase, yet he won’t sign an executive order to help out low-wage federal contract employees.

From Think Progress:

Unlike millions of other low-wage employees, the ones fulfilling federal service contracts can get a raise without an act of Congress. The workers, backed by a group of about 17 House progressives, want President Obama to exercise his executive authority to improve their pay and get taxpayers out of the business of paying poverty wages. The administration has kept quiet on the topic for months as the congressional progressives who favor the move have gotten louder and begun criticizing the president’s inaction, and both workers and lawmakers hope Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address will include an announcement about raising federal contract worker wages with the stroke of a pen.

The eight-month federal worker campaign has played out in the shadow of much larger coast-to-coast strikes by fast food and Walmart workers, who likely hope their activism has emboldened a president who once famously pledged to walk picket lines alongside workers.

UPDATE: 11 Jobs Where an Honest Day’s Work Earns You Poverty

UPDATE: Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contract Workers By Executive Order

  1. #1 by Anonymous on January 22, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    Gosh, he totally sucks huh?

    • #2 by Richard Warnick on January 22, 2014 - 6:59 pm

      There’s very little pressure to do good things when your predecessor was the Worst President Ever.

  2. #3 by brewski on January 22, 2014 - 8:48 pm

    17 members of Congress? Are you kidding?

    17/435 = 3.9%

    You and they are officially the lunatic fringe.

    • #4 by Richard Warnick on January 23, 2014 - 7:48 am

      Or the ones who actually care about workers.

      • #5 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 8:50 am

        Of those 17 lunatic fringe members of the House who “care about workers”. Can you tell me how many of them have ever started a business, hired workers, paid them all a living wage, paid for their health care, paid for their defined benefit retirement plan? Please provide me with a list of their names, their businesses created, the number of employees. Thank you.

        • #6 by Richard Warnick on January 23, 2014 - 11:04 am

          Who has a defined-benefit retirement plan anymore?

          • #7 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 1:40 pm

            Not the employees of those 17 people who “care”. Oh wait, they don’t have any employees….at all.

      • #8 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 9:02 am

        Let’s pick one name as an example and look at his life.

        Keith Ellison
        Father is a doctor.
        Keith attended private religious schools (non-unionized)
        Supports infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
        Keith divorced his wife who has MS.
        Keith worked as a lawyer in private practice.
        Elected to Minnesota House.
        Elected to Congress.
        In early 2006, the Minnesota State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reprimanded Ellison for unreported campaign contributions, discrepancies in cash balances, and misclassified disbursements during his campaigns for the Minnesota House of Representatives. These transgressions occurred in the years 2002–2004. In 2005, the board opened an investigation, and Ellison was subpoenaed and fined.
        Ellison was repeatedly fined for late filings, was sued twice by the Attorney General of Minnesota, and was warned about absent or incomplete disclosures.
        At a town hall meeting to discuss health care, Congressman Ellison is asked if he would be willing to put himself and his family on the government program for health care. he did not answer the question.

        Apparent jobs created for the workers he “cares” so much about: zero

        • #9 by Richard Warnick on January 23, 2014 - 11:08 am

          You can make as many personal criticisms as you like, they are all politicians. What counts is who’s side they are on.

          President Obama is not a perfect person either. What I want from him is more than just some nice speeches about income inequality. He could take action on behalf of Americans who work for a living. He could do it today.

          • #10 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 1:39 pm

            Those are not personal criticisms. Those are facts. Numbers. Reality. Nothing personal about it.

          • #11 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 1:41 pm

            By the way, thank you for the concession that Ellison is a hypocrite.

          • #12 by Richard Warnick on January 23, 2014 - 2:23 pm

            I think President Obama is a hypocrite, don’t know enough about Rep. Ellison.

            What I care about right now is how their actions (or inaction, in the case of the President) affect working Americans.

          • #13 by brewski on January 23, 2014 - 2:47 pm

            You must be a racist. Take it up with Cliff and Glendy.

          • #14 by cav on January 24, 2014 - 7:26 am

            Let’s not overlood Ellison’s race.

            Blah! Eleventy!!!!

          • #15 by brewski on January 24, 2014 - 9:34 am

            Richard is the racist as you can see by his criticisms of Our President. Ask him.

  3. #16 by Larry Bergan on January 22, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    Bush didn’t break any of his promises to the rich and wealthy. He didn’t MAKE any promises to us.

  4. #17 by Larry Bergan on January 24, 2014 - 8:28 am

    Ellison who?

    • #18 by cav on January 24, 2014 - 4:01 pm

      Keith Ellison (D Sanityville)

  5. #19 by Larry Bergan on January 24, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    Ellison seems a bit too wishy-washy to me on the Iraq war thing. Probably why he’s in the running on the election fraud thing.

    I grow weary.

  6. #20 by Larry Bergan on January 24, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    Didn’t know how to spell wearier. 🙁

  7. #21 by Larry Bergan on January 25, 2014 - 8:54 pm

    I’m tired.

  8. #22 by cav on January 26, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Twice in the past year, President Obama has set plans to get U.S. spy agencies out of secret missions that had come under harsh public scrutiny: killing militants with drone strikes and stockpiling the phone records of U.S. citizens.

    And twice, those plans have run into opposition from a seemingly unlikely source: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former Senate colleague of the president, a California Democrat and, as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, increasingly an obstacle to Obama’s push to revamp intelligence programs.

    Feinstein’s willingness to oppose Obama is regarded by some as a troubling indication that a committee created to serve as skeptical overseer of spy agencies has instead become their most reliable ally.

  9. #23 by Anonymous on January 26, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    More good cop bad cop as the goose stepping to tyranny proceeds..

  10. #24 by Richard Warnick on January 27, 2014 - 12:13 pm

    The 10 Obama Policies and Failures That Make Us Angriest

    “Obama’s sweet talk has begun to turn sour—he has a long pattern of soaring rhetoric and empty promises followed by some fundamental failures to deliver. It is the lack of action, the hypocrisy, the talking the talk without walking the walk, that have made many progressives and liberals frustrated and angry.”

  11. #25 by Anonymous on January 27, 2014 - 12:25 pm

    Bush’s.. uh…fourth term?

  12. #26 by Richard Warnick on January 28, 2014 - 10:09 am

    UPDATE: Obama To Raise Minimum Wage For Federal Contract Workers By Executive Order

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will announce during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that he’s raising the minimum wage for workers under federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, an administration official told The Huffington Post.

    The new policy, to be instituted via executive order, may affect hundreds of thousands of workers whose jobs are supported by federal dollars. The move is designed in part to ratchet up pressure on Congress to pass legislation raising the minimum wage for all workers. The current federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, and hasn’t been raised since 2009, after the last of a series of increases signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.

    Cue the right-wing whiners! “Obama’s a dictator just like Hitler, if Hitler was a Muslim.”

    • #27 by brewski on January 28, 2014 - 4:30 pm

      Is Obama going to tell us where is he going to get the appropriations to pay for that? Congress? Or will it just fall out of the unicorn’s ass like every other idea he has?

      • #28 by Richard Warnick on January 28, 2014 - 5:43 pm

        Or maybe the government contractors could pay their execs less so the workers could get paid more. As a former employee of a federal contractor, I know they can afford it!

        • #29 by brewski on January 28, 2014 - 8:38 pm

          There are plenty of government contractors who are small business who don’t have any execs to extract any money from. If those execs are making too much money then why did the Feds hire them in the first place? Whose fault is that?

          • #30 by Richard Warnick on January 28, 2014 - 8:42 pm

            Without naming names, the company I worked for was a small business. The lion’s share of the contract money did not go to the people who actually did the work. If we were all federal employees instead of contract employees, we could have had higher pay (and better benefits) and it would have saved taxpayers some money too.

          • #31 by brewski on January 28, 2014 - 8:44 pm

            Then why didn’t they?

          • #32 by Richard Warnick on January 28, 2014 - 8:46 pm

            Most federal agencies have been in a de facto hiring freeze for years. Thus contractors get hired instead, but it’s an inefficient system. Not to mention, the most famous government contractor these days is named Edward Snowden!

          • #33 by brewski on January 28, 2014 - 8:52 pm

            So what you are saying is that the Federal government has no idea how to make wise financial decisions, has no idea how to get value out of contracts, has no idea how to manage contractors, and knowingly makes procurement decisions which hurt workers and taxpayers.

            And you want to give them more power and more money.


          • #34 by Richard Warnick on January 29, 2014 - 8:10 am

            The bad decisions are driven by right-wing political ideology. The myth that private sector is somehow superior to public sector.

          • #35 by brewski on January 29, 2014 - 10:13 am

            The current Executive Branch and the current employees of the Federal government are driven by right wing political ideology?

          • #36 by Richard Warnick on January 29, 2014 - 11:35 am

            You haven’t noticed? I personally think it’s insane to have hundreds of thousands of private sector contractors working in the Surveillance State with top secret clearances, but that’s the prevailing ideology.

          • #37 by brewski on January 29, 2014 - 11:56 am

            So the Forest Service is driven by right wind political ideologists?

          • #38 by Richard Warnick on January 29, 2014 - 1:49 pm

            As you well know, the political environment is dominated by right-wing ideas and austerity budgeting. The Forest Service can’t be blamed for the so-called sequester or the government shutdown, for example.

          • #39 by brewski on January 29, 2014 - 2:14 pm

            So you are telling me that the Forest Service goes out of their way to make bad decisions for employees and taxpayers? The people in the Forest Service are right wing ideologues? They should all be fired.

          • #40 by Richard Warnick on January 29, 2014 - 3:28 pm

            The bad decisions are made in Congress. I’d happily fire the lot of them.

          • #41 by brewski on January 29, 2014 - 3:57 pm

            Total bullshit.

            The Executive is not told by Congress who should be outsourced. If Obama can make up shit as he goes along on other stuff he could surely save money by insourcing in his powers as Chief Executive.

  13. #42 by Anonymous on January 28, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    With 5 trillion in new debt, and inflation obviously here its more of a one step forward, then fall down go boom.

    Pretty much a wash by now. Servicing debt is what most of the taxpayers money will be doing soon enough. It sadly already is.

    Rule by executive fiat, the most singular feature of Obama’s administration is trending towards an FDR style of dictatorship, complete with similar miserable results. He is even having a go at trying to pack the courts.

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