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Leon Cooperman: Open Letter to President Obama

November 29, 2011
gurufocus

gurufocus

341 followers
OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA from Leon Cooperman.

November 28, 2011

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

It is with a great sense of disappointment that I write this. Like many others, I hoped that your election would bring a salutary change of direction to the country, despite what more than a few feared was an overly aggressive social agenda. And I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited, even if the policy response on your watch has been profligate and largely ineffectual. (You did not, after all, invent TARP.) I understand that when surrounded by cries of "the end of the world as we know it is nigh", even the strongest of minds may have a tendency to shoot first and aim later in a well-intended effort to stave off the predicted apocalypse.

But what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is your and your minions' role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us that smacks of what so many have characterized as "class warfare". Whether this reflects your principled belief that the eternal divide between the haves and have-nots is at the root of all the evils that afflict our society or just a cynical, populist appeal to his base by a president struggling in the polls is of little importance. What does matter is that the divisive, polarizing tone of your rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point as much visceral as philosophical, between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them. It is a gulf that is at once counterproductive and freighted with dangerous historical precedents. And it is an approach to governing that owes more to desperate demagoguery than your Administration should feel comfortable with.

Just to be clear, while I have been richly rewarded by a life of hard work (and a great deal of luck), I was not to-the-manor-born. My father was a plumber who practiced his trade in the South Bronx after he and my mother emigrated from Poland. I was the first member of my family to earn a college degree. I benefited from both a good public education system (P.S. 75, Morris High School and Hunter College, all in the Bronx) and my parents' constant prodding. When I joined Goldman Sachs following graduation from Columbia University's business school, I had no money in the bank, a negative net worth, a National Defense Education Act student loan to repay, and a six-month-old child (not to mention his mother, my wife of now 47 years) to support. I had a successful, near-25-year run at Goldman, which I left 20 years ago to start a private investment firm. As a result of my good fortune, I have been able to give away to those less blessed far more than I have spent on myself and my family over a lifetime, and last year I subscribed to Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge to ensure that my money, properly stewarded, continues to do some good after I'm gone.

My story is anything but unique. I know many people who are similarly situated, by both humble family history and hard-won accomplishment, whose greatest joy in life is to use their resources to sustain their communities. Some have achieved a level of wealth where philanthropy is no longer a by-product of their work but its primary impetus. This is as it should be. We feel privileged to be in a position to give back, and we do. My parents would have expected nothing less of me.

I am not, by training or disposition, a policy wonk, polemicist or pamphleteer. I confess admiration for those who, with greater clarity of expression and command of the relevant statistical details, make these same points with more eloquence and authoritativeness than I can hope to muster. For recent examples, I would point you to "Hunting the Rich" (Leaders, The Economist, September 24, 2011), "The Divider vs. the Thinker" (Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2011), "Wall Street Occupiers Misdirect Anger" (Christine Todd Whitman, Bloomberg, October 31, 2011), and "Beyond Occupy" (Bill Keller, The New York Times, October 31, 2011) - all, if you haven't read them, making estimable work of the subject.

But as a taxpaying businessman with a weekly payroll to meet and more than a passing familiarity with the ways of both Wall Street and Washington, I do feel justified in asking you: is the tone of the current debate really constructive?

People of differing political persuasions can (and do) reasonably argue about whether, and how high, tax rates should be hiked for upper-income earners; whether the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended or permitted to expire, and for whom; whether various deductions and exclusions under the federal tax code that benefit principally the wealthy and multinational corporations should be curtailed or eliminated; whether unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut should be extended; whether the burdens of paying for the nation's bloated entitlement programs are being fairly spread around, and whether those programs themselves should be reconfigured in light of current and projected budgetary constraints; whether financial institutions deemed "too big to fail" should be serially bailed out or broken up first, like an earlier era's trusts, because they pose a systemic risk and their size benefits no one but their owners; whether the solution to what ails us as a nation is an amalgam of more regulation, wealth redistribution, and a greater concentration of power in a central government that has proven no more (I'm being charitable here) adept than the private sector in reining in the excesses that brought us to this pass - the list goes on and on, and the dialectic is admirably American. Even though, as a high-income taxpayer, I might be considered one of its targets, I find this reassessment of so many entrenched economic premises healthy and long overdue. Anyone who could survey today's challenging fiscal landscape, with an un- and underemployment rate of nearly 20 percent and roughly 40 percent of the country on public assistance, and not acknowledge an imperative for change is either heartless, brainless, or running for office on a very parochial agenda. And if I end up paying more taxes as a result, so be it. The alternatives are all worse.

But what I do find objectionable is the highly politicized idiom in which this debate is being conducted. Now, I am not naive. I understand that in today's America, this is how the business of governing typically gets done - a situation that, given the gravity of our problems, is as deplorable as it is seemingly ineluctable. But as President first and foremost and leader of your party second, you should endeavor to rise above the partisan fray and raise the level of discourse to one that is both more civil and more conciliatory, that seeks collaboration over confrontation. That is what "leading by example" means to most people.

Capitalism is not the source of our problems, as an economy or as a society, and capitalists are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be. As a group, we employ many millions of taxpaying people, pay their salaries, provide them with healthcare coverage, start new companies, found new industries, create new products, fill store shelves at Christmas, and keep the wheels of commerce and progress (and indeed of government, by generating the income whose taxation funds it) moving. To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitled versus poor-and-dispossessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment. It is also a naked, political pander to some of the basest human emotions - a strategy, as history teaches, that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists.

With due respect, Mr. President, it's time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people's better instincts, not their worst. Rather than assume that the wealthy are a monolithic, selfish and unfeeling lot who must be subjugated by the force of the state, set a tone that encourages people of good will to meet in the middle. When you were a community organizer in Chicago, you learned the art of waging a guerilla campaign against a far superior force. But you've graduated from that milieu and now help to set the agenda for that superior force. You might do well at this point to eschew the polarizing vernacular of political militancy and become the transcendent leader you were elected to be. You are likely to be far more effective, and history is likely to treat you far more kindly for it.

Sincerely,

Leon G. Cooperman

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

About the author:

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Comments

brianbook
Brianbook premium member - 2 years ago
Leon, with all due respect, you are outside your circle of competence. Please educate yourself with the moral philosophy of Michael Sandel or John Rawls on justice, or the prohetic tradition as told by theologian, Abraham Heschel in "The Prophets". I do not think you know, what you think you know, about social justice.
paulwitt
Paulwitt - 2 years ago


Enjoyed the letter. Thanks.

BlueHorseShoe82
BlueHorseShoe82 - 2 years ago
Is this your circle of competence, mr. Brook? Just wondering.
vgm
Vgm - 2 years ago
Excellent letter. Well crafted, well written. Potent. Thanks.
dealraker
Dealraker - 2 years ago
Dear Leon Cooperman,

Evidently the large pay you get pushes you to think you actually offer something to the world. You do not offer anything to the US or anybody else except that you are a grand weath transfer machine in efficient opperation. 2 and 20?

Manage your followers money and shut the hell up.

kfh227
Kfh227 premium member - 2 years ago
Want Washington to pay attention to us? When Congress voting comes, vote every incumbant out of office. They are a bunch of babies that have no interest in doing what is right.
davidchulak
Davidchulak premium member - 2 years ago
Mr. Book.....Mandel spews Rawls tripe in a different book cover. Either way, their philosophy is horrible so I might suggest you read a little more.

Mr. Dealraker is constantly disparaging to others, so his advice to Mr. Cooperman to "shut the hell up" is not surprising based upon other comments I've seen on the website....but is certainly less than respectful and should not be used on a professional web site.

We live in an age where actors and actresses are suddenly experts on political and economic philosophy and espouse their views daily in the press (as do some investors).....so certainly, Mr. Cooperman needs nobody's permission to explain his positions.

I believe Mr. Cooperman was much too kind in the letter. While I don't blame the current administration for all of the problems facing this country, he has certainly damaged it greatly. This economy is akin to a man driving towards the edge of a cliff.....not knowing exactly when it will happen. Mr. Obama is driving now and has now hit the accelerator. Nothing has changed.....we will just get there faster.

Good for you Mr. Cooperman

baruch
Baruch - 2 years ago
it's incredible that one could write such a public letter, & totally misconstrue the issues. i wonder whether this is sheer arrogance or simply something more disturbing - a simple mind tackling subject matter outside his level of competence? Shakespeare says it best, " Lord, what fools these mortals be".
amfellegy
Amfellegy - 2 years ago
Well said, Mr. Cooperman!
pmj9766
Pmj9766 - 2 years ago


This is a fabulous letter and clearly states what needs to be said.

As the leader of the United States the President needs to always choose the high path, and always choose what is best for the country.

Leading and campaigning are diametrically opposed. What is best for the country might not improve ones standings in the poles. A great leader will always choose what is right for the country, even if it costs him the re-election. By choosing to campaign rather than lead the President has clearly chosen the low road. Which is what we hear daily as a failure of leadership in Washington D.C.

nycguy66
Nycguy66 - 2 years ago


I admit to being confused - not by point of Mr. Cooperman's letter but rather by the basis for it. I have heard many accusations of President Obama's "class warfare" rhetoric, but I have not heard the President actually talk about the world this way in his speeches. I have not heard him call capitalism "the source of our problem, as an economy or as a society" as Mr. Cooperman attributes to him. Nor have I seen any quotes from speeches that the President has made that say such a thing. I have heard President Obama state that he explicitely does not believe in class warfare and that he does not see raising taxes on wealthy people while not doing so on poorer people as class warfare. While I can understand how a person in the upper echelons of income might take an increase in taxes as an personal attack, I don't think that such feelings are based in fact.

I work at a hedge fund. My tax rates may go up as a result of the President's proposal on those with high incomes. I do not view this as class warfare. I view it being asked to fulfill my part of the social contract that holds society together, especially during such generally tough economic times. As a country, we have two simultaneuos problems to solve - the economic/employment crisis and the exploding deficit. It is naive to think that the solution to the first problem, the economy, can be attained while spending is cut in any draconian way. It is equally naive to believe that the most economically advantaged members of our society will not have to bear, at least temporarily, a larger share of the burden for the any solution to the second, budgetary problem. It is not an attack on any class of people to ask them to accept reality or to ask them to fulfill part in the social contract.

Yet, accusations, such as the one in Mr. Cooperman's letter, that President Obama is waging class warfare are running rampant. As with Mr. Cooperman's letter, such accusations consistently omit specific examples from the President's speeches while feeling free attribute many thoughts to the President that he has not stated. Without specific examples, these accusations appear to be either politically motivated or misguided by previously issued, politically motivated accusations.

So, in order to support the accusations that Mr. Cooperman makes in the letter above, I would ask that people share specific examples of the President's "rhetoric" or "pandering" to the poor that would support the claims that Mr. Cooperman make in his letter. In the absence of such specific direct quotes, I would suggest that the people that are responible for any atmosphere of class warfare, including the "highly politicized idiom in which this debate is being conducted", are in fact those that are complaining about the President's attempt to make people see the reality of our current economic and political situation.
JillK
JillK - 2 years ago
Please give equal web space to the rebuttal to Mr. Cooperman's screed.

http://reelectdemocrats.blogspot.com/2011/11/open-letter-to-president-of-united.html
brianbook
Brianbook premium member - 2 years ago
Since I am a Christian, the "light" that I have, also includes the critical thinking & theology of Aristotle, Aquinas, & the Gospel of Luke; as integrated by philosopher/theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff in "Justice, Rights & Wrongs". In short, in a more JUST & peaceful society, ALL will flourish. This is the VISION of President Obama.
dealraker
Dealraker - 2 years ago
"Mr. Dealraker is constantly disparaging to others, so his advice to Mr. Cooperman to "shut the hell up" is not surprising based upon other comments I've seen on the website....but is certainly less than respectful and should not be used on a professional web site."

Mr. Cooperman's letter is a stupid/brain dead disrespect to the President.

By the way jerko, I've voting for Newt in the next election so accuse me of whatever.

This is NOT, and I mean NOT IN ANY WAY, a professional website. We had a "professional" poster the other day citing a guru and he spelled his name wrong during the entire posting. "Pzena?" Oh my god please help us!

We even see Buffett's name routinely misspelled here.

Give me a break. Professional? Give me a break!

gurufocus
Gurufocus premium member - 2 years ago
Dealraker,

thank you for pointing out the editorial errors! Although we are always getting better, sometimes we still miss the errors with spellings.

We will pay more attention to editorial. Please feel free to let us know what we should be doing but we are not doing.

GuruFocus.
Dushan29
Dushan29 - 2 years ago
Where has this Cooperman been since Obama became president? Does he have his head buried in the sand? His entire letter is without merit.

Even before Obama became president, he spoke quite a bit about developing bipartisanship with the Republicans. And for most of the next three years, he kept up wanting bipartisanship. I sent Obama many emails advising him that he was wasting his breath on bipartisanship as the Republicans main goal was to do everything to destroy his presidency. I and many others who voted for Obama were sick and tired of hearing his bipartisan speeches.

Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim DeMint both stated their main aim was to get rid of Obama. They would rather shoot down every one of his economic proposals than to raise taxes. Virtually all of the Republicans in the US Congress have pledged an oath to a lobbyist, Grover Norquist, whose main goal is to destroy the social programs for all Americans. That oath is a treacherous deed, and I believe all those who took the oath to not raise taxes are traitors to America. They all took oaths to uphold the US Constitution and to protect the American people. It's disgusting that Norquist has such power as an un-elected public official.

Where was Cooperman when Bush took his Iraqi war off the funding budget? Where was he when Bush pushed for the Medicare drug program, off budget? All this debt paid for by selling US Treasuries to the Chinese and other nations. The Bush tax cuts were suppose to expire, but Obama caved in to the Republicans in exchange for extending the unemployment compensation benefits for millions of Americans. I was against this. I wanted those tax cuts to expire. The richest people in America got the most benefit out of those tax cuts. They didn't create the jobs that the Republicans had championed. In fact, the recession officially began in December 2007 while Bush was still at the helm. Millions of jobs were lost under Bush.

These millionaires, like Cooperman should begin to understand that most all Americans don't want to be on welfare or draw unemployment compensation. They want work, and we've seen thousands of business firms close their doors and move themselves to low wage nations. This is one of the greatest flaws in the capitalist system. Greed and profits trumped making planned and pragmatic solutions for Americans who were going to get laid-off by outsourcing of their jobs.

Cooperman, like most who are in the financial world, live in their own bubble, one that almost came to a grinding halt back in 2008 unless the American taxpayer bailed out the financial industry for their crimes of greed and casino gambling that caused this great recession, but thanks to Obama, he's made some inroads towards getting us out, but we still have a long road to moving forward.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with Cooperman, and others like him, who should have been aiming his criticism towards people like him who didn't speak out against Bush's profligacy and unwarranted tax cuts. He should have been arm-twisting his Republican pals to negotiate with Obama on good faith, and to put everything on the table, including enough revenue to offset the cuts in spending.

Cooperman, no doubt, would like to see either Romney or Gingrich as president. These two are very flawed candidates. Both are flip-floppers extraordinaire. Romney has no savoir-faire with ordinary people, and Gingrich is terribly flawed when it comes to character, decency, and honesty. These will both want to follow a Republican ideology which is doomed to failure. It borders on Fascism.

BlueHorseShoe82
BlueHorseShoe82 - 2 years ago
Based on the length of your letter I assume you're unemployed and looking for a job? Let me know how we can help.
mupampi
Mupampi - 2 years ago


Let's see what Warren Buffet said in the New York times about this subject:

OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched. While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate. Others own stock index futures for 10 minutes and have 60 percent of their gain taxed at 15 percent, as if they’d been long-term investors.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

Last year my federal tax bill — the income tax I paid, as well as payroll taxes paid by me and on my behalf — was $6,938,744. That sounds like a lot of money. But what I paid was only 17.4 percent of my taxable income — and that’s actually a lower percentage than was paid by any of the other 20 people in our office. Their tax burdens ranged from 33 percent to 41 percent and averaged 36 percent.

I know well many of the mega-rich and, by and large, they are very decent people. They love America and appreciate the opportunity this country has given them. Many have joined the Giving Pledge, promising to give most of their wealth to philanthropy. Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.

Twelve members of Congress will soon take on the crucial job of rearranging our country’s finances. They’ve been instructed to devise a plan that reduces the 10-year deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. It’s vital, however, that they achieve far more than that. Americans are rapidly losing faith in the ability of Congress to deal with our country’s fiscal problems. Only action that is immediate, real and very substantial will prevent that doubt from morphing into hopelessness. That feeling can create its own reality.

Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. Big money must be saved here. The 12 should then turn to the issue of revenues. I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

tkervin
Tkervin - 2 years ago
Dear Sehays1982,

From the look of your photo I have children older than you. My hope is that they are respectful in public forums.
Dushan29
Dushan29 - 2 years ago
Mumpapi

Well stated. I'm pleased that many like you are willing to do more. Your statement about the "poor and middle class" fighting in Afghanistan should stand out to the wealthy. They can afford to keep their sons and daughters out of serving in the military. Many of the poor and middle class would rather have a decent paying job, but the military does serve its purpose, not only being patriotic, but perhaps finding time to grow and for some, fortunate to get some transferable skills to the private sector when they complete their enlistments.

sehayes1982

I surmise that 1982 is when you were born. I'm a few generations away from you. My entire immediate family came to the USA from Latin America back in the early 1940's. My father served in the US Navy during WWII. He was at the top of the ladder in a blue collar job when he finished his military tour. My parents were divorced in my first year of high school. My mom remarried, and my father continued paying child support. I completed high school, and then I joined the US Army for three years. I was fortunate to qualify for some excellent schooling after basic training. When I separated, I worked at a major bank, and I recognized that I would go nowhere in a bank. Again, and through perseverance, I began working for a major exporting company which was in need of my foreign language. I had not yet completed a degree program. From there, I was able to continue my college education, and again, I was fortunate to get several other positions working in the international. I traveled to several Latin American nations, the Caribbean, SE Asia, Canada, most of the USA, working for these companies.

After working in the international field for a number of years, I decided to teach. Again, my language skills were much in demand. I finished off a degree in Business, a degree in Education, and a Masters in Public Administration, a fellowship in economics, plus three teaching credentials in business, computers, and bilingual/ESL programs. I retired from teaching. My wife is still working, and if it were not for her to finish up in a few more years, I could be teaching in a number of foreign nations, all of which would welcome me with my educational background, business experience, and skills. Even today, I would have no problem returning to teaching here in the USA. Persons, such as myself, are still in demand. My wife is a strong complement to me as she is Asian with an excellent professional resume, and I would not mind moving to Asia or even Latin America. We're considering both.

Now, if you're serious about offering me a job, let me know what you have in mind. However, I feel you're not serious, especially when you assume that I'm unemployed. Or is that short response to my previous message is all you got to either agree with me, or disagree with me?

JeanPierreSarti
JeanPierreSarti - 2 years ago
I remember what uncle Warren said when someone asked him why it was fair that the banks were not only bailed out but allowed to continue their shenanigans on Wall Street. He said something to the effect that we are all in the same boat and if it is sinking we all need to bail the water out. So we regular people via the Fed printing machine bailed the banks out with trillions of dollars.

As he has been trying unsuccessfully to say this way of thinking is a two way street. The super-rich in control of things need to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask themselves: "How much is enough?" The people in charge now are like the crack addicts that know if they keep the status quo they will destroy themselves and most likely everyone around them but can't help but keep chasing the high, in this case chasing more more more money.

How much is enough? And if you tell me that it's every man for themselves in this dog eat dog world does that include your wife/husband? children? family? friends? when will this insanity irrationality stop?
brianbook
Brianbook premium member - 2 years ago
Slightly higher taxes (chump change for billionaire Cooperman) is "The Price of Civilization" (excellent book by Jeffrey Sachs), & necessary due to the 2 expensive Bush wars, which must still be paid for, due to the Bush tax cuts. If Cooperman did not oppose the war in Iraq, he lacks standing or "clean hands", to now oppose the Obama proposed tax increase, especially if Cooperman claims to be a deficit hawk.

jerrypal01
Jerrypal01 - 2 years ago
nycguy.............Hows the Kool-aide your drinking?. If you arent sure if you heard Barack pitch the upper class against the lower class.......your not paying attention!
stuschr
Stuschr - 2 years ago
Regarding Mr. Cooperman’s open letter to the President, I find

it interesting that a man of such financial wealth has so little political

awareness. Spending ones career in and around money may get one…money,

but it does clearly not get one much in the way of insight or common

sense. Cooperman’s industry and his money, were grown on the backs of low

and middle class tax-payers. People so easily forget those who funded the

roads and bridges they take to work, and the water and sewers they use, and the

electrical grid, and those who paid for the tax subsidies that allowed bank

buildings to be built and maintained, and the subsidized public schools and

colleges he rightly notes; and so on…Yet as a general population, these “rich”

people pay the lowest tax rates and consistently vote to continue paying the

lowest tax rates. That they get a completely tax-payer-funded

infrastructure is so easily dismissed.

”Class warfare”? Only as initiated by the people who

consistently vote to pay tax rates that are inversely proportional to their

wealth. If Cooperman really wanted to “sustain his community” as he

claims, he’d donate to the road & bridge authority and to the water &

sewer district, or to other tax-funded services…

I am amazed that he actually believes the divisive Republican

rhetoric is somehow Obama’s fault. Ridiculous. (But explainable if

a person gets his news solely from the Fox entertainment station). That

he believes the debate has been about rich vs. poor… shows he is not

listening. The debate is about people making $1M/yr getting favored

treatment through tax loopholes and paying ~12% tax, corporations paying even

less, while people making less than 6 digits pay ~30%. The problem with

Obama is he’s been way to subtle and polite.

Let’s not actually believe Cooperman’s contention where he

claims as a capitalist he and his industry are responsible to “… start new

companies, found new industries, create new products, fill store shelves at

Christmas, and keep the wheels of commerce and progress (and indeed of

government, by generating the income whose taxation funds it) moving
.”

Absurd. People who actually do that, create and produce real

tangible things. They invent technologies, products and help make

people’s lives better. Bankers and financial people do virtually none of

that. An example is ATMs: Engineers built ATMs. Banks used

them to un-employ tellers and then charge people fees. Banks, for most

people, are nothing more than a place to park money so that it is safe from

thieves with guns. Unfortunately the money is not safe from insider

thieves with pens. When the money is stolen by corrupt bankers, it is

insured and repaid by….taxpayers…predominately the ones who pay 30%.

While one problem with Obama was that he wimped out on much of

the social agenda he promised, the larger problem was that he listened to

people educated beyond their intelligence who claimed a company is too big

to fail
. This has been most frustrating. Yet, any

disappointment in Obama certainly does not come close to the previous

administration, who in circa 2002 released the financial industry from the

regulations they had to follow. At that point the lack of common sense,

coupled with the excess of greed and ineptitude demonstrated by Cooperman’s

chosen industry and professional field has now been the example as to why we

need regulation of banks and financial institutions in the first place.

Yes, I find Cooperman’s letter very satirical.

Ironically, Obama has been a disappointment only in so far as he

didn’t do what Cooperman complains he did; he remained civil and

compromising with the party that swore to make him a one-term president at

America’s expense.

So, it is for that reason that I (as a registered Republican)

plan to vote for Obama…just to show that when one political party vindictively

obstructs America in an attempt to execute a personal vendetta against the

president they will (hopefully) fail….Finally, if there’s one thing America has

learned from the last 3 years, it’s that when a banker or financial industry

person tells you to turn left….you turn right.

Stu Schreiber

timmcc
Timmcc premium member - 2 years ago
The tenor of some of these comments suggests Mr. Cooperman has embarked on a fruitless endeavor. If even Thomas Jefferson engaged in indecent campaigning, I suppose we can expect no more from our current combatants.
paulwitt
Paulwitt - 2 years ago
The following is satire (kind of):

After seeing the latest maneuver to surtax the rich to pay for a reduction in social security receipts, I, as a middle class person, am ready to capitulate.

The 1% can pay for my health care, retirement, and put food on my table. I DON"T CARE ANYMORE!

nycguy66
Nycguy66 - 2 years ago


Jerrypal01 I simply stated that I did not have any hard evidence that supported Mr. Cooperman's claims in his open letter, noted that the letter itself made claims without evidence and asked for evidence that supported the claim in order to make up my mind. By definition, that means that I open to believing the assertions of the letter if they are supported by actual evidence directly quoted from the President. That is, I am not drinking anyone's Kool Aid. Telling me that you disagree with me, no matter how disagreeably you tell me, is not actually evidence that your belief is correct. In fact, you seem to be asking me to make up my mind by drinking your Kool Aid. I am not willing to do that. You have not provided me or anyone else any new information (other than that you think your opinion is evidence supporting your opinion).
paulwitt
Paulwitt - 2 years ago
I thought since I capitulated in a earlier post that I should make a pledge.

PLEDGE

I, paulwitt, on this date 12/2/2011, do hereby accept any and all contributions towards my retirement, health care, and/or food supplies from all legal sources.

signed,

me


*I'm kidding already :)

paulwitt
Paulwitt - 2 years ago
More satire

Breaking news: Republicans win control of the House of Representatives

What that means: The House of Representatives represents the will of the people.

[b][/b]

* I'm an independent voter

elliot j. stamler
Elliot j. stamler - 2 years ago
I find Mr. Cooperman's letter to contain many cogent and thoughtful points. But I also find he seems to ignore the fundamental question which in the simplest form is: WHO STARTED THIS? From the day he took office, facing the perilous situation his opponents had led the nation into, he has been vehemently and viciously opposed by the opposite party which is dominated now by people who have utterly perverted whatever can be termed responsible conservatism. In an election year, facing great political difficulties, it is to me entirely understandable that the president finds himself compelled to use clear and strong language to hammer home what he seeks and what his opponents stand for. I only regret it's been a long time coming. Mr. Cooperman is well intentioned and in a much calmer environment, if the president had behaved as he has, the criticism might have some validity. In this environment, I respectfully suggest he direct his criticism toward John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint and the gaggle of demagogues in their party who every day make a mockery of principled, intelligent, responsible debate...Gov. Jon Huntsman notably excepted.
brianbook
Brianbook premium member - 2 years ago
Mr. Cooperman, as a rich & powerful man, you try to control the conversation. What you call "class warfare", I describe as distributive justice, so that ALL can flourish. This VISION is not an original idea, but supports the social wisdom of the OT prophets, as confirmed by the Gospel of Luke.
paulwitt
Paulwitt - 2 years ago
The latest politics

Ok - give wage earners some money back with the payroll tax cut; everybody needs money.

*but don't call it a tax cut. Call it what it is - a raid on social security

Pet peeve

Two month payroll tax cut extension? As someone who has worked in an accounting department I can tell you Senator Harry Reid and by his silence, President Obama, is screwing up every accounting department in the United States.

*Everybody like doing their taxes? It's going to get worse people!

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