From: Annie LINSKEY [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 12:22 PM
To: Rangel, Antoinette N. EOP
Subject: WH pool report #3 (part II)
WH pool report #3 (part II). Poverty panel at Georgetown
Q. From EJ Dionne to POTUS: What is something we could actually get done. (Makes joke about how the audience is religious, and believes in miracles.)
"The best anti-poverty program is a job," Obama says.
"What has happened is that since 1973 over the last 40 years, the share of income going to the bottom 90 percent has shrunk," Obama says.
"We can't talk about poverty without talking about the middle class."
POTUS notes that he's read Robert Putnam's book on poverty. ("Our Kids.)
"There have always been trends inwhich concentrations of wealth can lead to some being left behind. What's happened in our economy is those doing better are withdrawing from the commons." (Kids go to private schools, work in private clubs.)
Says that government has been "under attack" for the past 30 years.
Obama challenges Putnam's view that the 1960s were a rosier time for mobility
"Even back in Bob's day that was happening, it was happening to black people," Obama says.
"Who had access to the fire fighters job" all those "were foreclosed to the minority population for decades," POTUS says.
"It's hard being poor. People don't like being poor. It's time consuming, it's stressful. It's hard," Obama says.
"I say all this and I notice this is not an answer to your question," Obama says.
POTUS points to state, local and federal budgets. "We don't make those same common investments that we used to, and it's made an impact," Obama says
"Part of what happened in our politics and part of what has shifted ... elites in a very mobile globalized world are able to live together away from folks who are not as wealthy. They feel less of a commitment to making those investments," Obama says.
"What used to be racial segregation mirrors itself in class segregation," Obama says.
There has always been a strain in American politics where if you are struggling "who are you mad at" Obama says. "To suggest that the poor are sponges, leaches" got traction, Obama says.
"If you watch FOX news on a constant basis, it is a constant menu. They will make me mad. I don't know where they find them," Obama says. Obama makes some reference to the "Obama-phone."
"If we are going to change how John Boehner and Mitch McConnell think" we are going to have to change our body politic, Obama says.
Says we will have to change the ways news media reports on poverty.
Obama name checks Pres Lincoln, says he supported land grant colleges.
Now Brooks, the conservative on the panel, starts talking.
Brooks: "No economist says we don't need public goods."
"When we don't make cost benefit calculations" on what to the public pays for then "the poor pays" Brooks says
Sent from my iPhone