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An Economic Quote for the Day

Romney keeps saying his plan will cut Obama‘s deficit. Turns out it’s another lie from the Mittster. At least that’s what the experts say.

“The bottom line is that whatever baseline you use, until Romney makes good on his promise to pay for his tax cuts, he would increase the deficit far more than Obama would.”

– The Tax Policy Center’s Robert Williams

Romney’s tax cuts for all those multi millionaires would increase the deficit by nearly $5 trillion over 10 years. That’s on top of keeping the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Romney has promised to close various loopholes to pay for his tax cuts, but he hasn’t specified which ones. And he’s not likely to because none of them are actually possibile.

188 Fact Checked Promises Kept By Barack Obama


The next time a Romney/Ryan follower tells you Obama didn’t do anything during his first term, hit them with this list… and ask them what the Republican candidates have done! Here are 188 promises made and kept by Obama:

Add another Space Shuttle flight
Allocate Homeland Security funding according to risk
Appoint a special adviser to the president on violence against women
Appoint a White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security
Appoint an American Indian policy adviser
Appoint an assistant to the president for science and technology policy
Appoint at least one Republican to the cabinet
Appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer
Ask people and businesses to conserve electricity
Assure that the Veterans Administration budget is prepared as ‘must-pass’ legislation
Attract more students to science and math
Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees
Begin removing combat brigades from Iraq
Bolster the military’s ability to speak different languages
Centralize ethics and lobbying information for voters
Champion the importance of arts education
Change standards for determining broadband access
Close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan
Conduct robust research and development on future space missions
Consider “smart growth” in transportation funding
Create a best practices list for private businesses in accommodating workers with disabilities
Create a community college partnership program
Create a consumer-friendly credit card rating system
Create a ‘Green Vet Initiative’ to promote environmental jobs for veterans
Create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score for mortgage comparisons
Create a military families advisory board
Create a national declassification center
Create a rapid response fund for emerging democracies
Create a real National Infrastructure Protection Plan
Create a Social Investment Fund Network
Create a White House Office on Urban Policy
Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes
Create an artist corps for schools
Create an international tax haven watch list
Create job training programs for clean technologies
Create new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud
Create new financial regulations
Create White House performance team and chief performance officer
Create youth service corps
Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq
Double federal spending for research on clean fuels
Eliminate the higher subsidies to Medicare Advantage plans
Enact tax credit for consumers for plug-in hybrid cars
Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient
Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West
End the “Stop-loss” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments
End the abuse of supplemental budgets for war
End the use of torture
Enhance earth mapping
Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit
Establish a credit card bill of rights
Establish an Energy Partnership for the Americas
Establish an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information
Establish program to convert manufacturing centers into clean technology leaders
Establish ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ for areas of concentrated poverty
Establish school programs to highlight space and science achievements
Establish special crime programs for the New Orleans area
Expand access to places to hunt and fish
Expand eligibility for Medicaid
Expand eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
Expand federal bioforensics program for tracking biological weapons
Expand funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners
Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans
Expand loan programs for small businesses
Expand Pell grants for low-income students
Expand public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations
Expand teacher mentoring programs and provide incentives for more planning time
Expand the Nurse-Family Partnership to all low-income, first-time mothers
Expand the Senior Corps volunteer program
Expand the Veterans Administration’s number of “centers of excellence” in specialty care
Expand Veterans Centers in rural areas
Explore whether International Space Station can operate after 2016
Extend and index the 2007 Alternative Minimum Tax patch
Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes
Extend monitoring and verification provisions of the START I Treaty
Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes
Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)
Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
Fully fund federal contribution to the preservation of the Everglades
Fully fund the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
Fully fund the Veterans Administration
Fully fund the Violence Against Women Act
Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps
Get his daughters a puppy
Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration
Give tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums
Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba
Help states and localities address sprawl
If you don’t have insurance, or don’t like the insurance you have, you’ll be able to choose a new plan on a health insurance exchange
Implement “Women Owned Business” contracting program
Implement and fund proven health intervention programs
Improve climate change data records
Improve relations with Turkey, and its relations with Iraqi Kurds
Improve water quality
In non-competitive markets, force insurers to pay out a reasonable share of their premiums for patient care
Increase efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy
Increase funding for land-grant colleges
Increase funding for local emergency planning
Increase funding for national parks and forests
Increase funding for progams that conserve lands and habitat for select species such as the Osceola turkey
Increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency
Increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
Increase funding to expand community based prevention programs
Increase minority access to capital
Increase non-military aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion
Increase special operations forces and civil affairs
Increase spending to prepare for longer space missions
Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps
Increase the Veterans Administration budget to recruit and retain more mental health professionals
Initiate a grant and training program for law enforcement to deter cyber crime
Invest in all types of alternative energy
Invest in public transportation
Launch a supportive services-housing program for veterans to prevent homelessness
Launch an international Add Value to Agriculture Initiative (AVTA)
Launch educational initiative for employers on tax benefits of hiring employees with disabilities
Make greater investment in advanced military air technology
Make military deployments predictable for troops and families
Make National Guard leader a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts
More controlled burns to reduce wildfires
No permanent bases in Iraq
Open “America Houses” in Islamic cities around the globe
Open new consulates “in the tough and hopeless corners of the world”
Organize successful Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010
Partner to enhance the potential of the International Space Station
Promote cultural diplomacy
Promote innovative ways to reward good teachers
Promote more pre-school education
Protect American intellectual property abroad
Provide $30 billion over 10 years to Israel
Provide affordable, high-quality child care
Provide grants to early-career researchers
Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes
Pursue a wildfire management plan
Push for a college football playoff system
Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors
Raise fuel economy standards
Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009
Rebuild schools in New Orleans
Recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession
Reduce subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers
Reform mandatory minimum sentences
Reform No Child Left Behind
Reform the patent system
Reinstate executive order to hire an additional 100,000 federal employees with disabilities within five years.
Release oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Release presidential records
Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires
Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
Reproductive health care will be “at the heart” of health care reform.
Require 10 percent renewable energy by 2012
Require Cabinet officials to host Internet town hall meetings
Require children to have health insurance coverage
Require economic justification for tax changes
Require health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care
Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
Require large employers to contribute to a national health plan
Require more energy-efficient appliances
Require new hires to sign a form affirming their hiring was not due to political affiliation or contributions.
Require states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption
Restore funding for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/JAG) program
Restore funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Reverse restrictions on stem cell research
Seek verifiable reductions in nuclear stockpiles
Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan
Set goals and timetables for implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
Share enviromental technology with other countries
Sign a “universal” health care bill
Stand down nuclear forces to be reduced under the Moscow Treaty
Stop the development of new nuclear weapons
Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries
Strengthen antitrust enforcement
Strengthen the levees in New Orleans
Support airline service in small towns
Support commercial access to space
Support funding and reform for Amtrak
Support high-speed rail
Support increased funding for the NEA
Support network neutrality on the Internet
Support regional innovation clusters
Use the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research
Use the private sector to improve spaceflight
Vigorously pursue hate crimes and civil rights abuses
We will kill bin Laden
Will seek more accommodations of bicycles and pedestrians
Work to build natural gas pipeline from Alaska
Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear
Work toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system


Bob Schieffer sums up Congress pretty well…


Bob said this on CBS last Sunday:

There will be three more unemployment reports before the election. Congress has gone on vacation for the next five weeks, leaving work on their desks involving jobs, taxes and the budget deficit.

Congress managed to get through last year without passing one single piece of significant legislation. It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.

And there’s also a couple of fairly important items that have to be resolved one of these days: whether to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and whether or not to block a draconian $110 billion across-the-board cut in defense and domestic spending.

No word on what if anything they plan to do about those items. Truth is, no one expects them to do anything until after the election. The way it stands right now, if the U.S. Capitol caught on fire, this Congress could find a way to make it a partisan issue and do everything but call the fire department.

They went on vacation? I expect we’re paying for these yoyos to spin out at the end of the string.

Look at it this way:



Why you and I have to cover what the rich don’t pay…


… according to Economist Robert Reich:

If you don’t think we should increase taxes on the top 1%, watch this video first.


Poll shows Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich is a winning political position…

The proposal Obama has made to raise taxes on households making at least $250,000 a year was the subject of a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 44% thought the tax increase would help the economy, 22% thought it would be harmful, and 24% didn’t think it would make a difference. An identical percentage, 44%, said a tax hike on better-off Americans would make the tax system fairer, while 21% said it would make the system less fair.

There is a deep partisan divide over the proposal.  Democrats, by a large margin, said the tax hike would boost the economy and make the tax system fairer. Republicans thought the opposite, though by smaller margins.

Since this has to be decided before Jan. 1st when all the Bush tax cuts disappear by law, it will be interesting when it gets Congressional attention. Odds are it won’t be until after the November election and will depend on who gets elected President.

Here’s what the President proposed today…

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Is the guy we elected back?

According to TPM:

  • A debt failsafe that will be triggered if the debt-to-GDP ratio hasn’t stabilized, and begun to decline by mid-decade. This will include automatic spending cuts, and reductions in tax subsidies, but no tax increases. Social Security, Medicare, and low-income programs will be exempted. It will not tie the government’s hands in the event that an economic downturn requires fiscal stimulus.
  • Cuts to discretionary spending, compatible with those in the Bowles-Simpson recommendations.
  • Defense spending cuts, contingent on a thorough review conducted by Secretary Robert Gates, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Obama himself, and savings generated by winding down operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Strengthening the Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by the health care law to recommend and implement cost savings reforms to hold down the cost-per-Medicare-patient.
  • Simplifying the formula for providing federal matching funds to states for Medicaid, which would automatically increase in the event of a recession
  • This is a big one — Obama will propose using Medicare’s purchasing power to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors
  • Reductions in agricultural subsidies
  • Comprehensive tax reform, which reduces loopholes, simplifies the system, allows the Bush tax cuts for high-income earners to expire, and reduces the corporate tax rate.

It may not be everything we want… and it may need the infusion of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that I presented earlier today… but this started to sound like the Obama we elected. My question is will he stand his ground on letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire. He’s going to go head-to-head with Boehner and the Tea-Party-Controlled Republicans who have said they will not support any increase in taxes.

I’m not sure a deal can be made here, so there will have to be another strategy… and it won’t be pretty.

Obama is apparently going to propose a tax increase… It’s about time!

While I’m sure the tea-party types (and, hell, most of the Americans who have bought the Koch Brothers’ self-indulgent crap) will yell like wounded hyenas over this, an increase in taxes for those earning the big bucks has to happen.

Here’s a clip from HuffPo… but go in and read the whole thing:

clipped from
Higher taxes have been missing from the fierce budget battle that nearly shut down the federal government. But President Barack Obama is about to put them on the table – at least a modest version that he had pushed before and then rested on the shelf.
Most economists and budget analysts say a comprehensive mix of spending cuts and tax increases is essential to any viable deficit-reduction plan. Yet few players in the negotiations have gone there.
It comes in the scramble to heed what is widely viewed as a loud clamor from voters to slam the brakes on runaway government spending. There has been no corresponding public demand for raising taxes.
The president is expected to bring back his recommendation, first made in the 2008 campaign, to end Bush-era tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 a year.
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A Quote from Yesterday – Wisconsin, the Labor Battle and Obama

Obama‘s outspokenness about the labor battle in
Wisconsin offers a glimmer of hope that he might lead
the fight for what many Americans, not just Democrats,
care about – from job creation to an energy plan to an
attack on the deficit that brackets the high-end Bush-
era tax cuts with serious Medicare/Medicaid reform and
further strengthening of the health care law. Will he
do so? The answer to that question is at least as
mysterious as the identity of whatever candidate the
desperate G.O.P. finds to run against him. ‘

– Frank Rich in the NY Times.

Krugmann explains the Bush Tax Cut expiration…

Start here, then go into the NY Times and read the rest. Your clarity on the subject will improve 100%:
clipped from
We need to pinch pennies these days. Don’t you know we have a budget deficit? For months that has been the word from Republicans and conservative Democrats, who have rejected every suggestion that we do more to avoid deep cuts in public services and help the ailing economy.
But these same politicians are eager to cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country.
What — you haven’t heard about this proposal? Actually, you have: I’m talking about demands that we make all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for the middle class, permanent.
Some background: Back in 2001, when the first set of Bush tax cuts was rammed through Congress, the legislation was written with a peculiar provision — namely, that the whole thing would expire, with tax rates reverting to 2000 levels, on the last day of 2010.
Obviously, the idea was to go back at a later date and make those tax cuts permanent. But things didn’t go according to plan. And now the witching hour is upon us.
Read the rest HERE. blog it

When you hear the Republicans scream at the Obama Health Plan’s economics…

…then look at what they voted for under Bush (especially Hatch and McConnell):
clipped from

The Democrats’ health care plan costs half as much as the two major tax cuts pushed by the George W. Bush administration, according to a report issued Tuesday.
By comparison, the health care plan advocated by House Democrats is projected to cost about $1 trillion through its first decade (2010-2019), according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
Enacted in 2001 and 2003, the Bush tax cuts are projected to cost about $2.1 trillion in lost revenue in the 10 years since they were first passed, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a liberal-leaning research group in Washington, D.C. About $979 billion of that would have come from the richest five percent of taxpayers.
“Many of the lawmakers who argue that the health care reform legislation is ‘too costly’ are the same lawmakers who supported the Bush tax cuts,” the report notes.
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