Posts Tagged ‘Ronald


taxing issues



Michael Scherer (Time): When Barack Obama talks about taxes these days, he likes to talk about Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett’s secretary …. but if Mitt Romney is able to clinch the Republican nomination for President next spring, Obama will have a better example to talk about.

That’s because Romney, a wealthy man whose income mostly comes from long-term investments, is exactly the sort of “millionaire and billionaire” that Obama likes to hold up for scrutiny, since the source of Romney’s income allows him to pay a lower percentage of his money to the federal government each year than many middle-class wage earners.

…. People who earn as much money as Romney typically make most of it in capital gains and often deduct more than they earn in royalties, salary and interest. In other words, they never pay the 35% rate that their income would be subject to if they just got a paycheck like most Americans.

…. Should Romney win the Republican nomination, he will face substantial pressure to release his own tax returns. Usually such disclosures are little more than formality, but in Romney’s case, it would land him in the middle of one of the biggest policy debates of this election season.

…. any tax reform plan put forward by Obama would likely have a significant impact on Romney’s returns. And perhaps more importantly, if Romney wins the nomination, Obama will have a great line to use in debates and on the stump. He wouldn’t just be running against Romney, he’d be running against the large tax advantage that a millionaire investor’s income provides.

Full article here


Greg Sargent (Wasington Post): Fact check of the day: CNN takes apart the ubiquitous GOP claim that tax hikes on the rich would be damaging to small businesses and the nation’s “job creators”:

In sharp contrast to the rhetoric, current data suggests small businesses don’t create an outsized number of jobs, very few small business owners fall into the top two tax brackets, and tax cuts for small businesses are ineffective stimulus measures.

    Relatively few small businesses would be affected: Extending the tax cuts for top earners for another decade would come at a significant cost – nearly $1 trillion in added debt over a decade. But small businesses wouldn’t see much of that cash. Only 2.5% to 3.5% of small businesses would be affected by an increase in those two rates.



electrifying! cheering firing of government workers!


the gop debate in 45 seconds

Thanks JER ;-)


so, who’s watching the debate?

Live feed here (Political Carnival) and here

Political Carnival’s GottaLaff will be live tweeting here

Live blog at ThinkProgress

Eating each other alive:

:lol: ——>

AP: When Mitt Romney and Rick Perry thumped their chests over their job-creation records as governor during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, they left the bad parts out.

Yes, employment has grown by more than 1 million since Perry took office in Texas. But a lot of those jobs are not well paid.

True, unemployment dropped to 4.7 percent when Romney was Massachusetts governor. But the state’s employment growth was among the nation’s worst.

A look at some of the claims in the debate, and how they compare with the facts:

PERRY: “Ninety-five percent of all the jobs that we’ve created have been above minimum wage.”

THE FACTS: To support the claim, the Perry campaign provided federal statistics for December 2010 showing only 5.3 percent of all jobs in Texas pay the minimum wage.

But those figures represent all workers, not just the new jobs, for which data in unavailable. And that does not account for low-wage jobs that may be above the minimum wage. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, 51 percent of all Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year. Only 30 percent make more than $50,000 a year. Nationally, Texas ranked 34th in median household income from 2007 to 2009.

About 9.5 percent of Texas hourly workers, excluding those who are paid salaries, earn the minimum wage or less, tying Mississippi for the highest percentage in the nation.

ROMNEY: “At the end of four years, we had our unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent. That’s a record I think the president would like to see. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president has created in the entire country.”

THE FACTS: To be sure, 4.7 percent unemployment would be a welcome figure nationally. But Romney started from a much better position than President Barack Obama did. Unemployment was only 5.6 percent when Romney took office in 2003, meaning it came down by less than 1 percentage point when he left office in 2007. Obama inherited a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent.


‘ronaldus magnus’

LA Times: When the Republican presidential hopefuls gather to debate Wednesday night in Simi Valley, one thing seems certain: Lavish tribute will be paid to Ronald Reagan …. but the Reagan reverie will doubtless overlook much of the Reagan reality.

As president, the conservative icon approved several tax increases to deal with a soaring budget deficit, repeatedly boosted the nation’s debt limit, signed into law a bill granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and, despite his anti-Washington rhetoric, oversaw an increase in the size and spending of the federal government. Before that, as California governor, he enacted what at the time was the largest state tax increase in American history. He also signed into law one of the nation’s most permissive abortion bills; any Republican who tried that today would be cast out of the party.

….. one of the greatest heresies of all: At bottom, Reagan was a pragmatist, willing, when necessary, to cut a deal and compromise …. Stuart Spencer, a GOP strategist who stood by Reagan’s side for virtually his entire political career, dismissed the current vogue of Reagan revisionism: “A lot of those people running out there don’t really understand what he did…..”

… It is hard to imagine a governor with Reagan’s record on taxes and abortion faring very well in today’s GOP nominating fight…..

Full article here

Steve Benen: …. it’s tough to beat the fact that today’s Republicans would have perceived Reagan, their hero, as a sell-out RINO …. On the one hand, Republicans have a religious-like reverence for “Ronaldus Magnus”; on the other, they have no use for his approach to governance … What should Republicans take away from the fact that, by 2011 standards, their party would dismiss their demigod as a tax-raising, amnesty-loving, pro-bailout, cut-and-run, big-government Democrat?

Full post here




‘the real war president’


‘facing 9.5% unemployment, president sets off on vacation!’

A 25 day vacation too!

President Obama?

No, no: Reagan – in 1983. The right wing media was outraged! Kidding.

Eric Boehlert (Media Matters): The annual summertime ritual of conservatives attacking Obama for going on summer vacation is swinging into high gear, as the president and his family prepare for a trip to Martha’s Vineyard.

…. Context, though, is sometimes helpful in terms of highlighting how silly the cries of protest from the far-right media really are. For instance, at the same juncture of his first term, Ronald Reagan, like Obama, was battling a bad economy. Unemployment  stood at 9.5%. Reagan’s response his third August in office? He set off for a nearly month-long vacation.

Not only did Reagan go on a secluded, 25-day California retreat, but his top aides reportedly stopped relaying news events to him so as to not disturb the president’s sojourn.

From the Washington Post, Aug. 22, 1983:

As President Reagan relaxes on his mountaintop ranch northwest of Santa Barbara, tucked away from the workaday cares of Washington, his top advisers have decided to put an end to what one of them calls “unnecessary news stories”. The negative news coverage that the president abhors was a topic of discussion at a White House breakfast the day before Reagan left on his present 25-day trip, the 17th stopover at his ranch since his election.

Full post here (via The Political Carnival)

Thanks Fred


‘the meltdown’s true villain’


Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast): With a double-dip recession looming and attacks on Obama mounting, it’s amazing the GOP is still setting the U.S. agenda when its own George W. Bush ran up half the debt we’ve accumulated since Reagan.
… Every time I step back and ponder this sordid history, I am amazed that the Republican Party has any credibility..

The Boston Globe ran a chart last Sunday that I’d buy billboard space to reproduce in every decent-size city in America:

The premise of it was very simple: It showed how many trillions each president since Ronald Reagan has added to the nation’s debt. The debt was about $1 trillion when Reagan took office, and then: Reagan, $1.9 trillion; George H.W. Bush, $1.5 trillion (in just four years); Bill Clinton, $1.4 trillion; Obama, $2.4 trillion.

Oh, wait. I skipped someone. George W. Bush ran up $6.4 trillion. That’s nearly half – 44.7 percent – of the $14.3 trillion total. We all know what did it – two massive tax cuts geared toward the rich (along with other similar measures, like slashing the capital gains and inheritance taxes), the off-the-books wars, the unfunded Medicare expansion, and so on. But the number is staggering and worth dwelling on. In a history covering 30 years, nearly half the debt was run up in eight. Even the allegedly socialist Obama at his most allegedly wanton doesn’t compare to Dubya…

In percentage terms, the case is even more open and shut. This table tells the sad tale (see table at the top of the post)…

The percentages in question here are debt as a chunk of the GDP … Reagan raised it 20 points, to 53 percent from 33 percent. Bush Sr. a gaudy 13 points more. Clinton lowered it by 10 points, back down to 56 percent. Bush Jr.? Up 28 points, to 82 percent of GDP. Obama has raised it nine points. Once again: In a 30-year increase from 32 percent to 93 percent of 61 points, nearly half, 28 points or 46 percent, happened under Bush.

…. I can only laugh when I hear Tea Party conservatives avow today that they have no love for Bush. It is truly an incredible record when you stack it up. First, the party fought tooth and nail against every single move Clinton made that ended up putting us in surplus. Then it got power – and let’s not get into how that happened – and ran up completely unprecedented debts and deficits. Then it put the foxes in command of the henhouses at the SEC and OTC and brought the world to the very brink of total economic collapse.

Then a guy from the other party got back in, tried to do what the vast majority of economists would say should be done in such a situation (the government should spend money while the private sector couldn’t), and they fought him tooth and nail. And now they’ve forced him into a deal (which he should not have agreed to) that will help ensure that the economy remains stuck in neutral until, oh, November 2012, to pick a date out of the air. Next, that guy will identify tax cuts to spur job growth, and they will invent reasons to oppose these measures, just as they once invented reasons why “deficits don’t matter”.

Full article here


still on track….

Robert Shrum: Forget the noisy declarations about lousy economic news sinking Obama’s re-election. The president is still on track for a second term.

….what will endure after this remarkable week is the emergence of a consensus that Barack Obama could lose next year… First, the unemployment numbers … Second, The Times headlined an analysis, widely repeated, that no incumbent president since FDR has won a second term when unemployment was above 7.2 percent … Third, in the latest Washington Post/ABC poll … nearly 60 percent of people offer a negative verdict on Obama’s stewardship of the economy. Then the clincher: While he defeats most Republicans by a margin of 10 to 17 points, the president is now tied with Mitt Romney….

…..much of the new mood is too instant, too superficial, and too casually ahistorical… …As The Times’ Nate Silver wrote in gently questioning his own paper’s deterministic metric, there is a “maddeningly inexact relationship between unemployment and re-election.”

….the relevant signs suggest that Barack Obama is in a more advantageous position than Ronald Reagan was. In Gallup’s June 1983 numbers, Reagan’s approval was 43 percent; in late May and early June, Obama was five to eight points higher. And of the two presidents in the last four decades who had the highest approval ratings this far out from the election, the first Bush was trounced and the second Bush barely squeaked by. The presidents with middling ratings – Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton – ultimately triumphed; Dole was ahead of Clinton in June of 1995.

…flat earth economics won’t hold with the public if Republicans hold to their present resolve and convert the attractive abstraction of spending cuts into the grim reality of shredding Medicare. There’s the leverage for the president if the GOP refuses to compromise on a reasonable basis – which is probably a remote possibility at best.

…In the week Weiner was roasted, the conventional wisdom included that the 2012 election is not yet baked. But I suspect that by then the economy will finally be seen as moving in the right direction – or that sooner than that, Republican efforts to trash the recovery and repeal the New Deal will become all too transparent and repellant. Either outcome leads to Obama’s second term.

Full article here

Thank you Ladyhawke


inconvenient truths

Crooks and Liars: …. House Republicans swaggered into the White House Wednesday for the latest negotiation to end their economic hostage taking. One, Rep. Jeff Landry of Louisiana, refused to attend and be “lectured to by a president whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt.”

Sadly for Rep. Landry, the nation’s mounting debt is largely attributable to wars, a recession and tax policies President Obama inherited from his predecessor. Worse still, the Ryan 2012 budget proposal backed by almost every Republican in both houses of Congress would not only drain another $4 trillion in tax revenue from the Treasury, but fail all of the spending and balanced budget targets they themselves propose. Nevertheless, Republicans who voted seven times to double the debt ceiling under George W. Bush would risk the national economic suicide they admit would come to pass if their demands are not met.

Here, then, are 10 Inconvenient Truths About the Debt Ceiling:

1. Republican Leaders Agree U.S. Default Would Be a “Financial Disaster”
2. Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt
3. George W. Bush Doubled the National Debt
4. Republicans Voted Seven Times to Raise Debt Ceiling for President Bush
5. Federal Taxes Are Now at a 60 Year Low
6. Bush Tax Cuts Didn’t Pay for Themselves or Spur “Job Creators”
7. Ryan Budget Delivers Another Tax Cut Windfall for Wealthy
8. Ryan Budget Will Require Raising Debt Ceiling – Repeatedly
9. Tax Cuts Drive the Next Decade of Debt
10. $3 Trillion Tab for Unfunded Wars Remains Unpaid

More here



jerry! jerry!

E!: Good news, everyone. It looks as though Donald Trump won’t be giving up the charade of pretending he’s a viable presidential candidate anytime soon. In fact, if anything, he’s been getting even more into character, lashing out this week at none other than ever-uncontroversial Jerry Seinfeld.

And yes, since this is Donald we’re talking about, the insults flew fast and furious, and, as always, below the belt.

Well, if nothing else, he’s at least proving that those debates with Barack Obama would be pretty entertaining. Ridiculous, but entertaining. But as for this Jerry feud, well, in the words of Seinfeld himself, what’s the deal with that?

Simply this: Trump was back on his bully pulpit yesterday, writing a public letter condemning Seinfeld after the funnyman had the nerve (the nerve!) to back out of a fundraiser this fall for his son’s charity, the Eric Trump Foundation.

Reading between the lines of Trump’s missive, it’s clear that Seinfeld pulled out because he (along with the rest of the nation’s rational thinkers) was apparently growing uncomfortable with the follicle-challenged reality star’s racist birther rhetoric and continued quest to call for President Obama to produce his birth certificate. (Nevermind that it’s already been proven he has one. Why should a little thing like facts and showing respect to the leader of the free world get in the way of a good dogfight?)

….A rep for Seinfeld told the paper that Jerry “feels this kind of demagoguery has no place in public discourse”. And proving just how much classier he actually is than Trump, even before the Apprentice boss’ letter went public, Seinfeld compensated both the Eric Trump Foundation and St. Jude’s for backing out, making a contribution to both organizations.

More here


ThinkProgress: But in his bestselling book, Art of the Deal, published at the conclusion of the Reagan presidency, Trump cited Reagan as an example of someone who could “con people” but couldn’t “deliver the goods.” Trump said Reagan was “so smooth” that he “won over the American people.” But at the conclusion of his presidency, “people are beginning to question whether there is anything beneath that smile,” Trump writes.



‘a single-minded vendetta’


Steve Benen: There was a tidbit on Planned Parenthood’s wiki page that jumped out at me: “Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act….”

Wait, “since 1970”? If this is accurate – and I’ve seen this date referenced elsewhere – this means that every federal budget for more than four decades has provided public funds to Planned Parenthood and the preventative health care services they provide.

That would include, by the way, budgets approved under five Republican presidents – Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush – none of whom saw the need to scrap funding for the health organization.

Indeed, every Republican lawmaker who supported budgets under GOP administrations – a large group of long-time members, including Speaker John Boehner – voted to fund Planned Parenthood, over and over again.

More here


‘oopsie: fox unwittingly eviscerates reagan over obama easter egg’

Politicususa: On Fox and Friends, guest Laura Ingraham kicked off FNC’s Easter attack on Barack and Michelle Obama by suggesting that Obama is full of ego for handing out autographed commemorative Easter eggs as part of the White House Easter Egg Roll. Ingraham claimed that Laura Bush never did this….Only the Obamas would be so arrogant as to give away autographed Easter Eggs to the kids:

In fact, the tradition of handing out autographed Easter Eggs at the White House event began with…….Ronald Reagan (“Autographed eggs were hidden in the Egg hunt for kids to find during President Ronald Reagan’s reign. By affixing signatures to the commemorative egg, President George W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush became the first to do so”):

Corbis Images: Children play on the lawn of the White House during an Easter Egg Rolling Contest being sponsored by President Ronald Reagan. (April 4, 1983)


Desperate wingnuts sure love embarrassing themselves, eh? :lol:


Fred reminded me of similar previous outrages:

‘Obama has no class – he puts his feet on the Oval Office desk! Can you EVER remember a Republican President doing that?!’

‘Obama has no class – he throws a ball around the Oval Office! Can you EVER remember a Republican President doing that?!’

‘Obama has no class – sometimes he doesn’t wear a jacket in the Oval Office! Can you EVER remember a Republican President doing that?!’

‘Obama has no class – he wore flip-flops in Hawaii! Next thing he’ll be wearing Crocs in the White House!”

‘You know, Obama is so classless it wouldn’t surprise me if he eats his meals off the sacred Oval desk!”



west wing week: “under the big blue whale” (april 1, 2011)







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