By Bill Scher
June 4, 2012 - 6:48am ET
Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: No Middle-Class Millionaires
OurFuture.org's Richard Eskow: "President Obama has proposed ending the Bush tax breaks. That would, among other things, raise the tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for income above $250,000 ... [But] Minority Leader Pelosi sent a letter to her Republican counterpart, House Speaker John Boehner, demanding an immediate up-or-down vote on a very different proposition: letting the tax cuts expire for income above a million dollars ... Pelosi's proposal gives its 'middle class tax break' to people who make up to 25 to 37 times as much as those in the national 'middle,' ... Political insiders tell me that this move, like the Simpson/Bowles comments, reflect a tactical decision to make the Republicans appear 'unreasonable' ... If there's anything Democrats are even worse at than communicating, it's 'tactics.'"
Challenger Tom Barrett hits WI Gov. Scott Walker for meager jobs record, in advance of Tuesday vote. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "'It's so important to have a governor focusing on jobs here,' Barrett said. 'Scott Walker's reforms are not working for the middle class. They may be working for the wealthiest people in the state, but for those students struggling to get out of college with mountains of debt and their tuition rising, it's simply not working.'"
Indicted Walker aide in court day before vote. Wisconsin State Journal: "Timothy D. Russell has pleaded not guilty to three embezzlement charges. He's accused of stealing more than $21,000 from a nonprofit organization that Walker asked him to lead. The hearing is Monday morning. Russell's jury trial begins two weeks later."
Welcome To The Republican Economy
Republicans already have the economy they want, says NYT's Paul Krugman: "[Government] spending has recently been falling at a rate not seen since the demobilization that followed the Korean War ... federal taxes as a share of G.D.P. are near historic lows — much lower, in particular, than at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency ... we have already seen the Republican economic future — and it doesn’t work."
VA Gov. Bob McDonnell, Romney VP prospect, admits stimulus helped. HuffPost quotes: "Did [the stimulus] help us in the short-run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure."
Sequestration Threat Pressures GOP
Sequestrstion threat to military spending making some GOPers consider tax increases. NYT: "[Sen. Lindsey] "Mr. Graham is openly talking about revenue increases to offset the costs. Even South Carolina’s ardently conservative House members, Mick Mulvaney, Joe Wilson and Jeff Duncan, said last week that they were ready to talk."
Funds for Afghanistan are part of the sequester. The Hill: "Republicans in Congress are up in arms over the Obama administration’s decision to include funding for the war in Afghanistan in the automatic cuts to defense that are set to begin in 2013 ... Officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said Friday the decision was not up to them, because there was no exemption for preserving the war funding in the law."
JP Morgan Chase Was Warned
JP Morgan Chase was warned about risky trades: "[In 2011,] JPMorgan officials dismissed the warning from the CtW Investment Group, the advocates, who also cautioned bank officials that the company had fallen behind the risk-management practices of its peers."
Scandal may mean tougher Volcker Rule. Bloomberg: "[Regulators are] scrutinizing the so-called hedging exemption in the proposed regulation and probably will narrow the exceptions for trades banks say are designed to mitigate risk ... regulators 'clearly' are looking 'more skeptically at the claim about portfolio hedging and what does the word "aggregate" in the law mean you have to do,' said Karen Shaw Petrou, a managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics..."
Conservative Canadian government pushing weaker enviro laws to increase oil production. W. Post: "At least 500 Canadian organizations, along with several hundred in the United States, will darken their Web sites or publish notices Monday to protest the changes as part of a 'Black Out, Speak Out' demonstration."
MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer calls on Supreme Court to uphold his state's campaign finance law, in NYT oped: "The ink wasn’t even dry [on Citizens United] when corporate front groups started funneling lots of corporate cash into our legislative races ... I’ve started receiving bills on my desk that have been ghostwritten by a host of industries looking to weaken state laws, including gold mining companies that want to overturn a state ban on the use of cyanide to mine gold, and developers who want to build condos right on the edge of our legendary trout streams."
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