By Bill Scher
July 17, 2012 - 9:04am 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: The No Labels Plan To Cut Social Security
OurFuture.org's Richard Eskow: "'No Labels' is the creation of overpaid political insiders who work hand in glove with longtime opponents of Social Security and Medicare, pushing the agenda of the wealthiest among us by exploiting the public's understandable frustration with gridlocked government ... No Labels has never caught on, despite massive publicity and lots of funding. So why is it even worth mentioning? Because it sheds light on a much larger plan, a richly funded sales blitz that's hyping far-right positions as mainstream opinion and pushing lobbyists and political operatives as the plain-spoken voices of Main Street America."
Jockeying Intensifies Around "Fiscal Cliff"
As Dems pledge to hold line on taxes, GOP brings in Cheney to draw line on military cuts. Politico: "With former Vice President Dick Cheney set to arrive in Congress on Tuesday for a rare talk with House Republicans about looming cuts to the Pentagon, partisan sparring continued to escalate ... The House this week will vote on a defense spending bill as well as a plan ordering the Obama administration to say how it would go about implementing the $500 billion in defense cuts set to kick in on Jan. 2 [if there is no budget deal]."
Most say raising taxes on income over $250,000 will help economy in Pew poll: "By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference."
Corporate lobbies organize to prevent return of progressive estate tax. The Hill: "Business and farm groups, and many congressional Republicans, would prefer to see the estate tax abolished. But with that an unlikely scenario, at least this year, GOP lawmakers are instead pushing to extend the estate tax parameters included in the 2010 deal. That deal set the maximum tax rate at 35 percent with a $5 million exemption, indexed for inflation after 2011. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have prepared a broad tax-plan package that would return the estate tax to the 2009 levels of a 45 percent rate for estates, with a $3.5 million exemption, while extending Bush-era rates on family income up to $250,000. That Democratic plan is expected to get a Senate floor vote perhaps as soon as next week."
DISCLOSE Act Filibustered By GOP
Republicans filibuster DISCLOSE Act to keep campaign donors secret. W. Post: "Republicans say the measure could have a chilling affect on political giving, subjecting campaign donors to intimidation from their political opponents."
Former GOP Senators Warren Rudman and Chuck Hagel urge passage of DISCLOSE Act, in NYT: "We believe that every senator should embrace the Disclose Act of 2012. This legislation treats trade unions and corporations equally and gives neither party an advantage. It is good for Republicans and it is good for Democrats. Most important, it is good for the American people."
Romney attacks Obama for favoritism towards "bundlers", but won't disclose his. NYT's David Firestone: "...how did the Romney campaign, and the reports it relied on, know who the Obama bundlers were? Because the Obama campaign disclosed them, though it is not required to do so. And that’s something the Romney campaign has refused to do. In fact, Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the campaign, told reporters today that it has no plans to ever disclose those fund-raisers, just as it is stonewalling on a full release of Mr. Romney’s tax returns."
Romney Tax Plan Would Offshore More Jobs
New report shows Romney's tax plan for multinations would offshore jobs. ABC: "Romney's plan would provide multinational corporations with a $130 billion tax cut over 10 years that, when combined with the plan to cut the corporate rate to 25 percent from 35 percent, would cost nearly $1 trillion ... The analysis shows that Romney's plan would permanently exempt corporate profits made overseas from U.S. taxes and encourage businesses to keep their money stashed in offshore tax havens, leading to a shedding of U.S.-based jobs."
Public sector layoffs causing private sector job losses. ThinkProgress: "...EPI estimates that public sector job cuts have likely cost the private sector 750,000 jobs ... 'for every dollar cut in salary and supplies of public-sector workers, another $0.24 is lost in purchasing power throughout the rest of the economy.'"
Bernanke struggles to erase joblessness "blemish" from his record. Bloomberg: "The failure to bring joblessness closer to Fed officials’ longer-run goal of 5.2 percent to 6 percent has prompted Bernanke and his lieutenants to emphasize the need for economic growth over price stability, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC. Bernanke added to his record monetary stimulus last month and said more action will be needed without 'sustained improvement' in the jobs outlook."
CBPP debunks latest conservative attempt to gut Affordable Care Act in court: "Some health reform opponents claim that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium tax credits to help low- and moderate-income uninsured people buy coverage through the new health insurance exchanges are only available in states that have set up their own exchanges, not in states with federally operated exchanges ... Not only does section 1321 indicate that a federally operated exchange is the exchange established by the state in a state electing not to operate its own exchange directly, but section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code specifically refers to federal exchanges in requiring all exchanges — state and federally operated — to report to the federal government on the amount of advance payments of premium credits that taxpayers receive."
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