By Bill Scher
July 9, 2012 - 8:36am 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: Are Republicans Ready To Drop "No-Tax" Pledge?
OurFuture.org's Dave Johnson: "The purpose of this anti-tax pledge is to force a reduction in government revenue, while redistributing wealth upward. ... Conservatives believe this will 'starve the beast,' making the non-military portion of government 'smaller,' forcing cuts in those things conservative oppose -- health care, food stamps, environmental protection and especially enforcement of regulations on corporations ... But the drumbeat of deficit hysteria is scaring the public into believing that we must place a very high priority on cutting deficits ... this is occurring when people with very high incomes are understood to be paying very low tax rates. As a result many of the public believe that cutting loopholes and increasing top tax rates should be done before budgets are cut -- if actually doing something about deficits is really the point. Many Republican politicians see that the public understands this, making it difficult for them to continue to pledge not to do it."
Obama To Propose Middle Class Tax Cut Extension
President Obama to call for end of Bush tax cuts for wealthy, extension for income under $250K. NYT: "House Republicans plan to vote this month to extend permanently all of the Bush tax cuts, for middle- and upper-income people ... Democratic leaders like Representative Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York [advocate] extending the cuts for everyone who earns up to $1 million."
Rules out any deal that extends tax cuts for wealthy. ThinkProgress: "'Let’s make some progress on our spending by doing away with tax cuts for people who quite frankly don’t need them – tax cuts that haven’t worked,' [Robert] Gibbs said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. Obama is '100% committed' to that position, he insisted."
Romney Suffers Attacks On Swiss Bank Account
NYT's Paul Krugman slams Romney's secrecy over his tax returns: "Has there ever before been a major presidential candidate who had a multimillion-dollar Swiss bank account, plus tens of millions invested in the Cayman Islands, famed as a tax haven? ... there are potentially legitimate reasons for parking large sums of money in overseas tax havens. But we don’t know which if any of those legitimate reasons apply ... Surely a man advocating such policies has a special obligation to level with voters about the extent to which he would personally benefit from the policies he advocates."
Bad weekend for Romney to fundraise in the Hamptons. NY Mag: "While the vast majority of Americans probably don't understand exactly how these offshore investment affected Romney's taxes, the Obama campaign is hoping that they'll recognize the term 'Swiss bank account' ... Despite the attacks, many Americans still insist Romney is just 'a plain talking guy.' Though, as the Associated Press notes, that statement came from Peter Cohen, the former Chairman and CEO of Shearson Lehman Brothers, who 'made the comment as he chewed a cigar in his black Range Rover outside a Romney fundraiser expected to generate $3 million.'"
Swing state voters sour on Romney's business record. USA Today: "...Obama is the clear winner in the ad wars. Among swing-state voters who say the ads have changed their minds about a candidate, rather than just confirmed what they already thought, 76% now support the president, vs. 16% favoring Romney. 'We gave them new information,' says Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. 'Romney had been out there claiming success as governor,' but Democratic ads have prompted voters to 'take a look at his record' on job creation and as head of the private-equity firm Bain Capital."
Senate Dems file FEC complaint over outside groups. NYT: "The complaint by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee against Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, Americans for Prosperity and the 60 Plus Association begins a new phase in the Democrats’ struggle to keep pace with Republicans since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling ... Contending that the tax-exempt groups’ 'major purpose is federal campaign activity,' the complaint says that the F.E.C. should regulate them as political committees and that their donors must be disclosed."
New Swaps Rule Expected
Dodd-Frank swap rule to be determined this week. Bloomberg: "The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission are poised to complete several hundreds of pages of regulations as early as tomorrow that determine when trades by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Cargill Inc. and other companies must fall under rules to reduce risk and increase transparency."
Robert Reich breaks down the LIBOR scandal: "Suppose the bankers are manipulating the interest rate so they can place bets with the money you lend or repay them – bets that will pay off big for them because they have inside information on what the market is really predicting, which they’re not sharing with you."
Bipartisan House Farm Bill Guts Food Stamps
House Dems split over food stamp cuts. The Hill: "Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.), the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, agreed to [$16B in] cuts as a pragmatic way of moving forward with legislation important to rural lawmakers ... he said much of the cuts would be restored in a conference with the Senate. Yet the move has led to anger on the left, while raising questions over whether the farm bill can pass the House..."
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