1) The Big Deficit Lie: Every GOP Debt Plan Leaves Us With More Debt – These plans don’t accidentally raise the deficit. They just don’t care about the deficit. Deficit reduction isn’t hard to do, arithmetically. You raise taxes over time. You control discretionary spending. You clear the way for health care cost innovation while introducing policies that will limit health care in the future. It’s not rocket science, it’s math. The hard stuff is getting Congress to agree to your math. But how is that supposed to happen if pols refuse to do even the basic addition and subtraction when it’s just them and a blank sheet of paper? What does it say about a party that believes “deficit reduction” is a worthy phrase, but not a worthy goal? And what does it say about our political system, and the GOP candidates in particular, that we’re normalized to the idea that politicians offer debt-reduction plans that can’t even live up to their name?
Report: Debt will swell under top GOP hopefuls’ tax plans – According to the report released Thursday by U.S. Budget Watch, a project of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich would do the most damage to the nation’s finances, offering tax and spending policies likely to require trillions of dollars in fresh borrowing. [...] The red ink would gush a little more slowly under former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the report said. Until this week, Romney had paired $1.35 trillion in tax cuts with $1.2 trillion in spending reductions, leaving the debt rising on a trajectory that closely tracks current policies. But that changed Wednesday, when Romney proposed to cut federal income tax rates by 20 percent more for all earners, which would slash U.S. revenue by more than $2 trillion over 10 years.
2) WTF, Newt? – When I was watching the debate last night I did a double-take when I heard Newt say that ‘reforming’ the federal Civil Service system could save “a minimum of $500 billion a year.” [...] Well, we looked into it and it turns out that the federal government’s entire payroll, even including the military, came to just $432.6 billion in fiscal 2011. In other words, if you fired everyone who works for the federal government you couldn’t save $500 billion.
3) FEC warns Gingrich for paying himself with campaign funds – The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has sent a second letter to Newt Gingrich’s campaign asking them to explain why almost $1 million dollars was paid to a small group of people including the presidential candidate. The Washington Times reported on Wednesday that Gingrich, members of his staff and several consultants received “questionable reimbursements.” In January alone, a small group of people within the campaign were paid $220,000 on top of their salaries. That figure included the $88,000 Gingrich paid himself for unspecified “travel” expenses, according to reports filed with the FEC Monday. [...] The Washington Post estimated that the campaign had spent $3 for every $2 it raised.
4) Romney’s ‘Underpants Gnome’ Defense On Auto Bailout – It appears as if Romney’s plan is to get applause at Republican debates for stressing the word “bankruptcy,” and then get indignant when Michigan reporters suggest this would have left the auto industry anything less than booming. All without ever mentioning tens of billions it took to get from one point to the other. The whole game resembles an oft-quoted 1990s episode of South Park in which a group of gnomes gather people’s boxer shorts as part of a grand three-part business scheme: Step 1: Collect underpants; Step 2: ???; Step 3: Profit. Despite their best efforts, nobody can explain what Step 2 was supposed to be. So with Romney, we now have the following. Step 1: Bankruptcy. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Record profits.
5) Mitt Romney Massachusetts Record – Me-Me-Me: The Tale of Romney in Massachusetts – In other words, every Massachusetts governor — even, as Santorum sneered last night, Michael Dukakis, and even John Fking Hancock — has been required to recommend a balanced budget… Anyway, if you listen to Willard, he inherited a debt-ridden hellhole and left us all with a golden little slice of Utah to call our own. He stood tall against the forces of feminism, gay people who wanted to get married, and cloning. He’s proud of Massachusetts’s public schools, but he’d rater if you didn’t mention that whole health-care business, even though it’s immensely popular back here, what with its mandates and all. (Thanks, Willard!) If you listen to him, it’s lucky the poor man came out of it all alive. The truth, need I say, is somewhat at variance with the story that Willard’s telling.
6) Santorum Cites Racist Author To Defend His Views On ‘The Dangers Of Contraception’ – First of all, Santorum’s decision to justify his skepticism of contraception by citing the problem of unwed mothers is like something out of the Bizarro Planet. Here in the actual world, contraception is the solution to the problem of unplanned pregnancies, not the cause. Likewise, Santourm’s decision to rely on Charles Murray is no less distressing. Murray co-authored The Bell Curve, which argues that black people score lower on IQ tests because they are genetically inferior to whites. To reach this conclusion, Murray relied on studies backed by the Pioneer Fund, whose original mission was to pursue “race betterment” for people “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution.”
7) Santorum makes zero mention of jobs in CNN debate – In total, the four GOP contenders mentioned the word “jobs” only 10 times over the span of two hours — and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) uttered the word a grand total of zero times. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said the word four times each. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) mentioned it twice (one of those mentions was in reference to “the job Barack Obama isn’t doing”). Moderator John King said the word “jobs” four times.
8) Republicans see ‘jobs bills’ as election winner – Tucked in his left breast-coat pocket where he can pull it out to wave before TV cameras is ammunition that House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner believes his Republicans can use to achieve victory in the November 6 elections. It is a four-by-eight-inch card detailing more than two dozen “jobs bills” passed by the Republican-led House last year. They are now bottled up by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, one of President Barack Obama’s top allies on Capitol Hill. [...] The Republican bills focus largely not on creating new positions but on protecting existing jobs by eliminating federal regulations on businesses — from Internet firms and oil drillers to cement factories and industrial boilers. “I have yet to see a single one that was actually a jobs bill,” said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. “Everyone of these [Republican "jobs" bills], as far as I can tell, is basically from decades-old conservatives playbook of cut taxes for business, cut regulations for business,” Ornstein said.
9) Bill Maher donates $1 million to Obama Super PAC – During his live comedy performance on Yahoo on Thursday evening, comedian Bill Maher shocked audiences around the world when he announced he’d be donating $1 million to Priorities USA Action — a pro-Obama Super PAC. Priorities USA Action bills itself as an “organization dedicated to mobilizing Americans to preserve, protect and promote the middle class, and to ensure opportunity and freedom for the next generation.”