Morning Bunker Report: TGIF 6.8.2012


“As for the idea that job creators are not creating jobs because their taxes are too high, think about it: Would Mitt Romney invest more of his money in American factories if only he had paid less than the 13.9 percent rate he paid last year? Please!” — Fareed Zakaria

Companies run by Romney’s Bain Capital received millions in state and local government subsidies — 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been campaigning hard against government spending, blasting “crony capitalism” and criticizing the Obama administration for providing economic development subsidies… However, as Bloomberg News reported, the companies run by the private equity firm Bain Capital when Romney was its CEO had little problem accepting subsidies from state and local governments. [...] Romney has been citing the Steel Dynamics as an example of where his business acumen help turn around a company and create jobs. Steel Dynamics benefited from $37 million in subsidies from the state of Indiana. — Think Progress

WaPo ‘Bullygate’ Profile Foreshadowed Mitt Romney ‘Police Impersonator’ Story — The detail that is revealing is that the uniform was given to Romney by his father, George Romney, rather than being earned through skill and public service. That theme, the desire to wield unearned power, and a broader sense of entitlement, resonates much more strongly, and encompasses Romney’s avoidance of service in Vietnam. Romney’s support for the draft, even as he went on to avoid it, isn’t so much an indication of hypocrisy as it is of that sense of entitlement. Of course, Romney can support drafting other people’s children, husbands, and fathers to die in Vietnam, yet not go himself; that’s not what Romneys are for. No one suggests that a cattle rancher should submit himself for milking or slaughter, do they? By the way, can we please stop referring to Mitt Romney’s time in France as “missionary work?”… Tommy Christopher

Romney is just making stuff up now — Mitt is blatantly misconstruing and lying about Obama’s ‘intentions’ to tank the economy with health care reform. — Daily Intel

  • Noam Scheiber: Romney’s claim about my book is ‘false’ — and he knows it  — The author of a book documenting the White House’s policy making strategy, cited multiple times by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, says the former Massachusetts governor is using the book to dishonestly accuse President Obama of intentionally harming the economy. — TPM

Congressional Budget Office defends stimulus — Mitt Romney has called the $787 billion package of temporary tax cuts and spending hikes “the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history.” But on Wednesday, under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the nonpartisan (and widely respected) Congressional Budget Office was emphatic about the value of the 2009 stimulus. [...] CBO’s own analysis found that the package added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy during the second quarter of 2010, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession. — Washington Post

CHART: Number Of Wealthy Households Paying No Income Tax Spiked After 2004 — According to data from the Internal Revenue Service, one in 189 high income Americans paid no federal income taxes in 2009. This included households making more than $200 million. As this chart by Noni Mausa at Angry Bear shows, the number of wealthy taxpayers managing to avoid the income tax spiked after 2004, while the percentage increased “eightfold”. — Think Progress

Boehner floats 6-month US transport funding extension — Boehner told reporters that if House and Senate negotiators fail to agree on new long-term funding by June 30, when the latest stop-gap authority for road, bridge and rail transit projects expires, he would not want another short-term extension. “Frankly, I think if we get to June 30, there would be a six-month extension and move this thing out of the political realm that it appears to be in at this moment,” Boehner said. [...] Asked whether Boehner would insist on Keystone approval as a condition of a six-month extension or agree to a “clean” extension of current law, Boehner’s spokesman, Kevin Smith, said no decisions have been made at this point. — Reuters

  • Keystone Pipeline: how many jobs would it REALLY create? The U.S. State Department, which must green light the project, forecasts just 5,000 direct U.S. jobs over a two year construction period. Even according to TransCanada, the amount of permanent jobs created would be only in the hundreds. “Those are the real numbers,” said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of international programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The Republicans have been acting as if this is a national jobs package, and it’s not.” Meanwhile, one study from Cornell University said the pipeline could actually lead to a decline in jobs in the long run. One reason is that the pipeline would lead to higher fuel prices in the Midwest, the study said, and that would slow consumer spending and cost jobs. — CNN Money 
  • And how many jobs would the Transportation Bill create? Right now, a congressional conference committee is attempting to reconcile transportation bills passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives that could upgrade our crumbling infrastructure, save 1.9 million jobs, and create 1 million more. However, the bill remains in negotiations. — The Hill’s Congress Blog
  • Reid rips into GOP, calls leaders’ statements ‘Orwellian’ — “Consistently, this Congress has taken weeks or months to pass even simple, common-sense proposals – proposals that would previously have passed in minutes. The Senate has wasted literally months considering bipartisan bills, only to have those bills smothered to death under piles of non-relevant, Republican amendments… congressional Republicans have held even the most important jobs measures hostage to extract votes on unrelated, ideological amendments. [...] For months Congressional Republicans have actively worked against any piece of legislation that might create jobs or spur economic growth.” —


“We are not a household. We are an economy. Your spending is my income, and my spending is your income.” – Paul Krugman (via azspot)

Axelrod: Obama will be first president to be outspent by opponent — Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod on Thursday said he wasn’t surprised that his campaign hadn’t raised as much money as Mitt Romney’s campaign. “You pick up all the money that you couldn’t raise in the primary from Republicans who were supporting other candidates,” Axelrod told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “So we anticipated this.” Politico has reported that Republican groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Crossroads GPS and Americans For Prosperity plan to spend approximately $1 billion on November’s elections. The Romney campaign and Republican National Committee plan to raise an additional $800 million. “We are going to be the first president to be outspent,” Axelrod added. “Not because of what Romney is raising, but because of the Super PACs. When you have people like the Koch Brothers, who just were so active in Wisconsin, say they are going to spend $400 million to impact this race, that’s more than John McCain and the Republican Party spent in total the last time.” — Raw Story

Making the ‘sabotage’ argument more explicit — This week, in reference to the Paycheck Fairness Act, Reid said, “Unfortunately, it seems Paycheck Fairness may have two strikes against it. It would good for women and good for the economy.” And yesterday, referencing the stalled-but-critically-important highway bill, Reid said, “I’m told by others that [House Majority Leader Eric Cantor] wants to not do a bill to make the economy worse, because he feels that’s better for them. I hope that’s not true.” [...] Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Senate Democratic Conference, believes “some” Republicans “want the economy to actually fail” on purpose. Paul Krugman said in a column, “[I]t’s hard to avoid the suspicion that GOP leaders actually want the economy to perform badly.” Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was asked whether it’s possible Republicans would sabotage the economy. “Well, let me be honest,” he said. “It has occurred to me that this is a possibility.” E.J. Dionne Jr., Dan Gross, David Frum, and Andrew Sullivan have all raised the same concerns. A while back, Kevin Drum wondered whether this will ever be “a serious talking point,” adding, “No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all.” — Maddow Blog

  • In a sense, Republicans are holding a gun to the economy’s head and saying, “vote for us or the recovery gets it.”Ezra Klein

A group of House Democrats have proposed increasing the minimum wage to $10 — Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pointed out would allow the wage to “catch up” with where it would be had it been allowed to grow with inflation. [...]  If the minimum wage had been indexed to the Consumer Price Index since 1968, it would be approximately $10.40 today. — Think Progress

Reid offers new plan on student loan deadlock — In a letter to Republican leaders, Reid, Democrat of Nevada, proposed extending current interest rates for the next year and paying the effort’s $6 billion cost with a combination of savings. His offer, coupled with a recalibrated recent offer from Senate Republicans, raised hopes of a deal that could hold off rising loan rates. — Boston Globe

Opposition to Obamacare — A new CNN/ORC survey finds that 51% of Americans oppose President Obama’s health care law, while 43% say they favor it. Caveat: It’s important to note, however, that of those who disagree with the law, only a third oppose it because it’s too liberal, while one in six oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough. — Political Wire

NATION OF MORONS: Apparently people may need reminding that Bush was president before Obama — Obama may have a good reason for name-dropping the nation’s previous Decider, according to a new CNN poll: When asked in the survey whether they are better or worse off than they were four years ago, Americans are split, 44% to 43%. But when asked whether they are better or worse off than they were four years ago “when Bush was president,” a small gap opens — 47% say they are better off compared to 41% who say they are worse off. — Daily Intel (image: whatalovelylamp)

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