“It’s easy to say that ‘My plan is to eat ice cream sundaes and chocolate cake and hamburgers as much as I want, my plan is to lose 60 pounds, and my plan is to avoid painful exercise, and those are all my objectives and I’m committed to every one of them.’” — Larry Summers: Romney Tax Plan The Equivalent Of A Hamburgers And Ice Cream Diet (via: robot-heart-politics)
via: cartoonpolitics – “It was a highly inconvenient thing for the Republicans that in our debates I was just a country boy from Arkansas, and I came from a place where people still thought two and two was four” .. Bill Clinton at the 2012 DNC .. he added .. “It’s arithmetic”
Dylan Matthews: “[Mitt Romney] suggests that the retirement age should be “slowly increased to account for increases in longevity”… Cutting a year of benefits for a poor retiree means much more than cutting a year for high earners. This will also hurt workers in physically intensive jobs more than those with less straining work. A mason who lifts heavy stones all day is likely to have to retire at 62, and take a lower Social Security payment as a result. By contrast, people with mentally engaging and physically non-taxing jobs, such as reporting or think tank work, are likely to want to work well beyond 65. Raising the retirement age won’t hurt the latter group as much as the former.”
Someone who’s never had to do a job that requires you to stand or involves manual labor — all day, every day — might decide that slowly raising the retirement age (to never, eventually) is a great idea. It’s called austerity, people. Those tax cuts for the Koch brothers don’t pay for themselves!
Paul Krugman, Death by Ideology
“Mitt’s economic “plan” is just a set of goals. Imagine I came up with a plan to become rich that went: write bestselling novel, start hit restaurant chain, invent next Internet.” — Michael Tomasky
Think Progress reports:
“Romney’s corporate tax reforms would also provide Adelson’s casino company approximately $1.2 billion in tax breaks on overseas profits and $565 million from Romney’s proposed shift to a territorial tax system. Adelson’s share of that, the report says, would be upward of $900 million, nine times what he pledged to spend to get Romney to the White House.“
No wonder Adelson and the other billionaires consider the millions they’re throwing at Romney a sound business investment — Adelson stands to get NINE TIMES what he’s giving to Romney’s campaign. $900 million! Naturally, someone’s got to pay for Adelson’s windfall… and that will be you and me, the peasantry:
“While Romney’s tax plan would further enrich billionaires like Adelson, it would have to raise taxes on middle class families by as much as $2,000 if Romney were to keep his plan to maintain current levels of revenue.”
Summary: if you’re a billionaire / millionaire looking to keep even more of your income by paying even less in federal taxes, then it makes sense that you’d vote for Romney. However, if you’re an ordinary working stiff who earns less than $250,000 and you want to vote for Romney, check yourself into the nearest hospital for a thorough evaluation. You’re obviously suffering some kind of head and/or psychological trauma.
- Romney’s tax plan would personally save Sheldon Adelson a total $2.3 billion in taxes.
- It saves Adelson approximately $1.5 million in tax cuts on his CEO salary.
- In one year, Adelson could more than earn back his $100 million in political donations, since Romney will save him $120 million on dividend taxes.
- His casino company would get $1.2 billion in tax cuts.
- By eliminating the estate tax, Adelson would get a $8.9 billion windfall for his heirs.
Don’t like the thought of the wealthy elite buying our the Republican Party and our elections? Guess what: you can do something about it. Vote.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you make the math work without eliminating the big deductions that middle-class families rely on?
RYAN: Well, first of all, that — those claims have been pretty discredited. There have been five different studies –
STEPHANOPOULOS: How have they been discredited?
RYAN: — that show — that this — that this plan works. So the analysis you’re citing wasn’t even an analysis of the Romney plan.
But here’s the point I am trying to make here, George. We think the secret to economic growth is lower tax rates for families and successful small businesses by plugging loopholes.
Now the question is, not necessarily what loopholes go, but who gets them. High-income earners use most of the loopholes. That means they can shelter their income from taxation. But if you take those loopholes, those tax shelters away from high-income earners, more of their income is subject to taxation. And that allows us to lower tax rates on everybody — small businesses, families, economic growth.
Here’s where the president wants to take the country. He wants to add a job-killing small-business tax increase on top of the current code, add even more loopholes and deductions to the code, more Washington picking winners and losers. That will crush jobs. You have to remember, George, that most of our small businesses, they pay their taxes as individuals. Most of our jobs come from these successful small businesses. So we’ve shown — look, the Princeton study, the Harvard analysis, they have shown that you can lower tax rates, broaden the tax base, and, yes, there is still room left for broad-based policies that the middle class enjoy so that nobody has a tax increase. We just stop picking winners and losers in the tax code.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Congressman, as you know –
RYAN: When Reagan did this, it worked –
STEPHANOPOULOS: — many say it’s difficult –
RYAN: Go ahead, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — to accept your word if you’re not going to specify which tax loopholes you’re willing to close. Don’t voters have a right to know which loopholes you’re going to go after?
RYAN: So Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with Congress to do this. That’s how you get things done. The other thing, George, is–
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that a secret plan?
RYAN: — we don’t want to — no, no. No, no. What we don’t want is a secret plan. What we don’t want to do is cut some backroom deal like ObamaCare, and then hatch (ph) it (ph) to the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not specify the –
RYAN: We want to do this –
STEPHANOPOULOS: — loopholes now?
RYAN: — out in the open –
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not say right now –
RYAN: — because we want to do this –
RYAN: — we want to have this — George, because we want to have this debate in the public. We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people, and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them.
And our priorities are high-income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes. And we should have broad-based policies that go to middle-class taxpayers, to make sure we can advance things that we care about, like charities. But that is a debate we shouldn’t cut in a back room, shouldn’t hatch a secret plan like ObamaCare. We should do it out in the public view where the public can participate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s exactly what I’m suggesting, having it in public before the election so voters can have that information before they make up their minds.
RYAN: We think the best way to get — look, I’ve been in Congress a number of years. I’ve been on the Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. And we think the best way to do this is to get this framework in place, and then negotiate, work with Democrats, work with people across the aisle, have these kinds of hearings, have this conversation to get this objective.
There are really only two ways to look at this refusal to specify which loopholes they plan to do away with:
1) they really have no plan, no idea what they’re going to do — they might as well say they want to ride a unicorn over Rainbow Bridge to Ice Cream Sundae Land and if you vote for them, you can go too. Or,
2) Lyin’ Paul Ryan is asking that you trust him and Etch-a-Sketch. Just trust that they’ll be looking out for YOUR best interests if they’re elected. And pay no attention to the fact that their budget doesn’t add up with any arithmetic in the known universe — or that those tax cuts for the rich (which Romney says are not tax cuts for the rich) will have to be paid for somehow.
For the record, yesterday in an interview with Mitt Romney, David Gregory got no information from Romney either, on the Secret-Awesome Romney Plan or the loopholes he plans to shut down.
Here’s the truth of the matter:
Robert Reich laments the insanity that has taken over the Republican Party (emphasis below is mine):
We’re witnessing the capture by fanatics of what was once a great and important American political party.
The Republican Party platform committee now includes a provision calling for a constitutional amendment banning all abortions, without an exception for rape or incest. This is basically Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s position. (At least the GOP platform doesn’t assert that women’s bodies automatically reject “legitimate” rapists’ sperm.)
Paul Ryan, Romney’s selection for vice president, has co-sponsored 38 anti-abortion measures while in the House of Representatives, including several containing no exception for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
But the GOP’s fanaticism goes far beyond the its growing absolutism about abortion.
Ryan’s proposed budget, approved by almost all House Republicans, is also an exercise in fanaticism. It replaces Medicare with vouchers that won’t possibly keep up with rising healthcare costs — thereby shifting costs directly on to the elderly.
That budget also harms the poor and rewards the rich, but does little or nothing to reduce the federal budget deficit. Over 60 percent of its spending cuts come out of programs for lower-income Americans. Its tax cuts for the rich reduce revenues by $4.6 trillion over the decade while saving the typical millionaire hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
The GOP’s looniness doesn’t even stop there. Republicans remain unwaivering in their support of state laws allowing or encouraging the profiling of Latinos. And unrelenting in their war against gay rights.
It’s not just women, seniors, budget hawks, the poor, Latinos, and gays who are catching on to the Republicans’ extremism. Americans who don’t fall into one of these categories are becoming alarmed, too — as they should.*
Although the GOP lurch to the right-wing margin of America may bode well for Democrats this coming Election Day, it bodes ill for America. The capture of one of our great parties by fanatics is nothing to celebrate. A democracy needs at least two sane political parties.
*See: GOP War on the Middle Class: the RNC dumps support for the mortgage interest deduction
Think Progress reports “The group behind the Nuns On A Bus tour that highlighted the ill-effects of the House Republican budget in congressional districts across the country is now setting its sights on the party’s presidential candidate, inviting Mitt Romney to spend a day with the nuns to learn about the plight of America’s poorest citizens.”
“Romney has endorsed the House GOP budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). It was that plan, which includes deep cuts to food stamps and other safety net programs that benefit the middle class, that NETWORK’s Nuns On A Bus tour targeted, with [Sister Simone] Campbell and other sisters blasting it as “immoral” at the tour’s conclusion in Washington D.C. Romney has also proposed massive tax cuts for the rich that would likely come at the expense of lower- and middle-class families, which would see higher taxes or significant cuts to the programs they depend on.
“Those policies, Campbell told ThinkProgress, show that Romney “doesn’t have clue” about the struggles the poor face. “The fact is, his policies shift wealth to the upper class,” she said. “Yes, it hurts the middle class, but it devastates those at the margins of our society.” If Romney were to accept their invitation, Campbell said she would take him to places like St. Augustine’s in Cleveland, where food programs “provide a hand up” to the community’s neediest members. “He thinks they’re lazy,” Campbell said, in reference to Romney’s misleading welfare reform ad. “It is hard work to keep things together when you’re poor. He doesn’t have a clue. Let him talk to them, and maybe they’ll touch his heart. And his mind too.”
“The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Campbell said she “lives in hope” that he will accept, even if he spends only an hour with the group. “I’ll take whatever I can get,” Campbell said. “He should accept.””
Unfortunately Mitt, more than most, does need to step outside the gates of his lavish lifestyle to understand exactly how the peasantry lives. But spending time with nuns in service to the poor is something that will never happen. There’s no upside to this kind of PR for a Republican candidate, and especially for Willard Romney — even if it’s very clear that he could benefit from some experience and education on America’s working class and income / poverty:
Flashback (July/2012): Romney completely unaware of what waiters and waitresses earn, calls them “middle class”
Ezra Klein dismantles the pure fantasy behind Romney’s fuzzy budget claims as logistically impossible (emphasis below is mine):
But Ryan’s budget includes more than $700 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade, Romney’s budget won’t. And Romney promises that there will be no other changes to Social Security or Medicare for those over 55, which means neither program can be cut for the next 10 years. But once you add up Medicare, Social Security and defense and you’ve got more than half of the federal budget. So Romney is going to make the largest spending cuts in history while protecting or increasing spending on more than half of the budget.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indulged this idea back in May. If Social Security and Medicare are spared from cuts, then to get federal spending under 20 percent of GDP while holding defense spending at 4 percent of GDP, “all other programs — including Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, education, environmental protection, transportation, and SSI — would have to be cut by an average of 40 percent in 2016 and 57 percent in 2022.”
Consider what the Romney campaign, then, is saying: If Romney is elected, then by his third year in office, every single federal program that is not Medicare, Social Security, or defense, will be cut, on average, by 40 percent. That means Medicaid, infrastructure, education, food safety, road safety, the postal service, basic research, foreign aid, housing subsidies, food stamps, the Census, Pell grants, the Patent and Trademark Office, the FDA — all of it has to be cut by, on average, 40 percent. If Romney tried to protect any particular priority, it would mean all the others have to be cut by more than 40 percent.
And don’t forget that Romney also wants to extend tax breaks for the one percent — meaning the ongoing lack of revenue has to be made up somehow as well. Taking more taxes from lower incomes or cutting programs and services which people who are not in the top one percent depend upon — just so the wealthy can continue to enjoy paying less federal tax on their incomes — how is that not income redistribution?
The federal budget in 2011 – click for larger:
“At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates and two political parties, but between two paths for our country.” – President Obama in his economic speech, 6/14/2012
“Your vote will determine the debate on which path we take. That’s what’s at stake. Everything else is noise, a distraction.” via: C-SPAN:
President Obama said that the coming election is about “two fundamentally different visions on which direction America should take.” The president told the audience … he believed in a “vision that Democrats and Republicans used to share,” of a collaboration between government and business that “worked for the American middle class.” In contrast, the president said that “the market is everything” for his presumptive-GOP rival, Mitt Romney — “eliminate regulations, cut taxes, strip down the government and the power of business will be unleashed.” Mr. Obama said the Romney plan, to keep the Bush tax cuts in place and add another $5 trillion in tax cuts from programs that benefit the middle class, “is wrong and I’m not alone.” According to the president, independent analysts agree that those policies would “slow the economy and deepen the recession.” The president added, “You can’t have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.” He then laid out his agenda for government investment in education, clean energy, research and development, and rebuilding the national infrastructure. The Republican’s unwillingness to raise taxes on the highest income earners “is what is keeping us from reaching a grand bargain” on tax reform or bringing down the federal deficit.
Ask yourself: what is Romney offering you as an alternative?
Obama told voters to expect ads with “scary music” and a voice telling them Obama is detached from Americans’ suffering and the true state of the economy and that he’s a lightweight with no experience in business. He then said:
“That may be their plan to win the election. But it’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to grow the economy. It’s not a plan to pay down the debt. And it’s sure not a plan to revive the middle class and secure our future.”
This was the ultimate appeal in Obama’s speech. He knows economically struggling swing voters are about to get nuked by months of single-minded messaging — the economy stinks and no one seems to be doing anything about it, so get rid of the guy in charge — and he’s trying to get them to ask themselves what Romney is really offering as an alternative. – Greg Sargent
WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————
“But if people only watch the three big networks … a lot of people will assume that Obama really is just doing a great job and he just can’t get those crazy Republicans to help him out.” – Mike Huckabee, commenting on what people would think of President Obama without Fox News
Romney should probably stop talking about the auto-industry rescue altogether — The Republican has repeatedly argued that GM and Chrysler should have relied on private funding to restructure and get back on their feet. That, of course, was impossible. In early 2009, the credit markets were frozen and there was no private funding available. (When a company called Bain Capital was approached, it refused to invest.) And so it appears that Romney is shifting once again, not only taking credit for a policy he attacked, but also saying taxpayer support “was fine,” after arguing for three years it wasn’t fine. The new twist is that Romney is on board with public support after, but not before, bankruptcy, but that doesn’t make sense, either — GM and Chrysler would have never survived the bankruptcy process without federal intervention. Romney could simply try the truth — he should admit, “I was wrong” — but that seems to be the only position he hasn’t tried yet. – Steve Benen
How things change! Emails show how Romney pushed Massachusetts health bill: Romneycare – The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it. Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy health insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today’s GOP—including publicly shaming companies that didn’t provide enough health insurance to employees. – WSJ
This can’t be re-stated enough: if Romney wins, he’ll pay himself $5 million – One of the perks of being a Republican president: Under his plan, Romney’s tax rate would fall from its current 14.7 percent to 13.1 percent, while under Obama’s tax plan, Romney would pay a 34.3 percent rate. The difference in these rates means about $5 million for Romney’s tax bill. By the way, Romney’s $5 million personal tax cut would add to the deficit. You know, because he’s a fiscal hawk and really, really cares about the deficit and debt. – Bob Cesca
Hey, struggling homeowners! Mitt Romney hates you.
Nobel-winning economist predicts Romney recession – Economist Joseph Stiglitz is hitting the media circuit to promote his new book.. Speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, the Nobel Prize-winner and former World Bank chief claimed that if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is elected president in 2012, the risk of another recession will go up “significantly.” “The Romney plan is going to slow down the economy, worsen the jobs deficit and significantly increase the likelihood of a recession,” he said. – Raw Story
Lindsey Graham wants more wars – SO YES TO TAXES! 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. [...] “The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world,” he said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation.’ ” To that end, his arguments grow increasingly complex, involving a near-term confrontation with Syria and what he is sure will be a military strike on Iran late this summer, “an air and sea campaign from hell,” he tells an audience in Sumter. A large screen at the Third Army command center in nearby Shaw Air Force Base seemed to back him up on that. It broadcast a multicolored map of Iran with its air defenses demarcated in loud, red circles. – NYTimes
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA ) blatantly lies about Obama giving TSA waivers to Muslims – on conservative talk radio Monday… Landry [blatantly lied about the Obama administration and an imaginary] Transportation Security Administration program that lets Muslim passengers through security without even so much as a sideways glance. [...] The TSA gives no waivers, special rights or exceptions based upon religious beliefs. The only people who get special treatment are those willing to pay for it by submitting to a pre-screening process. Minorities, such as Muslims, Sikhs and people who appear to be from the Middle East, have typically reported facing even greater scrutiny by TSA agents than other passengers. Rep. Landry appears to have invented the claim as a way of illustrating another imagined controversy: that Obama is secretly punishing people of his own faith because of his spiritual preference for Muslims. — Raw Story
WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————
“Nobody has seen a communist in over a decade.” — Bill Clinton, quoted by The Hill, criticizing House Republicans for failing to reprimand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) who claimed as many as 80 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.
Michigan had sixth highest rate of growth in 2011: no wonder Romney keeps etch-a-sketching his earlier opinions on Detroit and letting it go bankrupt — New data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that Michigan, the home of the American auto-industry, had the sixth highest rate of growth in the nation in 2011. […] For comparison’s sake, the Michigan economy shrank by 9 percent in 2009. Now the state boasts the sixth highest rate of growth in the nation. An unprecedented turnaround that occurred in just two years. — Bob Cesca
Some Republicans are now willing to increase taxes, as Democrats have been pushing for all along (but only to preserve military spending) – In March, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) pointed out that a “vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would, in essence, be the vote to lock in sequestration” by cutting down on revenue to offset government debt. The Times report today pointed out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to allow sequestration to be averted without a debt reduction package that includes increased government revenue. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) was more blunt speaking to the Times, noting that the Republicans that supported last August’s Budget Control Act — 28 in the Senate and 174 in the House — were given the choice of automatically-triggered military spending cuts or tax increases. Van Hollen said: The consistent pattern here is they have chosen to defend special interest tax breaks over defense spending. They made that choice. – Think Progress
Tax cuts for the wealthy, austerity for the rest of us: pension cuts – “In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers,” the New York Times reports. Wall Street Journal: “Since the recession, dozens of state legislatures and city councils throughout the U.S. have scaled back benefits and jobs in an attempt to plug large budget holes. But unlike most efforts to rein in pension costs, the San Jose measure targets current workers and retirees rather than focusing only on workers that have yet to be hired.” – Political Wire
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer charges GOP with Obstructionism – “It’s not ‘our way or the highway,’ it’s ‘our way or no highway.’ No jobs. No progress. No consensus. No agreement,” Hoyer said. “So what the Republican hardliners are doing, are saying, [is], ‘We won’t agree in conference, we won’t come to agreement, we won’t help create jobs in America … unless we get our way.’” — Roll Call News
[I]t seems Wisconsin Democrats have managed one significant, if largely symbolic, victory for the night by apparently reclaiming control of the Wisconsin state senate. There were four state senate recalls tonight. Dems needed one to flip control of the state’s upper house. Three of those the Republicans won handily. But they appear to have won the 21st district. […] 16 of the 33 seats are again up for election in 5 months. – TPM
Scott Walker steps right up into the pocket of those who got him there — Make no mistake. A star was born last night. You will now see Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, everywhere in the energetic precincts of the revived American right. He will be on the covers of their startlingly advertising-free little magazines. He will be the darling of every wingnut blogger in the extended monkeyhouse; poo will be flung high and far in celebration of him. He will have a high-profile speaking role in Tampa this August, and it is very likely that there are people in Iowa who already are booking house parties for the late autumn of 2015 in his honor. He will be a bigger presence on Fox News than are Brit Hume’s jowls or Shep Smith’s gradually swelling public rage. I will tell you what: Willard Romney better be damned glad that he’s already clinched the nomination, and that Walker didn’t win this recall a year ago. And, because they are a timid flock of ruminants, the rest of the elite political press corps will wander, sheeplike, in his general direction, grazing amid the unmitigated manure of his victory speech here last night. Oh, Lord, are we going to be hearing about what a “turning point” in Walker’s career that speech was. – Charles P. Pierce
WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————
“Forgive me for noting that conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less.” – E. J. Dionne
Romney’s tax plan would save him $5 million next year — To see where the presidential candidates stand on taxing the rich, just look at how they’d tax themselves. Under his own proposal, Mitt Romney would pay half what he would under President Barack Obama’s tax plan. For a man of Romney’s means, that could save almost $5 million a year. For Obama, not so loaded as Romney but still well-off, losing re-election could provide a tax windfall. He’d save as much as $90,000 a year if Romney’s plan were enacted rather than his own tax-the-rich vision. Two nonprofit research groups, the liberal-leaning Citizens for Tax Justice and conservative-leaning Tax Foundation, did the calculations, based on the most recent completed tax returns released by the candidates. Compared with what they owed in April, both men would be dinged in 2013 under Obama’s proposal, along with other wealthy taxpayers. They could expect savings under Romney, depending on which tax breaks the former Massachusetts governor decides to oppose. — NBC Politics / Raw Story
Massachusetts was 37th in job creation when Romney took office and 47th when he left — Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie had a similar exchange with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “When [Romney] took office it was No. 50 in job creation. Actually 51 if you count the District of Columbia,” Gillespie said. To his credit, Fox News’ Chris Wallace didn’t let Ed Gillespie get away with that claim either and corrected him that Massachusetts was 47th during the entire Romney governorship. Massachusetts ranked 37th when Mitt Romney took office. It ranked 47th when he left office. He actually made things worse. Not better. Massachusetts was never “30th in the nation.” Not when he took office or left office. – JM Ashby
Romney’s Solyndra slam at Obama backfires – A Lowell-based solar technology company that received $1.5 million in state loans when Mitt Romney was governor has filed for bankruptcy, opening the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to charges of hypocrisy. Konarka Technologies disclosed Friday that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and would fire its 80-member staff and liquidate its assets. Romney has chided President Obama for investing $535 million in a different solar company that failed, and has insisted governments should not pick winners and losers in the private sector. – The Boston Globe
Romney Takes Conservative Fire For Top Aide Michael Leavitt’s Support Of Obamacare Exchanges – The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Leavitt “strenuously backed the core piece of President Barack Obama’s health-care law and urged the states to move forward together in adopting health insurance exchanges.” And his stance hasn’t changed: “We believe that the exchanges are the solution to small business insurance market and that’s gotten us sideways with some conservatives,” Leavitt’s top aide Rich McKeown told Politico. “We’re troubled by it,” Dean Clancy, who runs health care advocacy for the Dick Armey-led conservative group FreedomWorks, told TPM Monday via email. “We’re very concerned. The tea party grassroots have always feared that Gov. Romney would be a weak standard bearer because of RomneyCare. This choice only reinforces those doubts. Tapping a high-profile ObamaCare profiteer is disturbing, there’s no way around it. … The tea party has been fighting exchanges in state after state.” – TPM
The emerging “face” of California’s GOP — litigious “birther” Orly Taitz, a Russian Israeli emigre who has appeared on national television with her claims that Obama faked his birth certificate. – Political Wire
The trifecta of wingnuttery! Racist, petty, and thin-skinned: A judge has tossed out a lawsuit World Net Daily brought against Esquire for a story making fun of the publication’s birtherism.
WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————
KRUGMAN: THE IRONY OF REAGAN AND OBAMA: Obama may be defeated because he’s been constrained to be less Keynesian than Reagan or Bush – “If you actually look at the actual track record of government spending, government employment, Reagan is the Keynesian and Obama — mostly because of political constraints, although a little bit of lack of conviction on the part of his own people — has been the anti-Keynesian,” Krugman said. “He’s been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer.” Just over three years into Reagan’s first term, government jobs grew by 3.1 percent; at the same time during Obama’s tenure, they’ve been cut by 2.7 percent. Hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs have been shed in recent years. Government jobs also grew under President George W. Bush, which helped keep unemployment down during most of his two terms. “After there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up. It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush,” Obama said last month on the campaign trail. “So each time there was a recession with a Republican president, compensated — we compensated by making sure that government didn’t see a drastic reduction in employment. The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me.” [...] “We’re actually practicing government austerity on a scale that we haven’t seen in 60 years. It’s not the president’s policy,” he said Sunday. “In effect, we’ve already got the policies that Republicans say they will impose if they take the election, and yet, of course, it may lead to the defeat of this president.” – TPM
(Photo: Bill Luster, The Courier-Journal)
Bob McDonnell makes the case for Obama — Whether he knew it or not, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) made the case for the Obama Administration during an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley. At 5.6 percent, Virginia’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country, well below the national average of 8.2 percent. And the state’s governor concedes that President Obama has helped. “The only thing I can say is he had nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus, and that was one-time spending,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told CNN’s Candy Crowley in response to a question about whether he believes Obama can take any credit for the strong economy in Virginia. “Did it help us in the short run with health care and education spending to balance the budget? Sure. Does it help us in the long term to really cut the unemployment rate? I’d say no.” – JM Ashby
Bill Clinton: a Romney presidency would be “calamitous” – Days after praising Mitt Romney’s “sterling” business career, ABC News reports Bill Clinton warned that a Romney presidency would be “calamitous for our country and the world.” Clinton, speaking at a fundraiser for President Obama in New York City, added that the incumbent has “the right economic policy and the right political approach,” while “the politics is wrong on the Republican side, the economics are crazy.” – ABC News
Eliot Spitzer: U.S. needs ‘big, old-fashioned Keynesian stimulus’ – Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Monday that the United States needed to invest in the public sector, because the country’s current policies clearly were not revving up the economy. “One thing that could help is a big, old-fashioned Keynesian stimulus,” he said on his Current TV show Viewpoint. “First, realize we’ve tried the Republican approach,” Spitzer explained. “As Paul Krugman and others point out, taxes have been cut and government spending has fallen, once you adjust for population and inflation. In fact, it has not fallen this quickly since the demobilization after the Korean war. So it’s no surprise that public sector employment is way down.” He noted that now was a good time for the U.S. government to borrow more money, because of the extremely low interest rates. — Raw Story
Paycheck Fairness Act expected to fail today, but the GOP’s War on Women is still imaginary – Democrats will bring to the Senate floor on Tuesday the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that is supposed to help close the wage gap between men and women. […] The paycheck bill would bar companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities and permit employees to sue for punitive damages if they find evidence of broad differences in compensation between male and female workers. Democrats say the measure would bolster reforms enacted with the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter pay law that expanded the statute of limitations for filing equal-pay lawsuits. […] Several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and associations representing bankers, construction firms and retailers, issued a statement opposing the legislation, saying it would result in “unprecedented government control over how employees are paid at even the nation’s smallest employers.” — The Washington Post
It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. -bo—
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 04, 2012