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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 07/12/2011

Morning Bits

You can understand why Senate Democrats’ budget is secret. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) wants a $2 trillion tax hike. “Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad emerged from his months at an undisclosed fiscal location yesterday to denounce Republicans, the rich, corporations, George W. Bush and anyone else he could blame for the ugly reality of a $1.4 trillion deficit 30 months into a Democratic Presidency and two years into an alleged economic recovery. He didn’t release an actual budget outline, as he is obliged to do under the law but which he hasn’t done in two years. Instead he trickled out enough details to assess his rough priorities. Of the $4 trillion in alleged deficit reduction over 10 years, about half would be from tax increases, mostly on what he called ‘abusive tax shelters and tax havens’ and families ‘sufficiently fortunate to be earning a million dollars a year.’ ”

You can understand why President Obama doesn’t want to discuss the details of his debt proposals. “More Americans are worried about the growth of government than by a risk of default if Congress doesn’t lift the nation’s credit limit, according to a poll released Monday. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post found that 47 percent of Americans are more concerned about the effects of raising the debt ceiling, compared to 42 percent of Americans who are more concerned about the consequences of not raising it.”

You can understand why the Obama spin machine would rather suggest there is disarray on the Republican side of the aisle. “Dem leadership at odds over what’s on table.”

You can understand why Bashar al-Assad doesn’t take the U.S. seriously. “ ‘Today, we [had] thugs going over the walls,’ said Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, adding they were encouraged by a ‘television station that is heavily influenced by Syrian authorities.’ Ms Nuland criticized the Syrian authorities for failing to stop the attacks. ‘We consider that the Syrian government has not lived up to its obligations under the Vienna Convention to protect diplomatic facilities, and it’s absolutely outrageous,’ she said.”

You can understand why now might not be the best time to raise taxes. “Stocks ended near session lows Monday, posting their largest loss in about a month, as investors worried that Europe’s debt crisis could spread to Italy and amid ongoing worries over the U.S. budget.”

You can understand why Tim Pawlenty has perked up. “The shift in [his] tone reflects the fact that Mrs. Bachmann is emerging as the new front-runner in Iowa, where polls show her at the top of the pack among Republican hopefuls, and she has become a target almost as quickly as she became a contender. And for Mr. Pawlenty, a former governor of Minnesota, the decision to take aim at Mrs. Bachmann, a fellow Minnesotan, is a recognition that he has staked just about everything on Iowa, a neighboring state where advisers hope that he can prove himself to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts.”

You can understand why Republicans aren’t jumping to take Obama’s “deal.” Yuval Levin explains: “Simply put, President Obama has offered what amounts to his own budget proposal from earlier this year (as amended by his April speech) and called it a big bipartisan deal. But what is bipartisan about it? What it is in the ‘big’ deal outline that was in the Republican budget but not in Obama’s budget? Nothing. In effect, Republicans are being asked to accept several of the policies their budget took to be counterproductive (like reinforcing the fee-for-service model of health-care entitlements and increasing the tax burden on a struggling economy), to abide the implementation of Obamacare (which would be taken for granted and untouched in what purports to be a major long-term budget deal), and to settle for the Democratic version of tax reform and discretionary cuts. The Democrats, meanwhile, are being asked to settle for Obama’s budget and would be made to accept none of what they take to be counterproductive Republican proposals. Sounds like a great bi-partisan deal, doesn’t it?”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 07/12/2011

Categories:  Morning Bits

 
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