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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 01/27/2012

Morning bits

What a mess!”Reuters has to issue five corrections on a hit piece against Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

What a crock. John Steele Gordon demolishes the argument that Warren Buffet pays less in taxes than his secretary. “By conflating payroll (FICA) taxes and income taxes, Buffett is playing the intellectual equivalent of three-card monte. . . . Since Buffett’s income comes overwhelmingly from investment income and he is one of the richest people in the world, of course the people working for him in his office pay a higher percentage of their incomes in FICA taxes. And, as I have discussed earlier, he ignores the fact that his investment income, from dividends and capital gains, has already been taxed–at 35 percent–at the corporate level. So the personal taxes he pays on it are double taxation. His actual effective tax rate is closer to 44 percent than 15 percent. He’s paying far more in taxes, as a percentage of income, than his secretary.”

What a mistake it was to run for president. “Rick Perry’s dismal showing in the presidential contest has plunged his approval among Texans to its lowest level in a decade, and more than half say in a new poll that he should not seek reelection as governor. . . . The poll shows 40 percent of Texans approve of the job Perry’s doing as governor — down 10 points from a year ago. He has lost ground among Republicans — from 73 to 60 percent over the past year — and also independents, from almost half to 27 percent.”

What “pious baloney.” Conservatives didn’t need Newt Gingrich to tell them about media bias. “Newt Gingrich Is Exposing the Corrupt Media.”

What a guy — always looking out for his mistress. “House Speaker Newt Gingrich was at the peak of his power when, in the spring of 1996, he placed this call to a former Wisconsin State Senator, Jim Harsdorf. Harsdorf knew what was coming — but he was still surprised the Speaker was taking such an interest. He was running for Congress in the district then represented by Rep. Steve Gunderson, who had announced plans to retire during his 1994 campaign. But with Republicans in the majority, Gunderson was reconsidering. Gingrich was calling to push Harsdorf out. . . . There were ordinary reasons for Gingrich to be interested in Gunderson’s career: The two had served in leadership roles together before Gingrich became speaker. But there was also a reason that wasn’t then public: Gingrich was carrying on an affair with a Gunderson aide, Callista Bisek, whose job could have depended on Gunderson’s remaining in the House.”

What else isn’t true? “Gingrich’s Claim that He Gave Depositions in Both Divorces Likely False.” The ease and frequency with which he makes stuff up is breathtaking.

What rubbish, says Rick Santorum, of Newt’s moon colony. “The idea that anybody’s going out and talking about brand new, very expensive schemes to spend more money at a time when we do not have our fiscal house in order in my opinion is playing crass politics and not being realistic with the people of this country as to the nature and gravity of the problem. . . . The idea at this point that we’re going to create any new expansive plan to create a new mission and fund that mission in any way that could lead to a deployment or development of that mission, I just think is similar to what Speaker Gingrich said the other night when he said he was going to create a new Social Security plan.”

What a difference it would make if the president initiated these sorts of measures. “U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, [Thursday] spoke in favor of two bills which she authored to expand and strengthen U.S. sanctions on the Iranian regime. The Iran Threat Reduction Act (H.R. 1905) and the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Modernization and Reform Act (H.R. 2105) were debated by the House of Representatives earlier today, and are expected to pass the House later this week.”

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 01/27/2012

 
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