Inconvenient facts for President Obama. “You wouldn’t know this from President Obama’s rhetoric, but our tax system, according to a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is incredibly progressive. Consider: The top 1% of income earners pay an average federal tax rate of 28.9%. (See the nearby table.) The average federal tax rate on the top 20% is 23.2%. The 20% of taxpayers earning between $50,100 and $73,999 pay an average 15.1%, and so on down the line. The CBO report includes payroll as well as income taxes paid.”
Inertia. “We haven’t heard much of late about why Johnny can’t read but a study released by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance indicates U.S. students aren’t making progress in catching up to their peers in other industrialized countries.”
Inexcusable. “If America and other democratic friends of Syria had been working more actively with the opposition over the past months, we all might be better prepared for the regime’s fall. For example, agreement might have been reached on the deployment, post-Assad, of an Arab peacekeeping force to give some assurance of safety for Syria’s minorities. . . . It is too late to undo the consequences of 16 months of inaction. But, late as it is, it would be better even now to act, particularly since there is no way of knowing how much longer this bloodshed will continue or what the result will be.”
Indicative of a failed Bain-attack strategy. “By more than 2-1, 63%-29%, those surveyed say Romney’s background in business, including his tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital, would cause him to make good decisions, not bad ones, in dealing with the nation’s economic problems over the next four years. The findings raise questions about Obama’s strategy of targeting Bain’s record in outsourcing jobs and hammering Romney for refusing to commit to releasing more than two years of his tax returns. Instead, Americans seem focused on the economy, where disappointment with the fragile recovery and the 8.2% unemployment rate are costing the president.”
Indeed. Romney on CNBC: “I think the president made an error coming into office and deciding that the economy would take care of itself and he focused his energy on a series of liberal plans that he and his friends have been working on for years; take over the health care industry, a massive regulation of financial services in this country, trying to impose unions where employees don’t want them, a new energy policy, slowing down the leasing of federal lands for the production of oil and gas. All of these things, not coincidentally, had the impact of slowing job creation and making them less likely for entrepreneurs to either open their doors or to expand hiring.”
Insufficient. “The N.C.A.A. announced significant penalties against Penn State and its football program Monday, including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban, in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The N.C.A.A. stopped short of shutting down Penn State’s program, but officials insisted that the breadth and significance of the penalties were nearly as debilitating.” But the symbolism is awful.
Intrigued: Do they think think they built their media empires? “Harvey Weinstein and Anna Wintour are teaming again to throw a fund-raiser for President Obama. The shindig will take place Aug. 6, in Greenwich, Conn., we hear. The movie mogul and the Vogue editor will co-host, sources said, while other co-chairs remain to be announced. The pair previously hosted an Obama dinner last year at Weinstein and Georgina Chapman’s West Village townhouse. Tickets will go for $35,800 per head.”
Instead of a continued U.S. presence there is chaos. “For Iraqis, bombings and shootings like those that killed more than 100 people throughout the country on Monday have become a grim part of daily life following the departure of U.S. troops last December.”