Morning Bits

November 15, 2012

Not exactly. “The President has repeatedly argued that he wants ‘to go back to the tax rates under Clinton.’ However, because of the 3.8 percent surtax on investment income in his health care law, President Obama actually wants rates to be above where they were under Clinton. In fact, President Obama’s health care law is a $123 billion tax hike on investment income, a tax increase that will land on top the higher income tax rates a majority of small business profits will be facing under the Obama tax plan.”

Not even close. What about the president’s fiscal cliff offer (tax hikes and vagueness on everything else)? Sen. Mitch McConnell responds: “It’s now the President’s turn to propose a specific plan that includes meaningful entitlement reforms to strengthen and protect these programs for future generations, and that can actually attract the support of both parties as that is the only type of plan that has a realistic chance of becoming law.”

Not precisely. Does the president want to cut spending? Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.): “Instead of reducing spending, his plan increases taxes to pay for even more spending: annual federal spending will grow from $3.5 trillion today to $5.7 trillion in 2022. His budget also does nothing about the surging growth of welfare expenditures. All operations of government will need belt tightening. But under the President’s proposal, total spending on federal welfare programs will grow another 30 percent by 2016 — to approximately $1 trillion in federal spending and more than $350 billion in state contributions.”

Not nearly enough. Does the president want to work with GOP governors? The Republican Governors Association sends a letter to the president asking “for the President to intervene with HHS [Health and Human Services], push the deadline and engage directly with governors of both parties in a serious dialogue about healthcare exchanges and overall healthcare reform in our states.” Good luck with that.

Not anytime soon, I suspect. Will Democrats go along? “Three Republican senators are introducing a resolution to establish a Select Committee on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, which they say is the only way for the truth about what happened to emerge. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said at a press conference Wednesday that the attack on the U.S. Consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans cut across the jurisdictions of the Armed Services, Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, and that a Select Committee was necessary to talk to administration officials in all three agencies.”

Not remotely. Has Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) gotten a clean bill of health on ethics questions? Nope. “A New Jersey Republican organization has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Menendez based on public records and media reports surrounding a series of flights to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republican between 2010 and 2012. The request highlights four trips Menendez appears to have made on a corporate jet owned by Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who has donated more than $220,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 1993. Melgen gave at least $12,600 to Menendez during that period.”

Not really. Are the markets pleased with the election results? “U.S. stocks dropped to a fresh three-month low as growing political concerns in the U.S. and European economic weakness pushed the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite into a correction. . . . Also hurting market sentiment was a tough stance taken by President Barack Obama in the tense negotiations over U.S. deficit reduction. Unless politicians can reach a compromise, taxes are set to rise and government spending to fall in the new year, potentially pushing the U.S. into recession. Late Tuesday, the president said he would seek $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue, far more than Republicans are likely to accept.”

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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