Battle over gun control; ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and Boehner’s shake-up

December 19, 2012

More lawmakers open to greater gun control: “The U.S. gun industry faced a new set of challenges to its financial and political power Tuesday as more of its Washington allies called for gun control and a major investor sought to get out of the firearms business entirely. In Washington, a trio of new senators — all elected with National Rifle Association backing — said they were willing to discuss tightening gun laws. The White House gave a stronger signal of President Obama’s support for reinstating a ban on assault weapons.” (Washington Post)


 

New at Think Tanked: Open for Discussion! After Sandy Hook: What can be done to curb gun violence in America? Four experts discuss what policy measures can be taken to combat the complex problem of gun violence. (Washington Post)

Buy back guns, boost the economy: “Everyone knows we need to reduce gun violence in America. Everyone knows we still need to boost the economy, too. Usually these goals are debated in completely different policy silos. But what if there was a way to boost the economy and shrink gun violence? Wouldn’t that be the holy grail at this hour? Might that not answer the president’s call for new ideas? Allow me to propose a massive, debt-financed gun buyback program,” writes CAP’s Matt Miller. (Washington Post)

AEI’s Jonah Goldberg: On Newtown: Mourn first, then act. (National Review)

Boehner’s backup tax plan shakes up ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations: “House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) veered off the bipartisan course he had been charting toward a broad tax-and-entitlement deal with President Obama and instead Tuesday pushed a GOP package to extend tax cuts for income up to $1 million. The move shook the Capitol after several days of significant progress between Obama and Boehner, who had moved closer to a pact raising taxes on the wealthy and curbing government spending, including on Social Security.” (Washington Post)

The ‘fiscal cliff’ offers: Dueling White House and GOP perspectives. (Washington Post)

The endless lies about tax reform: “Almost everyone thinks we should broaden the tax base; that is, reduce the number and size of tax deductions, exclusions and credits. The Bowles-Simpson fiscal-reform plan went after tax breaks so aggressively it was able to slash the deficit and still cut tax rates. That’s the position GOP leaders in the House and Senate have taken, too. As pleasing as it is to find a consensus in this polarized era, this one is mistaken. It would be either undesirable or politically impossible to reduce the largest loopholes,” writes AEI’s Ramesh Ponnuru. (New York Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: Should Congress have to work on solving the fiscal cliff through the holidays?

Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott Roth: Three lost issues in the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate. (Washington Examiner)

Manhattan Institute’s E.J. McMahon: By the time they near the end of their second year in office, it’s not unusual for first-term governors to shift their focus from tackling problems to taking bows — and Gov. Cuomo certainly has been no exception. (New York Post)

Room for Debate asks: So many Americans end up in prison for so long, and sometimes find little or no support after they are released. A recent Times editorial called for measures that would reduce spending on prisons. A series of letters to the editor followed up with proposals for sentencing reform. Now Room for Debate is asking: Given that most inmates will one day be released, how should incarceration change to prepare people to rejoin the outside world? How can a prison sentence change a person for the better? (New York Times)

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Allen McDuffee | December 19, 2012