Each morning, Bill Scher and Terrance Heath serve up what progressives need to effect change on the kitchen-table issues families face: jobs, health care, green energy, financial reform, affordable education and retirement security.
MORNING MESSAGE: Progressive Caucus Proposes “Rebuild The American Dream”
OurFuture.org’s Isaiah Poole: “On the morning after President Obama sent his ‘American Jobs Act’ legislation to Capitol Hill, the Progressive Caucus is responding with its ‘Rebuild The American Dream Framework,’ six pillars that progressive leaders in Congress are using to construct a set of bold jobs proposals … Some of the legislation has already been introduced, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s ‘Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act’ and Ellison’s ‘Put America Back To Work Act.’ Some elements of Schakowsky’s bill can be found in Obama’s jobs legislation … But virtually off the political table are solutions such as Ellison’s idea of a 21st-century equivalent of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, which would use federal dollars to put 2 million people unemployed people to work on a myriad of needed public projects.”
President Backs Higher Taxes On Wealthy To Fund Jobs
American Jobs Act paid for with higher taxes on wealthy. W. Post: “The White House said Congress should pay for the jobs plan by imposing new limits on itemized deductions for individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000. Eliminating those deductions would bring in an additional $400 billion in revenue, aides said. The administration also recommended ending subsidies for oil and gas companies and changing the depreciation rules for corporate airplanes. Altogether, White House aides said the tax package would raise $467 billion, more than enough to pay for the new jobs bill.”
GOP again puts tax cuts for wealthy ahead of jobs. LAT: “Obama appears to be following a political strategy that does not rely on Republicans having a change of heart. Rather, the idea is to portray GOP leaders as facing a choice in an election season: Pass a plan that boosts the economy and promotes job growth, or protect oil companies, hedge fund managers and the most well-off households.”
“I sure hope that the president is not suggesting that we pay for his proposals with a massive tax increase at the end of 2012 on job creators” says House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
President indicates he would sign a smaller bill. WSJ: “‘Obviously if they pass parts of it I’m not going to veto those parts,’ Mr. Obama said Monday in a roundtable interview with Hispanic journalists. ‘I will sign it but I will say then “give me the rest”, and I will keep on making that argument as long as the need is there to put people back to work.’”
Lies, Lies, Lies At GOP Debate
Politifact scores Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” charge, “False”… “…the term originates with Charles Ponzi, a Boston swindler who conned investors out of millions in 1920 by promising returns of up to 100 percent in 90 days on investments in foreign postal coupons … Social Security is more like a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system transferring payroll tax payments by American workers to American retirees…”
…and Perry’s claim the stimulus created “zero jobs” to be “Pants On Fire!”: … the president’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs were created or saved by the stimulus through the fourth quarter of 2010. Separately, the council’s report cited four independent analyses by the Congressional Budget Office and three private economic analysis companies [with similar findings.]”
W. Post’s Glenn Kessler chronicles a myriad of falsehoods from last night’s GOP debate.
NYT questions Perry’s touting of state-based retirement insurance programs: “Mr. Perry spoke approvingly Monday night about how some municipalities in Texas had opted out of Social Security, saying that they got a better deal. But that is for their government employees. It is not clear what his vision of letting states handle retirement programs would mean for private-sector workers. And opting out is not always a good idea: when the city of Central Falls, R.I., filed for bankruptcy this year, it moved to cut the pensions of its police officers and firefighters by as much as half — and, since they had opted out of Social Security, many have no other income to rely on.”
Super Committee Convenes Today
Former WH deficit commission co-chairs call for Super Committee to “go big”: “The two men added that, as counterintuitive as it might sound, their experience with the fiscal commission led them to believe the new deficit panel would actually find it easier to reach a consensus on a broader package, one in which every sector and interest group took a hit.”
GOPers resist call to “go big,” break with austerity advocates. TPM: “That pressure has some Republicans saying that Obama’s [jobs bill has] needlessly complicated the committee’s task — finding $1.2 trillion in cuts, revenues and savings is hard enough! — and members should keep their eyes on the more modest goal spelled out in the debt limit law … this has Washington’s career fiscal hawks, who have found common cause with the GOP for the past year, calling nonsense.”
W. Post’s Walter Pincus challenges conservative hysteria over military cuts: “Often during Thursday’s committee session, a [GOP congressional] member or one of the former Pentagon chiefs talked about our volunteer military as ‘the best in the world’ and how any proposed cuts beyond the legislated $440 billion over the next 10 years would hollow it out … No mention was made of defense spending having almost doubled during the past 10 years … No one focused on billions wasted on canceled weapons systems …”
Senate Republicans filibuster natural disaster aid. Politico: “On a 53-33 vote, the Senate failed to advance legislation proposed by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that would replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund, which is nearly dry. Sixty votes were needed … Reid plans to take up his bill again Tuesday, but will first need the backing of Republicans who want the disaster aid offset by spending cuts to other parts of the government. For instance, Freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has suggested the offsets come from foreign aid.”
New study finds private contractors cost more than government services. NYT: “The study found that in 33 of 35 occupations, the government actually paid billions of dollars more to hire contractors than it would have cost government employees to perform comparable services. On average, the study found that contractors charged the federal government more than twice the amount it pays federal workers.”
Energy Dept. program believes American can make things and innovate again. Time: “[Arun] Majumdar is the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and he might have the best job in government … ARPA-E funds the sort of ideas — from university groups and early start-ups — that are far from turning profit today but which could pay off enormously in the future … The ideas are there; give them the support they need, and we might have back-to-back American centuries.”