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: After Ohio, Run For America
OurFuture.org’s Robert Borosage: “Yesterday, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected the effort to revoke basic worker rights, delivering a stunning rebuke to conservative Gov. John Kasich. That spark was lit in Madison, Wisconsin last winter when workers took over the state capitol and launched unprecedented recall elections that sobered right-wing Governor Scott Walker and the Republican state legislature. The Occupy Wall Street movement turned the spark into a conflagration, transforming the political horizon. Now, a range of progressive groups, led by Progressive Majority, are calling on citizen activists to Run for America, announcing a plan to recruit 2,012 progressive candidates in 2012 to run for public office at every level—from school board to state legislatures to Congress.”
Ohio Voters Repeal Anti-Union Law
Landslide victory for workers in Ohio. NYT: “Labor leaders said their victory contained an important message for Republicans. ‘Attacking education and other public employees is not at all what the public wants to see,’ said Karen M. White, political director of the National Education Association …”
Conservatism loses on Election Day. LAT: “[Results] suggested at least a pause in the strong conservative Republican trend that swept Democrats from office in 2010.”
W. Post/ABC poll shows public demanding action to close wealth gap: “More than six in 10 Americans see a widening gap between the wealthy and the less well-off in this country, and about as many want the federal government to try to shrink the divide …”
GOP Supers Crack A Bit On Taxes
GOP Super Cmte members offer plan with increased revenue … with a catch. NYT: “Republicans, long opposed to tax increases, said Tuesday that they might allow $250 billion to $300 billion of additional tax revenue … Democrats were quick to dismiss the offer because, they said, it came with a proposal that would permanently reduce individual income tax rates, including those for the most affluent Americans … Some of the new revenue under the Republican proposal would come from limiting tax breaks that primarily benefit upper-income households. Some would come from other sources like fees charged for government services, higher Medicare premiums for high-income people, sales of federal lands and surplus federal property, and perhaps oil drilling in part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge…”
More from CNN: “Republicans want Democrats to agree to lower the top marginal income tax rate for individuals from 35% to 28% according to two Democratic sources. Republicans are also looking for significant changes to entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
GOP concession is “paltry” argues ThinkProgress’ Pat Garofalo: “…over the summer Speaker of the House John Boehner proposed a plan that included $800 billion in new revenue. The GOP now wants to raise [$300 billion,] less than 0.2 percent of GDP in revenue, which is less than the Democrats have offered in Medicaid cuts … [Meanwhile,] the reduction in the top tax rate alone costs $670 billion…”
Many predict Super Cmte failure. Politico: “Negotiators on the panel remain trillions of dollars apart just two weeks from the Nov. 23 deadline…”
“House Republican lawmakers want out of Norquist tax pledge” reports The Hill: “…Norquist’s group includes several members who say they have specifically refused to sign the pledge during their most recent campaigns. The sheet of paper they signed years ago, the lawmakers say, is no longer valid.”
House Dems criticize Super Cmte for secrecy. The Hill: “A growing number of Democrats are hammering the supercommittee process as both anti-democratic and lacking transparency. Some of the lawmakers are wary that just 12 members would speak on behalf of the entire Congress, while others are critical that, just weeks before the panel’s deadline, the deliberations remain a black box to all but a few insiders.”
“Supercommittee Won’t Get Anywhere Near $600 Billion in Medicare Savings Without Harming Lower-Income Beneficiaries” finds CBPP’s Robert Greenstein.
Congress still can’t find revenue to pay for transportation bill without a gas tax increase. W. Post’s Brad Plumer: “… Speaker John Boehner hinted that Republicans had found a solution: They’d use royalties from new oil and gas drilling to help bankroll a bigger infrastructure bill … [But] if the bill just uses existing royalties, it will increase the deficit … Senate Democrats are hunting around for about $12 billion to supplement gas-tax revenue and fund their highway bill … But even if the Senate does find this extra money, the Senate’s bill would bring the balance of the Highway Trust Fund down to zero…”
Mitt Romney Flips and Flops
Mitt Romney ludicrously claims federal workers get paid more than him. HuffPost: “For a man worth over $250 million, [this is] a bold association to make. ‘The taxpayers shouldn’t have to have money taken out of their pay checks to pay people in government who are our servants who are making a lot more money than we are,’…”
Romney sticks to his flip-flop on saving the auto industry. HuffPost: “As Democrats pounded him Tuesday for an op-ed he wrote in 2008 with the headline, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,’ Romney insisted in an interview with ABC News and Yahoo that the course he recommended in that New York Times opinion piece was, ultimately, the path that President Obama chose to take.”
Matt Taibbi on “Why Mitt Romney’s Entitlement-Privatization Plan Is Crazy”: “Your typical Medicare/Social Security recipient might already have been ripped off three different ways in this era … He might have been sold a crappy mortgage or a refi … become an investor in such mortgages and seen the value of his retirement holdings devastated … saw part of his tax money go to pay off the bets the banks made against these same mortgages … [Mitt Romney says] we need to cut their Medicare and Social Security benefits in order to defray the cost of the previous three scams.”
Big “ObamaCare” Court Win
Reagan judge slams conservative case against health reform law. NYT: “…Judge Silberman, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan [wrote in the majority opinion] ‘The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local — or seemingly passive — their individual origins,’ … The fact that Congress may have never issued an individual mandate to purchase something before, a central argument for many opposing the law, ‘seems to us a political judgment rather than a recognition of constitutional limitations,’ he wrote.”
Conservative dissent not all that conservative. LAT: “Even the dissenting judge, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, did not accept the critics’ argument that the insurance mandate is unconstitutional. Judge Brett Kavanaugh instead wrote the issue shouldn’t be reviewed until the law takes effect in 2014 …”
Supreme Court to meet Thursday on whether to take up case reports USA Today.
White House Opposes Financial Transaction Tax Plan
White House opposes financial transactions tax, reports W. Post’s Suzy Khimm: “…it believes that the financial transactions tax won’t work in practice and favors, instead, a fee on the biggest banks making the riskiest transactions … the administration’s view, a lot of ordinary investors would get hit, but sophisticated investors would avoid it … Rep. Pete DeFazio, a sponsor of the transactions tax proposal in the Congress, dismissed the administration’s skepticism and the evidence that the EU version could reduce GDP . ‘If you believe that sort of volatile, speculative investing is valuable, then you make that case …’”
“Proposed Financial Transactions Tax Asks Wall Street To Pay 321 Times Less Than Average American’s Sales Tax” notes ThinkProgress’ Zaid Jilani.
President Tries To Split The Difference On Drilling
President proposes new oil drilling plan. NYT: “The Obama administration on Tuesday announced its proposed five-year plan for offshore oil drilling, which calls for opening new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska but bars development along the East and West Coasts. The plan disappointed environmentalists but fell far short of what the oil industry and its Congressional supporters demanded.”
Attacked by both sides. The Hill: “…the administration drew immediate attacks from Republicans and oil industry groups that allege the plan is too modest, while several environmental groups bashed the proposal, alleging it courts environmental disaster in fragile Alaskan waters and elsewhere.”