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: Ryan, GOP Unveil Suicide Pact
OurFuture.org’s Roger Hickey: “On Tuesday House Republicans, led by Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan, will unveil a suicide pact, in the form of a new budget that ignores the clear views of the majority of Americans. If they embrace it almost unanimously, as they did last year’s similar Ryan Budget, they will put a gun to the head of Republican attempts to keep control of the House, and then pull the trigger. The only thing that could save Republicans would be if Democrats, like Oregon Senator Ron Wyden or House Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer persuade their party to ignore American public opinion and join with the GOP in destroying Medicare, cutting Social Security, and slashing public spending in a way that cripples the economy and rewards the wealthy … [Poll after poll shows,] the brand new Ryan Republican budget, so very like last year’s Ryan budget, is ALREADY unpopular with the American majority,”
Ryan Releases House GOP Budget Proposal Today
House GOP adds massive tax cut for wealthy to its budget. NYT: “[The proposed budget] strips away tax deductions and credits, eliminates tax brackets and leaves only two individual tax rates, 10 percent and 25 percent. On the corporate side of the tax code, the business income tax rate would be lowered to 25 percent from 35 percent, and the existing worldwide system of taxing corporate profits would be changed to a territorial system where only domestic profits are subject to U.S. corporate taxation.”
Dems don’t hesitate to slam Ryan-Wyden plan to gut Medicare. Politico: “This year’s budget is expected to incorporate a modified version of the Medicare revamp drafted by both Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) that would allow seniors to keep the traditional Medicare program or enroll in an alternative private plan. The addition of Wyden’s name could allow Republicans to claim bipartisanship on the Medicare proposal, but Democrats said Monday that they weren’t buying it. They said there’s essentially no change from the Ryan proposal on Medicare last year, under which all incoming seniors would have been enrolled into a private plan funded by federal subsidies.”
CBPP slams Ryan-Wyden: “The Ryan-Wyden proposal would: Shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries rather than protect them from cost increases — in part because the value of the voucher would likely fail to keep pace with health care costs. Likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making the pool of Medicare beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker — and increasingly costly to cover. Produce few budgetary savings beyond those that the health reform law already calls for, since both plans have the same target growth rate for Medicare costs.”
Romney, Santorum Struggle To Talk Economy
Santorum rejects focus on the economy. NYT: “‘I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be,’ Mr. Santorum said on Monday, the day before the Illinois primary. ‘It doesn’t matter. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. There’s something more foundational that’s going on here.’”
Romney revamp message in expectation of a better economy. W. Monthly’s Ed Kilgore: “…reports Politico’s Alexander Burns: ‘I believe the economy is coming back, by the way,’ Romney said. “…The economy always comes back after a recession … The problem is this one has been deeper than it needed to be and a slower recovery than it should have been, by virtue of the policies of this president’ … it’s possible Romney just forgot for a moment that the economy is on the brink of terminal disaster, and must be immediately rescued by a buttoned-down gent like Mitt who understands that deregulation, tax relief, and radical reductions in public spending are necessary to turn it around.”
Opposition building to weakened regs in “JOBS Act.” NYT: “…the bill faces stiff opposition from, among others, the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, pension funds and lobbying groups like the American Association of Retired Persons, which fear that the bill will revive some of the worst practices of the dot-com era … Even the United States Chamber of Commerce, which has strongly supported the House bill, said in a letter to the House Financial Services Committee last month that ‘there may be a blurring of boundaries that could create potential conflicts of interests between the research and investment components of broker-dealers.’ … The White House … issued a ‘statement of administration policy’ this month supporting the House bill … Subsequently, the White House issued another statement saying it supported Senate amendments to the House bill on investor protection.”
70-year Supreme Court precedent bolsters case for Affordable Care Act. NYT: “To hear the Obama administration tell it, the Filburn decision illustrates just how much leeway the federal government has under the Constitution’s commerce clause to regulate the choices individuals make in matters affecting the national economy. If the government can make farmers choose between growing crops on their own land and paying a penalty, the administration’s lawyers have said, it can surely tell people that they must obtain health insurance or pay a penalty … Justice Scalia wrote a separate concurrence [in a recent case], also citing Wickard v. Filburn. ‘Congress may regulate even noneconomic local activity if that regulation is a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce,’ he wrote…”
Energy Sec Chu to testify to House today. The Hill: “Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is slated to unveil a staff memo that alleges the department ‘manipulated analysis, ignored objections from career professionals and strategically modified loan evaluations in order to force project funding out the door,’ according to The New York Times … committee Democrats will work to undercut Issa’s credibility by arguing that Issa has launched ‘unsubstantiated’ investigations into Energy Department projects.”
GOP Rep. Issa blames homeowners for foreclosure fraud crisis, at hearing reports ThinkProgress.