Fox News Sunday Snippets: September 18, 2011
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) joins "Fox News Sunday" to talk about the president's new jobs plan, his upcoming debt reduction plan and Ryan's own endeavor to focus on tax reform.
Then, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is here to discuss his ideas for jumpstarting the economy and his strategy going forward in his campaign for the nomination.
What we are reading to prepare for the show.
Obama Tax Plan Would Ask More of Millionaires-New York Times
President Obama on Monday will call for a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million a year to ensure that they pay at least the same percentage of their earnings as middle-income taxpayers, according to administration officials.
With a special joint Congressional committee starting work to reach a bipartisan budget deal by late November, the proposal adds a new and populist feature to Mr. Obama’s effort to raise the political pressure on Republicans to agree to higher revenues from the wealthy in return for Democrats’ support of future cuts from Medicare and Medicaid.
Mr. Obama, in a bit of political salesmanship, will call his proposal the “Buffett Rule,” in a reference to Warren E. Buffett, the billionaire investor who has complained repeatedly that the richest Americans generally pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than do middle-income workers, because investment gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
Mr. Obama will not specify a rate or other details, and it is unclear how much revenue his plan would raise. But his idea of a millionaires’ minimum tax will be prominent in the broad plan for long-term deficit reduction that he will outline at the White House on Monday.
As President Obama and congressional Republicans argue over how to rewrite the U.S. tax code, the debate has revolved around “loopholes” for corporate jets and ending “carve-outs” for well-heeled special interests. But if the goal is debt reduction, that’s not where the money is.
Broad tax breaks granted to millions of families at all income levels dwarf the corporate giveaways. Over the past two years, largely because of these popular benefits in the federal income tax code, the government has reached a rare milestone in tax collection — it has given away as much as it takes in.
The number of tax breaks has nearly doubled since the last major tax overhaul 25 years ago, with lawmakers adding new benefits for children, college tuition, retirement savings and investment. At the same time, some long-standing breaks have exploded in value, such as the deduction for mortgage interest and the tax-free treatment of health-insurance premiums paid by employers.
All told, federal taxpayers last year received $1.08 trillion in credits, deductions and other perks while paying $1.09 trillion in income taxes, according to government estimates.
European finance ministers ended a two-day meeting here Saturday without making substantial progress toward solving the region’s debt crisis, or any pledge to recapitalize Europe’s banks.
The meetings were highlighted by the appearance by Timothy F. Geithner, the United States treasury secretary, whose advice, and warnings, drew a tepid reaction from the euro zone’s finance ministers. And Mr. Geithner’s rejection Friday of a European idea for a global tax on financial transactions prompted a debate about whether Europe should go ahead on its own.
Meanwhile, with an October deadline looming for international lenders to agree to the release of around 8 billion euros, or $11 billion, of aid to Greece, without which it could default on its debt, George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, canceled a trip to the United States.
With liberal leaders grumbling about what they see as President Obama’s failure to hold firm in the recent debt ceiling talks and other decisions, one critical player — MoveOn.org — is still deciding whether to mobilize for his campaign.
“We are all incredibly frustrated,” said Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director.
That frustration, over compromises in economic and environmental policy, could turn into a deflated reelection effort by the influential left-wing group’s members, nearly 1 million of whom volunteered for his campaign in 2008 and gave $88 million.
“Republicans will begin with an advantage,” said Thomas Mann, a political scholar at the Brookings Institution. “Obama is going to have to work very hard and build an extensive grass-roots effort.”
This month, the group’s long list of grievances with the White House grew when Obama backed off a proposal to toughen the country’s smog regulations. Ruben said that played into what his members see as a narrative of capitulation, and it has left him wondering whether they will hit the streets again to try to reelect the president. They are also upset about the president’s failure to carry out a campaign promise to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Ron Paul wins California straw poll-Politico
In what's becoming an increasingly familiar pattern, Ron Paul won the California Republican Party's straw poll tonight, party officials said. Rick Perry came in second, and Mitt Romney was the distant third.
It was not a prize that most campaigns were organizing for, given how blue the state is electorally (Romney is not taking part in straw polls this year, as part of his campaign's way around the Ames event last month). The state's main draw for Republicans is as a campaign ATM.
The White House launched an aggressive response to a forthcoming book that chronicles internal dissent and second-guessing of President Barack Obama by his own staff and presents Obama as a conflicted, sometimes wavering leader.
Administration officials assert that “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President” by Ron Suskind is infested with errors, both big (what they characterize as misquotations and distorted narratives) and small (several names, a birthdate, a publication date, an employer, an unemployment rate, etc.) and gives a distorted and inaccurate picture of the White House under Obama.
But the book’s highly publicized launch was more bad news for a White House reeling this week from declining poll numbers and a call from a prominent Democrat — former Clinton aide James Carville — for Obama to shake up his staff because “It’s not going to work with the same team, the same strategy, and the same excuses.”
And this wound was self-inflicted. Suskind received extensive cooperation from high levels of the administration — including a 50-minute Oval Office interview with the president — in reporting the book, which will be published Tuesday by Harper Collins but was obtained by POLITICO and several other news organizations.