With the sequester deadline only a week away and Congress no closer to reaching a deal to prevent austerity, Republicans are changing tactics. They've spent the last month blaming President Obama for the looming cuts, but Americans didn't buy it, so now they're saying the sequester is really no big deal.
Extreme wealth inequality. And according to a new paper from Thomas Hungerford at the Congressional Research Service, capital gains and dividend tax loopholes are responsible for our nation's unequal income divide. Capital gains and investments used to be taxed like regular income, but they were lowered once in 1996, and again by the Bush tax cuts.
At least, 26 Republican-leaning states sure do. Despite over 30 attempts to repeal Obamacare, and Tenth-er arguments for social programs to be run by the states, 26 states haven't set up their insurance exchanges – leaving it up to the federal government.
Today, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles will put out a new deficit-reduction plan. The pair served on President Obama's fiscal commission in 2010, and presented a plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff – a plan that was so focused on austerity, that 350 economists co-wrote and published a letter rejecting it. And Simpson-Bowles are at it again.
Trying to accomplish the long list of goals he set for his second term. Just since his State of the Union speech, less than a week ago, he's already put forward a plan for universal preschool, called on Congress to vote on gun regulations, and now he's tackling immigration.
40 Republican Senators made history yesterday, and refused to allow Chuck Hagel's confirmation to come to a vote. Only four Republicans, Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), voted to break the filibuster, and the final vote was 58 to 40.
It may comes as a surprise to Wayne LaPierre, but the NRA is not a political party. Apparently no one's informed him of that, as he'll be delivering the gun-group's official response to the State of The Union tonight, on TheSportsmanChannel.com. Talking Points Memo is reporting that LaPierre will respond to the President's Tuesday night speech from the annual convention of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Last night, President Obama laid out his agenda for his second term. The State of the Union speech set some ambitious goals to get our nation back on a progressive course. The list included executive action on climate change, a “Fix-it-First” program to invest in infrastructure and job creation, and a legal pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United State.
Tonight, President Obama delivers his fifth State of the Union address, and his first since beginning his second term in office. The major points of Obama's speech will likely highlight gun control, immigration, and an economic vision for job creation and economic growth – with another call for Congress to prevent the sequester.
There are less than 20 days until the March 1st Sequester deadline. And Washington is gearing up for a major fight. If politicians can't come to a compromise, the looming $85 billion of Republican austerity is set to make devastating cuts to programs many Americans depend on.