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Interesting story on Vox discussing Boehner's recent slam of Ted Cruz:
"When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges."
Posted by TomCADem | Fri Apr 29, 2016, 11:32 AM (2 replies)
Source: Kansas City Star
Brownback last week presented three options for the Legislature to consider to address the shortfall. One option would sell off future payments from a tobacco settlement lawsuit to bondholders for $158 million. The second would delay a $99 million payment to the state employee pension system until fiscal year 2018, with a requirement that it be repaid with 8 percent interest.
Those two options “provide a bridge through fiscal years 2016 and 2017, until a new two-year budget is developed addressing structural reform and any implications from the upcoming Supreme Court decision on education funding,” said Eileen Hawley, Brownback’s spokeswoman. “The third option reduces state spending and would create a more structurally balanced budget, as indicated by S&P.”
The third option would reduce spending for most state agencies by 3 percent to 5 percent, including for K-12 public schools and state universities. The cut to K-12 spending would be $57 million.
* * *
Democrats and some Republicans have called for rolling back a Brownback-led income tax exemption for 330,000 business owners, part of the Republican governor’s plan to cut state income taxes. Brownback has maintained that the state’s revenue shortfalls are due to a sluggish state economy and not due to tax policy.
Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article73789707.html
So, Kansas Republican Governor Brownback is now just trying to kick the can down the road, rather than repeal his signature tax cuts. Instead of addressing the structural deficit that he created, Brownback is considering closing the budget gap with one-time budget gimmicks. Of course, as noted by Mother Jones, the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Trump and Cruz, are pushing tax plans that might even make Brownback blush:
Here's the breakdown: The CBPP first took the Tax Policy Center's estimates of how far tax revenue would fall if Trump's or Cruz's plan were implemented. For Trump's proposal, the figure is $9.5 trillion over 10 years; for Cruz's, $8.7 trillion. This would place revenues as a percentage of the national GDP in the range of what they were in 1950—before Medicare existed and when Social Security claimed only 0.3 percent of gross domestic product. (Today, Social Security and Medicare account for 8.1 percent of GDP, and this amount is on the rise, thanks to those aging baby boomers.)
Posted by TomCADem | Tue Apr 26, 2016, 02:25 AM (7 replies)
Source: USA Today
Legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight is slated to appear with Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump at a rally in Indiana this week, the Trump campaign announced Monday.
While Knight has not commented on a potential endorsement, his support for Trump has been known for months. During a New York Times interview last fall, Knight called Trump and said over speakerphone: “No one has accomplished more than Mr. Trump has.” And Trump hinted Saturday that the coach who once famously threw a chair across the court would be campaigning for him in Indiana.
The announcement Monday just makes it official. Trump and Knight will appear at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis Wednesday evening, the campaign said.
Knight could provide a boost to Trump’s campaign heading into the Indiana primary next Tuesday. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Trump leading Cruz 39.3%-33% in the state, but it’s unclear if a pact between Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich puts that margin in jeopardy. Kasich, who currently has 19.3% in the polling average, had said that he would cede Indiana to Cruz (although he told voters there Monday to vote for him).
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/04/25/game-changer-bobby-knight-campaign-trump-indiana/83509764/
Loud, obnoxious bully to campaign with loud, obnoxious bully in Indiana.
Posted by TomCADem | Mon Apr 25, 2016, 10:52 PM (23 replies)
I think the recent efforts to argue that the reason why one candidate is winning over the other is due to election fraud are incredibly misguided. First, there is no evidence that election irregularities have systematically helped or hurt one campaign over the other. Indeed, to the extent that there has been voter suppression of minorities, you could argue that this has hurt those campaigns, which have drawn more support from minorities than whites.
Second, argue that the whole electoral process is fraudulent and that the results are simply wrong suppresses the vote. After all, how can you get out the vote when you are also insisting that the vote does not really matter, because the tabulations are fabricated? Thus, it does not make sense to try to mobilize voters with wild accusations of voter fraud, because the logical result is that voting does not really matter.
Third, this reeks of Republican efforts to argue that President Obama was not really legitimate. We have gone through 8 years of Republicans insisting that President Obama has somehow usurped the Presidency, that we need to have the people have a voice in the selection of a Supreme Court justice, ignoring the 2012 election results, and we ourselves want to introduce the idea that the Democratic nominee and potential President is not legitimate?
Finally, and I think most importantly, if there was real evidence of fraud, Bernie's campaign would be all of it. He has gobs of cash on hand. Indeed, if he had real evidence of fraud, it might help him to mobilize support. However, making a false accusation would also tank his campaign and totally undercut his message.
But how well do these claims support the charge that the primaries are being rigged? Without getting too deep into the weeds, what’s clear is that Fitrakis and Wasserman don’t require much in the way of evidence to allege that an election is being stolen.
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Apr 24, 2016, 11:59 AM (22 replies)
The interesting thesis is that by opposing President Obama's proposals to help the unemployed, particularly white working class men, Republicans helped stoke the anger that was the key to their electoral successes, but which also created conditions that were ripe for both Cruz and Trump.
Throughout his presidency, Mr. Obama has put forward constructive proposals to help those displaced workers. For its part, the Republican Congress has been behaving like Nero.
Posted by TomCADem | Thu Apr 14, 2016, 02:34 AM (8 replies)
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Apr 10, 2016, 04:56 PM (0 replies)
Very interesting and nuanced piece on a subject matter that does not lend itself to nuance. There is the media's bias towards so-called serious candidates versus the media's bias toward promoting a close, contested race in order to generate ratings. In California, for a change, primary turnout is expected to break records since both the Democratic and Republican primaries are contested. Personally, being from California, it is exciting that to be a pivotal state. We are the largest State, yet the California primary is seen as nothing more than a coronation of a nominee who has locked up the nomination.
Is the media biased against Bernie Sanders?
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Apr 10, 2016, 02:03 PM (38 replies)
I do think that the article minimizes how extreme the Republican "mainstream" is, but he is correct that Ted Cruz takes RW crazy to a different level.
There’s a reason most Republican governors, senators and congressmen haven’t endorsed either Trump or Cruz. For the establishment GOP, both are nightmares, because each appeals to small but vocal factions of the party. Most probably neither could be elected, and, if one was, he likely couldn’t govern.
Posted by TomCADem | Sat Apr 9, 2016, 02:02 AM (3 replies)
Interesting story in U.S. News comparing the tax plans of the four leading candidates. Here is a summary of the tax plans:
Here is a calculator of how each plan would affect you:
Of course, this does not necessarily discuss the spending or cuts that each candidate is proposing. With Bernie, a lot of those additional revenues would be applied toward new programs, rather than to merely trying to cut the deficit. With the Republicans, they are being pretty vague about what programs that they would cut to pay for their massive tax cuts to the rich.
Sanders' tax proposals are sweeping in size and scope – raising $15.3 trillion (6.4 percent of gross domestic product or GDP) over a decade. His plan is highly progressive, with high-income taxpayers bearing the largest increases in taxes, both in dollars and as a percent of their income, although most other taxpayers would pay modestly more as well. Sanders would simplify some features of the tax code but also add two new taxes, such as a tax on financial transactions and a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted by TomCADem | Sun Apr 3, 2016, 12:35 AM (0 replies)
In March, the Nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has finished publishing a series of analyses of the candidate's respective tax plans, which can be found here:
The analysis does not specifically try to measure the impact on GDP of the respective tax plans, as well as the related spending plans offered by the candidates. But, as this WaPo story discusses, at least Hillary and Bernie's plans are based on reality based assumptions compared to the plans offered by Republicans:
Take, for example, the fundamental question of how a government should tax and spend. Ms. Clinton in particular has offered a raft of serious, progressive proposals that are grounded in reality, even though the electorate has sometimes seemed more interested in ideological pizzazz. The independent Tax Policy Center, which has been examining each candidate’s fiscal plans, reported last week that Ms. Clinton’s would raise about $1.1 trillion in new revenue over a decade, almost entirely from very high earners. She would spend a significant portion of this money — on a tax cut for the middle class, making college debt-free and other programs. Though it is still unclear exactly how much of Ms. Clinton’s new revenue would be put to righting the country’s long-term budget outlook, hers is the most fiscally responsible plan on the table.
Posted by TomCADem | Sat Apr 2, 2016, 02:10 AM (4 replies)