CEO Dan Akerson didn’t get a raise last year, but received a $9 million pay package including a $1.7 million cash salary Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CEO Dan Akerson didn’t get a raise last year, but received a $9 million pay package including a $1.7 million cash salary Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina in January became the national chairman of Organizing for Action (OFA), a group closely affiliated” with “insider liberal organizations” funded by the likes of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, TheBlaze reported.
And considering the fact that Messina is the president’s former campaign manager, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his group would have access — and the ability to offer access — to the White House.
Well, let’s back up for a second. It shouldn’t be that big of a surprise — but for some in traditional media, it’s a bit unnerving.
Citing a recent New York Times report that claims OFA is offering donors access to the President Obama, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd sounded both surprised and disappointed Monday morning. (Emphasis added)
“Excuse us? This just looks bad,” Todd said, adding that the president is “ceding the moral high ground.”
He continued, noting .the president’s history of decrying the influence of money in politics
“This is how a bad system gets worse,” Todd added. “I wonder what candidate Obama would say about this.”
Becket Adams contributed to this report
John Maynard Keynes fanboy Paul Krugman caused a little stir earlier this year after he half-jokingly suggested that the best way to address the rising national debt would be through tax increases on the middle class and – wait for it – “death panels.”
As the automatic spending cuts (i.e. the sequester) set to take effect on March 1 quickly approach and Washington, D.C., ratchets up its hand-wringing doomsday rhetoric, we wondered: What else could be added to the drama?
President Obama during a discussion Thursday with MSNBC host Al Sharpton said that the only thing holding an otherwise deeply divided Republican Party together is its love of helping the rich, according to POLITICO.
“My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations, and they would rather see [billions in sequester cuts to social programs]… That’s the thing that binds their party together at this point,” the president said, referring to the spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1.
The president continued, claiming “75 percent” of Americans supports his so-called “balanced approach.” He later attacked Republicans for saying there need to be more spending cuts, stating that their arguments are bogus.
“He went on to joke with Sharpton, a former Democratic problem child who is now one of Obama’s staunchest supporters,” POLITICO’s Glenn Thrush notes, “recalling their relative positions on the roster of speakers during Rosa Parks’ memorial service in 2005.”
“I was second from last on the speaking list and you were in the top five… that showed our relative positions,” the president laughed.
Now may not be the best time for a a cross-country road trip.
The price of unleaded gasoline has increased by 51 cents a gallon since Dec. 20, inching closer to $4 per gallon, according to a recent report.
“The national average for a gallon of unleaded was $3.21.9 on Dec. 20, 2012. Today, that price is $3.73.0,” the report notes, citing data from the Oil Price Information Service.
“While there has been a steady increase, prices shot almost 9 cents just over the weekend,” the report adds. “This President’s Day also marked a full month of rising gas prices every single business day, following a very small early year drop.”
“Gas prices began rising Jan. 18, from $3.29.3-a-gallon, and have soared since. If this increase continues, gas prices could threaten or even top the all-time high price of $4.11, set in 2008,” the report adds.
But wait! There’s more:
February 2013 saw record high gas prices for the time of year according to news reports. CNBC noted the national average was the highest ever for the time of year on Feb. 1. As of Feb. 11, The Los Angeles Times reported that the national average that day ($3.587) was also a record, “7.8 cents higher than the record for Feb. 11, set last year.” Today’s price is now 17.6 cents higher than 2012.
So what’s the deal? Where is this coming from?
Well, before we try to assign blame to any one person, let’s be clear: The president alone is not responsible for the price of gas. We have to be fair about this. As we noted in October 2012, the president does play a role, but he’s not alone:
the president does not control the price of gas. To say he is ultimately or solely responsible for increases/decreases in the cost of gas is incorrect. It wasn’t true when George W. Bushwas president and it’s not true now. There are many factors that need to be considered when discussing price increases (such as the fluctuating cost of oil) and some of these are clearly outside of the president’s sphere of influence.
Indeed, from the increasing cost of crude, to OPEC reportedly cutting production by one million barrels, to production cuts and refinery closings, several factors are at play in the recent jump in the price of gas.
So there you go. The outside factors listed in the above are largely responsible for the recent explosion in gas prices.
But here’s the thing:
by developing a robust energy plan and by encouraging exploration and investment in all types of energy, the president [could] offset … outside factors and help keep fuel prices low.
But rather than unleashing America’s energy potential, the Obama administration’s record on energy has been largely defined by multiple “green” energy failures and an almost inexplicable belligerence towards the oil and coal industries.
In other words, the president’s approach to energy has done nothing to offset the rising cost of gas.
Translation: There is some blame that can be assigned to Washington.
Now if the Obama administration were to suddenly change its mind on U.S. energy and the basic cost of crude fell, then perhaps we’d be looking at a sizable decrease in costs.
However, considering the fact that the president reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to “green” energy during his State of the Union address and the fact that conflict in the Middle East will most likely keep crude at around $90 a barrel, we shouldn’t expect it to go down anytime soon.
Since New York State enacted its restrictive new gun laws, many manufacturers have sent that state (and others) a message: If local governments are going to severely restrict the ability of citizens to own guns, then these companies will not be selling to law enforcement in those areas.
Two kinds of middle-class Americans are struggling today — people who can’t find any work or enough work, and full-timers who can’t seem to get ahead.
Democrats and Republicans prescribe economic growth to help both groups. There was a time that would have been enough. But not today.
In the past three recoveries from recession, U.S. growth has not produced anywhere close to the job and income gains that previous generations of workers enjoyed. The wealthy have continued to do well. But a percentage point of increased growth today simply delivers fewer jobs across the economy and less money in the pockets of middle-class families than an identical point of growth produced in the 40 years after World War II.
That has been painfully apparent in the current recovery. Even as the Obama administration touts the return of economic growth, millions of Americans are not seeing an accompanying revival of better, higher-paying jobs.
The consequences of this breakdown are only now dawning on many economists and have not gained widespread attention among policymakers in Washington. Many lawmakers have yet to even acknowledge the problem. But repairing this link is arguably the most critical policy challenge for anyone who wants to lift the middle class.
Economists are not clear how the economy got to the point where growth drives far less job creation and broadly shared prosperity than it used to. Some theorize that a major factor was globalization, which enabled companies to lay off highly paid workers in the United States during recessions and replace them with lower-paid ones overseas during recoveries.
There is even less agreement on policy prescriptions. Some liberal economists argue that the government should take more-aggressive steps to redistribute wealth. Many economists believe more education will improve the skills of American workers, helping them obtain higher-paying jobs. And still others say the government should seek to reduce the cost of businesses to create new jobs.
The problem is relatively new. From 1948 through 1982, recessions and recoveries followed a tight pattern. Growth plunged in the downturn, then spiked quickly, often thanks to aggressive interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. When growth returned, so did job creation, and workers generally shared in the spoils of new economic output.
You can see those patterns in comparisons of job creation and growth rates across post-World War II recoveries. Starting in 1949 and continuing for more than 30 years, once the economy started to grow after a recession, major job creation usually followed within about a year.
At the height of those recoveries, every percentage point of economic growth typically spurred about six-tenths of a percentage point of job growth, when compared with the start of the recovery. You could call that number the “job intensity” of growth.
The pattern began to break down in the 1992 recovery, which began under President George H.W. Bush. It took about three years — instead of one — for job creation to ramp up, even when the economy was growing. Even then, the “job intensity” of that recovery barely topped 0.4 percent, or about two-thirds the normal rate.
The next two recoveries were even worse. Three and a half years into the recovery that began in 2001 under President George W. Bush, job intensity was stuck at less than 0.2 percent. The recovery under President Obama is now up to an intensity of 0.3 percent, or about half the historical average.
Middle-class income growth looks even worse for those recoveries. From 1992 to 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004, real median household incomes fell even though the economy grew more than 6 percent, after adjustments for inflation, in both cases. From 2009 to 2011 the economy grew more than 4 percent, but real median incomes grew by 0.5 percent.
In contrast, from 1982 to 1984, the economy grew by nearly 11 percent and real median incomes grew by 5 percent.
Today, nearly four years after the Great Recession, 12 million Americans are actively looking for work but can’t find a job; 11 million others are stuck working part time when they would like to be full time, or they would like to work but are too discouraged to job-hunt. Meanwhile, workers’ median wages were lower at the end of 2012, after adjustments for inflation, than they were at the end of 2003. Real household income was lower in 2011 than it was in 1989.
Obama alluded to the breakdown between growth and middle-class wages and jobs in his State of the Union address. “Every day,” he said, “we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”
But outside of some targeted help for manufacturing jobs and some new investments in skills training, the proposals Obama offered focused comparatively little on repairing the relationship between growth and jobs, or growth and income. Obama’s boldest plans included increasing the minimum wage and guaranteeing every child a preschool education. Both aim largely at boosting poorer Americans and helping their children gain a better shot at landing the higher-paying jobs.
The Republican response to Obama’s speech did not appear to nod to the new reality at all. Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) said that “economic growth is the best way to help the middle class” and offered few job-creation proposals that appeared materially different from what Republican politicians have pushed since the 1980s.
Economists are still trying to sort out what broke the historical links between growth and jobs/incomes.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York economists Erica Groshen and Simon Potter concluded in a 2003 paper that the recoveries from the 1990 and 2001 recessions were largely “jobless” because employers had fundamentally changed how they responded to recessions. In the past, firms laid off workers during downturns but called them back when the economy picked up again. Now, they are using recessions as a trigger to lay off less-productive workers, never to hire them back.
Economists at the liberal Economic Policy Institute trace the problem to a series of policy choices that, they say, have eroded workers’ ability to secure rising incomes. Those choices include industry deregulation and the opening of global markets on unfavorable terms for U.S. workers.
In the latest edition of their book “The State of Working America,” EPI economists argue that an “increasingly well-paid financial sector and policies regarding executive compensation fueled wage growth at the top and the rise of the top 1 percent’s incomes” at the expense of average workers.
Robert Shapiro, an economist who advised Bill Clinton on the campaign trail and in the White House, traces the change to increased global competition.
“It makes it hard for firms to pass along their cost increases — for health care, energy and so on — in higher prices,” he said. “So instead they cut other costs, starting with jobs and wages.”
Shapiro said the best way to restart job creation is to help businesses cut the costs of hiring, including by reducing the employer side of the payroll tax and pushing more aggressive efforts to hold down health-care cost increases.
Obama seems to have embraced an approach pushed by Harvard University economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz: helping more Americans graduate from college and go on to high-skilled, higher-paying jobs. It’s a longer-term bet. But as senior administration officials like to say, the problem didn’t start overnight, and it’s not likely to be solved overnight.
There have been 65,376,373 background checks completed for Americans purchasing firearms since February of 2009, the first full month of Barack Obama’s presidency.
GOP senators plan to ask pointed questions about Jack Lew’s work at Citigroup — and his pay at the bailed-out bank — when the Treasury nominee appears before a Senate panel for his confirmation hearing Wednesday, officials said Monday.
Here’s a stat you rarely (if ever) hear about: The three-month delayed figure regarding food stamp and disability enrollment.
WASHINGTON — A Democratic president clashes with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill as a polarized nation debates taxes and guns, illegal immigration and gay rights, and, perpetually, the size of government. Question: Fictional Hollywood or real Washington? Answer: Both.
For seven years, from 1999 to 2006, the NBC drama “The West Wing” showed America the inner workings of President Josiah Bartlet’s made-up White House. Re-watching its episodes today, it’s difficult to ignore the parallels between the fiction of then and the reality of today. Since the show ended, the line between the authentic and the packaged in Washington seems to have grown increasingly fuzzy, not just in our politics but now, also, in governing itself.
The depiction of American politics has saturated our popular culture over the past two decades, from “Spin City” and “Dave” in the 1990s to “Veep” and “Lincoln” today. The images, dialogue, casting and storylines almost always play to stereotypes, implanting notions of the American system in the minds of viewers and shaping expectations of how politics and government should look.
Our scripts, the storylines we expect, can confine us. But behind that notion is a deeper, more troubling question: Has the kind of politicking served up on the screen for so long become so ingrained that it is blowing back into the reality of governing?
More important, are expectations set by Hollywood and reinforced by Washington out of step with what it will take to govern a changing country in challenging times? Are American leaders expending too much effort trying to be and do what’s expected for their audience — primarily core supporters and special interests — rather than being and doing what is needed to fix the nation’s problems? And are we, the public, equally responsible by punishing our leaders if they veer from the script?
Political theater is hardly new. Leaders have always played hard for the public’s attention and support. And our 24/7 flow of instantaneous information, with the insatiable appetite for reality programming tacked on, is making things more intense.
Almost daily, individual congressmen and senators march to the House and Senate floors to passionately support or oppose a certain piece of legislation, raising voices and pounding podiums as they preach — to mostly empty chambers, and C-SPAN viewers taken by the ruse TV has created. Also, Republicans and Democratic leaders hold frequent news conferences — again, much of it for show.
Ronald Reagan, the actor-turned-politician-turned-president, used his Hollywood-honed communication skills to get the public on his, if not the Republican Party’s, side. Barack Obama, a skillful orator operating in a new-media world, frequently leverages the latest technology to curry favor with Americans in hopes of pressuring GOP leaders who control the House to see it his way on any number of issues. Rare is the politician who cannot, with the help of speechwriters, summon the narrative drama needed to get something done or play to an audience.
Is it any wonder, then, why many Americans tell pollsters they have so little faith in their leaders and institutions? Or why they’re so turned off by Washington? Or why they seem to get caught up in the Hollywood-like romance of what it should be like rather than in the reality of what it needs to be?
Shortly after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shootings, Obama put on his nation’s comforter hat and quickly made a public show of tapping Vice President Joe Biden to come up with a White House proposal for addressing a recent spate of fatal mass shootings. The vice president predictably convened representatives from every group with a stake in the issue.
And Democrats and Republicans — and their respective special interest allies — dug in. The left pushed limits on guns, the right resisted, and Washington insiders started murmuring about the unlikelihood that a comprehensive measure would ever reach Obama’s desk.
Fiscal crises also have been going according to script. Every few months, the country faces a looming fiscal deadline — tax cuts are set to expire, or the nation’s debt limit needs to be raised, or automatic spending cuts are to take effect.
Act 1 has both Democrats and Republicans calling for compromise and talking of grand bargains. Act 2 finds them digging in on their opposite ideological positions of taxes, spending and government’s size, beholden to their bases. Act 3 ends up being both sides leaving the negotiating table and posturing publicly for maximum exposure. Act 4, the finale, is a furious behind-the-scenes wrangling by a select few that results in a narrow-scope late-night deal reached just before the deadline passes.
On gay rights, two moments — one fake, one real — are striking in their similarities.
In “The West Wing” episode “20 Hours in L.A.,” which aired first in 2000, Bartlet is running for re-election when he dresses down a Hollywood producer demanding he publicly advocate for more gay rights. Bartlet thunders, “Right now, right this second, the worst thing that could possibly happen to gay rights in this country is for me to put that thing on the debating table, which happens the minute I open my mouth!”
Fast forward to the real 2012. Obama was seeking a second term when he announced he supported gay marriage, bowing to pressure from gays — including many in Hollywood — and disclosing his stance far earlier than planned after Biden pre-empted him. Obama said then: “I didn’t want to nationalize the issue. There’s a tendency when I weigh in to think suddenly it becomes political and it becomes polarized.”
In “Shutdown” — a 2003 episode of the show created by unabashed liberal Aaron Sorkin — Bartlet refuses to compromise with the Republican House speaker over budget cuts the GOP is demanding as a fiscal crisis looms, and declares, “I am the president of the United States, and I will leave the government shut down until we come to an equitable agreement.”
Will we hear similar from Obama next month if — as expected — House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, demands significant spending cuts as a part of legislation to fund federal agencies beyond March 27 and avert a government shutdown? Maybe so.
These days, a level of governing uninfluenced by stereotypes sounds as refreshing as it does impossible.
That is, unless our leaders start putting what’s right for the country over what’s expected by their most vocal backers, and unless we, the general public, stop holding them hostage with fantastical notions of how they should behave.
We’re talking about a fundamental shift. And that won’t happen overnight.
But the potential payoff is huge. If the pressure to adhere to the script ebbs, that clears the way for more real problem-solving. Not to mention the ability to look at shows like “The West Wing” and say, with confidence: This is entertaining, but it’s nothing like the real thing.
Paul Krugman doesn’t just think austerity is bad economic policy; the Nobel Prize-winning economist says it’s just plain wrong.
President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law H.R. 6620, the Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012, granting lifetime Secret Service protection to all former presidents, their wives (unless they remarry), and their children under the age of 16.
“The measure Obama signed Thursday applies to presidents elected after Jan. 1, 1997, specifically Obama and former President George W. Bush,” the Associated Press explains.
“It reverses a 1994 law that ended Secret Service protection 10 years after a president leaves office. Under that law, the Homeland Security secretary could extend such protection on a temporary basis,” the report adds.
Citing increased terrorist threats and “the greater mobility and youth of former presidents,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), one of the bill’s chief sponsors, argued that a change in the 10-year limit was necessary.
“Both men are young, enjoy good health, and have long lives ahead of them post-Presidency,” Gowdy said during a speech on the House floor. “This bill proposes to extend that security for the remainder of their lives.”
“There’s an unintended anomaly, Mr. Speaker, that if current law were not changed, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush would receive more protections by virtue of being First Lady than they would if they had served as President themselves. So I hope my colleagues will make sure that the person and the symbol of our Presidency is safe and secure for the duration of their natural lives,” he added.
The House overwhelmingly supported the bill.
“The bill was … passed by voice-vote in early December,” BuffFeed’s Zeke Miller notes.
“Co-sponsors included Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, and Democrats Rep. John Conyers and Bobby Scott. The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on December 28th, and sent over to the White House on New Year’s Day,” he adds.
President Obama signed the bill Thursday afternoon.
When the Obama White House and Congress passed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. “Obamacare”), we clearly recall being told that the bill would save Americans money.
Yet, as CNSNews.com reports, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in a regulation issued Wednesday “assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.”
Yes, while explaining the penalty for not purchasing government insurance, the IRS calculates that the average annual cost for a family will be at about $20,000.
“The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan,” CNSNews.com reports.
“The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan,” the report adds.
Wait a minute. What is the exact language of the IRS regulation?
“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation states.
“Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare — after Silver, Gold, and Platinum,” CNS explains. “Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.”
In the new rules published Wednesday, the IRS also made law the regulations regarding the fines and penalties incurred if someone chooses not to buy the insurance. And in an attempt to explain these laws, the agency draws up a few examples.
“[T]he IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016,” CNS notes.
“Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a ‘penalty’ (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a ‘tax’) of $2,400 in 2016,” the report adds.
And just in case you were wondering how convoluted and contrived these new regulations look like, here’s the exact language from the IRS:
Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.
“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.
“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).
“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000)
If it seems like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) have been in the news an awful lot recently, it’s because they have been — the New Jersey governor for his harsh criticism of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the National Rifle Association and the Kentucky senator for his vow to “nullify” the president’s new gun-control measures.
And if you’ve been waiting on a news story that involves both GOP heavyweights, well, you’re in luck: Sen. Paul on Friday publicly reprimanded Gov. Christie for “not standing up for Second Amendment rights in the ongoing gun control debate,” as CNN puts it.
“You have some Republicans backing down like Christie backing down and criticizing the NRA, and I think that doesn’t do us any good,” Sen. Paul told conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham. “So I think Republicans do need to stand more firmly on this issue.”
Asked why he thinks Gov. Christie chose to take such a hard stance against the NRA and its “reprehensible” anti-Obama ad, Sen. Paul said he thinks the governor is merely posturing.
“I think he may be solidifying his support with Democrats in New Jersey and maybe liberal Republicans,” the Kentucky senator said.
“If he wishes to do something nationally, I think criticizing the Second Amendment movement and the over-the-top, ‘give me my money’ stuff, ‘I want all sixty billion now or I’ll throw a tantrum’ — I don’t think that’s going to play well in the Republican primary,” he added.
Sen. Paul also took issue with the New Jersey governor’s habit of attacking conservatives, referring specifically to the governor’s blistering anti-John Boehner press conference. Paul explained that House Republicans were hesitant to pass the Hurricane Sandy bill because of what was in it, not what it was intended for.
“I think people need to think through what their positions on these things are,” he said.
Final Thought: Although Gov. Christie’s anti-Boehner press conference is considered by many to be his official “I’m not interested in running in 2016” party, the governor hasn’t definitively ruled out higher office. Furthermore, there have been rumors that Sen. Paul is seriously considering a presidential run.
Could this eventually turn into a Christie/Paul face off in the GOP presidential primary? Boy, that would be entertaining.
The U.S. Senate in dramatic last-minute fashion voted 89-8 Tuesday to pass the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.”
But considering the fact that senators spent all day locked in meetings and the fact that the vote didn’t take place until the wee hours of the morning (1:58 a.m. ET to be exact), it was all but certain that none of them had actually read the 154-page bill.
And it appears that none of them did — at least not all of it.
“Multiple Senate sources have confirmed … that senators received the bill at approximately 1:36 AM on Jan. 1, 2013 – a mere three minutes before they voted to approve it at 1:39 AM,” CNSNews.com reports.
“The bill is 154-pages and includes several provisions that are unrelated to the fiscal cliff, including repealing a section of ObamaCare, extending the wind-energy tax credit, and a rum tax subsidy deal for Puerto Rican rum makers,” the report adds.
So, yes, a bill that would later make its way down to the lower chamber and find approval in the House was never actually read in its entirety by the Senate.
“The bill avoids the fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts for individuals making less than $400,000 per year and couples making less than $450,000 and by putting off the automatic spending cuts (sequestration) from last year’s debt ceiling deal until March,” according to the CNS report.
The bill also puts off the automatic spending cuts (i.e. the “sequester”) for two months. After that, Congress will have to figure out deal with those while they also debate the debt ceiling limit.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. banks are ending the year with their best profits since 2006 and fewer failures than at any time since the financial crisis struck in 2008. They’re helping support an economy slowed by high unemployment, flat pay, sluggish manufacturing and anxious consumers.
Google received more requests from the U.S. government to hand over user data during the first half of this year than from any other country, according to the search company’s biannual “Transparency Report” released on Tuesday.
Daniel Wetter is just 16 years old, but his plan to support pizza chain Papa John’s amid a backlash of liberal criticism is no pie-in-the-sky idea.
For several days after Hurricane Sandy, Donna Cardillo struggled to make contact with the outside world.
At her home in Wall Township, N.J., which was hit hard by the storm, wireless service failed, rendering her cellphone useless. She also lost power, causing her Internet-based landline to go dead.
Microsoft may boldly go where no one has gone before.
At a demonstration in China on Oct. 25, Microsoft’s chief research officer Rick Rashid revealed a new technology seemingly straight out of Star Trek. In the classic sci-fi television show, a gadget known as the “universal translator” (seen here) was used to decipher languages in the 22nd century. And now, Microsoft has created a program that takes spoken English and translates it to spoken Chinese in realtime.
In this Sept. 6, 2011 photo Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about his plan for creating jobs and improving the economy at McCandless International Trucks in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)
Mitt Romney’s White House bid comes down to business experience – i.e. he has it, the president doesn’t.