Obama Plan Reignites Tax Fight

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 goals from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union: Yay or Nay?.

President Obama plans to propose billions of dollars in tax increases and government spending in his State of the Union address Tuesday. WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are already signaling they will do what they can to block President Barack Obama’s pitch for tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. Obama is making that pitch to a huge television audience in hopes of putting the new Republican Congress in the position of defending top income earners over the middle class. Apart from some apparent agreement on trade and cybersecurity, we will hear of many billions in new spending and programs that the Republican Congress will not pass. That’s because while he was able to check off most of what he promised to do through executive action in last year’s speech, Obama was unable in the bitterly partisan election year to get Congress to go along with the bigger plans he had for the country that required their approval.

Tax increases are rarely welcomed by congressional Republicans, who now hold majorities in the House and the Senate for the first time in Obama’s presidency. Others invited to watch include astronaut Scott Kelly, who will soon embark on a year-long mission to live and work at the International Space Station; a college student brought to the United States as a child by her undocumented parents; and a 13-year-old boy from the South Side of Chicago who wrote a letter to Santa Claus saying he just wanted to be “safe.” Meanwhile, some Republicans on Monday announced they were bringing guests who represent visions at odds with Mr.

He knows government growth ratchets upward not downward and that Republicans are ultimately unlikely to change his unilateral moves (health law changes, immigration executive actions, Cuba policy re-direction–whatever one thinks of their merits). As Obama prepares to make that annual trek up Pennsylvania Avenue to address Congress once again, here’s a look back a year later at five of the promises he made — and which got fulfilled and denied. “Let’s get immigration reform done this year,” Obama declared to a Congress that had long blocked his efforts.

Her father, dissident Oswaldo Paya, was killed in a 2012 car crash that some believe was retaliation by the Cuban government because of his efforts to bring democracy to the country. “While I disagree with [Mr. Charles Boustany (R., La.), a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. “If the president were really interested in tax reform, rather than making political statements, he would have approached Congress and members of the Ways and Means committee in thoughtful ways.” Mr. Instead, Obama took executive action to make more than 4 million of those immigrants eligible for protection from deportation and eligible for work permits.

Obama’s] new Cuba policy, I hope Rosa Maria Paya’s presence on Tuesday night will at least remind him that her father’s murderers have not been brought to justice, and that the U.S. is now, in fact, sitting at the table with them,” Mr. Obama’s proposed two years of free community college and enlarged paid work leave would undermine individual and family responsibility while massively empowering the federal political class. The plan would increase taxes on investments held by high-income households by boosting top capital-gains tax rates and imposing capital-gains tax on many inherited assets. Ironically, Obama would deposit his ”14th grade” graduates into a over-regulated nation where hiring has been made riskier and perhaps even a bad decision altogether compared to keeping payrolls down or automating.

The White House estimated it would directly help a few hundred thousand people, but argues the bigger impact has been that several states and localities raised their minimum wage last year after Obama raised the debate. But now some are questioning whether to use the congressional budget process to derail the 2010 law or save the special step for more traditional purposes like cutting spending or overhauling the tax code. For years, Obama has been asking Congress to encourage more Americans to grow a retirement nest egg by allowing all workers to be automatically enrolled in IRAs unless they specifically opt out.

Obama, Republican congressional leaders, as well as some potential GOP 2016 presidential candidates, have said they want to more directly address the economic anxiety that persists despite a growing economy and falling jobless rate. It’s the only filibuster-proof option available to Republicans, who control the Senate with 54 seats but must still muster 60 votes to pass other legislation.

So far, most of the attention among Republicans has been on lifting incomes of working families by boosting economic growth, though some in the GOP are proposing federal programs and tax plans. The Treasury Department has set up a new security as the basis for the investment and for the past month has been running a pilot program with a small group of employers, with plans to expand the program by the end of 2015. Senate precedents limit the number of reconciliation bills — one for taxes, one for spending and one to raise the government’s borrowing cap — and so a major debate has begun among Republicans over what to put in it.

Last year, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, from Washington state, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, from Florida, delivered the party response, in English and Spanish, respectively While most of Obama’s proposals last year were positions he had long advocated, one of the few new proposals he offered was extension of the earned-income tax credit, which helps boost the wages of low-income families through tax refunds. SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s U.S.-backed leadership came under serious threat Monday as government troops clashed with Shiite rebels near the presidential palace and a key military base in what one official called “a step toward a coup.” The militants seized control of state media in fierce fighting that marked the biggest challenge yet to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi by the rebels, known as Houthis, who swept down from their northern strongholds last year and captured the capital in September. Obama wanted it broadened to provide more help to workers without children, a view embraced by some Republicans and conservative economists. “Let’s work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, and help more Americans get ahead,” Obama said optimistically — too optimistically, it turned out.

The violence threatened to undermine efforts by the U.S. and its allies to battle al-Qaida’s Yemeni affiliate, which claimed responsibility for the attack on a Paris satirical magazine this month and which Washington has long viewed as the global network’s most dangerous branch. Obama said the goal of his energy policy is to create jobs and a cleaner planet and announced that he wanted to set higher fuel economy standards for trucks. The process for making the change is underway within the administration, with a new regulation planned to be proposed in March 2015 and finalized in March 2016. Hadi, whose government has ceded control over nearly the entire capital, doesn’t live at the palace, and extra soldiers and tanks deployed around his private residence, which is nearby.

Indeed, just as Obama’s SoTU is his attempt to set up GOP pins for a 2016 “war on the middle-class” bowling lane, Republicans have their own parallel opportunity to “embarrass” Obama given his expressed intentions to veto job-oriented legislation. There’s an odd bipartisan consensus that, while incompetent to make paper clips, the federal government should nonetheless spearhead things like “basic” research, cybersecurity policy, education funding, green and renewable energy, infrastructure and education funding.

But if Republicans think government can do these complex things, then why can’t it steer K-12/community college education, retirement and health care? ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching banning contraception, but said Monday that Catholics don’t have to breed “like rabbits” and should instead practice “responsible parenting.” Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said there are plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births. We are calling it middle-class economics.” Republicans already are irked by the president’s threats to veto two of the first pieces of legislation the new GOP-controlled Congress is considering: approving the Keystone XL pipeline and altering the Affordable Care Act. Relatedly, Obama will tout government owned broadband networks, when a core function of government leadership is to prevent government competition with the private sector. But he said most importantly, no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the “ideological colonization” of the developing world.

Even in the worst instance, you wouldn’t replace private monopoly with a protected government one; you’d instead address the monopoly franchise grant, certificates of convenience and necessity, broader right-of-way reform, and other policies. His comments, taken together with his defense of the Catholic Church’s ban on artificial contraception during the trip, signal that he is increasingly showing his more conservative bent, which has largely been ignored by public opinion or obscured by a media narrative that has tended to highlight his populist persona. NEW YORK (AP) — Conservative distrust of Pope Francis, which has been building in the U.S. throughout his pontificate, is reaching a boiling point over his plan to urge action on climate change — and to do so through a document traditionally used for the most important papal teachings.

And he said he wanted his encyclical out in plenty of time to be absorbed before the next round of U.N. climate change talks in Paris in November after the last round in Lima, Peru, failed to reach an agreement. “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” Francis said. “We have in a sense taken over nature.” Even before these remarks, several conservative U.S. commentators had been pre-emptively attacking the encyclical. Obama in his new proposal focuses on individual taxes, as opposed to the corporate tax code, at a time when broader consensus exists on the problems and solutions for the latter.

Still, many Republicans have been wary of pursuing a business-only tax rewrite, in part because it could leave them vulnerable to charges that they are catering to corporations and the wealthy. Monday at his spiritual home in Atlanta repeated the same message: We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot left to be done to fulfill King’s dream. He taught us that we still have a choice to make: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation,” she said. “I challenge you to work with us as we help this nation choose nonviolence.” The courage and sacrifice of those who participated in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s provides a model for those who want to act to effect change today, Bernice King said. In addition, he would triple the size of an existing child-care tax credit to $3,000 a year and broaden its availability to cover more middle-income people.

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — The drama surrounding two teenage sweethearts on the run from the law ended quietly and unceremoniously in a Florida beach town. Dalton Hayes, an 18-year-old suspected of committing a string of crimes with his 13-year-old girlfriend, agreed during a quick Monday morning court hearing to return to his home state of Kentucky to face charges. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), the Senate Finance Committee’s new chairman, is expected to again call on the administration to propose a comprehensive tax plan, including what to do about small-business owners’ taxes. “If you reduce the corporate rate, what do you do with all the people who are getting gouged” by current individual rates? The dispute between Heather Hironimus, the mother opposing circumcision, and Dennis Nebus, the father favoring it, has sparked a prolonged court battle, protests and the rapt attention of a movement of self-proclaimed “intactivists.” Judges have ruled in favor of the father, meaning the surgery is likely to happen, but the possible closure of the legal chapter has done little to mute the case’s most passionate followers.

Though many still choose to remove their sons’ foreskins at the suggestion of a doctor, for religious or cultural reasons, or out of habit, opponents have been bolstered by the overall waning popularity of circumcision, and the fact this fight has gone on so long the boy at its center is now 4 years old. “I couldn’t speak when I was cut, but I can speak now,” said Thomas Frederiksen, a 39-year-old machinist who traveled from Orlando to protest, wearing a red beret and “I (Heart) My Foreskin” T-shirt and speaking breathlessly about the issue. Volumes of court filings tell the story: Hironimus and Nebus had a six-month relationship that resulted in a pregnancy, the birth of a boy named Chase, and a fight over nearly everything since. Nebus sued to prove his paternity and to get partial custody of the boy and the couple whittled out a parenting plan outlining everything from his surname to his legal address, to whom he calls mommy or daddy and, notably, what becomes of his penis.

The 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner will become the highest-paid right-handed pitcher in major league history after agreeing to a $210 million, seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals that includes a record $50 million signing bonus. A person familiar with the negotiations outlined the terms to The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced.

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