Obama's 2015 State of the Union to-do list | us news

Obama’s 2015 State of the Union to-do list

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP News in Brief at 5:58 a.m. EST.

The president seized on the fact that the country’s mood has changed, that the public is open to new ideas—and hit hard on the need to expand prosperity downward. WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address marked a sweet spot in his presidency when economic signs and his own personal approval are on the rise.WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama ignored the GOP, the election and the calendar counting down his waning presidency Tuesday night to flesh out an ambitious agenda and a robust vision for the future.

Tuesday’s speech capped a remarkably activist 11 weeks since Obama suffered the humiliation of Democratic losses that gave Republicans control of both chambers of Congress. Obama was focused less on the House chamber and more on the millions of Americans watching — who for the first time could read the speech as it was delivered, together with charts and infographics from the White House, on an online platform. “We are 15 years into this new century. Republicans were able to dismiss Obama’s proposals, knowing that few will ever gain congressional approval with the GOP holding majorities in both the House and Senate. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores, that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars, that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world.

That rejection is the price Obama will pay for losing the Democratic majority in the Senate, which for the past six years served as the main battleground for the president’s initiatives. Now, the best Obama can hope for in regard to his big-ticket proposals is that his Democratic allies figure out a way to offer his ideas as amendments to Republican bills. And while he offered a nod to bipartisanship on issues such as trade, he pushed a traditional Democratic economic agenda of tax increases for the rich, expanded paid leave for workers and increased aid for education.

Obama touted “middle-class economics,” which he described as ”the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” There were few surprises in the speech, which the president had previewed during a series of appearances across the country over the last two weeks, but the tone was confident from a president buoyed by a bump in approval ratings that followed improved employment rates and executive orders calling for a partial re-opening of trade and domestic relations with Cuba. Hatch (R-Utah), disparaged the president’s tax proposals — a new tax on the largest financial institutions and on the wealthy claiming capital gains, and a new two-year plan for free community-college tuition — as a pipe dream. “Sadly, it doesn’t appear that President Obama gets it. Seven years after that severe downturn began, household income hasn’t recovered and healthy job growth is complicated by the poor quality, and pay, of many of those jobs. By laying credit at the doorstep of his own administration, Obama is looking to gain leverage over Republicans and weaken their resolve to undo his go-it-alone initiatives on Cuba, immigration and climate change.

Focusing mainly on domestic policy, he proposed expanding broadband access, providing free tuition to community colleges, cutting mortgage costs and tripling the childcare tax credit. That way, in some families, both parents can decide to work full-time and use the money to pay for childcare; in other families, one parent can decide to work less and spend more time with the kids. Chamber of Commerce. “The tax hikes he’s proposing would be particularly damaging.” On foreign affairs, Republicans hope to flex their new muscle quickly. The cost would be $320 billion — money the GOP-controlled Congress will be loath to spend, especially on programs that seal a Democratic president’s legacy.

Instead, Obama’s proposal mostly takes the form of an expanded child care tax credit, and of a new “second-earner credit” for families in which both parents work. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday he still wants to push a tougher sanctions bill against Iran in the next few weeks and is still advancing a plan that would force Obama to get congressional sign-off on a possible nuclear deal with Tehran before Secretary of State John F.

Note also that one sensible part of Obama’s tax proposal, doing away with “stepped-up basis,” a provision that allows an asset’s capital gain to be reset to zero when it’s passed on to heirs at an owner’s death, is couched in class-warfare terms. Also in his speech, Obama skimmed over the cost to taxpayers of free community college tuition and invited closer scrutiny with his claims about U.S. support for Syrian moderates and about his record of public-lands preservation. Obama’s speech and GOP reaction were not as confrontational as in some past years, and the two sides have tried to signal some areas that could produce some modest gains.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is doing all it can to free two hostages the Islamic State group is threatening to kill within 72 hours, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday, vowing never to give in to terrorism. “We are fighting against time, and we’ll make an all-out effort and use every diplomatic route that we have developed to win the release of the two,” he said. The Republican leaders paid close attention to Obama’s remarks about trade legislation, an issue with widespread support among GOP lawmakers but not among Democrats, who largely tilt against it because of concerns that such pacts hurt their union allies. “Let’s hope the president talks about that tonight and does more than just talk about it, but this time actually goes to his caucus, goes to the Democrats, talks about the importance of this, to get this economy truly moving,” said Sen. Usually, progressives portray themselves as people who simply want to give everyone an equal chance to fulfill their potential, contrary to conservatives who want to tie everyone to the Procrustean bed of their very specific model of “the good life.” But in the case of the family, we see that it increasingly isn’t the case. A convoy carrying a Japanese envoy, Vice-Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama, left the Japanese embassy in Jordan’s capital Amman on Wednesday for an unknown location in the city.

And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.” “Of all the challenges facing our nation I’m astonished the president’s signature proposal is a $320 billion tax hike,” said U.S. Conservatives, who support earned success and the goal that no one who works full time and heads a household should live in poverty, should support the president’s proposal. If Obama were serious about helping the plight of low-income Americans, he would use the power of his office for real effect rather than political posturing. Obama’s remarks on trade were brief but drew applause from Republicans and some Democrats, and he did make an overt appeal to Democrats to also support his plan, including initial “Trade Promotion Authority” that would smooth the path of a trade deal that is close to completion with Asian Pacific nations. “More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking to bring jobs back from China,” Obama said. “So let’s give them one more reason to get it done.” On Tuesday, the Senate continued churning through a bill that would compel the administration to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Abe and other Japanese officials have declined to discuss whether Japan will pay the ransom for the captives, 47-year-old freelance journalist Kenji Goto and 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa, the founder of a private security company. Many firms would be required to automatically enroll their employees in an individual retirement account (IRA) plan if they don’t already offer retirement plans of their own. JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian man stabbed nine people on a bus in central Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding four of them seriously before he was chased down, shot and arrested by Israeli police in an attack praised by the Islamic militant Hamas group. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Tuesday showed Obama with an approval rating of 50 percent, the poll’s highest rating for the president in more than 18 months. Some people might say it is the third time, because the income to purchase equity in a company has already been taxed once under the individual income tax, but that is a subject for another day.

Indeed, President Obama is also the politician who gratuitously decided, in flagrant disregard of the Constitution, to pick a fight with religious institutions over a government mandate to subsidize contraception for everyone. By the end of this month, the Senate is likely to pass the legislation in the face of a veto threat by Obama, who has said that federal studies about environmental safety should continue before a final plan is approved. The assault, described by police as a “terror attack,” was the latest in a spate of attacks in which Palestinians have used knives, acid and vehicles as weapons in recent months, leaving dead and injured. A stock of savings is good for individuals for the obvious reasons, and is a key driver of tomorrow’s economic growth and of increased standards of living for our children and grandchildren.

The statutory federal corporate tax rate is 35%, although effective tax rates vary by firm, depending on the amount of plant and equipment purchased, among other factors. It’s a little more complicated than this, because thrown into these cycles we have the scandals and the social changes that all have some impact on how people think about things, but basically, this is how American politics rolls: We go through these eras, and the eras make the majority of people decide that one party or the other is better equipped to do something about the challenges. But the Post-ABC poll shows that Obama’s better standing is largely the result of support coalescing among the groups that backed his presidential campaigns in the first place — Democrats, moderates, Hispanics and younger people.

Another progressive obsession is funding day care for everyone (for the record, they often point to France as a model, even though the model doesn’t work in France), which, again, is a proposal that specifically favors one type of family over the other. The man, who was on the bus himself, travelling with the other passengers, began stabbing people, including the driver, then managed to get out of the bus and started fleeing the scene.

Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, said his party will have a hard time supporting the tax increases the president proposed. “We’re very concerned with this idea that he’d want to raise taxes and pull more money into Washington when we already have a spending problem here. The president would also close the “stepped-up basis loophole.” This is a technical provision, but the gist of it is that a capital gain accrued during a person’s lifetime that is left to his heir at the time of his death is not subject to capital income tax.

This has always been a conservative paranoia: that progressive talk of open-handed pluralism is really just a different kind of authoritarianism, one just as interested in coercing people to embrace their visions, and just as liable to. They were allowed to offer two amendments to the Keystone bill — one to guarantee oil coming through the pipeline would be sold inside U.S. borders and another to guarantee that the pipeline is built with U.S. steel. Where is the concern for the taxpayer?” “Americans have been hurting, but when we demanded solutions, too often Washington responded with the same stale mindset that led to failed policies like Obamacare. Capital gains are taxed at a lower rate because, depending on when the original asset was purchased, they might have a substantial inflationary component. And now, we seem to be—seem to be—entering an era in which the chief debate is going to be about expanding prosperity downward from the people who’ve enjoyed the lion’s share of the prosperity of the last 30 years.

But it is still a reminder that contemporary progressivism is not about a neutral vision of securing people’s negative and positive rights; it represents a very specific political, moral, and — dare I say it — metaphysical worldview that, like every other one, contends for power over society. The amendments forced an uncomfortable vote upon a crop of Republicans facing potentially difficult reelections in 2016 on an issue that could do them political harm. PARIS (AP) — French security forces will get better weapons and protection to fight terror and the country will hire 2,600 new counter-terrorism officers, the prime minister announced Wednesday.

Estimating the gain net of inflation is a complex calculation involving not only the date of purchase, but also additions to capital from reinvestment. The news came as the Paris prosecutor said four men suspected of providing logistical support to one of the Paris terror attackers have been charged with associating with terrorism — the first charges handed out for the mayhem that left 20 people dead, including three gunmen. Even with Republicans in control of the House since 2011, Senate Democrats still used their power to promote legislation that helped showcase issues that both Obama and Senate candidates would use on the campaign.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the government will spend 425 million euros ($490 million) on counter-terrorism over three years in response to the Paris attacks. Obama has helped turn it—with a few speeches over the years, and certainly with some of his policies, like health care, which he defended in an impressively in-your-face way in this speech. Bob Casey, said that wage increases are the quickest and surest way to put money in workers’ pockets — cash they’ll spend, thereby increasing demand and creating a need for more jobs. “I thought he looked like he was talking to the Congress that he wishes was elected instead of the one that was actually elected. Still, as Republicans made clear Tuesday, it’s not the same leverage that he enjoyed his first six years in office. “The American people have spoken,” McConnell said. “They’ve decided they want both parties to have some lever of power here in Congress, and I think they expect us to sort out the things that we can agree on and try to make some bipartisan progress.” Outlining a web of phone calls, shared keys and prison friendships, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said the four suspects — all in their 20s, all arrested in the Paris region — were handed preliminary charges overnight and will be jailed until a further investigation.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Haider al-Abadi said the coalition has stalled on key issues, particularly commitments on training Iraqi forces and weapons deliveries. Why not simply expand the child tax credit (CTC), and allow families to decide whether they want to spend their extra CTC dollars on child-care expenses? Rather than helping the poor, higher taxes on capital are likely to result in fewer realizations — in other words, fewer sales of capital assets — and less investment in capital. His comments came as he was leaving for London to take part in a one-day meeting Thursday on the anti-Islamic State war effort with foreign ministers from about 20 countries, including Arab states. Capital-gains tax revenues rose after 1997, when the rate was reduced from 28% to 20%, and again after 2003, when rates were reduced further to 15% and double taxation of dividends was ended.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here. Mike Doyle of Forest Hills say that losing control of Congress is no reason to water down the policy agenda. “When you believe in a certain policy and you believe we need to take certain steps to strengthen the economy … you have to keep asserting your point of view,” Mr. Do we really think if Wal-Mart — a non-financial firm — were in deep trouble because of excessive risk taking that Washington wouldn’t rush to bail it out, too?

The decline in rates resulted in higher tax revenues to Uncle Sam from owners of capital, as they sold assets, resulting in sources of funding for anti-poverty programs and income transfers. In June, the extremists captured Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, then swept south toward Baghdad in a march that put almost all the Sunni-majority regions of northern and western Iraq into its hands.

He could rein in the Environmental Protection Agency, which is in the process of forcing states to craft State Implementation Plans to further reduce emissions of ozone and mercury, without proving the benefits of those actions. Obama could ask his National Labor Relations Board for the legal rationale for calling the parent of a franchise a joint employer, as the NLRB has done with McDonald’s MCD, -0.75% franchises and McDonald’s USA, overturning 50 years of precedent.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — When Afghan journalist Hussain Sirat’s car disappeared in late December, he assumed it was simply theft, until a man called to say that he had the vehicle, and a gun with which he planned to kill him. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said the president’s proposals would relieve the burden of student debt, put home ownership within reach for more people and help working families achieve the American dream. “We have an $18 trillion debt. That step has the potential to destroy the franchise-business model in America, because McDonald’s USA will be responsible for violations of one of its franchises. In the weeks since then, Sirat, an editor at Afghanistan’s biggest daily newspaper 8AM who also works for Deutsche Welle, has been attacked in the street and received death threats in text messages that accuse him of being an “infidel” — which he assumes is related to his work for the German broadcaster. “I don’t feel safe,” he said.

President Obama could support charter schools and school choice, to enable children to have a better education and qualify to get into the community colleges that he proposes to make free of tuition, even though there is no evidence that the low cost of community college poses a barrier to attendance. Keynes, see, has taught us the concept of counter-cyclical investment: That when the economy is in dire straits, that is exactly when the government should be spending a boatload of money. Eight journalists were killed in Afghanistan in 2014, making it the deadliest year for the media since 2001, when the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban, rights groups say. Although MIT professor Jonathan Gruber calls the American people “stupid,” they have consistently voted against politicians who promise tax increases.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Staying hidden behind sea ice and large waves, sailors aboard a navy patrol boat from New Zealand sneaked up on three suspected poaching ships, then took photos and video of the fishermen hauling in prized fish in banned nets from the ocean near Antarctica. The bottom line is there are 7 billion people on this earth and there’s 300 million in this country, so don’t blame it all on the United States of America,” he said. “More of a solution would be to find technology you can use for better emissions and lower emissions, and then to change your trading policies so the rest of the world is using it, too.” Even if the president can’t persuade Congress to pass his proposals at the federal level, he can influence the national conversation in ways that help the middle class, one top White House official said before the speech. Raising the minimum wage and increasing access to education are examples of areas where he can have that kind of influence, she said. “The president can move the ball on his own by using executive authority.

He gave these speeches—what, 2010, maybe—when he likened the government to a family sitting around the kitchen table deciding what expenses it needed to cut out. It is a huge illegal business: Each of the ships could hold more than $1 million worth of Antarctic toothfish, marketed in North America as Chilean sea bass. But the absence of a corporate rate reduction and the presence of capital income rate increases suggests that even under his own definition the president isn’t interested in compromise. But in real-life political terms, he was right at least insofar as you can’t get people to think about longer-term economic goals when they’re out of a job, or underemployed. Labor ripped out a response while the president was still speaking, with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calling fast-track deals “giant giveaways to big corporations.” Mr.

Actually, they do have something to say, and it’s “No!” They looked ridiculous, sitting on their hands, refusing to applaud simple and obvious things that have 60, 65 percent public support. He continued: ”My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol — to do what I believe is best for America. He unfurled an agenda on taxes, spending, social programs, energy and foreign policy notably at odds with Republican priorities, although he ended with a plea for the two parties to “debate without demonizing one another” and find compromise where possible.

The 27-year-old, studying for her master’s degree at Georgetown University in Washington and hoping to someday become Saudi Arabia’s first female labor minister, is part of a growing number of Saudi women choosing to remain single through their 20s and into their 30s as they pursue other ambitions.

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