The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

Print Print Cite Cite
Style: MLA APA Chicago Close


Overnight Roundup: Senate Rejects Obama’s Buffett Rule

by Newsteam Staff
April 17, 2012

Photo of the Day: An Occupy Wall Street protester across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012. (Andrew Burton/Courtesy Reuters)


With the economy still the top issue in the 2012 campaign, both President Barack Obama and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney are making much of changes to the tax code as significant for economic recovery. But Obama’s attempt to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans was thwarted in the Senate (WashPost), which failed to take up consideration of the Buffett Rule Monday.

In a statement following the failed vote to consider a 30 percent tax rate minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million per year, Obama said he would continue to push Congress on economic security for the middle class and said the Buffett Rule was about “common sense” and “basic fairness.”

Campaigning at a Tea Party event in Philadelphia, Romney criticized the change (AP), saying revenue from the Buffett Rule would bring in enough revenue to run the federal government for about eleven hours. Romney has said he would continue the Bush-era tax cuts, instead trimming spending and making other changes.

The House Republican counter proposal — an effort to cut taxes by 20 percent for businesses with 500 or fewer employees — is expected to come to a vote later this week.

Though a majority of voters said they supported the Buffett Rule, only about half of those polled think they are paying an appropriate amount of taxes, according to a new Gallup poll. Of those polled, 47 percent said they consider the amount they pay in federal income tax is “about right” and 46 percent said it is too high; 3 percent consider their taxes too low.

Gallup says low-income Americans have grown increasingly discontented with the amount and fairness of their tax rate, perhaps because of the slow-to-recover economy or the campaign emphasis on the low tax rates for millionaires.

Even with renewed violence in Afghanistan this spring, Romney remains adamant that the time for the United States to negotiate with the Taliban is long past (ABC), especially in light of prior failed discussions.

“I don’t think we’re in a position to advance our interests or the interests of the Karzai government or for that matter for the people of Afghanistan,” Romney told Diane Sawyer. “The time to negotiate is when people are concerned that if they don’t negotiate they might lose something,” and knowing the allies’ planned date of withdrawal means they only have to bide their time, he said.

Political correspondent Byron York asks whether Romney will align with his own party since a new Washington Post poll shows 52 percent of GOP voters now believe the war is not worth fighting.

“While he has accused Barack Obama of hurrying to the exits, Romney himself has not committed to any particular strategy and has adopted a position that could justify virtually any policy option,” York writes.

The Republican Party is maneuvering to better appeal to Latino voters (HuffPo), focusing on the fact that Latinos have been hit hard by the economic recession and the president’s failure to deliver on comprehensive immigration reform.

The Obama campaign is also beginning to actively court Latinos in states like Arizona (NYT).

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

1 Comment

  • Posted by Blic

    Let us not allow the health care sytesm remain political alone.Health care plan can always be graded to suit the classes of people on its sensitivity. For example, categorization can stand for the rich, middle class and poor under a socialistic pattern that sounds relevant according to the purchasing power under the one payer sytesm that is of the government besides exceptions of the extremely rich where they are not restricted on private coverings or where employees insurance cover is held by their employers with their independence on it of right or wrong.The point is, there must be an end to the ever emerging political debate on it that has money and its management at the back of it of self interest damaging the national image despite America of its past having one of the best health care sytesms of covers according to many now in the process of being reviewed through reforms where government has come into the picture for it not with a sense of degrading but upgrading it through economic control on expenditure to tide over economic plans with drops of savings on all fronts seen by the economic experts rationally for a national purpose.I would therefore say it is not Obama’s plan, it is the plan of the executive of America that is seen by the President as such and if there are contrary signals to it they have to be supported by logic and logic on a plan that does not exist for its pros and cons on it, excuse my saying falls nothing short of dirty politics on it that America can ill afford of its world wide reputation?I am sure, the lady Michelle with perfect synchronization of her smile with the eyes searching political soul for her government blog would somewhat accept my view or else she can transcend that keeping me out of it because it is a domestic issue for America.I do not write for myself but I simply get grossly involved with the sytesms that I would like readers of my communications to treat as my good weakness! – And nothing else.