US politics live blog: Rick Perry’s jobs policy, New Hampshire v Nevada, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan
Posted on October 15, 2011 | By admin | Leave a response
Rick Perry desperately needs to make a splash with his long-delayed jobs plan – which he announces this morning.Republican presidential contender
And Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform proposals are drawing 0-0-0 marks from informed judges and experts, who are giving more attention to the plan put forward by the insurgent Republican presidential candidate and pizza magnate.
United States Steel plant in West Mifflin, Pennsylvannia. There’s a delay apparently.We’re waiting on Rick Perry to deliver what is being billed as an “energy speech” at the
Here we go: Perry steps up to the stage.
Perry – standing in front of huge steel drums – says he has a plan to produce more than a million “good American jobs”.
For some reason the audio feed sounds like Perry is speaking in a huge, echoing turbine hall – as in fact he is, it seems. That probably explains it.
Rick Perry: “My plan is based on this simple premise: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.”
And who can argue with that, eh? Then there’s this:
America is the Saudi Arabia of coal.
Also, America is the Kuwait of cheeseburgers, the Dubai of iPods and the Canada of expatriate Canadians.
OK so CNN and Fox News cut away from Perry’s speech – standard operating procedure for the US news networks, afraid that their dentist waiting room audience will be bored if they stay in one place for too long – so we’ll follow it via the magic of the internet.
And here we are: Rick Perry’s campaign website posts his jobs plan “Energizing American Jobs and Security”:
Key components of the plan include:
• Expand energy exploration offshore and on federal and private lands across the country by executive order, creating over 1.2m jobs
• Eliminate current and proposed activist EPA regulations from the Obama administration, saving 2.4m jobs by 2020 and lowering projected costs by $127bn
• Reduce, rebuild, and refocus the EPA federal regulators, returning authority to the states
• Level the playing field for all energy producers, removing Obama’s practice of picking winners and losers and ending the Obama war on coal and natural gas production
Ah ha – the Mitt Romney campaign have quietly released their fundraising numbers for the third quarter: $14m. That’s less than Perry’s $17m raised and less than the $18m Romney raised in the second quarter – although the July-August-September quarter is not usually a good one for fundraising.
We’ll see what all this means when the Federal Elections Commission releases the full accounts.
Tensions are running high on the New Hampshire-Nevada border, where the stretched twig of peace is at melting point thanks to New Hampshires’s desire to maintain its “first in the nation” primary status.
Of course no one really cares except (a) some people in New Hampshire; (b) politicians and (c) the media. So obviously it’s of vital importance.
A quick reminder: New Hampshire wants Nevada to move back the date of its presidential caucus – even though it is already scheduled to be four days after New Hampshire’s likely primary on 10 January. But that’s not good enough for New Hampshire, which demands a seven day gap.
more on Mitt Romney’s fundraising numbers – and points out that he is burning through the cash:Politico has
That’s a solid quarter, but the number that stands out is the $14.7m Romney reportedly had in the bank at the end of September. That’s less than the $15m Rick Perry’s campaign says it will report having in reserve.
The difference is small and could be really minimal, depending on how the two campaigns are rounding. But it’s still notable given that Romney had a four-month head start.
Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston fires off a few shots at New Hampshire:On the Primary War, the
Forget the arrogance of one state telling others how far they must distance themselves from the New Hampshire seminal event, where a nearly all-white, supposedly omniscient voting force carefully winnows the field before the mere mortal states can participate. Actually, don’t forget that.
Apologies for the brief delay there, now back to normal blogtastic output.
There’s a great temptation by the US media to dismiss Ron Paul as a fringe candidate. But Paul’s campaign is certainly taking this campaign a lot more seriously – or conventionally – than his 2008 sortie.
The is a new ad up on the Paul campaign site stressing the candidate’s opposition to abortion. It’s a powerful ad, aimed directly at the social conservative movement that has until failed to embrace Paul’s “libertarian-lite” message.
National Journal’s Reid Wilson says New Hampshire is bluffing – and he has good reason to back that up, thanks to the the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act:In the great New Hampshire versus Nevada primary date war, the
In a statement [pdf] on his website Wednesday, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner drew a clear line in the sand between his state’s traditional first-in-the-nation primary and Nevada’s newer first-in-the-West caucuses: Nevada must move off its planned January 14 date, Gardner said, or New Hampshire could hold their primary as early as December 6 or December 13.
The trouble is, he’s bluffing.
Gardner has already set one firm date, the filing deadline. Candidates who want to run for president must file the appropriate papers with his office by close of business on Friday, October 28 (That is, two weeks from today).
Gardner can’t start printing any ballots until that process is complete. In fact, he probably can’t start printing ballots until the next business day, Monday, October 31. And thanks to a law Congress passed in 2009, he must allow at least 45 days to pass between the time he sends out absentee ballots and Election Day.
That law, the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, significantly expanded a 1986 law known as the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. The MOVE Act requires state elections officials to send absentee ballots to qualified voters at least 45 days before an election; the goal is to ensure military personnel serving overseas and on Navy ships receive ballots with enough time to vote.
So if Gardner prints ballots on October 31, he wouldn’t be able to hold an election for at least 45 days, which is December 14.
During an unexpected visit Thursday to an organizational meeting for this year’s White House Christmas party, Vice President Joe Biden winked mischievously as he offered to “handle” the eggnog supply for the upcoming annual event. “Uncle Joe’s got the nog under control,” said Biden, briefly flashing a metal flask protruding from the inside pocket of his suit jacket. “Old family recipe.” Biden’s appearance among White House event planners was his first since last May, when he offered to procure “some real fireworks” for the upcoming Fourth of July festivities.
Then there was the classic “Shirtless Biden Washes Trans Am In White House Driveway“:
For the remainder of the day, Biden occupied himself with hosing off his car, giving the side doors an extra coat of wax, and throwing out a variety of items from beneath its front seats, including crumpled-up fast food wrappers, a number of soft packs of Doral kings, an issue of Cheri magazine from 1991, and Senate bill S. 486.
Now the White House appears to have embraced the whole thing with this item for sale in the Obama 2012 campaign website: the Joe Biden Can Cooler. “Need to keep your soda cold? The Vice President’s got you covered. Literally.”
Soda? OK, sure, “soda”. All yours for just $10.
Hillary Clinton – Joe Biden job switch is on the cards for 2012 if things get bad enough:From the Department of Bullshit, Bloomberg edition: Jonathan Alter last night claimed that a
When Bob Woodward first claimed on CNN in late 2010 that such a switch was “on the table,” I was skeptical. In a profile of Clinton I wrote for Vanity Fair this year, I doubted her denials about running for president in 2016, but thought that a switch with Biden was outlandish.
Then I heard from an old Chicago friend of Obama’s that Woodward was right. Now, with the economy worse and the president as the self-described underdog, I’d say the odds are long – but it’s definitely not impossible.
Nothing is impossible under those terms. Other “long odds” possibilities including establishing a base on the Moon to exploit its unlimited cheese supplies.
Good lord, they are already selling Joe Biden beer coolers. I mean, soda coolers.
A federal court has temporarily blocked parts of Alabama’s controversial immigration laws which forces teachers to check the immigration status of pupils.
The 11th circuit Court of Appeals also blocked a section of the law allowing the police to charge immigrants who do not carry documents proving their legal status.
The bulk of Alabama’s new law was allowed to stand, however, including making contracts involving illegal immigrants unenforceable and making it a felony for illegal immigrants to apply for a driver’s license.
The law was challenged by the federal government and other groups, including the ACLU.
New developments in the New Hampshire versus Nevada Seven Days War – in which New Hampshire has claimed Nevada has invaded its primary election space.
Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman has announced he is boycotting the televised candidates debate taking place in Las Vegas next Tuesday because he believes in New Hampshire’s sacred right to have a primary seven days before anyone else.
No, I am not making this up. Here’s the Huntsman campaign statement:
Next Tuesday, Governor Huntsman will boycott the Nevada presidential debate, and instead hold a ‘First-in-the-Nation’ Town Hall Meeting in New Hampshire, to discuss his bold plans to create jobs and reform America’s foreign policy for the 21st Century.
Now, you might think this is a desperate attempt by a failing candidate to suck up to New Hampshire. That’s so cynical. Also, correct.
ent 100 US combat troops to central Africa to act against the Lord’s Resistance Army.The White House has announced that it has s
According to the Pentagon, the bulk of the troops will be special operations forces and are likely to stay “for a few months in an advisory role,” ABC News reports.
According to the Associated Press:
In a letter to Congress, Obama said the troops will act as advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but will not engage in combat except in self-defense.
The White House said the first troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday. Ultimately, they’ll also deploy in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Long considered one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups, the Lord’s Resistance Army began its attacks in Uganda more than 20 years ago but has been pushing westward.
The decision has been urged by some in Congress for some time, including Republican senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who said in a statement:
I applaud our nation’s military for making this a priority and taking the steps outlined in our legislation that will eventually protect the children and people from Joseph Kony’s reign of terror. I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the LRA, and this will help end Kony’s heinous acts that have created a human rights crisis in Africa. We must work to bring justice to the children and victims in Uganda devastated by Kony and the LRA.
hits back at the Jon Huntsman debate boycott, calling it “laughable”:Nevada
Nevada’s Republican say they won’t change their caucus date after several Republican candidates and Newt Gingrich said they would boycott the caucus on January 14:
Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian says New Hampshire should urge candidates to boycott Florida, which sent the presidential calendar in disarray when Republican leaders there decided to jump ahead of all the early contest states and hold their primary on Jan. 31. Nevada followed by moving its original Feb. 18 date up.
Nevada GOP Treasurer David Buell said Friday that the decision from former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and other candidates to boycott Nevada was “laughable” because the candidates were not expected to perform well here.
Clever Josh Barro crunches the numbers on Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan and calculates that a typical “mom, dad and two kids” family with $50,000 in annual income would get stung to the tune of an additional $2,660 in taxes a year:
Cain’s campaign estimates that the total base for the sales tax would be $8.3 trillion, and the base for the VAT would be $9.5 trillion. Comparing this to total after-tax personal income of $11.2 trillion as of 2010, we can estimate that this family would be likely to pay sales tax on 74% of its after-tax income, and VAT on 85% of it. That amounts to an approximate sales tax burden of $3,000 and an approximate VAT burden of $3,500.
That amounts to a total 9-9-9 tax bill for the family of $11,000: $4,500 in income tax and $6,500 in consumption taxes. That’s an increase of $2,660 over today’s tax code, or a relative increase of 32 percent.
This is not going to popular with the grassroots.
Robert Dietz, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said new homes sales would see a double tax increase. The house itself would be subject to the 9% retail sales tax, and then buyers would have to pay tax on the interest on their mortgage, as opposed to now when they can deduct that interest from their income.
“Layering a new tax on top of the sale of a newly constructed home would certainly be bad for the housing market,” he said. Each new home creates the equivalent of three full-time jobs for a year, he said.
Making housing more expensive is always politically popular. Not.
Reuters on the decision to send US troops to Uganda and central Africa:
“I have authorized a small number of combat-equipped US forces to deploy to central Africa to provide assistance to regional forces that are working toward the removal of Joseph Kony from the battlefield,” Obama said a letter to Congress.
But he asserted that US forces “will only be providing information, advice and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage [Lord’s Resistance Army] forces unless necessary for self-defense.”
The terms of engagement may be aimed at reassuring war-weary Americans he has no plan to entangle US forces directly in another conflict when they are already involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and are playing a support role in a Nato-led air campaign in Libya.
Republicans appear to have gained their first modest success in overturning at least part of the Obama administration’s healthcare reforms.The
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has just announced that the administration is dropping the long-term-care insurance programme known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (Class) programme, a component of the health reform that establishes a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living services and support for those who are functionally disabled and require long-term care.
Republicans have strongly opposed the Class programme, while the Senate cut off funding for it in September during the budget crisis. Continuing the programme would have required amending the healthcare reform legislation – impossible in the current political climate.
Class was supposed to be a voluntary insurance plan for working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an small monthly premium while working, and could collect a modest daily cash benefit if they became disabled later in life.
Update: Jamie Dupree has Sebelius’s letter to Congress announcing the Class decision, and says it has been dropped “because of a simple fact – it will cost too much money.”
However, the savings from Class were supposed to cut the budget by $70bn – making it a hefty part of making the reforms economical.
The report was another sign that the United States economy may be in better shape than many economists thought, said Dan Greenhaus, the chief global strategist at BTIG. The recent rise in stock prices reflects the change in the prevailing outlook, he added.
“When the stock market collapsed, you were uncool if you were weren’t saying that the US was going into recession,” he said.
Now you can say the US economy is hot and you won’t get flicked with wet towels in the locker room. Awesome.
The revelation comes from more than 350 hours of audio interviews with 50 senior officials from the George HW Bush administration released today by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and Bush Presidential Library Foundation. The decade-long oral history project documents the life and times of the 41st presidency.
“When we were way behind. Honestly, [Eastwood] was suggested in not an altogether unserious – Well, he was a mayor. He was a Republican mayor,” former Bush campaign chairman and Secretary of State James Baker said.
Eastwood served one term as mayor of the conservative ocean side community Carmel, California, from 1986-1988.
Bush ended up choosing the hilarious Dan Quayle – and frankly, Eastwood would have been a better choice in the long run.
This being Friday evening – the traditional “take out the trash” period – what better time for the various campaigns to release their lousy fundraising numbers, the day before the FEC will do so.
Herman Cain says he will have $1m in the bank and no debt. Well, BFD. But it’s worse for Jon Huntsman, whose campaign is on the verge of going bust according to CNN:
The Huntsman campaign, which re-trenched last month by laying off staff and moving its national quarters to the must-win primary state of New Hampshire, finished the third fundraising quarter in September with just $327,000 in the bank and $890,000 in debt.
Since joining the race on June 21, Huntsman raised $2.26m and contributed $2.25m of his own money to the campaign for a total $4.51m.
But a campaign official told CNN Friday that they have spent $4.18m, leaving Huntsman with a paltry war chest as the GOP nomination fights heats up.
The Obama campaign gets in the act by publishing its list of big money third quarter bundlers or “volunteer fundraisers”.
A couple of fanous names who raised more than $500,000 for Obama: movie producer Harvey Weinstein and Dreamworks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.
That’s enough politics for one week.