From fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012, the deficit shrank 3.1 percentage points, from 10.1% to 7.0% of GDP,” reports Investors Business Daily, citing figures from the Congressional Budget Office. IBD notes that that larger-than-expected returns from bank bailouts, slowing growth in Medicare costs, the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the $900 billion in already enacted Budget Control Act cuts also helped curb the deficit. Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/21/the-deficit-is-already-shrinking-in-one-chart/
Five Things You Should Know About What Steps President Obama has taken in regards to  the National Debt:

1. The Campaign to Cut Waste is hunting down and eliminating misspent tax dollars in every agency and department across the federal government. Already, the Administration has identified $3 billion in information technology cost reductions, is shutting down hundreds of duplicative data centers, and getting rid of excess federal real estate. Learn more

2. For the first time in 13 years, the federal government decreased contract spending. In 2010, contract spending was $80 billion less than it would have been, had it continued to grow at the same rate as it did under the Bush Administration. Learn more
3. In the 2012 Budget, the President proposed 211 terminations, reductions and savings measures which will save more than $33 billion in 2012 and $400 billion over the next decade. Learn more (PDF)
4. President Obama’s directive to the federal government to use common-sense and buy office supplies in bulk should save us up to $200 million over the next four years. Learn more (PDF)
5. Federal agencies are using the latest technology to combat fraud and slash erroneous payments and have made significant strides, tripling the amount of improper payments to contractors recaptured last year. Learn more

The President discussed the need to tackle our deficits over the long term through tax reform that asks those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare. Though the issues of debt and deficits have dominated much of the recent conversation in Washington, the most immediate concern of most Americans is job creation and growing our economy. That is why President Obama laid out some common sense steps that can be taken right away to spur economic growth such as extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance:

Specifically, we should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible, so that workers have more money in their paychecks next year and businesses have more customers next year.

We should continue to make sure that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who’s out there looking for a job, you can get the unemployment insurance that your tax dollars contributed to.  That will also put money in people’s pockets and more customers in stores.

In fact, if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance benefits that I’ve called for, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs and half a percent less growth.  This is something we can do immediately, something we can do as soon as Congress gets back.

To learn more about President Obama’s plan for reform and fiscal responsibility: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/reform

April 16, 2012

Dear Senator Mark Pryor and Senate Republicans,

On behalf of the Patriotic Millionaires, we are deeply disappointed that Monday you voted against bringing the “Buffett Rule” to the Senate floor for an open and transparent debate.

This is not a time for partisanship or political games. This is not an issue of left or right, Democrat or Republican. This is an American issue, and the future of American democracy demands that this issue come to a vote.

Given the dire state of our economy, it is absurd that one-quarter of all millionaires pay a lower tax rate than millions of working, middle-class American families.

The “Buffett Rule” is not the only thing we need to do to ensure the success of our country, but it is certainly the most obvious. Senate Republicans and Senator Mark Pryor refusing Monday to even consider this vital step is ridiculous.

Patriotic Millionaires


CEOs make the case for a grand bargain

October 25, 2012 Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

A group of high-profile business leaders sounded the alarm about the deficit on Thursday morning—this time quite literally. Top executives from Honeywell, JPMorgan and Express Scripts rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as part of a campaign to enact major deficit reduction through the negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.”

Companies and economists have warned that the economy would take a major blow if Congress did not act on the tax increases and automatic budget cuts set to go into effect at the beginning of next year. But the CEOs of the “Fix the Debt” campaign have a much bigger agenda: Their push is not just to head off the economic impact of the fiscal cliff but also to use the negotiations as a springboard for major deficit reduction that includes both tax increases and spending cuts.

The group is pushing to replace fiscal cliff’s major austerity measures — averting the impact of taking more than $700 billion out of the economy in 2013 — with an alternative package that would reduce the deficit even more but that would take effect farther down the road.

“This plan should be enacted now, but implemented gradually to protect the fragile economic recovery and to give Americans time to prepare for the changes in the federal budget,” the “Fix the Debt” campaign says in a statement supported by more than 80 chief executives, including the heads of Invesco, UPS and Aetna.

Such a grand bargain “must be bipartisan,” the statement said. The group seeks to reform Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and suggest comprehensive, rate-lowering, base-broadening tax reform. The group also advises that Simpson-Bowles recommendations serve as a framework for the plan.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/25/ceos-make-the-case-for-a-grand-bargain/


President Obama is working with leaders of both parties in Washington to reduce the deficit in a balanced way so we can lay the foundation for long-term middle-class job growth and prevent your taxes from going up.

Your voice and action helped re-elect President Obama, and hundreds of thousands of you have already responded to our survey, which will help shape our next steps. Thanks to your feedback, we’re taking immediate action on one of your suggestions: keeping you informed about how the President is fighting for you so you can continue to talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. So here’s the deal:

* Middle-class taxes could go up $2,200 and important investmens could be slashed at the end of this year unless Congress acts.

This is the “Fiscal Cliff” and the President has a concrete plan to reduce the deficit so we an grow the economy.

Here is what President Obama’s plan does:

1) Extends tax cuts for 98% of Americans and 07% of small businesses immediately

2) Eliminates tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans

3) Cuts spending by more than $3 Trillion including cuts President Obama has already signed into law


Bill Clinton’s people brought down the deficit once. Now they’re trying to do it again.

December 4, 2012 at 10:33 am Posted by Dylan Matthews – washingtonpost

If you want to pass a deficit reduction plan, you might want to give the task to one set of experts whose ideas would get more notice than your garden variety think-tank white paper: President Bill Clinton’s former Treasury staff. So that’s exactly what the Center for American Progress has done.

On Tuesday, CAP unveiled a tax reform plan written by a rogue’s gallery of Clinton vets, including former treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, deputy treasury secretary Roger Altman, White House chief of staff John Podesta, commerce secretary Bill Daley and others. Summers and Daley, as well as report co-author and CAP president Neera Tanden, all held high-ranking posts in the Obama administration.

The $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan the group came up with raises $1.8 trillion in new revenue through tax reform, $1.5 trillion through enforcing existing budget caps, and $485 billion in cuts to Medicare and defense spending. It adds $400 billion in stimulus and infrastructure investments meant to help growth. If implemented, that proposal would get debt-to-GDP down to 72 percent in 2022, or about where it is today. The importance of that measure is highly questionable, but insofar as one wants deficit reduction, the plan accomplishes that goal.’

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/04/clintons-guys-brought-down-the-deficit-once-now-theyre-trying-to-do-it-again/

If Congress fails to act, the typical middle class family will have about $2,000 less to spend or save next year.
If Congress fails to act, the typical middle class family will have about $2,000 less to spend or save next year.

President Obama has met with members of Congress, Govenors, CEOs, Labor Leaders, Liberal Leaders and Women’s Groups to discuss the 2013 budget.

“I can only do it with the help of the American people,” President Obama said. “Do what it takes to communicate a sense of urgency. We don’t have a lot of time here.”


President Obama Wants You to Speak Out on Passing the Middle Class Tax Cuts

Matt Compton November 28, 2012 02:49 PM EST

Surrounded by Americans who had written into the White House in support of his plan, President Obama today renewed his call to prevent a tax increase on the middle class.

“If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the President said. “A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.”

To help find an agreement President Obama pledged to keep up the pressure — meeting with lawmakers, labor leaders, and business executives. And he called on the American people to speak up and add their own voices to the debate.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens,” he said.

So today, I’m asking Congress to listen to the people who sent us here to serve. I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard. Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you. Call your members of Congress, write them an email, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the hashtag #My2K.

You can share your story by visiting WH.gov/My2K, or help keep the conversation going online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #My2K.

Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HELP AMERICA’S RECOVERY!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Tweet a Message to Your Representatives


41 thoughts on “#My2k

  1. WH

    Wednesday, December 5 , 2012

    All Times Eastern

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    9:15 AM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden receive the presidential daily briefing

    10:00 AM
    10:50 AM
    President Obama delivers remarks to members of the Business Roundtable
    White House

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    President Obama and Vice President Biden meet for lunch.

    1:00 PM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    3:05 PM
    3:05 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at the 2012 Tribal Nations Conference.
    Department of Interior

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. my2k

    If Congress fails to act, the typical middle class family will have about $2,000 less to spend or save next year.

    • Obama invites CEOs to White House

      11/12/12 4:23 PM EST By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN – POLITICO44

      The White House has invited more than a dozen CEOs – representing major corporations like Walmart, Chevron and Xerox – to meet Wednesday with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, according to a list provided by a K Street insider.

      The line-up includes a mix of Republican and Democratic donors, and a handful of leaders who sit on the council of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, which is promoting a grand bargain on the debt and deficit.

      The invitees include: Mark Bertolini, President, Chairman, and CEO of Aetna; Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox; Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express Company; David Cote, Chairman, CEO, Honeywell; Mike Duke, President, CEO, Walmart; Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman, and CEO, Dow; Robert McDonald, President and CEO, Proctor & Gamble; Alan Mulally, President and CEO, Ford; Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo; Ginni Rometty, President, Chairman, and CEO, IBM; and John Watson, Chairman and CEO, Chevron.

      It is expected to be Obama’s first publicized sit down with leading corporate executives after a presidential campaign in which Republicans accused him of demonizing business success. The meeting is part of Obama’s attempt to expand his reach beyond congressional negotiators in the fiscal cliff talks, but it will also give him an opportunity to begin rebuilding his relationship with corporate players.

      Obama will meet Tuesday with union and progressive leaders, who will undoubtedly give very different advice than the CEOs provide.

    • Obama to meet labor, business leaders for fiscal talks

      11/12/12 By Mark Felsenthal | Reuters

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will meet business, labor and civic leaders this week ahead of negotiations with top lawmakers to avert sharp tax hikes and deep spending cuts that loom at the end of the year, a White House official said late on Sunday.

      The president wants to find “a balanced solution to our deficit challenges” and a way to move the economy forward, the official said.

      Obama, re-elected to a second four-year term on Tuesday, faces the immediate challenge of preventing the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases due to be implemented in early 2013 that may cut the federal budget deficit, but also tip the economy back into recession.

      Obama has scheduled a meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate on Friday to begin negotiations.

      The president will meet with leaders from the labor community and other leaders of the progressive political movement on Tuesday, the official said. Obama will meet with business leaders on Wednesday and civic leaders on Friday, the White House official said.

      The president and congressional Republicans have sounded conciliatory notes since the election on reaching a deal to avoid the sudden fiscal shock. The two sides are at odds over raising taxes for top earners.

      Obama insisted in his re-election campaign that the wealthy should pay more as part of any fiscal deal, and has said his victory at the polls is an endorsement of that view.

      Still, on Sunday, two Republican Senators made comments that could be seen as suggesting they may be willing to negotiate. Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said he had some sympathy for the view that there need to be more government revenues as part of any deficit reduction deal.

      “There has to be revenues,” he said on Fox News Sunday. “Look, I haven’t met a wealthy Republican or Democrat in Tennessee that’s not willing to contribute more as long as they know we solve the problem,” Corker said.

      Separately, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said there were ways to eliminate tax loopholes for top earners that could provide additional funds for government coffers.

    • Obama meets privately with women’s groups

      11/13/12 7:05 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK POLITICO44

      In addition to attending a much-ballyhooed meeting with civic and labor leaders on Tuesday, President Obama also met privately with women’s groups.

      The meeting wasn’t on his public schedule but included many of the same administration officials: senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Cecilia Munoz of the Domestic Policy Council and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.

      “The president was cute when he came in. He said ‘I heard Gene was outnumbered and needed some backup,’” said one attendee, Lisa Maatz, director of the American Association of University Women. “This was a very positive meeting. There were some moments of levity like that.”

      Obama went on to crack a joke about how the women’s groups must be excited that Michelle Obama will be first lady for another four years. “He said it was a package deal, we had to take him too,” Maatz said.

      Substantively, the meeting covered many of the same points as Obama’s meeting with progressive leaders, including his intent to hold firm on his push to let tax cuts expire on the wealthy at the end of the year and the need to carry on the campaign for his policies, even though the election is over. Maatz said the women’s groups also spoke with the president about improving Social Security and protecting Medicare and Medicaid.

      “We certainly were talking about our concerns about those programs moving forward,” she said.

      She also laid out the commitment her group and other advocates for women expect from Obama going forward.

      “There was very much a sense of the importance that women played in the election — If not for women, we may very well have been having a meeting with a different president or president-elect,” Maatz said. “We expect him to dance with the one who brought him.”

    • Obama meets with ‘influential progressive media’ on fiscal cliff

      12/4/12 3:54 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      President Obama met with a litany of liberal media personalities on Tuesday to push his tax cut message.

      Spotted filing into the West Wing were Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton.

      The meeting was not on the president’s public schedule and White House officials initially declined to comment on the meeting. They later issued a statement to POLITICO:

      “This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” spokesman Josh Earnest said.

      The Obama administration conducts regular briefings of reporters from different media markets, but this did not immediately appear like such a briefing. According to White House visitor records, O’Donnell, for example, has not attended such briefings before.


    • November 16, 2012

      Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Meeting with Congressional Leadership

      Today, the President met with the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House for over an hour. The President and the leadership had a constructive meeting and agreed to do everything possible to find a solution that averts the so-called “fiscal cliff,” and to work together to find a balanced approach to reduce our deficit that includes both revenues and cuts in spending and encourages our long-term economic and job growth. Both sides agreed that while there may be differences in our preferred approaches, we will continue a constructive process to find a solution and come to a conclusion as soon as possible. Members of the President’s senior team will continue meetings and discussions with Members of Congress and staff over the next several days while the President travels in Asia.

    • November 14, 2012

      Remarks by the President in a News Conference

      East Room

      1:34 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat. I hear you have some questions for me. (Laughter.) But let me just make a few remarks at the top, and then I’ll open it up.

      First of all, I want to reiterate what I said on Friday. Right now, our economy is still recovering from a very deep and damaging crisis, so our top priority has to be jobs and growth. We’ve got to build on the progress that we’ve made, because this nation succeeds when we’ve got a growing, thriving middle class.

      And that’s the idea at the core of the plan that I talked about on the campaign trail over the last year: Rewarding manufacturers and small businesses that create jobs here, not overseas; providing more Americans the chance to earn the skills that businesses are looking for right now; keeping this country at the forefront of research, technology, and clean energy; putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, and our schools; and reducing our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

      Now, on this last item, we face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs, taxes and deficits by the end of the year. Both parties voted to set this deadline. And I believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced and responsible way.

      Yesterday, I had a chance to meet with labor and civic leaders for their input. Today, I’m meeting with CEOs of some of America’s largest companies. And I’ll meet with leaders of both parties of Congress before the week is out. Because there’s only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together.

      As I’ve said before, I’m open to compromise and I’m open to new ideas. And I’ve been encouraged over the past week to hear Republican after Republican agree on the need for more revenue from the wealthiest Americans as part of our arithmetic if we’re going to be serious about reducing the deficit.

      Because when it comes to taxes, there are two pathways available: Option one, if Congress fails to act by the end of the year, everybody’s taxes will automatically go up — including the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 a year and the 97 percent of small businesses who earn less than $250,000 a year. That doesn’t make sense. Our economy can’t afford that right now. Certainly no middle-class family can afford that right now. And nobody in either party says that they want it to happen.

      The other option is to pass a law right now that would prevent any tax hike whatsoever on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. And by the way, that means every American, including the wealthiest Americans, get a tax cut. It means that 98 percent of all Americans, and 97 percent of all small businesses won’t see their taxes go up a single dime. The Senate has already passed a law like this. Democrats in the House are ready to pass a law like this. And I hope Republicans in the House come on board, too.

      We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least do what we agree on, and that’s to keep middle-class taxes low. And I’ll bring everyone in to sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty before the holiday season.

      For more; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/14/remarks-president-news-conference


      President Obama Discusses Helping the Middle Class

      Published on Nov 14, 2012 by whitehouse

      During a press conference, President Obama explains his mandate to help the middle class get ahead and recover from the recession. November 14, 2012.

    • Limiting Tax Deductions: The Reality of the Math

      Gene Sperling and Jason Furman November 29, 2012 03:00 PM EST

      In his Budget, the President proposes to raise $1.56 trillion in revenue from high-income households, including $1 trillion from the expiration of the Bush high-income and estate tax cuts and additional revenue from limiting tax expenditures for high-income households as a part of reforming the tax system to make it simpler, fairer and more efficient. Some have suggested that limits on high-income tax expenditures could substitute for rate increases and that it would be possible to raise $1 trillion or more while keeping the top income tax rate at 35 percent. But a careful look at the math of these types of caps and limits shows that, once one takes into account the reality of their impact on middle-class families and on charitable donations, plausible limits raise only a fraction of the $1 trillion or more some have suggested.

      Consider the example of a $25,000 cap on itemized deductions, which some claim would raise in the range of $1 trillion or more from high-income households:

      1. Limiting the cap to those with incomes over $250,000 leaves only $800 billion in revenue.

      2. The need to phase in a cap to avoid a “cliff” reduces revenues to around $650 billion.

      4. Excluding the charitable deduction reduces revenues to around $450 billion.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/11/29/limiting-tax-deductions-reality-math

    • President Obama Wants You to Speak Out on Passing the Middle Class Tax Cuts

      Matt Compton November 28, 2012 02:49 PM EST

      Surrounded by Americans who had written into the White House in support of his plan, President Obama today renewed his call to prevent a tax increase on the middle class.

      “If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the President said. “A typical middle-class family of four would see its income taxes go up by $2,200. That’s $2,200 out of people’s pockets. That means less money for buying groceries, less money for filling prescriptions, less money for buying diapers. It means a tougher choice between paying the rent and paying tuition. And middle-class families just can’t afford that right now.”

      To help find an agreement President Obama pledged to keep up the pressure — meeting with lawmakers, labor leaders, and business executives. And he called on the American people to speak up and add their own voices to the debate.

      “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens,” he said.

      So today, I’m asking Congress to listen to the people who sent us here to serve. I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard. Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you. Call your members of Congress, write them an email, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the hashtag #My2K.

      You can share your story by visiting WH.gov/My2K, or help keep the conversation going online on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #My2K.

      “I can only do it with the help of the American people,” President Obama said. “Do what it takes to communicate a sense of urgency. We don’t have a lot of time here. We’ve got a few weeks to get this thing done.”


      President Obama on Extending Tax Cuts for the Middle Class

      Published on Nov 28, 2012 by whitehouse

      If Congress fails to act, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200. November 28, 2012.

    • Obama to press business leaders on fiscal cliff

      12/5/12 6:01 AM EST By BYRON TAU – POLITICO44

      President Obama will lay out the stakes of going over the fiscal cliff at a Wednesday meeting with business leaders — and call on congressional leaders to ensure the debt ceiling is raised.

      “The president will continue to make the case that our nation’s businesses need the certainty that middle class families won’t see their taxes go up at the end of the year,” a White House official said.

      Obama is set to meet Wednesday in Washington D.C. with the annual Business Roundtable conference — a group of influential business and industry leaders.

      “The president will highlight why it would hurt our economy and our nation’s businesses if we do not find a solution to avoid another debt ceiling crisis, and will ask the business leaders for their help in supporting an approach that resolves the debt limit without drama or delay,” the official said.

      “He will also highlight that any plan must include balance and that is why he has put forward a detailed, comprehensive plan that specifies how he would raise revenue from the wealthiest, curb spending, and reform entitlements, and he will reiterate that he will not accept a deal that doesn’t include higher rates on the wealthiest individuals,” the official said.

      The White House and congressional Republicans are still at odds over unwinding the combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff.

    • Behind the Scenes: President Obama’s Twitter Q&A on #My2k

      Published on Dec 5, 2012 by whitehouse

      Go behind the scenes as President Obama answers your questions on twitter in a live chat from the Roosevelt room of the White House. What does $2,000 mean to you? Tell us using #My2k on twitter or visiting http://www.whitehouse.gov/My2k

    • Obama: GOP Budget Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough

      Published on Dec 4, 2012 by Bloomberg

      Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Julianna Goldman recaps Bloomberg’s exclusive interview with President Barack Obama. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    • The deep, real spending cuts we’ve already passed—and that no one talks about

      December 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm Posted by Suzy Khimm – washingtonpost

      The prospect of cutting Medicare benefits in a “fiscal cliff” deal has prompted an outcry from concerned liberals. But whether or not legislators actually end up raising the Medicare age or paring back Social Security payments, domestic benefits and services—ranging from veterans’ health care and low-income housing to Head Start programs—are going to get squeezed over the next 10 years.

      Last year’s debt-ceiling agreement included $1.5 trillion in cuts to discretionary programs through 10-year spending caps that are already in effect. According to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the domestic programs subject to the spending caps will face a $615 billion shortfall if they keep their benefits and services at 2012 levels. If such, they’ll be forced to scale back unless Congress decides otherwise—and right now, the Republicans want even less money spent on these domestic programs, not more.

      The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s Richard Kogan breaks down the impact of the new spending caps:

      We estimate that, with the funds available under the caps, the federal government will fall about $350 billion short over the next ten years of delivering the same level of benefits and services for NDD programs as it did in 2012. This is because: (1) the costs of a number of key programs, especially VA medical care, are projected to grow substantially, and (2) Congress relied on certain temporary savings measures to meet the 2012 caps that it cannot repeat in the future. Furthermore, it would take an additional $265 billion over the next ten years to account for general population growth, which affects NDD programs ranging from Head Start to home-delivered meals for the elderly. In total, it would require $615 billion above what the caps allow to maintain the same level of benefits and servicesper person as in 2012.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/09/the-deep-real-spending-cuts-weve-already-passed-and-that-no-one-talks-about/

    • Corporate ‘job creators’ reject GOP antics

      Dec 12, 2012 8:40 AM EST By Steve Benen – maddowblog

      The Business Roundtable is not known for its moderation or sympathy towards Democratic economic ideas. On the contrary, the organization represents the chief executives of many of the nation’s largest companies, and has a reputation in D.C. for being a reliable Republican ally, especially on issues related to taxes, spending, and fiscal responsibility.

      It’s what made yesterday’s developments that much more noteworthy.

      The Business Roundtable, a group of the nation’s top CEOs, Tuesday urged lawmakers to consider raising taxes to avert the fiscal cliff, a shift for business leaders who had previously said they wanted all tax cuts extended for one year.

      “We urge you to step forward and demonstrate that principled compromise is once again possible and that the American political system that underpinned the economic success of our nation and others can function as designed,” the group said in a letter to House and Senate leaders. A similar letter was also sent to the White House. The chief executives of Boeing Co., Dow Chemical Co., American Express Co. and other large businesses signed the letters. […]

      On Tuesday, Honeywell International Inc. Chief Executive David Cote explained the Roundtable’s change of heart: “We think that compromise and showing our ability to govern is more important than sticking to any particular ideological view.”

      Imagine that.

      The Honeywell CEO added, “We recognize that part of the solution has to be tax increases. That’s the only thing that allows a reasonable compromise to be reached.”

      The Business Roundtable’s new policy position comes two weeks after a series of business leaders and Wall Street executives also rejected Republican debt-ceiling efforts, arguing that another GOP-imposed crisis would be awful America’s private sector.

      Ordinarily, this would matter quite a bit to Republicans — after all, folks like those in the Business Roundtable are effectively the GOP base. But for now, the nation’s “job creators” are siding with President Obama, rejecting Republican antics, and leaving congressional GOP leaders in an awkward position.

      Continue reading this entry: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/12/12/15863211-corporate-job-creators-reject-gop-antics?lite

  3. President Obama to Host the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference

    Charlie Galbraith December 04, 2012 11:53 AM EST

    On December 5, 2012, President Obama will host representatives invited from each of the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes, and Alaska Native Villages, at the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Fulfilling a commitment to improve and expand dialog with Indian Country, the President has hosted a Tribal Nations Conference in each year of his Presidency to facilitate a lasting discussion between Tribal Leaders and Senior Administration Officials. The opening and closing sessions of the Conference will be available for live online viewing at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Live and also at http://www.DOI.gov/Live. The expected agenda is as follows:

    Opening Session, 9:00am – 10:30am EST
    Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
    Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education
    Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Department of the Treasury
    Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank, Department of Commerce
    Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services
    Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture

    Closing Session, 1:30pm – 3:30pm EST
    Leaders of Each Tribal Leaders Breakout Session
    Secretary Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation
    Secretary Hilda Solis, Department of Labor
    President Barack Obama

    The White House Tribal Nations Conference is the cornerstone of the Administration’s outreach and engagement with tribal governments and the dialogue and lessons learned will help shape federal policy in the weeks, months and years to come. We would like to sincerely thank all tribal leaders who will be taking part in the White House Tribal Nations Conference and we look forward to our continued collaboration and dialogue.

    • Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities

      Jodi Gillette December 05, 2012 10:53 AM EST

      Over the past four years, through tribal consultation and the White House Tribal Nations Conferences, President Obama and his Administration have worked to ensure that tribal leaders are directly involved in setting policy priorities. Today, President Obama is hosting the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior.

      This conference continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country, by providing invited leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. In conjunction with today’s event, the White House released a report, “Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities,” that examines the President’s agenda and how this Administration, by working together with tribes, has made a difference for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

      The report highlights:

      * How the Administration has partnered with tribal leaders and taken action to support infrastructure and workforce development to drive economic growth. These actions include expand­ing access to broadband under the Recovery Act; providing Federal loan guarantees; investing millions of dollars in businesses in Indian Country; building the capacity of Native Community Development Financial Institutions; and supporting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

      *How the Affordable Care Act, which permanently authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, is working to improve the quality of health care and making it more accessible and affordable for all Americans, including Native Americans.

      * How the Administration is working to improve education from cradle to career in tribal communities, including implementation of an Executive Order President Obama signed in December 2011 establishing the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education to help expand educational opportunities and improve outcomes for these communities.

      * How the Administration has worked to make tribal communities safer, through implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010.

      * How the Administration has taken steps in support of tribal self-determination, including President Obama signing into law the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act in July of this year.

      READ MORE http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/05/continuing-progress-tribal-communities

    • Tribal leader calls Obama ‘first American Indian president’

      12/05/12 04:51 PM ET By Justin Sink – TheHill

      President Obama received an unexpected honorific before his speech with Native American tribal leaders Wednesday afternoon, with Swinomish Nation Chairman Brian Cladoosby proclaiming him “the first American Indian president.”

      “Think about it for a second,” Cladoosby said. “The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it’s like to be poor and he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is ‘Hail to the Chief.’ I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president. ”

      The president was addressing more than 500 tribal leaders gathered in Washington for the Tribal Nations Conference. In addition to the president, eight Cabinet members, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, addressed the crowd.

      Obama received an enthusiastic welcome and spoke to the leaders about his administration’s efforts to aid Native American communities, including “expanding economic opportunities” and an anti-domestic violence effort. He also called on Congress to support Native American small businesses.

      “We’re going to keep working together to make sure that the promise of America is fully realized for every Native American,” Obama said.

      For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/271273-swinomish-nation-chairman-introduces-obama-as-first-american-indian-president

      • Swinomish Nation Chairman Brian Cladoosby also said that President Obama has done more in the last four years then any then any other president.

  4. GREAT topic, CR. GOP is determined to oppose PBO and the voters’ will, even at the risk of the full faith and credit of the United States.

  5. Poll finds majority would blame GOP if deficit negotiations fail

    12/04/12 09:10 AM ET By Jonathan Easley – TheHill

    A majority of Americans would blame congressional Republicans if Washington fails to reach a deal in deficit talks to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” according to a new poll.

    A Washington Post-Pew Research survey released Tuesday finds that 53 percent said they would blame Republicans, while 27 percent said President Obama would be at fault. Twelve percent said the blame should be divided equally between the two sides.

    The survey represents added pressure for GOP lawmakers as they seek to rally public support amid the contentious negotiations.

    If lawmakers and the president fail to agree on a deficit-reduction package, the nation will see the expiration of the lower Bush-era tax rates and massive automatic spending cuts go into effect in January.

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/270799-poll-republicans-to-blame-if-fiscal-cliff-negotiations-fail

  6. Senate passes $631B defense policy bill 98-0

    12/04/12 05:34 PM ET By Jeremy Herb and Ramsey Cox – TheHill

    The Senate on Tuesday passed a massive, wide-ranging $631 billion defense authorization bill that restores threatened Pentagon biofuels programs, issues new sanctions against Iran and changes U.S. detention policy for American citizens.

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the Senate unanimously 98-0 after the bill was debated for five days and hundreds of amendments were considered on the floor.

    The defense bill always enjoys broad bipartisan support, but the unanimous vote highlighted the lack of controversial issues this year that have made the bill sometimes divisive in past years.
    Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said that the bill, which can tackle everything from military social policy to funding wars, had passed unanimously for only the second time in 51 years.

    For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-appropriations/270973-senate-passes-key-defense-policy-bill-

  7. ADP Says U.S. Companies Added 118,000 Workers in November

    Dec 5, 2012 5:38 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

    Companies in the U.S. added fewer workers in November than a month earlier after superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast and temporarily shuttered some businesses.

    Companies in the U.S. added fewer workers in November than a month earlier after superstorm Sandy battered the East Coast and temporarily shuttered some businesses.

    The 118,000 increase in employment followed a revised 157,000 gain in October that was less than initially estimated, data from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed today. The median forecast of 38 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 125,000 rise in November. The report estimated that Sandy reduced payrolls by about 86,000.

    Hiring plans were put off by companies in the mid-Atlantic, a three-state region that employs about 14 percent of U.S. workers, as they recovered from Sandy. Firms are also awaiting a solution by lawmakers in Washington to avoid automatic tax increases and budget cuts that raise the risk of recession in 2013.

    “The manufacturing, retailing, leisure and hospitality, and temporary help industries were hit particularly hard by the storm,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc., said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP.

    Aside from Sandy, “the job market turned in a good performance during the month,” Zandi said. “This is especially impressive given the uncertainty created by the presidential election and the fast-approaching fiscal cliff.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-05/adp-says-u-s-companies-added-118-000-workers-in-november.html

  8. Productivity and Costs

    Released On 12/5/2012 8:30:00 AM For Q3r, 2012

    Productivity for the third quarter was revised up, consistent with the recent upward revision to third quarter GDP. Nonfarm business productivity rose an annualized 2.9 percent in the third quarter, compared to the initial estimate of a 1.9 percent gain and compared to a 1.9 percent gain in the second quarter. Market expectations were for a 2.8 percent boost.

    The increase in third quarter productivity reflected a 4.2 percent gain in nonfarm business output after a 2.1 percent increase in the second quarter. Hours increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, following 0.2 percent the prior quarter.

    Unit labor costs were revised down to an annualized 1.9 percent decrease, compared to the original estimate of down 0.1 percent, and following a 0.5 percent decline in the second quarter. Expectations were for a 0.9 percent decrease.

    Year-on-year, productivity was up 1.7 percent in the third quarter, up from 1.2 percent the quarter before. Year-ago unit labor costs were up 0.1 percent, compared to 0.4 in the second quarter. Hourly compensation was up 1.8 percent versus 1.6 percent in the second quarter.

    Once again, the latest productivity and costs numbers are favorable for profits. However, the data suggest that companies are reluctant to hire.

    For more: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=451400&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0#top

  9. Factory Orders

    Released On 12/5/2012 10:00:00 AM For Nov, 2012

    Factory orders proved stronger than expected in October, up 0.8 percent vs the Econoday consensus for a 0.1 percent decline. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, factory orders rose an even stronger 1.3 percent. The durable goods component was revised upward to a gain of 0.5 percent vs last week’s initial reading of flat. Nondurable goods, led by price changes for fuel, rose 1.1 percent.

    Indications on business investment are mixed with shipments soft, which is a negative for fourth-quarter GDP, but with new orders solid which is a plus for future shipments. Other data show only a fractional build for inventories which is another positive for future shipments.

    The manufacturing sector ended October in good shape though early indications on November have been no better than mixed. Still, the sector seems to be moving forward.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=451536&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2012&lid=0#top

  10. ISM Services Gauge in U.S. Unexpectedly Rose in November

    Dec 5, 2012 7:10 AM PT By Alex Kowalski – bloomberg

    Services industries in the U.S. unexpectedly expanded at a faster pace than forecast in November, indicating the economy is holding up in the face of the so-called fiscal cliff.

    The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October, the Tempe, Arizona- based group said today.

    Economists projected the index would ease to 53.5, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Readings above 50 signal expansion.

    Increased sales of autos, the start of the holiday shopping season, and a pickup in homebuilding are driving gains at companies that account for almost 90 percent of the economy. Growth at service producers is helping underpin the expansion as slower capital investment and weaker overseas demand hamper manufacturing.

    “The service sector is still advancing and doing better than the manufacturing sector,” Guy Berger, an economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. “Retailers got off to slow start in the beginning of the month, probably due to Sandy, but they picked up steam later on. Homebuilder confidence and consumer confidence hit another high in November.”

    Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 75 economists ranged from 51 to 54.7. The index has averaged 53.4 since the recession ended in June 2009.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-05/ism-services-gauge-in-u-s-rose-to-54-7-in-november-from-54-2.html

  11. Open Source and the Power of Community

    Peter Welsch December 05, 2012 09:56 AM EST

    Say a friend stops by and asks to borrow a screwdriver.

    You say sure. When she returns the screwdriver a couple days later, your friend mentions that she made an improvement: now it works with both Phillips and flat head screws. Another friend hears this and asks if he can take a look, too. When he returns the screwdriver, it’s been upgraded again: now it’s a power screwdriver. Then a third friend gets excited and adds some extra speeds and a better battery.

    This situation sounds improbable, but it’s how open source software development takes place.

    On open source projects, programmers build tools to solve specific problems, then make those tools freely available so others can use them and contribute their own improvements. The communities of programmers that grow up around successful open source projects often produce tools that are more secure, flexible, and cost-effective than those produced by a team working in isolation.

    The key is building a community.

    That’s why I’m pleased to announce that we’ve established an official White House presence on Drupal.org, an online community dedicated to maintaining and improving Drupal, the software that powers WhiteHouse.gov. We’ve released the source code for several Drupal modules in the past and we’re now working with members of the Drupal community who are helping us improve We the People, the White House petitions system. In the coming months, we hope to release a new, “white label” theme for We the People that will make it easier for others to re-use the code and set up their own petitions systems.

    READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/05/open-source-and-power-community

    • December 05, 2012

      Opening Remarks by the President to the Business Roundtable

      Business Roundtable
      Washington, D.C.

      10:57 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning, everybody. It is great to see all of you. Many of you I’ve had a chance to see individually or in small groups over the last several months, but it’s good to be back at the Business Roundtable. Jim, thanks for your leadership.

      Originally, my team had prepared some remarks. They always get nervous when I’m out there on my own — never know what I might say. Given the dialogue that we had the last time, I thought it was useful for me to abbreviate my remarks, speak off the cuff at the top, and then spend most of our time just having a conversation.

      Let me begin by saying that all of you in this room are not just business leaders, not just CEOs of your companies, but you’re also economic leaders and thought leaders in this country. And I recognize that all of you have an enormous investment not only in your own companies but in the well-being of America.

      There are a lot of patriots in this room, people who care deeply about not only your bottom lines but also the future of this country. You’ve shown that over the last four years. We’ve gone through as difficult an economic period as we’ve seen in most of our lifetimes, and we’ve emerged not yet where we need to be but we’ve certainly made progress. And the reason we’ve made progress in part has been because of the outstanding management and productivity gains and efficiencies and competitiveness that you’ve been able to achieve in each and every one of your companies.

      And I’ve said this to some of the small groups, let me repeat it to the large group — I am passionately rooting for your success, because if the companies in this room are doing well, then small businesses and medium-sized businesses up and down the chain are doing well. If companies in this room are doing well, then folks get jobs, consumers get confidence, and we’re going to be able to compete around the world.

      Now, the good news is that despite the extraordinary challenges that we’ve seen over the last four years, there is progress in some key sectors of our economy. We’ve seen housing finally begin to bounce back for the first time. And that obviously has an enormous ripple effect throughout the economy. Consumer confidence is as high as it’s been. Many of you, over the last two, three years, have experienced record profits or near record profits, and have a lot of money where you’re prepared to invest in plants and equipment and hire folks.

      Obviously, globally, the economy is still soft. Europe is going to be in the doldrums for quite some time. Asia is not charging forward, and some of the emerging markets are not charging forward as quickly as they were maybe a few years ago.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/05/opening-remarks-president-business-roundtable

  12. December 05, 2012

    Statement by Vice President Biden on the Passing of Jack Brooks

    I’m deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jack Brooks. He was a Texan through and through – tough, bold, and bigger than life. He lived by principles that were carved into his heart, and he was never afraid to fight for what he believed in. In the sixties, he was one of the few southerners to boldly support civil rights. And throughout his career, Jack was always determined to do right by the people who sent him to Congress, whether that meant investigating Iran Contra, or fighting to root out government waste. He was a great man, and one of the privileges of my Senate career was working side-by-side with Jack when I was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and he was Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jack’s family today.

  13. December 04, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    We are disappointed that the overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans today blocked the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which would enshrine American standards that have been developed through decades of bipartisan cooperation. Ratification would require no changes to U.S. law, as the United States already leads the world in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. However, it would position the United States to support extending across the globe the rights that Americans already enjoy at home. This in turn would improve the lives of Americans with disabilities — including our wounded service members — who wish to live, work, and travel abroad. It would also allow our businesses to operate on a more level playing field and reaffirm American leadership on disability rights. For these reasons, and others, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and across the country — as well as disability advocacy groups, wounded warriors, veterans groups and business groups — have supported this treaty. We commend former Senator Dole and the bipartisan coalition of Senators who worked to secure the treaty resolution’s passage, including Senators Reid, Kerry, Lugar and McCain. We hope the Senate will reconsider this treaty soon in the next Congress. As President Obama declared in a written statement read in tribute to Senator Dole just before the vote, “disability rights should not stop at our nation’s shores.”

    • December 05, 2012

      Remarks by The President at the Tribal Nations Conference

      U.S. Department of the Interior
      Washington, D.C.

      3:15 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. Everybody, please, please have a seat.

      Thank you, Brian, for that wonderful introduction. Thanks to all the members of Congress and members of my administration who are here. And I want to give a special shout-out to Senator Danny Akaka, who has been such a tireless advocate for Native Americans throughout his career. (Applause.) You know that Danny is going to be retiring this year, and he’s such a great friend. And as a Hawaiian boy, I’ve got to give him a little special props. (Laughter.) So I want to thank all the tribal leaders who took the time and the effort to come and take part in this conference.

      Every year I look forward to this event. It’s especially wonderful to see so many friends that I’ve gotten to know from various nations all across the country. You guys inspire me every single day, and whenever I’ve traveled to your home states there’s been such a warm welcome that I’ve received. So I’m truly grateful to all of you.

      Today, I want to begin by remembering somebody we lost last week. To the Crow Nation, he was a revered elder. To many Native Americans, he was a respected healer. And I knew him warmly, for a few years at least, as an adoptive father.

      Sonny Black Eagle adopted me into the Crow Nation during my 2008 campaign. And yesterday he would have been 79 years old. And while we can’t celebrate that milestone with him today, we can celebrate his remarkable life and all that happened along the way, because Sonny’s story is not just one man’s journey to keep his culture alive, but one country’s journey to keep perfecting itself.

      So Sonny Black Eagle was born in 1933 just outside of Lodge Grass, Montana. That’s where his grandparents raised him after his mother died of tuberculosis; where he tended to cattle as a child; and where as an adult, he raised a family of his own. And Sonny was brought up in the traditional Crow ways, with the same values that many of you share — a reverence for the Earth, to cherish the Earth and to cherish each other; to honor ancestors and preserve traditions.

      Staying true to those values wasn’t always easy. As a child, if Sonny spoke Crow in school, his teachers would strike his hand with a ruler. As a teenager, when he went to eat at local restaurants he was sometimes met with a sign on the door that said, “No Indians or dogs allowed.” In the 1950s, as Sonny and his wife Mary began a new life together, the government put in place a new policy of forced assimilation — a move that harkened back to the days when Native religions and languages were banned. The policy was called “termination” for a reason — it was meant to end tribal governments in America once and for all.

      So Sonny, like many of you, knew intolerance and knew injustice. He knew what it was like to be persecuted for who you are and what you believe. But as time went by, year by year, decade by decade, as Native Americans rallied together and marched together, as students descended on Alcatraz and activists held their ground at Frank’s Landing, as respect and appreciation for your unique heritage grew and a seminal struggle played itself out, Sonny lived to see something else. He saw a new beginning.

      He lived to see a government that turned the page on a troubled past and adopted a new policy towards Native Americans — a policy centered on self-determination and the right for tribal governments to do whatever you think is best to strengthen your communities.

      Over the past 40 years, that policy has had a major impact. It has empowered you to build up stronger institutions. It has enabled you to establish more effective law and order. It has laid the foundation for a true and lasting government-to-government relationship with the United States.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/05/remarks-president-tribal-nations-conference

  14. ********************

    Come on over to my newest post titled: “2012 National Christmas Tree Lighting ”


    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

Comments are closed.