Wouldn’t it be nice if politicians would just stop lying and begin telling the truth? Over the past few weeks, all that you have heard out of Obama’s mouth is how the republicans in the house are holding up his jobs bill. That is nothing but a bold-faced lie by the president, and he knows it. Even though the chances of his bill ever passing is slim to none, he needs to stop lying to the citizens by trying to blame its non-passage on one party.

We all know what happened the last time he spent over twice as much money on a so-called stimulus bill. Unemployment rose instead of going down, and after further inspection of the stimulus bill, it was rather obvious that the bill was nothing more than a payback to his large donor unions.

Just look at what democrat Senate majority leader Harry Reid had to say about the current spending bill Obama has been saying to pass immediately.

President Obama still is pressing Congress to pass his jobs stimulus bill immediately, but his own party leaders in the Senate, where Democrats have a majority, have pushed that vote off yet again.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said Monday night that when the Senate returns from a weeklong vacation, the chamber will work instead on a bill that would push to label China a currency manipulator, which would make retaliatory steps in order.

“I don’t think there’s anything more important for a jobs measure than China trade,” Mr. Reid said.

Late Monday, before he closed down the Senate, Mr. Reid locked in an early test vote for when senators return next week.

Mr. Obama two weeks ago sent Congress legislation he said would create jobs by extending and expanding temporary tax cuts and boosting infrastructure spending, which he offset by increasing taxes over the long term.

The president has been traveling the country demanding that Congress act immediately, but even his own party has not been keen to rush the legislation.

Mr. Reid is the Senate sponsor of the measure, but he said there are other priorities.

“We’ll get to that, but let’s get some of these things done that we have to get done first,” he said.

On the House side, GOP leaders, who control that chamber, have said they are waiting for an evaluation of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office and will then send the legislation through the committee process.

Republicans have said there are some ideas in Mr. Obama’s plan that they can accept, though they and some Democrats have rejected the tax increases Mr. Obama has called for — particularly the $400 billion he would raise over 10 years by limiting deductions for high-income taxpayers.

The China currency legislation, meanwhile, is sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators, and Mr. Reid said he’s confident it can pass the upper chamber.

“China trade is a jobs bill. It’s long, long overdue,” he said.

The legislation would push the Treasury Department to declare that China manipulates its currency in order to seek an edge in international trade.

~Boo

 


The rich pay lower tax rates than we do. Bush’s tax cuts were only for the rich. Both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts were sops to the rich. Schmucks like you and me pay all the taxes so the rich can ride free.

You hear these lies every day. Review the graph and information below for the truth from the Congressional Budget Office.

Avg Tax Rates by Income

The taxes included in this chart are for all federal taxes, not just income taxes. Each quintile is one fifth of taxpayers, based on income. The top quintile is the one with the highest incomes.

From just this one graph, several observations can be drawn.

* The most obvious observation is that the higher your income, the greater your federal tax rate is. Taxpayers in the top quintile paid about 25% of their income in federal taxes, while those in the bottom quintile paid about 5% in 2007.

* The rate for the top quintile has been very steady for the last thirty years: about 25%. In fact, the rate since the Bush cuts went into full effect (2003-07) was about the same as twenty years before (1983-87).

* The same cannot be said for the lower quintiles; they have trended downward, especially since the Bush cuts in 2003. For the lowest quintile in particular, the rate has drifted downward since 1984, from about 10% of income to about 4%. That is a cut in the tax rate of about 60% for the lowest quintile, versus no cut in rate for the top quintile.

* Changes in these rates cannot be explained by changes in income. The rate is taxes paid divided by income. If your taxes went up only because your income went up, then your rate would not change.

* Reagan’s tax cuts became fully effective in 1983. But look at the trend in average tax rate for the highest quintile of earners after that. It went up. That upward trend on the richest Americans went up for seventeen years after Reagan’s tax cuts.

* The same cannot be said for the lower quintiles. Tax rates for the lower 80% of taxpayers remained virtually flat, or trended downward, from 1983 to 2000.

* A cut on the capital gains tax rate became effective in 1997. Do you see any kind of accompanying dip in the average tax rate for the highest quintile in that year or shortly after? Nope. The rate is pretty flat from 1993 to 2000.

* The Bush tax cuts did cut tax rates — for all income groups. The cut was about 2%-3% of income for all quintiles. But since the lower income groups were paying lower rates in the first place, the constant cut across income groups meant that tax rates were cut proportionally more for lower income groups. For example: the top quintile was cut from about 27% to about 24%, which is a cut in the rate of 11%. But the bottom quintile was cut from about 7% to about 4%, a cut in the rate of over 40%.

Some lying liars have tried to obfuscate things, sometimes by including multiple taxes (e.g., personal income and payroll) and at other times by complaining that not all taxes are included. The above graph from the CBO includes all federal taxes. However, if you were to look at personal income taxes only, the observations above would be even more obvious. Since about 2002, the average federal income tax on the bottom 40% of “taxpayers” has been negative: they collect more in credits than they pay in taxes.

There is one minor flaw in the above CBO graph: that top quintile includes a lot of taxpayers. In fact, in 2009, those making over $75,000 constituted the top 20.6% of taxpayers, or approximately the top quintile. So that top quintile includes some of the middle class plus the rich and “mega-rich” (a Warren Buffett term).

So let’s look at that top quintile, shall we? The table below shows 2009 average federal income taxes as a percent of income (adjusted gross income less deficit) for the various income groups. The groups with incomes over $75,000 constitute the top quintile, approximately. (Data for the year 2009 is the latest available.)

Average Federal Income Taxes Paid, as Percent of Income
Income Average Tax Rate
Under $75K 6.60%
$75K – $100K 8.50%
$100K – $200K 11.90%
$200K – $500K 19.60%
$500K – $1M 24.40%
$1M – $1.5M 25.30%
$1.5M – $2M 25.60%
$2M – $5M 25.80%
$5M – $10M 25.40%
$10M or more 22.60%

The obvious observation from this data is that the rich pay higher taxes than the poor or middle-class. The rates are strictly progressive up to incomes of $5 M: each income group, up to $5M, paid a higher percentage of income in taxes than the next lower group.

It is true that the very highest income group, those making over $10M per year (the “mega-rich”), paid a lower rate than those making merely a few million. But that group still paid a higher percentage than all groups making less than half a million dollars. The average billionaire would pay a higher tax rate than his secretary unless he paid his secretary a couple million dollars per year.

Does it not strike you as odd that this “anomaly” in progressivity is used to justify increasing taxes on everyone making more than $200K per year? If the top 8,274 taxpayers are the ones who bother you, why are you raising taxes on the top three million taxpayers, a good several hundred thousand of whom already pay a higher rate than those 8,274?

There is a simple reason the “mega-rich” pay a slightly lower average rate on personal income taxes than the merely “rich.” That reason is not some dark secret known only to tax loophole experts. It is that most of their income is from capital gains, which is taxed at a lower rate than “normal” income.

And there is a simple reason for that: capital gains have already been taxed in the form of corporate income taxes. Warren Buffett likes to include payroll taxes in his little anecdotal calculations, but he neglects to include corporate income tax, inheritance taxes, and other forms of taxes that are paid disproportionately by the mega-rich.

And by the way, total federal revenue in 2007, well after the Bush tax rates were in effect, was 18.5% of Gross Domestic Product. The 1960-2000 average was 18.2% of GDP. All that tax rate-cutting, and still the actual revenues collected were above the historical average.

~Boo

 


Peter Schiff, a businessman ceo over Euro Pacific Capital, tells his story about how he was fined 15 thousand dollars for hiring too many people. As a result of the Obama regulations, he is having to farm out jobs overseas. If you are still even considering voting this incompetent back into office as president, you need your head examined.

~Boo

 


With his surprising landslide straw poll win in Florida, it is time everyone got to know a little bit more about Herman Cain. Unlike all the other candidates running for president in both parties, he has never been a politician. He has worked in the private sector nearly his entire life, and unlike Obama, he has actually created numerous jobs.

HERMAN CAIN BIOGRAPHY
Herman Cain grew up in Atlanta, Georgia with loving parents and little else. His father worked three jobs—as a janitor, a barber and a chauffeur—and his mother was a domestic worker. Even though these jobs required hard work and little glamour, his parents knew this life was better than the dirt farms upon which they grew up. They also knew that this hard work was the key to achieving their American Dreams.

Herman’s parents had two dreams. First, they wanted to own their own house. Secondly, they wanted both of their children to graduate from college. During the segregation era in the Deep South, these aspirations might have seemed lofty, but they knew that if they kept their faith in God, faith in themselves and faith in the greatest country on the Earth, they could achieve.

The first dream was realized in a modest brick house on Albert Street in Atlanta, Georgia. After years of saving from his many jobs, Herman’s father surprised the whole family, even his wife, by purchasing a home for their family. The second dream was realized when Herman graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in mathematics in 1967. His brother, Thurman, would go on to graduate from Morris Brown College.

Inspired by the work ethic and character of his parents, Herman continued his education by earning his Master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University while working full-time developing fire control systems for ships and fighter planes for the Department of the Navy. Though Herman enjoyed using his talents as a civilian employee for the Navy, he gravitated towards the culture of business.

Herman returned to his home of Atlanta to begin working as a computer systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Company. After considerable success at Coca-Cola, he moved to the Pillsbury Company. Within a short period of time, Herman rose to position of Vice President. Although the comforts of a corner office on the 31st floor of a majestic corporate building seemed satisfying, Herman knew that he needed a challenge.

He became the regional vice president of Pillsbury’s Burger King division. This meant starting from the “ground up,” dodging grease fires and broiling hamburgers. Herman was assigned to lead a low performing region of 450 of their restaurants. Within three years, it became the best performing region in the company.

Energized by overcoming the many obstacles of his job at Burger King, Herman took on the biggest challenge of his career. He accepted the call to become the President and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, a company that was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. In just 14 months, Herman returned Godfather’s to profitability and he led his management team to a buyout of the company.

His professional successes garnered the respect and admiration of industry peers who named him the President of the National Restaurant Association. Under Herman’s administration, the group grew significantly and began to lobby for the interests of America’s restaurateurs and small business owners.

In 1994, as head of the National Restaurant Association, he had the opportunity to speak with President Clinton during a nationally televised town hall meeting. Here, Herman challenged the President regarding the impact on businesses if his health care overhaul proposal were passed. President Clinton attempted to assure him and the millions of viewers watching at home that his legislation would not harm American business owners and their employees.

Herman was skeptical. “Quite honestly Mr. President, your calculations are incorrect,” he said. “In the competitive marketplace, it simply doesn’t work that way.” His words echoed across America, and Newsweek named Herman Cain the primary saboteur of Hillarycare.

Through these and other appearances on behalf of the National Restaurant Association, Herman began working with business leaders across all sectors of the American economy. This led to his acceptance of a position on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and he was subsequently elected their chairman. In this role, he analyzed economic conditions in the region and notified the Federal Reserve of how their policies should respond.

Most recently, he hosted a radio talk show, “The Herman Cain Show,” on Atlanta’s WSB 750 AM/ 95.5 FM. He serves as a regular contributor on several broadcast networks and as a keynote speaker at conferences and events around the nation.

Despite the many professional commitments of his life, Herman continues to enjoy most the time spent with family and friends. As his children got married and had their own children, he knew that he had an extraordinary obligation to do what he could to make this a safe and prosperous nation for them. The paramount joys in his life are his wife, Gloria, his children and his grandchildren.

 


President Barack Obama will raise money in early October with a Missouri businessman whose company benefited from a $107 million federal tax credit to develop a wind power facility in his state.

Tom Carnahan, a scion of Missouri’s most prominent Democratic political family, is listed on Obama’s campaign website as a host of a $25,000-per-person fundraiser to be held in St. Louis on October 4.

Continue Reading
His energy development firm, Wind Capital Group, was helped by a sizable credit authorized in the stimulus, for an energy project in northwest Missouri.

Republicans argue that it’s inappropriate for the Obama campaign to raise money from a donor who has benefited directly from the Recovery Act.

Missouri Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith compared the situation to the Solyndra affair, in which the Obama administration reportedly rushed federal support to a green-energy firm that subsequently collapsed.

“At a time when Barack Obama is under fire for steering hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funds to a failed company linked to a major campaign donor, it is stunning that he would come to Missouri and raise money with another recipient of stimulus cash,” Smith said in a statement to POLITICO. “Sadly, Missourians have come to expect this kind of pay-to-play from the Obama administration. November 2012 can’t come soon enough.”

The Obama campaign did not respond to a request for comment. There’s no evidence that Carnahan’s company received federal help because of political favoritism, and given the size of the stimulus, there are more than a few business executives who can be tied to the Recovery Act.

But Republicans have successfully wielded the Missouri wind power project as a political weapon before.

In 2010, Republicans attacked Tom Carnahan’s siblings, Rep. Russ Carnahan and Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, for the government help their brother’s firm received.

UPDATE: Tony Wyche, a consultant for Wind Capital Group, sends over an editorial memo the company circulated during the 2010 campaign, pushing back on the GOP’s attacks on Tom Carnahan and his siblings. The memo notes that the credits Wind Capital Group benefited from are not administered by a political agency.

“The Recovery Act authorized the creation of the 1603 program to jumpstart development of renewable energy projects in America, but its administration rests solely in the hands of the Department of Treasury,” the memo says. “No Member of Congress has any say in which projects receive funding. Any project that meets a pre?determined set of criteria qualifies for the 1603 program.”

~Boo

 


By Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell articles here

Ninety years ago — in 1921 — federal income tax policies reached an absurdity that many people today seem to want to repeat. Those who believe in high taxes on “the rich” got their way. The tax rate on people in the top income bracket was 73 percent in 1921. On the other hand, the rich also got their way: They didn’t actually pay those taxes.

The number of people with taxable incomes of $300,000 a year and up — equivalent to far more than a million dollars in today’s money — declined from more than a thousand people in 1916 to less than three hundred in 1921. Were the rich all going broke?

It might look that way. More than four-fifths of the total taxable income earned by people making $300,000 a year and up vanished into thin air. So did the tax revenues that the government hoped to collect with high tax rates on the top incomes.

What happened was no mystery to Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. He pointed out that vast amounts of money that might have been invested in the economy were instead being invested in tax-exempt securities, such as municipal bonds.

Secretary Mellon estimated that the amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities had nearly tripled in a decade. The amount of this money that the tax collector couldn’t touch was larger than the federal government’s annual budget and nearly half as large as the national debt. Big bucks went into hiding.

Mellon pointed out the absurdity of this situation: “It is incredible that a system of taxation which permits a man with an income of $1,000,000 a year to pay not one cent to the support of his Government should remain unaltered.”

One of Mellon’s first acts as Secretary of the Treasury was to ask Congress to end tax exemptions for municipal bonds and other securities. But Congress was not about to set off a political firestorm by doing that.

Mellon’s Plan B was to cut the top income tax rate, in order to lure money out of tax-exempt securities and back into the economy, where increased economic activity would generate more tax revenue for the government. Congress also resisted this, using arguments that are virtually unchanged to this day, that these would just be “tax cuts for the rich.”

What makes all this history so relevant today is that the same economic assumptions and political arguments which produced the absurdities of 1921 are still going strong in 2011.

If anything, “the rich” have far more options for putting their money beyond the reach of the tax collectors today than they had back in 1921. In addition to being able to put their money into tax-exempt securities, the rich today can easily send millions — or billions — of dollars to foreign countries, with the ease of electronic transfers in a globalized economy.

In other words, the genuinely rich are likely to be the least harmed by high tax rates in the top brackets. People who are looking for jobs are likely to be the most harmed, because they cannot equally easily transfer themselves overseas to take the jobs that are being created there by American investments that are fleeing from high tax rates at home.

Small businesses — hardware stores, gas stations or restaurants for example — are likewise unable to transfer themselves overseas. So they are far more likely to be unable to escape the higher tax rates that are supposedly being imposed on “millionaires and billionaires,” as President Obama puts it. Moreover, small businesses are what create most of the new jobs.

Why then are so many politicians, journalists and others so gung-ho to raise tax rates in the upper brackets?

Aside from sheer ignorance of history and economics, class warfare politics pays off in votes for politicians who can depict their opponents as defenders of the rich and themselves as looking out for working people. It is a great political game that has paid off repeatedly in state, local and federal elections.

As for the 1920s, Mellon eventually got his way, getting Congress to bring the top tax rate down from 73 percent to 24 percent. Vast sums of money that had seemingly vanished into thin air suddenly reappeared in the economy, creating far more jobs and far more tax revenue for the government.

Sometimes sanity eventually prevails. But not always.

~Boo

 


By Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell articles here

Some people are hoping that President Obama’s plan will get the economy out of the doldrums and start providing jobs for the unemployed. Others are hoping that the Republicans’ plan will do the trick.
Those who are truly optimistic hope that Democrats and Republicans will both put aside their partisanship and do what is best for the country.

Almost nobody seems to be hoping that the government will leave the economy alone to recover on its own. Indeed, almost nobody seems at all interested in looking at the hard facts about what happens when the government leaves the economy alone, compared to what happens when politicians intervene.

The grand myth that has been taught to whole generations is that the government is “forced” to intervene in the economy when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s.

What most people are unaware of is that there was no Great Depression until AFTER politicians started intervening in the economy.

There was a stock market crash in October 1929 and unemployment shot up to 9 percent — for one month. Then unemployment started drifting back down until it was 6.3 percent in June 1930, when the first major federal intervention took place.

That was the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill, which more than a thousand economists across the country pleaded with Congress and President Hoover not to enact. But then, as now, politicians decided that they had to “do something.”

Within 6 months, unemployment hit double digits. Then, as now, when “doing something” made things worse, many felt that the answer was to do something more.

Both President Hoover and President Roosevelt did more — and more, and more. Unemployment remained in double digits for the entire remainder of the decade. Indeed, unemployment topped 20 percent and remained there for 35 months, stretching from the Hoover administration into the Roosevelt administration.

That is how the government was “forced” to intervene during the Great Depression. Intervention in the economy is like eating potato chips: You can’t stop with just one.

What about the track record of doing nothing? For more than the first century and a half of this nation, that was essentially what the federal government did — nothing. None of the downturns in all that time ever lasted as long as the Great Depression.

An economic downturn in 1920-21 sent unemployment up to 12 percent. President Warren Harding did nothing, except for cutting government spending. The economy quickly rebounded on its own.

In 1987, when the stock market declined more in one day than it had in any day in 1929, Ronald Reagan did nothing. There were outcries and outrage in the media. But Reagan still did nothing.

That downturn not only rebounded, it was followed by 20 years of economic growth, marked by low inflation and low unemployment.

The Obama administration’s policies are very much like the policies of the Roosevelt administration during the 1930s. FDR not only smothered business with an unending stream of new regulations, he spent unprecedented sums of money, running up record deficits, despite raising taxes on high income earners to levels that confiscated well over half their earnings.

Like Obama today, FDR blamed the country’s economic problems on his predecessor, making Hoover a pariah. Yet, 6 years after Hoover was gone, and nearly a decade after the stock market crash, unemployment hit 20 percent again in the spring of 1939.

Doing nothing may have a better track record in the economy but government intervention has a better political record in getting presidents re-elected.

People who say that Barack Obama cannot be re-elected with unemployment at its current level should take note that Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected a record four times, despite two consecutive terms in which unemployment was never as low as it is today.

Economic reality is one thing. But political impressions are something very different — and all too often it is the political impressions which determine the fate of an administration and the fate of a nation.

~Boo

 

By Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell articles here

Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?

Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy?

Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president proposing? More spending! Only the words have changed — from “stimulus” to “jobs” and from “shovel-ready projects” to “jobs for construction workers.”

If government spending were the answer, we would by now have a booming economy with plenty of jobs, after all the record trillions of dollars that have been poured down a bottomless pit. Are we to keep on doing the same things, just because those things have been repackaged in different words?

Or just because Obama now assures us that “everything in this bill will be paid for”? This is the same man who told us that he could provide health insurance to millions more people without increasing the cost.

When it comes to specific proposals, President Obama repeats the same kinds of things that have marked his past policies — more government spending for the benefit of his political allies, the construction unions and the teachers’ unions, and “thousands of transportation projects.”

The fundamental fallacy in all of this is the notion that politicians can “grow the economy” by taking money out of the private sector and spending it wherever it is politically expedient to spend it — so long as they call spending “investment.”

Has Obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override? But he can talk glibly about growing the economy.

Arrogance is no substitute for experience. That is why the country is in the mess it is in now.

Obama says he wants “federal housing agencies” to “help more people refinance their mortgages.” What does that amount to in practice, except having the taxpayers be forced to bail out people who bought homes they could not afford?

No doubt that is good politics, but it is lousy economics. When people pay the price of their own mistakes, that is when there is the greatest pressure to correct those mistakes. But when taxpayers who had nothing to do with those mistakes are forced to pay the costs, that is when those and other mistakes can continue to flourish — and to mess up the economy.

Whatever his deficiencies in economics, Barack Obama is a master of politics — including the great political game of “Heads I win and tails you lose.”

Any policy that shows any sign of achieving its goals will of course be trumpeted across the land as a success. But, in the far more frequent cases where the policy fails or turns out to be counterproductive, the political response is: “Things would have been even worse without this policy.”

It’s heads I win and tails you lose.

Thus, when unemployment went up after the massive spending that was supposed to bring it down, we were told that unemployment would have been far worse if it had not been for that spending.

Are we really supposed to fall for ploys like this? The answer is clearly “yes,” as far as Obama and his allies in the media are concerned.

Our intelligence was insulted even further in President Obama’s speech to Congress, when he set up this straw man as what his critics believe — that “the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everybody’s money, and let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own.”

Have you heard anybody in any part of the political spectrum advocate that? If not, then why was the President of the United States saying such things, unless he thought we were fools enough to buy it — and that the media would never call him on it?

~Boo

 


In a move that was as swift as it was stunning, the Atlantic Coast Conference introduced Syracuse and Pittsburgh as conference members Sunday morning. Citing the desire for more long-term financial stability, the two universities departed the Big East to make the A.C.C. the country’s first major conference with 14 football teams.

Before they join the A.C.C., Syracuse and Pittsburgh are contractually obligated to wait more than two years and pay a $5 million exit fee. But they could negotiate an earlier exit.

Perhaps more important for the delicate conference landscape in college sports, the move could be a harbinger of more moves around the country. Texas A&M is awaiting legal clearance to join the Southeastern Conference, and Oklahoma and Texas’ boards of regents are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss a move to the Pacific-12. There has been enough chaos that it could raise the interest of Congress this week.

“In all my years of collegiate administration, I’ve never seen this level of uncertainty and potential fluidity among schools and conferences,” said A.C.C. Commissioner John Swofford, who said more than 10 colleges inquired about joining his conference. “Schools are looking for stability. When that stability doesn’t exist, as long as that’s going on, I think that the conferences that appear to be stable moving forward are going to receive inquiries from schools that desire that kind of stability.”

The move leaves the Big East scrambling — much as in 2003, when Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami decided to leave for the A.C.C. As the league attempts to regroup again, probably by collaborating with universities from the Big 12, league officials say they are not pleased that Swofford has discussed holding the A.C.C. basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Big East has played there since 1983 and has a contract with the Garden through 2016. A Garden spokesman did not comment on the possibility of the A.C.C. tournament’s being played there.

The Big East is expected to retain its automatic bid to a Bowl Championship Series game through the 2013 season.

This move by Pittsburgh and Syracuse, like others around the conference landscape, was driven by the money that comes from televising football games. The administrators at the A.C.C., Pittsburgh and Syracuse issued statements discussing academics, geographic footprints and peer institutions, but the decision came down to more money in a more stable environment. (The A.C.C. presidents also agreed to increase the league’s exit fee to approximately $20 million.)

Big East officials will open negotiations for television rights in September 2012, and they had been optimistic that new deals would be richer than the A.C.C.’s, which is worth $155 million annually. That possibility is now remote. Swofford said that the addition of the two universities would allow the A.C.C. to renegotiate its contract with ESPN.

“We’re confident that it will have a positive impact,” Swofford said of the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Swofford said he was comfortable with the size of the league but not averse to change. Two universities that are interested in joining the A.C.C. are Connecticut and Rutgers, with UConn making much more of an effort to be invited. Swofford declined to answer a question specifically about Rutgers, but did say that further expansion was an option.

“We are not philosophically opposed to 16,” Swofford said.

The A.C.C. has spoken with Texas, one of the biggest prizes remaining in the conference landscape, but Swofford’s comments hinted that the conference’s philosophies would not mesh with Texas and its Longhorn Network. He declined to comment specifically on Texas, but did say that it could not get more money than its peers in the A.C.C., as it does in the Big 12.

“Equal revenue-sharing is sacred,” Swofford said. “That’s been a very important, fundamental part of this league since the early 1980s. I do not see that changing.”

Swofford said the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh came after assessing the shifting college-sports landscape, not specifically the threat of a current A.C.C. university leaving for the SEC.

~Boo

 


Drawing a bright line with congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama is proposing $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue as part of his long-term deficit reduction plan, according to senior administration officials.
The president on Monday will announce a proposal that includes the new taxes, nearly $250 billion in reductions in Medicare spending, $330 billion in cuts in other mandatory benefit programs, and savings of $1 trillion from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The plan includes no changes in Social Security and does not include an increase in the Medicare eligibility age, which the president had considered this summer.

The president will also reportedly threaten a veto of any bills that don’t raise taxes for the wealthy and corporations, The Hill newspaper reports.

All in all, the president’s plan is as much an opening bid as it is a political statement designed to draw contrasts with Republicans, who control the House of Representatives.

The new taxes in particular have little or no chance of passing Congress as proposed. Republicans were already lining up against the president’s tax proposal before they even knew the magnitude of what he intended to recommend.

The $1.5 trillion in tax revenue would include about $800 billion realized over 10 years from repealing the Bush-era tax rates for couples making more than $250,000. It also would place limits on deductions for wealthy filers and end certain corporate loopholes and subsidies for oil and gas companies.

In addition to that, Obama has proposed a so-called “Buffet Rule,” raising taxes on America’s wealthiest citizens, which some pundits have called a populist move. However, what some are calling a populist move, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan derided as “class warfare.”

“Class warfare might make for good politics, but it makes for bad economics,” the Wisconsin Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.”

By adding the tax revenue, about $580 billion in proposed mandatory spending cuts, the savings from troop withdrawals and $1 trillion in spending cuts already in place, the combined deficit reduction would total about $4 trillion over 120 years. The administration also identified $430 billion in savings from lower interest payment on the debt.

Obama backed away from proposing sweeping changes to Medicare, following the advice of fellow Democrats that it would only give political cover to a privatization plan supported by House Republicans that turned to be unpopular with older Americans.

Administration officials said 90 percent of the $248 billion in 10-year Medicare cuts would be squeezed from service providers. The plan does shift some additional costs to beneficiaries, but those changes would not start until 2017, and administration officials made clear as well that Obama would veto any Medicare cuts that aren’t paired with tax increases on upper-income people.

The president’s plan also called for cuts of $72 billion over ten years from Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income people and the severely disabled. States, hospitals and advocates for the poor are expected to resist those.

~Boo

 




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