During his Rose Garden speech [Monday], President Obama once again fueled the general misperception that people who pay the 15 percent tax rate on their capital gains and dividend income are paying a lower rate than salaried workers who pay at the individual rate (which ranges from 10 percent to 35 percent).
The reality is that capital gains and dividends are taxed at a lower rate at the individual level because this income has already been taxed at 35 percent at the corporate level before it was distributed to shareholders. Both Mr. Obama and his tax advisor Warren Buffett seem unaware that the U.S. has the 4th highest overall tax rate on dividend income among the largest industrialized countries in the OECD at 52.1 percent. Only Denmark (56.5 percent), France (57.8 percent) and the United Kingdom (54 percent) tax dividends at a higher rate.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments.
Three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, what was the fourth-largest investment bank in the US, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Japanese and Swiss central banks moved last week to avert a liquidity crisis in European banks struggling to deal with the failing Greek economy, leaving American investors with portfolios of Greek bonds worried. Do you think a Greek default is inevitable? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
This week, Republican presidential candidates are headed to Florida for a number of high-profile events, including CPAC, a straw poll, and perhaps most importantly, another debate, this time hosted by Fox News and Google at Florida CPAC.
The spotlight is again expected to be on Gov. Rick Perry, despite his pummeling by other candidates last week. Do you think he can recover from last week's criticism for his stances on immigration, health care, and Social Security, especially in a state with such large retirement communities? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Last night's debate brought a few blows to front runner Gov. Rick Perry, who kept his cool despite the attacks from every other candidate. While Perry's overall performance at last night's debate seemed to have improved over last week's debate, his stumbling on the issues of immigration and health care may have hurt him in the eyes of some Tea Party supporters. Do you think the attacks against Perry will hurt his campaign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Tonight at 8pm is the latest Republican presidential candidate debate. This event is sponsored by the Tea Party Express and will be broadcast live on CNN television and also online.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, who has been rather race-obsessed and protective of President Obama, will be the host. If you're watching the debate, feel free to join fellow NBers in a live chat about the debate right here on this post. Note: You will need an Adobe Flash-enabled browser to participate. After the debate is over, we'll leave the chat up for a few hours and then turn this into an open thread about the debate.
Ten years ago today, an event happened that impacted not just America, but also each one of us who lived through that moment.
As we recall that day as a nation, I wanted to provide a thread here on NB for all reading who so choose to share your experiences of that day. You can also use this post to comment on other public commemorations of the day or tributes to America and/or those who serve it.
In keeping with the solemnity of today, we here at NB will not be critiquing any of our usual targets today. Please keep your comments in the same spirit and refrain from negative remarks about anyone unaffiliated with al Qaeda.
While former Rep. Anthony Weiner's district is not always a Democratic stronghold, it does tend to vote more liberally. David Weprin, the Democratic New York State assemblyman running in the special election for Weiner's former seat is not the greatest candidate, either. A few weeks ago, he told a newspaper that he thought the national debt was around only $4 trillion. With a weak Democratic candidate, some are wondering if Republican Bob Turner can take the seat, and if he does, hold it in the November election as well.
So far, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already spent nearly $500,000 in TV ad spots in the district, which began airing yesterday and will continue through Monday. The Democratic House Majority PAC has also bought additional advertising time to support Weprin. If Turner still pulls a win, do you think he could also hold the seat in November if a stronger candidate ran against him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Following an extended vacation and a scheduling controversy, the formerly ballyhooed jobs speech from President Obama is scheduled for tonight at 7pm Eastern time. If you're watching, consider joining fellow NBers on this post for a live chat as it happens to comment on the speech itself and on the media's coverage of the speech.
No official Republican response speech is scheduled, however GOP presidential candidate and House member Michele Bachmann has announced that she will be doing a response of her own following the speech. It's not clear at present what television channels will be carrying her remarks. All the cable news channels are carrying the speech. You can also watch it live online.
While the Left has long held the upper hand in appearing to implement morally superior policies, according to Jim Lacey at National Review, their policies have had particularly negative impacts on poor parts of America and abroad. From often debilitating and expensive policies, including being forced to use alternative energy or banned from using genetically modified food, Lacey explains, "leftist policies continue to destroy the lives of tens of millions in this country and billions worldwide." He adds,
Soon after I published an article questioning the global-warming orthodoxy, the world’s foremost hypocrite, Al Gore, informed anyone who still listens to him that my position is akin to racism. The wise course of action would be to ignore the rants of a man who desperately needs the world to remain fearful of carbon, the element on which all life on earth is based. …
Who do you think holds the moral high ground? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
As the GOP presidential primary continues to heat up with another debate tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, it is worth considering Reagan's famous "11th Commandment" in the context of this campaign. With such a large and diverse field of candidates, though, it is proving to be difficult to stand out from the crowd in any other way. Do you think any of the candidates will be successful if they continue to fight among themselves? Or do you think infighting is the only way to make it to the top? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
While not all the candidates have specifically evoked Reagan in their political wars of words, most candidates have at least crossed into Reagan's 11th Amendment territory. From the Washington Times:
While the United States Postal Service has been facing financial concerns for some time, it has never been as close to the brink of bankruptcy as it is today, with a $5.5 billion payment due in September and a lack of resources to make the payment. Unless Congress intervenes, USPS could have to shut down operations this winter. As the postmaster general, Patrick R. Donahoe, remarked, "If Congress doesn't act, we will default." With less demand for the service than ever, though, could competition against private competitors actually be a good thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
It seems proponents of demand-side economics have learned nothing from the recent bursting of the real estate bubble as it is now rumored that the Obama White House is looking to push a massive refinancing scheme powered by the unregulated and unreformed Fannie and Freddie in yet another effort to use government cash to increase private spending:
House Republicans are introducing a bill today with hopes to force major changes on the United Nations. The bill would require the UN to allow member countries to fund the UN agencies of their choosing rather than according to a formula, end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit U.S. funding to be used only for purposes specifically outlined by Congress, and end contributions to peacekeeping programs until changes in management take place.
With the United States contributing 22% of the UN's operating budget, the GOP believes there is enough leverage to force these changes in the UN. Led by the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ilena Ros-Lehtinen, the changes are designed to end corruption and inefficiency in the global organization. How involved do you think the U.S. should be in the UN? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Fred Lucas of NewsBusters sister site CNSNews.com is reporting today that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney wants to see convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi extradited from Libya to the United States to face prosecution:
At just over two weeks out from the tenth anniversary of 9/11, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is receiving harsh criticism for his decision to exclude clergy members from the 9/11 memorial ceremony. A Bloomberg spokesperson explained that the focus will be on the victims and their family members, not on religious leaders. Others added that it would be impossible to include a leader from every single religious group.
Contrary to the media myth that none of the Republican presidential candidates can beat President Obama next fall, a new Gallup poll suggests that the top four GOP candidates would actually all have close races with Obama if the election were held today.
Mitt Romney polled 2% above Obama, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry was tied with Obama, at 47%, Ron Paul lagged polled 2% below Obama, 45% to 47%, and Michele Bachmann polled 4% below Obama, 44% to 48%. What do you think of the latest poll results? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Last night, following the rebel capture of one of Col. Muammar Gadhafi's sons, the one-time heir apparent, and the surrender of another of his sons, massive celebrations erupted in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Rumors also swirled on the fate of Gadhafi, some saying he had been shot, captured, or escaped to Algeria.
As a rebel spokesman told the Washington Times of the uprising in Tripoli, "Gadhafi's troops just melted away. They left their uniforms in the streets and slipped into civilian gear...We were very surprised by the little resistance. It remains to be seen if Gadhafi has anything up his sleeve, but I think it is over." What do you think is the fate of Gadhafi? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The presidential race is heating up, but the 2012 Senate races could turn out to be just as important, with Democrats currently holding only a small majority of Senate seats. The Senate is currently composed of 51 Democrats (plus two Independents who caucus with Democrats) and 47 Republicans.
After he gets back from yet another vacation, President Obama is going to renew his call for taxes on "millionaires and billionaires," i.e. individuals making more than $200,000 annually and couples making more than $250,000. Besides the obvious fact that people with that type of income are not millionaires and billionaires, there's another inconvenient fact for those looking to "soak the rich:"
Tea Party activist Ryan Rhodes and President Obama got into a heated debate following an Iowa town hall yesterday after Rhodes asked Obama whether or not Vice President Joe Biden had called the Tea Party "terrorists" during debt ceiling negotiations.
Obama denied the remarks, but as Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry reported, further explained, "As someone who’s been called a socialist, not born here, taking away freedoms for providing health care, I’m all for lowering the rhetoric." Check out the video of the exchange after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
On Sunday, for the first time in his presidency, President Obama's approval rating fell to 39% in the latest Gallup poll. In comparison, former President George W. Bush's approval rating didn't fall to 39% until his second term in office in fall 2005. Do you think Obama's approval could fall even lower in the coming months? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Rep. Michele Bachmann has won the first official electoral contest of the 2012 presidential campaign:
Michele Bachmann narrowly won the Iowa straw poll of Republicans on Saturday in the first big test of the 2012 presidential campaign, as Texas Governor Rick Perry formally launched a White House bid that could reshape the race.
Bachmann, a representative from Minnesota, edged out Ron Paul, another representative, and rolled over the rest of the Republican field to capture the nonbinding Iowa mock election, a traditional early gauge of organizational strength in the state that holds the first 2012 nominating contest.
Bachmann won 4,823 votes to Paul's 4,671. Tim Pawlenty, who had focused on a strong showing in the straw poll to rescue his struggling campaign, finished a distant third with 2,293 votes in a bruising setback.
What will it mean for her chances now? And how much will the media step up their attacks on her?
Update: NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell has given his observations in a separate blog post accessible here.
Last night was the third Republican debate of the year, comprised of eight of the declared GOP candidates. All responded to hard-hitting questions from the Fox News and Washington Examiner moderators, debating foreign policy, the economy, and candidates' political records.