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Obama’s plan: Tax the rich, protect Medicare

President Barack Obama Monday launched an ambitious deficit reduction plan with $1.5 trillion in new taxes aimed at closing loopholes used by the rich and one that he says will cut the national debt by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years. “It comes down to this: We have to prioritize,” the President said.  “Both parties agree that we need to reduce the deficit by the same amount — by $4 trillion.  So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal?  Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or
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Republicans to Obama: That deficit dog won’t hunt

No one expected Congressional Republicans to embrace President Barack Obama‘s massive deficit reduction plan after he unveiled it Monday in a Rose Garden address. Everyone was right on that guess. “Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters.  “A my-way-or-the-highway approach is not the way to work with Congress.” Over in the Senate, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell grumbled that “veto threats, a massive tax hike, phantom savings, and punting on entitlement reform is not a recipe for economic or job growth or even meaningful deficit reduction.” Both McConnell and Boehner told Capitol
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Democrat Congressional committee beats GOP in fundraising

Republicans may claim to have the edge with voters for the 2012 race to control Congress but those numbers don’t add up in the fundraising coffers. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised more money in this off-year than the Republican campaign committee and the party of the elephant just finished their worst off-year August since 2007 — the year the party lost control of Congress. Thus far in 2011, the DCCC has raised $41.26 million in campaign cash — edging out the National Republican Congressional Committee‘s $40.38 million. In August, the NRCC raised $3 million — compared to $3.56
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Obama wants $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue

President Barack Obama‘s proposal to reduce long-term deficits with $1.5 trillion in new taxes is less an opening bid in a negotiation than it is an opening salvo in a struggle to draw sharp contrasts with congressional Republicans. Obama’s proposal is aimed predominantly at the wealthy and comes just days after House Speaker John Boehner ruled out tax increases to lower deficits. It also comes amid a clamor in his own Democratic Party for Obama to take a tougher stance against Republicans. And while the plan stands little chance of passing Congress, its populist pitch is one that the White
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Obama, Republicans carry tax, budget fight into 2012 elections

President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress are digging in to fight the 2012 U.S. election campaign over the budget and taxes, leaving a congressional “super committee” in political no man’s land. On one side is Obama vowing to defend social programs and proposing new taxes on the rich; on the other side are the Republicans opposing any new taxes and demanding deep social program cuts. What’s a super committee to do? Probably the bare minimum required then call it a day, leaving U.S. voters to make the tough decisions about fiscal policy at the polls in November 2012, analysts
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GOP won’t touch Medicare drug plan

Republicans want to pull the plug on the health care overhaul they call “Obamacare,” blaming it in part for the United States’ ballooning budget deficit. But they’re quiet when it comes to the Medicare drug benefit — another massive health care entitlement, with unfunded future costs over $7 trillion. Arguably, it could be driving up the deficit more than President Barack Obama‘s ambitious health care plan is. But when the Republican presidential candidates were asked last week asked if they would repeal the Medicare drug benefit, they said no way. After all, Republicans created it. Debt and deficit are the
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Calm chaos followed Reno air show disaster

Amid the horrific aftermath of the nation’s deadliest air racing disaster, a crash that killed nine and sent about 70 people to Reno-area hospitals, a sort of calm pervaded. Witnesses were spattered with blood and pieces of flesh, yet video of the scene shows paramedics, police and spectators attending to the wounded with a control that seems contradictory to the devastation. Officials and those in the tightly-knit air racing community credit not only a detailed plan for just such a crash, but the type of people at the event: pilots, veterans and others accustomed to dealing with a high-pressure situation.
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Five die in RV at biker fest

Three men and two women at a Tennessee biker festival to raise money for needy children died in a recreational vehicle when fumes from a generator leaked into the camper, an organizer for the event said. Police were investigating the deaths but said no foul play was suspected. Two of the men worked security into the early morning hours Sunday during the festival’s party, which featured motorcycle drag races, live music and bikini and tattoo contests. The charity’s website said there was free beer. Bill Langford, the director of the event Bikers Who Care, was puzzled over the deaths at
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Obama’s solution: Tax the rich

President Barack Obama, in a populist gesture designed to appeal to voters, will propose a “Buffett Tax” on people making more than $1 million a year as part of his deficit recommendations to Congress on Monday. Such a proposal, among suggestions to a congressional Super Committee expected to seek up to $3 trillion in deficit savings over 10 years, would appeal to his Democratic base ahead of the 2012 election but likely not raise much in revenues. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a tweet on Saturday the tax would act as “a kind of AMT” (Alternative Minimum
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GOP wannabes revive privatizing Social Security

Most of the top Republicans running for president are embracing plans to partially privatize Social Security, reviving a contentious issue that fizzled under President George W. Bush after Democrats relentlessly attacked it. As President Barack Obama sidesteps ways to keep the retirement system viable, his would-be rivals are keen on letting younger workers divert part of their payroll taxes into some type of personal account to be invested separately from Social Security. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a version. Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Ron Paul of Texas have said younger workers should be allowed to invest in
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