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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Obama Budget Speech Offers No Surprises -
it was more of the same partisan rhetoric which has dominated politics of late. As expected, the president embraced a lot of what was proposed by Simpson/Bowles - the co-chairs of the bipartisan deficit reduction committee and taxing the high earners at a higher rate. A mention on revamping the current tax code was worth noting. However, few specifics were introduced by President Obama.

Republican response was as expected, with comments like you can not create jobs by raising taxes. Their alternative plan proposed by Representative Ryan (Wisc.) is a non starter with it's drastic cuts in medicare.

So, the 2012 budget battle and presidential campaign is underway.

The truth of the matter is the national budget is on a dangerous course and has been since George W. Bush was sworn in. Of the entitlement programs, social security is paying for itself, while the others are not. The cost of fighting three wars has never been paid for, adding significantly to the budget deficit. If Americans understood the cost of war and were ask to pay for it, some ill advised military actions would probably never take place.

At the end of 2000, the U.S. national debt was 5.6 trillion. Ten years later, it stands at almost 14.3 trillion, which is the current debt ceiling for the country.

The 2012 proposed budget by President Obama contains an additional 1.5 trillion in debt.

So, there is no question changes need to be made. The unanswered question is will our elected politicians be adult enough to address it in a reasonable across the board manner.

Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has reported it's review of the latest budget agreement forged by Congress for the remainder of 2011 - the total? - only 352 million this year - not the 38.5 to 39.5 billion touted by Congressional leaders.

This budget deal will receive a vote in the House and Senate today - Pelosi may vote "No" - has more here.

Stay tuned...


Obama on ABC World News and Nightline Tonight -
he is interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. Think, he will be asked about the budget?


Unemployment Claims Rise -
a further sign, the economic recovery is sluggish, at best. Claims were up 27,000 for the week ending April 9. has more here.

As seasonal jobs become available, claims should drop over the next four to five months. If, claims do not drop over this time frame, it will indicate the economy is in worst shape than thought.


Rick Santorium is Latest Republican To Establish Exploratory Committee -
the former Pennsylvania Senator will now be able to raise funds and judge support for his candidacy for president. has more here.


DCCC Raised 19.6 Million in First Quarter -
the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee used 11.5 million to reduce the 19.5 million in debt left from the 2010 midterm campaign. has more here.

Campaign Finance Reform, Anyone?


Confusion Reigns In Libya Intervention -
air strikes by NATO are having limited effect on the Gaddafi government and the rebels are turning out to be a rag tag disorganized group incapable of governing the country. Meanwhile, NATO states it wants Gadaffi out. The NY Times has more here.


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