Union Planning Super PAC

Apr 12, 2012, 6:54 pm EDT

Unions are a crucial part of the Democratic Party base, but a Super PAC created by one of the country’s largest unions has no plans to throw its weight behind the Democrats or their candidates. Instead, they want to branch out further.

The AFL-CIO announced its philosophy and goals in a recent Politico blog post. According to AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, their super PAC, Workers’ Voices, “isn’t about political parties or individual candidates. It’s going to be about building a new way for workers to connect and a new way to build relationships together.”

One of their chief priorities is to work against so-called voter protection efforts they say make it more difficult for voters to cast ballots, particularly in states like Florida. They are also hoping to organize meetings of workers across the country. Read 

Santorum: Lack of Money Killed Campaign

Apr 12, 2012, 6:30 pm EDT
Santorum: Lack of Money Killed Campaign

Rick Santorum faced plenty of challenges during his campaign for the Republican nomination for president: his young daughter’s illness, doubts about his electability, and his fair share of campaign gaffes. But what finally ended his campaign on Tuesday was none of those things. What knocked him out of the race? Money.

In an interview with Family Research Council Action president Tony Perkins, he said that a lack of funds did in his campaign.

“Someone – one of the old politicos when I got involved in this race said the same thing, which is: ‘Every presidential campaign ends for the same reason: You run out of money.’ And we didn’t have a lot of money to begin with, but we were at a point where we simply had in the last couple of races — really worked hard and spent money and particularly in Wisconsin — we felt we had to win Wisconsin in order to do well in Pennsylvania, and it was a situation where we simply didn’t have the resources to compete going forward.” Read 

The 5 Most Popular Governors In America

Apr 11, 2012, 6:30 pm EDT
The 5 Most Popular Governors In America

When it comes to governors, there have been plenty of them recently who have fared poorly in the court of public opinion. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is in the middle of a brutal recall campaign following his efforts to pass a budget bill that severely curtailed union collective bargaining rights. Ohio Gov. John Kasich attempted to similarly curtail union rights in his state, only to have the proposal put to referendum and be resoundingly defeated by voters. And who can forget former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour’s parade of pardons, including 19 to those convicted of murder?

However, there are several governors, quiet and not so quiet, who have successfully navigated state politics and the economic downturn to lead their states well. Here are the five most popular governors in the United States, according to the Washington Post. 5. Mike Beebe, D-Ark.

Who? While Beebe doesn’t have the national profile of predecessors like Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, what he does have is the people’s respect. In polls, only 13% disapprove of the job he is doing, while 72% approve. This after over five years in the governor’s office. Read 

Cain Changes Mind, Endorses Romney

Apr 10, 2012, 5:42 pm EDT
Cain Changes Mind, Endorses Romney

In case it wasn’t already obvious that the GOP primary season had all but wrapped itself up today with Santorum ending his run, here’s more proof that Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party nominee for president: Herman Cain rescinded his endorsement for Newt Gingrich, and is now backing Romney.

In switching his allegiance on Fox News, Cain had this to say:

“I have always said I will support whoever the nominee is and it looks like Mitt Romney’s going to be that nominee, and we do need to get behind him. I remind people all the time … ‘Keep your eye on the mission.’ And the mission is to get control of the Senate, maintain control of the House and defeat Barack Obama. That means get behind the nominee, so, yes, I’m ready to get behind the nominee.” Read 

Rick Santorum Suspending GOP Campaign

Apr 10, 2012, 2:55 pm EDT
Rick Santorum Suspending GOP Campaign

Republican primary candidate Rick Santorum called it quits Tuesday afternoon when he announced the suspension of his campaign, effectively paving the way for Mitt Romney to take on President Barack Obama this fall.

Santorum called Romney to make the announcement and was set to confirm it later at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pa.

Romney has built a substantial lead in delegates, though he still has several hundred more before his nomination can become official. Santorum had struggled throughout the race and won only a few states. Pennsylvania’s April 24 primary was considered pivotal to his survival, though recent polls signaled that his brisk lead was shrinking. Read 

The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness

Apr 10, 2012, 6:01 am EDT
The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness

The following is the full transcript of “The Buffett Rule: A Basic Principle of Tax Fairness,” a report by The National Economic Council presented April 9.

The Buffett Rule is the basic principle that no household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle?class families pay. Warren Buffett has famously stated that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, but as this report documents this situation is not uncommon. This situation is the result of decades of the tax system being tilted in favor of high?income households at the expense of the middle class. Not only is this unfair, it can also be economically inefficient by providing opportunities for tax planning and distorting decisions. The President has proposed the Buffett Rule as a basic rule of tax fairness that should be met in tax reform. To achieve this principle, the President has proposed that no millionaire pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes. Why the Buffett Rule Is Needed

    The average tax rate paid by the very highest?income Americans has fallen to nearly the lowest rate in over 50 years. The wealthiest 1?in?1,000 taxpayers pay barely a quarter of their income in Federal income and payroll taxes today — half of what they would have contributed in 1960. And, the top 400 richest Americans — all making over $110 million — paid only 18 percent of their income in income taxes in 2008. Average tax rates for the highest income Americans have plummeted even as their incomes have skyrocketed. Since 1979 the average after?tax income of the very wealthiest Americans — the top 1 percent — has risen nearly four?fold. Over the same period, the middle sixty percent of Americans saw their incomes rise just 40 percent. The typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her worker now earns 110 times more. Some of the richest Americans pay extraordinarily low tax rates — as they hire lawyers and accountants to take particular advantage of loopholes and tax expenditures. The average tax rate masks the fact that some high?income Americans pay near their statutory tax rate, while others take advantage of tax expenditures and loopholes to pay extraordinarily low rates — and it is these high?income taxpayers that the Buffett rule is meant to address.
Of millionaires in 2009, a full 22,000 households making more than $1 million annually paid less than 15 percent of their income in income taxes — and 1,470 managed to paid no federal income taxes on their million?plus?dollar incomes, according to IRS data. Of the 400 highest income Americans, one out of every three in this group of the most financially fortunate Americans paid less than 15 percent of their income in income taxes in 2008.
    Many high?income Americans are paying less in taxes than middle class Americans in taxes. Nearly one?quarter of all millionaires (about 55,000 taxpayers) face a tax rate that is lower than more than millions of middle?income taxpayers. This is fundamentally unfair.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for comprehensive tax reform that cuts rates, cuts inefficient tax loopholes, cuts the deficit, increases job creation and growth, and sets out a very simple principle of fairness: No household making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of income in taxes than middle?class families pay. To achieve this, the President has proposed that no millionaire pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes. Read 

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