First Lady Announces New Hiring Push for Vets

Aug 22, 2012, 10:22 am EDT

Bolstered by the success of a similar plan that hired or trained 125,000 military veterans and their spouses in the last year, First Lady Michelle Obama has announced a new plan that hopes to do the same for 250,000 more vets and spouses by 2014.

In the last year, more than 2,000 business took advantage of White House efforts to increase employment among vets and their spouses. The 125,000 people who took advantage of this plan in the last year was 100,000 more than their initial goal, which they had hoped to reach by the end of next year. This pushed unemployment among all veterans from 8.6% last July to 6.9% last month.

The 250,000 included in this new plan will include hiring or training 50,000 spouses of military veterans within three years, as well as providing assistance for them when moving due to deployments. Read 

Letter: Ryan Plan on Medicare and Taxes

Aug 21, 2012, 11:11 am EDT

Medicare is one of the best run government programs. Its overhead costs are low compared to any and all private insurance plans. Any switch to private insurance in any form would thus increase the costs. Regardless of how the program is paid, the increased costs would hit the Seniors in one form or another. Medicare ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

What needs fixed is the tax code and some fairness brought into the picture. If someone making $100,000 is paying 20% tax, then someone making $10 Million should also pay a minimum of 20% tax, regardless of the source of income. All politics aside, such a global view of tax code will fix what ails the economy.

 — Ash Marwah, Pittsburgh, PA Read 

Obama Targets Students With New Loan Website

Aug 21, 2012, 10:19 am EDT
Obama Targets Students With New Loan Website

The Barack Obama campaign announced today that it was launching a new website to promote the president’s student loan program.

The web site focuses on Obama’s “Pay As You Earn” program, which would cap federal student loan payments to 10% of discretionary income. The web site features a calculator which allows students to see how much their loan payments would be under the plan.

The plan is part of a series of initiatives Obama launched last October designed to get business done that he felt was important, without having to work with a difficult and unpopular Congress. It also follows Obama’s signature on a bill last month that kept student loan rates at 3.4%. Read 

Congressman’s Rape Comments Stir Outcry

Aug 20, 2012, 12:18 pm EDT

Missouri Congressman and current Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin set off a firestorm yesterday when he said women’s bodies can prevent pregnancy in the case of “legitimate rape” and that pregnancies from rapes were rare.

Akin’s gaffe looms large for the November elections, since he is running against vulnerable Democrat Claire McCaskill for that Senate seat. She narrowly won her seat in 2006, and polls conducted prior to Akin’s comments showed him with a comfortable lead that was continuing to grow. Many pundits have said McCaskill’s seat is the most vulnerable one that Democrats currently hold.

Akin’s comments brought swift condemnation from all sides, including Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. According to the Romney campaign, “Gov. Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.” McCaskill called the comments “offensive”, and said “It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape.” Read 

Paul Ryan Releases Tax Returns

Aug 20, 2012, 9:46 am EDT
Paul Ryan Releases Tax Returns

Not long after the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama camps sparred over the release of more of Romney’s tax returns, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan released his own tax returns.

These returns reveal that Ryan paid a higher effective tax rate on his income than Romney did over those two years. In 2010, Ryan paid an effective rate of 15.9%, earning $215,417 and paying $34,233 in taxes. In 2011, Ryan’s rate rose to 20%, with taxes of $64,7664 on income of $323,416.

Romney, by comparison, paid a 13.9% tax rate in 2010 and expected to pay a 15.4% rate in 2011. In 2010, Romney and his wife reported $21.7 million in income. In 2011, the Romneys earned $20.9 million. Read 

Paul Ryan’s Economic Policy: Who Pays?

Aug 20, 2012, 8:30 am EDT
Paul Ryan’s Economic Policy: Who Pays?

Gallup revealed last week that the expected bounce in popularity of the Republican ticket thanks to the addition of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate failed to materialize. Americans yawned at the news.

Ryan, whose budget plan the Los Angeles Times has said will destroy the middle class, should make certain companies apprehensive about the prospects of Ryan in the White House. Let’s take a look: The Basis

Ryan’s major platform is widening the tax base. I think we all can agree on this basic premise. However, the way in which he intends to do this is a big concern. Read 

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