The Scapegoat Strategy
By Charles Krauthammer October 13
What do you do if you can’t run on your record — on 9 percent unemployment, stagnant growth and ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see? How to run when you are asked whether Americans are better off than they were four years ago and you are compelled to answer no?
Play the outsider. Declare yourself the underdog. Denounce Washington as if the electorate hasn’t noticed that you’ve been in charge of it for nearly three years.
But above all: Find villains.
President Obama first tried finding excuses, blaming America’s dismal condition on Japanese supply-chain interruptions, the Arab Spring, European debt and various acts of God.
Didn’t work. Sounds plaintive, defensive. Lacks fight, which is what Obama’s base lusts for above all.
Hence Obama’s new strategy: Don’t whine, blame. Attack. Indict. Accuse. Who? The rich — and their Republican protectors — for wrecking America.
In Obama’s telling, it’s the refusal of the rich to “pay their fair share” that jeopardizes Medicare. If millionaires don’t pony up, schools will crumble. Oil-drilling tax breaks are costing teachers their jobs. Corporate loopholes will gut medical research.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com …
The “9-9-9” plan that has helped propel businessman Herman Cain to the front of the GOP presidential field would stick many poor and middle-class people with a hefty tax increase while cutting taxes for those at the top, tax analysts say.
The plan would do away with much of the current tax code and impose a 9 percent personal income tax, a 9 percent business tax and a 9 percent national sales tax, which tax experts say would mean that low- and middle-income Americans would pay more.
“Right now, we have a strongly progressive income tax. High-income people are paying a higher share of income in taxes than lower-income people,” said Alan Viard, a former Federal Reserve Bank economist and a resident scholar at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. “That is a pattern that would be disrupted by adoption of the Cain plan.”
The 9-9-9 plan has helped define Cain’s candidacy. Coupled with his buoyant, plain-spoken style, it has helped transform the former long shot into a front-runner. Cain has touted the proposal’s apparent simplicity and fairness, but he rarely delves into details in person. His campaign website shows that the plan is only a step toward achieving his ultimate goal: to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service after replacing all federal taxes with a national sales tax.
Meanwhile, analysts said the 9-9-9 part of Cain’s vision would place a further burden on those hit hardest by the nation’s economic problems.
Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, is working on an analysis of Cain’s signature policy proposal. Although the plan’s details remain sketchy, Williams said that it would increase taxes for the poor and middle class, despite Cain’s statements to the contrary.
For starters, about 30 million of the poorest households pay neither income taxes nor Social Security or Medicare levies. “So for them, doing away with the payroll tax doesn’t save anything. And you are adding both a 9 percent sales tax and 9 percent income tax. So we know they will be worse off,” Williams said.
At the top end of the income scale, meanwhile, the opposite would occur, he said. The top 1 percent of earners would get a tax cut under Cain’s plan, Williams said.
The nation’s top income earners have reaped the vast majority of the nation’s income growth over the past quarter century, pushing income inequality in the country to levels not seen since the Depression. The tax plan would exacerbate that gap, Williams said.
“People at the top end pay 20 or 21 percent in income and payroll taxes now,” he said. “This plan zeroes out their payroll tax and suddenly their tax is down to 9 percent. Then, like everyone else, they pay 9 percent on what they spend. But the rich don’t spend everything they earn.”…..
Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan will add $2 trillion to U.S. GDP, as well as create 6 million jobs, his economic advisor Rich Lowrie told Larry Kudlow Thursday.
Lowrie also said under the plan, business investments will increase by one-third and wages will go up by 10 percent.
“And if you fold all that growth together,” he said, “federal revenues go up by 15 percent.”
Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would scrap the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent tax on personal income and corporations, as well as a new 9 percent sales tax.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com …
25 Cent Jump upwards in Gas Price
Gas Buddy & local gas station ^ | 13 Oct 2011 | self
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:32:36 PM by GreyFriar
Gasoline price in Jasper County, Indiana jumped 26 cents a gallon between 8am and 1pm on Thursday, 13 Oct 2011
VeriSign Demands Power To Kill “Abusive” Websites
October 11, 2011 Gunny G
VeriSign Demands Power To Kill “Abusive” Websites
Manager of all .com internet addresses seeks authority to terminate domains on government order without legal oversight…………….
In recent weeks, intense discussions have taken place in Israeli military and intelligence circles about whether or not to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Apparently, the key question in the debate was how to ensure that the United States took part in the attack or, at the very least, intervened on Israel’s side if the initial strike triggered a wider war.
Reports of these discussions have caused considerable alarm in Washington and in a number of European capitals. Some western military experts have been quoted as saying that the window of opportunity for an Israeli air attack on Iran will close within two months, since the onset of winter would make such an assault more difficult.
Concern that Israel may decide to attack without giving the US prior warning is thought to be the main reason for the visit to Tel Aviv on October 3 of the US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. His aim seems to have been to rein in the Israeli hawks.
Amos Harel of the Israeli daily Haaretz summed up Panetta’s message as follows: America is standing by Israel, but an uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran could spark a regional war. The US will work to defend Israel, but Israel must behave responsibly.
Full story here.
RUSH: I hate this. I really hate getting into all this. This is… We all used to be on the same team, do you realize that? I’ve been doing this for 23 years, and I remember the first ten, we were all on the same team. There wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference. Now, I don’t know… I’ll have to think about this. I’ll have to think about when the Republican establishment finally gave up and decided they wanted to be Democrat light. I don’t know — or better stated, when did they decide they had to start taking out conservatives? Now, I know they didn’t like Reagan. I know you can trace it all back and the Republican establishment always been who they are. I’m not taking that off the table. I’m just telling you that from the standpoint of media, when I started this in 1988, the next ten years, I mean, yeah, there were jealousies…..