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Bankrupting America’s Spending Daily

Posted: May 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm   /   by

Spending Daily | May 7, 2013

“Promises, Promises: When Obama’s Promises Conflict”

The Associated Press reports, “Absent a magic potion or explosive economic growth, it was all but inevitable President Barack Obama would have to break some of his campaign promises to keep others. If there’s one thing that distinguished them besides their ambition, it was their incompatibility. Cut a staggering $4 trillion from deficits while protecting big benefit programs, subsidizing more health care, plowing extra money into education and avoiding tax increases on everyone except the rich? Not on this Earth. The postelection reality is starting to shake out now, though how it will all settle can’t yet be known. To reach for his promised deficit reduction, Obama has proposed breaking his tax promise. Toward the same end, his pledge from four years earlier that he wouldn’t trim cost-of-living benefits in Social Security has given way to a proposal to do just that. None of that might happen.”


Dems Worry Over Health Care Law Snags Coming Up In Next Year’s Election

The New York Times reports, “As the administration struggles to put in place the final, complex piece of President Obama’s signature health care law, an endeavor on a scale not seen since Medicare’s creation nearly a half-century ago, Democrats are worried that major snags will be exploited by Republicans in next year’s midterm elections. Many Democrats also want to see a more aggressive and visible president to push the law across the country. This week Mr. Obama is returning to the fray to an extent unseen since he signed the law in 2010, including a White House event on Friday to promote the law’s benefits for women, the first in a series of appearances for health care this year. … The stakes for the president are high. The ultimate success of the law, and in turn his domestic legacy, depends on how well the insurance marketplaces operate, and whether enough young Americans enroll for coverage. While Friday’s event at the White House will draw attention to the law’s benefits for women who already have insurance, aides say that increasingly Mr. Obama’s outreach will be to uninsured Americans and those who buy their insurance because they do not get it from employers.”


“Internet Sales Tax Bill Faces Tough Sell in House”

The Associated Press reports, “Traditional retailers and cash-strapped states face a tough sell in the House as they lobby Congress to limit tax-free shopping on the Internet. The Senate voted 69 to 27 Monday to pass a bill that empowers states to collect sales taxes from Internet purchases. Under the bill, states could require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes when they sell products over the Internet, in catalogs, and through radio and TV ads. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives. … The bill got bipartisan support in the Senate but faces opposition in the House, where some lawmakers regard it as a tax increase. Grover Norquist, the anti-tax advocate, and the conservative Heritage Foundation oppose the bill, and many Republicans have been wary of crossing them. … States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn’t collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill.”


“Sequestration cuts expected to hit job market over the summer”

According to The Hill, “The sequester will take a bigger bite from the economy in the coming months as workers collect more unpaid leave and additional spending cuts are triggered, several economic experts predicted Monday. A strong employment report in April that found the economy added 165,000 jobs underlined the sense that the labor market is improving, but observers warn it’s too early to declare the economy is safe from sequestration.  ‘The fiscal drag is going to reach its peak in the second and third quarter, and we know that’s going to be around 2.5 percent of GDP,’ said Andrew Busch, a political and economic strategist who advised Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in his 2008 presidential campaign. … A stronger economy and jobs market should benefit President Obama, who was battered by weak job growth in his first term. Yet the stronger job figures also make it harder to argue the sequester is hurting the economy.”


Audit: Former Gov’t Employees Double Dipping on Unemployment Benefits Cost $1.3 Million

According to The Washington Guardian, “The downsizing of the U.S. government may not be returning all the taxpayer savings it was intended. That’s because displaced federal workers are being allowed to double-dip on unemployment benefits, with some making more in jobless aid than their former salaries, a new audit has found. The Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, on Monday criticized the Labor Department for its oversight and management of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), an unemployment insurance program for out-of-work government employees that last year paid out a whopping $2.1 billion in claims. In just a small sampling of former federal workers, GAO found 19 cases where former workers were collecting both state unemployment insurance (UI) and FECA benefits, a double-dip that cost taxpayers at least $1.3 million. And four of those former federal workers ‘received more income from combined UI and FECA benefits than they would have received from their federal salary alone,’ GAO said.”


House Readies Debt-Ceiling Bill

The Hill reports, “The House will turn this week to a bill that Republicans say would prevent the United States from defaulting on its debts. The Full Faith and Credit Act is a preemptive attempt by Republicans to defuse the warnings from the White House and Democrats about holding the debt ceiling ‘hostage’ in fiscal negotiations. The bill would give the Treasury Department the ability to borrow above the limit to cover bond and Social Security payments. While the Treasury insists it cannot prioritize payments and avoid a default if its borrowing capacity is reached, Republicans disagree, and say their bill should assure markets that the country will always pay its debts.”


Obama’s Own Budget Cuts Airport Programs By 17 Percent

According to Roll Call, “While President Barack Obama complained that averting Federal Aviation Administration furloughs by transferring airport capital improvement funds amounted to ‘using our seedcorn,’ his own fiscal 2014 budget would cut the Airport Improvement Program by 17 percent. Obama’s plan would reduce Airport Improvement Program grant authority to $2.9 billion from $3.5 billion and restructure the program in a way that leaves larger hub airports such as those in New York, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles on the hook for more of their capital costs. To compensate for those cuts, the larger airports would be able to set higher passenger facility charges. The cap on per-ticket charges would be lifted from the current $4.50 to $8.”


10 People To Look Out For In Debt Showdown

CNN reports, “The 2013 debt-limit fight has begun. Powerful policymakers on both sides of the aisle are jockeying for position in what will be a defining moment for the 113th Congress. Economic experts have recently said the debt-limit hike could wait until the fall, though the Treasury Department has not committed to a specific date. But if a bill doesn’t need to be passed until after the August recess, that would benefit the GOP, which is trying to tie tax reform to the debt limit. The following is a list of 10 players to watch on the debt-limit battle. … President Obama: Four months into his second term, the president has been fielding questions about his diminishing political capital. … Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): The Speaker has pledged not to engage in one-on-one negotiations with Obama, though it remains to be seen how a deal can be reached without the two leaders being on the same page.”  Read more

Interest Groups: “Tax The Other Guy, Not Me!”

Reuters reports, “’Tax the other guy, not me!’ was the main message from a variety of special interest groups commenting on tax breaks in a report issued on Monday, underscoring the problems faced by the U.S. Congress as it considers a revamp of the tax code. Republican Dave Camp, chairman of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means panel in the U.S. House of Representatives, commissioned the report. It describes the current tax laws and summarizes comments from hundreds of interest groups, from corporations and private equity managers to banks and non-profit groups. Prepared by the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, the report highlights how difficult it will be to manage a top-to-bottom tax code rewrite, which has not been done since 1986. Despite wide agreement on the need for an overhaul of the tax code, most of the comments ultimately expressed support for preserving one or more existing special interest tax breaks.” is an educational project of Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit, 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to providing facts and insight on the effects public policy has on Americans’ financial well-being.

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Bankrupting America's Spending Daily