Mitt Romney stood before leaders and activists at the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas, this morning and attempted to strike an inclusive tone by stating why a Republican governor should be their choice in 2012. But not everyone in the crowd was pleased with Romney's agenda.
"With 90 percent of African Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African-American community, and to address the NAACP," Romney asked those gathered.
Romney also used his time behind the podium to lay the groundwork for a five-point plan to help middle-class voters, especially black voters, once again find a way to achieve the American dream. more >>
Though the president moved to the center on Bush tax cuts today, news reports over the last month are suggesting that an Obama second term would be full of more moves to left on the issues of climate controls, ozone regulations, tax increases, defense spending cuts, and relaxing missile defense against Russia. Experts also are saying that the president will step down the drug war in favor of treatment and possibly dramatically increase federal control over education policy.
"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea summit in March, unaware of the live nearby microphone that captured his words.
In the case of Russia, experts say Obama was asking the Russian president, and his comrade and current president Vladimir Putin, to lay low on their objections to a U.S. missile defense system in Europe until after the election, at which time he would be more willing to negotiate a compromise. The U.S. currently argues the defense system is necessary to protect Eastern Europe from Iranian missiles. But Russia worries that the system can also be used as an offensive weapon aimed at Russia. more >>
The national debt is much larger than most people think, $50 trillion instead of $15.7 trillion, a report by financial services firm Deloitte says. Besides the true debt, the report describes four additional risk factors that deserve attention when considering the extent of the U.S. debt crisis.
The federal government is currently adding about $4 billion per day to the national debt, which comes to about $750 per household per month.
The typical way of calculating the national debt would currently report over $15.7 trillion. This is how much cash is currently owed (including what the government owes itself). This number does not, however, take into account future unfunded liabilities, or payments that the federal government has already promised to make but does not have the revenue streams needed to make those payments. When measuring the national debt on this accrual basis, Deloitte says, the United States actually owes over $50 trillion. more >>
The current tax increases and spending cuts slated to go into effect January 2013 will likely lead to a recession, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report says. On the other hand, preventing those policies from going into effect without replacing them with something comparable would lead to unsustainable amounts of public debt.
If the tax increases and spending cuts are allowed to occur, the CBO estimates that the economy will shrink 1.3 percent in the first half of 2013, followed by a meager 2.3 percent growth in the second half of 2013.
On the plus side, the additional revenue and lower spending will cut deficit spending by $560 billion, almost half of the projected $1.2 trillion 2012 deficit. more >>
Former GOP front-runners Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will meet with the leaders from three of the largest tea party groups in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the American economy and the upcoming 2012 elections.
Billed as "A More Perfect Union Panel," the meeting will include leaders from TeaParty.net, Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Patriots. Tea party groups played a key role in the 2010 elections and are hoping to hold on to several seats that could be in jeopardy in 2012.
But recently, tea party activists took credit for defeating long-time GOP incumbent Dick Lugar in his Indiana primary last week, in part because they painted him as out-of-touch when it came to the fiscal concerns of many Americans. more >>
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week that seeks to end the practice of illegal immigrants getting child tax credit refunds. Attention was brought to the issue after an investigative report by a local television news station went viral on the Internet.
Illegal immigrants are fraudulently taking advantage of the federal income tax's child tax credit to the tune of $4.2 billion per year, reported Bob Segall of WTHR, an NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, Ind., on April 26. Since even those who do not pay takes can receive the credit, illegal immigrants have found that they are able to receive $1,000 per child from the federal government by filing taxes.
In some cases, though, the fraud goes even further. Segall found cases in which undocumented immigrants were taking the tax credit for nieces and nephews for whom they are not legal guardians and do not live in the United States. Some received more than $10,000 from the federal government. more >>