Posts tagged politics
Posts tagged politics
It’s not all bad news on guns. (via Chart of the day: Gun homicides are down 49 percent since 1993)
More filibuster facts:
“Between 1840 and 1900, there were 16 filibusters. Between 2009 and 2010, there were more than 130.”
“At the time of the country’s founding, seven of the 13 states, representing 27 percent of the population, could command a majority in the Senate. Today, with the filibuster, 21 of the 50 states, representing 11 percent of the population, can muster the 41 votes to stop a majority in the Senate.”
“The filibuster was created by mistake. In 1806, the Senate, on the advice of Aaron Burr, tried to clean up its rule book, which was thought to be needlessly complicated and redundant. One change it made was to delete something called “the previous question” motion. That was the motion senators used to end debate on whatever they were talking about and move to the next topic. Burr recommended axing it because it was hardly ever used. Senators were gentlemen. They knew when to stop talking. That was the moment the Senate created the filibuster. But nobody knew it at the time. It would be three more decades before the first filibuster was mounted.”
So excited about this: I’ve been working with three political scientists to create an election model you can use to forecast 2012. You predict how the economy will do, and where Obama’s approval rating will be in 2012, and we do the rest. You can also rerun old elections and see how they do in the model. I think you guys will really enjoy it.
Quite the opposite, actually:
Interactive graphic, and full article, here.
In the fall of 2009, Obama’s chief congressional lobbyist, Phil Schiliro, touted a clever idea for dealing with the tax cuts: introduce a bill that would extend the middle-class cuts for two years while allowing the upper-income portions to expire. After two years, the middle-class cuts would also expire unless Congress paid for them with off-setting savings or tax increases.
Schiliro figured that, if the bill passed, the whole mess of tax cuts was likely to disappear when all was said and done, since there aren’t exactly trillions of dollars in easy-to-cut spending just lying around the federal budget, while raising other taxes was unlikely. And even if the bill didn’t pass, it would put Republicans on the defensive by shining a light on the huge budget costs of their most cherished accomplishment.
At first, Schiliro’s plan went nowhere—in truth it was as much a stunt as a serious proposal. But Schiliro had an important ally: Peter Orszag, the president’s budget director. Orszag was the administration’s most outspoken deficit hawk. He believed the only practical way to balance the budget was to repeal all the Bush tax cuts, not just the upper-income variety.
Money comes into the federal government through taxes and bonds. The vast majority of it is then spent on old-people programs, poor-people programs, and defense.
Mitt Romney is promising that taxes will go down, defense spending will go up, and old-people programs won’t change for this generation of retirees. So three of his four options for deficit reduction — taxes, old-people programs, and defense — are now either contributing to the deficit or are off-limits for the next decade.
Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.
(Source: Washington Post)