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Newslinks for Tuesday Feb 14: Obama's budget raises spending and taxes, and fails on entitlement reform

Posted on 02/14/2012

Obama unveils $3.8 trillion budget

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"President Obama unveiled a $3.8 trillion budget request Monday that hikes taxes on the rich, spends new money on infrastructure and education, but does little to reform the entitlement programs that pose the biggest long-term threat to the federal budget." - CNN

  • "Republicans in and out of Washington savaged President Obama’s proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year as a broken promise on deficit reduction made worse by a series of gimmicks that overstate what budget savings there are." - New York Times
  • "The White House intends to boost government subsidies for wealthy buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles — to $10,000 per buyer." - Daily Caller
  • Hot Air blasts Obama for not providing any money for D.C.'s voucher program: "This is basically Keystone part II: Once again, some unfortunate Americans have ended up on the wrong side of a core left-wing constituency whom The One needs to help him get reelected."
  • Dana Milbank: "[T]he real game the White House was playing was dodgeball: evading anything resembling a serious budget proposal." - Washington Post
  • Grover Norquist: Obama's budget is 'trickle-down taxation' - Newsmax
  • Obama's new budget will put America in the poor house - Washington Examiner editorial
  • Republicans dismiss Obama budget - LA Times

House Republican leaders agree to payroll tax holiday extension without offsets

Screen shot 2010-11-17 at 20.42.02"House Republican leaders said Monday that they will support extending the federal payroll tax holiday through the end of the year without demanding spending cuts to pay for it, a concession aimed at averting another po­litically damaging showdown in Washington." - Washington Post

  • "For far too long, the extension of the payroll tax cut was coupled with more entitlement spending...  Today, House Republicans announced that they will decouple the two issues and pass a clean payroll tax cut extension until the end of the year." - RedState
  • "Boehner and his leadership team’s reversal creates the latest challenge in their long-running attempts to corral the unruly GOP caucus." - Politico

GOP revives pipeline push in highway bill

"The GOP sees the battle over Keystone as an election-season political winner, but the legislation faces long odds of a victory in the Senate, much less President Obama’s signature. The House version of the massive transportation package, slated for a vote this week, includes provisions to force a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline." - The Hill

  • "It is sad that we have gotten here, but House Republicans, including conservative stalwarts like Jim Jordan of Ohio, are set to pass Barack Obama’s latest stimulus plan. Except they are calling it John Boehner’s “Highway Bill.”" - Erick Erickson
  • "[T]he fact is that, under this bill, contract authority for transportation will outpace its funding source by roughly $55 billion from FY2013 through FY 2016." - RedState
  • Rand Paul puts hold on transportation bill - Politico

Polling indicates Santorum could win Romney's home state of Michigan

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"Two polls released Monday showed Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who grew up in Bloomfield Hills, trailing former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. American Research Group had Santorum up 33%-27% on Romney... Another survey firm, Public Policy Polling, had Santorum ahead with a far greater margin, 39% to 24%, for Romney" - Detroit Free Press

  • "Santorum is hoping to turn the political conversation away from the social and cultural issues that have dominated his quest for the Republican presidential nomination so far and focus instead on the economy" - New York Times
  • Pro-Romney super PAC buys ad time in Michigan - USA Today
  • "Among the Republicans that the polling firm classified as definite voters, Mr. Santorum’s lead was larger, 11 points over Mr. Romney. However, Mr. Romney led Mr. Santorum 33 to 22 among voters the pollsters classified as more marginal." - Nate Silver
  • Michigan Gov. Snyder says he'll endorse soon - Politico
  • Polls: GOP Voters Who Dislike Romney Flock to Santorum - WSJ

Santorum event disrupted by Occupy protesters

"Minutes into Santorum's speech, protesters began chanting and shouting. They rarely stopped over the next half-hour. "I think it's really important to understand what this radical element represents," Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Washington Historical Museum. "What they represent is true intolerance."" - AP

  • "After hearing that, the conservative crowd attempted to shout down the Occupy protestors with chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A.”" - CNN

With early voting underway, Romney courts Arizona primary voters

Romney on Fox"The former Massachusetts governor has the backing of key establishment figures here, including his 2008 rival Sen. John McCain, and the most recent polling shows him winning handily, but the surveys were done before rival Rick Santorum surged in recent days. Voters who share Romney’s Mormon faith make up one-tenth of the GOP electorate in Arizona, and Mesa is a hub. Voters attending the event here cheered heartily when Romney mentioned his faith." - LA Times

Gingrich predicts ANOTHER comeback 

Gingrich May 2011"“Twice I’ve led in the Gallup polls,” he said, referring to his surge in early December and following his victory in the South Carolina primary in January. He predicted that he would return to the top of polls in a few weeks. He dismissed any notion of dropping out before Super Tuesday on March 6, as the editors of the conservative magazine National Review called on him to do for the good of the Republican Party on Monday. “National Review wanted us to drop out in June,” Mr. Gingrich said. “It’s silly.”"- New York Times

  • Why I chose Newt over Santorum - Chuck Norris for Town Hall

GOP lawmakers to grill Panetta over cuts to Pentagon budget - The Hill

Politico checks in with the 5 most vulnerable House incumbents

  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.)
  • Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.)
  • Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.)
  • Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
  • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
  • ...and for some of them, primary season is just round the corner - Politico

Great Scott! Stephen F. Hayes lauds Governor Walker of Wisconsin

Walker Scott"Throughout the 2012 election cycle Republicans have pined for a bold, conservative reformer—a leader courageous enough to make difficult choices and articulate enough to explain them to a skeptical public. The good news is they have such a candidate. The less good news: Scott Walker isn’t running for president. He’s running to hang on to his job as governor of Wisconsin." - Stephen F. Hayes for the Weekly Standard

David Brooks: The weakening of our social fabric can't be reduced to simple economic debates

Brooks"The American social fabric is now so depleted that even if manufacturing jobs miraculously came back we still would not be producing enough stable, skilled workers to fill them. It’s not enough just to have economic growth policies. The country also needs to rebuild orderly communities. This requires bourgeois paternalism: Building organizations and structures that induce people to behave responsibly rather than irresponsibly and, yes, sometimes using government to do so." - David Brooks for the New York Times

White House economic adviser: "We need a global minimum tax" - Weekly Standard

Voter rolls rife with inaccuracies

"The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters." - New York Times

Washington state's governor signs gay marriage law

"Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation on Monday to make Washington state the seventh in the United States to legalize gay marriage, but opponents vowed to try to prevent the law from taking effect." - Reuters

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