Storified by Brian Empric· Fri, Mar 15 2013 17:14:07
“House Speaker John Boehner's confirmation that the vaunted title of H.R. 1 will go to comprehensive tax reform is notable because it wasn't assured. As the GOP has publicly waged a sequester fight, it has privately spent the past months in an intense internal debate over tax reform...”
“A simple code sounds pleasant, but getting there means tough votes on dangerous topics. Want to lose friends fast? Chop the charitable deduction, squeeze mortgages, take away that tax perk for the biggest job creator in your district. Business will howl. Voters might freak. Democrats will pounce. Indeed, the White House may turn those votes into a central plank of its campaign to take back the House.”
“To remain silent on tax reform was for the GOP to cede a signature issue, even as it gave Mr. Obama leverage in the budget fight. How long could the party hold out for the president's call for ‘reform’ without a plan of its own?”
“One: Any House bill will be ‘revenue-neutral,’ meaning money raised gets plowed back into lowering rates. Two: Any House bill will simultaneously reform both the individual and corporate codes…”
“There is a glum GOP awareness that the party's role of late has been that of responsible bearer of bad news. It has had to warn about deficits, advocate cuts, tackle entitlements. Somewhere along the way it lost its tax punch, and it has been outflanked by a president who has used class warfare to position himself as protector of the middle class.”
“There is no better way to recapture the party's core issues of taxes, the middle class and the economy” than tax reform, says one senior GOP aide. “It is the one silver bullet that hits all of those pieces.”
“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% of Likely Voters believe the economy is at least somewhat fair to middle-class Americans, but that includes only six percent (6%) who think it’s Very Fair. Sixty-two percent (62%) think the economy is not fair to the middle class, with 20% who feel it’s Not At All Fair.”
“There's general partisan agreement when it comes to the fairness of the overall economy, but GOP voters (42%) are more likely to believe the economy is fair to middle-class Americans than Democrats (31%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (31%).”
“Sixty-nine percent (69%) of working Americans now describe themselves as middle class, the highest level in nearly four years.”
“Personal and social insurance taxes totaled just over $2.6 trillion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, Commerce Department data out Friday (3/1/13) showed…”
“Higher taxes have acted as a steady head wind for disposable income… Real personal spending rose an ‘anemic’ 0.1%...”
“Personal income dived 3.6% in January, with disposable income down 4%.”
“The Congressional Budget Office has projected that federal tax receipts, including corporate taxes, will rise from 15.8% of GDP in fiscal 2012 to 16.9% this year… In 2014, CBO sees revenue returning to 18% of GDP, close to the historical average.”
“CFPB director and longtime Democratic politician Richard Cordray earlier this month told Bloomberg News that managing retirement savings is ‘one of the things we've been exploring ... in terms of whether and what authority we have.’”
“What business, exactly, does a U.S. government that has rung up over $16.6 trillion in red ink have giving consumers advice on how to save money?
“What can a consumer learn about frugality and responsibility from a corrupt, insatiable Washington leviathan that screams about the sky falling when just 2% in automatic spending cuts kick in?”
“What doesn't work is the government, which should be told to stuff its offer of help at managing people's money. Better to have Typhoid Mary run the Centers for Disease Control.”
“The Pew results actually show support for what official Washington would consider massive spending cuts… The problem is with the way the numbers were reported.”
“To most Americans, maintaining spending at current levels would mean spending the same amount in 2013 as we spent in 2012. However, to those experienced in the mysterious ways of Washington, maintaining spending at current levels means spending $3.5 trillion this year and $4.5 trillion in five years. To most Americans, that's a trillion dollars in spending growth.
“The Political Class, on the other hand, would consider holding spending unchanged at current levels to be a massive spending cut. Why? Because it wouldn't allow for the trillion dollar spending growth that is already built into the budget.”
“Consider the Pew numbers for roads and infrastructure projects: 38 percent want more spending, and only 17 percent favor a spending cut. But a plurality (43 percent) wants to hold infrastructure spending steady. Since the Political Class would consider holding spending steady to be a ‘cut’ in spending, 60 percent in the Pew poll favors what official Washington calls cuts.”
“Using this understanding, the Pew data shows that voters prefer what the politicians call budget cuts in 17 out of 19 programs.”
“So when politicians claim that sound polling data like the Pew study shows a lack of public support for spending cuts, they're either wrong or deliberately trying to deceive us. Voters shouldn't need a translator to understand what the Political Class is saying. But those in the Political Class bubble just don't speak plain English anymore.”
“Normally, the president’s request is the beginning of the annual budget process and Congress relies on its detailed spending information to come up with its own budget resolution.”
“House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) plans to put out his own budget — one that balances in 10 years… That budget is also slated to get a House vote before the House embarks on a two-week Easter recess March 22.
“The Senate will be putting together its own budget plan for the first time in four years this month. Under ‘no budget, no pay’ legislation enacted in January, it must pass a budget resolution by April 15 or senators' pay will be withheld.”
“[W]hile the President speaks of his deep concern for American workers and families, he fails to even submit to Congress his financial plan to help those workers and families,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala. and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, @budgetgop) said in a statement.
“Under the law, the president must submit his budget request no later than the first Monday of February. Last month, the Obama Administration announced that for the fourth time in five years it would fail to meet this deadline…”
“In just one term, President Obama has missed the budget deadline more than any other president…”
“All presidents from Harding through Reagan’s first term met the statutory budget submission deadline in every year…”
“Since the statutory deadline was extended to the first Monday in February, with the exception of the first budget for a new president, this deadline has only been missed three times: Clinton FY 1998, Obama FY 2012, and Obama FY 2013.”
“Every family must balance its budget. Washington should too, and it’s time for President Obama and Senate Democrats to embrace this common-sense goal.”