A growing number of Republicans are cautioning that extreme statements by the 2012 presidential candidates will hurt the party's chances of winning in 2012. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has joined a group of Republicans who think that the candidates' reliance on personal attacks will damage the party's image. Even one of the candidates, Newt Gingrich, has spoken out against such pettiness, comparing some of the debate bickering to "some cafeteria in the seventh grade."
President Obama's mortgage aid plan is based partly off of an idea proposed by Mitt Romney's senior economic adviser—yet Republicans are refusing to support it in order to hurt the President. It's part of a disappointing trend in which Republicans refuse to support plans proposed by President Obama despite previously being in favor of those same plans—putting politics ahead of what's best for this country.
Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney have all advocated for a flat tax plan that would tax everyone under the same rate. A simple flat tax might sound good on its face, but the details of such plans uncover a regressive tax that hurts the middle class. In a state like Nevada, which has a large number of service industry workers, many will see their net tax rates rise under the Republican plans. Both Cain and Perry's plans also pose the potential problem of a shortfall in tax revenue. Even with their tax increase on the middle class, their flat taxes would bring in less revenue.
Our chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, criticized Rick Perry's tax plan on MSNBC, saying that the flat tax would benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class, in addition to increasing the deficit. Calling the plan the "definition of insanity," she said: "This is not a new idea, this is not something that's proposed for the first time. A flat tax has been introduced in the past, and it's been rejected because it blows a hole in the deficit."
The Obama campaign launched a new program this week to reach out to young Americans. The campaign is branded Greater Together and seeks to enlist new campaign volunteers and help register more first-time voters, a key constituency in the 2008 election. The campaign launched the effort through a new website featuring a web video in which Obama called on young Americans to repeat their efforts of 2008, where they helped build a movement for change.
When you put President Obama's jobs plan up against the GOP proposal, there is not even a competition, reports the Los Angeles Times: "Obama's American Jobs Act would raise economic demand and boost employment, while Republicans' Jobs Through Growth Act would do little except protect corporate profits." The Obama program, which is comprised of infrastructure spending, temporary payroll tax cuts, and extended unemployment coverage, would create 1.3 million jobs in the first year and raise GDP growth by 1.25 percentage points. By contrast, the GOP plan protects corporate profits by cutting the corporate tax rate, attacks unions, and repeals important financial regulations.
As part of her Let's Move! initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama is attacking food deserts—areas across the country where there are no places to purchase groceries or fresh produce. During a visit to Chicago, the First Lady spoke about ways to make healthy choices more available, such as planting community gardens, bringing in fresh produce trucks, and easing the way for grocery stores to open in food deserts with zoning and permit assistance and tax incentives.