A couple of days ago, I posted that the Gang of Six Plan was about the best we could hope to get… now, prodded by a man whose economic wisdom far outstrips mine, I’ve decided to change my mind. Here’s what that man–Keith Hennessy–has to say in summary:
First I’ll flag a few things I like in the plan.
- I support making a technical correction to CPI, even though it would result in higher revenues.
- Repeal of the CLASS Act is great.
- It’s good they included medical malpractice reform.
That’s it. Others right-of-center are salivating at the low marginal income tax rates described in the plan, both for individuals and corporations. I think those low rates never materialize, for both arithmetic and legislative reasons, and explain why below.
I guess the First Amendment doesn’t apply on a public sidewalk outside an abortion clinic:
A pro-life activist who has engaged in sidewalk counseling for 14 years has been taken to court by the federal Department of Justice. The complaint to the court submitted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice alleges that Richard Retta non-violently obstructed a woman and her ‘clinic escorts’ from entering Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, an abortion facility.
Michael Barone, one of the sharpest and savviest political prognosticators out there, breaks down a lot of demographics and decides that 2012 doesn’t look good for Barack Obama:
Looking back over a decade of the popular vote for the House, we see a nation that appears marginally Republican in 2000-2004 and again in 2010 (Republicans’ 48% of the House vote in 2000 was fractionally larger than the Democrats’ percentage that year) and rather solidly Democratic in 2006-2008. In the rather solidly Democratic nation, no region is heavily or reliably Republican, while Democrats carry the Foundry and Germano-Scandinavian America by small margins and the North Atlantic and Pacific by very wide margins. In the marginally Republican nation, only the North Atlantic and Pacific are solidly Democratic, while both Southern regions and the Frontier are pretty solidly Republican (though the Frontier may be getting less so), and Republicans are highly competitive in the Foundry and Germano-Scandinavian America.
I don’t normally comment on polls, but this one is well worth taking apart:
For the first time since last July Barack Obama does not lead Mitt Romney in PPP’s monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race. Romney has now pulled into a tie with the President at 45%.
Obama’s approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. There are 2 things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16% of Democrats are unhappy with the job he’s doing while only 10% of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.