Obama status report

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Yesterday, while everyone with anything better to do was watching the Monday Night Football doubleheader and not reading political blogs, the Obama administration sent out OMB Director Jack Lew to explain how Obama plans on paying for Stimulus II: Same ol’ $#!+. (via Andrew Stiles at NRO)

  • $400 billion by limiting itemized deductions, including the one for charitable giving, for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year ($250,000 for couples).
  • $40 billion by eliminating tax breaks for oil-and-gas companies.
  • $18 billion by taxing “carried interest” income (common among hedge fund managers) as regular income as opposed to capital gains, which are taxed at a much lower rate.
  • $3 billion by adjusting the depreciation rate on corporate jets.

Comments Stiles:

So much for the “balanced approach” Obama was so fond of during the debt ceiling debate. The administration will cover the cost of the spending in its new jobs proposal solely by increasing taxes.

Note, those numbers above are over a 10 year period. Obama’s stimulus spending is over the next year.

Bruce McQuain over at Q&O helpfully links to an article from Business Insider that contains this gem:

All told, Obama would cut $467 billion to pay for his plan.

Cut? There ain’t no cutting around here. Is the press still in the tank for Obama? Certainly.

In other political news that has nothing to do with anything President Obama has done, the GOP has just picked up the seat (Cook Partisan Index D+5) in New York vacated by the Anthony “TheToasterIsVeryLoyal” Weiner. In Nevada, the GOP kept hold of another House seat (Cook Partisan Index R+5) in a 20-point blowout (at 9:30 PDT).

Remember that report a couple weeks back about the 14 or so keys to winning a presidential election and Obama had enough of them in his favor to assure his re-election? Remember that one of those keys was the lack of major scandals? Yeah, flip the switch on that one.

Newly uncovered emails show the White House closely monitored the Energy Department’s deliberations over a $535 million government loan to Solyndra, the politically-connected solar energy firm that recently went bankrupt and is now the subject of a criminal investigation.

The company’s solar panel factory was heralded as a centerpiece of the president’s green energy plan — billed as a way to jump start a promising new industry. And internal emails uncovered by investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that were shared exclusively with ABC News show the Obama administration was keenly monitoring the progress of the loan, even as analysts were voicing serious concerns about the risk involved. "This deal is NOT ready for prime time," one White House budget analyst wrote in a March 10, 2009 email, nine days before the administration formally announced the loan.

And there’s more:

The August 2009 e-mails, released to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by Republican congressional investigators.

Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.

One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

If you’re not seeing the word “Solyndra” on the front page of the New York Times for the next 20 days straight, then the Old Grey Lady is still in the tank for Obama. (For the record: The evidence so far is what you’d expect.)

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