Related Content: Lori Montgomery

July 13, 2012

Weekly Show

This Week, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both campaigned in battleground states. Obama called for an extension of middle class tax cuts while Romney addressed the NAACP. Also, House Republicans voted to repeal the president's health care law. Joining Gwen: Michael Duffy, TIME Magazine; Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post; Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics; Sam Youngman, Reuters.

 

CBO: Taxmageddon Would Throw U.S. Back into Recession

Essential Reads

Tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect in January would suck $607 billion out of the economy next year, plunging the nation at least briefly back into recession, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. Unless lawmakers act, the economy is likely to contract in the first half of 2013 at an annualized rate of 1.3 percent, the CBO said, before returning to 2.3 percent growth later in the year.

Taxmageddon Sparks Rising Anxiety

Essential Reads

Defense contractors have slowed hiring. Tax advisers are warning firms not to count on favorite breaks. And hospitals are scouring their books for ways to cut costs. Across the U.S. economy, anxiety is rising about the potential for widespread disruptions after the November election, when a lame-duck Congress will have barely two months to resolve a grinding standoff over taxes and spending.

Health-Care Law Will Add $340 Billion to Deficit, New Study Finds

On The Radar

President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.
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GOP Budget Plan Cuts Deeply into Domestic Programs, Reshapes Medicare, Medicaid

On The Radar

House Republicans laid down a bold but risky election-year marker Tuesday, unveiling a budget proposal that aims to tame the national debt by reshaping Medicare and cutting deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and other programs for the poor, while reshuffling the tax code to sharply lower rates.
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Mitt Romney Tax Returns Make Him a Personal Embodiment of GOP Tax Policy

On The Radar

With the release of his tax returns Tuesday, Mitt Romney has emerged as Exhibit A in a political battle likely to define the 2012 election: how to tax the rich. To Democrats, Romney is benefiting from an unfair tax code that permits a man who made nearly $21 million last year to pay just 15 percent in federal taxes. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama said those earning more than $1 million a year can afford to pay more and should send at least 30 percent of their income to Washington.

Mitt Romney Agrees to Release Tax Returns, Estimates 15 Percent Tax Rate

On The Radar

Mitt Romney bowed to political pressure on Tuesday by promising to release his federal income tax returns, while estimating the rate he pays at about 15 percent and placing himself among the wealthiest Americans who earn most of their money from past investments. Romney’s disclosure underscored the Republican presidential front-runner’s discomfort with talking about a key aspect of his biography — his money — and reignited the debate over whether his multimillionaire status makes it hard for him to relate to middle-class Americans.

Washington’s Year of Drama Leaves Little Done Regarding Debt

On The Radar

Reid Ribble, a Wisconsin roofing contractor-turned-Republican lawmaker, has helped change the way Washington talks about the national debt. That’s not to say he has done much about the debt itself. Nearly a year ago, Ribble and other newly elected House Republicans came to Capitol Hill on a single-minded mission to shove the federal debt to the top of the congressional agenda. They succeeded.

Medicare Spending Growth Rising Slower but Enrollment Will Rise

On The Radar

Throughout Medicare’s 46-year-old history, monitoring the cost of the government health plan for the elderly has been a bit like the old joke: No one asked if spending would jump. They only asked how high. But in early 2010, the number crunchers at Medicare headquarters in Baltimore saw something surprising: a sharp drop in the volume of doctor visits and other outpatient services. Instead of growing at the usual 4 percent a year, the number of claims was suddenly climbing by less than 2 percent.

Paul Ryan to Announce New Approach to Preserving Medicare

On The Radar

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who has been castigated by Democrats and hailed by Republicans for his plan to privatize Medicare, will on Thursday unveil a new approach that would preserve the 46-year-old federal health program. Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would offer traditional, government-run Medicare as an option for future retirees along with a variety of private plans.