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Tags: Boehner | Dubs | New Bill | Cash for Flunkers

Boehner Dubs New Stimulus Bill 'Cash for Flunkers'

By    |   Sunday, 15 August 2010 03:19 PM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Americans Approve of Obama on Only One Issue
2. Boehner Dubs New Stimulus Bill ‘Cash for Flunkers’
3. Wealthy Moving South to Avoid Taxes
4. Hispanic Media Turn Against Obama
5. New York Democrats Clash Over 9/11 Bill
6. We Heard: Charlie Crist, Dr. Laura Schlessinger

1. Americans Approve of Obama on Only One Issue

President Barack Obama has less than a 50 percent approval rating for his handling of 12 key issues, with over 50 percent approval for only one  issue — race relations, according to new Gallup Polls.

The polling results show that 52 percent of Americans approve of his handling of race relations, and 38 percent disapprove.

But just 29 percent of those surveyed approve of his performance on immigration, compared to 62 percent that disapprove, and only 31 percent give him a positive mark for his handling of the federal budget deficit, compared to 64 percent who disapprove.

That’s a huge 33 percent gap on both issues.

Only 38 percent of Americans now approve of the way Obama is handling the economy (with 59 percent disapproving), down from 59 percent in March 2009.

His ratings on other issues, according to the polls — one of which is a USA Today/Gallup survey:

Education: 49 percent approve, 40 percent disapprove

Terrorism: 48 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove

Energy policy: 47 percent approve, 42 percent disapprove

Foreign affairs: 44 approve, 48 percent disapprove

The environment: 43 percent approve, 51 percent disapprove

The situation in Iraq: 41 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove

Taxes: 41 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove

Healthcare policy: 40 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove

The situation in Afghanistan: 36 percent approve, 57 percent disapprove

“Less than a majority of Americans give Obama a positive review for the job he is doing as president overall, and the same applies to their opinions of how he is handling most of the issues he is having to contend with as president,” Gallup observes.

The pollster believes Americans could rate Obama poorly either because they feel he is not doing enough (immigration and the deficit), he has taken action they do not approve of (healthcare policy), or they approve of his policies but are disappointed by a lack of progress (Afghanistan and the economy).

Americans are not happy with the performance of Congress as well, Gallup found. The congressional approval average so far this year is just 20 percent, down from 30 percent last year and the lowest of any midterm election year since 1974.

Editor's Note:

2. Boehner Dubs New Stimulus Bill ‘Cash for Flunkers’

House Minority Leader John Boehner has suggested several names for the new stimulus bill Democrats rammed through Congress last week — none of them complimentary.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summoned lawmakers back from summer break and they voted 61 to 39 on Tuesday to approve the emergency $26 billion stimulus-type bill that Democrats said would save 300,000 jobs. President Obama immediately signed it into law.

But Democrats were in such a rush to pass the bill that on Sunday night, two days before the vote, the legislation still did not have a name.

Congress’ official website called it the “____ Act of ____,” and the Library of Congress referred to it as the “XXXXXX Act of XXXX.”

Republicans said the bill is an election-year gift to teachers and public workers unions, CNSNews reported.

“A nameless bill for a hopeless cause is a fitting metaphor for a Democratic Congress that refuses to listen to the American people and abandon its job-killing agenda,” said Boehner. The Ohio lawmaker referred to it as the “union-boss bailout” bill and offered several names for the legislation:

Save Our “Stimulus” (SOS) Act

“Recovery Summer” Bailout Act (Cash for Flunkers)

Delivering Unions a Major Boost (DUMB) Act

Helping Election Expenditures, Hurting American Workers (HEEHAW) Act

Democracy Is Strengthened by Clearly Leveraging and Optimizing Special-Interests' Effectiveness (DISCLOSE) Act

Rescuing Incumbent Democrats Is Costly (RIDIC) Act

Summertime Cash for Union Bosses Instead of Spending Cuts for Taxpayers Act

Frivolous Act of Ineffective Largesse (FAIL) Act

Naming These Things Hasn't Gotten Us Anywhere, So Why Bother Act

Boehner said, “The American people don’t want more Washington ‘stimulus’ spending — especially in the form of a political season payoff to union bosses.”

Editor's Note:

3. Wealthy Moving South to Avoid Taxes

Wealthy Americans are increasingly moving South, not for the sun but for lower taxes.

“For years, wealthy retirees from high-tax states in the Northeast and Midwest have been streaming to sunny, low-tax Florida,” Hilary Johnson writes for Investment News. “That stream is now turning into a flood.”

In addition to Florida, states with no state income tax are Texas, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, and Alaska, while Tennessee and New Hampshire tax only dividend and interest income.

“The move to no-tax states is absolutely big business,” said Thomas Handler, a partner at the law firm Handler Thayer LLP. “People are doing is all day long, and it’s ramping up.”

In New York, the marginal state individual income tax rate on residents earning more than $500,000 a year has gone from about 7 percent in 2009 to nearly 9 percent this year.

One wealthy New Yorker fleeing high taxes is Tom Golisano, co-owner of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and three-time gubernatorial candidate in New York, who announced last year that he was leaving the Empire State for Florida.

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, angered by the tax hike in New York, vowed in March that he would sell his Manhattan penthouse and move his operations elsewhere. He already has a home in Florida.

“I'm going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York, perhaps Texas — another no-income-tax state,” he said. His penthouse went under contract in July.

Florida’s population soared 16 percent from 2000 to 2009, after rising 23 percent in the 1990s. New York, on the other hand, saw a net migration of minus-698,000 from 2000 to 2008. That population shift has accelerated recently, however, with the Bush tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year and well-off individuals facing higher federal taxes.

But tax experts warn that wealthy individuals should plan carefully if they intend to buy a home in Florida while still maintaining a residence in the Northeast or Midwest.

“If you’re claiming Florida residency, you don’t want to have one fact that shows you are still tied to New York, such as not having changed your driver’s license, voter’s registration or mailing address for important documents,” attorney Gary Phillips, an attorney at Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard PA and co-author of “On the Road to Florida: Coles’ Practical Guide to Changing Your Residence from New Jersey or New York,” told Investment News. “That would be the one thing auditors can focus on, and it hurts your case.”

Editor's Note:

4. Hispanic Media Turn Against Obama

Hispanic voters largely supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election after he vowed to influential Univision anchor Jorge Ramos that he would draft an immigration reform bill during his first year in office.

More than a year has come and gone, no immigration bill has been forthcoming, and Obama is increasingly coming under criticism from Hispanic media figures — including Ramos himself.

“He has a credibility problem right now with Latinos,” said Ramos, an anchor on Univision — the nation’s largest Spanish-language television network — for more than 20 years who has been called the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-language media.

He told Politico, “Latinos voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, and they expected him to keep his promise, and he broke his promise.

“If he was able to get 60 votes for financial reform, if he can get 60 votes to extend unemployment benefits, how come he can’t get 60 votes for immigration reform?”

Ramos is not alone. Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart complained on ABC’s “Meet the Press” in April that Obama’s campaign vow, known as “La Promesa de Obama,” has gone unmet.

After Obama said in May that he would send 1,200 guards to the Mexican border, an editorial in El Diario La Prensa asked, “Who’s in charge in Washington?”

Following Obama’s immigration speech in July, La Opinion, the nation’s largest Spanish-language daily, titled an editorial, “Words are not enough.”

And Andres Oppenheimer, a columnist for El Nuevo Herald, declared, “Obama came up short.”

Hispanics voted 67 percent for Obama versus 31 percent for Republican John McCain, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Obama’s approval rating among Hispanics dropped from 69 early this year to 57 percent in May, according to the Gallup Poll.

Members of the Obama administration “know they are in trouble with the Hispanic community, and the problem in November is the Hispanic vote may be up for grabs again,” Ramos told Politico. “My fear is they might not vote. They don’t feel protected or supported by either party.”

Editor's Note:

5. New York Democrats Clash Over 9/11 Bill

New York City Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner is angry at another Big Apple Democrat who bucked the party line and sided with Republican Rep. Peter King over a $7.4 billion 9/11 bill.

The legislation is aimed at covering the healthcare costs for relief workers sickened by World Trade Center dust after the terrorist attacks and the twin towers’ collapse.

The bill hit a snag when Democrats in the U.S. House put the bill to a two-thirds majority vote instead of allowing it to pass with a simple majority, the New York Post reported. With the two-thirds vote, they could prevent Republicans from tacking on amendments on other issues. But the bill failed to get a two-thirds majority.

In a blowout on the House floor, Weiner accused King, a congressman from Long Island who had backed the bill, of “not doing the right thing on behalf of heroes” and blamed him for the lack of GOP support for the measure.

King fired back that Democrats were “petrified” of a simple majority vote, which could force them to take a stand regarding amendments on hot button issues Republicans might add to the bill.

Now Robert Zimmerman, a New York member of the Democratic National Committee and a CNN commentator, has issued a joint statement with King urging the House to cease partisan posturing on the 9/11 bill, according to the Post.

“Police officers, firefighters, and construction workers should not be allowed to die because elected representatives are reluctant to cast a possibly difficult vote,” they said in the statement.

A furious Weiner threatened to try to have Zimmerman removed from the DNC, a source told the Post, but others Democrats talked him out of it.

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT Rep. Kendrick Meek is losing support from fellow Democrats in his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

On Wednesday night, Democratic pollster and former Hillary Clinton senior adviser Mark Penn hosted a $4,800-per-person fundraising reception in Washington for Charlie Crist, who left the Republican Party to run as an independent against GOP candidate Marco Rubio and the Democratic nominee, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

Crist continues to draw support away from Meek. Donors who had given to President Obama’s 2008 campaign made up almost 10 percent of the individual contributions to Crist’s campaign in the second quarter of this year.

Meek campaigned heavily for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004, but Kerry’s media consultant Tad Devine is now aiding billionaire Jeff Greene, who is fighting meek for the Democratic nod.

THAT talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has been nominated for the 2010 Marconi Radio Awards’ Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year honor.

Schlessinger became the only woman to win that award back in 1997. Her show, “The Dr. Laura Program,” is now the No. 3 ranked talk show in the nation with more than 8.25 million weekly listeners, according to Talkers Magazine.

Dr. Laura’s nomination was announced by the National Association of Broadcasters, and the award will be presented in Washington, D.C., in September.

Ed Krampf, market manager at Schlessinger’s flagship station, KFWB in Los Angeles, said, “Throughout her more than 30-year career, Dr. Laura has built an incredible following by connecting to her audience on a personal level that many other talk talents have tried unsuccessfully to replicate.”

Editor's Note:

Editor's Notes:

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Insider Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Americans Approve of Obama on Only One Issue2. Boehner Dubs New Stimulus Bill Cash for Flunkers 3. Wealthy Moving South to Avoid Taxes4. Hispanic Media Turn Against Obama5. New York Democrats Clash Over 9/11...
Boehner,Dubs,New Bill,Cash for Flunkers
Sunday, 15 August 2010 03:19 PM
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