Tag Archives: Americans

Jeb Bush: ‘People Need To Work Longer Hours’ To Grow The Economy

In an interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader on Wednesday, Bush was asked if he had any plans for tax reform, such as a flat tax, and he replied:

[quote_center]“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is four percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”[/quote_center]

When asking Bush about his plans for tax reform, the Union Leader inquired about a possible flat tax, which has already been proposed by Bush’s rival, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who announced his plan to make more than $2 trillion in tax cuts by replacing the IRS tax code with a flat tax of 14.5 percent on individuals and businesses in June.

ABC News reported that the Democratic National Committee was quick to release a statement, calling Bush’s comment “easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” and saying that Bush would not support the middle class as president.

Bush responded by releasing a statement claiming that his comment was not about full-time workers, and was instead directed towards the under underemployed and part-time workers.

“Under President Obama, we have the lowest workforce participation rate since 1977, and too many Americans are falling behind,” Bush said. “Only Washington Democrats could be out-of-touch enough to criticize giving more Americans the ability to work, earn a paycheck, and make ends meet.”

The Washington Post reported that Bush told reporters that he blames the Obama administration and congressional Democrats for “enacting a series of policies that have made it harder for businesses to create jobs and for Americans to work longer hours.”

“If we’re going to grow the economy people need to stop being part-time workers, they need to be having access to greater opportunities to work,” Bush said. “You can take it out of context all you want, but high-sustained growth means that people work 40 hours rather than 30 hours and that by our success, they have money, disposable income for their families to decide how they want to spend it rather than getting in line and being dependent on government.”

For more news related to the 2016 Presidential election, click here.

Rand Paul Plans To Filibuster Renewal Of The Patriot Act

On Monday, 2016 Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced that he plans to fight back against the renewal of section 215 of the Patriot Act, which is used by the National Security Agency to justify its bulk collection of Americans’ data. Section 215 is set to expire on June 1.

During an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Paul said that he plans to “lead the charge” in the fight against the NSA’s unlawful data collection.

[pull_quote_center]“I’m going to lead the charge in the next couple of weeks as the Patriot Act comes forward,” Paul said. “We will be filibustering. We will be trying to stop it. We are not going to let them run over us. And we are going to demand amendments and we are going to make sure the American people know that some of us at least are opposed to unlawful searches.“[/pull_quote_center]

The Huffington Post noted that Congress must renew the Patriot Act by May 22, and that it is not clear whether Paul plans “to vote to block reauthorizing the surveillance law, or whether he intends to mount a traditional ‘talking’ filibuster” on the Senate floor.

On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized” and is illegal.

Paul has been very adamant in taking a stand against the NSA’s unconstitutional collection of Americans’ data. At a speech in New Hampshire on April 8, Paul condemned the NSA’s program and vowed that if elected as President in 2016, he would end it “on day one.”

“Warrantless searches of Americans phone records and computer records, are un-American and a threat to our civil liberties,” Paul said. “I say that your phone records are yours. I say the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business. The president created this vast dragnet by executive order. As President, on day one I will immediately end this unconstitutional program.”

Paul is not the only Senator speaking out against the renewal of the Patriot Act. On Sunday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told MSNBC that if the renewal includes the continued collection of Americans’ phone records, he also plans to filibuster.

The question will be, as you know, the Senate Republican leadership has been looking at a variety of ways to move forward to keep the bulk phone records collection program going,” Wyden said. “What usually happens is they say, ‘Let’s just have a short-term extension of it.’ I’m tired of extending a bad law. If they come back with that effort to basically extend this for a short term without major reforms like ending the collection of phone records, I do intend to filibuster.

In contrast from both Paul and Wyden, rumored 2016 Presidential Candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has defended the NSA’s bulk data collection on multiple occasions, calling the program hugely important in the United States’ long-term battle against terrorism. Bush has also said that the enhancement of the NSA’s spying program under President Obama has been the best part of the Obama administration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a bill on April 21 that would reauthorize the Patriot Act through 2020, without any amendments.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded to McConnell on the floor of the Senate, on Monday, and said that “extending an illegal program for five and a half years” was not sensible.

My friend, the Majority Leader, keeps talking about extending the program for five and a half years,” Reid sad. “How can you reauthorize something that’s illegal? You can’t. You shouldn’t.


Obama’s “Robin Hood” Plan to Collect $320 Billion in New Taxes

On Saturday, White House officials announced that President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address will include a plan to increase tax credits for the middle class, with $320 billion in revenue obtained by increasing taxes on the wealthy over the next ten years.

Americans for Tax Reform reported that Obama’s budget will include five major tax increases: a capital gains rate hike, an increase in the death tax rate, an increased tax on banks, a tax increase on families saving for college, and a tax increase in retirement plans.

According to the Associated Press, the capital gains rate hike would “increase the total top capital gains rate on couples with incomes above $500,000 to 28 percent,” which has “already been raised from 15 percent to 23.8 percent” during Obama’s presidency.

Obama’s changes in the death tax rate would eliminate a tax break on inheritances, where individuals pay both income and estate taxes on the same dollars. This would close a “loophole” that Obama has suggested is a “huge scam that wealthy people exploit,” according to Forbes.

The Guardian reported that Obama’s proposed “Bank Tax” will put a new 0.07% tax on the liabilities of U.S. financial firms with assets of more than $50 billion, “making it more costly for them to borrow heavily.”

Obama’s plan also includes increased taxes on families saving for college. While the current law lets money put in 529 plans, or college savings accounts, grow tax-free, Obama’s proposal would require that earnings “face taxation upon withdrawal, even if the withdrawal is to pay for college,” according to Americans for Tax Reform.

Politico reported that Obama plans to increase taxes on retirement plans such as the IRA and 401(k), by capping the amount an individual can accumulate in the account at $3.4 million, giving retirees a limit of $210,000 in annual income.

Once accumulating the money from the wealthy, the Associated Press reported that Obama plans to give a “new $500 ‘second earner’ tax credit for families where both spouses work,” and an expanded child care tax credit of up to “$3,000 per child under age 5.”

According to Politico, Obama also plans to “expand tax breaks for small businesses that automatically enroll their employees in retirement savings accounts.

NPR reported that Obama’s plans have been met with criticism from Republicans in Congress, such as a spokesperson for Representative Paul Ryan who said that the plan was “not a serious proposal.”

The Senate’s top tax law writer, Senator Orrin Hatch, told Reuters that Obama “needs to stop listening to his liberal allies who want to raise taxes at all costs and start working with Congress to fix our broken tax code.

Poll: Concerns Over Government Leadership Surpass Economy For First Time

A recent Gallup Poll revealed that the largest concern among Americans in 2014 was poor government leadership, which topped concern over the economy for the first time in Gallup’s polling history.

The poll, which was published on Friday, found that in 2014, there were four main issues that generated the greatest amount of public concern: government leadership, the economy, unemployment, and healthcare.

According to Gallup, this poll was conducted as a part of the monthly Gallup Poll Social Series, which surveys a random sample of “approximately 1,000 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”

18% of the Americans surveyed felt that government leadership, related to both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress, was the most important problem in the United States. Complaints about the economy were voiced by 17%, followed by unemployment by 15%, and healthcare by 10%.

Following the top four complaints, 8% of Americans chose immigration, 6% named the federal budget deficit, and 5% listed ethical or moral decline as the largest issues in the country. According to Gallup, this was the “first time since 2001 that no single issue averaged 20% or more for the year.”

Gallup noted that there was uneven attention given to the issues throughout the year, with mentions of unemployment “consistently higher in the first half of 2014 than later in the year,” and mentions of race relations sparking from the average 2% to 13% in December.

Gallup found that, not only was 2014 the “first year since 2007 that the economy was not the top ranking issue,” it was also the “first year ever in Gallup records that dissatisfaction with government topped the list.”

Of the top five issues that most concerned Americans in 2014, the economy and unemployment are significantly less dominant than they were even two years ago,” noted Gallup. “At the same time, concerns about government and immigration have been mounting, while concerns about healthcare have consistently simmered at a moderately high level since 2009.”

Gallup stated that the lack of Americans’ ability to “converge on a single pressing concern” in 2014, the way they had in the past, could have implications on the 2016 presidential elections, and “could make candidates’ task of honing a message for the election more complex.