March 12, 2013

Reid on Ryan budget: "The same fuzzy math"

Paul Ryan's new budget? Sounds like the old Paul Ryan budget to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"The Paul Ryan Budget 3.0 uses the same fuzzy math as his previous two budgets. It relies on accounting that is creative at best and fraudulent at worst to inflate its claims of deficit reduction," the Nevada Democrat said.

Ryan, R-Wisc., unveiled his new plan Tuesday, and while it's expected to pass the Republican-run House of Representatives, Reid made it clear it would go nowhere in the Democratic-run Senate.

Here are Reid's comments:

"Early this year, with November’s election losses fresh in their minds, top Republicans promised a kinder, gentler Republican Party – a Republican Party that cared about “every American…achieving their dreams.” Republicans bandied about words like fairness and opportunity. They made overtures toward women and Hispanics. They promised cooperation and an end to brinksmanship. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor even spoke of, “an agenda based on a shared vision of creating the conditions for health, happiness and prosperity for more Americans and their families.” The rebranding was under way.

"Then a few weeks passed. And the Republican emphasis on fairness and equity passed along with them.

Continue reading "Reid on Ryan budget: "The same fuzzy math"" »

Ryan will unveil GOP budget today

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan plans to unveil a budget plan later Tuesday that would save $4.6 trillion over the next decade while imposing no new taxes.

The Wisconsin Republican's plan, which his committee will consider Wednesday, would also change traditional Medicare. After 2024, seniors would have alternatives.

The plan is expected to get virtually no support from Democrats.

Ryan previewed the plan in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Among his comments:

"America's national debt is over $16 trillion. Yet Washington can't figure out how to cut $85 billion—or just 2% of the federal budget—without resorting to arbitrary, across-the-board cuts. Clearly, the budget process is broken. In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven't passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation's debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.

"House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we're introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes. How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn't have. Historically, Americans have paid a little less than one-fifth of their income in taxes to the federal government each year. But the government has spent more.

"So our budget matches spending with income. Under our proposal, the government spends no more than it collects in revenue—or 19.1% of gross domestic product each year. As a result, we'll spend $4.6 trillion less over the next decade."

To read more:

March 07, 2013

Obama will meet with top congressional budget-writers for lunch

Last night it was dinner with Senate Republicans; today it's lunch with top congressional budget-writers.

President Barack Obama plans to have lunch Thursday with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., top Democrat on the committee.

The effort is another chapter in Obama's new effort to reach out to members of both parties in Congress. Next week he plans to meet with party caucuses, as he seeks common ground on a long range solution to the nation's fiscal chaos.

Hillary Clinton tops in 2016 presidential poll

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks like a strong 2016 presidential candidate, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

She "would start a 2016 presidential campaign with enormous advantages," said assistant poll director Peter Brown.

She would defeat three top Republican contenders by sizeable margins, the poll found. She beats New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 45-37 percent; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, 50-34 percent and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, 50-38 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden doesn't fare as well, trailing Christie but topping Rubio and Ryan. Another possible Democratic contender, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is tied with Rubio and trails Christie and Ryan.

To read the poll:

November 14, 2012

GOP says of Pelosi: "No better person to preside" over "most liberal" caucus

Republicans greeted the news that Nancy Pelosi will return as House Democratic leader with this comment:

"There is no better person to preside over the most liberal House Democratic Caucus in history than the woman who is solely responsible for relegating it to a prolonged minority status.  This decision signals that House Democrats have absolutely no interest in regaining the trust and confidence of the American people who took the Speaker’s gavel away from Nancy Pelosi in the first place," said Paul Lindsay, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman.

October 30, 2012

Days before elections, both campaigns headed to...Minnesota?

Both presidential campaigns are rallying supporters in the final days of the election in Minnesota, a state thought to be firmly for the Demorat but could be more competitive.

Former President Bill Clinton and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan will campaign in Minnesota today.

Obama’s campaign has dismissed talk that Minnesota is tightening, but several polls show it is close.A Star Tribune poll released this weekend showed the president's lead a mere three percent, within the margin of error.

Continue reading "Days before elections, both campaigns headed to...Minnesota?" »

October 23, 2012

Romney to rock Colorado -- in a venue built by the government

Mitt Romney is in Denver Tuesday night for his second rally of the day, along with New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Kid Rock, and Rodney Atkins.

And even the venue -- the Red Rocks Ampitheatre just outside Denver - is getting attention.

The site -- which usually hosts rock concerts offered a twinge of irony for the Republicans with the Denver Post noting today that it's a throwback to the use of government money to create jobs -- a notion that Romney and Ryan have rejected. The newspaper noted the iconic venue was built as part of the Depression-era New Deal employment programs. The Post said "hundreds of those workers took the natural amphitheater at Red Rocks and built it into the functioning venue it is today."

Romney adviser Kevin Madden wouldn't comment on whether it was a good use of campaign funds to spend an estimated $100,000 to rent the venue, saying he was not aware of the cost.

Romney and Ryan rip Obama in battleground Nevada

Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan sought to seize momentum in their first post-presidential debate stop in Henderson, Nevada, accusing Obama of failing to revive the economy -- and offering no new plans to do so.

They both portrayed Obama as flailing without an agenda, though neither directly mentioned the 20-page plan Obama released Tuesday. Romney charged that Obama has been relegated to relying on "characters on Sesame Street" to criticize Romney. 

And he repeated a line from the debate that "attacks on me are not an agenda.. That’s why his campaign is taking on water and our campaign is full steam ahead."

"We can handle 2 more weeks of campaign, but we can't handle four more years of what he's given us," Romney said, ticking off unemployment numbers, sinking housing costs and rising gas prices.

He said he'd deliver 12 million new jobs, raise take home pay and pledged in four years to reduce Nevada's "unemployment down to 6 percent."

Obama, he charged, is leading the U.S. on a path that will have it look "a lot like the troubled nations in Europe."

October 14, 2012

Don't expect tax details from Romney till after the election

Don't expect any more specifics on how a Romney administration would cut taxes while not blowing up the federal deficit.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said during his Thursday debate that the Republicans would "work with Congress'' on a plan, and Sunday, senior adviser Ed Gillespie reiterated that point.

"In a campaign environment, to start negotiating in a campaign environment, you're going to lock in Republicans, you're going to lock in Democrats," he told "Fox News Sunday."

Host Chris Wallace interrupted noted the Romney campaign locked in on cutting rates 20 percent across the board. Congress' bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said Friday that even if virtually all deductions were eliminated, the rates could only be reduced 4 percent if the package was to be revenue neutral.

Gillespie called the 20 percent rate a "principle," adding, if Romney wins, people will understand "the election was about this."

"And then work out the details in the same way, by the way, Ronald Reagan did with Tip O'Neill, with working across the aisle."

During Reagan's 1981-89 presidency, O'Neill, a Democrat, was House Speaker during the first six years. They did work together to craft several major pieces of legislation.

October 12, 2012

Ryan a slight debate winner, CNN poll finds

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan won the Thursday vice presidential debate, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll, but not by much.

48 percent of those who saw the debate thought the Republican won, while 44 percent said Vice President Joe Biden won.

Here's more from CNN:

"Half of all debate watchers questioned in the poll said the showdown didn't make them more likely to vote for either of the candidates' bosses, 28 percent said the debate made them more likely to vote for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 21 percent said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.

"According to the survey, 55 percent said that the vice president did better than expected, with 51 percent saying that the congressman from Wisconsin performed better than expected.

"By a 50-41 margin, debate watchers say that Ryan rather than Biden better expressed himself.

"Seven in ten said Biden was seen as spending more time attacking his opponent, and that may be a contributing factor in Ryan's 53-43 advantage on being more likable. Ryan also had a slight advantage on being more in touch with the problems of average Americans."


"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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