Obama calls for new small-business tax breaks to stimulate economy

President Obama made a fresh call Tuesday for another round of economic stimulus, proposing to spend more than $25 billion to offer tax breaks to companies to hire workers or pay them higher salaries.

The measure is Obama’s first proposal aimed at addressing the still-weak economy since his reelection and an acknowledgment that though it is no longer a political threat, the nation’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent remains a significant problem.

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“Obama brings in grassroots team to cut deal on fiscal cliff”

President calls on campaign team to spread the word about looming deadline when tax rises and spending cuts will kick in

Obama’s call came after no progress was made between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Thanksgiving. Photograph: Charlres Dharapak/AP

Obama’s call came after no progress was made between Republicans and Democrats in Congress over Thanksgiving. Photograph: Charlres Dharapak/AP

Barack Obama has enlisted the help of his formidable grassroots army of volunteers in the battle with Republican members of Congress over thefiscal cliff, the January 1 deadline for a deal on tax and spending.

The Obama for America campaign team, which has remained intact post-election, sent out a message to supporters saying that though there is a lot of stake, with their help a deal is possible.

It comes after reports of no progress by the Republican and Democratic teams left behind in Congress over the Thanksgiving holiday period to start work on a compromise package.

The White House move suggests it has learned the lesson about the impact of grassroots opinion from the battle over healthcare reform. At that time, Democrats failed to match Republican and Tea Party groups who piled the pressure on Congress through the mail, in town hall meetings and in protests on Capitol Hill.

The Obama campaign team, in an email to its extensive network of supporters, said: “Right now, president Obama is working with leaders of both parties in Washington to reduce the deficit in a balanced way so we can lay the foundation for long-term middle-class job growth and prevent your taxes from going up.”

It calls on them to spread the word about Obama’s position to friends, families and neighbours. It said he wanted a balanced budget that will extend tax cuts for 98% of the population, eliminate tax cuts for the wealthiest and cut spending by $3tn.

“These problems are challenging, but they’re solvable. In fact, the Senate has already passed a bill to keep your taxes low. The House needs to pass it, and Congress should get it to the president as soon as possible,” the OFA mail said.



“First Word: The irony of Romney’s 47%”


By Sarah Muller

Mitt Romney may soon represent the 47% for all time. (Rex Features via AP Images)

The White House said Obamacare is a non-starter in the fiscal cliff talks. And as final vote tallies come in, it looks likely Mitt Romney earned 47 % of of the final vote — the same infamous percentage that he discussed in the secret fundraiser tape which plagued his campaign. Here’s a look at headlines shaping tonight’s rundown:

HARDBALL: Chris Matthews on the Secession Craze


Republicans confront their Rush Limbaugh problem 1

By Aliyah Frumin

Shaken by Mitt Romney’s decisive loss, Republicans are blaming everybody–even the usually sacrosanct Rush Limbaugh. Top strategists are speaking out against the conservative radio host, saying the party needs to steer clear of his far-right and factually inaccurate vision of America.

Mike Murphy, GOP strategist, said on this week’s Meet the Press that while it’s “very fashionable now to beat up Romney,” it’s important that “we’ve got to get a kind of a party view of America that’s not right out of Rush Limbaugh’s dream journal.” And former John McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, at a panel at the University of Delaware last week, insisted that Limbaugh’s “white, 65-plus and rural” audience is not what the country looks like anymore and that the radio host was “driving a message of total ludicrous nonsense.”

A furious Limbaugh hit back at Murphy and Schmidt on his Monday show.

“Okay, so you people are all white, 65 and over, and you live in the sticks,” Limbaugh said. “And you are screwing up the Republican Party, because you are believing what I say. This is their explanation for having lost.”

He continued, “And so it’s quite natural to blame somebody else. Obama got away with it. Obama blamed Bush and he got away with it, people bought it. So now these guys want to blame me.”



Middle Class: The squeeze is on, here’s why by Adam Garnett



More and more these days, middle-class Americans seem to feel that their opportunities for income growth and achieving the American dream simply aren’t what they used to be.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Hedrick Smith, author of the new book Who Stole the American Dream,  joined Hardball  Friday to explain the hidden causes of inequality in the U.S. economy. The public, Smith said, has been led to believe that the middle class squeeze in this country has been caused by globalization, technology and market forces.

Not so, argues Smith, who points to a political/corporate power shift in the late 1970′s as the culprit of the widening wealth gap.

” There was a political rebellion. [The corporate interests] absolutely stuffed labor, they stuffed the consumer movement, they got deregulation, they got tax cuts, they got all kinds of things so the power shift tilted the policy towards business, towards the wealthy,” Smith told Chris Matthews.





As President Obama Meets Today with Leaders from Congress, We Offer This Prayer for Unity


You, the one
From whom on different paths
All of us have come.

To whom on different paths
All of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts what unites us.

Build bridges across all that divides us;
United make us rejoice in our diversity.

At one in our witness to your peace,
A rainbow of your glory.


— Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB 

You won’t believe the drivel and lies Mitch McConnell is telling Republicans 1

This email is from “Team Mitch”

Let’s convince Mitch McConnell to retire.



Dear Patriot,


President Obama thinks we have given up.


Just days after the election, the President is calling for a massive tax hike on American small businesses. And, he thinks he has a “consensus” of Americans who will go along with his dangerous plans.


The President has been very clear about what he intends to do. In the coming weeks, he will try to use the “Lame Duck” session of Congress and the threat of the fiscal cliff to pressure Republicans to fall in line with his tax hikes. He thinks we will roll right over.


This election taught us that there is consensus on some core issues. The American people are all worried about the future. They know they need jobs, and that we need to fuel our recovery. And, they want Washington’s solutions to work, not hurt.


But, I see absolutely no consensus anywhere, save from the radical left, that we should hike taxes on our small business owners and stall this fragile economy.


A tax hike on American small businesses WILL kill jobs, it WILL stifle our fragile recovery and it WILL NOT work!


You see, an independent study by the highly respected accounting firm Ernst and Young estimates that President Obama’s tax hike plan would crush tens of thousands of small businesses and destroy 710,000 jobs.


Let’s be honest. I am sure you are disappointed with the results of last week’s elections, as am I. But now is not the time to hang our heads.


The President is counting on us to sit on the sidelines during this fight so he can push through his tax hike agenda…






Republicans who oppose the will of the people

WE  THE PEOPLE  gave Barack Obama a mandate when we re-elected him to be the President of 100% of us. The leaders of both parties in Congress will meet with the President on Friday to discuss how to handle the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Days before the meeting, Speaker Boehner spoke as if he is open to compromise. Senator Mitch McConnell made it clear that he was sticking to his sole claim to fame: Being as stubborn as a tree stump and serving only to obstipate the business of the people: Congress. The hackles on President Obama’s neck were raised when he repeated his vow to not cave in to Republicans, even if they try to blackmail him again. STAND WITH BARACK OBAMA. Let your senators and representatives know how you feel. America wins by backing Obama!