Hundreds of protesters have “settled in” for a longer-term occupation of Wall Street in New York City. The protesters, who launched their campaign on Saturday, intend to stay in the streets for months if necessary to call attention to Wall Street greed and needed reforms of the economic system.
President Obama will release a plan today to use war savings, tax increases, and entitlement cuts to slash the federal deficit by more than $3 trillion over the next 10 years. The plan calls for $1.5 trillion in tax increases that will primarily affect the wealthy and $580 billion in “adjustments” to health and entitlement programs. Obama will also promise to veto any plan that reduces the deficit through spending cuts alone.
Republicans often speak about the need to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the GOP is “quiet when it comes to the Medicare drug benefit — another massive health care entitlement,” which will grow the deficit more than President Obama’s law. But GOP presidential candidates say they want to keep the Bush-era unfunded mandate. “After all, Republicans created it,” the AP notes.
Military retiree benefits could face deep cuts if Congress fails to adopt the super committee’s deficit-reduction recommendations. Currently, military pensions and health care cost about $100 billion a year, and without a deficit agreement, those benefits will be part of the $900 billion in cuts the Pentagon will have to make over the coming decade.
While Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) may brag about his job creation record during his presidential campaign, his state has also seen its poverty rate grow faster than the national average. According to the Census Bureau, 18.4 percent of Texans were impoverished in 2010, compared to 15.1 percent nationwide, and the state does not provide enough services for those in need.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced a bill that would require lawmakers to wait until the age of 66 to collect their pension, forcing legislators to live like the rest of the population. Currently, lawmakers can retire as early as 50 with a full pension while most Americans must wait until age 66 to receive Social Security. Brown said he introduced his Shared Retirement Sacrifice Act of 2011 out of a belief that his colleagues shouldn’t receive a pension “any earlier than a Social Security beneficiary should get theirs.”
A University of Maryland study found that “Facebook applications have created more than 182,000 jobs and contributed more than $12.19 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy.” Because the software jobs boom created additional jobs in supply businesses, the study finds this “app economy” also indirectly created at least an additional 129,000 jobs.
On Tuesday, the 17-year-old military code “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be formally repealed. DADT was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 and repealed by Congress last year, provoking the ire of many conservatives. President Obama made its overturn a campaign promise, and this summer, military leadership gave final approval to allow gay men and women in uniform to serve openly.
A “senior executive with the Libyan Investment Authority” has revealed that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of a handful of senior Western businessmen who regularly met with Moammar Qaddafi’s regime to negotiate banking deals. “Tony Blair’s visits were purely lobby visits for banking deals with JP Morgan,” said the executive on the condition of anonymity.
And finally: DC Mayor Vincent Gray declared Friday “Hayden Panettiere Day” to honor the actress for her support for DC voting rights. She brings “awareness among a new generation of our unique and unjust plight,” Gray said.