Super committee member Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) panned extending an expiring payroll tax cut yesterday, saying “the payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation.” Kyl also dismissed raising tax rates on the wealthy, spurring Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to respond, “Now the Republicans are walking away from lower- and middle-income families because they don’t want to impose a small, small tax on the wealthiest people.”
The Washington Post reports on the making of “Newt Inc.” After leaving Congress in 1999, Newt Gingrich “transformed himself into an entrepreneur, building an empire of companies and nonprofits that took in about $150 million over the past decade.”
Bloomberg has unearthed quotes from 2006 revealing that GOP front runner Mitt Romney once backed the immigration position he now calls “amnesty.” Romney has derided Gingrich for proposing “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, but in 2006, Romney himself said, “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has started to move in on protesters who have stayed their ground despite an eviction order by the city. Hundreds of protesters have defied the 4:30 a.m. deadline set by police, and the LAPD has begun making arrests.
A new Economic Security Index report reveals that more than one in five Americans are economically insecure, having seen “at least a quarter of their available household income vanish in the Great Recession” while lacking “a sufficient financial cushion.” The 62 million Americans facing economic insecurity last year also saw a record drop in their median income level, hitting 46.4 percent in 2009.
The New Republic reports on Karl Rove’s effort to get deep-pocketed, right-wing groups to work together to elect Republicans. “Invited them to lunch, suggested we all might be more effective and efficient if we shared our plans, shared costs and resources where possible,” Rove said of his coordination among groups like Crossroads, the Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for Prosperity.
Harmful immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia have already caused at least $115 million in economic losses because of crops left to rot due to a lack of immigrant workers, and farmers say the price for food will start to rise as a result as workers continue to flee. “If, theoretically, you did get rid of all the Mexicans, you’d be hungry in a week,” said George Marks, a Tennessee farmer.
Defying expectations of low turnout, large crowds of Egyptians voters lined up at dawn to cast their ballots in the first parliamentary election since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. The Muslim Brotherhood is predicted to win control of Parliament after decades of secular dictatorship.
In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman suggests going beyond reversing the Bush tax cuts on the very wealthy to raise revenues. He recommends raising taxes even further on the very rich and taxing financial transactions, among other ideas.
And finally: After tweeting #heblowsalot about Gov. Sam Brownback, 18-year old Emma Sullivan found herself in the midst of a media frenzy. In response, Emma has outsourced her public relations management to her big sister Olivia, a political science and communications major at Wichita State University. Olivia manages the emails flowing into Emma’s account and handles incoming media requests.