ThinkFast: April 25, 2011

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) budget proposal is the “only major budget proposal out there offering a plausible path to balancing the budget.” Krugman writes that serious deficit reduction must include raising revenues and that the CPC budget does exactly that.

A new International Monetary Fund (IMF) analysis concludes that “China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.” The IMF estimates that under purchasing power parity, the Chinese economy will expand to $19 trillion in 2016 while the U.S. economy will expand to $18.8 trillion.

The Senate is moving a bill to cut the number of administration posts that are subject to Senate approval, a “rare voluntary surrender of Congressional clout” that is backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “We are losing very good people because the process has become so onerous, so lengthy and so duplicative,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

The Obama administration is considering sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over “the increasingly violent crackdown against anti-government protesters.” The possible executive order would institute sanctions against Syrian officials leading the crackdown and may include freezing assets and banning business dealings with the U.S.


Televangelist Franklin Graham suggested he was unsure about whether President Obama was American, saying on ABC’s This Week yesterday that potential presidential candidate Donald Trump “may be right.” Graham went on to praise Trump and implied that he may end up endorsing the real estate mogul.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) floated the possibility of a grand jury investigation into rising gas prices and whether they stem from illegal manipulation of oil markets. Blumenthal said the Justice Dept. should send a “very strong deterrent message” that illegal activity will not be tolerated.

The Obama administration is planning to unveil a proposal to overhaul corporate taxes, possibly as early as May. Economic advisers are exploring the willingness of business leaders to accept a closing of many corporate tax loopholes in exchange for dropping the top corporate rate from 35 percent to 26 percent.

And finally: Hollywood train wreck Charlie Sheen doesn’t want you to vote for potential presidential candidate Donald Trump, but not because of Trump’s birtherism. Sheen told an audience that Trump once gave Sheen a pair of faux cufflinks that Trump had said were platinum-and-diamond Harry Winstons worth $100,000. But when Sheen got the cufflinks appraised, he found out they were “f — king tin,” worth about $60.

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