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Obama anchors budget on tax hikes for the rich

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US President Barack Obama will Monday roll out a populist election-year budget, challenging Republicans to support his job creation drive and to finally agree to hike taxes on the richest Americans.

Obama will use his annual spending plan to flesh out his pledge to build a new economy in which every American gets a “fair shot” and the rich pay what the president calls a “fair share,” senior officials said.

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His proposal will be seen as a highly political document, given its timing as Obama gears up his reelection fight and the fact it follows spending guidelines from a deficit control agreement with Republicans in September.

The budget is also unlikely ever to come into force, as Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has said there will be no vote on a budget proposal this year, due to the already agreed spending guidelines.

Specifically, the budget reaffirms tight cuts in discretionary spending by $1 trillion over 10 years and reduces discretionary spending from 8.7 percent of GDP in 2011 to five percent in 2022, Obama administration officials said.

The proposal, to be officially unveiled by Obama in Northern Virginia, calls on Congress to back the Buffett rule, named after billionaire financier Warren Buffett, designed to ensure no household earning more than one million dollars a year pays less than 30 percent in taxes.

It also renews Obama’s call for the George W. Bush-era tax cuts to be repealed on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year.

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Obama’s repeated attempts to repeal the Bush tax cuts and to bring in higher taxes for the rich have always foundered in Congress where they are opposed by Republicans.

Republicans are sure to oppose most of Obama’s plan and treated the administration’s preview of the budget with disdain.

“It seems he’s put his presidency on autopilot,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House speaker John Boehner.

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“We can’t have a real, robust recovery when the president is doubling down on job-killing tax increases and pilling up this much debt.”

Officials said the plan will also again call for a Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee levied on the largest banks and finance firms to compensate taxpayers for government bailouts during the financial crisis.

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The proposal has in the past been blocked by Congress and appears to have little chance of being enacted now.

The plan will project a $1.3 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, slightly higher than $1.296 trillion in 2011, an administration official said.

Obama’s last annual budget before he seeks reelection in November will also project a $901 billion deficit for fiscal year 2013 (beginning October 2012), and will frame his campaign trail message of a fair fight for all.

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In all, the document calls for more than $4 trillion in deficit reduction by 2018.

The spending plan will also include more than $350 billion for short-term job creation programs, senior officials said.

Obama also resubmits portions of his American Jobs Act, which has foundered in Congress, to accelerate employment creation amid signs the economy is finally speeding up. Unemployment fell to 8.3 percent in January giving Obama’s reelection prospects a boost.

He calls for $350 billion in short-term job growth measures and asks Congress to pass an extension of a two percent cut on payroll taxes until the end of the year, after a two-month extension passed last year which runs out this month.

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Obama also renews his call for a boost to infrastructure spending which has again, had a tough ride in Congress.

The president wants to spend $50 billion to repair roads, rails and runways to create thousands of jobs. He also wants to spend $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 schools and $30 billion more to help states and local governments hire teachers and first responders.


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2020 Election

How Lindsey Graham keeps lowering his standards for Trump

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As the coronavirus pandemic spread and death tolls increased across the United States over the last three months, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., repeatedly raised the number of deaths he would find acceptable in defense of President Donald Trump's botched response.
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White woman pulls gun on Black woman after allegedly almost hitting her with her car

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On Wednesday, a viral video showed a white woman in Auburn Hills, Michigan, pulling a handgun on a Black woman in an altercation in a parking lot.

According to the woman taking the video, the white woman nearly hit the Black woman while backing up her van, and the argument escalated quickly.

"Get the license plate!" the Black woman can be heard shouting.

"Don't you f**king jump behind my car," replied the woman with the gun. "Get the f**k back! Get the f**k back! Back the f**k up!"

According to the poster, the woman who brandished the gun has been arrested.

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July 4 re-opening still on after employee at private sports club owned by billionaire governor tests positive for coronavirus

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After at least three complaints alleging lax reopening practices at West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s luxury resort hotel, a kitchen employee has tested positive for the coronavirus at a residential and sports club affiliated with The Greenbrier.

Local Health Department officials directed a 14-day quarantine for potentially exposed employees at The Lodge, a restaurant at the Greenbrier Sporting Club, and the venue will remain closed until July 10. Festivities planned at the club for July 4 will go on, but with food from other facilities.

"While the events of the past few days certainly have thrown us a curve ball, we have reached out to our friends and colleagues in the area to pull together a festival that will have something for everyone," the director of operations at the sporting club, Allen Wills, told its 400 members in a Tuesday night email, obtained by ProPublica.

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