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Chris Christie attacks Obama over ‘severe over-regulation’

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Possible Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie on Tuesday said the policies of President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve had widened the gulf between rich and poor.

Christie, who is governor of New Jersey, said Obama’s monetary and regulatory policies have stymied economic growth by allowing financial assets to grow substantially in value while wages have stagnated.

“Under this president, we have a roaring financial markets economy for the wealthy and a weak real economy for the middle class,” Christie said, criticizing the U.S. central bank’s “easy money” policies.

Christie has yet to say whether he will run for president in the November 2016 election. In his speech at a university in New Hampshire, which holds one of the party’s first nominating contests, Christie unveiled a detailed economic plan that he said would create 4 percent annual growth.

Christie said he would simplify the tax system, lower tax rates for corporations, and eliminate payroll taxes for those over 62 and under 21.

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Christie also pledged to undo what he deemed “anti-growth” actions taken by the Obama administration that he said had led to “severe over-regulation” and “policies that discourage work.”

Creating a national energy strategy and encouraging innovation are also priorities, Christie said.

“From its inception this administration has been focused much more on redistribution of wealth than on creating more wealth for middle class citizens in America,” Christie said of Obama, a Democrat who cannot seek another term as president.

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Christie was considered a Republican 2016 favorite until the “Bridgegate” scandal in which transportation and state officials were alleged to have engineered a traffic jam as political punishment.

Recent opinion polls show him lagging other Republicans, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

New Jersey’s economic recovery has lagged that of its neighbors and the nation. The state also faces a large public pension gap and has seen its credit rating downgraded a record nine times since Christie took office in January 2010.

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Income inequality has been a main theme for Democratic politicians, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of Wall Street. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has also emphasized the issue.

The share of income has been shifting toward better-off households since the early 1970s, with a particularly sharp jump during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, a Republican, U.S. Census data shows.

The shift, partly due to the rising value of stocks, real estate and other assets, slowed during the Obama years. During Obama’s first term, the share of incomes earned by the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans jumped to 22.2 percent from 21.7 percent. The middle fifth’s share, meanwhile, fell to 14.4 percent from 14.6.

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In a statement, Holly Shulman, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said Christie’s proposed tax cuts would further enrich the wealthy and corporations without helping the middle class.


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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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