TPM News

The deficit Super Committee will hold its first public hearing Thursday morning, to adopt its rules of self-governance. Then, in a few days it will hear testimony from CBO Director Doug Elmendorf on the origins, future, and consequences of the nation's debt.

That all sounds perfunctory, and in many ways it is. But it will also pose the panel with its first and most basic test: whether its six Democrats and six Republicans can accept a single history of the country's large public debt as a starting point for reining it in. As simple as that should be, it's anything but.

Outside of partisan politics, the backstory here is pretty uncontroversial.

Read More →

President Obama is heading straight into the lion's den tonight with his joint address to Congress on jobs, an obvious but bold use of a televised primetime address to lay out his ideas for getting people back to work while shifting some of the onus for turning the economy around to his Republicans critics in Congress.

Less than 24 hours later, the President may appear to be venturing into even hotter enemy territory when he tries to drive his economic message home in a speech in Richmond, Va., home to one of his biggest critics in Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

Read More →

The Great Recession has been more than an economic downturn. The term "downturn" suggests the situation is fairly short and fixable, a temporary flattening in America's unending economic slope. It has been three years since the stock market tanked and contraction started, and the Obama administration just announced that it expects unemployment to remain above 9 percent through 2012. So, forget short. But what about fixable?

President Obama's jobs speech may be highly anticipated by the media and in Washington, but it seems certain that the GOP majority in the House will reject whatever Obama proposes. And as we've seen with the deficit reduction proposals that the super committee could undertake as part of their deficit reduction task, the priorities of Congress and what the American people would accept is oftentimes at odds.

Read More →

An industry trade group warned of job losses in the medical equipment industry due to an excise tax on medical devices.  In a new 30-page report released yesterday by the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the group concluded that a 2.3% tax on medical equipment may lead to the closure of research facilities in several states.  The report, released just before the President’s highly anticipated jobs speech, claims the tax could eliminate 43,000 jobs and removed $3.5 billion from local economies.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has repeatedly stated that healthcare reform would have a small overall effect on the labor force.  The new tax is expected to generate $20 billion in revenue for the federal government over the first 6 years it is in effect.

The Hill reports: “Reid also said the Senate would vote sometime after Obama speaks on a joint resolution of disapproval of Obama’s expected September decision to raise the debt ceiling again, in accordance with the July debt ceiling deal. That agreement allowed an initial $400 billion increase in the debt ceiling, and another $500 billion increase this month, subject to the failure of a resolution of disapproval in Congress.”

Gov. Perry’s supporters are fighting back in a novel way against their candidates job history, seeking to deny outright that he ever served as Gore’s Texas campaign chair. In a PolitiFact posting on Weds, Texas political journalist W. Gardner Selby concluded that it was merely “half-true” that Perry had played a prominent role in Gore’s 1988 campaign. Selby reached that conclusion after speaking to ‘political players in Texas and Tennessee.’ One former Gore press operative claimed that the campaign ‘didn’t have a chairman in Texas.’

The Gore issue has begun causing the Perry campaign quite a bit of trouble of late, especially given the GOP base’s hatred toward the former V.P. and his progressive global warming agenda. On stage at last nights debate, Perry was one of the more vocal deniers of climate change.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ten years after al Qaeda’s attack on the United States, the vast majority of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative records remain sealed at the National Archives in Washington, even though the commission had directed the archives to make most of the material public in 2009, Reuters has learned.