Tuesday, December 6, 2011
So what are the pundits talking about today? Money, money, money - and politics, of course.
The conservative National Journal is touting a new survey it did with United Technologies asking Americans about their views on the extending that payroll-tax cut that Congress - surprise! - is divided on.
No division among a majority of Americans though. According to this poll, most support extending the payroll-tax cut despite concerns that an extension of the short-term reduction would increase the federal budget deficit.
As the Democratic-controlled Senate and the GOP-led House advance competing plans for extending the payroll-tax reduction, the new poll shows that 58 percent of Americans think Congress should extend the tax cut. Just 32 percent think they should not extend the tax cut.
Support for extending the payroll-tax cut—despite concerns about the budget deficit—is broad and bipartisan. Democrats favor an extension, 68 percent to 25 percent. Half of Republicans think Congress should extend the payroll-tax reduction, while 39 percent think they should not. Among independents, 57 percent favor an extension, while a third do not.
Gentlemen and gentlewomen of the Congress, are you listening? Don't be a Grinch. Extend that tax-cut before Christmas.
Speaking of Grinches, Newt Gingrich (What? It is Grinch-like to want to ditch child labor laws) was also in polling news today. The National Journal quoted two polls showing he leads the field of Republican presidential contenders in the key early states of Iowa and South Carolina.
Gingrich leads the field in the Hawkeye State with support from 33 percent of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released early on Tuesday. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, are tied for second place, with 18 percent each.
In South Carolina, which holds its primary on Jan. 21, Gingrich held a significant lead over Romney of 38 percent to 22 percent, according to a Winthrop University poll. Perry was third, with 9 percent, followed by Cain with 7 percent, Bachmann at 5 percent, Paul at 4 percent, Santorum at 3 percent and Huntsman at 1 percent. Nine percent of likely primary voters are undecided.
It's great to see national news outlets giving the survey from nearby Winthrop University in Rock Hill the nod as a significant poll.
Arianna Huffington gives her take on Gingrich's chances of taking the nomination in a Huffington Post column today. She says Gingrich's main opponent isn't just Mitt Romney but Gingrich himself. "This task is complicated by the fact that there isn't just one Gingrich," she writes. "He's a very Walt Whitmanesque candidate -- he celebrates himself, he sings of himself, he is large, and he contains multitudes."
And what's that about President Barack Obama trying to channel Republican president Teddy Roosevelt in a speech today on the economy on the 100th anniversary of a speech the former president gave on a similar topic? Ron Fournier doesn't think Obama lives up to Roosevelt's legacy just yet.
But NPR and other news outlets report that President Obama will try to follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt when he delivers an economic speech in Osawatomie, Kan., the same city where Roosevelt issued a famous call for a 'New Nationalism' more than 100 years ago.
"For Obama, this is a 'connect-the-dots' speech," said NPR's Scott Horsley. "White House spokesman Jay Carney said it's a chance to show how the president's various economic proposals — from stricter banking oversight to payroll tax cuts — fit together, as Obama prepares for a re-election battle."
Roosevelt's speech — delivered after he had left the White House and as he was beginning a bid to return there on the Bull Moose Party ticket (he didn't succeed) — has become known for his words about "the square deal."
"I stand for the square deal," Roosevelt said. "But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service." Read more of the 26th president's speech at NPR. Read the entire speech here: http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=501.
Locally, fireworks are still expected at the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners meeting where Democrats Harold Cogdell and Jennifer Roberts will duke it out for board chair. And a new Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority chief is on board. Tom Murray takes over the job Dec. 15 after Tim Newman was demoted to an executive sales position following a series of controversies. Newman's salary is $240,000 and Murray's will be only $30,000 more at $275,000. Ummm. If Tim stays on - and at his present salary, will Tim and Tom be duking it out too to see who actually runs the CRVA and who just holds the title? Just asking.
Posted by Fannie Flono
Posted by The Observer Editorial Board at 9:09 AM