Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Marco Rubio’

Jeb Bush May Be GOP’s Best Hope for President.


Image: Jeb Bush May Be GOP's Best Hope for President

By Melanie Batley

All eyes are set on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to see whether he might throw his hat into the ring for the 2016 presidential campaign, a prospect many in the GOP believe could give the party its strongest rival to Hillary Clinton.

People close to the Republican say he is considering a bid more seriously than ever before, and believe his record and personality could be just the right combination to give him star appeal across the country, according to The Hill.

“I’ve never seen him so seriously considering a run for higher office,” Slater Bayliss, a Florida GOP lobbyist and former Bush aide, told The Hill. “He’s legitimately going through a very methodical, thoughtful process to come to a decision.”

The Hill reports that many party strategists believe Bush could transform the electoral map, “turning blue states purple and purple states red.”

On the other hand, the paper says, a third Bush in the White House could strike voters as too “dynastic,” an obstacle that Bush has recently acknowledged.

Nevertheless, Bush appears capable of leading on the key issues expected to define the 2016 campaign, including immigration and education reform. His multicultural family could also be an asset; his wife is from Mexico, and he speaks Spanish fluently, two things that could help the GOP capture the crucial Latino vote, according to The Hill.

Meanwhile, polls are showing that other potential establishment front-runners, such as N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have seen their star power fade to the possible benefit of Bush.

In the last few months, Bush has been careful to say he has decided whether to run. He has said he is deferring a decision until later in the year and would only consider running if he could do so “joyfully” and in an environment without much acrimony.

Allies are hoping he will make the decision in favor of jumping in, and do so soon, according to The Hill.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jindal Warns of ‘Silent War’ on Religion in Reagan Library Speech.


Image: Jindal Warns of 'Silent War' on Religion in Reagan Library Speech

Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 08:29 PM

By Greg Richter

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blasted the “silent war” that he said is undermining the nation’s basic principles in a major speech Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Contrary to what liberals say, the Constitution was set up specifically for believers, Jindal, a Catholic who converted from Hinduism, said.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

“The American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war,” said Jindal, who is widely expected to run for president in 2016.

“It’s a war against the propositions in the Declaration of Independence: It is a war against the spirit that motivated abolitionism: It is a war against the faith that motivated the Civil Rights struggle: It is a war against the soul of countless acts of charity: It is a war against the conscience that drives social change: It is a war against the heart that binds our neighborhoods together: It is a war against America’s best self, at America’s best moment.

“It is a war — a silent war — against religious liberty.”

“This war is waged in our courts and in the halls of political power. It is pursued with grim and relentless determination by a group of like-minded elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized and circumscribed.”

Jindal, 42, is expected to be among a group of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination in 2016, and many see his speech at the library in Simi Valley, Calif., as part of the groundwork for such a run.

He follows other likely GOP contenders Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Jindal released the text of his speech before delivery. He said there was no better place than the Reagan Library to make his point because Reagan had said “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but the universal right of all God’s children.”

“When he said this, he was not expressing a strictly personal belief in the nature of man as a created being, as a child of God” said Jindal. “He was reaffirming the most basic contention of the American founding, set forth in the Declaration of Independence, that we are a nation constituted in accordance with the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ and that we are a people ‘endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.’”

Jindal reminded his audience that as far back as 1798, President John Adams had written to Massachusetts militiamen telling them, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But he claimed that the “secular elites” understood that to take over America they must make war on its philosophy.

“This silent war is the real undercurrent driving politically fractious debates in a number of areas of policy,” he said. “But why is this war happening? What does it mean for the country and people of faith? Why does it represent such a fundamental challenge to our American identity and the exceptional history that makes our nation great?”

In answering his own questions, Jindal pointed to the court battle over craft store Hobby Lobby’s contention it should not have to provide the morning-after pill. The Green family that owns the stores believes the pill causes an abortion, and they object to its use on religious grounds.

He said Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose begins with a Bible verse, and that all of the stores close on Sundays. The company pays well above minimum wage and has increased salaries four years in a row. The family that runs it is committed to giving the majority of its wealth to philanthropy.

“None of this matters to the Obama administration,” he blasted. “The argument they have advanced, successfully thus far, is that a faithful business owner cannot operate under the assumption that they can use their moral principles to guide the way their place of business spends money.

“According to the administration’s legal arguments, the family that owns Hobby Lobby is not protected by the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ of religion clause.”

He pointed out the absurdity that Hobby Lobby — which has an offshoot company that sells Bibles — is considered a secular company, but Tyndal House, which prints Bibles, is not.

“Perhaps we should all start printing Bibles, so we can claim protection,” he said.

And he said he defended “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson and his family over Robertson’s controversial statements on homosexuality, not because Jindal is the governor of the state where the Robertsons live, but because “they have every right to speak their minds, however indelicately they may choose to do so.”

Jindal also raised the Hosanna-Tabor case in which the Obama administration argued that a Lutheran academy did not have the right to fire someone over a difference in beliefs. The Supreme Court unanimously threw out the government’s argument.

“So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision — that is truly offensive and frightening.”

He also brought up cases where bakers, photographers and others in the wedding industry have been told they must cater to same-sex unions.

“This assault will only spread in the immediate future,” Jindal said, foreseeing a time when believers who refuse to be cowed will be penalized for their views, denied membership in professional groups or even rejected from licenses.

“This is the next stage of the assault,” he said. “And it is only beginning.

Jindal was speaking the day after a legal challenge was filed to get Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage overturned.

“Today, an overwhelming majority of those who belong to a religious denomination in America — that’s more than half the country — are members of organizations that affirm the traditional definition of marriage,” he said. “All of those denominations will be targeted in large and small degrees in the coming years,” he predicted.

Jindal ended his speech by referring to President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, in which he said that history shows “that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.”

“Well said, Mr. President. I couldn’t agree more,” said Jindal. “The president is very concerned about religious liberty.

“And also… if you like your religion, you can keep your religion.”

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama’s Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rubio: Obama Administration Leaked Drone Info to Appear ‘Deliberative’.


The administration of President Barack Obama leaked sensitive information about the possibility of using a drone to kill an American who joined al-Qaida in order to position themselves as politically “deliberative,” Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday.

“I’m very concerned about . . . the propensity of this administration to constantly leak sensitive information, I think, in order to position themselves politically. In this case, it’s to appear to be deliberative,” the Florida Republican told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

Officials revealed Monday they were considering using a drone to kill an American overseas who had joined al-Qaida and was threatening an attack on U.S. citizens.

Rubio, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, explained there was a growing threat of “home-grown extremism” among Americans who “become radicalized on websites, and then take the next step and decide they want to become jihadists.”

“This is tricky business. But the fact of the matter is that there are dangerous people out there who happen to be American citizens. And, we need to have laws that reflect that while we protect the innocent Americans from being hurt,” he said.

Story continues below video.

On healthcare, Rubio said the newest change delaying Obamacare’s employer mandate for midsize companies was one more example that the law was “unimplementable” and “poorly thought out.” The many changes the president made to Obamacare, he said, were creating uncertainty among employers.

“I don’t view this from a political perspective. I think it’s hurting the American people. And it’s having a devastating impact on the ability of our economy to grow,” he said.

Rubio on Monday introduced an educational initiative that would allow people to use “knowledge they have acquired from living life” for higher education credit. He explained college costs continued to rise and finding a job was becoming increasingly harder “if you don’t have some sort of higher education.”

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Wanda Carruthers

McConnell Cools on Immigration Reform:


Image: McConnell Cools on Immigration Reform

By Elliot Jager

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that differences between the House and Senate on immigration reform are too big to bridge in 2014, The Hill reported.

The Senate passed a comprehensive bipartisan immigration bill in June that would set a path to citizenship for the approximately 11 million people now in the U.S. illegally.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now 

McConnell said the differences between the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-led House are “irresolvable,” the Hill reported.

“I don’t see how you get to an outcome this year with the two bodies in such a different place,” said McConnell.

McConnell is facing off against tea party opponent Matt Bevin in Kentucky’s GOP primary. Bevin has taken a hard-nosed anti-immigration stance.

Republican strategists including William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, and Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of RedState, have argued that this is not the time to tackle immigration. Doing so, they say, would call attention to divisions within the party and take attention away from the failures of President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

House Republican leaders led by Speaker John Boehner had issued a statement of principles on immigration, in conjunction with the recent House retreat, that would revamp the country’s immigration laws a little at a time and in a way that non-tea party conservatives could live with.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who helped to craft the principles, said he does not know if an immigration law can be passed. “That is clearly in doubt,” he told ABC’s “This Week” and depends on whether Democrats were willing to “secure the border,” and “agree to not having an amnesty,” The Hill reported.

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California who supports immigration reform, said that the House leadership has not given up,  according to Breitbart. 

“I think leadership’s focus and my focus is to get [immigration] done as early as possible. It’s part of our conference agenda right now. It doesn’t go on the agenda without scheduling bills and scheduling time on the floor,” Denham said.

Meanwhile, Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who backed the Senate immigration bill, said that McConnell was probably right about prospects for immigration reform.

“The Democrats want amnesty and the Republicans would like to solve this problem, but in the House they’re not about to give amnesty,” he said.

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . . 

Related Stories

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Horror Story #745: My Rates Went Up 600%.


ObamaCare was supposed to help me.

That’s all I could think as I sat in the House of Representatives last Tuesday night as the guest of my congresswoman, only a few hundred feet away from President Obama as he gave his State of the Union address. Four years ago, I’d have been there cheering for ObamaCare’s passage. But the real ObamaCare has made my life a nightmare.

obamacare-socialized-medicine-betting-your-life-on-hope-change-liberal-nightmare-horror-stories

I suffer from a difficult chronic illness called lupus, an autoimmune disease with devastating symptoms that strike when you least expect them. At age 40, my life is filled with visits to doctors, specialists and the emergency room. While paying for this care is expensive, I have no other choice.

Prior to ObamaCare, I bought my health insurance through CoverTN, a program run by the state of Tennessee. The coverage was perfectly suited to my unique medical condition. It offered me low premiums, a low deductible and low co-pays for my regular trips to doctors and specialists. This plan was perfect for someone with my unique medical condition and limited financial means.

My plan was canceled last fall. According to the regulators behind ObamaCare, it was a subpar plan that should no longer be sold to consumers. Another 16,000 Tennesseans on the same plan were similarly dumped. Many, like me, liked their plans and wanted to keep them.

This wasn’t my insurer’s fault at all. CoverTN actually fought for me to keep my health care. After I received my cancellation notice, the folks at CoverTN requested that the federal government give them a waiver, which would let them grandfather my plan into ObamaCare. Their request was rejected.

This left me with no health plan and only one choice: Buy a plan through the ObamaCare exchanges.

After weighing my options, I settled on a “platinum” plan. This was the best plan that I could choose. A “bronze,” “silver” or “gold” plan all would leave me paying exorbitant amounts of money on my frequent, and expensive, trips to doctors and specialists.

But the platinum plan was the lesser of two expensive evils. My new plan costs me $373 a month, even after a small subsidy.

By comparison, my old plan only cost me $57 a month. And I now pay 25 percent co-insurance on all doctor visits until I reach my out-of-pocket maximum of $1,500. This is much higher than under CoverTN.

All told, I’m likely going to pay more than $6,000 more each year for my medical care.

I’ve had to take a second job in order to pay for my ObamaCare plan. Given my health problems, the physical and emotional drain that this puts on me is difficult to bear. It’s also made it much more difficult for me to care for my ailing mother, who depends on me for help.

For me, the impact of ObamaCare is a health plan that is both unaffordable and uncaring. For a law named “The Affordable Care Act,” this is both backward and perverse.

It’s also not what you promised me when I voted for you, Mr. President. When you were on the campaign trail, you promised that ObamaCare would help me with my medical problems. You promised that people like me with pre-existing conditions would be better off. And you promised that if I liked my health-care plan, I could keep it.

Mr. President, you’ve now broken all of these promises — and not just to me. source – NY Post

Emilie Lamb lives in Tennessee.

by NTEB News Desk

Ryan, Republicans Blame Obama for Stalling Immigration.


Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system fails to become law.

The GOP’s emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn’t take action this election year, it is Obama’s fault.

“If the president had been serious about this the last five years, we’d be further along in this discussion,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said Sunday.

House Republicans last week unveiled a road map for an overhaul of the nation’s broken immigration system that calls for increased border security, better law enforcement within the U.S. and a pathway to legal status — but not citizenship — for millions of adults who live in America unlawfully. The proposal requires those here illegally to pay back taxes and fines.

But one of its backers, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, said distrust of Obama poisons interest among some in his Republican caucus.

“Here’s the issue that all Republicans agree on: We don’t trust the president to enforce the law,” said Ryan, his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.

Ryan said a plan that puts security first could only pass the House if lawmakers believe the administration would enforce it — an unlikely prospect given Republicans’ deep opposition to Obama. The president’s waivers for provisions in his 4-year-old health care law have increased suspicions among Republicans.

“This isn’t a trust-but-verify, this is a verify-then-trust approach,” Ryan said.

Asked whether immigration legislation would make its way to Obama for him to sign into law, Ryan said he was skeptical: “I really don’t know the answer to that question. That is clearly in doubt.”

The Senate last year passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill that addressed border security, provided enforcement measures and offered a long and difficult path to citizenship for those living here illegally. The measure stalled in the GOP-led House, where leaders want to take a more piecemeal approach.

In the meantime, Republicans have started uniting behind a message that Obama won’t hold up his end of the bargain.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said “there’s a lot of distrust of this administration in implanting the law.” And Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., last week warned that distrust of Obama would trump the desire to find a solution for the estimated 11 million people living in the United States illegally.

“We just don’t think government will enforce the law anyway,” Rubio said, recounting conversations he’s had with fellow Republicans.

Immigration legislation is a dicey political question for the GOP. The party’s conservative base opposes any measure that would create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living here illegally, but many in the party worry that failing to act could strengthen support among many voters for Democratic candidates.

In 2012, Obama won re-election with the backing of 71 percent of Hispanic voters and 73 percent of Asian voters. The issue is important to both voting blocs.

The White House, meanwhile, is trying to give Republicans a chance to hammer out their intra-party differences in the hopes they find a way to give legal standing to those here illegally.

“We ought to see a pathway to citizenship for people,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said Sunday. “We don’t want to have a permanent separation of classes or two permanent different classes of Americans in this country.”

McDonough said the White House remains optimistic that legislation that includes citizenship could reach the president’s desk: “We feel pretty good that we’ll get a bill done this year.”

Jindal spoke to CNN’s “State of the Union.” Ryan appeared on ABC’s “This Week.” Cantor was interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” McDonough appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Rubio: Time to End Obamacare Bailout for Insurance Companies.


Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is calling for an end to an Obamacare loophole that provides a bailout for health insurance companies if their costs are driven up by insuring too many sick people.

The “risk corridor” provision, the Republican lawmaker said in a video posted Monday on his YouTube page, “has merit.” However, he complained that the government still should not allow private companies to be bailed out with taxpayers’ money or to use their political influence for provisions and laws that benefit them.

“Because there are, from time to time, in a competitive insurance marketplace, where one to two companies, out of hundreds, will make a mistake,” said Rubio. “Our job is not to keep them in business, but what we don’t want to see happen is the bills that are coming in, let’s say from a hospital or a doctor, go unpaid because the company doesn’t have the money to pay it.”

But Obamacare is “guaranteed to fail” because not enough young and healthy people are signing up, said Rubio, and several of the law’s deadlines have been delayed.

As a result, the healthcare exchange market is “basically the equivalent to a high-risk pool,” or insurance that is guaranteed to lose money, Rubio said.

Story continues below video.

EMBED VIDEO: 

Rubio explained in a November editorial piece for The Wall Street Journal that under the new law, the risk corridors were designed in such an open-ended manner that the president’s action “now exposes taxpayers to a bailout of the health-insurance industry if and when the law fails.”

In Monday’s video, Rubio, who has introduced legislation to stop the bailout, says there is growing bipartisan support for his bill.

There is also growing public demand to stop the insurance companies’ bailouts, said the senator, who read letters in his video from constituents who want the “risk corridor” program ended.

Related Stories:

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Taxpayer Advocate: Brace for Obamacare Tax Surprises.


It’s not too early to start thinking about the tax implications of health care reform.

Did you buy health insurance through one of the exchanges? You might be eligible for a refundable tax credit. Taxpayers had the option of estimating their 2014 income to see if they qualified for the credit and then having it applied in advance to the cost of the premiums.

“We have an opportunity in the 2014 filing season to educate taxpayers about what they need to do during the year to avoid problems during the 2015 filing season,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said.

Her advice to those taxpayers: keep the exchanges advised if there are changes in your circumstances that could affect the subsidy.

“It could increase if you have another child and you want to be able to get the benefit of that,” she said in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. “It could decrease if you have a significant pay increase, if your spouse gets a job, if a child is no longer covered on your plan.”

As a result, some taxpayers could end up owing the U.S. Treasury money when they file their 2014 taxes next year.

“It may mean that they would have a reduced refund, and many taxpayers depend on their refunds for various things,” Olson said. “They’ve used them for planning. They use them like savings, so that will be a rude surprise for these taxpayers. And we can avoid it by having them go into the exchanges throughout the year.”

But what about those taxpayers who don’t get refunds — between 75 percent and 85 percent do, she said — or those whose refunds aren’t big enough to cover what is owed if the subsidy is reduced?

In that case, “the easiest thing is you’ll have a refund the next year, and we’ll take it out of the refund the next year,” Olson said. “It’s a debt on the books. It’s an assessed tax, and we can collect it for 10 years and it’s just a computer offset.”

While her job is to take on the Internal Revenue Service where necessary, Olson said the agency’s role in verifying income for people applying for the health-care subsidy has been working well. “They have lessened the time in which they are able to give the answer to the exchange,” she said.

But she said there needs to be more outreach and education does need to be done about the Affordable Care Act. She called on the IRS to make its website more informative by offering more examples “so taxpayers can recognize themselves if you direct them to a page,” she said.

As for her own role, Olson said she speaks for taxpayers, interceding in individual disputes with the IRS and pushing for tax reform. She said she understands the agency’s constraints and won’t propose changes that are unrealistic. “But,” she said, “I’m not going to take as an answer, ‘Oh, this is too heavy of a lift.’”

There are 74 taxpayer advocates around the country — at least one in each state — who work with her, she said.

To qualify for taxpayer advocate assistance, you must show that you face a significant hardship — that the IRS is causing you economic harm, that its systems are not working or that your rights have been violated. “That gets you through the door,” Olson said.

Ask her what challenges taxpayers face and she answers emphatically, “Getting assistance from the IRS, getting service from the IRS.”

In fiscal year 2013, she said, nearly four out of 10 calls to the IRS did not get through to a live person who could help. The average wait time was 17.5 minutes.

Getting IRS assistance is particularly an issue, she said, when it comes to identity theft, which remains a major issue, although the number of cases has declined since the IRS put “significant screens” in place. When identify theft occurs, Olson said, the IRS needs to act more quickly and consistently to help victims.

“The taxpayer has already gone through an enormous amount of angst and huge inconvenience … and we do not recognize that in our customer service to them,” Olson said. Victims of identity theft typically speak to a different person each time they call the IRS, she complained, and “have to explain their situation over again.”

She said the agency should assign each case to one person who can see it all the way through.

As for electronic filing, Olson suggested that taxpayers look into the IRS’ Free File program, which allows people whose adjusted gross income is under $58,000 to file their taxes for free through the IRS site. For people whose income is higher, the IRS has Free Fillable Forms, which do the basic math but don’t walk you through filling out your returns.

“I don’t think I should have to pay to file electronically with the IRS,” said Olson, who uses the Free Fillable Forms. “That’s my duty as a taxpayer, and the IRS in the 21st century should make it available to me for free. It’s crazy.”

She urged taxpayers to check out tax preparers carefully before hiring one, and not to fall for promises of huge refunds. “It really becomes a ‘consumer, beware’ world,” she said.

In dealing with tax preparers, she offered these tips:

—Get a copy of your return. “If the preparer then alters the return after you’ve signed off on it, that’s proof that it was a false return that was filed.”

—Make sure the preparer’s name, registration number and address are on the return.

—Check with the Better Business Bureau or state consumer affairs agency to see if there are any complaints against the preparation firm or preparer.

“Even though that seems like some work upfront, if you get sucked into one of these preparer issues it can take over a year to get it resolved, and that’s just pain that nobody needs to go through,” she said.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obama to Pitch Ideas in Speech for Spurring ‘Upward Mobility’.


President Barack Obama will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to do more to help poor and middle-class Americans move up the economic ladder.

Both Obama and congressional Republicans view that issue as a high priority, a rare point of agreement between the two sides. But the Democratic president and Republicans disagree on the remedies, setting up a debate that Obama will discuss in his State of the Union address to Congress.

In the speech, scheduled for 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Obama will push an agenda for increasing economic upward mobility and propose aid to the long-term unemployed, an increase in the minimum wage and an expansion of early-childhood education.

After Obama’s speech, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, will deliver a response on behalf of her party. She will likely emphasize free-market ideas for improving prosperity.

Senator Marco Rubio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, two Republicans who are both seen as potential 2016 presidential candidates, spoke this month on proposals for helping people climb out of economic hardship.

Rubio has suggested shifting responsibility for many federal benefit programs to the states. Ryan has floated the idea of providing a single benefit to low-income families, modeled on one in Great Britain.

The problem of economic stagnation is expected to be a theme in congressional election campaigns this year.

Analysts said social mobility was a potent political issue because the United States has long seen itself as a place where anyone with grit and determination can succeed.

In recent years, however, the wages of many low- and middle-income workers have held steady or fallen on an inflation-adjusted basis. The slow growth after the 2007-2009 recession has exacerbated this trend.

At the same time, the wealthiest and most highly educated Americans, referred to as the “1 percent,” have grown more prosperous.

 

Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed concern about studies showing that economic mobility in the United States lags that of some other industrialized economies, calling into question the nation’s reputation as a land of opportunity.

More than 40 percent of American men born into the poorest one-fifth of earners remain there, a 2006 study led by Finnish economist Markus Jantti showed. In Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden, only about 25 percent of such men stay in that income segment.

American sons of low-income fathers are more likely to remain stuck in the bottom tenth of earners as adults than are Canadian sons, University of Ottawa economist Miles Corak said in a study published in 2010. In the United States, 22 percent of men born to low-income families stayed in that category, while the same was true of only 16 percent of Canadians.

In 2012, former U.S. Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger published a study that linked income inequality with low levels of upward mobility. He devised a chart he named “The Great Gatsby Curve” after the fabulously wealthy protagonist of the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It showed the United States toward the upper end of the range of both inequality and low economic mobility, along with Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. At the opposite extreme, with low inequality and high mobility, were Denmark, Norway and Finland.

A study from a group led by Harvard University economist Raj Chetty added a new wrinkle to the debate with its finding that American children’s chances of moving up the economic ladder had not changed much in the past few decades. The study also made clear that children’s prospects were tightly linked to their parents’ socio-economic status – more so in the United States than in some other leading economies.

“It’s not so much that we’re losing the American dream,” said Harvard economist Nathaniel Hendren, one of the study’s authors. “It’s did we ever have it, and do we want it?”

The focus on economic mobility builds on a pledge Obama has emphasized over the past two years: to improve the standing and security of the middle class.

The theme is newer for Republicans, who failed to capture the White House in 2012 in part because many voters perceived their party’s candidate, Mitt Romney, as dismissive of the struggles of the poor and working classes.

But analysts say a promise to boost economic mobility could resonate across the ideological spectrum.

“The idea of the United States being exceptional in its ability to promote economic opportunity or the notion of the nation being suited to help people rise is very much part of our national ethos,” said Erin Currier, director of economic mobility for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Americans feel strongly that the United States should be the land of opportunity.”

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Rubio: I’ll Wait a Year Before Deciding on White House Run.


Same time next year.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is going to wait a year before deciding on a run for the White House, he told CNBC in an interview Tuesday from Tokyo, where he is on a weeklong tour of Asia.

“At this time next year I will have to make a decision about something like that and that time will come,” Rubio said.

Rubio also said he will consider whether he will seek re-election in 2016 or drop out of public office altogether.

“My most important job is the job of father and husband, so that will be the first thing I think about. The second is whether I feel like there is another office in which I can further this agenda that I’ve outlined, or whether there is work that remains to be done in the Senate or whether my time has come to return to the private sector,” he said.

“All those are valid choices, and I will explore those at the appropriate time.”
“I’ve always believed if you do a good job at the job you have now you’ll have an opportunity, including opportunities you have not anticipated in the past.”

The ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee is also visiting the Philippines and South Korea

He also added there was a good chance the GOP will retake the senate. “The Republican Party is an energized party. We feel like we’re going to have a real opportunity in 2014 to retake the Senate. I think that is where you are going to see the majority of Republican donors focused.

“And 2016 will be here soon enough. I am confident we are going to field a strong nominee.”

Related stories

Rubio Wants Senate Probe of State Department on Benghazi

Sen. Rubio: Democrats’ ‘Answer to Everything’ Is Send a Check

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cynthia Fagen

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,679 other followers