Ryan Releases Tax Returns, Obama Pushes Jobs Bill For Teachers
Taxes and Medicare
Rep. Paul Ryan has released two years of tax returns, showing he paid a higher rate than GOP nominee and his running mate, Mitt Romney. According to CNN, Ryan's tax rate was 15.9 percent in 2010 and 20 percent in 2011 while Romney's was about 13 percent. CNN projected that this will likely prompt Democrats to continue requesting that Romney release more tax returns, hoping to prove he either does not understand the middle class or has something to hide.
Meanwhile, Ryan made his first Florida campaign stop at The Villages retirement community on Saturday. The stop was clearly a strategic move as the Medicare debate could become a deciding factor of the presidential campaign.
The L.A. Times reported:
- Republican strategists in Florida are worried that elevating the debate over Medicare could hurt their party’s chances in November. President Obama carried Florida in 2008 and public polling in the state has shown the race virtually deadlocked for months.
- More than one in five voters is 65 or older in Florida, where Medicare is also a central issue in the U.S. Senate race. Incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, echoing the Obama line, is warning voters that his Republican challenger, Rep. Connie Mack IV, wants to “end Medicare as we know it.”
- Some Republican strategists say the Medicare issue has lost its potency as the old New Deal generation dies off and today's senior generation becomes more Republican and conservative. For many of them, as well as younger voters, cutting government spending and bringing the federal budget into balance are important issues, they say.
To further emphasize how his and Romney's healthcare overhaul would not hurt seniors' Medicare or social security, Ryan pointed to his 78-year-old mother who had accompanied him in Florida.
USA Today reported:
- [Ryan] says he isn't going to hurt his mother's financial security and wouldn't hurt others, either. He says he saw first-hand Medicare's benefits as a child when his grandmother, with Alzheimer's, moved in with his family.
- However, the 42-year-old congressman says the program needs to be overhauled during his generation so his children will be able to count on it, too.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan had voted to repeal Obamacare. The Romney/Ryan campaign, which has labeled themselves as "America's Comeback Team," has recently claimed that funding President Obama's Affordable Care Act would lead to over $700 billion cuts in Medicare. The Obama campaign has argued that the cuts would prolong Medicare in the long-run and reduce spending waste.
President Obama plans to stop in New Hampshire later on Saturday where 14 percent of its residents are over the age of 65. Romney and Ryan will make a joint appearance in New Hampshire on Monday.
The Washington Post reported:
- President Obama on Saturday said school districts around the country could begin rehiring the more than 300,000 teachers and other education workers who have lost jobs since 2009 if congressional Republicans would pass his stalled jobs bill.
- “The jobs bill that I sent to Congress last September included support for states to prevent further layoffs and to rehire teachers who’d lost their jobs. But here we are — a year later with tens of thousands more educators laid off — and Congress still hasn’t done anything about it,” the president said in his weekly radio address.
- “At a time when the rest of the world is racing to out-educate America; these cuts force our kids into crowded classrooms, cancel programs for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and shorten the school week and the school year,” he said. “That’s the opposite of what we should be doing as a country.”
The American Jobs Act or Jobs Bill, which was rejected by the Senate last November, would have invested $50 billion in infrastructure projects and $10 billion toward bank capital for long-term projects, funded by a 0.7 percent surtax on households with annual incomes of over $1 million.
Find more Neon Tommy coverage on the 2012 Presidential campaign here.
Reach Executive Producer Paige Brettingen here.