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December 5, 2012
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National Pulse 
 
  • Conservatives push back against GOP deficit counteroffer
      
    Kyl/Reuters
    Influential conservative lawmakers blasted House Speaker John Boehner's deficit counteroffer on Tuesday, saying it was "a tax increase" that would "destroy American jobs," and saying they would vote against the measure if necessary. The rift was apparently worsened by Boehner's decision to oust several rebellious lawmakers from key committee positions, apparently in a bid to encourage others to toe the party line. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also refused to back Boehner's plan, which Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl called "a big gulp" that would be tricky to sell to GOP lawmakers. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/4) , The Wall Street Journal (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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Agenda Items 
  • Obama: Tax hikes could open the door to entitlement reforms
      
    Obama/Reuters
    President Barack Obama sought to draw a line in the sand over tax rates on Tuesday, saying he would reject any GOP deficit proposals that did not include a tax hike for the wealthiest Americans. Obama softened his comments by signaling his willingness to discuss reforms to "strengthen" entitlement programs if his tax demands were met. "We’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. And we're not going to be able to get a deal without it," he said. Bloomberg (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Data Points 
  • Infographic: Disabled and unemployed ... Twice the benefits?
    Learn more: http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/disabled-and-unemployed-twice-benefits/  
    Source: Face the Facts USA
    There is no law to keep Americans who qualify from receiving both unemployment compensation and disability insurance. 117,000 individuals double-dipped the programs in 2010, costing the government $850 million in overlapping claims. With disability insurance benefits on the rise -- and the explosion in unemployment claims that came with the recession -- there is increased pressure for officials to re-examine those receiving dual benefits. We have an animated infographic with more on this issue of double-dipping. Face the Facts USA (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • America should build a Death Star, petition argues
      
    Reuters
    Thousands of people have signed a petition on the White House website calling for the Obama administration to immediately begin construction of a "Star Wars"-style Death Star. Building a planet-sized space station would "spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more," the petition argues. About 3,700 people have so far signed the petition, well short of the 25,000 needed to earn an official White House response. The Hill/DEFCON Hill blog (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

SmartQuote 
We always live in an uncertain world. What is certain is that the United States will go forward over time."
--Warren Buffett, American businessman, investor and philanthropist
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