Tag Archive | "obama"

Republicans Propose Possible Deals on Healthcare

Republican leaders on Sunday said that they would be receptive on possible negotiations regarding healthcare costs- one of the main obstacles to realize a deal that would likely cut the financial debt in the United States.

The chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, said that he would be very willing to talk with the Democrats who have criticized his healthcare plans for the elderly and poor citizens in the state. Ryan said it is already time to discuss matters that would help control U.S. debts.

Health reform has been the main subject on both parties as they try to come up with a budget deal that would offer lawmakers a political cover to support a raise in the United States’ borrowing ability. Also, it appears to be one of the main campaign issues as the 2012 elections draws nearer.

Last week, the United States already reached its debt limit worth $14.3 trillion. The U.S. Department of the Treasury said it can evade a default only until early August. According to experts, non-payment of debts can bring the country back into the state of recession and stir the markets around the globe.

However, Ryan’s plan to scale back Medicaid for the elderly and poor could possibly save $2.2 trillion. It would also annul President Obama’s health reform program, which is known as the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

President Obama then proposed to save $480 billion worth of money through hastening improvements in the program. Yet, Republicans urge the government to repeal the reforms.

Chris Van Hollen, Democratic representative, said Washington might be able to find savings through cutting the costs that the government pays for prescribed medications instead of weighing back patients’ benefits.

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More Business Might Be Forced to Pay U.S. Corporate Tax

The administration of President Obama is taking into consideration a plan that would oblige more businesses to pay the corporate income tax in a reform that might be released earlier this month, an industry group said on Monday.

The tax reform proposal entitles businesses with gross receipts more than $50 million to pay the corporate income tax in lieu of the individual income tax. In this case, business partnerships such as hedge firms and law firms are likely to be most affected.

According to a letter from Mary Lyman, the executive director of National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships, the proposal includes corporate taxation for $50 million or more pass-through entity gross receipts.

Pass-through entities mean both income and tax liability are being carried on by the individual, instead of the company. Although the highest corporate tax rate is currently equal to the highest individual tax rate, several firms still have income tax at lower rates for capital gains.

The reform is being worked by the Treasury Department staff. While cutting on credits and deductions, the U.S. administration is creating a plan to cut down the 35 percent corporate tax rate. It is currently the highest rate for corporate tax in the entire world.

According to a source, details about the reform could materialize as early as this month. Several lawmakers are against the corporate tax reform alone. However, Lyman believes several businesses would object to the plans that would force them to pay corporate taxes as well.

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions as Clashes in Syria Continue

The administration of President Obama is getting ready to put its initial steps against President Bashar Assad and his top army officers into action. It is said that the government will impose sanctions against the Syrian leaders because of their increasingly bloody violence to stop protesters.

The Damascus regime on Monday ordered thousands of soldiers armed with snipers and backed with tanks to raid the southern city of Daraa where protesters started uprising. A report by activists said there were more than 25 people killed in the brutal shootout.

The command followed the chaotic weekend when government forces randomly fired on demonstrators attending a funeral procession. The revolt, which started five weeks ago, led to the deaths of more than 200 demonstrators and civilians.

U.S. government officials said they are preparing orders that would freeze any U.S. assets of top Syrian officials. They will be refused to travel in the United States as well.

Although imposing sanctions will not produce a dramatic effect on the Syrian officials, who apparently have only few U.S. assets, this signals a remarkable move in the administration of President Obama, which has made large efforts to create better relations with the Damascus regime.

European officials are also thinking of taking steps against President Assad’s regime. Most Syrian leaders maintain bigger investments in Europe than in the United States. Thus, travel restrictions and economic sanctions from Europe will give a more direct effect.

The Obama administration hopes its European allies will also follow their suit since moves from Britain and France are particularly important to convince President Assad to show restraint.

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Inadequate Actions to Relieve Budget Deficits Could Undermine Global Recovery- World Finance Leaders

The United States was castigated by world finance leaders on Saturday because of its inadequate actions to lessen its large budget deficits. Finance leaders said monetary constraints in rich countries such as the United States can largely jeopardize global recovery.

On Saturday, finance ministries were in Washington for its semi-annual meeting. This time, they have discussed more about the $14 trillion debt accumulated by the United States.

Most of the emerging market economies, which took part in the meeting, criticized the actions of the United States. However, some advanced nations reinforced the talks as well.

According to Dutch finance minister Jan Kees de Jager, if advanced nations act too slowly to reduce massive financial deficits, this could further lead to more sustainability issues and weaken the outlook of global economy. He said debt dynamics in other advanced economies together with the United States are of major concern.

The International Monetary Fund said that the U.S. budget deficit was about to reach 10.8 percent of the nation’s economic output this year. The federal country ties with Ireland for the highest deficit-to-GDP ration among several other advanced economies.

The committee’s advisory panel on Saturday said that concerns for financial stability, as well as sovereign debt stability must be addressed. It said credible actions must be made to push progress.

The House of Representatives, led by the Republican party, approved a plan on Friday to cut spending by about $6 trillion over a decade and slash benefits for the poor and elderly.

President Barach Obama, who offered plans to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over 12 years, said on Thursday that the plan of the Republicans would just create a nation of potholes. The administration is worried about cutting budget spending sharply while economic recovery remains volatile.

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Budget Deal Agreement Prevents Federal Government Shutdown

President Obama and the congressional leaders agreed on a budget deal and short term funding extension on Friday night. The deal, which was agreed an hour before the given deadline at midnight, prevents the shutdown of the federal government.

The budget deal will keep the government funded until April 15. The deal calls for $38.5 billion in spending cuts. The vote to extend the funding immediately passed on the Senate on Friday, as well as on the House of Representatives early Saturday.

President Obama signed the short-term extension on Saturday. He said in his weekly address on Saturday that the deal will allow small business to get the loans that they need, families can get the mortgages that they have applied for, and thousands of working Americans can get their paychecks on time.

Obama said the the agreement was the biggest spending cut in the history. However, it is also a deal that will serve as the country’s investment for the future.

The government shutdown might have closed a lot of public-owned properties in the United States, including parks, tax season-help lines and other popular services that are managed by the government.

The deal finally came together after six tough weeks along with the outbreak of budget brinkmanship. The House is expected to consider the budget deal on Monday while a vote is scheduled for Wednesday. The Senate will consider the bill some time after the scheduled votes, spokesman of Senate Majority Leader from Harry Reid’s office, Jon Summers said.

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U.S. Administration Sued for Closure of Chrysler Stores

Former dealers of the Chrysler group sued the government of United States last Thursday. The sixty four dealers said the administration of President Obama violated their rights since they did not give any compensation when it closed their stores at the time of the automaker’s bankruptcy.

The dealers filed a complaint at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington. Based on the given complaint, the government owes the dealers a minimum of $130 million in damages as a result of the stores’ shutdown.

In April 2009, the Chrysler group filed for bankruptcy and in May 2009, it sent closure notices to its 789 stores, or 25 percent of its dealers. It was part of the government-funded restructuring in United States.

The Treasury Department said in May 2009 that the store closures were essential to assist Chrysler recover from its near-collapse and that it took no part in deciding which dealers and how many of them would close. This time, the Treasury Department refused to comment.

From the given court papers filed last Thursday, the dealers said the Obama administration furnished its authority under the control of the Troubled Asset Relief Program to evade franchise laws in the state that is intended to protect dealers.

Chrysler dealers said they had millions of expenditures on training, inventory, as well as marketing to aid sell Chrysler vehicles. The sixty-four dealers came from several states across the country such as Texas, New York and California. Today, 25 percent of the company is managed and owned by Italy’s Fiat SpA.

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Geithner Evaluating Support for Broader Tax Reform

Obama’s administration is investigating methods to improve tax incentives for corporate investments in the United States, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner informed on Wednesday before his meeting with chief financial officers from some of the biggest companies in America.

Geithner said in comments after his speech at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies that they are examining whether they can get political support for a big tax change. This change is revenue neutral but would improve incentives for investing in the United States.

He is expected to gather with CFOs of major companies in the U.S that includes Microsoft Corp and Cisco Systems on Friday to discuss ideas for simplifying, as well as trimming the corporate tax that is almost the highest tax in the world of industry.

Corporate tax reform, according to administration officials, is the foundation for a discussion about comprehensive tax. But, it would be difficult to pass any meaningful reform for the next two years if the Congress is divided.

Several White House officials have said that they concur with the companies’ main complaint that the federal corporate tax rate at 35 percent is way too high. Both parties have also agreed that the tax code is too heavy and troublesome.

However, administration officials and other people noted that deductions, as well as loopholes make it uncommon for companies to pay the 35 percent rate.

Dorothy Coleman, the vice-president of tax and economic policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, told that cutting the corporate tax rate is a big issue for the group’s members, many of whom will attend the Friday meeting.

Coleman said that they are looking at the issue as a start of a debate and a sign that the administration is serious.

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