Good Monday Morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- President Barack Obama will introduce his fourth deficit plan off the year, this time including $1.5 trillion in new taxes. It includes the so-called “Buffett Rule” to ensure that wealthy individuals pay a higher tax rate than those middle-incomes. The plan has no chance of passing, and is Obama’s opening salvo to months of partisan fighting.
- The White House says the plan totals over $4 trillion, when savings from the August debt deal and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are tallied in. Republicans argue that the plan provides just $580 billion in new spending cuts, while proposing massive tax increases. Obama will threaten to veto any plan that cuts entitlements but does not include the tax increases, while Republicans are set to block any plan with the new revenues.
- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will face the press after Obama, and he’ll face tough questions over a new book by Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind alleging disarray in the administration’s economic team. Geithner is also likely to address his failed push for EuroTARP over the weekend.
- Rep. Michele Bachmann is doubling down on her opposition to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s HPV vaccine mandate — even after Perry apologized for the way he went about instituting it. Bachmann’s gaffe-prone campaign seems to think the issue will win her the nomination. It’s just making her irrelevant.
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the most Obama-friendly GOP Senators at the start of this administration, has declared that 2012 is the Republicans’ to lose. “President Obama has done everything he knows how to do to beat himself,” he said Sunday on CNN State of the Union. “The reason people have little conference in President Obama’s policies is they’re just not working. Everything is worse.”
- Is the GOP field set? Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t think so. The favourite of conservative intellectuals and former Bush advisors tells The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny that there is room for yet one more candidate in the crowded field — and that he’s tried to recruit “three or four people” to join the race.
- One of them, is probably New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who despite ruling out a presidential run more times than we can count, is still thought to be weighing entering the race. Wall Street Journal editorial editor Paul Gigot said on “Fox News Sunday” that Christie just might cave to the pressure and run. “For all of that, I think that enough people have gone to him now and said, ‘This field is weak and none of them may be able to beat the president. We think you can do it. Now is your moment!'”
- GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Perry will host his first New York fundraisers this week, beginning with a reception tonight at the tony residences of 15 Central Park West. The list of hosts includes some well-known names in finance and real estate, but for the most part sticks with Perry’s base of ultra-conservative and religious hardliners.
- The Palestinians plan to submit their application for statehood at the UN this week, setting the stage for the most dramatic General Assembly in recent memory. The move threatens to make the Obama’s foreign policy the centre of attention at a time when the administration is desperately trying to stay focused on its economic agenda.
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