Welcome to ‘The War Room.’ Here are some of the stories we are watching on this Thursday, March 29th, 2012:
Good economic news is always welcome. The GDP grew at a solid 3 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011, bolstered by higher personal incomes. The Wall Street Journal points out the difference between the GDP (gross domestic product) and the GDI (gross domestic income) and finds that the GDP might be under-reporting the overall strength in the economy. And U.S. jobless claims fell to their lowest level in four years, “adding to evidence that the job market is strengthening” according to the AP.
A few folks are falling behind in the recovery, though. For instance, the Chamber of Commerce bet big on the GOP in 2010, and the no-government Republicans have repaid them by obstructing the funding that served a lot of business interests. Transportation projects, renewable energy, research, and other areas have seen the cash flow grind to a halt, preventing those businesses from adding new jobs. Also set to run out of funding by May is the U.S. Import-Export Bank, which has financed our exports since the Great Depression. Without that financing, “companies could struggle to complete contracts with overseas buyers. Those buyers will most likely turn to foreign competitors whose governments have more robust versions of the bank.” Even Senator Lindsey Graham admits that it “will be the end of job creation for thousands of businesses for no good reason.” There is a reason it’s called the Worst. Congress. Ever.
What did the House Republicans do yesterday to earn their taxpayer-funded salaries? They voted down three budget proposals that were offered up in an effort to score political points alone. Today, the House Republicans are expected to vote on the Ryan plan that ends Medicare as we know it.
Speaking of wasting your time and money, after all the bluster over the Solyndra issue, “Republican investigators acknowledge they’ve fallen short of substantiating their allegations” about any criminal impropriety. Will Darrell Issa be issuing yet another apology?
Did you know that Exxon Mobile made $4.7 million an hour last year, and the biggest three U.S. oil companies made over $80 billion in profit? Did you also know that “despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP combined to reduce their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees over that time?” And did you know that a study from the “Associated Press shows no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump?” Now you do.
Turns out Mitt Romney did support part of the auto industry rescue – the part where TARP funds bailed out the industry’s financial arm like GMAC/Ally, which was taken over by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, who had contributed heavily to Romney’s campaign in 2008. Looks like Romney didn’t want everyone in Detroit to go bankrupt.
Activist judges. You mean the conservatives on the Supreme Court, right?
Some headlines make you laugh out loud: ”Trump won’t rule out supporting Hillary in 2016” is the winner for today.
Once upon a time there was this guy running for governor of Michigan, and he had to hide the fact that he closed a factory there and moved all the jobs to Wisconsin. Mitt Romney thinks that’s absolutely hilarious. Give it a listen: