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Obama To Tell Congress Lifting Cuba Embargo Is The Right Thing To Do - Yahoo News

Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department laid out the dos and don'ts of travel to the island nation. With the presidents executive order, U.S. airline carriers will be allowed to fly in and out of Cuba, not just as chartered flights. And individual Americans, not just tour groups, will be able to purchase tickets to come on those flights if they promise their visits are religious, cultural, family or charity based, and not just a beach romp. In Cuba, the atmosphere is upbeat, while everyone is skeptical that real change will happen fast, but nevertheless surprised at the progress.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-tell-congress-lifting-cuba-embargo-thing-191329684.html

Obama's 'real' SOTU goal: Embarrass the Republicans - Yahoo News

Obama is expected to push a plan to increase taxes by $320 billion over 10 years on the wealthy by closing tax loopholes. The White House said the proposed fee on the biggest financial companies would make it more costly for them to borrow heavily. Read More Obama to focus on middle class in State of the Union "There's an awful lot of your viewers that over and over again said, 'If we'd only done Bowles-Simpson look at the shape we'd be in.' Bowles-Simpson proposed exactly these rates, exactly this structure on capital gains," Furman said. Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson unveiled a plan in late 2010 to cut the nation's ballooning budget deficit. It was never was implemented but often praised on both sides of the aisle. "The bank tax, [Republican] former Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp, he proposed a very similar tax on banks," Furman said.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102350604

Obama's speech strategy: Put GOP on the back foot on taxes

That gloom is part of the reason Democrats fared so poorly in November's midterm elections - and why Obama's address on Tuesday will be delivered to the first GOP-majority Congress of Obama's presidency. The White House hopes that with improving approval poll numbers will come more unity among Democrats around Obama's agenda, which aides say can be reduced to three words: middle class economics. Obama tax plan: Cuts and hikes "It's important for us to find every single way that we can to provide some relief for middle class families because as the economy finally after six years gets to the point where people are beginning to feel it, we need to make sure we lean in so that folks have a little bit more money at the end of the week," said David Simas, the director of Obama's political office. That means proposing new tax breaks for married couples where each partner works, increasing the child care tax credit and offering two years of community college free to qualified applicants. The White House says those kinds of moves will help bolster middle-class Americans who aren't yet feeling the economic recovery, despite plenty of data indicating the country moving further away from the recession. But even as Obama finds himself more popular than he has been in months, his agenda appears to be facing its toughest challenge yet with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress.
Source: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/19/politics/obama-popular-state-of-the-union/index.html

Obama heads into State of the Union on ratings uptick - CNN.com

Not really: Supporters of a bank tax argue it makes sense to charge mega banks like Goldman Sachs ( GS ) for the fact they enjoy lower borrowing costs because everyone assumes the government would bail them out. Yet the tax Obama is now proposing wouldn't just be limited to those Too Big to Fail banks. It would hit the roughly 100 U.S. banks that have over $50 billion in assets, including regional lenders like Huntington Bancshares ( HBAN ) and Zions Bancorp ( ZION ). "This is a shotgun, not a bullet," said Ernie Patrikis, a partner at White & Case who used to be general counsel of the New York Federal Reserve.
Source: http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/20/investing/obama-bank-tax-state-of-the-union/index.html

Obama aide: Our 'strong logic' for rich tax hikes

Its about as dead on arrival as you can get. Republicans will argue raising taxes now would slow economic growth at go here a time the U.S. economy is just getting its footing. Related: How Obama lost the middle class I think the White House is going to try to embarrass the Republicans and try to make them look as if they defend the very wealthy," says Valliere. "Its purely politics. Purely politics? That's expected.
Source: http://news.yahoo.com/-state-of-the-union--2016-campaign-starts-now-161616245.html

Obama bank tax: Smart policy or bank bashing? - Jan. 20, 2015

So far at least, it does not seem like Republicans have a strong answer to Obama's proposals, which the White House strategically put out over the weekend to dominate coverage leading up to the speech. Getty Images Read More Calculating the long odds for Chris Christie Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee who is looking at a 2016 bid, attempted to shift to a populist tone in remarks to Republicans in San Diego on Friday. But his efforts drew mostly mockery on social media from Democrats and Republicans who remember Romney's comments deriding the "47 percent" of Americans who rely on government largesse rather than contribute to economic growth. Romney, a private equity multimillionaire, is not the ideal vessel for a populist message of economic inclusion. Meanwhile, Obama in his speech will be attempting to gain the high ground in an effort to address the biggest economic failing on his watch, the fact that median household incomes actually fell close to 4 percent to $51,939 in 2013 compared to when Obama took office in 2009, according to census data. The numbers for the lowest earners are even worse.
Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102350999

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