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December 21, 2012
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National Pulse 
  • Plan C, anyone?
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    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was forced to abandon his "Plan B" tax proposal on Thursday night after failing to secure enough votes from his own party to pass the measure. The plan's failure weakens Boehner's hand as fiscal negotiations continue, and makes it less likely that Republican leaders and President Barack Obama will be able to reach and enact a viable deal before the year ends. Reuters (12/21) , The Washington Post (12/20) , USA Today (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Where things went wrong for John Boehner:   The Plan B tax plan fell to pieces after increasingly frantic backroom negotiations failed to deliver sufficient conservative support for the measure, insiders say. Eventually Boehner simply gave up, reportedly offering a public prayer for the "serenity to accept the things I cannot change" before canceling the planned vote. National Review (12/21) , Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/20) , The Washington Post (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Reader Polls 
  • This week's poll results: What to tax
    (Editor's note: Due to a production error, this week's poll results were published a day early. We present them again today, according to schedule. We regret any inconvenience.)
    On Monday, we asked you for your recommendations for the key revenue component of any deal to resolve the federal deficit crisis. The results are below. Some readers suggested alternative approaches, including a complete overhaul of the tax code, legalizing -- and taxing -- marijuana sales, and taxing the "47%" of Americans who reportedly pay no income taxes. One reader asked, "How many of those advocating for higher taxes on incomes over $500,000 actually make $500,000?" That may have to be a subject for a future poll. Next week: Holiday spending.
    Increase taxes on incomes higher than $250,000  23.59%
    Increase taxes on incomes higher than $500,000  18.79%
    Increase taxes on incomes higher than $1 million  12.86%
    Extend the current tax rates across the board  12.63%
    Cap or eliminate selected deductions  11.68%
    Establish a national sales tax  7.41%
    Reduce income taxes further  5.69%
    None of the above/Other  4.98%
    Impose a tax on carbon emissions  1.30%
    Raise or expand other sources of revenue, such as excise taxes, import duties and user fees  1.07%
Agenda Items 

Data Points 
  • Poll: Shooting sends Obama's approval rating to 3-year high
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    President Barack Obama's approval rating has ticked up to 56%, a six-point jump from his postelection average and the highest it has been for more than three years, in the latest Gallup poll. The president's score might reflect a "'rally around the flag' effect" in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, but it also could indicate support for his handling of the fiscal negotiations, writes Gallup's Frank Newport. (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • JibJab gets ready for the apocalypse
    Watch video  
    If interpreters of the Mayan calendar are right, the world ends today. Why not spend these last few hours laughing? The cartoonists at JibJab offer their view of the events of 2012 leading up to the apocalypse. Enjoy! JibJab (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American."
--Daniel Webster, statesman and lawyer
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