The Center for Effective Government releases "A Tale of Two Retirements," a report describing the gap between the retirement funding most people get and the retirement funding corporate CEOs get. A few of these CEOs are from corporations you may never have heard of, like the biggest CEO retirement package belongs to David Novak, CEO of YUM Brands. YUM Brands owns several well-known fast-food joints like Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, and while Mr. Novak will in all likelihood enjoy a retirement package of over $1 million per month, the employees who slave over those hot grills and friers will get bupkus. Income redistribution!
Dean Baker instructs us (among other things) that one of Marco Rubio's "new ideas" -- "flex-funding" welfare benefits -- is actually an idea that a) is 20 years old and thus old enough to take on six figures of college debt and b) failed. It is important to remember that, a lot of times, when right-wingers put forth "new ideas," they're actually failed, old ideas. You know, like tax-cuts-for-the-rich as "job creation." Shame the "liberal" media can't remember what fooled them last week, let alone what fooled them two decades ago.
Right-Wing Watch reminds us that, in an unusually succinct headline, "Ben Carson's Budget Plan Makes Absolutely No Sense." Key finding: his 10 percent flat income tax would bring in revenues of around $1 trillion, meaning that the federal budget deficit would balloon to $3 trillion. And he also insists that freezing, not cutting, federal spending would wipe out the deficit "in three or four years." I guess he figures if he says it calmly and confidently, it'll be true.
In a related development, Bryce Covert at Think Progress looks over Ted Cruz's tax plan and finds it wanting. Sen. Cruz would do a 10 percent flat income tax, too -- though his personal exemption would be rather larger than it is now, and he would also expand the EITC and the CTC -- and he'd close corporate tax loopholes and drop the corporate tax rate to 16 percent, which still wouldn't be better than the system we have now. Also, of course, the 10 percent flat tax would apply to capital gains, and (big shock!) he'd get rid of the Estate tax. When he says "imagine 4.9 million new jobs," "imagining" is all you'll be doing -- corporations won't create jobs if we "let" them; they'll only create jobs when we make them.
I've found the various tribulations of the Jeb Bush campaign as thought-provoking as anyone, but no matter how bad things look at a particular time, like now, I'd hesitate before declaring his candidacy "dead." Jeb Bush can take heart, so to speak, by recalling that John Kerry's campaign was similarly "dead" at this point in the 2004 cycle. And the Right to Rise SuperPAC, which just so happens to be dedicated to electing Jeb Bush, is still sitting on a huge pile of money, regardless of spending cuts at the Bush campaign proper (which he will never shut up about, if he recovers). Messrs. Trump and Carson have proven considerably more formidable than Herman Cain, but never count a bastard out.
Finally, the estimable Frank Rich, in similarly declaring Jeb Bush "finished," reminds us of something we may not always remember during the Obama Derangement Syndrome years: "(Jeb Bush) has seemed perpetually surprised by the heathens in the GOP’s midst. He should not have been. His own father, with his race-baiting Willie Horton campaign against Michael Dukakis, helped invite in the crazies. His brother and Karl Rove gave sotto voce encouragement to the gay-bashing forces of the religious right." I'd say the W/Rove axis inflamed "war on terror" crazies more than evangelical ones, but "establishment" Republicans who wring their hands about the "base" now should remind themselves: you reap what you sow.