David Kirkpatrick

January 25, 2010

White House throwing the middle class a lifeline

Here’s some of the options on the table:

The initiatives were developed by the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, led by Vice President Joe Biden. The proposals would:

* Require companies that do not offer retirement plans to enroll their employees in direct-deposit retirement accounts unless the workers opt out.

* Increase the “Savers Credit,” a tax credit for retirement savings, for families making up to $85,000.

* Change some of the rules for 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement savings accounts to make them more transparent.

* Increase the child tax credit rate to 35 percent of qualifying expenses from the current 20 percent for families making under $85,000 a year. Families making up to $115,000 would be eligible for some increase in the tax credit.

* Increase child care funding by $1.6 billion in 2011 to serve an additional 235,000 children.

* Boost government spending by $102.5 million for programs aimed at helping families who provide home care for an aging relative.

* Ease the burden for student loans by limiting a borrower’s payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance.

August 23, 2008

Biden is Obama’s veep pick

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:13 am

Joe Biden gets the nod.

Here’s Marc Ambinder’s take (from the link):

This is a formidable ticket, and a risky ticket, and not a comfort zone choice for Obama.

Put aside the obvious: Biden has foreign policy meat on his bones…He’s a great debater… he has a working-class Scranton-bred Irish-Catholic heritage…he knows Washington very well…he has known tragedy in his life…

He was elected to the Senate as a change agent at the age of 29. He is comfortable but not wealthy — he has not used the prerogatives of office to enrich his personal wealth, although his family has benefited from his stature.

Biden premised his presidential candidacy on the notion that Obama was unqualified and not ready from day one. You can expect that the McCain campaign or the RNC will run a national television advertisement featuring Biden’s many and various quotations to this effect.

I gather that what impressed Obama about Biden is that Biden gets things done. He’s a man of action. He’s not a bullshitter.  I also get the sense that Biden, 65, is pretty well aware that, at age 73 in eight years, he’s not going to be a viable presidential choice, and thus convinced Obama that because the vice presidency would be his terminal position, the famous Biden ego will take a subordinate role.

I gather that Obama realizes that he needed a pick that would demonstrate some level of intellectual seriousness about the condition of the world. One of his sons heads for Iraq soon. Obama knows that, for Biden, getting Iraq right is much more than just about proving a point.