Driving the Day: 4/11/12

Apr 11, 2012

Need to know…

  • President Obama Pushing for Tax Rule. The Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial today, “This week the Administration officially endorsed what in essence is the Obama Rule: Taxes must be high simply to spread the wealth, never mind the impact on the economy or government revenue.  It’s all about ‘fairness,’ baby.” The policy goal is to impose an effective minimum tax of 30% on the income of anyone who makes more than $1 million a year in an effort to stabilize America’s debt. The Treasury’s numbers confirm that at most, this tax would raise $5 billion, less than 0.5% of the 2012 budget deficit.
  • Stock Markets Takes Worst Hit of the Year. Wall Street skidded deep into negative territory yesterday as the S&P finished its fifth day in a row in negative territory. The Dow dipped 214 points to 12,716.  Exchanges across Europe were under intense selling pressure as well. Germany’s DAX shed 2.5%, England’s FTSE 100 dropped 2.2% and Italy’s MIB plunged 5%. 
  • Bush Makes Rare Statement on Policy. Former President George W. Bush yesterday voiced opposition to raising taxes on “the so-called rich” in a rare public policy speech at the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s conference in New York City.  “I wish they weren’t called the ‘Bush tax cuts,’ ” he said of the tax rates set to expire at the end of the year.  “If they were called some other body’s tax cuts, they’re probably less likely to be raised.”  The former president has mostly avoided weighing in publicly on political debates since leaving office.
  • Study Shows Spike in Auto Accidents on Tax Day. A new study looking at 30 years of data finds that deadly auto accidents increase on Tax Day. The study by researchers at the University of Toronto found 6,783 traffic-related deaths on Tax Day, or 226 per day. That compares with 213 per day on one day a week before the deadline day and another day a week after.
  • Commodities Outlook Bleak, Says IMF. The International Monetary Fund is warning exporters there could be a significant fall in commodity prices over 2012-13, with a risk that an unstable global economy could drag them down even further.  “Given weak global activity and heightened downside risks to the near-term outlook, commodity exporters may be in for a downturn,” the IMF said in its’ World Economic Outlook report.

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