Monday Buzz: Republicans' Red Herrings, Stimulus Battle Lines, More

NDN was featured in a diverse group of media sources this week. Simon was quoted prominently in the San Francisco Chronicle about the legislative battle over the economic recovery package, and in the Las Vegas Sun on how Republicans are creating and playing off of unfounded fear of "welfare" for illegal immigrants to hold up immigration reform. From the SF Chronicle piece:

Simon Rosenberg, who heads NDN, a Democratic advocacy group, says the difficult drama starring Obama in the first weeks - including the new administration's effort and its road bumps over nominees - is being played out in some dire national circumstances.

"The country is hurting, people are desperate for their leaders to succeed - and their expectations are very high," he said. "And he's just a man. He's not a god. ... People are coming to realize ... that change, as it always is, will be hard. Barack Obama will have to grind it out."

And from the Las Vegas Sun article:

“The immigration system is broken and there are a lot of people who live in this country who are not legal citizens,” said Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a Washington-based think tank and advocacy organization. “So the issue of whether benefits are conferred upon them will come up again and again.”

Rosenberg said attaching the issue of immigration to other policy questions creates “proxy fights,” a waste of time and political momentum. Debate on the Children’s Health Insurance Program quickly became a setting for one of those proxy fights, he noted.

Simon's analysis of Michael Steel being picked for RNC Chair was also featured in Ben Smith's blog in Politico. Finally, Rob's argument for getting a "free" $420 billion by bringing corporations back to the U.S. was featured in the Bangor Daily News. From the Daily News editorial:

...An even better outcome would be for those companies to reinvest those earnings in equipment and personnel at home.

The measure won approval in 2004 for a one-year period, and an estimated $312 billion in funds was “repatriated,” according to analysis by Dr. Robert Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs under President Clinton. Of the $312 billion, he wrote, $252 billion was brought back to the U.S. by manufacturing companies. The 2004 law dictated acceptable use of the funds to qualify for the low tax rate, and surveys showed that $73 billion was used to create or keep jobs; $75 billion was used in new capital spending; and $39 billion went toward paying off domestic debt. It also produced $34 billion in new federal tax revenues, making it a “free lunch,” Dr. Shapiro wrote. The same analysis suggests that about $421 billion to $565 billion would come home if the tax were lowered temporarily.