Hello everybody and welcome to the Shuster "Daily Briefing" for March 12, 2009. Special thanks to intern Zach Gold for helping us put together today's briefing! At the moment, we are all watching President Obama speak at the end of a business roundtable/summit on the economy. The president is trying to tie together a variety of issues into the larger economic debate. He is talking about health care, education, investment, and energy. Anyway, we are going to kick off the show with a closer look at this summit, the White House goals, and the potential pitfalls right now.
There is a growing sense on Capitol Hill that the economy needs to turn around by the fall or the President's party will be in big trouble going into the 2010 election year. At the moment, the President has a ton of political capital to spend on the problems. If the problems persist, he may find the well running dry by the fall.
For "Follow the money," we will talk to Will Cohan, who wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times yesterday, about the enormous salaries taken by CEOs, the risks taken by banks on Wall Street, and the Mark-to-Market rule, which forces banks to value assets based on what they can sell for on the market and has become a point of controversy, with some arguing that a suspension of that rule could help rejuvenate the banking system.
We follow that with "Hypocrisy Watch," with a look at Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who wants to redirect some of the stimulus money into paying off state debt, instead of spending it on projects that may create or save jobs. It's a valid argument/approach.
The problem is that Governor Sanford is highlighting the idea that you shouldn't spend money you don't have. For years, South Carolina has been spending a lot more federal money than it contributes to the treasury in taxes.
By the way, RNC chairman Michael Steele was a strong candidate himself today for "Hypocrisy Watch." He recently described abortion as an "individual choice," despite previously calling it a matter for states to decide.
Moving into our panel, we will talk to Roger Altman, former United States Deputy Treasury Secretary under former President Bill Clinton, and hear his views on the economy and the government's response, which he thinks will do little to help and may shift the world's balance of power away from America and Europe to the East. And, of course, listen to the rest of our panel's responses.
After our discussion of the economy, we will give our panel the chance to comment on the current culture wars between Democrats and Republicans. We'll hear their thoughts about the President's new stem cell policy, the RNC Chairman Michael Steele's new stance on abortion, and the battle the parties are waging. Also, a look at Karl Rove's column in the Wall Street Journal, and his claim that the White House's focus on Rush Limbaugh is bad move for the President and that he has failed to live up to his promise for "meaningful cuts" to the budget.
Finally, we will ask our panel to weigh in on a few of the videos you recommended via Twitter.
Our "Quote of the Day" is from Yogi Berra:
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is."
Thanks in advance for watching tonight's show. "1600" airs at 6 p.m. in Washington, D.C.; 5 p.m. in Little Rock; 4 p.m. in Santa Fe; and 3 p.m. in Oakland.