The Obama 13 Briefing Book

- March 5, 2012

Download The 10 Page Briefing Book Here

Despite controlling both houses of Congress for most of his first term in office, President Obama still has plenty of things left on his to-do list. In the second-term of an Obama administration, the President’s cronies that didn’t get their fill the first time around would be back and Obama is ready to meet their demands.

Our research department has compiled the top 13 agenda items you could expect from Obama in 2013. Take a look here at what’s coming if Obama isn’t stopped and share it on Twitter.                                                                                 

THE OBAMA 13     

1. Obama Admits He Would Raise Taxes In 2013

Obama Admits He Wants To Raise Taxes In 2013 If He Is Reelected. OBAMA: "That is a reasonable proposition. So, when you hear folks saying 'Well, the president shouldn't want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.' Nobody's looking to raise taxes right now. We're talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years." (President Barack Obama, Press Conference, Washington, DC, 7/11/11)

Obama Is "Setting Up The U.S. Economy For One Of The Biggest Tax Increases In History In 2013." "President Obama unveiled part two of his American Jobs Act on Monday, and it turns out to be another permanent increase in taxes to pay for more spending and another temporary tax cut. No surprise there. What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013." (Editorial, "The 2013 Tax Cliff," The Wall Street Journal, 9/14/11)

Obama's FY2013 Budget Calls For $1.9 Trillion In Higher Taxes. (Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Of The U.S. Government," OMB, 2/13/12)

  • "This Budget Has $1.9 Trillion In Tax Increases/Revenue Raisers And It Still A) Adds $6.7 Trillion In New Debt From 2013 To 2022, And B) Has Debt As A Share Of GDP Rising From 74.2 Percent This Year To 76.5 Percent In 2022. Wow." (Jim Pethokoukis, "First Thoughts On The New Obama Budget," The American's "The Enterprise," 2/13/12)

Obama's FY2013 Trillion Tax Increase Brings The Federal Tax Revenue "To Its Second Highest Level Since World War Two," Not A "Modest Tax Increase." "President Obama is not proposing 'modest' tax increases. His $1.7 trillion tax hike would take federal tax revenue (as a share of output) to its second highest level since World War Two. Only once, outside of WWII, was revenue higher. And that was in 2000, when money was flooding into federal coffers due to capital gains from the final days of the Internet stock bubble." (James Pethokoukis, "A Load Of Econmic Nonsense From Geithner," The American's "Enterprise," 2/15/12)

2. Obama Would Raise Everyone's Taxes In 2013

Obama Has Said He Is "Agnostic" On Raising Taxes On Those Making Less Than $250,000 As Part Of A Plan To Reduce The Deficit. "President Barack Obama said he is 'agnostic' about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit. Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare." (Rich Miller, "Obama 'Agnostic' On Deficit Cuts, Won't Prejudge Tax Increases,"Bloomberg, 2/11/10)

  • President Obama Was "Intrigued By [The] Elegance" Of Allowing All Of The Bush Tax Cuts To Expire In Order To Cut The Deficit. "In November 2009, Orszag would tout an idea that divided the economic team and inspired contempt in the political shop: extending for one or two years George W. Bush's middle class cuts, which were scheduled to expire in 2011, then letting them lapse unless Congress found a way to offset their costs. During a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, he casually outlined the proposal. The obvious defect was that it would be likely to break the president's campaign pledge to oppose tax increases on the middle class. Nevertheless, Obama was intrigued by its elegance as a deficit-cutting maneuver, according to two people in the room. He also liked the idea of forcing Republicans to grapple with the costs of Bush's policies. Only later did the politicos revolt-the vice president, for one, was apoplectic-and the president lost interest." (Noam Scheiber, The Escape Artists, 2012, p. 154-155)
  • Obama Would Block Extension Of The Reductions, Either As A Final Act In Office After Losing The November 2012 Election Or After Winning A Second Term." "A White House official argued Sunday that the president had another trump card to play: the scheduled expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts at the end of 2012. Obama would block extension of the reductions, either as a final act in office after losing the November 2012 election or after winning a second term." (Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura, "Did Obama Capitulate - Or Is This A Cagey Move?" The Washington Post , 7/31/11)

In 2013, Obama Will Increase Hike Taxes By $3.6 Trillion Over The Next Ten Years "And All Democrats Need To Do To Secure That Deal Is...Nothing." " But Democrats will have their turn. On Dec. 31, 2012, three weeks before the end of President Barack Obama's current term in office, the Bush tax cuts expire. Income tax rates will return to their Clinton-era levels. That amounts to a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years, three or four times the $800 billion to $1.2 trillion in revenue increases that Obama and Speaker John Boehner were kicking around. And all Democrats need to do to secure that deal is...nothing." (Ezra Klein, "Democrats Will Lose Now. But They Can Win Later,"The Washington Post , 7/31/11)

3. U.S. Credit Rating Would Be Downgraded Again

Fitch Has Warned That Unless The U.S. Comes Up With A "Credible Plan" To Reduce Our Budget Deficit, We Will Be Downgraded In 2013. "Fitch Ratings gave the United States until 2013 to come up with a 'credible plan' to tackle its ballooning budget deficit before it downgrades the country's coveted AAA rating. The ratings agency said on Monday it revised to negative from stable the outlook on the U.S. credit rating after a special congressional committee failed last week to agree on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit-reduction measures." (Walter Brandimarte, "Fitch Warns Of U.S. Downgrade If No Budget Deal In 2013," Reuters, 11/28/11)

  • Fitch Ratings Cuts The US Outlook To "Negative" And Warns Our Projected Debt Levels Are Not Consistent With AAA Rating. "Fitch's revised fiscal projections envisage federal debt held by the public exceeding 90% of national income (GDP) and debt interest consuming more than 20% of tax revenues by the end of the decade, and including the debt of state and local governments - gross general government debt will reach 110% of GDP over the same period. In Fitch's opinion, such a level of government indebtedness would no longer be consistent with the U.S. retaining its 'AAA' status despite its underlying strengths. Such high levels of indebtedness would limit the scope for counter-cyclical fiscal policies and the U.S. government's ability to respond to future economic and financial crises." (Press Release, "Fitch Affirms United States At 'AAA'; Outlook Revised To Negative," Fitch Ratings, 11/28/11)

Obama's FY2013 Budget Fails To Control Long-Term Spending And Leaves The "Debt Bomb Ticking." "The best test of a budget proposal these days is whether it reins in the national debt, which is projected to equal a troubling 74% of gross domestic product this year. The last time the publicly held debt was that high as a percentage of the economy was in 1950, when the nation was still paying off the stupendous amount of money it had to borrow to fight and win World War II. The election-year budget President Obama sent to Congress on Monday fails that test." (Editorial, "Obama's Budget Plan Leaves Debt Bomb Ticking,"USA Today, 2/13/12)

Obama's Reliance On War Savings Over Entitlement Reforms Would Not "Impress Wall Street Credit Rating Agencies." "President Barack Obama's plan to tame U.S. budget deficits probably relies too much on ending wars and too little on tackling health care spending to impress Wall Street credit rating agencies." (Jason Lange, "Analysis: Obama Deficit Plan Unlikely To Impress Ratings Firms," Reuters, 9/20/11)

  • Claiming Savings From The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan "Undermines The Credibility Of The Plan In The Eyes Of Some Experts Because Those Spending Cuts Were Probably Going To Happen Anyway." "Banking on $1 trillion in savings from drawing down the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan also undermines the credibility of the plan in the eyes of some experts because those spending cuts were probably going to happen anyway." (Jason Lange, "Analysis: Obama Deficit Plan Unlikely To Impress Ratings Firms,"Reuters, 9/20/11)

4. The Economy Would Remain Sluggish And Unemployment Would Remain Unacceptably High

The Congressional Budget Office Says "The Economy Will Continue To Grow At A Sluggish Pace Over The Next Two Years." "The pace of the economic recovery has been slow since the recession ended in June 2009, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expects that, under current laws governing taxes and spending, the economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years. That pace of growth partly reflects the dampening effect on economic activity from the higher tax rates and curbs on spending scheduled to occur this year and especially next." ("The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012-2022," Congressional Budget Office, 1/31/12)

  • CBO: "Considerable Slack Remains In The Labor Market" And Unemployment Will Remain Above 8 Percent This Year And Next. "Considerable slack remains in the labor market, mainly as a consequence of continued weakness in demand for goods and services. In CBO's forecast, the unemployment rate remains above 8 percent both this year and next." ("The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012-2022," Congressional Budget Office, 1/31/12)

The Unemployment Rate Is Expected To Remain Above 8 Percent Through 2013. "The scarcity of jobs that has kept the national unemployment rate hovering around 9% will not see much relief any time soon, the survey noted. Respondents to the study saw, on average, the unemployment rate dipping modestly to 8.8% in 2012, then to 8.4% in 2013." (Javier David, "Philly Fed Survey Sees Middling Growth," The Wall Street Journal's "Real Time Economics," 11/14/11)

5. Another Record Deficit, Another Failed Promise

The Annual Deficit Will Be $901 Billion In 2013 And Won't Drop Below $575 Billion Anytime In The Next Decade. "Despite its tax increases, the White House still predicts that the annual budget deficit will be $901 billion in 2013 and never fall below $575 billion in any of the next 10 years. Democrats denounced George W. Bush for allowing so much red ink, but his deficits averaged only 3.5% of GDP if you don't count 2001 but do include the 10.1% of 2009." (Editorial, "The Amazing Obama Budget," The Wall Street Journal, 2/14/12)

Obama Pledged To Cut The Deficit In Half By The End Of His First Term. OBAMA:"And that's why today I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At The Fiscal Responsibility Summit, Washington, D.C., 2/23/09)

  • "President Barack Obama Plans To Cut The U.S. Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By The End Of His First Term …" (Hans Nichols, "Obama Plans To Reduce Budget Deficit To $533 Billion By 2013," Bloomberg, 2/21/09)

USA Today : Obama Will Fall "Far Short Of His Goal To Halve The Deficit In Four Years.""President Obama's proposed 2013 budget will forecast a $901 billion deficit for next year, falling far short of his goal to halve the deficit in four years."(Richard Wolf, "Obama Budget To Miss Deficit Goal,"USA Today's "The Oval," 2/10/12)

6. Obama Would Need Another Increase In The Debt Ceiling To Pay For His Binge Spending

The U.S. Will Hit The Debt Ceiling Between November 2012 And January 2013. "Analysts from the Bipartisan Policy Center projected that the United States will hit its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling between late November 2012 and early January 2013 due to lower-than-expected corporate tax revenues and the recent extension of the payroll tax holiday." (Seung Min Kim, "Debt Doomsday More Imminent," Politico, 2/24/12)

By 2013, Obama Will Have Exhausted The Largest Debt-Ceiling Increase In History. "Obama said raising the debt ceiling has been a common occurrence over the last 60 years. That's true, but this request is the largest in history, even in inflation-adjusted dollars." ("FactChecking Dueling Debt Speeches," Fact Check, 7/27/11)

  • Obama Asked For A Debt-Ceiling Increase Large Enough To Get Him Past The Election And Into 2013. OBAMA: "The only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013. And the reason for it is we've now seen how difficult it is to get any kind of deal done. The economy is already weakened. And the notion that five or six or eight months from now we'll be in a better position to try to solve this problem makes no sense." (President Obama, Press Conference, Washington, D.C., 7/22/11)

7. Obama Would Increase The National Debt To Over $17.5 Trillion Dollars

The President's FY2013 Budget Projects That Obama Will Increase The National Debt To $17.548 Trillion By The End Of FY2013. ("The Budget For Fiscal Year 2013; Table S-15. Federal Government Financing And Debt," Office Of Management And Budget, Accessed 3/2/12)

By That Time Obama Will Have Added $6.9 Trillion To The National Debt, More Than Any President In History, An Increase Of 65 Percent. ("The Budget For Fiscal Year 2013; Table S-15. Federal Government Financing And Debt," Office Of Management And Budget, 2/13/12; US Treasury Department, Accessed 3/2/12)

  • That Is $22,416 In Debt For Every Person In America Or $59,298 For Every Household.("The Budget For Fiscal Year 2013; Table S-15. Federal Government Financing And Debt,"Office Of Management And Budget, 2/13/12; US Treasury Department, Accessed 3/2/12; US Census Bureau, Accessed 3/2/12)

8. In 2013, ObamaCare Comes Alive

"Starting In 2013, The Bill Adds An Additional .9 Percent To The 2.9 Percent Medicare Tax For Singles Who Earn More Than $200,000 And Couples Earning More Than $250,000." (Editorial, "Taxes Upon Taxes Upon…," The Wall Street Journal, 7/11/11)

  • High-Income Earners Will Pay Thousands In Medicare Payroll Taxes. "High-income earners - families making more than $250,000 - will pay several thousand dollars more in Medicare payroll taxes starting in 2013." ("How The Health Care Overhaul Could Affect You,"The New York Times, 3/21/10)

On January 1, 2013, ObamaCare Will Impose An Excise Tax Of 2.3% On Taxable Medical Devices. (Implementation Timeline, Kaiser Family Foundation, Accessed 3/1/12)

  • Obama's Health Care Bill Raises $20 Billion Over 10 Years In New Taxes On Medical Devices. ("Estimated Revenue Effects Of The Manager's Amendment To The Revenue Provisions Contained In The 'Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act," Joint Committee On Taxation Report, 3/20/10)
  • Due To ObamaCare's Medical Device Tax "Many Companies Will Owe More In Taxes Than They Generate In Profits, Requiring Companies To Layoff Employees." "MDMA is very concerned about the impact a $20B device tax will have on patient care, innovation and small businesses. . . . Under the current structure, many companies will owe more in taxes than they generate in profits, requiring companies to layoff employees, cut R&D budgets and slow the development of new therapies that will improve the quality of care for all Americans. Moving forward, these issues must be addressed before the tax takes effect in 2013." (Medical Device Manufacturers Association Website, "House Health Care Bill Passes,", Accessed 9/28/10)

9. Obama Would Revive Cap-And-Trade

Obama Would Bring Back Cap-And-Trade. OBAMA:"We have to have an even more robust energy policy if we're going to create the kind of jobs in this new energy sector that are needed and we're going to deal with climate change in a serious way." (President Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, San Francisco, CA, 2/17/12)

Cap-And-Trade "Is Likely To Be The Biggest Tax In American History." "Americans should know that those Members who vote for this climate bill are voting for what is likely to be the biggest tax in American history. Even Democrats can't repeal that reality." (Editorial, "The Cap And Tax Fiction," The Wall Street Journal4/27/09)

  • In 2009, The Obama Administration Pushed A Cap-And-Trade Plan That Would Cost Taxpayers "Up To $200 Billion A Year, The Equivalent Of Hiking Personal Income Taxes By About 15 Percent." "The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent. … These disclosures will probably not aid the political prospects of the Democrats' cap and trade bill." (Declan McCullagh, "Obama Admin: Cap And Trade Could Cost Families $1,761 A Year," CBS News, 9/15/09)
  • "A Previously Unreleased Analysis Prepared By The U.S. Department Of Treasury Says The Total In New Taxes Would Be Between $100 Billion To $200 Billion A Year." (Declan McCullagh, "Obama Admin: Cap And Trade Could Cost Families $1,761 A Year," CBS News,9/15/09)

10. An Emboldened EPA Would Continue Its Assault On Jobs And Domestic Energy

Obama Says The EPA Will Reassess Ozone Standards In 2013, If He Wins Reelection. "He clearly understood the scientific, legal and political implications. He told Ms. Jackson that she would have an opportunity to revisit the Clean Air Act standard in 2013 - if they were still in office. We are just not going to do this now, he said." (John Broder, "Re-Election Strategy Is Tied To A Shift On Smog,"New York Times, 11/16/11)

Job Creators Say Proposed Ozone Regulations Are The Greatest Threats To Economic Growth And Job Creation. "Business leaders identified the proposed ozone regulations as one of the greatest threats to U.S. economic growth and job creation now coming from the executive branch rulemaking." ("American Businesses Single Out Proposed EPA Ozone Regulations As Major Threat To Jobs, Economy," The Business Roundtable , 7/19/11)

  • "The Agency Estimated That Complying With The New Standard Would Cost $19 Billion To $90 Billion A Year By 2020, To Be Largely Borne By Manufacturers, Oil Refiners And Utilities." (John M. Broder, "E.P.A Seeks Stricter Rules To Curb Smog," The New York Times, 1/7/10)

The Business Roundtable: The Final Ozone Rule "Promises To Be The Single Most Expensive Environmental Regulation Ever Imposed On The U.S. Economy." "Prior to Friday's meeting, the Business Roundtable - a coalition of major U.S. companies - sent a letter to White House chief of staff Bill Daley asking EPA to back off of its plans, arguing that the final rule "promises to be the single most expensive environmental regulation ever imposed on the U.S. economy" and could cost up to $90 billion annually." (Robin Bravender, "Industry: EPA Hurts Obama in 2012," Politico, 7/15/11)

11. Military Families Would See Their TRICARE Payments Increase Sharply

Obama's FY2013 Budget Would Force "Military Families And Retirees To Pay Sharply More For Their Healthcare." "The Obama administration's proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers' benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. … The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon's $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the TRICARE medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017." (Bill Gertz, "Trashing TRICARE: Obama To Cut Healthcare Benefits For Active Duty And Retired US Military," The Washington Free Beacon, 2/27/12)

  • Obama's FY2013 Budget "Calls For Increasing The Cost Of Pharmaceuticals For Families Of Active Duty Military And For Sharp Increases In Premiums For Military Retirees." "The fiscal 2013 defense budget submitted to Congress calls for increasing the cost of pharmaceuticals for families of active duty military and for sharp increases in premiums for military retirees. The objective is to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system this year and $12.9 billion by 2017." (Bill Gertz, "The War On Tricare," The Washington Free Beacon, 3/1/12)

12. National Security Would Face Devastating Cuts

Secretary Of Defense Panetta: In 2013, Sequestration "Guarantees That We Are Going To Hollow The Force And Devastate Our National Security." PANETTA: "And let me tell you something if sequester goes into effect, you can throw all of this out the window. Sequester doubles the numbers of cuts, does it through that crazy formula, and guarantees that we are going to hallow the force and devastate our national security." (Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 2/16/12)

The Effects From Defense Cuts Would "'Seriously Damage' Military Readiness." "'We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily and, because the reduction would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target,' he added, saying that such a move would 'seriously damage' military readiness." (David Alexander, "Panetta Spells Out Budget Cut Doomsday Fears," Reuters, 11/14/11)

  • Washington Post Editorial: Defense Cuts Would Be "Unconscionable." "Congress set this bomb in place when it agreed in the summer that half of $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be assessed to defense if a debt reduction plan failed to pass this year. Now it has heard from senior commanders just how much damage its explosion would cause. It would be an unconscionable act of political irresponsibility to allow their predictions to come true." (Editorial, "U.S. Defense On The Defensive," The Washington Post , 11/6/11)

13. Law Enforcement & Border Security Would Be Subject To Drastic Cuts

President Obama's FY2013 Budget Proposal Cuts Funding For FBI, ATF, DEA, And U.S. Marshals By $38 Million. "The department also is proposing $12.444 billion for its four key law enforcement components, $38 million less than the current spending level. The four agencies are the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service. Since 2001, the year of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Justice Department's law enforcement components have grown by 106 percent. The administration says it is encouraged by the downward trend in violent crime rates and that the Justice Department has identified $138 million in savings that will be carried out by consolidating or eliminating some offices." ("An Agency-By-Agency Guide To Obama's Budget," The Associated Press, 2/14/12)

  • The Houston Chronicle : " The Justice Department Budget Would Cut By 70 Percent The Reimbursements To State And Local Law Enforcement Agencies For Keeping Immigrants Behind Bars On Immigration-Related Charges." (Richard Dunham, "Winners And Losers In The Obama Budget," The Houston Chronicle's Texas On The Potomac," 2/13/12)

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