OBAMA PROPOSES NEW TAXES
President Obama said September 19 that he was drafting a plan to assess $1.5 trillion in new taxes, mostly from America’s wealthiest citizens and largest corporations. “If we’re going to make spending cuts … then it’s only right that we ask everyone to pay their fair share,” the president said.
Obama hopes that these new taxes will excise over $3 trillion of the deficit over the next decade. This new money would also help pay for Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill. Republican leaders have voiced displeasure with the proposed taxes. House Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) argued that raising taxes on small businesses could end up destroying jobs.
AT&T FINDS FURTHER TROUBLE WITH ACQUISITION
AT&T has long had its eyes on rival cell carrier T-Mobile, but the company’s latest attempts at acquisition have run into a legal roadblock. The U.S. Justice Department is suing both companies, claiming that the proposed merger would make AT&T the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., “substantially” reducing competition in the market. The lawsuit was first filed August 31, and in the intervening weeks, seven states have joined the effort to prevent this $39 billion merger.
The acquisition was originally announced March 20, when AT&T bought T-Mobile from its German owners, Deutsche Telekom. The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights held a hearing about the merger in May, concerned that a trust would be formed.
AT&T and its lawyers are doing whatever they can to shorten the trial so that the merger can continue. The case is currently expected to be in court for approximately six weeks.
PALESTINE HOPEFUL TO JOIN THE UN
The State of Palestine has set its sights on joining the United Nations. At least nine of the 15 member countries of the U.N. Security Council must give their approval before the General Assembly can make the final decision. If allowed into the U.N., Palestine will become recognized as an independent country.
The U.S. has been using its influence to pressure members of the Security Council to keep Palestine from gaining admittance, an official said. However, the U.S. does not want to cast a veto in the final voting, as that would harm its image in Israel and Palestine. Currently, Palestine does not have enough support to become a full-fledged member, though it does have the possibility of becoming a non-voting observer state.
Despite U.S. reluctance, Palestine’s admittance has the approval of most of Europe and the Middle East.