World News Brief, Tuesday September 20

Obama to release $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan; Obama plan includes $1.5 trillion in tax increases, which Republicans expected to oppose; China closes solar panel factory that has been focus of anti-pollution demonstrations; South Korea and US working on joint response to small-scale attacks from North Korea; gunmen kill 36 in a Burundi bar; Farc rebels in Colombia attack police station; and more

Top of the Agenda: Obama's Plan to Kick-Off Deficit Talks

President Barack Obama is set release a $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan (NYT), a move seen as the first salvo in broad bipartisan negotiations by the joint House-Senate committee over the next two months. The White House plan is expected to call for $1.5 trillion in tax increases and $580 billion in cuts to health and entitlement programs. The plan also counts $1.1 trillion in savings from closing combat operations in Iraq and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The White House proposal would allow the Bush-era tax cuts to sunset (FT) for households earning over $250,000 and would limit special deductions for the wealthy on mortgages, healthcare plans, and charitable donations. Obama has vowed to veto any plan that does not include tax increases for upper-income earners.

The congressional "supercommittee" (BBC) composed of six Republicans and six Democrats has been tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts by late November, when automatic cuts are mandated if a deal is not reached. The impending budget battle will take place amid unemployment above 9 percent and a sluggish economy.

Critics say the White House plan is likely to be well-received by Democrats who have admonished the president for doing too little to create jobs. However, the plan has little to no chance of passing, as congressional Republicans have stated they will oppose any plan that includes tax increases (WashPost).


One of the most effective ways to reverse the income decline of the past decade is for the United States to “become a thriving trading nation,” concludes a new high-level CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report on U.S. trade and investment policy.

Clive Crook at the Financial Times says that Obama must move to the ideological center in order to save his presidency--a move that would take up the space vacated by a "radicalizing GOP," and ensure a broader base of support.

Paul Krugman at the New York Times discusses the impact of fiscal austerity policies and the need for greater government intervention into the U.S. economy.



China Shutters Factory amid Protest

Chinese officials ordered the closing of a solar panel factory that has been the epicenter for violent anti-pollution demonstrations (AFP). The popular unrest indicates growing concerns over the environmental trade-offs associated with China's rapid economic growth.

KOREA: South Korea and the United States will complete plans for a joint military response to potential small-scale attacks from North Korea (KoreaTimes). The two countries initiated the collaboration following Pyongyang's surprise artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island last November.



36 killed in bar attack in Burundi

Farc rebels in Colombia attack police station


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