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News Roundup: October 21, 2011

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Have you heard of the Romney Rule? Mitt Romney believes that millionaires should pay a lower tax rate than middle-class Americans. Despite being worth upwards of $250 million, Romney only paid 14 percent in taxes last year—a lower rate than many teachers, police officers, or construction workers.

Republican voters continue to lack enthusiasm about the possibility of having Mitt Romney as the party's nominee. Several of the other candidates have gained and lost momentum over the passing weeks—most notably Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain—but Romney's numbers have remained steady. It's clear that the GOP is searching for any possible alternative to Romney.

Momentum is building for tax reform in the United States, and Republican candidates are creating new, simplified tax plans that they think will appeal to voters. Most candidates have advocated a flat tax, or a variation of a flat tax, and Rick Perry plans to unveil his proposal next week. These tax plans shift the burden of taxation onto the poorest members of society while lowering the amount paid by the wealthiest in society.

While the President continues to promote his plan to put Americans back to work, it's important to remember that the American Jobs Act will not add a single dollar to the deficit.The Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction will pay for the American Jobs Act and generate net savings of $3 trillion over 10 years, in addition to the $1 trillion in spending cuts that the President already passed in the Budget Control Act.

Last night, the Senate confirmed the new Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson. Bryson brings a breadth of experience to his new position, having founded the National Resources Defense Council, serving as the CEO of Edison International, and as a member of both Disney and Boeing's boards of directors. President Obama praised Bryson, saying that he has a "clear understanding of what it takes to put America on a stronger economic footing and create jobs."

This West Wing Week, the President traveled to Detroit with the President of South Korea, dedicated the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, embarked on a three-day American Jobs Act bus tour, bestowed the Presidential Citizens Medal, and hosted the Norwegian Prime Minister.