Poll Disaster For Obama: Job Approval On The Economy Plunges; Independents Abandon Ship – (www.businessinsider.com) President Barack Obama's approval rating on the economy dropped to a new low today — with the latest Gallup poll showing just 26 percent of Americans are happy with his handling on the economy. It was a drop of 11 percentage points since May, and down from 59 percent at the start of his presidency. A majority of voters have not approved of Obama's leadership on the issue since the middle of 2009. Most troubling for the his reelection chances, a majority of independent voters disapprove of Obama's handling of a broad swath of issues ranging from foreign affairs to job creation. Obama polls strongest on foreign affairs and terrorism — issues that are becoming less and less important in the 2012 campaign.
California July Revenue Missed Budget Forecast by 9.2%, State Agency Says - (www.bloomberg.com) California revenue fell short of budget estimates by $541 million or 9.2 percent last month, the first of the 2012 fiscal year, the state Finance Department reported. The data was in line with figures from Controller John Chiang, who said Aug. 9 that cash receipts for the month missed the forecast by $538.8 million. Chiang said the miss may mean further budget cuts are needed for fiscal 2012. Of the $541 million shortfall in the Finance Department calculation, $166 million was likely due mostly “to the timing of deposits,” according to the Finance Department bulletin. The amount included receipts from tribal gaming and regulatory fees. Chiang, a Democrat, warned of “drastic” cuts to universities, home health care and social programs if the trend continued. A series of “triggers” written into the most- populous state’s $86 billion general-fund budget would cut spending in those areas as well as libraries if revenue falls $1 billion short of plan. A $2 billion gap would mean a seven-day cut in the school year and an end to busing subsidies.
Chris Christie For President Is DOA As New Jersey Just Got Its Credit Rating Downgraded - (www.businessinsider.com) Lights out for Chris Christie. Today there was buzz about him possibly jumping into the race, but that's over. New Jersey just got its credit rating downgraded by Fitch from AA to AA-. It might not be a big deal, and it might not be his fault, but this should probably kill any buzz about him running for President right now, given that THE DOWNGRADE is expected to be such a salient point of attack for any eventual GOP nominee.
President Weighs Asking Panel for Stimulus Measures - (online.wsj.com) President Barack Obama is considering recommending that lawmakers on a deficit committee back new measures to stimulate the lagging economy, people familiar with White House discussions said Tuesday. The plan Mr. Obama is considering also would recommend the congressional committee come up with a package that reduces the federal budget deficit by much more that its mandate of $1.5 trillion over the next decade, a senior administration official said, through changes in the tax code and social safety-net programs. "There's no reason to stop at $1.5 trillion," the official said….. Mr. Obama's recommendations could complicate the committee's task because the stimulus measures, by increasing government spending and reducing revenue, would worsen the deficit in the short term. But Mr. Obama would recommend ways to offset those effects, and the whole package would still reduce the deficit over 10 years.
California home prices and sales fall in July - (www.latimes.com) Prices paid for California homes dipped last month as distressed properties continued to make up more than half of the market. The median price paid for new and resale houses and condominiums statewide last month was $252,000, down 0.4% from June, and down 6% from July a year ago, real estate data provider DataQuick said. The state’s median — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — has fallen year-over-year for 10 consecutive months. The median’s bottom for the current real estate cycle was $221,000 in April 2009, and the peak was $484,000 in early 2007. An estimated 34,695 houses and condos were sold last month. That was down 11% from June, and down 1.4% from July 2010. A decline from June to July is normal for the season. Of the existing homes sold last month, 34.6% had been foreclosed on during the past year. That was down from a revised 35.1% in June and down from 35.2% in July a year ago. The all-time high was in February 2009 at 58.5%. Short sales –- transactions in which the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property -– made up an estimated 17.3% of resales last month. That was down from 17.4% in June and down from 18.6% a year earlier.