Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 17, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

1. President Obama's Budget Defeated Again (link)

By now you'd think that President Obama would show a little leadership when it comes to the budget. At least you'd think he would be able to get someone to vote for his budget. You'd be wrong though. According to the Washington Times, Obama's budget went down yesterday 99-0 in the U.S. Senate. The House rejected the budget 414-0 in March.

Not good for President Obama.

Democrats disputed that it was actually the president's plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn't actually match Mr. Obama's budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president's numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrats took up.

"A stunning development for the president of the United States in his fourth year in office," Mr. Sessions said of the unanimous opposition.

The White House has held its proposal out as a "balanced approach" to beginning to rein in deficits. It calls for tax increases to begin to offset higher spending, and would begin to level off debt as a percentage of the economy by 2022. It would produce $6.4 trillion in new deficits over that time.

By contrast the chief Republican alternative from the House GOP would notch just $3.1 trillion in deficits, and three Senate Republican alternatives would all come in below $2 trillion.

2. Perry Votes for Romney (link)

Governor Rick Perry took advantage of what many Texans are taking advantage of, Early Voting. The Governor voted Wednesday in Austin and told reporters that he voted for Mitt Romney and believes that Romney will win in the General Election.

“On a scale of 10, show me as a 10,” Perry said. “We don’t really have an option here, if you’re a person who cares about the future of this country.”

Perry said he “absolutely” thought Romney would win.

“The election may be close, but it shouldn’t be,” he said.

Perry said Romney brings “private sector experience” to the table that Obama doesn’t have.

“He understands that government is not the answer to everything,” Perry said.

I voted earlier this week and I wonder how many protest votes there will be over Mitt Romney. Romney will win the primary of course, but it will be interesting to see if Texans send any kind of message.

3. Chris Winn Goes After Neugebauer

With just a couple of weeks left in the campaign, it appears as though Chris Winn has taken the gloves off in his primary fight with Rep. Randy Neugebauer. In a recent interview on Pratt on Texas, Winn set out to connect Neugebauer with the financial meltdown. Winn has produced letters that he says shows Neugebauer opposed the Bush Administration's attempts at reforming the Government Sponsored Entities before the meltdown came. Winn also claimed that letters then show Neugebauer turning around and blaming the Administration for not doing more. Winn points to an article from the Wall Street Journal that named Neugebauer as a Fannie Mae Republican.

The gloves are off folks. Winn will appear on LFN today at 7:35am to discuss this and other topics.

4. What the End of the Bush Tax Cuts Could Mean (link)

Good information for all to have here.

You may think only individuals in the top two brackets will face higher federal income taxes if the Bush cuts go bye-bye as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2013. Not true. Unless Congress takes action and the president goes along (whoever that is), rates will go up for everyone -- not just "the rich." Specifically, the existing 10% bracket will go away, and the lowest "new" bracket will be 15%. The existing 25% bracket will be replaced by the "new" 28% bracket; the existing 28% bracket will be replaced by the new 31% bracket; the existing 33% bracket will be replaced by the 36% bracket; and the existing 35% bracket will be replaced by the 39.6% bracket.

Bottom line: We'll all see higher taxes.

The Bush tax cuts included several provisions to ease the so-called marriage penalty. The penalty can cause a married couple to pay more in taxes than when they were single, which is nuts.

Right now, the bottom two tax brackets for married joint-filing couples are exactly twice as wide as for singles. This helps keep the marriage penalty from biting lower and middle-income couples. Starting next year, the joint-filer tax brackets will contract, causing higher tax bills for many folks.

Currently, the standard deduction for married joint-filing couples is double the amount for singles. Starting next year, the joint-filer standard deduction will fall back to about 167% of the amount for singles.

Bottom line: lots of lower and middle-income income couples will face higher tax bills due to a harsher marriage penalty.

And there is a lot more. Click on the link above to read it all and be informed.

5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)

This guy has some issues.

A Muncie man's visit to the Ball State University campus on Monday ended with his arrest.

Campus police reported they first saw a nervous-acting Michael Joseph Phipps, 29, 314 W. Ninth St., riding a green bicycle about 10:45 a.m., when he left the bike outside the student center, emerging a few minutes later with two soft drinks.

Questioned by police, Phipps told officers he was bound for Bracken Library for some studying, although he acknowledged he wasn't a student and didn't know what he was going to study.

About an hour later, an officer saw Phipps again, this time riding a red bicycle and carrying a submarine sandwich.

He allegedly admitted he had stolen both bicycles -- one from an on-campus bike rack, the other from a West North Street porch, as well as his soft drinks and sandwiches from the food court in the student center.

He was being held in the Delaware County jail on Tuesday under a $5,000 bond, preliminarily charged with three counts of theft.

6. Good Brews Good News of the Day (link)

People coming together.

The acrid fumes Estell complained of also stemmed from plumbing issues, McDonald said.

Droves of helpers have come to her aid, Assistant City Manager Vicki Covey said.

“People just started volunteering,” Covey said. “Then one group told another group, and it just snowballed.

“Every group you talk to, somebody in the room — or more than one — had eaten there, used to eat there, wanted to eat there and never did. She’s legendary. And everybody wants to help. People have been very generous.”

The Texas Panhandle Builders Association Remodelors Council leapt into action after learning Estell sought help to stay in her house, Allen said.

“This project is going better than I could imagine,” Allen said. “When I ask, ‘Have you heard of Mama Ruby?’ They say, ‘What do you need?’”

On Friday, Remodelors Council Chairman Paul Davis, owner of Marble Depot, and past Chairman Winston Allen, owner of Overhead Builders, described the extensive renovations over a din of circular saws and hammers. For one thing, crews found the house had no insulation.

Estell on Monday confirmed friend Keith Grays’ story that she called 911 last winter “because I like to froze to death,” she said. “I got in the ambulance to stay warm. They got me warm and carried me to a friend of mine to stay.”

Everyday, Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge brings you the Good News of the Day! 

Other Top Stories:

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at