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Obama agenda: It's the economy...

“No American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term in office when the unemployment rate on Election Day topped 7.2 percent,” the New York Times writes. “Seventeen months before the next election, it is increasingly clear that President Obama must defy that trend to keep his job.”

“President Obama is pushing aggressively to claim credit for the auto industry’s recovery ahead of his visit to the industrial Midwest — an area essential to his reelection efforts,” The Hill reports. “His auto czar joined the White House press briefing Wednesday to praise the president for having the ‘political courage’ to rescue two of Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ automakers, a message the president will take on the road Friday with a trip to northwest Ohio, a key battleground state in the presidential election.”

“House Democrats head to the White House Thursday afternoon as Washington's high-wire talks on raising the nation's debt ceiling moves into its second day,” The Hill adds. “President Obama's meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the rest of her caucus comes a day after Republicans at a similar meeting confronted the president and accused him of a lack of leadership on fiscal issues.”

The Washington Post: "A Wednesday meeting between President Obama and House Republicans about the nation’s debt ended with neither side showing a willingness to give ground on any substantive points or rhetorical differences."

“Republicans attending a White House meeting on Wednesday didn’t take kindly to President Obama telling them tax rates were higher during the Reagan administration,” The Hill says. “GOP members engaged in a lot of ‘eye-rolling,’ according to a member who was on hand to hear Obama, who invited House Republicans to the White House for discussions on the debt ceiling.”

Eye rolling aside, taxes are at their lowest point since 1950. “Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found,” the paper wrote in May 2010… Federal, state and local income taxes consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. That rate is far below the historic average of 12% for the last half-century. The overall tax burden hit bottom in December at 8.8.% of income before rising slightly in the first three months of 2010.”