For the first time in GALLUP polling history, a majority of Americans say that they support the legalization of marijuana. Support is strongest in those 18-35, and weakest in those over 65, so don’t worry, pot aficionados, your opponents will be dead soon.

Photo courtesy of Gallup.

Our neighbors at Think Progress published a beautiful pie chart this afternoon, breaking down the sources of Medicare savings in President Obama’s recently announced deficit reduction package.

While the plan spreads the pain among all groups, it finds its greatest savings in drug rebates and modernizing provider payments to achieve greater efficiency.

It can be tricky though to figure out exactly where all of the savings are coming from and what impact they may have on Medicare. That’s where TNR’s Jonathan Cohn steps in and dissects the chart in a blog post today, here.

The plan does call for wealthier seniors to pay higher premiums for Part B, which is the portion of Medicare that covers physician services. That means that 25 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries would eventually be paying higher premiums than the rest. That 25 percent would include some seniors who are more middle class than wealthy.

The new Obama plan would also take $3.5 billion away from the Prevention and Public Health Care Fund, which will fund everything from campaigns to promote vaccination to modernization of public health departments.

Expect this breakdown to be talked about a lot more frequently in the coming days, as the details of President Obama’s deficit reduction package continue to roll out.

Courtesy of Think Progress

A few weeks ago, Warren Buffet caught some flack from conservatives for an OpEd in the New York Times in which he argued that the rich are undertaxed.  

The Wall Street Journal editorial page:

"If he’s worried about being undertaxed, we’d suggest he simply write a big check to Uncle Sam and go back to his day job of picking investments".

Jonathan Chait’s blog suggests that such criticism is misguided- wealthy people who favor higher taxes on the rich don’t just believe they should pay more taxes. They believe the government needs more revenue.

So are the recent rumors true? Will one of the wealthiest figures in modern America step down as the Berkshire CEO to focus full time on philanthropy?

Courtesy of mint.com

In 40 years, the Millenial generation will have taken over the GOP, and they’ll be nominating 116-year-old Ron Paul, who already looks like he’s 116 years old and by that point will look like Yoda. We have no doubt that whatever wizard powers Paul possesses to attract thousands of fanatically loyal followers to his bizarre paleoconservative goldbug platform will also allow him to still be campaigning for president well into the three figures.

Here at the blog formerly known as Citizen Cohn, we bring you the bad news as well as the good. And so we must draw your attention to the latest state-by-state statistics on unemployment — and, specifically, the unemployment rate in Michigan. It’s up to 10.9 percent, the third consecutive month that it’s risen. The story seems to be the same across the Great Lakes region.

The precipitous drop in unemployment in this part of the country has been one of the better, if under-appreciated, economic stories of the last year — testimony to a rebound in the manufacturing sector bolstered, in part, by the government’s rescue of General Motors and Chrysler. And, for the record, the situation is still markedly better than a year ago, when unemployment in Michigan was 12.4 percent. But this is obviously sobering news — and a reminder that the economy needs a lot of help.