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5551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, market collapse 2012? on: September 26, 2012, 11:33:18 AM
Thanks GM but I was fishing for someone to show where I was wrong. )

Had dinner with execs of the biggest multi-national here, picked up that they are looking at Europe for trouble, which means more trouble than what we all already know and on a scale to have repercussions here.  I mentioned my expectation of collapse-here-now and in a scary way heard no disagreement there either.

I wish no economic decline on anyone but maybe we will get a new awareness of policy bungling get and a new government out of it.  The fiscal cliff in Washington is a refusal to cut spending during a 4th straight trillion dollar deficit and an insistence on raising tax rates when we know that will make things worse.  There are mountains of new taxes and regulations coming,  Europe is on the brink, China: who knows, economic reports are coming from the failed recovery summer 3.0 just ended, and more Obamacare mandates kicking in.  There are way too many more shoes possible to drop on this eggshell economy and no positive seeds have been planted in years to cause an upward turn.

Markets down only a smidgen over the last 5 days so my prediction so far is wrong.  We will see. 
5552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan on: September 26, 2012, 10:28:04 AM
Paul Ryan was on a roll yesterday.  In this debate season, Joe Biden should be running scared.

48 seconds, take a look.  

    "I got to start off on something that was really troubling that occurred last night. Did you guys watch that Packer game last night? I mean, give me a break," an exasperated Ryan said.

    "It reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it is time to get out," Ryan continued.

    "I half think these refs work part-time for the Obama administration in the Budget Office. They see the national debt clock starring them in the face, they see a debt crisis and they just ignore and pretend it didn't even happen. They are trying to pick the winners and losers and they don't even do that very well."
5553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Shedlock: Free Trade and Fair Trade on: September 25, 2012, 02:25:22 PM

Does this analysis hold with regard to US workers in the presence of Chinese capital and currency controls?

I agree with the analysis of the author.  It is true that Romney is sounding complaints with unfair practices in China.  That is fine to negotiate tough, but not to the point of imposing tariffs or closing off trade.  A tariff would be a tax imposed on the American consumer, not the Chinese producer.  Tasking our bureaucrats to even out all production irregularities in the world before you can buy a product is no solution.  Our competitive disadvantage right now is mostly of our own making.

Posted before, globalization is both a) inevitable and b) beneficial.  If you don't agree with b) please see a).  We don't want international control over our own businesses and industries and we can't control theirs.  Pollution is another matter from trying to control their labor market.  We are also very capable of competing with and against the Chinese and everyone else.  There are levers of negotiation in the complex relationships of the countries short of stopping trade.

I like to call it freedom to trade, the freedom to buy or sell almost anything almost anywhere in the world. (Not arms to enemies etc.)  Both imports and exports are beneficial and both lead to a higher standard of living at home.  The freest economies will compete the best and benefit the most.  Hard to say if that is the US or China right now; I know they have a lower corporate tax rate.

Questions posed in the article: 
"Are bad jobs at bad wages better than no jobs at all?"  - Yes and I'm not including any kind of slave or involuntary labor as a job.

"Should the US demand third world economies pay "living wages"?"  No.
5554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: September 25, 2012, 01:48:32 PM
I've asked our Pat to comment. He is deep in the trenches of real estate reality as usual, but if he can find a bit of time he will come share his thoughts.

These are minor points of contention I have with Wesbury.  I am really just saying that if this is strength I would hate to see weakness.  Pat can probably tell us more about what the backlog of foreclosures and underwater properties still is.

Another point is that demand I think is shifting to smaller family sizes needing smaller units (with smaller incomes).  It is not all about numbers of properties.

Grow the economy, get the real unemployment rate down from nearly 20% and  home starts and home values will take care of themselves; that's my view.  Most of what government intervention does in the housing market is to screw things up.
5555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: September 25, 2012, 01:37:26 PM
"proposing cutting quite a few middle class programs"

No JDN. You said "take from the middle class" in a statement that YOU called "the Romney tax plan".

Here you were endorsing the Obama elegance while he was lying about Romney's tax plan which I already called you out on:

"Under my opponent's tax plan, 106 fans at the game would get an average tax cut of $250,000, and about 100,000 fans would have to pay for it,"
"Tax" and "pay for it" in terms of public finance have different meanings?? An ugly waste of my time trying to prove to you what YOU posted recently on these pages.  The adventure detoured.

5556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate - Wesbury on: September 25, 2012, 01:25:13 PM
Wesbury from yesterday:

"The two most prominent home price measures, Case-Shiller and FHFA, are both up at about a 7% annual rate in the past six months."

An artificial recovery, those homes were purchase at artificially low interest rates.  In monthly payments, people are not paying more.  Put interest rates at market levels or at levels Wesbury is calling for and what would home prices be? 

"The number of existing homes for sale is down to the same level as 2003-04."

Interesting.  I don't think the prices are back to 2003-4 levels.  He doesn't say that.

"...we now have a shortage of homes on the MLS."

Housing markets are local but that is quite a stretch IMO.  My properties are all for sale in my mind, but not at these prices.

"The market for new homes is even more extreme, with fewer new homes for sale than at any time since at least the early 1960s"

They didn't build new homes lately because of the glut of under-priced existing homes, contradicting IMO some of the above.

"In the past 30 years, home prices have averaged 15.8 times annual rent. Now, they’re only 13.6 times rent... Given loose monetary policy, we expect move up noticeably in the next several years. So, to get back to more normal ratios means home prices will have to go up even faster."

My view is that rents are more closely tied to income than to dollars printed.  Rents and home prices will fully recover only if we pursue policies that enable a healthy business, investment and employment climate.  Forecasting markets and prices without knowing that isn't particularly informative.
5557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: September 25, 2012, 12:44:22 PM
“I don’t want a reduction in revenue coming into the government,”

No.  We are going to grow revenues by taxing at a lower rate on a higher level of income.

This might be rocket science or voodoo if it was not already tried and proven to be possible by Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton/Gingrich and G.W. Bush.

Conversely, the six years since 2006 has proven that increasing the expectation and uncertainty of future tax rates on investment made by "the wealthiest among us" certainly damaged working people with a doubling of unemployment more than it hurt the rich.
5558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Troll exposure: Romney's tax plan is to "take from the middle class" on: September 25, 2012, 12:42:45 PM
Did I say Romney was raising taxes or the tax rate on the middle class?  No, I never said that.  I said he was lowering taxes (the tax rate) for the upper class.

Poster JDN wrote:  in Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 18, 2012, 08:55:08 AM
"Romney's tax plan?  It's a give to to rich and take from the middle class plan.  So he and his friends can all own their own private aircraft AND deduct it from their taxes."

Drivel, deception and hate speech.  I regret the time spent going through your posts to find what you don't admit or remember posting.
5559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 25, 2012, 12:29:08 PM
Doug, while I happen to agree with you, you took the opposite side of the argument when we discussed Feinstein and whether she should debate her opponent.

Basically, your point now was my point then.  

Feinstein's opponent "wants a level of viewership and attention that he (she) has not earned."

You would argue that the Republican candidate for US Senate is a minor party candidate, beneath a 15% support threshold?  That was the question posed.

The irony I was pointing out in yours was treating Romney and Feinstein differently.  Difference on my side is that income details of previous years is arguably PRIVATE information already reviewed by the IRS and others while positions on issues and being pinned down in a debate on how you will vote and held to defend your votes in the senate is RELEVANT to the election.  Neither is a requirement for office.  I said shame on her.  In a debate she would have to answer to a couple of liberal reporters and the viewers, not just to the 15% candidates.  I wouldn't vote for her either way, nor will you for Romney.
5560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: September 25, 2012, 12:16:09 PM
JDN, You are ignoring the corporate tax of the US and Calif, HIGHEST IN THE WORLD, in your Apple stock example. Are they secretly exempt from corporate taxation?  Is Bain?? The income on the 600 in your example was ALREADY TAXED.

The tax rate on that income is roughly 35% + 10% + 15% + 10% and that equals 15% ?? ?? ?? ??  This should be on the education/math thread

In making the same mistake over and over you are also ignoring years and years of posts on the forum that pointed this out ad nauseum.


Huntsman: "the right wing did not accept him"

Nor did the middle wing or left wing.  Someone rational would support Huntsman's economic plan to the right of Romney but then vote for Obama's agenda for collective decline and redistribution? 

"I bet if he was running, he would be ahead in the polls."  - HE DID RUN AND HE LOST!

"I think I've seen Obama's position misstated or simply quoted inaccurately here often enough without the poster being chastised? Is there a double standard?"

No, we don't have to misquote him to make points in opposition.  All you're defeating with that is the straw man.  With everyone else here, inaccuracies caught are followed with corrections and apologies it seems to me.  Romney isn't raising taxes or tax rates on the middle class; that is pure drivel and intentional deception.  Typical of your posts IMO there, you throw your mud while offering NOTHING to back it up.  Where did we lie about Pres. Obama? 

Driving away good posters and bringing down the discussion, is what you are doing intentional?
5561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, Gary Johnson: The Parties Are Violating Anti-Trust Law on: September 25, 2012, 11:52:04 AM
My 2 cents on this lawsuit story that BD posted yesterday:

I have sympathies with the Libertarian Party, but that movement needs IMO to fight for market share within the Republican and Democratic parties in order to succeed. 

There is no constitutional basis for a two party system in the first place; all parties have rights and opportunities to compete.

The advantage of a two party dominated reality is that the winner has to try to surpass 50% of the vote to win.  In a split multi-party environment, a candidate can target a much smaller segment for victory.  In other countries for example, coalitions are then formed in back room deals.  That is not better IMO than our system.

Gary Johnson chose to debate and compete in the Republican primaries, then seeing virtually no support he went the 'third party' route  The general election does not need to included a consolation or losers bracket.  If you can get on the ballot, fine.  If you can get a news camera to film you, all the better, but we are not obligated to watch you.

It looks to me like the debate commission, operating under a freedom of association, offers a very open and objective standard for inclusion beyond the two largest current parties:

"...have achieved ballot access in a sufficient number of states to win a theoretical Electoral College majority in the general election; and have demonstrated a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate..."

That standard could be tighter, it could require getting on the ballot in all 50 states, or looser, it could require polling support of 10% or 5%.  Still none of these other candidates would qualify at this point.  15% is still less than half the support needed to win in a 3-way contest.  If you make the standards too low and the stage too wide, the meaning and importance of the event is lost.  We saw that in the early debates that DID include Gary Johnson.

When there has been a serious 3rd party challenge in the past, the candidate was included in the debates, see Ross Perot 1992.  In a state example, the MN rule was that if a party won 15% in the previous election, they earn major party status in the next election.  A previous independent candidate for Senate, Dean Barkley, made it possible for Jesse Ventura to stand on the podium while Hubert H Humphrey III and Norm Coleman were bickering and win election as an Independent Party Governor.

The fall debates are not designed for publicizing a large list of unknowns, the purpose is to put a final, public focus on the finalists who have already qualified as contenders.  There is no legal requirement that any serious contender must participate as we are apparently seeing in the one party state of Calif with Sen. Stalin, I mean Feinstein.  Add in too much dilution and the major candidates could easily opt out.

There is nothing stopping other parties from forming through freedom of association their own debates or other events sponsored by whatever organizations and media outlets that they can they arrange, just like Republicans and Democrats did.

Gary Johnson wants a level of viewership and attention that he has not earned.
5562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, market collapse 2012? on: September 25, 2012, 10:47:03 AM
I am no prognosticator, but...  I don't see a path for avoiding a market collapse in 2012.

Capital gains taxes on the rich will triple if Obama is reelected and his agenda is implemented.  It is the end of productive investment as we once knew it.  

If there is a complete Republican sweep in 6 weeks, there is still no mechanism available in 2012 to avoid this before swearing in a new President, House and Senate.  No matter what detail candidate Romney espouses, the sausage making of new policy must necessarily go through a divided senate.

The tax rate on the least rich of the working people who pay income tax will go up 50% (from 10 to 15%) under current policy if nothing is done, and nothing is being done.  The percentages are lower for higher brackets, but the dollar amounts are larger.

If you buy and hold publicly traded stocks, good for you (as Elizabeth Warren says), but you share ownership in these companies with other people who use other strategies and timeframes for ownership and selling.  Good management and profitable returns can not prevent market value corrections in the short run.

The business climate for startup companies is a disaster, but if you have investments with accumulated capital gains over this relatively good market for established, publicly traded companies, you will need to capture those gains (sell) before the end of the year in order to pay the tax before rate increases set in automatically.

Unfortunately, everyone else in the US market is in that same conundrum, so you need to sell before them too or else there will be no gains to capture, just panic selling.  I would start selling by mid-September if I were you (today is the 24th) if not sooner.  (

Investment pullback and market losses tend to spill over into employment and income losses, we recently learned, hurting future business prospects.

This is not 2008 exactly because housing and financial markets already went through some correction, but the fiscal cliff sure looks familiar.

Today at this writing the markets are up slightly.  If it closes down slightly, that would make 4 days in a row and talk of real pessimism at some point could begin.

Please post in detail the error of my thinking - or learn to live with your losses.  - Doug
5563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney - Illusions of a poster and nothing about Romney on: September 25, 2012, 09:58:30 AM
"this is what I think they hear: he’s going to help himself and his friends, and we’re going to be left paying the bill"

More us versus them, could we just have a separate thread for JDN to express his hatred?

Where is the basis in fact or reality that Mitt Romney wants to help his friends over helping the country?  Just hate speech.  Nothing else I can imagine could be worse for the people who are "going to be left paying the bill" than the path we are on.

Are you better off now than you were SIX TRILLION DOLLARS of new debt ago?
5564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: September 25, 2012, 09:51:47 AM
From Calif thread:

"This bill allows a child to have more than two legal parents."

The Federal Financial Student Aid App (FAFSA) already changed old words like mother and father to parent one and parent two.  Now even that is too narrow minded - non-inclusive bigotry.  After parent one and parent two, the next question needs to be: how many other parents, please attach additional pages if necessary.

Extremists in the gay agenda do not just want inclusion in marriage, but apparently the destruction of the traditional marriage and traditional family.  Gone are the words husband and wife, mother and father, and the desirability of a child having the opportunity to grow up in a house with a loving mother and father living together married under one roof.

In what way in God's natural creation could a newborn baby have chosen to live in a gay or multi-partner household?

Gay, like celibacy, deserves life, liberty and pursuit of happiness but includes the reality of not bearing offspring.
5565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 24, 2012, 01:56:05 PM
Romney is within margin of error in latest PA poll.  Watch for headfakes from the campaigns.

Meanwhile for Obama, Israel's right to exist is "noise" and a murdered Amb. is a bump in the road.

Inelegant is a pretty good understatement for the past 4 years.
5566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: September 24, 2012, 01:27:23 PM
When given the opportunity by 60 minutes to blame mistakes like this on the campaign, Romney unflichingly said that was not the campaign, that was me. It's been a long time since a President took responsibility.
5567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: September 24, 2012, 10:49:20 AM
"...did not seem..."    - Keyword: seem, meaning in the head of the author the story admittedly takes place.

Romney did not stand by that statement.  Did THAT fact slip past the author?

No comment on his or your hatred and stereotyping of the rich.  That is acceptable and you don't see the irony?

The correction is that most Obama voters are actually rich, but all rich are stupid.

Deep discussion JDN (sarc.). 
5568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney - Illusions of the rich? on: September 24, 2012, 10:37:30 AM
That story was about the author and his hatred.  I feel sorry for him but don't find that his work fits in the non-fiction section.
5569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: September 23, 2012, 01:14:47 PM

Come back you are missed.


5570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 18, 2012, 12:15:35 PM
JDN.,  Links to falsehoods published in the media ought to go in media issues, no?

Do you have a link to Romney proposing to raise tax rates on the middle class?  Oh, you don't.  Just political opponents including our biased media lying to suggest what isn't so is so. 

On the other side of your ignorance, JFK, Reagan, Clinton/Gingrich and George W Bush all increased revenues by cutting the marginal tax rates.  The most recent example was a 44% surge over 4 years ending with the election of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama congress.  This inconvenient truth has been posted many times on many threads.  You ignore the content but confronted again with these facts do you still deny the truth?

Barack Obama, NY Times and JDN, all pyromaniacs in a field of straw men.  Apologies to Geo. Will.
5571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, deficit: The magnitude of the mess we are in on: September 18, 2012, 11:55:46 AM
This great post from Fed/Monetary thread yesterday deserves post into the spending/deficit thread.  (Also the political economics and regulations thread.)  People know we are on the wrong track yet seem to keep voting for the status quo, a direction heading into a train wreck.  Stop accepting this poor excuse for governance.  - Doug
By George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John F. Cogan, Allan H. Meltzer and John B. Taylor (senior fellows at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. They have served in various federal government policy positions in the Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers.)
 [Excerpt with some of the Fed points already posted left out here.]

Did you know that annual spending by the federal government now exceeds the 2007 level by about $1 trillion? With a slow economy, revenues are little changed. The result is an unprecedented string of federal budget deficits, $1.4 trillion in 2009, $1.3 trillion in 2010, $1.3 trillion in 2011, and another $1.2 trillion on the way this year. The four-year increase in borrowing amounts to $55,000 per U.S. household.

The amount of debt is one thing. The burden of interest payments is another. The Treasury now has a preponderance of its debt issued in very short-term durations, to take advantage of low short-term interest rates. It must frequently refinance this debt which, when added to the current deficit, means Treasury must raise $4 trillion this year alone. So the debt burden will explode when interest rates go up.

The government has to get the money to finance its spending by taxing or borrowing. While it might be tempting to conclude that we can just tax upper-income people, did you know that the U.S. income tax system is already very progressive? The top 1% pay 37% of all income taxes and 50% pay none.

Did you know that, during the last fiscal year, around three-quarters of the deficit was financed by the Federal Reserve? Foreign governments accounted for most of the rest, as American citizens' and institutions' purchases and sales netted to about zero. The Fed now owns one in six dollars of the national debt, the largest percentage of GDP in history, larger than even at the end of World War II.

The Fed has effectively replaced the entire interbank money market and large segments of other markets with itself. It determines the interest rate by declaring what it will pay on reserve balances at the Fed without regard for the supply and demand of money. By replacing large decentralized markets with centralized control by a few government officials, the Fed is distorting incentives and interfering with price discovery with unintended economic consequences.
The issue is not merely how much we spend, but how wisely, how effectively. Did you know that the federal government had 46 separate job-training programs? Yet a 47th for green jobs was added, and the success rate was so poor that the Department of Labor inspector general said it should be shut down. We need to get much better results from current programs, serving a more carefully targeted set of people with more effective programs that increase their opportunities.

Did you know that funding for federal regulatory agencies and their employment levels are at all-time highs? In 2010, the number of Federal Register pages devoted to proposed new rules broke its previous all-time record for the second consecutive year. It's up by 25% compared to 2008. These regulations alone will impose large costs and create heightened uncertainty for business and especially small business.

This is all bad enough, but where we are headed is even worse.

President Obama's budget will raise the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to 80.4% in two years, about double its level at the end of 2008, and a larger percentage point increase than Greece from the end of 2008 to the beginning of this year.

Under the president's budget, for example, the debt expands rapidly to $18.8 trillion from $10.8 trillion in 10 years. The interest costs alone will reach $743 billion a year, more than we are currently spending on Social Security, Medicare or national defense, even under the benign assumption of no inflationary increase or adverse bond-market reaction. For every one percentage point increase in interest rates above this projection, interest costs rise by more than $100 billion, more than current spending on veterans' health and the National Institutes of Health combined.

Worse, the unfunded long-run liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid add tens of trillions of dollars to the debt, mostly due to rising real benefits per beneficiary. Before long, all the government will be able to do is finance the debt and pay pension and medical benefits. This spending will crowd out all other necessary government functions.

What does this spending and debt mean in the long run if it is not controlled? One result will be ever-higher income and payroll taxes on all taxpayers that will reach over 80% at the top and 70% for many middle-income working couples.

Did you know that the federal government used the bankruptcy of two auto companies to transfer money that belonged to debt holders such as pension funds and paid it to friendly labor unions? This greatly increased uncertainty about creditor rights under bankruptcy law.
When businesses and households confront large-scale uncertainty, they tend to wait for more clarity to emerge before making major commitments to spend, invest and hire. Right now, they confront a mountain of regulatory uncertainty and a fiscal cliff that, if unattended, means a sharp increase in taxes and a sharp decline in spending bound to have adverse effect on the economy. Are you surprised that so much cash is waiting on the sidelines?

What's at stake?

We cannot count on problems elsewhere in the world to make Treasury securities a safe haven forever. We risk eventually losing the privilege and great benefit of lower interest rates from the dollar's role as the global reserve currency. In short, we risk passing an economic, fiscal and financial point of no return.

Suppose you were offered the job of Treasury secretary a few months from now. ...Today, government officials are issuing debt to finance pet projects and payoffs to interest groups, not some vital, let alone existential, national purpose.

The problems are close to being unmanageable now. If we stay on the current path, they will wind up being completely unmanageable, culminating in an unwelcome explosion and crisis.

The fixes are blindingly obvious. Economic theory, empirical studies and historical experience teach that the solutions are the lowest possible tax rates on the broadest base, sufficient to fund the necessary functions of government on balance over the business cycle; sound monetary policy; trade liberalization; spending control and entitlement reform; and regulatory, litigation and education reform. The need is clear. Why wait for disaster? The future is now.
5572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed repeals the law of compound interest on: September 18, 2012, 11:11:47 AM
From Crafty's post:
"Bernanke and the Fed Repeal Einstein
Near-zero interest rates, which are expected to last through mid-2015, make a mockery of thrift.."

Excellent point.  Too many of us look at interest rates as the cost of borrowing.  It also was the reward and incentive for savings.  It is true that the law of compound interest was repealed when interest approached zero and then stayed there long term.

In a healthy economy there is a balance between savings and lending/borrowing.  Now the savings is at zero and our borrowing demand is met with pretend money that is artificially manufactured by devaluing our existing supply of money.

What could possibly go wrong?
5573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pres. Obama, Pyromaniac of straw men on: September 18, 2012, 10:41:34 AM
JDN,  I am surprised you quote Obama still showing no grasp of economics and offering no plan for solving any of our problems.  He is still willing to lie and deceive in the hope of getting 4 more years of aircraft privileges.

"Under my opponent's tax plan, 106 fans at the game would get an average tax cut of $250,000, and about 100,000 fans would have to pay for it," he said.

   - There is no Republican proposal to raise taxes on the middle class tax.

"the ones who would get the tax break are the guys in the box seats."

   - The Romney plan will take away deductions for the upper income earners.  Don't let facts get in the way of a great opportunity to build and exploit class hatred for his own personal power gain.


5574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 18, 2012, 10:28:48 AM
Inelegant, yes.  It also gives an indication to his backers that he gets the political challenge we face.  What is missing in the 'gotcha' film is how he would cut those SOB's money off as soon as he gets in.  In fact, the baseline for a zero increase in spending is a ten trillion increase in spending, and the Ryan budget for one goes above that.

Whether you want a job, a good economy to open a new business in, or the security of knowing a legitimate safety net entitlement check will be funded into the future, you should be choosing the candidate with the best plan to grow the economy.

Yesterday in my studies of the dependency crowd I took the opportunity to visit a liquor store in one of the seediest areas of our inner city.  In the center front of the store sidewalk was the Obama - register the vote table with one paid worker ready to help.  I must say from my short period of observation coming and going that this is not 2008.  People came and went with their liquor purchases but no one showed any interest in the table or even offered a sign of approval.  Sure, if polled, the demographic is Dem or left of Dem.  There is a strong racial pride (in all of us) that America in 2008 elected Barack Obama as President.  But there is zero enthusiasm or optimism left from 2008 that 4 more years of Obama will make a personal and positive difference in their lives.  

For one thing, poor people already had free government health care.  Obama chose a middle class entitlement for his signature achievement; money that could have gone to the poor.  The poor gained nothing, the middle class was the group that lost the most in terms of income, wealth, opportunity and jobs in the 6 years since Dems took over Washington in Nov. 2006, and the rich are openly targeted.  Who is left to get excited about a second term?
5575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - the 47%? on: September 18, 2012, 09:09:22 AM
Famous people reading the forum, I thought Romney was just commenting on a CCP post made here.   wink

No one could survive a remark like bitter clingers, 47% are dependent on government or that "I will have more flexibility after my election" to negotiate against the best interest of Americans?  An interesting question would be, what would the vote result have been in 2008 if candidate Obama had not gotten caught ripping the bitter clingers?  About the same.

The candidate better than Romney was ... Huntsman?  With 1/10th of the support, a tax plan to the right of Romney and a little less charisma than Pawlenty?  The Republicans had an open contest and Romney won.  Dems suppressed theirs.  No one is asking who should have been the Dem candidate to change the course of this American-led, global decline.

The Romney remark is imprecise, but the problem is real.  It is not the exact same group that are both dependent and are the hard core Dem vote.  Obama also wins with liberal elites, trust fund babies, the college professor crowd, the rich mainstream media, and also the anti-government felon vote.  And quite a few of those receiving a check or not paying in are Republicans who understand the balance of keeping opportunity alive while taking care of those in real need.

Romney is the only person in the world right now capable of replacing Obama as President and preventing a second Obama, decline by design, Presidential term.  Rip him at your own peril.

5576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 15, 2012, 05:15:07 PM
Also the Pres. does not understand the nature of the enemy. He believed his own rhetoric. They hated the Texas swagger of George Bush and cannot resist his apologies and charm , but in fact they hate us because we exist and understanding that is crucial to our security.
5577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 15, 2012, 04:54:11 PM
I agree w/ obj he is not interested in Am. exceptionalism or military superiority.

He enacted the beginning of his agenda and the results are horrible. He is just wrong about economics. You don't help the poor and the middle class this way.

He has contempt for much of what is great about America.

Hitler analogies fail unless someone has murdered 6 million Jews.

The delicate part is to get at the voting pattern of the very few among us who are truly swing voters.
5578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 15, 2012, 09:55:37 AM
Ok but there was still NO security. Was the boss aware of this?

It would have taken Axelrod telling him it affected his reelection to get his attention. MHO
5579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 15, 2012, 09:34:37 AM
Brietbart reporting chaos at State Dept. Hillary ordered no bullets, no marines at Benghazi.

Who is her boss and how much time does he spend overseeing her work?

I reported earlier Amb Huntsman never met with the Pres in person or otherwise regarding China policy. Add to that Crafty's point about the Afghan commander and the cluelessness on jobs and growth, this man does not want the job; he wants the perks.
5580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 15, 2012, 08:09:02 AM
There are follow up questions. Don't only read half of it. He reads, and then there ARE discussions held, though usually electronically.

Are you satisfied with that in a time of war?

Same for the jobs council?  What if he misread the part about 50,000 new regulations killing job creation.  An error smaller than that in  national security could cost a Consulate.
5581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - Romney to receive intelligence briefings on: September 14, 2012, 10:25:44 AM
This should add to our security by forcing the President to receive intelligence briefings too - for political purposes.

The President's team is saying he reads them instead of having then presented in person more often than not and that he is perhaps the smartest person to have ever read them. 

Clods like Reagan and George W bush were slower; sometimes when told a summary of all the complexities of all the greatest threats in the world against the United States they even had to ask ... a FOLLOWUP QUESTION.
5582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya - death toll on: September 14, 2012, 10:18:34 AM
The horrific death of the Americans is widely reported but I have not yet heard how many of the enemy were killed while trying to attack our consulate and diplomatic corps in this most dangerous place - facing a known threat.

Pres. Obama has more backup on a golf course.
5583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Libya and on: September 12, 2012, 05:14:51 PM
I thought it was our presence on the Arabian Pennisula. Now it is free speech at home.  I blame the enemy but those blaming.ourselves perhaps take a look at spiking the football, 22 more times during the DNC.

How about we defend our facities and diplomats with out 600B defense budget.

Embassies also attacked in 1979 and 1998. Not a new threat.
5584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 12, 2012, 02:43:57 PM
JDN, you missed the pronoun in front of 'dont blame Feinstein'. You don't blame her. I do and you won't be dictating my view. You also missed completely the point about blatant hypocrisy. Might want to go back and read it before saying it isn't there.

I keep reading but don't see an example of an R incumbent in Calif getting away with no debate or any recent MN contest having no debate. Unresponsive replies make our own debates less fun.
5585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, "Double down on trickle down" on: September 11, 2012, 07:18:37 PM
Getting back to CCP on a great post over on Media Issues:

The questions posed partly apply to a number of threads, Pres 2012, but I thought I would take it up here.  

Excerpt from CCP:

"... Today Art Laffer was on FOX and was asked specifically and directly an important question that goes to the heart of today's neo civil war.

He was asked why is should people believe that "trickle down" economics is better for the majority of people?  Do not the rich keep getting richer and the rest of the people stagnate?  Why not increase tax rates on higher earners, Clinton did it and the economy boomed.  Laffer was a complete failure at articulating a logical rational simple response that most people would agree to.

I guarantee Doug McG would do a far better job at answering these questions ina way the average could understand and immediately agree to.

I do not understand why these core questions are not being answered by the MR team.  All they do is talk "jobs", the "debt", and other buzz words that DO NOT specify why history proves them/us right and the socialists wrong.

If they can learn to answer these types of questions then the game is won. ..."

First off, it warms the heart to receive a nice compliment like that, but I am an armchair commenter compared to a legend like Prof. Laffer.

Explaining freedom is quite a challenge and quite a skill is required.  I struggle to write the posts here but the act of trying helps me to have thought these questions through when the issues come up in real conversations and debates.  Every once in a while someone lays out the freedom argument so plain and simple that it all makes sense.  Reagan had that gift.  Gilder in Wealth and Poverty.  Having government do less is not sexy and easy to sell.  I remember Jack Kemp saying what we need is not a war against the rich, we need more people to become rich.  

Speaking to the opposite, the crony government state case I think is much easier to make. I remember Pres. Bill Clinton's state of the unions always went like this for about 100 minutes: we can do more for police (not a federal function), we can do more for teachers (not a federal function), we can do more for infrastructure (largely not a federal function), we can do more for struggling parents (some targeted program you have no shot at ever seeing) and so on.  How about cure diseases, how can anyone oppose any of that?

Bill Clinton in Charlotte said that a potential Romney administration would be a "double down on trickle down".

Trickle down is a lie in itself and a straw argument.  Trickle down is a term only used by people who oppose growth economics and want wealth creation slowed and punished.

There is no tax proposal on the table now or ever to give something to rich people in the hopes that it will trickle down to working people.

The rich do not pay less, that is a fallacy.  The top 20% of earners make 50% of the income and pay 70% of the taxes.

Extending tax cuts or creating new ones "gives" nothing to anyone.  A tax rate only defines what portion you can keep out of what you earn.  "Gifts" are on the spending, entitlements and welfare side of the ledger with no legitimacy on the tax side.  The deception is intentional.

We live and operate in a interconnected and interdependent economy.  Labor depends on capital just as capital depends on labor.  These are not different people.  As it turned out in the gulf oil spill, the number one class of share holders of British Petroleum turned out to be  the pensioners of Britain.  A store or a service company relies on customers, and suppliers.  Anyone can start a company, buy a share of stock or apply for a job in a free economy.  We do not have classes of people, middle or otherwise.  In fact, 70% of children did not end up in their parent's quintile of income.

We just lived through one of the greatest attacks on capital possible and we learned that when you handcuff investors and threaten them with greater and greater penalties for accomplishment, labor is hurt the worst.  An investor who pulls back his money still has most of his money, but the people who would have worked there do not have those jobs or any other if the problems is all across the economy.  A downside to federal control of industry and economy.  Today the stock market is glowing in value, barriers to entry block out potential competition for the listed and entrenched companies, while the labor market is in the tank.  Unemployment is at roughly 20% if you count people working part time that can't find full time and count the increase of people leaving the workforce among the unemployed.

What is the Obama administration doing wrong?  50,000 new regulations in 42 months and threatening to raise all relevant tax rates.  Uncertainty in all regards is at third world levels.

Example:  The new federal definition of a full time employee is eighteen pages long.  Why is that important?  Number of full time employees is a key criteria in the plethora of federal strangulations.  Please search the article posted on 'why there are so many 49 employee companies in France' for a clue.

It is not "trickle down" to take an already progressive tax code and lower and simplify the rates for everyone across the board.  It is pro-growth or supply side economics.

Marco Rubio for one has been consistently clear on this.  Romney and Ryan, sometimes.  

You cannot balance the budget or solve the unemployment crisis without encouraging robust job creation in the private sector.  For every government idea or piece of legislation you need to ask one question: what does this do to grow jobs in the private sector?   A surcharge on millionaires, does that grow jobs?  No.  Does increasing progressivity in the tax code grow jobs?  No. An Obamacare excise tax on all medical device sales, does this grow jobs?  No.  Blocking the drilling in ANWR and blocking a pipeline from Canada, does this grow jobs?  No.  QE4 and another round of not exactly shovel ready crony expenditures, does this grow jobs across the board?  No.  50,000 new regulations, does this grow jobs?  No.  Taking over an entire industry to bureaucratic control, stifling innovation, does this grow jobs?  No.  Regulations for public leave, plant closing notices, mandatory health coverages, does this kind of well intentioned do-gooding grow jobs?  No.

Does a better policy toward allowing energy production help employment in that industries and nearly all other industries?  Yes.  Do lower, simpler and more predicable marginal rates on income help job creation?  Yes.  Would getting our corporate down from worst in the world help job creation in America?  Yes.  Would eliminating all unnecessary regulations at the federal level increase job creation?  Yes.

Is there anything in the past, present or future Obama agenda that across the board falls on the side of growing jobs?  No.

Is the entire original Romney 59 point economic plan all about increasing job creation?  Yes.

You can't stomp out capital formation and economic freedom and put the focus on government controlled equality of outcomes without hurting employment and job creation.  I don't know how to say that in a way that persuades anyone not inclined to believe it, but it is empirically true.

Going back to the original quotation:  "Why not increase tax rates on higher earners, Clinton did it and the economy boomed."

This is not true.  Clinton raised taxes in his first action and the economy only sputtered ahead, a very weak recovery.  When he switched to the Dick Morris triangulate tact, he lowered capital gains tax rates, ended welfare as we knew it and deregulated industries.  Also he passed hemisphere-wide free trade with majority R support and majority D opposition.  It is quite a clever buffoon in Clinton to now tell us that job growth then, in the tens of millions, was a victory of Democratic policies over Republican policies in the context of the 2012 election choices.

As it was said of the Clintons at the time, they lie with such ease.
5586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 11, 2012, 05:54:16 PM
"You know as well as I do that front runners, if they are clearly front runners rarely debate their opponents."

Where I come from we have debates and at the national level level we have debates.  Why don't you post what you8 know and I'll post what I know.  More efficient that way.

"There are quite a few precedents."   - On both sides I presume.  All those words but you don't cite any.  When was the last time a Republican incumbent in Calif refused to debate to hold high office? 

You did not address the blatant hypocrisy point. 
5587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races. Feinstein won't debate? on: September 11, 2012, 05:20:30 PM
"don't blame Feinstein for being popular"

I clearly blamed her for refusing to debate her opponent and I compared her unfavorably to Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin and Mao.  If you need to change my words in order to argue against them, that means you actually agree with me?

Is there precedent for no debate because you are popular and your competitors are poorly funded and the media refuses to cover their campaigns?  In our state (MN), minor parties who get 15% of the vote in one election get a seat at the table in the debates of the next election.  (That law or tradition made possible the election of a wrestler as Governor while the two major parties were bickering.)

In the People's Republic of California, even a measure that gets 52.24% of the vote cannot become law if it is not liberal orthodoxy.

Romney needs to release more tax returns than Ronald Reagan (says same poster) but Diane Feinstein does not need to even agree to a liberal hosted and moderated debate.  We need to know more personal stuff about a man accused of doing nothing wrong since high school but we don't need to have the views and votes of an incumbent Senator challenged whatsoever.  The blatant hypocrisy makes discussion useless.
5588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bailouts are profitable on: September 11, 2012, 05:02:06 PM
The government's sale of about $18 billion shares of stock in rescued insurance giant American International Group locks in a minimum $12.4-billion profit for taxpayers on one of the most controversial bailouts of the financial crisis, the Treasury Department said late Monday.

President Obama was quick to point out (?) that the credit for this responsible use of artificially manufactured public funds most certainly goes to then Pres. George W Bush for stopping the financial meltdown and making his one-term proposition recovery possible.
5589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 11, 2012, 04:13:46 PM
Saddam's Iraq, Putin's Russia, even the PRC at least pretend to have two party, contested elections, but not the Calif US senate race. Shame on her and the miserable losers who accept that.
5590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tea Party, Glenn Beck radio on the capital of Israel on: September 11, 2012, 04:07:32 PM
What is the capital of Vermont? (We should all know this.) Montpelier is the capital of Vermont.   Really??  How do we know that?  What if we do know that but it hurts our relationship with New Hampshire to say that?  Then what is the capital of Vermont?

(answer: It is still Montpelier.)
5591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, remembering 9/11 on: September 11, 2012, 03:54:32 PM
Excellent attention to remembering 9/11 in the media today.  Why?  Because Obama killed Osama.
5592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: September 11, 2012, 02:10:29 PM
Why should she?

Surely you jest.
5593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Wesbury, recoveries and economic growth on: September 10, 2012, 04:49:38 PM
"Three decades ago (under Reagan), the economy skyrocketed into recovery. Real GDP grew at a 6.6% annual rate in 1983-84 and the jobless rate fell 3.5 points in only 21 months.

If Wesbury was able to find optimism to write about over the last 4 years, he is going to LOVE 24 years of the Romney, Ryan and Rubio administrations.
5594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - DNC speeches, Clinton text, Obama on: September 07, 2012, 03:05:15 PM
Looks like others can cover adequately Obama's speech.  Politico called it lame, Bob Schieffer: "that soaring rhetoric that we heard in the speech in 2008, I didn’t hear that tonight", "that soaring rhetoric that we heard in the speech in 2008, I didn’t hear that tonight", Washington Post: "Mr. Obama’s hazy agenda for a second term".

What he can't and didn't do is lay out a credible economic theory about how adding 50,000 new regulations in 42 months and promising to raise taxes on virtually all new employers will ever make the economy grow faster than 0.0%.

Crafty wrote regarding Bill Clinton's speech: "Unencumbered by its variances from reality and the facts, unfortunately Clinton gave a politcally masterful speech last night IMHO, well designed to appeal to fence sitters."

I listened on the radio and Crafty I am guessing watched the speech.  On the radio, reduced to words, it was one notch less impressive, especially if one has a full grasp on reality.  Here is the text of Clinton's speech, interrupted in bold from time to time:
Bill Clinton on stage  the DNC:  "We're here to nominate a President, and I've got one in mind.

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside. A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.

As I said to a liberal during the RNC, you have to endorse the candidate to get on the stage.

In Tampa, we heard a lot of talk about how the President and the Democrats don't believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyone to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made. One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain't so.

We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own."

It is a straw argument of course to say of Republicans who will support $4trillion/yr of federal spending that ANYONE is completely on his or her own.

Who's right? Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. What's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million!

Crafty wrote part of this earlier, and I agree, by today's standards JFK was one of ours, same for the 6 years of Gingrich.  Nixon and Ford turned out to be two of theirs, look at the record.  The first two years of W. Bush before his policies were enacted were runners left on base by Obama's own standard, and during the two years preceding the Obama administration it was most certainly the Pelosi-Reid-Obama congress in charge of domestic economic policies.  Do the math on that and you will find that nearly all economic growth is tied to pro-growth policies no matter the name of party affiliation on the oval office door.

It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.

Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats. After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system. And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we've done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.

Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other.

When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better. After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes. Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn't see it that way. They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.

One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation. He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation. He appointed a Vice President who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. And Joe Biden did a great job with both. He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries. Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I'm so proud of her and grateful to our entire national security team for all they've done to make us safer and stronger and to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. I'm also grateful to the young men and women who serve our country in the military and to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for supporting military families when their loved ones are overseas and for helping our veterans, when they come home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help with education, housing, and jobs.

Cooperation?  Good God.  Obama's signature achievement by his own measure included reaching out to NO republicans for their vote.  Now it still suffers from widespread disapproval.  Clinton pivoted with the voter after 1994; Obama said fck you to the voters of 2010 and the majority party with whom they chose for him to share power.

President Obama's record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship.

He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn't work out so well. Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work.

Senator, I hate to break it to you, but we're going to keep President Obama on the job!

In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President's re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.

In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn't say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they'll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids. As another President once said – there they go again.

I like the argument for President Obama's re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.

Are we where we want to be? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month. The answer is YES.

We lost 3 million jobs and what they call job growth now is below the rate of population increase. Aka negative growth, aka decline.

I understand the challenge we face. I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy. Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don't feel it.

I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995. Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn't feel it yet. By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.

President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years. But conditions are improving and if you'll renew the President's contract you will feel it.

I believe that with all my heart.

President Obama's approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.

So back to the story. In 2010, as the President's recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around.

The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. But last year, the Republicans blocked the President's jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here's another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million, Congressional Republicans zero.

Over that same period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama – the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.

The auto industry restructuring worked. It saved more than a million jobs, not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's why even auto-makers that weren't part of the deal supported it. They needed to save the suppliers too. Like I said, we're all in this together.

Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured. Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here's another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.

The agreement the administration made with management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another good deal: it will cut your gas bill in half, make us more energy independent, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 good jobs.

If Crony capitalism is your game and avoiding restructuring equals restructuring, then this makes perfect sense.

President Obama's "all of the above" energy plan is helping too – the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20 year low and natural gas production to an all time high. Renewable energy production has also doubled.

Pres. Obama's energy policy is called None of the above.

We do need more new jobs, lots of them, but there are already more than three million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don't have the required skills. We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology. That's why investments in our people are more important than ever. The President has supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for open jobs in their communities. And, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the drop-out rate so much that we've fallen to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adults with college degrees, his student loan reform lowers the cost of federal student loans and even more important, gives students the right to repay the loans as a fixed percentage of their incomes for up to 20 years. That means no one will have to drop-out of college for fear they can't repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer or a small town doctor because it doesn't pay enough to make the debt payments. This will change the future for young Americans.

College, like healthcare, is overpriced BECAUSE of 3rd party pay.

I know we're better off because President Obama made these decisions.

That brings me to health care.

The Republicans call it Obamacare and say it's a government takeover of health care that they'll repeal. Are they right? Let's look at what's happened so far. Individuals and businesses have secured more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiums because the new law requires 80% to 85% of your premiums to be spent on health care, not profits or promotion. Other insurance companies have lowered their rates to meet the requirement. More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on family policies. Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including breast cancer screenings and tests for heart problems. Soon the insurance companies, not the government, will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with pre-existing conditions. And for the last two years, health care spending has grown under 4%, for the first time in 50 years.

So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it? You bet we are.

The only popular provisions in Obamacare were also in the Republican alternative plan.

There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars. Here's what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren't making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund. It's now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn't weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.

The only proposal on the table to save and strengthen Medicare belongs to Paul Ryan.  Instead of running from it, Romney chose him as his running mate.

When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama's "biggest coldest power play" in raiding Medicare, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget.

At least on this one, Governor Romney's been consistent. He wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies, re-open the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and reduce the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years. So now if he's elected and does what he promised Medicare will go broke by 2016. If that happens, you won't have to wait until their voucher program to begins in 2023 to see the end Medicare as we know it.

But it gets worse. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming decade. Of course, that will hurt poor kids, but that's not all. Almost two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for seniors and on people with disabilities, including kids from middle class families, with special needs like, Downs syndrome or Autism. I don't know how those families are going to deal with it. We can't let it happen

Now let's look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.

Here's what happened. When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%. You hear that? More work. So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said "we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers." Now that is true. I couldn't have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.

Clinton is supposed to be quite the advocate for welfare reform, unless you remember he vetoed it twice before feeling forced to accept the stronger version they are now dismantling.  It isn't all about details of the policy, it is also about one branch undoing what took quite an effort by two branches to enact.

Let's talk about the debt. We have to deal with it or it will deal with us. President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It's the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.

I think the President's plan is better than the Romney plan, because the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: The numbers don't add up.

It's supposed to be a debt reduction plan but it begins with five trillion dollars in tax cuts over a ten-year period. That makes the debt hole bigger before they even start to dig out. They say they'll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code. When you ask "which loopholes and how much?," they say "See me after the election on that."

People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets. What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic. If they stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the – arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they'll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they'll have to cut so much spending that they'll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they'll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they'll do what they've been doing for thirty plus years now – cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy. Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down.

President Obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation.

Romney's plan calls in every way for economic growth.  Economic growth by Clinton's own words is the only way to balance this budget.  Obama's policies in every way cry out for economic decline which causes revenues to shrink, spending to accelerate and deficits and debt to soar.  LOOK AT THE RECORD.

My fellow Americans, you have to decide what kind of country you want to live in. If you want a you're on your own, winner take all society you should support the Republican ticket. If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a "we're all in it together" society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you want every American to vote and you think its wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama. If you think the President was right to open the doors of American opportunity to young immigrants brought here as children who want to go to college or serve in the military, you should vote for Barack Obama. If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American Dream is alive and well, and where the United States remains the leading force for peace and prosperity in a highly competitive world, you should vote for Barack Obama.

The American dream is not Julia growing from government program to government program.  It is a freedom that makes every individual believe anything is possible.

I love our country – and I know we're coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we've always come out stronger than we went in. And we will again as long as we do it together. We champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to form a more perfect union.

If that's what you believe, if that's what you want, we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.

God Bless You – God Bless America.

Missing in the above, that everything wrong today is because of Obama's predecessors and the housing-led financial crisis, is that Bill Clinton was the architect of the CRAp and the push for lenders to lend on criteria other than creditworthiness, while Sen Obama was the number one recipient of Fannie Mae contributions opposing ANY reform during the year of the housing meltdown.

Four more years?  Four fewer would have been smarter.
5595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: September 06, 2012, 12:21:56 AM
Looking forward to reading a point by point rebuttal to Bull Clinton's speech tonight.  If the Romney campaign can't get it done on their own, we will do it for them here on the forum.
5596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 05, 2012, 10:55:32 AM
How can it be said that Israel didn't try to coordinate with the US on this. How can they know what the administration's position by judging their ever-changing, contradictory words.  Like it or not and take action or not, it affects us when our enemies and terrorists acquire nuclear weapons. 

If Israel strikes and if a drawn out war ensues, we are going to sit on the sidelines during the destruction of Israel.  REALLY?

If so, this is why we have elections. I don't wish to change your morally neutral mind. I wish to defeat that kind of dangerous indifference and elect responsible leaders interested in OUR security.
5597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan on: September 05, 2012, 10:35:01 AM
I will just say that 3 things:

1.  Mitt Romney has experience as an executive and it would be unwise to pretend that he is a totally different guy, now.

2.  Ryan has a voting record.  Some of what is there is difficult to justify.

3.  Lesser of 2 evils voting is why we have to have conversations like this.

Dreatx, I hope you will expand on that, what is evil about romney's exec experience and ryan's voting record.
5598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Michael Barone: Inspiring but not slick, Romney showed right stuff on: September 02, 2012, 01:16:49 PM
Barone's view matches my reaction pretty closely.  I know people only tuned in here and there if that but still I see the whole week as the Romney speech.  He chose the people who chose the speakers and the messages and orchestration and viewed together I thought he got the job done.
What people didn't see the first time is still excellent material available for campaign advertising this fall.

Inspiring but not slick, Romney showed right stuff    Michael Barone, Washington Examiner

The 40th Republican National Convention is now history, and political strategists and pundits are poring over the poll numbers to see whether Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are getting a post-convention bounce in what have been very closely divided polls.

Romney's convention managers made some correct and some interesting decisions. First, don't relitigate 2008, as some conservatives would love to do.

Romney and Ryan both acknowledged the hopes for change motivating so many erstwhile Obama voters. They looked back on his record in office more in sorrow than in anger.

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis eloquently described his own disenchantment with the president. You can see why they didn't want to air a minute of his talk on MSNBC. It would have undercut the cable channel's relentless narrative that Republicans are racists.

There was a special callout to young voters, 66 to 32 percent for Obama last time, when Paul Ryan talked of 20-somethings in their childhood bedrooms "staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life."

And there was a reachout to the unquantifiable but undoubtedly large number of voters who feel that it would be a bad thing for Americans to be seen rejecting the first black president.

That's the one reason I can think of why the Romney people made the otherwise puzzling decision to put on Clint Eastwood at 10:00 Eastern, when the broadcast networks began their hour of coverage. It's summed up in one sentence: "And when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go."

This was not as tightly scripted a convention as the George W. Bush or Bill Clinton conventions. Eastwood spoke without a teleprompter, and so, very effectively, did Condoleezza Rice.

In back-to-back speeches, Ann Romney talked about "love" and Chris Christie said respect was more important than love. That seemed dissonant.

Actually, the two themes are reconcilable. A leader acts out of love for the people but, as Machiavelli taught, prefers to be feared than loved.

But slicker convention management would have rewritten one of the texts. The Romney folks left interpretation to a mostly hostile press and, they hope, a more sympathetic public.

I suspect the point was not to seem slick. Romney has a cool demeanor and the convention was a device to humanize him.

He and his wife described their personal lives in ways that resemble those of almost everyone. The kids roughhousing, the misfortunes that come sooner or later: They may have more money, but their lives are like those of lots of people.

The testimony of fellow church members about the Romneys' service and caring were genuinely moving, recounted by people who are the opposite of slick. The convention floor was almost silent as they spoke, and we'll see them again in TV ads.

The point is that the Romneys contributed something that is in short supply even among the very rich: time.

The convention also addressed concerns that have undoubtedly surfaced in focus groups. Yes, the candidate is open to women taking a lead role, as they have on his staff.

Yes, the candidate did help create businesses that employ tens of thousands and provide goods and services that people found they needed. Yes, Republicans care about education, and education choice so that disadvantaged children have a chance to move upward.

Romney made that point in his speech, and it was underlined earlier in the evening by Jeb Bush, an extraordinarily successful governor and a politician whose behind-the-scenes support at crucial moments made possible the national career of the man who introduced Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio.

Coming off the convention floor, I heard raves about Romney's speech from rank-and-file delegates and limited praise from those more experienced. Not spectacular, they said, but good enough.

That's actually high praise. Democrats like their presidential candidates to be philosopher kings. They must be not only competent, but intellectually dazzling and oratorically thrilling.

Republicans have more modest ambitions. They see politicians as tools, and are satisfied if they are good enough to do the job.

Mitt Romney, in selecting Paul Ryan, in staging an inspiring rather than slick convention and in delivering his acceptance speech, convinced Republicans in the hall and around the nation, and probably many undecideds, that he is a more than sufficient tool to do the job.
5599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential Dem keynote on: August 31, 2012, 10:06:14 PM
Big Dem line of the season is that Rs are waging a war against women.

Then for their own keynote mentor they choose their most notorious abuser of our time.

Still waiting for a mainstream commentator to note the contradiction.
5600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney Bain Rolling Stone piece on: August 31, 2012, 09:36:28 PM
Thanks for posting, good to be aware of these stories.  It is all just pointing to shiny objects to me. 

If it is all true and we dont know that, a number of key points are still not refuted:

a. Romney has very extensive business experience,

b. that experience includes start ups and turnarounds,

c. his experience and record overall was unquestionably one of success by every measure,

d. no business career has all ups and no downs,

e. the playing field of business today includes wading through many artificial factors, tax avoidance, regulatory hurdles, tax deductions, shelters, bailouts, you name it.  Opposing those rules doesnt mean you dont play by them.

f. None of the mudslinging even begins to imply he isnt the most ethical executive possible, and successful.

g. The question isnt whether Mitt Romney is up to the job of running Bain. The question is whether Barack Obama is up to the job of being President.
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