Saturday, September 22, 2012

What Romney Wants

So, is the endless Obama bashing you see here getting to you? Yeah, me too. I have known since about Jan 1, 2010 who I was voting for in 2012. Anybody but Obama. Any hopes President Obama was more than I thought he was was wrung out of me by then. True, if Bachmann or Gingrich became the "R" nominee I might have drove past the voting booth in November. To be sure, either would be ultimately better than Obama,  but it would have been a long, long four years. I am glad Romney made it. He is, in my opinion, fairly moderate I don't worry too much that he is planning on a radical transformation of a country and a system that just needs some serious tweaking.

So what is Romney proposing? Boilerplate stuff mostly. Significant in that it is a departure from the Federal government expansion and the pure cronyism we have seen since the second GW Bush term straight through Obama. The thing is, I trust that a man who has a reputation of rolling up his sleeves and getting down to the business of turning a failing enterprise around is just what we need. We don't need empty soaring rhetoric from a man with his nose up in the air anymore.

Here are the simplified economic policy directions Romney promises to pursue, right from his website:  
My comments in red.

Individual Taxes
   -Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates
   -Maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains 
   -Eliminate taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains
   -Eliminate the Death Tax
   -Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
All of these are fine with me - but we see nothing about broadening the tax base and eliminating loopholes that advantage only the very rich as is noted in Paul Ryan's plans

Corporate Taxes

The U.S. economy’s 35 percent corporate tax rate is among the highest in the industrial world.
True, it is a fact, but almost no corporation pays this, with loopholes etc etc many huge companies pay next to nothing
    -Cut the corporate rate to 25 percent
    -Strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit
    -Switch to a territorial tax system
    -Repeal the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Again all of these are fine - but we see nothing about eliminating loopholes that will force gigantic companies to pay something allowing start-ups and small companies a chance to compete

    -Repeal Obamacare
    -Repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework
    -Amend Sarbanes-Oxley to relieve mid-size companies from onerous requirements
    -Initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy
I agree with all of these, the last one is critical -  I suspect there are time-bombs in store for us on the regulatory front...

Reform Environmental Regulation
    -Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
    -Provide multi-year lead times before companies must come into compliance with onerous new environmental regulations
Would like to see a focus on putting the EPA under the authority of Congress

Adopt Structural Reforms
    -Impose a regulatory cap of zero dollars on all federal agencies
    -Require congressional approval of all new “major” regulations
    -Reform legal liability system to prevent spurious litigation
Good start

I find most these positions acceptable but worry that not much is outlined for getting spending under control. I realize if the economy takes off again revenues will rise - but the spending is so beyond what a growing economy can cover for. I don't freak out over reasonable deficits, but Obama's deficits are not even close to reasonable.

Just getting President Obama out is reason enough to vote Romney, but frankly this policy direction is a less than it needs to be.

Mitt, go bold, please.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

By Any Measure...

Obama is a failure. Shocker, I know. Sure I can take a chart/graph and try drive home a point while someone can come along with another graph posing slightly different data points and contradict mine. But when chart after chart, graph after graph piles up on my side it begins to be an overwhelming case. It's called the preponderance of evidence. Here, in the case (national economy) against a second term for President Obama, I'll let these charts do the talking.


Case closed!!!


Monday, September 10, 2012

President Negligence

How would the media spin this after a major international (terrorist) incident that more than half the time, the President does not attend his own daily intelligence meetings. We know how they would have reacted in the Bush years. While Bush did attend his daily intelligence meetings  - for eight years - they still went after him for not connecting the dots once bin Laden was accused of perpetrating the 9/11 attacks.

Kudo's to the Washington Post, a big time mainstream newspaper for at least putting this out there. The U.S. is still officially in a war and it would seem that these meetings would be important. Maybe it is ceremonial, but if a situation arises that was discussed - or should have been - at these daily briefings then I would expect the media to hold President Obama to the same standards as they did President Bush. They won't, of course.

Obama has been re-auditioning for a job he already has for the last 2 years. He fund raises, campaigns and plays golf. He isn't even bothering with the act of governing. All of his executive orders have been vote getting plays, and most of them extra-constitutional. The roll-over Congress does nothing to strike back because it would only help Obama with the constituency group he is favoring with his executive decrees. The media would be screaming bloody murder if Bush had done some of these things, and even FOX News drops the indignation when the next new shiny object passes before their camera lens.

It's no secret that I am not a supporter of Barack Obama - I not only find his policies repugnant but it's the "cult of Obama" that sickens me the most. How can anyone look at the state of America and say to themselves we need four more years of that? How can the media be so uncritical?

If there were even the slightest hint of light at the end of the tunnel then I could see it, maybe. But despite 30+ months of job growth and a buoyant stock market and rosy corporate profits 25 million people are out of work or have jobs way below their potential and millions have given up looking all together. The work force has fallen to 1980's levels but our population is massively larger. By any measure this administration is a dismal failure on the economic front for the middle class. And considering the attention he gives to the security of this country we are one incident away from his abject failure on the foreign policy front.


Monday, September 03, 2012

Clinton the Absurd

It is laughable to see ads on my TV with Bill Clinton advocating for the re-election of Barack Obama. His assertion that President Obama's plan for reviving the middle-class is superior to Mitt Romney's is just absurd. The middle-class has suffered more since the inauguration of Obama than ever before. The rich may not "as rich" as they once were, but they'll be fine. The poor have been helped by this President in so far as more "safety net" money has been spent than in any time in the history of the world. The ranks of the poor have swelled precisely because the middle-class is dwindling.

It has been estimated that the middle class has lost 39% of it's wealth since 2008. Median household income has declined by a whopping 7.3% since Obama became President. We have become poorer as a nation faster than any time in memory. The poverty rate is likely to soar from the current 15.1% to as high as 15.7%. Poverty is spreading at record levels across the nation, from underemployed workers and once self sufficient suburban families to the poorest of the poor.

For Bill Clinton to sit there and tell us that Obama has a better plan is ludicrous - where is it!!!

There is no plan to revive the middle-class. If there were why would the administration not have started working on that instead of starting the re-election campaign in Nov 2010 just days after the mid-terms. He has been auditioning for a job he already has instead of doing the damn job.

The structural troubles this country is in will not be solved by kicking the remaining stilts out from under it. The weak dollar policy pursued by Bush and Obama in some mistaken notion that it will (ultimately) help exports is offset by a decline in purchasing power and inflation. The bullshit that inflation is low is just that, bullshit. Tell that to every family who uses a supermarket or fills the tank with gas. You can argue "but an IPad is hundreds of dollars cheaper this year than last" until you're blue in the face, that doesn't fill bellies or gas tanks. Prices for the very basics have skyrocketed at a time when wages and jobs themselves are in decline.

Add super low interest rates held down to help government preserve a modicum of solvency by keeping debt payments lower and you end up ushering just the type of real estate bubble we just lived through. The policies responsible for this mess stretch across party lines and administrations - but Obama's answer has been to triple down. There's nothing new or reformative in his policies.

The 2009 stimulus has been proved to be a exercise in pure cronyism and the result speaks for itself.

Bill Clinton is absurd and he has to know it. Why would he shill for this guy? Is there something going on that we can't comprehend? Even Clinton knows that Romney is anything but radical. Does Clinton want to see the complete destruction of the once powerful middle-class in this country. He must.