Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, October 15, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
One thing I continually hear on the news is that Obama and the Democrats have no plan for a budget because they haven’t passed a budget though the Democratically controlled Senate for almost three years when the Republicans have passed Paul Ryan’s plan in the Republican controlled House and try to demand that the Senate should also pass this budget. This argument on the surface seems to make sense but in this political climate there’s no upside to the Dems passing a Budget in the Senate when they know it will be crushed in the House. The Dems don’t want to pass a radically left leaning budget just to have it crushed in the House and they don’t want to pass a compromised moderate budget without the help of the Republicans creating it because the Republicans seem to have a strategy of forcing the Democrats to start from a compromised moderate position and then still calling that compromised position “radically left.” Then the national debate on any issue becomes the far right verses the a moderate centrist position and the Republicans still seem to hold a hardline without compromising from that position and many of the conservative commentators as well as politicians themselves use harsh rhetoric against these moderate positions calling them “Communists” or “Socialists” no matter how moderate the positions are. It seems to just be a tact used against anything that Obama and the Dems say no matter if the positions are actually moderate or if they were even Republican positions five, ten, or fifteen years ago.
Paul Ryan and the Republicans have purposed a plan that dramatically cuts spending while at the same time cuts taxes. Getting into the specifics of how it cuts spending in places that we can’t afford to cut, and cuts taxes disproportionally to individuals and companies who don’t need the cuts is not even needed at this point. We can look at how the basic concept of this plan is nowhere near a compromise while most American want the congress to find a compromise to our budget problems.
Most people agree that some difficult cuts will need to be made because 40% of our federal spending is currently borrowed but it seems obvious we can’t just close that gap with all cuts to out spending. And it seems more obvious that tax cuts actually add to the deficit unless you subscribe to the idea that tax cuts will always create jobs fast enough to bring workers back into the workforce now paying income tax and stimulating economic activity that would actually bring in more tax revenue then the initial tax cuts take away. Then as we look over what difficult cuts may need to be made to our budget because of wasteful spending and because of programs that do not give society as much benefit as initially expected we also need to look at how some new investments in our economy will help our economy grow and we can actually get a return on our investments. The idea is that when we invest in infrastructure like roads and bridges, as well as teachers, police, firefighters, and so on and so on, there will be more people with jobs and therefore more money in the economy. These people will then spend more money creating even more jobs. This is called a multiplier effect and works best from the bottom up because people in the lower and middle classes spend a much larger percentage of their income therefore stimulating the economy much faster while many tax cuts for wealthier people do not flow though the economy very fast because that money will be more likely to sit in a bank or investment that does not stimulate the economy as fast as increasing the disposable incomes of lower and middle class people. The Government helps stimulate the economy by investing in jobs and more jobs will be created as a consequence of people having more money, then the government will actually get a return on their investment because more people will be paying taxes and less people will be using entitlement programs. This coupled with a low tax rate for the middle and lower classes help the economy grow at a rate where we can add new tax revenues just from people going back to work and paying their income taxes. The idea that the wealthiest people should pay a high income tax rate helps even the wealthy. Since they can afford to help make an investment in our society they will benefit from a better economy. All sectors of society can grow when we make the right investments in society like we saw in the 1990s.
(And on a side note while the wealthiest people in America do pay a higher percent on their income taxes they actually pay less on their payroll taxes and most of the other ways that taxes are collected are either a flat tax or a flat fee that are more beneficial to you the wealthier you are)
Now back to the point, Obama and the Democrats can’t pass a budget.
Well, there’s no upside to the Democrats passing a budget in the Senate when they know the House will just reject it. If they pass a budget that is very progressive and invests in our country while taxes the wealthiest people a little more Republicans will just call it “Communism” and say that Obama and the Democrats were never willing to work with the Republicans to reach a compromise on what’s best for our country. But if they purpose a very moderate plan that does very little to invest in our country and actually makes the difficult cuts to programs that Obama seems to be willing to do they will get torn apart from both side. The Liberals will be mad that the Democrat aren’t willing to fight for them and the Republicans will either call the moderate plan a “far left communist style budget” or they will say it’s a good start but we need to compromise from that point and they will move the new moderate budget much closer to the Ryan Budget before they would think about passing it therefore not truly compromising at all.
In this scenario there is no upside in passing a budget that can’t pass the House and won’t even start the legitimate process of compromise. Obama has seemed to want to sit down with the Republicans and find that compromised budget that everyone wants but they have taken the hardline route of no tax increases, deep spending cuts, and little to no investment in our country. I understand that some of those difficult decisions need to be made but the Republicans have walked out of budget meetings on multiple occasions over the issue of no tax increases when it seems obvious that we need at least some modest targeted tax increases as well as some spending cuts to close the large gap between what we take in and what we spend.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Today is April 11, 2012 and yesterday Rick Santorum dropped out of the Race for the Nomination of the Republican Party. Partially because this is the second time during this campaign that his daughter had been hospitalized but I believed that mostly he didn’t see a viable path to the nomination and wanted to avoid the possible embarrassment of losing his home state of Pennsylvania. Losing Pennsylvania would severely cripple his chances at pursuing political office in the future.
So, now the headlines read respectively:
CNN.com: It’s game on between Obama and Romney
FoxNews.com: Presidential race now down to 2 clear choices (Referring to Romney and Obama)
MSNBC.com: What we learned from the GOP race (This assumes that the race is over now)
The problem I have with all of these headlines is that they’re wrong. I’m not saying that at this point that it’s not fairly likely that Romney will win the Republican nomination but I’m just saying that the race is far from over. It’s really bothersome to hear how almost everyone in the media is talking like this things is over.
According to NBC’s numbers Romney has 573 delegates out of the 1144 needed to secure the nomination. Up to this point Romney has only won Republican primaries in States that lean Democratic in the General elections states that have large Mormon populations. The exceptions to this are that he won the swing states of Ohio and Florida as well as Virginia, although he won Virginia with both Santorum and Gingrich not being on the ballot. And most of the states that he won he was not able to break 50%. The exceptions were Massachusetts(one of his home states), Virginia (where only Ron Paul was running against him), Nevada, and Idaho. It seems as though it is obvious that most of the Republican Party does not want Romney to be their nominee especially people from traditionally Republican states.
The next primary day is April 24th where five traditionally democratic states will decide who they want to be their nominee. Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will all be holding primaries and if things go to plan Romney will have a good day. I’m sure Romney will be able to win all of these states with his only two competitors being Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul but what if he still can’t break 50% in these states. What if he can only get around 45% of the votes and Gingrich and Paul split the other 55% of the vote. That would not send a message of confidence to the Republican Party that Romney has this thing locked up. Then in May there will be a slew of more conservative states that will vote and I believe that it’s possible within todays Republican party that all of these states could vote for Gingrich over Romney as a protest to what many Republicans see as a unprincipled candidate that is not conservative like them.
So, in May we will have Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon, Arkansas, and Kentucky. If Romney loses all or most of these races the more favorable month of June may not save him. In June we will have the primaries of California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah. At that point every vote may be a clear vote either for Romney or against just in protest even if the person voting doesn’t really like Gingrich or Paul. They may vote for one of the two of them just to prove the point that they don’t want Romney.
If Romney is able to win every traditionally Democratic state and lose every traditionally Republican state excluding Utah, which he will win, my calculations have him at 1099 delegates going into the convention. Now these numbers are not solid numbers. Each state has different ways to award these delegates and different laws on whether these delegates of truly bound to vote for their candidate and there will be a possible legal battle over the 50 delegates that were awarded to Romney from Florida since Republican rules do not allow Florida use a winner take all system in this year’s primary. So that number could get bigger or smaller. And if Romney pulls off some big wins in some more conservative states he’ll be able to secure the nomination before we get to the convention but the truth is we don’t know yet.
I do need to mention that there are people know as super delegates who could help Romney get over that hump. They can go to the convention and vote for whoever they want. In a scenario where Romney has won a few conservative states I’m sure they will all jump on his band wagon but if he starts to really show that he is a weak candidate they might vote for someone else just to stop him from being the nominee.
So now the question is if not Romney then who. Well, in my opinion at this point I do think it will be Romney but I’m just putting the idea out there that he doesn’t have it wrapped up yet. If at the convention no candidate gets the 1144 delegates that they need to get the nomination then they all just vote a second time and a third time and as many times as it takes until someone gets the 1144 delegates that are needed to win the nomination. If no compromise can be made on one of the three candidates left in the race then maybe some other Republican will come out of the blue to win the nomination. I really don’t know what will happen but I just want to people to understand that Romney is not the only choice left and anything can happen at the convention if he does not have the 1144 delegates that he needs going into the convention.