About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Vilsack's FairTax Attack Ads Insult Electorate

click on graph to enlarge
As a follow up to the last posting re Congressman Steve King's close race in Iowa please click here to hear Steve's opponent Christi Vilsack (wife of the former Governor & current Secretary of Agriculture) display her lack of knowledge about the FairTax even after she has authorized attack after attack against Congressman King's support of the FairTax.
Although the above link is for an interview & not one of Vilsack's direct attack ads it does have many of the same tiresome points of the attack ads in that Vilsack claims the FairTax would be a huge burden on the middle class because it will raise the price of milk & medicine by 23% as well as farmers' prices of equipment & seed.  Vilsack ends the interview by admitting that she does not know what the prebate is.  Of course it is the prebate that ensures no American pays the FairTax on the basic necessities of life – see zero tax point on above graph.  The farmers' equipment & seed are not taxed – the FairTax taxes only the final consumer or user of goods & services meaning essentially it taxes retail sales & government consumption.  Intermediate sales from one business to another are not taxed thereby avoiding the possibility of taxing a tax like we do now.  I believe that Vilsack could also use a tutorial on the difference between the terms "tax-exclusive" & "tax-inclusive."  Wouldn't you think that someone who is going to attack something would want to know something about it before launching the attacks?
Steve King is more than capable of defending himself against such a person who really insults the electorate by suggesting that anyone, such as her opponent, would support such absurd positions that she presents.  There are numerous instances where this type of FairTax attack approach has backfired against the aggressive candidate who presents the nonsensical assaults.  Our biggest concern is that Steve gets the chance to set the record straight to a big enough audience who understands basic economics or really cares about anything else of substance.
Now virtually all politicians will stretch the truth from time to time but the last point above about really caring begs the question - what is it about the electorate that makes a candidate like Vilsack think they can get away with such gross distortions & outright lies?  The answer is found in Julie Adamen's letter to the WSJ which I present below.  Long time readers of this blog will recognize Mrs. Adamen's thoughts as point #1 from The Five Points of Citizen Control.
---Letter To The Editor---
Regarding Nick Schulz's "Hard Unemployment Truths About 'Soft' Skills" (op-ed, Sept. 20): I own and operate an employment service which has worked with dozens of small businesses in the past 15 years. We have jobs going begging for exactly the reasons mentioned by Mr. Schulz: the ability to write a coherent letter, use correct grammar while speaking, understand basic mathematics, interact well with clients and show up for work regularly.
The younger the applicant, the less likely he is to have these skills which older workers possess and take for granted. The less schooled young people are in the real basics of what it takes to be successful (not rich), the less likely they will be successful, and the less likely they will want to be successful—it's just "too hard." They've gone through 12 years of schooling with little homework, few hard deadlines, no points taken off a paper for spelling or grammar and a "we're all winners" attitude (I know, I have a kid in public high school), and a few more years in college taking communication courses. Add to that a generation of parents-as-friends, single-parent households, a healthy dose of short school days and some very poor teaching along the way and, voilĂ , you have an electorate that is incapable of understanding or caring what it takes to obtain and maintain a job, let alone the impending fiscal nightmare heading squarely at them.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Congressman Steve King's Call For Help

In a recent message entitled Electoral College Analysis & Strategy For Strengthening America I wrote "Two House candidates needing support are Anna Little in NJ & Steve King in IA.  Both are FairTax supporters & Congressman King has already been attacked by his opponent for supporting the FairTax.  King is in a tight race for reelection in a redrawn district."
Until today I didn't realize just how tight this race was.  Congressman King is being targeted by BO/Pelosi because of his outstanding congressional record including his vociferous support of the FairTax.  Steve feels vulnerable because he is running in a newly drawn district in what has become a swing state – Iowa.  His high profile opponent has unleashed a tidal wave of negative ads costing more than Steve spent in all five of his previous campaigns for Congress combined.  Many of these ads directly attack the FairTax with false misleading information.  Steve King's loss would be a terrible blow to the FairTax & America.
Iowa is the first swing state to start voting & that early vote began today.  In 2008 Iowa cast 35% of their ballots by election day.  This means some of the votes that count in the 2012 election are already being cast.
If you would like to help please click here & donate whatever you can.  Carol & I just did.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Understanding How Social Security & Medicare Form The Cornerstone Of The American Welfare State

"I've paid for my Social Security & Medicare benefits & have a right to collect them.  They are not entitlements."  - spoken by many senior citizens who are incorrect in this assessment for many reasons.
"You've paid into these programs your whole life.  You've earned them"  - BO speaking about Social Security & Medicare retirement benefits by satellite to a national assembly of AARP (Association Against Retired People) members in New Orleans prior to a live presentation by Paul Ryan on Friday to the same group.  Ryan presented his plan of premium support which is the only plan I know of that gives Medicare a chance @ survival.
Now of all the myths about Social Security & Medicare the above two quotes summarize just about the biggest things people love to falsely imagine.
Social Security & Medicare (along with Medicaid) form the cornerstone of the American welfare state.
Once someone qualifies for Social Security retirement benefits under current rules the formula for determining the amount of retirement payments @ full retirement age is based on a percentage of one's averaged indexed monthly earnings - 90% of the first $767, 32% of amounts from $767 to $4,624, & 15% for amounts over $4,624 of average indexed monthly earnings. 
You can readily see that the benefit formula is designed to provide lower wage workers with a greater percentage of their past earnings than higher wage earners receive.  The formula is steeply graduated in favor of lower wage workers.
At the beginning of 2012 the average monthly retirement benefit was $1,230 & the maximum retirement benefit was $2,513 for a worker who retired @ age 66 – both  amounts are determined by the above formula.  Do your own examples & arithmetic – for instance a worker who paid the maximum Social Security tax during his working life & retired @ age 66 in 2012 would have paid just under four times more into the system than a person who paid the average Social Security tax over his working life & also retired in 2012 @ age 66.  The higher wage worker would receive only twice the benefit of the average wage worker after paying almost four times as much tax.
A review of the above formula & doing your own examples shows that the way the Social Security Administration determines retirement benefits makes Social Security a welfare transfer system instead of a system where you receive benefits that pay your contributions back commensurate with what you put in over the years.
To illustrate just how dependent many Americans are on Social Security please consider that two thirds of our seniors depend on Social Security as the main source of their income & for one in five it is the only source of income.  Without Social Security half of all seniors would be living in poverty so naturally seniors love Social Security – but they don't know or don't want to know that it is a welfare transfer system.  It is easier to falsely believe that they paid something in & are getting back what they deserve. 
If possible seniors love Medicare even more.  Today's retiring baby boomers are the only people who have paid into Medicare their entire working lives.  Medicare Part A is primarily paid for by the 2.9% payroll tax plus co-pays & deductibles paid for by the recipient.  Medicare Part B is primarily paid for from general tax revenues taken from the U.S. Treasury plus monthly premiums & shared co-pays & deductibles paid for by the recipient.  The monthly premium portion of Medicare Part B paid by seniors amounts to only 25% of the program's cost.  Medicare Part D is under a similar arrangement as Part B & is 75% funded by the U.S. Treasury meaning that the drug plan constitutes a public subsidy of 75% of the cost of the program.
So what's not for seniors to like – except that these programs are not financially sustainable?  How unkind is it for our elected reps to let this continue until total collapse of the programs?  It is the elderly & people over 55 who are dependent on these programs who will be hurt the most when the programs collapse.  Just what will these people do then? 
Carol & I saw Paul Ryan's premium-support Medicare presentation to AARP mentioned above live on C-SPAN & it could not have been better.  Although there was mild applause from time to time Ryan's presentation was coolly received with many interruptions of boos & trying to shout Ryan down whenever he brought up repealing ObamaCare.  Ryan tried his heart out to get his audience (& the American people) to listen & understand what he was saying & what is @ stake for them & many of us.  Based on the reception a lesser man would have left the stage & gone back to Janesville leaving John Galt to pick up the pieces one day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Responses - The Romney Non-Gaffe Gives Us A Chance

"Did I not have this discussion with you and Carol at least 2 years ago?  Maybe Mitt reads ReturnToExcellence too??" was one of the comments I received re Mitt's secretly recorded video from last May in which he clearly defines the problem he faces in being the political opponent of BO - a man who stealthy specializes in making people dependent on government & as such regards his function as completing the socialization of America for starters.
"It is a sad day in America when telling the truth is labeled a gaffe," & "Mitt received more air time than going on a show. It is about time it is said" were two others.
I thank our Wall Street Financial VP for his insight & contribution as follows:
Doug - totally agree with you regarding Mitt's opportunity. See IBD link with evidence Mitt can use. Mitt's article in USA Today today is encouraging - "Instead of creating web of dependency, I will pursue policies that grow our economy and lift Americans out of poverty".

This is an argument we can win and must win to save our nation from a dollar collapse. Mitt however must go on the offensive. Two critical points must be made: 1- Leftists can only have power if there is a large dependency class that feels they are victims. Hence this explains the Left's insane economic policies. These policies have driven total debt that includes unfunded liabilities to $136 trillion or nearly twice annual gross global economy. Economic catastrophe is very close. 2- Mitt's economic plan prioritizes growing the private sector because it is the sector that creates self sustaining jobs that also create ancillary jobs. This provides upward mobility for all.

And if anyone challenges point #1 hit them hard right back with our Ace in our back pocket. That is the Saul Alinsky card. Explain how BO is a disciple and following the 7 steps that Alinsky outlines for destroying our traditional capitalist economy. Man do we have tons of evidence! It may take a while for the public to grasp this but the upside is tremendous and maybe our last chance to save the U.S. as we know and love it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Romney Non-Gaffe Gives Us A Chance

I have waited five years enduring Mitt's campaigning to hear one thing of substance.  Click here to hear what the hostile anti-American media is calling Mitt's latest gaffe from a fundraiser video back in May when Mitt did not know he was being recorded – to me he did better in this case than when he is rehearsed.  In this video Mitt clearly defines the problem he or anyone else faces in trying to defeat any Democrat Party candidate @ the presidential level.  The problem also travels down ticket to Democrat senate & congressional candidates.
In the video Mitt explains to donors in Florida the handicap any Republican presidential candidate faces – namely that "47% of the people will vote for BO (in Mitt's case) no matter what...these people are dependent on government, believe they are victims entitled to government handouts, & pay no income tax."  Couldn't have said it better myself – in fact I have for years. 
Now if Mitt can shift his campaign messages from wandering from one topic to another to sticking to the above points he can show where this has ended before – a democracy moving from the penultimate stage of apathy to dependence to the final stage of dependence back into bondage which are the two stages America teeters on.
The video shows that Mitt understands that the presidential election is not about the Arab world, the budget deficit or national debt, the creation of jobs, China's military build up, Iran's uranium enrichment, Venezuela, the price of gasoline, or even Dubya.  It is about how the people described above survive the next week.  It is about whether or not America reverses the path we are following toward becoming a total welfare state.  It is about whether or not Mitt can reach enough of the people described above to convince them that their current government dependent mindset needs to be changed or their futures become even bleaker.  This will require the re-learning of taking care of ourselves since each of us can only count on ourselves anyway.
In brief,  Americans have the choice of dependence or returning to our founding principles of limited government, personal responsibility, & free enterprise.   If we choose the latter the first thing to do is throw BO out of office in a landslide so that even Mitt cannot misunderstand what he has stumbled onto. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Electoral College Analysis & Strategy For Strengthening America

Until the presidential election of 2000 conventional wisdom had it that a candidate that won the popular vote could not lose the electoral college vote yet Owl Gore beat GW Bush by over 500,000 popular votes but lost the presidency in the electoral college.
Now it is true that the election of 2000 had many dominoes that had to fall perfectly into place for Bush to win the presidency like 1) Ralph Nader drawing almost 3-million votes (mostly away from Gore) & certainly more than 543 votes from Gore in Florida & 2) Pat Buchanan receiving a way oversized vote total in some very poor sections of Florida thanks to the butterfly ballot where many people thought they were voting for Gore but really cast their ballot for Pat.
That type of electoral phenomenon is more rare than the recent dead heat in the Travers Stakes @ Saratoga.  Many current polls show a very tight race between BO & Mitt based on the popular vote but the electoral college vote to keep an eye on is shown in the above chart (click on it to enlarge).  You can see that if Mitt loses Florida he will have to "run the table" or that he is "drawing to an inside straight" in trying to win the electoral college & the presidency.
In summary BO has more pathways to the presidency than Mitt does. 
Mitt's Virginia pathway is further complicated because former Virginia Republican Congressman Virgil Goode is running as the Constitutional Party's presidential candidate – Mitt cannot afford to have Goode take any of his potential votes.
One comment by a reader that I recently posted approved of Mitt's strategy to date saying that he should save his push for the final sprint, when the general public starts to tune in thereby saving a big kick for the end.  A problem with this strategy is that even before the first debate on October 3 North Carolina (60%), Wisconsin (20%), Iowa (35%), Florida (over 50%), & Ohio (25%) will have already started early voting.  New Mexico (60%), Colorado (80%), & Nevada (65%) will have started early voting by mid October.  The percentage figures listed by each state are the share of ballots cast before election day in 2008.  Now you can assume that all of the early voters this year are not persuadable to change their votes but why would Mitt want to take this chance & not get started in earnest choosing instead to wait for the traditional election day of November 6 when over half of the votes will already have been cast in Florida where the election could be lost in & of itself.
I also ask why would we want to take a chance of pinning our hopes solely on Mitt winning this election?   Although BO now thinks WI is in play (thanks to the energy Ryan brought to Mitt's ticket) it is more important electorally that the big-money Republican Super PACs stopped running ads in MI & PA several weeks ago after spending millions of dollars earlier trying to help Mitt – this was not a good sign for McCain in 2008 when he pulled out & lost both of these two electorally rich states. 
A far more solid strategy is to start to build a strong base of resistance to socialism in both Houses of Congress regardless of who wins the presidency.
To find such senate candidates click here to see the list that Jim DeMint is endorsing.  I add to that list Florida senate candidate Connie Mack who is trailing his Democrat opponent badly.  From the list – Josh Mandel in OH is in the worst shape & needs help.
Two House candidates needing support are Anna Little in NJ & Steve King in IA.  Both are FairTax supporters & Congressman King has already been attacked by his opponent for supporting the FairTax.  King is in a tight race for reelection in a redrawn district.  Anna Little would be a breakthrough as the first Congresswoman in NJ & the northeast to co-sponsor the FairTax.  Both are first rate candidates who need help.
The point is to help candidates who will make a difference whether they are from your community or state or not.
Finding & working for the above type of people rather than concentrating on defeating BO, who Mitt very well might not defeat, will pay dividends in the long run as we set a strong base of patriots in office.  We need to do much more than merely vote for Mitt & think our job is done – which of course it will be if that is all we do.
If we all are not finding & changing the votes of two & preferably three people who plan to vote for statist candidates we may be in trouble just based on the raw numbers that show we are outnumbered.  I know how hard many subscribers of this blog are working in this regard for America.
I specifically do not recommend asking people to support Mitt because your credibility will be sorely tested if not destroyed if he wins & then disappoints.  In fact you may be severely questioned just for recommending him to anyone who is familiar with his record. 
The above position does not mean we are giving away the presidential election – that may have already been done by the establishment Republican Party. Following the above strategy & winning a majority with real constitutional leaders in the Senate while holding on to the House (& replacing the current poor leadership) will make BO's second term much more difficult for him & will minimize the damage he can do.
Having the patience to work as described above (& voting for Mitt if you choose) is helping to set a strong base going forward for our country if it is not too late already.  Even the
strategy described above is not fool-proof as the population ages & our youth knows nothing of our wonderful heritage & is content to mindlessly just spend down the family wealth – leaving the next generation to rebuild it, if possible.
Having Mitt win or BO win a second term is a loser - either way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Responses To Sarah Palin's Video - Free Stuff Or Freedom - You Can't Have Them Both

Below are three responses to the subject message & video where Bill O'Reilly questioned Sarah Palin about Laura Ingraham's point that the GOP should just shut down if they can't beat BO with his miserable record in what should be a gimmee election. 
I also add directly below three of my own thoughts & observations re Palin's excellent responses to Bill's insightful questions.  I don't know another person @ Palin's level that states America's problems & solutions as clear as she did in the video.
1.  I sensed an exasperation in Palin that I think has been boiling inside her ever since McCain & his handlers limited what she could talk about in the 2008 campaign.  Like Jack Kemp with Dole she was a team player.
2.  Bill O'Reilly spelled out the principles of Death Of Democracy perfectly to her in the video & she answered by saying our turning back from this road depends how far down it we have come.  Readers of this blog know that we are @ the penultimate stage of Death Of Democracy & it will take a tremendous mindset change to return our Republic to the liberty to abundance stage & Palin knows this also – but boy is she fighting.
3.  There is really no choice between free stuff & freedom (like if you ask a child to choose between a football & a baseball he will have one or the other for quite some time after he makes his choice) because free stuff from the government will be fleeting & one day you will find that the free stuff is no longer provided & unlike the football or the baseball example you will have nothing & freedom will have been lost along the way. 
---Response #1---

Doug - I have a suspicion I know where Laura Ingraham is obtaining her material. What I take away from the recent commentary regarding the Republican Party is an absence of leadership. I have witnessed this phenomena before which resulted in the presidency of Jimmy Carter and now BO. Until the Republican leadership vacuum is filled, with competent leadership, the party will continue to wander aimlessly.


---Response #2---


Just got a chance to look at this one....could not be any more clear.....That's it in a nutshell...free stuff or freedom? And I agree....would love to hear the body language of Palin analyzed....love Bill, but he talks too much....


---Response #3---


Doug - That segment was one of best ever. I totally agree with Laura and tweeted my support. I especially was interested in the discussion Bill and Sarah Palin had about whether electorate is past point of no return. This is due to fact over 100 million people receive some welfare not counting SS and Medicare.  Also 49% pay no fed income tax.  U.S. mindset focuses a lot on what the government can provide. Given strong leadership this mindset can be changed to return to self reliance and freedom from government dependency.

Yes the "free stuff or freedom" slogan is very relevant. I also liked Palin's response to Bill that yes call BO a Socialist. (he is more than that actually -- an Alinsky variant of Marxism drives BO).  I will vote for Mitt. However Mitt's campaign is pathetic.  Of all Republicans he is in best shape to explain how capital markets benefit all and that government housing policy caused the Great Recession not Bush Tax cuts. I am starting to wonder if Mitt is now a closet progressive after his success as a venture capitalist. Maybe he really believes in a center left economic policy. Recall this is how Jon Corzine "progressed" after his Wall Street career.

A perfect strategy for Mitt would be to use the "free stuff or freedom" slogan with a deep dive promotion of free market capitalism. Palin lacks the latter but champions free markets in a high level and clear way. She is an expert on energy policy and should explain in detail how damaging BO's energy policy is. I wish she would have completed her term as Governor. Quitting after 2 1/2 years was a huge mistake. She could have learned more about management and budgets and point to more accomplishments, learn more about foreign policy, then run for president. She could have become a Michele Bachmann but with more charisma (Bachmann in depth knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs is among the best in Congress).

But we are stuck with Mitt and I still try my best with tweets to him. Hopefully 1 day 1 of his staff reads my tweet and influences Mitt.

I encourage all to tweet to Mitt and Palin. And I also tweeted to Palin to better advise Mitt how to campaign. If Mitt does not change and loses then I am 100% behind Laura. Bye Bye Republican Party.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free Stuff Or Freedom - You Can't Have Them Both

Earlier this month Bill O'Reilly mentioned that the O'Reilly Factor on FNC was starting its 17th  year on the air.  Click here to watch the best segment I have ever seen on this show.  It aired on September 11.
It is a masterful job that analyzed Laura Ingraham's point that the GOP should just shut down if they can't beat BO with his miserable record in what should be a gimmee election. 
Bill provided excellent questions to Sarah Palin who answered them with the kind of direct responses we can only wish every politician answered questions.  I would love to hear a body language segment on Palin's expressions.
Of all the advice people have been bursting @ the seams for Mitt to take & act upon Palin's was the best – in a nutshell Palin thinks Mitt should very aggressively make it clear to the electorate that you either get free stuff or freedom – you can't have them both.  Should sound familiar to readers of this blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Responses - Mitt's Needed Response To Bill Clinton & The 2012 Democrat National Convention

"Poor Mitt, he took BO's bait by talking a lot about Medicare, a touchy subject for seniors & near seniors.  He should instead talk a lot about the deficit, and give figures how much each person will owe to the government each year for the next 20 years or so AND say this includes children.  Somebody has to pay for it - and it is you, the public.  Keep harping on that ONE issue, and pretty soon it will make an impression on the people" is further advice Mitt has received from our readership since last night's message. 
To me the deficit by itself has been a losing political issue for decades starting with Walter Mondale losing 49 states.  I have also found that people do not care as much about their children & grandchildren as you might think when put in terms of the deficit.  Far too many people have worked their way into the choice of 1) eating today or 2) letting their 10 year old granddaughter address the deficit decades from now.
"I am curious. Why would you be stunned that Barack is looking to pull an FDR?" was asked re my statement from the original posting "BO stunned me when he talked about his second term being a 'bold, persistent, experimentation that FDR pursued in the 1930s.'"  I was stunned because BO said it so clearly.  The question went right to one of the themes of the subject posting.  After writing the sentence quoting BO about following FDR I added "What more does anyone, including Mitt Romney, need to know?" The idea being that Mitt should make ads showing this clip time & again so that everyone hears BO say in his own words just what his plan is. The hapless McCain did not do this sort of thing after BO told Joe the Plumber that he "wanted to spread the wealth around." Two golden opportunities – will Mitt use the current one?  If he doe he @ least is properly defining his opponent.
The last comment I present offers a different strategy for Mitt.  The writer is depending on Mitt closing big – real big.
"Doug - Your responders seem to have listened to the liberal media rather than the Democrat convention itself.  It was not a very good show. Granted Mitt's bump was mitigated by A) the hurricane and B) the closeness to the DNC.  Eva Longoria sounded like a Republican on stage. Clinton fired them up, but not for Obama or his policies. Remember, we are not reelecting Clinton. Obamas' speech was muted and a bit strange, kind of like Eastwood's. No rah, rah, lets jump through fire like '08.
"I've said from the get-go that it is Romney's to lose. He has not done anything yet to sway my position. Some of the concerns raised by the political junkie class does not really need to get addressed now. Most not at all. We have a 60+ day marathon going on. You want to save your strength and your big guns for the final sprint, when the general public starts to tune in. If we spend all of our time countering their claims, people will think this is a big spitting contest.
"You have got to keep running, but save that big kick for the end."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Responses - Mitt's Needed Response To Bill Clinton & The 2012 Democrat National Convention

Below are six responses to Sunday night's subject message that add to the discussion.  Please note that #s 2, 3, & 4 convey similar points.
BTW – in response to the subject message's closing statement about Mitt saying on TV Sunday morning that he would keep certain parts of ObamaCare - his aides have since made it clear that Mitt (when you parse his words) does not embrace any part of ObamaCare & really wants to repeal it.
---Response #1---
Hi Doug - Mitt started using the "Move to the Left" playbook authored by Bob Dole and John McCain the day he secured the Republican nomination. The first thing Mitt did was throw Ron Paul and Sarah Palin under the bus. The second thing was compromise on ObamaCare. Mitt is moving further and further away from me. By the time we get to the November election you will not be able to tell the incumbent from the challenger.
---Response #2---
Doug - This all sounds like John McCain all over again. I doubt the Republicans even want to win this one.
---Response #3---
I believe & Romney confirms it - he wants to lose the election.  Instead of giving fresh ideas and comments - he is letting Democrats steer him in their direction, where they are strong and he is weak.  Addressing Medicare reform - his ideas might be good, but when the general public hears someone wants to tinker with Medicare, they get upset and unhappy. The general public is not interested in the details of his plan - they only hear he wants to change it and that ends the story for many.
---Response #4---
It could be that moderate Republicans want the party to lose - then they have the chance in the 2016 election to put their own views (not ultra conservative) to the voters.  I fear if the GOP continues on current trend they will lose badly.  What is your take, mate?
---Response #5---
Doug - thanks for your outstanding post with details Mitt must act on. BO has largely succeeded in defining Mitt. BO main election strategy is: "recession was caused by Bush tax cuts and was more severe than we thought. It is taking therefore longer than we thought to fix this mess. However Romney advocates same Bush policies. So U.S. will be much worse with Mitt than me and it will undue the progress we have made." In a nutshell this is BO main strategy. Many, many believe this myth.

It is utterly incredible that Mitt does not counter this stating root cause of recession was government housing policy. Tons of evidence exists for this and I have sent some to Mitt via twitter. In basketball we miss all shots we do not take. Mitt is not taking this EZ lay up if not a slam dunk. Why?? I will continue tweeting to Mitt.

Another slam dunk for Mitt is to tie BO policies with European economic policies which already has Greece and Spain bankrupt if not for ECB. In May at the G20 BO encouraged Europe to increase debt spending to stimulate the economy. BO was rebuffed if not laughed at. Europe has encountered many fierce and violent riots because of the economy. We risk that here. So Mitt please create a commercial that after connecting BO to European socialist policies, commercial then displays several videos of the most extreme European riots. Then conclude "it can happen here". This would be a "Willie Horton" moment for Mitt and shift virtually all of the undecided and win election for Mitt. Mitt the basketball is in your hands.
---Response #6---
Very well written.  I could not do better myself.  I have to give you credit for doing all the research going into your report.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mitt's Needed Response To Bill Clinton & The 2012 Democrat National Convention

"There's almost nothing the president has done in the past 3 1/2, four years, that gives the American people confidence that he knows what he's doing when it comes to jobs & the economy."  Mitt Romney
"President Obama is not a bad guy. He's good at giving great speeches, he's just really bad at creating jobs."  Paul Ryan
"Our problem is not that he is a bad person. Our problem is that he is a bad president."  Marco Rubio speaking about BO 
The Democrat National Convention (DNC) produced one speaker after another who told stories of the destitution they were born into & how they turned the adversity of their poor humble beginnings around with hard work doing a good job of hiding their real Socialist-Marxist agenda by just sprinkling in words & phrases like "helping hand...we're all in this together...build it together...bound to each other...cooperation is what counts...shared opportunity...shared responsibility...& (Carol's favorite) lay the foundation for a shared prosperity."  I even heard respectful mention of our Founding Fathers who these people hate.  There was not one single mention of ObamaCare or the stimulus but BO stunned me when he talked about his second term being a "bold, persistent, experimentation that FDR pursued in the 1930s."  What more does anyone, including Mitt Romney, need to know?
About halfway through the convention we learned that Democrats not only don't read the 2,000 page bills they put forth in Congress but they also don't read their own party platform.  The platform as written @ the start of the convention had taken out references to God & Jerusalem being the capital of Israel – both being in the 2008 platform.  None of the three separate voice votes produced the needed two thirds majority needed to put the references back in the platform but the voters in the hall were not suppressed from voting – they were just ignored. 
Bill Clinton was the second speaker @ the two conventions that has a superb reputation for being a financially responsible politician – the other is Paul Ryan.  In Ryan's case the reputation is not totally justified & in Clinton's case it is not justified @ all.
Clinton's reputation comes about because he was president during good times which occurred despite him not because of him.  The last six years of Clinton's administration were controlled by the principles of the Contract With America, people like Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, & NJ's Dick Zimmer, & of course his impeachment.
Clinton started his first administration by unsuccessfully unleashing his wife & Ira Magaziner (still with Clinton's Foundations yet today) to develop HillaryCare.  He pushed through a huge tax increase that included increasing gasoline taxes, raising the corporate income tax rate a point to 35 percent, & substantially raising the top personal/small employer income tax rate—from 31 to 39.6 percent.  Bob Kerry is running for the Senate in Nebraska & was the deciding vote on Clinton's tax bill in 1993.  Kerry's Senate opponent is Deb Fischer who won her primary with the support of Sarah Palin & could use your support.  If Deb wins this race she would replace Senator Ben Nelson who was the 60th & deciding vote for ObamaCare.  A tremendous pick-up & turnaround.
Clinton also unsuccessfully pushed a BTU energy tax & his own $31 billion stimulus in his first two years.
After showing his true colors as indicated above Clinton's biggest farce was his so-called signature issue of ending welfare as we knew it.  After vetoing two other welfare bills he signed a third one in August 1996 - shortly before the presidential election - only after he knew a third veto would be overridden. 
So in Clinton's last six years he moved to the center after being just about as far left as BO.  He triangulated himself by taking credit for many of Newt's ideas like controlling government federal spending to 18.2% of GDP in 2000 from 21.9% in 1992 & dropping the capital gains rate to 20% from 28% in 1997.  Clinton accordingly has an undeserved fine fiscally responsible reputation today.  This will pay dividends in November if enough people believe he was speaking as a person of economic integrity vouching for BO.
Now it's one thing to let Clinton get away with his masquerade as a financially responsible politician for the last twelve years if he is doing no real harm to the country but quite another thing for Mitt to let Clinton's remarks about BO go unchallenged without setting the record straight & then driving the proper message home again & again.
For starters, & its getting late for this, Republicans have to stop making character witness statements about BO like the three quotes @ the very top of this posting.
BO knows exactly what he is "doing about jobs & the economy."  He is trying to destroy it to make everyone more government dependent – just look @ the above graph to see the deterioration of over $4,000 in real inflation adjusted median annual household income between January 2009 & June 2012.  The graph is virtually straight down with a fortuitous bounce (for BO) in 2012 with the election @ hand.  With re to Ryan's & Rubio's statements that they should stop making about BO "not being a bad person" – I guess that King George lll would be likewise regarded - just a bad king but a guy they would love to have lunch with.  BO is not regarded as a bad president by the 50% of the people who are on one government program or another – these people were well represented @ the DNC.
Instead of saying what a bad economic hand BO was dealt @ the start of his presidency Mitt should explain that it was government under the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 & pushed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s that is The Menace That Is The Root Cause Of The Financial Crisis.  The more severe the recession the larger the bounce should be coming out of it instead of the anemic growth we are experiencing – but of course the (non) recovery is by BO's design.
Mitt needs to articulate the dangers America faces (& already partially realizes) under BO's insidious skillful training as a community organizer following Saul Alinsky's Socialist-Marxist method described in the book "Rules For Radicals."
Mitt is scared to death to present his own growth message because it includes lower income tax rates which he knows will bring on the shouts of tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires.  BO will continue to make these claims whether Mitt presents them or not.  They are on Mitt's website so why not present them in person forcefully?
BO wants to continue his redistribution of wealth by spreading it around even more in a second term which could easily include Pelosi's four year old idea of copying economic basket case Argentina's power play of nationalizing private pension money by seizing or otherwise confiscating 401(k)s.  A VAT with a low starting rate & plenty of exceptions initially will be on the agenda when everyone realizes the wealthy just do not have enough money to finance all of BO's government programs.
The sooner that Mitt & Ryan start to address the above problems by identifying them to the electorate the better off they will be.  At least they will have defined the problem correctly instead of portraying BO as a regular politician who just has some different ideas.  BO showed his priorities his first two years in office when he had control of both Chambers of Congress & the result was the passage of ObamaCare & the failed stimulus.
Now even if Mitt takes the type of approach detailed above from this point forward it is still an uphill battle.  Welfare recipients are not interested @ all in what the capital of Israel is.  Rules For Radials makes clear that the "haves nots" outnumber the "haves" & BO wants to get all of "have nots" & enough of the other unsuspecting souls to win the election.  The Democrat coalition consists of affluent libs, voters who depend on government, & members of public sector unions.
Now Mitt went back to full campaign mode today by appearing on Sunday morning TV shows saying he would keep certain parts of ObamaCare.  Is this what it takes for Mitt to earn your vote?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Responses - 2012 Republican National Convention Analysis

Below are four responses to the subject message that I found of interest.
Response #1 correctly identifies both the economic problem & answer that Mitt must clearly & confidently explain to combat BO's distortions.  For more on this & as a refresher click on The Menace That Is The Root Cause Of The Financial Crisis & Responses To The Menace That Is The Root Cause Of The Financial CrisisBoth of these posts are from September 2008 & are the first two listed under Classics on RTE.
Response #2 is hoping the Independents are sold on the GOP "imagery" presented @ the RNC.  It is not the Independents that will make the difference as Rick Santorum recently told Gretchen Carlson on FNC - "Mitt can win the election only if he can convince enough of the government-dependent people who vote that their way of life is not sustainable as is."  With re to imagery & glitz - I watched C-SPAN & saw Biden Sunday night in Wisconsin & BO Monday in Toledo – both warming up. Imagery & glitz will be on display this week in NC that will far exceed anything you saw last week @ the RNC. That will keep the government-dependent people with BO & of course some of the Independents will fall for it also.
Lets not hope that Independents, Moderates, or Centrists will be sold on anything that will not change the mindset in this country.  If you really believe that the country is in danger go out & find two & preferably three people who plan to vote for statists & try to convince them otherwise whether it is on the presidential level or other.  I can provide the names of plenty of solid candidates who can use help.
Response #3 asks a very thoughtful question.  I will answer her privately but welcome answers from anyone else also.
Response #4 needs no further explanation.

---Response #1 From Economics 501---


It is incredible that a most successful venture capitalist did not detail clearly his economic vision.  Maybe he is getting terrible political advise.  I have forwarded following tweet to Mitt and many influential Republicans telling them Mitt will loose unless he explains the root cause of the 2007-09 Recession.  Why?  BO's most effective ploy is to say that Mitt-like economic policies (yes blaming Bush) led to the Great Recession.  Mitt must counter that over and over and over.  It was Government interference in the housing market that caused the Great Recession.  BO had a HUGE role in this - he trained ACORN how to demonstrate on bank CEO lawns calling for toxic loans.  Here is the tweet: Obama role in 2007-09 Recession - #ObamaRecession - http://economics501.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/obamarecession-mitt-must-call-bo-out-on-this/
Monica Crowley will sub for O'Reilly tonight September 3 and I hope she reads this tweet and my request for her to bring this up.
---Response #1---


Hi Doug - I really enjoyed your brilliant analysis of the Republican Convention. To quote Yogi Berra "we agree differently." Will the American voter see it your way or mine? I guess you could say I was sold on the imagery – I can only hope the Independents were also.


---Response #3---


Doug, I was talking to a lady at the grocery store who said she listened to Ryan and Romney and decided she would vote for them. Then she learned that some of the things they said were lies, which she confirmed on Snopes, and now she doesn't know what to do. How would you answer her?


---Response #4---


You answered who I will vote for President - It is Doug H. (write in vote)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012 Republican National Convention Analysis

"This election is about judging the record of our president, big versus small government, the best way to create economic opportunity for all Americans & whether we are going to leave a train wreck for our children.  These are issues on which Republicans can win & which must remain the focus of debate.  The rest is simply unhelpful noise, which will be magnified & echoed endlessly by the media & by the Democrats."  Scott R. Cuellar 
Anyone who ever wondered why Neal Boortz calls presidential elections "beauty contests" only had to watch the 2012 Republican National Convention last week where only a small emphasis was placed on the issues listed in the above quote.  After the establishment Republican Party hand picked the single most flawed candidate I have ever seen to be their nominee for President it is no wonder that so much time & effort was spent during the convention promoting & publicizing Mitt's image – a task not @ all necessary if he had a consistent long term record that spoke for itself.  Instead we are now relying on what he tells us in the next 60 some days as to what he will do if elected.
Since I am against BO being reelected I watched the convention with an eye first toward who I thought the speeches would influence to change their votes from BO to Mitt & second to see if I could finally hear something that would make me vote for Mitt.
The convention speeches were professionally delivered but more importantly many of them included something to offend somebody thereby resulting in a zero sum game. 
The first half of Ann Romney's speech so blatantly pandered to women that I wondered how the men in the audience felt; parts of Mitt's speech did likewise as he recited the long list of women he had hired both as Governor & @ Bain; many wondered what happened to the economic growth message in both Mitt's & Ryan's speeches – it was virtually nonexistent in both;  Ryan's speech brought up "tax fairness" – an offensive term to many conservatives because BO uses it to say that millionaires & billionaires should pay their fair share of taxes as if they don't; many wrote to me complaining that Chris Christie was put on a leash & delivered only tuna fish instead of red meat; the Concord Coalition felt that without further detail Mitt's fiscal plan is not credible because the gains are explicit & the pain is not; many wanted to hear Mitt & Ryan say they would eliminate the Department of Education & audit the Fed (it is in the platform but not mentioned in the speeches); liberal Catholics were offended that Cardinal Dolan gave the convention benediction because they saw it is just another indication that the U.S. Catholic hierarchy was linked to the GOP; & of course those who are offended @ illegal immigration & think that English should be the official language in America only had to listen to this video.
In summary, there was more "unhelpful noise" than substance as to how Mitt proposes to improve the economy.  In fact when Mitt brought up a few such points @ the end of his speech it came across as an afterthought to me.  Many Republican pundits have said that there is time for these details – but time is getting short & next week BO will hammer home class warfare (whether Mitt & Ryan addressed & dispelled it or not) & present Dubya as the guest of dishonor & symbol of the economic policies that America should not return to.
Paul Ryan has a superb reputation as a fiscally responsible Congressman.  Long time readers of this blog know that that reputation is not totally justified based on his actual voting record (many such votes documented on this blog) & his timid (to me) budget presentations – the latest iteration of which is shown in the above graph identified as the House budget.
Now only in Washington could you be described as a deficit hawk or a budget cutter & still have your federal spending budget proposal go up.  Since budgets are made for ten year periods in Washington they contain a baseline growth projection & any reduction from that projected spending is known as a cut even though it does not actually reduce spending @ all.  The above graph shows Ryan's budget still adds about $3 trillion in federal spending over current spending levels during the next ten years.  In fact Ryan's budget projections do not come to balance until 2040 & they rely on unmentioned growth discussed above.
It is not surprising to me that the conservative American Enterprise Institute recently completed a study that showed that "the growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 & 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole roughly 8% higher if the president happened to be Republican rather than a Democrat" – the AEI study is just another indication that we have one big government party with a Republican wing & a Democrat wing – two wings with different rhetoric that their followers like to hear but both pulling in the same government-dependent direction.
Since being announced as Mitt's VP selection Ryan (& his mother) has spent much of his time discussing his latest Medicare proposal.  All of Ryan's Medicare proposals over the past two years will change the mindset that will ensure this program's existence for future generations – this is his strong suit as I have documented many times for months although each iteration becomes weaker than the one before – i.e., closer to BO's plan.  Our best hope for starting the needed mindset change in America is if one of Ryan's premium support Medicare reform plans is implemented that bends the cost curve down.  See Four Points Highlight The Needed Change In Mindset.
Democrats were counting on taking further advantage of Republicans following their TV ad of a Ryan lookalike throwing Granny over the cliff.  But Ryan's fiscal reputation brings substance to the campaigns & he has pointed out how ObamaCare takes $716 billion from Medicare & uses this money to fund the subsidies for people who cannot afford to buy healthcare under the ObamaCare insurance purchase mandate.  The problem that muddies the water is that the above Ryan budget shown in the graph also subtracts the $716 billion from Medicare but does not use it to fund subsidies because Ryan assumed ObamaCare would be repealed & there would be no subsidies.  This is not consistent accounting but does show that Ryan has a budget cutting flair.  To his credit Mitt has always said that the $716 billion would never be taken out of Medicare if he is elected – but of course that means that $716 billion has to be added to the Ryan budget bringing it that much closer to BO's budget shown in the above graph.
For those who think we just reached a tipping point when 50% of American households received government benefits I say they are several decades late in recognizing what has been happening to our country.  Rick Santorum has correctly determined that Mitt can win the election only if he can convince the government-dependent people who vote that their way of life is not sustainable as is.  This is a tall order.  If Mitt loses Florida & all of the other Democrat controlled states vote as expected BO wins reelection.  Florida's non-Cuban Hispanic population has increased form 7% to 14% since 1996 while the white population has decreased from 81% to 68% during this same period. 
Mitt & Ryan know this so it is not surprising they put on the TV show that they did last week (in Florida) & will continue to pander for votes.  This phenomenon is right in line with the lowest moment I can remember in presidential politics – I am referring to the terrible debate in 1984 when Mondale had President Reagan on the defensive re entitlements & the President pitifully replied (go to 7:42 of the link) that "we have more people receiving food stamps than were ever receiving them before."