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 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."


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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?

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