Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan has changed the focus of the election and put “The Issue” front and center.
You may think The Issue is the economy. Mitt Romney has been campaigning all along as though it is, but it is not. The interesting conundrum of the economic argument is that wherever the economy is weakest, Obama is strongest. The States with the weakest economies are all solid Obama wins according to the polls. The groups with the worst economic performance are all solid Democrat supporters. The cities with dying industries, dying downtowns, dismal economies and crumbling finances are largely Democrat run and Democrat leaning. When Obama says “Our plan worked!” he may be referring to this apparent conundrum; the weakened economy has actually strengthened his support among his base.
You may think The Issue is jobs. Republicans talk an awful lot about jobs, but here again, high unemployment does not appear to help them. As with the economy, states and groups with the highest unemployment are all solid Obama territory. More evidence his plan is working.
To make a long story short, The Issue is not the deficit, nor healthcare, nor national security, nor is it energy, even though all those will play a role in the upcoming debate. The reason Obama is strong in all those areas with high unemployment and dismal economic performance is because he has greatly increased federal hand-outs. Jobs and economic growth are superfluous when the government gives you everything. Not only did we have an existing mess in entitlements, Obama has made it much worse. The Issue is entitlements.
We could shut down the entire federal government and still not be able to afford our entitlements. Shut the military, the courts, all the government agencies, the FBI, CIA, NASA, EPA, DOT, the Senate, the House, and everything else except the existing entitlements and interest, and we’d still be insolvent in a matter of years. In other words, we are living off our kid’s money. Romney/Ryan believe that our thirst for entitlements constitutes an immoral claim on the labor of others. They have a strong case.
Now for the boring numbers part (skip to "Conclusion" if you are ADD/ADHD):
· Tax revenue has averaged almost exactly 18% of GDP for 60 years. During that time, rates have been all over the place for every type of federal tax, but never has federal revenue sustained a long period above or below that 18% level. Tax revenue is self regulating and fixed over time at 18% of GDP. Taxing "The Rich" cannot solve this. (top graph)
· Meanwhile, entitlements alone plus interest on the debt will bankrupt us. (bottom chart)
*Source: Heritage Foundation
Every time a politician has tried to even start a conversation about entitlements they have been quickly shouted down, sometimes by their own party. The reason this is so is that we’ve had a kind of immunity from having to deal with entitlements and deficits. We alone can print the world’s reserve currency. We alone can issue US Treasuries. And we alone can lead the world on interest rates. This unique position has allowed us to live beyond our means without repercussions. Our trading partners and financiers keep writing us the equivalent of second, third, and fourth mortgages on our debt while allowing us to refinance at historically low rates. If only this could go on forever.
But it can’t, and it is irresponsible and immoral to pretend otherwise as Obama has. This is where Romney/Ryan come in.
Romney/Ryan are the first modern ticket focusing on The Issue during a campaign. They are both articulate, informed, accomplished, and serious. We’ll see if the public is ready to hear their message. I sincerely hope it goes better than last time around. You see, once upon a time we had another Presidential ticket which spoke frankly about entitlements. They too were concerned with an entitlement that amounted to an immoral claim on the labor of others. Their names were Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin.
Posted by @RonnyReich at 12:56 PM
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
What is the logical outcome of Barack Obama's philosophy: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that! Somebody else made that happen!"?
The good news is, we don't have to guess. At the heart of Marxist-Lenninist theory is "egalitarianism": the idea that free markets unfairly and unevenly distribute wealth in a society, thus requiring the state to seize the wealth and effect a more even distribution.
Seizing wealth is a tough sell in a society which believes that the people who earned it have a proprietary interest in it. But if the society can be convinced that wealth really belongs to all members in equal measure, regardless of contribution, then the Marxist-Lenninists will have the critical mass for their revolution.
The bad news is, the revolution has always been bloody and has never produced anything except egalitarian misery.
In a totally unrelated thought:
Posted by @RonnyReich at 7:36 AM
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Obama campaign Jumps the Shark
"You Didn't Build That!"
"Jumping the Shark", a term which has come to denote the beginning of a downhill slide in the quality of a TV series, originally referred to a Happy Days episode in which the character Fonzie jumped over a shark while waterskiing. Critics claim that from that point on, the show descended into campy mediocrity.
The Right asserts:
- Obama's campaign has "jumped the shark" by scolding business people, "You didn't build that!"
- Obama was not actually waterskiing at the time
- The Right is taking his being pulled by a boat "out of context"
- If Obama was being pulled by a boat, it's only because Republicans have let the roads and bridges fall apart
- Further, if Obama had seen a shark while being pulled by a boat and jumped over it, it's only because he is so kind to animals
- In any case, that was an underrated Happy Days episode
- Mitt Romney waterskis too and has a really expensive boat
- Look, the Koch Brothers!
(Cautionary tale: Although the aforementioned Happy Days episode is recognized as the turning point in the series, it dragged-on another six painful years...)
Posted by @RonnyReich at 11:50 AM
Monday, July 23, 2012
- How many know that Denver, Colorado has an active anarchist movement?
- How many know that Denver has an active Occupy movement?
- How many realize Occupy and anarchists are one?*
- How many know that there is actually an anarchist newspaper in Denver? (called "Ignite!")
- How many know that anarchist movements have particular animus towards Police?
- How many know that Police were the intended target of the booby trapped apartment?
- How many realize that this mass murder had no other motive other than anarchy and killing Police?
- How many realize that Batman has always had an anti-anarchist theme?*
- How many realize Barack Obama got his start as a Community Organizer Occupying banks? (Sorry, this is "Obama's Mob" )*
- How many realize Barack Obama supports the Occupy movement?*
- How many realize we are now several days into this, and no Pop Media outlet is pointing any of this out?
* UPDATED From The Original
Posted by @RonnyReich at 5:21 AM