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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

President Obama, why you are going to lose

You're still campaigning against the Bush tax cuts? Mr. President, you promised four years ago to reform the tax system. The Democratic Party gave you control of the House and 60 votes in the Senate, but did you roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy? No, you extended them. The populist spiel that got you elected isn't going to be enough to get you re-elected. Romney's a catastrophe, but he's probably going to beat you. That will be a disaster, and it's one for which you are responsible.

Comments (51)

Mitt has been swift boated and doesn't know it. There is no right answer to do you have a quarter billion offshore to avoid taxes? (or 10k).

You may be right Jack. I'd say it's a crap shoot statistically.

Personally the Ryan budget seems like a complete disaster. However, I cannot bring myself to vote for the president after he's proven himself to be so untrustworthy.

So what do I do? I will vote for a third party. Whichever party seems more wacky on the ballot.

Not to forget that Nixon won his first term on the promise that he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. He won the second term on the promise he would act on his earlier promise. Please don’t underestimate the voters.

We really need a "none of the above" choice, where we can vote to disqualify the candidates. If it wins, then a new election will be required to be held in 90 days; in the meantime government is fixed until then, and the President and Congress remain in office but can only act on emergencies until a new President is elected.

I agree that either elected the country will remain in a disaster.

However Romney will be less of a disaster as President.

It isn't the Presidency that is has the county in disaster.

It's the entirety of the federal government. Congress has proven that with any form or majority it can only make things worse.

Obama's executive orders for the EPA, DOE and other arms of the federal government make him worse than Romney.

Not adopted a Ryan-like (or light) budget will be ruinous.

Years ago, I had a client who finally admitted (after eight years of denial) that he has a foreign account in Switzerland. "Why?", I asked.

"Because the US economy is in trouble and a person needs to protect himself", was the response.

"How did you get the funds off shore?" asked the innocent one.

"By taking $9,900 every trip". Oh. "And what do you do with the money in the Swiss account?"

"Why, I have them buy U.S. Treasuries, of course"!

Go figure.

The Democratic Party gave you control of the House and 60 votes in the Senate...

When were there 60 Democrats in the Senate?

According to this chart, they never achieved 60 during the 111th Congress.

Though they may have had 60 members caucusing with them, there were never 60 Democrats. In addition to the unreliable "independent" Joe Lieberman and the Republican-then-Democrat Arlen Specter, the usually reliable Kennedy and Byrd were suffering pretty serious health problems and missed large numbers of votes.

This is NOT a defense of Obama and policies he has prioritized, but I think it's incorrect to argue that Democrats have ever had a legislative monopoly during Obama's first term.

never achieved 60

Hey, let's not let facts get in the way of our narrative here.

When Franken was sworn in, that was 60. Some of us were paying attention.

But it doesn't matter, because within that 60 are call girls like Wyden (R-N.Y.). Where was he today? Hopefully taking care of his preschool twins and high-risk-pregnant wife in New York City, where they live.

Obama rode to power on hope and change. There was little change, and now no hope. He's done. And he deserves to be done.

The other thing to note is that if you are a real leader, you can get your agenda through with control of the House and 50 votes in the Senate. You just have to be willing to shut the government down for a week. Reagan did it. This turkey wouldn't dream of it.

I'm not sure we'll ever fully understand just what Barry has been trying to do while President. Sometimes he seems to be trying to turn the USA into Europe, sometimes he acts like a member of the Chicago mob. I really don't have any idea what his agenda is, or now even if he has one. His words and his actions do not seem to have any relationship with each other. Not sure if that is due to stress, stupidity, mental problems, all of the above? Reminds me of Jimmy Carter. Never could figure what that guy was going to do next either. I was a little too young to pay attention to Nixon but he was probably the same type of character.

Romney could self-destruct. That's Obama's only hope. Except for the upcoming Supreme Court appointments, which the average person doesn't understand, there's not enough difference between the two men to care about. And the economy really blows, which always hurts the incumbent. People are really tired and sore. Mouthing the same crap he sold four years ago isn't going to do it.

When Franken was sworn in, that was 60

To be a little more precise, that would be 58 democrats, 2 independents and 40 republicans -- from July 7, 2009 until Ted Kennedy died seven weeks later, bringing it back to 57.

The Minnesota Democrat's swearing-in marked the end of an eight-month political and legal struggle and drew thunderous applause in the Senate chamber. His presence gives Democrats 60 votes, enough to thwart possible Republican filibusters.

You want to slice it finer than that, you go right ahead. The President could have been a great leader, but he's just another floater in the cesspool of American politics.

Am I disappointed Obama's performance in office hasn't matched up to his rhetoric? Yes. I too, wish the Bush tax cuts would have been repealed, as just one example.

Will that make me then vote for the guy who campaigns on making those tax cuts permanent? No, that's ludicrous. That'd be like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

It's not that so many people are going to jump ship and vote for Romney. But many will stay home, and few will switch the other way. Do you think college kids are going to get excited, given the job market they're facing?

The single scariest thing about Romney is that he actually wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and roll back the other post-2008 crash banking reforms (woefully inadequate though they are). At least that's what he claims to want in his appeals to the Republican base - whether he really intends to follow through is an open question. I'm guessing his more financially knowledgeable backers are assuming he doesn't really mean it. But I for one don't want to find out the answer. As Liborgate has shown once again, banks and securities firms simply cannot be trusted to self-regulate. Like him or not, Obama very likely saved the capitalist system from a complete meltdown.

He certainly saved Jamie Dimon. Just as Henry Paulson would have.

The take I'm seeing is that the system did melt down and was recreated with the bankers in more control than ever, and TARP was just a small part of it.

Did you read about the backdoor bailout by the Fed of 13.2 trillion dollars? And this was to banks here and abroad. The privately owned Fed took it upon itself to use the credit of the United States to bailout banks to the tune of 13.2 trillion, and when Congress first asked about it, the Fed refused to disclose any details. The question of whose country this is, is pretty well answered and it's not under the control of the American People.

The LIBOR scandal is another new wave of clear systemic fraud going on for years. I almost lack the heart to plunge into that one.

Meanwhile, we're stuck in the pageant of Barack versus Romney, while the globalist bankers drain more and more of the lifeblood of America, and the world. Next up: Spain.

The Democrats in the Senate did have a legislative monopoly in 2009-2010 but voluntarily refused to use it. All it really takes is 50 votes (plus the Vice-President serving as President of the Senate), and the Democrats had 59-60 votes at all times during those 2 years.

What about the 60 votes allegedly needed to overcome a filibuster? First, the fillibuster exists only because the majority party allows it to exist. They can change the rules at the start of every session with a simple majority vote.

Second, they can change the rules during every session. Just last week, for example, the Senate Democrats voluntarily allowed the DISCLOSE Act to fail, again. This is the bill that would require disclosure of the sources of some independent expenditures in races for U.S. Congress and President.

The Democrats allowed the Republicans to filibuster the bill. The vote to end the filibuster (called cloture) was 51-44 in favor of ending the filibuster and thus allowing a vote on the bill itself. The chair then declared that the cloture motion failed, because it requires a 60% affirmative vote.

At that point, the Democrats could have invoked the "Constitutional Option" and have challenged the ruling of the chair. That ruling could be overturned with a simple majority vote, as it was last year when Harry Reid invoked that option (also known as the "nuclear option") to disallow introduction of a series of amendments to a bill about Chinese currency manipulation. The Hill reported on Oct 6, 2011:

In a shocking development, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid triggered a rarely used procedural option informally called the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules.

Reid and 50 Democrats voted to change Senate rules unilaterally to prevent Republicans from forcing votes on uncomfortable amendments.

Reid’s coup passed by a vote of 51-48, leaving Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fuming. The surprise move stunned Republicans, who did not expect Reid to bring heavy artillery to what had been a humdrum knife fight over amendments to China currency legislation.

The Democrats use "heavy artillery" on bills of marginal importance but wield a rubber sword when it comes to campaign finance reform. But they do own the heavy artillery, even if they refuse to use it on anything important.

The Democrats like having the filibuster to blame their "failures" on. "Oh, we
didn't reform taxes or clean up elections? Don't blame us; blame that dang filibuster." The Democrats' "failures" are not really failures; they do what they want to do. It just seems like failures to those who believe their rhetoric.

More important is the fact that the Senate Democrats allowed the DISCLOSE Act to fail in 2010, after the House had already passed it (with its large Democratic majority). That time the DISCLOSE Act failed in the Senate by a vote of 57-41 in favor of cloture! The Democrats failed to challenge the ruling of the chair that the 57 votes were not enough.

The Democrats had the entire year of 2010 to countermand Citizens United yet did utterly nothing about it. Among other things, they could have removed the jurisdiction of the U. S. Supreme Court over campaign finance laws, pursuant to the Exceptions Clause. They could have enlarged the Court by 2 members; the number of justices has been changed 8 times in the past and can be changed by statute. They did nothing.

Prof. I knew you were a very smart guy and knew I liked you a long time ago, but never quite knew why until...

They need to change the filibuster back to what it used to be - cantankerous old grouchy cranks reading the phone book into the congressional record. If you had to actually stand up there and hold the Senate floor, like they used to, it wouldn't be used nearly as much as it is today.

Now they just call for a cloture vote, and if it doesn't get to 60, they all go back to the cloak room to knock back a highball of scotch while some junior senator bloviates about the party talking points for 30 minutes on CSPAN.


Here is an opportunity for you and others here that think Obama will lose to make some money. People who are putting their money where their mouths are give to Obama 57-40 over Romney.


Abe probably forgot that Nixon agreed with Ike, back in November of '60, when he told Kennedy to stay out of Indochina.

I think you are totally and catastrophically wrong about this. You are right that Obama promised to raise income taxes on the wealthy. But the recession turned out to be much worse than forecast, making tax increases a bad idea. (Even Republicans accept Keynes's macroeconomic principles, at least when they are in charge.) Instead, Obama got substantial payroll tax relief for working people, and left the Bush tax cuts to expire later. That was not a bad idea in the circumstances.

It is easy and lazy to lump Republicans and Democrats together. We have plenty of experience, recently enough, to remind us that there are differences. If this campaign of yours in favor of Romney succeeds, you will share in the responsibility for the ensuing disasters of foreign policy adventurism, further upward distribution of wealth, and dismantling of our threadbare social safety net.

Fine Jack. If you want to quote a lazy journalist, you can get to 60. If you actually count members of the US Senate with "D" next to their name, you'll only get to 58.

Jack is just like those folks in 1980 who said Reagan would be a disaster and start a war. Romney is not Reagan, but he is for free markets and Obama has been for centralized government centered economy. At this point in Reagan's first term the US economy was growing at 7%. Under Obama we're growing at less than than 2%.

OBAMA IS A FAILURE.. 5 Trillion in new debt, 8% and above unemployment for 43 straight months, more people going on disability than getting jobs, GDP growth of less than 2%, 1.3 annual deficits, no reform plans for taxes, medicare, medicaid, 500 billion cut from medicare, a failed trillion dollar stimulus, Obamacare putting a chokehold on the economy. Crony capitalism of Solyndra and his "green" energy program, Paying for jobs in Finland through Fisker, fast and furious, attacking religious liberty. etc.

Even the auto bailout was a failure. He gave Chrysler to the Italians and with GM he subverted the bankruptcy process and favored the unions (which made no concessions). Right now if the US gov't sold its GM stock it would be at a loss of 35 billion.

"[I]f you are a real leader, .... Reagan did it."

Many years ago, I told you Ronald Reagan was the greatest American President in my lifetime. You asked me what I liked about him. I told you he was a leader. VINDICATION!

I agree with all of John's points except the one about Obama being a failure. He is a failure to those of us who hoped for a stable, growing economy where we can raise a family and have a good job.

I'm pretty sure that Obama considers his term to be a success. He is trying to destroy the country since he hates America. So he is doing exactly what he wanted to do. Four more years and he'll much closer to achieving his goal. Then his mentors in the radical left will be happy since they have been trying to destory American society since the 60's. They used riots and bombs which didn't work. Obama figured out how to destroy it with class warfare, huge debts, making people dependent on the state, new regulations, etc.

"Fine Jack. If you want to quote a lazy journalist, you can get to 60. If you actually count members of the US Senate with "D" next to their name, you'll only get to 58."

You sure are bending over backwards to make excuses for why nothing was accomplished, when they had all the opportunity in the world to do so. Please stop.

Who do those two with an I and an S next to their names caucus with? D's.

Jesus, is there nothing that is O's fault?

[Obama] is trying to destroy the country since he hates America.

I mean, really? Do you really believe that vitriol?

Look, I hated Bush's policies and his entire presidency, and will argue long and hard that he did a tremendous amount of damage to this country. But I was also very good friends with someone who had an office 15 feet from the Oval, and can say with absolute certainty that Bush did what he THOUGHT was the best thing for the country. Obama is doing what he THINKS is the best thing for the country. Why don't we stop the ad hominems and focus on debating the actual policies they propose, and maybe we can figure out what IS the right thing for the country?

At this point in Reagan's first term the US economy was growing at 7%. Under Obama we're growing at less than than 2%.

The President has a very, very minimal impact on the economy. All of the taxing and regulatary power combined cannot overcome the power of individual businesses and consumers making individual decisions based on perceptions (real or not), or maybe just watching a financial meltdown driven by greed-driven banking practices.

Obama is going to win reelection. It would have been a rout against Romney, but given the economy it will be much closer -- and there is still opportunity for Romney if the Euro collapses or some other external shock decimates the weak American economy. But he's not going to win on policy.

Obama is too divisive a character to be president. He came into office blaming Bush, which most probably was deserved altho the Demos also had a big hand in the '08-'09 financial mess. But then he went off course forgetting to stay on issue number 1 the economy. Instead he ends up with a 2,700 page blob of a healthcare plan; requiring thousands of exemptions, hiding its tremendous out year costs, and ultimately it will have to be massively reworked sometime down the road.

Now he blames the Congress for the bad economy. Bill Clinton tried the Healhtcare thing early on but he did not dwell too long on it. Instead, he moved to govern from the middle, and by doing so, he became a great political "sausage maker." Obama is too stuborn and fixiated on righting perceived wrongs to deserve a second term.

The federal government has 126 programs aimed at helping the poor. That alone should tell you something.

I find it curious that all of the polling refers to Obama - XX%, Romney - XX%. The popular vote really means nothing. It will be a few swing states, and the West Coast is being steadily milked for campaign funds for the battle in those states. (Despite Allan Ailey's confidence that Romney could win Oregon, thus turning us into a battleground state.) I think Romney's VP pick will be critical - and the cynic in my genes suggests he'll pick Portman of Ohio - more Electoral votes.

To the liberals, Obama is a sell out. He played ball with the Reps, he did not close Gitmo, he kept the Bush tax cuts and he did not give us a single payer health plan. To the Right he is a _____ (fill in the blank with every silly epitaph you can think of. Most of them contradictory to each other). Realisticlly the left cannot ever agree enough amongst themselves on naything and they constantly bicker and whine about having to compromise in politics. Wow. The Right, especially after the Bush debacle, has become unhinged and more interested in creating a fantasy reality in which the country was taken over by _______ (fill in blank) and they are fighting the good fight to win America back. Lost in all of this noise is the rest of us who ARE better off now than we were in 2008. Who have had to settle for a little less but now see our 401K back to at least a 3.901K, who know we will need to pay more to get the debt under control and who never thought of Obama as a savior nor do we see him as the Antichrist. He is just a politician just like Romney.And better the one we know than the one who comes from the same shelf as the last, stale one we had.

Umpire has it. Electoral votes are what matter, not popular votes.

That's why I don't vote for President in Oregon: the electoral votes will always be blue. My vote doesn't matter one way or the other.

It is fun to read everyone's ideas that this election is about tax policy and the ability to govern and get stuff done (whether you agree or not with legislation).

I'm coming from a much darker side of politics. I no longer believe we have any choice in the candidate or the policies. We are what we thought we defeated - a military/police state ruled by elites/corporations

* Elections can be and are rigged.
* War is decided long before the first bomb drops.
* The press has no role other than as a propaganda tool
* The Police state is here
* We are being disarmed and reduced to powerless citizens (by staged events and bought off politicians)

Name me a Constitutional amendment that is being observed these days?

The Second Amendment seems to be observed all too frequently.

A great article on Tax Fairness in the July 22 WSJ points to the ways Obama has deliberately chosen to play on the nation's fear of an uncertain economy and an even more uncertain personal financial future for personal political gain. This tactic is part of a trend to increase the size and scope of government and reduce the wealth of some individuals in the process. If regulations alone don't kill off profitable businesses, the leader of the free world will just attack their owners. The message is that no one should succeed except on the government's terms.

From the WSJ opinion column:

"First of all, the share of taxes paid by the top 20% has gone up over the last 30 years, while the share of taxes paid by everyone else has gone down. It has gone up despite the tax cuts enacted by President Clinton in 1997 and by President Bush in 2001 and 2003. But that makes no difference to the president."

"One reason our country is so divided is because the president keeps dividing us."


The following article should be a companion to the first. It separates the overall effect of the president's spending and tax programs against those of congress during a president's term in office. The authors, Laffer and Moore, say that it is the party that has majority in Congress that controls the economy, not the president, but since Obama had the advantage (?) of having a Democratic Congress during his term in office, the two can be linked.


After reading both articles, it is impossible to defend another term for Obama. Sure there are better options than Romney, but that is how politics in America work. We rarely get to vote for the best and brightest.

Roger - that is the last one and nut cases like Michael Moore are now saying that it is "old fashioned" and needs to be removed!

I guess he wants us to go back to the days when only the Kings and his soldiers could carry a weapon.

Very modern thinking there.

(Even Republicans accept Keynes's macroeconomic principles, at least when they are in charge.)

No, they don't. They never did. Republicans promoted deficit spending because they believed it would allow them to adopt a "starve the beast" strategy in response to the large deficits that emerged, and thus force large cuts in spending. It backfired on them when they found out that Democrats were just as willing to go along with deficit spending in order to promote their own agenda. The bargaining chip was lost.

Instead, Obama got substantial payroll tax relief for working people, and left the Bush tax cuts to expire later. That was not a bad idea in the circumstances.

And yet three years later here we are. The "redistribution as growth" meme has been exposed, as the Social Security payroll tax cut measure failed to stimulate just like the previous two (including ARRA and Bush's stimulus). The "Bush tax cuts" (so-called despite the majority in Congress who (repeatedly) voted for them) have not expired, and neither party has shown the stomach to follow through, especially with an election coming up. Of course, these continued "extensions", though politically expedient, will eventually translate into future tax increases and we will learn some neat lessons about rational expectations.

"Obama is too divisive a character to be president."

And the candidate who supports the Ryan budget to trash Social Security and health care would be one of those centrist, uniters, right?

Much of the recession-depression was the deceit and manipulation of the financially powerful. And now I am supposed to look to their candidate for president for salvation? I just can't force myself to be that stupid.

No, they don't. They never did.

Your assertion is easily demonstrated to be false when applied to Republican acceptance of Keynesian macroeconomics. There are many historical instances, including at least two under Bush II, of stimulus efforts to counteract economic contraction, and (although this doesn't really prove much, when you think about it) a number of recent statements by Romney, regarding possible tax increases or cuts in defense spending, that betray fundamental acceptance of these principles. It is interesting that right-wing positions require lies to defend them.

Allan L:

Are you ever wrong?

He played ball with the Reps, he did not close Gitmo, he kept the Bush tax cuts and he did not give us a single payer health plan.

Not even a public option.

It's already a given that the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington will cast their electoral votes for Obama; which means that places like Portland will see Obama way less than Nevada - which is a battleground state. Obama has already visited tiny Reno twice this year and so has Mitt Romney. And we're still expecting at least one more visit from each before the election. And here in Northern Nevada, Obama is deffinately on the skids BIG TIME. This will be a close election; but it will be decided in places like Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Arizona.

It would be nice to live in a state where my vote means something. The heavily Democratic slant of Portland voters doesn't give voters in other parts of the state to have a voice. We need to get rid of the Electoral College and go to a direct vote for Presidental elections.

Obama was here yesterday but with the exception of deep-pocketed donors at "the event", nobody but a surprised handful of diners in NE Portland got a glimpse of him. This is the new way that elections are conducted. It's just a huge fund-raising frenzy and those of us who can't pony up $500 and up can forget about seeing or hearing our elected officials in person although we certainly get to pay the cost of their security, transportation, etc. when they jet around the country to collected millions.

A friend and I were reminiscing about the fact that we sort of missed actual political conventions. You know, those events where state delegations actually voted to elect a candidate and the identity of that candidate wasn't a foregone conclusion. Lord Romney has already been crowned and we have an incumbent in opposition. I say call off the convention, use Twitter to discuss party politics and save us all a lot of money. Congress might actually not grind to a halt and there's a faint possibility that something of substance might actually get done . . .

Leadership is the only quality of a president that is critical. Looking back at Bush, although I detested his policies, he displayed a forthright style of leadership, that in retrospect really defines Obama as utterly rudderless at the helm.

I will vote for Romney, rather then face four more years of this. Not, of course, that my vote will count in Oregon, any more than a floating dandelion seed.

Just remember, without Bush we wouldn't have that shiver-me-timbers he's-cute chief justice Roberts.

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