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cleduc

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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 499

Journal Archives

I liked this quote:

"Mitt Romney seems fixated on why Washington did not know with better clarity and sooner what went on during a terrorist attack. It is the kind of question that comes from someone who has no experience dealing with terrorism crisis management or, indeed, combat.

I dealt with scores of incidents and military operations over 30 years in the Pentagon, State Department and White House. I never saw a case where there was initial and accurate clarity about what happened."


and this one:

"If there were not a presidential campaign going on, a campaign in which the incumbent has a stellar record of fighting terrorism, I doubt Romney would care about the details of what happened in Benghazi. In 20 years of running for office, he has never demonstrated any expertise or even real interest in the details of national security."

Since they are Romney controlled (unlike the other GOP Super PACs),

I do view them like Romney himself in terms of viewing their campaign spending.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline/ad-spending-in-presidential-battleground-states-20120620

Crossroads dabbled in Michigan up to August 6th. No other GOP Super PAC including Crossroads but excepting Romney's "Restore Our Future", has bought ad time in Michigan since.

Restore Our Future made two ad buys since that article:
Sep 24th $1.15 mil
Oct 1st $1.1 mil

Romney's campaign, the RNC and all the other GOP Super PACs have been absent in ad buying in Michigan since May.

I think they stuck a line in the water when they were struggling in September and then bailed out of Michigan.

Wisconsin is a different story. All Super PACs except Romney's & Crossroads stopped buying ads on Sept 10th. Crossroads stopped Sept 24th. Romney, his Super PAC and a little from the RNC have been buying ads there since - $9 mil over the last four weeks to Obamas $2.9 mil. But they have not been supporting it with campaign events. From the Walker recall, the GOP should have a pretty good ground game. Unlike Michigan or PA, it's a state they could ramp up. And that also might apply to New Hampshire.

Looking at ad spending and campaign visits over the last 30 days

http://www.nationaljournal.com/hotline/ad-spending-in-presidential-battleground-states-20120620
They haven't spent a dime in Michigan for a couple of weeks. Crossroads gave up on it at the end of July. Obama hasn't spent a dime on ads in Michigan ever. Ryan has visited once in the last 30 days while Romney has been a no show the last 30 days.

Romney and the Super PACs collectively gave up on PA in mid August. Haven't spent a dime since. There was a report earlier this week about Romney moving more staff out of PA to help in Ohio. Romney did one event in the last 30 days that was really tied to his visit to raise money. Ryan nor Ann have not visited PA in the last 30 days.

Romney is making a play for Wisconsin with ads and has been doing so (somewhat off and on) since Ryan was named. But Crossroads and the other Super PACs (ignoring Romney's own Restore Our Future) have not done much during the entire election. Romney hasn't been there in the last 30 days while Ryan & Ann Romney have been once.

They are continuing to spend heavily in NC. Obama spent $829k vs Romney et al who spent $3 mil in NC this past week. Romney has had 2 campaign events there in the last 30 days. Hardly a sign that Romney is pulling out because he's got it locked up.

And they're dabbling with a recent light ad run in New Hampshire but Ryan is the only one to make one visit there in the last 30 days.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/2012-presidential-campaign-visits/?tid=rr_mod

I think it's a little late for them to try for Michigan or Pennsylvania and the ad buys and campaign stops show little to no sign of Romney activity there. Obama has led them comfortably all year. I can see why Ohio might have them looking elsewhere though because if Ohio stays in Obama's column having led there all year, it's really tough for Romney to win the 270 EV he needs.

I live in Canada

Here are the health care costs per capita for 2009
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_(PPP)_per_capita
United States $7,960
Canada $4,363

Life Expectancy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
United States 38th, 78.2 years
Canada 12th, 80.7 years

Population of United states: 311,591,917, Jul 2011 U.S. Census Bureau

Canada is a single payer system where everybody is covered from birth until death that I think works pretty darn well. I've used it for comparison because many of the laws between the two countries (like labor & environment regs for example) are similar as are the geography, economic structure, and other common circumstances. And I've used it because members of my immediate family also use the US system - mainly through Johns Hopkins, a very good US hospital. So I have a reasonable sense of how they compare. I sincerely don't think Canadians give up much in health care quality.

From those 2009 numbers:
US Health care costs using existing US system before Obamacare
= 311,591,917 people x $7,960 per capita = $2,480,271,659,320

US Health care costs using Canada single payer system
= 311,591,917 people x $4,363 per capita = $1,359,475,533,891

The difference is the United States paid roughly $1.12 trillion dollars more per year than they would have using Canada's single payer system and that over payment delivered a life expectancy of 2.5 years less than Canada. Over ten years (like the budgets Romney & Obama are talking about), that's a $11.2 trillion dollar difference that could cover 70+% of the current deficit.

Now whether the government or an insurance company or a health care institution like a hospital collects money to pay for health care, one way or the other, it comes out of the pockets of those who use the system. If you pay more for it, you have to be paid more to do your job to afford it - which unfortunately, not everyone can afford in the US. But being unable to afford it hasn't reduced US health care costs.

Ignoring the obvious health benefits for a moment, do you think that Americans could have more jobs if they cost $3,597 per year less to employ while taking home the same dough? I think so as would the laws of economics. Or one could split the difference, giving half of the savings to the employees and half to the employers. Whatever. It would be a gigantic win for everybody in the United States except the health insurance/private health companies. You could even leave some money in to insure the US has the best health care system and life expectancy in the world and still have mega bucks left over.

Romney complains about the US corporate tax rate being higher than the rest of the world. When your country spends 45% of what the entire world does on military, the only way to pay for that is with higher taxes. These corporations enjoy the security the US military provides them. After all, according to Romney, "corporations are people" too. So the quality and security of life comes at a cost to Americans and their corporations. But I do wonder how long America should continue to take it on the economic chin so that their health insurance companies can make out like bandits at the great expense of everyone else in the country. If Romney wants the US to compete with the rest of the world, he should step up and address these health care costs like much of the rest of the industrialized world already has because the difference in those costs are dramatically higher than the the differences in world corporate tax rates and they affect ALL Americans directly - not indirectly through corporate profit & loss.

Obamacare doesn't get America all the way to where it needs to be but it's a significant step in the right direction. I agree that the sooner the US gets single payer, the better off the US will be - and not just financially.

Single payer would never have passed.

So they could do what Clinton had to do: give up and get nothing.

Or they could do what they did: get something

Your claim that they had a super majority in the Senate is basically erroneous. They had 60 senate seats with Independents like Lieberman, who supported McCain, and Blue Dogs for 60 days or so - very briefly and very generously. With that mix, single payer was NEVER in the cards.

If Obama wins, then Obamacare will be very difficult to get rid of as it will be fully functional when his second term ends. When folks see what it does, it will go up in popularity towards (not as high as) Medicare in how much folks will come to appreciate it and rely upon it.

From that Obamacare framework, they can adjust the law to improve it. The major health care debate would be over. Adjustments will be easier to come by than tackling the whole issue. Over time, I think the US will migrate towards single payer.

This ought to do it:


Romney calling a "blind trust" a "ruse".

It's a ridiculous false equivalency.

http://www.state.il.us/srs/sers/history_sers.htm

Obama is one of 113,365 people that are a part of that retirement plan and has no more rights than any of them within that plan. That's backed up by the fact that Obama's share of money in that retirement plan is approximately a tiny fraction of it's value: 1/111,600

That Illinois retirement plan is a pure investor with no say in the operations and Obama has virtually no say in what they invest in.

Romney still owns stock in Bain. He still owns stock in Sensata. Bain has the controlling interest in Sensata and a gang of Bain executives on Sensata's board of directors. People who Romney hired to work at Bain and worked with Romney at Bain are still at Bain shipping jobs overseas. And Romney continues to profit from that - even if he gives the Sensata stock to charity because he gets a tax break.

And what did Romney do to try to discourage these jobs from going to China when he was in a position to at least try? Like he did with his previous Bain investments: crickets.

There's a gigantic difference between the position of the two men on this. The question is how capable the media are at explaining that difference. Previously, they have too frequently been rather incompetent on average when dealing with false equivalencies.

Here's my attempt at a Bill Clinton simplification of this issue:

Romney claims that the steps he's taking are to rescue Medicare from going bankrupt. In going to a voucher system that limits the increases to voucher payments by 1% annually - well below the typical increases in health care costs, Romney claims that he's saving the government money. Romney is doing nothing to reduce the costs of Medicare like Obama's $716 billion effort did - and Romney's stopping that effort. So if Romney is saving the government money, and the costs of Medicare aren't reduced because Romney does nothing else about that in his plan, someone else is paying the freight: those that buy the vouchers.

Again, simple math and logic exposes who has to pick up Romney's tab for Medicare. Hopefully, Obama can make that point in the debate.

During the Bush years, there were 12 attacks on US diplomatic facilities

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_on_U.S._diplomatic_facilities

that killed 60 people

Where was the Republican outrage of the Administration after those events?

The Sept 11, 2012 attack was only the 2nd such attack under the Obama administration working with a diplomatic security budget the GOP voted to cut significantly.

Bloomberg joins a growing list who can't make Romney's tax plan add up

Bloomberg today: The Real Reason Romney’s Tax Math Doesn't Add Up
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-10/the-real-reason-romney-s-tax-math-doesn-t-add-up.html

Bloomberg previously: Romney Tax Plan on Table. Debt Collapses Table.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-02/romney-tax-plan-on-table-debt-collapses-table-.html
I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible.


Forbes Can't Make Sense of Romney's Tax Plan either
http://sync.democraticunderground.com/1251126754

Forbes had previously come out against Romney's plan
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/08/01/romney-tax-plan-devastated-by-non-partisan-tax-policy-center-but-is-the-tax-policy-center-really-non-partisan/3/

Wall Street Journal: Romney's Vague Tax Plan Has Mistaken Assumptions
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443686004577633383662327096.html

NY Times: A Tax Plan That Defies the Rules of Math
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/opinion/sunday/romneys-tax-plan-defies-the-rules-of-math.html?gwh=737B10F72E076926DC70B35AFF95BBBC

Washington Post: Mitt Romney's tax mythology, made simple
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/mitt-romneys-tax-mythology-made-simple/2012/10/10/6f09c24a-1306-11e2-9a39-1f5a7f6fe945_blog.html
Mitt Romney’s new formulation of his tax plan — one he used at the debate, and which he repeated to Wolf Blitzer yesterday — makes it absolutely clear that he’s lying about something.


Washington Post Editorial: The $5 trillion man
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/romneys-ruinous-tax-plan/2012/10/04/191ed8f8-0e28-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html
The Republican cites studies that he (Romney) says prove that wrong, but when you look closely, they prove him (Romney) wrong.
...
here’s the really scary part: Mr. Romney’s plan is irresponsible, even if he could pay for it.


Business Week: Mitt Romney's Tax Plan: Cuts for Millionaires and a Hike for Just About Everyone Else
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-02/mitt-romneys-tax-plan-cuts-for-millionaires-and-a-hike-for-just-about-everyone-else

Tax Policy Center: Why Romney’s Tax Agenda Doesn’t Add Up, Even if it Isn’t a Middle-Class Tax Hike
http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2012/08/02/why-romneys-tax-agenda-doesnt-add-up-even-if-it-isnt-a-middle-class-tax-hike/
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/us/politics/romneys-tax-plan-leaves-key-variables-blank.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
“The combination of stuff they’ve specified is not only impossible — it is impossible several times over,” said William G. Gale, (Tax Policy Center)


Center for Budget and Policy Priorities backs up Tax Policy Center
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3695

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: Why Uniform, Across-the-Board Cuts in Tax Rates Disproportionately Benefit Those with the Highest Incomes
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3807

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: Romney Budget Proposals Would Necessitate Very Large Cuts in Medicaid, Education, Health Research and Other Programs
http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3658

Even the study Romney cited that supported him:
Tax Policy Center: Feldstein’s Analysis Doesn’t Refute TPC Findings, It Confirms Them
http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2012/08/30/feldsteins-analysis-doesnt-refute-tpc-findings-it-confirms-them/

They all agree with Bill Clinton: Romney's plan still doesn't add up.

Mitt's MA Record on Jobs

I've commonly seen that MA was 47th in job creation.
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/06/04/494282/5-facts-about-the-massachusetts-economy-under-mitt-romney/

I thought I'd take a quick look here to see what else it might say:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/categories/27303

Mitt became governor of MA in Jan 2003 and finished his term in Dec 2006.

MA non farm jobs as of Dec 2002 3,272,100
MA non farm jobs as of Dec 2006 3,295,800
===================================
MA non farms jobs Mitt Created only 23,700 jobs in four years, 0.72 %

2,000 of those created jobs were government jobs = Mitt increased government jobs

Like his time at Bain, that jobs data sure doesn't fit the narrative he's been bragging to the American people about being a big job creator.
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