If Conservative Economics Actually Worked, Romney Would Have Won

On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income.

via Mitt Romney: A good man. The right fight. – The Washington Post.

This is from the….insanely partisan…guy who ran the campaign that lost the Presidential election.  This is whining to a huge degree…but I wanted to focus on this one sentence.

You see….we’ve had 30 years of “trickle-down”/”supply side”/”Laffer Curve” economics from the Republicans.  From Reagan to Bush the Lesser they kept cutting taxes on the wealthy, and saying that the wealth would trickle down and the rising tide would raise all boats.

This simply hasn’t happened.  For the majority of the country, wages have been stagnant.  For folks like Romney, they’ve gone up huge.

This trend continued during the Great Recession.

In 2010 median net worth in the U.S. hit its lowest point since 1969 at $57,000, according to a recent study by NYU Professor Edward Wolff, who studied Americans’ net worth from 1983 – 2010.

During the same period, income inequality skyrocketed in the U.S., Wolff found, largely thanks to the housing bust, which took a significant bite out of middle-class Americans’ assets. Wolff found that while middle income earners lost 18 percent of their net worth, those in the top 1 percent increased their wealth by 71 percentover the same time period, according to Wolff’s report.

[full story]

So my point here is that if Republican economic theory actually worked, and the wealth actually tricked down, and the rising tide actually lifted all boats…we wouldn’t have such a large portion of the country making so little money.

If Republicans economics worked, they’d be in the White House right now.  It doesn’t, and they aren’t.

Note: Reading Stevens “reasoning” (put in quote for a reason…go read it), I am not at all surprised Romney lost so badly.  His notion of who is voting Democratic (and why) is wildly off the mark.

When Mitt Romney stood on stage with President Obama, it wasn’t about television ads or whiz-bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas vs. fundamental Democratic ideas. It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom. And Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day.

See….he’s claiming that Romney won…even though he lost.  He’s claiming Republican ideas won…even though they lost.  He’s going to keep claiming they work…even though they don’t.

There’s little help for folks like this.  But we should certainly take a moment and laugh at them, especially when they claim stuff like this.

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Romney Stays True to Form, Blames Obama’s Habit of Helping People for Winning a Democratic Election

CNN Political Ticker 

“What the president, president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote,” Romney said in the afternoon call, according to audio aired on ABC News.

Romney, who lost to Obama by 126 electoral votes, said the president courted voters by offering policies — some of them this election year — that appealed to key constituencies.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” Romney said, according to The New York Times. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women,” he continued. “And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.” The president’s health care reform plan, he added, also brought out support from African Americans and Hispanic voters.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,” he said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Looks like Romney being “completely wrong” about his comments on the 47% were themselves completely wrong.  The sad fact here is that I don’t think Romney gets that his “I’ll give you a 20% tax cut that doesn’t affect the deficit” was his own cynical attempt at “buying” the electorate….by advocating policies he thought were right for the country.

This GOP notion that the entirety of the Obama electorate, or even a sizable portion of it, just wants free stuff, is what is costing the GOP support.  It’s a foolish notion, based on bloviating talkers on the radio, that was never based on any objective reality.  It’s always been a subjective opinion.  And a fairly unpopular one.

I think the thing that threw the GOP pollsters and faithful off was the this notion that the U.S. is a “conservative” nation (based on polls like this).  They think that because twice as many people self-identify as “conservative”, they are therefore going to be Republicans.  But when asked to self-identify, we find a greater number of people find themselves to be Democrats.

This is the GOP-Disconnect.  Yes, many more Americans consider themselves to be conservative rather than liberal.  But we also find more Americans consider themselves to be Democrats than Republicans.

Conclusion…Republicans assuming all Democrats are liberals is just flat out wrong.  Republicans assuming all Democratic voters are just poor commies wanting free stuff are just wrong.

Until the GOP (and more importantly, their loudest media representatives) can come to terms with this disconnect, expect more “candid” comments like the ones Romney made…it’s what the GOP faithful truly believe…and it’s just not true.

 

Romney Once Again Proves How Different the Real World is from His World

Here’s the “gaffe”.

“We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack,’  ” [Mitt Romney] said as he offered more hints as to what he would put in place of “Obamacare,” which he has pledged to repeal.

“No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance.”

He pointed out that federal law requires hospitals to treat those without health insurance — although hospital officials frequently say that drives up health-care costs.

[full story]

Here’s the reality.

A 24-year-old Cincinnati father died from a tooth infection this week because he couldn’t afford his medication, offering a sobering reminder of the importance of oral health and the number of people without access to dental or health care.

According to NBC affiliate WLWT, Kyle Willis’ wisdom tooth started hurting two weeks ago. When dentists told him it needed to be pulled, he decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

When his face started swelling and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn’t afford both, so he chose the pain medications.

[full story]

Again…reality and Mitt Romney’s version of reality differ a great deal.  He says what happened never happens…but it did.

So the question remains…is he ignorant of reality or lying about it?  It has to be one or the other.

I guess using every tax avoidance loophole in history is “hard work”, but doesn’t it disqualify one from being realistically considered for public service?

Washington Post 

“Carried interest was intended to motivate managers going forward,” said Victor Fleischer, an expert in carried interest at the University of Colorado law school. “In cases like the Romneys, it just shows it is really all about fancy tax planning. It’s not motivating managers going forward.  Not only is Mitt not providing any future services, Ann never did.”

In recent years, the carried-interest deduction has proved controversial on Capitol Hill. There have been several unsuccessful efforts to eliminate the tax break, which critics say improperly treats profits like capital gains, and tax these earnings as ordinary income at 35 percent.

Some tax experts worry that the arrangements Romney benefits from set a bad precedent for a president. “He looks for every tax angle to a degree that is unbecoming in someone who would be the executive in command of the administrative apparatus that enforces the tax law,” said Lee Sheppard, a tax lawyer and contributing editor for Tax Analysts, a publication for accounting and legal professionals.

Only the rich and connected get to treat their labor as if it were capital (and thus get a 50%+ “motivational” tax break) . This is *the* problem, not a solution.

Love the conclusion, puts the whole analysis in context

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promise Russia Republican hell – English pravda.ru http://english.pravda.ru/russia/politics/29-08-2012/122015-mitt_romney_paul_ryan-0/

Having said the above, we may ask only one question. Will America ever wake up? Most likely, America will hibernate again in a few months.

go read the “above”, and you’ll see the reasoning behind the incredulity.

Aaah, you can smell the integrity from here

RNC Swag Bag Has Early Version of Romney Book
http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/08/27/rnc_swag_bag_has_early_version_of_romney_book.html

Philip Klein: “All credentialed media checking into the Republican National Convention are being given a swag bag featuring brochures and items from various sponsors such as sunglasses and a pocket fan. But the bag also contains a copy of the original hardcover version of Mitt Romney’s book No Apology, in which he suggested his approach to health care in Massachusetts could be accomplished in the rest of the country.”

The paperback version, which came out early last year, completely revised the section on his health care plan.

Romney revives tax discussion with admission of tax avoiding history and expertise

Romney Says Corporations Familiar With ‘Low-Tax Havens’ – Businessweek 

The newly released Bain records show that Romney took advantage of investments with the firm that achieved a low tax rate, for example, by engaging in what are known as management- fee conversions or fee waivers. Bain Capital Fund VII LP disclosed in a 2009 report that the general partner in the fund had in the past waived management fees and converted those fees into an interest in the fund called a “priority profit share.” That had the effect of turning fees that would be taxed at ordinary income rates, as high as 35 percent, into capital gains, taxed at a rate of 15 percent.

So by using this loophole he is essentially cutting his tax rate from 35% to 15%.   A 20% reduction.   Considering he made $20M last year, 15% is $3m.  35% is $7M.   So he is getting a roughly $4m/yr tax loophole.

Multiple this by 10 years, and you find the $40M he used to run for President in 2008.  You’ll also find that the U.S. ran a budget deficit this whole time, so a good portion of Mitt’s tax loophole money was replaced with borrowed from China money.

The thing about this is…it only takes 300,000 people paying that extra $4M/yr to make up our $1,200,000,000,000/yr deficit.

300,000,000 million people in the country, divided by 300,000…is the top 0.1%.  I.e. the top 10% of the top 1%.

In 2005 (seven years ago), the top 0.1% averaged nearly $1.7M each.

So while closing this loophole doesn’t completely close our budget gap in and of itself, it closes a good portion of it…and does so in a responsible manner.

Right now we are borrowing from the wealthy to pay our bills rather than taxing them.  The same folks are then turning around and using that money to “job create….” in the sense that Mitt Romney is using that money to run for President…again (he took the $17m he spent in 2008 as a loss on a personal loan to himself on his 2009 tax returns…one would assume…since he is hiding them and it makes sense to do so).

Far from being the petty thoughts of small minds, wondering how much folks like Mitt pay in taxes, and how they have avoided them in a very relevant discussion in 2012…at least if anyone knows how math works.

There ain’t no thing as a free lunch…unless you happen to be a Romney…then it’s expected

Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/romneys-dad-had-free-mcdonalds-for-life-card-2012-8

“You know how boys liked to go through their dad’s top drawer, just to sort of see what he has in there, maybe find an old coin he might not miss or whatever, ” Romney told a group of donors at a Chicago fundraiser this afternoon.

“I found a little paper card, a little pink card, and it said this entitles George W. Romney to a lifetime of a hamburger, a shake and French fries at McDonald’s. It was signed by the hand of Ray Kroc. My dad had done a little training lesson or whatever for McDonald’s when there was just a handful of restaurants and I saw this thing and was like, ‘This is a gold mine, Dad! What are you doing?’ So I had it laminated. My dad, as you know, would go almost every day to a McDonald’s restaurant and get either a hamburger or a fish filet sandwich. And he would present this little card and of course the person behind the counter would look and say, ‘Well, what is that?’ They’d never seen something like that, but he said it was never turned down. They always honored it.”

Romney plans to end public education

m.guardian.co.uk http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/11/mitt-romney-blueprint-privatizing-american-education?cat=commentisfree&type=article

Romney offers full-throated support for using taxpayer money to pay for private-school vouchers, privately-managed charters, for-profit online schools, and almost every other alternative to public schools. Like Bob Dole in 1996, Romney showers his contempt on the teachers’ unions.

He takes a strong stand against certification of teachers – the minimal state-level requirement that future teachersmust pass either state or national tests to demonstrate their knowledge and/or skills –which he considers an unnecessary hurdle.

He believes that class size does not matter (although he and his children went to elite private schools that have small classes). Romney claims that school choice is “the civil rights issue of our era,” a familiar theme among the current crop of education reformers, who now use it to advance their efforts to privatize public education.

The best part is that by also ending the estate tax, no Romney will ever be forced into the public system. But they will get vouchers to help defray the cost of private schools.

Update: fixed link and wanted to noted that the “school choice” movement has largely been funded by folks on the losing side (from a scientific perspective) of the evolution debate.  Sad really…but kinda funny in an ironic way.

Romney campaign takes credit for Auto Bailout Romney opposed

One of Mitt Romney’s top advisers said Saturday that President Obama’s decision to bailout Chrysler and General Motors was actually Romney’s idea.

“[Romney’s] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that,” Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said.

“The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice.”

The claim appears to be a shift from Mitt Romney’s November 2008 op-ed in The New York Times, headlined, “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”

Expect a lot of this.  Romney’s core supporters are two groups that will believe anything: people who hate Obama and Mormons.  Hence the Romney campaign is under the impression they can say pretty much anything and expect a good portion of their supporters to believe it wholeheartedly.

As to the general election, the hope is to sling so much mud the cynics stay home and the low-information folks get fooled in sizable numbers.

“Romneality” is what I call the strategy, although I don’t think it will work…blatant b.s. like in this story only fools a small portion the populace.  Combing John Kerry’s charisma with George W. Bush’s policies doesn’t seem like a winning combination in any sense.


Romney campaign aide claims auto bailout was Romney’s idea – The Hill’s Ballot Box
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/224371-romney-campaign-claims-auto-bailout-was-his-idea?utm_campaign=briefingroom

What Mitt Romney *used to* think about working moms

“Even if you have a child two years of age you need to go to work.,” Romney said in a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. in January. “And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'”

The clip, aired Sunday morning on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” shows a candidate with less leniency toward mothers than one would think, given the outpouring of praise given to mothers of all kinds after Rosen’s comments.

Romney’s remarks were in reference to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which was created in 1996 as a part of welfare reform. Providing block grants to states, which are then intended to be directed to families in need, the number of families assisted by TANF has decreased from 68 for every 100 in poverty in 1996 to 27 for every 100 in 2010, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study.

Couple things to note…he only thinks, apparently, poor mothers need paying jobs. Just being a mom doesn’t count for them and also…how can such a massive decrease in the ratio of people getting help be considered a march to socialism?  

Romney’s past views on working women, stay-at-home moms unearthed – latimes.com
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-romneys-past-views-unearthed-on-working-women-stayathome-moms-20120415,0,611519.story