Sunday 21 October 2012

Election 2012: Rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric! Where's the truth?

Neck in neck. A dead heat. It ain't over till the fat lady sings. Can anybody call it? Whatever happens, on November 7th a lot of people are going to wake up wondering what they're in for. The old saying is that desperate times call for desperate measures and there is no doubt that things are not looking too rosy at the moment. But what measures are the best measures? What measures are the measures as desperate as these times?

The electorate is so polarized right now; I think any calm, rational discussion of the issues for the purposes of brainstorming the right answers is completely off the table. Everybody whether the right or the left have decided and I mean decided categorically and nothing, absolutely nothing is going to change their minds. You're voting Democrat? Who cares if Obama stunk in the first debate? You're voting Republican? Who cares if Romney shoots his mouth off about the 47%?

The problem in any of this though is just what is the right answer? Obama promised that he would get unemployment down to 5%. That hasn't happened. Why not? Romney has promised to give a 20% across the board tax cut. How the dickens is he going to pay for such a thing when the United States has the biggest deficit and almost the biggest debt of all time?

On November 7th, the United States is going to be committed for four years come hell or high water. No matter who gets elected, that president is going to leading the show until 2016. By that time, everybody will clearly know if the right guy got into the Oval Office or not. Unfortunately, if it's the wrong guy, the United States could be in so much doo-doo, it may never again see the light of day. Scary thought. In fact, it's that scary thought which is dividing the nation.

Ronald Reagan is a Conservative god
Ah, the golden era of prosperity. Or was it the beginning of the end? Yes, I may be committing sacrilege but the analysts have pointed out that while Mr. Reagan seemed to herald a time of milk and honey for the country, the seeds were being sown of the current economic disaster. FactCheck.Org studied the question of debt and came up with the following graph. Ronald Reagan, poster boy of all things Conservative, increased the debt by percentage more than any recent president. Why? Increase spending and cut taxes. In fact, FactCheck goes on to point out that things were better under Clinton, a Democratic president. Let's not forget that the Republicans are staunch believers in trickledown theory while the pundits say it doesn't work. (FactCheck - Feb 2/2012 Dueling Debt Deceptions)

Go to Google and query Obama and you will find report after report saying that Obama has failed in turning around the American economy. In fact, so many people are piling on that by the sheer volume of the protest against Obama, one would wonder if Romney might not be right. But here again, where is the truth?

Romeny's Tax Cuts
America has the biggest deficit of all time and the biggest debt (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II. What to do? Heck cut taxes! Heck, let's make it a 20% across the board tax cut. Doesn't everybody need it? I return to Warren Buffet, one of the richest and most astute businessmen in America. He recognised that something was wonky in the American tax system when he wrote an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times pointing out that his tax rate was less than his secretary's. What? And Romney is going to cut his taxes? Why?

The Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party
I read the platform papers of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Have you? If you haven't, I have to ask you quite sincerely how you can possibly claim you are an informed voter. If you're a woman, the possibility that the Republicans win the election should be making you crap your drawers. Yes, you can kiss your vagina good-bye. The Republican Platform clearly states the intention of the party to defund Planned Parenthood, push abstinence only sex education, repeal Roe vs. Wade and make all abortions illegal. On top of it, they intend on repealing Obamacare so if you think you and your children are going to get any assistance from the government for getting health care, you are on your own baby. I remain stunned as in jaw-dropping about the total lack of understanding about social programs and their effect on society. Those states with abstinence only sex education have the highest rates on teen pregnancies. How long before somebody recognises that abstinence just doesn't work? This is insane.

Final Word
George Bush sets the house on fire then hands Obama an extinguisher. It is easy to set a house on fire but it is difficult to put that fire out. If Romney wins, America is screwed. I have never been so convinced of that. The Republicans have faith but the Republicans don't seem to have sense. I am sorry that at this stage of the game, the entire political campaigning has sunk into a morass of sound bites and factoids. Yes, 47% of Americans don't pay federal taxes but that statement is totally misleading. The Conservatives say that the debt has grown more under Obama than anybody else when a study of the numbers doesn't quite say that. The GOP is trying to scare the bejesus out of everybody that the sky is falling so vote for me and I'll save you.

We cannot properly address an issue if misinformation prevents us from properly assessing the issue.

On November 6, 2012, the voters will decide. But I look at the history of the Republicans and I am shaking my head about the future of the U.S. In comparing the beginning of the George W. Bush era and now, Ezra Klein of The Washington Post writes:

This year, 2012, is not 2000. We have deficits rather than a balanced budget. We have historically high unemployment rather than historically low unemployment. We’ve seen what the financial system can do when left unchecked. We’ve watched tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 fail to spark economic growth and seen a rising stock market fail to lift middle-class wages. We do need new thinking. But Romney isn’t offering any.

The American public is scared. The American public is desperate. The old adage is, "Desperate times call for desperate measures." However don't forget the other saying, "Desperate people do desperate things." Even vote Republican.


Viable Opposition - Aug 9/2011
America's Presidents: Who was the biggest spendthrift?
The worst President for building up the debt was the much venerated President Ronald Reagan considering that the Cold War buildup ended under his tenure. In fact, I was so surprised that I went back and triple checked the numbers and my calculations because the debt growth was so out of line with the other Administrations in this study. Under the Reagan Administration, the debt rose a massive 188 percent or 14.18 percent on an annual basis, far worse than either the Bush I, Bush II or Obama Administrations.

Wikipedia: Reaganomics
In addition, the public debt rose from 26.1% GDP in 1980 to 41.0% GDP by 1988. In dollar terms, the public debt rose from $712 billion in 1980 to $2,052 billion in 1988, a roughly three-fold increase.

Viable Opposition - Apr 25/2011
The Rich get Richer - How Taxation in America Impacts Wealth
In 2010, General Electric reported world-wide profits of $14.2 billion with $5.1 billion of that coming from its American operations. Its total tax bill? Zero. According to the New York Times, the company is claiming a tax benefit of $3.2 billion!
Tax laws have resulted in greater and greater inequalities both in society among individuals and between corporations and small businesses. Rather than equalizing society, governments have shifted the burden of taxes from the wealthy to those of lower and middle income America, from large corporations to small businesses and from the federal government to the state and local government levels.

FactCheck - Feb 2/2012
Dueling Debt Deceptions
Both sides are circulating deceptions about the federal debt, judging by the many queries we get from our readers. So we’ll try to set the record straight here.

The Washington Post - Oct 19/2012
Mitt Romney’s George W. Bush problem by Ezra Klein
Mitt Romney has a George W. Bush problem. In fact, that’s Romney’s biggest problem. It’s George W. Bush, not Barack Obama, who has made voters skeptical of many of Romney’s core policies. It’s George W. Bush, not Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe, who persuaded voters that our ongoing economic problems aren’t mainly Obama’s fault. And so it is, in a sense, the electorate’s lingering disappointment in George W. Bush, as much as its residual affection for Barack Obama, that Romney needs to beat if he’s to become president.

my blog: The 2012 Republican Platform: Are ya scared yet?

my blog: The 2012 Democratic Platform: yes you still can

Wikipedia: Factoid
A factoid is a questionable or spurious (unverified, false, or fabricated) statement presented as a fact, but with no veracity.


Site Map - William Quincy BelleFollow me on Twitter

No comments: