Category Archives: Election 2012

Obama’s Fatal Flaw…Maybe

As we approach the November election we will soon know if this is a one-term administration or if there will be an encore. Where did President Obama go wrong in “fixing” the economy? He didn’t spend enough money. While the candidates posture and churn and stretch and fabricate, appeal to the outliers, the undecided, and of course the contributors of whom candidacy wouldn’t be possible in this post Citizens United over a half billion dollar campaign world, let’s look at what happened to Obama..

With a work force growing at ~130,000 monthly, job creation must outpace it to get ahead. While we see a continuous trend in job creation, in fact 29 consecutive months, it has yet to significantly exceed the 130,000 monthly mark and make a dent in the unemployment rate. But here is the crux; all additional jobs created have come from the private sector! Good we say as the private sector makes jobs in a capitalist system right? But not always, in fact Ronald Reagan, a conservative’s conservative, allowed public sector jobs to swell during his economic downturn, George Bush did the same. Paul Krugman (Nobel Laureate) addresses the numbers and the impacts to unemployment if Obama had added jobs at the same rate the two “conservatives” had….read more.

Change in Public Sector Jobs During the Last Four Recessions

But the Debt, the right cried and the Obama administration while knowing what was right 3 ½ years ago, fell prey to the call, they chickened out, they bent under pressure, inexperienced, insecurity, whatever you chose to call it, but they didn’t follow through. Given the liberal gains in 08 the opportunity was there to act decisively, but among the greedy everybody wanted to be in charge, everybody wanted their own piece of the pie, their own hero trophy legislative branch, they squandered the opportunity. Not to mention those who openly stated their goal was to make Obama fail and in turn failed their constituency and country. So he took the RRR approach and shucked public sector jobs faster than I could shuck corn for a Saturday barbeque. In the end we have lots of people still out of work, not buying the things private sector offers, not making the mortgage payments, and not paying much if any in taxes. Back to the debt….well we are paying them anyway. Maybe not as much, certainly not the same way, but in a humane society we have a safety net, so as we kicked them from the public roles, we caught them under means tested welfare and yes, increased the very debt the pundits are howling about. And did I mention they aren’t paying taxes as if they had one of those full up public sector, productive for the common good jobs? Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it the old saying goes. And we are reliving our double dip exit from the great depression, circa 1937 where we cut government too fast and plunged once again.

“In June 1937, the Roosevelt administration cut spending and increased taxation in an attempt to balance the federal budget.[87] The American economy then took a sharp downturn, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production fell almost 30 per cent within a few months and production of durable goods fell even faster. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938, rising from 5 million to more than 12 million in early 1938.[88] Manufacturing output fell by 37% from the 1937 peak and was back to 1934 levels.[89]

The Irony of it is that he, President Obama, is getting all the credit anyway for a burgeoning federal government, overspending to create a massive deficit, and of course his huge government strong-arming private sector business and is undermining job creation. Great headlines if you’re one of the PACS funding this line of BS, but it is just that, BS, lies, made up, the numbers don’t support the claims and neither did other  “conservative” examples (Ronald Reagan, GW Bush) when they faced the same employment numbers. It’s just too bad that Obama didn’t actually do what the $500+ Million worth of campaign advertizing says he did. Because if he had, there would be no argument, we would know. But we could still be divided over other cornerstone issues like women’s health, voter ID, fossil fuel subsidies, abortion, and probably something really important like whether evolution really must be taught in public schools.

Romney and Bain saved by Government Bailout?

Today, news about the government bailout saving Bain. First blush appears like the supporting docs mostly came under FOIA. Rolling Stone broke it yesterday and folks stayed away now seeing some traction Business Insider, Bloomberg Huffington Post this AM. Curious how further info will go. Hmm    Mitt Romney Benefited From Government Bailout: Report The Huffington Post| By Mark Gongloff
Posted: 08/30/2012  1:48 pm Updated: 08/30/2012  5:42 pm

Bailed Out by Government?

“And one person who has gotten quite a lot of government help with his business over the years has been Mitt Romney. The latest example comes from Rolling Stone, which in its Sept. 13 issue tells how the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. ended up footing a bill of at least $10 million in bailing out Bain & Co., the consulting firm that spawned the private-equity firm Bain Capital. The story is based partly on documents the magazine received under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Once again it looks like corporate welfare is OK, but help for the truly needy is not.

Paul Ryan – Integrity

We know he’s the GOP running mate, heard lots of hype on everything from the tea

Paul Ryan

party, Medicare, music, to how he works out.  I DON”T CARE and here’s why; integrity…lack of integrity.

Ryan is both proclaimed, and self proclaimed as a deficit hawk and this is a lie. In my first blog [1] I wrote about the 19 Senators who voted for the $850 Billion (bank) Bailout bill but who also claim they want a balanced budget.  That activity was not limited to the Senate. Mr. Ryan it would seems voted right with the 19. Remember, all of the $850 Billion was deficit spending. Integrity.

But like the infomercial, that’s not all. Mr. Ryan also voted for the auto industry bailout, and voted to retain federal subsidies for big oil corporations. His “budget” would also retain the oil subsidies while cutting EPA enforcement, alternative energy and conservation funding. For that he is at least consistent, but what it means is he is not a deficit hawk as he proclaims. His budget world would retain subsidies and tax breaks for already wildly successful oil corporations and make it up by cutting things like food stamps, welfare, women’s health, and education. Even the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops critiqued Ryan’s (himself a Catholic) proposal “for cutting food stamps and other assistance programs for the poor after Ryan said his Catholic faith helped shape the policies in the document” [2] He is far less interested in balancing the budget than he is in furthering his ideologist agenda…Integrity.

I’m with Jim Cramer on this. Ryan’s selection won’t make a bit of difference except getting some attention which the campaign desperately needed after a month of gaffes, but being otherwise ignored. “What rich person who wants his taxes lower thinks Ryan will make that much of a difference? For people voting on their tax rates, haven’t they already settled on the idea of voting for Romney? Other than rich people, are any Americans willing to sacrifice Medicare when the program pays for endless best-in-the-world health care? Is there anyone other than the rich — who can afford it anyway — who would change his mind?” [3] A non-impact on the voters unless we actually start to care about voting records and…integrity.

What we have in the end is just another politician. One who hasn’t made a real living doing anything else but being on your and my payroll in Washington.  And one who’s voting record and proposed budget supports his intent to support already successful corporations at the expense of a legitimate safety net. One who says one thing, and does another. Integrity, where can we find some for these guys?


[2] Romney selects Paul Ryan as VP, By Jonathan Easley and Emily Goodin – 08/11/12 07:10 AM ET


Welfare Reform Facts – Help From the press

Last month I wrote (and to the St Paul Pioneer Press where I read the original article) about the Heritage Foundation’s mistake on welfare reform. They lied, misled, misrepresented, and even combined both federal and state means tested welfare expenditures in their closing emotional plea. [1] Now one of the campaigns has jumped on the data as if it were factual without digging, or perhaps without caring if it’s actually true.

Today a major network (NBC) has finally gotten on board pointing out the dubious claims in a recent Romney TV add based on the Heritage Foundation fiction. “In 1996, President Clinton and a bipartisan Congress helped end welfare as we know it by requiring work for welfare,” the narrator says. “But on July 12th, President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.” The effort is to portray Clinton as the “good” kind of Democrat and Obama as the “bad” kind.  I stated in my earlier article the change was simply a policy adjustment. In fact, a bipartisan adjustment with the waiver policy requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment. [2]

Best support is a look at the Health and Human Services Memo which states it “will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF.” So the work requirement is still there. The Heritage Foundation is lying and conveniently, their favored party is buying. Just last night Romney told FOX that Obama believes “they shouldn’t have to have the work requirement” Check the facts friends, I called it here already last week; the claim is just not true. [3]


[2] Greg Sargent

[3] First Read

More on Jobs

My last post talked about job growth and how downsizing in the public sector is hurting unemployment and the overall job picture in the US. So I took a look at some comparative data between recent administrations and it is compelling.

Looking at growth in the private sector we see a slow but continuous growth, 29 straight months of private sector job growth, the economy has created 4.5 million jobs that didn’t exist in January of 2009, including 172,000 new private sector jobs in July and 1.1 million generated in 2012 alone. [1] Unfortunately it has come after the substantial losses in 08-09 and the early months of 2010. Since then there has been only gains.

Monthly Change in Total Private Employment, February 2008 – July 2012. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics Program.

Best news has been the reaction; everyone loves it including the market with three consecutive days of gains. Well almost everyone that is. “Conservatives” not in office but trying to get there are unhappy…looking for the lump of coal instead of the value for our country. (update…let’s make that 4 days of gains)

    But again lets take a look at the public sector. Here is a comparison chart of the Bush/Obama years with both public and private sector jobs. Growth of the public sector during the Bush administration was astounding for a “conservative”. Again the Laffer/Moore comment “Sadly for fiscal conservatives, the biggest surge in government spending came during the last two years of President George W. Bush’s eight years in office (2007-2008).” [2} which I blogged on 4 Aug becomes even more apparent.

Remember; don’t believe all the cute sound-bites on TV, check some facts. Yes they can disagree, but the discussion can be so much more than a shouting match between parties, PACS, and expensive anonymously funded ads.


[2] Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote an op-ed in the WSJ titled Obama’s Real Spending Record



I’m looking at a presidential candidate on the news right now. Mitt Romney is telling Israel what the US will do to support them. Huh? Does a candidate define existing US foreign policy? Here is the cut from the AP this afternoon:  

“Make no mistake, the ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object and who will look the other way,” he said. “We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel.”

He later backed away, more likely his staff backed away from his comments in a written statement, saying the candidate “believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded.” [The Associated Press Published Look again. There is no “I” or “we should” or any wiggle room. He uses the term “our country” Not so fast big guy. While the big donor Sheldon Adelson (who said he will spend any amount of money to see you elected) was in the crowd, this thing isn’t over yet. Meanwhile, when not the president, do not make foreign policy.

 Commentary rang and is still ringing from all corners, The AP, The UK Guardian, NPR and more. And the bloggers well, I’m not keen on linking blogs, but I think SLATE may have hit the nail with their analysis of his UK gaffes:

Romney’s World

Mitt’s insults, mistakes, and blunders abroad aren’t gaffes. They actually represent his true worldview. By Fred Kaplan Posted Friday, July 27, 2012, at 4:21 PM ET

It is well worth reading the whole article but meanwhile, here are a couple paragraphs:

“Charles Krauthammer, the right-wing commentator who usually finds every excuse to attack Barack Obama—he took Obama’s blinking during a tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin as a sign of appeasement—pronounced himself befuddled by the GOP candidate’s flare of incompetence.”

“The American capitalists-turned-statesmen of an earlier generation—Douglas Dillon, Averell Harriman, Robert Lovett, John McCloy, Dean Acheson, Paul Nitze—took risks, built institutions, helped rebuild postwar Europe, befriended their foreign counterparts: in short, they cultivated an internationalist sensibility at their core. Whatever you think of their politics or Cold War policies generally (and there is much to criticize), financiers formed an American political elite in that era because finance (through the Marshall Plan, the World Bank, the IMF, and so forth) was so often the vehicle of American expansionism.”

“By contrast, private-equity firms, such as Bain Capital, where Romney made his fortune, tend to view their client companies as cash cows, susceptible to cookie-cutter formulas from which the firms’ partners reap lavish fees, almost regardless of the outcome. Their ends and means breed an insularity, a sense of entitlement, a disposition to view all the world’s entities through a single prism and to appraise them along a single scale.”

“How Romney should have behaved in London may have been obvious to Charles Krauthammer, who studies politics; it would have been obvious to politically ambitious businessmen from more traditional lines of work or from an earlier era. But as we have been graced to see this week, it is not necessarily obvious to Romney himself.”

Where will we be if the gaffes continue?