Why Obama/Biden are Scared of Romney/Ryan

The morning of the Ryan pick, Obama already had a graphic up from the “truth” team declaring that Ryan was going to raise taxes on 95% of Americans, ban birth control, end Medicare, end green energy, and so on.  The only things they left out were shoving Grandma off a cliff in her wheelchair and poisoning us with e.coli.  But why go overboard when Mitt Romney can already use cancer to kill people.

On the other hand, word on the street is that Biden had to change his pants after the 60 minutes interview with Romney and Ryan.

It’s not that Obama is the one that cut $700 billion out of Medicare.  It’s not that Obama’s green energy initiatives remind everyone of Solyndra.  It’s not that Obama is lying when he says Romney/Ryan would raise taxes on 95% of Americans.   It’s not that Most Americans don’t want to force pro-lifers to pay for other people’s $5 birth control that destroys after conception.  It’s more that Ryan is smarter and more articulate than the other three on the tickets.

Don’t hate me, Palin fans, but Ryan is not a cheerleader.  He is a teacher.  He turns platitudes into tangible facts that people can hold on to.  Obama and the Democrats are running around with the mantra that Ryan will get rid of Medicare.  But anyone who is paying attention knows that it was Obama who cut popular programs like Medicare advantage.

Ryan, on the other hand, wants to give seniors the same options for healthcare that Congress has.  He wants to put choices in their hands.  The scary thing about Ryan is that he actually is understandable on these points, and he has the credibility.  No one has worked more on the US budget and solutions to Medicare, Social Security, and healthcare than Paul Ryan.

Democrats aren’t scared that Biden is an inarticulate gaffe machine.  They have the media on their side.  All Biden has to do is coherently string ten words together in a debate without telling someone in a wheelchair to stand up or make an Indian 7/11 joke and the press will announce he exceeded expectations.

Democrats are scared because the media can only do so much.  Eventually Paul Ryan will be heard, and he speaks a language even independents can understand.

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Democrats Betting on Gridlock

Steny Hoyer is leading the charge among Democrat Senators to put the brakes on an extension of the 2% payroll tax cut.  After nearly a month of blaming Republicans for the delay in passing the extension and parading around middle class Obama supporters saying how much $40 will change their lives, now Democrats in the Senate look likely to be the ones who kill this extension.

Why are Democrats defecting after a deal had been worked out?  Because the current payroll extension bill makes new federal employees contribute 3.1% to their own pensions.  Apparently we should share sacrifice and have skin in the game unless you are a federal employee.  Currently they contribute .8%.  The government picks up the rest of the tab and returns on the pension are guaranteed.

Meanwhile, many middle class Americans contribute anywhere from 3-10% to their 401k plans with no guaranteed returns and a maximum 3% matching contribution from their employers.  However, Democrats have characterized the plan to increase federal employee pension withholding as a budget war on federal employees.

Democrats appear to have figured out that they are succeeding in blaming congressional gridlock on Republicans.  It also appears that their strategy is to maximize gridlock even if it hurts the middle class.  But if Americans figure out why Democrats are holding up this tax cut extension, sentiment could turn pretty quick.  Democrats are betting against the intelligence of American voters.

The Myth of the Obama Recovery

Depending on how you read the jobs report, you might think we are well on our way to economic recovery.  At least if you read the headlines.  Well, we should be.  In three short years, this President has increased the debt more than any President in the history of our country combined.

What do we have to show for it?

Think about it.  Think of all that we have accomplished with the last $6.3 trillion in debt.  We won two world wars, at various times brought unemployment down to 4.4% (most recently under the economic policies that supposedly got us into this mess), fought five other major wars, four major undeclared conflicts, and assisted in several other wars, gave hundreds of billions back in tax cuts, sent a man to the moon, maintained a shuttle program, bought over half the land in the country, rebuilt after a civil war, implemented civil rights, built socialistic retirement, healthcare and welfare systems, helped produce 5% and higher GDP growth, built every crumbling and non crumbling bridge in the United States today, and created a massive bureaucratic infrastructure covering roads, education, homeland security, and our entire regulatory system.

So what has Obama done with $6.5 trillion in debt?  He has brought 5.7% unemployment down to 8.3%.  Oops, I meant up to 10% and then down to 8.3%.  We have managed to get GDP just over 2% for a fleeting couple quarters.  We did continue two major conflicts which accounts for almost a trillion of Obama’s $6.5 trillion in debt.  But he didn’t do anything to stop the conflicts, and in fact started another one in Libya.

A lot of that money went in to funding failed green energy projects, such as Solyndra, which were owned by Obama’s supporters.  A lot of money went towards bailing out Wall Street and making the United States a shareholder in failed companies like Citigroup, GM and Chrysler.

One of Obama’s large debt contributions was in the form of extended unemployment benefits to make the victims of his economic policies comfortable enough to not complain.  This year when he runs on a platform of how he cut taxes, be assured that no member of the media will ask him about the taxes he has forced states to collect to fund their own broke unemployment compensation funds, and pay interest on federal loans of unemployment funds, all of which has been passed on to business owners of every size.

The amazing thing is that in his term so far, Obama has spent the equivalent of more than one full year of United States private sector GDP.  Nearly half of that has been in the form of debt.  Stop and think about that for a minute.  And yet, with more debt than every other President combined, Obama is ecstatic with an 8.3% unemployment rate?  There is something seriously wrong with this.

But it gets worse.  There is unemployment and real unemployment.  What’s the difference?  The 8.3% represents only people who are still looking for a job.  If you counted the same number of people who were looking for a job in 2007, the unemployment rate would be at 10.3% and that hasn’t changed  since 2009.

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post notes this disturbing trend which seems to show little variance in the unemployment rate when you consider people who have stopped working.  That means that with $6.5 trillion in new debt, more than all other Presidents combined, Obama hasn’t managed to increase job growth, he has just managed to increase the number of discouraged workers who are willing to settle for his extended unemployment welfare program.

In fact, although Obama will be running on the myth of jobs saved and created, in actuality there are 2.4 million fewer people working today than there were when Obama signed the stimulus in 2009. The number of people who have jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is down to 139 million from 141 million in 2009.

For those keeping score, it was 127 million in 2001.  Do the math.

Obama the tax cutter…until 2013

I predicted a couple years ago that Barack Obama was going to run as a tax cutter in 2012.  When Obama extended the Bush tax cuts through 2012, my fears were confirmed.  Obama has cut taxes.  Consider this:

In 2010, Obama extended the Bush tax cuts.

In 2009, Obama turned the $7,500 interest free loan on first time homes into an $8,000 freebie.

In 2009 and 2010, Obama passed the $800 a year making work pay tax credit.

In 2011 Obama passed the Social Security tax cut of 2%.

In 2010, a tiny percentage of businesses were eligible for the healthcare tax credit.

Now, watch this:

In 2013, taxes will go up between 5% for the poor to 4.6% for the rich with the end of the Bush tax cuts.

In 2013, even if the extension is passed in 2012, Social Security taxes will be back to 6.2%.

In 2013, individuals with $200,000 or more of income ($250,000 for married) will get an additional .9% in Medicare taxes

In 2013, individuals with income over $200,000 ($250,000 for married) will get another 3.8% in taxes.

In 2013, taxes on dividends and capital gains will jump up to a maximum rate of 39.6%. Even if Obama keeps his promises, it will still jump 5% for everyone.

Democrats are pushing for a 5% surtax on millionaires, which would would mean that in 2013 taxes on people who make a million dollars a year would be 16.3 percentage points higher than they are today to effectively be nearly 50 cents out of every dollar of income.

And Obama has no future election to cause him to prevent any one of these 2013 tax hikes.  In fact, half of these will have been specifically passed by him with a 2013 due date.  At the end of 8 years, Obama’s tax hikes will have vastly outweighed any piddly cuts and politically expedient extensions he has signed in the first four years.

Don’t be fooled. Obama isn’t a tax cutter, he’s just a politically smart tax and spend liberal.

Take the Ron Paul quiz

Ron Paul is suddenly looking like a potential runner up in Iowa.  Supporters are hoping that this is his turn to rise to the top.  Paul is a constitutionalist, he is consistent, and a lot of what he says makes sense.  But what does Ron Paul say?  What are his policy stances beyond legalizing drugs, opening the border, bringing the troops home, and eliminating the department of education?  Take the Ron Paul quiz and find out what you really know about this potential runner up in Iowa.  No cheating, no googling, no going to his website.  Here you go:

Ron Paul on taxes:

A. Fairtax, get rid of the IRS!

B. Flat Tax, replace the current system

C. Modify current system, but keep a progressive tax

D. No changes

E. Other

Ron Paul on Abortion:

A. Make all abortion illegal

B. All abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother

C. Keep abortion legal and accessable

D. Let the states decide if abortion should be legal, but keep it legal on a federal level

E. Other

Ron Paul on Gay Marriage:

A. Thinks gay marriage should be completely legal

B. Let the states decide who can get married

C. Supports DOMA, but would not take further action if the courts overturn it

D. Supports constitutional amendment to define marriage

E. Other

Ron Paul’s family history:

A. Been divorced multiple times

B. Never been married

C. Successful marriage and family

D. Troubled marriage with affairs

E. Other

Why is Ron Paul wealthy? Check all that apply:

A. Years as a doctor (also opposes Obamacare)

B. Years as a congressman (while supporting term limits)

C. Consulting for large Wall Street firms (including lobbying)

D. Large portfolio in gold and mining stocks (and supports gold standard and mining earmarks)

E. Kickbacks and bribes (especially from bailed out companies)

Ron Paul on earmarks and pork:

A. Opposes all earmarks and pork barrel spending

B. Supports earmarks as part of the process but does not use them

C. Supports earmarks and has “brought home the bacon” in his district

D. Supports only necessary earmarks to prevent committees from making those choices

E. Other

Ron Paul on Entitlements:

A. End Social Security and Medicare

B. Social Security and Medicare are government promises, leave them alone

C. Private accounts and state block grants

D. Optional private accounts, leave Medicare alone

E. Other

Ron Paul on Healthcare:

A. Status quo

B. Repeal Obamacare and let states decide, anything from Massachusetts style to any other state

C. Expand HSA accounts and allow insurance purchases across state lines

D. Individuals must buy insurance or pay for care received

E. Other

Ron Paul on Energy:

A. Drill here, drill now

B. All of the above approach

C. Pursue green energy, eliminate fossil fuels

D. Tax subsidies for green energy, eliminate the EPA

E. Other

Ok, you took the quiz.  Now do the research.  If Ron Paul becomes the next front runner, he is going to be vetted.  One of the reasons Newt hasn’t crashed and burned yet despite the onslaught from all sides is because he has put all his flaws on the table, admitted his stupid mistakes, explained where his ideas have changed and why, and has been open about what he believes, even when it means taking the heat.  The reason Romney has not crashed and burned is because he has successfully argued why he would not take the Massachusetts mandate to DC.  On the other hand, Cain fell flat on his face because of accusations that came out of nowhere, a flawed 999 plan, and stumbles on foreign policy.

Paul has not been vetted.  Until now, no one took him seriously.  If he is your guy and you want him to win, or you are rightfully taking a second look at him, now you know if you actually know what he stands for.

Cain and Gingrich Capital Rise With Debate

Mitt Romney should take notice.  The Cain/Gingrich debate is EXACTLY what Conservatives are looking for.  It is something today’s liberals and Republican posers simply won’t do.  The two candidates from Georgia sat down with no time limits, no moderators, and no attacks on each other, they spent an hour and a half laying bold, smart, outside the box proposals on the table.  They complemented one another and tossed questions to each other that built each other up.  It wasn’t about me versus you.  There was no mud, no dirty politics.  It was pure and simple ideas and a clear demonstration why these two candidates deserve every Conservative’s consideration.  If Mitt Romney is smart, he will be begging to be part of the next debate, because his fiscal conservative, establishment support is not going to win him this primary by itself.

At the beginning of the debate, Cain and Gingrich stood side by side and joked about what the 2012 ticket might look like.  Actually, that’s not such a bad idea.

I got done watching the debate feeling much better about the GOP field this year.  Cain has been boxed in by his 999 plan in previous recent debates.  In this debate be broke out and showed that he is a far more complex and intelligent candidate.  He finally had a chance to explain his Social Security private option.  Their mutual respect and support helped lend Cain additional credibility.

Newt has been stellar in uncomfortable media run debates.  He soared even more in this debate.  Newt oozes leadership, and even in this debate was in charge.  It would be interesting to see if Newt would still rule the roost with Romney at the table as well.  At any rate, to the extent that this debate is replayed and seen by more Americans, Newt’s star will continue rise.  This debate highlighted Newt’s intelligence and communication skills.

Hopefully we will see more of these type of debates, and hopefully many more people will watch them.  And if the GOP wants to win in 2012, it would be great to see if Obama would step up and give this format a shot.

Perry’s Cut, Cap and Balance Flat Tax Plan is a Winner But Will it Make Him a Winner?

  Bookmark and Share  In advance of his announcement of a flat tax proposal that would be the most dramatic tax reform in the nation’s history, Governor Rick Perry penned a summary of his proposal in this mornings Wall Street Journal .

Calling his proposal “Cut, Balance and Grow”, Perry hopes to balance the federal budget by 2020 and explains that his plan will abolish the death tax and give taxpayers the option to pay their current income tax rate or a new 20% flat tax that “preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and  increase the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.”   In addition to a 20% personal income tax, the Perry plan will also adopt a lowers the corporate tax rate to 20% and encourage the swift repatriation of nearly $1.4 trillionthat are currently hidden overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%.  The third part of his flat tax proposal includes what he calls a transition to a “territorial tax system”, that will only tax income earned in the United States.

Perry’s plan also calls for the elimination of the tax on Social Security benefits, a change that will supposedly boost the income of 17 million current Social Security recipients.

Governor Perry argues that without significant changes, our nations will go the way of Europe and be mired in a longterm debt crisis that will only get worse than the one we are currently experiencing and to help avoid that in addition to his new flat tax reform he attempts to cut, cap and balance federal spending habits by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally he will freeze federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced and enact an immediate moratorium on pending federal regulations while also mandating  a full audit of all regulations passed since 2008 to determine their need, impact and effect on job creation.

In what is a direct nod to his need to shore up those voters who are fearful about Perry’s past remarks about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme and as such, something which he would seek to eliminate, Perry’s plan touches entitle reforms, an issue which needs to be addressed and which Perry’s plan does not address enough. His proposal merely declares that he will preserve benefits for current and near-term Social Security beneficiaries, by permanently prohibiting “politicians from raiding” the Social Security trust fund.

That part of his plan is the most politically shallow aspect of his proposal.  While he addresses that issue under the category of entitlements, he does not really address all of the entitlement reforms that are burdening the budget now and will bust it in the future.  It is also worth mentioning that it is nearly, if not totally impossible for a President to vouch for the permanent inability of Congress to “raid” any fund.  President’s come and go.  The mentality that relies on political expediency among Congress lasts forever.

In general, Perry’s Cut, Cap, and Balance plan is one of the most comprehensive and promising plans to come down the pike in decades.  One of the most, but the not only one.  Others have proposed similiar flat tax based plans and one of the major differences between those other plans and Perry’s plan is that at 20%, Rick Perry sets his flat tax at a rate significanlty higher than most all others.  That high 20% rate is probably the least attractive aspect of Perry’s plan.

Insofar as reform goes, it is much more solid than the light on detail, 9-9-9, hybridized flat tax proposal of Herman Cain and when it comes to the issue of reform, Perry’s proposal outshines even Ronald Reagan’s, Jack Kemp inspired, lower taxation, supply side economics plan of the 80’s.  That plan simply adjusted the existing tax code and while it was in no way insignificant, Perry’s plan admits that the tax code is not worth tinkering with and needs to be scrapped and replaced by something that will allow America to be competitive in the modern global economy.

In a previous post I indicated that if Perry proposes a good flat tax plan and can market it properly and exploit the promise that exists in a flat tax from a politically strategic point of view, than he can reestablish himself as a frontrunner, or at least within reasonable striking distance of such a status.  Now that the relative details of his plan are out, I can honestly say that despite my belief that his 20% rate is too high,  if he can build his campaign around this plan and make it a focal point of the overall Republican nomination contest, than Rick Perry will have many fruitful themes to touch upon and run on.  Now is just a matter of developing an effective campaign strategy and organization that can force the other candidates to run around his promising, conservative based economic plan and reforms. Bookmark and Share

Perry Polls Well in Florida

A recent Florida Times Union poll has Rick Perry up by 9 in Florida.  Florida will be a key early state in the primary and of course could be the key to the Presidency in the 2012 general.  How solid is Perry’s lead?  As solid as the opinion of a 20 year old.

Perry took 67% of the young vote, ages 18-29.  The only other candidates to take any of this demographic were Newt Gingrich with 10 points and Ron Paul with 13.  10% of young voters remained undecided.

2010 election map: TEA Party favorite Rick Scott won Florida.

Perry won most demographics except notably seniors and blacks.  Romney carried seniors by a couple points and Perry got 0% of the support from blacks.  Support among blacks was carried by Mitt Romney with 37%, followed by Cain with 31%.  This was a bit of a shock in a state where blacks tend to come out to vote for black candidates regardless of party affiliation.  In fact, many in this demographic have come out saying they voted for Barack Obama and now support Herman Cain.  Romney’s ability to break into this demographic could be very helpful in the general election.  Perry got 0% of the black vote, while Santorum of all people and Huntsman picked up 14 and 18%, respectively.

Ron Paul did not crack the top five in the poll, and Huntsman eeked out a very weak 1.3%.  Surprisingly, even after ending up in the same boat as Perry on illegal immigration in the last debate, Huntsman got 0% of the Hispanic support while Perry ran away with 48%.  Bachmann also did well with the Hispanic vote.

In Florida, it is Perry’s game for now.  But this poll was taken right after the last debate and does not reflect the fallout from Perry’s Merck connection.  Fair or not, that is the same type of loose connection/unfair accusation that sunk Mitt Romney in Florida in 2008.  Just days before the Florida primary, John McCain accused Mitt Romney of supporting a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq.  the result was a swing of a couple points that gave McCain the edge in the end.  Perry may not have forced retardation causing vaccinations on 11 year olds just for a $5,000 campaign contribution, but among Florida voters perception is sometimes reality.  This is especially true among young voters.

The minority split between Romney and Perry is not a great sign for Republicans in Florida for the general election.  It is difficult to win Florida without support in the I-4 corridor and the southern part of the state which have large Hispanic constituencies.  At the same time, when a Republican can’t garner support among blacks, but the opposing candidate is black, central-north and north Florida go from solidly Republican to only tenuously Republican.  The fact that Perry scored a 0% with blacks and Romney scored a 0% with Hispanics shows that both front runners need to do some work in Florida to ensure a shot at victory in the general election.

I can think of an easy solution for Romney or any other Republican candidate to nearly guarantee victory in Florida.  Make Marco Rubio your VP pick.

Operation Old TEA Bag: President Obama’s Inevitable Reelection Strategy

Bookmark and Share As the sun came up over Brooklyn on September 13th, 2011, Lewis Fidler received a phone call reminding him to support Democrat David Weprin in the special election taking place in CD-9. 
 The recent special election in New York’s 9th Congressional District did more than just elect a Republican to a seat that hasn’t been in the hands of the G.O.P. since 1923. As evident in Bill Clinton’s get-out-the-vote phone call, it also shed some light on the desperation of Democrats and what direction they will throw the ball in when they try to salvage their 2012 election fortunes with a last minute Hail Mary pass.  It offerred us insight in to the type of campaign that President Obama will resort to once he catches on to the fact that things like his third stimulus plan and his latest spending program to create jobs aren’t working for the country and aren’t being bought by the people.

In the race that pitted liberal incumbent Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin against retired businessman, Republican Bob Turner, Democrats struggled to find the issues that their candidate could run on to win voters over. Initially they did not even do that. At first it was assumed that as always, whichever Democrat they ran, would sail to victory and succeed sex texting addict Anthony Weiner. But then in August, Democrat polling showed something strange. It showed that Democrat Weprin was not getting the amount of support that Democrats usually get. This then suggested to them that they actually had a real and competitive election on their hands.

So they got to work and started to develop the issues they would campaign on.

What they found was that Weprin and Democrats had no positions on the issues that would excite voters and convince them that Weprin was their man. Even in a relatively liberal district like the ninth, there were no issues which Democrats held a popular position on.

There was the issue of gay marriage which Weprin recently supported the passage of in the New York State Assembly. But with a heavy Hassidic Jewish population in the ninth, legalizing marriage between two people of the same sex was far from popular.

There was the issue of our national debt. On that issue, Weprin held a typical Democrat line which supported big government and big government social programs. But even in a left leaning district like the one that spans the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, voters know that our debt has become a deepening crisis for our nation and as such, they understand that more government spending is not realistic. That left Weprin with the opportunity to use the traditional liberal language of tax increases to pay for all the spending. But in the middleclass communities of NY-9, tax increases, even for those who earn $250,000 or more, doesn’t really go over well. The ninth congressional district is comprised largely of those people in the middle……the ones who get hit from both ends and are not poor enough to benefit from government social programs, but are not wealthy enough to take advantage of the tax loopholes and credits that the political establishment has arranged for. So these people did not want to hear the Obama “make the rich pay their fare share” rhetoric. Many of them are afraid that a liberal definition of “rich” would include them.

There was the issue of immigration. However on that issue, Weprin has a liberal “Dream Act” position that does not solve the illegal immigration issue that impacts on his district’s residents. They do not want their money going to fulfilling the dreams of illegal immigrants. These people, many of which remember seeing the World Trade Center from their windows and worked within its shadows, want our borders secured.

So like many other issues, that was out.

There was Israel. After all, with a population of Jewish voters that is disproportionately larger than in many other districts throughout the nation, as an Orthodox Jew himself, Weprin could certainly and convincingly argue his support for Israel and ride high on the popularity of that point. Unfortunately though, being a Democrat, most voters linked Weprin to President Obama’s unfriendly policies towards Israel. And Weprin’s argument to voters that they should trust him on israel because he would fight for Israel from within, didn’t have wings.

Short of a total condemnation of President Obama by Weprin, the Jewish vote in his district simply viewed Weprin as a congressional rubberstamp for Obama’s polcies.

The further Democrats went down the list of issues important to the middleclass voters of the ninth, the more they realized that there were no issues which allowed them to present a position that they could derrive district-wide support for.

So what is a candidate with a competitive election ahead of him to do?

Why, resort to the liberal playbook, of course!

That meant scare citizens. That meant to try and distort the Republican position to preserve Social Security and Medicare for those on it and those expecting to soon be on them. It meant denying the Republican position to preserve those programs for future generation with reforms that will strengthen Social Security and medicare. It meant do your best to make vulnerable senior citizens believe that if a Republican won, they would deny them the money that many seniors have come to rely upon.

That was a good start but Weprin and his Democrat strategists and Washington puppet masters needed something else to attract some voters outside of the senior citizen demographic. That’s when the orders from Washington came down. And that is when the strategy to run against the TEA Party came into play.

So in early August Operation Old TEA Bag went into effect. That is when Weprin campaign spokesperson Elizabeth Kerr first argued the following:

“Bob Turner’s doing anything he can to distract voters from his plan to end Medicare as we know it, which would cost seniors in Brooklyn and Queens an extra $6,400 every year,” .

And from there, the tactics to scare senior citizens began

Then when the news that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded the country’s credit rating because of fiscal uncertainty came out and dominated the headlines, Weprin’s campaign defined Bob Turner as a TEA Party extremist and charged that because of their “irresponsible demands”, “Republican Tea Party extremists” facilitated the downgrade and the fallout from it.

From that point on, the Democrat campaign for Congress in NY-9 began.

It was a constant barrage of trying to make the TEA Party the enemy that voters had to unite against. It was a never ending campaign to define Bob Turner as the TEA Party candidate. In Between those lines of attack was tossed in the same old scare tactics intended to frighten senior citizens that predate the Reagan Administration.

For his part Bob Turner campaigns argued;

“Career politicians like David Weprin have taxed and spent this country into a crisis. They have jeopardized the entire social safety network by irresponsibly borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend,”

And as one Turner campaign aide put it;

“Businessman Bob Turner is running to protect Social Security and Medicare for every American over 55 years old and to put those essential programs on a sustainable path for everybody younger than that.”

But Bob Turner didn’t just defend himself against Operation Old TEA Bag. He spent most of his time denouncing the Obama policies that even urban, middle-class Democrats have lost faith in. Like the days of Ronald Reagan, Bob Turner found himself addressing a new generation of Reagan Democrats. Democrats who do not appreciate the condition of our nation and do not have faith in the direction their Party is heading in under a liberal President.

Yet as the campaign continued and the polls tightened, D.C. Democrats from the DCCC, DNC, and from the state and local Party apparatus, double-downed on their last hope……Operation Old TEA Bag. Even when only days before the special election was to take and polls showed that Turner turned the tables and was now ahead of Weprin, Democrats found themselves desperately trying to make a success of their fear campaign of senior citizens and their efforts to make the TEA Party the common enemy.

The plan was perfect. It even concluded on a high note…….a recorded phone call from former President Clinton which tied the TEA Party and Medicare together as he stated “and he’ll oppose the TEA Party plan to destroy Medicare” But ultimately, what Democrats thought was the perfect strategy, proved to be as unsustainable and useless as their economic policies.

Like driving a car on empty, it was a last ditch, desperate attempt to run a camping not on any issues, just on fear. The only problem is that in the end, senior citizens were less afraid of distortions about Bob Turner than they were of the truth about the current direction our nation is headed. In the end, the voters of the ninth district decided that the TEA Party was not their problem. Democrats were.

Unless Democrats start singing a different a tune, they will still be the problem in 2012. And just as Operation Old TEA Bag did not work for them in CD-9, it will not work for them in the 2012 elections. With few accompishments of his own to point toand with most Americans wanting to repeal his signature achievement…..Obamacare, President Obama is likely to  do little else but resort to scaring senior citizens and trying to run against the TEA Party.  Operation Old TEA Bag did not end in the streets of Brookjlyn and Queens.  It is really only just starting at Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Yeah, but isn’t Social Security a ponzi scheme?

Talking about Social Security like it is just some government program that takes taxes from young workers and gives it to retired seniors as a ponzi scheme used to lose elections for Republicans.  But that was back when young, optimistic voters actually thought Social Security would be there for them.  Seriously, is there anyone out there still that gullible?

The height of our nation’s fiscal health came when Bill Clinton played a shell game with Social Security and called it a balanced budget.  Obama has cut Social Security taxes by 2%, despite the program’s fiscal uncertainty, and now wants to cut Social Security taxes in half and pay for it with taxes on the rich that even his own party wouldn’t vote for in 2009 when he last proposed it.  Meanwhile, as Newt Gingrich pointed out in last night’s debate, Obama has now threatened twice to cancel Social Security checks if Republicans don’t vote for his budgets.  What was an illusion of certainty to generation X is a joke to the youngest voters.

Who should be scared, seniors or future retirees?

When Rick Perry says Social Security is a lie and a ponzi scheme, believe it or not he resonates with my generation and younger.  We grew up being told that Social Security was a broken system and not to count on it.  We all got 401k plans and IRA plans because we knew Social Security wouldn’t be there for us.  Honestly, I don’t know a single person my age or younger who says “Boy, I can’t wait to retire and collect Social Security”.  We know it’s a lie, and if we get it, it will be icing on top of what we have saved for ourselves.

So let’s cut through the crap.  Who really has the best answer on Social Security?  Rick Perry wants to move it to the states and let the states run it.  Romney wants to increase the retirement age and change the way Social Security is calculated so that you don’t get paid as much.  But the majority of the candidates on last night’s stage want to offer private accounts for Social Security that future Presidents can’t dip into to balance their budget and future Presidents can’t cancel if they don’t get their way with the legislature.

In fact, of the candidates with scary language on Social Security, Perry and Romney are the ones whose stated plans would keep Social Security closest to what it is today.  Both have acknowledged affinity for private accounts, but both are looking to fix and make the current program solvent.  Cain leads the way on a fundamental overhaul of Social Security by turning it into private accounts, while Newt and Bachmann both support the idea.  Ron Paul’s view on social government programs seems a little up in the air after this last debate, going from a scrap it all approach to a we should get rid of it, but probably won’t approach.

Social Security will never be fixed until we are honest about it.  That much, Perry has spot on.  And Republicans who attack Perry for verbally assaulting Social Security may win senior Democrats, but will lose young Republicans.  Social Security is a ponzi scheme, and Perry isn’t the first person to call it that.  It is a lie, especially when it is slated to go bankrupt before most of us (including myself) will start collecting.  It is not a guarantee as long as the President can withhold checks or raid the fund in order to pretend he balanced the budget.  It is not supported by the Federal constitution.

Democrats can fear monger with seniors on this issue all they want, but anyone under 38 years old should think twice before voting for a party that can’t be honest and speak plainly about Social Security.

 

 

The GOP Debate Disconnect

Moments ago, the Republican candidates finished yet another debate.  This time, CNN and the TEA Party Express were the odd couple sponsors.  Blitzer was in liberal heaven, getting every question the left wanted the candidates to quarrel about on the record.  But there were some very bright spots, which brings us to our debate winner:

I call Newt as winner

Newt Gingrich.  The GOP debate disconnect seems to be how Newt consistently delivers stellar debate performances, and in fact directs the flow of the debate away from where the moderators want to go, and yet continues to flounder in the polls.  Other candidates were taking their cues from Newt, and Newt was again successfully making the case that every candidate on that stage was better than Obama.  At the same time, he was showing why at least in debates, he is the best candidate on the stage.  Newt hit a couple home runs.  The first was in the Social Security squabble between Perry and Romney where Newt reminded us that it was Barack Obama who threatened twice to cancel Social Security checks if Republicans didn’t vote for his liberal budget policies.  Gingrich’s second big home run came again when other candidates were arguing about job growth.  Newt pointed out that Americans create jobs, not government.  He then gave credit to other candidates for what they did to create job growth, but ultimately gave the credit to the American people.  Lastly, on green energy tax loopholes for GE, Newt destroyed Obama’s attacks on the oil industry.  Newt showed that he is the smartest and most studied candidate on the stage.  When asked about whether he would compromise with Democrats in power, his answer was perfect.  Whether or not that reflects in the polls will be seen.

Michele Bachmann was on the attack, but her strikes were good conservative strikes and they hit their

Bachmann had a good showing

targets.  Bachmann came across as the conservative constitutionalist on the stage with a balanced approach to getting our nation back to the constitution.  Her strikes landed on Perry with Social Security, and the HPV vaccinations, she struck Romney on the constitutionality of his healthcare plan, and she landed shots on Perry and Huntsman for their help to illegal aliens.  She did not come across as someone struggling to take down the frontrunners ahead of her, but more like a principled conservative attacking the liberal tendencies of her opponents.  And no one hit her back on anything.

In this debate, Santorum finished a solid third place.  I had a feeling Santorum would do well with the TEA Party audience.  He looked far more relaxed and in control than in the last debate.  He maintained his conservative credentials, but introduced a new element: how he won multiple times in a blue state.  He also was able to identify himself with some of Gingrich’s success.  Santorum hit hard on Perry’s HPV issue and delivered a deadly blow on it.  Santorum and Bachmann are key elements in where I score Perry tonight, and both walked away unscathed.

Mitt Romney took some tough shots.  But despite the tough shots, he continued to show class and to handle attacks.  He was hit hard on Social Security, and in fact his position on Social Security was easily exploitable in front of this TEA Party audience.  Overall, he did a good job at taking some clean shots and his seven things we need to do to fix the economy and budget were spot on.  Romney fell into the expected trap and tangled with Perry too much on Social Security, and Romney’s support for Federal Social Security won’t win him TEA party support.

Herman Cain did a good job, but he continues to look amateurish compared to some of the more experienced heavy hitters.  Cain did well to expound on his 999 plan this time around, and he picked up the Perry/Romney social security fumble and ran it back for a touchdown.  But other than that his performance was unremarkable.  When Newt talked about private accounts for Social Security, he connected far better than Cain’s repeating of Neal Boortz talking points on Chile and Galveston.

Perry took it on the chin

Rick Perry took another beating, and this was a good one.  On social security, HPV and illegal immigration, Perry seemed to slip into his deer in the headlights slo-mo’ mode.  Perry’s argument that his state’s version of the dream act for illegal aliens was somehow a states rights issue was off-base and will not sit well with the TEA party.  Santorum and Bachmann nailed him on HPV and that one will stick.  At the same time, Perry’s role as the attack dog against Romney has soured this race somewhat.  Perry looked kind of amused/detached for a good part of the debate.  That mixed with his slow, Texan accent will remind some voters of a previous Texas Republican Presidential candidate, however unfair that comparison may be.

Ron Paul redeemed himself somewhat from his last debate performance.  However, his dodge on the Medicare Part D question may spark some serious questions that have been lingering in the darkest cellars about Ron Paul.  Is he as much of a purist as he seems?  Instead of quickly putting Medicare Part D on the chopping block, Paul kind of hemmed and hawed about other programs that should be cut first, including his biggest applause getters of the wars, the department of education, etc.  Paul, who is normally eager to take on unconstitutional spending programs, seemed to give an “if I get to it” response on Medicare Part D, which was one of the biggest social spending programs under George W. Bush.

Jon Huntsman just has nothing left in the tank.  His good answers were echoes of other candidates, and his bad answers were echoes of Barack Obama.  His Kurt Cobain joke fell completely flat.  His tax plan sounds exactly like Obama’s.  His stance on illegal immigration was wrong.  His Afghanistan rhetoric was meant to sound like the Afghan people needed to take more responsibility, but instead came across like America just wasn’t strong enough to fight anymore.  The best thing that happened to Huntsman tonight was no one asked him about global warming.

If debates drove polls, Newt Gingrich would be the front runner after tonight.  How Perry remains such a strong front runner with debate performances like these speaks to his clout and ability to run a public campaign away from the debate stage.

Gore/Clinton 2012?

Al Gore has a new cause: socially responsible capitalism.  And it could be his ticket to the Whitehouse.

Now, Whitehouse2012 is normally a GOP primary website blog and I certainly would never endorse an Al Gore candidacy.  However, it is worth noting that Barack Obama’s economy is in trouble, his ideologies are becoming highly unpopular with many of the social liberal/fiscal conservative Democrats who elected him, and the contrast between his words and deeds are becoming ever more apparent.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Obama’s policies are failing and he has no one left to blame.  Even DNC Chair Debbi Wasserman-Shulz said Democrats own this economy.  Of course, in her opinion things are going pretty well in America these days.  Obama on the other hand, with a playful chuckle, has admitted that his trillion dollar stimulus hasn’t created the “shovel ready jobs” he hoped it would.

Meanwhile, Al Gore is presenting himself as a contrast to the anti-capitalist rhetoric of his party.  At least that is how he is positioning his pro-socially responsible version of capitalism.

Gore has some other things on his record that could make him a formidable opponent to Obama:

1. He won the vice presidency twice and won the popular vote in 2000.  Al Gore may be the last person left who could run against the “wrongs” of George W. Bush and actually get votes because of it.

2. Gore has Clinton/Gingrich’s economic coattails to ride.  Bill Clinton balanced the budget, even if he did it by siphoning money from Social Security.  But that could help Gore too, after all he coined the term…

3. Social Security lockbox.  Just sayin’.

4. Gore is the ultimate green energy advocate.  I mean, come on.  He won a Nobel Prize.  Nevermind that his garage consumed more energy every year than George W. Bush’s entire property.

5. Gore is an outsider who has been out of the spotlight long enough for the stink of dirty politics to wear off.  People look at the Clinton years and even Gore’s candidacy with nostalgia now.  Sure he tried to sexually assault a massage therapist a few months back, but he’s a Democrat.  It’s part of the job description.

All Al Gore needs is a good running mate.  Who better than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?  While Obama is out there bowing to dictators and can’t seem to rub enough etiquette together  to keep from embarrassing himself every time he visits England, Hillary has become somewhat of a rockstar of foreign policy.

In fact, she is even the hero of a new comic book.  How’s that for an inspiring idea for a Summer 2012 movie?

Hillary is the Democrat most Democrats wish they had run in 2008.  She fixes Obama’s overseas messes, and can invoke the “following orders” argument for embarrassments like our war on Libya.

There is still time for an opposing Democrat ticket to make a primary out of it.  When this latest leg of the great Obama recession kicks into full gear, a Democrat primary is going to look real appealing to the disappointed left.

So you heard it here first: Gore/Clinton 2012.  Time to get the band back together.

Seven Versus One

The debate is over and there is a clear loser.  Whether by pact or we just got candidates this good, Obama was the only one with a target on his back last night.  Even Pawlenty wouldn’t take the obvious bait to attack front runner Mitt Romney.  The result was a debate of seven on one, and the One wasn’t there to defend himself.

The other loser in last night’s debate was CNN’s John King who amidst annoying grunts failed to turn the candidates on one another.  Even when he tossed Palin’s name out as an easy target for Republicans seeking to moderate, the response came from Tim Pawlenty and it was perfect.  Joe Biden has failed in every aspect as a Vice President, his views on Iraq were completely wrong, and Sarah Palin would be a better president than Biden or Obama.

Can Bachmann break through media created stereotypes?

The candidates handled tough hot button issues amazingly well also.  The shining example here was Michelle Bachmann who deflected an easy gotcha by making it clear that the role of the President and the role of the states in determining the fate of gay marriage is not equal.  She provided a balanced states rights view, while promising to protect the states from the courts if it came to that.  The other good answers on gay marriage were Ron Paul, leave it to the church and get government out, and actually Rick Santorum who explained that a constitutional amendment would require the approval of 75% of the states, something opponents rarely mention.  Cain appeared to struggle the most on the muslim staff question.

While there were no clear winners, I believe this debate showed two classes of candidates.  Michelle Bachmann led her class of fired up TEA Party approved candidates fighting for principled social and fiscal conservatism with unmeasured attacks against Obama and willingness to take heat for their views if deemed controversial.  Cain is included with this group, although he appears now more as a TEA Party candidate who jumped in feet first and now is searching for substance beyond catchphrases and buzz words.  He did not find that moment last night.  Ron Paul’s anti-establishment libertarianism may catch up to him this year when all the Revolution liberals realize that he does not support any federal entitlement programs.  Santorum failed to set himself apart as anything but a sacrificial lamb for 1st term George W. Bush style conservatism.  While they all performed well, Bachmann outshined this group.  Given the TEA Party’s success in 2010 and their conservative appeal, I would not write this group off.

The other group becoming apparent are the “intellectual”, restrained conservatives in Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty.  Their answers would not pass a soundbite test, but they were clear, well thought out, and flawless.  At the same time, these three touted socially conservative views and credentials which should make each one palatable for any Republican voter.  Newt was in a tough place and would need to be the only shining candidate last night to pull his campaign out of the rubble.  His performance was near flawless and enough to start the rebuilding process, but not good enough to bring him in from the dog house.  And while he may be right about ensuring that America is on board with the Paul Ryan plan, he is sure to take more heat for some of his comments last night.

Tim Pawlenty was perhaps the closest thing to a winner last night.  He made a great case for his pro-life record, perhaps settled some social conservatives with his call for his stance on homosexuality, connected with union and blue collar America, and magnanimously skipped a golden opportunity to play John King’s game and trash the front runner.  While the left-wing media rakes Pawlenty over the coals for his choice, conservatives should take a much closer look at a candidate who knows the enemy.

Mitt Romney will remain the front runner after last night.  The campaign has been nearly effortless for him sofar, and he made no mistakes that would cause him to lose his front runner status last night.  But he shouldn’t get too comfortable.  With Huntsman entering the race and with Rick Perry and Rudy Guiliani mulling Presidential runs of their own, the space Romney and Pawlenty occupy could get real crowded real quick.

In the end, the field last night did what they had to do.  They stayed focused on the economy and Obama.  They did not bite on questions obviously designed to turn them against each other and other Republicans.  They agreed with one another publicly and showed that any one of them is better than and can beat Barack Obama in 2012.

Paul Ryan v. The Fed

Ben Bernanke is warning the US of a dire future filled with high interest rates, crushing debt, and a weak dollar. He is calling on Congress to save the day. However, Bernanke is also warning Republicans to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Bernanke has just cause to be concerned. After the Fed’s $600 billion cash creation used to buy US debt, Republicans are focusing on limiting the Fed’s ultimate fiscal power. Led by Paul Ryan, Republicans are looking to take away the Fed’s responsibility to create jobs. This would mean a much less powerful position for Ben Bernanke.

Normally, such an idea would be discarded. But after years of Fed manipulation creating no job growth and looming inflation that Bernanke swears is not there, the public might be ready to rein in the Fed’s power. Even crazy idea’s like Ron Paul’s idea to audit the Fed are gaining traction. Congressional oversight of the Fed? Truly a novel concept.

If Paul Ryan succeeds in bringing down the Fed’s unlimited economic power, he will be a household name by this time next year. But it won’t just be taking on Bernanke that makes him infamous.

Republicans are betting on austerity. They are counting on cutting debt and returning more money to the private sector as the way to restore our economy. Across Republican run states and in DC this is the strategy. Paul Ryan has been chosen to spearhead this effort. His ambitious plans include revamping Social Security and Medicare, and spending cuts in many areas politicians are normally wary about touching. If it works quickly, Paul Ryan could be very popular in 2012.

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