He released his economic plan last week. Take a look at it and the feedback on it in comparison to the 2012 GOP field.
This could serve as a type of media headline game.
Robbie George, a political science professor at Princeton, says nothing groundbreaking in his 2 and a half minute snippet from the Republican debate in South Carolina. He does, however, speak on behalf of our inalienable rights with much ignorance to what we as a nation have intentionally done to institutionally make fellow Americans unequal. Are American’s of color today given the same rights to education or even the same slate as a white American when they are born? To me, pontificating about our equality in a hagiographic manner while we face a type of apartheid in our schools and neighborhoods is a sad side effect of privileged conditioning and possessing blinders to much of our America.
The Republicans who loathe spending programs as a form of anti-Christian reliance in fact worship a program known as tax cuts, ironically a government program in itself:
The other way to look at these credits and deductions is that they’re essentially government spending programs in disguise. After all, if these deductions didn’t exist, then either the deficit would be smaller or everyone else could pay fewer taxes. A tax credit that subsidizes the construction of affordable housing is no different than an explicit grant to do the same thing.
In Washington, however, tax expenditures generally aren’t considered spending programs. They’re considered tax breaks. And, as a new NBER paper by Len Burman and Marvin Phaup details, this view has had enormously perverse consequences over the years. Politicians always prefer tax breaks to new spending programs. So Congress ends up enacting a disproportionate amount of social policy through tax credits and deductions, the paper said, and that, in the end, can actually lead to higher taxes and bigger government than would otherwise be the case.
Burman and Phaup found that total U.S. tax expenditures will amount to $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2011. That’s much, much larger than non-defense ($671 billion) or defense ($744 billion) discretionary spending. In other words, there’s a huge pool of federal spending that Congress doesn’t even consider to be spending. As the authors noted, “excluding income tax expenditures causes spending to be understated by about one-third.”
(Pictured: the 10 biggest tax expenditure programs for fiscal year 2011)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offered advice to 2012 Republican hopefuls: bashing President Barack Obama is not enough to win on the campaign trail.
“I hope that the Republican candidates, when they are offering their solutions, it’s good to be critical of the president, I think the president means well, but his policies have failed,” Bush said on Fox News. “And to point that out, nothing wrong with that. That is politics. But just to stop there and say, ‘Well, I’m going to win because I am against what is going on’ is not enough.”
When asked by Fox News Host Neil Cavuto if some in his party overdo their criticism of Obama, Bush said, “I do. I think, when you start ascribing bad motives to the guy, I think that is wrong. It turns off a bunch of people that want solutions.”
Bush also suggested candidates not shy away from their conservative views.
“I would humbly suggest to you that being a conservative is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you are a conservative, you have to persuade. You have to defend a position. You can’t just be against the president,” Bush said.
Does this make sense?
A New Jersey politician resigns for Weiner-esque reasons. I notice, in contrast, that congressman Joe Walsh, who has been sued by his ex-wife for $117,437 in child support, is still happily in office. The tea party has backed him to the hilt, as has the GOP. The New Jersey pol is even single!
It is a strange country where someone unmarried sending consensual sexting pictures to another adult is forced to resign, while a man who is alleged to have abandoned his children is secure.
Strange – but so American.
When a politician joins hand in hand with a crusade-type campaign against pork barrel spending (which is believed in some camps as the entire reason we are in debt), wouldn’t you then oppose all pork spending?
Rep. Michele Bachmann has gotten a lot of flak for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies from farm assistance programs she has decried as “outrageous pork.” Her opposition was well founded: The subsidies make our food less healthy and more carbon intensive and distort our trade with other countries. But Lindsey Boerma reports that Bachmann’s responding to the criticism by walking back her stance:
Not long ago, Rep. Michele Bachmann viewed farm subsidies as “outrageous pork.” But after a summer of blistering criticism about the nearly $260,000 in government handouts that went to a family farm partially owned by Bachmann and her husband, the archconservative and GOP presidential candidate softened her tone considerably in an interview with National Journal.
While she insisted that “our federal budget needs a complete overhaul, and agricultural subsidies are no exception,” Bachmann would not commit to doing away with them without seeing details of any future legislation. “If all farm subsidies were ended, that would be a complete change of policy over the last 80 to 90 years of American history, and that would be a very interesting vote,” she said. “So, of course, I would have to look at that before I could tell you how I was going to cast my vote.”
The hypocrisy of this “self-made woman” who I bet attests that she relies on no one.
“I never said [Palin] is going to declare..I’m mystified. Look she is all upset about this, saying I’m trying to sabotage her in some way. And how dare I speculate on her future. If she doesn’t want to be speculated about as a potential candidate, there’s an easy way to end the speculation: say ‘I’m not running.’ … I’m saying the schedule leads me to believe she is going to be a candidate. I’m not privy to her thought-making process. It is a sign of enormous thin skin (that) if we speculate about her she would be upset,” – Karl Rove. Apparently Fox News censored the transcript of his critical comments.
Considering Perry has just jumped into the GOP race, may be the front-runner without involving himself in the Iowa straw poll, and has a good chance at this point of being a front-runner in his parties nomination race, it’s worth following him.
Here comes George Bush III.
“If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right,” – David Brooks, NYT.
H/T: The Dish
Some of the GOP candidates running in 2012 have executive experience (Johnson, Pawlenty, Huntsman). Conor Friedersdorf gives a good case for not trusting the job creating records these former exec’s had in their given state (New Mexico, Minnesota, and Utah, respectively). Conor even hones in on Gary Johnson, a candidate he most likely would endorse:
Every state has its confounding variables. And it’s unlikely that journalists or voters are going to accurately assign credit or blame for them, especially since a useful comparison requires attributing the appropriate credit to everyone. Plus there’s a huge time horizon problem. What if the best policy doesn’t produce jobs immediately, but does produce them eventually, and in much greater numbers than a shorter term fix? It isn’t as if it’s uncommon for a politician to inherit the consequences of a predecessor’s decision, or to saddle a successor with a problem that is more dire than it seemed when he left office.
Another problem with the jobs metric: success as a governor depends largely upon legislation signed or vetoed during one’s tenure. What if a governor has an intransigent legislature through no fault of his own? What if he owes his tremendous success to personal relationships in the state that he can’t rely on in Washington, D.C.? What if, like Gary Johnson, he vetoes bills aplenty when they’re passed by the other political party? Love or hate Johnson’s record, he amassed it largely through the veto mechanism. Elevated to the White House, but given a Republican rather than a Democratic legislature, would he be able to govern as successfully? Hard to say. A man’s success operating in one political context isn’t a reliable predictor of how he’ll perform in another. See all the successful governors who performed poorly after attaining higher office.
Believe it or not, but Jon Huntsman could possibly be someone I’d vote for over Obama in 2012. Huntsman has a great track record as an executive (two-term governor of Utah),which Obama in retrospect may have needed more than he thought, and is focused on two very important things: job creation and returning civility to our public debate. First, the economy:
We must reignite the powerful job creating engine of our economy – the industry, innovation, reliability, and trailblazing genius of Americans and their enterprises — and restore confidence in our people.
We did many of these things in Utah when I was governor. We cut taxes and flattened rates. We balanced our budget. Worked to maintain our AAA bond rating. When the economic crisis hit, we were ready. And by many accounts we became the best state for business and the best managed state in America. We proved government doesn’t have to choose between fiscal responsibility and economic growth. I learned something very important as Governor. For the average American family there is nothing more important than a job.
Second, civility. When was the last time you honestly heard a Republican candidate speak like this?
I don’t think you need to run down anyone’s reputation to run for President. Of course we’ll have our disagreements. I respect my fellow Republican candidates. And I respect the President. He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help the country we both love. But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better President; not who’s the better American.
Jonathan Chait sees the divide between Huntsman and the GOP that may hold him back from succeeding:
The posture of maximal opposition to Obama is the one single thing upon which the entire party agrees. The notion that a dissenter against that consensus might win the presidential nomination is not merely a longshot but totally absurd.
Then there is matching him, his resume, and his message up with the GOP pack:
Huntsman will continue to get a good press (hiring John Weaver, John McCain’s image-guy/strategist was a smart move) and that press won’t be enough. Nor will many people vote for Huntsman because of his foreign policy credentials: as Spencer Ackerman says, being a diplomat don’t give you much suction or juice these days. Anyway, when the C-word comes up we know that Huntsman is going to say something sensible about how America shouldn’t be too worried too soon by too much of anything that China might do. Most of the other “leading” contenders will advise Americans to press the panic button and this, I am afraid, will be more effective than anything Huntsman can say.
Huntsman also comments on the New York state bill to legalize same-sex marriage:
… Huntsman was asked specifically about the growing likelihood of a same-sex marriage bill being passed in New York. Would he seek to overrule Empire State lawmakers should he end up in the Oval Office? “I would respect the state’s decision on that,” he replied.
The answer, while brisk, nevertheless sets Huntsman apart from his fellow Republican presidential candidates. Other members of the field have offered sympathy for state sovereignty on matters of marriage. But they have usually couched that by saying they would support a federal ban on same-sex marriage as well.
(Photo: Republican Jon Huntsman speaks during a press conference to announce his bid for the presidency at Liberty State Park June 21, 2011 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Huntsman, until recently the U.S. ambassador to China under President Obama, emphasized his record as a two-term governor of Utah. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images.)
I am starting to wonder where people get the idea that Obama is anti-fatherhood (or parenting) as well as a non-Christian. Let’s start with the first one.
Yesterday was Father’s Day. Obama circulated a message via email, radio address, and in People magazine. It doesn’t deviate from what he has talked about before (being raised fatherless) or how he lives his life today (a married father of two). Yet some on the right are surprised?
I know. So many of his policies do so much harm. I wish he would see the full picture. We need a president who does. We need leaders who do. But count me among those who are grateful Barack Obama is talking about the importance of fatherhood.
This beginning paragraph is somewhat of a ramble that I cannot find connecting to what Barack says about Father’s Day. By the way, good luck finding that president who sees the full picture. I find it funny and ironic that the GOP can hold the mantle of responsible, moral families when it is lead by Karl Rove (who has a gay dad) and Sarah Palin (who has a daughter who had a child out of wedlock). What about the Democratic president with the picturesque family?
Again, is there an expectation that Barack is to be advocating an extreme opposite of father’s being present in the lives of their children and family?
Now on to Barack and his faith. He obviously has been smeared by the right (the meme wasn’t helped by Hilary Clinton’s own mud slinging) as a Muslim, unwilling to commit to a church, and is a Democrat so he can’t be a real, true Christian (the party of God, the GOP, cannot answer without rationalizing why God would side with a pro-war, pro-rich, and mostly white party). I showed the following speeches to a friend:
My friend was blown away when he saw these videos:
Wow i got to say i’m impressed with Obama’s speech! … maybe being President is changing his views on God and faith.
Changed from what?
The full transcript here. It’s worth reading. Money quote by none other than Mike Huckabee:
And as the only person here on the stage with a theology degree, there are parts of it I don’t fully comprehend and understand, because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite god, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.