Written by John Lounsbury
The following two essays are written from the point of view of which presidential ticket is more deserving to win, based on the facts of what they have done, what they have failed to do and what they promise to do over the next four years. Guest author Bob Deitrick explains why he finds the Romney-Ryan ticket unacceptable and a businessperson blogger writing under our in house nom de plume Desputatio Sapiens (who wishes to remain anonymous for business reasons) argues that Obama-Biden does not deserve to be re-elected.
We hope in the future to find two essays that will explain why each of the tickets has the authors’ support. This has been and seems likely to be one of the most negative presidential campaigns in history and here we are presenting a debate in which both participants are arguing with negative points.
If there cannot be found anything positive to represent the campaign debate this will be also the least productive presidential campaign, at least in the sense of moving anything forward. It is very difficult to move forward if all the action is backstabbing.
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The Romney-Ryan-Rand Ticket
by Bob Deitrick, ChFC
Not long ago a good friend of mine asked me whom Mitt Romney would pick as his running mate. I responded ‘anyone who can get the news cycle diverted from Mitt’s tax returns as the lead story on every newspaper and blog in the country’. Romney’s recent pick of Paul Ryan is being touted as bold by most conservatives. However, by selecting Paul Ryan as his Veep, Romney has unintentionally transformed the message he desperately needed. Instead of this being a referendum on Barack Obama’s economic record; it has now become a choice between a stark conservative and a left/center Democrat. Romney might as well have selected Ayn Rand to have been his running mate. When people get to know both Ayn and Paul, they will be less likely to vote for Mitt.
So, let’s review the paradox of Paul Ryan’s voting record. He is a deficit hawk, theoretically, but during his years in Congress prior to 2009, Ryan was a “big-spending” conservative who voted for every single discretionary bill that came to a vote on the house floor. Paul Ryan voted for and his proposed budget calls for the following:
- Ryan voted for both unfunded Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.
- He voted for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit that was the single largest expansion of Medicare in history.
- Ryan voted for TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in 2008 to save the giant banks.
- Ryan was one of only 28 Republicans who voted for the auto rescue plan recommended by President Obama which saved GM and Chrysler from ruin.
- Ryan voted against the Bowles/Simpson Deficit Reduction Plan.
- Ryan voted to defer payment on the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
- Ryan voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act.
- He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
- He voted against credit card reform and Dodd-Frank characterizing both as “class warfare”.
- Ryan voted against Pell grants and his budget sets Pell grant limits well below what it takes to go to college in 2012.
- Ryan’s budget makes interest on student loans accrue while students are still in college making the amounts they repay much greater.
- Ryan’s changes to Medicare favor insurance providers – not recipients.
- Discretionary spending (FBI, FDA, education, health care, veterans, NASA) are all cut 50%.
- Ryan creates two individual tax brackets: 10% and 25%, he cuts corporate taxes from 35% to 25%, and the AMT, created by Richard Nixon, is repealed.
- Medicare is abolished in its current form. Seniors get vouchers to buy private insurance.
- Medicaid, the health-care program for the indigent, is turned into block grants to the states.
- Food stamps would be turned into block grants and price supports for farmers would be reduced in perpetuity.
Paul Ryan is a modern day version of Ayn Rand. He believes we should provide more to those who already have a lot because they are responsible for making our society great. Ryan adheres to Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism which proclaims that individual rights should be embodied through laissez-faire capitalism. I suspect Ryan owns Ed Conard’s book – Unintended Consequences. In the world of Ryan and Conard, the wealthy should not be taxed because the middle 90% of Americans do little more than go out to eat, spend all of their money, and don’t know how to create innovative companies like Microsoft and Apple. The smart and affluent, in a Romney/Ryan/Rand world, are the driving force which makes America great and should be left alone to continue to do what they do best – make more money.
The dilemma with this argument is that it is imprudent, unfair and arrogant. Ignoring the notion and importance of having a strong and viable middle class is inane. A new Romney/Ryan/Rand administration will be a return to the years of George W. Bush which were an economic debacle for most Americans. One of the reasons we had two major market crashes during the tenure of George W. was that an un-level playing field was created which stacked the odds in favor of the affluent, hedge funds and speculators to the detriment of everyone who had an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or 529 Plan for their son or daughter.
A Romney-Ryan-Rand ticket will likely be a repeat of W’s tenure, but this time on steroids and a shot of Wild Turkey. Greater volatility in the financial markets would ensue as more wealth continues to be concentrated in the top one percent – slowing down the velocity of money further. If this occurs, it could lead to another cycle similar to 1929 where 42% of the nation’s wealth was concentrated in the top one percent. Former Fed Chairman, Marriner Eccles, believed that the disproportionate disparity in the national income led to the Great Crash of 1929 where Americans saw 89.2% of the stock market’s value destroyed in 34 short months. In the early 1930’s, 29 years of market gains vanished as we retraced the lows back to 1903! During the last 17 months of George W’s tenure, 13 years of stock market gains were gone in 17 months, a record by 1930 standards, as we retraced the lows to 1996.
Our financial markets require three things: Consistency, predictability and stability. If one looks at the supply side of the equation and ignores the demand side, they are making a fatuous mistake. A Romney-Rand-Ryan Ticket would resemble something of a Hoover-Nixon-Bush era relative to anything seen in modern American history. This election is a real choice of two distinct ideologies and it will not be a referendum on Barack Obama. If Democrats are sagacious, they will weave Mr. Ryan and Ms. Rand together at every turn. What was once a close election may not be when the American people become acquainted with Mitt’s two running mates – Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand.
Bob Deitrick is the co-author of Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box now on book shelves and at Amazon.com. For more info about the book please visit: www.bullsbearsandtheballotbox.com.
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Step Back and Smell the Roses
Written by Desputatio Sapiens
Pretend that President Obama and Vice President Biden were the CEO / CFO of USA, Inc. Almost four years ago, under terrible economic conditions – America tossed out the Republicans who lead the country into the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. The country expected that there would be a “Change You Can Believe In”.
When the contract of the CEO is renewd, the corporation directors judge not the words, or the actions – but the results. A CEO can have a bad idea which is turned into a gold mine, or a good idea which plainly does not work. Barack Hussein Obama set his agenda.
The following quotes have been taken out of context – although I believe they can stand alone.
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works (Inaugural speech)
I ask – is the government working better today?
After decades of broken politics in Washington, 8 years of failed policies from George Bush, twenty-one months of campaigning, we are less then one day away from bringing about change in America. (the night before election)
I ask – are politics still broken?
It’s not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college – policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt. (the night before the last primary)
I ask – have education costs stopped skyrocketing? Are there more good paying jobs today?
President Bush left the USA in terrible shape, but what policies exist in 2012 that provides any confidence the future will be better. Even the Obamacare, the signature legislation of this administration – is a question mark. The Congressional Budget Office cannot offer any certainty that health care will be any cheaper – although it will be different.
I submit you must be on crack to think any economic dynamics changed since President Bush packed up and left – we might as well had Bush spend another 4 years driving the economy. Sure the pot was stirred with Dodd-Frank, but when you stir without changing out the ingredients – it still tastes the same.
Should the electorate have awarded the Republicans the election of 2008? The answer is hell no because we were assured of 4 more years of failed policy and execution. Now in 2012, the USA is looking back on another 4 years of literally the same failed policies – stirred, not shaken.
Let us be clear – this presidential election will go down as the dirtiest in history. The reason is that both candidates must run on their records – and both major parties political candidates literally scare the crap out me by their inability to step away from their dogma.
But the Obama / Biden team has failed – and in politics and business the reward for failure is loss of their job. The new CEO should know that in 4 more years – he too will be judged for the RESULTS of his policy. Failure is not acceptable and should not be rewarded.