Let the campaign begin!

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Post by Yuri Yukuv Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:20 am

RNC Convention was last week, DNC will be this week. Here are some highlights






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Post by free_cat Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:37 pm

Why do you support the Republicans?

I don't love Democrats, but I prefer them very very much to Republicans, even though I gotta say tha Rommey is better than most republicans because he is not a religious fundamentalist and he favours abortion, stem cell research, teaching of evolution etc.

Also, can you vote in the US??
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:53 pm

free_cat wrote:Why do you support the Republicans?

I don't love Democrats, but I prefer them very very much to Republicans, even though I gotta say tha Rommey is better than most republicans because he is not a religious fundamentalist and he favours abortion, stem cell research, teaching of evolution etc.

Also, can you vote in the US??

Hey Free

I wouldnt say that I support the republicans or that I am a republican. I am a libertarian and I tend to switch between parties based on the issues at hand, for this election and the current issues I will vote republican. As a rule of hand Ill vote democrat if the issues are social/foreign policy and vote republican if the issues are economic/political rights.

Yes, I can vote in the US but unfortunately I dont live in a swing state so my vote doesnt matter that much.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:41 pm

How do you feel about Ryan's speech? When the man who's supposed to be the real "nuts and bolts" guy of the party's policy spends his entire speech using lies, damned lies, and fake statistics to attack the opponent it seems a waste. He barely (if at all) actually touched on the party's actual platform and gave NO actual information on it or their plans.

Concerned?
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Post by VivaStPauli Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:19 pm

Ryan was incredibly blatant with his lies, that was just stupid.

Romney, I think, isn't necessarily the big bad many other Republican candidates would've been. He is a slimy liar, though, and has switched his positions on a whim to win elections. I do think, though, that Taxachussetts Romney is the "real Romney", and he won't oppose equal rights (gay marriage for example), abortion rights, or stem cell research, despite him implying that to his right-wing base.

He's a moderate, but he's also a populist.

That being said, most Presidents historically get a 2nd term, and Obama hasn't been bad enough to not get a 2nd term. He'll win. If Obama was white, I'd bet on a landslide.

He'll still win by a small margin, though. The Republicans would've been better off running a proper moderate, like Huntsman.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:25 pm

RedOranje wrote:How do you feel about Ryan's speech? When the man who's supposed to be the real "nuts and bolts" guy of the party's policy spends his entire speech using lies, damned lies, and fake statistics to attack the opponent it seems a waste. He barely (if at all) actually touched on the party's actual platform and gave NO actual information on it or their plans.

Concerned?

Hello Red,

Are you referring to the sub-3 hour marathon comment or the hometown plant? It would be great if you could be more specific. I generally accept and know most politicians lie, wither the be right left or center. I am extremely worried about Obama campaign and/or media being able to paint Ryan as a liar or dishonest because that would ultimately shatter him and his use to this ticket. I am also worried he would act like a congressman and not a member of the executive in the veep debates. Theres alot that can happen between now and November but over past coupe of weeks Ive really felt momentum has been on side of Romney-Ryan ticket.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:35 pm

There were a number of inconsistencies in his speech, the two you mentioned simply being the most obvious/blatant of them. Given that I neither have a transcript of the speech in front of me nor feel particularly inclined to find one and search through all the nonsense to find specific examples at the moment, I'll just reiterate my question about his almost complete lack of anything substantive in his speech, despite being billed as the man with the real knowledge of the fiscal policy.
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Post by VivaStPauli Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:39 pm

Well at the RNC Ryan, and that was one of the funnier lies, told an anecdote about a factory, I think a GM plant, in his home town, that Obama promised to save, if elected president, but it closed a year later.
Turns out it turned during George W. Bushs term.

So that was pretty funny to me.

Also the whole "We built that!"-schtick is rather embarassing, considering that Obama clearly wasn't speaking of businesses that weren't built by individuals, but of infrastructure, in his whole quote. Specifically, he was talkling about bridges and roads.

The whole Republican campaign is like a huge "f*ck you" to fact-checkers all over the world.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:42 pm

RedOranje wrote:There were a number of inconsistencies in his speech, the two you mentioned simply being the most obvious/blatant of them. Given that I neither have a transcript of the speech in front of me nor feel particularly inclined to find one and search through all the nonsense to find specific examples at the moment, I'll just reiterate my question about his almost complete lack of anything substantive in his speech, despite being billed as the man with the real knowledge of the fiscal policy.

Oh you are referring to the RNC speech specifically? I dont know if the hometown plant would count as a lie, not according to what I remember.

The conventions are meant to be more like pep rallies and not policy debates, well see that later on. I thought Ryans speech was entirely appropriate in that context.
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:48 pm

The Conventions exist for two specific reasons:

1) To officially choose the candidates for the parties
2) To set up the official platform that the candidates will be running on.


The Republicans failed miserably in the latter, preferring instead to spend their time criticising Obama's administration with what turned out (in most cases) to be fake/false anecdotes and twisted or just plain wrong statistics. I pick on Ryan because he's been made out as the "hard-facts, purely business" candidate who won't bother with the politicising and yet he was as guilty as anyone else (if not more so) in twisting things and avoiding the actual issues.

The sad thing is that the Democratic Convention will likely be more of the same. That one side does it does not excuse the others, however.
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Post by McLewis Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:44 am

I'm thoroughly undecided. I know for sure that I won't be voting for Romney so that leaves me with Obama or probably some 3rd party candidate or I may not vote at all as none of these candidates has overwhelmingly impressed me.

As for my thoughts on the RNC:

- Ryan comes off as a snarky and standoffish douche, which what I'm used to seeing from the congressman and not a VP candidate, he also notably backed off from touting his highly publicized economic plan, the same one that members of his own party are backing away from. Tells me all I need to know about it and him.

- Craig Romney's part in this was rather odd. They brought him on stage, blubbering about how great his dad is and then he spoke random Spanish to a crowd that didn't even understand him. And they applauded as if he'd given the I Have a Dream speech. It was utterly confusing, but amusing.

- Ann Romney looks like frakking Marie Antoinette reincarnated. She's so disconnected from the middle class, it's laughable. She just doesn't even try to give off the aura of " I care about what going on in this country." She really doesn't know how to connect with women, which is what she's around for. If anything, she looked down her nose at them like everyone else. "We've given more than any of you people will ever know"....that shit equates to "Let them eat cake".

- And then there's Romney himself. I've said it many times on a political forum I post on: That man is as wooden as Washington's frakking teeth. He has no emotion, no spark, and no chemistry with who he's talking to. Obama's biggest asset last election was his ability to inspire people, that's what drove the excitement. Romney is the almost uncanny opposite of that. He's just so droll. So bland and hopelessly disconnected from everyday Americans. Even the right-wing are lukewarm towards him. I give them effort for attempting to get behind him though. His speech was incredibly bland and predictable. Absolutely no "wow" factor.

- And then there's good ol' Clint Eastwood. I saved him for last because apparently he was a bigger attraction than Romney himself and I find that thoroughly amusing. I myself am a fan of Eastwood as an actor and director, but the poor guy just looked......old. The man was talking to a frakking chair ffs. He had no business getting a segment at such an event and ultimately feel sorry for him.


VivaStPauli wrote:Ryan was incredibly blatant with his lies, that was just stupid.

Romney, I think, isn't necessarily the big bad many other Republican candidates would've been. He is a slimy liar, though, and has switched his positions on a whim to win elections. I do think, though, that Taxachussetts Romney is the "real Romney", and he won't oppose equal rights (gay marriage for example), abortion rights, or stem cell research, despite him implying that to his right-wing base.

He's a moderate, but he's also a populist.

That being said, most Presidents historically get a 2nd term, and Obama hasn't been bad enough to not get a 2nd term. He'll win. If Obama was white, I'd bet on a landslide.

He'll still win by a small margin, though. The Republicans would've been better off running a proper moderate, like Huntsman.

Huntsman's rather "meh" though. That showed in the GOP Primaries. Obama did realize his potential as a candidate and was wise to ship him to China as our Ambassador there. As a Candidate though, Huntsman had the same problem as Romney, doesn't inspire much.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:03 am

Now Obama must build the case for government

By Gideon Rachman

Presidential elections can turn on trivia. So the fact that Paul Ryan, the Republicans’ vice-presidential candidate, has lied about having run a marathon in under three hours, could be bizarrely important. At last week’s GOP convention, Mr Ryan was introduced as a fearless truth-teller. The Democrats argued that, in fact, his speech contained lies about everything from Medicare to the closure of a car plant.

But Medicare reform is hard to grasp. By contrast, lopping a full hour off your marathon time is readily understandable. It makes Mr Ryan look both ridiculous and dishonest. The Democrats will have a field day with the marathon man at their own convention this week.

The gaffe is all the more irritating for the Republicans because they have just had a very successful convention. In Tampa last week, the GOP locked its mad uncles in the attic – with the exception of Clint Eastwood, who was allowed a brief appearance. There was very little talk about religion, abortion, immigration, Barack Obama’s birth certificate or the threat of sharia law being imposed on Michigan.

Instead the Republicans hammered away at a single theme. They are the party that embodies the optimism and rugged individualism of the American dream. By contrast, Mr Obama was portrayed as a nice man who “doesn’t get it”: as somebody who thinks all good things come from government, and denigrates individual effort. If Mr Obama is to win re-election, he will have to repel this assault by making the case for government. He will have to defend his economic stimulus. He will have to stand up for “ObamaCare”. Above all, the president will have to reclaim the most powerful and seductive idea in US politics – the American dream.

This is a very delicate task. The potential for mishap is underlined by an ad-libbed speech the president made a couple of months ago in which he seemed to mock the efforts of small-business owners. The fatal phrase Mr Obama used – “you didn’t build that” – was repeated endlessly at the Republican convention. A succession of small-business owners was brought to the podium to assert, in indignant terms, that they had indeed “built it”.

The Democrats’ defence is that the president was merely talking about the need for government to provide vital services, such as infrastructure. They insist his remarks were ripped out of context. But, in truth, they don’t sound too great in context, either. Mr Obama sneered at successful people, who think “well it must just be because I was so smart”. A political gaffe is most dangerous when it seems to confirm what voters already suspect. And the president was already vulnerable to the idea that he has scant sympathy with the strivings of the little guy.

But some of the ammunition Mr Obama will need to fire back at his opponents – and to make the case for government – could be found at the Republican convention itself. The first night was staged against the backdrop of a huge portrait of Neil Armstrong, who had died on the eve of the meeting. But Armstrong made it to the moon not because he “followed his dream” and founded a small business – but because the federal government put him there. What is the difference between Nasa, the revered space agency, and the dreaded “central planners” derided by Mr Ryan?

The would-be vice-president argued that Mr Obama had embraced alien European ideas that individuals are limited by their social circumstances. “I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life,” he boasted. But then both Mr Ryan and (even more so) Mr Romney were born into comfortable circumstances – although both men did their best to emphasise anything resembling a struggle in their lives.

By contrast Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, who was born a black girl in segregated Alabama, made much less fuss of her much more remarkable story. Perhaps because she really has made it from the toughest of backgrounds, Ms Rice was prepared to accept an idea that Mr Ryan derided – that social circumstances make a difference. Now a professor at Stanford University, she asked: “When I can look at your zip code and tell whether you are going to get a good education, can I really say it doesn’t matter where you come from?” Correcting this inequality of opportunity, said Ms Rice, was the “civil rights issue of our time”. It is hard to see how it can be done without some form of government intervention or reform.

Press a little harder and further inconsistencies are revealed in the Republican position. The party’s vocal defence of government-funded healthcare for the elderly (Medicare) is inconsistent with the notion of an America where government’s main role is simply to get out of the way.

Mr Obama can, and will, make these points. But even as he stomps on his opponent’s arguments, he will have to be careful not to tread on the American dream. The idea of the “land of opportunity”, where an individual is free to make his own way, remains inspiring – far more inspiring to most Americans than the notion of a social safety net. The case he must make is that government is the friend of the American dream, not its enemy.

It would be nice to believe that the US election will ultimately turn on this profound debate about the role of government. But it is just as likely to turn into a battle of the gaffes: Obama’s “you didn’t build that” against Ryan’s three-hour marathon.


I thought this was a good review of what has happened so far from a centre left point of view, although not enlightening. I cant wait for the DNC convention this weekend.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:58 am

VivaStPauli wrote:Ryan was incredibly blatant with his lies, that was just stupid.

Romney, I think, isn't necessarily the big bad many other Republican candidates would've been. He is a slimy liar, though, and has switched his positions on a whim to win elections. I do think, though, that Taxachussetts Romney is the "real Romney", and he won't oppose equal rights (gay marriage for example), abortion rights, or stem cell research, despite him implying that to his right-wing base.

He's a moderate, but he's also a populist.


That being said, most Presidents historically get a 2nd term, and Obama hasn't been bad enough to not get a 2nd term. He'll win. If Obama was white, I'd bet on a landslide.

He'll still win by a small margin, though. The Republicans would've been better off running a proper moderate, like Huntsman.

I would like to adress your points regarding Romney's positions. Romney has changed his social positions alot depending on the situation but most people forget why, its because Romney is not a social ideologue he runs on an economic platform and a can do attitude. He does what many in the private equity business do, they analyse, repair and make more effecient.

I find it strange that you would call Romney a populist, its pretty obvious that in this election he is the elitist while Obama is the populist as McLewis pointed out in his post.

Obama won his first election in a landslide, he was half african american then and he is still african american now. I hope you are not implying that everyone who is switching sides has newfound racism. I for one voted for Obama the first time around, I am switching because I think Obama is detrimental to the economy and the american dream. Soon we will end up like europe if this keeps going on.
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Post by Jonathan28 Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:12 am

Clint Eastwoods speech :facepalm:

I was cringing the whole way through that invisible chair thing of his, it was embaressing. Did Ryan break the record of most lies ever told in a single speech before? Even a Fox contributor wrote up on the garbage he was spewing from his mouth. The guy just oozes sleaziness. Romney switches his positions more time then Anelka switches clubs, does anyone even know what his true beliefs are? It dosen't help that he's so uninspiring and boring.

Even as a Christian, if I lived in America I would never vote Republican. The right wing are a perfect example of what Christians shouldn't be like. The things some of those guys come out with are so bad. "A women can't get preganant from being raped, so abortion is bad" lol, what? I can imagine Romney facepalming everytime a member of his party comes out with a corker, he tries to distance himself away from it but the damage is done. He's lost the votes of the women I think.
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Post by Forza Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:19 am

Some Republicans are absolute lunatics. I'm so grateful that politics is nowhere near as polarised in Aus.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:23 am

For people asking why so many who previously voted for Obama will vote against him here is an article by the Economist that explains:

NOT since 1933 had an American president taken the oath of office in an economic climate as grim as it was when Barack Obama put his left hand on the Bible in January 2009. The banking system was near collapse, two big car manufacturers were sliding towards bankruptcy; and employment, the housing market and output were spiralling down.

Hemmed in by political constraints, presidents typically have only the slightest influence over the American economy. Mr Obama, like Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 and Ronald Reagan in 1981, would be an exception. Not only would his decisions be crucial to the recovery, but he also had a chance to shape the economy that emerged. As one adviser said, the crisis should not be allowed to go to waste.

Did Mr Obama blow it? Nearly four years later, voters seem to think so: approval of his economic management is near rock-bottom, the single-biggest obstacle to his re-election. This, however, is not a fair judgment on Mr Obama’s record, which must consider not just the results but the decisions he took, the alternatives on offer and the obstacles in his way. Seen in that light, the report card is better. His handling of the crisis and recession were impressive. Unfortunately, his efforts to reshape the economy have often misfired. And America’s public finances are in a dire state.

Seven weeks before Mr Obama defeated John McCain in November 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed. AIG was bailed out shortly afterwards. The rescues of Bank of America and Citigroup lay ahead. In the final quarter of 2008, GDP shrank at an annualised rate of 9%, the worst in nearly 50 years.

Even before Mr Obama took office, therefore, there was a risk that investor confidence would vanish in the face of a messy transition to an untested president. The political vacuum between FDR’s victory in 1932 and his inauguration the next year made those months among the worst of the Depression.

Mr Obama did what he could to ease those fears. As candidate and senator, he had backed the unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) cobbled together by Henry Paulson, George Bush’s treasury secretary. After the election he selected Tim Geithner, who had been instrumental to the Bush administration’s response to the crisis, as his own treasury secretary. The rest of his economic team—Larry Summers, who had been Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary; Peter Orszag, a fiscally conservative director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO); and Christina Romer, a highly regarded macroeconomist—were similarly reassuring.

Resolving a systemic financial crisis requires recapitalising weak financial institutions and moving their bad loans from the private to the public sector. Under Mr Bush, the government injected cash into the banks. But doubts about lenders’ ability to survive a worsening recession persisted. Mr Obama faced calls to nationalise the weakened banks and force them to lend, or to let them fail. Mr Summers and Mr Geithner reckoned either step would shatter confidence in the financial system, and instead hit upon a series of “stress tests” to determine which banks had enough capital. Those that failed could either raise more capital privately or get it from TARP.

The first reaction was one of dismay—stocks tanked. Pundits predicted Mr Geithner would soon be gone. But the tests proved tough and transparent enough to persuade investors that the banking system had nothing nasty left to hide. Banks were forced to raise hundreds of billions of dollars of equity. Bank-capital ratios now exceed pre-crisis levels and most of their TARP money has been repaid at a profit to the government. Europe’s stress tests were laxer, and some banks that passed have subsequently had to be bailed out.

General Motors and Chrysler presented a different challenge. Ordinarily a failing manufacturer would shed debts and slim down under court-supervised bankruptcy. But in 2009 no lender would provide the huge “debtor-in-possession” financing that a reorganisation of the two would require. Bankruptcy meant liquidation. That would have wiped out local economies and suppliers just as the banks were being rescued. On the other hand, simply bailing-out badly run companies would have been too generous.

Mr Obama’s solution was to force both carmakers into bankruptcy protection, then provide the financing necessary to reorganise, on condition that both eliminated unneeded capacity and workers. Both companies emerged from bankruptcy within a few months. Chrysler, now part of Italy’s Fiat, is again profitable, as is GM, which returned to the stockmarket in 2010. Nonetheless, the government will probably lose money on these two rescues.

Mr Obama’s attempts to fix the housing market were less successful. By early 2009 9% of residential mortgages, worth nearly $900 billion, were delinquent. The traditional playbook called for the government to buy and then write down the bad loans, cleansing the banking system and enabling it to lend again. But when the Treasury studied such proposals, it found there was no ready mechanism to extract dud loans from securitised pools. An alternative was to pay banks to write down the loans to levels homeowners could handle. But the risk then was “you either overpaid the banks…doing a backdoor bail-out without enough protection for taxpayers, or paid too little and banks would not be willing to do it,” recalls Michael Barr, who worked on those efforts and now teaches at the University of Michigan.

Instead, lenders were prodded to reduce payments on mortgages with subsidies and loan guarantees. Even Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, though now explicitly owned by the government, resisted taking part. As of April, only 2.3m mortgages had been modified or refinanced under the administration’s programmes, compared with a target of 7m-9m. Had Mr Obama ploughed more money into writing down principal at the start, the results might have been worth the political risk. “They were prudent,” says Phillip Swagel, an economist who tackled similar questions under Mr Paulson. “In retrospect, I bet they wish they had been imprudent, spent a lot of money, and actually solved the problem.”

Textbook economics dictates that when conventional monetary policy is impotent, only fiscal policy can pull the economy out of a slump. For the first time since the 1930s, America was facing just those circumstances in December 2008. The Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to zero that month and experimented with the unconventional, buying bonds with newly printed money. The case for fiscal stimulus was therefore good.

Sluggish growth since 2009 has fed opposing assessments of the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Conservatives say stimulus does not work, or that Mr Obama’s was badly designed. Most impartial work suggests they are wrong. Daniel Wilson of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco inferred the stimulus’s effect through an analysis of state-level employment data. He concluded that stimulus spending created or saved 3.4m jobs, close to the CBO’s estimate (see chart 1).

Charges that the plan was made up of ineffective pork are also unfair. Roughly a third of the money went on tax cuts or credits. Most of the spending took the form of direct transfers to individuals, such as for food stamps and unemployment insurance, or to states and local governments, for things like Medicaid.

Liberals make the opposite case: the stimulus was too small. Ms Romer originally proposed a package of $1.8 trillion, according to an account by Noam Scheiber in his book, “The Escape Artists”. Told that was impractical, she revised it down to $1.2 trillion. Mr Obama eventually asked for, and got, around $800 billion. Some critics note that this was too small relative to a projected $2 trillion shortfall in economic activity in 2009 and 2010. But it was far more than Congress had ever approved before. Despite the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 2010, Mr Obama eventually got nearly $600 billion of further stimulus, including a two-year payroll-tax cut.

If stimulus worked, why has the recovery remained so sluggish? GDP has grown by just 2.2%, on average, since the recession ended in mid-2009, one of the slowest recoveries on record. For one thing, the economy hit air-pockets in the form of higher oil prices, caused partly by the Arab spring, and the European debt crisis. Moreover, from the fourth quarter of 2009, state and local belt-tightening more than neutralised the federal stimulus, according to Goldman Sachs (see chart 2).

Perhaps the simplest explanation is that recoveries from financial crises are normally weak. Mr Obama was guilty of hubris in thinking this one would be different. He also created expectations that, once his team gave up radical intervention in the mortgage market, he could not meet.

An economy in his own image

From his earliest days on the campaign trail, Mr Obama made it clear he wanted to do more than just restore growth: he dreamed of remaking the American economy. Its best and brightest would devote themselves to clean energy, not financial speculation. Reinvigorated public investment in education and infrastructure would revitalise manufacturing, boost middle-class incomes and meet the competitive challenge from China.

Once in office, Mr Obama devoted himself to that agenda, in the process displaying a fondness for industrial policy. “When we first started talking about the Recovery Act in December of 2008, the earliest discussions were about clean energy: smart grid, wind, solar, advanced batteries,” says Jared Bernstein, then an economic adviser to Joe Biden, the vice-president-elect. Some advisers, like Mr Summers, were uneasy with industrial policy. Others, like Mr Bernstein, argued that orthodox economics allowed for government intervention in early-stage technology.

Mr Obama’s personal priorities carried the day. The stimulus allocated some $90 billion to green projects, including $8 billion for high-speed rail. Some of this has clearly been wasted, but perhaps not as much as critics think. Less than 2% of the Department of Energy’s controversial green-energy loans, such as those to Solyndra, a now-bankrupt solar-panel maker, have gone bad.

The bigger problem with this spending is that it went against the economic tides. Last year Mr Obama boasted that America would soon have 40% of the world’s manufacturing capacity in advanced electric-car batteries. But with electric cars still a rounding error in total car sales, that capacity is unneeded. Many battery makers are struggling to survive. Makers of solar panels face cheap competition from China, while natural gas from shale rock has undermined the case for electricity from solar and wind. As for high-speed rail, extensive highways, cheap air fares and stroppy state and local governments make its viability dubious. A $3.5 billion federal grant to California may come to nothing as the estimated cost of that state’s high-speed rail project runs out of control.

Mr Obama has always portrayed himself as a pragmatist, not an ideologue. “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works,” he said in his inaugural address. In practice, though, he usually chooses bigger government over small.

Sometimes this is a matter of necessity. The complexity of Mr Obama’s health-care law was a result of delivering the Democratic dream of universal health care within the existing private market. The financial crisis made it necessary to deal with failing financial firms that are not banks, to rationalise supervisory structures and to regulate derivatives, all of which the Dodd-Frank Act does.

Unfortunately Dodd-Frank does much more than that. In other areas, too, Mr Obama’s appointees have proposed or implemented more costly and intrusive rules than their predecessors on everything from fuel-economy standards for cars to power plants’ mercury emissions. The administration says the benefits of these rules far outweigh the costs, but that case often rests on doubtful assumptions.

If the sheer volume of new rules has alienated business, Mr Obama’s rhetoric has also given the impression that he comes from a hostile tribe. This has been self-defeating, more so because his actions in the past year have suggested a change in direction. The White House has forced the Environmental Protection Agency to delay a costly and controversial new ozone standard. Mr Obama is now a cheerleader for shale gas. His administration has written new rules in favour of the industry, for example giving well-drillers an extra two years to meet emissions guidelines.

After initial indifference, Mr Obama has also warmed to trade. He struck a deal with Republicans to ratify three bilateral trade agreements, and is pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. An early round of tariffs on tyres proved an isolated provocation in an otherwise well-managed economic relationship with China.

This pragmatic turn may have come too late for Mr Obama to woo corporate America. Instead, free-market types worry that without the restraining influence of officials such as Mr Summers, Cass Sunstein and Mr Geithner (who is likely to depart at the end of this term), Mr Obama’s more interventionist disciples will have the run of a second-term government.


The elephant in the second term

In fact, Mr Obama is likely to move closer to the centre if he wins a second term. His principal legislative goals—health care and financial reform—are achieved. The Republicans are almost certain to control at least one chamber of Congress, precluding big new spending plans, regardless of the state of the recovery.That leaves the public finances. There is little to commend in Mr Obama on that front. True, he inherited the largest budget deficit in peacetime history, at 10% of GDP. But in 2009 he thought it would fall to 3% by the coming fiscal year. Instead, it will be 6%, if he gets his way. Back in 2009, he thought debt would peak at 70% of GDP in 2011. Now it is projected to reach 79% in 2014 (see chart 3), assuming his optimistic growth forecast is correct.

This is not quite the indictment it seems: normal standards of fiscal rectitude have not applied in the past four years. When households, firms and state and local governments are cutting their debts, the federal government would have made the recession worse by doing the same.

Less defensible are the plans for reducing the deficit in the future. Chained to a silly vow not to raise taxes on 95% of families, Mr Obama’s plans have relied almost exclusively on taxing rich people and companies. Efforts to cut spending have fallen mostly on defence and other discretionary items (meaning those re-authorised each year). He has yet formally to propose credible plans for reducing growth in entitlements. His health-care reform did not worsen the deficit. But it did little about the growth in Medicare, the single-biggest source of long-run spending.


Mr Obama assumed entitlement reform would be part of a grand bargain in which Republicans also agreed to raise taxes. He miscalculated: Republicans have not yielded on taxes. But there is a deal to be done if Mr Obama wins a second term. Given the canyon dividing the two parties, it might seem more likely that they will both relapse into their usual mode of mutual recriminations. But both the president and the Republicans want an alternative to the alarming year-end combination of expiring tax cuts and sweeping discretionary and defence-spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff”.

Last summer Mr Obama and John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, briefly had a deal to raise taxes and cut entitlements. The bargain failed largely because of political miscalculations by both men. Mr Obama’s re-election might allow the two to pick up near where they left off. He still has a chance to improve the worst score on his report card. Mr Obama should go out and make that case between now and November 6th.

Let the campaign begin! 20120901_FBC878
[u]


Last edited by Yuri Yukuv on Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by kiranr Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:49 pm

Yuri Yukuv wrote:
VivaStPauli wrote:Ryan was incredibly blatant with his lies, that was just stupid.

Romney, I think, isn't necessarily the big bad many other Republican candidates would've been. He is a slimy liar, though, and has switched his positions on a whim to win elections. I do think, though, that Taxachussetts Romney is the "real Romney", and he won't oppose equal rights (gay marriage for example), abortion rights, or stem cell research, despite him implying that to his right-wing base.

He's a moderate, but he's also a populist.


That being said, most Presidents historically get a 2nd term, and Obama hasn't been bad enough to not get a 2nd term. He'll win. If Obama was white, I'd bet on a landslide.

He'll still win by a small margin, though. The Republicans would've been better off running a proper moderate, like Huntsman.

I would like to adress your points regarding Romney's positions. Romney has changed his social positions alot depending on the situation but most people forget why, its because Romney is not a social ideologue he runs on an economic platform and a can do attitude. He does what many in the private equity business do, they analyse, repair and make more effecient.

I find it strange that you would call Romney a populist, its pretty obvious that in this election he is the elitist while Obama is the populist as McLewis pointed out in his post.

Obama won his first election in a landslide, he was half african american then and he is still african american now. I hope you are not implying that everyone who is switching sides has newfound racism. I for one voted for Obama the first time around, I am switching because I think Obama is detrimental to the economy and the american dream. Soon we will end up like europe if this keeps going on.

I agree with Yuri. If i could vote, i would not vote for Obama as he is absolutely detrimental to the US economy and hence to the world.
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Post by Potential Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:40 pm

Hypocrites, Obama's healthcare is the best thing US has done ever, his withdrawal from Iraq saved thousands of lives, also; if you are afraid about the economy, you might cutt off a little bit of the military budget, US account for 48% of military spending in the world! Jeez and you complain and bad economy moves Obama made :facepalm:
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Post by kiranr Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:12 pm

Potential wrote:Hypocrites, Obama's healthcare is the best thing US has done ever, his withdrawal from Iraq saved thousands of lives, also; if you are afraid about the economy, you might cutt off a little bit of the military budget, US account for 48% of military spending in the world! Jeez and you complain and bad economy moves Obama made :facepalm:

Sure, he has made some good moves. He still has to withdraw troops from Afghanistan too and those drone attacks are still killing thousands of people.

The reason i don't want Obama is because he is all about more government and more interventionist policies to fix the issues currently. That is just wrong and if Romney can provide an alternative to that, i will prefer to vote for Romney.
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Post by McLewis Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:51 pm

What are Romney's plans though? That's one the toughest questions to answer in this campaign.

He's said nothing about his foreign policy plans or even his economic plans. The man has been asked numerous times to present a plan and all he does is deflect.
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:52 pm

McLewis wrote:What are Romney's plans though? That's one the toughest questions to answer in this campaign.

He's said nothing about his foreign policy plans or even his economic plans. The man has been asked numerous times to present a plan and all he does is deflect.

Hey McLewis,

Here is a copy of the plan

http://www.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/BelieveInAmerica-PlanForJobsAndEconomicGrowth-Full.pdf

Here is a website with over 600+ economists endorsing the plan among them 6 Nobel laureates

http://economistsforromney.com/

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Post by RedOranje Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:57 pm

Obama's plans for the economy hurt it? How are GM doing right now?
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Post by McLewis Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:22 am

Yuri Yukuv wrote:
McLewis wrote:What are Romney's plans though? That's one the toughest questions to answer in this campaign.

He's said nothing about his foreign policy plans or even his economic plans. The man has been asked numerous times to present a plan and all he does is deflect.

Hey McLewis,

Here is a copy of the plan

http://www.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/BelieveInAmerica-PlanForJobsAndEconomicGrowth-Full.pdf

Here is a website with over 600+ economists endorsing the plan among them 6 Nobel laureates

http://economistsforromney.com/


All sounds nice and neat on paper, but how much of this will he actually implement if he's elected? Very little. This will be primarily because of congress and also because he will shirk a lot these policies. That's how it goes with politicians. Obama is no different in that regard.

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Post by Yuri Yukuv Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:50 am

RedOranje wrote:Obama's plans for the economy hurt it? How are GM doing right now?

Hey RedOranje,

The US recovery has been under performing on many levels because of the Obama administrations insistence on politicizing it and reshape it ideologically

Here are some charts

Let the campaign begin! MiddleClassGraphs_web_12

Let the campaign begin! Recession

Let the campaign begin! Ft101026-fig3

Let the campaign begin! Ft101026-fig2

Where are the jobs and growth? Ill tell you where. US corporates, Banks and Investors are unwilling to reinvest because of the hostile enviroment that Obama has made, conveying that business is a necessary evil and igniting class warfare over last year does not help.

Cash held by corporations

Let the campaign begin! FT-Corp-cash

Excess cash held by banks

Let the campaign begin! 6a01348793456c970c0167694b9565970b-450wi

Capital expenditures by corporations

Let the campaign begin! Image_thumb96

Same chart but to february 2012, can see after effects on economy

Let the campaign begin! COW_August_27_2012

For those familiar with monetary policy here is the velocity of money graph

Let the campaign begin! Fredgraph
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Post by Yuri Yukuv Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:05 am

VivaStPauli wrote:
Also the whole "We built that!"-schtick is rather embarassing, considering that Obama clearly wasn't speaking of businesses that weren't built by individuals, but of infrastructure, in his whole quote. Specifically, he was talkling about bridges and roads.

Hey VivaStPauli,

I think this article from a central-left website (Slate) explains partly why "You didnt build that" is not going away, I have heard that argument before many times and I know what it conveys. Its deeply disturbing to anyone who has worked 7 day weeks at 10 hour days to get where they are. It also reeks of populism and class warfare. Maybe these are not important to you as many in europe are still rich because of money leftover from feudalism and/or government corruption, however in the US most of the richer individuals are innovative hardworking entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, Ray Crock, Warren Buffet and Mitt Romney leader of Bain Capital through 15 years of constant over performance.

“You Didn’t Build That” Isn’t Going Away
It doesn’t matter what Obama meant. Here’s why.

The official theme of the GOP convention Wednesday night was "We Can Change That," but that didn’t stop several of the speakers from revisiting Tuesday’s theme, the base-rallying battle cry: “We Built It.” The message: The righteous exploitation of President Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” gaffe isn’t going away.

Ever since the president stood before a crowd of supporters in Roanoke, Va., on July 13 and, while explaining why the wealthy should pay more in taxes, uttered the infamous words “If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen,” conservatives have hammered him for his disregard for small-business owners. And liberals have hammered back that Obama was taken out of context. To be fair, this is the full quote:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Obama supporters can complain all they want. They can argue that when he said “that,” he was talking about the roads and bridges, not the business itself. It doesn’t matter. And it’s pointless to blame Mitt Romney or the RNC or anyone else for taking it out of context. Here’s why.

Many moons ago, I spent a couple of years in a fiction-writing program at a local university. I never finished the novel I aspired to write, but I did learn some valuable lessons. The most important: “It doesn’t matter what you meant. What matters is what you conveyed.” In the context of class, that meant when we were sharing our work and listening to feedback, we couldn’t butt in and say that we’d meant something else. We needed to take ourselves out of our own head and try to understand what our readers had heard.

In the case of Obama’s Roanoke speech, conservatives everywhere heard, ”You don’t get credit for your hard work.” I agree with the Washington Post for giving the Romney campaign four Pinocchios for repeating the truncated quote ad nauseam. I wish Romney’s team would use the full version. Because even in its full glory, it would inspire largely the same reaction. The sentiment resonates with small-business owners—and it’s small-business owners who have been most vocal in their response to Obama’s comments, from the co-owner of an Iowa deli who good-naturedly catered an Obama campaign stop in a T-shirt saying, “Government didn’t build my business” to the hardware store owner who was a bit less gracious.

Conservatives suspect that President Obama sees government as the solution to everything. Only someone who thinks government is the answer would describe a stimulus program that cost at least $185,000 per job as successful. I can’t think of a starker difference between the liberal and conservative worldviews than the Life of Julia slide show. Liberals look at that video and see a woman aided by a social safety net. Conservatives look at it and are creeped out by the fact that liberals think the very-capable-seeming Julia can’t do anything without government help.

That same sentiment comes through in the “You Didn’t Build That” speech. Obama’s words contain an undertone that business owners are selfish, that they are ungrateful toward those teachers who helped them along the way. And that is where Obama’s misunderstanding of small business, real or perceived, shines through.

Quite apart from whatever taxes they pay, small-business owners are part of the very fabric of their communities. Someone has to run the pharmacy. Someone has to run the gas stations. Local businesses don’t send their profits back to Bentonville, Ark.; Minneapolis, Minn.; or Cupertino, Calif., but rather put them back into the community. The restaurant owner gets his produce and meat from local stores, the mechanic hires a local painter to spruce up his shop. They are the ones who not only give money to the athletic booster club and the PTA, but show up to help out at fundraisers. And if that teacher who helped them with their math homework stops by, the owner gives her a free oil change or an extra slice of pie for dessert.

The president’s comment implies that business owners are ignorant of all the benefits they get from government. And it makes Obama’s supporters look unaware of all that government gets out of businesses and how political decisions affect entrepreneurs. Ask a business owner if they feel like they get more out of the government than they give. Sure, it helps that the city paves the road that was there for 20 years before they opened their business, and maybe they are grateful for that new traffic light. They understand that the local police protect their livelihoods. On the other hand, do politicians not appreciate that business owners match every dollar their employees contribute to Social Security and Medicare? Do politicians not understand when they are patting themselves on the back for raising minimum wage that somewhere, some shop owner is reaching for the ulcer medication while he weighs whether to raise prices, cut back employee hours, or rethink his hours of operation?

By Friday morning, crews will be tearing down the GOP convention stage and those crazy screens and banners that hung throughout the Tampa Bay Times Forum. We’ll have forgotten “We Can Change That” and “We Believe in America.” But every day for the next two months, business owners will pull on T-shirts and hang signs on their stores that say “I Built This.” Go ahead, try telling them what their president “meant.”
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