Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

As I Asked Before, Does It Make Sense to Endorse the People You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share    Last week I was criticized for criticizing now former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson for endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination while at the same time seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination.  I made a bit of a stink about the stupidity of endorsing the candidacy of someone who you intend to oppose.

As it turned out, when Johnson made it official that he was changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian, dropping his bid for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, and seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination, he did not come right out and endorse Ron Paul.  That made sense.

However, this week, one day before the Iowa Caucuses, Gary Johnson lived up to expectations and came out with the following statement.

“While Ron Paul and I are both libertarians, we don’t necessarily agree on every single issue.

However, on the overriding issues of restoring our economy by cutting out-of-control spending and the need to get back to Constitutional principles in our government, Ron Paul and I are in lock-step.”

….I am hopeful that in urging my supporters in Iowa to vote for Ron Paul in the coming caucuses, a victory for the principles we share can be won.”

Thank you Gary Johnson.

Thanks for redeeming me and my previous post on this topic.  You have helped make my questions more relevant than ever and it is my greatest hope that you will in eventually  decide whether you want to be President or whether you want Ron Paul to be President. Once you make that decision, maybe you will finally be able to do a little good for either yourself or Ron Paul.  Until then you are  just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Paul’s Little Johnson: Does It Make Sense to Endorse Someone You Want to Run Against?

Bookmark and Share  The question may sound silly but if reports are true, former New Mexico Governor and soon to be former Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson is about to make it a very pertinent question.

In a press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Gary Johnson is expected to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination, register as a Libertarian, and declare his intention to seek that Party’s presidential nomination.   Then he is reportedly going to endorse Ron Paul.

Given the lack of attention that Johnson has been able to direct to himself, the move is one driven by the desire to have some relevance in the 2012 election, something which up to now, Johnson has not been able to pull off.  It is an attempt at political survival that in Johnson’s case, is now highly unlikely to work.

Part of the reason Johnson did not gain any attention in the Republican nomination contest is due to his own lack of charisma and inarticulate messaging.  Johnson is about as inspirational as a pallbearer, but if that wasn’t bad enough, he was overshadowed by another very uninspiring figure……..Ron Paul.

As the two most Libertarian candidates in the field, not only are both men out of touch when it comes to their unrealistic and dangerous foreign policy stands that put them out of touch with mainstream America, they also have both tried to compete for the small but increasing Libertarian voting bloc within the G.O.P.  And it is that competition that ruined any glimmer of hope for attention that Johnson may have had because the cult of personality surrounding quadrennial presidential candidate Ron Paul, simply sucked what little oxygen that did exist in  Johnson’s campaign, right out of it.

Given the circumstances, if Johnson wants to continue with any kind of legitimate campaign for President, then seeking the Libertarian Party nomination is the only logical decision for him to make.  It is a decision which he should have made long ago.

But now come reports that Johnson is about to diminish even that small glimmer of political hope by coupling his announcement to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination with an endorsement of Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination.

This leads me to ask, is Johnson going to also endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination too?  Why not come out and also endorse Ralph Nader for the Green Party, Ross Perot for the United We Stand Party, Cynthia McKinney for the Socialist Workers Party, and Lyndon LaRouche for the “Only Other Living Candidate to Run for President as Many Times as Ron Paul Party” nominee?

In a previous post, I offered some praise of Gary Johnson and stated that based on his record of accomplishments as a governor, he was a superior candidate when compared to Ron Paul.  Ron Paul has done little more than preach and participate in acts of political hypocrisy for close to two decades.  But Gary Johnson actually put his Libertarian beliefs to work and applied them to state government.  I continue to stand by that belief.  However, if it is true that Johnson is changing his Party registration from Republican to Libertarian and subsequently announcing his quest for the Libertarian presidential nomination while simultaneously endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, than I have only one thing to say to Johnson………… Give it up!

I could respect Johnson for coming to the realization that because of his reckless foreign policy and national security sentiments, he is out of touch with Republicans and will therefore seek the nomination of a Party more in tune with his poor judgement on those issues.  But I cannot respect him if he is actually going to do so while endorsing someone who, if he wins the Libertarian, he will be competing against.  That is just plain stupid and is further evidence of just how poor Johnson’s judgement is.

Of course it is all probably just one big game.  Another round of political BS coming from another holier than thou politician who is too proud to to admit that they are not good enough, but too ambitious to not kiss the rear end of a fellow career politician.

Most of us know that Ron Paul will not be the Republican presidential nominee, regardless of where he finishes in next week’s Iowa Caucuses.  Not being  a stupid man, Gary Johnson probably knows this too.  So his endorsement of Ron Paul is most likely a gesture designed to entice those who are supporting Ron Paul during the Republican presidential nomination process, to turn around and support Johnson for President when Paul is out of the race.  The problem is that Ron Paul may not ever drop out of the race.  When he loses the Republican nomination, he might just turn around and run as an independent candidate or compete against Johnson for the Libertarian nomination.

If Ron Paul does either of the two, Johnson is dead meat.  How can he possibly wage a realistic race against the man he endorsed?

That is why, if these reports are true, and Johnson does announce his Libertarian presidential candidacy while also endorsing Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, I will be forced to label him a true political clown, because it all comes down to this, either you believe you are the best, most qualified, person for the job of President and believe that you can do a better job than all the others, or you don’t.  And if you don’t think you are the best person for the job, than you have no right wasting our time by seeking the position and whining about how you deserve time in nationally televised debates that already offer precious little time to legitimate candidates.

In many ways, the point is moot.  Gary Johnson did already endorse Ron Paul back in early December, as seen in this clip.  So whether Johnson reiterates this support for Paul during his announcement today, or not, I will congratulate him for finally  realizing that he has a snowball’s chance in hell at becoming the Republican presidential nominee and for deciding to give that campaign up.  But  I suggest that he make another decision too.  He should decide whether he wants to be President or whether he wants Ron Paul to be President. Once he makes that decision, maybe he will finally be able to do a little good for either himself or Ron Paul.  Until then he is just being a fool and playing us for fools.

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Hero Worship of Ron Paul Gives Birth to the Third Party Candidacy of a Proven Libertarian Leader

Bookmark and Share   On Wednesday,December 28th, six day before the first voting takes place in the first presidential caucus, the Republican presidential field will take a new turn.  It is on that day that former Governor Gary Johnson will be making a major announcement about what he describes as his plans for insuring that his message of liberty and freedom is heard in the 2012 presidential election [see the press release below this post]. It is expected that he will use the opportunity to declare that he will seek the Libertarian presidential nomination and hope to continue to spread his message while carrying the banner for that third party.

Up to now, the message he wants to deliver has been muted by low poll numbers and a lack of media exposure and financial resources.

Unfortunately for Governor Johnson those three attributes feed in to each other and have been responsible for a vicious cycle that placed his candidacy in a state of virtual obscurity.  And it is pity that he fell victim to that cycle.

As a two term Governor of New Mexico, Johnson proved himself to be quite an effective leader.

He is about as anti-government as you can get and as a self described Libertarian-Republican, when he was in charge of New Mexico’s state government, he vetoed 750 bills and stood by his belief that less government is better government.

But where he did see a place for government action, he acted quickly and unapologetically.

In addition to vetoing more bills than all the other 49 Governors of the time combined, Johnson shrunk the size of government by 1,200 employees, left the state with an all time high bond rating, cut government spending by 30%……. just through welfare reforms, eliminated the state’s deficit, reduced taxes $123 million annually, shifted state Medicaid to managed care, brought the New Mexico state government and the Navajo nation leadership together to finally resolve century-old disputes over water, gaming, and other issues, privatized half the prisons in the state, shot down campaign finance legislation., repealed an act that prevented non-unionized labor the ability to be employed in construction of new schools and other public works, and oversaw the construction of 500 miles of new, four-lane highways that were designed, financed, built, and guaranteed by the private sector.

Gary Johnson did not just talk about limited government, he ran one. And he did so by adopting Republican principles and incorporating them into the application of Libertarian beliefs.

Were it not for his Ron Paulish foreign policy and national security designs, even I would have given Johnson serious consideration for the Republican presidential nomination.  However; aside from those very dangerous shared views of the two men, Johnson is in truth, the superior candidate.  Neither man is an exciting speaker and neither have outstanding personalities but on the issues and their individual records, Johnson is head and shoulders above Paul.  While Ron Paul has preached the virtues of limited and small government, Gary Johnson actually practiced and applied those virtues to government.  While Paul talked the talked for over four decades, Johnson actually walked the walk as a successful Governor for eight years.

Those facts should have made Gary Johnson the most successful Libertarian candidate in the Republican presidential field.  But with the third time presidential candidacy of Ron Paul, it became impossible for Gary Johnson to compete for the Libertarian market available within the G.O.P.

Unlike Ron Paul, Johnson lacks the cult of personality that Ron Paul has achieved through his decades of rhetoric and distortions.  That cult of personality has blinded his cult-like followers from even giving another candidate a fair and decent hearing.

Blinded by the glow of the messianic light that Pauliacs cast on Ron Paul, the small but significant 10% to 18% of those who are staunch supporters of Paul’s message, refuse to believe that anyone else can have a similar message and for them, whether they realize it or not, the issues are actually overshadowed by Ron Paul.

If for no other reason than the fact that Gary Johnson has proven himself and Ron Paul has yet to prove himself, true believers in Libertarian policies who are sincere about the issues, would have and should have been far more appreciative of Gary Johnson than they were.  Instead, Gary Johnson and his record of accomplishment was overshadowed by Ron Paul’s use of propaganda and mass media outlets, that created a heroic public image through unchallenged praise and flattery.

The reality is that if Ron Paul fanatics were more consumed by the issues than hero worship, Gary Johnson might still be trying to influence the Republican Party and general election through the primary process.  Instead, he will now spend most of his time running against the only opposition to President Obama that has a realistic shot of defeating him.

The greatest irony here though is that the cult of personality following that surrounds Ron Paul is astonishingly antithetical to the Libertarian ideology and its sincere roots in liberty.  Cults of personality are most often associated with dictatorships whose success relies primarily on unquestioned loyalty to the dictator and a Pallovian reaction to their charismatic authority.

While Ron Paul is far from charismatic, his message has a charisma of its own and it has led to the unhealthy hero worship which has left Libertarians with one man as their sole, unchallenged leader.  In may ways it is more similar to the following of Kim Jong-Il  than it is to the support of an American politician.  Even Ronald Reagan faced criticism from fellow Republicans, but does a Libertarian dare criticize Ron Paul?  As I stated…….hero worship.

Many Pauliacs will of course disagree with me but the true test of my analysis will quickly come once Ron Paul loses the Republican Presidential nomination.

When the inevitability of Paul’s loss of the nomination becomes undeniable, we will wait to see if Ron Paul runs his own independent candidacy for President.  If he is a true Libertarian, there is no reason why he shouldn’t pursue the Libertarian Party nomination as he did in 1988. In fact one must question why he has not already to do so.  Nothing precludes him from accepting multiple Party nominations.  So there is no apparent reason why he isn’t already seeking the Libertarian nomination. But if he doesn’t seek it, will Pauliacs finally give Gary Johnson a decent hearing and flock to him?  Or will hero worship of Ron Paul suddenly reduce enthusiasm for the message and cause of liberty and freedom?

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In Bachmann’s Mind

I would think Michele Bachmann would be more gentle with some of her Republican competitors.  She herself has faced everything from the bigotry of the Left against conservative women to the watchfulness of the one-eyed media who has gleefully remarked on her every gaffe while turning the blind eye to the Obama/Biden circus.

Yet, to hear from Bachmann at the Foxnews debate, you would think Newt Gingrich was a pro-choice, pro-partial birth abortion candidate who used to run Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and will be a President to the left of Obama himself.  This is no exaggeration.  However, her characterizations were.

Now, Newt and Bachmann come from different perspectives on the Republican party.  Bachmann would have done well to note that clearly.  Newt is not going to close off the Republican party and say ‘no pro-choicers, homosexuals, immigration reformers, anti-war candidates allowed’.  Bachmann, as a TEA Party activist, seems to lean more towards that hardline stance.  There is definitely a point to be made there.  There are many Republicans who desire party purity to the point of ditching the big top and settling for a camping tent.  Newt is not one of those.  Such a point is sufficient to distinguish Bachmann from Newt.

Newt Gingrich is not pro-choice.  He is not pro-partial birth abortion.  His firm took an average of $225,000 a year from Freddie Mac in consulting fees over  an 8 year period.  That is not a whole lot for high end consulting by a multi-member firm in Washington DC for a multi-billion dollar company.  Think about it.  Freddie Mac represented about 3% of the Gingrich Group’s total revenues.  It was an exclusive group with about 300 clients.  Clients paid on average $200,000 a year for membership.  Newt himself did not do any lobbying for Freddie Mac.

But that isn’t what she said.  Bachmann’s characterization was so outlandish that she lost all credibility.  What could have been an intellectual differentiation turned into a wild and false assault on one of the two best hopes of defeating Obama in 2012.

Bachmann will not win her way back into the hearts and minds of the Republican majority with this sort of outlandish hyperbole.  She certainly won’t win with a kill ’em all attitude towards Republicans who don’t fit her cookie cutter.  For this reason, I will make the same call on Bachmann that I have for Huntsman and Johnson:

Michele, you are not going to win.  You have done too much already on your own to destroy your own campaign.  As far as destroying other candidates campaigns, your attacks are effective only on the ignorant.  Now you are no longer contributing value to this primary.  You are not contributing fresh ideas, you are not drawing new blood into the campaign.  It is time to end your campaign.  Whether or not you realize it, it’s already over.

Gary Johnson Preparing to Bolt from the G.O.P. and Seek the Libertarian Presidential Nomination

Bookmark and Share  The Independent Political Report recently revealed that former Republican New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will be withdrawing from the race for the Republican presidential nomination,  and instead, begin pursuing the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.

While this news is dramatic, it is really more personaly dramatic for Gary Johnson than it is for most American voters.  To them the real news is that Gary Johnson was running for President in any Party.

Johnson was one of the first candidates to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but few ever knew.  His lack of nationalname ID and seeming lack of personality made it quite hard for Gary Johnson to ever really have a chance to catch on with the public.  In addition to scant media coverage of his candidacy, little to no interest in his candidacy gave few media outlets any desire to cover his campaign.  White House 2012 contacted Gary Johnson several times in an attempt to give him the opportunity for such coverage, but apparently, he decided that no coverage was better than any coverage by White House 2012.

Now it would seem that Gary Johnson has come to accept the vicious cycle of political anonymity that he exists in and is ready to to try to become a big fish in the little Libertarian pond, instead of being a Guppy in a big lake.

While news of any aggressive moderate or right of center candidacy can significantly harm Republican chances of defeating President Obama,  Gary Johnson’s third party candidacy will have little effect on the election even if he wins the Libertarian nomination.  Whereas such a campaign by Ron Paul could doom any chance of beating President Obama 2012, the same does not hold true for Johnson,  whose Libertarian bid for the presidency will only prove to generate the same kind of voter attention and enthusiasm that his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination has generated.

In many ways, Johnson’s inability to run a campaign that could get his message out is a very sad state of affairs.

As a popular two term Governor, he became one of the few people to actually deliver on limited government and reducing the size of  government.  He is also one of the few elected officials who has actually governed in accordance with the fiscal conservatism that he preaches.  Compared to Ron Paul, Gary Johnson is actually a much better leader.  While Paul preaches, Johnson did what he preached.  While Ron Paul has accomplished little to nothing in his attempts to reform government, Gary Johnson has actually achieved reforms.

Truth be told, if I had the opportunity to elect Johnson governor of my state, I would.  He is a true small government, fiscal conservative.  However, like Ron Paul, he and his policies lack any merit when it comes to what is the federal government’s main constitutional repsonisibility…..foreign affairs and national security.  Sadly, this is a disqualifier.  It is also one of the reasons why no one has taken Gary Johnson seriously as a presidential candidate.

Ultimately, Johnson’s potential third party candidacy is the best thing for him and for the Libertarian Party, he is the next best thing to Ron Paul for them and it is probably what Johnson should have done from the very beginning.

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As Predicted

Newt is finally getting to taste the view at the top.  In the latest Public Policy Polling poll, Newt has climbed to the top, edging out Cain and Romney.  In fact, in this poll Newt was the only candidate with noticeable upward mobility.  Both Cain and Romney saw declines, while Perry slipped far closer to 5% oblivion with fellow candidates Bachmann, Paul, Santorum, Huntsman and Johnson.

Newt's turn as king of the hill

Newt’s ascension is no surprise to this staffer after Cain’s sexual harassment troubles refused to go away, his 9-9-9 plan came under scrutiny, and he gave a foreign policy debate performance where he may as well have said on a clear day he can see advisers who know something about foreign policy from his front doorstep.  Ok, low blow.  But you have to admit his debate performance was not up to Newt/Mitt standards.

Mitt Romney continues to occupy his base of supporters, but this poll may indicate that many who supported him as the only viable candidate are also giving Newt a second look.  This is especially true considering things like the latest Whitehouse12.com poll that shows high negatives for Cain and Romney, but relatively low negatives for Gingrich.

What Newt Gingrich needs to do now is avoid saying anything stupid.  The top spot in the GOP race is precarious.  And Newt is not spotless.  At times he means well, but is misunderstood.  While he has chalked up his couch time with Pelosi and his weak campaign start as stupid mistakes, such an excuse will not carry him through January.  Gingrich needs South Carolina and Florida to go his way before he can start feeling at all comfortable, and that is a ways away still.

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