The Veiled Message in Clinton’s Endorsement

A highly strategic political game is being played out right before our eyes between the leader of the old-school liberal Democrats and the leader of the new-school socialist Democrats.  When Bill Clinton atoned for his sins in a New York City joint fundraiser with Obama, all I heard was “This Obama guy is no Bill Clinton”.

We got the message…

Don’t misunderstand Clinton when he calls Romney qualified and praises Romney’s business record.  Clinton is not giving up on his party affiliation.  If anything, he is trying to convert his party back to what it was before Obama.  Dick Morris is likely right when he insinuates that Clinton doesn’t want four more years of Obama.  But Clinton doesn’t necessarily want to see his party fail.  Nor does he want to lose the power and influence he has amassed for himself in the DNC.  He just wants to see Obama fail.

That is why Clinton’s endorsement was not a call to support Obama, but a veiled warning to stay home in 2012.  Clinton reminded the crowd that he is the one who gave them four balanced budgets.  Contrast that with Obama who has increased the deficit by a trillion and a half dollars every year in office, and whose wildest dreams of a budget won’t balance even ten years after he leaves office.  Every Obama budget has been voted down bi-partisanly as outlandish to both Republicans and liberal Democrats.  Nothing says “vote for the guy who’s added $6 trillion to the deficit” like an endorsement from someone who’s record is the polar opposite.  Clinton flaunting his budget record in his Obama endorsement was no mistake or gaffe.

Now, Clinton is not a deficit hawk.  He is not pro-austerity, and he certainly is not a conservative.  Anyone who has been alive long enough knows that it was Newt Gingrich who dragged Clinton kicking and screaming into those balanced budgets.  But Clinton’s perception of himself is as a non-socialist compassionate liberal who cut spending and saw it work.

Clinton cannot support Romney.  First, Clinton is not a conservative.  He opposes Romney on social issues.  He doesn’t really agree with Romney on fiscal issues.  Second, Clinton has no higher ambition at this point than to maintain what he has: his life as a Democrat celebrity.  An actual endorsement of Romney would destroy the Clinton dynasty.

But at the same time, Clinton knows what works and what doesn’t.  Even he can look at the Obama record and see what danger our country is in if the new-school socialist Democrats win.  Setting aside Clinton’s personal and racial beef with Obama, he understands what Obama’s out of control spending will do to the Democrat party’s legacy, and by extension his own, if Obama is given another four years to outspend revenues by over a trillion a year.

If Obama is smart, he will find a way to keep Bill Clinton in whatever corner of the country he has kept Joe Biden for the last four years.  However, don’t count old Slick Willy out yet.  Obama may be about to get schooled by the original campaigner-in-chief.

 

Obama: For Tax And Spend…Before He Was Against It

Obama the penny pincher?

Obama has been exposed in yet another blatant campaign lie.  This one wasn’t even really his fault.  Rex Nutting, a writer for the mainstream/yet left leaning Marketwatch prepared a chart that shows Obama hasn’t really grown spending all that much.  The administration quickly ran with it, putting the chart on their facebook page, and announcing that Obama was a model of fiscal restraint.

So how does this economist at Marketwatch, and now Obama and media reporters who can barely add two and two, come to figure out that Obama is so thrifty?  Simple.  Their percentages make one major assumption that makes the percentages meaningless.  Every dollar of spending in the first year of a President’s term is directly a result of the budget the previous President wrote.

To put it simply, the $787 billion dollar stimulus bill that Obama ran on, lobbied for, pushed through the Democrat super majorities in the House and Senate, and signed was actually spending that should be attributed to Bush.  Of course once you do that you have majorly inflated Bush’s spending and deflated Obama’s spending so that percentages make Obama look like a champ.  I’m not making this up.  This is actually what Rex Nutter did.  He also included 2013 in Obama’s figures even though Obama’s budget lost in the Senate something like 99-0.

The footnote is misleading. Nutter means only $140 billion of the Stimulus (the portion passed in October) is attributed to Obama.

Nutter should be fired, but who is going to fire him?  Journalists rely on people like Nutter to be the “experts”.  That way they don’t have to actually do any work.

“I was for tax and spend, before I was against it!”

Obama’s budget cuts the deficit by $4 trillion over the next ten years.  Of course, like Clinton’s last budget in office, it is simply words on a page that have absolutely no bearing on reality.  But nevermind the fact that $4 trillion over the next ten years wouldn’t cover Obama’s deficits for his first four years or that his numbers are probably about as accurate as the CBOs estimate of the costs of Obamacare.  Since when did Obama decide he was against tax and spend??

Obama, on the one year anniversary of what Nutter seems to think was Bush’s stimulus, praised the stimulus package as having saved us from another great depression.  So shouldn’t we be thanking Bush?  While Obama has been running as a tax cutting President who pinches pennies on his facebook page, just a couple weeks ago he re-affirmed his tax and spend stance in the upcoming debt ceiling debate.  Obama went from tax and spend, to proud tax cutting President when he was forced to extend the Bush tax cuts, to tax and spend when the debt ceiling debate rolled around again, and back to tax cutting for the 2012 election.  Even John Kerry was more consistent.

Biting the hand that feeds them

It is not coming up all roses for the Obama propaganda machine.  Obama is betting the farm on a populist attack against Bain Capital where Romney used to work.  But the Left has been heavily funded by private equity, and most private equity companies didn’t get the memo about Obama just saying whatever it takes to get elected.  Some of them are actually getting offended by the attacks.

Democrats are getting nervous too.  Apparently not every Democrat feels comfortable biting the hand that feeds them.  But what else does Obama have to attack Romney on other than the fact that he is successful and the “independent” liberal voting base is anti-success?

The attack on Bain is dubious anyway.  As a venture capital company, they may have had lots of layoffs on their watch in order to fix businesses, but Obama has seen 2.5 million net jobs lost on his watch.  Actually, let me borrow some Obama math and accuracy and adjust that number to 6.7 million jobs lost.  After all, if the net loss is 2.5 million, but Obama claims he added 4.2 million, then shouldn’t we be using the total jobs lost figure instead of the net?  Just trying to be consistent, Mr. President.

Obama is running as a conservative while acting like a liberal.  When conservatives force his hand, he is happy to take credit for the results.  When liberalism fails, he is happy to pass the buck to Congress or the previous administration.  He will say or do whatever it takes to win re-election and cannot be trusted.

Republicans Should Capitalize on Obama Budget to Nowhere

Class warfare has become a central theme of the Obama campaign.  In his 2013 budget released earlier this week, President Obama proposed major tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans – those making $200,000 per year or families making over $250,000.  Indeed, the “debt reduction” that the president claims is dependent largely on these tax increases alone. Class warfare and raising taxes on the rich may be beneficial to his political campaign, but it is bad for the economy as it merely redistributes wealth, not create it.  The Republican nominee needs to be committed to capitalism and battle the President’s class warfare, big government, Keynesian economic rhetoric using free-market principles, stressing economic growth, job creation, and wealth creation through lower taxes, less regulation, and smaller government.  Despite what the President claims, his budget does not promote growth and has the potential to be a weak spot that Republicans can capitalize on.

Included in the President’s proposal is around $1.5 trillion in new revenue coming from tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations.  These tax raises take various forms; a 9% raise in capital gains tax rates, the dividends rate jumps 25% from 15-40%, the carried interest tax on investment partnerships rise from 15 to 39.6%, and the estate tax rises to 40%.  In addition, the budget calls for allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire, raising the top-level income tax rates to 39.6%.  Then there’s the new “Warren Buffet Rule“, which requires all those making more than $1 million per year pay at least 30% of their gross income in taxes.

English: President Barack Obama signs the Tax ...

Obama signing The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010

Perhaps the most damning, however, is the tax hike on businesses; Obama has yet to announce his new corporate tax rates, but included in the budget is a “financial crisis responsibility fee” on large banks that amounts to $61 billion, taxing energy companies $30 billion over a decade by ending tax cuts, $148 billion in new taxes on multinational corporations, and another $87 billion by changing how businesses value their inventory. Continue reading

Newt vs. the CBO

You can tell the left is afraid of someone when they bring out the big guns.  Relying on his credentials as a former conservative, Bruce Bartlett has come out attacking Newt Gingrich for policies from over a decade and a half ago that Bartlett claims are responsible for today’s Congressional malaise.  Apparently, Ginrich’s reforms were not so terrible that Nancy Pelosi would want to change them when she had the chance.

One of Bartlett’s grips is that Gingrich consistently calls for an end to the CBO because of the way the CBO does projections.  Unfortunately for Bartlett, his faith in the CBO does not have a great track record to back it up.  After recalculating Obamacare costs and tax savings of all the various bi-partisan deals that have come out, the CBO has recently had to come out and admit they blew their projection of how much Obama’s stimulus was going to save the economy, and the number of jobs saved.

The problem with the CBO is that they don’t do dynamic budgeting.  They do projections.  In other words, Bartlett points out that the CBO figured the losses from the Bush tax cuts to be $3 trillion, but those losses are calculated based on the growth during Bush’s presidency and assumes that growth would have happened no matter what.  On the other hand, dynamic budgeting would look at this prolonged Obama recession and see that we have lost close to a trillion dollars a year in tax revenues because of stagnant growth and 9% unemployment.  The CBO, and Bartlett, are not smart enough to figure that out.

Bartlett thinks the CBO is smarter than Newt.  Actually, they just use different processes.  CBO processes are the perfect product of government bureaucracy economics that assume all things are equal and that policies will have no effect beyond the typed text of the bill.  On the other hand, Newt attempts to anticipate how ideas will affect other areas of the economy.  It’s more of a successful business approach where the results of the study mean more than giving one party ammo to sell a bill, like Obamacare.  For more info on the CBO’s recent record, there is a less than flattering article over at Biggovernment.com.

So which budgeting approach is better?  Depends on if you actually care about the results, or if you are a jaded former conservative writing for the New York Times.

Libertarian “Golden” Boy/Bachmann Tebow Complex

Ron Paul’s Golden Portfolio

Ron Paul is well known for his pro-gold policies.  He is a little less well known for his golden portfolio.  While most Americans have been watching their retirements quickly shrink, Ron Paul is doing OK.  He might not be as rich as Mitt Romney, but he could buy Tim Pawlenty.

Is Paul ready for the leftwing media meat grinder?

The question is if this will become an issue for Ron Paul down the road.  Unlike half the GOP field this year, Ron Paul had not been considered a threat so no vetting (as the left calls it) or smear (as the right calls it) has taken place yet.  Still, could Paul’s golden investments and golden ambitions of a gold backed currency be viewed by liberal opponents as a conflict of interest?  Already liberal bloggers are pointing out Paul’s use of earmarks, so more “vetting” may be on the way.

One question that had me scratching my head is why Paul would advocate fixing the debt ceiling deal by having the Fed write off the QE1 and QE2 loans it had printed and made to the Treasury.  Of course, this would make the hundreds of billions involved unrestricted cash and could result in inflation. At the same time he voted (contrary to his son Rand) against Cut, Cap and Balance.  Ron Paul’s constant votes against any appropriations bill that doesn’t adhere strictly to the constitution should be viewed as a principled approach to representing the people who sent him to DC.  But it sure hasn’t hurt his portfolio either, as imperfect but more conservative bills fall to more liberal compromises that can pass without him and others who vote like him.  Paul has bet on instability and it has paid off.

By the way, Paul’s holdings don’t include major stockpiles of gold, but are actually all in gold mining companies.

Should Bachmann Be Third String?

Meanwhile, on the mainstream side of the GOP Michele Bachmann is suddenly finding herself where Pawlenty was just a couple weeks ago: a solid third place.

This made me think of Tim Tebow who was recently put at the Broncos’ third string behind Brady Quinn and Kyle

Tebow was local hero as a Gator

Orton.  I love Tim Tebow.  When he gets the ball and runs, or dumps those short touchdown passes over the defensive line’s heads, we all go nuts here in Florida.  Bronco’s preseason makes Floridians happy because we get to see Tebow.  He was a local champion who got everyone on fire for him, and when he went pro his Broncos’ #15 jersey was the number one seller in the whole NFL.

But Tebow is not a polished player.  His faith endears him to Christian NFL fans.  The excitement he brought to the Gators with his competitive and unpredictable playing style built him a huge fan base.  But his accuracy is off.  He is no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.  He might fill the stadium, but he is not the quarterback to bring the Broncos to the Superbowl this year.

Can Bachmann be the GOP starter?

So why does he make me think of Michele Bachmann?  Bachmann has a huge fan base.  She became a national sensation as the darling of the TEA Party.  She fills stadiums and is exciting to watch and listen to.  But she is unpolished.  Her accuracy is off.  She’s no Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.

So for now, like Tebow, Bachmann is going to remain third string until she can prove she’s a starter.

Perry: Social and Fiscal Conservative?

Governor Rick Perry has set the standard for Republican governors when it comes to surviving this economic malaise.  In fact, rookie governor Rick Scott of Florida acknowledged Perry’s successes by attempting to start an economic competition with him.  In one sense though, Scott is winning.  Scott has already balanced his budget.

Obama has made abortion a US foreign export, says Rick Perry

On the other hand, Perry is struggling to fight a Democrat filibuster in his state in his attempt to close a $27 billion budget shortfall, second in size only to California.  Perry is finding himself  in the same boat as many Republican governors who have had to make cuts to education and other social spending in order to keep his state afloat.

While the Texas budget battle could make or break Perry’s short term future, his ardent pro-life and pro-states rights views will give him an easy in among social conservatives.  Perry recently spoke in Los Angeles to a pro-life Hispanic group and raked President Obama over the coals for expanding the destruction of human embryos for research and his reversal of the Mexico City policy which had prevented taxpayer funding of abortion overseas.  Perry said that Obama has made abortion a US foreign export.

Aside from the Texas budget, Perry’s biggest issue may be dealing with the ten point rule.  Perry is a conservative governor from Texas with that familiar southern drawl.  Though he surpasses Bush in articulation, the unfair charge of being a George W. Bush II is sure to rear it’s ugly head.   If Perry can anticipate and dismantle that argument early on, he may be able to contain such sentiments with the extreme left who wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

Trump Has His Way With Obama

In Obama’s birth certificate speech, where he called on others to not be divisive and then called birthers a bunch of circus barkers, Obama claimed that he was releasing his birth certificate because that story was overshadowing the budget debate. But according to ABC’s Jake Tapper, a Pew Research study showed that the budget still outplayed the birther story in the media even over the past week.

So that leaves us with two very important questions. Why did Obama release his birth certificate yesterday, and of course the big one: why did Obama wait until yesterday to release his birth certificate?

Trump Did It (?)

Trump did not view the birth certificate release as a defeat. Instead, he took credit for it, claiming to be honored that he was able to do what others had not. While this may be Trump’s ego talking, he has a point. Trump gave this story legs and legitimacy that it had not enjoyed before. Trump even got the media to start scratching their heads and wonder why Obama wouldn’t simply release it.

Trump may not end up being a serious candidate for President, but he has a charisma that most deep intellectual GOP candidates lack. Romney, Gingrich, and Pawlenty may know that Obama is dead wrong in his policies, but they haven’t stood up like Chris Rock in Head of State and shouted “That ain’t right!” to a wildly cheering crowd who doesn’t really care if he knows what IS “right”.

The other question is why wait until yesterday? Let me offer this suggestion: the birthers provided Obama with a clear extreme to campaign against. Having that issue outstanding, and the ace up his sleeve, gave Obama the chance to paint the TEA Party and conservatives as lunatic fringe. Between that and the race card, this President and his supporters have already prepared their 2012 answers to the question of “why am I not better off than I was four years ago”. What the “last eight years” did for Obama in 2008, the title racist birther was going to do the same in 2012. Now the birther card is played. One less distraction, as the President himself called it, is laid to rest. We are getting dangerously closer to having to focus on issues in 2012.

Love or hate Trump, and whether this was for his ego’s sake or dumb luck, Donald Trump has done the GOP a huge favor by gambling on the birther issue. And perhaps Trump lost this gamble, but Obama has one less ace up his sleeve.

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