Romney’s 25 Years Means Nothing to Me

Am I being too simple if I point out that Romney’s ability to balance the budget of a financial firm which made huge profits buy buying, destroying, and selling pieces of other companies has nothing to do with balancing the budget of a government which, in theory, is not actually supposed to sell any product or make any profit from its customers?

Bain capital had a large pot of money and was able to decide how to spend it in order to make more money. Romney did a good job with that. If you gave me a big pot of money and told me to buy companies, fire employees, and sell the remains, I wouldn’t be able to do so with such efficiency and effectiveness.

But the U.S. Government doesn’t have the option of only putting its money into profitable ventures. We can’t just say, “You know, the Coast Guard (or the FBI or FAA, etc) isn’t really returning much of a profit, so let’s just fire all the personnel and sell off the assets.” Running a government is about providing the most important services with the available resources so your customers can flourish. It’s not about making the most money from your customers so that you can flourish.

There are no actual facts to support Romney’s economic plan. Romney’s proposal doesn’t add up when analyzed by experts, he makes the rather bizarre promise that he’ll cut taxes but also cut loopholes to make his plan revenue neutral, he falsely claims that six studies support his plan, and he refuses to answer questions about which loopholes he’ll close.

We only have Romney’s assurance that he knows how to balance a budget because he’s been balancing budgets for 25 years. Millions of Americans have also been balancing budgets year after year, with more pressure and tighter margins than Romney ever had to juggle. Mitt Romney’s 25 years of balancing budgets means nothing to me. I want him to stop dodging questions about his plan and explain why the Tax Policy Center and the Joint Committee on Taxation say his plan doesn’t add up.

Another Romney Lie

Being involved in Ella Ward’s campaign is making it difficult for me to keep this blog updated. It will be even harder when classes start in late August.

But let me share this Gem from

Also note, the Romney campaign argued yesterday that if John Kerry only released two years’ worth of tax returns, it’s acceptable that Romney do the same. The problem with this argument is that it’s a lie — during the 2004 race, voters had access to Kerry’s tax returns for the previous 20 years. If Romney wants to meet Kerry’s standard for disclosure, he has a long way to go.

Kerry only released two years because he had already released 18 years of tax records prior to his presidential bid.

So-Called Christians are Making me Mad

I was subjected to ‘The 700 Club’ because someone had it on at the rec center, and I saw a segment about church goers who might otherwise support the president but are now having reservations because of the gay marriage thing. You folks make me sick.

You want a be good Christian? Vote for the guy who wants to help the jobless make it through hard times. Vote for the party that didn’t present false information in order to justify a war. Vote for the guy who is concerned about the land, the water, the air, and the creatures over which God gave us dominion. Vote for the party that didn’t put the Catholic Worker on a terrorist watchlist because they’re against violence. Vote for the guy who didn’t earn millions putting others out of work, and didn’t hide his money in a foreign bank to avoid rendering taxes to his own nation. Vote for the guy who actually is ‘Concerned About The Very Poor’. Don’t vote against most of your believes just to support a man who is more interested in proving how Christian he is rather than doing the good deeds that Jesus asked us to do.

Of all of the Christian rules to put above the others, this is one of the stupidest. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. And based on what he said about marriage, if we don’t allow gay marriage then we should outlaw adults living with their parents, and outlaw men remaining single. Homosexuality is only forbidden in the Old Testament, not the New, But enforcing Old Testament rules would mean no bacon, no lobster, no work on Saturday, and bringing two doves to temple every month to atone for menstruation.

Does God want us to enforce a two thousand year old set of rules or does God want us to understand the morality and responsibility that he was trying to teach us with those rules? When I was raising my children, I had rules about what we watched on TV, when we ate dinner, who was allowed in the house. I also taught my children to be compassionate and responsible. It was not specific rules that I was trying to teach them. I would be disappointed if my children adhered strictly to old rules; I want them to make their own rules, as long as they do so with compassion and responsibility in mind. Here’s another analogy; imagine a mother leaves with strict instructions not to get water on the new carpet. But then a fire breaks out, and the baby sitter grabs a bucket of water to douse it while the children yell, “No, Mom said ‘No Water’!” God hasn’t sent us a babysitter in a long long time. The circumstances have changed. Perhaps God expects us, by ourselves, to start acting like adults.

To push my idea further, Jesus came and said that the old laws are still in effect, but then he went and changed them, which is why Christians can eat pork and lobster. I’m not Christian, but I believe in the wisdom that Jesus taught. What is meant by not changing the laws while changing them? I say it’s that some laws must be changed for others to remain. God gave Man dominion over the earth and also told us to be fruitful and multiply. But today overpopulation, consumption of resources and pollution are our biggest threats. Perhaps in order to maintain God’s commandment of dominion we must change the rule about men taking wives and producing lots of children.

Whether you agree with my conclusions or not, you cannot legislate all of your beliefs. And you shouldn’t fool yourself into thinking that either Obama or Romney will let you do so. Pat Robinson said, “you don’t have Jesus running against someone else. You have Obama running against Romney.” In his perverse way, he’s spot on. We have a choice between two men, each of whom will satisfy some of your Christian desires. One will shout to the world what a Christian nation we are with high-profile displays of Christian rule enforcement. The other will help feed the hungry, care for the sick, and try to ensure we don’t destroy the planet over which we have dominion.

I know my choice, but I’m not Christian. You have to make yours. Make the right choice.

Obama’s not allowed to talk about Bin Laden

Apparently, if the Obama campaign makes any effort to dispel the ridiculous opinion being spread by the right (though not by the Romney campaign) that Obama was nothing but a bystander in the decision to strike Bin Laden in his Abbottobad compound, that’s “Crowing”, or Doing a Sack Dance.

So apparently, Obama should sit quietly while pundits at CNN suggest that Obama was not in charge and idiots like Ben Shapiro accuse Obama of not even knowing what the mission to get Bin Laden was. Indeed, a dignified response to the accusations would be no response at all. I’m sure if he refused to respond to the lies, the right would show the same respect they did for all those months during which Obama refused to respond to the lies about his birth certificate.

Nor should Obama suggest that anyone else, especially Romney, would not have made the same decision. Romney said, ‘Any thinking American’ would have done the same. Except, Romney would have done things differently, as would many of Obama’s top advisors.

Romney’s level headed response,

“It’s totally appropriate for the president to express to the American people the view that he has that he had an important role in taking out Osama bin Laden,” Romney said after visiting the lower Manhattan fire station with Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor when terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers and killed nearly 3,000 people.

“I think politicizing it and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together,” Romney said.

was, at least, not nasty and doesn’t suggest that Obama is taking credit for other people’s work. But considering the barrage of misinformation that Obama is fighting against during this campaign season, it’s appropriate for Obama to take credit for the decisions he has made as well as it is to distinguish himself from his opponent, who is now trying to distance himself from statements he made in the past.

So I don’t agree that Obama should keep quite about Bin Laden just to avoid politicizing his accomplishments when everything he does or doesn’t do is going to be politicized anyway.

Barack Obama is justified to take credit for his role in killing Osama Bin Laden and in pointing out that Romney was against the strategies that Obama used. The president is not suggesting that he was on the ground in Pakistan with a hunting knife or that Romney didn’t care about Bin Laden. He’s only trying to set the record straight, and is under no obligation to sit quietly while right wing pundits spread lies.

Reason: Yes, Mitt Romney Flip-Flopped on the Mandate

Reason.com makes a strong case that Mitt Romney did, in fact, advocate for health care reforms on a federal level. Mitt Romney Central disputes that claim, citing a 2009 Newsweek Op-Ed in which Mr. Romney wrote:

Center reforms at the state level. Open the door to state plans designed to meet the various needs of their citizens. Before imposing a one-size-fits-all federal program, let the states serve as “the laboratories of democracy.”

But after reading the back and fourth between Mitt Romney Central and those who accuse Mitt Romney of flip-flopping, I’ve concluded that while Mr. Romney would allow more flexibility to the states in administering the program, on top of it all would be a federal policy which either rewards citizens for purchasing insurance or penalizes them for not doing so. Even in the rebuttal on Romney Central, Ben Collins quotes Mitt Romney:

For the uninsured who can afford insurance but expect to be given free care at the hospital, require them to either pay for their own care or buy insurance; if they do neither, they would forgo the tax credit or lose a deduction. No more “free riders.”

and states:

What Romney is saying is that those who don’t purchase health insurance lose the opportunity to gain a “tax credit” or “deduction.”

Romney is not advocating a “mandate” of the type Obama used where people are fined for not purchasing insurance, and Romney is certainly not advocating a FEDERAL mandate of any kind

My problems with Mr. Collins’s argument are that it’s a false distinction between causing those who don’t purchase health insurance to “loose an opportunity to gain a ‘tax credit'” and penalizing them with a fine, it’s a dishonest use of semantics to call financial incentives to coerce people to purchase health insurance something other than a “mandate”, and imposing such a mandate is a use of congressional power even if administering that imposition is delegated to the states.

Even NRO’s Andrew McCarthy, a kinder, gentler hatemonger who usually writes about why Muslims can never be trusted, delved into this issue and admitted that “health-care extortion, by the way, is not Obama’s doing”. He only accuses President Obama of “fast-forwarding to the next logical steps.”

But the health care mandate is not a “fast forward”. It’s what’s required in order to make health care accessible to all Americans, other than a single payer system.

Lying about Employment with Charts and Numbers

In response to Mitt Romney’s boldface lie that Obama is a “job destroyer”, Greg Sargent has been calling on Romney to explain himself. The truth is, as soon as the stimulus took effect, the hemorrhaging of jobs that occurred as a result of deregulation and lack of oversight started to turn around, and jobs have been created; not destroyed. How can so many people be fooled when the numbers are readily available and how can pathological lier like Mitt Romney be hailed as the Republican candidate most likely to beat Obama?

Take a look at these two charts:

Series Id: LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Series Id: LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status: Employed
Type of data: Number in thousands
Age: 16 years and over

Both are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One was pointed to in a Hot Air article to suggest that Obama’s policies, specifically health care reform, destroyed jobs (The article is titled “ObamaCare, the Job Destroyer”). The other is similar to a chart in Paul Krugman’s blog demonstrating that Obama has created jobs.

How can two charts about employment data look so different? Because only the second chart, “Employment Level”, shows whether jobs have been created or destroyed after the President’s fiscal policies took effect.

The other chart represents a problem and is concerning, but it does not indicate what Hot Air wants you to believe and does not undermine the fact that after the stimulus passed, the job decline turned around and our economy created over two million new jobs.

What the first chart, titled “Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate”, shows is the percentage of U.S. population who are either employed or looking for work. Employed or looking for work means you’re part of the labor force. How does a person fail to be counted as employed and also fail to be counted as looking for work? Certainly, when someone gets fed up after weeks of not finding a job and becomes discouraged, that person drops out of the labor force. Like I said, it’s concerning. But also people who stay in school rather than finding a job, stay at home parents, and retirees are not in the labor force.

The baby boomers are retiring, and that’s having a real effect on labor force participation, as are discouraged workers.

To get a feel for the meaning of employment level vs labor participation, and whether a drop in labor force participation makes Obama a “job destroyer”, imagine a group of 10 people. 8 are working, and 2 are looking for jobs. One new job appears and one of the job-seekers snatches it up. The other gets discouraged and stops looking. Has employment improved or have jobs been destroyed?

When someone says that Obama is a Job Destroyer, they are mistaken or lying. And you cannot trust any news source or presidential candidate that promotes such a fallacy.

Update: I had the first chart labeled incorrectly, and incorrectly referred to the second chart in the text when I was talking about the first chart. I had mislabeled it “(Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level” instead of “Civilian labor force participation rate”