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The Battleground States

Homestretch now to Election Day. We’ll touch down in key battleground states to read the homestretch lay of the land.

The state of the race. (RealClearPolitics)

The state of the race. (RealClearPolitics)

Three weeks to Election Day.  All those months and years of campaigning, coming down to all that matters.

And the real rub of the presidential contest, Barack Obama versus Mitt Romney, coming down to a handful of swing states, we’re told, that are truly still in play.  Debate One, Obama-Romney, shook up the race.  Put more voters back in play.

So who’s persuadable now?  Who’s moving?  We’re going to three key swing states in this hour to listen and learn.  Ohio, Florida and Colorado.

This hour, On Point:  we’re on the ground, and listening, where this election is likely to be decided.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College, which has run a national public opinion poll since 1978.

Joe Vardon, political reporter, The Columbus Dispatch.

Adam Smith, political editor, Tampa Bay Times.

Chuck Plunkett, Politics Editor at the Denver Post.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “The case that Mr. Romney’s bounce is evaporating after his debate last week in Denver continues to look a bit thin. The tracking polls aren’t perfect by any means. Some are better than others, but they are a below-average group of polls on the whole. But they do provide useful information about the day-to-day trend in the race, and so far they haven’t shown the sort of reversal that Democrats might have hoped for.”

National Journal “New battleground-state polls show slight movement toward Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in five of the states that could prove pivotal in the battle for the White House, and in the wake of last week’s presidential debate, Romney and President Obama are locked in close races in key swing states.”

Washington Post “The good news for Romney is that his favorable rating is now in positive territory in most states. The only state showing him with a higher unfavorable rating than favorable rating is Ohio. Everywhere else, he is either in positive territory or is viewed favorably by about the same percentage who view him unfavorably.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dale-Kramer/100001688331802 Dale Kramer

    uhh your map ?

    • Don_B1

      A more recent post than the Five Thirty Eight linked in the Reading List is:

      http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/oct-14-breaking-the-state-national-poll-stalemate/

      It gives a sense of the volatility of voter polls, where some are predicting the opposite of others. How much of this is due to difficulty of getting cell phone random polls where it is illegal to randomly dial those numbers but an ever more significant number of people no longer have “land lines,” particularly young people, between 18 and 28.

      That site also gives a good electoral map.

  • Bugsyboo

    I live in VA, but am registered in VT (already voted absentee). I came to VA in ’08 in the last month of the campaign to volunteer and I’m here again now and volunteering. VA is an interesting contrast to VT in many respects: population, demographics, you name it it’s a different world. In VT, at least in Burlington, it’s a largely Democratic/Progressive demographic, but the state is very rural and has a large Republican following as well. VA has been historically Republican, but it went blue in ’08. I’m not the only one w/ an Obama/Biden bumper sticker.

    • jefe68

      I’m curious how it is that you still vote in Vermont and yet you have been living in Virginia for four years?

       

      • Bugsyboo

         Right, my mistake. To clarify, I currently live in VA, but from ’06 to ’11 I lived in VT.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I hope you brought a trunkfull of maple syrup with you.

          I will, without hesitation, bring my own to restaurants. And my personal experience is that it’s not very easy to get, even for a bit more $, south of central Jersey.

    • Don_B1

      Most Vermonters would say that they did not “go blue” but that the Republican Party went to fantasyland. Many Vermonters are conservative, but not ignorant of how the world works and which government policies will work and which ones will not.

  • theshanadeets

    I used to live in Boston and now have returned to my home state of Wisconsin where I am registered. I believe strongly that the tide could turn in a rather quick and dramatic fashion for Obama if he makes a strong showing in the upcoming debate. I worked very hard for the recall of governor Walker and it was surprising to me that some people who had voted for Walker twice were aware that Obama might still be a better choice for them as president. I say this proudly, as if to say, “We’re listening, Obama, just give us a little more confidence that you’re trying and this guy’s dangerous.” Which, in Romney’s case, is true. He is dangerous. And rich. Which doesn’t play well here. And Wisconsinites, I hope, will see through his one good performance. He was never my governor. He won’t be the president for the middle class.

    • Don_B1

      I understand that many Wisconsinites did not like Walker but were swayed by the campaign Walker ran, starting in January before the Democrats got started, to say that the “recall” was undemocratic and that Walker deserved his full elected term.

      I hope they don’t regret that decision.

  • Yar

    I saw this piece by Paul Solman on PBS about polling. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec12/makingsense_10-12.html
    PAUL SOLMAN: In fact, out of 100 phone calls, callers reach only about 10 eligible respondents.
    WOMAN: Hello?
    PAUL SOLMAN: And, of those, only about half cooperate.
    WOMAN: I would say, out of 100, I would probably get, like, five interviews.
    MAN: I would say about three or four.

    I already see a bias, by gender, of poll taker, I am not surprised, but how does this factor in?  I expect many men are more willing to speak with a young sounding female voice, (car talk is a great example) and who asks the questions likely changes the results of the poll.

    • John_of_Medford28

      I’ve also wondered about polls and who they are able to actually get and interview.  Most people who are younger than me don’t have landlines.  I have caller ID and by practice don’t pick up phone calls from telephone numbers or organizations I don’t recognize.  I suspect there is a lot more manipulation of the numbers going on by the pollsters than is admitted.
      I urge everyone to forget polls and go out and vote for your candidate(s) of your choice.

    • Don_B1

      Nate Silver was on this Sunday’s edition of the UP w/Chris Hayes program on MSNBC, which can be viewed here:

      http://UpwithChrisHayes.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/13/14401305-sundays-guests-oct-14-romneys-jobs-record-staples-the-david-siegel-email-nate-silver-on-what-polls-really-tell-us?lite

      The interview with Nate Silver (and David W. Moore, Senior Fellow at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire, Policy Critic at iMediaEthics.org and Former Managing Editor and Senior Editor of the Gallup Poll.) does give a lot of the answers to questions asked here.

      Sorry I did not have the time to get the link to the segment of direct interest, but use the right arrow in the field of five pictures (just below the page heading) indicating subjects of discussion to move to the right (later in the program) to get to “When outlier polls grab headlines” and start there.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Outlier polls?

        So basically it’s the same “Everything is good news for Republicans” meme, now with new fake facts to back it up.

        • Don_B1

          The discussion was about polling in general on all kinds of subjects, although political polls took a prominent position.

          But each side has cited some polls as being “outliers” and why and when that occurs should be of interest.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Romney is well ahead of where Reagan was against Carter in 1980.

    This thing smells a lot like 1980.
    The debate audience was the largest since 1980.

    The only explanation is voters are looking for change.

    Frankly, I don’t blame them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      Don’t worry if Romney wins change will come.

      Very few people will be left in the middle class by the time his four year term ends.

    • Don_B1

      The voters are looking to see if what Romney is offering is EFFECTIVE change and in that department Romney is coming up short, which is why he is trying to deceive the voters into thinking that he is more reasonable than the Republican policies that he had to espouse to win the nomination.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Please talk about the Electoral College and how someone is chosen to become an elector. Why do we never hear who these people are ? Are they different every election ? What are their qualifications ? By what method or reasoning do they choose the President ? Are there Red or Blue electors ? Are there color blind electors ? Where do they meet ? Do they discuss the issues amongst each other ? Can they be bought or threatened ? Can we even be sure that they are mentally fit or competent to judge ? Do they represent a statistically significant and random unbiased sample of the population ? How can this country continue to justify the use of the Electoral College, knowing that it has been proven, time and time again ( mathematically), that the larger the group of people ( with common and vested interest ) making a decision or solving a problem, the more likely, a correct outcome will be determined ( see: The Cognitive Diversity Theorem and The Law of Large Numbers ) !

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

      The Electoral College is meant to curb the tyranny of the majority. Imagine if we only went by popular vote. Do you think anyone would ever visit my humble state of Wisconsin or Ohio? Politicians would spend all their time in New York City and the quarter of the country that lives in California. 

      • MrNutso

        Actually, I candidates would be more likely to visit every state to get as many votes as possible, because every vote would be important.  Also, we would see more ground game in every state to boost turnout.  Now the concentration is on a handful of “swing” states.

        • http://twitter.com/JoanieGentian Joanie MacPhee

          Not so.  Take a look at the map your local statewide election candidate is using right now.  The big population areas will be marked, the smaller or more rural areas will not, and the candidates will be going where the greatest concentration of people are, and pretty much ignoring the rest. National campaigns will be doing exactly the same thing.

          • NewtonWhale

            Maps of the US adjusted by electoral college and by population, compared with normal map. (The last 2 are paired together).

            The south and the plains states (Republican strongholds) benefit by the electoral college.

            That’s how Bush “won” in 2000.
            Oh, and the fact that his daddy’s appointees to the Supreme Court stopped the recount.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Newton, do you really think our mainstream media, still stuck on the idea that “this is a center-right country”, is going to throw out those maps full of empty square miles which vote for Republicans?

            The top map on this page looks so impressively red, and is a false image which can only be countermanded with words. Public Radio isn’t gonna fight that.

      • NewtonWhale

        What a radical concept.

        Campaigning where the voters are instead of where the corn lives!

      • AC

        or honey boo-boo would be president…..

        (i think that’s her name…?)

        • 1Brett1

          Oh, sure, you “think that’s her name..” ;-)

        • sickofthechit

          Shouldn’t she be called “High Fructose Corn Syrup boo-boo”?

        • Roy-in-Boise

           Who is honey boo boo?

      • http://twitter.com/JoanieGentian Joanie MacPhee

        And who would be for the recount of all 50 states in the event of a TIE (all too familiar these days)?
        And who would trust it when a bad recount in any of the 50 (or 57, whatever) states could decide (read skew) the election? 

        From what I see, the same people who want to abolish the Electoral College also want to abolish the electronic voting machines…so who pays for a hand recount of hundreds of millions of votes? 

        Remember Florida in 2000, or even Minnesota when Al Franken was declared winner after what seemed to be a forever long recount and court battle.  Peanuts compared to a tie vote without the Electoral College.The founding fathers had it right with this one.

        • NewtonWhale

          There are perfectly good voting systems that leave a paper trail:

          Optical Scanners Winning War of Voting Machines

          http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Government-IT/Optical-Scanners-Winning-War-of-Voting-Machines/

          • sickofthechit

             Not in Kentucky.  Where no Presidential candidate visits on purpose.  All you get is a little slip of paper with your four digit code number to log onto the black box. It is disgusting how lemin like we all are here.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            “ Not in Kentucky”, that phrase will stick with me for some time. I do hereby solemnly swear, that if I should ever run for President, that I will visit the Great State of Kentucky !

        • Don_B1

          That would REQUIRE the regulation of voting at the Federal level to prevent the states suppressing votes and otherwise biasing the results from that state.

          The fact that a good electronic voting system exists does not mean that states will use it; Virginia uses an old Diebold non-paper backup system that EVERY hacker group has succeeded in hacking in hacking contests; see the Charlie Rose Show from 4 October where Charlie interviews Barbara Simons on her book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?”

        • Don_B1

          That would REQUIRE the regulation of voting at the Federal level to prevent the states suppressing votes and otherwise biasing the results from that state.

          The fact that a good electronic voting system exists does not mean that states will use it; Virginia uses an old Diebold non-paper backup system that EVERY hacker group has succeeded in hacking in hacking contests; see the Charlie Rose Show from 4 October where Charlie interviews Barbara Simons on her book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?”

    • AC

      i have been curious about this as well…

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       State party brass are one component. Not sure how the others are brought in. You can be sure it isn’t a random drawing of all registered voters.

      And no, they do NOT have to vote as they were ‘directed’ by the voters they are supposed to represent. Thus, one COULD be bought off, but it would be so public that they went against the vote, I really doubt it would happen.

      • Don_B1

        It DID happen at least once, by an elector who thought George Washington should be the ONLY president to win by a unanimous Electoral College vote.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

    Just a thought. I would love Texas and California to be swing states one of these years. It almost makes the math too easy when those large slices of the pie go so predictably for Republicans and Democrats. 

    • Don_B1

      With the growth of the Hispanic/Latino population, many feel that Texas is well on its way to being a “purple” state.

      But that growing demographic will make California a Democratic Party state for decades; the use of “illegal” immigrant repression in Pete Wilson’s gubernatorial campaign ensured that.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      We need to GET RID OF the Electoral College. Then there would be no swing states. One living, breathing adult citizen of the USA, one vote.

      It would be interesting to see how many more people in ‘non-swing’ states would vote if they thought THEIR one vote might actually count.

      • Don_B1

        See the following for ways that might be achieved without a Constitutional Amendment:

        http://uspolitics.about.com/od/electionissues/a/3-Ways-To-Bypass-The-Electoral-College.htm

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

        While I often disagree with the backwater states that receive additional electoral votes, I think there would be too great of an imbalance if everything was weighted by the popular vote alone. If we did go to the popular vote, we would need something else to give weight to rural and minority votes, something like they have in Australia, where you can pick your favorite three candidates and votes are assigned by a point system. Then perhaps we could get some third party candidates elected. 

  • AC

    i really, really wish it was Nov 7th….for now, i’m still undecided….

    • Mike_Card
      • AC

        yes, yes. i know i’m a pain…..

        • Mike_Card

          No offense intended.  But you’ve got to agree that anyone who will follow this discussion board ought to be able to decide, by now.  You don’t REALLY have a tough time with, “Paper or plastic?” 

          • AC

            a lot of commentary on here is biased statistics and often times down right mean to one another, so the issue i care about (jobs) is really only solved through the willningness of a party to support and at the same time fund education programs for displaced workers. they both ‘talk’ about it, but details are vague…i have said i feel Obama is the more likely of the two to realize the real problem going on and have the patience required to see us through….if one or the other suddenly started coming out strongly on this issue, i would def switch to that one…

          • Mike_Card

            You have been clear on your preference for jobs–I think most of us are, including the two candidates.  It’s a baseball, apple pie, motherhood issue.

            Neither will change on that topic, or any other, in the next 4 weeks.  Uncertainty is a bitch, but even we voters need to make up our minds if we want to do our duty as citizens.  Don’t we?

  • AC

    attn mall cops (or other security personnel):
    http://vigilantrobots.com/
    you are about to become obslete. make sure you blame ‘obama’ about this (wonder why you were replaced…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507593666 Josh DeYoung

      man you’re right, Technology and Capitalism, which both fueled this inevitable development are the current Presidents fault! Why oh why did he not do more to stop the advancement of society.

      I agree the more robotic technology advances there are more and more jobs that will be lost to them, However there is no way that any president could or should stop it.

      http://youtu.be/rjPFqkFyrOY

      • AC

        well I’ve brought this up in the past; you can ease the transition by training the ‘dis/re-placed’ employees programming and maintenance on these robots. I’ve been assured that both candidates plan on putting such training programs into place, but to be honest, i tend to believe Obama is more intent on this mission…

        • Don_B1

          Exactly! Obama is supportive of retraining and general education, while Romney is a “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” forgetting how the “stock his father gave him” paid for his living expenses and Harvard college tuition.

          To Romney, the workers should borrow from their parents or other family members or take the savings they put aside while working as security officers at minimum or near-minimum wage and supporting a family where there are health problems, etc., and go to a “cheaper school where you can get a good education.”

          What a difference!

    • Steve__T

       How many jobs will be created to build, maintain, monitor and respond when and if something goes wrong? If you see a door closing, I see several opening.

      • AC

        ditto!
        the real issue is which candidate will put into place training programs sooner rather than later…

  • NewtonWhale

    Obama By 3

    Likely voters in the new poll split 49 percent for Obama to 46 percent for Romney, basically unmoved from the poll two weeks ago, just before the two candidates met in Denver for their first debate. 
    Even as voters overwhelmingly perceive that Romney won the first debate, the vast majority say their opinion of the president did not shift as a result.

    Nor has anything shifted since the debate in perceptions about whether, as president, Romney would favor the wealthy or the middle class: 58 percent of all voters say his policies would probably favor the wealthy. Most say Obama’s policies favor the middle class, not the wealthy.

    Obama’s side may have the edge in swing states, at least in terms of contacts. About 37 percent of voters in the eight key states — the seven Post “tossup” states plus Ohio — say they’ve heard from an Obama campaign representative in the past month; 27 percent in those states say they have been contacted by one of Romney’s.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/decision2012/presidential-contest-tight-nationally-ahead-of-second-debate/2012/10/14/fe5fd9a4-1633-11e2-8792-cf5305eddf60_story.html

  • Roy-in-Boise

    The map proves that LBJ’s 1965 prediction had merit.  We should also consider Fredrick Douglas’ similar prediction about the legacy of Black Slavery lasting 300 years. This race is all about race.

    • Davesix6

      Roy,
      The Presidental election may be all about race to you, however I believe for most voters it is all about which candidate seems best capable of leading this country into the next four years.
      Was the 2008 election all about race?

      • Roy-in-Boise

        Davesix6;
        On many levels yes, 2008 was also about race. Mitt Romney represents the “take our country back” bunch. Who exactly are they taking it back from? There is much to be noted about Romney’s position and potential policies. More tax breaks for the rich and cutting of programs for the middle-class. If we look back to 2001 America had a Clinton surplus and then came the Bush tax cuts and not one but two decade long unfunded wars. How could decisions like this lead to prosperity?
        Romney will simply finish the fleecing of the middle-class that Bush began. He is not a benign choice at all.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      I’m sorry that the world is black and white for you.

      • Don_B1

        While this election is about so much more than race, the Republicans are not above using race to or try to capture enough voters who are racists or distrustful of Black people.

        In a state like Idaho, where there are few Black people, it is easy for many whites to not understand or misunderstand the way race is being used and Roy is probably seeing and responding to that. Many racist groups do find a home in that state.

        Race is still a huge subtext to electoral politics and though he may have misstated its extent, it is still, unfortunately, a big part of this election in many states.

  • jefe68

    Two weeks ago this was President Obama’ race to win.
    Now it looks very doubtful that he’s going to win. He had over 260 on Real Clear Politics site in electoral college votes and now he’s down to 201 less than a month before the election. 

    What was he thinking about when he decided to throw caution and everything else to wind in the first debate? Obama has to come out of this second debate a clear winner or it’s over for him.  More people watched that first debate, about 70 million people, than both conventions. President Obama really did a lot of damage to himself in that one.

    • John_of_Medford28

      I agree.  It was an epic blunder on the part of the President and it will be consideredhistoric if Romney wins. This debate will be much written about and discussed. Something happened that night when America tuned in, for better or worse Romney was on, and the President clearly asleep. The day after the debate, my gut told me that Romney was now going to win.  I’m beginning to wonder if the President was really telegraphing that night, that his heart isn’t in this race and that he doesn’t want it. The Presiden’t supporters deserved a lot more than what he gave.

      • sickofthechit

         I never understood why there wasn’t a Democratic Primary this time around….

    • Thinkin5

       Why would people judge a candidate by ONE debate?! I’ve watched both these men over the last several years and listened to what they say and paid attention to their actions. That tells me much more about them than One debate. Actions speak louder than words. Mitt has a long trail of them to judge him by. Stashing his money off shore tells me that he’s not invested in America.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I don’t know about the voters, but our mainstream press seems to have really made that one debate more important than every other first debate an incumbent lost to a challenger.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yes, it was like a football team with a small lead that plays to run out the clock, or one (hello, Pats!) that puts no pressure on the opposing QB so a journeyman gets a highlight film.

      Even so, you’d think the choice between a Rockefeller republican and the radical right TeaOP would be clear. Does anyone actually believe that vouchercare is designed to “save” medicare? Come on! The idea is that they can make the voucher worth whatever they choose,  and dump the difference between the voucher and the cost of private insurance on seniors. Geez, the smaller the voucher, the more “saved” the program is, in terms of the budget, and the more tax cuts for Lord R et al. Nice! 

      Despite the great camouflage of their class warfare agenda, I still don’t understand why any non-oligarch would vote for them. Ohio, sheesh. Can he really spin his way out of “let Detroit go bankrupt”? Unbelievable.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         “Does anyone actually believe that vouchercare is designed to “save”
        medicare? Come on! The idea is that they can make the voucher worth
        whatever they choose,  and dump the difference between the voucher and
        the cost of private insurance on seniors.”

        One WOULD think those on MediCare would be listening to that argument very closely. Apparently not.

        It is as dangerous to the population as privatizing Social Security. The “market” is where you put money YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE in hopes it will increase in value.

    • Don_B1

      While I like a lot of what you said, there are some cautionary notes:

      1) It was not that he “thr[e]w caution … to the wind,” but that he was overly cautious; he was trying to avoid being the “angry Black man.”

      Why he was not aware of the implications of continuous split screen viewing and the possibility of what Romney was saying and the way he was saying it is beyond my ability to see into his mind.

      2) Obama may not need to “be a clear winner” as much as he needs to show that he understands the frustrations the average voter feels. Pointing out the movement of the “right/wrong track” indicator toward positive on the “right track” side may highlight to people that others are actually feeling better about the economy and that following his policies will allow more and more people to join this group.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think the economic issues are too complicated, and besides are hugely dependent on what sort of Congress gets elected, amenable to Grover Norquist, or amenable to the ratings agencies and financial markets.  Who can predict that?  Meanwhile, the candidates have to debate with the hammer of campaign funders and tacit expectations from them over their heads.  And the questions are not 30-second ones.  Dyed-in-the-wool Republicans have to just say toss it, the Democrats are anti-American and anti-traditional, anti American exceptionalism, and they throw away money we don’t have.  They ignore the rest.  Democrats?  They look at the greatest salesman since Madison Avenue and K Street were paved.  Where is the small print?  Last time someone sold me a very promising house investment, it sort of blew up.  Poof, hello underwater mortgage. Oh, the tears of things.

    • Don_B1

      If your comment on “Democrats? They look at the greatest salesman since Madison Avenue and K Street were paved.” to mean Barack Obama, I disagree. Obama never showed great debating skills, and he apparently used “pending government actions” to get out of a lot of practicing for this one. But I think the reaction to the first debate has and will concentrate his mind this time.

      But the “Town Hall” forum is not structured to be a good “big win” for either side event, since the debaters mainly respond to the audience and don’t pose questions for each other.

      Now as to which side really wants ALL Americans to succeed, see:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-death-by-ideology.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    coming down to a handful of swing states, we’re told, that are truly still in play

    Tom, that depend on who do doing the “telling”. You know you’re gonna get predictable, regular input from Drudge, thereforePolitico, and the right wing propaganda press.

    Don’t be a sucker.

    Remember the battlecry of the Beltway Inbreds in 2008: “Everything is such good news for Republicans!”

  • Ellen Dibble

    I expect Florida voters, the older ones, will easily track with Romney in terms of their retirement accounts having, Romney says, basically the same sorts of interests as his own.  They might also consider that the value of their investments in American debt, those bonds, will likely be worth less if the American trillions in borrowings are not addressed at the coming cliff, which, again, depends on the state elections of representatives to Congress.  If I were a retiree, would I care about the debt in terms of that?  I don’t understand it, frankly.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Except one has to wonder why people think Romney will be good for the economy at all. His whole economic plan, as best I can tell is: Cut taxes and people will create jobs.

      He has convinced people that if you cut tax rates (but not taxes), jobs will magically be created even though there is no demand for the extra products/services they would make. Even though those most likely to benefit from the tax changes (the rich) do not have the means to create jobs because they do not run a business of any sort. 

      Keep funding the military, even when they military agrees they can do with less. How does this help the deficit?

      • Don_B1

        He ACTUALLY said, “just my election will give the economy a boost” ! ! !

        That is prima facie evidence of the Republican fantasy world!

    • Don_B1

      Seniors have two concerns which are not compatible:

      1) Preservation of Social Security and Medicare, which makes much of their lives livable in dignity.

      2) Preservation of their other savings, much of which, particularly for those with less savings, dependent on the interest rate.

      The Democrats WILL do the best job to preserve the concerns of Item 1.

      The best way to return to bank accounts with higher interest is to restore the economy, which right now needs government investment which Democrats will make. That will put the unemployed to work and those reemployed workers will buy more goods and services in a virtual circle leading to economic recovery. The sooner this happens the better for the seniors.

      The Republicans think that tax cuts for the individuals and businesses who already have money in savings (some $2 to 3 trillion) will change that; why would additional money convince those that are not investing because the goods and services they would produce have no or not enough buyers? There is a lack of buyers because there are too many unemployed and workers who are afraid of losing their jobs to make those purchases. The seniors will be disappointed with continuing low interest rates.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I wonder if the Koch brothers will be threatening the job status of their employees who vote for President Obama in the so called battleground states? 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      How would they do that?  Votes are secret.

      • MrNutso

        Not necessarily Koch’s, but several stories in the last week or so about CEO’s sending letters or emails to their employees telling them they better vote for Romney or their jobs could be in jeopardy.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I’m still wondering how the boss will know.

          • MrNutso

            The boss won’t really know, it’s just a polite threat.  The boss is hoping his people are to stupid to know the real positions of the candidates.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Threat, yes.

            “Polite”, not so much by my reckoning.

            And it’s hilarious that our resident Libertarian Wing of the Republican Party stalwart can’t see anything bad about this.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            It’s so hard to tell these days who’s paid to spout the crap and who’s just that stupid.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            From a Voter Information packet sent to Koch-owned Georgia-Pacific:

            “Many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences” of voting for President Obama and other Democrats.

            Dude, you don’t know a threat when you see it? You’re smarter than this. Don’t play so innocent and stupid; that’s what William is here for.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Smarter than to believe in conspiracy theories and the like.  What are you thinking?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The goddamn paper is right there. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s not a theory.

            I’m thinking “the Koch Bros are so full of themselves and their power that these threats aren’t something they even worry about showing up in public”.

            That they are playing our scaredy-cat media for all it’s worth amplifying their threats because nobody will frame this as a bad thing. They are too powerful to be gainsaid by our mainstream courtiers.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Gee Greg, if it’s true is it still a conspiracy theory?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             But you have to have evidence, not speculation, not suspicion.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Response to your edit:  You still haven’t explained how the Koch brothers will know how any person votes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I didn’t say that.

            I said: The Koch Bros are practically feudal, throwing their weight around, threatening the serfs who work for them. Making threats which are great tone-setters for people who have to worry about their jobs, which has nothing to do with their performance or the company’s performance.

            In public. Not (yet) embarrassed that anyone knows it.

            Have you ever heard the term “Too big for their britches”?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             What you’re doing now is backing off the crazy statement that you made originally.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Pfft.

            The one good thing in Disqus is that it allowed me to edit my original statement immediately. Nobody called me on it to make me change it. I don’t know if anyone else noticed it.

            And you need to have someone threaten you with your livelihood depending on who wins an election.

          • Steve__T

             When you register you pick R,I,D they can check how you registered, if their candidate looses……

          • Don_B1

            The CEOs certainly will not “know” the vote of an individual voter; but in some towns which are virtual company towns, the vote of the majority, which CAN implicate workers of that company, will be known.

            But the CEOs are saying that just the win by Obama will mean that they will fire workers:

            http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/morning_call/2012/10/mesa-resort-owner-threatens-to-fire.html

        • BHA_in_Vermont

           I suspect it would be more like the
          “Vote for Romney or the economy will suck and I’ll have to lay people off”
          kind of “job in jeopardy”

      • sickofthechit

         Not to the Koch Brothers.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Evidence?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I don’t understand the undecideds.  I knew a year ago that I’d vote Libertarian, unless the candidate was an idiot.  Some apparently get far too caught up in whether the candidate yawns too much on stage.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    When will people admit Obama threw the first debate?

    • MrNutso

      Not really that he threw the debate.  His preparation was off, because he needed to be prepared to call out Romney on his lies in general, instead of Mitt Romney the extreme conservative.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

        Really? No plan B?

        Obama is too stupid to think on his feet?

        Do you know what voters heard on Romney’s big lying night out?

        I will lower your taxes by 20%.

        The debt and deficit will be paid down.

        I will make America energy independent.

        I will give you 12 million jobs.

        That’s what they heard.

        All lies. All will stick in their heads though because Obama did nothing to counter them.

        Why? Because Obama was told the big boys are for Romney this election.

        And tonight is the night you are going to let him walk all over you so that the race will be tightened and he can win.

        Now, if you are too far ahead Obama, we can’t steal the election for Romney because then the people of this country will know their elections are fixed.

        Do you hear us Obama?

        Put your head down if you do.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Huh?  What “big boys” are you talking about?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            The big boys that run the show.

            Are you trying to act native or are you really that naive?

            I saw your comments below.

            It’s an act.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             You’re talking conspiracy theories and secret cabals running the world.  How can someone tell the President to throw the fight?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            In your little world I guess you just can’t imagine that. Can you?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Sure I can.  It’s called fantasy.  In the real world, you have to give facts.

          • Steve__T

             The ones ru(i)nning this country follow the money. It’s the 1%

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             That’s not an answer.  Many of the One Percent give money to Obama.  But your comment doesn’t tell us how anyone can force the President to throw a debate.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Hey Greg Camp, why don’t you go infiltrate the corridors of power then and get down to who threatened the pres?

            Have you ever read a single page of history?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Real history?  Yes.  Conspiracy theories self-published out of some guy’s basement?  Not too often.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Doesn’t matter. It’s easy to recognize the tools of the elite.

          • Steve__T

             Ever heard of hedging your bet?

            Money to both sides make either beholding

    • Don_B1

      Your comment has a “when are you going to stop beating your wife” tone.

      Democrats loudly proclaimed their disappointment with Obama’s performance and Obama admitted he did not do well. But few of his supporters think he intended to do so poorly.

      The problem Obama faced was to not appear as an “angry Black man,” and he obviously misjudged in the opposite direction. At least a few pundits had said that that would be a worry for many as Obama, a conservative person, might not be proactive enough and their fears were borne out.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    The only reason Obama is still in this race is because Romney is such a horrible rich guy.

  • Thinkin5

    Amazing that Romney has any credibility at all after a year of campaigning on being a “severe conservative” and slamming the “47% who ‘don’t want to take care of themselves’ and now he’s saying, “I care about the poor, the middle class!”. Are people just starting to pay attention to this guy??!! It’s like trying to nail Jello to the wall, if you try to get Mitt to stick to his position. The only thing he’s consistent on is the same ol’ trickle down theory. It’s all down and no trickle!

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I don’t think one can gauge Romney’s possibilities in Ohio by going to his rallies any more than Obama’s possibilities by going to HIS rallies. The choir always sings loudly in its own church. You need to get out of the church and see who’s song is being sung.

  • MrNutso

    They’re not un-decided, they’re wont-decided.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I think it is amazing that the Etch-a-sketch came out and people are still planning to vote for him. I guess they figure a right leaning politician who lied to them to get the nomination is better than a left leaning politician.

    Disqus is at it again, posted in reply to Thinkin5′s post

    • Shag_Wevera

      The dual power of fear and greed.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       What lie by Romney?

      I watched Romney at the debate and Romney was completely consistent from his earlier campaign.  The big charge by Obama was he changed on his tax plan.  No.  He released his plan on Feb 21, 2012 and it was the same one he described in the debate.  There was one comment about pre-existing conditions that Romney said in the debate that was accurate but might have required clarification.  There was no Romney etcha-sketch.

      Just because what Romney said at the debate doesn’t match the Axelrod 30 second attack ad or what they load into Obama’s teleprompter doesn’t make it right.

      I think it is disgusting that the Obama campaign tactic is to deceitfully attacking Romney’s character.

      I have a list of 8 whoppers that Obama’s told starting that he has a plan to cut $4T from the deficit.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Romney has been claiming all along that he would cut taxes. When challenged that his plan would add to the deficit, he now says it won’t because he is going to cut deductions.

        If there is no change in the amount of money going to the government, there is no tax cut.
        He says there will be no tax on capital gains and dividends. His current PERSONAL tax rate of < 14% would go to zero. He would get a much needed tax cut. You might argue that a lot of retired people get much of their income from dividends. True but a lot of them are also in or near the 47%, it wouldn't gain them anything.

        He is also claiming he will increase the tax base. That can only mean bringing in some of the entitled 47% victims who barely make enough to live on now.  

        Sounds a lot more like a "nothing" plan, if not a tax increase for the lower and middle class, tax cut for the rich.

      • Don_B1
  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Yep, I’m sure that was the plan.  Any more conspiracy theories you would like to start?

    In reply to Greg.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      See below.

  • Michiganjf

    Let’s see…

    A SERIAL LIAR who can’t make ANY of his numbers add up, and who won’t give Americans a single detail about his policies, which we know skew extremely favorably to the wealthy and AGAINST the middle-class…

    … or President Barack Obama?

    I think I’ll go with President Obama!

    Don’t elect Romney/Ryan, two SERIAL LIARS, to dump on America!

    Romney for president of SOME of america 2012!
    ([sic] on the lower case a and p)

    • MrNutso

      Yes, but Romney looks more Presidential.

    • Thinkin5

       Even the other Republican candidates criticized Mitt with the same issues. They said that he lies, that he should release more of his tax returns, that he changes his positions, etc. Mitt has no core, no agenda but to win the presidency because he wants it. Period.
      I don’t know how anyone can accept Mitt criticizing “Obamacare” when he advocated for it because it was the financially responsible way to get more people coverage and keep people out of the emergency rooms for non-emergency medical care. Total hypocrite!

      • Michiganjf

        Yep, Romney is a little rich kid who has been infuriated for years because there’s something he wants that he hasn’t been able to get… he’s used to getting whatever he wants for himself.

        He has spent tens of millions of his own money trying to BUY the presidency, over three election cycles.

        Pathetic that brain-dead Republicans would vote for this dispicable rich kid, just because they’re obsessed, in a football fan sort of way, that “their side win, no matter the horrible consequences to America.”

      • Steve__T

         The most creditable liar will usually fool the most people.

      • Don_B1

        In the 2008 Republican Primaries, Mitt Romney was the MOST disliked candidate by the other candidates.

  • Jayant Patel

    Mr Romney on CNBC “Let Detroit go bankrupt” and I am surprised that Midwest trust this candidate and his philosophy. Actually I am from Massachusetts and this candidate is walking away from his legacy “Romney Care”

    I can’t trust him.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Wrong and wrong.

      The bankrupt headline was not written by Romney but by the NYtimes.

      He is not walking away from Romneycare either.  He is proud of it but he believes in Federalism.  States craft programs for their own states instead of huge Federal overreach.  Federalism is a key part of the countries founding principle.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         Why would a “RomneyCare” plan be good for MA but NOT good for the entire country?

        It makes no sense. You can take his Federalism argument to the State. Why should the MA state government decide how health care is paid for, why is it not left to the counties? Why should the counties decide, why not the cities? Why the cities, why not the voting districts?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          It makes a lot of sense to push these to the states where the accountability is more direct.  There are disperate requirements amongst all the states.  TX has 25% uninsured and MA only had 6% so the solutions for each state should be different.  What if the people of VT want a single payer system and the people of TX don’t? 

          One measure is Romneycare was only 60 pages.  Obamacare is 2300 but has spawned over 4000 pages of additional regulations.

          I understand your point that there is potential effiencies if you centralize the program but that rarely works at the Federal government.  And something as complex as health care will never work.  Loook at the Post Office.  They can’t even run a simple function like that efficiently.
           

          • sickofthechit

             That’s it. I’ve had it with your lies and distortions.  When you go out today, take a letter to the Post office, FedEx and UPS and see how much they charge and how long it will take to get their. Still less than 50 cents at the Post Office, and actually will be only 50 cents FOREVER if you buy them now. The Post Office wins hands down. The postal service is the most secure means of communication available in this country. Not your land-line, not your cell phone or your internet connection.  The good old-fashioned postal service.

            The Republicans attack the post office because it is one more thing they think needs to be privatized which is code-speak for “profitize” (copyright 2012 charles a. bowsher).  They make it look unprofitable because they starve it with meager one cent per year increases and then load it with the obligation of paying off 30-40 years of Pension liabilities in 3-5 years. Of course it is “unprofitable”.

          • Mike_Card

            You are totally full of sh!t.  Why stop at the state lines?  What’s wrong with a city-by-city, or a block-by-block plan?  Even better, house-by-house?

            Just keep up your copy&paste routines from your teabagger talking point emails.  Eventually, you have to put up.

            By the way, where are those 8 lies you claim Obama made during the debate?  You’ve been spewing that bit of tripe ever since, but haven’t even delivered one.

      • sickofthechit

         Under your view of Federalism does that mean Kentucky need contribute little to national defense since we are so far from national borders?

  • Davesix6

    I believe the reason the first debate has been such a factor in Romney’s rise is the way the democrats and mainstream media had so tried to paint Mitt Romney as some kind of a monster.

    Then people saw Romney “unfiltered”, one on one with Obama, and the deception was exposed!

    Romney was able to make his own case without the distortions of the Obama campaign and the media.

    • Don_B1

      In other words, we are hiring a powerless head of state, not a president who makes policy and deals with serious world issues.

      What foreign leader will negotiate with a known liar, who does not live up to commitments?

      Remember Ronald Reagan, “trust but verify!” In Romney’s case, it will be “show little trust and always verify in detail.”

      See:

      http://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/romneys-clean-energy-whoppers/

      for just some of the whoppers that Romney told in the first debate with Obama.

  • Michiganjf

    How does Romney’s LYING equate to “performing well in the debate???!!”

    Oh yeah… “performing” is the operative word, I guess.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      There are studies that show people will believe lies especially if they want to.

      If they aren’t countered immediately and hard, no matter if they are told later they will still believe the lies.

      Obama’s camp knows this. Obama let Romney plant all the winning lies he needed in that debate.

      See below why.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10402055 Dickie Wallace

    As an Obama supporter, I’m frustrated with hearing how he was supposedly pummeled in the first debate.  I listened to most of it on the radio and thought it had been fairly even, with Obama failing to make some points when he could have (i.e., 47%), but Romney pounding away the “$716 billion” distortion, etc., so badly that I thought the pundits would crush him on that.  So, I was saddened to find out that he’d lost on body language. Why must body language be the only thing for which keep score?

    • Steve__T

       People want to believe, most times in anything they are told is truth regardless of what it is in reality.

      • Don_B1

        A lot of people like to believe someone if what they are being told furthers what they already want to believe, whether it is false or not.

  • Thinkin5

    I think that there were such low expectations for Mitt that he couldn’t help but look better. People have such high expectations for the President because he always delivers. Even the Repcons played that game. Mitt said, “Pres. Obama is the best speaker in history!!” Good set up!

  • NewtonWhale

    Ohio’s auto jobs may help Obama keep his

    CANTON, Ohio — The road to the White House winds through every corner of Ohio – past the coal mines in the south, theinsurance companies in the cities and the dairy farms that dot the countryside.

    Most of all this election year, it passes hard by the factories and plants where men and women make cars and trucks, and the parts for them. And it’s in those factories, adding shifts and putting people to work, where Ohio is writing a new chapter in its history at the heart of the industrial Midwest, and perhaps the 2012 presidential election.

    Perhaps nothing underscores the different approaches by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to the role of government than the taxpayer-financed bailout of the U.S. auto industry. Obama supported it; Romney opposed it.

    Now, the auto industry is rebounding. Ohio’s economy overall is performing better than that of the rest of the country. And fewer than 40 days before Election Day, Obama seems to be gaining the crucial edge in this battleground state in part because his support for the bailout has helped reduce joblessness during the nation’s worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/01/170252/ohios-auto-jobs-may-help-obama.html

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/01/170252/ohios-auto-jobs-may-help-obama.html#storylink=cpy

  • adks12020

    Why do people keep saying “Romney, who many hadn’t seen before” with regards to the debate!!!! He’s been in the national spolight since he ran against Kennedy in Mass for the senate.  Then he became governor of Massachusetts and passed healthcare reform putting him in the public eye even more.  He’s already run for president once. He’s been campaigning this time for over a year.  He is on the news every day! How is it that people have not seen him before. That is such a crock!  Anyone that hasn’t seen him before must have been living in a  cave.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      People hadn’t seen that version of Romney before. Nothing difficult to believe about that.

      • adks12020

        But they have seen about 10 other versions of him over the years.  And comments from newcasters and pundits before the debate were along the same lines.  Many aying something to the effect of “many voters will see Mitt Romney for the first time”.  It just isn’t true. It’s amazing how the echo chamber of the media can just keep repeating something in order to make it seem true.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It’s not amazing the media can just keep repeating something in order to make it true.

          See what I did there?

          ;’)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I have absolutely no idea what you did there.

            But for some reason, after reading you and watching The Evening News, I believe you.

            At the same time I think neither I, nor you, nor Romney have changed any positions.

    • MrNutso

      Those that say they hadn’t seen Romney before are actually saying they hadn’t seen the Romney they wanted to see.  As Bill Clinton described him “The Moderate Mitt”, not “Severe Conservative Mitt”.  If these people vote based on seeing who they wanted to see, they are in for some severe buyers remorse.

  • Andy Addleman

    What is the techno segway song they play?

  • Roy-in-Boise

    In the last debate people think Romney won because he etch-a-sketched many of his prior positions and was not held accountable for his switches.
    So, the greater question is: Why didn’t the President call bologna in the last debate? Was his technique simply a rope-a-dope and this next time he will come out swinging hard and fast?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507593666 Josh DeYoung

       Man I hope so.

      It sad the people that think they saw what Romney was really about during that first debate when even republicans will say that it was “The new Romney” during the debate.

    • Thinkin5

       I’m guessing the President gives the public credit for being more intelligent at accessing the facts and knowing when they see a total hypocrite in action. We all saw the video of the, behind closed doors Mitt. That’s who he really is!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Name one change that Romney made in the debate.

      I follow his campaign closely and I didn’t see any.

      Sure he didn’t match the nonsense they load into Obama’s teleprompter or the 30 second attack ads.

      Why is no one holding Obama accountable for his lies?

      He even admitted to 60 minutes that his campaign are serial liars.  His response — move along folks.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

        He’s cutting taxes for the wealthy by an huge amount.

        In the debate he claimed he isn’t.

        one.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Wrong. 

          He has always said the burden on top would remain the same.  Many conservatives criticized him at the time.
           

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            He IS CUTTING CAPITOL GAINS TAX RATE TO ZERO!

          • StilllHere

            Wow, you got the facts wrong, can’t spell and did it in all caps!  Truly pathetic.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            http://prospect.org/article/what-paul-ryans-america-looks

            “Ryan achieves this by eliminating all taxes on capital gains, interest, and dividends (by contrast, Romney only wants to reduce them).”

            Oh sorry, only Ryan wants to do that.

            Romney just wants to lower them. Until he gets into office that is.

      • jefe68

        Like I said before, you’re a hoot. Romney has changed so many times on so many issues it’s hard to keep count. He’s for a woman’s choice then a week later he’s against it. One thing is for sure, he’s clueless about what the majority of Americans are going through in terms of economics, health care and how the cost of this is one of largest issues facing us right now. Romney offers old tired GOP talking points about building a strong American through jobs, and yet the record clearly shows that under Republican presidents the economy has added less employment.

        That said Mitt Romney had to move so far to the right to get the GOP base and now he’s trying to seem more moderate. In my view it speaks more about how his campaign is the height of cynicism and contempt more than anything else. It’s as if he thinks the American people are that stupid, clearly you if the shoe fits…

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Since you get all your information from Slate, TPM and Axelrod you are bound to be misinformed.

          Yes, there is propaganda on both sides but it is working overtime on the left.  They no it is the only way they can win with such a dismal record.

          • Don_B1

            The ONLY reason to believe you is if one is devoted (like you seem to be) to the propaganda mill that is the Republican Party. ONLY then can real facts be considered propaganda since otherwise you would have to admit (as is the case) that your beliefs are a house of cards about to fall down.

        • Don_B1

          Romney truly is clueless (as is Worried and the other trolls here) on healthcare. Just read today’s column by Paul Krugman:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/krugman-death-by-ideology.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

          for the ways that emergency room health care is neither efficient or cost effective. A physician wrote:

          “It’s true that EMTALA [the 1986 law requiring that emergency rooms treat you regardless of insurance status] requires a medical screening exam and stabilization of any emergency medical conditions. It does not, however, mandate admission to the hospital for treatment of conditions that are not currently emergent (e.g. cancer, kidney disease, and other more chronic conditions except related to certain complications). For example, if someone were to present to one of our emergency departments with some mild bloating and be found to have an abdominal mass, they may very well be discharged home for outpatient follow-up and treatment. If that person doesn’t have insurance, they will likely have difficulty obtaining that care.
          I agree with your example of someone delaying care because they are uninsured (it happens with regularity), but thought another avenue to describe how uninsured people could die despite emergency care being mandated by EMTALA would be informative.”

  • Human898

    Polls don’t call the same set of people over and over again to see how their opinions have changed, they call random groups.

    In addition, why is no one talking about a “win” based on being factual, rather than being the best used car sales type?

  • OnpointListener

    It’s easy to be a great debater if you are not constrained by facts or your prior positions!

    Can’t people recognize an etch a sketch when they see one????

    • StilllHere

      After 4 years as president you would think they could, no?

  • OnpointListener

    Paul Krugman in todays NYTimes

    “So let’s be brutally honest here. The Romney-Ryan position on health care is that many millions of Americans must be denied health insurance, and millions more deprived of the security Medicare now provides, in order to save money. At the same time, of course, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are proposing trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy. So a literal description of their plan is that they want to expose many Americans to financial insecurity, and let some of them die, so that a handful of already wealthy people can have a higher after-tax income.”

    • Roy-in-Boise

       “A-freaking-men!”

      • OnpointListener

        How are things in Boise?  Is it Romney land?

    • MrNutso

      Yes, but you will be free to choose your own health insurance or none at all, and free to choose health insurance over big screen TV’s, iPods, cell phones, etc.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

        Hey MrNutso,

        Change your name to Idiot.

        Sorry, but your comment warrants some serious name calling.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Sarcasm–can’t you recognize sarcasm?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            No, I need a lot more coffee to get to that level.

          • MrNutso

            He needs to take some lessons from Sheldon Cooper.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Bazinga!

  • Naomi_in_VT

    Every time I hear the term “Battleground State” or “Swing State” I am amazed and appalled that we still accept an antiquated, aristocratic Electoral College system rather than a popular vote. And we pretend to be a democracy!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       In parliamentary systems like England, districts elect members who will then vote on a prime minister.

    • Human898

      I have mixed feelings on the electoral college as it is not totally and absolutely unfettered by the popular vote.  I do see problems with a few uncommitted, unpledged or traitor to their pledge electors.

      While it is intended as an additional check to the downsides of majority rule (prejudice by majority, etc.) it also may present as many problems as it intends to prevent.

    • Don_B1

      Check out the following for ways to make the electoral college always reflect the popular vote:

      http://uspolitics.about.com/od/electionissues/a/3-Ways-To-Bypass-The-Electoral-College.htm

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think people in great swaths may have learned to ignore the ads — and word is the onslaught of ads Obama used earlier, to define, they think, Romney, is going to give way to the onslaught of Romney ads to just cow the electorate into heeding them.  But I think the presentation in the debates matters more under the circumstances.  Whoever looks like a winner will likely win.  Romney thinks he’s got it.  His experience in clinching deals teaches him how to do this, Wow them.  Cow them.  They’ll come along.  And we Americans are trained like good consumers to follow the trend.  If everyone is buying Nike, we’ll buy Nike.  That sort of thing.

    • Human898

      Yes, it is kind of sad that we’ll buy from the best salesman, not based on whether the product can actually do as it advertises or whether the advertising is even true rather than partially true (leaving out key details that change the representation of it) or simply deceitful in order to sell the product, take the money and run. It is perhaps why it is important for us to become better “consumers”, investigate the claims, learn about the product and read the minute print. “Creative advertizing” is in many ways about telling people what they want to hear and keeping the details in the background or in the very fine print. When someone calls them on their product, they point to the fine print and say you should have read and understood it better, their intentional efforts to keep it behind them (so they can’t really be accused of lying) while maybe not illegal, presents somewhat of a notion of not being totally upfront and presenting the whole nature of the product in the same manner, pushing the appealing stuff upfront, making the details and drawbacks of the product less vocal and harder to see or locate. That’s called capitalizing on our laziness to not take the time to investigate or look at the details and it is done with intention. Unfortunately, many of us only reinforce the notion that it works.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    What is Obama running on?

    It appears he is running on the ‘I’m not Romney ticket’ or the ‘big bird’ ticket.  What is his plan?

    It is astounding that incumbent is running such a negative campaign.
     

    • StilllHere

      Running negative and not have a plan worked 4 years ago.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Obama now has a record of incompetence and failure of leadership.

        No budget for the last 4 years while running up $6T in new debt.  So many broken promises. 

        It is really crazy.

        I give Axelrod and the complicit media credit for creating numerous distractions.

    • jefe68

      Your good for comic relief. It is astounding that incumbent is running such a negative campaign.

      What a hoot.

    • Thinkin5

       Romney has been running the I’m not Obama, “try me!” campaign. Mitt will give the country a re-run of the failed Bush/Cheney policies. He also thinks that he and the right will tell Americans what their beliefs and “values” should be. We don’t need Taliban style theocracy in this free country!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Mitt isn’t running on ‘failed’ Bush policies.

        He is running on his own government reform plan.

        Where is Obama’s reform plan?

        Obama said he would go through the budget line by line and cut out waste.

        A)  He NEVER did this in the budgets he did offer
        B) He hasn’t led on getting a budget passed in each of the last 3 years — and don’t blame congress because he had a Dem congress the 1st year and the next two Harry Reid (at Obama’s bidding) blocked negotiations on a budget.

        Every American should be outraged at this lack of leadership.

         

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Can we please stop using Etch-a-sketch as a verb?  I’d rather not hear the name ever again, in fact.

    • Don_B1

      There are a LOT of others with the same desire; therefore we must work to ensure Obama is reelected!

      The alternative is four (there will not be more after the economic disaster) years of that word.

  • TinaWrites

    Why don’t they do a poll which would indicate whether people UNDERSTAND THE POLICIES THAT THEIR PREFERRED CANDIDATE SUPPORTS?  

    That is, do Romney/Ryan supporters understand that they may get a reduction in their tax rate, but they may lose their deductions (now called “loopholes”) like:  mortgage interest rate deduction, employer-provided health insurance.  Do people understand that being part of a group health plan, like Obamacare, brings down the cost of the premiums.  Do they understand that Obamacare would allow people with pre-existing conditions to get insurance (anytime in their lives — this is not just about whether you are sick right now or not!)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Premiums have gone up $2500 since Obamacare despite Obama’s promise that they would be lowered $2500.

      Also, EVERYONE is paying $500 more per year to cover EVERYONE’s 26 and under kid?  Why?  Why should I pay for some rich kid to stay on their parents policy.

      There is no free lunch and Obamacare is exhibit A.

      Obamacare will cost $2.3T and there will still be 30M uninsured in 2023.  There are only 1.6M in the pool with pre-existing conditions.  Why spend $2.3T so solve such a small problem?  It is like killing a fly with a howitzer.

      • Thinkin5

         No free wars either. The Repcons have no trouble putting those on the credit card and then crying to the citizens, “your entitlements cost too much!! If you can’t afford healthcare too bad! We want a bigger military!” It’s just a difference of what the parties want to spend on. The right has NEVER questioned an increase in military spending.

      • Don_B1

        Where does this spurious data come from? Some Heritage Foundation “study”?

        The increase in premiums in the last two years is significantly LESS than they have been going up in the past (and NOT $2,500). Also, PPACA has not gone into effect yet with the exception of a few provisions (wait until 2014!).

        But there are NO provisions in Ryan care that would lower premiums one cent! So repeal of PPACA will return the country to the previous 8 to 10% growth in premiums that have been the rule for the last decade and more. There are such provisions, which start the restructuring of health care delivery, that will further slow the rise in cost if not lower that cost.

  • Thinkin5

    Pres. Obama will be more agressive and combative this time and then the press and right will say that he “was too angry” and “too agressive” and poor little Mitt was just so polite. That’s what they said about the VP debate. I loved Biden’s debate. He had substance and countered every time he had to.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Caller Cindy isn’t feeling chagrin.  She’s dismayed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gkeefermcgee Glenn Keefer-Mcgee

    If you are voting because of a candidates “Hunger”, you are just the type of person the caller talked about.  Low information, low intellect. 

    • MrNutso

      I didn’t see lack of hunger on Obama’s part.  What I saw was an attempt not to duplicate Al Gore’s sighing giving the shovel Romney used that night.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        The press is ever more ready to get their undies in a bunch over a Democrat’s behavior during a debate than a Republican’s.

        As was proved two weeks ago and last week.

  • NewtonWhale

    I am sick and tired of media pundits treating critical issues of public policy as a game and behaving like theater critics instead of journalists.

    On Friday’s show Jack Beatty extolled Romney’s “leadership” when he acted like a liar and a bully.

    It is lazy and dishonest for pundits to focus on the horse race instead of the policy choices facing the country. 

    If you want to see how lazy they are, ask yourself this question after every one of theirs:

    “Does this question help me decide which candidate has the right policies, or is it just another variation of ‘who will win and how’?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Hear, hear.

      NPR needs to get more outside the Beltway sometimes. And this is one of those times.

  • Davesix6

    What is Obama’s plan for the future? More of the same!

    I know many of you on the left don’t get this, but most people out here don’t know what to expect next from President Obama, or the Federal Government under his administration.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      What we know is this. We’ll get crumbs from Obama.

      But we’ll get nothing from Romney.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Pay attention please.

        Romney has a plan for economic growth and the resulting jobs.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

          He has nothing but how he got rich.

          Sending middle class jobs overseas to China and stealing pensions.

          Believe it. That’s his plan. The elite aren’t backing Romney this time for no reason.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            What are you talking about?

            He turned around the state of MA when we were in finacial crisis.  He also turned around the corrupt and bankrupt SLC Olympics.

            Romney exudes leadership and has a strong record of success.

            The Federal government is corrupt and bankrupt — we need someone with Romney’s skills to clean things up.
             

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            He left MA in a sorry state.

            Raised many taxes too.

            I’m sure you are for that.

            He left MA in such great shape he’s going to win MA.

            Wait. He’s not even contesting it.

            THe Olympics. Bailed out by the U.S. government money.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            He left the state of MA with full employment and a $2B rainy day fund.

            The federal money was for additional security after the 9/11 attacks. Remember that?
            Try again.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Senator McCain,
            The shake down of the American taxpayer to Salt Lake City to host the Winter Olympics consisted of 1.5 billion.

            “”This past year, I requested the General Accounting Office to conduct an audit into Federal financial support for U.S. cities hosting the Olympics. Specifically, I asked the GAO to answer two questions: 1) the amount of federal funding and support provided to the 1984 and 1996 Summer Olympics, and planned for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the types of projects and activities that were funded and supported, and; 2) the federal policies, legislative authorizations, and agency controls in place for providing the federal funds and support to the Olympic Games. What the GAO discovered is that, “at least 24 federal agencies reported providing or planning to provide a combined total of almost $2 billion, in 1999 dollars, for Olympic-related projects and activities for the 1984 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.” 

            “My friends, this number is staggering, but what is more shocking is the way in which federal funds flowing to Olympic host cities has accelerated. The GAO found that the American taxpayer provided about $75 million in funding for the 1984 Los Angeles Games, by 1996 the bill to taxpayers had escalated to $609 million, and for the upcoming 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, that bill to American taxpayers is estimated to be $1.3 billion dollars. This figure is breathtaking. The American taxpayer is being shaken down to the tune of nearly a billion-and-a-half dollars for Salt Lake City to host the Winter Olympics. “http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.Speeches&ContentRecord_id=4d32bf7f-d708-4169-8a36-253df4fcab0c&Region_id=&Issue_id=15a904d0-1277-40f2-843d-904f077cb0fb

          • Don_B1

            The unemployment rate went down mostly because a lot of people EMIGRATED to other states.

            Does Romney plan to export citizens to follow the jobs is he offshoring?

          • MrNutso

            Mass. ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation during Romney’s term.

            Olympics: Thanks to Federal bailout (oops there’s that word again).

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Romney started his term at 50th in jobs creation and when he left office MA was 22nd in job creation.
            Unemployment was 4.7% which is FULL employment.

            Again, the Olympic Federal funding was for extra security after 9/11.  Do remember those terrorist attacks?

          • Don_B1

            @MrNutso:disqus 
            @Greg:disqus 

            I will repeat my post from above:

            The unemployment rate went down mostly because a lot of people EMIGRATED to other states.

            Does Romney plan to export citizens to follow the jobs is he offshoring?

          • Human898

            So if Democrats in Mass introduced the notion of a universal health care system they desired and Mr. Romney followed suit, that’s considered getting a tough Democratic opposition to “come along”?   How about this.  Mr. Romney chose to agree with the Democratically introduced idea of how to implement universal health care in MA?    The only thing regarding health care in MA Mr. Romney may have run up against Democrats with was his insistence that there be a private insurance mandate, the same thing Congressional Republicans called for (and then criticized) as a requirement for their support of the PPACA, they derogatorily refer to as “Obamacare”

        • Thinkin5

           The ol’ W, rightwing, rehashed, lower taxes, trickle down. Yes, been there done that. I have yet to get an answer as to when the tax cuts produced more jobs. Hasn’t happened. They just pocket the money, stash it and make more interest. People work harder for less and that increases productivity. Matt Taibbi said perfectly:
          “Mitt Romney – a man whose own father built cars and nurtured communities, and was one of the old-school industrial anachronisms pushed aside by the new generation’s wealth grab – has emerged now to sell this make-nothing, take-everything, screw-everyone ethos to the world. He’s Gordon Gekko, but a new and improved version, with better PR – and a bigger goal. A takeover artist all his life, Romney is now trying to take over America itself. And if his own history is any guide, we’ll all end up paying for the acquisition.”
          “The new borrow-and-conquer economy was morally sanctified by an almost religious faith in the grossly euphemistic concept of “creative destruction,” and amounted to a total abdication of collective responsibility by America’s rich, whose new thing was making assloads of money in ever-shorter campaigns of economic conquest, sending the proceeds offshore, and shrugging as the great towns and factories their parents and grandparents built were shuttered and boarded up, crushed by a true prairie fire of debt.”
          http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829

          • Steve__T

             He won’t read. It he believes what he believes and no amount of truth or prof will change that. You know that saying thick as a brick? I some times picture him with his fingers in his ears screaming NANANA NANANA

    • Human898

      Romney plans for the future?   Back to what the Wall Street Journal headlined as “The Worst Crisis Since 30′s, No End Yet in Sight” on September 18, 2008.

      The economy, like a freight train or supertanker continued to tank until measures to halt the tanking were able to be implemented and work.  Since then, the economy has improved, slowly, but improved.  I’m amazed at how all those that didn’t see 2008 coming or would like to ignore it ever happened in 2008 and before Mr. Obama was elected, are now suddenly economic geniuses and know how long and how strong a recovery from the second worst financial crash recorded that took place under a Republican MBA president (if we are blaming presidents in the WH and “their” economies), should take or how their use of the same policies will cause a recovery, not another 2008 “discovery” about the economy.   Read what David Stockman, a Republican, said about Ryan’s plan.

  • Thinkin5

    If I were the president, I would be so fed up with all the personal attacks from the wingnuts that I would wonder if it’s possible to get anything done. When people like Mitt, who are supposed to be the reasonable Republicans, don’t slap down the birthers like Trump because they want their money, you have to wonder if there are any people of good moral character left on the right. Where is their moral courage to speak up like McCain did when the idiot woman called Obama “an Arab”?! Mitt hasn’t been attacked for his Mormonism. What if the left started in on him for that? Wouldn’t they cry out on the right then?!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       If I were President I wouldn’t skip 60% of the security briefings including the one the day after the Libya attacks so I could go to a Vegas fundraiser.

      • Thinkin5

        As if there are no other ways to communicate between people. Silly to think that people have to be standing in the same room to communicate.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           What are you talking about?

          A security briefing can be a conference call or video conference.

          Obama skipped 60% of them in 2012 and the WH said that is OK because he read the reports on his Ipad.

          Really?  That’s OK?

          Therefore, there was no give and take with the experts and no followup questions.

          The typical security briefing only takes 15 minutes.

          • Human898

            Really??  No other means for give and take, no other means for followup???  Would that be true a BB like this, where you write something, someone responds….you follow up???

            Are we present in the same room?? 

          • Don_B1

            Do you really think that people reading your posts can’t think or don’t know about electronic communications these days?

            You are not doing your cause any favors (and why am I telling you that?).

  • AC

    ok, since no one is happy with those of us ‘undecideds’; it’s because the issue i really find MOST important seems secondary to both candidates as well as very similar. some may have guessed already but it’s education/training programs for people who are becoming displaced by technology.
    I will say Obama is more likely because this issue involves SPENDING money, which it seems Romney would hesitate or drag out until the issue was too critical to not do it….

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Look at other parties.  The two major corruptions aren’t the only options.

      • AC

        but even if i preferred a 3rd party person, i feel this issue is so important that you can not waste the time on a pipe dream. these are the 2 viable options we have – we need these unemployed people hired NOW. that means they’ve got to train for what are now and will be in the future ‘tech’ jobs NOW.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           If you have any reason to believe that either Obama or Romney will accomplish that, vote for him.  I see no evidence for it.

          • AC

            great; i’m still confused! i have trouble succumbing to ‘lip service’ which they are both doing on this….sigh. it SAYS on their websites they do plan on doing it…… i like details or i dither…..there is no detail

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Don’t believe it just because someone says it.  Does the plan make sense?  Is there a record of the person having done anything useful on the subject in the past?

        • Don_B1

          Obama has supported Pell grants for education and supports technical schools. He also has the American Jobs Act, which the Republicans blocked so the unemployment rate would not go down on Obama’s watch. Do you think that action should be rewarded?

          Romney thinks that young people should borrow the money from parents or other family members and pick a cheaper school where they can “get a good education.” How many of the lower and middle class youth will be able to do that? How much of cost of education will be increased by returning all loan origination to the banks where the rates will be higher instead of the lower rates when issued directly from the federal government?

  • rojo67

    Romney did not “win” the debate.  He lied and changed positions repeatedly.  Obama failed to point this out.  In taking the high ground of being dignified and non-bombastic, Obama conceded the debate.  But he remains the only candidate of vision.  Democracy is in enormous, perhaps irreparable danger if Romney squeezes out an electoral win supported by obscene amounts of wealthy special interest money in (how can it be so) tax exempt “social welfare” advocacy groups.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I can tell you as a Romney supporter who has been closely following his campaign for a year and believe he has the unique and best skills to turn this mess around that he did not shift positions in the debate.

      I would have been disappointed if he had shifted positions.

      • rojo67

        I am worried for the country.  Any objective attention to that worry speaks in favor of Obama.  Romney will further the transition of the US to becoming a plutocracy.  His tax plan cannot work.  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/the-6-studies-paul-ryan-cited-prove-mitt-romneys-tax-plan-is-impossible/263541/ His policies are truly dangerous for democracy.  The contradiction (lie) Romney began with about his tax policy during the debate was outrageous.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Amazing.  You point to a leftist analysis who starts out by dismissing Dr. Rosen’s report.  Rosen is not a conservative economist so that is why he had to ignore his analysis.

          Romney’s plan works IF it creates .5-1% additional economic growth.  So the question now becomes does his plan create economic growth.  Also, Romney has more reforms in his plan than simply the tax reform.

          The only way out of this mess is to grow the economy and create more taxpayers in the middle.

          • rojo67

            I have better uses of my time than to argue with individuals who will not consider evidence and logic.  Growing the economy makes sense.  Whoever is elected will have a very hard time doing that.  The Bush policies created this disaster.  Romney’s plan is Bush2.2.  Romney has billions of dollars of money from the very richest members of society who know he will help to protect their privilege.  His election would be a disaster for liberty, equality, and most of what the founders sought to establish.  I’m going to move forward and leave this interaction.

          • anamaria23

            Mr. Romney will be starting from a significantly better  place than President Obama did, thanks to the work of the Obama adminsitration.

          • Don_B1

            But if the Tea/Republicans take the same attitude they did for the debt limit raising, and force austerity, there will be a second recession, from which recovery will be harder than what Obama faced.

      • Thinkin5

         What has “shifted” is what Romney is telling the general public he wants to do. He’s brought out the moderate Mitt and trying to soft pedal his more conservative side with the Rove/Norquist puppeteers. Mitt is owned by the extreme right. If he goes off script and tries to moderate his stance (i.e. abortion, gay rights) they yank the strings and the campaign puts out a “correction”.

      • Human898

        Yes, Ken Lay had the skills to fool people into believing Enron was doing super well to attract investment.  Yet it wasn’t doing well and “experienced businessmen” were skimming profits and robbing the pension funds of hard working people (their employees) that weren’t making millions like those robbing them.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    to Cindy (and the other true believers on this board and in the WBUR newsroom),
    those of us that are undecided or may not vote are:
         -equally dismayed
         -have concern for our country
         -have made concerted efforts to follow the issues closely
         -claim to be no less and no more intelligent than you
         -are apalled with the choices available to us
         -have been actively involved in the past with all the
          “correct” causes

    Insert I/me and alter the verbs to agree with nouns if you need to, but I am discouraged and believe I am not alone.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       There are other parties available.  Don’t feel forced to vote Democan or Republicrat.

      • MrNutso

        I don’t feel forced.  What I do feel is that I need to vote for a floodwall to stop the tide from going in the wrong direction.  I am not really a fan of any of the other candidates, but if one emerged that was true middle of the road that could actually win, that person would get my vote.

    • MrNutso

      I think people who don’t understand undecided’s share your sentiments (at least I do).  However, I know one of these two guys will be elected President.  So I have to ask myself, which of the two will do better for the country (or perhaps, do the least harm).  In this election I feel that I am voting for Obama, but I could equally say I am voting against Romney.

    • Don_B1

      I would like to suggest that the reason for your discouragement, while understandable, is not warranted.

      1) For some inexplicable reason (to me), the Democrats and Obama have not even tried to explain why the stimulus (and a little bit more, because the 2009 one was not big enough) is needed when the economy is in what is called a Liquidity Trap. In this condition, the interest rates are pressed to the Zero Lower Bound, which makes it near impossible for the Federal Reserve to drive economic expansion through “normal” lowering of the discount rate.

      2) The reason amounts to: your spending is my income and my spending is your income. When an economic shock occurs, driving us both to either pay down accumulated debt (mortgages) or save for possible unemployment, by doing so we reduce each other’s income. So no or little saving occurs and maybe we even have to raid what savings we already have. The only institution that CAN spend is the government and it can borrow at next to no cost. Once the economy revives the government can stop the stimulus spending and watch as the revenues increase as the GDP increases and the deficit goes way down.

      3) Republicans have prevented the government spending necessary for a faster recovery. We are experiencing Republican austerity right now, with the possible stronger austerity under Romney that will put us back in full recession.

  • jefe68

    I hope Obama wins, not because I like him, I don’t think he’s a the best president we could have voted in for the times we are living in, but that’s how politics goes. Some politicians rise to occasion and others don’t.

    But Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be a disaster for this nation, it’s that simple in my view. Ryan is the key here, and if people who are not as extreme as he is do not wake up they will be losing a lot more than a deduction on their mortgages if they are lucky enough to have one.

    That said, it was President Obama’s night to put this campaign to bed two weeks ago and he failed, big time. One wonders if he wants to win.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       We want job growth.  It is the only way out of this mess.

      • John_of_Medford28

        I’m convinced that much of the world is in a paradigm shift which is largely not acknowledged by the media and the elites that a lot of jobs have been permanently eliminated (and a lot more soon to be) by advances in technology and efficiency.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I remember in the late ’70s and early ’80s they said the same thing when we were getting our butts kicked by Japan. 

          We don’t make buggy whips any more.  Yes, we have to adapt and if we channel the American spirit we will prevail.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Can you update us on what we can do to adapt beside sending the middle class into poverty?

          • Steve__T

            The American spirit is really filling yum. I know people who eat it every day, along with sand and bullets and shrapnel

            Most of them are the poor that return from over seas with no medical and no jobs Just good o’ American spirit
            Don’t worry we’ll take care of them.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          You nailed it: thirty years of increasing efficiency of the work force, including replacing people with computers and outsourcing large portions of what’s left of the workforce. We’re at the tipping point.

          The stability of our economic system has been gradually unraveling due to the technological revolution. We need to look forward to address this, not backward.

          What happens when robots start replacing large numbers of workers? Imagine the economic upheaval that that threatens us with. Human beings are becoming obsolete. Beware – Skynet is near. ;^)

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

         So let’ embrace the wishful thinking: increase defense spending, cut taxes (on the wealthy), reduce regulation and we’ll balance the budget. Trust me… where have we heard that before… how did that work out for us?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The truth is the only way out of this mess (without sever pain and misery) is to grow the economy.  We can’t cut our way out or tax our way out.

          Our tax code is over 74,000 pages.  How is that a good thing?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            It’s not.

            Let’s end all taxes on the middle class and the poor and only tax wealth. 

            That should narrow that tax book down.

            It can be written in one line.

            When you die all wealth comes back to the society that made it possible.

            Reset button.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Anti-american.

            If you want that system you can visit Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            It’s very patriotic.

            Your way of thinking, supporting treasonous multi-national corporations is anti-Amerian.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            And btw aren’t you the one always yapping about how you don’t want to pay taxes?

            Well I just offered you to pay no taxes.

            But apparently you are so concerned about the billionaires you’d rather pay then have them pay.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             That wouldn’t raise sufficient revenue to pay for all the government and services that we have at the moment.

          • sickofthechit

             But it is a start.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            greg, we fundamentally disagree.  I don’t want other peoples stuff.

            I don’t mind paying taxes as long as it doesn’t go to waste – or ever increasing debt burden.

            I want a fair system that EVERYONE contributes to.  When 20% pay 93% of the income taxes that isn’t fair.

            There are many loopholes that advantage ‘some’ of the rich.  Romney wants to eliminate those and therefore make the tax code fairer.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            What isn’t fair is that 5 walmart heirs own more wealth then the bottom third of the entire country combined.

            How did they amass so much wealth?

            By paying their employees so little they qualify for food stamps.

            Take the wealth back and put it back into society.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Start your own Walmart.  No one is stopping you.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            You’ve got nothing.

            Walmart loves monopolies.

            It has become one.

          • sickofthechit

             What’s wrong with a little severe pain and misery?  Let’s just make sure we place it where it belongs this time.

      • Thinkin5

         Big business doesn’t want job growth apparently. They prefer to keep the competition for jobs very high so they can keep the wages low and create more half time jobs with no benefits. They want PROFITS and personal wealth. They call any concern for the middle class and poor, “socialism”. Plutocracy is the rightwing agenda. They’ve shown us that by creating it. Why let them continue?! They have nothing but disdain for people who aren’t wealthy and powerful.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

        You want job growth?

        Then tell that to the treasonous multi-nationals doing business in this country.

        Scared to do that aren’t you?

        That’s why you make it the government’s fault.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           OMG.  What happened to the education system in this country?  It appears there is no critical thinking left.

          We are on the way to Idiocracy.

          • sickofthechit

             With you showing us the way.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Can you tell I’m frustrated?

          • Steve__T

             Take my challenge above. Lets see if you have critical thinking.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Want job growth? Then stop supporting pols that preach austerity, lay off teachers and cops, refuse to do anything to discouraging offshoring, and block every effort to get the economy revived.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Last I checked, the federal government doesn’t hire teachers and cops.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Check again. 
            1. Righty class warfare is raging in the states, too.
            2. The federal gvt can provide aid to the states to prevent layoffs of public sector workers, as in the highly successful ARRA that put the brakes on the Bush crash. Your side opposes that. You think public sector job losses are good. 

      • Human898

        Who has been firing and laying off Americans to “save” money and increase profit margins??  Does hiring foreign labor help the unemployment rate in the U.S?  

        What happens to the need for temporary government assistance when Americans are fired because some think they are paid too much (except CEO’s don’t think their own compensation is too much)?  

        What happens to the number of people that have income levels that reach the taxable income level when Americans are fired and laid off???

        How is the debt paid off from American companies firing Americans and hiring lower priced foreign labor?  

        Which come first, profit or the health of one’s national economy?  One’s net worth or the health of their nation’s economy?   What happens to both profit and net worth in the long run if national economies around the globe shrink???

    • brettearle

      Right Wing attacks, for these past four years, as well as an uncompromising Congress, may very well have beaten Obama down so much, that he’s lost his competitive edge….maybe even to the point, where he now realizes that he doesn’t want the job, anymore.

      Senator Mitch McConnell is a disgrace….plain and simple.

      • jefe68

        Granted, but did President Obama stand up to Mitch McConnell? Not much. Did he take the obstructionist GOP act to the American people, as FDR did in the 30′s, and use his bully pulpit to gain momentum and consensus? Not at all, or it was to late. Witness the Health care debate, he AWOL with the public on that.

        We, as progressives, liberals, and democrats can look to the other side and cry foul all we want, but at the end of the day blaming them is not enough.
        This is a huge election, if the GOP wins this and their extremist right agenda comes to be the status quo for the next decade. Our nation is not going to be the same for decades, or ever. Defeating them in this election is key as it will prove that the extremist are not going to win the day. It’s that simple to me.

        The GOP has gone over the edge of sensible and in my view they are the party of the crazies, in both economics, science, and health care.

        • brettearle

           Good points all.  Good ones, indeed….

          ….except I would not necessarily use the extreme word, `crazies’ (or even, `pathologically radical’, when describing some of the GOP views).

          Not all of the GOP are Tea Partiers, are they?  You may think so–but I don’t believe that is the case.

          • jefe68

            When the majority the republican house and senate member’s sign the Grover Norquist tax pledge you kind of get the sense that this about their agenda and not what’s good for the nation. That’s extremist, I’m going to call them what they are, extremist.Did you not pay any attention to the GOP platform presented at their convention? They want to make abortion illegal even cases of incest and rape. They want an Constitutional amendment against same sex marriage. I call that extremist. 

          • brettearle

            You do us Liberals a disservice when you misstate the facts.

            If you check carefully what the pro-life position is, in the 2012 Republican convention platform, you will see that the GOP leaves it up to Congress and the States.

            Fact Check.org backs this up and refutes your claim.

            Not everyone in the GOP are Tea Party extremists.

            Go ahead and write all Republicans off, if you want–but it will be at your peril.

            You can’t grind the country to the ground–because of political revenge.

            I can’t stand Romney, either–but your way is ALSO destruction for everyone. 

    • Don_B1

      If you read Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal” I think you will feel better about the good things that Obama has done. The ARRA and the PPACA are two big things that are the most misunderstood bills ever passed, mostly because the Obama administration did not effectively sell them.

  • ttajtt

    its the mark in health care(…) for both that scares me.  its who flip flops then flop flips on office party trade offs.   Even if on caffeine or sleepers.   little people genes loose.  wheres the paper trail of proof.  Just make more money, don’t tax the richest.   middle class was penned out in the presidents first year.  the talk is the pay scale is not a class. this middle class is what we all should be working toward.
    memorized words are not shooting straight from the hip intentional thoughts, or via his OWN, is that a NRA rule?      It is the biggest crook that  gets away with the most whom wins.   

  • Thinkin5

    If Mitt wins by a whisker, I think that he and his rightwing agenda deserve all the outrage and opposition that they gave President Obama from day one. Filibuster and berate them at every turn. They’re brilliant at obstruction.We’ve seen all the tactics so the Dems have a great play book to work with.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      Don’t worry. We are all in.

      The playbook of the Repugs is genocide.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I call it thermonuclear class warfare.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Romney’s plan help the middle class more than Obama.

          The debt will hurt the middle class far more than the rich in the long run.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

            Who do you think the debt is owed to? It’s the rich.

            And the middle class and the poor are tired of being threatened with it.

            WE WON’T PAY.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The constant use of THE DEBT as a bogeyman to scare the middle class into giving up everything that was developed since 1929 makes me wanna puke. 

            You are right. THE DEBT is primarily owed to the rich, but you wouldn’t know that to listen to righty pols. According to them, all THE DEBT is owed to china. 

            I think it’s about time we heard that the world’s biggest economy with the capability of “printing” the world’s reserve currency will “be like greece” if we don’t turn medicare into a Groupon. Anyone? C’mon, you gotta say your lines. “Worried”? “Stillhere”?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Did you personally encounter “the debt” today? Did you ever stop and think that you support policies that cause real pain out of fear of a hypothetical bogeyman? “OOOOH, if you don’t let us turn medicare into vouchercare, the big bad DEBT will get you”.

            The pain RR propose is real and immediate. It makes no sense to accept real pain to avoid a hypothetical.

            Romney’s tax cuts will increase the debt, anyway.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Gee Tom, what is the duration of the national debt?

            It is under 8 years.  When the bill comes due at 5%-8% interest rates then we are totally screwed.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You’re supposed to say we’ll be like Greece.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Also, Romney is calling for ANY cuts.  He just slows growth in spending to 3% instead of the 4.5% that Obama proposes.

          • jefe68

            Are you aware that Romney’s so called plan will add billions to the debt in his first two years in office if he’s elected and if he gets his way with his economic plan.

            Clueless.

    • MrNutso

      This is what I find so damning about the last 4 years.  Obama had a solid win with nearly a 6% popular vote advantage, and 2-1 electoral college election.  Yet before he was inaugurated he was faced with a united “no” opposition from the Republican Party.

      It makes me wonder why we even have elections.

      • anamaria23

        Let us not forget that Mr. Romney, if elected, will face not nearly the challanges that Mr. Obama did coming into office in 2009.
        Romney will benifit enormously by the slow but steady gains made by the Obama administration-one less war to end, an economy out of decline and
        inching forward,  a less hostile and obstructionist Congress, a stock market doing well, corporations sitting on billions of dollars, resolution of issues neglected for generations-DADT, equal pay for women for starters. 
        Yes, there is much more to be done and some solutions were sub-optimal, but we are a long way from 2009.

    • brettearle

      As much as I dislike the Republicans, Romney, and especially the House of Representatives, if we adopt your attitude, the country will go to Hell in a hand basket quicker than at the rate it’s currently going.

      The worst thing that you can do is to seek political retribution, at the expense of the country.

      Your sort of polarization is exactly what everyone’s complaining about.

      I don’t like the GOP any more than you do, but your way is nothing less than a primitive and simplistic solution for self-destruction.

      • Thinkin5

         I’ve been paying attention to what the Repcon governors are doing in Wisconsin and Florida, etc. It tells you what the Repcon real agenda is. They will attempt to change many laws that take rights away, take votes away, and any opposition will have little power if we let them pull this off. They are ruthless when they get any kind of power.

        • brettearle

          I do not trust the GOP; I do not appreciate their politics.

          However, you and I may not realize the following:

          Even if we do not care to admit it, sometimes the Republicans can be following the right path on some things, even if we think they’re wrong.

          If you maintain an across-the-board condemnation of the GOP, the country loses out in the end.

          Democracy does NOT work–WITHOUT checks and balances.

      • Thinkin5

         So let us pray that the voters DON’T reward the obstructionists who have put this government into gridlock. Without compromise (it takes 2!) we can’t solve problems. I’m tired of the poisonous baseless personal attacks on our president by the main stream Republicans. I have no respect for them. I just think that we have to fight fire with fire. (Plus I like to scare them with their own tactics!) They’ve lost all desire for reasonable compromise.

        • brettearle

          You fight fire with fire ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL.

          You DON’T do it, when it comes to legislation.

          If you do, the public suffers.

  • ldubeiws

    I simply cannot take it any longer! The repetitive debate performance has been discussed ad nauseam. Either Presidential candidates performance has nothing to do with the issues, their platforms, their ideology. Romney’s performance does not change his ideology on women’s reproductive rights regarding Roe vs Wade and birth control, or tax cuts for the wealthiest of the American population, health care repeal, the environment, and on and on. Further, Romney was known to be a solid debater before the debate and had significant time to hone his skills as he is not Commander in Chief of the United States, whose daily schedule is bordering on simply frightening. I pity almost all the  American people. It seems that the majority of the public are beguiled by the republican spin machine along with the media sensationalism centering around the previous debates. Debates with 2 to 4 minute responses don’t change the parties platforms nor the Republican warmongering. Our great country has a huge number of simple people, which is necessary for our survival and prosperity. They lead simple lives, they have simple needs but simple people do not have to be simple-minded.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      We want jobs.

      • jimino

        So go create some jobs.  No one is stopping you.  Kind of like “Start your own Walmart.  No one is stopping you.”

      • Steve__T

         I have a job for you. Read the links that have been posted in reply to you with an open mind, and make a lair out of me.

         I say you won’t. If you do please reply with your thoughts in an honest fair and balanced report.

    • rvl1

       Well said!  I blame the media for turning this into a cheap spectacle. Listening to the commentary right after the debates and on the Sunday talk shows it was all about who “won”, who had the best sound bite, who’s body language was better or worse. And then it echos for days on all media outlets. As if the election should now hinge on the perception of a “winner” regardless their real position on issues or in some case how often they lied or flip flopped on the issues.  That said I give Martha Raddatz credit for calling the VP debaters out on some of their statements. David Gregory was a joke moderating the Brown-Warren debate – spending the first 10 minutes goading Warren on the phoney ancestry non-issue.

    • brettearle

      I realize that you were not being condescending, when you used the term, `simple’–nor do I think anyone with a personal agenda, of any kind, should regard your comments, in this way.

      However, I do not believe that anyone leads a simple life–based on my own interpretation of what `simple’ really means. 

      That having been said, you can’t expect people to keep abreast of the issues in a comprehensive way–what with the demands of everyone’s daily lives.

      However, I couldn’t agree with you more, about the “Right Wing Attack Machine” (as Senator Kerry calls it).

      Nevertheless, the American people have the right to see the President as a statesman who stands up for what he believes in.

      And the fact is that President Obama did NOT do that successfully on October 3rd.

      I remain a strong Obama supporter.

    • burroak

      Yeup, you sensationalize the issues, keeping Americans dismayed and disgruntled. Was it Karl Rove who was quoted: “say something long enough and loud enough, and, eventually, the populus will believe you.” It is interesting, though, with 21st-century-technology-, information and ideas are communicated quite fluently and rapidly. So maybe there is hope that Americans can sift through so much sensational smoke and buzz, and discuss with their fellow countyfolk the many issues that dot the American landscape.

  • brettearle

    I still think Romney has more than enough baggage to lose–AS LONG AS OBAMA SHOWS CONVINCING BACKBONE AND FORTHRIGHT VISION, from now until November.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Where’s the budget?  It’s been 4 years and $6T later.

      Now that is backbone for you.

      • brettearle

        You actually believe, in your politically biased mind, that Obama has no budget–simply because of Obama?

        Now that’s what I call misreading backbone for you.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           It is called leadership.

          Where does the buck stop?

          If Bush went through an entire term without a budget the media would be hounding him every day.

          • Human898
          • Steve__T

             He won’t read it, even if he does he won’t believe a word.

          • sickofthechit

             How can you call what bush did a budget when it did not include war costs, the prescription drug benefit for medicare and his trillions in tax cuts that did not create jobs.

          • Human898

            President Obama Has Produced Four Budget Proposals.

            Obama has produced four budget proposals since taking office:

            Fiscal Year 2010 [Office of Management and Budget, accessed 8/17/12]

            Fiscal Year 2011 [Office of Management and Budget, accessed 8/17/12]

            Fiscal Year 2012 [Office of Management and Budget, accessed 8/17/12]

            Fiscal Year 2013 [Office of Management and Budget, accessed 8/17/12]

            The president is obligated by law to present a budget (budget proposal) Please learn about the processes of your own government.

            http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/08/17/foxs-mike-huckabee-doesnt-understand-how-the-fe/189425

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            How many votes did Obama’s budget get in congress?

            Answer: 0

            Under Obama’s watch he only signed one budget and that was the one he inherited from Bush.

            There is no  leadership under Obama.

          • Human898

            The “passed” budgets of Bush produced what sort of economy for the nation?

            If a budget was a bad one, why would one not vote to take it up for consideration, point out its bad points, then vote against it?

            Motion to Proceed to Consider: A motion, usually offered by the Majority Leader to bring a bill or other measure up for consideration. The usual way of bringing a measure to the floor when unanimous consent to do so cannot be obtained. For legislative business, the motion is debatable under most circumstances, and therefore may be subject to filibuster.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-16/republicans-seize-control-of-senate-agenda-to-force-budget-votes.html

            http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:sc41:

            Aside from budgets and spending there is also the revenue side. Bush raised revenue to pay down debt or narrow the spending gap, when, where and how?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Bush’s worst budget deficit was $400B and that was with a Reid/Pelosi budget.

            Sure looks good now.

          • anamaria23

            Sadly, he left out a few things in his budget.

          • Thinkin5

             “From the GOP’s record-setting use of the filibuster and its united front
            against Obama’s legislative agenda to blocking judicial nominees and
            its admitted hostage-taking of the U.S. debt ceiling, the Republican Party has broken new ground in its perpetual quest to ensure that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.
            The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the
            1960s, she finds, “extended-debate-related problems” — threatened or
            actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By
            the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook
            control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the
            minority, it soared to 70 percent.”I wonder what the right will think if the Dems do this to a Mittens/Gilligan administration?

          • Steve__T

             How do you lead someone who says no to every thing? They are elected officials he can’t fire them he can’t make them more reasonable, there is no buck to pass so where can it stop.

      • Steve__T

         Have you asked congress? or the senate? Do you understand how our system actually works?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I know exactly how the budget process works.

          Where was the budget in CY2010?  Obama had a solid Dem congress but no budget was passed.  Move on folks.

          CY2011/12 the house passed a budget but Harry Reid and Obama could not get  a budget out of the Senate — that put the brakes on the budget.

          Why?

          I suspect they didn’t want their fingerprints on ANY tough decisions before the 2012 election.

          At what cost? 

          Answer: $6T in new debt.  Numerous debt rating downgrades and threats of downgrades.

          The buck has to stop with the President. IF Obama had taken leadership action and failed that would potentially be a different story.  He was AWOL.  Just like Simpson-Bowles.

          He should pay a price for his failures.
           

          • Steve__T

             I don’t think you do. Its Obama’s fault because because the congress and senate of NO won’t do their jobs? That’s not how it works.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             BS. Again no leadership.  Obama has many tools including the bully pulpit.

            The truth is it would only take on phone call by Obama to Harry Reid.

          • Thinkin5

             The TeaBullys put a stop to everything. Can’t even pass with a simple majority. Need 60 votes. Watch the Repcons try to change that if Mitt squeaks in.

  • Human898

    “I cannot help commending the zeal that appears in my countrymen against the power of a King or a House of Lords. I concur with them in all their prejudices against hereditary titles, honour and power. History is little else than a recital of the follies and vices of kings and noblemen, and it is because I dread so much from them, that I wish to exclude them for ever from Pennsylvania, for notwithstanding our government has been called a simple democracy, I maintain, that a foundation is laid in it for the most complete aristocracy that ever existed in the world.”

    “In order to prove this assertion, I shall premise two propositions, which have never been controverted: First, where there is wealth, there will be power; and, secondly, the rich have always been an over-match for the poor in all contests for power.”

    “These truths being admitted, I desire to know what can prevent our single representation being filled, in the course of a few years, with a majority of rich men? Say not, the people will not choose such men to represent them. The influence of wealth at elections is irresistible. It has been seen and felt in Pennsylvania, and I am obliged in justice to my subject to say, that there are poor men among us as prepared to be influenced, as the rich are prepared to influence them. The fault must be laid in both cases upon human nature. The consequence of a majority of rich men getting into the legislature is plain. Their wealth will administer fuel to the love of arbitrary power that is common to all men. The present Assembly have furnished them with precedents for breaking the Constitution. Farewell now to annual elections! Public emergencies will sanctify the most daring measures. The clamours of their constituents will be silenced with offices, bribes or punishments. An aristocracy will be established, and Pennsylvania will be inhabited like most of the countries in Europe, with only two sorts of animals, tyrants and slaves.”
    -Benjamin Rush – 1777 – Bicameralism

    • burroak

      In addition, the legislation passed that allows corporations to be humans, and can donate significantly large amounts of money to campaigns. So corporations can buy and influence elected officials.  

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    I’m shocked.  Nancy Pelosi caught lying to a San Fransisco newspaper.

    She claims that she read the entire 2700 page Obamacare bill.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/djsaunders/2012/10/11/nancy-pelosi-says-she-read-obamacare-bill/
     

  • kevnorth

    NY Times has predicted that, based on polling and the number of routes to the electoral win, Romney only has a less than 29% chance of winning this election, and that is the HIGHEST that percentage has ever been. Given that, this seems more like media hype than a true horse race.

    • sickofthechit

      We need to hand Obama a mandate and a majority in both houses if we are going to cleanup the Repugnican (copyright 2009, charles a. bowsher) mess.  The term “Repugnican” refers to Republican Politicians, not Republican voters.

      • brettearle

         Very doubtful that this will happen.

        It’s better, for checks and balances, to have one arm of the government be represented by the minority party, anyway.

        The trick really is to find a way to neutralize and disperse the radicalization of the House.  

        A tall order, however.

        • Steve__T

          Get rid of Lobbyist and super packs

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Romney’s tax reform defangs the power of lobbyists because loopholes are the lobbyist piggy bank.

          • Steve__T

             No they already have a way around that. Lobbyist will represent “Business” people who don’t have to even report what they gave to them.

          • brettearle

            In my view, that’s a formulaic, simplistic response.

            I think it’s more complicated than that.

          • Steve__T

             very simplistic but it would take me over an hour to write a complicated response, but I think you got my idea and understood where I was coming from.

    • brettearle

      I don’t agree.

      There are so many undecideds who can be swayed, for this election cycle, that the battleground states could pull away from Obama more easily than you might think–IF Obama continues to mail in his performances.  

      • kevnorth

         Either he will have learned his lesson from the first debate or Obama just doesn’t want it that badly, imho.

  • hennorama

    This is off topic, so my apologies.

    Great economic news:

    LA Times is reporting US household debt levels have declined to pre-Great Recession levels, per Moody’s Analytics:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-consumer-debt-20121015,0,4770295.story

    Excerpt:

    “The amount of home mortgages, credit card debt and most other consumer liabilities now stands on par with 2006 or earlier, according to calculations by Moody’s Analytics. The notable exception is student loans, which have skyrocketed in recent years, with people flooding into schools and college costs soaring.

    Overall, households today are paying less than 16% of after-tax income to cover debt payments and lease obligations, the smallest share since 1984, Federal Reserve data show.

    Few experts are expecting a big ramp up in people’s spending any time soon: Consumers remain cautious because of what they’ve been through over the last five years and because of uncertainty about what lies ahead.”

    This is great news, as consumers have done a great deal to repair their ailing balance sheets by paying down debt.  This removes a significant barrier to economic growth, although consumers are likely to remain cautious for some time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.hennings.1 Ryan Hennings

      … Or filled for bankruptcy!  Maybe not so much paying down debt.

      • Human898

        Mr. Romney prefers bankruptcy, no?
        Bankruptcy caused by what and when one might ask.

      • hennorama

        You have a point that those using bankruptcy procedures have wiped out some of their debts. However, the changes to Chapter 7 and especially Chapter 13 bankruptcy do not automatically wipe out all debts. Chap. 7 requires a means test to prove your income is under the median for your state. If you fail, you have to file Chap. 13, which requires one to repay all or part of the debt over a 3 to 5 year repayment plan.

        Plus, the number of bankruptcies is small relative to all consumers. While bankruptcies do indeed affect overall consumer debt levels, the impact is marginal.

        I just checked the Fed Debt Service Ratio (DSR) data. You can see it here:

        http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/housedebt/default.htm

        It’s actually pretty amazing. These levels haven’t been seen in almost 30 years. The combination of lower interest rates, and debt repayments, even in light of declining median incomes, makes these figures very significant.

        As I said earlier, consumers will likely remain cautious. Jobs are still not easy to find. Credit is still pretty tight, with higher lending standards, especially for mortgages. And many consumers’ credit scores took significant hits over the last 5 years, which will take time to improve.

        Still, this is great news and bodes well for future growth.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WODCWI7FMCR5Y6QHEPDSNVBSV4 Latonja PS

    I confused when it comes to the American people.  They complain about all of the negativity in politics, but then when the debate comes along you have a candidate who explains his platform in a civil manner and the other candidate who is loud and confrontational and doesn’t give you any more info about his platform than what he has been saying from day 1 and he wins.  How does this change the outcome?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Are you referring to Biden?

      Yes, he was rude and kept talking over his opponent.  But he looked into the camera and said I don’t have any specific plans but you can “trust me”.

      That is the same line I got at the used car dealership.

      • anamaria23

        I watched the debate and heard no such words.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          What is Biden’s plan to save Medicare?

          He was asked point blank at the debate and gave the ‘trust me ‘ nonsense.

          All I hear are crickets from Obama/Biden on the tough issues?

          btw – it isn’t just about the debate. What have they done on the tough issues during the last 4 years? That is the question all voters should be asking about the incumbents.

          • Steve__T

             Are you talking about the incumbents in the house and senate that say no to everything? If so yeah whats up with that.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Where is the leadership?

            Where does the buck stop?

            Where is the evidence he even tried?  It is well reported that Obama doesn’t even bother to meet with leadership in either party.

            Read Woodward’s book.  He hammers both sides but you still need a leader.

            Reagan got things done with a Dem Congress.

            Clinton got things done with a hostile GOP congress.

          • Steve__T

             Your talking points are disingenuous  I told you the buck was never passed so how can it stop?

          • Thinkin5

             So the Dems are the reasonable ones. Notice that? When it’s a Dem gov. or pres. the wingnuts dig in and say no to everything. Then they blame the Dems. Absurd! When Mitt was gov. in MA he was much more liberal. He doesn’t mention that though.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I don’t think Mitt was ‘MUCH’ more liberal as governor.  He was always a fiscal conservative.  He did flip on abortion and he came out and explained why at the time.

            I look at Mitt as a problem solver and not an ideologue.  I’m OK with that.

            Again, Reagan did it with a strong Dem congress.

          • anamaria23

            Ask yourself where the country was four years ago and where it is today.
            Romney, if elected, will be starting with a much more secure economy than Pres Obama did wiht not ONE IOTA of help from Repubs, in fact in your face obstructionism. With one less war to end.  All thanks to this adm work on “tough issues”  Stock market up,  Corporations sitting on billions,
            The world is in transition.  Progress is slow.  
            If the Repubs get in you should be Worried.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             anamaria, I appreciate your view but things could have been much better.  I’m an independent and I don’t have much use for the GOP but the issue for me is leadership at the top.

            IF Obama had supported a version of Simpson-Bowles and tried to get it passed I would have a different view.  If he had put forward ideas to save Medicare (unfunded today by over $100T) then I would have a different view.

             btw – Obama ended the Iraq war on Bush’s timetable.

            Well we can agree to disagree  because it is clear to me that Romney understands the fundamental problems that are causing economic stagnation and lack of economic growth.  I believe he understands this better than even many of the GOP and Dem hacks.

            The only way out of this mess is economic growth and the resulting jobs.

            Mr Obama’s plan for taxing the rich will only kill more jobs and will on pay for one day of government spending.  How does that help?

          • anamaria23

            Bowles-Simpson requires bold tax reform to work.  That would take years.

            Where are the jobs you envision now.  The cuts have been in effect for near ten years.  Mr.
            Romney may understand some things, but he does not understand the democratic process.  He will not be CEO anymore.  He will have to work through Congress.  If elected he will have no where near the mess that Pres. Obama started with. 
            It is good that all independants do not think as you do.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Sorry we disagree but I respect your view.

            My view is the government has built up years of bloat and corruption.  We have massive over regulation.  You can see it in our 74,000 page tax code.

            In good times, the economy is so strong it can thrive in spite of the bloat.  However, we are in a weak economic environment now and therefore cleaning up the overregulation and tax code and have a dramatic effect.

            I don’t blame everything on Obama.  I am disappointed he didn’t use the crisis to fix the structural problems.  However, I read one study that just the regulations that Obama has added cost the economy $1.8T in GDP per year.  That translates to about a million jobs.  Many regulations are done for good reasons (although some are just done for lobbyists) but there is usually a cost.
             

      • Steve__T

         You know they weren’t.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight
    years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name
    of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion
    dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion
    dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars
    of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man,
    woman and child.

    That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”
    -Barack Obama July 3, 2008

    ““today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.”
    - Barack Obama February 23, 2009

    Do we hold candidates responsible anymore?
    Was the Obama in 2008 correct?  What would he say about the Obama in 2012 who has added $6T in new debt?

    Did he even try to keep this promise?  I haven’t seen the evidence.

    btw – the debt share per man woman and child at this instant is $51,425.

  • burroak

         Afternoon, a comment to fellow onpoint commentators, a news report last Friday about an American company in Illoinois, that is scheduled to close its doors on November 5th, laying off its American workers. Currently, the employees are having a sit-in demonstration in the street nearby the company.
         Bain Capital is responsible for closing this American company and shipping it overseas to China; there, those workers are paid, I think, 90 cents aday.
         Mitt Romney, Bain Capitol’s CEO, stands to make 8 million dollars, on this outsourcing of American workers.
         Any comments on this news authenticity?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Romney left Bain in 1999.
      His investments are now in a blind trust.

      “If you don’t have a record to run on then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.” -Barack Obama 2008
       

      • burroak

        Thank you for the reply. I appreciate the steadfastness.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Great.  Have a good one.

          • burroak

            Likewise.

      • Steve__T

         No Romney is the blind and so are you, you keep asking where are the jobs well there you go, he had no time to even talk to them but, I’m sure you both feel their pain.

    • Steve__T

       I posted a link to the original report a month ago. Its real the people asked and pleaded with Romney to help them to save their jobs, he refused to meet with them.

      http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/10/as_bain_ships_jobs_to_china

      • burroak

        Thank you for your reply; why is this not national headline news? This is the sibling of the 47 % comment.

        • Steve__T

          Agreed. Just don’t get me started on the press. The people who own the stations don’t want to put the real things that really effect Americans, unless it involves death murder or something that is sensational to bring in money. Oh and the video didn’t go viral on you tube.

          • burroak

            Agreed.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama refused to meet with the thousands of Delphi workers that lost their pensions in the auto bailout by actions of the Obama administration.

      Don’t you think that is a bit more significant and directly tied to one’s candidates direct action?

      http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/10/non-unionized-delphi-retirees-rally-in-dayton-over-theft-of-our-pensions-caused-by-auto-bailout/

      • Steve__T

        Your link is a Romney  righty site. Not that I think that Obama is without fault he has some answering to do also.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Thank you.  Why wasn’t this story covered by the NYTimes?

          • Steve__T

             Look who owns it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Who? Carlos Slim.  Slim makes millions off the Obamaphone program so it is no wonder he is an investor in the NYtimes.

    • hennorama

      This is Sensata Technologies.  It is owned by Bain Capital.  Mr. Romney is no longer CEO of Bain.

      The Romneys donated some of the Sensata shares they owned and deducted the value on their 2011 Federal income tax return, resulting in significant tax savings.  Romney’s returns list no cost for the stock, and indicate he obtained them as part of a partnership interest in Bain.

      • Romney transferred $701,703 worth of Sensata stock to the Tyler Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit controlled by Romney.

      • Moving the stock to his nonprofit brings Romney twin benefits. First, he gets to deduct the full value of the stock. At a 35 percent tax rate, that’s nearly a $250,000 benefit. At 15 percent, it’s just over $100,000.

      • Romney is able to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the stock price increase. Romney’s returns list no cost for the stock, and indicate he obtained them as part of a partnership interest in Bain. Avoiding capital gains taxes on the full increase would save an additional $100,000.

      • In 2010, Romney gifted $170,000 worth of Sensata stock to his charity, saving $25,000 in capital gains taxes that year.

      Just a few facts, courtesy of
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/mitt-romney-sensata-tax-break_n_1920396.html

      • burroak

        Thank you for the information, appreciative.

      • burroak

        Is it suffice to say that those workers are losing their jobs for tax exemptions? Or are other factors at play?

        • hennorama

          Nah … these are normal business decisions made by people who are trying to maximize profits, which is really their only job. Workers are much cheaper in China, so poof – no more American workers.

          Not unusual, and we probably wouldn’t even pay any attention to this plant moving, what 170 jobs, overseas, if it wasn’t for the Bain/Romney/Presidential race combo.

          • burroak

            Thank you for the informative insight.

          • hennorama

            No worries, anytime. Thank you for your kind words.

          • Mike_Card

            No criticism of you, but I’d like to point out that there seems to be a lot of loose talk about “maximizing profits” today and other days on this forum.  Profits are an accounting convention and aren’t necessarily a good measure of performance.

            The favored term of art is “maximize owners’ wealth.”  Warren Buffett’s uber successful investment strategies are the most accessible explanation of the nuance.

          • hennorama

            Excellent point. Thanks for your response and for adding to group knowledge. Well done.

      • Steve__T

         Thanks for the link very informative debate.

    • Gregg Smith

      How many plants were closed and jobs were lost when Obama “saved” GM? While CEO of Bain, Romney did not outsource any jobs but Obama did with the “stimulus” (aka our money). Cree inc. and Eurus Energy are just two examples. Does that bother you?

      • burroak

        Yes it does; question regarding GM/ do you have the informative facts and statistics on GM outsourcing? Second, how would or could President Obama outsource those 2 company’s jobs if he was not CEO/ president of them? Thanks for the reply, regards.

        • Gregg Smith

          I could have been more clear, sorry. I was referring to jobs being outsourced to China and Japan by companies like Cree and Eurus who were bailed out with “stimulus” money. There are other examples as well. I wasn’t talking about GM outsourcing although they do. They always did and I can’t really put it on Obama, just the hypocrisy. They aren’t outsourcing because of him. And true, he is not the CEO but he fired the former CEO and put his guy in charge, so….

          I found some of those requested numbers but I can’t really vouch for them and as I said it’s not my beef.

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/08/12/outsourcer-in-chief-obama-of-general-motors/

          • burroak

            Nonetheless, Thank you for the feedback.

  • WorriedfortheCountry
    • hennorama

      It’s no surprise that Charles Schwab, a very wealthy man who founded a huge financial services firm, would like capital gains and other income taxed at lower rates, per Mr. Romney.

      It’s much more significant for wealthy taxpayers to get lower income, dividend and capital gains rates rather than cuts to their deductions.

      For example:

      The wealthier one is, the less likely one is to have a mortgage, so mortgage interest deductions become moot.

      The wealthier one is, the greater flexibility one has in choice of state of residence.  If one chooses a state with no income tax, state income tax deductions are unimportant.

      The wealtier one is, the more likely one’s income is largely in the form of dividends and capital gains, which are highly favored in the tax code, with much lower rates than for wages and other ordinary income.

      The wealthier one is, one’s income is much less likely to be in the form of wages, which are NOT favored in the tax code.
      Even if one has high wage and/or self-employment income, payroll and SE taxes phase out above certain levels.  Medicare tax is colected on all wage and SE income, but the much larger Social Security tax is not collected on this income over $111,100 (for 2012).

      The wealthier one is, the more likely one is to use all available tax-deferral and other retirement plan incentives, such as IRAs, 401-k’s, SEPs, Keoghs and other similar plans.  Plus, the limits are larger for those who are self-employed (SEPs, for example.)  And having greater income gives one greater ability to make maximum contributions.

      The wealthier one is, the more likely it is that one’s itemized deductions and exemptions are phased out.  The amount of itemized deductions and personal exemptions you can take are normally phased out as your income rises. In 2010, however, those income limits were been repealed, and the recent tax relief act extends the repeal for two more years, through 2012.  Again, favoring wealthier Americans.

      As I said, lower rates are generally much better than deductions for wealthy taxpayers.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Chuck didn’t focus on tax policy but on economic growth and how that is good for all and will ultimately raise government revenues.

        One thing that was not noticed after the last debate was Romney suggested one that method to close loopholes would be to impose a cap on deductions.  The irony is Romney’s own taxes would go up significantly if his $4M charitable gift was subject to a deduction cap and it raise his effective tax rate to almost 19%.

        Anyhow, you make good points but it is a bit in the weeds.  I think AMT brings the marginal rate up to 28% which is the same as Romney’s top rate.  Kind of interesting.

        • hennorama

          Yes, I realize Mr. Schwab didn’t limit his questions (which aren’t a plan, BTW) to taxes. I was reading a couple of the links from your posts, incluidng Mr. Schwab’s OpEd and the ridiculous one claiming the Romneys’ actually “Paid 57.9% in Taxes and Gifts to Charity.” So I focused on taxes in my comments.

          Also, please don’t quote the Romneys’ charitable contribs as $4 million when discussing their taxes, unless you feel that they will amend their 2011 return to claim the additonal deductions they have not claimed, for political purposes.

          They deducted a bit over $2.25 million for 2011.

          AMT actually doesn’t apply to qualified dividends and long term capital gains. The Romneys actually were subject to AMT in 2011, paying $614,572 as part of their total tax of $1,935,708. AMT tax rates are currently 26% or 28%, depending on circumstances.

          Mr. Romney’s tax plan eliminates the AMT.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Taxes + charity cost Romney 57.9 percent of income in 2011.

    Personally I don’t think this is a big campaign issue — plus or minus.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/taxes-charity-cost-romney-57.9-percent-of-income/article/2510746#.UHxaOFH9V8G
     

    • hennorama

      Here’s what this genius had to say:

      “The Romneys’ 2011 adjusted gross income (AGI) was about $18.6 million. Their total federal income tax due was about $1.9 million. A quick calculation assumes their overall tax rate was 14.1%.”

      Two minor problems with this statement:

      1) The Romneys’ 2011 personal Federal income tax return shows their AGI was $13,969,951, not $18.6 million
      2) I’m no mathmetician, but using this guy’s figures, “A quick calculation” shows that $1.9 million divided by $18.6 million is 10.2%, not 14.1%.

      Who is this genius, and where does he get his numbers?  (Answer below as to how he makes up his numbers)

      Here are the actual numbers for the Romneys for 2011:
      AGI                  $13,696,951
      Charity                2,250,772  16.43% of AGI
      State/Local/RE taxes   1,541,905  11.26% of AGI

      Fed. Tax paid        $ 1,935,708  14.13% of AGI

      This person’s argument says in part:

      “The Romneys received $2.2 million in qualified dividends and an additional $6.8 million in capital gains. Both of these receive favorable treatment and are only taxed at 15%. … this money is taxed at the corporation before it can be paid out in dividends.

      For example, if a company in the highest corporate tax bracket earns $100 of profit, it must pay $35 in corporate profits before paying a dividend. The $65 paid as a dividend is then taxed a second time at the 15% rate. Of the $100 in profit, the stockholder only receives $55. Complaining the 15% rate is too low ignores the cumulative tax rate of 45%. To compute the Romneys’ effective rate, we would have to add the $35 of corporate tax paid to both the Romneys’ income and tax paid.

      The correct tax rate for dividends and capital gains is zero because they have already been taxed at the corporate level. So the Romneys have already paid more than their fair share of tax there. Using this estimate these earnings already paid an additional $4.9 million in corporate taxes, money that never flowed into their AGI in the first place. To be fair, we should add it to their AGI as well as the tax they paid.”

      Ummm … NO. Capital gains are NOT “…taxed at the corporation…” level. Buy low, sell high, get capital gains. Nothing to do with corporate taxation.

      Plus, he assumes the MAX. corporate tax rate of 35% for all of the Romneys’ dividends, with no basis for doing so besides an assuption, then EQUATES CAPITAL GAINS WITH DIVIDENDS.

      Capital gains are NOT the same as dividends, and have no corresponding corporate taxes to reverse engineer.

      What an idiot.

      So this is how he gets his AGI figure abpve:  Actual AGI of $13.7 million, plus the fictitious $4.9 million of reverse engineered invalid AGI that he made up, to come up with the $18.6 million fictitious made up number he uses as AGI in his argument.

      To quote VP Biden “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

      Actually, let me amend that to “With no respect at all, since you’re an idiot pretending to be an expert, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

    • hennorama

      BTW – this guy Marotta, who is quoted in the link you provided, has corrected his “article” after I commented directly on his site. ( http://www.marottaonmoney.com/romneys-return-suggests-he-paid-57-9-in-taxes-and-gifts-to-charity/ )

      My critical comment from yesterday has disappeared, but I just called him out again on his own site.

      The guy is a Forbes contributor too, for goodness sake, and he makes these egregious errors!

      I also commented yesterday on Mr. Marotta here (the site from your post).

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/taxes-charity-cost-romney-57.9-percent-of-income/article/2510746#.UHxaOFH9V8G

      This site has not yet made the corrections that Marotta has  made subsequent to my comments yesterday.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “Dems think Obama needs a vision for the future”
    Ron Brownstein -National Journal

    OK, so even the Dems are asking the  President what his vision for the future is.  Does anyone see this as a problem? — when the incumbent President doesn’t have a vision for a second term and it is just 3 weeks from the election.

    http://nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/dems-memo-obama-needs-vision-for-future-20121015

  • MordecaiCarroll

    Comment moderators (if there are any):

    Worriedforthecountry has over 50 comments on this thread.  I’m all for all points of view participating, but there ought to be limits (esp. when one person is monopolizing a thread).

    Just my two cents.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I find it interesting that you believe I am monopolizing the thread.

      Generally, I try to engage in substantive debates with others on this thread.  I understand that I disagree with many but I still feel like I learn things from my friends on the other side.  Hopefully, they are learning a little from my point of view.

      Anyhow, have a nice day.

      • MordecaiCarroll

        You have a nice day as well.  I have nothing against you personally, but over 50 comments from one commenter in one day strikes me as excessive.  And this is not a one time thing – this level of activity is fairly common for you, in my experience

        It seems to me that 20 or or at most 25 comments from any one person is enough for them to get across their point of view.

        But again that’s just my two cents.  I addressed my message to the moderator as my opinion, and you are of course welcome to write to the moderators (again, if there are any) and argue your opinion.

        • Gregg Smith

          Tis’ the season, I love the passion. The man is worried for the country and has the courage of his convictions to come into this liberal bastion and debate civilly. He’s got the facts on his side, maybe he’ll change a mind or two. God bless him. 

          Is 50 a lot? 

          • MordecaiCarroll

            “Is 50 a lot?”

            Yes – 50 is alot.

            This has been another edition of “simple answers to simple questions”.

          • Gregg Smith

            “Alot” is not a word. Sometimes things aren’t so simple.

      • MordecaiCarroll

         In retrospect, I see now that it was a bit nasty (and unnecessarily personal) on my part to single you out by name in my comment yesterday.

        I still think that there ought to be some limits on commenting on this site, but I shouldn’t have singled you out by name.  That was uncalled for, and I apologize.  Plenty of other people comment as often as you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-MC/69207889 Matt MC

      I agree. There should be some kind of spamming limit. I don’t like the moderated component of the NY Times commentary, but I do like the fact that posts with more “likes” get higher preference. I also think that three posts should be the “max” for posters. I really hate trolls. X$

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Since “Worried” lost his public sector job, the only work he has been able to find is posting righty talking points to On Point. I think the going rate is ten cents/post, so you’re talking about $5. 

    • Mike_Card

      I second your comments.  The Tea Party talking points memo must have been late today, since the other trolls:  Gregggg, Stillllll, Brandstad, and the one who is presto-chango on the handle-change seem to be MIA today.

      I think OnPoint offers a good forum for discussion; unfortunately, it has been overrun by these trolls with their repetitive copy & paste, off-topic comments.  I’ve noticed that many commenters have seemingly migrated elsewhere, presumably by the amount of thrash on this board.

      • StilllHere

        Please you above all are not interested in a discussion, only an echo chamber.  

        • Mike_Card

          …said the troll who references the Washington Examiner and the Penny Saver.

    • StilllHere

      Worried is usually the only voice of reason here.

    • jefe68

      I disagree with everything that chap has to say for the most part. But I’m not for censorship and if he feels the need to post 50 posts or a 100 posts he’s entitled to do so. Just as I’m entitled to give him hell…

      • hennorama

        Ditto.  Not to mention, I post with significant frequency myself. ;-)

      • MordecaiCarroll

        I respectfully disagree.  In my view, limiting a person to as many as 20 or 25 comments on any given thread isn’t censorship.  It’s just setting reasonable limits.  To me, 20 or 25 comments seems like plenty for a person to get across their point of view.

        But again, that’s just my opinion

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’m sorta with jefe here. There’s plenty of internet for all.

        And there are some mainstream places on the intertubes which one can glance at 20 comments and realize “this is crap, a waste of my time, not worth reading, let alone writing”.

        OnPoint is not one of those.

  • cambridgefair

    Please stop saying that Romney “won” the debate.  Romney LIED about everything — regulation, shipping jobs overseas, health care — you name it.  Please start calling him on his LIES.  Please grow up.  Stop talking about “performance.”  Stop treating this as an athletic event.  It is not a horse race or a football game.  It is about the future of our country and our planet.  Romney is a pathological liar.  He has no core beliefs.  He only believes that he deserves to be president — but not of the 47% of the population he dismisses.
     

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Amen. I am SO sick of hearing about the process, including the theatrical performance, instead of the substance. This means YOU, On Point, and the rest of the corporate media. Why do we hear nothing but praise for his Oscar-winning performance as a great LIAR, instead of dissection of the lies? 

      Besides, it’s sure no surprise that a professional financial con man can sell a dubious product.

    • brettearle

      That Romney is viciously ambitious cannot be questioned, at this point.

      That he will say anything to be President seems to be a given.

      That he is Gordon Gekko personified is an absolute.

      However, to say Romney does not have ideology and conviction is not true.

      As muted as his Private Equity career was–filled with no-risk investment–he is a strong arbiter of free enterprise.

      And he basically believes in Reaganomics.

      His versions of capitalism we may strongly disagree with–but he does have, at least some conviction.

      However, this conviction could well tumble us into an endless spiral, downward.

      • Mike_Card

        Your comments seem to reflect the Romney reality–for the past few weeks, anyway.

        Worrying to me is what his reality would become in version 9.0, if he were to win the election.  We can be certain that he would claim an overwhelming mandate, even with a popular vote of 48% to 48% and the barest of majorities in the Electoral College.

        • sickofthechit

           Shades of cheney/bush 2004.

  • StilllHere

    Obviously Romney won the last debate, but I suspect both will change tactics for this next one.

  • Hypathia22

    Sorry, StillHere, but Romney did not “win” the first debate.  He was extremely agressive and rude and he lied over and over. I don’t think that’s the criteria for “winning.”  He could sell used cars that way, but not his self-serving, ever-morphing “program.”  More importantly, if he released his tax returns for the next 10 years, there is no way he would have much support from any voters.  We know those tax returns are hiding some very damaging information, and I can’t believe that the American public isn’t demanding that he release those tax returns.

    • StilllHere

      I get that your envious of those more successful than you, but really how damaging could they be if Obama’s IRS doesn’t have a problem with them.

      • hennorama

        “I get that your envious …”

        Interesting.  Your intelligence shows through quite well.  Perhaps you are using voice-recognition software to type for you.  Otherwise, you may wish to learn the difference between “you’re” and “your.” 

        For extra credit, find out what “yore” means.

        Here are a few proverbs of yore, attributed to Solomon:

        “A good person’s words are a fountain of life, but a wicked person’s words hide a violent nature.”

        “The wise get all the knowledge they can, but when fools speak, trouble is not far off.”

        “The more you talk, the more likely you are to sin. If you are wise, you will keep quiet.”
        (Thought to be the basis for the more common “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”)

        “A good person’s words are like pure silver; a wicked person’s ideas are worthless.”

        “A good person’s words will benefit many people, but you can kill yourself with stupidity”

        “Righteous people speak wisdom, but the tongue that speaks evil will be stopped.”

        “Righteous people know the kind thing to say, but the wicked are always saying things that hurt.”

        Perhaps next time you could add something other than insults and diatribe to the discussion.

        Your rock is calling.  Crawl back under.

        • brettearle

          I like your quotes and, theoretically, I appreciate your reprimand.

          But it comes across as petty and condescending.

          It seems to me that the only way to attack the ignorance of the Right is to put their nose in it–by citing credible sources that refute what is normally ignorant ideology.

          Otherwise it looks as if you are stooping to their level.

          What’s more, they’ll tune you out–if you go after them on such a primitive level.

          • hennorama

            I admit that my final comments were perhaps a bit harsh, but this individual’s persistent use of insults needs to be called out, in my personal opinion.

            This has nothing to do with ideology or political leanings. It’s simply a matter of manners, common courtesy, and respect for others.

            It’s quite easy to use the relative anonymity of forums such as this to insult others, since there is little to no personal risk in doing so. I daresay that this individual would likely not make these same comments in person, given the risk of a slap to the face.

            Cowardly bullies need to be called out, and silence in the face of bullies is akin to acceptance.

          • brettearle

            I take your point.

            However, it seems to me that if we have the courage of our convictions, then being personally offended should be subservient to what we believe in.

            Living well may very well be the best revenge.

            And knowing that we are on the right side of the argument and refuting the ideological ignorance of the other side is, in my view, Living Well.

            Otherwise, we knock ourselves down a peg, by stooping to their level.

            Their ramblings dissolve and join the polluting ether.

            If, however, you’re on the campaign trail, then you can sometimes attack their character, based on personal- career decisions, sometimes.

             [Romney not revealing Tax Returns, for example]  

            But not through their grammar.

            That’s too primitive and it shows up flaws in your own character.

            We don’t want that–if we are going to win, again.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I think you’re both right.

            Tone is one thing, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna sit here while NPR or WBUR look at this space and say “We need to grow our audience by catering to the vast audience of non-leftwingers, the ‘centrist moderate’ people who seem reasonable and reachable, like right-wingers who are on our message boards.”

            The contortions NPR will put itself through, to achieve growth in that audience, which simply doesn’t exist in the numbers it pretends, is not worth whatever remains of NPR’s or OnPoint’s reputation.

            Their national ombud has said, repeatedly, that they want to “appeal” to more rightwingers without debasing their output. I submit that this is an impossiblity.

            And the armchair media crit in me likes anything I can do to remind our public radio overlords that the right’s appetite for actual journalism is very limited, and that the right will only be public broadcasting’s friend as long as public broadcasting is buying them candy and ice cream. Once the transparent favors run out, those ‘friends’ will leave NPR.

          • brettearle

            No offense (of course), but what does that have to do with attacking someone’s grammar?

          • hennorama

            I take your points as well, and stand by mine.

            As I said, this is not ideological or political, merely calling a bully a bully, using the tools of public mockery and sarcasm for effect. Silence is not golden, in this instance.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hey, after ten punches on you StillHere “envious”, “public sector” or “academia” card, you get a free value meal.

          Keep going! You’re doing great!

          • hennorama

            I also have an “Obama apologist” section on my card.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Don’t think you’re so special: That’s like the “FREE” square in the center of a bingo card; everyone on StillHere’s bad side has that space filled in.

        • StilllHere

          Pot meet kettle.  You are hilarious!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Dude, is that the only play in your book? Makes it pretty easy to stop.

        Oh, wait: There’s “Where in the public sector do you work?”

    • brettearle

      Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, in the eyes of the TV audience, Romney was perceived as the decisive winner.

      Perception is often at least 75% of victory:

      Reagan’s comment to Mondale (‘exploitation of youth and inexperience’)

      Dukakis’s answer about capitol punishment

      Bush I  looking at his watch

      I’m afraid we’re stuck with a superficial voting bloc.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Mr. Romney released the same number of returns as Senator McCain and Mr. Reagan.

      This is an Axelrod generated distraction.  This is clear to all independents.

      Harry Reid was exposed as a fraud when he went on the Senate floor and claimed he had an inside ‘source’ that Romney paid no taxes in 10 years.  Mr. Romney released proof that Reid’s claim is false.  Reid has still not been held to account for his outrageous lies.
       

  • Hypathia22

     PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD:  Romney MUST release the last 10 years of tax returns, so that we know who he really is and what he has really been up to in his business dealings.  If he still refuses then we must all assume he is a dishonest coward who doesn’t deserve to be president.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Mr. Romney released the same number of returns as Senator McCain and Mr. Reagan.

      This is an Axelrod generated distraction.  This is clear to all independents.

      Harry Reid was exposed as a fraud when he went on the Senate floor and claimed he had an inside ‘source’ that Romney paid no taxes in 10 years.  Mr. Romney released proof that Reid’s claim is false.  Reid has still not been held to account for his outrageous lies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000062027610 Rick Lafayette

    Dear Tom,
    As a daily listener of your show Via Vermont Public radio it pains me to hear you all say how it is an unbiased show when you and ALL of your guests refuse to mention the 3rd party candidate Gary Johnson in any of your discussions about “the swing voters” swaying the election.  It is such a phony bunch of crap to hear you and all of your guests , and also hear the same smoke and mirrors claim of unbiased reporting lies whenever you discuss the presidential race and totally avoid mentioning Mr. Johnson.  I think you will be surprised when it is all over because people like me who really want to vote for a “REAL” change in Washington whom are voting for Gary Johnson.. or Ron Paul even. We are the ones who control how the presidency will end up.
    You all call this a Democracy and a Candidate like Gary Johnson is not even allowed in any debates, nor is he even mentioned on your discussions like today for example..when you talk about the game changers.
    We will have a big input on this election and we will send Washington a message in the end when our votes for the 3rd party swing the vote one way or the other, and then we will have an even bigger say when Mr. Jesse Ventura runs for office ( I HOPE) In 2016. So when you and your co – horts talk of the undecideds… you really mean us. Well I wil give you a clue. We are decided , and we are Voting for Gary Johnson, and we are going to make a difference.  Shame on you,and shame on all of your guests.  You are all hypocrites. 

  • hennorama
  • Human898

    “I cannot help commending the zeal that appears in my countrymen against the power of a King or a House of Lords. I concur with them in all their prejudices against hereditary titles, honour and power. History is little else than a recital of the follies and vices of kings and noblemen, and it is because I dread so much from them, that I wish to exclude them for ever from Pennsylvania, for notwithstanding our government has been called a simple democracy, I maintain, that a foundation is laid in it for the most complete aristocracy that ever existed in the world.”

    “In order to prove this assertion, I shall premise two propositions, which have never been controverted: First, where there is wealth, there will be power; and, secondly, the rich have always been an over-match for the poor in all contests for power.”

    “These truths being admitted, I desire to know what can prevent our single representation being filled, in the course of a few years, with a majority of rich men? Say not, the people will not choose such men to represent them. The influence of wealth at elections is irresistible. It has been seen and felt in Pennsylvania, and I am obliged in justice to my subject to say, that there are poor men among us as prepared to be influenced, as the rich are prepared to influence them. The fault must be laid in both cases upon human nature. The consequence of a majority of rich men getting into the legislature is plain. Their wealth will administer fuel to the love of arbitrary power that is common to all men. The present Assembly have furnished them with precedents for breaking the Constitution. Farewell now to annual elections! Public emergencies will sanctify the most daring measures. The clamours of their constituents will be silenced with offices, bribes or punishments. An aristocracy will be established, and Pennsylvania will be inhabited like most of the countries in Europe, with only two sorts of animals, tyrants and slaves.”

    -Benjamin Rush- Signer of the Declaration of Independence - 1777 – Bicameralism

  • JGC

    I am paraphrasing here, but while watching cable TV tonight they dredged up the clip of Gov. Romney at a rally saying something like, “and a woman, with a baby in her arms, came up to Ann (Mrs. Romney) and said, ‘Ann, can you help me? My husband works 4 jobs and we just lost our house.  Can you help me?’ ”   There was never any follow up from Romney on exactly how he would help their family, but I know I heard Romney say something like THIS to a very different (business oriented) audience.  “The best thing we could do is let the underwater mortgages work their way through the process, and then let investors come in and buy the properties.”   You know, essentially his same position as on the bailout of the auto industry: 
    Let them proceed through bankruptcy, and then let the investor class come in and rearrange the dominoes. With Mitt Romney, it’s always about the investor class. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I don’t mean to be crass about this woman’s situation, as “There but for the grace of god” go many of us.

      However, if I’m running up to Mitt Romney tomorrow with a plea for economic help, or just a good word in tough times, I’m converting to Mormonism yesterday.

  • Human898

    I was a disappointed to hear a usually tough and “On Point” Mr. Ashbrook fail to ask some tough questions about the debates and to see his guests fail to do so also regarding not just “stage presence” as the winning factor, but a sense of accuracy and whole, as opposed to partial, truths, even lack of credible details or full on deception.  I think one can ask as Mr. Ashbrook appears to normally, but for this election season for some reason, does not appear to as much, about all aspects of particular subjects.  In this case it appeared to be all about slick salesmanship with no hard questions about substance and was there any as criteria for judging a “win” or even if Americans care about substance, whole truth and sincerity over “glamour” or “showmanship”?  No judgment calls have to be made, but I would have thought questions regarding such things would have been brought up.   I’m here because they usually have been in the past.

    Personally, I’d prefer a less animated, sincere, more honest person for president to a boisterous slick salesman saying anything, even if deceptive or not the entire truth, to “close the deal”.

    Perhaps we’ll get what we prefer, that is, depending upon what it is people prefer and we will deal with the consequences of what we choose, as we did with the result of the administration prior to this administration.  We can compare their relative positve or negative effects on our economic well being, whether severe or sluggish, crash or recovery.  

    I’m not sure I can see a reason to going back to the same sorts of promises (what candidate does not make promises they don’t keep? They aren’t elected to a dictatorship or vacuum of fellow party members only) we heard from the candidate for the administration preceding this one, only to find the greatest accomplishment, if we are assigning such things to presidents and comparing apples to apples, was the second worst financial crisis on record for this nation with many of the same lead in factors for the worst one.   Who is economic genius enough to know how long recovery from such should take and to what strength?  

    Call me strange, but I’d prefer sluggish improvement from such a thing to a steadily improving (even if somewhat sluggish) recovery as is occurring, to the net effect of the same sorts of policies that took projected deficit surpluses and turned them into to huge deficits, a portion of that deficit coming from the cost of stopping even further destruction to the economy.  When something has crashed and is broken, it costs money to fix it.  How the party and policies of that White House have suddenly become enlightened economic geniuses, to know how long and how strong a recovery from what occurred on their watch should take, I fail to see.  Perhaps others do.  I’m not a Democrat and I was a Republican, until I was expected to believe the unbelievable and place party victory or personal wealth over national economic health.

    Of course if the economy continues to improve at a faster rate as it has shown signs of recently, that success will be claimed by the next president, whomever that is, deservedly or not.

    Kinda sad to see a great nation turn it’s electoral process into a TV reality entertainment show, but that appears to be what many are influenced by and prefer to a much wider reality, not all for entertainment.  

    I tune into On Point because it has seemed one of the few that ask hard questions and questions that were on point, of the type that one rarely sees asked by commentators and interviewers and in discussions.  Of the type wonders why they aren’t asked when listening to or watching almost anywhere else, as they seem the obvious questions to go for, yet few, but here seem to be asking them.   Recently, I don’t know what’s going on, but it seems that has been lost in favor of being caught up in the popular flow.   I am saddened by it.

  • Human898
  • Human898

    I agree, I am a former Republican, I’ve seen the backstage.   To be honest, all sides stretch and leave out critical details, but the magnitude and predominance in one party over another seems to vary with era.  We have been in the era of slick marketing and con artistry that appeals to our greed, the era of only tell them what you have to, they’ll be mad when they find out they’ve been had, but we’ll be in power.   “Experienced businesspersons” know the slick sales schtick backwards and forwards.  Profit is about benefitting more personally, than you lay out.   What’s being called on a deception or partial truth going to cost versus what it will gain?   With an electorate who is more interested in facades, guess who’s going to win?   Look who “won” the debate and the reasons given why.  A lot of talk about substance and honesty???  So what is the tendency, in order to compete?  Double down on dishonesty or ask the electorate which they prefer, honesty or a well executed con job?

  • Human898

    Who’s firing Americans?   Must be someone.  Who’s then not hiring (Americans anyway) then complaining about the unemployment rate, number of people on temporary assistance and number of Americans that don’t pay income taxes on the low end.  I’ll give you a HINT (High Income, No Taxes) about the other end, look it up. How do the unemployed or underemployed help pay down the deficit? How does one pay down a deficit with more tax cuts when the last tax cuts, intended to grow jobs and the economy did nothing, but increase the spending gap? How does one suddenly, when they didn’t appear worried about it before, become gravely concerned about the nation’s debt, they helped to incur, then offer some nebulous “revenue neutral” plan to cut revenue on one hand and balance it with cutting loopholes and writeoffs (proving just how much government tax law benefitted the wealthy contrary to the claims of some). If it is “revenue neutral” where’s the added revenue? If one wants to pay off a debt and reduce the cost of debt, wouldn’t it be quicker to raise revenue and cut expenses instead of cut revenue and cut expenses? I know why those who benefit most from the status quo or a plan that goes more to their pocket, as it already does, more than most others aren’t going to agree to a plan that asks them to live with a little less, so others can be paid a little more. Some wealthy folks have no problems with living on 10 million a year versus 15 or 20 million a year because they’ve always lived modestly, but very comfortably and instead of lavishing themselves with material wealth and hedonistic pleasure, put their good fortune to work raising up others, so others have a better shot at the same. A large sum spread over a large number will not be a huge increase per capita for anyone, at a small relative cost blip in relative wealth and comfort. The cumulative effect of those who hold (hoard) majority portions of the world’s wealth circulating back a small portion each, closes the income gap and lifts up the bottom enough to begin more commerce and transactions and in turn, more tax revenue and more to use to pay down debt, as well as less debt for temporary assistance for the unemployed. A growing economy. If the private sector is not going to pump their money into employing Americans so they can buy more causing more demand and more employment, who’s going to do it?

  • JGC

    I am right now visiting family in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.  Western Pennsylvania, to be exact. This is one of those areas where Romney/Ryan signs are on every fourth lawn, and Obama signs are few and far between (although I did see one lonely Obama bumper sticker downtown today).   I saw something on the NPR opening page about a landslide for Romney with rural voters, as opposed to Obama.  And it is true for this neck of the woods.   Here is what I am trying to figure out:  things are not easy here, for sure, but everything we heard and are seeing this week is how things are going like gangbusters at the moment, businesswise, workwise. When Romney and Ryan talk about how poorly business is doing and how jobs are down, that is not the reality in this part of Pennsylvania, near Ohio.  There are a lot (a lot!) of companies busy supplying to the auto industry, and there is also the natural gas fracking industry in the Marcellus and the Utica shales that has taken off in the past few years (at the expense of the coal industry, I might add).  And yet, culturally they are still Republican no matter what.  They would not have their satellite car industries churning out parts, except for the intervention of Obama. Romney would have thrown them under the wheels of his limousine, and then let them churn through the bankruptcy process until the investor class picked them clean.  There is a strong pro-life component here, and I guess here there can be no compromise between the pro-life and pro-choice groups. So that could be a large part of how people frame their political decisions.  By the way, if abortion is outlawed, like the way people like Rep. Ryan and possible future Senator Tom Smith (PA) demand, how do we punish these criminal women?  How many years in prison? Death penalty? Hmmm, youze all have sweet dreams…       

    • Gregg Smith

      GM is being propped up with taxpayer money, it’s not thriving on it’s own. All we hear is Romney would have let them go bankrupt but Obama did let them go bankrupt. Thousand and thousand of jobs were lost and many plants were closed to “save” GM. Somehow that’s noble when obama does it but not when Bain did it. GM is still in trouble with an unsustainable operating procedure. So while Pennsylvanians may be happy to supply the auto industry they surely realize there is no lasting fix in place. The fracking is happening on private land despite Obama not because of him. And to the extent it’s at the expense of the coal industry, the coal industry is operating with the governments foot on their throat. Obama warned us what he would do. Abortion will never be outlawed. That the politics of fear and it works on many.

      Having said all that, I’m tired of having my heart broken by Pennsylvania. We’ve heard all this before, we’ve gotten are hopes up. It never happens, PA will go Obama.RIP Arlen Spector.

      • JGC

        Saving the auto industry was just as much about saving the smaller supply chain as it was the big guys with their unionized workers.  Ford was marginally more solvent than the other two who were in even bigger trouble, but Ford was also begging for government intervention, begging because if GM and Chrysler both went under at the same time, they would take all the small business automobile supply chain with them. Begging is not too strong a word.   And we all know because we lived through those days, the banks were crumbling  and  there was no white knight to come in with a big wad of private money to restructure the automobile industry. There was no entity able to quickly step up to the immense financial demands for reorganizing the imploding financial and automobile industries, except the U.S. government. \   

        I agree the fracking is happening on private land. Obama may not be a cheerleader in the vein of “Drill, Baby, Drill” but things are proceeding, and so quickly that the price of natural gas has dropped enormously this past year, a great windfall for manufacturing industries. The guys who bought the Massey coal industry are closing some of their mines, including one in Pennsylvania, and redirecting their efforts into gas fracking -which is easier and more fuel efficient than coal mining.  There are some efforts going on to apply some of the gas fracking principles to coal to generate cleaner, more efficient coal gas, although this is some years off from being fully realized.  But when it eventually is, coal will be in demand again. This will not require legions of workers to do dirty and dangerous work underground, so those jobs will be lost. But they will need the engineers and drillers and technicians-  higher tech, better paying jobs but also fewer employees needed.

        I used to vote for Arlen Spector, and that was before he fled to the Democrats.      

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Are you in the thinly populated areas of PA?

      I mean, if there’s one thing we learned from watching TV is that square miles turning red on maps matter, and heavily populated areas with lots of Democratic votes just isn’t “visual”.

      • JGC

        Yes.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Paul Ryan shows his concern for the poor by volunteering in a soup kitchen:

    http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Ryan-at-soup-kitchen-e1350336791178.jpg

    But maybe not: “They showed up there and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors… The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

    Good to see him true to his class warfare principles, LOL.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Did he give every hungry person a little pamphlet on the new Atlas Shrugged debacle movie? I mean, what good is a soup kitchen if you don’t subject the hungry to a little preaching?

      • Steve__T

         There was no one there other than a volunteer the place was empty, closed for the night.

        What a maroon.

  • Hypathia22

    In response to StillHere who said that:  “I get that your envious of those more successful than you, but really
    how damaging could they be if Obama’s IRS doesn’t have a problem with
    them.”
    YOU HAVE BOUGHT THEIR LINE ABOUT JEALOUSY!  Wow!
    The truth is that people like Romney have been able to legally evade taxes, where the middle class pays a large chunk of the taxes, thereby proping up lifestyles of the rich, who are effectively on welfare as they live high on the hog, while the middle class go to work every day.  I say STOP WELFARE TO THE RICH AND TO CORPORATIONS.  One way to stop that is to stop having different tax rates for earned incomes (salaries) and investment income.  That’s why it’s so urgent that we see Romney’s tax returns.  The middle class would be so incensed, even Republican middle class, that they would not vote for him.  Also, the IRS is not “Obama’s” — what kind of goofey logic is that?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Sure, get outraged by tax unfairness but you need to look at some facts.

      - 70% of all income taxes are paid by the top 10% of earners even though they only have 38% of the income

      -93% of the income taxes are paid by the top 20% of earners.

      Now this is a progressive system.  Every taxpayer (except the destitute) should have skin in the ‘income tax’ game.

      Even amongst the ‘top’ 10% there is unfairness. Yes, some avoid taxes with huge deductions. This is why the 74,000 pages must be shredded.

      The irony is Romney’s plan will eliminate many of these deductions for the rich.

      • hennorama

        Worried, sorry but you are flat out wrong.

        You say “70% of all income taxes are paid by the top 10%”

        This is not true.  It is true ONLY for Federal Income Taxes (FIT) and ignores STATE AND LOCAL income taxes.  Therefore, not ALL income taxes.

        These distinctions are very important.

        If you want a true fairness discussion, you also need to include all other taxes, such as sales, payroll, excise taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, etc.

        Here’s the data for TOTAL taxes paid vs. income received:
        Lowest 20%: TOTAL Tax:  2.1%  TOTAL Income  3.4% Second 20%: TOTAL Tax:  5.3%  TOTAL Income  7.0%Middle 20%:  TOTAL Tax: 10.3% TOTAL Income 11.4%Fourth 20%:  TOTAL Tax: 19.0% TOTAL Income 18.7%Top 20%:     TOTAL Tax:  63.1% TOTAL Income 59.6%

        source: (the charts in these 2 articles)

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-taxes-americans-really-pay-in-two-graphs/2012/04/16/gIQA6o4yLT_blog.html

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304356604577338122267919032.html

        As I’ve repeatedly stated, discussing ONLY Federal Income Tax (FIT) distorts the overall “taxes vs. income” picture. When you focus solely on FIT, you are only looking at the single tree, rather than the entire forest.

        There is some progressivity to the overall picture, but it is not enormous. This is due to the fact that State & Local taxes tend to be regressive, which counters much of the progressivity of FIT.

        Remember too that Federal Income Tax is not the only source of Federal revenue. There are also payroll taxes, corporate taxes, excise taxes, estate & gifts taxes, etc.

        Again, a focus only on FIT leaves a distorted picture.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          The top fed income tax rate is the second lowest since 1929 and those con artists who can claim their income as div and cap gains have the lowest, 15%. The income share of the 1% hit 23% in 1929 and not again until 2007. We are in an ULTRA low tax, high income environment for the rich, and it’s just shocking that anyone would argue about the great “burden” they bear, as I hear so often. 

          • hennorama

            Well said, although I’d soften the “con artists” part.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Thanks. Actually, I think calling romney a “con artist” is a massive understatement.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I thought we were discussing funding of the Federal government?

          If we were talking about the percentage of income people pay for telecommunications [ie - cell phone bill] would you bring up their heating bill?

          Therefore state and local taxes are a burden on taxpayers but not relevant.

          However, if you want to talk about unfunded entitlement liabilities and how that distorts FEDERAL spending and the balance sheet then I am all ears.

          • hennorama

            I definitely do not agree that state, local and other taxes are irrelevant to a discussion of the fairness of taxation.

            But OK, it you’re only talking about funding the Federal government, then you still can’t simply discuss FIT, since it’s less than half of all Federal revenues.

            Here are the sources of Federal Revenue, by percentage:

            Individual Taxes 47.4%
            Payroll Taxes 35.6
            Corporate Taxes 7.9
            Customs & Duties 5.7
            Excise Taxes 3.1
            Estate/Gift Taxes 0.3

            The latest CBO data (for 2009) show the following, regarding ALL Federal Taxes (individual, payroll, corporate, excise, etc.), and pre-tax income:

            Lowest 20%: TOTAL Tax: 0.3% TOTAL Income 5.1%
            Second 20%: TOTAL Tax: 3.8% TOTAL Income 9.8%
            Middle 20%: TOTAL Tax: 9.4% TOTAL Income 14.7%
            Fourth 20%: TOTAL Tax: 18.3% TOTAL Income 21.1%
            Top 20%: TOTAL Tax: 67.9% TOTAL Income 50.8%

            This demonstrates the progressivity of the Federal Tax Code, as expected.

            But again, it excludes many other taxes, especially state, local and sales taxes, which tend to be quite regressive.

            That’s why the wealthiest among us focus on FIT – it’s progressive. It’s also why they rarely discuss other taxes, as they tend to be regressive.

            Here’s the summary of the CBO report, and the data:
            http://cbo.gov/publication/43373
            http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43373-06-11-HouseholdIncomeandFedTaxes.pdf

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Again, thanks for the info.  I agree it is good to look at the whole picture.
             

    • TomK_in_Boston

      FYI, that is a standard script of StillHere. Anyone who objects to righty class warfare must be “envious”. He/she would accuse Warren Buffett or Bill Gates of envy of others’ success. Funny thing is, he/she is retired and living on SS and medicare.

      The “envy” script repeats once a day or so, along with the one that says you must have a “public sector job”.

      You might think it gets tedious pasting the same lines into an internet forum, but if you don’t work, I guess it’s no problem.

    • StilllHere

      Come on, you’re engaged in irrational speculation on a topic where you have no facts.  While perhaps presidential in the current context, your primary motivator is clearly sour grapes.  As exhibits B & C, I offer your post above.  Middle class Americans need only read the tax code to understand the tax code; apparently this is true for Obamacare as well, though we had to pass it first to figure out what was in it.  Finally, the IRS is part of the executive branch.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Here is a story that should outrage EVERY taxpayer — left and right.

    Not only did the government lose the $500M loan to Solyndra when it went bankrupt but it gets much worse.

    Apparently tax law allows the ‘Tax losses’ of Solyndra to survive bankruptcy and this will enrich Solyndra investors at a cost to the taxpayer.  We won’t even get into the fact that the people being enriched are major Obama campaign donors.

    This is really sick.

     http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444799904578050803545600588.html?mod=WSJ_article_MoreIn_Opinion

    • hennorama

      This is indeed outrageous and I hope the IRS and DOE are successful in getting this rejected in Bankruptcy Court.

      Net Operating Losses (NOLs) and tax credits can indeed be quite valuable, and so it’s understandable that someone is trying to preserve them for profitable use.

      Business as usual for those who understand this stuff.  These guys played hardball, and continue to do so.

      Not unlike when Mr. Romney had the FDIC over a barrel when he “rescued” his original employer, Bain & Co.
      I wrote this last month, regarding Mr. Romney, Bain & Co., and the FDIC:

      “While I was trying to determine how many people Mr. Romney managed at Bain Capital, I got interested in how he saved his original employer, Bain & Co.

      I found a pretty shocking article, which essentially says that Mr. Romney saved that firm in part by using some pretty dodgy tactics.  In essence, he got the FDIC to agree to take 30 cents on the dollar in repayment of part of a loan Bain & Co. owed to a bank that had been taken over by the FDIC.

      I disagree with the author’s characterization of this as a “federal bailout,” which implies the Federal government was left on the hook. While the FDIC is a Federal agency, it is funded by member financial institutions and not directly by taxpayers.

      Regardless, it’s pretty shocking.

      Read it for yourself here:

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

      Guess I missed this back in July, when Stephanie Cutter referenced it.”

      It’s all just business.  Outrageous, but just business.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         From the article, Romney:”famously arguing that the industry should be
        forced into bankruptcy.”  Yes, that is exactly what happened but in a
        way that set a very dangerous precedent — putting Unions ahead of
        bondholders.

        That
        is a slanted article and I would expect nothing less from Rolling
        Stone. The implication of this article is the banks cut a bad deal for
        themselves and that is somehow Romney’s fault.

        Anyhow, I hope he plays the same kind of hardball with Congress and special interest groups and removes the bloat and inefficiencies that are plaguing our Federal government.

        Back to Solyndra.  The Solyndra investment was always shaky.  It was clear that the DOE was trying to rush through the funding.  Why? Political favors?  Irrational exuberance in the era of free stimulus $billions?

        The government should stick to basic research grants for breakthroughs like the ARPA-E program [yes, I give Obama credit for increased funding of ARPA-E].  However, it shouldn’t be in the venture capital business.

        • hennorama

          Thanks for the response. I respect and understand your viewpoints.

          I was not trying to defend every word in the RS article. I even said “I disagree with the author’s characterization of this …”

          I don’t know if you clicked on the images in the RS article [http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/pictures/mitt-romneys-federal-bailout-the-documents-20120829], but the documents say a few things about this deal that are a bit different from your characterization ” The implication of this article is the banks cut a bad deal for themselves and that is somehow Romney’s fault.”

          For example: “”The ___ million cash payment is excess cash which the company has projected to have available … the majority of which would be available for the bonus pool to its officers …. According to Mitt Romney of Bain, a majority of senior officers have stated they would consider forgoing all or a portion of their bonuses to eliminate or substantially reduce the company’s debt.”

          Then later, from another document “Bain’s senior management has decided to go forth with the distribution of bonuses to management.”

          Then later “… Bain & Co. currently has ___ in cash … to pay down a portion of its debt. However, unless all of its creditors submit waivers … it will distibute the cash to senior management in the form of bonuses. According to the loan agreement … [this] would not constitute a violation.”

          As I said, Mr. Romney and Bain & Co. had the FDIC over a barrel. Hardball. I’m not saying it was good or bad, moral or immoral, just business.

          My use of this RS article was simply as an illustration of how businesspeople play hardball, including Mr. Romney, as well as the Solyndra investors.

          If you wish to discuss the auto industry and TARP, etc., and/or Mr. Romney’s views and words, actions or lack thereof, I’d be happy to do so. It’s just a bit far afield of the original topic of your post.

          I also understand your view about Federal involvement as “venture capitalists.”

          The Great Recession greatly impacted a number of industries, and the responses to it (TARP ARRA, etc.) were many and varied. The DOE loan program that backed Solyndra was not a new idea – it was actually started under President Bush in 2005, intended to provide government support for “innovative technologies.”
          see: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/energy/ )

          see also: http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/06/technology/solyndra/index.htm

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thanks.  I  appreciate your comments.

            I understand that Bush started the program and it was greatly expanded under Bush.  We can have a debate about the merits of either program but I think that is a different discussion — but very interesting.

            The specifics of the Solyndra debacle are interesting because the timing appeared ‘forced’.  We don’t know if the reasons were politically motivated, incompetence or pure ideology — or many a combination of everything.

  • Steve__T

    This is for WorriedfortheCountry Your boy got caught.

     The head of a soup kitchen in Ohio has accused Republican
    vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and campaign staffers of
    ramrodding their way into the soup kitchen so that Ryan could get his
    picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall. According to news
    accounts, Ryan arrived at the soup kitchen after the food had been
    served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned. Photos show
    Ryan washing dishes that had reportedly already been cleaned. Brian
    Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society,
    criticized the Ryan team for using the soup kitchen for a staged photo
    op. Antal said: “They showed up there, and they did not have permission.
    They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors. The photo op they
    did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get
    his picture taken at the dining hall.”

  • Steve__T

    Tonight’s debates are rigged by the DEM’s and REPUB’s

    Please don’t believe me look for your self then tell me how you fell.

    How does NPR miss or overlook this kind of news is beyond me

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/16/secret_debate_contract_reveals_obama_and

  • Steve__T

    The Green party presidential nominee was arrested at the debates and detained. I bet no coverage on that will be discussed. 

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