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Posts Tagged ‘2012 election

Romney, Paul, Cain Have Best Chance Against Obama, Latest Polls Show…

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In the latest (to November 2, 2011) average of polls of head-to-head match ups against President Obama, Republican Presidential nominee hopefuls Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Herman Cain have the greatest chance of defeating the President in the 2012 election.

In these polls, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would lose to President Obama by 43.7% to 45.9%. Texas Representative Ron Paul, so often overlooked in this contest, is the next strongest contender, losing to Obama 41.6% to 47.6%. In third place is businessman Herman Cain, 39.8% to 48.2%.

Perhaps the most interesting statistic in the RealClearPolitics polls is the poll result for a generic “Republican” against President Obama: in this case, the numbers favor the Republican candidate: 44.8% to 41.8%. That seems to indicate that voters are not particularly enamored of the current field of potential Republican nominees.

Written by westcoastsuccess

November 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

An Ode to the Candidates…

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Since it’s Friday, a little levity is in order to prepare us for the weekend. So here, then, we present an Ode to the Candidates:

Little Ricky he don’t make no sense
Rotten grammar misplaced tense
Ran up the budget eighty percent
He’s part of Texas establishment

“Vote for Gore!” old Ricky said
Gotta wonder about that boy’s head!
“Illegals need to go to school!”
That Ricky’s such a tax and spend fool!

Little Mitt’s got a health care plan
For every woman child and man
But he don’t want you to have a choice
All slicked back hair and radio voice

Mitt says he’s a business man
But he’s just following daddy’s plan
From a family of politicians
Pampered lives oh so patrician

Mr Cain’s a fun pizza guy
He’s got a plan but it won’t fly
Put the tax in every store
Better load your wallet heading out the door!

Cause 9-9-9′s a catchy rhyme
But it’s 12-12-12 in no short time
Gotta love his delivery
But this ain’t pizza, can’t you see?

Dr Paul’s a Texan man
With a three year balanced budget plan
“The Constitution’s coming back!
End the Fed’s monetary attack!”

Cut a trillion in year one
But hold on folks, Mr Paul ain’t done
Ditch the Ed, Interior and HUD
Energy, Commerce and all the other crud.

Ms Bachmann’s got some solid points
Despite her time in all those tax lawyer joints
But her hero Reagan didn’t drink that tea
Raised taxes every year of his presidency

Think TEFRA was a good idea?
And massive spending every year?
Grow tax receipts by 8.2
Is that what Michele wants us to do?

Newt is full of bluster and bluff
And all the wonky policy stuff
Give him credit – he’s got good lines
But Newt my man you’ve had your time

“Personal mandate!” big Newt used to say
Until the tide went a different way
Now he’s peeking at Ron Paul’s lines
And damning the Fed – it New Newt times!

Thank you Sarah for sitting it out
Your spending in Alaska left us all in doubt
TV shows seem more your style
To stretch your fifteen minutes a mile

You really don’t belong in this ode
With “bridges to nowhere” and a dead end road
You’ve had your fun now keep on walking
There’s business at hand and the adults are talking

Rick Santorum gets just one verse
’cause “war war war” just makes things worse
Little Rick’s running out of cash
And that odd expression – I think he’s got a rash!

Huntsman – are you kidding me?
Stilted jokes ain’t comedy
Working for Obama has made you nuts
And where the heck are the budget cuts?

So which one’s going to take on Barrack
And put the country on a different track?
And send that man from whence he came
“Community organizing” seems more his game

’cause leadership ain’t his song to sing
Takes more than that “hopey changey” thing
One term it seems is more than enough
For “tax the rich!” and class warfare stuff

Guess we’ll see on that day in November
How many of his sins the people remember
“Spend! Spend! Spend!” is his rally cry
“Congress won’t do it – I can’t understand why!”

Should prove to be an interesting race
Keep making a mess or clean up the place?
Will forty-five get his four
And point forty-four to the exit door?

Ron Paul Releases “Plan to Restore America”; Promises Balanced Budget in Third Year of Presidency

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Dr. Ron Paul, one of the Republican Presidential nominee hopefuls, and currently averaging third place in recent polls (trailing Herman Cain and Mitt Romney), has released his economic plan, the “Plan to Restore America“.

The plan outlines significant changes to the United States federal government, and promises a balanced budget by Mr Paul’s third year in office, primarily by way of the elimination of the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as significant cuts to the Department of Defense and Medicaid. No additional tax sources are proposed.

What is, perhaps, most striking about Ron Paul’s plan isn’t the reduced role of the federal government, but rather the significant reductions in spending required to balance the budget. The US federal government’s deficit, which President George W. Bush gave birth to, and which President Obama nurtured into an accelerated adulthood, is truly astonishing, in both its size and the rapidity with which it grew during the Obama administration.

Here’s a look US federal revenues and expenditures over the past two administrations, as well as the impact of Dr. Paul’s plan:

 

 

In the absence of significant budgetary changes, the United States federal government is on a dire path indeed: over 40% of all federal government spending is done with borrowed money; over one in seven US workers works for government of one level or another (by comparison, in bankrupt Greece, that ratio is one in five), which is more than the number of people working in manufacturing and construction combined; at the time Social Security was founded, there were thirty workers paying for each one retiree, while today that ratio is three to one (and nearing two to one); medical costs continue to rise more quickly than inflation (this is significant, because close to 70% of all medical spending in the US is by government).

Ron Paul’s plan begins to make some of those difficult choices which are increasingly becoming unavoidable, and further has one big advantage over most other plans presented by the GOP Presidential hopefuls: an even-handed approach which doesn’t single out special interests or seek to carve out exceptions for favored groups (by contrast, the floundering Rick Santorum started his attack on Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan at the GOP debate in Las Vegas Tuesday by suggesting that the federal government is obligated to subsidize certain groups of people in order to produce children – one of his pet causes which he feels the government should change the rules for. Most of the candidate (with the notable exception of Herman Cain) favor continuing the type of patchwork the current 72,000 page tax code employs: an extraordinary number of special exceptions for certain favored groups).

It will be interesting to see how the media reacts to Mr Paul’s proposal, which makes choices which return government spending to a level supported by government revenues, without increasing the source or scope of those revenues.

 

Written by westcoastsuccess

October 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

Media’s Coverage of Ron Paul Takes Another Strange Turn: NY Times’ Strange RSS Feed…

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Representative Ron Paul, one of the Republican Presidential nominee hopefuls, continues to receive strange treatment by the media. Despite polling results consistently in the top three or four candidates, and often polling ahead of President Obama in hypothetical match ups with the President, Dr Paul is often but a footnote, at best, in mainstream media coverage of the nomination race, and more commonly simply not mentioned. We examined this in some detail in our article “Is Ron Paul Getting a Fair Shake in the Media? Watching the Watchers“, following Ron Paul’s narrow loss to Michele Backmann in the Iowa straw poll. Today, the New York Times got into the act, in a particularly odd way: the paper’s RSS feed pushed out a story with the title, “Romney, Perry and Cain Open Wide Financial Lead Over Field”.

The problem? The article’s title indicates a story about the recently released campaign fundraising figures for the past quarter, and states Herman Cain, along with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, are far ahead of the other candidates. Except the title is flat out wrong: Mitt Romney and Rick Perry certainly raised considerable sums in the most recent quarter: $14 million and $17 million respectively. Herman Cain, however, raised just $2.8 million, $675,000 of which he personally loaned his campaign, meaning he actually raised $2.125 million. Ron Paul, on the other hand, raised four times more in campaign contributions: $8.2 million, and finished in third place among GOP Presidential hopefuls. In fact, Michele Backmann also raised more than Cain: her total for the reporting period was $3.9 million, or double Cain’s and half Paul’s. A factually correct title would read, “Romney, Perry and Paul Open Wide Financial Lead Over Field”.

What’s even stranger is that the linked article (the title of which is actually “Romney Beating Obama in a Fight for Wall St. Cash”) is not even really about what the RSS title and original headline purport it to be about: instead, the article is about the shift in donations by Wall Street firms, from previously strongly supporting Obama (who dominated by a country mile campaign contributions from these firms in 2008) to now supporting Romney, and makes no mention of Ron Paul at all, except for one sentence in the fourth final paragraph. The article spends 19 paragraphs discussing Wall Street political contributions before closing with nine paragraphs reporting the campaign contributions for the latest quarter (Herman Cain gets half a sentence).

Here are some interesting screen shots, starting with the RSS feed’s title:

And here’s the URL for the article, as seen in a browser address bar:

Here’s the actual article. Note the different title, versus the RSS feed’s title, as well as the title contained in the address bar:

Of course, the false title was picked up by innumerable other publications, blogs and web sites:

It seems the anti-Paul media bias has gone from largely ignoring Mr Paul to flat out mis-stating facts. Very strange indeed.

Written by westcoastsuccess

October 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

Perry vs Romney: Both Big Spenders, History Shows…

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As the media, and the Republican Party establishment, continue their attempt to make the contest for the 2012 GOP Presidential nominee a two person race between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, it is interesting to look at the fiscal records of these two candidates while they held office as Governors of Massachusetts and Texas, respectively. We’ll here look at a topic of great interest to the Tea Party set particularly, and Americans generally, in light of the current state of the United States federal government: given the US government now spends substantially more than it takes in (north of 40% of expenditures are made with borrowed money), how did these candidates fare on the issue of state spending while they were in charge?

The picture isn’t pretty:

  • While Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney increased spending substantially: when Mr Romney took office in 2003, state spending for that year totaled $26.27 billion. During his final year in office in 2007, state spending had ballooned to $34.69 billion. This represents more than a 32% increase in spending over a four year period;
  • Meanwhile, during his time in office as Texas Governor since 2000, Rick Perry increased state spending from $44.19 billion in 2000 to $80.40 billion in 2010, an astonishing 81.94% increase;
  • Keeping the time periods consistent, while Governor Romney was increasing Massachusetts’ spending by 32% between 2003 and 2007, Governor Perry increased Texas’ spending by 16.36% during that same period (from $59.05 billion in 2003 to $68.71 billion 2007).

Both of these candidates are running to be the Presidential candidate of the Republican Party, a party which ostensibly favors reduced government spending. That’s particularly the case for Tea Party supporters and libertarians, who favor a substantially reduced government role. Judging by their history, it is difficult to consider either of these candidates disciples of a “small government” philosophy: while in office they took a combined $85.32 billion in taxpayer-supported spending and turned it into $103.40 billion in spending.

Here’s a chart of Mr Perry’s and Mr Romney’s work:

What if we look at state spending as a function of state GDP? Here, Mr Perry fares significantly better than Mr Romney: Texas, under Mr Perry’s leadership, was unable to grow spending of taxpayer dollars as fast as their GDP was growing, whereas in Massachusetts, under Mr Romney, state GDP was unable to keep pace with Mr Romney’s spending of taypayer money. The share of state spending as a portion of GDP in Texas reduced from 7.14% to 6.03%, while Mr Romney increased state spending from 8.84% to 9.81% of all economic activity in the state (nearly one in ten dollars produced by economic activity is redistributed by the state government):

How does all this compare to the federal government during the same period? Federal expenditures as a percentage of GDP under George W. Bush decreased 4.58% between 2003 and 2007, from 8.77% to 8.37% (but by 2010 had risen 8.38% under President Obama, to 9.07%) :

Written by westcoastsuccess

September 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

Rick Perry an Odd Choice for Republicans, and Tea Party…

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Texas Governor Rick Perry, the leading GOP contender for the Presidential nomination in 2012, is a particularly odd choice for Republicans and Tea Party advocates alike. Polls consistently show him atop the pack of contenders for the GOP nomination, however there are a significant number of reasons his consideration as a Presidential nominee, as well as his standing in the polls, comes as a surprise.

Consider:

  • Mr Perry used to be a Democrat, until he concluded the path to power in Texas is paved with Republican pavement;
  • Rick Perry is a career politician. He has been in various offices since 1984, when he was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives as the Democratic representative of District 64 (he switched sides in 1989). Career politicians are not looked upon favorably by Tea Pary supporters, or Constitutionalist;
  • Mr Perry’s use of executive order to attempt to force state-ordered vaccinations on eleven year-old girls in Texas violates two concepts Tea Partiers, and libertarians, hold dear: the order was passed (and later reversed by the Texas legislature) without being put to a vote of the people’s representatives, while at the same time representing a shocking intrusion by government into people’s lives by requiring parents to actively opt out of the forced vaccination program. The notion of an individual (in this case the Governor) ordering injections of children without debate or a vote is rather shocking. Mr Perry now considers this a “mistake”;
  • Mr Perry’s policy of granting discounts on taxpayer provided education to illegal aliens in the state of Texas is anathema to most Republicans (and to taxpayer advocates as well);
  • Governor Perry has increased taxes multiple times in Texas. He voted for a $5.7 billion tax increase proposal, and refused to pledge not to increase taxes, a pledge which, notably, his Democratic opponent in the 2002 contest for Governor of Texas made;
  • Mr Perry not only supported Al Gore in 1988, he was the chairman of Mr Gore’s Texas campaign committee. It is difficult, for a whole host of reasons, to imagine Republicans embracing the chairman of Mr Gore’s Presidential committee as their nominee for President of the United States;
  • “Crony capitalism”, the latest buzzword of Republican Presidentail hopefuls, can be seen throughout Mr Perry’s tenure in politics: trading prominent appointed positions for campaign contributions has been a hallmark of the Governor’s strategy while in office.
  • While Governor of Texas, state spending grew 30.6% under Mr Perry’s leadership, after adjusting for population growth and inflation.
While campaigning on an image of the “straight talking Texan”, Mr Perry has a deep history of increasing spending, favoring tax increases, is a career politican, actively rewards campaign contributors with lucrative taxpayer funded appointments and at best has a misguided view of the meaning of “limited government”. A strange choice for Constitutionalists, the Tea Party and Republicans alike. But perhaps a known quantity for the status quo.

Written by westcoastsuccess

September 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Let the Mud Slinging Begin: US News & World Report Attacks Ron Paul…

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Further to our article examining the media’s treatment of Ron Paul, there’s an amusing article in US News & World Report today: a person who they identify as a Ron Paul “supporter” has “announced” he will be placing an ad asking people (“Are you a stripper, an escort or just a ‘young hottie'”) to come forward who have had sex with Texas Governor and Presidential hopeful Rick Perry. The article is titled “Sex Ad Hurts Ron Paul More Than Rick Perry” and is written by Peter Roff.

Let’s examine this a bit further:

  • No ad has yet been placed – the person has simply “announced” the intention to place such an ad. I am announcing that I am twenty-three feet tall and excel at badminton (neither statements is true, but I am “announcing” them nonetheless);
  • The person (Robert Morrow) is described as a Ron Paul “supporter”. Note that this differs significantly and materially from a Ron Paul “representative” or “agent”. Are there people who voted for Obama (ie “supporters”) who have subsequently raped children? I suppose there could well be; that does not make such a person a “spokesman” for, or a “representative” of, Obama. Same applies here;
  • The article goes on to state: “The Paul supporters are known to be a dedicated bunch—some might even call them fanatics”. US News and World Report is known to be a fringe media source. Some might even call them flat out paid shills. See what we did there?
  • Have a look at the title of the article: “Sex Ad Hurts Ron Paul More Than Rick Perry”. There is no sex ad, Ron Paul’s campaign has nothing to do with the supposed ad, and even if the ad existed, we do not know if it would hurt Mr Paul more than Mr Perry, or Mr Perry more than Mr Paul, or both equally or not at all.

The article is, in short, a public relations piece – in this case, an anti-Ron Paul bit of PR.

By way of background, US News & World Report is a declining media property (they reduced their print publications repeatedly, before abandoning regular print runs entirely as of December 2010), whose Editor-In-Chief, Mortimer B. Zuckerman (real estate tycoon worth an estimate $2.1bn USD and noted supporter of Jewish causes), is a significant contributor to Democrats (of a reported $63,000 in campaign contributions, Mr Zuckerman gave $42,700 to Democrats and most of the balance to independents. He also contributed to Senator Al Franken’s (D – Minnesota) recount fund, Gary Hart’s (D) Presidential campaign and contributed at least once to Senator Edward Kennedy’s (D) Presidential run (as well as at least three other contributions to Senator Kennedy’s runs for the Senate)). Mr Zuckerman once claimed to have helped write an Obama speech, before backtracking. Some might say he is a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

Written by westcoastsuccess

August 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm