Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Romney’

I showed the winner of the debate the other day.

Now it’s time to show the loser. Or, to be more precise, here’s a couple who would be among the losers if they were willing to be victimized.

Now time for a caveat. if the election somehow results in genuine entitlement reform, I will gladly advise this couple to return.

P.S. The cartoon is humorous, but there is a serious point to be made about the fight-or-flight response to bad government policy. I’m obviously committed to fighting for liberty, but I don’t blame people who move to other nations in search of more freedom.

But Americans have to do more than simply move since the United States has the worst worldwide tax system of all nations. To escape the greedy and grasping claws of the IRS, they have to disengage with the U.S. government, either by legally giving up citizenship or by dropping off the grid.

I’ve met probably more than 100 Americans in about a dozen nations who have felt compelled to exercise one of these options, sometimes known as “going Galt.” Usually they choose the latter, which generally requires them to first move all their assets out of America and to make sure those assets are managed by non-U.S. firms.

P.P.S. There are also statists who sometime seek to leave America when they disapprove of the government. At least that’s the implication of this humorous report about leftists trying to escape after the 2010 elections.

Read Full Post »

People in the political world say that President Obama threw Secretary of State Clinton under the bus in an attempt to protect himself from political fallout from Libya.

I don’t follow those issues, so I can’t comment about the veracity of that charge, but I find it very interesting that some conservatives are urging Mitt Romney to throw former President George W. Bush under the bus.

More specifically, they’re urging him to condemn Bush’s statism and to attack Obama for continuing Bush’s failed policies.

Since I’ve attacked Bush for expanding the burden of government spending and reducing economic freedom, this resonates with me.

Phil Kerpen of American Commitment nails the issue in a column for Fox News.

Romney’s biggest missed opportunity in the second debate wasn’t on Libya…he should have connected the dots between Obama and Bush to illustrate the accurate point that on the most significant dimensions of economic policy, Obama has accelerated Bush’s policy errors rather than reversing them. In the crucible of the 2008 financial crisis, President Bush famously remarked that “I chucked aside my free-market principles .” He was referring to TARP, his infamous big bank bailout. Obama supported the bill and voted for it. …On government spending, it’s the same story. Bush racked up one of the most disastrous records of out-of-control spending and debt the country had ever seen. Every aspect of the federal budget jumped under Bush. …Obama came in and continued spending recklessly. Bush’s $152 billion stimulus bill failed and so did Obama’s $821 billion stimulus bill. Bush flushed $25 billion in bailout funds to Chrysler and General Motors, and Obama added another $20 billion before finally recognizing that the companies would inevitably file for bankruptcy. All of the pre-bankruptcy bailout dollars were lost. …On the biggest economic policy questions, the Bush/Geithner/Bernanke approach is almost indistinguishable from the Obama/Geithner/Bernanke approach. It hasn’t worked. Obama’s failed policies of the present are all too similar to Bush’s failed policies of the past.

Amen. Bush was a statist, period.

Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute made similar points in an article for the Weekly Standard.

Obama’s claim that Bush’s policies caused the recession resonates with American voters. Almost four years after George W. Bush left office, polls show the American people continue to blame him—more than Obama—for the recession that created today’s dismal economic conditions. Throughout the fall and in their debates, it’s a sure thing that Obama will continue to argue that Romney is just another George W. Bush. How can Romney respond? …Romney should not deny Bush’s error. Although Clinton began the process of forcing low mortgage underwriting standards, Bush continued and enhanced it. Instead, Romney should point out that the government should never have been in the housing finance business, and that he will eliminate Fannie and Freddie to restore a functioning housing market—something Obama has failed to do in almost four years.

But here’s where I disagree with Kerpen and Wallison, or at least where I would add a big caveat to their analysis. What makes them think that Romney would be any different that Bush or Obama?

This post highlights a few of Romney’s policies that would undermine free markets and expand the public sector.

If all one cares about is whether politicians have an “R” or a “D” after their names, then my concerns don’t matter.

But if you’re actually interested in making America a better place, then policy matters a lot.

I’ll close with a final point. I have no idea whether Romney is a closet statist or a closet Reaganite. All I’m saying is that, if Romney wins, people who value limited government and freedom should begin working on November 7 to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent Romney from becoming another RINO such as Bush or Nixon.

Read Full Post »

Partisans for both Obama and Romney are arguing about who won the debate.

But having listened to all the debates so far, I think this guy has been the clear winner.

With the exception of Romney saying he wants to defund Big Bird and the rest of the moochers at PBS, I don’t think either candidate has breathed a word about the need to reduce the burden of government spending.

And because neither candidate seems serious about following Mitchell’s Golden Rule, their assertions about middle-class tax relief almost surely are insincere.

P.S. Though, to give Obama credit, I think he is completely serious about wanting to impose class-warfare tax hikes.

Read Full Post »

On the big issue of who wins the presidential election, I’ve been as constant as the north star.

But for state-by-state estimates, I’ve been flipping back and forth like a corrupt politician (pardon my redundancy) trying to decide between two interest groups.

This month, I’m reversing everything from last month. I give Florida back to Romney, largely on the basis of his performance in the debate. Moreover, I was thinking of giving Virginia and Colorado back to Obama, thus changing what I did in July and August, but decided to leave those states in the GOP camp because of what happened on the stage in Denver.

But I decided I was wrong about Iowa and Wisconsin. The polls from those two states are simply too unfriendly and I’m guessing the Obama turnout operation will be stronger.

However, I’ve decided to shift New Hampshire to Romney, again because of the debate, so the net effect is a very close election. But Obama still prevails.

For what it’s worth, the folks at Real Clear Politics show Obama winning 303 electoral votes. The difference in our projections is that they give Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire to Obama.

Are they right? Well, their estimates are based on polling data, so you have to ask yourself if the polls are accurate and/or if the polls today reflect what will happen on November 6.

Intrade says Obama is a 2-1 favorite, so the people putting money on the table certainly think the election isn’t that close. Then again, Intrade had Obama as a 3-1 favorite before the debate, so that number also can move a lot.

P.S. I realize Romney supporters probably aren’t very happy with my prediction. To compensate for being the bearer of bad news, you can see some viciously funny anti-Obama jokes here, here, and here.

Read Full Post »

Since the greatest threat to America’s future is a growing burden of government spending, I watched last night’s debate with hopes of seeing some evidence that either candidate understood that challenge and was determined to put Washington on a diet.

Needless to say, I didn’t have much hope for Obama, who has spent the past four years recycling Bush’s mistakes.

And I wasn’t too optimistic about Romney, either, though he’s tentatively open to entitlement reform.

Romney, however, did provide my favorite moment in the debate. He unambiguously said it’s time to wean PBS from the public teat.

I’ve already written about the need to defund state radio and state TV, so this was music to my ears.

But, as you can see from the attached image, I wonder whether Romney inadvertently put himself at risk.

We’ve already seen from the riots in nations such as Greece and England that people who get lured into government dependency have a tendency to lash out when faced with even minor cutbacks in their subsidies.

Well, Romney is suggesting cold turkey for the moochers at National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting system, so the Secret Service needs to be prepared for Big Bird run amok.

Read Full Post »

In a violation of the 8th Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, my brutal overseers at the Cato Institute required me to watch last night’s debate (you can see what Cato scholars said by clicking here).

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

But I will admit that it was good to see Obama finally put on the defensive, something that almost never happens since the press protects him (with one key exception, as shown in this cartoon).

This doesn’t mean I like Romney, who would probably be another Bush if he got to the White House.

On the specifics, I obviously didn’t like Obama’s predictable push for class warfare tax policy, but I’ve addressed that issue often enough that I don’t have anything new to add.

I was irked, though, by Obama’s illiteracy on the matter of business deductions for corporate jets, oil companies, and firms that “ship jobs overseas.”

Let’s start by reiterating what I wrote last year about how to define corporate income: At the risk of stating the obvious, profit is total revenues minus total costs. Unfortunately, that’s not how the corporate tax system works.

Sometimes the government allows a company to have special tax breaks that reduce tax liabilities (such as the ethanol credit) and sometimes the government makes a company overstate its profits by not allowing it to fully deduct costs.

During the debate, Obama was endorsing policies that would prevent companies from doing the latter.

The irreplaceable Tim Carney explains in today’s Washington Examiner. Let’s start with what he wrote about oil companies.

…the “oil subsidies” Obama points to are broad-based tax deductions that oil companies also happen to get. I wrote last year about Democratic rhetoric on this issue: “tax provisions that treat oil companies like other companies become a ‘giveaway,’…”

I thought Romney’s response about corrupt Solyndra-type preferences was quite strong.

Here’s what Tim wrote about corporate jets.

…there’s no big giveaway to corporate jets. Instead, some jets are depreciated over five years and others are depreciated over seven years. I explained it last year. When it comes to actual corporate welfare for corporate jets, the Obama administration wants to ramp it up — his Export-Import Bank chief has explicitly stated he wants to subsidize more corporate-jet sales.

By the way, depreciation is a penalty against companies, not a preference, since it means they can’t fully deduct costs in the year they are incurred.

On another matter, kudos to Tim for mentioning corrupt Export-Import Bank subsidies. Too bad Romney, like Obama, isn’t on the right side of that issue.

And here’s what Tim wrote about “shipping jobs overseas.”

Obama rolled out the canard about tax breaks for “companies that ship jobs overseas.” Romney was right to fire back that this tax break doesn’t exist. Instead, all ordinary business expenses are deductible — that is, you are only taxed on profits, which are revenues minus expenses.

Tim’s actually too generous in his analysis of this issue, which deals with Obama’s proposal to end “deferral.” I explain in this post how the President’s policy would undermine the ability of American companies to earn market share when competing abroad – and how this would harm American exports and reduce American jobs.

To close on a broader point, I’ve written before about the principles of tax reform and explained that it’s important to have a low tax rate.

But I’ve also noted that it’s equally important to have a non-distortionary tax code so that taxpayers aren’t lured into making economically inefficient choices solely for tax reasons.

That’s why there shouldn’t be double taxation of income that is saved and invested, and it’s also why there shouldn’t be loopholes that favor some forms of economic activity.

Too bad the folks in government have such a hard time even measuring what’s a loophole and what isn’t.

Read Full Post »

I can’t think of a better way to begin a weekend than by abusing the clowns who want to control our lives.

So, courtesy of News-max.com, here are some of the one-liners bashing the political elite from the late-night talk shows.

Jay Leno (the 5th joke reminds me of this amusing poster)

  • It’s been a rough week for Mitt Romney. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has quit as co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. I think the technical term is “jumping ship.”
  • I saw a guy today scraping a Romney bumper sticker off his car. It was Paul Ryan.
  • Political pundits are taking Mitt Romney to task, saying his latest gaffe was not “presidential.” Vice presidential, sure. That’s Joe Biden territory.
  • According to the Labor Department, unemployment fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent last month. But that’s because 368,000 Americans gave up looking for work. Today, President Obama said that’s a step in the right direction, and he is encouraging more Americans to give up looking for work.
  • Bill Clinton said that President Obama inherited a deeply damaged economy. And if he’s re-elected he’ll inherit an even more deeply damaged economy.
  • President Obama’s re-election campaign said that this year they’ll knock on 150 percent more doors than they did in 2008. Well, of course they will. They have to. There’s so many foreclosures it’s tough to tell where people live.
  • I’m very excited; we have Ron Paul on the show tonight. Unlike the Republicans, we’re actually going to let him speak.
  • A man in Florida has been arrested for wearing a President Obama mask while robbing a McDonald’s. To show you how good this guy’s disguise was, instead of a holdup note he was reading from a teleprompter.
  • This Obama robber made some pretty scary threats to the McDonald’s employees. He said, “Give me your money, or else my economic plan will have you working here for the rest of your life.”
  • According to The New York Times, more than half of President Obama’s Twitter followers are fake. They don’t even exist. Which is actually a good thing because if they did exist there wouldn’t be any jobs for them.
  • President Obama is seeking to make his case with first-time voters. Well, you can understand why. Second-time voters have graduated and can’t find a job.
  • It looks like Hurricane Isaac has delayed the Republican convention for one day. This is a big storm. In fact, Isaac has scared more senior citizens than Paul Ryan.
  • Some of the Republicans, I think, are over-reacting to Hurricane Isaac — like today Rick Santorum was seen gathering up two of every animal.
  • Herman Cain was in Tampa. When a reporter asked him if Isaac reminded him of Katrina, he said, “I never even met the woman.”

David Letterman

  • Leaves are falling, temperatures are falling, Romney’s poll numbers are dropping. It must be autumn.
  • Happy birthday to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is 50 years old. They had a cake for him. He blew out the candles and then he wished for another cake.
  • Are you excited about Labor Day weekend? That’s a holiday where Americans take three days off from looking for a job.

Conan

  • A lot of people are commenting that Mitt Romney is looking extremely tan lately. In fact, if Romney gets any darker he’s not going to vote for himself.
  • Mitt Romney is trailing in the polls. After being accused of being too vague, Romney’s campaign team says they will start being more specific. When asked when, they said, “Soon-ish.”
  • New polling shows President Obama has a 10-point lead in Mitt Romney’s home state of Michigan. Although in Obama’s home state of Hawaii, Romney has a 10-house lead.
  • Early this morning in Los Angeles police were involved with a high-speed chase with a suspect drawing a crowd by throwing money out the window. Is it me or is Mitt Romney getting desperate?
  • In Yemen, a U.S. drone strike has killed al-Qaida’s number two leader, the sixth second in command the U.S. has killed. This is one area where Obama can say he definitely is creating jobs.
  • Over the weekend Mitt Romney made an appearance at a NASCAR race in Virginia. There was an awkward moment when he asked a NASCAR driver why he didn’t just hire a chauffeur.
  • Mitt Romney released another ad that features Hispanic voters speaking in Spanish. The ad ends with him saying, “I’m Mitt Romney, and I have no idea what these people are saying.”
  • Today Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington, and Eva Longoria all spoke at the Democratic convention. This means that Obama has all but clinched the crucial 13-year-old boy vote.
  • If you’re a donor to President Obama’s campaign, you were promised exclusive access to Joe Biden — and for an extra $10,000 absolutely no access to Joe Biden.
  • A group of coal miners in Ohio said that their bosses forced them to attend a Mitt Romney campaign event. You know you’re boring when people would rather dig coal than listen to you speak.

Jimmy Kimmel

  • Mitt Romney was on “Live With Kelly and Michael.” At one point Mitt was asked what he wears to bed. He said as little as possible. It’s the same philosophy that Mitt has in regard to paying taxes.

Jimmy Fallon (his next-to-last joke reminds me of this classic from Craig Ferguson)

  • On Saturday, Mitt Romney took some time off from campaigning to watch his grandson’s soccer game. Though it got awkward when one team pulled their goalie and Romney was like, “Look at that — another job lost under President Obama.”
  • Yesterday in Nevada, President Obama said he’ll win the election if the turnout is anything like it was in 2008. While voters said he’d win if he were anything like he was in 2008.
  • Actually, members of Mitt Romney’s own party are starting to criticize him for being too vague. When asked if that bothers him, Romney said, “Maybe.”
  • A new CNN poll shows that President Obama now has a six-point lead over Mitt Romney. You can tell Romney’s depressed — last night he just sat on his couch and bought the Häagen-Dazs corporation.
  • Yesterday, Paul Ryan said that he and Mitt Romney won’t reveal their tax plan to the public until after the election. Other politicians couldn’t believe it. They were like, “At least do the honorable thing and lie.”
  • A new poll shows that President Obama has expanded his lead over Mitt Romney since the Democratic National Convention. Of course, it didn’t help Obama as much as that other event — the Republican National Convention.
  • There are reports that nine of the hotels being used for politicians at the Democratic National Convention have bedbugs. When asked what it’s like to have to deal with thousands of ruthless bloodsuckers, the bedbugs were like, “Eh, it’s OK.”
  • Over the weekend, a chef in Minnesota created the world’s largest bacon cheeseburger, weighing in at over 2,000 pounds. And if you want to hear what it tasted like, you’ll just have to wait until I interview Chris Christie.

Craig Ferguson

  • Over the weekend, Vice President Joe Biden hung out with a biker gang in Ohio. I don’t know if that’s wise. It’s not always a good idea to be associating with shady characters. So next time, think twice, bikers.
  • Former Democratic nominee John Kerry is going to give a speech about foreign policy. It will be like Clint Eastwood’s speech except this time the empty chairs will be in the audience.
  • At the convention tonight, the surprise speaker was Clint Eastwood. What’s more surprising than a grumpy old white guy at the Republican convention?
  • I can’t wait to see the debate between Ryan and Joe Biden. Biden is said to be already trying out different strategies. So far the one that Obama likes is where Biden pretends to have food poisoning and they cancel the debate.

As always, here are previous editions of the jokes from the late-night talk show hosts: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: