Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2nd Presidential Debate A Virtual Tie

The second historic 2012 Presidential Debate is now in the hands of history and the fact checkers. The CNN scientific poll of registered voters who actually watched the debate gave a slim margin of victory to President Obama, which comes as no surprise to most after his stunning deadpan performance in the first debate a few weeks ago. And, while this slight win will likely slow down the loss of the enthusiasm factor that had begun after that first debate the President did little to help his campaign overall. Why? Because his speaking ability and generally successful pontificating doesn't have the same effect on people now that he has an actual dismal four year record he cannot defend.

There is another serious problem for the President. Although CNN's poll gave the President a scant win, most other polls showed the debate a virtual tie between the candidates or a slight win for Romney. The CBS News poll was also basically a tie which really doesn't help Obama after the trouncing he received the first go around. But, that isn't the real problem for the President. When those polled were asked specific questions, especially those related to the number one concerns for the American voter, the economy, healthcare and taxes, Mr. Romney beat out the President by very large margins. Romney scored in the upper 40% and lower 50% on everyone of those crucial issues while Obama remained in the lower to upper 30% range. Based on those numbers alone if voters check off their ballots on November 6 with the economy the number one agenda on their minds Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States of America.

The second problem for the President was his outright lying during this debate, something the media and fact checkers will be talking about, questioning and arguing over for the next week until the third and final debate which takes place on October 22. The President's two biggest lies dealt with the events surrounding the killing of our American Ambassador and three other Americans in Libya and the other had to do with his actions as President in curtailing permits for drilling on land and off shore for oil and natural gas. What damages him the most on these two issues is just how easily they can be fact checked. It will not require a lot of digging in dungy old records to discover how far he strayed from the truth on these two important issues. Even Candy Crowley, the moderator of the debate, after inappropriately defending the President in his lie about him stating the day after the Benghazi attacks that he called them an act of terror, later that evening after the debate when CNN's own fact checkers corrected her, admitted that she spoke out of turn and the President was wrong while Mitt Romney was absolutely correct in his statement about what really took place. All I can say on that matter to Ms. Crowley is better late than never.

Exactly what kind of impact will this debate have on the current stats? Probably very little. Obama did continue Vice President Biden's shoring up his base but really didn't do much to get any more independent or undecided voters on his side. Mr. Romney really didn't do anything to hurt himself but he also didn't gain much either with this performance. And, if you believe a few of the focus groups that each network had on hand Romney may have picked up a few, but not many, of the undecideds due to his reiteration of Obama's failed economic policies and the few more specifics about his 5-Point Plan to fix the mess created by Obama and the Washington establishment.

So, it's off to the next and last debate next Monday which will deal almost entirely on foreign policy. Many conservatives were kind of blasting Romney for not jumping all over the President in this second debate and for not hammering Obama about what did and didn't take place in Benghazi last month. However, I think Mr. Romney will more that adequately get his chance to do this on October 22nd and it will be in a setting far more appropriate and conducive for driving the point home of just how much of a failure Mr. Obama's foreign policies have been and just how much he has weakened this country in the eyes of both our allies and enemies across the globe.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Romney's Economic Plan Not Difficult to Comprehend

If there is one thing Democrats and those on the left love to do, especially during an election year, is to try and make things appear a lot more confusing than they actually are. A point of reference is their take on the Mitt Romney economic plan he will put in place if he is elected President of the United States of America.

They love to mislead, call into question, demonize and cloud his plan with platitudes, false accusations and 2 minute sound bites that declare the Republican candidate isn't being specific about what his plan is.

So, with that in mind let me simplify the Romney Economic Plan for those with even a limited amount of intelligence, which would include the majority on the ultra-left and ultra-right of this issue - in other words - I will dumb it down for them. Those reading this with even an average economic intelligence please forgive me for needing to resort to this kind of kindergarten presentation of such an important issue.

THE ROMNEY PLAN - Spelled out for the unenlightened

Plan #1 - Remove the Estate Tax

This is one of the most corrosive taxes in American history. It literally eats away at those who live by the adage "a penny saved is a penny earned." It penalizes those who SAVE their money. In the year 2013 it will increase from its ridiculously high rate of 35% to a highway robbery level of 55% for those considered high income savers. Those being hurt most by this gun-to-the-head tax are landowners, such as farmers. Their land is considered an estate whether it is profitable or not. Today, thanks in large part to government regulations, owning acreage isn't an asset but has turned into a liability. Mitt Romney's deletion of the Estate Tax would resolve that unfair government practice.

Plan #2 - Put a Permanent Freeze on Current Tax Rates on Dividends and Capital Gains

This will serve to steady investments in this nation. If, as Obama and his cronies want, the capital gains tax were to be increased above its current levels massive borrowing against the U.S. debt would ensue and the everyday Mom and Pop investors, which consists of mostly the hard working diminishing middle class, would begin to see big losses on their dividend returns from municipality, electrical and water system bonds and other dividend incurred investments.

Plan #3 - Bring Down ALL Income Tax Levels by 20%

This would be a huge stimulus to the national economy. One that would affect all workers in this nation, not just the banks and big corporations which benefitted from the Bush/Obama stimulus plan. Why? Because unlike the previous stimulus plans this one is an across the board tax cut by 20% to all working Americans. If you work in the United States and earn a pay check your income tax rate will be cut by as much as 20%....Period! I don't know how much simpler an explanation is needed to grasp the boost this will give to the economy. People with 20% more working cash in their pockets each month can invest more, buy more, and do more to ensure the growth of the economy. Reagan proved that by cutting taxes you do increase government revenue because with more funds available for spending and investing and business growth - revenues actually increase. He was right and proved it and so is Mitt Romney. One plus one still equals two.

Plan #4 - Bring That Overseas Money Back Home

Dubbed the Repatriation Tax Act this plan of Mitt Romney's would encourage those corporations who have been less than enthusiastic about Obama's and the liberal left's business adroitness to not have to pay a second tax on money earned or made overseas. Currently any company doing business outside the United States pays the hosting country whatever the tax is for profits gained in that country. That seems fair enough. If you do business in a foreign land you should be subject to the taxes of that land. What is unfair is the tax imposed on those same profits whenever all or a portion of those funds are returned for reinvestment in the United States. These are not monies made in the United States but are monies being used by corporations to invest back into this country. It is an unfair practice. If that invested money makes a profit for the corporation in the United States then that gain is fair game for taxation, but not the gains from another country that are returned by the corporation for investment in American enterprises. Removal of this double-taxation policy would free corporations to return gains from abroad to the United States to help economic growth and stimulation of the American economy. As long as the current practice of double taxation on overseas profits brought back to America continue companies will be reluctant to reinvest those overseas corporate gains in America. There is simply too much of a downside. What the left has always failed to grasp about the free enterprise system is that profit benefits all, not just the wealthy few.

Plan #5 - A Corporate Tax Reduction

Mitt Romney would cut corporate taxes down to around 25% plus or minus a percentage point in either direction. This is the part of the plan that the Democrats on the left hate the most because as the Jihadist see America as the Great Satan, for the liberal left in America the Giant Corporations are the Great Satan of this nation. Of course both the Jihadist and liberal left have gotten it all wrong. Currently the top end corporate tax rate is around 36%. That is a ridiculous amount already and if Obama and his left-leaning cronies have it their way, by 2016 it will have risen to nearly 50%. In other words half of everything earned by a corporation would end up in the government coiffures and we all know how well the government manages money. During this election campaign Obama has stated that he would lower the corporate rate to 25%. That is a good start, if it weren't for the fact that it is just another lame and lying campaign promise like "Change and Openness" that he never intends to keep. His real goal is that 50% mark for future corporate taxation. Why is this part of Romney's Plan so important? Because, as important as Plans 1-4 are, none of this will have the kind of positive impact on the American economy and its future growth as cutting corporate taxes will. Romney and even those with an average understanding of economic affairs know that the driving force behind any country's economy is the success and failure of its privately owned corporations, both large and small. If a company fails, the nation looses. If a company succeeds then the country hosting it benefits greatly. And, the number one cause of failure in most companies isn't poor product or mismanagement, its government over-taxation of its investment to profit margin. Recent studies have shown that the number one factor behind the great corporate exodus to other countries is this overburdensome corporate tax policy practiced by the United States government. Mitt Romney's economic plan puts a lid on that tax and turns down the burner before it causes an economic explosion this country may never recover from.

This is the Mitt Romney Economic Plan simplified so that even those on the extreme left and ultra-right can understand it. This plan will bring back America from the precipice of economic disaster that the Bush/Obama plans have placed us into. If Mitt Romney isn't elected the next President of the United States then what happens in this nation will make Europe's current fiasco look enviable.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Secretary of State Clinton Takes Blame - What's the Plan?

In a rare and uncharacteristic moment Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally has come forward and admitted that she, and not the U.S. Intelligence Community, was at fault for the lack of security for Ambassador Stevens and those very few marines who died trying to protect him from a well planned terrorist attack on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton stated that because she is the head of the State Department of the United States the "buck stops here" with her.

Thank you Madam Secretary for stating the obvious and for admitting to a cold hard truth that 95% of Americans and the rest of the world were already very aware of. Instead of an admission of guilt and a vague reference to a great man like Harry S. Truman, what you should be doing is offering up your letter of resignation to President Obama right now.

So, since you are a Clinton, and we all know that neither you are your husband, former President Bill Clinton, do anything without fully weighing the political pros and cons, let's look to see what this is really all about.

I thought the timing of your admission was telling. One day before the next Presidential Debate, a critical time for Mr. Obama as he would have had to face some hard and possibly embarrassing questions about the Benghazi incident from those in the Town Hall audience and especially Mr. Romney. Now that you have so publicly fess'd up to your role and responsibility in this matter, the President is kind of off the hook since, as you said, in matters of the State Department "the buck stops" with you. Kudos to you and the Obama campaign for coming up with this strategic deflection. Of course, had you and the President done your job as you should have Ambassador Stevens and those brave young men with him would still be alive and we wouldn't being going over this topic.

Some are comparing this to Watergate and actually referring to it as Benghazi-gate. I would ask all those doing so to please stop it now. It belittles the importance of just how awfully wrong Clinton was, as well as those who have tried to cover it up. Nobody died in Watergate, that was a simple break-in and burglary gone bad. This was murder and rape of our Ambassador and American citizens on American soil. Watergate was not an act of war. What took place in Libya on September 11 was.

I want to step out onto that shaky political limb and make a prediction concerning the timing, the uncharacteristic behavior and real reason behind Clinton's admission of guilt. I already alluded to one of the reasons - it allows the sting of Romney's Benghazi arrows to be deflected away from President Obama just one day before the next big debate. This doesn't help Clinton directly but does buy her political points and some leverage for any future political career plans she may be entertaining.

Hillary Clinton is playing this game very tightly and holding the flame close to her chest, as Bill was also famous for doing. I predict that Ms. Clinton will resign her position as Secretary of

State. The only unknown is when this will occur and that depends on what happens on November 6. If President Obama gets reelected look for him to ask for her resignation before Inauguration Day on January 20 so that he can get the road cleared for the Senate to approve his new nominee for the position. In the event that this is the scenario then Clinton's days as a political player are over, and knowing Hillary this isn't her option of choice. I believe she is hoping the President loses this election. She can finish out her term as Secretary of State, try to smooth out some of the damage done to her over Benghazi, mend political fences surrounding her within her own party and quietly set a course for another bid for the White House in four years. As in times past she is counting on the short-term memory loss that most Americans suffer from when it comes to politicians. And besides, she will have four years of elite media support, time to rewrite history and make it appear that her former boss tied her hands and like a good team player she took the hit for the good of the team and country.

At the moment she is playing the dutiful team mate, just like she played the role of the perfect help mate and stood by her man when Bill "didn't have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky." She knows and has calculated that for there to be a winning score for her at the end of this game Mr. Obama has to loose this election and that is what she is secretly hoping will happen.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Tribute To Arlen Specter

As a former resident of the great State of Pennsylvania I wanted to pay a tribute to Senator Arlen Specter who died today at the age of 82.

Specter died of cancer, a long-fought battle that he tried to never let interfere with his governance in the Senate. Arlen served as a Senator longer than any other Pennsylvania elected Senator, and as much as I liked the man, he was a perfect example of the need for term limits being placed on members of Congress. Some other great examples of this were Senators Strom Thurman and Robert Byrd.

For 30 years the Senator served the State of Pennsylvania first as a Democrat then a Republican, and most recently, he returned to the Democratic party. In his early days in politics he was considered a moderate, for which I greatly admired him as it is very difficult to remain in the calm middle of most stormy issues in Washington D.C. Because of that I voted for him in two elections but by his third term I could no longer support his bid. However, like Senator Lieberman of Connecticut and Senator McCain of Arizona, for many years Specter waded through those tricky waters whose currents always tend to pull to the left or right, and gave Pennsylvanians a moderate, steady hand with his vote and legislations. However, over the last few years Specter, either due to a weakening of his physical strength from his battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or the numbing of his mind from a combination of chemotherapy and the continued onslaught from the more aggressive left in his State, the Senate floor and the White House, the Senator began drifting from his safe harbor of moderate sound judgment in the direction of the left. In fact, the pull on him became so great toward the end that he changed parties mid-term and became a tail-wagging Democrat voting for nearly every Obama leftist package that came up for a vote. While it was not surprising to see Specter decide differently from whatever party he was in at the time, because this was a time honored practice by him, this time it really felt different.

One of the most telltale signs of his slip from reality occurred during his last reelection effort. He held a town hall meeting where one of the elderly participants tried to offer up a rational conversation about healthcare and the impact that Obamacare would have on his personal life and income. Totally out of character, Specter was in the man's face yelling, finger pointing and decidedly telling the man to basically shut up and sit down. Something had happened to Arlen Specter and it wasn't pretty nor was it Specter.

Another surprise from Specter during his last run for Senate was the two reasons he gave for making the switch from the Republican side of the aisle to the Democrat side. Speaking in an interview the Senator stated that after many years of negotiating legislation he felt that he was "increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy." That is not too enlightening since this is usually the reason given by all politicians who switch parties. But, in another interview he revealed something quite startling. In a rare moment of clarity he said, "My change in party will enable me to be re-elected." That was truly as eye-opener, at least for me. This was so un-Arlen-like. The Senator I knew and voted for on two separate occasions would have never resorted to such a low blow reason for doing anything so politically manipulative. Something was going on with Arlen and this was just one more indication that after all those years and nearing the end of his career and life, the man was becoming a stranger to his constituents.

So, how did his new fellow Democrats pay back Arlen for his big voting support and party switch? He lost his primary bid to another Democrat running against him, the decorated military leader and U.S. Representative retired Vice Admiral Joe Sestak. This was actually a good thing for both Arlen Specter and the people of Pennsylvania. Arlen had changed and it was time to replace him on the Senate floor with someone a bit more stable and reliable.

Senator Arlen Specter had a long and illustrious career as a politician and servant of the people of the State of Pennsylvania and the United States of America. Despite the changes over these last few years that he exhibited I still liked and respected the man for his honesty, integrity, rebellious character and witty charm. He stood on the threshold of history by being a participant in the Warren Commission, fought hard as a member of the Appropriations Committee and got funding for stem-cell research and breast cancer against all odds during the George W. Bush presidency and fought hard for the rights of Pennsylvania miners.

Rest in Peace Arlen Specter.