What are Mitt Romney's "In-Context" Economic Views?
Mitt Romney and his campaign have complained incessantly about being quoted "out-of-context" on his economic views. In an effort to help the Romney campaign we have gathered all of his economic views in one place and organized them in a comprehensive manner in order to give voters a complete and thorough view of Romney's economic philosophy.
Romney's view on the Housing Crisis, Class Warfare, and his Tax Plan:
After doing a bit of mountain hiking a few days back, I had a chance to get involved in a great afternoon conversation with the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Mike Wessel, who also serves as a Commissioner with the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; the conversation was about how we’re doing when it comes to our relationship with China.
As it turns out, the two events went well together, because what I’m hearing from these guys is that we have a great big ol’ mountain to climb if we hope to get back to a level playing field in our interactions with this most important country.
There’s news to report across a variety of issues; that’s why today we’ll be talking about trade, human rights, cybersecurity, poverty and development, and the methods by which you can apply “soft power” to achieve hard results.
The entirely unanticipated result: all of this will reveal the <em>naïveté</em> of Ron Paul when it comes to foreign policy; we’ll discuss that at the end.
We gotta grow some jobs, and that’s a fact, and we probably aren’t going to be able to do it with big ol’ jobs programs funded by the Federal Government, what with today’s politics and all, and that means if this Administration wants to stay in the jobs game they’re going to have to find some smaller and more creative ways to do it.
They are also going to have to come up with ideas that are pretty much “bulletproof”, meaning that they are so hard to object to that even Allen West and Louie Gohmert will not want to be on record saying “no no no!”; alternatively, solutions that work around the legislative process entirely could represent the other form of “bulletproof-ery”.
Well, I have one of those “maybe bulletproof” ideas for you today, and it has to do with how “Made in USA” the things are that our Government buys.
So I disappeared for a full week, right in the middle of what should have been a busy writing schedule, and I have to claim some “personal days” to cover the time we missed here at the blog – but it won’t be time entirely wasted.
Instead, I’m going to jump into my own personal life for today’s story, and I’m going to do it so that we can stimulate some thinking about where we really need to go to if we ever hope to make some sense out of the crazy way we deliver health care in this country.
Since this appears to be the weekend that a lot of decisions are either going to be made about the future of our “social safety net”…or they wont; we’re entirely unsure…let’s talk about how it actually works for a lot of us – and how it could work a lot better.
The government long ago declared the end of the recession, but most Americans aren't doing much better than they were two years ago.
A new piece in this week's issue of reliably muckraking newsmagazine The Atlantic helps explain just what's going on, in an article entitled “Squeezed Dry: Why Americans Work So Hard but Feel So Poor.”
"Since the recovery began,” author Derek Thompson explains, “corporate profits have captured nearly 90 percent of the growth in real income. Wages and salaries have accounted for 1 percent." The article goes on to note that in the past thirty years--since Ronald Reagan took office and enacted the historic 1981 tax cut that lowered the top tax rates from nearly 70% to below 30%—worker productivity has increased at seven times the rate of workers' wages.
Americans are being worked harder and harder, but they are not reaping the benefits. The folks at the top are. American income inequality has gotten to the point where the top 1% of Americans—a scant three million of us—have more money than the bottom 150 million Americans. One percent of the country is richer than half the country.
It says something that the last time richest among us had this large a share of the wealth—and indeed, the last time the top 1% paid this little to the government was during the Roaring Twenties, the waning days of the robber baron era. Hardly an era to replicate for 21st century economic success.
But history can also teach us about when things were different. During the 1950s and 1960s, the top 1% claimed barely 10% of the national income, as opposed to today’s 50%; the top tax bracket hovered around 90% (as opposed to today’s 28%) through most of the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations. (And what a bunch of flaming socialists they all were!)
Diligent reporter that I am, I got up Thursday morning to do a bit of fishing for a story, and as so often happens, I've caught something a bit unexpected.
Now what I have for you today starts out as a bit of insider information that came to me on background-but it turns into a chance for those of us who support Social Security to very much get in the faces of our members of Congress, for two whole weeks.
And to make it even better, I'm going to throw out a few direct action ideas "for your consideration" (as they say in Hollywood during Awards Season) that would absolutely make good street actions and YouTube videos, both at the same time...and even more importantly, we'll absolutely make some great Spring Break fun.
So it's been about three weeks since we last had this conversation, but once again we have to take action to try to keep Social Security from being the victim of "deficit fever".
I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, considering the disconnect between Social Security and the deficit-but once again it's "Continuing Resolution" time on Capitol Hill, where some use the threat of an impending shutdown of the Federal Government to extract concessions from the other side...and some on the other side try to make points with the voters by out-conceding their opponents.
So Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, there's a national push on to get voters to call their Senators and remind them to vote for an Amendment that is a big ol' "I'm not willing to cut Social Security just because other people philosophically want to cut Government any way they can" kind of reassurance to the voters, and I'm here to encourage you, once again, to make a couple phone calls and do some pushing of your own.
I've also been storing up a couple somewhat facetious random thoughts which will be the "garnish" for today's dish; you'll see them pop up as we go along.
In our efforts to form a more perfect Union we look to the Constitution for guidance for how we might shape the form and function of Government; many who seek to interpret that document try to do so by following what they believe is The Original Intent Of The Founders.
Some among us have managed to turn their certainty into something that approaches a reverential calling, and you need look no further than the Supreme Court to find such notables as Cardinals Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia providing “liturgical foundation” to the adherents of the point of view that the Constitution is like The Bible: that it’s somehow immutable, set in stone, and, if we would only listen to the right experts, easily interpreted.
But what if that absolutist point of view is absolutely wrong?
What if the Original Intent Of The Founders, that summer in Philadelphia…was simply to get something passed out of the Constitutional Convention, and the only way that could happen was to leave a lot of the really tough decisions to the future?
What if The Real Original Intent…was that we work it out for ourselves as we go along?
News is suddenly moving so fast that it's becoming hard for me to keep up; that's why we're not finishing the story today that we just began Tuesday. You know, the one about Titan Cement suing two North Carolina residents who appear to be doing nothing more than speaking the truth.
Unfortunately, other important news has forced itself to the front of the line, and it's going to demand that we break schedule, whether we like it or not.
That's why today we're going to be talking about Wisconsin, and how workers there are fighting back against the State's Republican legislators and Governor, who seem to have gone out of their way this past three weeks to govern without the consent of the governed.
It's kind of chilly today in Wisconsin...but I can assure you, things are heating up fast-and it ain't because of spring.
Got a simple little story for you today of a multinational corporation that wants to build a great big cement plant in North Carolina really, really, bad, and the local opposition to what appears to be a corrupt and distorted decision process.
Two local activists in particular have drawn the ire of Titan Cement, the Grecian corporation who seeks to build the plant-and because the Company doesn't like what the activists have been saying about what the impact of that plant will likely be or how the deal's going down...they're suing Kayne Darrell and Dr. David Hill, residents of North Carolina's New Hanover County, and the two folks who are doing the complaining the Company dislikes the most.
The Company further claims that they were slandered and defamed by the damaging statements that were uttered by the two at a county commissioners' meeting and that they have lost goodwill and the chance to do business with certain parties as a result of these statements.
But what if everything the Defendants said was not only true...but provably so-and the Company was, maybe...just looking to shut people up by sending teams of lawyers after them?
As I said, it's a simple story today-but it's a good one.
What with all the attacks on Labor in states like Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, there has been just so much misunderstanding out there these past couple weeks about what things are actually like for State workers.
Are the conditions decent? Is there excessive pay? Is there even a need for State workers?
Well, I can’t answer every question, but I can sure tell you what it’s like in our house…and the reason my words carry the “voice of authority” is because The Girlfriend has been working for the State of Washington for the past 16 years.
Bona fides established, let’s get to telling the story:
There’s a lot of ways to be petty and cheap and stupid, and a lot of ways to stick it to a program you don’t like, and by extension, the clients of that program…and this week the House Republicans have embarked on an effort to combine the two into one petty, cheap, and stupid way to stick it to the clients of Social Security and the workers who administer the program.
They’re going to sell it to you, if they can, as a way to “lower the deficit”, or words similar…but what this is really about is making the actual Social Security program work less well—because, after all, if a program is popular today, the best way to make it less so is to apply a bit of “treat ‘em like their cars were impounded” to every interaction customers have with the system.
And what better way to make sure that happens…then to aggressively demoralize everyone who works down at the ol’ Social Security office?
So it's Day 3 of my fake campaign for Congress, and we've run into our first obstacle
The Fake Campaign, as you may recall, is fake headed for Wisconsin, to show solidarity, and we've fake hitched a ride on a delivery truck headed for Rush Limbaugh's Florida broadcasting studios-but we fake found ourselves caught up in the all-too-real Giant Grip Of Winter that has seized the Midwest over the past week.
We're back on the road now, but we were stuck for darn near a half-day there at Wall...and if you know anything about South Dakota, you know there are really only two things to do in the City of Wall: you can shuffle back and forth between Gold Diggers and the Badlands Bar, partaking of numerous intoxicating liquors along the way...or you can head on into Wall Drug (the same one that's on all those bumper stickers and signs) and partake of the finest display of Giant Jackalopia on the planet.
The Campaign, naturally, chose Jackalopia-and that's why today's Manifesto is all about the fake impromptu 5-cent-coffee-fueled Social Security Town Hall that we held in the Wall Drug Mall for several hours while we waited for I-90 to reopen.
So if you've been following my work lately, you know that there is a renewed effort underway to change Social Security, and that the fight officially began just this very morning.
Now what's supposed to happen is that a television ad buy sponsored by a Wall Street billionaire is supposed to get you enthused about cutting your own Social Security benefits in the future; this is the tip of a "disinformation iceberg" that is trying to get you to act, right now, because if you don't you will never, ever, ever, ever, see a single dime of Social Security when you get older.
I was on a "let's talk strategy" conference call today that laid out some ideas for the "next steps"; we'll be talking about that call over the next couple of stories...but for today, we're going to talk about something you can do that will bring the message right to your favorite Member of Congress.
It is my job to bring to you not just the news that took place, but the news that has yet to happen.
Today, that’s exactly what we have.
There is a war coming to try to change Social Security from a social safety net to a “revenue stream” for certain corporate interests, and that war is set to begin Tuesday morning, according to information that was provided to me yesterday afternoon.
Follow along, and you’ll be both forewarned and forearmed.
With the election over, it's time to move on to new things, and the folks at the Campaign for America's Future have asked me to do some writing about Social Security, which sounds like some big fun, so here we are.
We're going to start with some reasonably simple stuff today, just to get your feet wet; by the time we get a few stories down the road there will be some complicated economic analysis to work through-but let's begin today by looking a bit south.
Those who support privatizing Social Security in this country often point to Chile as an example we could follow, and that seems like a good place to get the conversation going...so set your personal WayBack Machine to Santiago, May, 1981, and let's see what we can learn.
I am one of those people who will actually watch those boring, boring, hearings on C-SPAN that most of us flip right on past while watching TV, and this past week I've been watching one of the longer events the channel broadcasts...but it's been far from boring.
The Coast Guard and what used to be the MMS were in Houston looking into what caused the Gulf oil spill and they're taking testimony from representatives of the involved parties...and let me tell you, this is more than just an accident inquiry-it's also a warm-up for the lawsuits that are surely going to follow.
I just wanted to take a minute to say hello and to see how things have been for you lately, and to maybe bring you up to date on a bit of news from here.
Well, right off the bat, we hear you have a new Conservative Prime Minister and that his Party and Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are in partnership, which I'm sure will be interesting; you probably heard that us Colonials are again having Tea Parties, which has also been very interesting.
I have a Godson who's getting married this September, so we're all talking about that, and I hear Graham Norton was even better than last year at hosting Eurovision, despite the fact that it's...frankly, it's Eurovision.
Oh, yeah...we also had a bit of an oil spill recently that you may have heard about-and hoo, boy; you should see how the Company that spilled the oil has been acting.
I was supposed to begin the long-delayed series of PTSD stories I’ve been planning, but before we begin, I need to tell y’all about something that just happened in my house.
For us it wasn’t a matter of life or death, but it is the kind of story that explains, perfectly, why we need to reform the health care system we have today—and for that matter, it’s also a great explanation of why a single-payer system would be a giant step forward for everyone in this country, whether you’re insured today or not.
It’s also hilarious and sad and frustrating, all at the same time—which makes today’s story a pretty good allegory for the current American way of doing health care.
So follow along, have a good laugh…and at the same time, take a minute to consider what could be, and how much less irritating things should be.