Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Concerning Trump's Picks So Far

Trump is trying to bring two factions of the Republican Party together. The Bannons and Sessions represent his hardcore base that want border security, law and order, and an end to "PC" language. Priebus, DeVos, Haley (and potentially Romney) are establishment Republicans. Although he ran against the establishment, he's also aware that in order to actually get anything done he has to work with them (especially since Republicans control both Houses).

Finally, the choice of Carson as HUD Secretary is sending the message that the plan to help inner cities was not just campaign rhetoric. Let's hope he delivers.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Case for Romney

In 2008, President Obama was elected on "Hope and Change" and yet four years later many Americans have lost hope in the future. The change we've experienced has not created sufficient job growth or economic expansion.

Today, we have 23 million Americans struggling to find work. In fact, fewer people are working today than when the President took office. The unemployment rate was 7.8% when he started and today, it is 7.9%.
But you know, if you calculated the unemployment rate, taking into account the people who have dropped out of the workforce, it would be 10.7%.

Incomes are down while poverty, electricity, food prices, and the price of gasoline are up. Fifty percent of kids graduating from college can't find jobs and half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost. We can't continue down this path.

While the intentions for Obamacare were good, the long term financial impact could be devastating to our country. Obamacare will keep many businesses from hiring people and will do nothing to lower the price of health care. The Romney plan will keep the best parts of the law that work and repeal the rest.

Romney vows to crack down on China. One of the ways China doesn't play by the rules is artificially holding down the value of their currency. Because if they put their currency down low, that means their prices on their goods are low. And that makes them advantageous in the marketplace.

On day one, Romney will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow him as President to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs because he believes that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers.

He also plans to dramatically expand trade in Latin America.

Governor Romney believes that while President Obama did inherit a bad situation, he unfortunately decided to focus his political capital on passing health care reform rather than focusing on job creation. That was a mistake.

Obama's big job plan came later in the form of stimulus spending that has only helped to balloon our debt to 16 trillion dollars today. The spending was plagued with cronyism and if you look at the jobs number today, it just didn't work. His plan for the next four years is more of the same. Why would we expect a different result?

Obama talks a good game about equality, but he doesn't include the life of the unborn. Romney believes that life begins at conception and supports the overturning of Roe v. Wade so that states will be empowered through the democratic process to determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate. As President, he will end federal funding for abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood.

Governor Romney also opposes President Obama's mandate requiring that employers at private institutions, including religious institutions (other than houses of worship), provide contraceptive services — including sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs — among the healthcare benefits provided to their employees, in compliance with Obamacare.

Let's look at the budget. What Obama calls fairness, Romney calls class warfare. Obama's plan focuses on raising taxes for those making over $250,000 a year. He makes no mention however how this will hurt small business job growth and how it won't make a dent in lowering our national debt. For example, if the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income from those making over $1 million, it would equal just $616 billion, only a third of this year’s deficit (not to be confused with our debt). We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

In contrast, Mitt Romney will cut federal spending and regulation, and bring much-needed reforms to Medicare and Social Security (President Obama has not even put forward any entitlement reform plan). He will work toward balancing the budget, reducing the size and reach of the federal government, and returning power to the states and the people.

On his first day in office, Romney will cut non-security discretionary spending by 5% which will reduce spending by $500 billion a year by the end of his first term. His plan is to balance the federal budget by the end of his second term.

Romney wants to bring tax rates down, and at the same time lower exemptions and deductions, particularly for people at the high end. He believes that if you bring rates down, it makes it easier for small business to keep more of their capital and hire people.

The top 5% of taxpayers will continue to pay 60% of the income tax the nation collects. Middle-income people are going to get a tax break and every taxpayer making $200,000 per year and less will no longer pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. This will spur savings and investment.

Romney's plan is to get America 12 million new jobs in four years. Energy and trade policy can help us get there.

Governor Romney believes we need coal plants but under the President's plans and EPA regulations it is impossible to have one built. This raises the cost of energy and results in the loss of good paying jobs.

On defense, Romney supports additional funding for our troops and taking a harder line on Iran to make sure they don't develop a nuclear bomb. In contrast, the President's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and he pursued a strategy of leading from behind.

This strategy is unraveling before our very eyes. In Beghazi, we now learn that the administration was not forthcoming about the killing of four Americans including our Ambassador. It took President Obama two weeks to label it a terrorist act instead blaming it on a youtube video. Americans demand better.

On education, Mitt Romney will take the unprecedented step of tying federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure.

On immigration, Romney believes we do not grant enough visas to high-skill job creators and innovators our economy needs to make up for labor shortages and gaps in skills. His focus is on promoting legal immigration and enforcing our immigration laws.

In contrast, President Obama said in his first year that he would present an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. He didn't even file it. Instead, he signed a last minute executive order as an election year gimmick. And rather than assist states in cracking down on illegal immigration, Obama's Department of Justice has sued to stop states from assisting the federal government in enforcing immigration laws. President Romney will partner with states to protect our borders.

This election is about who do you trust best to create jobs and spur economic growth. President Obama tried his plan but it did not work. He was elected on a promise to work across party lines and yet instead he blames Republicans rather than develop a plan both sides can get behind. Four more years of Obama will be four more years of gridlock and slow economic growth. It is time for a change. It is time for Mitt Romney for President.
The Case for Obama

President Obama inherited a terrible economic crisis and while we still have a ways to go, we are moving in a positive direction.  Over the next four years, Obama has made a commitment to continue us down a steady road of growth.

Obama supports stimulus spending as a way to help grow the economy. He passed one round of stimulus spending which independent analysts say helped to create jobs. Unfortunately, the Republicans blocked the passage of a second one. 

He developed a bailout plan for the auto industry which helped to put them back on firm footing.

He passed health care reform which will allow all Americans access to health care without worrying about a preexisting condition or that they will go bankrupt because of high medical bills. Is it perfect? No. But Romney says he will repeal and replace it by not including universal care for everybody. For millions of Americans without health care, that is replacement we can't afford to make.

Republicans talk about government intrusion, but they're all for it if it satisfies their social ideology.  In contrast, Obama supports a woman's right to choose and the right for people of the same gender to marry if they choose.  Obama also ended the ban on homosexuals serving in our military.  He stood up for equal rights and will continue to do so over the next 4 years.

Let's look at the budget. Romney promises to cut taxes, cut the deficit, while also raising the defense budget. I believe, along with other independent analysts, that he is making a promise he can't keep.  Do we really want to trust him and hope the numbers add up later?  In contrast, Obama's plan calls for keeping taxes low for American families making under $250,000 a year.  And his goal in asking the wealthy to pay more is to say, "You have been blessed. Why not return some of that blessing. Help your fellow Americans who are struggling and help us pay off our debt and invest in crucial programs and infrastructure." 

Speaking of helping Americans, Obama proposes closing the loophole that allows companies to ship jobs overseas and get a tax deduction for it.  He wants to focus on creating jobs here in America.  And for women, he supports equal pay for equal work which is why he passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act so that women can receive the equal pay that they deserve.

On defense, Obama came into office promising to end the War in Iraq and he did.  In Afghanistan, he advocated a troop surge so we can win this war, stabilize the country, and train the Afghans to take over security. We have done this and our troops will leave by 2014.  And finally, he ordered the strike that killed Osama bin Laden.  He did all of this while working with leaders throughout the world.  He worked hard to bring respect back again to America.  In Obama's view, Romney would return to a policy much like George W. Bush, siding more with military intervention than diplomacy.

On education, Obama supports the Federal Government being  a partner with the States.  He supports charter schools and has also awarded states billions of dollars through "Race to the Top" competitions.  He supports hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next 10 years so that our students can be competitive in the world economy.

On the environment, Obama achieved the first-ever regulations on heat-trapping gases that lead to climate change.  He supported increases in fuel economy standards that can save money at the pump.  And finally, he achieved the first-ever regulations on toxic mercury pollution from power plants.  These are all things Romney says he doesn't support.  Do we really want to go backwards on protecting the environment?

On illegal immigration, Obama has remained tough on enforcing our border, deporting a record number of dangerous criminals while saying, if you were brought to America while you were a child through no fault of your own and are going to school and doing what you need to do, we should support you with a permit to be able to work and not fear deportation. We are a nation of laws but we are also a nation of compassion.

Vote for President Obama so that over the next four years, we can continue our path toward job creation, universal health care, environmental protection, and greater equality for all Americans.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Presidential Election Interactive Map

2012 Presidential Election Interactive Map: Interactive map for the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Use it to predict which candidate will reach the necessary 270 electoral votes.

Thursday, May 3, 2012