Romney is a Keynesian

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I posted this on a Legal Insurrection thread but thought I’d post it here as well.

Newt can’t say it but everyone else should be saying it. Romney is not a Reagan Republican, he is a Bush Republican. Romney is a progressive, he like all progressives believe that Govt (if run by the right people aka himself) will bring a better society. His tell is when he talks about Regulations. He talks about “smart regulations” like all progressives do. Romney says that the free market needs regulations, which show how good a Keynesian he really is just like Bush.

Govt doesn’t create jobs. It can only give the right environment so that markets can create jobs. I’ve heard Newt talk about that, I’ve never heard Romney say anything like that. Romneynomics = Bushonomics = Obamanomics = Keynesian clap trap that caused this whole mess…the idea that our betters are the ones that should make the decisions. Newt at least is taking the good parts of Paul (Fed, economics (Reagan was an Austrian)) and leaving the bad parts of Paul. Romney would never touch the Fed.

I’m posting this on my Xoom so Ill add some links and videos to add some evidence for me claims later.

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Newt in Outer Space

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

“By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon. And it will be American”

The latest attack on Newt by the conservative media (to be fair to Rubin, she is and has been firmly on the Romney train for a while now) is on Newt’s recent talk about building a space colony on the Moon.

Newt Gingrich is plagued not simply by the blistering rhetoric, the Washington insider-ness, the messy personal life and the ethics problems. He sounds, well, sort of daft these days. His latest brainstorm is for a moon colony by the end of his second term. The bonus here is that if we get 13,000 people (if you ask where that number comes from, it’s akin to asking how the Star Trek transporters work) it can be a new state! (New Gingrich? New Callista?)

They use this to push the meme that Newt is too “grandiose” for the party and for the country. (A Google search for “newt” and “grandiose” produces About 2,220,000 results (0.24 seconds)) I think that is a lame attack. Every person running for President thinks in grandiose terms. Does “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal” ring a bell? Didn’t Reagan think “grandiose” thoughts when talking about bringing down the Soviet Union? What about JFK talking about the initial space program? Wasn’t Lincoln just a little “grandiose” when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation?

I’m not saying that Newt is any of those men. It’s common for the conservative media (Commentary is still marginally conservative) to attack Newt saying that he is comparing himself with those other great men of history. I think what Newt is saying, is that if you can’t achieve anything if you don’t have the vision to do something great. This can be for good or ill. Going to the Moon was a historical achievement, which required a lot of vision. Defeating the Soviet Union was a historic achievement, which required grandiose vision. Of course not all things turned out so well. Obama had vision and he shoved Obamacare down our throats. FDR had vision and we are still left to fix the messes they both made.

When it comes to the Moon and Space exploration, I don’t think we are going to have buyers remorse like we did with Obamacare. Setting up a Moon colony will require vision, but it will also require Science. It will require sceince and technology that we don’t have right now. How and what kind of structures will be build? How will be get food, water, air? These questions are essential to any manned mission to Mars. The question is not if we will go to the Moon but when. Gingrich has merely given a promise that he will push for it.

 

The other common attack is how will Newt pay for it. They erroneously assume (like all good Liberal Big Government types) that the only way to go to the Moon is by more Government spending. Let’s look at what Newt said in the last Florida debate.

Gingrich was then asked whether he, as president, would put more federal money toward the goal of sending astronauts to Mars as soon as possible. The former Speaker of the House said he would use federal money to greater effect — instituting, for example, a series of prizes to encourage space exploration.

“Most of the great breakthroughs in aviation in the ’20s and ’30s were the result of prizes. Lindbergh flew to Paris for a $25,000 prize,” Gingrich said. “I would like to see vastly more of the money spent encouraging the private sector into very aggressive experimentation.”

Some of those prizes, he added, might reward getting humans back to the moon, sending them to Mars, building space stations and developing the commercial spaceflight industry.

“There are a whole series of things you can do that could be dynamic that are more than just better government bureaucracy,” Gingrich said. “They’re fundamentally leapfrogging into a world where you’re incentivizing people who are visionaries, and people in the private sector to invest very large amounts of money in finding very romantic and exciting futures.”

Gingrich also implied he would trim NASA’s budget, which currently represents roughly 0.5 percent of the federal budget.

“I’d like to see a leaner NASA,” he said. “I don’t think building a bigger bureaucracy and having a greater number of people sit in rooms and talk gets you there.”

The last part is key. No where does Newt say you have to dramatically increase spending. How do you give out prizes, while trimming the budget? By getting rid of a bloated bureaucracy that’s how. That’s a point Newt has made over and over again. Any person saying Newt will increase Government is lying, either a Liberal who only thinks in Big Government or a Romney supporter that only thinks in Romney talking points (which are known to be false, misleading or outright lies).

Going to the Moon could be the incentive to get kids interested in science and engineering again. I know growing up, I loved (still do) movies about space. It’s what got me into science initially. I think it’s what drove a generation into the sciences. We need more scientists and engineers, not just in this country but the world. We need them more than we need sociologists or psychologists.

Shooting for the Moon is part of the American culture. It’s part of our national character. Why not make sure it’s a part of our children’s generational character. I can’t say it any better than this guy:

 

 

Categories: Election, Gingrich Tags: ,

Obamany Refinance plan: Change you can believe in.

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

James Pethokoukis is one of the few people holding Romney’s feet to the fire. He has a great article today on Romney’s housing plan.

First, this exchange from CNBC’s Kudlow Report last night:

Romney: Again, let’s look at the numbers. Let’s see what kind of tax there is. If you’re talking about refinancing trillions of dollars of debt and the government is now going to be taking over responsibility for those mortgages, that would be a real problem. But let’s look at the details. Clearly, if there is a way of providing a break to homeowners to get lower interest rates, that is something which has always been part of the refinance story. If it can be done in a way that doesn’t add additional government obligation, that’s one thing. If instead it adds trillions of dollars in new debt to the federal balance sheet, that’s a very different thing. What about the investors who own the mortgage-backed securities who have to be repriced lower? They’re going to take a bath, pension funds are going the take a bath. In the speech, he put in one or two sentences about it. Let’s see what it shows. You have apparently more information about it than I do. I want to see what the plan shows, but clearly, you can’t go in and say we’re going to wipe out all the people who invested in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities. A lot of those are banks. Banks in some cases are in trouble already. You don’t want them to have to find themselves in even more distress.

Now, Romney could have said something like, “The way to boost housing is to boost the economy and speed up the foreclosure process so the market can clear.” But he didn’t say that. He said this: “Clearly, if there is a way of providing a break to homeowners to get lower interest rates, that is something which has always been part of the refinance story. If it can be done in a way that doesn’t add additional government obligation, that’s one thing.”

As James notes, Romney doesn’t criticisze the idea of a housing refinance plan at all, just the way Obama does it. Here’s Romney’s plan.

a) Every homeowner with a GSE mortgage can refinance his or her mortgage with a new mortgage at a current fixed rate of 4% or less, with the rate subject to change up or down with the price of Agency pass-through Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS). For borrowers with an FHA or VA mortgage, rates would be higher, but these borrowers should be included in any large-scale refinancing program.

b) The homeowner must be current on his or her mortgage or become so for at least three months.

c) NO other qualification or application is required, other than intention to accept the new rate (that is, no appraisal, no income verification, no tax returns, etc.).

As Pethokoukis notes: “Hey, that sounds a lot like the Obama plan, except with the GSE limitation.” Obama will give “every responsible homeowner” a refi. Romney only wants to give it to people backed by Fannie and Freddie. Makes all those attack ads about Newt and Freddie seem hypocritical doesn’t it?

Another way of saying it would be so say Romney’s plan is Obama lite. They both think that Government should refinance people’s houses that they bought because of bad government policy. It’s government intervention because the last government intervention didn’t work out so well.

The main problem is that refinancing a house only helps marginally and if anything postpones the inevitable to a later date. It’s basic premise is to prop up house prices. The banks are not going to write down current asset prices for the house as long as it is being refinanced. The principle remains, it’s just the interest rate that changes. This keeps banks balance sheet artificially high, which keeps stock prices high. Politicians seem to think that if stocks are high, the economy is doing good. As if the last 3 years haven’t been proof of that error.

As noted in a NYT article from 2010, refinance plans only kick the can down the road.

Some experts argue the program has impeded economic recovery by delaying a wrenching yet cleansing process through which borrowers give up unaffordable homes and banks fully reckon with their disastrous bets on real estate, enabling money to flow more freely through the financial system.

“The choice we appear to be making is trying to modify our way out of this, which has the effect of lengthening the crisis,” said Kevin Katari, managing member of Watershed Asset Management, a San Francisco-based hedge fund. “We have simply slowed the foreclosure pipeline, with people staying in houses they are ultimately not going to be able to afford anyway.”

Mr. Katari contends that banks have been using temporary loan modifications under the Obama plan as justification to avoid an honest accounting of the mortgage losses still on their books. Only after banks are forced to acknowledge losses and the real estate market absorbs a now pent-up surge of foreclosed properties will housing prices drop to levels at which enough Americans can afford to buy, he argues.

We’ve seen Obama’s refi plan fail. Now Romney is saying “Hey I can do it too! Look at me I’m electable.” Give me a break. Don’t expect to see any mention of Obamany Refi in the conservative media. That would hurt Romney too much. Of course, never expect to see anything that hurts Obama in the MSM.

Obamanycare Confirmed

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the best lines used against Romney was “Obamanycare,” It captures the essence of what is wrong with Mitt. He is a liberal at heart, believes in Paternalism and is an empty suit.

Now we have confirmation that Romneycare was instrumental in the formulation for Obamacare.

Taken together, Massachusetts’s experience under the 2006 reform initiative, which became the template for the structure of the Affordable Care Act, highlights the potential gains and the challenges the nation now faces under federal health reform.

The rest of the study is interesting though. They basically confirm that people are using more health care, which is expected. When it comes to affordability they say this:

 Consistent with that expectation, there have been gains in the affordability of care for adults since 2006, as evident in a lower burden from out-of-pocket health care spending (excluding premiums) and less unmet need for care because of cost (Exhibit 4; additional measures in Appendix Exhibit 4; simple [unadjusted] estimates in Appendix Exhibit 8).9

Why are they excluding premiums? Maybe because premiums have risen more rapidly in Masachusetts than anywhere else in the country?

 As highlighted in Figure 1, in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8 percent faster than the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Take out most expensive portion and of course it’s “affordable.” Hell if you don’t count all the beer I drink, I never drink alcohol either! Only Academics and Politicians think that is good policy (see how they measure CPI).

January 19, 2012 
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers was unchanged in December, as it was in November. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in December after increasing 0.2 percent in November.

All in all, Romneycare is a disaster. The economics are wrong. I’m not even going to get into the Mandate, which was also used for Obamacare. Obamanycare is a great word to use to describe MassCare. It needs to be hung around Romney’s neck. Thankfully Newt is doing just that.

 

h/t: James Pethokoukis <—Read his story. It’s much better written than mine.

GOP leaders don’t like Gingrich and that’s a good thing!

January 25, 2012 Leave a comment

As Newt gains momentum in the GOP primary, the attacks against him by the GOP elite keep growing.

  1. Why GOP leaders don’t trust Gingrich
  2. Gingrich and Reagan: In the 1980s, the candidate repeatedly insulted the president.
  3. Newt’s Troublesome Lack of Prudence
  4. Hour of Newt
  5. Gingrich: I’ll “serve notice” that future debates must allow audience cheering

Twitter has been even more disturbing as GOP pundits and bloggers: C.E Cupp, Michelle Malkin, Guy Benson and Jim Geraghty sneer and deride Newt and the people that support him.

Newt is not the perfect candidate, he does have lots of skeletons in his closet. I don’t agree with some of his positions at all. But the mere fact that he scared the shit out of the GOP elite and those who want to be part of the elite (explains the bloggers), gives me even more reason to support him.

I have zero faith in the political parties. They are only out to serve their own self interest and the interest of their backers. The Democrats serve the Unions and their “favorite” companies. The GOP serves their “favorites” as well. They both have shown zero regard for what is good for the nation as a whole, rather than their own narrow self interest. The GOP elite want the status quo. They want to keep the things the way they are. They didn’t like Reagan when he ran against Bush I. They wanted a party man like Bush. Afterwards, Reagan became so popular that it was political suicide to talk bad about him. (Well unless your Mitt Romney.) Bush I was a company man through and through.Romney is of the same vein as Bush I, a good company man. Romney’s only chance of winning is to be a company man. He has no appeal to anyone outside of company men and NE Liberal Republicans. Without company backing, he is dead in the water. The GOP media knows this. That’s why the decline to do any real reporting on Romney. That is why any attack against Bain is derided as “Anti-Capitalist.” What is why, as Romney’s numbers continue to fall, their attacks against the front runner continue to rise.

It doesn’t matter who is the frontrunner, as long as it is Romney. When it’s not Romney, we start to see a lot of stories of how bad the frontrunner is. No word about Cain until he became the frontrunner, then multiple stories crept up against him. Newt surged, then came the onslaught. Santorum surged, then came the onslaught. Now Newt is surging again…more attacks. Notice a pattern?

If the GOP has any chance of winning, it has to be a party for the people, not the elites. A vast amount of people are turned off from the Democratic Party, because they perceive it to be a party for the Elites. Obama was the chosen one and pushed down everyone’s throats. The media were behind their money men completely and pushed Obama; never reporting negatives, giving him softball questions, while viciously attacking anyone with the gumption of telling the truth about Obama (Palinization).

Now has the GOP establishment in full panic mode. From C.E. Cupp;

At the risk of sounding maudlin or apocalyptic, the conservative movement is poised to become irrelevant or simply extinct. If the next few weeks go the way the last one did, conservatism may as well hang up a sign that says “Closed for Business (apologies to Ronald Reagan).”

The irony is that she is absolutely right. The conservative movement that the party Elites enjoy will be dead. That’s a very good thing!

Rule of Thumb: Never believe anything MSNBC says about Republicans

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I was watching the snore-fest of a debate last night. Aside from the littany of questions that are really meaningless (Everglades? WTF?) the best stuff happened during the debate wrap up. In particular Andrea Mitchell, long known as a Democratic Propagandists there out this little bomb.The video can be found here. (I don’t know how to embed that in my blog, it’s not a youtube clip)

“I talked to a top Romney adviser tonight who said, ‘Look, if Mitt Romney cannot win in Florida then we’re going to have to try to reinvent the smoke-filled room which has been democratized by all these primaries. And we’re going to have try to come with someone as an alternative to Newt Gingrich who could be Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, someone.’ Because there is such a desperation by the so-called party elites, but that’s exactly what Gingrich is playing against,” Andrea Mitchell said on NBC tonight after the debate.

At first I was like whoa. It plays right into the whole party elites don’t want Newt meme. That was my fast brain thinking. Afterwards, my slow brain started clicking into action and I started thinking, “Why should I believe Andrea Mitchell?” Why would a Romney adviser say something like that to Andrea Mitchell of all people? Andrea Mitchell is a mouthpiece for the DNC. There is a great blog called FireAndreaMitchell.com check it out. A list of Mitchell’s propaganda can be found on that site here. Of my favorites:

  1. Iowa is too white, too evangelical, too rural to re-elect Obama
  2. You and I Are Both White
  3. Andrea Mitchell covers Obama and idiot Biden eating burgers! (a love story)
  4. Andrea Mitchell in Awe of Cabinet’s “Brain Power”

Knowing that she is just a mouthpiece for the DNC, why should we believe anything she says or the Network that employs her as an impartial journalist? The debate question were mere fishing expeditions for a safe or good soundbite for Obama re-election ads.

Earlier yesterday, I was in a facespace debate with some Romneybots over this story; Obama for Gingrich’ memo hits Romney.

President Barack Obama’s campaign manager tried to help former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s primary campaign on Monday morning by sending out a 1,540-word anti-Romney campaign flyer just days prior to the Jan. 31 Florida primary votes.

The Mittbots were trying to say that this is proof that Obama is scared of Romney. I tried (unsuccessfully) to tell them that they are being played. That Obama wants to face Mittens in the general election and that Messina is using a head-fake strategy on them. Their bias got in the way of the critical thinking skills. But the same question can be asked, why would the Democrats be so blatant? That coupled with Mitchell’s “party elites” statement just make me think that they are trying to stir up controversy within the GOP ranks. They know the GOP is divided over the Romney’s vs Non-Romney’s (I have my own hypothesis on this which I hope to write about this weekend.) They know that the GOP voters think that the party elites really are tyring to push Romney on everyone and are really pissed off about it. MSNBC is only trying to add fuel to the fire.

I urge everyone not to believe trust anything that comes out of the mouth of Andrea Mitchell or MSNBC (ABC, CBS too) about the GOP. Their only goal is to see Obama win, period.

You probably shouldn’t trust Fox either, since they are all in the tank for Romney (with exception of Palin).

UPDATE: Not 3 seconds after I hit publish, I got to thinking not believing is too strong a word. That would insinuate that they never tell the truth and in my mind would be an ad hominem attack on MSNBC. I don’t want to do that. It’s better to say don’t trust them. If you see something, verify it yourself. If it is something that can’t be verified (Mitchell’s statement) then be skeptical, think it through and see if it makes sense. I still firmly believe that our enemies and critics are the best sources of critical information. Yes they have a bias and over hype the short comings, but they are usually the most diligent to find factual errors as well. Our own bias does blind us to our shortcomings. We are the easiest person to fool, we fool ourselves all the time. That’s the criticism I have for Obamabots and Romneybots. I’d be intellectually dishonest to say I am immune. I am not, which is why I do read the criticisms and weight them in my head.

Newt is the Democrats biggest threat

January 23, 2012 6 comments

 

Ron Paulians won’t like this because she makes no mention of Paul as a serious candidate but Professor Lynn Vavreck says some really interesting things here.

First, that even after the thousands of dollars and years of campaigning, people still don’t know Romney. He can’t break through.

Second, that Newt is the Democrats biggest threat. Newt is a strategist. Democrats haven’t run against a good strategist since Reagan. As we have seen from the debates so far, Newt has the ability to take what, the Democrats think, is a negative and turn it into not only a positive but a haymaker against the Democratic propaganda machine (MSM). Romney can’t do that, he hasn’t shown the ability to do that so far and there is no indication that he ever will.

While Obama will get softballs, Romney will get fastballs. He will crumble under the attack. He won’t get the same treatment he is getting now, preferential treatment. Democrats will go after his Taxes, go after Bain, go after his subpar record as Governor, will he be able to articulate an answer? Probably not, if his recent flub about his Tax returns is any indication. The Democrats want to face Romney. Only Rom-bot think he has a snowballs chance to beat Obama.