Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog Update

You may have seen my posting is rather intermittent over the past few months. These days they are calling me "Editor" on Political Derby so I have been focusing my writing over there. So go to Political Derby and see my stuff. I would especially recommend the Political Derby Composite that I created or this link that goes directly to everything I write.

I look forward to seeing you on Political Derby.

And, as always, you can drop me a line by clicking here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rick Perry's not-so-flat tax plan

Rick Perry has outlined today what some entities are referring to as a "flat tax", but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, Perry's plan is intended to gain the attention and fervor of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan while at the same time appeasing multiple groups.

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.
In other words, if you are part of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes today, you still won't pay any income taxes. Everyone whose effective tax rate is higher than 20 percent would take this option, which includes most of the top 20 percent of income earners and very few others. Additionally, every high income earner using the mortgage interest tax credit on a multi-million dollar jumbo loan will continue to benefit and drive the effective 20 percent no-so-flat tax rate down.

In other words, this plan would actually be a disaster for revenues and this is where Perry's plan only begins to stumble.

Do corporations pay taxes?

Corporations physically conduct the tax paying transactions, however in reality, corporations do not pay taxes, their customers do. If the tax, or regulation, for that matter, bill increases, corporations do not absorb the cost out of the goodness of their hearts, they pass the increased cost along to their customers. A simple example that has recently effected a majority of Americans is the cost of Dodd-Frank. It limits the transaction cost of using a debit card to a level below the current market rate. This is why you are seeing free checking disappear at banks or a charge being assessed to have a debit card.

In reality, corporations exist for one purpose, and one purpose alone: To make money. That is it. If a corporation were not successful in making money, any other stated purpose for its existence would be irrelevant as it would cease to exist. Now watch as the Occupy Wall Street crowd is confronted with this fact.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ACORN behind Occupy Wall Street

While reports are surfacing that Herman Cain has hired the Smoking Man as his national spokesman, FOX News is reporting the the organization ACORN evolved into is a driving force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rate that ad--Ron Paul

Ron Paul isn't quite as effective in this ad as he is in this video, but let's rate this ad regardless.



Also, did you catch who speaks at 0:36?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Who won the CNN / Western Republican debate?

Instant analysis (originally posted within minutes of the conclusion of the debate on Political Derby):

Romney still is the clear leader in this race. Sometimes he looks like he’s just humoring his children around him.

Cain did not look good. He clearly lost momentum. Saying “read our analysis” and “apples and oranges” over and over again did not explain his plan. When that is your explanation, people absorb what your opponent says.

Perry is on a downward spiral. He came out throwing hay makers at Romney that sometimes landed and at other times made him look petty and worse, desperate.

Newt is consistently a solid debater. He may have been the only one on stage to keep his cool all night. Because of this, he is likely the only candidate that gained ground.

Paul was Paul. He made some great, common sense points. Offered a couple of head-scratchers and ultimately he will get his 10% and disappear.

Santorum was trying to come up with something to make him sound viable, talking about being the only person to win an election in a swing state, despite the fact that his political career has basically been over since he lost in a swing state in 2006.

Bachmann was simply annoying. Her nasally laugh into the microphone throughout the debate and her yelling Anderson! Anderson! Anderson! was horrid.

Huntsman didn’t bother to show up. Not that it matters. We didn’t miss him anyway.

CNN / Western Republican debate live blog transcript

Last night I blogged live along with the debate over at Political Derby. I have posted my unedited commentary below.

It is another pivotal night for Herman Cain. He will likely either solidify his position as a serious challenger to Mitt Romney or go the way of Rick Perry. Also, you probably wouldn’t notice if I didn’t point it out now, but Jon Huntsman is “boycotting” this debate. However, a month ago he was at risk of not even qualifying. In other words, Huntsman said, “You can’t fire me! I quit!”

If you’re looking for where to watch the debate, go here.

Live updates after the jump. Refresh early and often.

Ron Paul: “I am Ron Paul from Texas. I am the champion of liberty.” Solid opening line.

Herman Cain: “I am a 42 year businessman which means I solve problems for a living.” Also solid.

Mitt Romney: He honestly sounded like he was playing second fiddle to Cain.

Rick Perry: Claims to be an “authentic conservative, not one out of convenience”. I guess he forgot about being Al Gore’s campaign manager.

Newt: Always taking to focus to Republicans against Obama. Running for VP.

Wow. The first question comes from Kevin from The Office. He goes straight to the fair tax question.

Bachmann focuses on 999 and doesn’t answer the question. The so-called “fair-tax” would eliminate the federal income tax. Also odd that Bachmann gets the first question. She is irrelevant at this point.

999 is immediately under attack. Unfortunately for Herman Cain, the argument of “go read our analysis” is not an effective argument in a debate. He needs talking points.

Ron Paul says replace the income tax with nothing. The government did operate just fine before the early 1900s without an income tax.

Mitt Romney has been winning so far. He hasn’t had to speak.

Cain keeps saying “apples and oranges”. He cannot effectively explain the embedded 35% corporate taxes and 15% payroll taxes that are added to every product sold that would drop prices on commodity products.

Cain is getting killed.

I am quite disappointed to see a bunch of Republicans playing the class warfare game with each other. Herman Cain’s play would treat everyone fairly. But Romney, Bachmann, and Perry are focusing on who it may pay more under the plan….like the 47% that pay nothing.

Perfect

Anderson Cooper asks the perfect question to Bachmann, asking whether the 47% who pay nothing should pay something. Bachmann essentially contradicted herself saying they should pay something. So which is it? Yet another example of why you are irrelevant right now.

Blah. Santorum is going on and on about his made in America manufacturing bull. He wants to give manufacturers special tax treatment. Santorum should learn a thing or two about American manufacturing. We have the highest value per unit produced in the world because we have the most technologically advanced manufacturing the world. In other words, we get by far the highest output per worker in the world.

Santorum won’t let Romney get a word in. And he was booed. Solid. Have some class 2% poller.

Romney just opened up a can claiming he knows “how to lower the cost of healthcare”. That’s a joke. The cost of Massachusetts healthcare has skyrocketed since Romneycare was instituted.

Newt, ever the politician says Romneycare is bad, but Obamacare is worse. Right.

I wish we could have the honest healthcare conversation. We need to remove all the regulations and incentives that have created the third party payer system and open up competition across state borders.

Well we can all sing Kumbayah now. All the Republicans agree that Obamacare is awful. Funny, the polls agree.

Romney and Perry both look awful talking over each other. Once Perry stops, Romney takes a shot at him.

All of Romney’s squabbling with others, baited into it or otherwise, takes some of his luster of appearing “Presidential” away.

Perry interrupts Romney again. Romney tells him that interrupting people won’t make him a good president.

It’s too bad Herman Cain cannot effectively defend his 999 plan because sometimes he really brings the common sense, like on the immigration issue currently being discussed.

Bachmann is trying to sound like a VP, much like Newt. She is working hard to get jabs in at Obama on nearly every answer. She just isn’t as good at it as Newt.

Ha ha. Anderson Cooper briefly interrupted Rick Perry to add to his question.

Romney compares Perry’s border security “experience” to a college coach that goes 0-40 going to the NFL.

Perry, for a third time, mocks Romney for Romney’s lawn care company having illegals on its crew. The crowd boos and jeers. It is getting old.

Ron Paul says the answer to border security isn’t a fence, but doesn’t actually offer a solution.

Rick Perry tells Anderson Cooper “You ask the questions. I get to answer them how I want.” What an idiot. You don’t actually say that.

Perry looks worse and worse every single debate.

Anderson Cooper is trying to get someone to answer whether we should repeal the 14th Amendment. Cain declines. Perry says no. Bachmann doesn’t answer. Santorum doesn’t answer. So much for Cain’s straight talk.

The answer is easy. Repeal the 14th Amendment. It was instituted to ensure the citizen of slaves were citizens. Those days are long gone.

Who cares about Yucca Mountain. That is a state issue. This is a national debate. Try screening your questioners CNN.

Ron Paul manages to make the case that the other 49 states shouldn’t dump their trash on one state. That is a fantastic answer. Romney takes it even further to say let the states bid on the contracts for these wasteful materials.

Cain was for TARP before he was against it. That’s a nice bit John Kerry right there.

Should government protect people from losing their houses? Of course not. But of course none of the Republicans have the guts to say that. Buying a house is a gamble. Sometimes you lose. That’s life. You wouldn’t understand sweet without the bitter and vice versa.

I’m glad to hear Herman Cain clearly stand behind his stance that people earn their way.

I don’t think I have ever disagreed with Ron Paul more than when he says Cain is “blaming the victims”. Cain advocated personal responsibility, which is why he got the loudest cheer of the night from the crowd.

I’m happy to have a break right now. This one has moved quickly.

The comment by Pastor Jeffers was brought up by Anderson Cooper. The crowed booed. People may not realize that Las Vegas’s population is about 10% members of the Mormon Church.

Santorum makes the right point that it is the values that religion teaches that matter. The path to salvation that an individual religion teaches has no impact on governing a nation.

Newt took it even further to say that you must be a person who prays to make the right decisions. I agree. Hopefully people who hear him say that also believe in repentance.

So have we reached Rick Perry’s bed time now? I think he has reached that hour. Perry is done.

Anderson Cooper is clearly becoming frustrated. But he is nothing close to where Charlie Rose was.

Ron Paul is the only candidate on this stage that takes our budget problem seriously. We spend $1.2 trillion-plus more than we take in every year. We must make tough decisions, not make cute political speeches.

Paul: “I want to find another person on this stage willing to cut something.” Fantastic.

Okay, foreign aid is dumb, but the real problems are the entitlements and defense. These grow exponentially year over year and comprise about 3/4 of the total budget.

Israel is our greatest ally, but why do we have to pay them to be our ally?

The candidates seem to be running out of steam. It’s a good thing the next debate isn’t for another month.

The CNN/Opinion Research poll is stupid. It only qualifies that respondents are adults.

Hey Rick Santorum, how did that election in 2006 go for you in your swing state?

I wish Perry would stop talking about how many jobs he has “created”. Governments don’t create jobs.

Interesting seeing Cain/Romney/Perry on stage together in the camera shot. Cain looks a little angry. Romney has a smile and Perry needs a nap.

Bachmann “I am the most different candidate from Barack Obama on this stage.” Yeah. For the wrong reasons.

Newt want seven three hour debates with Obama. That would be amazing!

Thanks everyone for joining tonight.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Obama sells mug with his mug and birth certificate

The Obama campaign played the birther conspiracy theorists like Jenny Oaks Baker plays a tune, smooth, in control and beautifully.

Now they mock them again. I must say, it is actually kind of funny.

Live blogging the debate tonight

FYI: I'll be live blogging the debate tonight at 8:00 pm Eastern on PoliticalDerby.com.

Ron Paul's 'Plan to Restore America'

Mitt Romney has a plan. Herman Cain has a plan. Now Ron Paul has published a plan.

These plans are not entirely comparable, as each addresses different issues, so note that this post is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis. Rather, it is intended to show that the plans cannot necessarily be compared.

Romney's plan is focused on supply side, or job creation, not federal spending or receipts (somewhat assuming the job creation helps to fix those issues).

Cain's plan is intended to be revenue neutral, but does not reduce federal spending, leaving us at our current deficits and adds yet another means for the federal government to tax Americans (also somewhat assuming job creation through his simplified plan fixes the spending issues).

Paul's plan cuts both revenue and spending, but more so spending to the point of a balanced budget within three years without addressing all the loopholes in the federal income tax while reducing the corporate tax to 15%, rather than 9% plus 9% sales tax (which may be seen or unseen in total retain prices, dependent upon price elasticity).

Despite the plans not being exactly comparable, if there would be one to select, it would be Paul's plan. It is mathematically impossible to reduce our debt by increasing taxes (revenues). Paul's plan addresses this through significant budget cuts. Additionally, I would much rather see a 15% corporate tax than yet another tax in the form of a national sales tax because the federal government rarely relinquishes any means of taxation.

Highlights of Paul's plan are after the jump.

-Balanced budget within three years

-Cuts $1 trillion in spending year one

-Honors our promise to our seniors and veterans, while allowing young workers to opt out

-Makes a 10% reduction in the federal workforce, slashes Congressional pay and perks, and curbs excessive federal travel. To stand with the American People, President Paul will take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.

-Lowers the corporate tax rate to 15%, making America competitive in the global market. Allows
American companies to repatriate capital without additional taxation, spurring trillions in new investment. Extends all Bush tax cuts. Abolishes the Death Tax. Ends taxes on personal savings, allowing families to build a nest egg.

-Repeals ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Mandates REINS-style requirements for thorough congressional review and authorization before implementing any new regulations issued by bureaucrats. President Paul will also cancel all onerous regulations previously issued by Executive Order.

-Conducts a full audit of the Federal Reserve and implements competing currency legislation to strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation.

Monday, October 17, 2011

'9 responses to 9 false attacks on the 9-9-9 plan'

Herman Cain has released his thematic "9" responses to "9" criticisms of his 9-9-9 plan. Despite the candidate's appearance of lacking depth on issues at times during the debates, the boldness and straightforwardness he speaks and writes with is absolutely refreshing. One significant factor that differentiates Herman Cain from the rest of the field is that we can be far more certain about what he stands for.

Here is a little taste:
Claim 8: Some people (like Herman Cain) who may live off capital gains, would pay no income taxes. Is that fair? Response: First, one of the benefits of the 9-9-9 plan is that, even if someone doesn’t pay much or any of one of the taxes, he or she is still likely affected by the other two. More to the point, though, everyone has the same opportunity to work hard, earn capital and put that capital at risk. Whatever I have earned has come from hard work, good decisions (and some bad ones), a willingness to take risks and a constant honing of strategy. Nothing is stopping anyone else from doing the same thing. I realize many are being told there are no opportunities available to them, but that is not true and I wish people – for their own sakes – would stop listening to such doom and gloom and come to understand all the opportunity that truly exists, and learn how to access it.
Cain's explanations of some of the other issues raised with 9-9-9 are good reading. Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tag: Humor?

Note: Also posted on Political Derby, where some of the comments will be more in context.

We break momentarily from our normal politics to tell this tale.

It was a set up.

I'm in Philadelphia for an industry conference. This morning I was riding high. I had sat forth row in the center for Stuart Varney's keynote address, that by the way, was fantastic. I've long enjoyed Varney because he is so direct. I even tweeted some of his comments live during his speech.

Later, I somehow let David Kaiser talk me into lunch. When we pulled into Tony Luke's rather than Geno's or Pat's, I should have known something was wrong.

I returned to the conference, attended a couple of dud sessions, then returned to my hotel room for the evening only to find this:


Yeah. I have blond hair.

So I don't know how he did it, but Kaiser managed to get into my room with a friend who has black hair, use my razor, leave gobs of hair in the razor, on my toothbrush, mouthwash, deodorant, and contact lens case.

However it is also possible that it might have been Attack Watch drones, as I have enjoyed mocking President Obama's McCarthy Team incessantly.

Perhaps it was our own Political Derby obsessive Ron Paul contingency because despite leaning toward his views, I just cannot join the irrational crazies.

Maybe it was Edgar. He does have black hair.

But likely it was the "housekeeping" at the Embassy Suites where I am staying.

Seriously, everything written here actually happened today. This was the most disgusting, nasty, repulsive, thing I have ever experienced in a hotel. So thanks Hilton brands for leaving me squeamish in my own hotel room, afraid to leave anything behind. I don't think I'll be needing your "cleaning" service the rest of my stay and despite my Diamond status, it will be very difficult to come back.

Though the case against Kaiser is compelling.... I'll call Attack Watch! now.