Tuesday, October 16, 2012
For me, it's simple. I look at the 5 things that strike me as the fundamental ways to judge a candidate.
In the 2008 election, most of the "5 things" were about what Dubya had brought to the stage, things I didn't think McCain could change:
Thus, 3 things I didn't believe in and 2 things I thought Obama brought to the table:
1. The war in Iraq. I was against it from the start Both candidates said they would follow
through in bringing the troops home, McCain a little more reluctant. The war in Iraq
was wrong, and ultimately, the biggest American shame of the decade.
2. Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.... propelled as "bringing us to new economic heights", these
tax cuts, which most people don't realize, were heavily weighed to the wealthy, reduced the
revenue of this country substantially, without maintaining jobs, and the deficit grew
3. Social security privatization. Bush wanted it. He backed off, and so did the party, as his
unpopularity grew. One voice that did not back off? Paul Ryan. He had a much starker
plan right through 2010. And, if the party had not told him to "get off it", he would have
continued. SS is a fairly easy fix... for years, the upper income limit grew, until it reached
$107,000, and there it stayed for 3 years. In 2012, it grew to $110,000. If you are the CEO
of Citibank, you pay less than $7.000 in SS tax, and if you make $110,000, you pay the same
amount. Changing that is pretty simplistic. There are other simple changes that will
elongate the fund to get past the baby boomer generation.
4. Torture. I believed Obama when he said he would call a halt. And he did. Nuff said.
5. The economic morass. It was such a mess at the end of 2007. I was so scared. We all were.
And though there has been no magic, I believed that Obama would do more and faster than
McCain. And he did. The stimulus worked. The auto bailout worked. I'm not sure when
\ McCain would have been able to make a dent.
And this year, the 5 are very different.
1. Taxation. Romney's plan is ridiculous. Both men seem poised to take on revision of the tax
code, but you can't start that by cutting taxes 20% across the board. And, if that happens,
watch the deficit, and the wholesale ax applied to domestic programs we need.
2. Defense. Romney is planning to spend big. Right now, Obama plans to spend $550 billion
without sequestration... sequestration dictates $500 billion. Romney wants to go to $750
billion. At the height of the Cold War, Reagan was at $600 billion. Why?
3. Reproductive rights. I don't agree with taxation and defense spending. But I'm afraid of the
changes in reproductive rights for women. This is my number 1 issue of the year. Do I want
my daughter and granddaughters to be able to get healthcare if they need Planned Parenthood
to do so? Yes. I believe in the right to choose for abortion. Perhaps the majority of the
public does not. But don't be fooled by Romney's position that he would allow it for rape,
incest, or health of the mother. That will last one day. Ryan's much stricter position... no
abortion at all, and little, if any, contraception, at all, will be the stage on which their doom
will be set if they are elected. They will go in that direction, as have most of the Republican
dominated states. And it will be their downfall. They are rolling back time, by 40 years,
for women. They might survive the backlash for a year or so... but it will not last. Women
will fight for these rights in the same way that civil rights for blacks was the battleground
of the 60's. And it will destroy any Romney presidency.
4. Immigration. I believe in the Dream Act. I believe in the tightening of borders that we have
accomplished in the past 4 years. Beyond that, I think either party will struggle with
Immigration reform, until we find a way to make it work, stumbling along as we usually do.
Romney and Ryan absolutely do not support the Dream Act. And they have no solution for
1.5 million Americans who are trapped.
5. Jobs. There is nothing wrong with direct jobs legislation. The Jobs Act of 2011 is a good
start and Republicans blocked it. All of Mitt's plans are to let the money he gives back to
the wealthy propel jobs. If the economy grows, that will happen, regardless of new tax cuts.
Specific jobs plans make sense. Had we passed the Jobs Act, and
created 1.5 million jobs, we would be ready for round 2 right now.