Still Happy That He Lost

I’m even happier that Romney lost the election than I was before because now it turns out that his understanding of the president’s role is completely wrong:

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Mr. Romney said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

All of these things would qualify as a “gift” if Obama had used his personal funds to purchase them for said groups of people. He didn’t, though. The money for these initiatives came out of the funds contributed by the taxpayers. All Obama did was manage the taxpayers’ money (which is actually a huge part of his job description) in a way that the majority of taxpayers approved. This approval was demonstrated at the voting polls on November 6.

When a manager of a mutual fund manages the customers’ money well and offers them a good return on the investment, you’d have to be very deluded to believe that this return is the manager’s gift to the fund’s customers.

It is sad and also quite scary that a presidential candidate, even one who did not have a chance of winning, sees taxpayers’ money as some sort of a private trust fund belonging to the president that the president can throw around in the form of gifts. We have already seen what this approach did to our economy when President Bush Jr. gave gifts to the tune of trillions of dollars to his Wall Street buddies.

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47 comments on “Still Happy That He Lost

  1. This is about Republicans casting about for a narrative to explain their loss of the presidential election and is basically that Obama bribed the voters. Another is massive Democrat voter fraud which is making the rounds of the Conservative blogosphere as we speak. The truth is a fundamental demographic shift towards former minorities which even a massive effort on the part of the party of angry, old white men can’t budge.

    • Oh yes. I’ve been very interested in the explanation they’d find for this loss because that explanation will define the future of their part. For now, what I’m seeing is that the prediction I made less than an hour after Obama was named as a winner holds. The Republicans have learned nothing and will proceed to adopt the same strategy in a more aggressive way for the next election.

  2. Romney’s argument is that the electorate has decided to vote itself “gifts” with other people’s money… you may (and obviously a lot of people do) think these things should be provided by the federal government, but I don’t understand how you think that this has anything to do with a private trust fund.. in a private trust fund (or other private investment vehicle) what you get back is based upon what you put in. The conservatives message (at least romney’s and others like him) in general is for people who put in less to vote themselves more and more of those who put in more (the wealthy taxpayers) is unfair and unstable in the long run. There are lots of good arguments about how society, the government, the country in general provided advantages to the wealthy which now should make them “pay their fair share” back to the country. I feel it is disingenuous to say the conservatives are wrong when they accurately describe liberals of wanting to “redistribute” the wealth. I agree with your analysis that conservatives need to see how they can appeal to the lower income voters who want/need/deserve/are depenedent upon govt. programs/handouts/funds (choose your word). However, I don’t like it when liberals don’t admit that they indeed want to redistribute wealth. Own it. Embrace it. Hell, you maybe even are right. But redistribution is indeed what Obama supports…. and that is fine.. but don’t make romney out as being evil for not believing in it.

    • What on Earth makes you believe that Romney doesn’t want to redistribute wealth??? He admitted directly and honestly that he is, indeed, planning to redistribute it right into his billionaire cronies’ pockets. His predecessor did the same thing. he took the money you and I paid in taxes and handed it over as a gift to wall st. billionnaires. If that isn;t redistribution of wealth, I don;t know what is.

      The majority of voters supported the manner in which Obama distributes taxes. We want healthcare and education. The Republicans want yachts and jet planes for Mr. Blankfein and Co. We won.

      “The conservatives message (at least romney’s and others like him) in general is for people who put in less to vote themselves more and more of those who put in more (the wealthy taxpayers) is unfair and unstable in the long run.”

      – So what is that hugely valuable thing that Blankfein contributed that is worth handing over trillions of my and your money to him and his ultra-rich buddies?

      ‘I agree with your analysis that conservatives need to see how they can appeal to the lower income voters who want/need/deserve/are depenedent upon govt. programs/handouts/funds (choose your word). ”

      – So you bought into Romney’s lies about the 47% of moochers in this country. You really need to hate the US to believe that half of its population is “dependent” on the government. You also need to be really duped by the billionaires who haven’t made a dime on their own in generations to believe that you are somehow a lesser being than they are. Jeez, this is just sad. These jerks are robbing you personally blind. Romney PROMISED to raise YOUR taxes to bail them out yet again. And you are still in thrall to this sore loser.

      • And what’s with this dumping on people who are ‘dependent on government programs”? Aren’t you dependent on such government programs as the police, the firefighters, the army? How is your dependence better or nobler than anybody else’s? What’s with the judgmentalism? This Romney guy you love so much has already robbed you and me when he spent decades evading taxes. In the meanwhile, you and I have been paying taxes honestly. The guy is a robber baron of the worst kind. Wake up already and see what is being done to you.

      • He explicitly said that taxes would not go down on the wealthy, but rather deductions limited and rates lowered. There is solid economic theory behind it. Now, perhaps tax rates could only go down 10% and keep that true.. but he did not promise to give money to the wealthy (claim he is a liar.. fine.. but he explicitly said he would NOT reduce the total amount of taxes they paid).

        It goes back to what you believe govt. is for.. and of course govt. should provide security (military, police, probably firefighters).. but it screws up in a lot of other areas.

        I think one thing that doesn’t come through enough here is i am actually a pretty open-minded conservative, and I just get bugged by the mischaracterization of conservatives (Romney in this case) who are not evil rich people but favor slightly more individual responsibility.

        Last point.. and i realize i will be down-voted by most here! My perspective is certainly tainted by the fact that I am basically Mitt Romney 40 years ago (minus rich father and mormonism). I work at one of the handful of consulting firms that are as prestegious as the one he worked at.. and one secret people don’t realize about business people is they would be THRILLED if the average person surprised the business owners with creativity, innovateness, and “out-side” the box thinking. Unfortunately a lot of people never realize how much they truly can/could accomplish. Now, i understand that by definition everyone can’t be above average, but when I see a party that in my definition always harps on the fact that you need government to make your life self-sufficient, that is an issue.

        In all honesty, I think the democratic party has a lot of decent ideas. However, the problem is they always seem to emphasize how people can’t do something, or need to be dependent, or need to “watch out” for those evil guys… not sure if this makes anymore sense.. but its just frustrating because people can achieve so much more than they often do and I do think European-type socialism robs people of individual accomplishment and self-actualization

        • “He explicitly said that taxes would not go down on the wealthy”

          – The guy flip=flopped so many times that it’s hard to keep track. However, in the penultimate presidential debate he said clearly that he will lower taxes and that he would start with the richest group. I heard it with my own ears, so let’s not start arguing about this.

          “There is solid economic theory behind it.”

          – What solid theory? Bush already did that same thing and it led us into a global recession.

          “but he did not promise to give money to the wealthy (claim he is a liar.. fine.. but he explicitly said he would NOT reduce the total amount of taxes they paid)”

          – It seems that you were not listening to the debates.

          “I think one thing that doesn’t come through enough here is i am actually a pretty open-minded conservative, and I just get bugged by the mischaracterization of conservatives (Romney in this case) who are not evil rich people but favor slightly more individual responsibility.”

          – Whose responsibility exactly? The guy made a fortune bilking you and me and offered to bilk you and me even further to give gifts to his buddies. Even his wife is a useless housewife. The guy couldn’t promote individual responsibility in his own family. Where is the evidence he knows what it is? A millionaire’s son who never made an earnest living or overcome any hardship in his life. A spoiled rich Momma’s boy who doesn’t even know what it is to work for a living. he lived on handouts all his life. First, handouts from his father and then handouts from the taxpayers. Show me one instance in the life of him or that stupid bimbo of his where either showed an ounce of individual responsibility.

          “However, the problem is they always seem to emphasize how people can’t do something, or need to be dependent”

          – Like Romney, you mean, who has been trotting out his completely dependent and useless wife, right? Yes, that lady is the icon of complete and utter uselessness and dependence.

          “My perspective is certainly tainted by the fact that I am basically Mitt Romney 40 years ago (minus rich father and mormonism).”

          – Minus the rich Poppa, there is no Mitt Romney. What makes you want to identify with spoiled rich boys and not with hard-working self-made people?

          ” see a party that in my definition always harps on the fact that you need government to make your life self-sufficient”

          – Yes, it’s so much better to harp on how you need a rich daddy or a rich sugar daddy to be self-sufficient.

      • Mitt Romney truly is a data guy, and is certainly someone who takes an analytical approach to situations. As consultants that is something we live by, and something that I think we need more of in government. It may shock you, but with most of my family I am usually the one telling them why “Obama Phones” and other handouts to the stereotypical person with 6 kids are a potential problem, but nearly irrelevant when it comes to the debt in comparison to how woefully we fund Medicare.

        The average couple pays $114,000 into it, but will get $335,000 out… (http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/12/114000_that_2011_retirees_paid.html – Its also for a family making $89,000.. so families making less get same benefits but pay even less).

        I realize my thoughts are somewhat disorganized today.. but the general issue is I truly believe, whether right or wrongly (maybe I am a dupe).., is that Romney and Paul Ryan would have elevated the conversations about health care, energy, education, taxes etc. to a level like this, both publicly and privately to streamline operations of the government. THAT is why I guess I look up to him in some regard.

        Now I will admit, he doesn’t understand what it is to come up from modest means so it is his fault that he doesn’t understand how to sell the message that I am communicating. I certainly didn’t come from the “hood” or rural appalachia, but pretty solid middle class roots so perhaps I will be able to see this message better in 30 years… :)

        Lastly, I don’t get the hatred (and tell me if that is the wrong term.. but it seems like that is how much you despise her) of Ann Romney. Sure, she grew up in a privellaged life… but she raised 5 boys, took interest in multiple groups that worked on preventing teen pregnancy and helping rehabilitating youth and better educating them, and also survived breast cancer and has lived with multiple sclerosis for the last 15 years. Mother Theresa? no? A utterly useless and dependent person I don’t think so.. The only criticism that I could see would rise to that level is if you call all stay-at-home moms utterly useless…idk.. not sure if thats what you mean.

        • “Sure, she grew up in a privellaged life… but she raised 5 boys, took interest in multiple groups that worked on preventing teen pregnancy and helping rehabilitating youth and better educating them, and also survived breast cancer and has lived with multiple sclerosis for the last 15 years.”

          – In terms of individual responsibility, individually responsible people do all that AND pay their own way.

          ‘The only criticism that I could see would rise to that level is if you call all stay-at-home moms utterly useless…idk.. not sure if thats what you mean.”

          – I call all housewives moochers and leeches.

          “A utterly useless and dependent person I don’t think so.”

          – If you haven’t worked a second in your life and can’t pay your own bills, I call that dependent. What do you call people who need somebody else to put food in their mouths>

      • “- What solid theory? Bush already did that same thing and it led us into a global recession.”

        Two things here though Clarissa:

        1) Bush’s tax cuts did not cause the economic recession. The recession was due to a perfect storm of variables that occurred (bad monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, lack of any regulations over the derivatives portion of the financial industry, a national housing bubble that popped, etc…).

        Also, President Bush had cut taxes for everyone. Every single tax bracket saw a reduction in its rates. That is why, if you notice, upon being elected, the Obama administration had to modify its stance from, “End the Bush tax cuts” to “End the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 and up.”

        2) Regarding the money Bush used to bail out the financial sector, if that had not been done, the entire economy might have sank into a depression worse then the actual Great Depression. I don’t think people so much mind the bailout itself as they want accountability along with it (i.e. regulate the part of the industry that, due to lack of regulation, caused the crisis so that it never happens again).

        “Trickle down economics is NOT solid economic theory — as history has taught us.”

        Musteryou, this is a common misconception (even among some conservatives!), but there is no such thing as “trickle-down” economic theory. Trickle-down is a strawman of the theory, implying that you cut taxes for the rich in the hopes that they will then spend more of their money, and the benefits thus will “trickle-down” through the broader economy. Now if the rich spend their money, there likely is some trickle-down effect, but no economist has ever support any kind of tax policy based on this.

        What often gets labeled as “trickle-down” is what is known as supply-side economic theory. Supply-side, as opposed to demand-side tax policy, which seeks to regulate demand in the economy, seeks to influence the supply of goods and services in the economy, by increasing investment, job creation, business growth, etc…all taxes are both supply-side and demand-side, but some lean more one way then another. Tax rates for the more affluent tend to be supply-side.

        Supply-side is very solid theory, BUT, it’s only really applicable if the taxes being cut are already restrictively high. If tax rates are restrictively high, then reducing them can create enough economic growth to offeset the loss. This is what happened under Ronald Reagan. We had a top marginal income tax rate of 70%, we had a capital gains tax rate of 50%, and so forth. So the wealthy just hid their money in things like tax-safe trusts and commodities. Under Reagan, the top rates was reduced all the way down to 28%, but, THOUSANDS of loopholes were closed up in the process, along with the economy recovering big-time, so the revenues were actually increased. Money began pouring into the stock and bond markets because of the lower tax rates, which provided capital for economic growth.

        The problem with right now is that taxes are NOT restrictively high. The top marginal rate is 35%. And the capital gains rate is 15%. And the thing to remember is these are MARGINAL rates, so a person earning say $300,000 a year doesn’t pay a 35% federal income tax rate, only a portion of their income is taxed at that amount. You need to be making up to around $400K, $500K, to millions, to really have most of your income subject to the 35% rate, and even then, there are various other deductions and so forth you can take advantage of to lower the amount you are paying.

        And this was the key problem with the Romney/Ryan tax plan. It wasn’t applicable for our current situation.

        • This is a very interesting, informative comment. I’m very opposed to excessively high taxes. I believe that absolutely nobody, regardless of their income, should ever have to pay more than 40% in taxes. That is the absolute maximum I can consider fair. People keep touting Sweden as an example of everything good, but, from what I understand, I’d be expected to pay 60% in taxes there. That is daylight robbery!!! Absolutely nothing can justify this. If you cannot run the state without requiring that people hand over a half of their earnings and more, move aside and let somebody try to handle things better.

      • The other thing to remember about Sweden is that they are a major oil exporter. About 20% of their GDP comes from oil exports. All that oil revenue makes it easier for them to finance a large social welfare state. But even then, they also have very high taxes nonetheless. Another thing they have is a very small, fairly homogenous population, which makes their country much easier to govern. A country like the United States, with hundreds of millions of people of all manner of races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, languages, etc…is much more complex.

      • Oh my mistake, it isn’t Sweden that’s the major oil exporter, it’s Norway; however Norway, like Sweden, is also often held up as an example of a country with a large welfare state and high levels of taxation. Both Norway and Sweden each have small populations though, Norway at five million and Sweden at 9.4 million.

  3. Isn’t all taxation redistribution of wealth? Why are you making this special point only for Obama? Were there 0% taxes during Bush’s time or Reagan’s time? OMG Bush believed in redistributing wealth too! He must be a socialist!!!

  4. “This Romney guy you love so much has already robbed you and me when he spent decades evading taxes. In the meanwhile, you and I have been paying taxes honestly.”

    http://www.alternet.org/story/152958/37_giant_corporations_paid_0_in_taxes_last_year_–_who_are_the_cheats

    Seriously, it must take a warped worldview to hate families living below the poverty line for being ‘moochers’ when billion dollar corporations pay zero taxes on their profits.

    • I know!!! Some folks are so obsessed with counting these miserable food stamps some families get while forgetting every egregious instance of OUR wealth being redistributed right into the pockets of yet another billionaire.

      And what’s most annoying, these billionaires don’t either spend or keep this money in the country. They ship it all out to the Cayman Islands and other offshore places. Giving them handouts does not benefit us in any way. Food stamps, Pell Grants, healthcare – all this, however, remains inside the country and benefits us all. I don;t begrudge my tax money that goes into food stamps because it benefits me to help these hard-working families who are down on their luck for whatever reason. And also because I’m not a heartless jerk, but that’s another question.

      Leaving emotions aside and speaking in terms of cold hard cash, I can see how Pell Grants and food stamps given to others benefit me. But I do not see how yet another trillion-dollar handout to a billionaire that will immediately be shipped to the Cayman Islands will benefit me.

      • I have absolutely no idea what kind of magical thinking you need to identify with a billionaire who’d never soil his eyes with looking at you instead of with your neighbor down the road who lost his job and is trying to make ends meet.

  5. As Andy Borowitz the comedian put it: “Romney claims Obama won because of his dastardly plot to make voters’ lives better.”

    • You aren’t American-born, so you don’t hear the dog-whistle clearly. “Food-stamps” is meant to evoke “black welfare moms with 8 kids”, never mind that the majority of welfare and food stamps goes to white poor people. The Republicans have perfected the art of the racial dog-whistle in order to attract the very large segment of whites who feel resentful toward blacks.

      Remember the Mormon/ Latter Day Saints Church only allowed black men to hold the priesthood (every adult man in good standing is considered the priest of his household) in 1978. Romney came of age before then, and likely thinks of blacks as “them”, not as peers and potential neighbors.

  6. There is some truth to what Romney was saying but for the most part, you’re right Clarissa. I don’t think Obama is that different in terms of the amount of cronyism present in his administration or the TARP bailouts (I’m highly against giving billions of dollars to corrupt companies that knowingly made poor business decisions and don’t believe they should have gotten a free pass). Pretty obvious Mitt wasn’t gonna win the election because he’s a boring, irrelevant milquetoast and Obama still had the upper hand in terms of mass appeal. That’s what I was saying and thinking for many months now even though I reluctantly voted for him purely on economic matters.

    My family is on food stamps and it’s honestly not a fun experience at all. I absolutely hate it because I would have rather earned the money myself instead and not have to wait for some specific day so those benefits would come in. That’s my perspective anyway on this.

    At least I’m not this man. Lee Doren means well and makes good videos, but he’s completely out of his mind here. He doesn’t even represent the true libertarian base if he’s saying all this stuff. Most of the libertarians I’ve heard believe that it wouldn’t have mattered in the long run if Romney had won anyway and Peter Schiff would be a great example of one who adheres to the Austrian school of economics. He’s good at explaining complex economic ideas in common sense terms.

    • I’m actually happy morons like Todd Akin were voted out of office and that recreational marijuana use has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state. People like him are only destroying the Republican Party reputation even more with their bullshit. The best way one can really make a difference is take active in those local state elections and not rely so much on the president and Congress to get anything like this done. It sounds like a waste of time spending taxpayer dollars to deal with a drug that I have never heard of anyone dying from.

    • “At least I’m not this man. Lee Doren means well and makes good videos, but he’s completely out of his mind here. He doesn’t even represent the true libertarian base if he’s saying all this stuff.”

      – Yes, you are definitely not this man. He suffers from what I call “verbal diarrhea.” :-) A lot of words but no actual message.

      I’m very open to good, reasonable Conservative discourse. But it’s hard to find it. Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are definitely not it. I’m hoping that they will start shutting up at least a bit and let the intelligent conservatives voices seep through.

      • Your best bet to finding real reasonable conservative talk is reading all these independent blogs that aren’t owned by some company like Clear Channel (which Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners took private in a leveraged buyout in 08) or News Corp. People like Rupert Murdoch largely control “conservative” media, so of course you’re not gonna really hear anything of actual substance or depth from say FOX News. There is really a government media complex that goes on with much of the MSM when you have people like Mark Levin (one of the cabinet members in Ronald Reagan’s administration) and Chris Matthews (worked as a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter’s administration among other positions though he voted for George W. Bush in 2000) who have worked directly in government dominating the airwaves.

    • That would be a waste of money. Every smoker I know knows smoking is bad for their health and why. The surgeon general’s warning has been on cigarette packets for decades, you can’t advertise smokes on tv, etc. I don’t want my taxes going to pay for useless lectures that teach no one anything they don’t know already.

  7. Solid economic theory?

    Ah.

    The reason to cut taxes in 2012 is because the economy is bad. But twelve years ago, during Clinton’s time, the economy was good and this country was projected to run a surplus, and back then it was also critically important that we cut taxes. How come your solid economic theory produces only one output (CUT TAXES) no matter what you input in it (war/peace, surplus/deficit, low unemployment/high unemployment)? Would you say this is a characteristic of a robust economic theory? Or is it more likely that there is no economic theory behind it, just corporate interests who control the GOP that would rather have lower taxes, everything else be damned?

    “European-type socialism..”

    Dude, are you trying to audition for a talk radio show or something? You’d find the market quite saturated with this sort of invective.

    • Just so that everyone understands… when I said solid economic theory i was replying to lower rates with a broader tax base. I was not talking about overall lower taxes. The less complicated a tax system we have the less disincentive there is to make less many (because marginal tax rates are lower), the less incentive there is to make economically inefficient choices (such as capex spending on machinery) to get extra deductions, and the less money you hve to spend on professional accountants to sort out the complicated tax code/laws.

      To disagree with my statement about lower tax rates, with fewer deductions, you have to beleive that a more complicated tax code provides economic benefit..I assure you even Paul Krugman would not go that far :)

      And no… not additioning for a talk show.. just trying to articulately defend the conservative cause (something I hope this explanation on taxes just did!)

    • This goes both ways. Republicans have forgotten that there are limits to when you can cut taxes, and thus during times of recession, decide, “Let’s cut taxes to stimulate the economy,” and during times of economic prosperity, think, “Let’s cut taxes to make the economy more prosperous because we have plenty of revenue.”

      With Democrats, it’s the opposite oftentimes. During times of economic recession, they reason, “Let’s spend money to stimulate the economy,” and during times of economic prosperity, they reason, “Let’s spend money to help people more because we have plenty of money in the treasury right now.”

  8. Yes. The secret to being a happy Republican is having rich parents so you don’t have to be a social parasite like the rest of us.

  9. “Mitt Romney truly is a data guy, and is certainly someone who takes an analytical approach to situations.”

    No, he doesn’t. Explain then, why a guy with decades of BUSINESS EXPERIENCE ran a shoddy, disorganized campaign, with thousands of republican volunteers running around doing *nothing* on election day, because their GOTV apps or whatever they had installed on their smartphones failed spectacularly on that day (among many thousands of instances of mismanagement). Would you call this good management? Good business acumen? On the other hand a former COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, the likes of which you ‘business’ people love to scoff at, used the best technology, hired the most competent people, and ran a campaign which shall be the gold standard for all election campaigns for the foreseeable future, efficiency wise.

    I wouldn’t trust Romney to run a McDonalds. His only strategy would be to fire everybody, dismantle the restaurant, and hope to dupe some sucker into buying it. I mean, that’s ALL he has done his entire life.

    http://blogmaverick.com/2012/11/07/the-irony-of-the-presidential-election/

    “In this election it appears that President Obama was able to gain re-election by putting together a national organization that only raised the same amount of funds as the Republican candidate, but was able to better use that funding to put together a ground game “business plan” that was not only better than the Republicans, but had better messaging, voter connection and was better planned, implemented, distributed and executed on than their “far better business people” Republicans.”

    • Without his father’s money, Romney would just be one of dirt-poor Mormons with a crowd of ragged kids living on welfare. And unlike his own party, I would not begrudge a few foodstamps to him. We can’t let the congenitally useless die under the bridge.

      It shocks me that a guy who was born with a platinum diamond-encrusted coffee set in his mouth would have the gall to lecture anybody on individual responsibility. What is even more ridiculous is how many people buy into his lies.

    • “I wouldn’t trust Romney to run a McDonalds. His only strategy would be to fire everybody, dismantle the restaurant, and hope to dupe some sucker into buying it.”

      – And then find a way to avoid paying taxes on the profit.

      I remember how much we heard about Bush Jr.’s great business acumen. Then he showed us what it amounted to by running the country into a huge financial hole. Note that he was also a rich man’s spoiled whiny kid.

    • I agree that Obama’s campaign was an extremely efficient economic enterprise. I never heard about the Republican smartphone debacle that you mention but the story sounds very believable given everything else we can see.

      Another instance of Romney’s poor leadership skills is that he could not rein in the crazies in his own party and had to spend half of the campaign repudiating Aikin and Co. That’s some party leader. He can’t even prevent his own party members from blabbing stupidly and jeopardizing his chances.

      • http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/11/inside-team-romneys-whale-of-an-it-meltdown/

        “As the day wore on and information still failed to flow in from the field, the Romney campaign was flying blind. Instead of using Orca’s vaunted analytics to steer their course, Centinello and the rest of Romney’s team had no solid data on how to target late voters, other than what they heard from the media. Meanwhile, volunteers like Ekdahl could do nothing but vote themselves and go home.”

        “As a result, Orca’s launch on Election Day was essentially a beta test of the software—not something most IT organizations would do in such a high-stakes environment.”

        “There was a great deal of confusion among some volunteers in the days leading up to the election as they searched Android and Apple app stores for the Orca application, not knowing it was a Web app.”

        “After discovering the PDFs in his e-mail inbox at 10:00 PM on Election Eve, Ekdahl said that “I sat down and cursed, as I would have to print 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. They expected 75 to 80-year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day?”

        “And for many of those who managed to get to their polling places and who called up the website on their phones, there was another, insurmountable hurdle—their passwords didn’t work and attempts to reset passwords through the site also failed.”

        This, ladies and gentleman, is what decades of Business Experience &#0153 gets you. That black community organizer, what does he know?!

  10. “The money for these initiatives came out of the funds contributed by the taxpayers. All Obama did was manage the taxpayers’ money (which is actually a huge part of his job description) in a way that the majority of taxpayers approved. This approval was demonstrated at the voting polls on November 6.

    When a manager of a mutual fund manages the customers’ money well and offers them a good return on the investment, you’d have to be very deluded to believe that this return is the manager’s gift to the fund’s customers.”

    The problem though is that a lot of these “freebies,” if you will, do not necessarilly come out of the majority of the taxpayers money, or at least that’s not how many of the taxpayers perceive it. They come from the taxes from the rich, or the taxpayers are told they will come from taxes on the rich. The average-earning 90% of society who decide to use their tax money to finance things like universal healthcare, education, etc…that’s fine. But the 90% voting to tax the highest-earning 10% to take their money and redistribute it for themselves, that is stealing.

    Note how Obama swore up and down that Obamacare’s healthcare mandate was not a tax. Even after the Supreme Court ruled it was a tax, and even though it is designed as a tax within the legislation, enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, they still claim it is not a tax.

    Why is this?

    Because while the 90% want “free” healthcare, they don’t want to be the ones to have to actually pay for it. In their minds, they only want the wealthy to pay for it. However, the reality is that, in order to finance something like that, the 90% are the ones who will have to pay for it, and that is why it is they who are taxed in order to pay for Obamacare. I am sure if Obama could have just taxed the wealthy in order to pay for Obamacare, he’d have done that, but there is simply not enough money to do it that way. However, he will not admit that.

    Look at the major government programs, who pays for them? The 90%. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? All from the payroll tax, primarily paid by the 90% (employers pay part of it, but really that is likely passed onto the employee, so they pay the whole thing). Obamacare? A tax on the 90%. More social programs? If a VAT or GST has to be introduced (as in most other countries–see below), again, it’ll be on the 90%.

    There are five major reasons I’ve seen that conservatives are against such “freebies:”

    1) Historically, government programs tend to balloon out-of-control in costs.

    2) They require high taxes on the middle-class (in most other countries, they have a VAT (“Value-Added” Tax) or GST (Goods-and-Services Tax). These taxes are regressive and primarily hit the poor and middle-class. America has no VAT or GST right now

    3) They usually require a gutting of the defense budget. Most nations around the world have been able to get away with little defense spending because it is the United States that underwrites their trade and security. It’s the U.S. that protected Western Europe from the Soviet Union, it’s the U.S. that protects South Korea from North Korea, the U.S. that protects Taiwan from China right now, the U.S. that prevents Iran from closing the Strait of Hormuz where 60% of the global oil supply passes through every day, the U.S. that keeps the sea lanes open for global trade, and so forth.

    4) It can change the structural fabric of society over time, where people do not necessarilly grow up, but instead become adult versions of adolescents, because the government becomes so much like a parent. We see this for example with riots occurring in Greece and Spain over the government having to engage in cut-backs.

    Now this doesn’t occur in all such nations, for example Germany has by American standards a large social welfare state, but they produce lots of stuff and have the strongest economy in Europe. And Austria also has a combination of a sizeable welfare state, but also a culture with a strong work ethic from what I understand.

    5) Many conservatives believe that universal healthcare = socialist healthcare. It’s not true, and a mistake many Democrats make as well. I see Democrats say, “In Europe, they have socialized medicine and it works great,” and then Republicans say, “In Europe they have socialized medicine and it’s terrible.” But both are wrong, as the truth is countries like Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, etc…have universal healthcare systems, but they are not government-run “socialist” healthcare systems.

    Conservatives viscerally oppose Obamacare because healthcare is one-sixth of the U.S. economy and conservatives see Obamacare as a quasi-nationalization of healthcare, and hence of one-sixth of the economy as a result. Not saying that’s correct, but that’s how it is perceived.

    “We have already seen what this approach did to our economy when President Bush Jr. gave gifts to the tune of trillions of dollars to his Wall Street buddies.”

    Well that act saved the economy from tanking completely. It was a necessary evil I’d say.

    • “The problem though is that a lot of these “freebies,” if you will, do not necessarilly come out of the majority of the taxpayers money, or at least that’s not how many of the taxpayers perceive it. They come from the taxes from the rich, or the taxpayers are told they will come from taxes on the rich. The average-earning 90% of society who decide to use their tax money to finance things like universal healthcare, education, etc…that’s fine. But the 90% voting to tax the highest-earning 10% to take their money and redistribute it for themselves, that is stealing.”

      – Kyle, you just left such a good comment, and now you had to go off the good track once again. :-) The only thing that Obama promised in this respect that he will let the Bush tax cuts expire. This is not extra taxes on the billionaires. This is making the billionaires pay at least not less than what I pay. I think that is fair.

      “They usually require a gutting of the defense budget. Most nations around the world have been able to get away with little defense spending because it is the United States that underwrites their trade and security. It’s the U.S. that protected Western Europe from the Soviet Union, it’s the U.S. that protects South Korea from North Korea, the U.S. that protects Taiwan from China right now, the U.S. that prevents Iran from closing the Strait of Hormuz where 60% of the global oil supply passes through every day, the U.S. that keeps the sea lanes open for global trade, and so forth.”

      – I’m totally in favor of gutting that stupid, overblown, completely corrupt defense budget. And I have to ask you once again, to do me the courtesy of not mentioning the USSR in any context. Whenever you do, you say very ignorant things. Like in this part that I quoted. Man, just get a single history textbook already, please.

      “It can change the structural fabric of society over time, where people do not necessarilly grow up, but instead become adult versions of adolescents, because the government becomes so much like a parent. We see this for example with riots occurring in Greece and Spain over the government having to engage in cut-backs.”

      – I also have to kindly ask you to stop mentioning Spain. Your understanding of what is going on in that country is egregiously childish. It is curious how you berate immature people and in the same breath show extremes of intellectual immaturity. You know very well that I’m a Hispanist specializing precisely in contemporary Spain. Yet you think it is acceptable to make these ridiculous pronouncements that have nothing to do with reality (and that are also extremely offensive) in my presence. Once again, I have to tell you that you need to control your tendency to antagonize people by making ill-considered careless comments. This is a very well-meaning suggestion on my part.

      ““We have already seen what this approach did to our economy when President Bush Jr. gave gifts to the tune of trillions of dollars to his Wall Street buddies.” Well that act saved the economy from tanking completely. It was a necessary evil I’d say.”

      – We wouldn’t have needed “saving” if the vile loser hadn’t driven us into this mess.

      • “Kyle, you just left such a good comment, and now you had to go off the good track once again. The only thing that Obama promised in this respect that he will let the Bush tax cuts expire. This is not extra taxes on the billionaires. This is making the billionaires pay at least not less than what I pay. I think that is fair.”

        I don’t have a problem with letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the rich. I was just pointing out that many of the “99%” if you will are misled into thinking that the 1% can be made to pay for these goernment programs, which isn’t necessarilly the case.

        If the defense budget was gutted, global security would collapse in many ways. Remember, the defense budget is at a historical low-point, both as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of the federal budget. However, you are right that it is corrupt and overblown nonetheless. Now you sound like a conservative! :D These same problems of corruption and bloating can occur in all government programs, even in the necessary ones, which is hence why conservatives are for more limited government.

        Not sure what I said about the USSR except that the U.S. served as a check on them for Western Europe, which is what I have read in history books, unless they are wrong (???). Regarding Spain, well I actually forgot that Spain is your specialty, but also I did not know that you specialize in contemporary Spain. I can only go by what I read in the news, but from what I have read there have been riots occurring there over the austerity measures.

        “We wouldn’t have needed “saving” if the vile loser hadn’t driven us into this mess.”

        Well ironically, Bush is probably one of the people who it could be said had virtually nothing to do with the crisis. There isn’t any policy that President Bush pushed for or piece of legislation that he signed that

      • Whoops, forgot to finish the last part of that post, I meant to say that there isn’t any policy that President Bush pushed for or piece of legislation that he signed that caused the recession. He actually increased regulation over the financial sector when he signed the restrictive Sarbannes-Oxley legislation.

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