Obama re-elected

President Barack Obama rolled to re-election Tuesday night, vanquishing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and winning four more years in office despite a weak economy that plagued his first term and put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions. "This happened because of you. Thank you" Obama tweeted to supporters as he celebrated four more years in the White House.
Tribune Staff
Nov 7, 2012

Romney telephoned the president, then spoke to disappointed supporters in Boston. In a graceful concession, he summoned all Americans to pray for the president and urged the night's winners to put partisan bickering aside and "reach across the aisle" to tackle the nation's problems.

After the costliest — and arguably the nastiest — campaign in history, divided government seemed alive and well.

Democrats retained control of the Senate with surprising ease. Republicans were on course for the same in the House, making it likely that Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Obama's partner in unsuccessful deficit talks, would reclaim his seat at the bargaining table.

At Obama headquarters in Chicago, a huge crowd gathered waving small American flags and cheering. Supporters hugged each other, danced and pumped their fists in the air. Excited crowds also gathered in New York's Times Square, at Faneuil Hall in Boston and near the White House in Washington, drivers joyfully honking as they passed by.

With votes counted in 75 percent of the nation's precincts, Obama held a narrow advantage in the popular vote, leading by about 25,000 out of more than 99 million cast.

But the president's laserlike focus on the battleground states allowed him to run up a 303-203 margin in the competition for electoral votes, where the White House is won or lost. It took 270 to win.

Obama captured Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Nevada, seven of the nine states where the rivals and their allies poured nearly $1 billion into dueling television commercials.

Romney was in Massachusetts, his long and grueling bid for the presidency at an unsuccessful end.

He won North Carolina among the battleground states.

Florida remained too close to call, a state where there were long lines of voters kept the polls open in some areas well past the appointed poll close time..

The election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government — whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The economy was rated the top issue by about 60 percent of voters surveyed as they left their polling places. But more said former President George W. Bush bore responsibility for current circumstances than Obama did after nearly four years in office.

That bode well for the president, who had worked to turn the election into a choice between his proposals and Romney's, rather than the simple referendum on the economy during his time in the White House.

Unemployment stood at 7.9 percent on election day, higher than when he took office. And despite signs of progress, the economy is still struggling after the worst recession in history.

There was no doubt about what drove voters to one candidate or the other.

About 4 in 10 said the economy is on the mend, but more than that said it was stagnant or getting worse more than four years after the near-collapse of 2008. The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and a group of television networks.

In the battle for the Senate, Democrats won seats currently held by Republicans in Indiana and Massachusetts.

In Maine, independent former Gov. Angus King was elected to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. He has not yet said which party he will side with, but Republicans attacked him in television advertising during the race, and Democrats rushed to his cause.

Polls were still open in much of the country as the two rivals began claiming the spoils of a brawl of an election in a year in which the struggling economy put a crimp in the middle class dreams of millions.

The president was in Chicago as he awaited the voters' verdict on his four years in office. He told reporters he had a concession speech as well as victory remarks prepared. He congratulated Romney on a spirited campaign. "I know his supporters are just as engaged, just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today" as Obama's own, he added.

Romney reciprocated, congratulating the man who he had campaigned against for more than a year.

Earlier, he raced to Ohio and Pennsylvania for Election Day campaigning and projected confidence as he flew home to Massachusetts. "We fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful," he said, adding that he had finished writing a speech anticipating victory but nothing if the election went to his rival.

But the mood soured among the Republican high command as the votes came in and Obama ground out a lead in critical states.

Like Obama, Vice President Joe Biden was in Chicago as he waited to find out if he was in line for a second term. Republican running mate Paul Ryan was with Romney in Boston, although he kept one eye on his re-election campaign for a House seat in Wisconsin, just in case.

The long campaign's cost soared into the billions, much of it spent on negative ads, some harshly so.

In the presidential race, an estimated one million commercials aired in nine battleground states where the rival camps agreed the election was most likely to be settled — Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

In a months-long general election ad war that cost nearly $1 billion, Romney and Republican groups spent more than $550 million and Obama and his allies $381 million, according to organizations that track advertising.

In Virginia, the polls had been closed for several minutes when Obama's campaign texted a call for volunteers "to make sure everyone who's still in line gets to vote."

In Florida, there were long lines at the hour set for polls to close. Under state law, everyone waiting was entitled to cast a ballot.

According to the exit poll, 53 percent of voters said Obama is more in touch with people like them, compared to 43 percent for Romney.

About 60 percent said taxes should be increased, taking sides on an issue that divided the president and Romney. Obama wants to let taxes rise on upper incomes, while Romney does not.

Other than the battlegrounds, big states were virtually ignored in the final months of the campaign. Romney wrote off New York, Illinois and California, while Obama made no attempt to carry Texas, much of the South or the Rocky Mountain region other than Colorado.

There were 33 Senate seats on the ballot, 23 of them defended by Democrats and the rest by Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, won a Connecticut seat long held by Sen. Joe Lieberman, retiring after a career that included a vice presidential spot on Al Gore's ticket in 2000. It was Republican Linda McMahon's second defeat in two tries, at a personal cost of $92 million.

The GOP needed a gain of three for a majority if Romney won, and four if Obama was re-elected. Neither Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada nor GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was on the ballot, but each had high stakes in the outcome.

All 435 House seats were on the ballot, including five where one lawmaker ran against another as a result of once-a-decade redistricting to take population shifts into account. Democrats needed to pick up 25 seats to gain the majority they lost two years ago.

Depending on the outcome of a few races, it was possible that white men would wind up in a minority in the Democratic caucus for the first time.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, raised millions to finance get-out-the-vote operations in states without a robust presidential campaign, New York, Illinois and California among them. His goal was to minimize any losses, or possibly even gain ground, no matter Romney's fate. House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California campaigned aggressively, as well, and faced an uncertain political future if her party failed to win control.

In gubernatorial races, Republicans picked up North Carolina, where Pat McCrory won easily. The incumbent, Democratic Gov. Bev Purdue, did not seek re-election.

In a campaign that traversed contested Republican primaries last winter and spring, a pair of political conventions this summer and three presidential debates, Obama, Romney, Biden and Ryan spoke at hundreds of rallies, were serenaded by Bruce Springstein and Meat Loaf and washed down hamburgers, pizza, barbecue and burrito bowls.

Obama was elected the first black president in 2008, and four years later, Romney became the first Mormon to appear on a general election ballot. Yet one man's race and the other's religion were never major factors in this year's campaign for the White House, a race dominated from the outset by the economy.

Over and over, Obama said that during his term the nation has begun to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. While he conceded progress has been slow, he accused Romney of offering recycled Republican policies that have helped the wealthy and harmed the middle class in the past and would do so again.

Romney countered that a second Obama term could mean a repeat recession in a country where economic growth has been weak and unemployment is worse now than when the president was inaugurated. A wealthy former businessman, he claimed the knowledge and the skills to put in place policies that would make the economy healthy again.

In a race where the two men disagreed often, one of the principal fault lines was over taxes. Obama campaigned for the renewal of income tax cuts set to expire on Dec. 31 at all income levels except above $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Romney said no one's taxes should go up in uncertain economic times. In addition, he proposed a 20 percent cut across the board in income tax rates but said he would end or curtail a variety of tax breaks to make sure federal deficits didn't rise.

The differences over taxes, the economy, Medicare, abortion and more were expressed in intensely negative advertising.

Obama launched first, shortly after Romney dispatched his Republican foes in his quest for the party nomination.

One memorable commercial showed Romney singing an off-key rendition of "America The Beautiful." Pictures and signs scrolled by saying that his companies had shipped jobs to Mexico and China, that Massachusetts state jobs had gone to India while he was governor and that he has personal investments in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Romney spent less on advertising than Obama. A collection of outside groups made up the difference, some of them operating under rules that allowed donors to remain anonymous. Most of the ads were of the attack variety. But the Republican National Committee relied on one that had a far softer touch, and seemed aimed at voters who had been drawn to the excitement caused by Obama's first campaign. It referred to a growing national debt and unemployment, then said, "He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change."

More than 30 million voters cast early ballots in nearly three dozen states, a reflection of the growing appeal of getting a jump on the traditional Election Day.

 

Comments

Wingmaster

One wonders what it would be like with a Mrs. Kravits in the neighborhood. LOL

Lanivan

Wing - Don't take this the wrong way, but you remind me of an unnamed relative who is charming and devilishly devious but also a royal pain in the a double s.

Wingmaster

I'll take it as compliment and wish your relative good luck thru all the holiday gatherings with you this holiday season.

Lanivan

I'm wondering what you all think about the independent, highly respected Congressional Research Service, that issued an economic report around a month ago that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of Republic talking points, which they withdrew under pressure by Mitch McConnell and other Repubs because of displeasure with "wording and content". Horst, our economic adviser? Others?

Lanivan

I'm wondering what you all think about the independent, highly respected Congressional Research Service, that issued an economic report around a month ago that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of Republic talking points, which they withdrew under pressure by Mitch McConnell and other Repubs because of displeasure with "wording and content". Horst, our economic adviser? Others?

horst

Hey Lanivan, I think the CRS’s report is ”theory” (or hog wash) just like Keynesian economics has proven to be. Unfortunately, I was educated “ONLY” in Keynesian demand-stimulus economics and as a college lemming was lead over a cliff believing it while clutching to my Keynesian manifesto. Fortunately, by closing my text books, entering the business world and opening my mind I was exposed to different and polar opposite theories. With Reagan’s supply-side economic policies and reduced tax rates (which worked excellent before the depression and special interests buying the vote), the Laffer curve predicts tax rate cuts will more than pay for themselves. Laffer’s model shows that “excessive” tax rates actually reduce potential tax revenues by lowering the incentive to produce. The model also shows that insufficient tax rates lead directly to a reduction in tax revenues.
In short, lower taxes on business owners (i.e. high income earners) produce more tax revenue (Reagan & Clinton proved the theory) but if the rate is too low, lower tax revenues (Bush proved that theory). So, we need to find a good balance.
To answer your question Lanivan, the CRS report is theory or PREDICTIONS (as all listed above) created by accountants and economists doing their job and needing to create some product (their findings) to justify their existence. And since Reagan’s tax cuts on high tax rates proved the CRS wrong 30 years ago, I really think their report is hogwash.
I say, let’s put it to the test. Let’s raise taxes on the rich. I would love to be proven wrong by the increase in govt. revenues however, the increased revenues “MOST” go to reduce the debt and not be pissed away on more Demo/Repub programs or giveaways.
I’m a flat tax proponent. 17% for everyone on everything, except for people below the poverty level. Everyone should have the same amount of skin in the game.
Hey Lanivan, since we’re trying to stimulate further discussion I wonder if the groups that were vilifying Romney for his 15% tax rate on his capital gains and dividend income will be happy to pay the extra income taxes from their retirement accounts and investments when it’s their pocket books that are getting hit?
They will be subject to the same tax rates. I’ll bet when it’s their money, then it won’t be fair.

Wingmaster

O oh, more facts keep seeping into the conversation....hope it doesn't kill the conversation as it was getting very interesting.

Lanivan

Although there is some merit to your little snippets of your argument, I'm afraid 30 years of supply-side economics has proven it to be something of a sticky wicket. I do agree some kind of tax reform should be on the agenda moving forward. My understanding is the CRS report(s) are not based on theory, such as reports from the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute, but on historical data.

horst

Snippets of “MY” argument??? NOT MINE. Laffer’s proven economic theory. You cannot face academic truths if it runs counter to your thoughts. I kept it short per the Tribunes requirements and simplistic so I wouldn’t be speaking over anyone’s head. You asked a question which was answered with academic research theory which is what the CRS reports are. If CRS was fact and not theory we would only have to follow their lead and there would “NEVER “be an economic crisis. If you chose to believe otherwise, that your prerogative. The US economy operated predominately on supply side economics until the depression when it became unbalance and imploded, similar to events leading up to 2008. Why are you bringing those one-sided hacks from the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute into this discussion??? To get off topic or to try and make some type of negative correlation to my previous post and their propaganda!!!
…closing the mouth and opening the mind to different views will broaden one’s views on thing they’re not educated in.

Vladtheimp

Although both the CRS and the GAO are billed as non-partisan, both agencies have finely tuned political instincts that cause them to cater to whichever party happens to be in charge (I know - I dealt with both of them personally, though more with GAO). Both employ many fine people with various expertise, but they also have political zealots who came from one or more administrations. Given the sensitivity of the report, my guess is that the criticisms of bias provided by republicans and outside groups were clear and convincing to have the agency head pull the report. A scholarly economic analysis, for example, would hardly use terms like "Bush tax cuts" and "tax cuts for the rich." It probably didn't help that the author had worked for the Clinton Administration and AARP. It probably helped less that he didn't disclose that he had made significant political donations to Al Gore, Obama, and the Democratic National Committee.

horst

OUCH VALD!!!!!...nice impalement...I wish your post would have hit before I gave Lanivan the Tax Theory Econ 101 lesson

Lanivan

Total BS (with all due respect). This was one of several reports that all shared the same conclusion. Besides not finding any correlation between tax cuts and economic growth, they did find a correlation between the tax cuts (Bush or otherwise) and growing wealth inequality. Heaven forbid!! The CRS employs 600, and among them are those who are Democrats!!! "Sensitivity", clear, convincing? Yeah, we don't want to hurt Mich McConnell's feelings, now, don't we?

Vladtheimp

What part(s) of my post were "total BS" dear (with all due respect)? Your comment failed to identify any particular statement I made that was bovine excrement. Bye the bye, the issue that is currently the argument du jour is how to reduce the deficit - by cutting spending, raising revenue, or a combination of both (young Lord Obama says he wants a balanced approach, but in an act of economic profiling only wants those making more than $250,000 to pay more, as paying their "fair share" while determining that 50% of the population have to pay nothing as their "fair share") but I digress. History has proven that lower tax rates produce more revenue - significantly! Let's take liberal icon John F. Kennedy, Jr, who cut marginal rates from a top rate of 91% to 70% As a result, the economy grew by 42%, an average of 5 percent a year from 1961 to 1965. Tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury increased by 62%. The same result was obtained under Coolidge and Reagan. If we are serious about eliminating the deficit (which we must be - even you will agree) we need to reduce spending, especially on entitlement programs, and increase revenue, which should include everyone paying something for the services they obtain. Reducing marginal rates while expanding the tax base will increase revenues, unless the real game here is to punish the "rich," What Obama is doing is going to hurt those in our society who can least afford it. Maybe the rich will end up paying more, but given his environmental and business policies, the hidden taxation of inflation, which is not progressive, will eat the poor alive - look at the prices of food and gas these days. Sure, someone (probably you) will quote government statistics showing little inflation, a less than 8% unemployment rate, etc. Anyone who has to drive, pay electric bills, and buy food at Meijers or D&W knows that such statistics are the real BS., and it will extend for generations unless we take off the blinders and deal with the problem now. But, of course, to young Lord Obama it is more important to make a political point. Without further ado I present to you JFK, unvarnished, in his own words. http://youtu.be/aEdXrfIMdiU

Lanivan

Vlad - my apologies for the annoyance-driven BS comment! Yes - President Obama advocates for a balanced approach. My understanding is that his line of demarcation of $250,000 is based on the fact that there has been a meteoric rise in wealth inequality in the last 30 years, with obscene growth in 1-2% of the population. The middle class has grown much slower or stagnated (in recent years). Your comment that 50% of the population have to pay "nothing" as their fair share (i.e., no tax increase) is telling. The middle class pays a higher tax rate than does the Romneys of the world, with their multitude of tax loopholes, hedges, and havens, or the GE's who pay no taxes and outsource and invest offshore with vigor ( it's global now, so don't really expect a great reduction here). JFK's reducing the top rates from 91% to 70% grew the economy, yes! But we are talking 70% here! Honestly, when the top tax rates are 34% currently, with a suggested return to the 39% before the Bush temporary tax cuts, this is like comparing apples with oranges, no? Hey - what would you think about a Temporary Tax Increase that would go into effect for 10 years and then expire? If Bush put tax cuts into effect after 3 years of surplus ( and I assume you agreed with this?), why not put tax increases into effect after 3 years of deficit? If business owners decide to invest excess revenue in their employees and infrastructure instead of hoarding or offshore investment to avoid paying taxes on it at the higher rates, maybe those poor unfairly affected by inflationary forces would earn more to offset it, plus get off the food stamps I know how entertaining it is to call Obama the food stamp president, sorry!

horst

Lanivan your absolutely right on this…. butttttt like a good soldier in the Democrat or Republican party, you only tell half of the story or a half-truth to make a point (you'd be great working for FOX or MSNBC) The reports are flawed because only half of the metric is in the equation so “ALL” the reports should share the same conclusion. In order for there to be a correlation to tax cuts and economic growth the wealthy must continue to infuse tax cuts into their companies thus stimulating economic growth. Those reports need to be footnoted showing the different metrics i.e. less money being reinvested. If the wealthy decide to keep their tax cuts the whole train derails and you get reports showing no correlation between tax cuts and economic growth, even I would agree with that. The wealthy must reinvest the tax cuts to stimulate economic growth. But hey, it’s their money.
Were you and the people doing these reports living in a cave from 1980 to 2000??? It’s text book Laffer. When the wealthy take “THEIR” profits , and/or the tax cut money out of the equation they show greater wealth because they hold it and take it away from risk. And they don’t stimulate the economy. Let me simplify. You own Ray’s Drive Inn. You make $100 a month. After operating expenses you have $30 left. You want to pay yourself $10 so that gives you $20 to reinvest into your business or start another one. Thus you can stimulate the economy $20 more. If you decide that your business is good and you want to keep more of your money you take that money out of GDP and it increases your wealth. Good for you, bad for the country. However if Bush comes along and says you can keep an extra $3 from your operating expenses, you have the choice of growing the economy by reinvesting that money in more fryers to make those delicious fries or keep the money, making yourself more wealthy while people working for you make the same, creating greater wealth inequity. So the reports should show the tax cuts didn’t work because you kept the $3.
Bush tax cuts didn’t stimulate growth because the wealthy didn’t buy in after taking a bath when the .com bubble burst. They kept the money, those capitalist “PIG”
IT’S REALLY THAT SIMPLE. I’d show you this on a bell curve but I can’t find my crayons and I’m grounded from using ink.
OK, now you can attack me with a factless point

Wingmaster

Good stuff Horst....when you "bite the hand that feeds you" this is what happens. "Rich" people are that way for a reason as they are smart with their money. They can wait it out longer until the environment is right to get aggressive with their money to make more. Maybe all those people on government assistant can start up businesses and help with the economy and unemployment in the country!! I should also add, if we put a gun to the rich peoples head and force them to contribute, it will be a short economic surge as they will find ways to avoid these penalties.

Lanivan

Horst - I would like to say that I really appreciate your taking the time to go into some Econ 101 detail with me (us). Economics and statistics were my 2 least favorite courses - I now have Nate Silver as my go-to guru for statistics (political), but am still wandering around in the ( more interesting to me years later) realm of current economics. I do read Paul Krugman a lot (of course he is very liberal). His Keynesian theory of austerity during boom times, not during slumps, makes sense to me. You guys always want to compare government to business and households - don't we save during increased income for those proverbial "rainy days"? Thanks to you, I am understanding the Laffer Curve better, but wonder - how do you fully explain the meteoric divide in wealth inequality? Your argument that they didn't buy in after taking a bath when the .com bubble burst isn't entirely convincing. Didn't the financial deregulation encourage destructive creativity by the short-term making money from money rather than making things? Your argument that the Bush tax cuts didn't stimulate growth because the wealthy didn't buy in at that time (which I agree with - they bought into hedge funds, not business re- investment) only serves to explain the recent CRS reports that data shows tax cuts do not automatically mean economic growth. So how is the CRS report only based on theories?

horst

Silver and Krugman are great, regardless of your political slant unless your way too left or right. If your one of those, there's just no helping you. And Silver was born in East Lansing so that makes him even better. I do however look at academia theories with some skepticism since my college Keynesian days. Understanding that the economy is elastic is half the battle. No one is always right and no one is always wrong. The stock market crash in 29 and the near crash of 2008 were caused by the rubber band getting too tight...it will always snap back and correct itself, sometimes with dire consequences. Before 1985 most all colleges and universities in the US only preached Keynesian, which at the time seemed very narrow minded after Reagan's success with supply side economics. However, I feel better educated now because I realized supply side works but you can only dump so much crap down a hole and then its full or in the case of an economy reaches a point of saturation...There must be "DEMAND TOO” i.e. the Keynesian argument. They work very nicely together but when one gets power over the other...OUCH!!! Too much demand and you get shortages and price gouging...Too much supply and you get recessions and lay-offs. If I said the CRS is based only on theory I stand corrected. There is plenty of factual info used to create the baseline documents for their reports. After that it's all theory. All the variables make it a theory. It's not as abstract as scientific theory but if you screw with the variables you can only theorize what might happen. For example, if wealthy people’s threshold to risk was high I'm sure they would have reinvested their Bush tax cuts, but I can only theorize because I didn't know what their level of risk to reward was...everyone is different...that's only one variable that the CRS must deal with in their reports...there's thousands of them. Like what's the cost of money??? Those Bush tax cuts were nice “seed money” for the wealthy to reinvest but they needed capital to achieve their business plans and actually stimulate economic growth...If the banks were selling money too high, the wealthy just wait until the banks get more competitive. And were they going to reinvest domestically or abroad. Using tax cuts to fund a business abroad does NOTHING to grow our GDP, so on the CRS report where does this go?? It shows a wealthy person getting a tax cut but it doesn’t grow their gross income because they reinvested it, but that reinvestment doesn’t stimulate our economy. This would a prime example of a CRS report showing a tax cut “NOT” stimulating the economy and in fact no rich to poor wealth gap. But when that wealthy person shows income and a profit from their enterprise abroad, they become wealthier and then the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows even greater. THAT’s when it really starts to get abstract and I just grab my bottle of Jack and head to my ice fishing shanty or lawn chair depending on the time of year.
How do “I” explain the meteoric divide in wealth inequality?
UNADULTERATED GREED…AND NOT BEING RAISED RIGHT. I lump our Vice President right in with the wealthy…Biden gave $1500 on income of $200,000+…that’s a good Catholic???. I tithe 10%...I have gone on mission trips all over the country and abroad. Bill Gates and Dick DeVos give more money away in a year than we will ever make…because they were raised right.

Lanivan

Horst - how do we (the public) know what the intent, the contents, the footnotes are exactly in the CRS reports because my understanding is that they are not public accessible?

Lanivan

Vlad - thank you for your link to JFK in a post below. That is the kind of link I can appreciate. Your previously suggested links leading me to andrewbreithbart.com, etc, just don't cut it for me. Anyway, I don't know what you are referring to when you quote from the CRS report, because my understanding is that the CRS reports are not public accessible (or do you get them because of dealing with them in the past?). Back to deficits, do you consider the boosts to the Hurricane Sandy regions that will be receiving payouts on the public/private levels to be palatable and necessary economically or another form of "entitlement spending"?

Vladtheimp

Well, I see the JFK video was a wasted effort - instead of taking to heart JFK's policy recommendations, (KENNEDY: When consumers purchase more goods, plants use more of their capacity, men are hired instead of laid off, investment increases, and profits are high. KENNEDY: Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders, but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records. In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low. And the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital.) you focus on the fact that the top rate was 70% - set by the democrat Congress, by the way. A couple of proposals you may agree with on a balanced approach (these have been suggested by others): (1) bringing back the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture gross revenue from the 1950s imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two, but now including DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view, etc. (2) capping the mortgage interest deduction at $250,000; (3) taxing trust funds and foundation money; (4) ending the federal tax deductions for state and local taxes. What say you? If you want to increase taxes back to the rates at the time of JFK, I'll agree if it is coupled with a reduction in federal expenditures back to the same date - let's have a truly "balanced approach." Same with your "temporary tax increases" - bring the federal expenditures to what they were when the tax reductions were put into place and start from that baseline. I have a better idea - have a flat tax on everyone - or, if you like, a tax on consumption for everyone - no exceptions, no special interests (like the poverty industry). Since I believe you are a business owner, I find it interesting that you seem to believe that return on investment for entrepreneurs (you call it "excess revenue") is not the property of those who invested and took the risks - how else could you characterize keeping it as "hoarding"? What's next, will the Government have the right to direct you how and where to spend your money (redistribute it to employees and infrastructure, no keeping it, no investing it where your return is higher)? Sounds like that would be perfectly acceptable to you, once it didn't work on a voluntary basis, of course. Finally, did you note that the Food Stamp President actually delayed release of the food stamp data nine days past the semi-official deadline, far past the election? "One glance at the number reveals why: at 47.1 million, this was not only a new all time record, but the monthly increase of 420,947 from July was the biggest monthly increase in one year. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/20...

Wingmaster

The hangover from the Obama victory party is going to give all of us a headache that last for years!!

RenegadeX

Simply unsubstainable...How else to put it?

Lanivan

Vlad - don't consider any effort wasted when debating with me. Even though your approach is very different than mine, I am interested in what and how others think, and this give and take does challenge me to study and think more - and realize what is important to me. As to your offer to agree to go back to JFK-era tax rates/federal expenditures, I'm afraid I must pass. A couple of months ago you asked for an AMEN to agreeing to go back to the Clinton era tax rates/federal expenditures, and that I did. It seems to me a hallmark of the far right conservatives is the desire to go back to the past. In the 1960's, the Cold War and the Mafia were our biggest threats, relations with China were unthinkable, etc. Flat tax? I'm still studying it - it sounds reasonable until I read that it is promoted by Dick Armey, Sam Brownback, etc and then the red flags go up. Vlad - don't equate my small business with global conglomerates when debating my belief that corporate welfare is as much if not more of a problem in this country than social welfare. Corporate welfare, i.e., tax havens, hedges, loopholes, subsidies, deregulation, has proven to be a major driver in the ever-growing wealth inequality problem that manifests in the high numbers of SNAP recipients. The Bush Great Recession was huge - a lot of unfettered greed - for power and money - resulted in a lot of hurt for a lot of people The high numbers of Snap recipients represent children - yeah, those kids that the far right sanctifies in the unborn state through denying women's rights, are the same ones that suffer the most as a consequence of that greed, and are loathed as a drain on the system for the rest of their lives whether it's true or not. It does make for a case to go back to the 1960's, yes? Why stop there.....1920's, perhaps? I did find in my research that the highest number of SNAP recipients dwell in RED states, with only a few exceptions. It's interesting, isn't it, that the most red, conservative states tend to be the biggest beneficiaries of Federal largesse. The delay in the Snap numbers until after the election frankly doesn't bother me as much as Mitch putting the cabosh on CRS reports. Your comment in another post regarding the urban young having the power to sway elections is interesting, too. Grover Norquist and others are making the same noise - what a coincidence! Be careful about your disdain for minority rights....the makeup of the Tea Party - mostly aging white males - is now considered a minority segment of society.

Vladtheimp

(1) I presented the JFK speech to show two things – (a) how he understood how high taxes negatively impacted revenue and private investment, and (b) to show how he would be demonized by today's democrat party. Instead of engaging on the merits of the philosophy he espoused, you focused on the fact that the democrat tax rates at the upper end were then 70% - which prompted me to suggest if you want to go back to those rates, let's go back to the same level of federal expenditures, which of course did not include all of the Johnson Great Society failed programs.

(2)It seems to me a hallmark of the far right conservatives is the desire to go back to the past. Who wants to go back to the higher tax rates before the Bush era tax cuts? And as an aside, I'm about ready to urge our representatives to agree to get rid of ALL of the Bush era tax cuts. Since the democrats have been insisting that those tax cuts only favored the rich, let's have everyone pay their “fair share” and eliminate all of the tax cuts, along with a broadening of the tax base and a drastic cut in federal spending, to occur at the same time the tax cuts are eliminated, not in the ethereal out years. Let's hear how the public employee unions react to everyone paying their fair share.

(3) I believe both corporate and social welfare programs are wrong and unconstitutional redistributions of wealth ( I know you will scoff, but there is nothing in the constitution that supports the federal government having this power).

(4) If you want to talk about unfettered greed, don't forget the Clinton years, the dot coms, fraudulent real estate deals, and trading in cattle futures. Since I'm the subject of Bill and Hill (remember the 2 for 1 presidency?) and because you have so eloquently expressed your interest in women's rights, what about the sexual harassment of a 19 year old subordinate intern and lying to a grand jury? Kind of makes the Petraeus contemps pale in comparison, no?

(5) I believe your SNAP research (from Huffington Post) was that the 10 states having the highest percentage of SNAP per population were mostly red states, but the states with the highest absolute number of SNAP recipients are predominantly blue (IL, CA, NY, OH, PA, MI, FL, and TX http://frac.org/wp-content/uploa...

(6) my comment in the other post had nothing to do with urban minority youth swaying elections, it was directed at your comment that I think the majority of black folks are are moochers, takers, and loafers.

(7) If you want to talk about disrespecting minority rights, see what your Senate Majority Leader is up to these days. And, clearly, you have no idea of the age or gender make up of the Tea Party.

Lanivan

1) Don't misunderstand - I am not advocating for tax rates to go up to 70%! 39% would be just fine. It's actually quite amazing top rates were ever that high, before LBJ/Great Society and an increasingly complicated tax code. A time of tremendous economic growth and corporate investment. Remember pensions with fully paid health insurance? "Failed" Great Society? I disagree. I see it, the civil rights and women's rights movements, as manifestations of greatness in a civilization. The Vietnam War represents failure to me. Now that was a federal expenditure!
2) Why do you want to punish the middle class? Even your buddy Bill Kristol is now saying a little 4% increase on taxes on the rich isn't going to be a big deal. He knows, as we both do, that the effective corporate rate is something like less than 25% with deductible business expenses, etc factored in. The Bush tax cuts disproportionately benefit the rich, hence the massive growth in wealth inequality. Union-bashing! Everybody's a threat to your liberty - unions, middle class, government, SNAP recipients. Perhaps you would have been a happier person living in an earlier century (I'm serious here - not being flip).
3) Our Founding Fathers could not have imagined our current country or government. But the Constitution seems more a living document than static. Maybe you could arrange for Constitution seminars be offered in the community for people like me who have an interest, but no background studies? (serious here, too).
4) Sorry - don't even try to compare the Clinton years with the Bush years! Sexual harassment? I doubt it - Bill was (is) pretty hot, and I think Monica was a willing participant! Think JFK and his moral lapses.....although I do remember being very angry that Bill lied to his country. Again, the Repubs spent millions of taxpayer money on the Clinton witch hunt all for naught. No righteous indignation? The worst thing to come out of the Clinton years was the rise of Newt G. and the partisan divide he created with his Frank Luntz-inspired propaganda strategies.
5) You can twist and spin the charts all you want (I did not get my info from Huffpost, although I do read it daily, but from a fed gov chart I can't find now), but my point was that red states in general receive more federal dollars than they pay in. This is irrefutable.
6) Harry? What could that soft-spoken "milquetoast" guy do that would disrespect minority rights? Change the unprecedented abused - by - GOP filibuster rules?
You're right - I really need to back off on the "aging" part of my Tea Party descriptions - don't want to offend! What is the makeup of the party? From everything I've seen/heard/read, it's mostly angry white folks.

Vladtheimp

No Mas! For today, you win - I'm just not up to trading thoughts with someone who has pronounced themself a moderate Republican but reads the Huffington Post on a daily basis, demagogues the Bush Era tax cuts as only benefiting the rich, but won't go along with repealing all of the tax cuts( because they know that the largest benefit was to the middle class) and abandons any pretense that everyone should pay their fair share, including those who pay nothing and get paid through the EITC for not having made enough money.

Lanivan

So this is now a battle with winners and losers? Since I am a moderate Republican, but find Huffpost informative and entertaining, along with many other websites, you've given up? But since you have a habit of twisting my carefully phrased thoughts to imply the tax cuts benefit the rich (never said), that I think not everybody should pay their fair share (never said), or giving a break to those who pay nothing and get paid through the EITC for not having enough money (never said), I guess it's time for a break. God Bless!

Lanivan

You mastered the paragraph - much easier to read and assimilate!! Will have to study the steps.

Vladtheimp

I missed one thought I had wanted to express in my reply – probably because the response was too wordy - your admonition “Be careful about your disdain for minority rights....the makeup of the Tea Party - mostly aging white males - is now considered a minority segment of society.” got me to thinking in earnest. Since we are now obviously into the era of tribal politics, yes, aging white males are not a majority. Nor are aging white females. If you believe that the black/hispanic population of voters are going to support a white female over a female candidate of their tribe, you are sadly mistaken. If you think an Hispanic female has a chance to defeat a black female in a majority black district, you are delusional. If you think any feminist candidate is going to be elected in Dearborn, you are beyond rational. If we accept 100% votes for Obama in numerous Philadelphia and Ohio voting districts, and you don't recognize a problem, you are not part of the solution. I guess tribalism is better than meritocracy, but what do I know – I did it the old fashioned way – I worked for it (like I think you probably did until the space aliens took you away). I intend this to be respectful. But on the other hand, I refer you to Mia Love.

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