I’m gonna start doing some profiles on candidates, and give my opinions on their positions. First up… Mitt Romskis (Warning: pretty fuckin’ biased, sorry)
Trade: Romney, like all Republicans, supports free trade. He’s especially focused on the rising Asian economies. What I like about his stance on trade as opposed to others’, is that he acknowledges the benefits of emerging economies. I have yet to hear him say something like Pawlenty’s quote, “America’s rightful place is not behind China”. That may rile up people in Iowa who don’t realize we’re no longer the only superpower, but his optimism in the future of trade is refreshing. It’s a long-term comparative advantage position: free trade will allow us to eventually cut loose those the shitty industry sectors that no longer help us. I just re-read that Pawlenty quote and I just can’t help but feel that’s the kind of shit that got our country in this position in the first place. People just feel like we’ll always be the ultimate superpower no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary. Now, we’re obviously still dominating the world (China’s GDP at PPP is about 2/3 ours, and much less for nominal GDP), but we haven’t had a 5-year stretch of at least 5% growth like… ever. Pawlenty is promoting his “goal” of 5% growth for the next 10-years. Get the fuck outta here.
Taxes: Once again, love the action this dude takes. When he was governor of Massachusetts, he jacked up court fees, professional licenses, and gun licenses, (shit people usually pay for whatever the cost) raising $400 million in the first year. He was also able to raise about $180 million more over two years through business taxes. While many people complained these were tax increases, he did it through fixing loopholes. By cutting out these loopholes, he’s effectively reducing the uncertainty in future taxes, and people can finally shut the fuck up about tax uncertainty. In reality, the only corporations who strictly choose their investment opportunities based on tax rates are fortune 500 types. The average business prolly doesn’t blink twice at the tax rate. He also didn’t support the temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2010 saying, “because the extension is only temporary, a large portion of the investment and job growth that characteristically accompanies low taxes will be lost.” I feel like it’s rare for a politician to admit that a tax cut extension doesn’t really do much. It’s not like they’re gonna go out and buy a fuckin’ car because taxes got reduced a little bit for 2 years, as much as people want to believe that. Unlike many politicians, he truly understands the economic effects of taxes on the economy (both good and bad).
Energy: I only mention this because of his recent statements. There’s growing skepticism of humans’ role in global climate change in conservative circles, with some denying global warming entirely. Romney is coming out and backing his stance that everyone is indeed fuckin’ up. I love that this dude is finally growing some balls and saying “blow me” to all the ultra-conservatives. He has a strong position on the need for alternative energies, citing the compromising position of foreign oil reliance. This isn’t extremely important to me at the moment, but it’s nice to see he’s comfortable with his moderate position.
Immigration: As opposed to picking one of two sides, amnesty vs. rounding up every alien and shipping them off, Romney wants to implement a plan to encourage illegals to apply for citizenship. While border control is obviously important, the US has already been “penetrated” by illegals. When I can drive to the west-side of Grand Rapids and 30% of the people I say are Mexicans, it makes border control seem like a lost cause. He’s also big on cutting federal funds to “sanctuary cities” like San Francisco and NYC. I don’t think the important part is the fund slashing, but the idea of cities that encourage illegal aliens to live there must face consequences.
Health Care: Dude wants to make state rights the standard. That’s a good thing for Republicans. His individual mandate eliminated the possibility of people showing up to emergency rooms and forcing the state to pick up the tab. That’s called enforcing personal responsibility, not forcing someone to buy something they don’t want. If you can afford health care, you’ll probably have it. If you can’t, the state will subsidize it. While that may not be good in an ideological sense, please take note that as of now Romneycare takes up 1% of the Massachusetts state budget. It ain’t breakin’ the bank. Furthermore, I’ve stood in line behind people who have to walk away empty handed because they can’t afford their fuckin’ diabetes meds. I’m not saying that government needs to provide health care. I’m just saying with all of the wasteful spending, 1% of a state’s budget is not such a bad thing. There’s plenty of evidence showing increased education spending doesn’t help kids in the long run, use some of that to make sure one of those kid’s dad doesn’t drop dead on him. You call it a liberal view, I call it proper spending allocation.
Education: While there’s a lot of roadblocks and issues to face with improving education, he focuses on what I believe to be the biggest problem. Romney has consistently expressed his view that increased incentives, like bonuses or higher salaries, for high performing teachers is pivotal to increased standards. He realizes that just injecting money into schools doesn’t yield results. It’s not a monetary problem, it’s a fundamental problem. When a teacher can get tenure for sitting on their ass for 3 years and then basically never get fired, that’s seriously fucked up. It’s one of the few professions I can think of that pay is completely unrelated to performance. When we’ve got teachers unions screaming to block these changes in pay structure and tenure, it’s pretty clear their thoughts are on themselves and not the future of the country. If teaching was a $100,000/year job, we’d have some good ass teachers. Some people might say “oh well people will just teach for the money then”. Well, not if they’re shitty because they’ll get fired. It makes so much sense I can’t even stand it. And I’m tellin’ you, a good teacher makes every difference in the world.
Abortion: He thinks any policy that is based on a religious view is unacceptable, and that there are more important problems. What else is there to say? Fuck abortion issues, fuck don’t ask don’t tell, and fuck the gay marriage debate. We got bigger issues to focus on.
My Take: Well if you can’t tell, I’m guarn voting for Romney. He’s got two knocks on him right now tho, one more obvious than the other. Obviously people have been shitting on him for Romneycare, which I can understand because Republicans just spent 2 years doing the same thing to Obama. I think it’s important to note the state vs. federal power here; Romneycare fits very well in a state like Massachusetts, but other states don’t have to follow suit. The other problem I think he has is he’s trying to appeal too much to moderates. It’s definitely a growing area of the population, but there’s not a fucking chance the average moderate/moderate-liberal votes for anyone else other than Obama. So, while I think he should be able to beat out Pawlenty and Santorum, I feel like it’ll be a toss-up between him and Obama. Liberals fucking love Obama unconditionally, like he’s a god damn family member. It’s wild.
Just read this great article that provided me with some, I’m assuming, legitimate data for something I’ve considered many times: the quality of a democracy depends on the education level of the average voter. My thoughts are usually more in the form of “why are there so many god damn retards out there?” There’s an actual graph of the relationship between gov’t quality and avg. education, but here’s an excerpt:
In order to evaluate the actions of politicians, voters need to be able to process the available information and understand the impact of the actions of elected officials on their welfare. Voters unable to process information and make rational decisions are as ineffective as uninformed voters. Winston Churchill, who had a dismal view on voters’ ability to process information, once said: “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.
When we’ve got Mike Huckabee–a legit candidate in 2008–saying “[abortion] transcends all of the political issues”, then we’ve got fuckin’ problems. Huckabee, as much as I don’t wanna admit it, is obviously a pretty smart dude. But do you think he actually believes that bullshit? Heeellllll no. But there are PLENTY of people in this country that do… and he’ll gladly scoop those votes when he needs them. I mean seriously. Not the economy. Not education. I’d even accept fuckin’ airport security over this shit. Abortion! But… what are ya gonna do?
It’s hard not to feel depressed about all this. I mean I regularly bitch about the bullshit politicians do, but the reason they vote in lockstep over every single partisan issue is because that’s how they’ll get re-elected. The political process isn’t dangerous, it’s expected. What’s dangerous is the amount of people who vote for someone based solely on their party-affiliation, or their position on one or two issues. Down in Alabama, Billy Bob doesn’t know jack shit about the Dodd-Frank Act. But you can bet your sweet ass the second he finds out his district’s rep wants to close down all the Chic-fil-A’s in the state, he’ll be voting for the other guy.
Just remembered this video… laughing at the beginning and screaming at the end:
Dimepiece at 2:15 tho… that stutter is cool with me cutie.