For Rep. Danny K. Davis, Illinois Democrat, the “fiscal cliff” fight came down to one thing: the unemployment checks the government will still be able to send to thousands of his constituents.
“When I go to church on Sunday, I know that I will see people with the assurance that pretty soon an unemployment check is in the mail,” he said.
Tag Archives: unemployment
First, it was France. The country’s response to its high and growing unemployment problem was to make laying off employees so painful economically that companies will avoid it. Labor Minister Michel Sapin said, “The main idea is to make layoffs so expensive for companies that it’s not worth it.” Sapin, a good friend of France’s socialist president François Hollande, also said that said the government could not stand by idly as some companies cut workers just to improve profitability and boost their dividends to shareholders. Regarding the unemployment problem, here is a factor that Sapin should consider: if companies cannot fire workers they will be extremely reluctant to hire them in the first place.
Now, the entire European Union (EU) has offered its response to youth (people younger than 25 years of age) unemployment problem. The EU has proposed, and I am being serious here, that ALL youth be guaranteed a job. The youth unemployment rate for the entire EU for the summer of 2012 was 22.7 percent (it was 16.8 percent in the US), with Greece, Italy, and Spain having much higher rates. From Frankfurter Allgemeine:
“The Member States of the European Union should guarantee all people aged less than 25 years in the future, within four months some form of employment. These governments should issue a so-called youth guarantee….”
There are, of course, two “minor” problems with the EU scheme. First, an EU commission headed by László Andor did not specify how this goal (youth employment guarantee) was to be achieved. It’s easy to offer a solution to a problem (talk is cheap), but quite another thing to explain specifically how the problem will be solved. Second, the EU should consider this fact: work rules, pension rules, and other rules are so harsh that companies simply do not want to hire workers regardless of age.
For some perspective, there have been more than 40,000 people killed in Syria, with the death toll rising daily, but the EU is not particularly concerned about that. North Korea has launched a three-stage rocket, moving closer to their goal of developing a nuclear-tipped ICBM. They are sharing nuclear weapons technology with Iran, the world’s leading sponsors of terrorism. But the EU does not seem to be worried about that either. That is the same EU that, earlier this year, won the Nobel Peace Prize. It is also the same EU that is “concerned” about Israel building on a 4.6 square piece of land in order to protect itself. It appears that the EU’s lack of consistency is showing. Perhaps it should get its own house in order before sticking its nose in others’ business.
And, I think it was Albert Einstein who said, “Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results, is a sign of insanity.” So, that means that Obama is soon to try to emulate what France and the EU are currently doing.
But that’s just my opinion.
Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.
Soledad O’Brien reminds Americans that we’re still a bunch of racist goons at heart.
Doug Perkins with Givingmusic.org joins me for my Christmas charity series – highlighting a different charity each show until Christmas.
Tune in tonight at 10pm ET/7pm Pacific on the CDNews Network on Blogtalk radio.
UPDATE: Listen to a replay of the show here or follow the link to download.
I won’t lie. I found Suzanne Venker’s piece about the ‘war on men‘ interesting, thought-provoking, and controversial. In the process, she has reaped a whirlwind of left-wing hate. It’s no surprise that today’s economy is better suited for women. Manufacturing, the lynchpin of male labor, has collapsed – and now scores of men are left without the skills necessary to maneuver in the services economy. Women are out-educating us, out-earning us, and out-performing us in the workforce. In short, Venker says men are being stomped on, and we should be angry. I couldn’t disagree more.
As Angela Morabito at The College Conservative wrote on November 28, women are just more ambitious at the moment. Also, she disagreed with Venker, with whom she says got ‘gender politics wrong.’ As such, she injected a little Adam Smith into her argument.
It is true that women are getting more college degrees than our male counterparts. That’s not because we are angry. It’s because you have to compete to get into college and the majority of the recent winners have been female. It is not because we are female that we have won: Competition drives the application process. Competition is what also should drive the economy. When we compete based on merit, and one team wins, all competitors improve in the process.
However, I would say that affirmative action policies also had a part in increasing women’s enrollment into higher education. Yet, that’s a separate debate. Furthermore, Morabito added that:
We [conservatives] cannot be – nor should we be – the side that thinks women are too ambitious, too smart, or too driven. America needs all hands on deck to pull us out of this recession. Individual liberty, personal responsibility, and freedom can still work for us today. These principles are strongest when everyone, including women, participates.
This is real conservative feminism: Women have the same freedoms as men and the same responsibilities as men. Wealth is allocated according to what we do with our freedoms and how we manage our responsibilities. Gender doesn’t need to enter the equation. The Left is going to freak out about it because they think women need special government “help.” But what we’re seeing now is that it’s just not true – we aren’t some feeble, marginalized group that flounders without Big Brother.
Yet, I feel inclined to defend Venker for a moment. she mentioned in her column – and it’s true – that men worked to sustain themselves, find a woman, love her to death, and start a family. We’re then happily burdened with providing and protecting our families, and that’s what we’ve been doing for nearly ten thousand years. The system worked, and I liked it.
I’m the product of a household where Dad worked and Mom stayed home caring for me, loving me (to death), feeding me, and fussed over me. She did this with my older brother and sister as well. As a little tyke, I was King Tut. Life was good. However, the dynamics have changed, and we must adapt. We’re a nation of two income households, but women have increased their share of bacon they bring home.
Liza Mundy has written about this shift in her new book, The Richer Sex, where she predicts that women will be the majority of breadwinners by 2030. She calls it the ‘Big Flip.’ However, there have been many ‘big flips’ in socioeconomic history. The Industrial Revolution, the invention of the Cotton gin, and the transition from an agrarian to a manufacturing-based economy in the U.S. are all prime examples of such shifts. But women were never as involved as they are now. Hence, guys, and some conservative gals, shouldn’t freak out as much. This is all part of the cyclical life of economic progression. We shouldn’t be afraid.
Where Venker, I think, freaked out women, especially left-wing women, is her assertion that they’re the ones responsible for being incompatible with marriage due to their focus on building a career. To be precise, Venker said that “fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs. If they do, marriageable men will come out of the woodwork.” This is troll city. I can only imagine the uproar that would ensue if a woman told men to surrender their masculinity to be successful in the 21st century economy. My response would’ve been similar: “like hell I will!”
On this rare occasion, I actually agree with what Lauren Boyle’s November 27 column on Huffington Post, where she noted that Venker’s piece degrades men.
So, if you’re keeping score at home, Venker has 1) implied that young men are pathetic, 2) flat-out stated that they don’t want to compete with women and 3) suggested that, if not corralled, all men want is sex and meaningless relationships without responsibility. If that isn’t offensive to men, what is?
Venker refers to the hundreds of men upon which she bases her opinions. But these men she describes bear no resemblance of the young men I know, who celebrate the successes of women in their lives and value them for their professional contributions.
Well, that’s because we know our existence depends on it! No, just kidding, but given the Republican Party’s abysmal stance with young, single women – we should embrace female advances in the workplace. It’s very much aligned with conservative values. After all, we’re the party that supports free market achievements. Morabito puts it succinctly:
Conservatism, at its core, means equality of opportunity. We’re not there yet in this country, but we get closer every time we cut bureaucracy and improve our schools. This is, after all, what makes it easiest for more people to achieve at a high level. In a free market we all compete with one another. In a free market workers are valued for their skills, and not because of any union or demographic group they may belong to. The free market cares about cost and value. It does not care about male versus female. Venker’s “war on men” is unfounded, just like the “war on women.” It’s time for men and women on both ends of the political spectrum to call for a ceasefire.
YES! Taking a step back from the gender politics for a second, the emphasis on the equality of opportunity is highly salient. Both Republicans and Democrats used to agree on this. However, we’ve seen a perverse reversal within American liberalism that stresses equality of outcome, which is indicative of the liberal dependency agenda. An agenda that is being implemented aggressively at the federal level by this current administration. The more people on food stamps or any government program, equalizes the playing field, and enhances the public good. Our constitution was never meant to be compatible with social dynamics of this nature.
Morabito sets the ground work for a winning narrative ahead of the 2014 elections. Democrats needs to divide, identify, and exploit groups to win. Hence, why they have a fetishistic attitude towards the ‘war on women,’ abortion, contraceptives, MediScaring, and racism – which are all tools that are successful in galvanizing a rabid liberal electorate. That’s how Obama won in 2012. Then again, it also helps the opposition when your side doesn’t make the argument. Nevertheless, if Republicans can convey a message that is malleable with the 21st century economy – it will shatter the ‘demography is destiny’ narrative liberals are peddling right now. Furthermore, telling women to not be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen in order to be marriageable also helps.
Granted, there are still jobs that are better executed by a specific gender. Case in point, Morabito aptly says men are better suited for professional football and women are better Victoria’s Secret models. Yet, these examples are rare. Nevertheless, I would say the Venker does focus too much on being ‘doom and gloom.’ As I’ve said before, we, as guys, need to adapt. Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, aptly made the observation that women are more flexible, and men are cardboard in this new economy. That’s ok. We just need to stretch more.
Like modernizing the messaging of conservatism, I look at this challenge with optimism. Bring it on! As Barney Stinson would say, “challenge accepted.”
On a more personal note, it’s not a bad thing women are more ambitious to get into the trenches. I have a sister, who is a mother of two, that works full-time in the human resources department at the Philadelphia Art Museum. My sister-in-law does the same work at a non-profit in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I have two nieces, ages 13 months and two years old, and I hope they’re offered the same opportunities that were afforded to me. After all, they’re Vespas – and hard-work is a cornerstone of our family.
So, for the guys who are part of the ‘pissed off coalition,’ which Venker alludes to in her piece. I suggest look at your family dynamics. Are you really going to tell members of your own family, who are female, that they should surrender her femininity in order to get married? That would be absurd. It’s not a woman’s world, then again it’s no longer a man’s world either. It’s not the end of men, but a beginning of an equilibrium amongst men and women in the workforce. To keep the balance, guys need to get more animated, and stop slamming reading as a ‘girly’ activity. When did that become a hallmark of masculinity?
Finally, let’s think of it in these terms. As men, we’ve ruled the world since the beginning of time. I don’t know about you, but I would be exhausted. Thank God for women to help us pick up the slack.
Originally posted on The Young Cons.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that October’s “official” U-3 unemployment rate fell below 8 percent, but just barely at 7.9 percent. As Rick Moran wrote, “… the economy added a middling 171,000 jobs.” (By the way, U-3 unemployment rate among blacks is 14.3 percent, yet Obama’s job approval rating among blacks is 91 percent.)
But the U-6 unemployment rate, which is 14.6 percent, includes people who are working part-time but are available for full-time work, as well as those who said the want to work but can’t find a job (marginally attached), as well as the long-term unemployed (discouraged workers).
The BLS publishes monthly U-1 through U-6 unemployment rates. So, with (at least) two unemployment rates from which to choose, and the fact that the unemployment rates don’t begin to tell the complete economic story, some further perspective (information) is warranted.
Let’s first examine long-term unemployment. The BLS categorizes anyone unemployed for more than six months (27 weeks) as long-term unemployed. The long-term unemployed presently comprise (seasonally adjusted) 40.6 percent of those unemployed, or 5,002,000 people. The percentage was 40.1 percent, or 4,844,000 people last month. The percentage has been above 40 since December 2009. Long-term unemployment has remained above 5 million people (except September 2012) since August 2009. These figures suggest that the US economy is not creating enough jobs to hire the long-term unemployed, that weak jobs growth is only enough to keep up with population growth.
The long-term unemployed use the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) disability
program as a safety net when their unemployment insurance runs out. The number receiving SSDI benefits has risen by 24 percent, or 1.7 million people, since the recession began in 2007. Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, said, “There are fewer of us experiencing unemployment, but those who are out are out a lot longer.” And, the number of people unemployed for over 99 weeks, the point where unemployment benefits run out, has grown from 467,000 in January 2009, to the present number of 1.8 million, a 385 percent increase.
Another problem with long-term unemployment is that it can become structural unemployment, meaning that the long-term unemployed no longer meet employers’ needs and/or are no longer considered employable.
It is interesting to note that, under Obama’s economy, long-term unemployment has almost doubled, from 2.6 million in January 2009, to 5 million today. And his policies, such as ObamaCare, higher taxes, higher energy costs, and compulsory unionism, make that number very hard to reduce.
Note also that the long-term unemployed are not part of the U-3 unemployment rate.
Now let’s examine Obama’s jobs record versus what he has done with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, the new name for foodstamps). According to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, the rate of foodstamps growth has been 75 times that of job growth. Said
“Simply put, the President’s policies have not produced jobs. During his time in office, 14.7 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Over that same time, only 194,000 jobs were created – thus 76 people went on foodstamps for every one that found a job. This is a product of low growth. Post-recession economic growth in 2010 was 2.4%, and dropped in 2011 to 1.8%. This year it has dropped again to 1.77%. Few, if any, net jobs will be created with growth of less than 2%.”
According to this chart, a net of 194,000 jobs have been created, while at the same time 14.7 million people have been added to the foodstamps rolls. Expressed as a percentage, foodstamp rolls have increased by 46 percent, while job growth has increased by 0.15 percent. The chart is based upon the most recent figures available. There were, in January 2009, about 133.56 million Americans with jobs, and about 133.76 million Americans with jobs in October 2012. That represents a 200,000 jobs growth, or about 0.15 percent. In January 2009, 32 million people were on foodstamps, while in July 2012, 46.7 million people were on foodstamps. That’s an increase of 14.7 million people, an increase of almost 46 percent. (Yes, some rounding is going on here!)
This chart illustrates, foodstamp expenditure growth pre-dates Obama, but Obama certainly perfected its growth. In fact, Obama has spent more in four years ($290 billion, 2009-2012) than Bush did in eight years ($237 billion, 2001-2008).
Sessions’ comments about foodstamps and jobs give new perspective to the October 2012, employment and unemployment rates, don’t they?
Just so you know, the federal government spent over $1 trillion in 2011 on welfare (of which SNAP is a part) – that’s over $59,500 per impoverished household. The median income for working Americans was about $50,000. Judicial Watch said:
“The Obama Administration has been promoting food stamps like there’s no tomorrow, even offering states that sign up the most recipients cash bonuses. For example, Wisconsin got a $5 million performance bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.”
It’s no wonder that Obama won the election. Obama (and the MSM) emphasized the U-3 unemployment rate, while ignoring the long-term unemployed problem, and by buying votes by increasing government dependency as fast as he could.
But that’s just my opinion.
Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.
This could be it. The end of the Hostess Twinkie. Of course, those still in their packages may last forever, but it’s possible there will be no more Twinkies.
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) has gone on strike against manufacturer Hostess. The company announced today they will file for liquidation if striking employees do not return to work by the end of the day. According to Hostess:
“We simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike,” said Gregory F. Rayburn, the Company’s Chairman and CEO. “Therefore, if sufficient employees do not return to work by 5 p.m., EST, on Thursday to restore normal operations, we will be forced to immediately move to liquidate the entire Company, which will result in the loss of nearly 18,000 jobs. It is now up to Hostess’ BCTGM represented employees and Frank Hurt, their international president, to decide if they want to call off the strike and save this Company, or cause massive financial harm to thousands of employees and their families.”
The BCTGM response claims that Hostess has had significant mismanagement from the top down claiming that the six CEO’s in the past eight years have had no bread and cake baking industry experience. According to the union website the workers and their union have ‘absolutely no responsibility for the failure of this company.’
“I am sure that our members would be agreeable to return to work as soon as the company rescinds the implementation of the horrendous wage and benefit reductions, including pension, and the restoration of the cuts that have already taken place.”
One has to wonder how much better off the Hostess workers will be filing for unemployment next week? Is no job better than a salary reduction? Across the country many industry workers have taken sizable cuts rather than losing their job. Is the union forcing workers to ‘cut off their nose to spite their face?’
First time unemployment claims took a flying leap this week. The jobless claims surged over 78,000 to a staggering 439,000 across the U.S. The government economists were expecting numbers in the 375,000 range.
Many of the media are blaming this shocking increase on the Superstorm Sandy.
Bloomberg: “Based on previous extreme-weather episodes, we typically see the associative claims coming in over several weeks,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics Ltd. in Valhalla, New York, said before the report. “It’s not a booming labor market, but it is a recovering labor market. Certainly prior to the storm, there was no sign that there was any deterioration.”
MSNBC: An analyst from the department said several states from the mid-Atlantic and Northeast reported large increases in claims due to Sandy, a mammoth storm that slammed into the East Coast in late October.
But are they right?
A quick review of the Department of Labor’s website might indicate otherwise:
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 3 were in Pennsylvania (+7,766), Ohio (+6,450), New Jersey (+5,675), Michigan (+2,373), and Connecticut (+1,783), while the largest decreases were in California (-8,149), New York (-2,241), Florida (-939), Georgia (-913), and Indiana (-603).
While hard hit New Jersey did have a sizable increase probably attributable to the storm, the state of New York actually reported a decrease in claims.
The highest numbers of new filings came from Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there were thousands of layoffs in the construction, manufacturing, and automobile industries.
Those who watch the unemployment claim numbers have questioned recent reports and whether they were skewed to help the presidential election. Today’s numbers are causing many to ask, “Are we on the road to recovery, however slow and sloggy it might be? Or are we headed back into a recession if not a depression?”
The AP reported today that this week’s terrible unemployment numbers were due to fallout from Sandy – the storm that hit the Northeast last week. On its face, the excuse holds merit. When digging into the data, it looks like AP over-interpreted a footnote thereby giving the Administration a pass on an awful report.
The Labor Department said applications increased by 78,000 because a large number of applications were filed in states damaged by the storm. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces close and they don’t get paid.
First to note in the report is that New York, the most populous state hit by the storm, saw its weekly figures drop by more than 2,200 claims. The reason for fewer claims given was that due to power outages caused by the Hurricane, the State’s systems were unable to take claims from claimants. So while the storm may have caused in increase in unemployment in New York, it was not figured into the 78,000 increase due.
Next we find that the state with the largest increase in claims, Pennsylvania, did not list the storm as the reason. Only Connecticut and New Jersey pointed at Sandy for the reason they saw increased claims and of the total 78,000 increase, those two states were less than a tenth of the claims when added together.
What may have been mere oversight looks even more like white washing when you see one of the largest increases in joblessness being the swing state of Ohio. Suddenly, just after the election, Ohio reports more than 6,400 job losses in the .. wait for it.. automobile manufacturing industries . Oddly, the November 1 report just before the election showed a decrease in manufacturing layoffs in Ohio – a trend outlier when looked at broadly:
– October 25th report: Ohio sees increase of 1,936 claims due to layoff in the transportation and manufacturing industries
– November 1st report: Ohio reduces claims by 1,214 due to fewer layoffs in manufacturing
– November 8th: Ohio not mentioned
– November 15th: Ohio loses more than 6,400 jobs specifically in the auto manufacturing industry
Disregarding the strange blame, the report offers other unpleasant news: Year-over-year initial claims (seasonally adjusted) have risen by a staggering 47,000 claims. Last year at this time, only 392,000 initial claims for jobless benefits were filed, while this month more than 439,000 were given unemployment assistance.
|WEEK ENDING||Advance Nov. 10||Nov. 3||Change||Oct. 27||Prior Year1|
|Initial Claims (SA)||439,000||361,000||+78,000||363,000||392,000|
|Initial Claims (NSA)||466,348||361,800||+104,548||339,917||363,016|
Are Layoffs Vindictive or Caused by Policy?
Wednesday after the election a number of companies announced they would be laying off employees. Some businesses said they would close completely. Others are cutting back staff from full time to part time work.
Through the week the numbers have grown. Big businesses. Mom and Pop small stores. And everything in between. All have been impacted. But it’s not just one cause; by reelecting President Obama the Affordable Care Act will continue to influence business growth, a gridlock remains in congress and the very possible Department of Defense cuts hurt not only the direct military employment but also the Defense contractors, and Obama’s War on Coal will now be doubled down.
None of this was a surprise. Those paying even a slight amount of attention could see these cuts were imminent. If Obama was reelected there would be a layoff tsunami of giant proportions.
Still, rather than accept this as unavoidable change necessary for the programs they voted liberals are now blaming vindictive Republicans. They are tweeting out that corporations are firing workers in revenge of the election. They are shouting from their social networks that store owners who are closing are un-American and spiteful. That small businesses are laying off employees out of retribution. That, for no other reason than they did not want Obama to win.
It is sad that these naive left wing voices are so loud. It is obvious that they have never been more than just a worker in a shop, never had to balance a budget, never had to meet a payroll. They believe that Republican business owners want to ‘hurt Obama’ by keeping unemployment artificially high. They truly believe this is being done solely as payback for the election. They refuse to believe that Obama’s destructive policies are at fault.
Bless their hearts. They just don’t know any better.
If you get laid off, before you go, ask the people getting laid off with you if they voted for Obama. If they say yes, say nothing.
In case you haven’t heard, these companies announced layoffs and closures since Wednesday. Is it just the beginning?
With the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ looming at the end of the year, many companies had warned that if President Obama were re-elected, they would be forced to lay off workers. Company officials listed the skyrocketing price of health insurance and the taxes contained in Obamacare as a primary reason for job cuts.
Some job cuts are also the result of the likelihood that Congress will be increasing taxes thereby raising the cost of doing business. Other staffing cuts are also an attempt to avert the “fiscal cliff” and the economic reality caused by spending cuts and increased taxation in the Obama-favored budgetary tactic known as sequestration.
And three days after the re-election of the President, many big companies have already kept their promise. Among them are:
- Energizer, which is restructuring its company, and as a result, announced it expects to lose about 1,500 jobs.
- Boeing, who expects to shrink their executive staff by roughly 30% at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security unit.
- US Cellular, who is moving manufacturing plants out of Chicago, and as a result will cut roughly 640 jobs in the area. Overall, the company estimates it will cut 980 jobs, about 12% of its workforce.
- Power tool giant Husqvarna, who is cutting around 600 jobs, a move that they expect will save them roughly $33 million per year.
- Darden Restaurants, which owns popular chains like the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse. They are expected to cut back the hours their employees work to 28 hours per week. The Obamacare law defines full time employees as working 30 hours a week. The law requires full time employees to have employe-provided healthcare, or the company must pay a fine.
- Murray energy corp will layoff more than 120 employees to avoid expenses due to Obama regulations and taxes
- Welch Allen will layoff 275 employees (10% of their workforce) as a “pro-active response” to taxes in Obamacare
- Dana Holding Group – auto parts manufacturer will make numerous cuts in response to $24 million in costs due to Obamacare
- Stryker will be eliminating 5% of its workforce (1,170 jobs) due to additional taxes in Obamacare
- Boston Scientific will be dropping between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs and shifting operations to China to avoid Obamacare taxes
- Smith & Nephew will drop 770 jobs
- U.S. Cellular will eliminate 980 jobs
- UtahAmerican Energy will cut a huge number of jobs as “204 American coal-fired plants” are shut down by 2014 – basically maiming the coal-mining industry
- Lockheed Martin is expected to notify 123,000 employees of coming layoffs
- Consol Energy to layoff 145 employees
- much, much more coming…
These are just a few of the big companies affected. Many other smaller companies are also saying they will have to either cut back employee hours or fire some of their employees. Other companies are closing plants in an attempt to save money.
Target has already announced the closing of several locations, including a store in Kissimmee, Florida. Kmart is another company that has announced its intention to close several stores.
These announcements come on the heels of two very grim days for the stock market. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 2.4%, which is the fifth worst single day drop in history. The S&P 500 also fell 2.37%. The markets continued to plummet on Wednesday. The Dow fell another 0.94%. And the S&P fell another 1.22%.
Investors cite concerns over Europe’s struggling economy and President Obama’s re-election. It is believed that Obama does not have a serious plan to regrow the economy or control the United State’s burgeoning debt.
Well, we lost. Mitt Romney didn’t win comfortably. BUT, Republicans maintained control of the House of Representatives. In one of the most ignominious highlights of the night, the GOP lost two senate seats – increasing the Democratic majority by two. The current makeup is 55 Democrats to 45 Republicans. In a milestone for the ladies, 20% of the U.S. Senate will be represented by women. However, the night ended a bit like 2004 in reverse.
While the notions of GOP turnout seemed assured, it was rarely monitored, and turnout for the youth (and voter turnout in general) was unexpectedly high. To no one’s surprise, young voters broke for the president (60-36), but represented a larger share of the electorate than four years ago. Romney’s lead amongst independents wasn’t enough to overcome the Latino vote, which he lost to Obama miserably 72%-23%. Lastly, Romney wasn’t able to cut into the gender gap quite as effectively as he wanted to, with the president winning women, overall, by eleven points. However, it’s with unmarried women that Romney had a fatal disadvantage with, as they broke for Obama 67% to 31%.
On states, betting on Pennsylvania proved to another catastrophic play. We haven’t won the Keystone State in almost a quarter century, and it may be time to part company completely. Concerning Wisconsin, the state may have swung right on recent elections, but perhaps the ‘fairness voters’ – voters who may not agree with Walker’s policies, but are appalled that unions would want to revoke an election result – turned out to vote for the president this time. In Ohio and Virginia, Romney’s failure to execute the war on coal narrative sooner, and formulating a response to the Bain ads, contributed to his defeat.
Without a doubt, the Bain ads – the Obama campaign’s first official salvo in their ‘Kill Romney’ strategy – released right after Mitt unofficially clinched the Republican nomination resonated with Buckeye residents, and shame on the Governor’s communications team, who were on the defensive for most of the election cycle. In short, like with Goldwater in ’64, the Obama campaign was able to define Romney – before Romney could define himself. It’s another costly misfire.
However, I truly feel that Mitt Romney ran a good campaign, and did the best he could’ve with what he had regarding resources. It’s hard to be successful when you don’t have a Karl Rove, James Carville, or David Plouffe on your side. It also hurt that he couldn’t run on health care, since Romneycare served as the blue print for one of the most egregious affronts to the constitution since the Alien and Sedition Acts of the Adams administration.
Yet, if you looked at the field from the beginning, It was either going to be Mitt Romney or Rick Perry fighting for the nomination. Newt and Cain treated this serious event in American politics with the maturity of eight year olds at a lemonade stand – with the lemonade being books. For many Americans, Michele Bachmann failed the threshold question of any presidential candidate, which is do I trust this person with nuclear weapons? Disgraced former Pennsylvanian Senator Rick Santorum failed the conservative test, in my opinion, by voting for Medicare Part D, which added $ 7 trillion to the unfunded liability of the program. That’s 20% of the entire unfunded liability, which we now have to deal with before the fiscal cliff. He voted for Sonia Sotomayor for circuit judge. Santo voted against National Right to Work, Food Stamp reform, a flat tax, and Medicaid reform. He voted for internet taxes, the unionization of FedEx (twice), and No Child Left Behind. He took that one for the team.
Rick Perry, my choice for president, flamed out in one of the most epic derailments we’ve probably seen in a long time. Jon Huntsman was too moderate. Ron Paul was well, Ron Paul. So, we were left with Mitt Romney. Sometimes the pickings of the field aren’t too stellar, and we have to deal with that.
Again, I don’t blame Romney for the loss. Yes, Obama’s record of economic pain, which he has inflicted without mercy on the American people, is long, but his political team, along with the media, were able to spin it just enough to trivialize the fallout. As Ralph Reed, Founder and former Executive Director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said at CPAC 2012 last February – we’re about to face “the meanest, toughest, most vicious political team we’ve ever faced.” He was right, and we paid dearly for it.
Given Obama’s record, and Republicans’ inability to defeat him, it begs the question if the GOP should have any business being in American politics. Yes, they still do, but renovations need to be made. We need to do better with women – cough nix the rape talk cough cough – hispanics, and younger voters. The hispanic vote ruined the California GOP back in 1994 when Prop. 187 established a citizenship screening process and barred illegals from using state services was construed as ‘anti-immigrant.’ It was really protecting the territorial integrity of the United States, a core function of a nation in the international system, but that’s a different debate. Regardless, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and California Republicans have been in the bunker ever since.
We need to find ways to protect our sovereign soil, but in a way that doesn’t come off as nativist. Hispanics are hard-workers, religious, and pro-traditional marriage. Or, at least, that’s what was the conventional wisdom at the time. Heather MacDonald posted on National Review yesterday that:
a March 2011 poll by Moore Information found that Republican economic policies were a stronger turn-off for Hispanic voters in California than Republican positions on illegal immigration. Twenty-nine percent of Hispanic voters were suspicious of the Republican party on class-warfare grounds — “it favors only the rich”; “Republicans are selfish and out for themselves”; “Republicans don’t represent the average person”– compared with 7 percent who objected to Republican immigration stances.
I spoke last year with John Echeveste, founder of the oldest Latino marketing firm in southern California, about Hispanic politics. “What Republicans mean by ‘family values’ and what Hispanics mean are two completely different things,” he said. “We are a very compassionate people, we care about other people and understand that government has a role to play in helping people.”
So, despite Mitt’s shaky conservative credentials, without a doubt, he’s the most hard-lined presidential candidate on immigration we’ve had in the past ten years – and that didn’t hurt him with these voters. Bain, on the other hand, probably didn’t help.
Nevertheless, I’m not saying we should be for amnesty. We shouldn’t be. Amnesty is unfair and unethical – as is the president’s Dream Act light, which requires illegals to bribe the government $465 from doing it’s job enforcing federal law. However, what 2012 should show all conservatives is that our coalition, which to Paul Krugman’s chagrin truly represents the ‘Real America,’ is static. It’s more rural, blue collar, and white. That’s not enough to win elections. We need to improve outreach with minorities and venture back into the cities, or places where the people are, to make these contests competitive again. George W. Bush won 44% of the Latino vote in 2004, with increased majorities in the House and Senate. It’s not impossible. But it’ll be very difficult trying to chip away at the government’s “role in helping people,” which in Democrat speak for getting these people so dependent on us as possible, so they’re a lock when Election Day arrives.
Concerning the ladies, we need to exert a little more discretion when we talk about rape. While the Democratic National Convention could’ve been Abortion Fest 2012,the senate races in this cycle should have been more appropriately called Rape Fest. It’s odd that we even have to mention this, and some blame the Tea Party for these mishaps. I don’t. The Tea Party is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. As George Will once noted, they’re the best thing to happen in American politics since the Goldwater insurgency. Republicans would not be where they are now without the Tea Party, but that does not mean we should accept every one of their primary victors as serious candidates.
As Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel wrote in The Daily Caller yesterday:
The tea party believes the GOP establishment is ideologically corrupt. They’re right. But replacing the current leadership with obviously unqualified buffoons is no remedy. Republicans have lost at least five winnable Senate races in the last two cycles because they fielded candidates whose only real qualification was being anti-establishment. Many will argue the GOP can only win going forward with more liberal candidates. That’s not true. But the genuine conservatives they find will have to come with political skills, policy smarts and impressive resumes in order to get elected.
The sad truth is that even if the Republican Party did all this — sent its current leaders home and stopped nominating losers — it still wouldn’t be enough. The country is changing too fast. Most people have the sense that America is different demographically from what it was 20 years ago. But unless they’ve been reading the latest census data, they have no real idea. The changes are that profound. They’re also permanent and likely to accelerate. In order to remain competitive outside Utah, the GOP will have to win new voters, and soon.
That’s the Republican reformation plan, Stage B. They may get there. First they’ll have to tackle the basics, like finding fresh leadership and candidates who aren’t embarrassing.
That will take some serious vetting. Furthermore, we’re Republicans. We’re pro-life, and the American people know that about our movement. In elections centered on the economy, you can easily pivot away from such issues. Sadly, some of our fellow party members couldn’t help themselves, they shot their mouths off, and got trounced. There is much intra-party work to do – and it starts now.
Meanwhile, a divided America exists and the government we elected is representative of that partisanship. Michael Barone wrote also wrote in National Review that Americans on the right, and the others of the left, are no longer becoming culturally cohesive.
Ronald Reagan, speaking the language of the old, universal popular culture, could appeal to both Americas. His successors, not so much. Barack Obama, after an auspicious start, has failed to do so.
As a result, there are going to be many Americans profoundly unhappy with the result of this election, whichever way it goes. Those on the losing side will be especially angry with those whose candidate won.
Americans have faced this before. This has been a culturally diverse land from its colonial beginnings. The mid-20th-century cultural cohesiveness was the exception, not the rule.
We used to get along by leaving each other alone. The Founders established a limited government, neutral on religion, allowing states, localities, and voluntary associations to do much of society’s work. Even that didn’t always work: We had a Civil War.
An enlarged federal government didn’t divide mid-20th-century Americans, except on civil-rights issues. Otherwise, there was general agreement about the values government should foster.
Now the two Americas disagree, sharply. Government decisions enthuse one and enrage the other. The election may be over, but the two Americas are still not on speaking terms.
It’s sort of like this exchange between President Bartlet and Governor Ritchie.
Right now, Obama is in a good position to increases taxes, which will happen when Obamacare’s fully implemented in 2014, nominate SCOTUS appointments, which threaten to curtail our constitutional rights, and to continue this destructive surge in government spending that only shackles people to the will of the state through dependency. It’s up to House Republicans to obstruct Democratic plans, and put forward a deluge of alternatives of their own. Granted, we won’t be able to filibuster Supreme Court appointments, but this president’s agenda, and that of the Democrats, is inherently dangerous to the socioeconomic fabric of the country and we must fight them all the way. Concerning the fiscal cliff, maybe compromise can be reached. Yet, we should also remember that compromise is how we got Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, and the first round of federal stimulus under the Bush administration. Policies that attributed to the near collapse of the conservative movement in this country.
I’m pessimistic that a deal will be reached. This president’s ego would bust the marble in the Capitol dome – and he exuded poor presidential leadership as described in Bob Woodward’s new book The Price of Politics. Yet, Mr. Will again reminds us that throughout the course of American history there is not a single thing that the American people wanted intensely and protractedly that they did not eventually get from the federal government.
The day has arrived. In about twenty-four hours, the stains of Barack Obama will be wiped clean and honor and dignity will be restored to The White House under President-elect Mitt Romney. It hasn’t been an easy road. Conservatives waged a brutal primary battle that left us with a scarred nominee – Romney – coming out of the gate to take on President Obama in the general. However, he licked his wounds, redeployed his campaign assets, and was laser focused on Barack Obama’s miserable record of debt, deficits, and high unemployment. As a result, he’s polling slightly ahead of the President on Election Eve, and I’m confident Governor Romney will be the next President of the United States.
Granted there were some bumps in the road. The last week of August and the whole month of September were especially lackluster – but his resounding and decisive victory in the first, and most important, presidential debate altered the electoral map in a way liberals couldn’t imagine. His surge in the polls with women decimated Obama’s double-digit lead amongst women, and Romney’s double-digit lead amongst independents will prove valuable in the generals, as well as the down ticket races in the House and Senate. Right now, I have Gov. Romney winning the 2012 Election with 289 electoral votes to Obama’s 249. Some pundits, like George Will, predict a 321 Electoral landslide for Mitt Romney, but I’m more reserved.
First, to even begin to contemplate such a mandate, Romney needs to win Pennsylvania – a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988. While some polls show that the races is tied (Romney is shown trailing by 2-4 points on D+8 polls) – I’m just not ready to bet the mortgage on a state we have failed to lock up for almost a quarter century. Granted, the 2011 county courthouse races were indicative that Democrats in the western part of the state – the bitter clingers who are mostly pro-life and pro-gun rights – were getting sick of liberal policies. Republicans took Westmoreland County for the first time in fifty years. Now, Republicans control 51 of the 67 counties in PA, with most of the inroads being in the western part of the state. Republican media consultant Michael Hudome wrote on The Daily Caller on Nov. 2 that “half of the NRA membership in the entire country is within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh.”
Recent electoral results signal a Republican surge in the Commonwealth. Conservative Pat Toomey was elected to the Senate in 2010 despite the best efforts of the White House.
Republicans control 12 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional seats. In the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats were only able to offer token opposition to Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Patrick Meehan this year. In those critical counties near Philly, Governor Romney is a perfect fit for Independent and Republican women. Polls suggest there is no gender gap.
This election, voter intensity favors Republicans. Senator Bob Casey (of the Potted Plant Party) has his hands full with a challenge from businessman Tom Smith. Recent polls show that race is a toss-up.Given all these factors, it’s no wonder Romney and his allies have started an air war. In fact, Republicans have spent enough money on ads in Pennsylvania in the past week to fund a solid, month-long ad campaign in the state.
Furthermore, “semi-defrocked” Republican strategist Mike Murphy recently tweeted that if Romney is trailing by two in the PA polls – he wins Ohio.
In the end, it’ll all be about turnout, but I’m cautiously pessimistic about the Keystone State. I think Obama will eek out a win here. However, I will bet that Tom Smith, the Republican Senate candidate, will defeat incumbent Democrat Bob Casey, Jr. He made up a deficit of almost twenty points in the polls, and flooded the state with ads to hammer at Casey. It has worked. The race is a virtual tie. With Casey’s nonexistent campaign and low enthusiasm from Democratic voters, I think Smith will win.
Now, concerning the Buckeye State, Obama is trying to over-perform in the auto/industrial areas of Toledo and Akron. However, in an election where Democratic enthusiasm isn’t nearly as high as Republicans, it’ll be an uphill struggle. Whereas Mitt Romney is taking a page from George W. Bush in ’04 centering on the southeast portion of the state – coal country – and the swing suburbs around Cincinnati. As of now, the race is tied – but The American Spectator’s Robert Stacy McCain has been on the Romney campaign crawl and posted this on Election Eve.
[ Ali] Akbar [Republican operative] stayed up all night Saturday poring over Ohio early-voting totals, comparing them to previous elections, studying recent Buckeye State polls, and crunching the numbers before waking me up before 8 a.m. Sunday to declare, “We’ve got Ohio.” His analysis of the early-vote numbers and his interpretation of the latest Columbus Dispatch poll as bad news for Obama quickly inspired an online buzz among Republicans who have been worried sick over Ohio. Even at the mid-October apex of Romney’s surge, the Republican never led the Real Clear Politics average of polls in this crucial battleground state. Although Obama’s lead has never been large — as of Sunday, he led the RCP Ohio average by 2.8 points — it has been remarkably persistent, prompting much theorizing about the factors behind it. The economy in Ohio hasn’t been quite as hard-hit as some other states; unemployment is only 7 percent. Ads from the Obama campaign have hit Romney hard for his opposition to the GM and Chrysler bailout, a reasonably popular measure in Ohio, where auto manufacturing jobs are a vital part of the state’s economy.
However, it’s a false narrative considering that Mr. Romney’s plan would have also saved the auto industry, which was reaffirmed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal by auto expert Edward Niedermeyer. However, the trend with overall early voting doesn’t favor Obama. Gallup stated that 15% of the electorate has already voted and they’re splitting 52%-46% in Romney’s favor.
Given the Obama administration’s ‘War on Coal,’ I will hedge my bets that there will be a high turnout from these counties adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, but if Hamilton County swings Republican, we can all breath a sigh of relief.
In Wisconsin, I didn’t give this to Romney because it’s Paul Ryan’s home state, and therefore, a safe win. As George Will aptly noted back in April:
…in the 16 elections since World War II, 10 presidential candidates have failed to carry the home state of their vice presidential running mates. Gov. Earl Warren could not carry California for Tom Dewey in 1948; Sen. Estes Kefauver could not carry Tennessee for Adlai Stevenson in 1956; former senator Henry Cabot Lodge could not carry Massachusetts for Richard Nixon in 1960; Rep. Bill Miller could not carry New York for Barry Goldwater in 1964; Gov. Spiro Agnew could not carry Maryland for Nixon in 1968; Sargent Shriver could not carry Maryland for George McGovern in 1972; Rep. Geraldine Ferraro could not carry New York (or women, or even her congressional district) for Walter Mondale in 1984; Sen. Lloyd Bentsen could not carry Texas for Michael Dukakis in 1988; Jack Kemp could not carry New York for Bob Dole in 1996; Sen. John Edwards could not carry North Carolina for John Kerry in 2004.
No, it’s because no state has swung more to the right in the Midwest than Wisconsin. They booted incumbent Democratic Senator Russ Feingold for Ron Johnson, elected Gov. Scott Walker, and took tow formerly Democratic congressional districts that covers most of the northern part of the state in 2010. Additionally, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature as well. Furthermore, Gov. Scott Walker became the only governor in American history to survive a recall attempt last June receiving more votes than he did in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Wisconsin State Senate Republicans also faced a recall of their own on two separate occasions. The first salvo being fired in August of 2011, where Republicans maintained the majority. The second occurred in 2012, where Democrats gained control, but turned out to be a useless exercise since the the general session will not begin until after November 2012, when the seats will be contested again.
While the race is tied, given the reaffirmation of Walker’s policies, the infrastructure Walker has built to successfully maintain his residency in the Governor’s Mansion, and the conservative swing of the state’s electorate – suffice to say that a Romney victory here is likely. Disrupting the pattern where Wisconsin has gone Democratic in nine of the last ten presidential races.
In Indiana, Romney is ahead – on average – by 9.5 points. Safe state.
In North Carolina, Romney is up by 3. Given that the State Democratic Party of NC was distracted by a sex scandal and was saddled with an unpopular Democratic Governor, Bev Purdue, Romney should win the state. And Republicans will take the Governor’s mansion for Pat McCrory – the Mayor of Charlotte. When he’s elected, McCrory will be the third Republican in the past thirty-nine years.
In Florida, it looks as if “Romney has pretty much nailed [it] down,” according to Guy Benson. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air added to this sentiment noting a poll from the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald showing Gov. Romney with a comfortable six point lead.
Florida continues to look good for Mitt Romney. The Republican holds a 6-point lead in the state essential to his hopes of defeating President Barack Obama, according to a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Miami Herald poll.
The poll shows slight tightening, with Romney’s 51-45 lead down 1 percentage point from the Times’ statewide poll a month ago. …
Still, nearly every key indicator in theTimes’ pre-Election Day poll reveals Romney’s advantage in a state Obama won four years ago.
Florida voters trust Romney more to fix the economy and give him an edge, 50 percent to 48 percent, on who will look out more for the middle class — a stark turn from past months when Obama and his allies unleashed a barrage of TV ads portraying Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.
Romney even has a slight advantage on foreign policy, with 2 percent more voters saying they trust him over Obama, who has faced criticism over the fatal attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.
The Herald has an interesting analysis, one that confounds the national media narrative. Romney now gets more crossover votes than Obama, contra to the common assumption that independents are proto-Republicans and Romney has trouble with his base:
Romney’s strengths: independent voters and more crossover support from Democrats relative to the Republicans who back Obama, according to the survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
Real Clear Politics Average has Romney with a 1.5 point advantage over the president going into Election Day.
Virginia will be a squeaker, but given the coal counties to the far western parts of the state, especially around the town of Grundy, I think Mitt will have success. Ed Morrissey, who along with Allahpundit and most of the full-time staff, have been doing an excellent job detailing the recent polls and debunking the liberal drivel. He wrote that:
Mitt Romney still earns 50% support in Virginia just before Election Day.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Virginia Voters shows Romney with 50% of the vote to President Obama’s 48%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and another one percent (1%) is undecided.
This is unchanged from two weeks ago and the week before that when it was Romney 50%, Obama 47%.
This one’s tight enough to look at the internals, which are somewhat surprising given the closeness of the toplines. Obama actually loses the overall gender gap by three points (-7 among men, +4 among women), but he’s also losing independents in Virginia by 21 points, 58/37. In 2008, Obama had a +11 in the gender gap and won independents by one point, 49/48. The D/R/I in this sample is D+2 at 38/36/25; in 2008 it was 39/33/27 but in 2009′s gubernatorial election it was 33/37/30.
Romney wins the economic argument by six points, 51/45 over Obama. There’s a significant gender gap on this question as well, but it also favors Romney (+10 among men, +1 among women). Romney has a 25-point lead among independents on this question, 58/33. On the other hand, Obama does have a positive job-approval rating at 51/49, which is probably why the toplines look as close as they do. I’d guess, though, that Virginia’s going to break significantly for Romney
Lastly, New Hampshire is a bet. Obama is ahead of Romney by two points, but I will take a gamble, and say that Romney will take the “Live Free or Die” state due to depressed turnout and a little luck. It’s my wild card. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s for fun.
Right now, it’s all about turnout. Republicans are more enthused to vote this cycle.The Huffington Post posted about Chuck Todd’s breakdown of Republican voter enthusiasm. Here’s what he said on Meet The Press on October 7, which was the Sunday after the first presidential debate.
CHUCK TODD: Well, it’s simply an enthusiasm gap. And we’re seeing it across the board. Look at here in this first one. 79% of Republicans call themselves extremely interested in this election. On a scale of one to ten, that means they said they’re a nine or a ten on interest in the election. 73% of Democrats.
Look at four years ago. It was a 13 point gap in favor of the Democrats. Let me go through some various voting groups. This is an important voting group. Seniors are an important voting group to Mitt Romney now. He leads them by about 10 points in our NBC Wall Street Journal poll. Look at this in engagement in the election. Four years ago was 81%, pretty higher. Even higher this time at 87%. And Romney’s doing better among seniors than McCain did.
Let me go to an important voting group for the president, young voters. Look at this engagement level: 52% now they call themselves, voters 18 to 34, call themselves extremely interested in this election. Four years ago it was 72%. That 20 gap. The president wins young voters by huge margins. He’s winning them by some 20-plus points. But if you don’t have this kind of enthusiasm, they’re not going to show up to the polls.
And then let me give you this last one here, because this is, I think, the most important one. And that’s Hispanics. The President’s winning Hispanics by 50 points. He hit the 70% mark. However, look at this in terms of interest in the election. 59% now, it was 77%. What does that mean? President got 65%, I believe, of Hispanics four years ago.
So even though he’s going to get more Hispanics, if less of them turn out, it’s a net zero. And yet, you look at Republican enthusiasm, up, senior enthusiasm, up. It’s a huge problem. And by the way, all of this, pre-debate.
Furthermore, liberals are citing polls based on 2008 turnout levels that oversample Democratic voters. A D+13 poll isn’t an accurate gauge in this election. We’ve had an unemployment rate above 8% for over forty consecutive months – with the rate being over 9% for twenty-six of those months. We have $6 trillion in new debt, 23 million unemployed, and a litany of new regulations. What has Obama shown for this investment in trickle down government?
We have seen an anemic economic recovery, with our third quarter growth at an insipid 2%. President Obama is the personification of the dependency agenda. A pernicious crusade to establish a hyper-regulatory progressive state and break all institutions within our nation to the will of Washington. More women have lost their jobs under the Obama administration, and with women more on the economic frontlines, they’ve seen that the president may not be the best choice for their checkbook.
Granted, tonight will be a LONG night. So, make sure those coffee mugs are filled, Red Bulls are plentiful, and champagne fully stocked – because Republicans should be optimistic that Gov. Romney will soon be called ‘President Romney’ fairly soon.
It’s down to the wire and still there are some undecided voters. If you know them ask a simple question, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” It’s the simple question Ronald Reagan asked voters following four challenging years under the Carter administration.
How is your grocery budget? Are you spending more for the everyday items? What’s the cost of bacon, Detergent? Coffee? Coke? Safeway ad Oct 2008: Betty Crocker cake mix .58, braeburn apples .88/lb, Progresso soups $1.00
Are you paying so much more for gas that you’ve had to adjust your schedule? Are you driving less? Taking fewer trips? Average gas price October, 2008 $2.82 USA Today
Do you know someone who is looking for a job? Or someone who had to take a lesser paying job because they couldn’t find anything else? Maybe they’re working two jobs to make up for it? 30% part time workers want full time jobs. NYT
Are you finding your family with less cash and changing activities to those that don’t cost as much? Summer 2012 movie attendance lowest in decades. Hollywood Reporter
What’s the value of your house? Are you upside down? Home values down average 16% since 2008. Progressive Policy Have you lost your home? Do you know someone who is struggling and trying to decide whether to stay in the house or just walk away? Did the president promise to cut through the red tape but the loan people didn’t get the same message? Roughly 4 Million families have lost their homes from 2008 to 2012. NYT
Were you excited that you would be getting ‘free’ preventative health care procedures through your health care until you learned that your insurance costs would increase ten percent or more? Premiums for health insurance have increased an average of $2370 from 2009 to 2012. ABC News If you know a senior are they worried about the upcoming cuts to Medicare necessary to fund the new ‘Affordable’ Health Care Act? Obamacare will cut Medicare $716 Billion. Washington Post
What about those college age kids you know? After being told they must attend college to get a job are they now working part time at the fast food restaurant and living with a roommate (or worse, back home) because they’re now having to pay back those college loans but the job market is so tight businesses can hire workers with great experience rather than the inexperienced college grad? 53% college grads are jobless or underemployed. The Atlantic
Has there been an opportunity for a new business or industry in your area but the EPA, NEPA and its increased powers through executive order are holding it up maybe forever? EPA regulations could mean over 880,000 coal-electric jobs lost per year. Daily Caller
Do you know someone in the military who, mid-career, suddenly has found himself unemployed with no benefits? Or a worker for one of the many defense contractors who are hearing rumors of cuts as the DoD loses one-third of its budget? Defense industry bracing for additional $500 Billion in cuts. Reuters
Barack Obama campaigned on Hope and Change. Are you feeling it? Do you want more of the same?
If you don’t want a repeat of the past four years it’s important you take the time to vote. . .and take a friend.
Clearly, our federal government isn’t big enough. In a Monday morning interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, President Obama suggested that a new Secretary of Business be created. Of course the new Secretary will need a whole new government department of bureaucrats to go with his or her position.
“We should have one Secretary of Business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA or helping companies with exports” the President said in the interview. Oddly, the federal government already has a Commerce Department and Secretary to go with it. Perhaps instead of consolidating some of the tasks from department under a new one, the President should be considering re-focusing the existing departments at a time when the government must shrink to match revenues.
The Commerce department’s mission as stated on its own front page is “to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad.” The divisions of the Commerce Department don’t look as though they are all focused on those goals. The current offices within the department include:
- Office of Business Liaison
- Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
- Native American Affairs
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
- Office of Acquisition Management
- Office of Administrative Services
- Office of Budget
- Office of Civil Rights
- Office of Financial Management
- Office of Human Resources Management
- Office of Privacy and Open Government
- Office of Program Evaluation and Risk Management
- Office of Security
- Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
- Office of the Chief Information Officer
- Office of the Executive Secretariat
- Office of General Counsel
- Office of Inspector General
- Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
- Office of Policy and Strategic Planning
- Office of Public Affairs
The Interior Department already handles Native American affairs making an office in Commerce unnecessary. If there are specific business concerns of Native American businesses, the office of Business Liaison should be tasked with understanding those details.
The Department of Justice and Health and Human Services both have civil rights divisions. Perhaps Commerce doesn’t need one too. It is curious that the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is in Commerce – why not Health and Human Services?
It would appear that the government doesn’t need an additional highly-paid bureaucrat with many other taxpayer funded staff running around doing what the Commerce Department should be doing. Instead, an organizational leader would recognize the confusing set of offices in Commerce and re-focusing that department on the needs of American business here and abroad.
The President created a jobs council in his first term – a group he met with zero times in almost four years. Will the Secretary get the same treatment or will Obama use an unlikely second term to push his agenda of higher taxes while continuing to ignore the business community? In an interview after a campaign rally in New Hampshire, the President cleared up any confusion when he told the “Morning Joe” hosts that if voters elect him to a second term he will have a clear mandate for raising taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal.
From a different perspective, if another department were created to focus on .. commerce, why would the Commerce Department need to continue to exist?
Some propose that the myriad offices within and without Commerce are necessary to help businesses navigate the whole of regulations that affect their businesses. Perhaps the real answer is to simplify those regulations to reduce the need for businesses to need such guidance.
After three years and ten months President Obama has finally found the jobs plan that will get this country back on the right track. Or so he says.
LA Times: DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — President Obama unveiled a glossy new 20-page magazine on his plan for the country Tuesday morning, waving it before a crowd here and pledging it will “actually move America forward.”
The new document is based on the case Obama has been making for his reelection for weeks now and includes charts reflecting positive economic data and an outline for strengthening the economy. The Republican National Committee dismissed it this morning as mere “repackaging,” and Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said it was just a collection of “failed policies.”
“The president is just doubling down on the same policies that have led to a stagnant economy, greater government dependency, and trillion-dollar deficits,” Henneberg said. “Mitt Romney has a ‘Plan for a Stronger Middle Class’ that will create 12-million new jobs, lift people out of poverty, and deliver a real recovery to the American people.”
CNN news anchor Erin Burnett took a look at the new plan. She’s impressed with the high gloss paper and finds it pretty to look at but she also thinks it might just be more of the same. A plan without real job creation, one with questionable math and a plan that includes actions already in the works.
Team Obama admits that this is a last minute ploy to attract voters. The 20 page pamphlet will be mailed to 3.5 million households and millions more are expected to be handed out door to door.
Take a look at this clip and share it with your swing state friends who still might be on the fence.
And if you want your own copy get it here.