Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff: What Does Obama Really Want?


Taxes hikes are a distraction. It is all about spending.

Barack Obama is a master magician. The great ones keep your attention focused on their right hand while they pick your pocket with their left. For a lawyer who voluntarily surrendered his law license, Barack Obama has proven an exceptional ability to frame the public debate.

When presenting the administration’s “fiscal cliff” proposal to Congress, Treasury Secretary Geithner asked for three things; taxes, spending and executive authority to unilaterally raise the debt limit. In reply, House GOP “Leadership” acquiesced agreeing to cap deductions including the mortgage interest deduction effectively raising taxes. Barack Obama proposes to raise taxes to cover eight days of government spending. The Republicans countered with four. Both parties claim to be raising “revenue” and not levying taxes.

House “Leadership” claims to promote fiscal restraint while removing fiscal hawks from key leadership positions. The Democrat Senate does not pass a budget for three years while quietly incorporating the 2009 Obama “stimulus” into the spending baseline thereby enacting a permanent stimulus. By claiming that “it’s time to rip the Band-Aid off and reach a deal” or “it won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,” Republicans are validating the virtue of these new spending levels and relinquishing their mantle as the party of low taxes and limited government.

While some have suggested Obama’s objective is to "kill” the Republican Party by forcing it to relinquish its core principles, the “tell” to Obama’s principal goal is Treasury Secretary Geithner’s proposal to “lift the debt limit to infinity.” Obama understands the only leverage fiscal conservatives have at forcing any measure of spending restraint or entitlement reform is through debt limit negotiations. Obama has not presented any spending cuts during "fiscal cliff" "negotiations" because they are not in his political interest. If Republicans agree to raise taxes, Obama forces them to go back on their pledge and achieves a political “win”. If Republicans hold firm on their principles, Obama gets massive tax hikes on everyone to pay for increased spending. Obama is buying ad time to try and force the Republicans’ hands, something conservative talk show host Mark Levin suggested Republicans do to explain the virtue of cutting spending and not raising taxes.

The only way Republicans regain the upper hand is to hold firm to their principals, articulate their position and exert their leverage at the upcoming debt limit negotiations. Capitulation will hurt the country as Obama has demonstrated an unwillingness to cut spending and proposed tax hikes will cover little current spending. Moreover, members who capitulate will pay a heavy political price as they will force conservatives into open revolt.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do we "need" to raise "revenue"?

Turn on cable news and you hear Democrats and an ever increasing chorus of Republicans cheer about our need to raise “revenue”. Revenue usually refers to income or earnings, the profit or proceeds from the sale of good or services or one’s labor. It does not often refer to taxes or levies. Yet there go the politicians claiming their entitlement to an ever increasing slice of the proceeds of our work as their reward. Language aside, it seems instructive to ask, what do they really need the money for? Maybe we really do need to pony up for the good of the country. Maybe all we need is a few of those “rich” fellas to kick in a little more.

It turns out that “one time” ‘we have do this since we face the worst economic crisis since the great depression’ “stimulus” is the new federal baseline. In other words, our government has been spending the equivalent of a trillion dollar “stimulus” every year since Barack Obama took office. While it is no surprise our government has been running trillion+ dollar deficits year after year after year, by endorsing the idea that our government needs to collect more “revenue” to pay for this increased spending, politicians are endorsing the belief that we need to continue spending at this increased rate!

Some Republican politicians have suggested that “it’s time to rip the Band-Aid off and reach a deal.” Other Republican pundits have decried that it "won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires." In fact, raising taxes on the “rich” as Obama has suggested would fund the federal government for a grand total of 8 days at current spending levels. While raising taxes on the “rich” may not “kill the country,” it will not help it much either. What it might do however, is “kill” the Republican Party which will lose its mantle as the party of low taxes and limited government. Further, it will immunize President Obama and Congressional Democrats from blame when the 8 days of new government funding does little to balance the budget or improve the economy.

Though promising voters they would not vote to raise their taxes, some Republican politicians have suggested “the world has changed” from the time they signed their pledge. Yet, some have remarked that “if politicians won't keep their word when they sign their names, what use is what they say when they don't?” The pledge is not a promise politicians made to some “purist” who runs an advocacy group, the pledge is a promise politicians made to the constituents who elected them. That is the fidelity that is being broken when politicians go back on their word.

Where can we begin making serious spending cuts? I challenge GOP lawmakers to read the House Republican Study Committee’s Spending Reduction Act of 2011. It lays out $2.5 trillion in cuts to federal programs most taxpayers have never heard of. This is without even discussing cuts to so-called entitlement programs which conservatives understand need to be reformed.

Rather than increase income tax rates, some Republicans have proposed curtailing deductions on mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable contributions. Ignoring the semantics that eliminating a deduction on which a taxpayer relies is the functional equivalent of raising his income tax rate, decreasing the deduction taxpayers are allowed for mortgage interest will further depress housing prices in an already depressed housing market. Reducing the ability of taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes will amount to double taxation as some of those taxes are taxes on income. Reducing or eliminating the deduction for charitable contributions will result in considerably less holiday cheer for many charitable institutions.

Throughout the year, Tea Partiers traveled to Wisconsin to help a governor survive a recall election in a state that they do not live in. They traveled to Texas in the sweltering summer sun helping to ensure we “extremists” had representation in DC. Many more traveled to Ohio and Virginia because we appreciate that all elections are important as the votes of every politician effect us all. We know who is up for re-election in two years. We are watching and we are coming!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday


A former teacher and fellow blogger started a tradition in her classroom called Thankful Thursday. She did this because “gratitude is a gift.” She wrote in part,

We need to talk about gratitude more in this country - in our families, in our schools, in our political discussions, in general. The more we recognize how lucky we are for the simple gift of individual liberty or to live under the Constitution, the more opportunities we have to spread the message that it is our job, as citizens and voters, to protect what we are so grateful for.

I was reminded of this the other day when I received an email from a fellow activist. This activist organized fellow patriots from Texas and Tennessee to write personal letters to voters in Virginia and to travel to that state to knock on doors in an effort to persuade voters. In fact, the activist and her 300 fellow volunteers wrote 53,000 such letters and spent nine weekends on the ground in Virginia, on their own dime! As she wrote,

We didn’t have millions of dollars or a Washington office full of highly-paid consultants. We saw a need to help save Virginia and we did everything in our power to do that.

This is what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving and what inspires me for the future. Over the past few years, activists like this woman have seen what is happening and have stepped forward to save our country. We are a growing movement that will not be deterred. As she concluded,

Because of what we accomplished with such few resources, I have hope for America. I have hope that sometime in the future that you will answer the call again. And that next time, more will join us in the fight and we will be victorious! They will be encouraged by our commitment and unwillingness to give up. We can take comfort that only 25% of the American colonists were committed to freedom and single-handedly changed the course of human history.

I have hope too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Spirit of the Tea Party

Patriots,

Like you, I was deeply disappointed by the results of last week’s election. It’s taken me a few days to write this message to you. However, you’ve not been far from my thoughts.

As soon as the outcome of the election was apparent, every red-blooded conservative in the country asked, “How did that happen? How could we have lost?”

Most all of us have a fairly long list of what should have happened or what should have been executed better and even what needs to happen next time. And those are all important discussions. However, I wanted all of you to take solace in the fact that you made an important contribution. You Answered The Call. There are continually reasons to not participate in this fight for our nation. You ignored all those obstacles and participated at a greater level than most conservatives in America.

Do you realize what we accomplished together? You wrote more personal postcards than had ever been written in a single effort….ever! Over 53,000! You traveled to Virginia to tirelessly canvass the homes of undecided voters for 9 weekends. Over 300 conservatives from Texas and Tennessee! This was the largest, independent Get-Out-The-Vote effort of red-state activists travelling to a battleground state…..ever! Can you believe that we did that together? We didn’t have Millions of Dollars or have a Washington office full of highly-paid consultants. We saw a need to help save Virginia and we did everything in our power to do that. You Answered The Call.

Because of what we accomplished on so little resources, I have hope for America. I have hope that sometime in the future that you will answer the call again. And that next time, more will join us in the fight and we will be victorious! They will be encouraged by our commitment and unwillingness to give up. We can take comfort that only 25% of the American colonists were committed to freedom and single-handedly changed the course of human history. We know in the Bible, God mostly chose a small contingent to accomplish His work. We don’t need an overwhelming army for God to do His mighty work in America. We just need patriots that will answer the call.

Thank you for answering the call in Virginia. I pray that you will be ready to fight for freedom again.

I can’t thank each of you enough for your efforts. And, thank you for being such an encouragement to me.

God Bless You and May God Bless America.

Lorie Medina
Volunteers for Virginia – Co-Organizer

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lessons from Philadelphia, What's Next


Over the past four years, FreedomWorks has helped the conservative and libertarian movements grow and thrive. A million people marched on Capitol Hill in 2009. The GOP won a 60+ seat majority in the House in 2010. Freedomworks’ Super PAC raised over $15 million and spearheaded GOTV efforts in Senate races across the country planting yard signs by the truckload as far as the eye can see. Yet, conservatives lost many of the races we cared about most in 2012. 

While it has been argued that the top of our ticket did not inspire some, the fact remains that we did not get our voters to the polls in races we cared about most. If conservatives and libertarians are to achieve a Hostile Takeover of the GOP, we need to elect candidates whose loyalty to principle is greater than their loyalty to party. In order to do that, we need to move beyond being a political movement and become a political operation.

There have been many recriminations over the past week as to the cause of the GOP electoral defeat. Some have suggested the GOP is the Leave it to Beaver party that has failed to keep up with ‘shifting demographics’. Others have pointed to the failure of Mitt Romney’s GOTV software known as Project ORCA. While Project ORCA was clearly a technological failure, the greater failure was that Mitt Romney’s GOTV effort was not localized. The same can be said of Mitt Romney’s voter integrity effort. As an election lawyer in Philadelphia, it does not surprise me that Mitt Romney did not receive a single vote in 59 Philadelphia voting divisions.

From the moment poles opened until well into the afternoon, I observed long lines of voters snaking through polling locations in heavily Democrat neighborhoods of Philadelphia where every voter was handed a card instructing them how to vote. These are similar to the cards that were handed out in heavily Democrat neighborhoods in Bridgeport, CT in 2010. No such lines existed in Republican neighborhoods and similar cards were not handed out to voters asking them to vote for Republican or conservative candidates.

From the time that poles opened until the moment they closed, there was a concerted effort by Philadelphia voting officials to weigh their thumbs on the scale of the election. Democrats fought efforts to seat Republican voting inspectors despite being presented with court orders to do so. In one instance, an election judge and the Democrat voting inspectors abandoned their polling location for the entire day, upset at being forced to work alongside Republican inspectors. I observed multiple instances of electioneering inside polling locations and had to return to the same polling locations on multiple occasions to chase electioneers away. I was even forced to instruct an election judge not to ‘pull the lever’ for a voter. When election judges were informed of electioneering inside their polling locations, they often pled ignorance or lack of responsibility notwithstanding instructions to the contrary from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office.

It is no longer sufficient for conservatives to drive the ideological agenda yet rely on party officials to drive GOTV and voter integrity efforts. Grassroots conservatives and independent groups must fund and organize these initiatives with the same level of urgency that liberal groups do. I observed two union painters asking for a receipt after they voted. When offered an ‘I voted’ sticker, they demurred insisting that the election judge provide them with a written receipt for having voted so their union boss could pay them for their time. Unions and liberal interest groups are reliable Democrat voters because they have significant economic interests at stake. Taxpayers, however, have just as much at stake as they are the ones footing the bills. Yet, taxpayers have not behaved with the same degree of urgency.

In my experience, the Republican party has done a poor job organizing, planning and funding GOTV and election integrity efforts. It is time for grassroots conservatives and independent groups to step in if we are to save our country. Grassroots conservatives cannot merely register at True the Vote and watch polls in their own neighborhood. They must be vigilant in the prevention of fraud in neighborhoods where fraud traditionally occurs in states and elections where the stakes are highest. Grassroots conservatives must staff, fund, plan and organize these efforts with the same level of care and commitment that unions and liberal interest groups do.

Barack Obama needed a 450,000 vote margin in Philadelphia to defeat Mitt Romney by 300,000 votes in Pennsylvania. Barack Obama needed a 240,000 vote margin in Cleveland to defeat Mitt Romney by 100,000 votes in Ohio. If conservatives do not want Cleveland and Philadelphia to continue to decide elections, let this serve as a wake-up call. Otherwise, America is destined to become a nation of Clevelands and Philadelphias.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Securing the Vote: Lessons from 2010

I was a poll watcher in Bridgeport, CT in 2010. For those of you not familiar, the Mayor of Bridgeport set off a recent firestorm by promising to swing the 2012 U.S. Senate election for Democrat candidate Chris Murphy. How can he do that? Let me tell you what happened in 2010.

The 2010 Connecticut Governor's race was a closely fought election. The final result was a Democrat victory by 5000 votes. On the morning after election day, the result showed a different outcome.

The Secretary of State ordered an insufficient supply of ballots so in the middle of the afternoon, election precincts across the state began to run out. Extra unnumbered, unaudited copies of ballots were photocopied and handed out to voters during the late afternoon. As they were not printed on special computer readable paper, they were not fed through the Scantron machine that tabulated votes and were secured in a special storage bin which began overflowing by the early evening. In fact, so many ballots were cast that they had to be collected in shopping bags.

At the end of the evening, after polls were kept open for an additional two hours by a judicial order meant to accommodate voters who were unable to vote during the fifteen minutes that polls were closed mid-afternoon, the ballots were secured and tabulated. A tally was sent to the Registrar of Voters which engaged in a marathon counting session throughout the night. By morning, with the final official tally on the fax machine set to be reported to the Secretary of State in the capital, someone miraculously found a bag of missing ballots and thus set off days of additional counts and recounts which swelled the margin of victory of the Democrat candidate.

What can be done to prevent similar incidents from happening in future elections?

(1) Volunteer to be a poll watcher with your local campaign and organizations like True the Vote. The primary job of a poll watcher is not to catch fraud but to deter it. Leftist groups attack True the Vote because they know that it is easier to cheat when people are not watching.

(2) Be prepared. Republicans were not adequately prepared in Connecticut in 2010. Election supervisors are not generally lawyers and can be taken aback when their discretion is challenged by a member of the opposition party, sometimes for the first time. Poll watchers need to be able to rely on a team of local lawyers who can escalate issues to a local judge or magistrate. Many disagreements amount to minor misunderstandings of the law and can be handled expeditiously if poll watchers have support from the local campaign. In Connecticut in 2010, all disputes including the decision to keep polls open an additional two hours were litigated in the state capital several hours away. Had anyone asked, the appropriate remedy would have been to keep polls open an additional fifteen minutes as that is how long they had been closed.

(3) Remember that the primary job of the poll watcher is to deter fraud and that can only be accomplished if you are in the room. Within an hour of my arrival at the polling location, the election supervisor asked the Deputy Registrar of Voters, accompanied by two state troopers, to speak with me because I had the temerity to challenge the qualification of voters who did not present proper ID. I could have been intimidated and gone home or I could have been infuriated and gotten arrested. Neither would have accomplished the ultimate goal of deterring fraud as both would have placed me outside the room. If your campaign does not have enough poll watchers to cover every polling location where you anticipate problems, assign teams of roving poll watchers and lawyers to cover them on a random basis and let the election supervisor know you will be checking in periodically.

(4) Assert the power of the provisional ballot! A provisional ballot is a ballot cast by a voter whose eligibility is in question. It allows an independent arbiter to determine the eligibility of the voter after voting is complete. If a voter whose eligibility is in question is allowed to cast a regular ballot, that vote is commingled with those of legitimate voters and it is not possible to remedy the situation if the voter is later determined to be ineligible.

(5) Fight for in-person voter ID laws that require the voter to present a state issued photo id that includes the voter’s address at an in-person voting location. This simple law would obviate much absentee ballot fraud, fraud where voters cast ballots in multiple locations, and fraud advocated by Congressman Moran’s son where criminals impersonate voters living and deceased to cast votes. As an election lawyer in Maine in 2008, I watched a student voter at the state university present a Sports Illustrated magazine label as proof of residence and then sign an affidavit that his girlfriend lived with him as proof of her residence. While both facts may have been true, there is no way to verify either independently or to have determined at the time whether either person had voted absentee in his home district.

Elections will never be without fraud. Too much power and money is at stake. If our sons and daughters are prepared to sacrifice their lives in the most desolate corners of the earth to preserve our freedom and our right to vote, the least we can do is take the proper measures to ensure that elections are conducted as honestly as possible.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Obama Presidency - George Orwell's 1984 Redux


War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Published during the Soviet Union's rise as a global superpower, George Orwell's 1984 offers a prescient window into the soul of the propaganda apparatus of a utopia dictatorship. While Barack Obama has yet to transform the United States from a constitutional republic, his effort to redesign Old Glory notwithstanding, enough similarities have arisen during his presidency and his campaign for re-election that it is worth taking notice. When reality is refracted through the prism of the state propaganda machine, we lose sight of who we are as a society.

Inhabitants of Orwell’s 1984 live in rat infested Victory Mansions and drink Victory Coffee that can generously be described as swill. The Ministry of Plenty allows them to purchase one pair of threadbare pajamas per annum. The Ministry of Truth re-writes historical news events and promulgates Newspeak, a language that seeks to confuse citizens into believing they are not living a dystopian nightmare. 

Conservatives have long complained about an unfriendly press. More than ever before, the Obama administration and its sycophants in the media are driving an Orwellian dystopian narrative to distract voters from the true misery of the economy and the dangers that face the United States abroad. Reasonable people can debate whether Mitt Romney or the solutions he proposes offer a superior alternative to the policies of the present administration. In a free country with a free press, the American people are entitled to the unvarnished truth. Our ancestors fought a revolution to free us from imperial rule. The modern day Tea Party movement is a metaphorical revolution against the heavy hand of top down, one size fits all, centrally planned government from both Republicans and Democrats. If the strength of the regime is our ignorance, we will surely lose our freedom.

The Polls

The Department of Justice sued The Gallup Organization after Gallup expressed an unwillingness to publish polls favorable to the Obama administration. Polls commissioned and released by media organizations should be intended to inform the public on the state of the election. Instead, polls are commissioned to reflect a desired outcome and drive voter perception. Individuals polled should be chosen to reflect an accurate representation of voter sentiment. Instead, pollsters heavily weight their samples with Democrats to give the impression that there is a wave of support for President Obama and Governor Romney is losing the election. In the critical swing state of Ohio, pollsters weight their samples with as many as 10% more Democrats despite evidence that Republicans have requested 40% more absentee ballots than Democrats and Republicans are outpacing their own absentee ballot requests from four years ago. Misrepresenting polling data is significant because many news organizations cite the average of these poll results reported at RealClearPolitics.com. When the website UnskewedPolls.com reports these results without a Democrat polling bias, they report a 7% lead for Mitt Romney as compared to the 4% lead RealClearPolitics reports for Barack Obama as of this writing.

The Economy

While the media continues to criticize Mitt Romney for a comment he made at a fundraiser several months ago, one that is technically accurate, they ignore the fact that the labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in 25 years resulting in a real unemployment rate of over 11%. Since President Obama took office, gasoline prices have more than doubled and one out of every four homes is worth less than the value of its mortgage. Despite the passage of a nearly 3000 page bill President Obama promised would reduce health insurance premiums by $2500, they have risen by nearly 20%. Nearly nine million people are collecting disability payments and the number of food stamp recipients has more than doubled under President Obama's watch. It is no wonder that median household income is down 8%. With our economy in freefall, the Federal Reserve has been forced to monetize 3/4 of the $6 trillion in new debt President Obama has accumulated. Rather than focusing on the disaster that is President Obama's economic record, or President Obama's own remarks acknowledging a desire to see welfare recipients as a 'majority coalition', or even President Obama’s outright lies on 60 Minutes about not raising taxes or his admission of lying in his paid advertisements, the media chooses to focus on Mitt Romney's supposed missteps and other campaign minutia. It is no wonder that only 8% of Americans have a 'great deal' of trust in the media.

Terrorism and the Middle East - Libya, Egypt and Iran

A United States consulate is set ablaze and our ambassador is murdered on the anniversary of 9/11 in an act of terrorism White House spokesman Jay Carney referred to as “self-evident", a characterization the President of Libya and Secretary of State Clinton agree with, and President Obama professes to the United Nations that this was the result of an out of control mob upset with a video that was released months earlier. Since the attack, we have learned that the United States government knew that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack within 24 hours, that Secretary of State Clinton hired a 'security' firm that agreed to send UNARMED! 'guards' to ‘protect’ a consulate in one of the most dangerous corners of the world and that United States Marines guarding our embassy in Egypt were not permitted to be armed with live ammunition. When engaging in such reckless behavior, President Obama ignored growing evidence of Arab radicalization in North Africa. In response to these attacks, reports have surfaced that President Obama is considering releasing the convicted mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb the tunnels leading to New York City and a federal building in lower Manhattan. To add insult to injury, President Obama has decided to give $450 million in NEW aid to Egypt despite evidence of Muslim Brotherhood connections to the Libya attack and after proposing a $129 million cut from the embassy security budget. While the Prime Minister of Israel draws literal red lines at the U.N. and his country hands out gas masks as Iran races toward becoming a nuclear power, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta calls 'little red lines' a political ploy. Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers continue to be killed in 'friendly' fire incidents in Afghanistan where the U.S. suffered the worst single day loss of air power since the Vietnam War as the Taliban destroyed eight Harreir jets while parked at an air base.

Lying has become the new normal among the Obama Administration and its allies. It has gotten so bad that FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe and conservative allies authored a letter expressing their outrage. At a recent Cato Institute Forum, Kibbe wondered rhetorically “how it is possible that so many diverse people can come together and create something that is better than themselves... when Barack Obama stood in front of Solyndra two months before it went bankrupt and said with a certitude that should disturb everyone ‘I know what is better’”. Orwell recognized that ignorance is power because it affords the government greater control. Barack Obama and his liberal allies recognize this too. To paraphrase Kibbe, freedom is the disintermediation of government control. Only with freedom of information is this possible.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mitt Romney - 'It won't be as bad'


If Barack Obama's campaign slogan is "It could have been worse," Mitt Romney's seems to be "It won't be as bad." Mitt Romney's comment on Meet the Press about maintaining 'guaranteed issue' in his 'repeal and replace' health plan means there will be no repealing and far less replacing. When combined with comments about his opposition to tax cuts which will effectively raise the net tax burden for many, they reinforce an aversion to free market solutions that causes many conservatives to cringe when faced with the prospect of supporting his candidacy.

What Mitt Romney fails to acknowledge or perhaps does not understand is that 'guaranteed issue' is the reason why health insurance premiums are dramatically higher in liberal northeastern states like Massachusetts than they are in the rest of the country. "Guaranteed issue' provides that an insurance company must issue a policy no matter the health of the applicant. What it guarantees is that healthy people wait until they become sick before applying for coverage. Consequently, 'guaranteed issue' forces insurance companies to assume that each new policy applicant has cancer and price coverage accordingly in order to ensure that they have sufficient capital to pay anticipated claims. Imagine if insurance companies priced homeowners insurance as if every house was located in a flood zone, or automobile insurance as if every driver had a history of alcohol abuse and reckless driving. While Mitt Romney may feel empathy for people who are born with expensive illnesses, they comprise a sliver of the population and their coverage requirements can be dealt with in much more cost effect ways.

In addition, Mitt Romney expressed an interest in maintaining the provision that children be allowed to stay on their parents' health insurance policy, as he put it, "up to whatever age they might like." Does Mitt Romney envision maintaining his 60 year-old children on his health insurance policy when he reaches 80 years of age? This is hardly the warm embrace of free market solutions he spoke of in his convention acceptance speech.

Further, Mitt Romney added,

"I can tell you that people at the high end, high-income taxpayers, are going to have fewer deductions and exemptions. Those numbers are going to come down. Otherwise they'd get a tax break. And I want to make sure people understand, despite what the Democrats said at their convention, I am not reducing taxes on high-income taxpayers."

During the tax debate that occurred after the 2010 midterm elections, Congressional Republicans proudly reminded us that raising taxes on high-income taxpayers would be raising taxes on the small businesses that are the engine of economic growth in America. Mitt Romney is proposing that Congressional Republicans break their pledge to small business. By reducing federal income tax rates but not by an amount sufficient to account for the  elimination of deductions for state and local taxes as well as mortgage interest, Mitt Romney will ask Congressional Republicans to reverse the pledge they made to small business not to raise their taxes. Further, if Mitt Romney was a true free marketeer, he would join the rest of the Republican party and the conservative movement and endorse a flat tax or at the very least, a significant flattening of the Internal Revenue Code similar to what was proposed in the House budget offered by his running mate.

By reversing course and endorsing parts of Obamacare, Mitt Romney is running the campaign Barack Obama should have run by saying he and Mitt Romney are not so different after all. Barack Obama will become the first American President to preside over a net job loss and yet he is LEADING most swing state polls. This is not because voters mistrust Mitt Romney because he is a rich guy who does not understand their struggles. It is because voters do not trust that Mitt Romney has values that are inviolable. Repealing Obamacare is not an applause line to the conservative movement that manufactured a 60 seat swing in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections. It is our raison d'etre! We do not want Massachusetts liberalism to infest conservatism and reverse the accomplishments we fought so hard for.

To paraphrase a biblical story, Moses smashed the tablets when he came down from Mt Sinai because his people were not prepared to receive them and were thus relegated to forty years wandering the desert. I worry that unless Mitt Romney reverses course relinquishing his embrace of Obamacare and tax hikes, the American people may be in for four more years of wandering.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney: Go Full Ryan, Fully Embrace Conservative Values

In the wake of being pummeled by ads depicting him as a heartless robber baron who leaves cancer-stricken women to die, Mitt Romney unveiled his VP selection on a Saturday morning at 9am on the final weekend of the Olympic Games. This was not only an effort to stem the tide of negative news coverage, but also an effort to allay conservative fears reignited by remarks made by his press secretary defending Romneycare. Lest anyone forget, in answer to an ad accusing Mitt Romney of killing a cancer-stricken woman several years after she left her job at a Bain Capital owned plant, Mitt Romney’s press secretary stated,

“To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care.”

In other words according to Mitt Romney’s chief spokesperson just last week, if this woman had been living under socialized medicine in Massachusetts, she would have been fine. It is only because she lived in one of the 49 states without socialized medicine that she dropped dead!

In an effort to allay some of those conservative fears, Mitt Romney nominated House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate. As the author of the House Budget Plan, Paul Ryan is the face of Republican efforts to reform entitlement programs and create a more growth oriented economic environment. Mind you, the House Budget Plan does not endorse the Cut, Cap and Balance approach promoted by the House Republican Study Committee. In fact, the House Budget Plan does not endorse a balanced budget amendment at all preferring to balance the federal budget slowly over time, over the next 28 years. That aside, by nominating Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney demonstrated he intends to make reforming entitlements and promoting economic growth the centerpiece of his fall campaign.

In picking Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney has overlooked one key area of disagreement between the two, tax policy. Mitt Romney’s tax plan favors an across the board rate cut maintaining the “progressivity” of the Internal Revenue Code, Mitt Romney’s word and a funny one for someone seeking to convince Republican voters of his conservative bona fides. The House Budget Plan by contrast, favors a flattening of the Internal Revenue Code to two individual rates and a significant tax simplification effort. Mitt Romney favors no such effort with the exception of a willingness to phase out or eliminate deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes for taxpayers in the upper income brackets. The problem with the Romney approach is that he does not favor a rate reduction that will equal or exceed the phase-out thus INCREASING the net tax liability of small business owners in the upper income brackets that the ENTIRE GOP Congressional caucus pledged to protect.

Before Mitt Romney announced his VP pick, President Obama launched a character assassination calling Mitt Romney a ‘Reverse Robin Hood,’ stealing from the poor to give tax breaks to the rich. Ignoring the Marxist assumption that it is “stealing” money from low income earners and the federal government money if higher income earners are not taxed as heavily, Mitt Romney would do well to negate this political narrative by endorsing a flat tax that goes beyond the House Budget Committee proposal and is completely flat and independent of income source and taxpayer status. This proposal would tax all income at one rate, no matter the source or status of the taxpayer. It would be hard to argue Mitt Romney is a ‘Reverse Robin Hood’ in such an environment. If you make more, you pay more but you are not penalized for making more. Further, such a proposal would eliminate the negative economic incentives the Internal Revenue Code provides by directing economic activity to tax-advantaged enterprises. Also, such a proposal would eliminate the cudgel legislators wield over taxpayers for directing tax policy. In one instance, tax revenue rose by nearly 80% over a three year period in the early 2000’s when Russia implemented a flat tax. Not only is a flat tax good politics, it is good policy as well.

When the excitement of the VP announcement dies down and the political conventions are over, Mitt Romney will have to combat the same character assassinations that were haranguing him prior to the announcement. On July 31st in Texas, an insurgent grassroots Tea Party candidate shocked the political establishment beating a sitting Lt Governor for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. The Lt Governor was a $20 million self-funded candidate in his fourteenth year of elected office. Yet in the span of two short months, Ted Cruz turned a 150,000 vote deficit after the initial primary into a 150,000 vote win after the runoff election representing a nearly 30% vote swing. He did it by embracing the grassroots, attending over forty Tea Party forums across the state and engaging voters at every opportunity. When the Lt Governor embraced his inner Obama accusing Ted Cruz of being responsible for the suicide of young man, a character assassination similar to the ones Mitt Romney is now facing, voters were in a position to give Ted Cruz the benefit of the doubt. This was not merely because of the ridiculousness of the charge, but also because voters knew Ted Cruz since he had made himself accessible to them. Republican strategists might be quick to dismiss the Cruz win as one of a conservative candidate in a conservative state. After all, the saying goes that Presidential elections are won and lost fighting for “moderate” votes. Yet according to a Yankee Institute survey, a whopping 70% of true blue Connecticut voters support cutting spending without raising taxes. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker survived a recall vote with a 10% margin of victory after signing legislation ending forced unionization. Over 60% of Connecticut voters favor the abolition of teachers unions according to the same Yankee Institute survey.

Mitt Romney needs to leave his Boston Brahmin liberal elitism in Taxachusetts and embrace the conservative values that are held dear by Paul Ryan and represent the core of the Republican Party. Mitt Romney needs to propose policy initiatives that move him closer to Paul Ryan and not use his VP pick as conservative window dressing. Mitt Romney should not shun conservative voters. We are hard working Americans who, after the federal government has racked up $16 TRILLION in debt, have had enough. Win our hearts and minds and the rest will follow. Need proof? Ask Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Texas Tea Party Leaders Unite To Dispute Claims of Support for Dewhurst

Dallas, TX –Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest tea party political action committee, brought together Texas Tea Party leaders today in Dallas to reject claims that Dewhurst has obtained tea party support. Tea Party leaders from all over Texas signed the attached letter.

Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said, “Over the past month, the Dewhurst campaign has waged one of the most offensive and misleading political smear campaigns of this election cycle. In the past week Dewhurst has doubled down by claiming support from the tea party. Tomorrow will be an unquestionable exhibition of statewide grassroots Tea Party support to the contrary.

“Dewhurst is right to believe the tea party will be the deciding factor in tomorrow’s election, but unfortunately for him, that support is with Ted Cruz. We are going to stand together and show David Dewhurst just what tea party support looks like!

“This showing of support will also aim to combat some of Dewhurst’s most appalling distortions. After traveling through the state over this past week, it has been evident that Dewhurst’s dishonest campaigning must be addressed.

“What today will be about is bringing together the most influential tea party leaders in the state to share their reasons why Ted Cruz is the strongest and most qualified candidate in tomorrow’s runoff election,” Kremer concluded.

Photos from this morning's event

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Shameful Dewhurst Attack Ads

Below is part of an email I received from Heidi Cruz, the wife of Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Texas Ted Cruz. Voters expect candidates to distort each others record to gain political advantage but the attacks of the Dewhurst campaign are of another sort altogether. Lt Governor David Dewhurst has chosen to use his sizable personal fortune to run the most outlandish FALSE disgraceful negative attack ads maligning Ted Cruz's patriotism and accusing him of being responsible for the death of a child. Fortunately, many in Texas share my outrage and are supporting Ted Cruz as a result. If you are a Texas Republican voter and you are on the fence, please vote for Ted Cruz if for no other reason than to send a message to politicians that we want them to focus on serious issues. Given the urgent need to repeal Obamacare, cut spending and start paying down our debt, voters should expect nothing less!

Dear EyeOnFreedom,

Down in the polls and grasping at straws, the Dewhurst Attack Machine is getting more and more vicious. The leading Dewhurst Super PAC—which is run by Dewhurst’s former chief of staff and campaign manager—just began airing a despicable, false ad about my husband Ted that one commentator called the nation’s “nastiest ad of the campaign cycle.”

Dewhurst is using the suffering of a grieving mother to try to blame Ted for the death of her son. But Ted had nothing—absolutely nothing—to do with the criminal proceedings surrounding that juvenile prison scandal, and Dewhurst knows it. The attack is a lie.

As a mother of two young girls, my heart weeps for this mother who lost her son. But I am repulsed by a desperate politician willing to exploit her grief to try to falsely claim, in the final days of the campaign, that Ted is responsible for killing children.

Texans are tired of Dewhurst’s desperate lies about Ted.

Sincerely,

Heidi Cruz

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Dewhurst Amnesty and Spending Speech

The missing Dewhurst amnesty speech is back online and available for download. A few observations:

(1) Ted Cruz was correct at the Belo Texas Senate debate when he said David Dewhurst's amnesty position goes beyond that of Barack Obama. Dewhurst "support[s] a guest worker program for those here today illegally." That means every man, woman and child including, presumably, criminal drug traffickers after they finish serving their prison sentences.

(2) Dewhurst continues. "I want to build a system where all immigrants from anywhere can come out of the shadows and be full participants in everything good Texas has to offer." Presumably, this includes access to Texas public education including subsidized tuition at Texas public universities, Medicaid benefits, Social Security benefits and the like. Are Texans prepared to pay higher taxes to subsidize the cost of these privileges of citizenship for illegal aliens?

(3) In addition to immigration, Dewhurst talks proudly about bringing home the bacon for the South Texas community he was visiting. "In 2005 I instructed our Senate Finance Committee to invest over $800 million more in higher education. In May of last year with Senator Zaffirini the two of us with the House wrote a bill to invest $1.9 billion in new university construction.
And yes it appears that Texas A&M International received a disproportionate share. I wonder why?!"

(4) Dewhurst talks about fighting to INCREASE spending, yes INCREASE! "Politics is a team sport and with friends and allies like Senator Zaffirini in 2003 when the House wanted to cut $500 million from higher education I said, "Over my dead, cold body" and we restored the money."

There is a reason the Tea Party movement has been successful at driving out big spending politicians of all political stripes. People are tired of an ever growing government and the demands it places on individuals and the economy writ large. People want to elect politicians who will treat the government's money as if it is their own. Even if one wants to allow some or all illegal aliens to stay and work in this country if they have committed no OTHER crime, as residence without citizenship or a visa is a crime, do we really want to afford the privileges of citizenship to those who are not citizens? If we go down that road, what is the value of citizenship?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Is Mitt Romney GOP Hope and Change? Why we need Ted Cruz more than ever!

What makes Americans different from citizens of other nations? Though we are a multicultural multiethnic society, we value freedom above all else. It is what brought my ancestors escaping religious persecution in Eastern Europe a century ago, it is what brought Ted Cruz’s father escaping political persecution in Castro’s Cuba, and it is what caused our nation’s Founding Fathers to declare their independence from King George more than two centuries earlier.

A thirst for freedom is what binds Americans. It is that very freedom that is under assault today. Freedom is under assault by the Alinskyites in the White House and their allies in Congress. Freedom is under assault by the Supreme Court which declared the federal government had unlimited power to coerce behavior through taxation. Freedom is under assault as well by some in the so-called opposition in Washington. Those with the power to fight but who stand idly by while the Left runs roughshod over our freedom are equally culpable. Without a willingness to fight for freedom by those in position to do so, we might as well kiss our freedom goodbye. It is because the Republican Party has seen fit to nominate an individual for President whose willingness to fight for liberty is questionable at best, that we need to ensure that we elect Representatives and Senators like Ted Cruz who have demonstrated a passion to fight for liberty and preserve our freedom.

Mitt Romney is at best, politely, a squishy Republican. Romney skewered Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry for “having a heart” on immigration during the primary campaign. Since then, Romney has backtracked his strong support for border enforcement and enforcing existing immigration law in response to President Obama’s grant of amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. This must be Mitt Romney’s Etch-A-Sketch at work that his advisor spoke so proudly of.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling, Mitt Romney pledged repeal claiming the law to be “bad policy”. A number of Republican Congressional candidates have released statements professing “respectful disagreement” with the Court’s ruling. Since then, Romney has refused to call the Obamacare mandate a tax worrying that Democrats will label his Romneycare mandate a tax. Mitt Romney defended the virtue of the Massachusetts health insurance mandate during the 2008 Presidential campaign. During the 2012 primary season, Romney continued to defend Romneycare as a product of state sovereignty. Without defending the virtue of implementing his plan in Massachusetts, Romney merely stated that it was Massachusetts’ prerogative to do so. While swearing his fidelity to full repeal of Obamacare, Romney claimed as late as December, 2011 that he would “keep the good parts” and “repeal the bad parts” of Obamacare. Not a full week after the Supreme Court ruling and after collecting over $4 million in online donations, Team Romney seeks to declare a “cease fire” in the fight over Obamacare.

Obamacare is not merely “bad policy,” it is an affront to personal liberty! Like Romneycare, Obamacare injects the government in private health decisions. Like Romneycare, Obamacare subordinates the free exercise of religion placing the state’s interest above that of citizens and religious institutions. Like Romneycare, costs will inevitably skyrocket and rationing will inevitably occur. Both Obamacare and Romneycare are not just “bad policy”, they are an affront to liberty! Rather than admit that he made a mistake in Massachusetts that he does not want to revisit on the nation, Romney gets weighed down in the semantics of whether his policy is a tax and clings stubbornly to his argument that Massachusetts has the sovereignty to make its own choices. While technically that may be true, Romney has never been asked to defend why his plan was a good idea for Massachusetts while it would have been a bad one for a neighboring state.

Further, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell jumped into the fray by stating his belief that Obamacare would be difficult to repeal. While that may be true as a technical matter, there was no sentence that followed indicating that the job would be made much easier by electing strong Constitutional conservatives to the U.S. Senate like Ted Cruz.

Ted Cruz has demonstrated a passion for taking on the GOP establishment and has pledged to fight to repeal “every syllable of every word” of Obamacare. It is because of the prospect of a President Romney and Majority Leader McConnell that it is vitally important to elect a committed fighter like Ted Cruz to the U.S. Senate.

Further, while Republicans talk a good game regarding limiting the size and scope of the federal government, they have done neither despite winning the largest Congressional victory in the history of our Republic in 2010. While it is impossible to know with certainty how Senator Ted Cruz would legislate, given his enjoyment for challenging members of his own party and the irrepressible effort he has shown engaging grassroots conservative Tea Party groups, Ted Cruz would be less likely to fall prey to the seductress that is Washington, DC tax and spend culture.

Finally, there is the issue of tax policy. Under immense pressure to craft a tax reform plan and having failed to do so to that point, Mitt Romney released his tax reform plan during the runup to the Michigan primary. Unlike the plans of every other Republican Presidential candidate, the House budget plan crafted by Paul Ryan which Mitt Romney claims to endorse, and the budget plan released by the Republican Study Committee, Mitt Romney’s plan preserves the progressive nature of the Internal Revenue Code. While the entire Republican Party was moving toward a flatter tax code that removed preferences for directed economic activity, Mitt Romney is intent on preserving the Internal Revenue Code to the greatest degree possible.

Mitt Romney proposed an across the board 20% rate cut in order to preserve the “progressivity” of the code, Mitt’s word and a funny one for someone claiming to be a conservative. While 20% seems like a large cut, that is in fact only a 7% cut at most as 20% of the highest income bracket is 7%. Unfortunately, this is another area where Mitt Romney proves he is not a conservative. Most conservatives justify the lowering and flattening of the Internal Revenue Code as a way to stimulate economic growth believing that some cuts will pay for themselves as more income is earned and more net tax is paid as a result. History has proven conservatives correct. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney chooses not to believe history and instead offers to “pay” for his tax cuts by lowering or eliminating the deductions for mortgage interest and state and local income and property taxes. Ignoring that the deduction for state and local income and property tax was established to prevent the DOUBLE TAXATION on income by both the state and federal governments, and further ignoring that reducing or eliminating the deduction for mortgage interest would destroy an already severely depressed housing market as home values would plummet since potential buyers would be unable to deduct their mortgage interest, most states and municipalities exact an aggregate tax that is higher than 7%. 

In other words, what Mitt Romney would give with one hand and take away with the other would result in a net tax INCREASE for many Americans. Even if the increase affected a small segment of the population at the upper end of the income scale, Republicans have gone on record stating their opposition to a tax increase on anyone because the upper end of the income scale includes many small business owners. In other words, Mitt Romney would be asking Republican Congressional legislators to go back on their pledge not to raise taxes on small business. This is yet another reason why it is important to elect conservative fighters who are opposed to tax increases and will fight members of their own party including a newly elected President who try and impose one through the backdoor.

While I intend to vote for Mitt Romney as President Obama has set the bar so low by demonstrating his fidelity to imposing his Marxist vision on the United States, Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he is hardly the champion of liberty that the conservative movement, which swept Republicans into office in record numbers in 2010, hungers for. Consequently, it is more important than ever to elect Representatives and Senators like Ted Cruz who will hold a President Romney’s feet to the fire. Ted cannot do it alone. He needs the help of Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Josh Mandel in Ohio, Don Stenberg in Nebraska, Zach Poskevich in Tennessee and many others. As Ted Cruz has said, “liberty is never safer than when politicians are scared.” Without men like Ted Cruz, Katie bar the door!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In honor of the patriots who gave their last full measure of devotion for freedom

Below are observations from my visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
The first impression that hits you when visiting Arlington National Cemetery is its vastness. Divided into 70 sections, spanning over 600 acres and interring almost 300,000 American servicemen and women, it is impossible to take in from any one vantage point.
Arlington is very park-like and serene. Though populated with officers corps initially, this is very much a people’s cemetery with officers interred beside enlisted men. I came upon the grave of a former Secretary of the Army and a Bronze Star recipient buried beside enlisted men with a standard tombstone adorned with a cross.
Arlington is very much an active cemetery holding around 100 funerals per week. I passed a family singing Happy Birthday and celebrating the birthday of their loved one, and a woman sitting quietly in a beach chair in the rain spending time with her loved one.
There is a series of long roads that begin at the base of the cemetery and wind their way to the apex of a steep hill where the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier rests. Engraved on the mausoleum is the inscription, “Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God,” acknowledgment that we are a religious nation at our core who take comfort in God in times of sadness and loss. Behind the tomb is a small museum which contains Medals of Honor for unknown soldiers fallen during World Wars I and II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The vastness of Arlington and the totality of the sacrifice is what imbues the visit with meaning. Whether fighting the Axis powers in World War II, 20th century communism or the Islamo-Fascists of the 21st century, every American interred at Arlington is united in his love of country and the freedom we hold dear. The totality of this awe-inspiring devotion should inspire the rest of us to fight every effort to ‘fundamentally transform’ America into something other than the freedom loving constitutional republic that we adore. We owe it to the men and women who rest here and their families who have sacrificed the unimaginable.
There are a number of pictures which accompany this post.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why is Mitt Romney Timid on Taxes?

Originally published at:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/why_is_mitt_romney_timid_on_taxes.html

The difference between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney can be summed up in a pivotal moment at the Republican debate on Monday night. When Newt Gingrich told Mitt Romney that investment income would not be subject to tax under his tax plan, Mitt Romney did not express the joy that one might expect given most of his income is derived from investments. Rather, Mitt displayed shock and disdain.

Newt calmly explained that according to Alan Greenspan, the best way to maximize economic growth is not to tax investment. By not taxing investment, Newt would create an environment for maximum job growth and restore America's economic vitality. While Mitt Romney believes his management skill will help restore economic prosperity, Newt Gingrich wants the American people to create their own prosperity.

Barack Obama wants to make the 2012 election about income inequality. Rich vs poor. Haves vs have nots. Newt Gingrich wants to level the playing field by giving everyone the option of being taxed at the lower rate the "rich" are currently being taxed at. These are the rates that all investment income is taxed at, however higher income Americans tend to derive more of their income from investments. Progressive tax codes discourage work because they tax additional income at higher rates. Where Obama wants to raise rates, Newt wants to lower them.

Later in the debate, Mitt Romney claimed that he wants to make U.S. taxes competitive with the rest of the world. Yet, noticeably absent from his economic plan is an effort to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate. One of the reasons so many manufacturing jobs go offshore is that the U.S. corporate tax rate is dramatically higher than other nations. Also, unless the profits of U.S. foreign subsidiaries are repatriated, the U.S. Treasury never receives any taxable income. This system encourages U.S. corporations to defer taxes incurred by their foreign subsidiaries indefinitely. It is no wonder that many companies develop products in the United States but manufacture them abroad.

Newt Gingrich aims to rectify this discrepancy by lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate to that of one of our chief foreign competitors, Ireland. By doing this and preventing companies from deferring their foreign profits indefinitely, Newt removes the incentive for companies to manufacture abroad. Further, Newt generates revenue for the U.S. Treasury that had existed only theoretically in the past.

Mitt Romney claims to be interested in the taxes of the American people but the only tax reduction his plan provides is a modest proposal to eliminate the capital gains tax for a class of income earners that historically has had very few capital gains. Mitt Romney even flirted with raising taxes by suggesting his support for a V.A.T during a late December interview with the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

Newt Gingrich is the only candidate that eliminates taxes on investment, makes our corporate tax rate competitive with the rest of the world so large companies will want to relocate to the world's largest market, and flattens and lowers the personal income tax rate for everyone.

Given that Mitt Romney claims to "know how jobs come and how jobs go," it is surprising that he has not offered an aggressive tax reform plan. It is difficult to envision how President Romney would encourage economic growth without one. Mitt Romney might be better off returning to Bain Capital and enjoying the 0% capital gains tax rate that President Gingrich would afford him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Hypocrisy of Bain Capital

Originally published at:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/mitt_romney_and_the_hypocrisy_of_bain_capital.html

Republished at:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/01/16/mitt_romney_and_the_hypocrisy_of_bain_capital_112777.html

Many have suggested that attacks on Mitt Romney's service at Bain Capital are attacks on capitalism itself. That is hyperbole at its finest from those who do not understand the business Bain Capital was involved in.

Mitt Romney was NOT primarily a venture capitalist. A venture capitalist invests in early-stage businesses with the hope that they grow and prosper. These early-stage businesses are often risky investments. Though most ultimately fail, some succeed spectacularly making the risks worthwhile. Apple Computer and Google are two such examples. This is what Mitt Romney means when he says some investments succeed and some fail.

By contrast, Mitt Romney was primarily what is affectionately known as a vulture investor. Bain Capital invested in failing companies with the intention of either restructuring their business or stripping the business and selling its assets. This business model often adversely affects a company's employees. To be fair, if the company had gone bankrupt on its own, that would have adversely affected the company's employees too. The question Republican primary voters need to ask themselves is not whether Mitt Romney did anything illegal or immoral. In a climate of near 10% unemployment, do Republicans want a vulture investor to be the face of their party?

The two core arguments for Mitt Romney's candidacy are (1) that he knows how to create jobs and (2) that he stands a better chance of defeating Barack Obama than his competitors. Is it true that a slash and burn vulture investor is the best advocate for job creation? If you were a factory worker in Ohio or Pennsylvania or the upper Midwest and Mitt Romney killed your job because there was a more efficient use of the capital employed in your factory, are you really going to listen to what Mitt Romney has to say even if you believe in hard work and free market capitalism?

No one is suggesting that Mitt Romney was evil or immoral or corrupt or criminal. If Mitt Romney had founded a business that did not rely on firing thousands of people as part of its business model, this issue would never have come up. Given that the focus of this election needs to be squarely on Barack Obama and his Marxist rhetoric and policies, it is paramount that Republicans not nominate a candidate that detracts from that.