The tax code is complicated; that makes it easy to spin. The context of taxation is extensive and not in the knowledge base of most people. Sometimes it seems to make no sense at all. For instance, if you buy a piece of improved property and it skyrockets in value, the IRS allows and expects you to report every year that it is going down in value. It’s called “depreciation” and it reduces your tax bill.
Democrats are trying to make the case that Romney is heartless and greedy. First by declaring that Romney paid no taxes at all, which was not only a falsehood but an insult to common sense, and now on the grounds that 14% is less than a fair share. The math is correct but it doesn’t make the case.
A heartless man does not give extensively to charity as Romney has done. A greedy man does not pay more taxes than necessary by intentionally omitting an allowed tax deduction, as Romney did. The bottom line is thru charity and taxes he kept 42% of his income and 58% went for the benefit of society. This math is also correct and it disproves the case the opposition is trying to make. Call it spin if you wish, like the 14%. The math and the reasoning are here.
The bottom line is Romney has been more generous than either Obama or Biden who is particularly famous for his lack of charitable giving. Romney also seems to prefer giving to society thru charity rather than thru the government.
One final thought. Greed and envy are close companions. Waging class warfare is an outlet for envy. Is waging class warfare not a form of greed also?
The Debate – from today’s New York Times
Under fire from fellow Democrats, Mr. Obama came out swinging, accusing Mr. Romney of lying to the American people about his plans for the nation. “I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” Mr. Obama told 12,000 supporters during a lakeside rally. “But it couldn’t be Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.”
Isn’t Obama saying he was thrown off course in the debate because Romney surprised him? It sounds more like a confession that he can’t handle surprises than it does like an excuse. He would have done better to say that he, Obama, was not himself last night.
Ben Stein on insurance
“Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured… but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.”
Now add this, “Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.”
Powerline with another paradox
“Suspected terrorists can be killed without legal process by drone strikes but, if captured in the hope that they will provide valuable intelligence, cannot be slapped in the face.”
Headlines from the right run from “Won by two touchdowns” to “It’s Over!” Comments from the left run from puzzlement to disappointment and to downright anger at their candidate for his poor performance. There is universal agreement that Romney won this one – big time!
But it is not over. Obama had a bad night but remember what he told his followers in an earlier campaign, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we will bring a gun.” Romney skipped the knife and came in to the fight with a gun. Expect Obama to bring a cannon to the next one. One just wonders what he has to use for ammunition.
Because we live in an age of idiocy, I feel compelled to explain for the benefit of readers on the left that all this talk of guns and ammo is metaphorical (look it up). I wouldn’t want to be accused of inciting violence the way Sarah Palin was when she used the word “target” to identify areas where conservatives should focus their efforts.
This election is about more than a choice, it’s a test. There has rarely been a race where the candidates and the choices voters face are better known. There is no complacency in this race. This is not a pass or fail test either. The margin of victory will be the score. If Romney wins big there will be hope for major change. If Romney wins but the margin is small the test will show America has a slimmer chance of returning to what it once was. If Obama wins, it’s all over. America will have made a clear choice and it will be all but impossible to reverse it until the country collapses in fiscal distress. Then a strong man will come in and be accepted by the people in their distress. That’s how Hitler and Pinochet gained power. Hitler destroyed his country, Pinochet returned his to prosperity. They both killed a few people in the process.
Wisconsin is Paul Ryan’s home state and what a rousing reception he received! More than ten thousand plus cheering fans came in threatening weather to greet Ryan and Romney in the town of Waukesha.
Ryan was born and raised about 60 miles away in Janesville which is a modest sized town in fly-over country. That means it is down home America and Paul Ryan is Janesville’s Mr. Smith who went to Washington. Romney called his running mate “someone who is a leader . . . who has real character, who loves America,”. That’s a change we can hope for.
When the cheering subsided Romney got serious.
“If you follow the campaign of Barack Obama, he’s going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest negative campaign in history. We’re not going to let that happen.
Mr. President, take your campaign out of the gutter and let’s talk about the real issues that America faces.”
Someone near the stage started heckling the candidates Romney handled the heckler very well. Romney faced the person and said “You ought to find yourself a different place to be disruptive because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.”
We are coming to a fork in the road and if we take the path to the left it will be so precipitous there may be no turning back. It will be the proof that Tocqueville was right. One reason Ronald Reagan was so loved is that he had great faith in the American people, in you and I, to do the right thing when all the chips are down. If we choose the path to the right it will be proof that Reagan was right.
By his inferences and claims that Mitt Romney may be a criminal the Great Divider has divided once again. But this time he has underestimated the intelligence and character of the American people. His hardest core followers, the Republican haters, will have one more ostensible justification for their hate. The division will become deeper but not broader.
The vast majority of the American people can see the allegations for what they are – slanderous, deceitful, desperate attempts to divert attention from Obama’s record in office and beneath the dignity of a sitting president. In short, it will backfire against him. Barack Obama is hoisting himself by his own petard with this one. It will fail just as the ridiculous attempt to paint Republicans as waging a war against women.
One complaint frequently heard from conservatives is that Republicans tend to pull their punches, remaining too reserved when responding to false charges. Signs are developing that this will not be the case with the Romney campaign. When Howard Cosell asked Mohammad Ali whether he aimed his punches at the jaw or the side of the head, Ali answered “I aim for the back of the head”. Romney knows what he is up against and, like Ali, will not stop short when he punches back.
The more you hear Gingrich speak, the more you like him, if you are a conservative. The more you learn about him and his history, the less you like him, if you are a conservative. Some highly placed Republicans who are in a position to know him very well are absolutely certain he could never win the general election. Nonetheless, it looks like Republican voters are either stuck with him, or stuck with Romney, or stuck with one of the others lower down the heap.
The Republican Party is an embarrassment. Look who they offered to the voters since Reagan. They put up Bob Dole to unseat Bill Clinton. No contest. For a Bush they gave us George instead of Jeb. G.W. is a fine man, but Jeb was presidential material. And then came John McCain. He ran on the Republican ticket, I think.
Today the Party has such stalwarts as Rubio, Christie, Pawlenty, Thune, Jindal, Paul Ryan and more. Just when we need to be choosing a candidate from such a grand list, we are given another list from which we must pick the name we would least mind being stuck with. The Republicans best hope is a brokered convention.
Where is the fat lady and when is she going to sing? We want this to be over. But more importantly, we want the choice to be a winner in November.
There is a school of thought that says conservatives will stay home and not vote if the nominee is Romney. We don’t buy it. Too much is at stake in this one and conservatives know it. The risk with Romney is the risk of losing independents who do not share the strong aversion to Obama that is felt by voters who are clearly on the right. Still, Republicans are likely to win with Romney.
Gingrich is another story entirely. There is no doubt that his debating skills are far superior to Romney’s. Newt is tough; he is beyond intimidation and his style at the podium is refreshing to a long frustrated audience. His message plays very well to conservatives with short memories. But can he win in November?
John Hinderaker at Power Line blog doesn’t give Gingrich give a chance.
It is hard to make clear-cut statements about the mercurial and often contradictory Gingrich, but one thing we can say with absolute certainty: he will never be President of the United States.
[I]f there is anyone who ought to be broadly acceptable to conservatives, it is Romney. Certainly not Gingrich, with his earmarks, his disfavor with the conservatives he led in the House in the 1990s, his career as a lobbyist, his support for Medicare Part D, his embrace of global warming dogma, and his attacks on private equity and even free enterprise itself. Republicans have flirted with a number of potentially bad choices this election season, but voting for Gingrich would be the worst of them.
Hinderaker makes a good case. He should; he’s an attorney. But the only thing we would “say with absolute certainty” is nothing is impossible in politics. Didn’t we elect a community organizer whose goal was to socialize America and diminish her standing on the world stage? Then surely we could elect a candidate whose goal is to reverse the socialization and to restore the nation’s standing internationally – no matter the baggage.
Now where in the world is that fat lady??
It was the most significant primary debate thus far and may prove to be the deciding debate of the GOP primary campaign. At least it had that potential had it not been hidden under the basket of a television channel many people can’t receive. Here’s our list of winners, losers and humorists.
Winner — Mitt Romney
Romney came across more presidential than ever. There is a refreshing contrast between this man with class and grace and the one now in the White House who has a habit of putting his feet on our furniture in our House.
Second place – Herman Cain
Cain did very well in the debate, but Cain has made one big mistake. It’s his 999 tax plan. He makes a good argument for it but it will never fly with the voters. The fact that it introduces a brand new tax, a federal 9% sales tax is something only a Democrat could love.
Loser – Rick Perry
Perry wasn’t given much air time and when he did speak his responses were weak.
Best humor – Jon Huntsman
Huntsman, (he’s someone from Utah, I think), said he thought Cain’s 9.99 was a pizza price. It was said and taken in good fun. At least now Huntsman has name recognition.
Special mention – Michelle Bachman
Bachman gave a superb performance, but it’s too late. She also gets second place for for humor with her follow up on Huntsman’s 999 poke with her observation that 999 stood on it’s head becomes 666 and the devil is in the details when it comes to Cain’s plan.
Hardest hitting — Newt Gingrich
Gingrich really socked it to them, Washington that is. There should be a place for him in the government. It just won’t be as president.
Also ran – Ron Paul
Paul is an anti guy. He was a bit out of his water by virtue of the rules of the debate restricting the subject matter to the economy and the debt. He did manage to lay a good and proper lambasting on the Federal Reserve.
Worst of the night – Rick Santorum
Santorum was way below his usual self. Very disappointing.
Charley Rose of PBS moderated the event. The format was very different. No podiums, the candidates all sat at a big round “kitchen table”. For the last half hour the candidates were not questioned by the moderator. Instead, they were assigned the task of rebutting each other directly. The idea worked very well; look for more kitchen tables to come.