Romney and the 47%

September 19th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

An important rule in politics is to attack your opponent and their policies, but never to attack their voters. broke this rule with his comments on how 47% of Americans will vote for Obama as they don’t pay income tax.

He is not the first major politician to say something at what he thought was a private meeting, and have it bite him. Obama himself in 2008 said that those who don’t support him tend to “cling to their guns or religion”. However his phrasing was not as harmful as Romney’s.

Romney always needed a strong campaign to win. He hasn’t had one and time is running out.

538 has Obama at 75% likely to win. Intrade now has him at 67%, which is a significant increase. For the first time also, the market has the Democrats favoured to retain control of the Senate.

It would be very hard for the Republicans to lose the House, so at this stage the most likely outcome is the status quo.

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89 Responses to “Romney and the 47%”

  1. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    So at this stage the most likely outcome is the status quo.

    I hate to say this but if Mitt Romney is elected the outcome will be the status quo.

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  2. Manolo (14,070 comments) says:

    Nothing could be worse than the status quo: the decline of the US can only accelerate if Obama wins a second term.

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  3. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Should have chosen Rick Santorum. Yeah, he’s conservative and the gays would have whined about that for a while (until people switched off), but Santorum would have wiped the floor with Obama. And, as Tom Hunter suggests, actually change things.

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  4. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Meh.
    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/18/mitt-romney-march-2012-in-broad-daylight-if-youre-looking-for-free-stuff-vote-for-the-other-guy/

    The real story is that Obama’s middle east policy has not just failed, but blown up horribly and his response has been to defend, not the US constitution which he vowed to do, but the rights of people offended by Americans.

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  5. Redbaiter (9,631 comments) says:

    “An important rule in politics is to attack your opponent and their policies, but never to attack their voters.”

    To hell with your rules.

    We want (and need so badly) politicians who will bring truth back into the public discourse.

    (Pfffft… another self professed “right winger” who falls over himself to repeat the memes of the left wing mainstream media.)

    (and I’m no Romney fan)

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  6. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Peggy Joseph must be pretty upset.

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  7. JC (973 comments) says:

    Who in that 47% think they are part of the 47%.. maybe a quarter of them?

    Romney may have pissed off a fair number of poor or struggling voters but they were never going to vote against their benefits anyway and they don’t turn up to vote either.

    But 53% of tax payers will be pleased with Romney’s statement and *they* tend to turn up to vote.

    Add to this the polls show the Republican identification has been several points ahead of the Dems all this year and you see the sort of surprise thats coming this election cycle. Romney by 3-4% points.

    JC

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  8. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    That’s very sweet Manolo, but the fact is that it would take a 40% cut in annual Federal spending to get the USA back to the levels of …. 2008.

    Forty
    Percent

    In an age where budget “cuts” are almost never anything but a cut in the rate of increased spending, where cutting the budget even by 5% would be viewed as an act of huge political courage, there is ZERO chance that this runaway train is going to be halted now.

    All the big borrowers in the world, even those heading to the US because it’s the least worst in the world, are increasingly wary of buying US treasuries, which is why the Federal Reserve is now buying 60%+ (by some measures it’s 70%+) of new debt being issued by the Federal government to allow them to continue on their way.

    Paul Ryan’s budget is a measure of courage but let’s face facts; it proposes to spend $40 trillion over the next decade, whereas Obama’s rejected budgets (rejected with zero Democrat votes) proposed spending $47 trillion. On the Democrat side are those who will try and convince the crowd that Ryan’s budget represents the end of civilisation – but it’s equally foolish for Republicans to pretend that it’s going to save the US’s ass.

    And this is before we start looking at the godawful situation of states like California and Illinois, or large municipalities like Chicago and all their accompanying pension funds, not to mention the crushing of the savings of retired people in the desperate rush of Bernanke and co. to kickstart the economy with near-zero interest rates.

    Things will improve eventually – but not until all these malinvestments have burned themselves out. To that end, re-electing Obama and sticking with the political stalemate might actually be a preferable outcome.

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  9. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Romney’s campaign has been hilarious even Palin could have done a better job. JC your dreaming.

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  10. Fletch (6,495 comments) says:

    If Obama wins, the U.S is going to hell in a handcart.
    We should all hope he doesn’t.

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  11. Fletch (6,495 comments) says:

    ps, you shouldn’t believe everything the polls say. Here is a video of a Robocall that rings random people to ask who they’d vote for. Notice that if there is no input from the user, then Obama is automatically chosen as the vote.

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  12. James Stephenson (2,228 comments) says:

    If Obama wins, the U.S is going to hell in a handcart

    Having just finished Peter Schiff’s “The Real Crash”, I think the US has pretty much arrived and there’s nothing that the tinkering promised by Romney and Ryan can do to change course now. May as well leave Obama there and get it over with.

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  13. tvb (4,515 comments) says:

    The big lesson in today’s world is there is no privacy. Camera phones can post stuff on you tube facebook in secones. Telephoto lenses much to Kate middleton’s horror can phtograph your tits a km away. There are lessons on all this but the pressure is much more intense. Obama is running a highly disciplined campaign. He may run short of money or at least Romney hopes so, but I doubt Obama will make a big mistake over money.

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  14. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Much as I hate to get into a stupid debate on the horse-racing aspects of this bunfight, it should be noted that there are some serious problems with constantly referring to the big, nationwide polls. It’s much better to look at the actual swing states that will decide the election – and both 538 and Real Clear Politics sites do that.

    However, a WSJ editorial puts things in perspective with a couple of quoted takes. First on the issue of independents, who have been growing in relation to the two major parties:

    The NYT/CBS poll shows Pres. Obama winning by 3 points among likely voters . . . but losing independents to Mitt Romney 44/50.

    The WaPo/ABC News poll shows Obama up by a point, while losing independents by 11 points, 43/54.

    The CNN/ORC poll shows Obama winning by six overall, but losing independents by a whopping 14 points, 40/54.

    Ironically, given people’s perceptions of poll bias, the Fox poll has Obama winning overall and winning indies by a similar 5 point margin.

    And whether Obama can win without them:

    In 1976, Carter won 50/48, while losing indies 48/52. However, the D/R/I breakdown that year was 37/22/41. The remarkably high number of indies and remarkably low number for Republicans suggests that post-Watergate, a lot of those indies were closet Republicans.

    In 2000, Dubya won indies 48/46, while narrowly losing the popular vote in a 39/35/26 D/R/I breakdown. In 2004, Dubya won 51/48, but lost indies 48/50 in a 37/37/26 D/R/I breakdown.

    As the WSJ points out, for Obama to win, he will either have to improve his standing among Independents, or Democrats will have to outnumber Republicans by large margins – and the only place they’re doing that is in most media polls.!

    Second, another analyst takes a look at an automated poll of party affiliation that has been run by Rasmussen since 2004, and finds that it tracks very well with both Presidential and mid-term election results. He then applies that to the sample splits being used by all the major polls, including even RWNJ Fox. It’s detailed so read the whole thing:

    What does this mean for November? It means a lot.

    The Democrats won 2 election in this period 2006 & 2008 with a 6.9 advantage in 2006 & a 7.6 advantage in 2008.

    There is no example of the Democrats winning since 2004 with an advantage less that 6.9.

    The GOP won two elections in this period 2004 with a -1.6 disadvantage & 2010 with a 1.3 advantage. This means the GOP has proven it can win with not only a small lead but with an actual disadvantage. Additionally with an advantage of only 1.3 they pulled off the biggest house swing in my lifetime.

    Can these number change? Well the biggest 1 month swing I’ve seen is 4.2 Oct-Nov in 2010 the biggest 3 month swing was Dec 2007-Feb 2008 6.9 in favor of Democrats at the rise of Obama.

    Tell me with the economy in the tank, and the new trouble in the Middle East, what is the prospect of a swing of that size to the Democrats happening again right now? Moreover even if that record registration swing repeated itself right now this would give democrats an advantage of only 2.6 points.

    I’ve covered a lot of national polls on this site over the last year and all those polls ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX have one thing in common.

    Not a single one of those polls had a sample with a GOP advantage.

    But as I say, whether Romney or Obama wins is not really going to matter as much as people might think. The key is whether the Senate and Congress have the balls and brains to do the right thing – and ultimately whether the American people will back them by re-electing them in 2014 and 2016. I have my doubts, even with Democrats like Emanuel and Cuomo trying at the lower levels.

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  15. The Peanut Monster (19 comments) says:

    Those stats are awfully high chances to win.

    Polltracker gives Obama his 47% on the popular vote. Its still about 50/50. Remember: this election is not about polls, it’s about the swing states and the 270 electoral votes, that’s all that matters. Any analysis has to break that down and tell you which way Ohio and Wisconsin (and the others) are going and why.

    Excuse the self-link, but Romney hasn’t hurt his own core, and swing voters aren’t that 47 – (its not even 47, its 18) anyway: http://doubleportion-blog.blogspot.com/2012/09/saying-it-wrong-47-of-time.html

    Republicans will take more of the House – I still make the Senate race to tough to call, again, you have to break it down to individual senate seats – which are they going to lose exactly? The popular vote just isn’t that relevant in a highly FPP system.

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  16. lastmanstanding (1,302 comments) says:

    The only way Romney will win is thru the “Anyone but Obama” votes

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  17. berend (1,716 comments) says:

    tom hunter, heh!

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  18. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Romney’s campaign has been hilarious even Palin could have done a better job

    Let me guess: you probably think that Palin was a disaster for the McCain campaign.

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  19. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    Romney has shot himself in the foot with this, plus other gaffes on his overseas tour. Still, it is quite stunning just how biased the US media are in covering for Obama.

    Michael Ramirez, the IBD’s editorial cartoonist and senior editor, notes that if Dan Quayle or Bush had made the gaffes Obama has made the media would be all over it. The media (aside from the equally biased Fox News) simply downplay or IGNORE news that reflects badly on Obama (eg. jobs, the economy, US debt) while ampifying anything that assists him.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-viewpoint/082712-623715-one-sided-media-coverage-shows-bias.htm?p=full

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  20. iMP (2,422 comments) says:

    a week is a loooooong time in politics, we have 7 of them to go. It’ll come down to the Debates, three of em. Obama is vulnerable on these and Romney will, I predict, kill him. watch Paul Ryan on the sidelines too. Obama has Biden…yeah, that’ll work.

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  21. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Obama is running a highly disciplined campaign.

    You do know he kept Biden as his VP pick, right?

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  22. lastmanstanding (1,302 comments) says:

    Lets face it for the past 4 decades most western gumints have been tax and spend merchants. Instead of leadership they pander to the noisest groups and give them what they want rather than what is best for the majority.
    Why is the USA Spain Italy Portugal Ireland et al in the crap. Because none of them had real leaders. What they had was half arsed easily bought off weak willed sons of bitches that couldnt govern. Smile and wave pollies ( where have I heard that)

    Thats what the west had lacked. Good governance. We need Winston Churchills and lots of them. Tough arsed bastards that wont give in to the pressure groups.

    Look at the Maori pressure groups and how they are trying to destroy the economy and how ALL NZ pollies are fawning all over them scared witless to stand to them and tell them to FOXTROT OSCAR back to their pre historic days where they really belong.

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  23. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Unfortunately the truth is the Romney is right – almost half of the US population dont pay any taxes. That half are actually a drain on the US economy – one half is paying for the other half to exist.

    Something wrong with that.

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  24. The Peanut Monster (19 comments) says:

    “Unfortunately the truth is the Romney is right – almost half of the US population dont pay any taxes. That half are actually a drain on the US economy – one half is paying for the other half to exist.

    Something wrong with that.”

    The Tax Policy Center disagrees: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/federal-taxes-households.cfm

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  25. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    I disagree completely that this comment is more damaging than Obama’s “bitter clinger” comments. They are pretty much the same. In both cases, they insulted people who are not going to vote for them.

    Americans are largely optimistic people, and if you drew a Venn diagram, the number of people who considered themselves part of that 47% would be a small subset, and the number of those hitherto voting for Romney who now will not may consist of a small dot within that subset.

    There’s plenty of campaign to go, folks, not to mention four debates. Anything can happen. Rasmussen, the only poll worth a damn, has Romney up by two. Fools like Slater who make predictions on these sorts of polls are just as likely to eat crow come November 6th

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  26. Rightandleft (670 comments) says:

    Barry,

    Nearly half of Americans don’t pay federal income tax, which is something far different from what we’d call income tax in NZ. Payroll taxes, which cover retirement benefits, unemployment insurance and medicaid for the destitute are charged on everyone. State income taxes are separate and often tax people at lower rates than federal ones. Some places even have city income taxes. Basically it would be like us calling our lowest tax bracket something else, like ‘payroll tax’ and then only our top two brackets ‘income tax,’ even though they are all taxes on income.

    All the fear about Obama being some kind of socialist is nuts. He’s to the right of John Key by a mile. Let’s look at his positions. He advocates performance pay for teachers, expanded charter schools, the death penalty not just for murder but also for rape. He opposed the hand-gun bans in Chicago and DC and kills suspected terrorists without trial in foreign countries the US is not at war with. If Obama ran for office in NZ he’d make John Banks look like a lefty.

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  27. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    It’ll come down to the Debates, three of em.

    Nope. Again, I think those who are interested in the minutia of politics overestimate things like “gaffes” and such-like. So Ford supposedly lost in ’76 because of his blurt about Poland, or Bush 41 because of a supermarket scanner (thank you NYT you bullshit artists you), or Dukakis because of the hilarious tank photo.

    But if you look at historic polls you don’t actually see any bounces up or down related to such things. What you usually see is steady movement at some point or other followed by steady (but not crazy) breakouts up to the election – or an even race to the end as in 2000, and those things are driven by the big issues of the day. About the only time in modern history that I can think of where a debate may have changed things was in Reagan’s 1980 question to voters: Are you better off now than you were four years ago – which may be the killer question again this year. But even that was a direct reminder of what people already knew about the economy and their prospects.

    The TV debates are not even “debates” – they’re about looking competent on stage, enforcing the positive aspects voters may already have of you, while countering the negatives. Reagan’s one big thing was simply to present himself as a “aw shucks” guy who was obviously not the dangerous, “nuke-em” figure the Democrats had been painting. And all he had to do there was talk nicely about arms talks. In this case both candidates have too much experience to screw up on those fronts. For a great take on this have a gander at the classic debate preparation that Robert Redford’s character undergoes in The Candidate – and also what happens when he tries to break out of this frame and have a “real” debate.

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  28. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Tom Hunter

    Peanut Monster commented that this won’t turn-off his core. Do you think this could have been a clever dog-whistle? Or are they not clever (or ballsy) enough to do this?

    Obviously there could be collateral damage with all the commentators lining up to call you mean-spirited or “Unable to lead us all”. But could he tap into a bunch of people who are worried about too many government entitlements?

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  29. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Do you think this could have been a clever dog-whistle?

    Possibly, but I don’t think Mitt is that devious a campaigner. If it was “clever” he’d have used his staff to leak it to the media, rather as the Obama campaign did months ago when the NYT published that story (quoting aides) that they had abandoned the “white, working class vote” – formerly the core of the Democrat Party – for the 2012 election.

    I certainly think it will tap into the minds of a lot of people who consider themselves “makers, not takers”, but given the deep level of anger at Obama I don’t think Romney need worry about stirring up his base. They’re already fully motivated, just as they were in 2010 and just as Democrats were in 2008.

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  30. JC (973 comments) says:

    “JC your dreaming.”

    Always a possibility, but consider..

    Tom Hunter has the figures I was referring to and they show a consistent surplus of Repubs over Dems all year but the polls are largely using 2008 splits to weight their polls (or something like that).

    Each of Romney’s “gaffes” were the truth and events and blowback has vindicated them. Take the “gaffe” on Palestinians video that just appeared on the leftwing sites.. Romney said they don’t want peace with Israel, and this morning Abbas is trying to repudiate the Oslo agreements.. he scores again.

    Not mentioned at all to date is the likely price of petrol soaring now the ME is ablaze.. how’s that going to play for Barry?

    Egypt demands Barry arrest the Copt film maker, Barry obliges, Egypt demands the release of the mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing (The Blind Sheik).. and the next day evidence appears that Barry is considering just that.. how’s that going to play out?

    Or howabout this comment from Michael Barone?

    “If you look at the last three presidential cycles, you’ll see that the winning candidate in each case has gotten exactly the same percentage, or within one percentage of it, of what his party got in the off year election two years before. Well, Obama’s party got 45% in the House elections.”

    Or howabout the fact that in September 1980 President Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan by 8 points?

    Obviously Romney is an awkward candidate and no shoo in, but Obama is in a very awkward position with his remaining strength of foreign policy now blown away.

    JC

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  31. Longknives (4,884 comments) says:

    Isn’t Obama the “Messiah”? How could he lose??

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  32. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    He’s to the right of John Key by a mile.

    I do wish New Zealand lefties (and some right-wingers) would stop with this crap as an effort to paint the GOP as an “extremist”, hardline, right-wing outfit – although I’m sure that more than a few National party people love to make this comparison as well for domestic uses.

    Let’s look at his positions.

    Yes, let’s.

    He advocates performance pay for teachers,

    Which puts him on the same page as Key, but not to his right. And it’s not just Obama but the whole leadership of the Democratic Party, and it’s a recent! change driven not by ideology (teacher unions still form a core of the party), but because the continued failure of US public schools has forced the issue at the municipal level where the status quo is simply indefensible.

    expanded charter schools

    Actually he shut them down in Washington D.C. as soon as he got into office and where he had direct control – much to the anger of black parents who were desperate to get their kids out of the hell-hole of D.C. public schools. In places like Chicago, where the Federal Department of Education does not yet have that degree of control he’s had no choice but to accept the local voters decisions.

    the death penalty not just for murder but also for rape.

    Link please. And note that this is an issue that Democrats simply do not talk about nowadays as it has proved to be such a losing issue. But party activists still want it and advocate for it internally – the pollies simply turn them down and dare them to let a GOPer win.

    He opposed the hand-gun bans in Chicago and DC

    Link please – and there are a lot of suspicions about the motivation behind “Fast and Furious” when combined with his claim in 2009 to a gun-rights advocate that he was doing things about gun control “under the radar”. And the same general argument applies as to the death penalty.

    and kills suspected terrorists without trial in foreign countries the US is not at war with.

    Okay, that I agree with. But again it’s not from choice, it’s one of those dead-rats that politicians swallow. After all, if the US did not kill them they’d have to capture them – and then what? Gitmo, the great “stain” on US policy. He tried like hell to close that place and failed against congressional pressure. That makes him the usual political realist and hypocrite, along with his voters, who screamed their guts out about this sort of thing when it happened under Bush.

    If Obama ran for office in NZ he’d make John Banks look like a lefty.

    Vast increases in government spending. Vast new government programs like Obamacare. Vast amounts of useless new regulations like Dodd-Franks. Support for partial-birth abortion – a position well to the left of the country, even with those who are “pro-choice”. Support for gay marriage (again putting him on the same page as Key but not to his right). Advocate of immigration amnesty and opposition to enforcing existing Federal immigration laws. Advocate of state subsidies for new companies and industry. Advocate of ever-stricter environmental laws, using executive powers via the EPA to circumvent Senate and Congressional opposition. Complete abrogation of the Bankruptcy laws to save private sector firms GM and Chrysler. Failure to push on Free Trade Agreements.

    Yeah – that all screams “right-wing” to me. You might be on stronger ground in arguing that John Key and National have moved to the left in so many areas that they could fit with the Democrats.

    Put it another way – if National’s asset-sales program collapses because of public opposition would that mean they were left-wing? Because that’s effectively what you’re arguing here on various issues – or perhaps you’re still one of those quaint people who believe what party platforms say?

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  33. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    Congratulations to President Obama, although I have to say this was an easy victory against an extremely weak candidate.

    Someone owes me a chocolate fish.

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  34. stepheng (25 comments) says:

    Or howabout the fact that in September 1980 President Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan by 8 points?
    That’s false.

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  35. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    And when they fact check Romney like they did Paul Ryan – they find

    1. 22% of Americans do not have to file because they are retired
    2. as for the rest the working poor, who earn too little to pay federal income tax (a tax exemption introduced by Reagan in 86 and expanded in 2001 by GWB as part of tax cuts for those on high incomes) – they still pay 15% payroll tax – more than the tax rate of Romney on his capital gains.

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  36. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    That’s right little US “liberals”. Obama is going to win in a landslide. The MSM have told you so. The polls say so.

    Now don’t you worry your pretty little heads about that one bit further.

    Back to sleeeeeeeep,

    back to sleeeeeeepp!

    Heh, heh, heh!

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  37. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    Romney telling the truth. Well, I guess someone has to.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  38. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Congratulations to President Obama, although I have to say this was an easy victory against an extremely weak candidate.

    Hamnida, I think you’ll find they haven’t voted yet. It would be good for him to declare victory based on some political polling though…

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  39. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    The local voters decisions in Chicago?

    The Democrat in charge and unions reached a deal.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19644496

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  40. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Obama hasn’t won yet – independents I think will break to Romney in the closing of the campaign regardless of how much the media try to protect Obama and play up on Romney’s supposed gaffes.

    Previous gaffe was supposedly Romney criticism of the state department statement about the middle east violence on 9/11. It was so much of a gaffe that Obama criticised the state department statement. But the media, or should I say Obama campaign supporters say it a gaffe.

    How the US voters think about Romney 47% of people don’t pay taxes so will vote for Obama regardless sounds more like the truth than a gaffe.

    How else do you explain $6 trillion more debt after 4 year of Obama,
    unemployment still over 8% after 43 months under Obama,
    a stimulus plan that didn’t stimulate,
    Middle East and Russia foreign policy failures,
    1 in 6 of the American population on foodstamps,
    99 weeks unemployment benefit,
    doubling of people on disability,
    and millions of Americans droppoing out of the Labour force because they can’t find a job.

    Yet Obama is neck and neck with Romney.

    Obama makes people pine for the Carter years.

    Even if Obama wins he will be the biggest lame duck president ever. No one believes he has a plan to solve an of the US current problems.

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  41. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    The Democrat in charge and unions reached a deal.

    Well of course they did. It was very bad optics for the Obama campaign, with former Democrat star Emanuel in the spotlight – and the next paycheck was due on Sep 21.

    And none of the charter schools in the city closed, and more will open – especially now. Thanks Teacher’s Unions!.

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  42. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    What we’re actually seeing here politically, is the US version of Greece, where voters in almost equal numbers say that they are opposed to austerity measures while also wanting to remain in the Euro.

    Americans have big programs for which the bill is really only coming due now and in the next few years, and the country is already not in good shape to be ready for them. That means that things are going to have bend and break one way or another:

    In the face of the dueling deficits, the best approach is a compromise: Extend the tax cuts for two years, and then end them altogether. Ideally, only the middle-class tax cuts would be continued for now. Getting a deal in Congress, though, may require keeping the high-income tax cuts, too. And that would still be worth it.

    More troubling, middle-class and lower-class families would be saddled with higher taxes. That’s a legitimate concern, but also a largely unavoidable one if we are to tackle the medium-term fiscal problem.

    That’s former Obama White House budget chief Peter Orszag explaining why taxes will need to go up on the middle class, Buffet Rule or no. Who will want to be in charge when that happens? VAT anybody?

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  43. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    Mark, the working people paying no taxes, pay 15% payroll on their income – more than Romney over most years (he avoids full 15% on his CG income by various means) – the rest are unemployed or retired.

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  44. s.russell (1,646 comments) says:

    I remember Muldoon saying, in 1984, that he did not care what labour voters thought because they were the enemy. I thought that was apalling then and it still sticks in my mind.

    Romney is right that having 47% of Americans dependent on the state is a matter of serious concern. But that does not make them the enemy, and that is the implication of his comment.

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  45. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    The USA needs to stop QE and get better value by directly funding the deficit with it. At least the debt will not keep going up.

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  46. kiwi in america (2,511 comments) says:

    If you analyze the polling effect of gaffes (on either side) the effect is imperceptible to zero – check this analysis of 2008 election gaffes lack of effect on polling http://themonkeycage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/demprimarynationalpostiowa.png and then the same for 2012 to date – http://themonkeycage.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/trialheats12gaffes.png.

    You forget that it’s the Obama leaning MSM that’s in a lather over this and a handful of beltway RINO Republicans (like Bill Kristol) who always disliked Romney. Like all so called ‘gaffes’ of Romney’s he merely spoke the truth – truth that has lefties reaching for their smelling salts. Independents viewing the entire footage (which Romney asked Mother Jones to post which they have) will see it entirely differently than the elite commentariat. A debate about the extent of government dependence (Romney actually understated it by 2% – it’s actually 49% of households that have at least one person the recipient of some form of government assistance) and a clear distinction between the two leaders’ visions is a debate that big government Democrats will lose. The worst that will happen to the Romney campaign is that for a couple of days we’re going to have a distraction from Obama’s disastrous foreign policy and faltering economy. Another one of the reasons why all these media frenzies over Romney’s ‘gaffes’ and their narrative about how his campaign is over is not knocking his polling numbers is because so many people now discredit the mainstream media. Some ignore it, many factor in the bias or move to nontraditional media such as blogs and FOX News.

    Rasmussen got the national Presidential candidate vote 100% right for the 2008 Presidential election. Only Pew matched that result. Rasmussen’s 3 day rolling daily tracking (of Likely voters – deemed to be the most accurate) has Romney up 2 a lead that was entirely unaffected by his supposedly terrible week last week when he was said to have gaffed over the Egyptian Embassy comment. Gallup does a 7 day rolling average of Registered voters (a poll that even Nate Silver says overstates Democrats by 3%) that had Obama up by 7% after the DNC and now essentially they match Rasmussen with Obama up only 1%.

    I did an analysis of all the most recent state by state polls done by non Rasmussen pollsters. The sampling errors were rampant. Partisan splits in polls make or break their accuracy. If you get this split wrong your result poll is wrong. Pollsters accuracy gets checked every Presidential election not only against the real state by state actual popular vote but the partisan split as detailed in the huge exit polls. Various reliable pollsters poll the partisan split in what is called the Generic Congressional Ballot (GCB). In Nov 2008 the RCP average of the GCB was D +7. Right now the RCP average of the GCB is D+2 and that still incorporates some of the now dissipated DNC polling bounce. For some months prior to the conventions the partisan split was even. Rasmussen’s polling split is D+2 or 3 and I believe that is pretty close to the money.

    So many of the state by state polls that make up the RCP average have samples that have a partisan split the same as (or even higher than) the split the Dems got in 2008. In the 2010 midterms the partisan split got as high as R +7. There is no way that Democrats are as popular or more popular than the high tide mark of Obama’s Hope and Change frenzy of 2008. In FL the average Democrat oversampling was 2.5% which puts Romney in a slight lead. In Ohio it was over 3% which puts Romney behind by only 1. Just today the WSJ/NBC released a poll in Virginia that put Obama up by 8 in a sample of D+9 when Obama only won the state by 6 in 2008! To assume that Obama will poll 3 points higher in 2012 than 2008 is to be in polling la la land. These skewered polls are published as immutable truth and they enter the RCP average which is then also skewered and gets put into Nate Silver’s model. Trouble is garbage in garbage out. Its why Silver’s vaunted model was off by 15% in his prediction of the size of the GOP House gains in 2010. He is off by a similar margin in 2012 for the same reason – relying on polls with sampling errors.

    After $180 millon of attack ads screened pre convention when Romney was prevented from spending any of his General Election fundraising and a vicious headwind from an Obama loving media we are at a point in the race where the most acurate daily tracking poll has Romney up slightly and when you adjust for oversamping, Romney is up in NC, IA, FL, WI and VA and is behind Obama by less than 2 in OH, NV, CO and NH. To win Romney only needs to hold his slim lead in the first group and will win if he adds OH or two of the other 3.

    Lets not forget in 1980 the media portrayed Reagan as a dangerous, war mongering, out of touch B grade actor too old for the job. He went into the debates 9 points behind Carter and when Americans watched the debates they saw that the MSM portrayal was inaccurate and he whooped Carter by 10 three weeks later. Romney is pretty much level pegging with Obama despite all the negative ads and the media frenzy over ‘gaffes’. Romney has more cash on hand than Obama and Obama hasn’t faced a substantive debate since his primary debates with Hillary four years ago whilst Romney got better and better as he fought through his bitter primary. I think I’d know whose shoes I’d rather be in – Intrade notwithstanding.

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  47. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    But that does not make them the enemy, and that is the implication of his comment.

    I’m sure all the lefties are thoroughly enjoying maintaining the narrative on this, but just to play the game a bit further ….

    Romney said that 47% of Americans rely on the government and that he likely could convince such people to vote for him with a message of not being dependent on the government.

    Like Obama’s “bitter clingers” talk to private fundraisers – which I recall came after his primary loss to Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania – that simply means that Romney is acknowledging a similar political reality. And of course in Obama’s case the Keystone State went for him in the end anyway, including plenty of those bitter clingers that he had insulted.

    In short, a storm in a teacup. It would be nice if Mitt actually used this to double down on the appeal, since most people hate to think that they’re “takers”, even when they are. I’ve not observed the Obama campaign worrying about Muldoon-style divide and rule tactics. At this stage it’s all he’s got.

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  48. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Arrggggh …

    Romney said that 47% of Americans rely on the government and that he likely could NOT convince such people to vote for him with a message of not being dependent on the government.

    … took my eye off the editing timeclock

    He went into the debates 9 points behind Carter

    That’s common wisdom KIA, but you might want to read “stepheng’s” link above.

    The USA needs to stop QE and get better value by directly funding the deficit with it. At least the debt will not keep going up.

    Eh? Could you explain this a little more?

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  49. kiwi in america (2,511 comments) says:

    I need to correct an error – the RCP average of the Generic Congressional Ballot in Nov 2008 was D+10 – the drop to the most recent RCP average of the GCB of D+2 is 7.

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  50. RRM (10,025 comments) says:

    Apparently the fuckwit guy can’t get his head around the notion that many people receive no social welfare, pay a lot of tax, but still vote left anyway because they feel that the village / state should care for the sick, educate the children etc…. even though they don’t draw on those services any more than your average right voter does…

    More fool him I guess.

    Sad to see that country still polarized by a “them and us” mentality though.

    Sad to see people here getting into the same shit too.

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  51. kiwi in america (2,511 comments) says:

    Tom Hunter
    I should’ve been more specific – the Gallup daily tracking poll had Carter up by 8 (so I was off by 1) in October http://www.uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=115543.0 and show Reagan overtaking him after the debate. They also missed the extent of the surge predicting the winning margin at only 3.

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  52. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Sad to see that country still polarized by a “them and us” mentality though.

    Funny, but I have not yet seen Romney talking about how people should vote for him because …

    We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us …

    Even funnier is that I recall no great media and blogger firestorm over that remark by Obama to a Hispanic group.

    But tell me again about Hope and Change and Divisiness and his latest crap on Letterman about

    .. my expectation is if you want to be president, then you’ve got to work for everybody not just for some.”

    Prick!

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  53. RRM (10,025 comments) says:

    Sorry Tom I don’t quite follow. Am I a prick, or Obama?

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  54. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Darn – I just saw that too!

    Obama of course. I would have added “hypocrite” but he’s a politician so what’s the point?

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  55. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    QE – printing of money delivers ownership of an asset to the Federal Reserve (the bank implements quantitative easing by buying financial assets from commercial banks and other private institutions with newly created money, in order to inject a pre-determined quantity of money into the economy) but it in no way improves the position of federal government as to its deficit, thus the debt grows despite the money being printed.

    All this enables is more money in circulation for those commercial institutions and private institutions to buy up some new public debt to finance the deficit.

    Printing the money and giving it to the federal government reduces the need for new debt to finance the budget deficit.

    The current system leaves a worse political crisis over the budget than is necessary.

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  56. JC (973 comments) says:

    “Or howabout the fact that in September 1980 President Jimmy Carter was leading Ronald Reagan by 8 points?
    That’s false.”

    Nope.. KIA has provided a cite to agree with it, here’s another from the crew who should know:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/111451/late-upsets-rare-happened.aspx

    Note also that Romney is not 8 points behind.. he’s near level.

    JC

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  57. big bruv (14,156 comments) says:

    I find what Romney had to say to be refreshing. The left do not ever pretend that they are there to care for, or look out for the entire population, they have waged war on the middle and upper classes for as long as anybody can remember.

    All Romney did was tell the truth, that the real way out of poverty was via hard work and not handouts. I sure as hell do not give a flying fuck about the lazy or the bludgers, they can bloody well starve for all I care.

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  58. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Nope.. KIA has provided a cite to agree with it,

    So he did!.

    Well, well, well – a little lefty site indulged in some clever statistical bullshitting to reinforce the whole Resistance is Futile meme currently being played by the MSM.

    What a surprise.

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  59. Fairfacts Media (372 comments) says:

    Some gaffe! Seems like a lot of people agree with Mitt Romney.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/cnbc-and-yahoo-finance-readers-really-liked-mitt-romneys-comments-2012-9

    Meanwhile, as muslims protest against the Great Satan and his foreign policy crumbles, Obama parties with Jay-Z and Beyonce!
    http://politicker.com/2012/09/president-obama-parties-with-jay-z-and-beyonce/
    Well, it’s far better than attending those intelligence briefings!

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  60. mara (795 comments) says:

    So you lose an election by telling the truth or win it by lying. Nothing new here. If this were Albania or somesuch, I wouldn’t give a damm but the next POTUS matters to the world. Like it or not. That’s why Barry Hussein vs Mitt Romney is important. I wish more voters had half a brain.

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  61. JC (973 comments) says:

    Where Romney was wrong is in the presumption (albeit in a rara fundraiser) that people wont vote against their interests.. if that were true there would have been no conservative govts in the Western world since WW2, eg, NZ with near 50% receiving more in benefits than they pay in tax has elected a National Govt twice in four years.

    In the US the same will happen.. a hell of a lot of low income/beneficiaries will vote their aspirations rather than their interests, but a helluva lot of educated bludgers, rent seekers, crony capitalists, Fed and State workers and political idealists will vote their personal interests. It’ll be interesting.. if Obama wins it will mean that NZ is further to the right than the US at this point in time.

    JC

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  62. Chinarugby (95 comments) says:

    No how desperate the wishes of contributors here are expressed the contest will go to Obama. Just accept it folks.

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  63. big bruv (14,156 comments) says:

    China

    Many of us said the very same thing months ago. Now, if the Republicans had selected somebody that was not a religious nutbar they might have had a chance of taking back the White House.

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  64. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,571 comments) says:

    I’ll vote for anybody that forces Redbaiter to have gay sex and marry a flaming queen in San Francisco.
    It can happen. Believe in change!

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  65. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    It’s hardly surprising that some here believe the lie.

    But no one who says they will not heed the well-being of the 22% who have retired is electable – John Key at least knows that much. Romney wants to reduce medicare provision to the aged.

    And no one who pays less tax on his income, than those who only pay the 15% payroll tax, is in any position to call others “those who take from government”.

    He made his money driving down the number of waged positions and wage levels in the USA to extract personal profit for himself but still spent suffiicient effort to reduce his tax liability below the CG tax rate (15%).

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  66. Fletch (6,495 comments) says:

    To be honest, I don’t really think Obama has a chance.

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  67. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Wow, he really messed up this time.

    “Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

    As someone else said, Romney is the human incarnation of the classic Disney-movie antagonist.

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  68. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.

    Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.

    Stevens junked the entire thing, setting off a chaotic, eight-day scramble that would produce an hour of prime-time problems for Romney, including Clint Eastwood’s meandering monologue to an empty chair.

    http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=B6BEB452-8AF1-45FC-8831-9FCFF5CE1576

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  69. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Okay SPC, that’s what I thought you meant – and it really does not make any sense. Let me explain why:

    Printing the money and giving it to the federal government reduces the need for new debt to finance the budget deficit.

    Any government that spends more than it gets in revenue has to finance that difference – and that becomes debt. But that debt has legally to be bound to some sort of financial device that can have laws applied to it, by a court if necessary, on the part of the debtor. I don’t think it’s even legally possible to raise debt in any other way than to have such devices, and the standard device is a bond.

    The only way where I could see your scenario working would be where the government itself owns the printing presses, but as far as US government debt is concerned what we have here – with the Federal Reserve owning the presses – is no different in any practical way. It’s not as if the Fed is ever going to force the government to pay back the debt, at best they may sell it on to somebody else.

    If the government chose to do that itself there would not be – as you say – any “debt”. But so what? The key point is that the presses are running (metaphorically speaking nowadays) and creating money out of thin air. That’s how the “debt” is being addressed, and whether it’s defined legally via bonds owned by the Federal Reserve or simply treated as a spending gap that is being wafted away by inflated money created by the government itself – as Germany attempted to do in 1923 – is meaningless from an outside perspective. Whatever the solution, the deficit adds to a debt, and the way the US government is treating that right now is effectively no different from the “solution” of the Weimar Republic.

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  70. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    There is no inflationary risk from printing of money after a GFC – QE is used to prevent deflation (and was invented in Japan after 10 years of falling property values – look at US housing).

    There is some difference because the Fed Reserve is not necessarily buying government debt off the commercial banks and private financial institutions (just various financial assets) and if it was, the Federal Reserve does not write off any government debt it holds – it merely on sells its financial asssets when tightening liquidity.

    Thus the public debt rises despite the printing of money. And that fact creates a public debt crisis for the USA. The cost of that debt will grow with any economic recovery that results in higher financial premiums – the current period of cheap debt will not last.

    Why must there be debt to finance a budget deficit?

    Yes some public control over the printing of money is required for this to be done in a way that enables finance of government independent of taxation and debt. A system that prevents that is perverse and inimical to the well-being of those burdended by the growth in public debt. Generally those people dependent on programmes being cut by government to close the budget deficit, but also those whose taxes rise as well.

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  71. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Interesting SPC. It strongly reminds me of the old Social Credit argument.

    However, aside from different unforeseen consequences, I don’t see a difference between simply writing off a portion of national debt every few years, and your proposal to simply print money to fill part of the gap.

    In the case of the former, all sorts of bad things happen in terms of lenders demanding higher interest rates for future loans, or not loaning money to you at all.

    In what you propose the effects are less dramatic, but ultimately you’re talking about screwing the “value” of the currency. Even if you and I are conducting a transaction between us that does not involve the government, it’s going to become increasingly difficult to set a price using the currency because there will be ever greater amounts of the stuff floating around. After all, that printed money is going to get out into the economy via some form of government spending. So we’ll both start doing all sorts of things to compensate – like increasing our prices ahead of any real cost increase. That has a very bad effect on ordinary people as well. Inflation is the enemy of the poor because they don’t have assets that can simply inflate in value to keep pace with inflation.

    There’s more than the one “side-effect” of inflation from what you propose too, irrespective of the Keynesian argument that such won’t matter in the wake of a GFC-style event. Look at what’s happening to retired people in the USA who built up nest eggs to add to their Social Security. They’re already getting badly “burdened” because of these near-zero interest rates created by Federal Reserve money printing – and this is before inflation kicks in. In theory that might – even should – cause these savers to start liquidating their investments to turn into consumption spending. In fact there’s evidence that this is exactly what’s happening: Keynesian joy in the aggregate demand gap being filled – but the destruction of wealth to feed consumption spending. That never ends well.

    I was going to argue with you about the complaint you have on different tax rates being applied to CG than income, but your economic world is so far outside anything I’ve seen working in practice that there seems little point.

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  72. Lindsay Addie (1,594 comments) says:

    Gallup have done some polling on how Romney’s comments will sway voters. It seems there is some negative effect but its not a showstopper. With the fast new cycles in the modern world the effect of this story may lessen further.

    For 53% of Independents said they aren’t swayed by Romney’s comments.
    For registered voters 43% said it made no difference to them.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/157544/voters-reaction-romney-comments-tilts-negative.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Politics

    Aaron Blake in the Washington Post analyzes the Gallup figures here:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/19/romneys-47-percent-comment-and-the-importance-of-the-echo-chamber/?hpid=z3

    It puzzles me why self appointed members of the VRWC like DPF and WhaleOil are using their blogs to peddle the USA leftwing media’s opinion of constantly writing Romney off.

    As for DPF’s comment “An important rule in politics is to attack your opponent and their policies, but never to attack their voters”. Well someone forgot to tell Margaret Thatcher about that rule when she was dominating UK politics.

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  73. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Interesting to note that the video has been edited, cutting out a couple of minutes immediately after the 47% comment. Of course it was because of “technical difficulties”, nothing to do with deceptive practices, they wouldn’t do that, would they…

    The Obama campaign have been sitting on this one for several months just waiting for a time to release it, and with the total cluster-fuck that Libya is they need it now. And look how it captures the MSM narrative, the sudden U-turn by the administration in admitting that maybe the attacks were premeditated…lost in the really important news about an illegally recorded video that has been cut and edited to make a remark look more damaging than it might in context.

    The only way Obama can win is to stay low and dirty and to convince as many people as possible that Romney can’t win (and so don’t bother voting), just why so many so avidly support the created narrative though, that’s what puzzles me. The MSM, sure, they’ve been totally in Obama’s pocket since early 2008, but like Lindsay above, why do those supposedly part of the VRWC have to buy into this without questioning it.

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  74. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    And since this thread is not dead yet I’ll take the opportunity to address SPC’s usual focus on CG vs. income tax rates by letting him look through this series of graphs on tax in the US.

    Many points can be made about the various graphs shown here but the two I’d like to note need to be raised every single time a left-winger focuses exclusively on the tax rates:

    Who pays tax and how much: The top 10 percent of income earners paid 71 percent of all federal income taxes in 2009 though they earned 43 percent of all income. The top 1% paid 37% of all federal income taxes in 2009 though they earned 17% of all income.

    What was that about “fairness” again? Tell me about the richest 1% “ripping off” the system and “not paying their fair share”. I love those fairy stories.

    Income Tax Rate and Revenue History: When the highest income tax rate was 91% in 1960, the revenue was 7.8% of GDP When the highest rate was 28% under Reagan the revenue was 8%. With the current highest rate at 35% the revenue is 7.5%. It’s the same story for all the other highest rates over the last 50 years. So go on lefties, increase the highest income tax rate on the richest because it will really bring in loads of cash. I’m sure left-wing voters believe that too – which is really the point.

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  75. Mark (496 comments) says:

    SPC claims workers pay 15% payroll on their income. That’s not a tax as it goes to Social Security for their retirement. This is like Kiwisaver, except everyone pays into one big fund instead of individual accounts.

    IMHO it should go to individual accounts, but because it isn’t follows on to my next point.

    Romney doesn’t pay 15% of his income because the payment is capped at a maximum amount per annum into Social Security (about $100,000 pa approx) as the Social Security payable is also capped at a maximum depending on how much you paid into the scheme.

    SPC knows this but prefer to lie like all lefties, he knows the facts but rather would lie so people who aren’t aware of the facts think Romney is doing something bad. He isn’t. Because Romney inccome is so large the % of total income when calculated is a lot smaller.

    Like Warren Buffet, it accounts for a really small amount of the total tax they pay which is in the millions pa.

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  76. Feanor (38 comments) says:

    “Unfortunately the truth is the Romney is right – almost half of the US population dont pay any taxes. That half are actually a drain on the US economy – one half is paying for the other half to exist.

    Something wrong with that.”

    Something wrong with you that you would make such a ridiculous claim. Do some research next time before making ignorant claims about what the “truth” is.

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  77. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Feanor, insert the missing words “Federal income” which is what Romney referred to, and he’s quite correct.It is indeed difficult to avoid state taxes where they are sales taxes, but with the various rebates and exclusions a huge chunk of the US Electorate pays no federal income taxes at all.

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  78. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Interesting, Romney stating that the US military in Afghanistan etc are part of the 47% by his suggestion that those who do not pay income tax are not real Americans.

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  79. stepheng (25 comments) says:

    Well, well, well – a little lefty site indulged in some clever statistical bullshitting to reinforce the whole Resistance is Futile meme currently being played by the MSM.
    The clever bs-ing you mention is just a matter of using *all* the polls from the time and fitting trend-lines. The Gallup poll, whence comes the myth, is revealed as anomalous/an outlier from that broader, more scientific perspective, i.e., the perspective that’s customary today.

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  80. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    The greatest factual error is Romney’s belief that none of the 47% vote Republican – when 22% not required to file federal tax returns are retired and many of these do vote Republican. And many low income working poor “white” Christians also vote Republican. In saying, he will not heed their interest, he is dismissing electoral importance of many of those who vote for the Republican Party. And it shows poor understanding of the political history of the country – because the idea of lowering tax on the working poor was part of the trade off for tax cuts on higher income earners of both Reagan and Bush.

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  81. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    @East Wellington Superhero: Whatever else you say about Santorum, you can’t call the man a hypocrite. He’ll mouth-fart the same toxic swill any where, any time. Even conservatives wonder if Romney can say the same thing twice in a row.

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  82. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    tom, printing the money to negate a debt build up is no more inflationary than to do so to buy up financial assets – as is occuring in the USA and Europe and earlier in Japan. Is there really any inflation risk at the moment?

    The New Zealand government did this back in the 30’s and it enabled a way out of the depression without a debt build up and it was not inflationary then either.

    Sticking with monetary orthodoxy now, is as silly as balanced budgets were during the depression years.

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  83. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    As to the share of tax paid, maybe you could note the change in income and wealth over the years – the growing disparity of income and the huge amount of national wealth now held by the few.

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  84. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    Mark, people who pay payroll taxes are not taking from government, they are making a contribution. They provide for their future need and they enable those who hire them at low wages to make a taxable profit.

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  85. Fletch (6,495 comments) says:

    Also posted this just now on today’s GD –

    A CNBC poll shows that 76% of respondents agree with Romney’s statement about the 47% –

    Do you agree with Romney’s statement?
    Yes — 76%
    No — 22%
    Not Sure — 2%

    Total Votes: 46853

    Not a Scientific Survey
    Results may not total 100% due to rounding

    Puts a whole new slant on this then, and the folks on here who were saying it would be Romney’s downfall. Seems like the race just got a whole lot more interesting…

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49066507/

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  86. SPC (5,775 comments) says:

    It’s not a poll sample, it’s an on-line vote – Fox “proves” Romney to be an even greater genius on everything.

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  87. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    Since you’re still hanging around this thread SPC, I thought I would give one-time responses to some of your points – one-time because they’re getting off-thread:

    … printing the money to negate a debt build up is no more inflationary than to do so to buy up financial assets

    I agree. But from my perspective it’s irrelevant whether the printed money goes straight out the door or whether it runs up some “debt” that the government effectively owes to itself via an intermediary called a Central Bank – printing money is no way to fund a government. The gap has to be covered by real wealth sooner or later – not more printed money. I presume that you aware that, aside from the $1.6 trillion “owed” by the US government to the Federal Reserve and a trillion or so to each of Japan and China, the bulk of the $16 trillion is “debt” to the Social Security scheme and other public schemes.

    So really it’s just an accounting trick and no different to your idea in terms of the effect that it’s having on the US economy – or not, as this article shows: It’s a remarkable spectacle in a way: the Fed is printing money that nobody wants.

    The New Zealand government did this back in the 30′s and it enabled a way out of the depression without a debt build up and it was not inflationary then either.

    So I was right, you are a Douglas Creditor. I’d like to see your links supporting this argument because my understanding was that, while Labour used the Reserve Bank as you suggest, to support things like the price support scheme for farmers, Walter Nash played a very conservative game in making sure that such created credit was covered by real wealth, if not immediately then very soon after. It was people like John A Lee who pushed hard for your idea, demanding that the Reserve Bank simply create the money for the government to spend as it saw fit. Most of the rest of the Labour Party did not agree, even in those times when they were doing “radical” economic things, the Douglas Credit idea was too radical even for them. I don’t fancy your chances of winning the argument nowadays with 70 years of further development in economic theory.

    Incidentally, the reason I recognise this stuff is that my father was a big Lee supporter and pretty hot for the Social Credit idea so I grew up with these stories and arguments, but a quick check to several online NZ history sources seems to back up my memory.

    maybe you could note the change in income and wealth over the years

    I’m sure you love the idea of wealth taxes – but the topic was income tax rates and I will repeat the crucial points that the top 1% of income earners in the USA pay 37% of federal income taxes while earning 17% if all income, and that while they can afford it there is nothing remotely “fair” about that, and the complete opposite of being a “ripoff” of the system – just in case those themes are brought up again, as I’m sure they will be.

    people who pay payroll taxes are not taking from government, they are making a contribution

    The tens of millions who’ve been “contributing” to the scheme for the last 70 years are certainly going to get their money’s worth, in fact they’re going to get far more out of the system than they ever put in.

    Your statement will certainly be true for all the poor bastards pouring money into Social Security now and in the future, but actuaries have pointed out that nobody under the age of 50 now is ever going to see a return on those “contributions”. In fact they’re getting ripped off even compared to plumping the money into a savings account. They’re screwed and increasingly they know it.

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  88. stepheng (25 comments) says:

    I’m sure you love the idea of wealth taxes – but the topic was income tax rates and I will repeat the crucial points that the top 1% of income earners in the USA pay 37% of federal income taxes while earning 17% if all income

    Your figures are very misleading (you’re being slippery with introducing the qualification ‘federal income’ which isn’t what’s wanted in any case and can actually mean different things in different contexts). Everybody acknowledges that when total tax loads are considered along with total income, US shares of tax almost exactly tracks total income shares (which outrages lefties). E.g., Top 1% pays about 21% of total tax on about 21% share of income (so both of your sub-figures are wrong).

    In general, you don’t seem to have any awareness of how rich-skewed the US is, of how it’s an *absolutely fabulous* place to be very rich, and of how utterly preposterous it is to suggest otherwise. I studied this when I lived in Seattle in the early 2000s. Washington state has high sales and excise taxes (like NZ), low property taxes, and no state income tax. As a result, a typical poor person in that supposedly very liberal state on average paid (in 2002-2003) fully 17% of their income in state tax whereas a typical millionairre and billionairre in-state never paid more than 3 or 4% of their income into state coffers. This really put in perspective the Gates and Allen families generously paying for the construction of various campus buildings at UW.

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  89. tom hunter (5,090 comments) says:

    e.g., Top 1% pays about 21% of total tax on about 21% share of income (so both of your sub-figures are wrong).

    My sub-figures come The Heritage Foundation (booooo!, hisssss) who in turn sourced them directly from the IRS.

    Your figures come from The Citizens For Tax Justice (!!!!!), who in turn got them from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Tax Model, April 2012.

    Irrespective of the opposing world views of the two secondary sources, I think I’ll trust actual IRS data as opposed to a “model” as the primary source.

    Oh – by the way, I lived in the US in the 80’s and 90’s and am well-aware of how rich-skewed it is, especially among all the people I knew who voted Democrat.

    What was that word you used – “slippery”?

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