Centrist Voter Guide: President 2012
Before we get started let's examine what is probably one of the most important factors in deciding who would be better for America for the next four years. Two points are critical in factoring this aspect of decision processing. Those two points have subset factors that need to be understood:
- We are absolutely at a critical junction that will determine our economic potential for the immediate short and long-term future.
- Poor regulatory quality has allowed public debt and debt obligation to explode.
- Human influenced climate change is altering global systems now.
- Healthcare still needs more restructuring work to become affordable and remain reasonably comprehensive.
- Poor regulatory quality diminishes the capacity for a stronger America.
- Poor regulatory quality has allowed retirement funds to be depleted.
- Poor regulatory quality has increased risk to our national security.
- Our educational system needs a facelift and solid support.
- Our energy infrastructure needs investment.
- Political reform needs to be seriously addressed.
- Our entire infrastructure needs to be hardened to prepare for the challenges of the future.
- First term presidents typically care more about relection than they care about what needs to be done.
- Especially when what needs to be done is politically unfavorable.
- Especially when what needs to be done does not favor corporate desires.
- Especially when what needs to be done does not fit ideologically with ones base.
Whomever sits in the White House for the next four years would benefit from having his hands reasonably free to use the bully pulpit to get things done. We don't live in a perfect world but it would be nice if that individual were knowledgeable, honest and direct with the American people. And we should favor the least ambiguous or the least evasive candidate on the serious issues now facing Americas economic future.
We need systemic change even if that may be hard for us to achieve needed goals. We need a president that is willing to break away from 'business as usual' and chart a new course. We are headed for stormy waters no matter whom is elected. The question remains, which candidate will be more likely, or able, to navigate us toward the less damaging path? It seems that neither candidate has the awareness and ability to communicate and chart the 'best' course, but one of the candidates is indicated to be 'more' likely to stear us in the 'better' direction.
How to understand and fairly represent the given presidential choices in the 2012 campaign?
By weighing what candidates say and do on the campaign trail, as well as actions behind the scenes, and historically, we can formulate a picture. Using critical thinking as objectively as possible we can construct what might be considered a reasonable view. You may more or less agree or disagree, but the points made below are worth examination.
President Obama has suggested/proposed some economic reform against what appears to be a rip-tide exemplified as a distinct lack of support from the Republican base. This reluctance in working toward viable solutions actually led to a downgrade of America's credit rating. The Republicans goal according to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Jr. stated at the Heritage Foundation was "Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term". If that was their top priority, that puts the country as a 'lower priority' to their goal of achieving political power. Translated that indicates that they were more interested in defeating President Obama than they were interested in helping restore America's economic strength.
Which candidate Mitt Romney or President Obama is more conservative than the other?
CP Scoring Analysis Parameters:
- -1 = inappropriate policy suggestion or action
- 0 = expected action or no significant action
- +1 = significant action or success of action
Using this measure a score of 0 (zero) is expected. Anything above zero is exceptional. Anything below zero is unacceptable. If no data is conclusive then a (0) is given.
Romney/Ryan have made no concrete proposals regarding the Romney fiscal plan and have avoided detailing their plans. That means that they will likely do the opposite of what they 'indicate/infer' once elected, or they don't have a plan. It also indicates they are pandering to their base for votes rather than being open and reasonably honest in their representations.
Mitt Romney appears to support Keynesian economics, which relies on borrowing from the future to pay for today. The policy increases the odds of increasingly large scale recession and even depression in a world where resource capacity in relation to demand is becoming increasingly stressed.
Romney also indicates support for 'Trickle-down economics', which has been demonstrated to not only 'not work', it appears to be a national security issue. Trickle down trickles out. Estimated exports of money that would have had a better chance of remaining in America and contributing to American productivity and prosperity has been moved by the wealthy to other countries.
Which candidate is more conservative and which is more liberal? President Obama supports policies that are directed at building business and the middle class, which has always been a strong engine and driver of the economy in America. And a stronger middle class increases the ability of achievement in America and of the strength of the United States as a global power. This policy direction also supports 'The American Dream'. Mitt Romney through his past actions and speeches seems to lean toward stronger corporatism.
Are the policies, actions and statements indicated and spoken reasonable, practical and workable? President Obama is a Democrat and is still supporting expenditures that can likely be cut, but of which those cuts are politically untenable. He seems unable to make progress with an uncooperative congress. Mitt Romney on the other hand talks about responsibility though he clearly supports tax cuts that are unaffordable and generally seems to support corporate socialism and corporate welfare.
Generally, appropriate regulation can enable a reasonable commons for capitalism to function in a relatively healthy manner. Which candidate would be more responsible with market regulation? President Obama seems to advocate regulatory enforcement be imposed on Wall Street practices that led to damaging market bubbles as occurred during the George W. Bush administration. Mitt Romney seems to be an advocate of "corporations are people", and President Obama seems to be inclined toward a fair market approach with less special interest influence.
President Obama did nothing exceptional to repair the systemic flaws in our education system. Mitt Romney has not campaigned on this issue in any significant manner. In advancement and performance there have been no 'exceptional' propositions or actions.
Energy is directly tied to national security. The fact is that CO2 from fossil fuels is a serious issue and we are overly dependent on fossil fuels. It is clear that until we can effectively transition to renewable and sustainable energy we are at increased risk on multiple fronts to our economic function.
President Obama tried to push a 'Cap and Trade' bill through congress. Analysis of Cap and Trade indicates that it is not a good idea and a 'Fee & Dividend' approach would be more wise.
Mitt Romney has stated that 'we are not sure about what is causing climate change', which indicates that any energy policy he would promote would not be considerate of relevant facts. He has stated in the past that climate change is human influenced though he now has flip flopped on the issue. This indicates that he is unwilling to take a stand due to political fear. That indicates a general lack of integrity.
The fact is that we need a fully informed energy plan. President Obama should be pushing for Fee & Dividend but is not, and Mitt Romney is in denial about the climate energy connection. We need to move to a renewable and sustainable energy infrastructure as quickly as possible. At the least, president Obama recognizes the issue even though he thus far seems unable to make significant headway.
As illustrated in the Energy discussion above Mitt Romney has flip flopped on his stance on climate change. He previously stated in 2008:
"I think the risks of climate change are real and that you're seeing climate change I think human activity is contributing to it".
In the 2012 campaign Romney stated:
"We don't know what's causing climate change."
Climate change caused by human influenced global warming is absolutely a national security issue.
This is a tough one because the Healthcare plan President Obama pushed through congress originated from Republican plans and even aspects of the Mitt Romney plan called Romneycare. So in effect one can say that the Republicans don't like the Presidents healthcare plan because a Democrat pushed it through..., even though many aspects had been pushed by numerous Republicans, including Mitt Romney.
To confuse things further Mitt Romney has repeatedly stated he will abolish Obamacare (which is kind of based on Romneycare) but when asked about specifics of which parts he will abolish he says he will keep the parts that are supported in Obamacare (which is basically Romneycare) but he will get rid of Obamacare...
Are you confused yet?
For what appears to be a definitive lack of understanding or integrity on the issue Mitt Romney fails on the Healthcare issue. The reality is that he probably is only 'saying' he will abolish Obamacare (which is basically Romneycare) because it is a popular thing to say among his base. His apparent goal is to get more votes for being rhetorically correct for his base.
Point to President Obama for caring about Americans and getting a Republican healthcare plan passed against their will and beginning a process that we hope continues. Healthcare is important but much still needs to be done. Now all we have to do is figure out how to pay for it.
There has not been a lot of focus on political reform during the campaign. Generally speaking Mitt Romney has promoted 'continued' support of corporate socialism and welfare. This indicates that he is supportive of keeping things as they are with special interests strongly empowered in their influence of our political leadership as opposed to pragmatism based on the needs of the nation and its people. Mitt Romney also stated:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president now matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them; who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them."
He apologized later and said in a Fox News interview: "In this case I said something that was completely wrong and I absolutely believe that my life has shown that I care about 100% and that's been demonstrated throughout my life and this whole campaign is about the 100%. When I become president it will be about helping the 100%..." In the Fox News interview he goes on to say that he wants to help the poor and the middle class.
It is important to differentiate between what a man is willing to say when he thinks there are no cameras in the room verses what he says in a Fox News interview while trying to convince people that he didn't mean what he actually said.
Romney's general performance and statements indicate that he can't be trusted to say what he really means and believes.
Mitt Romney has stated he will increase military spending by having the Navy build 15 new ships and 3 submarines per year, even though the Pentagon has made no special requests. Mitt Romney makes a patriotic appeal for increased defense spending and blames President Obama for pending defense cuts that were approved by both parties in Congress. Romney also stated "Does President Obama know how much his defense cuts will hurt us?" So we should have a question for Mitt Romney: 'Does Mitt Romney know how much his unrequested spending supporting corporate socialism, increasing our debt unnecessarily and misleading his electorate will hurt America?'
Paul Ryan was asked how the government will pay for these things. Ryan said: "it's revenue neutral". When further asked, he stated: "I don't have the time to explain it".
If in fact Romney/Ryan do not have time to explain their fiscal plan in detail with sufficient time for analysis, then it can only be assumed they are hiding it intentionally from the American people because either they don't really have a plan, or the plan they have is too much like President Obama's for them to mention it, as it would confuse their voter base.
And to top it all off Romney has stated he will cut taxes across the board by 20%. We are in a debt crisis and Mitt Romney is suggesting we go further in debt to solve the debt problem. There is no logic or rationality in this position.
Again we see that Mitt Romney is relying on rhetoric to appeal to the masses and a few states that do ship building (Romney: "many of our jobs — 3,600 in New Hampshire alone.") to increase his chances of being elected. If elected he will have to say later 'well, it doesn't look like we can afford to just keep building ships like I wanted too'.
His statements indicate he is not saying anything of relevant substance and generally is going to put the country on a path of 'increased debt' and 'no way out' so he can get more votes. Or, he is misleading his voter base so they will elect him, and after elected he will have to disappoint those voters that bought into his rhetoric.
In comparison, President Obama has been doing relatively well with difficult circumstances including reducing deficit spending from the high water mark brought on by the irresponsible actions of the previous administration... and yes, he made the call for the strike mission to go in and get Osama bin Laden. Mitt Romney has made his first foreign policy tour during this campaign and fumbled the ball at nearly every turn.
Both main political parties are mired in the legislated corruption of special interest influence and are subject to monied interests that support their individual campaigns and agendas.
Both candidates are generally guilty of puffery and less than accurate conflation. Though as illustrated at the RNC and DNC nomination conventions, and later statements The Romney/Ryan team seem to be leading the pack on misrepresentations or outright factual errors.
Using facts out of context to foment an appeal to emotion that draws attention away from the truth is inappropriate. Again Romney/Ryan seem to be leading in this area.
So here we are, closing in on the 2012 election and we have a choice between a more liberal and a more conservative candidate. Which one is which? Well, based on the analysis, Mitt Romney wants to promote policies that give more to the rich and get America more in debt in the middle of a debt crisis. And when I say give, I mean take, via the mechanism of legislative influence (corruption and corporate socialism delivered via special interest influence on government).
The 'Earning Principle' applies, and rich or poor does not matter:
If you didn't earn it you don't own it. If you don't own it you probably won't respect it. If you don't respect it you're probably going to trash it.
Besides trickle down doesn't work because it's not really trickle down, it's 'Flooding Out' to the tune of around 21 to 32 trillion dollars globally.
- Who would be a better president based on the tenets of the Centrist Party?
- Which candidate really supports the American Dream best and working and earning your way?
- Which candidate supports on a per capita basis a plan that will reduce the debt, pay more for externalized costs, put America on course for a more reasonable energy future and does not support corporate socialism?
- Which candidate is more supportive of the good of the people as opposed to the good of the corporations?
- Which candidate supports the American Dream in more in his heart and actions, rather than his rhetoric?
- Which candidate is more likely to push us toward greater security on all these planks?
- Which candidate is most likely more conservative about energy consumption and resource capacity while considering the reality of climate change?
Think carefully about all these considerations. When critical thinking is applied appropriately based on the evidence and how things actually work in politics verses the rhetoric that is bandied about as if it really didn't matter, the choice for America and the good of what our country is or should be all about, our principles, our values, and our potential, vote for what makes sense to you.
Each American has to make his own decision. Here is the result of the above analysis:
|Election 2012||Mitt Romney||President Obama|
So where do we stand?
Who is the more conservative candidate? Looks like President Barack Obama.
Who is the more liberal candidate. Looks like Mitt Romney.
The evidence indicates that the better candidate in President Barack Obama.