Trump Again–Dec 7, 2011

December 7, 2011

Dec 7, 2011, Donald Trump goes public with his view that Barack Obama is arrogant! From the most arrogant guy I know in the whole media scene–how ridiculous! Does it not occur to him that he is widely regarded as the kind of arrogance?

And, his recent “disclosure” of his wealth at $7B, regrettably one indicator to many of his wisdom and acumen, is very likely to be wildly distorted to the upside. Forgetting all the banks and others who have lost fortunes in association with him in his past failures, we can only say: “Donald, produce all the details to support these claims–property addresses, descriptions, valuation calculations, etc.” It’s highly doubtful that he can legitimately claim a fraction of this if subjected to proper scrutiny.

It’s just too much to really believe, isn’t it?

Republican Primaries–Dec 6, 2011

December 6, 2011

The latest blip in the Republican Presidential polls favors Newt Gingrich over Mitt Romney (and all the others). This is a disappointing reflection of our political process, because Newt is not the kind of leader we need for the critical next four years. His personal life is a concern, his positions have been A-Z on some key issues, he shoots from the hip, and he’s arrogant to the extreme–seemingly believing he is the smartest and wisest person on earth, a rather disgusting trait. In this regard, Romney is much more the man we’d like to have dinner with, the man we’d trust to carefully consider decisions before advancing. Even better would be Huntsman, but that choice is regrettably academic at this point.

To emphasize our point, Gingrich’s recent decision to seek the advice of Donald Trump pretty much wrapped up our willingness to respect his judgment. Trump has already revealed his lack of knowledge and wisdom on most key issues. Is Donald Trump the kind of adviser President Gingrich would turn to for advice in making decisions, such as those on China, where Trump clearly doesn’t even understand the country, the issues, or how to negotiate with them?

So, the Obama presidency has been less than what we’d like to see, and perhaps many of us are vulnerable to voting for a new regime, especially one with a more fiscally conservative bent. Seems a perfect opportunity for the Republicans to take full advantage. However, they’ve done the opposite so far. The only good we can see is that, at least we are not forced to consider Sarah Palin, and we are finally rid of Herman Cain.

A word on Cain–we don’t know whether the multiple allegations are true, but it seems highly likely that some are. He may well have been able to salvage his campaign if he had come clean, admitted his mistakes, and apologized. But, this way, we’ll never know and we have to assume he had something to hide–the potential of dishonesty weighs heavier than this possible mistakes. However, if all of it were true, admitting and apologizing would have been woefully inadequate. Is that why he dropped out?

We are not the only ones who would seriously consider voting Republican in 2012–but–the only really credible candidates stand no chance of being nominated. The developing primary race so far has been a 3 ring circus.

A perfect opportunity for Republican conservatism to capture the country may be lost due to the lacklustre array of candidates to lead the Party and due to the intransigence of the Republican Congress to do something to address debt and stimulus through compromise. They seem to be betting everything on keeping us suffering until 2013. But, beware! We may turn to the Democrats again, considering this woeful lack of conservative leadership.

Gridlock–Citizens Responsible? Dec 3, 2011

We’ve been disappointed with the disappearance of Center in American politics. It seems that the “wingnuts” on both sides predominate at this time. While we keep thinking there will be some compromise on major issues, such as debt reduction/stimulus, the report of the special congressional committee (“we cannot reach agreement”) is a ringing clarion of the trouble abroad in the land.

December 3, 2011

Here is one perspective on the issue: Maybe the problem is that we are a democracy. Political representatives certainly must listen to the people. Their failure to try to do that can’t be the problem. The problem must be that the voice of the people is not clear–the people simply voice frustration with the inability of Congress to agree. We don’t tell them what they should agree on. The voice of the people does not speak out a recommended solution. If we had one, they would have to listen. It isn’t helping that we complain, protest, occupy, because we are not clear in what we want. This leaves Congress an enormous amount of freedom to do as they individually believe–and the political lines are drawn on this one.

Maybe the problem is that this one is a complex issue and many of us do not want to take the time to develop an opinion as to the right solution–will tax reductions significantly stimulate growth and employment? This is a question on which highly educated economist do not agree. If we were to agree that they would, then wouldn’t we have to demand reduction in our entitlements? That’s not happening!

The answer certainly depends on the nature of the particular tax deduction. Given our highly complex tax code, most Americans don’t really know how any change would affect them individually. If we wanted their opinions, we’d have to provide everyone with an estimate of the impact of the tax reduction on them.

And, is debt reduction for the US more important than my entitlements in medicare and social security, to mention two of the at-risk budget items…? Maybe, but you’d better be clear as to the benefits to employment and growth to justify sacrificing your own wealth to make this happen. Most Americans are simply not sure those benefits would accrue to tax reductions and entitlement reductions. It’s as if Americans are pounding the table demanding a magic solution. We are enabling Congress to behave this way, because we have no intelligible voice!

So, is there any solution? Well, it’s not likely that the American people are going to take a good course in economics suddenly and make informed decisions about all these actions and effects. So, in the absence of that, why don’t we all simply demand a clear “no smoke and mirrors” 50/50. 50% of the $1.3 trillion comes in tax increases, and 50% comes from budget reductions, including medicare, social security, and defense. 50/50 always had a good ring to it. Let’s do it and get on with it.

The details follow–e.g., what tax reductions and for whom, what entitlement reductions affecting whom? Let’s Congress work out this detail–they can do that if we tell them we want 50/50.

If we’re not able to speak with a strong voice as to what we believe will be best in one extreme or the other, why can’t we just demand a compromise and get on with it?