Sooo…? Now what?

President Obama & Vice President Biden (4 More Years)

President Obama & Vice President Biden (4 More Years)

I think Obama understands how weak he’s looked in the last couple years. America’s “just-get-it-done” mentality is understandably & unapologetically disgusted with the excuses of a “do-nothing-congresses”. Those days are now over. And while recently this is less of an excuse than a proud badge of honor to Reid & Boehner’s efforts, it still doesn’t get US anywhere.

I think the President finally knows that. He’s read enough Lincoln lore and FDR fodder to understand that excuse don’t make for good legacy. I think over the next couple months we will start to see him lean to the right… and heavily. But make no mistake, this shift towards moderation will not be in the name of compromise but in the name of his legacy.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

He’s made it very clear he holds no allegiance to the Democrats in the Senate. Time and time again he has shown an ability to let fellow liberals down. But let’s face it… Reid’s liberal staunchness is making him worthless. So much so that I will probably only mention him once this year… and in the article to the left.

In most multi-term administrations the goal is simple: legacy. And in order to save his legacy he will have to start a regular dialogue directly with Boehner on these fiscal matters and begin to move the dial. And as hard as it will be for both men to stomach it, they need each other.

Remember, most politicians ceded the fact that nothing was going to get done until the next election. In fact, it literally became the answer to quite a few tough questions asked of Republicans. Well, we’ve had our election. That day has come and gone. Now you will see an unconventional effort on the part of the President to push legislation through thoughtfully but overall swiftly.

The banks and markets are betting that this, same-ol-same-ol, administration will let them down… and they are responding in kind.

The Tea Party has done 1 thing right: they held the line on austerity. Often perceived as obstructionism, I’m beginning to simply believe it to be standing firmly on principle. Everyone now knows what the Tea Party is made of. And in that regard, the President now has a mandate.

If the bulk of the country has handed matter of fiscal responsibility to a ultra-conservative House then so be it. I think the President should respond in kind and adopt the House’s current edict of fiscal responsibility. Not his own flavor or fiscal responsibility but that of the Tea Party’s.

It’s important to remember something: the People (capital “P”) have spoken. En masse the President has been chosen (again) to shape the agenda of our nation’s policies. Also, in resounding accord, the People have chosen Boehner’s House to continue holding the line on this great nation’s purse strings. As long as both the House and our President understand that there is no problem this nation can not solve.

The Easiest Job in the World

Let’s see: No recession, 1 war over, 1 war ending, 30+ months of job growth, steady unemployment drops, almost 18 tax-breaks for the folks, solvent banks, some paid off bailout loans, huge steps in healthcare reform… and oh yeah, Bin Laden…

Things are not just “not bad”… Things are actually pretty sweet. Which begs the question – What in the world does a Mitt Romney administration really have to do?

The Easiest Job in the World

The Easiest Job in the World

IF Mitt wins, and I mean IF, he’d have the easiest job in the world. Eliminate capital gains, “continue” drilling at current rates (with some partisan caveats of course), wait for GDP increases. Check, check & check.

The honest truth is the economy has indeed stabilized but we all know the “elephant” in the room ~ the debt. The nation’s debt is indeed an issue but a real laissez faire practitioner would simply count on markets to cure their own ales and tax revenues would somehow trickle up into our debtors pockets. That’s obviously not a prudent approach and it in no way reflects the pains that constituents continually lob at politicians. I have always said “laissez faire” makes are great name for a novel but it is no way to run an economy. Our debt problem is only going to be solved by eliminating obvious upon waste and applying raised revenue to our principle debtors… AND THAT’S BEFORE ANY LEGISLATION IS CREATED OR SIGNED.

As for the framework Romney is proposing, capital gains taxes are on the chopping block. Essentially, the elimination of these tax revenues becomes money that the government will no longer have access to ~ they become funds that the individual can then decide to spend, invest or save. However, economists are continuing to argue whether capital gains should be taxed or not. There is also conversation around whether they even spur the necessary growth needed to propel the economy long-term. What’s hardest to comprehend is how a Presidential candidate would make so broad a proposal for so small of a segment of Americans. It’s my thinking that the best it could do is bring paper money back to the states but we know who that benefits.

Entrepreneurs that are hiring are looking to expand their businesses or accommodate sustained growth. The amount of those entrepreneurs that even generate capital gains is small. In fact, 95+% of small business owners generate less than $200,000 of earned personal income. None of which has anything to do with capital gains. But we’ll just have to trust Romney’s administration with the numbers and hope that they’ll balance out.

I don’t want it to sound like I think Mitt is the reason the recession hit. Paper money is the reason we found ourselves in a recession – but whatever, right. Mitt is not like Bush. He obviously understands money markets. He has a proven track-record as a business leader. I don’t think we’d see the same legislation (or lack thereof) from a Romney administration as we did with Bush. I’m not concerned about a “return” at all. There’s no money in a return – nor any growth. What Mitt will do is try a different top-down approach that encourages markets to bless the general public with jobs. His talking points lean towards trusting the private sector more; which I agree with. But he has not demonstrated, to me, any lessons learned.

I would love to hear Mitt talk more about his own party and their flaws. I have always said if he was more transparent about how this latest recession was created I’d be more inclined to support him. He has not.

What I would caution more Americans to consider is Mitt’s record as a public servant – where you can not fire your team. This is more indicative of what type of President he will be rather than how he could be.

At governing a state he had some modest gains. I liked the moves made on education but they were to primarily budget-based reductions. I liked where the state ended up on jobs but Mitt’s made a point NOT to give the current President the same credit for doing exactly what he did… but on a national scale. One need only look as far as Duval Patrick’s comments at the 2012 Democratic National Convention to see Mitt Romney did not leave Massachusetts in tip top shape.

Touting “reaching across the aisle” is not really a sign of governing – especially when your legislature is 80+% democrat. Frankly that says more about an ability to let the most powerful party control both the agenda AND the execution. My concern is the most powerful party may be the Republican Party which means they will run all over him. That’s not good for America. And although Mitt himself may be good for the country his party is his baggage.

The Tea Party has shown itself to be destructive and obstructive. While I totally understand their concerns as constituents they have no place is honest legislative conversations. They have rooted their cause is opposition and not principle.

I think Mitt Romney is fully capable of performing the duties of President. But we have 1 already.

Mitt is a great business leader. And maybe that’s exactly what America needs but let’s admit something. His agenda is merely reversing policies that were solely put in place to reverse damages caused by his own party. Until Mitt draws a stark line in the sand between how the recession occurred and how his policies would be different he will just be another partisan pundit with no BIG agenda… just talking points.

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