Monthly Archives: September 2012

Less Than 1 Week Until First Presidential Debate

This is Don coming back at my “U” family. We are still a few weeks away from election day, however, more immediately, we have the first presidential debates less than a week away. If you want to join me, and other members of the BSU, there will be a viewing session at Rice House at 9 hosted by yours truly. However, on to the news of the week in review. Several articles have been addressing what we should know as the particularly important “swing” states, being Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio specifically. What is the importance of these handful of states? Well, just between Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania combined, these three states account for nearly a quarter of the electoral college votes necessary to win the White House. To underline this even more, CNN reports that in “modern times”, no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio.  Then what is the current state of the swing states, and Ohio particularly? According to polls, President Obama currently holds a lead in each of these four swing states, with a 53%-43% lead with those likely to vote over opponent Mitt Romney. Given its importance, each candidate has spent several  days in Ohio in the lead-up to next week’s debates.

The topics of interest for these campaign stops, particularly on Wednesday the 26th, were China, taxes and jobs. In terms of China, each candidate has proposed a hard stance on China’s trade practices. The divergence is that GOP candidate Romney has accused current President Obama of not being tough enough and that he would label them as “currency manipulators”. President Obama has retorted that GOP candidate’s past practices have been lax in comparison to the stance he is portraying presently. Then of course, there is the issue of taxes and the economy.  Following an article from CNN, the short view of their two stances are that Romney would follow a “trickle-down” approach to economics, while Obama champions a position which values keeping taxes low for the low and middle class to grow the economy from the middle out.

It would be interesting to see each candidate expand more on their views as each of these is a very vague description. Perhaps issues of taxes and economics will take central stage next week during the political debates, giving us an opportunity to see them address each other directly for the first time in a while. I do hope that you all find the time to watch the debates, and if not I will do my best to recap the main points this time next week. As always, if there is more specific information that you would personally like to know about, let me know and I will search it down for you. As always, just trying to be an instrument of knowledge and information.

One Love,

Don S. Polite Jr.

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48 Days Until Election Day

The main campaign story of the week as I have been able to follow has centered around GOP candidate’s “victims” remarks. If you have not heard, allow me to catch you up on the story. A video has been circulating of Romney speaking at a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida on May 17 of this year. In this video, Romney is heard responding to a question posed to him from the audience, and he is heard responding, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that 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.” Throughout the week, Romney has attempted to defend and clarify these remarks which he claims were not “elegantly stated”.
     In an attempt to defend his remarks, Romney offered up two remarks regarding his views on the economy. First, “I do believe that we should have enough jobs and enough take-home pay such that people have the privilege of higher incomes that allow them to be paying taxes,” said Romney this week. He would also proclaim that the right course for America is to “create growth, create wealth”.  And lastly, Romney is also quoted as saying, “It’s a message which I am going to carry and continue to carry, which is that the president’s (Obama’s) approach is attractive to people who are not paying taxes because frankly my discussion about lowering taxes isn’t as attractive to them. Therefore I’m not likely to draw them into my campaign as effectively as those in the middle.”  One Romney funder, and Republican National Committee member also defended Romney’s remarks by saying, “Romney believes in capitalism and the free market and wants to create 12 million jobs. Obviously, I think the president (Obama) is perfectly comfortable promoting government dependence.”
     What does this mean on the campaign trail so far? Well, in three “swing” or “battleground” states, (Ohio, Virginia and Florida), current President Obama is holding slim leads. New polls have not quite reflected how badly or if these comments have damaged the image of GOP candidate Romney.  But the question I pose to myself is, should it? First off, the idea that 47% of people do not pay federal income taxes does seem to me like a gross exaggeration. But for me, that is not the main issue that I feel we should address. What bothers me is that GOP candidate Romney states that his policies should appeal to the middle class. But if 47% of the American population, (as he states) is not even paying federal income tax, and is relying on the government, how big is this “middle” that Romney speaks of? 47% would put half the nation in his estimation darn near levels of poverty.  I can agree that job growth is important, that all families should be working with a workable wage where paying taxes is feasible. However, labeling half the country as “dependent” is something I have an issue with. The idea that the government should work to create “wealth” is another idea I am not comfortable with. Again, this is personal. What is the public benefit of “wealth”? Wealth in my mind promotes people accumulating way past needs, at the expense of others. Should that be the goal of our national economic plan, individual wealth? Or should we instead be aiming for stabilization of our financial security while assuring a semblance of basic living standards for those who are struggling, often in spite of their own efforts?
     But these are simply the questions that I have running on my mind. I do have my own opinions, and I do believe strongly in them. As always, I will always present information to you, as I received them. And I will always draw from a wide array from sources so as to avoid presenting information from any one source with any partisan biases that they present. I can never divorce my own ramblings and thoughts concerning the campaign from the posts, but my wish and desire is first to inform, and then offer my own sense of things. If there are any issues concerning policies that you wish to be included in any future posts, feel free to find me and I will do my best to put together the information you desire. You are always free to form you rown interpretations, and I am ok with that. Our obligation to each other as citizens, brothers and sisters and Americans is to make sure that we are all informed. And always make the attempt to listen to each other with an open mind and heart, acknowledging that there will not be a consensus opinion. Either way, I hope to see you all politically active, engaged and excited for Election Day. I do believe that this is an important election, and every vote counts.
One Love,
Don Sidney Polite Junior