A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
July 11th, 2012
By Dan Miller
He is gambling with America’s future while betting on our stupidity. He seeks to promote his own future by asking us to place losing bets on America’s future by voting for him.
President Obama recently trotted out a race horse named “Betting on America” that he hopes will win the Triple Crown of American politics for him. Perhaps he is also betting on some more great news that the economy is doing “just fine” and improving even though it is doing neither. Then his campaign contributions from the “little people” may improve, enabling him to continue to boast disingenuously that, unlike the Romney Campaign, he does not rely on big contributions from “big people” — not even celebrities in Hollywood and New York. He claims, when soliciting celebrities for large donations, that they are “the ultimate arbiter of which direction this country goes.” If and to the extent that’s true, it’s a sad commentary on the state of our country. Some are beginning to realize it.
While Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are beloved by millions of fans, especially in the critical demographic that came of age in the 1980s, most Americans see Hollywood as a collection of monstrous egos that live in a fantastically unreal fantasy world that is detached from the day-to-day struggles of real people. They may decide the direction of hemlines and hair styles, but I wouldn’t recommend consulting with them about the best way to respond to the European debt crisis. Hollywood is quite simply on the far left extreme of the American political spectrum and in no way determines how the balance breaks on anything other than the Academy Awards.
President Obama continues to seek more money from big donors and, of course, to claim that he needs more money from the “little people” to beat Governor Romney; at least he, his charming First Lady, his Deputy Campaign Manager, his Vice President and perhaps even his own ghost claim that he does — daily disrespecting the office he holds with annoying persistence. Recently, President Obama even claimed that Senator McCain had outspent him in the 2008 race. Patently inaccurate; but no aversion to his own mendacity has troubled him before so why should it now? However, since he claims to have won even though underfunded in 2008, why can’t he do the same this time? He can’t because he didn’t even come close to being underfunded in 2008. With contributions and spending on his behalf by labor unions and corporate supporters standing to gain from his post-election largesse, he is hardly likely to be underfunded this year even if the “little people’s” contributions dry up.
Oh well. After being beat in June campaign contributions by Governor Romney by $35 million, $71 million to $106 million,
Romney and the RNC had about $160 million in the bank at the end of June. Obama and the DNC had about $147 million stashed at the end of May, versus $107 million for Romney and the RNC. Given Obama’s rate of spending, the president’s war chest will probably look rather less imposing after last month.
At least President Obama is being consistent: he does with his campaign what he does with his office as President; they often seem indistinguishable. He insists that the Federal Government, already staggering under a massive national debt and government spending befitting his historic presidency, must continue to spend far more than it receives in taxes. The strategy for his campaign also appears to be to spend more as it takes in less. As President, he bet on Solyndra and other green political horses to help his political benefactors, hoping that his luck would change and that some of them might win regardless of economic reality. When, as usual, it becomes clear that he had backed a lame horse and that it had collapsed at the starting gate due to a pre-existing condition of laminitis, he changes the subject hoping that no one will notice. That’s what he did during his recent campaign appearances in the rust belt.
“People’ve been commenting: I need to gain some weight.” As if to compensate, he ate some grits — a staple once you get an hour or so south of Washington, but not so much up north.
But what else could he talk about? Certainly not the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules shutting down coal-fired electric plants. Nor his decision blocking the Keystone oil pipeline. He could hail the development of fracking in the region’s Marcellus Shale natural-gas formation, except for the fact that regulators in his administration seem intent on shutting it down.
He could repeat his calls for “investment” in education, but even if you don’t regard that as a political payoff to the teachers’ unions, the dividends are going to be a long time coming in. And calls for investment in infrastructure may lead people to recall his chuckling admission that there are no shovel-ready projects, thanks to regulatory and legal roadblocks.
The uncomfortable fact is that Obama doesn’t have a convincing economic story to tell. The recovery summer promised for 2010 and for 2011 and again for 2012 has yet to arrive.
His campaign apparently needs every distraction it can “create or save.” Lacking suitable arguments he, like the lawyer who had neither facts nor law to support his case, pounds loudly on the table. In support of President Obama’s Betting on America campaign,
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Sunday lambasted Mitt Romney for his Swiss bank account and other overseas financial activities, saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee had “bet against America.”
“I’ve never known a Swiss bank account to build an American bridge, a Swiss bank account to create American jobs or Swiss bank accounts to build the levies to protect the people of New Orleans,” O’Malley said on ABC News’s “This Week.”
Democrats, however, failed to mention the Obama administration’s own ties to Swiss banks.
Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Mona Sutphen, who served from 2009 through 2011, now works as a macro-analyst at Swiss financial giant UBS.
Robert Wolf, the chairman and CEO of UBS’ American operations, currently serves on the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Those ties have received relatively little attention when compared with the charges now being lobbed against Mr. Romney.
His campaign has begun to push back, with campaign spokesman Kevin Madden assuring the public that Mr. Romney is not, as some Democrats have suggested, dodging taxes by depositing money in other nations.
“He hasn’t paid a penny less in taxes of where these funds are domiciled,” he said recently. “His liability is exactly the same as if he held the fund investments directly in the U.S. As a U.S. citizen, he is accountable for U.S. taxes. Some investments in some foreign countries can be tax havens. But Mitt Romney does not hold any such investments.”
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. So what? Aside from the hypocrisy of their claims, nothing.
Team Obama has also focused much of its anti-Romney campaign on Bain Capital’s “outsourcing” to foreign countries. Team Obama got it very wrong and its claims are unsupportable. Some in the “principled” media nevertheless continue to try to defend Team Obama on the point.
There has been significant governmental outsourcing under President Obama.
Swiss-Based Landis+Gyr Received Over $50 Million In Stimulus Contracts For Their Smart Grid Meters. Cathy Zoi, A Former Obama Energy Department Official, Held Over $250,000 Worth Of Stock In The Company As They Profited From Her Department’s Policies. Zoi Had Previously Served As An Executive Director At Landis+Gyr Before Joining The Obama Administration. …
Two Korean Manufacturers Of Electric Vehicle Batteries Were Given $300 Million To Build Plants In Michigan. Union Workers Are Now Claiming That Foreign Nationals Are Being Brought In To Fill Jobs That They Could Take. The Department Of Energy Has Admitted That 11 Of The 18 Contractors On Site Are Asian Firms.
Even if Bain Capital under Governor Romney had in fact broken all records for outsourcing to foreign countries, which it did not do, its job was to make money for its investors legally; I am unaware of any Team Obama allegation of Bain illegality. Making money for Bain investors was Governor Romney’s job when he led the company. When he is the President of the United States, that will not be his job. A big part of his job then will be to lead the United States economy to become stronger, and I suspect that he will do at least as good a job of that as he did when he led Bain Capital.
Most of the stuff coming from Team Obama is a great distraction not only from the abysmal state of our economy under President Obama but also from Fast and Furious, the House contempt vote against his Attorney General, the complex problems created and to be exacerbated by his signature legislation, ObamaCare, his flock of executive orders, his mysteriously hidden past and his foreign policy – non-policy. It’s similar to the old shell game: close your minds and your eyes (no peeking!); just listen to what I say so you won’t notice what I’m doing. Then, you can hope that during my next term you will win something nice — maybe nicer even than dinner with Me, if that’s possible.
Not entirely off point, my wife tells a story from when she was a flight attendant on Pan Am during the glory days of flying that are no more. A man at the back of the aircraft exposed himself to one of her fellow flight attendants; her put down was a classic: “Is that all the better you can do?” As President Obama continues to expose himself to the country in many ways, the same comment seems even more applicable to him.
Governor Romney is trying to win the election by focusing on the nation’s problems and on what to do about them.
Romney is making a broad pitch to the nation as a whole, assuming jobs, the debt, deficit and a strong military are what people care about because they should.
Obama knows that’s no longer true for a big slice of the country. He gives lip service to those issues, but they concern him only to the extent they could be his undoing. His aim is to buy four more years by using the power of incumbency to distribute goodies that will insulate his supporters from immediate pain. In exchange, they’ll give him time to turn the nation into a European welfare state, with an imperial president uber alles.
Obama’s not making a national appeal. He’s micro-targeting groups already supporting him, hoping to drive up their numbers to offset the loss of voters for whom the economy and related fiscal issues matter most.
For him, 8.2 percent unemployment is something to work around, not worry about. It is a distraction to be paved over with side deals for friends, bailouts and trade barriers for unions, a pass on immigration laws for Latinos, subsidized loans for students, huge handouts for green-energy zealots and unleashed regulatory cops to “crucify” producers of fossil fuel. He even leaks national security secrets to boost his warrior cred.
Although not my first or even second choice, I will vote for Governor Romney. As I continue to learn more about President Obama, my enthusiasm will continue to increase. As my distrust of our government increases, I shall demand reasons why I should trust it; presently, increasingly and unfortunately there are very few. I think and hope that, despite possible voting fraud and other misconduct on behalf of President Obama, Governor Romney will win. Only President Obama’s defeat can vacate the writs of execution he has continued to issue against America and which, if reelected, he will continue to issue even faster and more furiously. If President Obama wins, we will have shown that we want and maybe even need his Nanny State along with the economic and moral malaise that accompany it.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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