Election 2012: II. Why We Should Vote Against Mitt Romney

(This is the second of five posts I will put up over the two weeks of the conventions, exploring my thoughts on the Presidential election. Parts 1 and 2 will be reasons to vote for and against Mitt Romney; Parts 3 and 4 will be reasons to vote for and against Barack Obama. Part 5 will wrap up. Keep in mind, this is my thinking as we go through the conventions. It’s likely that things will change between now and Election Day.)

Next week I’ll put up two posts looking at Obama’s record. And I’ll probably get into a little bit now. But a fundamental principle, for me, is that Obama’s suckiness does not automatically make Mitt Romney a good alternative. Going forward for the next four years, is Mitt Romney the guy we want in charge? I can think of several reasons why electing Romney would be a bad idea.

The Deficit

Look, I’ll get into Obama’s deficit record next week. I’m not going to excuse his failures on this. But will Mitt Romney make the probem better or worse?

There are many reasons to believe the latter. If we are to believe his campaign promises, Romney plans to increase defense spending, not cut Medicare or Social Security and cut taxes. The math simply does not work. It would mean cutting other spending by at least 40%. That’s 40% of federal law enforcement and border control. That’s 40% of education, which might sound fine but would mean many inner city schools would have to close. That’s 40% of science, 40% of infrastructure, 40% of intelligence. More if interest rates go up.

Does anyone seriously think the GOP is going to cut spending 40%? Does anyone think they can cut enough to allow for tax cuts? Let’s take a look at the causes of the deficit in the next decade. The graph below is a little deceptive as it anticipates that stimulus spending will wane (it hasn’t and doesn’t) and does some other shady accounting about entitlements and taxes (e.g., bracket creep, SGR, etc.). But no matter how you slice it, Bush’s tax cuts are a large contributor to the debt (Obama has extended them and plans on extending them for everyone but the rich; so they are his now). After that, you get the economy, structural deficits and the war.

That would be bad enough. But there’s something in that graph that the CBPP would rather not talk about: that spending increased massively on all fronts during the Bush era. This is hidden in the graph because we were enjoying a bubble-fueled boom in revenues. The graph then sees the lack of those revenues — due to the economy and tax cuts — as the cause of the deficit rather than the huge spending increases that accompanied them. It regards bubble revenues and bubble spending as the new normal. So parts of that orange and dark blue should be labelled “Bush era non-defense spending”.



The simple fact is that the last time we gave the GOP unfettered access to the national purse, they went wild. And we are still paying the price for their profligacy.

“Oh, shut up about Bush!” you say. OK. Let’s talk about the current situation. When the Republicans had both Congress and the White House, federal spending increased 6.4% per year. Under Obama, it has increased … 6.4% a year, including all stimuli, bailouts and automatic stabilizers. But in the last two years, it has increased about 1% per year. You want spending restraint? We’re getting it, thanks to a divided government.

I’m drifting a bit into “reasons to vote for Obama” territory, but it is a simple fact that our government has exercised more spending restraint when it has been divided than when it has been united. Federal spending has been basically flat for two years now. The GOP has opposed all of Obama’s new spending initiatives. I do not trust them to have that same discipline when Romney is in the White House. Does anyone really think Romney and the Republicans will combine to keep spending growth at 1% per year as Obama and the Republicans have? With the promises they are making to increase defense spending?

We are already hearing big-spending rumblings in the GOP, who now want to undo the sequester, at least as far as national defense goes. Here is a plot of the defense spending as currently envisioned under various scenarios:

That sequester slice is the one Republicans are branding as “devastating”. They have even dragged out Keynesian arguments about how the cuts will “destroy jobs” as a reason to void them. In short, they have identified increasing spending as a top priority. Does that sound like a bunch of budget cutters to you?

Look, you can posit that Obama wants to spend like mad. I’ll agree. So what? Congress controls the purse strings. And since Obama and the Republicans have had to share power, those strings have been the tightest in two decades. I have little confidence they will show the same restraint with President Romney.

The GOP is Still Crazy

I made this bullet point before the convention. And I am still worried about the GOP focus on cultural issues. I could see, without a veto threat, the GOP pushing forward personhood laws, more cuts to birth control and strengthening of DOMA. But the RNC ameliorated some of my fears, showing a GOP that was more optimistic, more plugged in and more focused on real issues like the economy. The impression was that they have done what I’d hoped: taken the best elements of the Tea Party and incorporated them into a coherent vision of constrained government.

Still, I’m known to be optimistic about these things. And giving them power is a gamble that they’ve figured things out.

Foreign Policy

If we elect Romney, the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush years will return. He has surrounded himself with and the RNC highlighted neocons who favor a larger military and a more aggressive global engagement. There are many on his team who favor attacks on Iran and think getting involved in Syria would be a good idea. And the idea that we should aquiesce to whatever Israel wants — rather than treating them like every other ally with whom we occasionally squabble — was on full display.

(To be honest, it’s sometimes hard to tell what the GOP wants on foreign policy. They’ve mainly been defined as opposing whatever it is Obama is doing. So we should get involved in Libya. No we shouldn’t. Well, we should, but we should lead from the front. But we don’t want to spend too much or get any American soldiers killed. And it’s unconstitutional anyway. There’s a good case to be made that no one knows what the fuck these guys will do on foreign policy when they’re in charge again. That’s not an argument for giving the State Department back to them.)

2016

If Romney wins this year, he’ll be running again in 2016. That means that Condi Rice, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley … will not be running in 2016. And I have far more confidence in those guys than I do in Mitt Romney (although Ryan would obviously still be VP).

That having been said, you don’t pass up an opportunity in 2012 because of what might be available in 2016. Every election has to be decided on its own merits. Because, at some point in the next four years, the President might face a decision that could change the course of history.

The Supreme Court

Four years ago, I disputed the notion that Obama would radically tilt the Court to the Left by pointing out how much older the liberal wing was than the right wing.

The two oldest judges on the court are liberals (and Ginsberg, in particular, is looking frail). The three youngest judges are conservative. The average conservative age is 60.8; the average liberal age is 75.5. Even if Obama is in for eight years, he is most likely to replace two liberal judges on the Court. And even if one of the conservatives were to be in a tragic blimp accident, that would shift the court to being as radically crazy liberal as it was during the Rhenquist years.

The idea that Obama is going to leave us with a Burger-style radical liberal Court is frankly hyperbolic. Unless the entire Court is wiped out during a meth-fueled orgy, Obama will, at most, shift the court somewhat to the left. True, the Court won’t become more conservative. But considering how conservative is defined these days—a unitary executive, untrammeled federal power, the suspension of habeas—that’s fine with me.

And, indeed, the only judges Obama has replaced have been liberals (Stephens and Souter). The new judges do not seem ridiculous radical. Liberal, yes. But the Court has produced good decisions recently on immigration, broadcast deceny and even a 9-0 decision reining in in the EPA. For all the pain of the Obamacare decision, it was the conservative Roberts who cast the critical vote.

That math has changed a bit since I wrote that in 2008. Here’s the age of the various SCOTUS justices:

Conservative: Roberts (57), Scalia (76),Thomas (64), Alito (62)
Moderate: Kennedy (76)
Liberal: Ginsburg (79), Breyer (74), Sotomayor (58), Kagan (52)

The conservatives now average at 65, the liberals at 66. The Court is very well-balanced. But preserving that balance over the next four years will be tricky. Ginsburg, Breyer, Scalia and Kennedy are the oldest judges. And while Scalia will not leave the Court until the pry his dead body out of the bathroom, anyone over 70 has to be considered a potential replacement.

Ginsberg and Breyer are probably the two that will most need replacement in the next two years. I would prefer that they not be replaced by conservatives and tilt the balance even further. That, of course has to be weighed against the danger that Kennedy or Scalia are replaced by Obama. (I’ll talk about this in the context of re-electing Obama in the next post).

Conclusion

Looking over this list, it really boils down to two issues: the deficit and foreign policy. And that really boils down to one issue: Romney seems poised to give us a return to the bad old days when Republicans spent worse than Democrats, got us involved in foreign quagmires and focused on culture issues to distract from it.

The last few weeks have reduced these concerns a little. The selection of Ryan is a big indicator that Romney intends to take spending seriously. But they are not gone. And that Romney is surrounding himself with Bush people, advocating Bush policies and pushing Bush rhetoric makes me nervous.

One final note:

Reasons not to not vote for Mitt Romney

There are a number of things that have been thrown out as reasons we shouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney that I consider to be either bullshit or irrelevant. His Mormon faith is chief among those. His involvement with Bain financial is another. Putting his dog on the roof; some bullying incidents when he was a kid; his taxes; his interest in dressage. I consider all of these irrelevant.

(Update: Late breaking something else that doesn’t matter: whether or not Paul Ryan is lying about his marathon time.)

If you’re going to vote for Romney, the reasons are because he might repeal Obamacare, could keep the radical wing of the GOP in check, could get the economy booming and might even back off the War on Drugs. If you’re not going to vote for him, it’s because we might enjoy a return to big spending, tax cutting and war starting.

And either of those are dependent on what you think of the other guy, who will be the subject of the next two posts.

Comments are closed.

  1. Mississippi Yankee

    Your Ivory Tower academician rant has left me fucking speechless.

    Looking forward to Part 3 and it’s identical brother Part 4.

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  2. CM

    Interesting Hal. I’m not surprised to see MY’s comment and I imagine it won’t be the only one you get.

    The last few weeks have reduced these concerns a little. The selection of Ryan is a big indicator that Romney intends to take spending seriously.

    I read something today which argues that as Ryan will no longer be Chairman of the House Budget Committee (but will instead be selling Romney’s economic plans) this could make it easier for Romney to spend. I dunno about that though – I assume that if Ryan had been reinstated as Chairman he wouldn’t be there gumming up the works for Romney. As you say, if Romney wins there isn’t likely to be a handbrake on spending (that you get with the current balance of power).

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  3. Poosh

    I think a good reason to vote for Romney is that the current president CAME CLOSE TO COMMITTING TREASON quite frankly i.e “it’s cool bro, tell Putin I’ve got his back provided he lays off me during this election cycle! Woop!” I still shudder at the video and context, but apparently this isn’t an issue? This should be a Romney election add. Obama’s words off-mike, when he thought only the Russians were listening, should say it all.

    How can Obama not fill anyone’s mouth, be they democrat or republican, with disgust, I don’t know.

    He’s soooooo far away from what decent Democrats are.

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  4. Seattle Outcast

    It’s ALWAYS a choice between the giant douche and the shit sandwich. Your job is to determine which one is the shit sandwich and vote against it.

    Obama’s been a shit sandwich his entire political career – I don’t see any reason to think that’s changed recently….

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Obama’s been a shit sandwich his entire political career – I don’t see any reason to think that’s changed recently….

    As I will get into in the next two posts.

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  6. richtaylor365

    I figure what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. We keep hearing the lame excuse that the stimulus, although a failure, was necessary because without it things would have been a whole lot worse, can’t prove it, but it is a good tactic. I will be using this tactic to defend the Bush tax cuts from now on, things were so bad that without them we would have been dead in the water, this is fun.

    Does anyone seriously think the GOP is going to cut spending 40%?

    They don’t need to. These costs projections going 10 years out is just retarded (I will be providing a link in a bit proving the same). As it stands now we spend about 3.4% of GDP on defense (Romney wants that raised to 4%), and overall federal spending is about 24% of GDP (Romney wants it at 20%). These don’t appear that insurmountable to me. If Hayek, Freidman, and Reagan are right once the tax code is reformed and marginal tax rates are reduced then the tax base will improve and more tax revenue will flow in to Washington. With a better economy, more people working and paying taxes, goods ans services increased, the GDP will grow from it’s stagnant 13 or so trillion it has been stuck on the last 4 years. I’m no math wiz but 24% of a $13 trillion economy is not that much different from 20% of a $15 or $16 trillion economy. No drastic (and made up) 40% cut in anything will be required.

    But will Mitt Romney make the probem better or worse?

    Nobody really knows, do they? But what they know categorically is that Obama failed and made the situation worse. The given here is that Obama can not do the job, the variable is whether Romney can. Any fair minded person would admit that Obama tried and failed and that a new guy should get a crack at it, If he fails as well, adios pal, bring in someone new again.

    The simple fact is that the last time we gave the GOP unfettered access to the national purse, they went wild.

    You mean like increasing the national debt from $10 trillion to $16 trillion in less then 4 years, yeah, that really is wild, we don’t want those guys writing the checks.

    But no matter how you slice it, Bush’s tax cuts are a large contributor to the debt

    Yes, that it the parroted Dem party line, although as far as I’m concerned, still yet to be proved.
    Dueling graphs are fun :

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    This graph shows that collections (tax revenue flowing in to Washington) increased by 44%, or almost $800 billion, in four years.

    Another favorite, real colorful too:


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    And the issue of whether the Bush tax cuts really contributed that much to the debt, that too can be argued all damn day long.

    I realize that with no record to run on, the blame Bush (and his tax cuts) is the only arrow they have in their quiver, but really, isn’t it time we deal with the here and now, how we solve today’s problems with real solutions and quit the blame game?

    Look, you can posit that Obama wants to spend like mad. I’ll agree. So what? Congress controls the purse strings. And since Obama and the Republicans have had to share power, those strings have been the tightest in two decades. I have little confidence they will show the same restraint with President Romney.

    The problem with that is real reform will never come. Look, the Dems had total control for 2 years, they could have passed any damn thing they wanted, and we are living the results of their vision. I say we give the GOP the keys to the bus and see where they take us. The reforms I have in mind are total, abolishing Obamacare, real tax reform including removing loopholes and deductions and lowering the marginal tax rates, getting the federal government’s boot off of the neck of business, lowering the corporate tax rates with incentive’s for keeping plants and workers right here, allowing the energy field to go wild making us energy independent much earlier, and streamlining the very process of government. I don’t want nickle and diming it, I want for the GOP what the Dems got, fair is fair.

    If we elect Romney, the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush years will return.

    Pure speculation on your part. What we do know is that our allies will feel like allies again, that in itself is valuable. Nobody in their right mind would favor an Iranian invasion, that ain’t gonna happen. And wrt to Israel, we see things differently. This president has done much more then just squabble with them.

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  7. Poosh

    If we elect Romney, the aggressive foreign policy of the Bush years will return.

    And?

    Obama’s Drone bullshit is just not cutting it, given that he’s just using a tactic, it addresses nothing and stops nothing. Everything has got worse since he came to power – worse than i thought. Pakistan + Islamism = Fucked. Iraq + Islamism = Fucked.

    And now it’s spread to all these pretend “arab spring” countries which are basically the Arab Spring-into-more-elaborate-tyranny. No one seems to be concerned. I literally hope Syria wins against these so-called “rebels” who we all know are mostly islamists at this point. Syria must win, so Iran wins so we have a bit of balance between the Islamist wannabe-empires in the arab world. It’s f*cked up and no one is interested. Apparently the UK armed the Syrian rebels or some such? We’re shooting ourself in the eye.

    Will Romney sort this out? I doubt it, but he’ll do better than Obama. CLINTON would have done better. And Romney wouldn’t have thrown Eastern Europe and Israel to the wolves either.

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  8. Section8

    Hello Hal, what’s the basis for the chart Tax Cuts, Wars account for half…

    For example, the “recovery measures” are nearly as expensive as the two wars. Do you feel recovered? Because of this, money to pay off the war now also has to be used to pay off the “recovery measures”, and while the Iraq war was an unnecessary waste in my opinion, Afghanistan was not. I don’t consider that a “Bush War” as some have called it. Now dragging it on forever is an issue. I have not seen us pulling out of there, which continues to tack on expense. Of course there are other factors, such as interest rates during the time of funding. The “Recovery Measures” I’m pretty sure have a lower rate of interest, which is good, but still has to be paid off none the less, and that’s money that could have gone to pay off the war. As far as the Bush tax cuts were the tax receipts increasing or decreasing up until the recession? I believe they were increasing. So there are plenty of variables, such as inflation, project inflation, rates, increased spending, and programs like Obamacare (and both of us know it’s not going to be as efficient as it has been sold. This can be based on projected cost of damn near every other government program that was sold to us). How were those all factored into the chart?

    As far as Romney, if he’s planning not to deal with Medicare, Social Security or defense, that’s an issue for me, but I’m just curious about the factors that went into the chart. Charts only show a picture. It’s the integrity of the data that makes the chart, and that’s what really matters, so if you could expand on that, that would be great.

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  9. Section8

    Let me expand on the chart thing so maybe my question makes a little more sense. “Wars and Cuts make up half the debt…” Ok, really? If we have a war expense to pay, then add on nearly just as much in “recovery efforts”, if you’re dishonest in your projection, you leave out the fact that the recovery now has to be paid for as well which cuts in to paying off the war which means you have to increase revenue, or borrow from Peter to Pay Paul. If you keep adding on just a measly 1% a year of new expense, based on a budget that’s quite a bit larger now, then that 1% in real dollars is a hell of a lot more than just 1% of even 10 years ago, so in that sense, it’s also deceptive. The chart makes it look like “Other Debt” is going down, but not really, we’re still spending. It only looks like it’s going down because it’s in relation to all the other debt. Now, as we keep spending, keep tacking on interest, and go further down the hole, then yes, you can skew the chart and make it appear it’s due to tax cuts, but that’s only because expenses and the amount of expense in interest paid have increased due to SPENDING without raising REVENUE. That’s the real culprit. Now you can argue, let’s tax more, but it STILL does not address the problem contributed by SPENDING, and this chart doesn’t either with the exception of what expense it chooses to cherry pick.

    Now again, we could argue whether or not Romney is going to start to really work to decrease, and that’s a good debate, but this chart about the tax cuts being the real problem and only problem is extremely suspect.

    We can also argue that each year we continue to INCREASE spending, raise the debt ceiling further, and continue down this path, going into reverse is going to be that much harder, because of this high spending because the new spending standard, any future cutting is oh my god we can’t cut that! Either way though we will be cutting spending eventually. It’s either do it the rational way now, or just go into bankruptcy.I’m 99% sure it will be the bankruptcy way,

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  10. Hal_10000 *

    Rich, that plot of tax revenues is EXTREMELY deceptive, practically an illustration of mathematical malpractice. What they’ve done is taken the trough of revenues in 2003 and drawn to the peak of revenues in 2007 — for a tax cut passed in 2001! Here’s the numbers in 2005 dollars

    2000 : $2,310 billion (20..6% of GDP)
    2001: $2,215 billion (19.5%)
    2002: $2,029 billion (17.6)
    2003: $1,901 billion (16.2)
    2004: $1,950 billion (16.1)
    2005: $2,154 billion (17.3)
    2006: $2,324 billion (18.2)
    2007: $2,414 billion (18.5)
    2008: $1,899 billion (15.1)
    2009: $1,928 billion (15.1)
    2010: $1,999 billion (15.4)

    As you can see, tax revenues never really recovered. The idea that revenues grew by 44% is bullshit. By 2006, bouyed by a bubble, they were back to that level in constant dollars, but well below as a percent of GDP. Let’s posit that, sans tax cuts, revenues would be at 18% during a recession. That would erase *half* the budget deficit.

    The simple fact is that the Bush budget was a time bomb. When we had a bubble going on and revenues were up to 18% of GDP, they were spending like mad. We were still in deficit wherease, under Clinton, we’d been in surplus under the same economic conditions. But then that spending became part of the baseline. And when the economy went South, the roof caved in.

    Romney is saying he wants to keep spending at 20% of GDP. There is no way in hell he can do that without raising taxes, either through expiring tax cuts or a reform that increases revenues but cuts overall rates.

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  11. richtaylor365

    . What they’ve done is taken the trough of revenues in 2003 and drawn to the peak of revenues in 2007

    What they’ve done is show year by year incremental increases (2004 =$98B; 2005 = $371B; 2006 = $624B; 2007 =$785B) the cumulative increase for these 4 years in tax collections was over $2.7 trillion, all under the umbrella of the Bush Tax cuts.

    No doubt the Dems would argue that tax collections during these 4 years would have been even higher without the Bush tax cuts, which I would say ,”prove it”, then invoke the stimulus argument I mentioned earlier.

    Here is another source that confirms the 44% increase in revenue after the Bush tax cuts were put in place.

    The second, and more critical conclusion from Table 1 is that the next four years of the Bush Presidency after the 2003 reduction in tax rates saw a 44% increase in Federal tax revenues from $1.782 trillion to $2.568 trillion. That’s correct – a 44% increase in revenues after the so-called “tax break for the wealthy.”

    And one more:

    But the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American history. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. And (bonus) the rich paid an even higher percentage of the total tax burden than they had at any time in at least the previous 40 years. This was news to theNew York Times, whose astonished editorial board could only describe the gains as a “surprise windfall.”

    The simple fact is that the Bush budget was a time bomb.

    The problem with these declarative opinionated narratives is that it detracts from the real problem, spending.

    Table 1

    Year Tax Revenues(in Millions) Expenditures(in Millions) Surplus/Deficit(in Millions)
    1993 $1,154.0 $1,409.4 -$255.1
    1994 $1,258.6 $1,461.8 -$203.2
    1995 $1,351.8 $1,515.8 -$164.0
    1996 $1,453.1 $1,560.5 -$107.4
    1997 $1,579.2 $1,610.1 -$21.9
    1998 $1,721.7 $1,652.5 +$69.3
    1999 $1,827.5 $1,701.8 +$126.6
    2000 $2,026.2 $1,789.0 +$236.2
    2001 $1,991.1 $1,862.9 +$128.2
    2002 $1,853.1 $2,010.9 -$157.8
    2003 $1,782.3 $2,159.9 -$377.6
    2004 $1,880.1 $2,252.9 -$412.7
    2005 $2,153.6 $2,472.0 -$318.3
    2006 $2,406.9 $2,655.1 -$248.2
    2007 $2,568.0 $2,728.7 -$160.7
    2008 $2,524.0 $2,982.5 -$458.6
    2009 $2,105.0 $3,517.7 -$1,412.7
    2010 $2,162.7 $3,456.2 -$1,293.5
    2011 (estimated) $2,173.7 $3,818.8 -$1,645.1

    Tax revenues year by year has been plenty sufficient to do the job, it is the out of control spending that has ballooned the debt.

    The Heritage Foundation did a great job of debunking all the nonsense floating around about the Bush Tax cuts, included are several nifty charts (since you did not like my last one), you can read it here.

    Myth #5: The Bush tax cuts are to blame for the projected long-term budget deficits.
    Fact: Projections show that entitlement costs will dwarf the projected large revenue increases.

    Romney is saying he wants to keep spending at 20% of GDP. There is no way in hell he can do that without raising taxes, either through expiring tax cuts or a reform that increases revenues but cuts overall rates.

    I boldened the part for you that shows exactly how he can do it, which I already covered in an earlier comment (lowering the marginal tax rate = an increased tax base = a higher GDP, 20% of a higher GDP can be easier to achieve then 24% of a lower one).

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  12. CM

    (Update: Late breaking something else that doesn’t matter: whether or not Paul Ryan is lying about his marathon time.)

    AKA “You Didn’t Run That!”

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  13. Section8

    Ok, rereading your original post, it looks like you did address some of the issues I had with that chart. I kind of zeroed in the chart. Also saw this.

    Ginsberg and Breyer are probably the two that will most need replacement in the next two years. I would prefer that they not be replaced by conservatives and tilt the balance even further.

    May I ask why? If you’re referring to social conservatism, I’d agree, but you wouldn’t prefer a more Constitutionalist based justice rather than a justice more prone to loose interpretations in the name of “balance”? I’d like to know why. This statement is pretty bizarre to me from someone who is supposedly in line with following the constitution and modeling its interpretation from those who framed it. This statement sounds more like someone who is in line with the status quo. I think a more constitutionalist based justice would likely come from Romney, but you never know. I just don’t think you’ll find it from Obama, but my issue here is why the possibility of the court becoming more constitutionalist based is even an issue for you. Wouldn’t that be the best “balance” from a libertarian minded person such as yourself?

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  14. West Virginia Rebel

    Reasons not to vote for Romney:

    A seeming lack of interest in Afghanistan except to muddle through. Obama has done this too, but Romney is the guy who will inherit what looks like an increasingly unreliable “ally” and hasn’t said much, if at all, about how he’d deal with it.

    Quite frankly, I don’t believe most presidential candidates when they make promises about spending. Controlling spending is the province of Congress, and as we’ve seen both parties have their share of pork they want to save.

    His Five Things Plan: Haven’t heard any real specifics; mostly sounds like red-meat talking points.

    Promising to repeal Obamacare. I’m all for it. Unfortunately, Roberts’ decision probably helped legitimize it somewhat, making it more difficult to do, in which case Romney as President would probably go with “get rid of what doesn’t work” as opposed to the whole thing.

    Things that don’t matter: Ryan’s wardrobe (seriously?) what Mitt Romney likes for breakfast, etc.

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  15. Poosh

    Isn’t Afghanistan out of Romney’s hands at this point? The retreat and defeat is set. Brits are coming out (well if you’re not gonna stick around?). The entire enterprise has turned from great success to absolute failure. Romney has two choices, he can either just go ahead with the retreat and it will bite America / her allies in the arse in 10/20 years time. Or he can essentially call a “crusade” pretty much remove the current government, fierce fighting, complete extermination of our enemies. Put down a LIBERAL constitution, say if Islam gets involved, you’re getting a bullet in the head. Completely re-educate and liberalise the population through changing the culture, with a massed military presence – this would all naturally have to be combined with Pakistan being dealt with… and America probably cannot afford this.

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