Why is it we never seem to know when the economic bubble is forming, yet we all feel it once it bursts? Our economic policies create bubbles because we manage this nation off of things like “Consumer Confidence” and “Futures” as well as Regulators who “Speculate” purchases, the buying and the selling of stock on the market which are also propped up by rumors, inside tips, mergers and acquisitions.
No wonder America teeters on the cusp of default and dismay. Lately, Obama has said of the deficit reduction plans with conservatives, “We can’t continue to lurch from crisis to crisis”, yet that is precisely how we have historically governed our fiscal policy, but just with a bit more of a disguise.
When George W. Bush was in the Oval, he hid all the cost of both wars in the budget, which made it difficult for democrats to oppose his budgets for fear of being tagged as someone who didn’t want to support the troops; they were made to look un-American. No one would question when it came time to vote for that fear alone. Although they weren’t quiet about what was going on, there was this blatant “with us or against us” patriotic sound that kept everyone in line.
Once he left office, republicans chose to place the blame for the ridiculous spending levels on Obama because he was forced to borrow even more to pay for the bills that were left unpaid when he took office. So if we’re going to keep it factual, is President responsible for having the record of spending the most money…ever? Has he spent more money in his terms (to date) than all the other presidents combined? Absolutely yes to both. But what was he paying for? He hadn’t been in office to create any bills so someone had too. If he has the record for spending the most to pay for bills, who then has the record for creating the most bills of all presidents combined? Answer that one.
We are Americans, we need to feel good about our purchases, so we’re even willing to go in debt for that good feeling of faux optimism. Obama offered Cash for Clunkers to encourage folks to buy more American cars and help rejuvenate the then bankrupt auto industry; it worked. But with that, comes an enormous cost.
That is currently the case as we watch a new balloon being created within the housing markets. Business leaders, investors and politicians have all found benefits to creating falsely inflated optimism. Some of those benefits are purely greed; if you can convince people to buy and spend, on credit if necessary, things they simply don’t need-well, there’s profit in that. Investors have figured out ways to profit when the bubble is forming as well as when it bursts (betting against the market).
The story here is to best identify and define the real recovery. How to recognize the strong bounce back from this inflated false sense of security. Where we are today is the “new normal” for families and individuals on every level. Coming to terms with your new normal can appear like a matrix of social indicators but be careful and patient so that you read them accurately. The record profits and returns are over inflated and will cause more harm when the dust settles.
Look at several key indicators that a new bubble is being formed:
A. Prices being forced upward: Pick an industry, Homes, Automobiles and even Land (real estate and Farmland) are all being propped up by various entities for a variety of reasons but one of the likely results will be bubbles full of hot hair, false expectations, an over investment with low returns. As the reality of the emptiness manifests, investors will attempt to pull their money out leaving a visible scar on those who jumped on the bandwagon with everything in the world to lose.
B. Major elements of a real recovery currently missing: One of those elements according to Rana Foroohar of Time Magazine said, “If a healthy housing market is one that is inclusive and not dependent on government support, we’re a long way from there”.
What Government support? Thought you’d never ask. Every month, the federal government, The Federal Reserve, purchases $40 Billion worth of mortgage backed securities. In other words the government buys the credit for housing programs to initiate some “creative financing” for those interested in buying homes. Freddie and Fannie take those government back assurances to help get the housing inventory under a more controllable balance. This makes demand look higher than the actual supply.
Obama has to do this, he believes, to (1) restore the sense of ownership Americans have come to enjoy and fulfill that sense of self invoked need. We have built up home ownership almost as a status of accomplishment so the president has to in his mind fulfill that need. (2) After that last bubble, its more difficult to convince Americans they don’t need something that once had and enjoyed. The ownership model is almost reminiscent of a much better time; even if that time was one saddled with debt.
However, a major missing element is jobs. With slow job growth, a real recovery cannot be sustained. You need a job to buy a home. You need steady income for consumer confidence. Job growth in this country is essential to a real and robust recovery.
Another missing element; banks that lend to borrowers. Since 2007, banks have lent out less and less each year it seems as the evidence of slower growing economy, president elections and new economic policies under the Obama Administration have developed and evolved. Without lending, how can home sales increase? Yet they are, how is that possible? This is what leads me to question the validity of the increased sales, rising stock market and investor confidence.
C. Broad Miscalculations: If home ownership isn’t for everyone, how and why are we pushing programs, still, to those who simply cannot afford to own? Its all a bit fuzzy actually. We continue to use flawed data to compare current conditions. For example,
“New home sales increased 2.3 in April from March…still, the Las Vegas market remains well off of its boom-era highs in 2005 and 2006, when builders closed on”, says last week’s Las Vegas Review-Journal. Here’s what the Christian Science Monitor said last week, “Prices are up, sales are accelerating, and new construction is coming along. But while this week brought another round of positive signs, the United States is still a long way from what can be considered a “normal” housing market”.
However, there is much to be concerned about in both of those reports; both have some truth, but only if you remove some vital information from the calculation. First, “boom era highs in 2005 and ’06 were flawed by a process that gave anyone a house who said they wanted one, whether they could afford one or not. So if you’re using that time period as a guide, you do so foolishly considering that is precisely what aided in the housing crisis to begin with.
Secondly, if the Las Vegas Review Journal is only going to consider the “builders” that closed so many homes in 2005 and 2006, maybe they should see what they posted in their own paper just the week before about how the builders over-built homes based on those same 2005 numbers. We can’t have it both ways.
The problem with this is we falsely use that period of time as the “record” when in fact that record was nothing more than a boom waiting to go bust. According to The Wall Street Journal last week, “Home buyers ar paying more for newly built homes than they ever have as U.S. home builders continue pushing up prices and “LIMITING THE NUMBER OF PROPERTIES HITTING THE MARKET”.
Builders are making it appear that homes are being sold in high numbers when in fact they are only selling the higher priced homes and keeping the lower priced homes off the market. What does that look like? Your neighborhoods will continue over the next many years to be filled with empty homes, occupied by squatters because putting them on the market will tell the real truth about the over saturated market.
The WSJ went on to say in that same piece, “Builders are deliberately holding back inventory so they can instead focus on the pricing instead of actual sales”. This nation was built of supply side economics; if you can control supply you then by virtue can control the demand and that is exactly what we are seeing in these efforts by the Federal Reserve and the home builders of America.
If we are on solid footing in this country right now, why then did the stock market, which has been at record highs for weeks and weeks take a dip last week just because the Federal Reserve Chief, Mr. Bernanke, hinted that he will begin to pull some of the cash (that they’ve been using to prop up the economy) out of the system? Banks, who are not lending, corporations, who are not hiring, brokerage houses, who are enjoying record trades and investments immediately grew nervous because the only people reaping those benefits from the Fed money is them.
Without jobs, rising wages and banks that will lend resources, housing will not be back to those record highs or even close anytime soon. Large corporations are now taking up the void by purchasing houses in the thousands, even Warren Buffet stated that he would be purchasing thousands of homes across the country as families have instead began looking at rentals versus ownership after being, as many of them feel, “burned” in the process.
The boom that is growing may be, as far as I can see, nothing more than a bust on the horizon. We, as a nation, as seen this so many times before; it changes only ever so slightly, but its characteristics are the same. Thats my story and um sticking to it.
If you google my name, you’ll find that in 2008 I supported Barack Obama for the Presidency. To most who know me, there was shock because the previous two elections I supported George W. One reason was because of his Immigration stance. I believed this would be a great way for republicans to evolve as a party from what most believed was the “old white guy party”.
For a short time, I even worked for the “Viva Bush” get out the vote effort geared to wooing hispanics to the polls for a candidate who at the time was pushing his once flawed, “Compassionate Conservatism“. Based on the election results of the last presidential election, what was once viewed as flawed now only appears to have been politically premature. Several days ago, the former president, in a rare interview leading up to the opening of his Presidential Museum said, “These are principles that need to be articulated and defended as time goes on”, speaking of his compassionate views.
W. was wrong about a lot of things, but Immigration was not one of them. He proposed what some in today’s Congress pretend is new, Comprehensive Immigration Reform which included a path toward citizenship for the millions of undocumented workers already living in the United States but then it was called Bush’s Guest Worker Program.
Why didn’t Bush’s plan get fully enacted? 1. A majority of Bush’s own party were opposed to supporting their leader. Although Bush signed the bill into law permitting a third of the 2,100 mile border to be fenced off, his republican majority blocked it; any funding needed, would not be granted, thereby ending any hopes Bush had. 2. The financial crisis of ’08 made is something impossible to pay for. There was no money left after the tax cuts of ’01, the Afghan war of ’01, the Iraq war of ’03, and the failed Medicare privatization plan that went no where fast but used tons of cash.
Bush believed reform should be huge and done all at once to best address the true problem of controlling the border crossings, but some who supported him then are now against the same approach. Today, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner wants to instead break up the big plan into smaller pieces and pass them one by one.
Democrats think its just another way to slow down real reform; a political way to simply “say” they are doing something but allow actions to lag far behind. Republicans who opposed a path to citizenship and are afraid of having to explain this to the people in their districts love the idea because it won’t become such a divisive issue in their primary elections.
As I have said before, proponents of Immigration Reform will not stand by and watch as Republicans kick this issue down the road. Obama, has to keep his promises and prevent this issue from being watered down as the gun debate has withered.
Lets play the “What If Game”: What if Bush’s reforms had been instituted? If so, a Senator Barack Obama would not have been able to use this as a wedge issue against republicans in the 2008 campaign. Only one republican then who was running for President supported Immigration Reform and that was John McCain who went on to win the GOP nomination but lost in the general election.
Republicans could have pulled in more votes for McCain, but due to the financial crisis, he’s likely to have lost regardless. Mitt Romney in 2012 would have easily received more hispanic support which could have crippled Obama’s Minority Coalition. In 2000, Bush received more than 40% of the hispanic vote, in 2012, Romney lost by more than 40% of the same. Thats almost a 80 point swing in the opposite direction.
So 12 years ago, George W. saw the need for the path but couldn’t get it done. He rode it to victory twice, but his colleagues still believed it to be an omen, #dummies. Some politicians like Congressman Peter King, (R-NY) are simply hoping you don’t remember that they fully supported George W’s fence, which included a path for the same undocumented workers they now oppose.
Mr. King voted for it in 2006 but he says of Reforms being crafted now, “This is going to be a long process, as I see this plan now, I couldn’t support it because it would allow 11 million [undocumented immigrants] to stay in this country illegally . . . It’s very difficult for me to support something that allows that type of amnesty”. Huh? So King thinks Bush was right but Obama is wrong although its the same thing?
Now being led by Sen. Rubio of Florida, republicans have to face the music and legislate a comprehensive set of reforms if they want to become relevant. Jeb Bush, the younger brother of the only Republican President to support immigration reforms including a path to citizenship, fell into the same trap that gobbled up Romney last year. Rubio is out front, but he’s only running for the V.P. spot.
It appears, as far as the republican response to immigration goes, W. was right! The plan was there all along, but his party is too busy running away from the obvious. Although Obama is not keen on the fence, it simply costs too much to build, but he has an army of unmanned drones flying over patrolling the border and he has added twice as many border patrol agents as Bush.
As for Mr. Rubio, he can only become V.P. however if there is another Republican at the top of the ticket who is not from the state of Florida. Both candidates on the same ticket cannot be from the same state. Rubio will need all of the hispanics in the world to win…something he just won’t get. Why? Hispanic women will be too busy voting for Hillary! Thats my story and um sticking to it!
Today, President Obama called the senseless attack in Boston an “act of terror”, yet misdirected politics at a time unity is needed most can also be a poor “act”. Do you too find it amazing when politicians who supposed to know everything, get it all wrong but can’t seem to bring themselves to admit it. And even when they do, its still someone else’s fault they were wrong? The former Mayor of New York who went on to ride the 9/11 terrorism wave as a Republican Presidential hopeful re-appeared with something of a…ahem, admission.
When asked about his views concerning the bombing in Boston, MA on yesterday’s CBS “This Morning.”, Rudy Giuliani, America’s Mayor, said “It really reminds us of what we knew on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12, the really big news is — and this was a horrible attack, it was a terrible attack, and my heart goes out to the people that were hurt — but it’s surprising there haven’t been more of these since Sept. 11″.
What could the Mayor have been really implying? That he had secretly hoped there would have been more domestic terror or that he had hoped Obama would have failed as President through poor leadership with regards to defending the nation’s citizens? Or may it was an admission that he was wrong?
Wrong about what you might ask? Well it was Mayor Giuliani who at the height of his presidential quest that went through the state of Florida on a bus tour promoting fear with his the sky is falling message, “if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001″. But according to the record, and there were many of them considering Mayor Rudy repeated it often…he continued, “But if a Republican is elected, he said, especially if it is him, terrorist attacks can be anticipated and stopped.
Much of this could have been attributed to his Florida “all or nothing” tour. Giuliani had no money for a national campaign rollout, he skipped both Iowa and New Hampshire’s contests and went straight to Florida. Bush had played the same fear card four years earlier and it worked. Unfortunately, the 2004 American electorate seemed more interested in keeping the horse they had as opposed to switching for an unbroken horse they didn’t know.
As for Giuliani’s comment, the seasoned politician knows well enough to not have made that statement, albeit honest, just not necessary at a time when America is once again mourning the lost life of the innocent. Had this come from anyone else, it would have been nothing more than a blip on a radar that no one pays any attention to any longer, but coming from someone who says, “I understand terrorism in a way that is equal to or exceeds anyone else”, well, you must be called to answer for that.
I like Rudy, sometimes. He shoots straight when straight shooting is popular, but he has also played the political games when he has been called on to tow the party line. Odd coming from someone who once championed President Kennedy and partnered with the Clintons more than anyone would care to number. I get it, its politics, but is this the best time to play games when the nation is looking for a unified message to address American’s being killed in the streets?
It was President Obama who said yesterday that he had “updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats – we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens”.
As your neighbor, this is not a time for this form of under handed message bombs from either party. The three innocent people killed in this attack in Boston and their families would think it inappropriate…as we all should. This is not a time to keep score on whose presidential watch terror attacks have occurred or whose administration handled them better. The last attack, the one in Benghazi where an Ambassador and members of his security detail were killed, made its way into the 2012 presidential debates and soon after onto the floor of the Senate through hearings.
The 101 on politics here? Find the space to be civil in politics when the nation is mourning. Seek the opportunity to be unified when this country begins to heal within a new normal. Don’t keep score on things you can’t control, domestic terrorism is one of those things you cannot stop 100% of time. There was a missed opportunity from the Mayor, but its not too late. He should have given credit to the work of this President and the Intelligence Community who have worked to keep America safe. This is not a partisan issue, Thats my story and um sticking to it.
2016 will bring a race similar to the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s back to the headlines. Our modern day political family dynasties, the Clinton’s and the Bushes will undoubtedly face off in the 2016 presidential election with Hillary Clinton representing the democrats and former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. Hillary has had as many high profile political job titles as Jeb Bush has had family members occupying The White House.
The race won’t be about their personal political leanings, but instead, it will be of how the public remembers and or views their family members who came before them. It is for that reason that Jeb had better begin his own charm offensive with the American electorate now; to be able to build an offset from those who won’t remember his brother, former President of the United States, George W. Bush as fondly.
Bill Clinton has enjoyed his post presidency over the last twenty years as well as the rise in his personal approval ratings through his annual Clinton Global Initiative. The high profile counsel he has provided to the nation’s first African American POTUS, husband of the most recent Secretary of State, Mr. Clinton has used the benefits of his access in only the way he could.
But that was merely the first chapter in this dynastic saga. As Hillary Clinton’s “will-she-run/or-wont-she“ continues, the public is beginning to see the making of the first female American President, well maybe. Her opposer will likely be the only son of the 41st President, George H.W. Bush who was always expected to go all the way to The White House, Jeb Bush.
George W. was never expected to be in government, not to mention actually running for the Executive seat in Texas. Jeb Bush had already began campaigning for Governor in the state of Florida when his brother, George W. would go on to announce his intention to run in Texas of the same year. The rising star was Jeb, but that year, 1994, he would go on to lose his gubernatorial race in Florida, while his brother would take Texas.
The brother who had all the political mojo and experience would have to wait for the next election cycle while the rookie with no experience, but global name recognition-having been named after his father rode it to success. Jeb Bush went on to run again and win the state of Florida and to date is the only republican to serve two terms in Florida. Now, he is looking for higher office, finally. Only this time, instead of living outside of his father’s presidential shadow and legacy, he is tasked to live outside of his elder brother’s presidency…and that shadow still casts a large political cloud.
Hillary and Jeb will face off but they will work to establish themselves as their own power-houses but the road for both will a hard sell and a hard climb. They will not only be following hard acts, but they themselves will be followed, possibly. Just as the democratic field is being plowed to clear the way for Hillary, republicans on the other hand will allow Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) fight for the airwaves among a slew of other wanna-be’s. If Jeb is smart, and he is, he should stay out of the fray as the best moderate alternative when the others push the party too far right as they did in 2012.
The nation has shifted toward the middle on equality and tolerance. The next generation of legislators will hammer out the details of immigration, same sex equality and reforming the economy in a way where debt ceilings and stop gap budget measures won’t win the day. That next generation could very well include Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the 42nd President, Bill Clinton and the 2016 DNC nominee, Hillary Clinton as well as George P. Bush, the grandson of the 41st President, and the son of the 2016 RNC nominee, Jeb Bush.
Last week, it was Chelsea Clinton who left the door open to a possible future run for office when she said if “I thought I could make a meaningful and measurably greater impact, you know, I’d have to ask and answer that question” [then].
It was her second bite at the apple actually, in an interview with Parade Magazine, Chelsea said she would consider running for office if [I] “thought that I could make a disproportionately positive impact”. Birthed from two political animals, history will be kind to her parents. Chelsea has only to play the dutiful daughter while observing the political chronicles as they continue to unfold before her. Her time will come.
Jeb’s son, George P. Bush has already launched his political career on November 7, 2012 when he filed papers to run for state office, Texas Land Commissioner. Jeb Bush not long after sent a donor letter to raise funds for his son’s campaign, raking in just over $1.3 million dollars. It’s safe to say, George P. will be the next Land Commissioner in Texas, but not because its his dream job. More so, he needs to be in elective office, state office building his bonifides.
With his campaign war chest, name recognition and family support, George P. will be the most glorified Land Commissioner the state of Texas has ever had and probably ever will have. Texas will become ground zero in election politics in the next six, eight, ten years as the Hispanic community grows to become the new majority and republicans are racing to remain relevant. If George P. can position himself now, Texas will call on him, another George Bush. With the Bush Dynasty behind him, fluent in Spanish, his mother, Columba, born in Mexico, George P. may become the republicans manchurian.
There are more political heirs rearing their heads and lending their names to the ruckus but, these two families have found a way to remain relevant as they evolve with the American electorate. This nation doesn’t often care for political dynasties, yet we welcomed the royalty of the Kennedy’s and the grandeur of the Rockerfellers. Name recognition is as awesome as Willy Wonka’s golden ticket if that recognition allows voters to identify with a better day and time. Hillary or Jeb, but one of them will be President; it’s their time. You however have to decide which. That’s my story and um sticking to it!
If I had to place a $10,000 wager on the notion that we would still be discussing the dejected former GOP Presidential nominee this far after the election, most certainly it would not have been a good investment. As he appeared the CPAC gathering for conservatives, Governor Mitt Romney said, “…we have not lost our way…” when he gave his speech before the packed out room of old supporters.
This would seem more like a Hansel and Gretel moment, the fabled story where two kids, who were being led away from their home left pebbles and sticks and finally bread crumbs so that no matter how far into the woods they were taken away, they could get home by following the droppings they had left for themselves. If the GOP wants a way back home, they too should following the bread crumbs President Ronald Reagan left for them. In his very own speech before CPAC in 1983, Reagan spoke of his responsibility of “moving the world’s conscience” to see his vision for America. What they are proposing for themselves today only takes them further away off the reservation.
Romney once again conceded “We may have lost on November 7, but we have not lost the country we love”. Not really sure what that means however, a loss is a loss. Not to be confused with being smug, to the contrary. Just not quite certain that the party is even sure of how to best utilize Mr. Romney at this point. It’s odd if he is there and it’s odd if he isn’t.
In the same week that Romney shows his shadow, Senator Portman makes news regarding his “Change of Heart”. At a time when conservatives are trying to refine their message, the week in politics sends yet another dynamic which alters the winding path forward; dividing ideologies and practicing philosophies.
My apologies to the former Governor of Massachusetts, the way HAS been lost, but not because of the message alone. The crumbs left from Reaganomics, are being ignored. In the 1980′s Reagan increased the size of government, by a lot…he increased taxes and he limited social spending. He not only increased the size of the military, but he helped Americans feel proud to be the super power of the world again.
The party has struggled to regain footing among its own constituency in part because they long ago aborted a winnable message for star power to ensure a Bill Clinton Presidency never happened again. That plan too has failed, hence Barack Obama.
The political waters today are so muddy with not substantive crap’ola, that former republican Governor Jeb Bush of Florida felt Reagan who asked his father, George H.W. Bush to serve as his Vice President for both presidential terms “would have a hard time getting elected” in the modern day Republican Party. Odd considering Reagan won 49 of 50 states.
George W. Bush, son of President George H.W. Bush, then a Governor of Texas was specifically called up from the “minors” to play ball in presidential politics on his father’s name recognition alone. He was tasked with two things: Get back your dads second term, the one Clinton stole from the history books as the man from Hope (Arkansas) and pay Saddam Hussein another visit. Hey, it worked.
Ronald Reagan left a way back for his party, but today, the GOP has boxed themselves into a corner that they can’t even sufficiently explain the proven path they see right before them without fear they will be challenged in the next election and possibly lose their seat. In today’s political rancor, it’s more fashionable to lose your respect, your way or lose national election after national election as long as you don’t personally lose your seat in office. Nice.
Drive the country over a cliff? No problem. Impose a painful sequestration on the nation at a time it needs it least? Got it covered. Lose our bond rating? Done. Financial institutions encouraged to spend money it doesn’t have after the biggest debacle since the 1940′s? Check. Our system of government no longer fears the shutdowns of the 90′s. Whatever you have to do to the win in this dangerous game of chicken to hold onto your absurd posturings, then you just go ahead and do it. Never mind that the American people are also in the car.
There’s nothing worse than being lost and not knowing you are lost. You keep going passed the same landmarks but instead of seeking direction, it’s easier to try to convince everyone else in the car why you are right but the messaging (or the map) is flawed. So lets not get a new driver, just get a new map?
When that doesn’t work, do what Romney attempted to do in the 2012 cycle, just try to rewrite the map. Anything to keep the same driver…even more loses? The party quotes a great president who birthed their own modern renewal, but wont follow the bread crumbs he left for them. Romney lost in November; for that alone, he is not the person to say the party is on the right track. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The only way to fix the country’s debt problems is to raise taxes (politically correct to say revenues) and cut spending (politically correct to say reduce entitlement expenditures), but regardless of how you say it, something has to be done on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in the next 26 days or all the minions in hell will break loose. What is there to keep discussing? Why are we still dodging the obvious solutions?
What’s the reason for this back and forth?…politics of course. If you look at recent history, the nation has approached a debt ceiling impasse six other times in the last decade not counting this time. Before that, you would have to go back almost just as long to find a single occurrence where such an event occurred more than twice in a five year span. And even then, matters beyond the scope of politics would have been the ultimate reason for the increase.
When they did happen, politicians on both sides refused to make them political footballs because they knew, no one would benefit from a stalemate. So the rubber-stamp would quickly come out to ensure stability in the U.S. Treasury and the investment markets held strong. The perceived strength of the nation always was first and foremost.
Truth be told, there is no real rubber-stamp, Congress would actually come together and present legislation, a bill, agreeing to raise the debt limit and it would then, without much fanfare, make its way over to The White House for the President to sign it into law and it was done. This normally took no more than a week and the Congress was then able to get on with its business and so would every other branch if government.
In today’s “gotcha-politics”, where everyone is set out to prove that the other is bent on destroying the country, both sides are throwing rocks and hiding their hands. Through the bad blood, America’s excellent credit rating was lost a year ago and foreign investments have fallen off due to instability. Standard and Poor’s, a credit rating agency puts total blame on the political system. Well, that’s a no brainer.
Like I said, we’ve come close many times in the last decade to reaching the statutory limit but never over that hump. In 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009 we came close, but smarter politics prevailed. Now, it’s hard to know who will drive the nation into the ground for political points and “one-ups-manship”. It’s almost easier to further divide the already fracture country and broken economy to prove…absolutely nothing.
In the past, crisis’ were averted by attaching the debt raising legislation to other pieces of legislation. They call it a rider because it hitches a ride on other bills moving through the Congress; formulated into one major packaged deal. For example, as recent as 2010, republicans attached a rider to the debt increase call PAYGO, or Pay as you Go. Not a bad idea actually, because it causes measures to be introduced to pay for the increase to help balance out the overall impact (or cost) of the increase.
What most people, including politicians have forgotten, these increase are to the debt. There are times when the country has to be able to make such choices, however, this process has become all too consistent and without strict oversight. How do you PAYGO? If you want the debt to increase, you have to cut spending. Simple right! Well, not so much.
If George W. Bush was forced by these same Republicans to PAYGO those two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, what would he have cut to pay for it, considering, we are still paying for it on a credit card that has hit with higher interest by Standard and Poor’s credit reduction? How do you PAYGO the stimulus Barack Obama had to sign into law to pay for the reckless economy he inherited? Even Jeb Bush, Obama’s predecessor agrees Obama was dealt a bad hand.
So although a good idea, it won’t cut the mustard with today’s economic implosion. Currently, Obama has staked out a position that is different from the one he took in 2011. Then he encouraged Republicans to raise $1.2 Trillion in revenues without raising the tax rates for those with higher incomes (politically correct way for say rich people). He was then trying to give the Republicans some cover so their base would not attack them, but then said “no way”. They said no because they thought they had him on the ropes at the time. As a good show of faith, Obama cut $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, but republicans still didn’t budge.
They then agreed to this nonsensical “Fiscal Cliff” because republicans believed Romney would win and all bets would be off. They were wrong. Now they face an emboldened President with the wind at his back and public opinion on his side. This their own web. So of course, two days ago, Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided to offer the same $1.2 Trillion Obama asked for a year ago, but guess what? Obama said, “no way”.
The President said, “the situation has changed and “I cannot ask middle class families to continue to sacrifice while the wealthy pay nothing extra”. He went on to refer to the Speaker’s plan as “out of balance” and not going far enough to prevent the critical ‘cliff.
For this to happen in the next few days, the deal will include many things and will leave out several. Tax reform cannot happen in this session. A temporary tax increase may be put in place to expire at the completion of a more detailed, comprehensive tax reform plan is rolled out in the next year. Keep in mind, this is a lame-duck session, many legislators are moving out of their offices making rooms for newly elected ones from the recent election.
1. Raise Social Security age from 65 to 67.
2. Increase the debt ceiling, possibly giving the President limited powers to do so without Congress.
3. Additional cuts in Spending to reach between $300-$800 billion in entitlements.
4. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire on the top 2% of income earners.
5. Keep Bush Tax Cuts for middle class families and small businesses in place.
6. $500 Billion in Defense cuts
7. Stimulus spending for jobs close to $300 Billion or so.
This deal will either help build or break political careers and Speaker Boehner knows it. The double-edged sword however deals an even worse blow if a deal is not reached at all. The Speaker will have to answer for his reluctance in raising rates on the rich. The poor and middle class will never forgive him if he protects the rich at all costs; he gets cut either way. Obama will again try to help Boehner look good, but we all will know, the Speaker blinked.
The other GOP leadership are bracing for what they know is an eventuality. They agree secretly behind the scenes that they are in a pickle, but publicly offer a stance of failing instability. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, (R-Kentucky) publicly supported his colleague in the House, Speaker Boehner, for making an effort, yet he would not endorse the effort Boehner submitted to the President as a counter offer. Neither of these men want to be responsible for this hot potato…but they will be.
Everyone will pay for this debacle, but mostly, everyday Americans. We all have invested interests and for that reason, we have to fix it. Those who invest in our Treasury bonds and the markets are sitting on the sidelines waiting for these crazies to get their act together. That’s my story and um sticking to it. I’ve had it up to here with the debt ceiling and fiscal talks and the back and forth of leaders looking for wiggle room to get out of bad positions they’ve put the country in. Lets get it done.
When you are the grandson of a Senator, Prescott Bush of Connecticut, the son and a brother of a former a President of the United States and a popular former Governor of Florida and a well respected moderate voice of reasoning for the now defunct Republican Party, why would you be meeting in Washington D.C. with all the families’ loyal foot soldiers in a dimly lit cocktail social in a J.W. Marriott? Governor Bush said, “I am here to discuss Education Reform. This is where I breakout in uncontrollable laughter, you’ll see why in a minute.
Did I mention, the Governor didn’t even speak at the function? So much for that in depth discussion on reforming education Jeb. I like the Governor. That’s not an endorsement however, he does represent a major piece of the puzzle the GOP has been missing. Jeb is married to his wife Columba, of Mexico, he speaks Spanish fluently as does his children.
The Governor supports immigration policies that line up more closely with President Obama than his own party, partially because as the Florida Executive, he dealt with many of these issues in a way a politician from any of the northern or midwestern more conservative state never had. His view is that there should be some form of path to citizenship for children of those who entered the country illegally.
Although Jeb stood with Romney, there couldn’t be a valley wide enough to show just how far apart politically they truly were on just about every social issue. Thats strikingly important because social issues is where Romney didn’t connect. The electorate just didn’t get him at all and rightfully so. Jeb is the best talking point for his party but will he be the best leader of the now more divisive and venomous extreme wings of the GOP? Will he play well with the FOX News “the sky is falling” Network or the MSNBC-”we’re never gonna like you regardless because you’re a republican” clan?
The GOP would love to build on his name recognition, national identity, statesman like qualities and his ability to rally the resources for a run should he decide to do…which he already has. They would greatly enjoy Jeb as their candidate because it brings a level of intellectual maturity back to the process that has been absent. Bush would have to begin building his coalition now to set the field up. This cocktail hour was a form of interviewing for the future. Everyone in the room would love to the job, so would Jeb.
Just a quick list of all who were present in the “Education Reform Cocktail Social” by their former official titles:
1. Three former Bush Advisors
2. Aide to Vice President Cheney and Bush Confidant
3. Former Bush Spokesperson
4. Former Florida Transportation Secretary
5. Florida “operatives”: Loyalists who basically can get anything done.
6. Mitt Romney’s Campaign Pollster (Neil Newhouse-amazing how you can fail at your job and get another one).
From the looks of it, these folks, none of them have anything to do with Education or the reforming of anything for that matter. The reason for the uncontrollable laughter earlier is they are all political animals looking to form a coalition to wrest control of the Republican Party and save it from itself. Governor Jeb Bush will run for President in 2016 against a slew of overly qualified democrats who are counting on President Obama to deliver what he promised so their paths are clearer.
Politicians have many ways of getting their name into the ring of potentials. They will identify themselves within the next year by writing a book. The book will highlight their views for the country, but it really will be just transcribed canned speeches. They will go on book tours to “test the flesh” or sample their “likability” on a national level. They will begin to take trips to Iowa, the launching pad for all presidential campaigns, or they will introduce legislation for key national issues which raises their national capital for all to see. Some even hire publicists to just float their names out there to create and generate buzz for the pol. Jeb Bush, well, he hosted a drink social within walking distance of The White House…um sure it was coincidence though.
Democrats would be wise to brush up on their education reforms and anything dealing with education costs, teachers unions and testing. Jeb Bush is notorious in the field of education and will use it against Dems as an opening to social reforms that are generally strongholds for them. Taxes will not be Bush’s tagline and nor will many of the failed proposals of the conservative plank like “smaller government” and “shutting down the Department of Education” . I won’t even speak of the likely battle of the century between yet another Bush vs. Clinton bout. Well, its not likely to be that dramatic considering Hillary is older and more diplomatic these days and the Governor is not about smash-mouth politics.
Governor Bush has his work cut out for him. In the age of the Tea Party and radical campaigning through surrogates like Palin and Hannity, Mr. Bush said last year during the GOP Presidential Primaries, Ronald Reagan and his father, George H.W. Bush wold have a hard time getting elected by today’s Republican Party. What the difference six months to a year can make. It looks as if through a stunning loss this past election cycle, many in the party are looking to return to civility and get away from this blistering endless attack about entitlements and deciding who should get them.
In fairness to the Governor, kinda, he was in Washington, D.C. To host an Education summit with keynote speakers like Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under his brother, George W. Bush and played a key role in his father’s administration as well. However, that’s clearly not what they were doing as they huddled in the Marriott.
That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Just in case you missed it the other day as the election dust was beginning to settle all over the land and republicans were quickly coming to terms with how they let the big one get away yet again. Fully aware of their up hill climb in the Latino community which was made evident when over 70% of Latinos voted to re-elect President Barack Obama.
Now that President Obama is back in swing at The White House and Mitt Romney’s campaign plane has been stripped down and returned to its owner, republicans have some work to do if they want to win the war for nostalgia in the coming years. In the 60′s, 70′s and early 80′s there was always a Kennedy in elected office somewhere in the world. before them there were several Rockefeller’s leaving their fingerprints on the political system.
The last several decades we’ve had two families to dominate our politics, the Clinton and the Bush families have taken the look of empirical dynasties. While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mulls over her future the media has thrown down the gauntlet for the republicans to apply pressure on yet another Bush family member; Jeb Bush. This is currently only media driven considering both Clinton and Bush have said publicly that they are not interested, but hopefully you don’t believe that. These two are political machines and campaigns are they’re oil.
The real story however is not either Hillary or Jeb. The instant media often misses the long ball. A new star rising in the Bush Clan is (drumroll), George Bush! Actually George P. Bush, the eldest son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife Columba, a naturalized citizen of the United States, originally from Mexico. That’s all important because the recent beat-down experienced by republicans indicate a huge disconnect with the Minority Coalition of Latinos, Women and African Americans that Obama built to win re-election.
George Prescott Bush is the Kennedy’s version of a modern day Camelot wrapped in a Bush cloak. He is Hispanic, fluent in Spanish, charismatic, followed his Uncle, Former President George W. Bush and his grandfather, Former President George H.W. Bush to Yale University, a real estate developer like his father, Governor Jeb Bush, a U.S. Navy Officer like his grandfather, he is an attorney and another drumroll please)…while republicans were licking their wounds last week, Mr. Bush filed his papers in the state of Texas to become a candidate in a State wide elected office.
No one knows quite yet which position he will seek, but with Texas becoming more and more diverse and expected to become a battleground state in the next decade, the Bush Family is putting their family legacy in the hands of yet another George Bush. Will he be the ideal candidate the republicans are looking in the coming years? You betcha!
Name recognition alone in the state, with two presidential museums with your name blazoned across the top, powerful fundraisers who would jump at the chance to associate themselves with the family and the cadre of troops waiting in the wings to tout their message of inclusion with a Bush with a brown face. But ignoring The Obama Edict, the redesigned electoral strategy, will not change the outcome of republican races by simply putting a new face on the old message.
So while democrats are banking on winning the with their huge advantage in the Latino community for the foreseeable future, plans are underway to fight that narrative within the Bush realm. Last week, Texas just elected their first Hispanic U.S. Senator, Ted Cruz and he himself admitted that if Texas becomes a toss-up on the electoral map, republicans don’t stand a chance at winning The White House if they lose the state’s 38 electoral votes, ever!
Keep your eye on George Prescott, the latest Bush who is hoping to carry his families’ legacy in the Texas. Although his parents still resides in Florida, Texas is way more welcoming to the family brand politically. While you will hear more and more speculation about Hillary and Jeb Bush, the real story can be found with his son George.
One important note: The Bush Family has two rules. First, before going into the family business, politics, you must go out and earn your your money first; take care of your family. George Prescott has done that. Secondly, avoid running for state office when another family member is also running for a national office. George W. ran for Governor of Texas, but only after his father lost his reelection bid for The White House in 1992. Jeb Bush resisted running for the Senate in the year his brother was battling the countries’ economic disaster.
Daddy Bush advised his son Jeb not to seek the presidency after his other son George W. left The White House in 2007 due to the nation’s Bush Fatigue. He went on to say, “if his last name wasn’t Bush…” He would have no chance of losing. That has been George P’s reason for not jumping in sooner as well.
With the 2014 midterm State elections approaching, George P. would have to move now if his father Jeb is planning to go up against Hillary in 2016. You heard it hear first. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Formed from a Tropical wave in the Caribbean Sea on October 24, Hurricane Sandy terrorized the people of Kingston, Jamaica, flooded the shores of Haiti-killing over 54 natives; the Hurricane struck Cuba on October 25 and then went on to temporarily paralyze the island of Bahamas turning the first days into a deadly storm claiming over 60 lives…and that was before ever broaching America’s northeastern coasts.
The damage in the northeast is still being determined at the moment with millions still without electricity and clean drinking water. Our American political system came to a screeching halt with U.S. elections flatly approaching to tend to the aid of those pushed out of their homes by rising waters. Yet Karl Rove, the republican strategist responsible for crafting George W. Bush’s presidency from the Texas Governor’s mansion as well as his re-election campaign in 2004 has made one of the dumbest comments ever heard from such a smart man.
Rove, since his time in Bush’s White House has become the conservative’s electoral king maker; his voice is the big stick republicans trip over themselves to carry. He tactically lays out their battle plan in addition to serving as the party’s unofficial Chairman At-Large. Yesterday, Rove referenced the presidential race between Mitt Romney and President Obama post Hurrican Sandy and said …Sandy helped the Obama.
With thousands of victims out on the street, several million still without electricity and the loss of life, totals still climbing, what about the devastating storm could have aided the President so positively? Has he been able to give them housing? NO? Or maybe Obama has even able to give them all Food? No? Um, we’ll what about some hope? The sight of the current damage has brought many to tears so that too may be a hard feat for the President to accomplish this soon. So then, what exactly was Rove talking about?
For four days, Obama pulled away from the campaign and put election politics aside to actually do his job as a leader. And yes, he [Obama] was able to utilize the trappings of the Office to bring attention to the plight of those badly weathering the storm. He coordinated FEMA and emergency responders to the New York Tri-State area…but simply as the Comforter-In-Chief, nothing more. Mr. Rove believes when republican candidate, Mitt Romney cancelled his campaign events and stepped to the side to allow the nation to take care of the devastation, it was a “stutter” step.
Karl Rove doesn’t disagree that this brief pause by Romney was necessary, however, he said “anytime you have attention drawn away somewhere else or to something else, it’s not an advantage for him [Romney]“. So maybe Rove was referring to challenging the incumbency. From the outside, a candidate would need to ensure focus on the issue remained constant to maintain momentum.
So here are a few things Karl Rove may have meant instead:
1. Sandy permitted the President to do his job for a few days without being attacked by republicans.
2. Hurricane Sandy forced republican political critics, i.e. NJ Governor Chris Christie as well as many Romney supporters to acknowledge Obama’s good handling of a natural disaster coordination.
3. The storm made it impossible to land a cheap shot at Obama while off the campaign trail tending to Americans in need.
4. Obama received an unfair advantage from a storm.
Rove said, those four days were a stutter for the Romney camp because it was four days that their candidate wasn’t able to be out talking about the economy and slow growth; more so, he missed the opportunity to get his message across. Four days? Sure, We may concede the timing of the storm wasn’t opportune, but what storm that rips up the Atlantic ever is opportune?
The people of Nevada, an electoral battleground state has heard Mitt Romney’s economic plan, his speeches and his tax plan over the last 520 days and they are still not buying. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 11.8%, the highest amount of foreclosures in the entire nation and the worst housing market in the nation, yet the battleground state is highly likely to go once again to Mr. Obama. The state Romney should have won with his economic message has not broke his way yet.
So what would four more days have accomplished in any of the hotly contested races that have polled consistently in favor of Mr. Obama? Not sure. The states affected, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey were going to vote for the President regardless, so no electoral gains there. How it plays out all over the country is another story. Any bump reported from the President’s recent performance may simply fall into the “like-ability” category or overall job approval numbers, but nothing significant within the electoral college.
Obama has enjoyed few days as president without personal attacks from the left. Whatever repellent Hurricane Sandy provided from the attacks of presidential politics may have served as the “refresh” Obama so desperately needed. For a few days, Romney was irrelevant. The candidate who had once pledged during the Republican Primary last year, to hollow out FEMA due to excessive funding for disaster relief, was now being forced to watch his opponent demonstrate in HD the need for government in the lives of those who could look no place else. Once again, forced to walk-back his comments on FEMA, Romney looked out of touch.
So if Rove was insinuating that Obama received a rare reprieve, then I must agree, kinda. Obama, once again got an opportunity to correct the messaging of the Right. he got a chance to be seen at the table in command and became the face of the storm relief. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, once told Obama, “…never let a good disaster go to waste…”, Emmanuel would be proud; Obama milked this one Gangnam style, but what an enormous cost to the heart and soul of Americans rebuilding their lives in an election year. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
Over these next 5 days, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are going to be making what some have called their “closing arguments”, which leaves me questioning, who’s on trial here? Is it America? Well what did we do wrong? Was it electing Barack Obama in 2008 or was it re-electing George W. Bush in 2004? Is Mr. Romney our double jeopardy clause since he is proposing Bush policies?
I voted for George W. Bush so excuse me, I get to criticize without being accused of being biased. What Mr. Romney is running on IS The Bush Agenda. However what Romney is suggesting is President Bush failed to implement it properly…right. Not that the policies didn’t work or not that Congress got in the way, no, Bush just didn’t do a good job of pushing through his own agenda?
What’s problematic with that theory is, Bush pushed his entire agenda, even those things he could have never won bipartisan support for. After the horrible attacks on our nation, Mr. Bush got everything a republican president could ever dream of…in two life-times. Yet, it crippled the entire system. Every bubble burst; simultaneously.
Mr. Obama has to convince voters he has brought the nation back from the brink, the edge, the cliff or whatever dramatic term you find helpful to describe personal family pain, and then ask those same voters to keep him in Office to ensure we are put back on the straight and narrow…kinda where Clinton left us in 2000.
Where will all this convincing take place? The battleground states of course; Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Wisconsin, and *Ohio. No Ohio was not mentioned twice in error, you’ll see why in a moment. Lets take a look at where the campaigns will be over the final days, beginning today:
1. Ohio (multiple stops)
2. Nw Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
1. New Hampshire
Both men have a few days to tell the country what they will do in the Oval over the next four years. So clearly you could expect them to travel all over the country right? Well, no. The next five days will make you think these guys are running to be the President of the United Battleground States of America.
As you can see, Ohio might be important. Obama makes nearly 5 campaign events in 5 days, while Romney makes only one scheduled, we’ll just keep our eyes on his Sunday schedule because if there is anything added, it had better be Ohio or Florida. Romney desperately needs them both to win. In order to become the President of the United Battlegrounds of America, he has to win the majority of the battleground states with Ohio being that nation’s capital.
With his bolstered, re-energized campaign with the help of Hurricane Sandy and the presidential optics and Mitt Romney’s retooled attacks, the game is once again underway. Down the stretch in the final turn, it is currently neck and neck, way too close to call. FEMA showed its head for Romney’s old words and New Jersey Governor Christie looked the other way and got a ride in Marine One. The politics of devastation-that’s my story and um sticking to it.