Willard Mitt Romney: “Free Enterprise” Proposal Is a Proxy for Long-Held GOP Views

[Update: November 12, 2012–President Barack Obama has won a second term over challenger Mitt Romney.]

In Willard Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP, essentially presented a summary of his Presidential objectives, called his “free enterprise” approach. The plan sounds like a neutral listing of long-held GOP positions. It seemingly worked in part as some in the NAACP audience actually applauded for some of it.

Willard Mitt Romney “Free Enterprise”* Proposal Comment
1.  Approve Keystone Pipeline  One million jobs?
2. Open new markets for American goods => “clamp down on China”
3.  Reform Social Security and Medicare (in part by means testing the benefits) This idea is an attempt to avoid the easiet solution–raise the cap on the FICA tax. See this post. Would not be surprised if the full program took ideas from the “Third Way” think tank.
4. Nurturing skilled workers  Is this a call for more H1-B visas?
“5. Restore “”economic freedom””*(a)  High taxation(b) unnecessary regulation(c)  High health-care costs(d)  Destructive labor policies” I think these charges terms means—more tax cuts, eliminating agencies or regulatory authority, high-deductible health plans, and elimination of the remainder of labor unions (that is, union busting).

* Term not defined by Mr. Romney.

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President Barack Obama: His Tax-Cut “Framework” is Another Example of His Facially Neutral, Cruel, and Merciless Decisionmaking

President Barack Obama over his term has shown an affinity to please those with power and pummel those without it. The recent decision to make a deal to extend the soon-former Bush tax cuts is only the latest example of this characteristic. His approach of making the decision for the framework is not satisfactory for a President. In addition, the President is making facially neutral, cruel, and merciless decisions on the income classes of the nonwealthy, but seeks to divorce himself from owning his savage knockout blows.

I read the President’s statement (his press conference was nearly intolerable to watch). It seems that the President would like the regular citizen to think that he is a judge: He heard the arguments from representatives of both political parties, thought about them, and made a decision to favor one over the other in an attempt to spare the public from an extended debate.

I find this method of decisionmaking to be completely unacceptable. First, a President of the United States, as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive of the United States, should have had his own proposals rather than just sit down passively to wait for others to bring policy options to him. Second, his decision-making style is far more appropriate in the the judicial branch than the executive.

Usually, Presidents make their own tax policy because they will be personally and institutionally identified with it. What the current President did is adopt his predecessor’s (George Bush) tax policy in some misguided thought that any problems would lay at Bush’s feet. As I have stated previously, once the President signs the extension bill, the tax act–with its many warts–will belong to President Obama alone; no more will he be able to blame Bush (Boehner or McConnell) for the soon-to-be-coming failures.

Moreover, the President has decided to implement the real reason for the deficit commission–destroying Social Security. The tax cuts are not paid for it is said, but I argue that the surplus funds of Social Security (paid for through FICA by the wage-earners of the United States) will be used to pay for the wealthy class’s tax cuts. The general fund being insolvent means that the workers’ monies will not be returned.

The President’s decision to have a FICA (a.k.a. payroll) tax cut sounds innocent enough until one realizes that taking contributions from Social Security for the current tax cuts will harm the Social Security system’s financial position over the long run. His decision also provides ample political cover for his GOP successor to accelerate the damage to Social Security.

In addition, the President–without any prodding and with a contented, solemn visage–decided to use his figurative cudgel to strike executive-branch employees with a two-year pay freeze proposal. The costs of living indifferently increase, so the employees could suffer a pay cut for years to come. The economic costs endured by those employees will not be recoverable in the future; it is likely the pay freeze could be made permanent.

Who could have ever imagined that a Democratic President would govern as a Republican. The recent turn of events is heartrending and devastating to witness.

Federal Employees: 2010 Early Dismissal for Christmas Seems Unlikely

Because Christmas will be observed as a federal holiday on Friday, December 24 (December 25 is a Saturday), I think it is unlikely that President Barack Obama will grant an early dismissal on Thursday, December 23.  [Note: Executive Order 13523 granted early dismissal in 2009.]

I could be wrong, but given the President’s position concerning the freezing of wages for federal employees, his concern about the deficit (without regard to the revenue-draining effect of the Bush-era tax cuts that he seeks to extend), and his desire to get along with the Republicans during the 112th Congress, I do not expect that he has thoughts of an early dismissal in his mind.