Mitt Romney gave a major foreign policy speech on Monday. Foreign policy affects our safety and security, the deficit, the structure of the federal budget, our defense policy and ultimately even the environment. It’s how we attain and maintain influence in the world. It determines whether others will see us as a fair arbiter of international events acting in the best interests of all parties, the bully of the imperial west acting only in our own interest or something in between. Will we be seen as the supporter of democratic governments and self-determination? Or will we be seen as supportive only of those governments that support us? I’ve already been disappointed by Romney’s cynical, politically motivated, knee jerk reaction to the attack on the Libyan embassy. This was his chance to redeem himself. Continue reading
Time to examine the how the president would have survived my inquisition. Too bad I couldn’t ask the questions directly! (Of course, neither candidate answered much of the questions they were asked but both were very successful “pivoting” to what they did want to answer). By the way, if any readers are wonkish enough to look at the transcript and have time to review 90 minutes of talk, you can find it at the NYTimes. (Warning – It’s harder to read than it was to watch!) Continue reading
Well, that was interesting! The presidential debate offered a few insights on my questions. This post was getting a little lengthy so I am doing it in two parts. Today, I’ll look at the challenger’s answers and tomorrow, the president’s.
The drift of the questions was to discover what really drives each candidate and what direction they may take when pressured by real life in the Oval Office. They tried to hide it but I think a few useful tidbits escaped. Continue reading
Clarity at last! The answers to all our questions! The first presidential debate is at hand. I’m sure the candidates will seize this opportunity to discuss all of our questions on how they will avoid the fiscal cliff and fix the debt, fix the dysfunctional process in Congress, improve our education and healthcare systems while maintaining our freedom and establishing world peace. Or not. Here are the questions they need to answer. Continue reading
Time to get down to brass tacks and do an initial evaluation of the candidates on their economic positions. We still have foreign policy, healthcare, defense, education and others to review before coming to an overall conclusion but this will put the economy and related issues to bed for now. And of course there are debates during which some actual information may slip out!
Just for kicks, let’s review my original list of economic issues and see if I still buy them.
Economy – Jobs – Debt – Fiscal Sustainability
- Entitlement reform.
- Tax reform.
- Debt management based on Simpson-Bowles.
- Effective regulation.
- Job growth.
Last time, we looked at the Obama administration track record and tried to predict a future course of action. Today, we’ll take a look at Governor Romney’s statements and do the same. (Full disclosure – this is still as objective as I can make it. It’s beginning to bore me! The next post will begin comparisons and making choices on specific policies. Should be more fun – for me at least.)
Medicare The Governor’s plan is relatively better described than President Obama’s. While it still deals in pretty high level generalities, he has a series of principles he would use to guide Medicare, regulation, taxes and other major elements of economic policy. Continue reading
Having taken a short diversion into foreign policy, it’s time to get back to jobs and the economy as we take an unaffiliated look at presidential candidates’ positions. Neither candidate is going to let slip anything that might distress a potential voter so both are relying largely on negative ads against and gross generalities. While we won’t see much detail, we may get some insights from their history.
We can make some inferences based on legislation passed in president Obama’s first term. For example, the president worked very hard to push through the proposals he really cared about. Those proposals (ACA, ARRA, auto bailout and Dodd-Frank for Continue reading