Romney should run on Clinton nostalgia + The Donald

I see Romney is still floundering on questions on when he left Bain Capital (that is, when he went from active manager to passive owner). Whether it was 1999 or 2002 doesn’t really matter except that in 2000 and 2001 Bain invested in companies that outsourced jobs to China and Mexico.

Romney’s campaign is completely flubbing this (no doubt, his once and future strategist Mike Murphy is waiting to be called up from the bullpen to replace his nemesis Stuart Stevens). Romney should have gone with the “I’m captain of the ship so the buck stops with me” line. Hell, he still should. (UPDATE below)

He could point out that under the economic stewardship of Bill Clinton and Alan Greenspan (stir the pot!), unemployment reached a low of 3.8% in early 2000. When we’re at full employment, the shortage of American workers puts a limit on economic growth. There’s two ways to overcome this and everyone would agree that outsourcing to foreign factories more sense than bringing foreign workers here (that’s for you Arizona!).

However different conditions require different policies. Under the stewardship of Obama and Bernanke, unemployment is 8.2% and the economy is stagnant. Clearly, we shouldn’t be outsourcing anything or giving amnesty to anyone. In fact, he agrees 100% with his friend Donald Trump we should get tough with China and other countries to eliminate our trade deficit.
You’re welcome Stevens.

UPDATE: You snooze you lose.
“Obama To Romney On Bain: ‘The Buck Stops With You’”

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hangemhi
4 years 8 months ago

To vote for Romney and be an MR’er – you either have to hope that Romney is lying now, and will act like a keynesian later. And/or assume Obama will stop running high deficits. In other words Romney must act differently than his word, and Obama act differently than he’s acted. Pretty gutsy assumptions

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beowulf
4 years 8 months ago

“you either have to hope that Romney is lying now, and will act like a keynesian later. And/or assume Obama will stop running high deficits.”

Yes and yes. If the GOP gets back in power they will run up the deficit as high as necessary to get the economy moving. Deficits only matter when Democrats are in power.

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Dunce Cap Aficionado
4 years 8 months ago

“Pretty gutsy assumptions.” I don’t think the assumption that GOPers will run deficits up if elected is gusty. I think its exactly their game plan. When a Repulican is in power “Deficits don’t matter” and when a Democrat is in power “I also think that the fact that we’ve gotten to this point where we are faced with a crisis in terms of the debt problem, that that’s going to give those of us who want to address that issue and fix it the leverage that we haven’t had up until now, in terms of insisting on the kinds of policies that will be painful, but in the long run are necessary if we’re going to restore full faith and credit in the United States government.” That’s Darth Vader (Cheney) himself- the first during W’s admin, the second during O’s. Yes, the GOPers are ‘hostage takers’ as they are policitians, playing politics.

Sidenote: I think the GOP does itself a disservice to a large degree by ‘hiding’ that Cheney is pro-gay marrriage, but that’s just one north-eastern independent’s opinion.

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Mike Sax
4 years 8 months ago

Yes, Dan, he’s one of the most agressive tax avoiders in US history and he wants to be in the hightest office in the land to uphold and execute our laws?!

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Dan Kervick
4 years 8 months ago

I’m not sure why you like the guy. To me he’s a turd. It’s not just Bain; now it’s tax sheltering. You guys who work in the money world seem to think most Americans are pretty cool with all these financial hustlers and that the business of America is capital and money. I doubt it. Romney is an uber-capitalist who carries the same Wall Street stink as the people who broke the economy in 2007/08.

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beowulf
4 years 8 months ago

The guy’s a dork, but his Ned Flanders vibe is appealing for some reason.
I’ve been saying for months his Achilles heel is the tax issue. He’s going to be hammered on it from now till election day until he pivots to a progressive tax reform…. along the lines of (as Bob Reich as suggested) supersizing the EITC and/or endorsing a wealth tax.
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/01/the-conservative.html

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Dan Kervick
4 years 8 months ago

Romney is not Ned Flanders. Ned Flanders is a regular cheerful middle class guy with a propane grill. Romney is an evil capitalist money titan, who has bought and sold a thousand Ned Flanders’s in his life, and thrown them out on the street, so that he and his wife can ride horsies and enjoy the high life. He’s not just a “dork” – he’s a prick.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Well if nothing else, the irony is certainly thick for a near MMTer to be supporting a pro-austerity presidential candidate.

Admin
4 years 8 months ago

It’s equally ironic that MMTers support Obama (who I voted for) so religiously. This is a man who has cratered the key element of the MMT position – govt funding of jobs. State, local and Federal jobs have collapsed under Obama in an unprecedented fashion. And yes, he should have known that currency using states needed funding or they’d be forced to cut jobs. But he chose healthcare over a focus on state funding when they were in dire need of it. So the buck has to stop with him and he’s woefully underperformed in keeping govt jobs. Granted, he might be the lesser of two evils here, but from the MMT position neither of these candidates should be even remotely acceptable since they’re almost 100% out of the MMT paradigm.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

I don’t think there’s any question about which candidate and party in general is more pro-government spending. So no, there isn’t equivalence.

And for the record, this is the first year I’m likely to vote Democrat, which hardly qualifies me as a cool-aid drinking liberal in the “Obama cult”. Bush in ’00, Libertarian ’04, McCain ’08, and Obama 2012. It’s been a long road casting off the shackles otherwise known as Christianity. Thank “god” for Darwin who has provided us with an alternative worldview based on observable facts, and thank you Jesus for all the other fact focused individuals who’ve freed us from silly superstitions and the fear of sky fairies (although often unintentionally). And thank you Cullen, for freeing me from the paradigm of the currency user 😉 Now that I’m in my mid 30s, I might actually be able to vote intelligently for the rest of my life. And the intelligent thing to do in this economic environment is to vote for the pro-government spending party (although I agree their rhetoric and leadership here could certainly be better).

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

For the further record, I do still agree with Republicans on a number of issues. I’m one of those apparently rare individuals who believes our recent wars were the right choices, and I’d go further and suggest we need to continue cleaning out the den of degenerates for the sake of those people and the world more generally. I also love me some guns, so I’m all kinds of pro-second amendment, though I believe reasonable regulation is responsible. I think government should be on a short leash in general, to be trusted only insofar as their actions reflect their rhetoric. I don’t believe government spending should be a hand-out for the lazy, such as some advocate with the basic income guarantee and welfare in general (which is why I think the JG might be a good way to get the parasites of society off their lazy keisters and contribute; some milk the system, and that should not be an option). I’ve been for awhile now more socially liberal (hence voting libertarian in ’04), and now I’m more economically liberal thanks to you Cullen, you devil.

I don’t imagine we are that far apart.

Voting for Obama is about a number of different reasons, most notably pro-government spending in a time when we need it. That, and he seems a relatively decent guy who isn’t out acting like a crazed socialist gone communist. My impression is he just wants a better world for the people and is trying to get that done, realizing government has a larger role to play in that regard. If we keep it within reason, I encourage using government to facilitate more community and unity building, less dog eat dog, competition, winners versus losers ideology. This should be a win-win world for those who act responsibly.

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Tom Hickey
4 years 8 months ago

RR :”I’m one of those apparently rare individuals who believes our recent wars were the right choices,”

Are we to assume then that your have take the time to study up o geostrategy and know what the wars are actually about geopolitically and geostrategically?

RR: “I’d go further and suggest we need to continue cleaning out the den of degenerates for the sake of those people and the world more generally.”

The US has a long history of backing its puppets regardless of how degenerate when it is in the perceived interests of “America,” i.e., the ruling elite. All presidents regardless of party have consistently done followed this policy.

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beowulf
4 years 8 months ago

In 1973 alone, the IRA bombed London 36 times, I forget offhand, how many terrorist bombings did Washington or New York endure last year? Oh yeah, zero.
Its rather apparent why politicians like freaking voters out– so they’ll put their trust in daddy to protect us. However, a Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld pointed out, America’s real vulnerability is the very fact we’re so damn strong.
“In private life, an adult who keeps beating down on a five-year old — even such a one as originally attacked him with a knife — will be perceived as committing a crime; therefore, he will lose the support of bystanders and end up being arrested, tried and convicted. In international life, an armed force that keeps beating down on a weaker opponent will be seen as committing a series of crimes; therefore it will end up losing the support of its allies, its own people and its troops. Depending on the quality of the forces…things may happen quickly or take a long time to mature. However, the outcome is always the same. He (or she) who does not understand this does not understand anything about war; or, indeed, human nature.”
http://www.lewrockwell.com/lind/lind23.html

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Erik V
4 years 8 months ago

Not likely to happen any time soon given that our major allies are European countries that are having serious problem with mass Muslim immigration and whose populations are much more anti-Muslim than our own. Plus after Iraq fatigue I don’t forsee another major war for a while based on politics alone.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago
I’m sure if we were to help out the Syrians so they are no longer tortured and slaughtered by the thousands, we’d be perceived as mean’ole bullies… I mean, without an attack on our country again, where’s the justification? As a country we should rally around those people and step on that ninny Assad government with our massive, giant sized foot in good Patton tradition. We should shoot him and his wife and burn their corpses for public entertainment. Thankfully Obama and Clinton are at least somewhat helping, but their hands are tied by a populace who is too worried about being anti-war because its fashionable (or because they’ve bought some silly conspiracy theory), and who is also too worried with nonsense like “being broke” to fund such a humanitarian effort out of compassion and principle. And that’s our weakness. Losing sight of the right thing to do and failing to bring that message of assistance and hope to the masses. We need to see the job through, as we did with Germany and as we did with Japan. The difference here is, these wars aren’t quite so front and center as threats anymore, so we have the luxury of being anti-war fashionable, currently. We aren’t really afraid as we were then. As long as it isn’t on our front door step, right? I don’t think as individuals we should care about being popular amongst our peers, I think we should care about encouraging our government to help where it can, as it did in Europe with resounding success. Compassion is good for our image, not harmful. And war is compassionate when motivated by principle. Those people want the same thing our people want. An opportunity at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And those that don’t should join… Read more »
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beowulf
4 years 8 months ago

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
John Quincy Adams

Whether Assad stays in power or returns to his Ophthalmology practice in London is of no interest to me. He is no threat to our national security or to that of our allies (including Israel), so I don’t really see the point of striving for his overthrow.
In fact, any issue like this that unnecessarily puts our two biggest strategic threats, Russia and China, on the same team (in opposition to us) fundamentally weakens our national security. Any day that Russia and China have conflicting interests is a good day for us. There’s no question that lowering the price of oil weakens Russia (big exporter) and raising the price of oil weakens China (big importer), we and the Saudis have a good thing going with that zero sum game, why stir the pot?

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Agreed, Syria isn’t worth WW3. I don’t believe helping them would truly risk that and hence why in part I regard terminating Assad as a low risk, high return enterprise, but I do appreciate your concerns. Dismissing other countries’ interests isn’t necessarily good policy. I’ll leave the strategy for exactly how we might help them militarily for another day.

It’d be interesting to hear what JQA’s and others views would be in our world.

Btw, on an entirely unrelated issue, you seem to enjoy history, so you might appreciate:

http://archive.org/stream/powerofpursehist00ferg#page/n17/mode/2up

A book available for free online viewing on the history of American public finance between 1776 and 1790.

Always a pleasure gentlemen.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago
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Tom Hickey
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks for sharing your view.

That’s not the Realpolitik reason in terms of which American policy is conducted though. Regime change in Syria and Iran has been US policy for some time, and the US backed Saddam in his unsuccessful war against Iran. The US will take down the Assad regime in due course if it doesn’t involve too much disruption in US relations with Russian and China. But it is not because Assad is bad guy or to bring democracy to Syria, even if that is the outcome.

Similarly, the US is not in Afghanistan because of the Taliban or Al Qaeda being bad guys either, or to bring democracy to Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a pivot point in Central Asia, and the West under the leadership of the US to control Central Asian energy resources along with MENA energy resources.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

I’ll keep this brief.

Your concern is one of motivation. This is an individual question. I’m confident if you were to evaluate those fighting the war, they are anything but motivated by the international chess match or oil (with perhaps exceptions). I think the soldiers generally want what’s best for the civilians of both nations. When they fight, what I described motivates them.

I do however appreciate what appears to be your underlying concern about oligarchs engaging in war for the sake of personal gain. I don’t think that’s happening now, certainly not with the Obama administration. And frankly, I don’t think taking into account the bigger picture is necessarily a bad idea. However, greed should never be the motivation.

This is a republic. I think we have the checks and balances in place to prevent wars motivated by greed.

By the way, thanks for your service.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Indeed Greg, for the U.S. to appear a little less self-centered would be good for national security and general world well-being. We can be nice without being foolish.

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Greg
4 years 8 months ago

Robert
Im a dove in general but I too would like to see more done by our military, not alone but in alliance with other democracy loving countries, in places like Syria and a few select African nations. Use our military to truly stop genocidal maniacs regardless of how much oil they export and I think we would see support for our international policies increase.

I do have some concerns however about the current checks and balances on our MIC. Seems they are working towards less and less civilian control;
http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/40769/
(Thanks Tom)

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Greg
4 years 8 months ago

Interesting quote there Beowulf

Totally agree with Mr Rockwell

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Tom, I’m happy to have this conversation elsewhere, but I don’t believe this is the appropriate time or place to have a pissing contest over the recent wars. I suspect Cullen, beowulf, et al would appreciate staying somewhat on topic.

But big picture, I have no doubt the world is a better place without Hussein, bin Laden, and a host of other degenerates who have accompanied them to paradise otherwise known as the bellies of worms, all of which were eliminated by our military to our benefit. Hoorah.

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Tom Hickey
4 years 8 months ago

Robert, I agree that MMR is not the place to debate this, since it is off topic. I don’t disagree that the world is better off with those people gone, but morality and spreading freedom and democracy had little to do with the actual reason for taking them out. This is about geopolitics and geostrategy which is at bottom about control of territory and resources. I was an operations officer in the US Navy during Vietnam and I was radicalized when I realized what was actually going on. The same thing is still going on. Check it out.

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Dan Kervick
4 years 8 months ago

I don’t “support” Obama. But unfortunately, we only get two choices in America. I have a utilitarian outlook and believe in doing what has to be done, which more often than not consists if making the best of a bad set of choices. I just can’t in a million years imagine myself voting for a man like Mitt Romney, who represents everything I find most despicable about the American economic system.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Couldn’t agree more Dan. Romney is the epitomy of a self-serving phony. I was seriously considering him six months ago too (which Cullen can check in the comment records at his site), that is until it became perfectly apparently he’ll say anything to get elected. He has no honor.

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Tom Hickey
4 years 8 months ago

“”but from the MMT position neither of these candidates should be even remotely acceptable since they’re almost 100% out of the MMT paradigm”

Agree and am on record. I said during the 2008 nomination process that O was a snake in the grass, and after nominated I said that if McCain won it would be a catastrophe (thinking chiefly of military) and if O won it would only be a disaster. The same goes for Mitt and O this time around. I probably would not vote for O this time (I did last time), if it weren’t for the GOP court-packing with either right wing extremists or corporate shills. For me this is really what the election is about. This is where Romney will throw the red meat to keep the crazies on the right on board. If it doesn’t, there will be a revolt in the GOP for sure.

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beowulf
4 years 8 months ago

Ehh, I’ll outsource this one to Ezra Klein:

“Even if you disagree with every one of Mitt Romney’s policies, there’s a chance he’s still the best candidate to lift the economy in 2013.
That’s not because he has business experience. For all his bluster about the lessons taught by the private sector, his agenda is indistinguishable from that of career politician Paul Ryan. Nor is it because he’s demonstrated some special knowledge of what it takes to create jobs. Job growth in Massachusetts was notably slow under Romney’s tenure. It’s because if Romney is elected, Republicans won’t choose to crash the economy in 2013.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-keynesian-case-for-romney/2012/06/04/gJQAIETuDV_blog.html

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Tom Hickey
4 years 8 months ago

Right. The GOP has shown itself to be hostage-takers, and they will hold out until they get their way. However, this is also their Achilles heel because the GOP is made up of antithetical factors, both of whom know how they can use their leverage within the party by refusing to back the leadership unless they get their way. So I don’t know that is a slam dunk if Romney wins. He is perceived by one faction as W II, and that is a sure sign of trouble. Those folks are not going to go quietly. It seems likely that there will be widening gap and eventual schism in the big tent that is already been sized way down by purging of moderates.

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Robert Rice
4 years 8 months ago

Compelling. Vote for me or I’m going to try and derail the economy. If you vote for me though, well in that case, I just might do the right thing. It’s good to know the current pack of Republicans still wear pull-ups as tantrum throwing three years olds.

Republicans won’t have the opportunity to crash the economy if they are voted into well deserved minority. Let them throw their hissy fit without the ability to do anything about it. And when they utterly destroy their credibility, we’ll all wear our sackcloth and ashes and mourn grievously while the country continues to improve economically.

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

lol. beowolf for strategist. or lets find and back an actual MMR candidate.

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Erik V
4 years 8 months ago

It will be very interesting to see who the first politician is to come out and embrace modern money principles. I hope it happens within the next few years and sets off a chain reaction as other politicians who deny reality are finally seen as clowns.

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John1025
4 years 8 months ago

But to admit it would make much of what a politician does seem irrelevant so it will be difficult for them to admit it.

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