In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, host of Good Morning America, President Barack Obama admits that Americans are worse off now than when he took office — que the ads, boys — and says he is the underdog in 2012:
resident Obama on Monday took the extraordinary step of declaring himself the underdog in the 2012 race for the White House.
He acknowledged that voters are not better off than they were four years ago, and face a mortgage crisis, unemployment above 9 percent and a bumpy stock market.
“Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through,” Obama said in a television interview.
“Nobody’s going to deny we’re not where we need to be,” said Obama, who after a tough primary fight sailed to election in 2008 on the promise of hope and change, winning states no Democrat had won in a generation.
“I don’t mind,” Obama said. “I’m used to being the underdog.”
By casting himself in that role, Obama is managing expectations for his reelection bid with both the media and his political base, which has been unhappy with White House concessions to Republicans.
Um, Barack Obama was not the underdog when he ran for the United States Senate in 2004 and, while the race against John McCain in 2008 was contentious, he had momentum nearly the entire campaign. Don’t play that card here. Yeah, his poll numbers are poor and most Americans — either pluralities or slight majorities — believe that he shouldn’t be re-elected; but he is still leading most of his potential Republican opponents.
While President Barack Obama and House Republicans have emphasized the importance of pending free trade agreements as a method to create jobs — and they’re right, Senate Democrats are playing politics with China:
Senate Democrats now believe a measure targeting China’s currency practices will win broad support, leading some to question whether that undercuts the issue’s ability to rally voters for next year’s elections.
Generally speaking, targeting China on trade has garnered support from members of both parties, especially in Rust Belt states that have lost manufacturing jobs.
[C]andidates from both parties have tried to tar their opponents as not tough enough on China in recent election cycles, including in last year’s midterms.
Democratic officials, currently trying to defend a narrow majority in the Senate, contend that the issue could give them a boost in manufacturing states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) have all been prominent supporters of the China measure, which looks to pressure Beijing into letting the value of its currency rise.
In a sign of how important the China bill is to Senate Democrats, the chamber is proceeding with the measure before dealing with President Obama’s $447 billion jobs package. In advance of the vote, Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have said that policymakers’ best option for creating jobs is to level the U.S. trade deficit with China.
If you have any liberal friends on Facebook or Twitter, then you have no doubt seen them post or make reference to Elizabeth Warren’s rant about the rich and how they were fortunate enough to make their wealth because of government:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
This is textbook demagoguery. I don’t know many people that argue against basic functions of government, such as roads, schools, police, etc; which by the way are usually, or nearly exclusively, paid for through local taxes. Russ Roberts, an economist at George Mason University and one of the brains behind the Hayek/Keynes music videos, explains the problem with government isn’t the basic services it provides, it’s that the government has grown too large and is doing harm to the economy:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg knocked President Barack Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on the rich, noting that there has been some dishonesty in the rhetoric used by the White House and Warren Buffett (emphasis mine):
Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on people who make more than a million dollars a year.
“The Buffett thing is just theatrics. If Warren Buffett made his money from ordinary income rather than capital gains, his tax rate would be a lot higher than his secretary’s,” he said.
“I think it’s not fair to say that wealthy people don’t pay their fair share. They pay a much higher percentage of their income, they have a higher rate than people who make less,” Bloomberg added.
That is one of the great myths about higher income earners like Buffett. They don’t make their money the “normal” way. Earnings from investments are double-taxed already, once from the corporate income tax and gain from the capital gains tax; not to mention they wouldn’t bring in much revenue. And again, I’ll point to the great post by Megan McArdle, who noted that Obama’s tax hike proposal wouldn’t hit Buffett (emphasis mine):
According to a recently release poll from a Democratic firm, President Barack Obama is, unsurprisingly, bringing down his party’s numbers in competitive congressional districts:
One of the Democratic party’s leading pollsters released a survey of 60 Republican-held battleground districts today painting an ominous picture for Congressional Democrats in 2012. The poll shows Democratic House candidates faring worse than they did in the 2010 midterms, being dragged down by an unpopular president who would lose to both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
[T]he numbers - at least right now — are troubling for Democrats, and echoed some of the takeaways from the GOP special election upset in New York City last week. Instead of an overall anti-incumbent sentiment impacting members of both parties, voters are taking more of their anger out on Democrats. When voters were asked whether they’re supporting the Republican incumbent or a Democratic candidate, 50 percent preferred the Republican and just 41 percent backed the Democrat.
Voters in these districts said they were more supportive of Republicans than they were during the 2010 midterms, when 48 percent said they backed the Republican candidate and 42 percent said they backed the Democrat. (Republicans won 55 percent of the overall vote in these 60 battleground districts, while Democrats took 43 percent.) In 2010, Republicans netted 63 House seats - their best showing since 1948.
Respondents were lukewarm about their current Republican representatives - 39 percent approved, while 33 percent disapproved, and 28 percent were undecided. And a near-majority of 49 percent said they “can’t vote to re-elect” the GOP incumbent because “we need new people that will fix Washington” — a jump of four points since March.
President Barack Obama spent yesterday day in Ohio slamming Republicans for not backing his latest gimmick stimulus “jobs” proposal. As his backdrop, the White House used a bridge that connects Ohio (House Speaker John Boehner’s state) to Kentucky (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state) that isn’t large enough to handle traffic demand as an example of a project that his proposal would tackle. Well, there’s a problem…that bridge isn’t “shovel ready”:
[Obama] headed out to one today which he’s described as a “bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky that’s on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America.” It is on a busy trucking route, spanning the Ohio River between Covington, Ky., and Cincinnati.
It’s the Brent Spence Bridge. It doesn’t really need repairs. It’s got decades of good life left in its steel spans. It’s just overloaded. The bridge was built to handle 85,000 cars and trucks a day, which seemed like a lot back during construction in the Nixon era.
Today, the bridge sort of handles more than 150,000 vehicles a day with frequent jam-ups.
So, plans are not to repair or replace the Brent Spence Bridge. But to build another bridge nearby to ease the loads.
But here’s the problem, as John Merline graphically notes here, that could screw up all those envisioned photo op shots of the Democrat and the traffic:
Rick Perry campaign released this new ad yesterday, just a day before the next Republican debate in Orlando. If the video looks familiar, it’s because it was apparently produced by the same guy that did Tim Pawlenty’s epic ad that hit Barack Obama on his lack of leadership and the state of the economy.
Perry’s ad takes it to Obama over the economy, repeating media accounts of rampant unemployment. It closes with Perry giving part of his stump speech, in which he sounds very Reaganesque:
The Congressional Black Caucus admits that they’re doing things differently because Obama is in the White House than if someone else, like even Bill Clinton, were sitting there. I picked it up in a piece over at The Hill.
Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
“If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House,” Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. “There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president.”
In this instance, the problem is the unemployment rate for African-Americans that is still moving upwards. Members of the caucus want action, but don’t want to undermine the president.
“We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in August. “We want to give [Obama] every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is.”
The thing that bugs me is that, if by their own admission they’re treating Obama different, aren’t they simply doing the exact same thing they would criticize others for? After all, they’re giving preferential treatment to Obama because of his skin color. How is this not racism?
With unemployment the top issue in the country right now, every Republican is trying to angle their platform to appeal to voters. But Mitt Romney, once seen as the frontrunner in the GOP race, has a problem with his near constant pandering to voters on the economy. His healthcare plan, which became the blueprint for ObamaCare, cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs:
The Bay State’s controversial 2006 universal health-care plan — also known as “Romneycare” — has cost Massachusetts more than 18,000 jobs, according to an exclusive blockbuster study that could provide ammo to GOP rivals of former Gov. Mitt Romney as he touts his job-creating chops on the campaign trail.
“Mandating health insurance coverage and expanding the demand for health services without increasing supply drove up costs. Economics 101 tells us that,” said Paul Bachman, research director at Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, the conservative think tank that conducted the study. The Herald obtained an exclusive copy of the findings.
“The ‘shared sacrifice’ needed to provide universal health care includes a net loss of jobs, which is attributable to the higher costs that the measure imposed,” said David Tuerck, the institute’s executive director.
Despite Romney’s vaunted business acumen as a successful venture capitalist, Bachman said the former governor “was a little naive about what would become of the law.”
The Beacon Hill Institute study found that, on average, Romneycare:
• cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;