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Archive for Saturday, October 27, 2012

Simons’ Saturday Column: Growing deficit is critical issue in presidential race

October 27, 2012

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How many voters in the upcoming presidential election will have given serious attention to the major issues facing this country and how will this affect for whom they vote? Will the majority of voters merely vote the party line whether this favors every Democratic candidate or every Republican candidate?

There are very serious issues at stake, issues that could and probably will affect every citizen in the country in one way or another.

The national debt and how Washington officials may decide to tackle this monster are likely to affect Lawrence. For example, federal funds may be cut that have been directed toward student aid at Kansas University, and the city may lose funding from the state because of cutbacks in money the state has been receiving from Washington. The city has many costly road projects in the planning stage and these could be reduced, delayed or possibly eliminated. Federal grants or research grants to KU could be trimmed or eliminated. Any program or activity in Lawrence that receives federal fiscal assistance, and many state programs, all could be reduced substantially because of major reductions in federal spending. New tax policies also could color private giving to KU, which has played such an important role in the university’s success.

It’s likely a high percentage of voters are numb about the election because campaigning to win the 2012 presidential election has been going on, in one way or another, since the day after Barack Obama won the election in November 2008. His aides and political strategists have been working since that time on his re-election, and most every action and policy he has endorsed probably has been reviewed and tested to see how it will play with voters and affect his political popularity.

Following Sen. John McCain’s defeat, Republican hopefuls began jockeying for position and prominence in their races for the GOP presidential nomination. The public has been saturated with campaign messages and partisan ads making the 2012 election the most costly in this country’s history. It’s almost obscene how much money — approaching $2 billion — has been spent by both parties.

The saying “to the victor belong the spoils” certainly applies to political elections with winners able to staff thousands of well-paying jobs, muscle through legislation that may be more favorable to those who supported their candidacy and many others ways of rewarding party faithful.

But the saying “to the victor belong the spoils” should be modified or expanded to say “to the victor belong the spoils AND the responsibility and obligation to do what is in the best interests of the country.”

This nation has become so deeply divided that Congress is deadlocked, and, consequently, the country is stalemated, standing still rather than getting stronger.

There are terribly important issues before the voters. The dangers and consequences of the ever-growing national debt cannot be overstated. This situation, no matter how it is addressed, will affect every American in one way or another.

There is no more important issue. President Obama promised to cut the debt in half during his first term in office. Sadly, it has increased by $6 trillion to the present $16 trillion-plus figure. If there is any chance to control and reduce this dangerous debt, challenger Romney or President Obama will have to initiate new and effective programs that are sure to be tough and painful and will affect every citizen.

Do voters consider this when entering the voting both? If so, which candidate do they believe can get the job done? Obama’s record over the past three years is bad, very bad. Romney’s is untested at the national level.

Millions of Americans rely on federal aid in one form or another. Millions don’t pay any income taxes. Have they become so dependent on this aid and so fearful of losing it through cutbacks or new legislation that might be necessary to rein in the national debt that they will decide to vote for Obama and four more years of his failed policies?

Do voters believe Romney’s policies can create 12 million new jobs in four years, initiate the necessary cuts in federal government spending and get Americans to be energy independent — all combining to help reduce the national debt?

The debt matter touches all other issues facing this country and, at some time, it has to be addressed through serious actions by the White House and Congress with the support of the majority of Americans.

Which candidate, Obama or Romney, has the record and first-hand experience in business that is so critical for our country? And which candidate has the record and experience of working with differing legislative interests to win bipartisan support for badly needed legislation?

Obama and his strategists have been unable to negotiate, and, as a result, there is a crippling standoff in Congress. He has been unable to work or forge a working relationship with the Republican majority in the House. There has been little reaching across the aisle by Sen. President Harry Reid or Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney was able to pass legislation he favored even with Democrats enjoying more than an 80 percent majority in the state legislature. Would he be able to develop a similar relationship with Congress if he were elected? No one knows for sure, but he did it in Massachusetts, and he certainly has the business background and experience Obama lacks.

Again, will voters vote a straight party line or will they vote for what they think is in the best interests of their country?

Comments

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 5 months ago

The scariest thing for the GOP this Halloween will be the ghost of Dubya.

Booooooo!

Booooooo! by yourworstnightmare

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 5 months ago

The GOP would have everyone think that the last GOP president was Ronald Reagan, and that the 2008 recession was caused by Bill Clinton's policies, because there was no president from 2000-2008.

It's almost as if Bush and Cheney are in witness protection (witless protection?).

Bush (two wars on the credit card and a tax cut for the rich) and Cheney (deficits don't matter) were president and vice president a mere four years ago.

Romney's plans are Bush-Cheney v.2. Tax cuts for the wealthy, increasing defense spending, and putting it all on the credit card.

George Bush may be forgotten by the GOP, but his policies are abundant in Romney.

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Liberal 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes I agree there is a war on women, why because all republicans are rich and they hate the poor, especially poor women. Let them eat cake.

Oh by the way---Here is a nice article on how much the democrats care and how they contribute to charity. in the New York Times a bastion of Conservative thought... http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html?source=science20.com&_r=0

They want you to support the poor as long as they do not have to pay for it. Hahahahaha...ALL TALK no action.

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Liberal 1 year, 5 months ago

You still have not shown a legitimate site that shows Romney or Ryan saying they are against Birth control.

You sound like the Lefts version of a birther....Not credible in anyway.

We know republicans want to have uneducated children, want old people to die, women to get breast cancer, ban birth control, people not be able to retire, sick people not taken care of and people to starve to death. I have heard they are investigating the methods of the Nazi's to deal with all of these problems. We are just trying to sneak it by so you don't notice.

Fear and lie politics you Dems are the best. I love the way your propaganda machine works. The wonder is how do people believe it? Guess what they don't anymore you can see it in the polls.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 5 months ago

Here's how a Democrat in Colorado dealt with her own deficit: "...JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- The woman named “Democrat of The Year” this year by the Jefferson County Democratic Party has been convicted of felony theft by a Jefferson County jury for stealing from a developmentally disabled 71-year-old woman. “The jury did right,” said Cindy Maxwell, an advocate for the victim. On Thursday, a jury convicted 66-year-old Estelle Carson of felony identify theft and felony theft from an at risk adult for stealing checks from the woman and using them to pay her own cable, cell phone and internet bills... Nearly as bothersome as the theft itself to Maxwell and other supporters of the victim, is the fact the Jefferson County Democratic Party was made aware of the ongoing criminal investigation and honored Carson anyway. According to documents obtained by CBS4, in November of 2011, the Jeffco Democratic Party announced it planned to honor Carson for her activism on behalf of Democratic causes and her efforts to register voters..." http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/26/jeffco-democrat-of-the-year-convicted-of-felony-theft/

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 5 months ago

Why do republicans care about deficits only when a democrat is in the White House.

Dick Cheney, vice president just four years ago, famously said deficits don't matter. Most of his GOP buddies in the house and senate then agreed.

Now, deficits are destroying the country, according to them.

Were the GOP lying then, or are they lying now?

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 5 months ago

Good point. Why hasn't Romney released his returns? What is he hiding? W know he is an out of touch rich guy who disdains 47% of Americans and has his money in off shore tax shelters.

What more could be revealed in his taxes? That he paid less than 15% in income tax? No, we already know that.

What is Romney hiding in his tax returns? Can we trust him if he is shady enough to keep his returns secret?

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey Pastor_ maybe you can beat this one to death like yourworstnightmare did about Romneys taxes. Really it doesn't got boring or annoying at all.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 5 months ago

Just as I'd expected, the staunch Romney/Ryan supporters here have yet to provide a SINGLE cogent reason why including a ban on hormonal birth control ~ a major issue for Ryan and Romney both ~ is good government in any form, and should be included in any "Personhood" effort. We've instead heard accusations of irresponsibility hurled toward women who use birth control (even comparing them to those who use "abortion on demand") and the usual vitriol they fling toward anyone who questions the reasoning behind any of their efforts. The disrespect of women is, apparently, a new core family value among Republicans.

Remember this ~ of all the critical issues facing the nation, expecting women and men alike to sign off sovereignity of their private decisions will certainly trump any economic arguments taking place. Those who are capable of thinking for themselves will certainly triumph and send carpetbaggers Romney and Ryan a packin'.

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Chris Golledge 1 year, 5 months ago

"Do voters believe Romney’s policies can create 12 million new jobs in four years..."

There are economists who believe that there will be 12 million new jobs whether or not Romney is elected.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/10/26/163719000/economists-romneys-12-million-jobs-target-realistic-even-if-he-loses

"There has been little reaching across the aisle by Sen. President Harry Reid or Rep. Nancy Pelosi."

Well, in fairness, this would be difficult since the Republicans have basically signed a pledge to not negotiate, and any Republican who waivers on that gets bumped.

Problems I have with Romney: He refuses to accept the reality of climate change; he doesn't want to borrow money to pay for educational programs, but he does want to borrow money to build more bombs that the Pentagon has not asked for; he believes in limited government, unless it is the government deciding who can marry who; and, he changes what he says pretty much as often as he changes who he is talking to.

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texburgh 1 year, 5 months ago

So what was Dolph's position when his good buddy George W. Bush was putting two wars on a credit card and slashing taxes for his millionaire chums? Is Dolph now ready to pay his fair share of taxes? What does Dolph think about Brownback letting business owners off the hook completely for income taxes in Kansas? Of course, Kansas won't have a deficit since that's unconstitutional but what Dolph will get to experience are dramatic cuts to some of his favorite things include KU. But then, Dolph surely sides with Romney who says everyone is entitled to all the education they can afford.

Dolph and his "reasoning" simply helped me make a decision to dump both my subscription the LJW and my contract with Sunflower (back when he owned it). He's bad for Kansas, bad for Lawrence.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 5 months ago

Do Republican women like it when they're called "irresponsible" for using hormonal birth control by their male overlords, who see no difference between this and "abortion on demand"? Is this craving for control something they've been taught, or have inherited? Will their hubbies and boyfriends even allow them out to vote on election day?

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

Herein lies the problems with the deficit.

--- The repub party declared the day Obama was elected their primary function would be to make Obama a one term president. Consequently their millions of NO votes became the disastrous campaign against women,The USA, jobs for Americans and against economic growth. --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

--- Another huge contributor looks like this.

--- Ask yourself is the market value of your home worth less than your mortgage? How much market value have home owners lost since 2007? Trillions of $$$$.

--- This ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

--- Face it neither WOMEN nor Republicans nor Democrats nor the Middle class can afford the Republican Party!

-- Women will be getting more republican big government in there lives? It is on the way! http://www.kansascity.com/2012/10/05/3849961/joel-brinkley-gop-would-impose.html

--- Public Education is a strong player in new Economic Growth yet republicans starve the system of funding which starves our teachers of resources. Which starves the desired level of education = stealing from our children’s future.

--- "Rebuilding America's Defences," openly advocates for total global military domination” (Very dangerous position which threatens OUR freedoms and the nations security) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Project_for_the_New_American_Century

--- Republicans want to kill PBS and NPR - NO I want my tax dollars to support PBS and NPR

--- Publicopoly Exposed frankly is a threat to Democracy - ALEC http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/11603/publicopoly_exposed/ http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

--- Killing Social Security Insurance Is Not An Option. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0111orr.html

--- Killing Medicare Insurance is simply not an option. http://www.thenation.com/article/159769/paul-ryans-plan-destroy-medicare

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Have you noticed Barry attempting to pimp the exact same ideas he had in '08 ? Why do you suppose he is selling the same lame promises of 4 years ago and not talking about what he has accomplished. I'll make this easy for the liberal crowd. Because Barry has not accomplished any of the empty promises from the last go round. Barry has not moved the country forward. Barry is still the most clueless guy in any room he walks into in DC.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 5 months ago

Anyone involved in the Bush administrations decision to cut taxes during wartime should be charged with treason.

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tange 1 year, 5 months ago

The fastest growing deficit ain't financial.

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beatrice 1 year, 5 months ago

So who won the SaegonPage pool?

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Armstrong 1 year, 5 months ago

Barry fully owns this recession. Unkept promises, legislation we clearly do not want, record debt, unemployment, stagnat economy..... has given us four years of assult on America - soon to be Greece if ( God forbid ) that clown is given another 4. End the error Nov 7

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 5 months ago

You mean the current regime's policy of directing hundreds of millions of federal tax dollars to political cronies in the past 3 years was a bad move for America? Inconceivable!

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WristTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

"I'm waiting for one ~ just one ~ of the Romney/Ryan apologists to explain how on earth their concept of "Personhood" and anti-choice agenda logically means hormonal contraception should be banned,"

You may be waiting awhile Pastor_Bedtime. This thread has absolutely nothing to do with your war on women.

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Cait McKnelly 1 year, 5 months ago

Conservatives are also forgetting that taxes against the top 10% in the country are the lowest they have been in the history of the nation.
It's ironic to think that, if we went to a flat tax structure with NO exemptions, credits, deductions or loopholes (and that includes off shore accounts with penalties for keeping hidden accounts), taxes would actually go UP against that segment of wealth holders.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm waiting for one ~ just one ~ of the Romney/Ryan apologists to explain how on earth their concept of "Personhood" and anti-choice agenda logically means hormonal contraception should be banned, like Ryan supports. As millions and millions of women and their families would be affected by such a ban ~ many who use such medication for non-contraceptive reasons ~ you best get your stories straight on this issue, because you will be held accountable for your efforts to impose your will on the nation.

Other than another way to assert sovereignity and control over the little women in their lives, I fail to see any correlation between this goal and the protection of any lives, born or unborn. Big government nanny-staters like Ryan and many other Republicans truly feel they're on a mission from God here with their forced-birth agenda... and that's why they'll pursue any strategy possible to achieve their desired outcome.

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WristTwister 1 year, 5 months ago

Liberals do not seem to understand that the huge amount of debt that our politicians have amassed is a very serious matter. Obama offers very little in the way of debt reduction. Based on the past 4 years, I have to believe he will only continue to increase the debt and run $1 T deficits every year for the next 4 years. Maintaining the status quo is not an option and current spending levels are unsustainable. Although they will be painful, spending cuts are absolutely critical to get this growing financial monster under control. Romney/Ryan have the expertise and understand what needs to be done. Over the last 4 years Obama has demonstrated that he lacks the expertise and does not understand the eonomic realities facing this nation today. Moreover, he does not demonstrate any sense of urgency to address our financial dilemma preferring to dwell on nation dividing strategies designed only for his re-election. Shamus the dog, Big Bird, binders of women, tax returns, bayonets and horses are not what this election should be about. In his very own words, Obama is making a big election out of small things. The Liberals need to wise up and consider the huge consequences if this President is re-elected.

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 5 months ago

Listening to NPR just yesterday, they mentioned that the latest report of a 2% growth in GDP was the result of government spending on the military, as they prepare for the doomsday scenario of automatic cuts that have to go into effect after the election should no agreements be made by the President and Congress. Anyone hopeful that sweeping agreements after the election is a probability?

That means the 2% grown rate is largely an illusion. The economy is "really" growing at a much slower rate, if growing at all. I see a double dip recession over the horizon, that is, if we ever really emerged from the first.

But that deficit thing, it's really growing. Someone's going to have to pay that back. If that's the legacy we're all leaving to future generations, shame on us.

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jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

A very quick google search shows that he pledged to cut the deficit, not the debt, in half.

That's quite different, of course.

It does look as if he probably won't get there, as that would mean a deficit of about $500 billion by 2013. But, before blaming him for that, I'd look at Congress, since they're the ones who set spending levels.

In fact, it was an overly optimistic and unrealistic thing for him to pledge in the first place, and almost certainly made before he understood how obstructionist Congress would be during his first term.

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jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

This is a funny column.

On one hand, he seems to be saying we should be afraid of cuts in federal spending, and the effects they'll have, while at the same time we need to be very afraid of our national debt.

Also, did Obama really say he would cut the national debt in half? Or did he say he would cut our annual deficits in half? There's a rather large difference between those two statements.

And, if D in Mass were open to working with Romney, and R in Congress aren't open to that with Obama, I'd hardly give Romney credit and Obama blame for that. And, I'd be careful, not wanting to reward that sort of behavior by electing a R president.

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Larry Sturm 1 year, 5 months ago

VOTE but remember that the last several presidents that we had that were business people we had to bail out the financial institutions..

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Paul R Getto 1 year, 5 months ago

But the saying “to the victor belong the spoils” should be modified or expanded to say “to the victor belong the spoils AND the responsibility and obligation to do what is in the best interests of the country.”

True, but does either side really believe this is their mission? I think not.

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