Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Revenue and Savings


People question the math both in funding as well as supply and demand of Obamacare.

In fact, the Congressional Budget Office concluded, that if federal health-care costs were not contained, the budget deficit would continue to spin out of control, and the best way to reduce federal health care costs was to pass health care reform. 

Critics of health care reform did a good job of frightening Americans by talking about bankrupting the Treasury.  The truth of the matter is that the reform legislation has been designed to generate enough revenue and savings to more than offset the substantial cost of expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to the middle class.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Health Care Reform Act will reduce deficits over the first 10 years by $138 billion and as much as $1.2 trillion, the following 10 years.  A report by the CBO indicates that the healthcare reform is the most significant effort to reduce our deficits since the Balanced Budget Act in the 1990s. 

People with healthcare coverage are able to avoid waiting in overcrowded emergency rooms, by scheduling an appointment with their family physician.  Emergency room treatment for non-emergency medical conditions has been a major contributor to the rising cost of healthcare.  Usually, emergency room visits cost $2,000, while a doctor's office visits cost much less.

Folks seeking medical help ought to consider seeking out retail clinics.  Sometimes, they’re located in pharmacies or grocery stores, which are usually staffed by nurse practitioners who can handle urinary tract infections or sore throats.  Urgent care centers are staffed by physicians and can handle more serious conditions, such as minor fractures and serious cuts.  Centers tend to be open in the evenings and on weekends and they’re substantially cheaper than the ER.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Youth Vote



The next election will determine if Americans get reward an honest day’s work, and have an opportunity to buy a home of their own.  We needs to make it easier for future generations to afford a college.  We need to build better schools and hire better teachers, so that more of our children are prepared to attend colleges.  We needs to keep moving away from foreign oil and towards renewable sources like wind and solar and biofuels that make our economy more secure. 

Congressional Republicans have make gridlock their political strategy, and want young people to become cynical about politics.  They repeatedly tell voters how bad things are and how it’s all Obama’s fault.  By telling young voters those things, they hope that they’ll get discouraged, and stay home this time.  They know that young people came out in record numbers four years ago, and fear that it will happen again. 

Obama fixed the student loan system that was giving billions of dollars of taxpayer money to banks.  Instead, Democrats decided to give it directly to students.  Consequently, they’re able to double grant aid for millions of students. 

We’ve able use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.  In the last four years, we’ve doubled the generation of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar.  Today, America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years.  We’re on track to emit fewer greenhouse gases this year than we have in nearly 20 years. 

Nobody should go broke, because they get sick.  Today, nearly 7 million young people have health insurance because they're able to stay on their parent's plans.  Senior citizens are saving money on prescription drugs. and women have gained access to free preventive care like mammograms and contraception. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Deceitful Ad


The Romney campaign latest ad on welfare has a narrator claiming: “Since 1996, welfare recipients were required to work.  This bipartisan reform successfully reduced welfare rolls.  On July 12, President Obama quietly ended the work requirement, gutting welfare reform.  One of the most respected newspapers in America called it nuts, saying, "If you want to get more people to work, you don’t loosen the requirements.  You tighten them."  Mitt Romney’s plan for a stronger middle class will put work back in welfare.

Even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough a former Republican congressman, came out against the ad as being inaccurate.

In fact, a Health and Human Services directive would allow states more latitude in welfare, however it continues to insist that states improve employment outcomes, not reduce them.

On "USA Today," Mitt Romney claims: "There’s no question in my mind that the president’s action in this regard was calculated to build support for him among people he wants to have excited about his reelection, just as so many of the things he’s done were designed to try to shore up his base.  And weakening the work requirement in welfare is an enormous mistake."

Clearly, Romney is saying, that President Obama is trying to get more welfare recipients to vote for him by making it easier to get welfare checks.  Some folks consider that claim to be ethnically charged.  

Over the years, a number of Republican governors, including Governor Romney have asked for more leeway in enforcing the "workfare" rules that originally went into effect when President Bill Clinton signed the law in 1996. 

The HHS directive doesn’t abolish the workfare rules.  There is no orders that President Obama has given that would abolished the requirement that people work for their welfare check.  The Romney ad is flat-out deceitful on the facts.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Purchasing Mexican Drugs


Last year, the Republican vice presidential candidate Congressman Paul Ryan sponsored a bill designed to ban hormonal birth control.  In the last two years, many Republican state legislatures have enacted more restrictions on abortion rights than any time since Roe vs. Wade became law.  Those laws are having a serious impact in people’s lives.

Recently, the "Texas Tribune" published a story about American women crossing the border to go to pharmacies in Mexico in order to buy a drug they hope would end their unwanted pregnancies.

One Texas clinic director told the "Texas Tribune"reporter, that her clinic’s patients have often ingested the drug in varying amounts.

An unlicensed and untrained Mexican pharmacist, who is allowed to sell the drug over the counter, told a "Texas Tribune" reporter, that he has heard of girls hemorrhaging after taking the pills.

Before the Roe v. Wade decision, abortions were still sought by American women, and they were still provided.  They had to be performed secretly, since it was illegal.  If she was lucky, a women might actually find a doctor with training and equipment, but most abortion were performed on kitchen tables.

In 1930, illegal abortion was listed as the official cause of death for almost 2,700 American women.  Seven women a day, about a fifth of the overall maternal death rate in this country occurred in that year.  Thousands of American women died because they didn’t have access to a safe abortion.  It was illegal but that didn’t stop them.

The new coat hanger is a pharmaceutical drug.  The new back alley is across the border where Texas women are resorting to unregulated pharmacies in Mexico to do what Americans technically have the right to purchase from her doctor.  Women are crossing the border and risking their lives in unregulated pharmacies.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gulliver



Andrew Reinbach posted the following on The Daily Star online:

“These furious attacks on Jim O'Leary remind me of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS.  Gulliver washes up on shore and falls asleep.  When he wakes up, he's surrounded by tiny people trying to tie him down.  But no matter what the Lilliputians do, he's a giant in their world.
“The fact that Mr. O'Leary keeps posting things that his extreme right-wing opposite numbers find infuriating says nothing about him, but a lot about them.  Their typical responses are based on "facts" they get from their own right-wing sources, said sources being at worst entirely false, and at best being a partial interpretation of half-facts.
“Consider, for instance, the lie that Valerie Plame was not a covert CIA operative, and that therefore no harm was done to national security when Dick Cheney blew her cover to punish her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, for exploding the Niger yellowcake lie that the Bush Administration was using to stampede us into that wonderful success, the Iraq War.
“That lie was based on the false "idea" that only James Bond types, working in disguise and carrying super weapons behind enemy lines, are spies.  Aside from that idea being a cartoon, Ms. Plame had the highest security clearances and was operating at the highest levels.  She was a high-ranking CIA executive fighting global nuclear proliferation and controlled large spy networks.  When Dick Cheney blew her cover, he also blew their cover. You can bet a lot of them died.  Certainly, it was a major blow to our covert war on nuclear proliferation, and harmed our national interests, big-time.  And in any event, exposing any CIA employee as such is a crime--never mind destroying major CIA operations.
“But a few months ago, I heard Sean Hannity deny with a straight face that Ms. Plame was a covert operative.  That was an out-and-out lie, but it was also a lie that Mr. O'Leary's opponents have swallowed whole.
“The fact that anybody pausing to think about it can see such claims are outright lies doesn't stop said people from attacking people like Mr. O'Leary, who in my experience has never stooped to that sort of debased argument.  But Mr. O'Leary and people like him are routinely attacked here by squads of right-wing fanatics, who merely get more strident the more they're corrected with actual facts from the real world, rather than the Bizzarro world, and keep repeating the same lies ad nauseum as though it was an actual argument.  This is more like a mob of crows following an eagle, except that they're doing no harm to a Marine like Mr. O'Leary, and only shows the rest of the public why they're better off without them and their fringe ideology.”

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ben Smith


A group of former special operations forces and CIA officers, with ties to the Republican Party, Tea Party groups and the birthers attack President Obama over his handling of the bin Laden raid last year.  Although, Obama has prosecuted more leakers than any other presidency, they’ve accused him of leaking classified information and taking too much credit for the raid. 

Ben Smith a former Navy Seal is featured in a video saying: “Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden.  America did.  The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden.  You did not.”

Smith has been a spokesman for the Tea Party Express and has blogged: "You are an impostor.  You are a Muslim.  You are the Manchurian president and may you go back to the country you were born in when you are deposed, you little, little man, and take all your communist sympathizers with you."

People of the birther persuasion believe in conspiracy theory that Obama’s mother came up with the idea, that her son would become president some day, so she marry a guy from Africa with the name Obama, and plotted, that since she had the baby over in Africa, she’d lie about it and put out newspaper accounts that her son was actually born Hawaii.

The Associated Press has quoted a Green Beret who wrote on his Facebook page: "This is an unprofessional, shameful action on the part of the operators that appear in the video, period."

General Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff stated: “The American people don’t want us to be another special interest group.  But if someone uses the uniform, whatever uniform it is, for partisan politics, I’m disappointed by that, because I think it does erode that bond of trust we have with the American people.”



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hiding Their Beliefs


Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan holds an extreme position on abortion rights.  He has co-sponsored a bill declaring that life begins at fertilization.  That bill defines fertilization as “the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.”

That’s the earliest possible point at which you could define life, and would effectively prohibit intrauterine devices and some oral contraceptives, since those forms of birth control can stop pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.  It would also ban in vitro fertilization. 

Congressman Ryan was supposed to bolster the Romney campaign’s standing with social conservatives, but after Akin said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Ryan’s has been running away from his core beliefs.

Regarding Rep. Akin’s comments, Ryan said: “His statements were outrageous, over the pale.  I don’t know anyone who would agree with that. Rape is rape, period, end of story.” 

Rep. Ryan proposed a change to health care legislation.  The language of that amendment limited abortion exceptions unless the pregnancy is the result of forcible rape or incest.  That forcible rape language found itself in a House bill, which also narrowed the definition of rape to make abortions illegal.

Ryan has a history of hiding who he really is when it comes to his anti-choice agenda.  Republicans are holding Ryan up as a man of very strong convictions, but he refuses to give direct and consistent answers about his anti-choice record.  The same goes for Mitt Romney, who once said: “Abortion should be safe and legal in this country.”  In order for them to be successful in legislating that a fertilized egg is a person, they must hide their true beliefs from voters.

It has become business as usual for the GOP and their continuing war on women.  In the past year, we’ve seen Republicans try to eliminate insurance coverage of contraceptive care and even try to ban emergency contraception and common forms of birth control.  We’ve seen them try to roll back domestic violence provisions for women, just because they aren’t the right “type” of victim.  We’ve seen them try to force medically unnecessary vaginal probes and ultrasounds on women who wish to have an abortion. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Against Our Interest


The Oneonta Daily Star published the following letter to the editor, that was submitted by Donna J. Shaver of Laurens. 
“In 2008, America was facing an economic meltdown.  On the evening before Obama was sworn in, a key group of Republicans met.  Were they brainstorming ideas and planning strategy on how to best help our struggling economy?  NO!  They were plotting on how to destroy a president before he even took office.  Is this what they were elected to do?

“America is great!  America has a democracy _ or so we thought.  The Republican Party is destroying that idea.  They pledge their allegiance to Grover Norquist, a lobbyist; the NRA; the Koch brothers; big money; and everything except what is best for the citizens of this country.  They yell "jobs" five times in every sentence and have done everything possible to obstruct jobs to avoid the president getting credit.

“If big money was going to create jobs, it should have happened back when Bush gave the wealthy huge tax breaks.  The economy should have been booming and jobs plentiful. Instead it added a huge increase in our deficit.  You may have your own opinion, but it does not change the facts!

“Freedom is another word that they like to mouth.  Go to the Congressional Record, and see the laws being implemented in some of our Republican-run states.  Voter repression, women's healthcare issues, marriage, sex lives and everything under the sun _ except jobs!  Look up the legislation that has or has not been enacted, and get a reality check. Look at the approval rating of Congress.  Do you want more of the same elected into office?

“The GOP label no longer applies to the present Republican Party.  Patriotism and representing democracy do not mean working against the best interests of this country. Our elected officials should be representing the people of the U.S., not personal political goals.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rape


Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri is trying to defeat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in the November election.

While answering a question about whether or not abortion should be legal in the case of rape, Akin explained his opposition by citing unnamed bodily responses that he said prevented pregnancy.

Akins said: “It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”  He didn’t provide an explanation for what constitutes "legitimate rape."

Akins claimed: “I had heard one time a medical report, that said it’s hard to get, it’s harder for somebody to get pregnant under those conditions.  First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare."  He’s wrong about the rarity of pregnancy resulting from rape in the country.  According to the "Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology," 32,101 pregnancies per year are the result of rape.

Obama commented: “Let me first of all say the views expressed were offensive.  Rape is rape.  And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people.  And certainly doesn’t make sense to me.”

In 2007, Romney called a bill to ban all abortions terrific, and said he would be delighted to sign it.  The same year, Romney said he’d support a human life amendment to the Constitution.  That amendment would outlaw abortions even in the case of rape or incest.

The third bill Republicans passed upon taking control of the House was the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”   It tried to redefine rape as “forceable rape” only, which would exclude statutory rape and women who were drugged or verbally threatened.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Medicare Cuts


Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have insisted that President Obama has robbed Medicare of $716 billion dollars.

Actually, Ryan has kept the same $716 billion Medicare cuts in his budget.  Obama and congressional Democrats have cut Medicare on the provider side.  Most of those cuts are to drug companies.  The difference is that Republicans plan would cut Medicare on the beneficiary side.

The non-partisan AARP reports, that Obamacare cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse and strengthens guaranteed benefits.  The AARP has concluded, that the Ryan Plan would undermine Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors.  Most experts agree that Ryan’s voucher plan could raise future retirees’ costs by more than $6,000.

Under Obama’s plan, there are no reduction in benefits, because Obamacare redistributes the $716 billion from the Medicare Advantage plan to seniors in the form of preventative care and prescription drug savings, by closing the doughnut hole.  Medicare Advantage wasn’t competitively bid, so insurance companies got taxpayer money to provide services that Medicare already provided.

Seniors who fell in the doughnut hole of the Medicare prescription drug coverage have already started receiving $250 checks to help cover the cost of prescription drugs.  Within ten years, Obamacare will have closed the prescription drug doughnut hole gap completely.

Reportedly, the Medicare Advantage plan set back taxpayers on average 14% more than the traditional Medicare plan.  Congress change the benchmarks that set the payments, making them equal to what the government pays for traditional Medicare services. According to the Congressional Budget Office, those changes will translate to a savings of $156 billion over 10 years.

Romney and Ryan’s plan would take those same savings along with another $1.3 trillion and uses it to pay for tax cuts for the rich.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Part 3 Ryan Agenda


Paul Ryan holds an extreme position on abortion rights.  He co-sponsored a bill declaring that life begins at fertilization.  That bill defines fertilization as “the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.”
That is the earliest possible point at which you could define life, and it would effectively prohibit intrauterine devices and some oral contraceptives, since those forms of birth control can stop pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.  It would also ban in vitro fertilization. 
Fertilized eggs often fail to implant naturally.  That is one reason why anti-abortion voters of Mississippi rejected a similar proposal.
However, my greatest concern is that Ryan want to make the largest transfer of wealth, from poor and middle class to the rich, in modern history. 
Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities insists: “In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse on steroids.  It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times.
Specifically, the Ryan budget would impose extraordinary cuts in programs that serve as a lifeline for our nation’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens, and over time would cause tens of millions of Americans to lose their health insurance or become underinsured.

A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis that Ryan himself requested shows that the Ryan budget would shrink the federal government so dramatically that most of what it does outside of Social Security, health care, and defense would essentially disappear.

The Ryan budget begins by making all of Bush’s tax cuts permanent.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Part 2 Ryan’s Agenda


Paul Ryan wants to end Medicaid as we know it.  It’s one of the major places he expects to reduce federal spending.  His plan would turn Medicaid into a “block grant” program. 
Medicaid is a promise to the states that, as long as they offer Medicaid and contribute their share, the federal government will guarantee enough money to cover everybody who is eligible for that program.  It’s also a promise to individual Medicaid recipients, that the insurance will be sufficiently comprehensive to cover any service they might need.
According to estimates made by researchers at the Urban Institute, under the Ryan plan between 14 and 27 million low-income Americans would lose health insurance.  Ryan also wants to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, but the estimates of the Urban institute doesn’t include those who are supposed to get insurance coverage from the health care act, starting in 2014.
The majority of Medicaid funds are not spent on the single mother living at the poverty line.  It's for the elderly and disabled.  Such severe cuts to Medicaid will impact their services, making it difficult for them to pay for nursing homes and long-term care.
Furthermore, as a plan to reduce government debt, Ryan’s plan to privatize Social Security was illogical.  American workers would be able to invest about half of their payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, into private accounts.  It took money from one part of the budget and spent it on private accounts, at a cost of two trillion dollars in transition expenses.

Newt Gingrich wrote: “They have fashioned a plan that makes the idea of a personal-account option for Social Security not only politically viable but, indeed, politically irresistible.”  However, the plan was so radical that Bush eventually rejected it for a more cautious version.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Part 1 Ryan’s Agenda


Ryan believes in ending Medicare as we know it.  In 1965, the promise of Medicare was that every senior citizen would be entitled to a comprehensive set of medical benefits that would protect them from financial ruin.  Our government provides benefits directly, through a public insurance program.  Seniors have the right to enroll in a comparable private plans if they choose.  Ryan would take away that guarantee of benefits, and replace it with a voucher.  The value of the voucher would rise at a pre-determined formula unlikely to keep up with actual medical expenses.  If the voucher isn't worth what it takes to buy health insurance in the private marketplace, you're out of luck.
Initially, Ryan's proposals had no safeguards to ensure the voucher was adequate.  His most recent proposal has safeguards, a more reasonable spending line, and preserves the government-run plan as an option.  However, the safeguards are weak, and the government-run program would struggle to survive.  Over time an increasing number of seniors would find the voucher too small to buy the insurance they need.
Ryan's first budget proposal would have raised the eligibility age of Medicare to 67.  Without the Affordable Care Act, which Ryan wants to repeal, many if not most 65  and 66-year-olds without employer insurance would end up uninsured.
The long-term effect of Ryan’s latest Medicare proposal wouldn't be nearly as severe as the long-term effect of the original.  But it'd be a difference in magnitude, not a difference in kind.  Seniors wouldn’t get the same protection they do now.  Many seniors would be force to choose between health care and other essential needs, the very same situation they routinely faced until the 1960s, when concern over the hardship seniors faced created a political groundswell for Medicare.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Following Bush’s Advise


Seven years ago, Bush explained the truth about Republican politics, and the Romney campaign is currently following his advice.

Bush said: “In my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”

Romney, Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party are using Bush’s philosophy when it comes to Medicare.  Reportedly, this propaganda technique was used by the Soviets many years ago.  Republicans say something that is not true and then spend $200 million on ads saying it repeatedly, and hoping that somebody believes it.

I’m reminded of Joseph Goebbles famous quote: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.  The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie.  It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” 

Regarding Medicare, Romney claimed: “My plan presents no change.  The plan stays the same.  No adjustments.  No changes.  No savings.  The president’s plan cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”

Under Obama’s plan, there are no benefit reductions.  Actually, Obamacare redistributes $716 billion from the Medicare Advantage plan to seniors in the form of preventative care and prescription drug savings.  Medicare Advantage was not competitively bid, so insurance companies got taxpayer money to provide services that Medicare already provided.

Romney and Ryan’s plan takes those same savings along with another $1.3 trillion and uses it to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Not Going Back


Although, Obama has repeatedly said that he'll work with anybody to keep improving our health care system, Romney insits, that he wants to repeal Obamacare.  The Supreme Court ruled, that 6.5 million young people will be able to stay on their parent's plan.  Seniors will get discounts on their prescription drugs.  Insurance companies can no longer prevent folks from getting health insurance if they have a preexisting condition.  And people are getting free preventive care. 

Obama recognizes government can't solve all our problems, and it certainly can't help those, who won't help themselves.  However, government can make sure that everybody has got opportunity for success if they’re is willing to work hard.  That's the promise our parents passed down to us. 

Over the next three months, Republicans will spend more money than ever on ads that insist the economy isn’t good enough and it's Obama's fault.  That has to be their argument, because they don't have a credible economic plan to improve the economy.  Republican don't have a plan to create jobs, strengthen the economy, or revive the middle class. 

It won't matter how much Republicans spend on deceitful ads, because our country has come too far to turn back.  We have too many competent teachers, who need to be hire.  We have too many schools, that need to be rebuild, and students that want to attend college.  We have too many doors of opportunity, that must be opened for people, who are eager to work hard.

We're not going back to “don't ask, don't tell,” because everybody should be able to serve the country they love.  And, helping out the DREAM Act children was the right thing to do.  Those are the choices in this election, but Obama needs voters to elect a Democratic Congress to implement his agenda. 




Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tax Avoidance Scheme


In an ad a narrator asked: “Did Romney pay 10 percent in taxes, 5 percent, zero?  We don’t know, but we do know that Romney personally approved over $70 million in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the notorious Son of Boss tax scandal, one of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history.  Isn’t it time for Romney to come clean?”

“Son of Boss” was in a tax avoidance scheme that the Marriott Corporation used to avoid tens of millions of dollars in taxes while Romney was on the board of the Marriott Corporation.  Romney was on the audit committee of the board and responsible for exercising oversight over that company paying its taxes.  The company ended up paying hundreds of millions of dollars in fines to the government when it got caught.

A new Obama campaign ad is adding to the evidence that Romney has spent much of his life dodging taxes.  They’re creating a political impression that Romney’s life has been one scheme after another to dodge taxes. 

"The New York Times” ran a story based on information from Romney’s financial disclosures that he had to make as a candidate.

Every month a couple in Missouri City, Texas writes Romney a personal check for $600.  They don’t have their mortgage on the house through a bank.  Mitt Romney is their mortgage provider.

In the 1980’s, Romney entered into a speculative deal set up for free enterprise capitalists who desired investments with tax shelter benefits.  The person, who set up this deal described it as a scheme allowing investors to write off depreciation and mortgage interest on their taxes without risking their own money.  The couple that Mitt Romney doesn’t know send their monthly mortgage check to him because of the tax avoidance scheme.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Romney’s Budget Plan


 The top 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans put together.

A new cycle of poverty for millions of Americans began during the Reagan administration, and got worst during G.W. Bush’s presidency, when tax cuts legislation, that mostly benefited the very wealthy was passed.  The richest 1% of Americans saw their income go up an average of more than 10% each year between 2002 and 2007, but the middle class saw their income stay about the same, while the number of people in poverty gradually increased.

Republican politicians have continued to claim, that tax cuts benefit our economy, even after the Bush-era tax cuts provided ten-years of irrefutable proof, that tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires don’t stimulate the economy. 

Romney want to go back to the same disastrous policies of budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and free rein for Wall Street to write its own rules.  We tried Romney's failed formula for most of the last decade.  It benefitted a few, but it exploded the deficit, crashed our economy, and devastated the middle class.  It didn't grow our economy, by creating good jobs, or pay down our debt.  Independent economists confirm that Romney's plan wouldn't cut the deficit, or create a single job.  In fact, it could slow growth and push us back into recession.

An independent, non-partisan organization found that Romney’s plan would effectively raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000.  It wouldn’t reduce the deficit, or invest in things to grow our economy, like education, infrastructure or basic research.  Romney would ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 in tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ryan’s Budget Proposal


In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter: “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

With the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Citizens United, and overturning a longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections, corporations have won. 

Mitt Romney said: “I’m very supportive of the Ryan Budget Plan.  I think it’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and the part of the Republicans.  And it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier.”

The Republican Budget provides a stark contrast to Obama’s vision for America.  The Ryan budget is stacked against the middle class, seniors, and working families.  Ryan’s tax cuts would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, with the average member of the top 1% receiving a tax break of $238,000 a year.
If you’re an oil company, or a company that ships jobs overseas, you get a tax break.  But, if you’re a senior citizen, you’ll lose Medicare and end up with a voucher.  In the end it’s going to cost seniors an additional $6,000 dollars.  The Urban Institute estimates, that between 14 million and 27 million Americans would lose their health insurance under Ryan’s proposed cuts in Medicaid.

Ryan insists that despite tax cuts for very profitable corporations his proposal is revenue neutral, and he would make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes.  Ryan refuses to specify a single loophole he’d close.  If we assess the proposal without Ryan’s secret, and probably nonexistent plan to raise revenue, it turns out to involve running larger deficits than we would run under the Obama administration’s proposals.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Choices


When the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse, and 1 million jobs were at stake, Mitt Romney said: “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”  President Obama got management and workers to come together to make better cars, and the American auto industry came roaring back. 

Romney likes to talk about his private sector experience, but his plan of action was to invest in companies that were called "pioneers" of outsourcing.  Obama wants to insource, by reforming our tax code and making sure that our government is providing tax breaks to companies that are investing in America not overseas. 
  
At a time when homegrown energy is creating new jobs in America, Romney wants to end tax credits for wind energy producers.  Without those tax credits 37,000 jobs across this country would be at risk.  Why should we stop promoting clean, renewable energy that can improve our environment, put people back to work, and lessen our reliance on foreign oil?   We should stop spending billions of taxpayer subsidies on an oil industry that’s already very profitable. 

In 2008, Obama promised to end the war in Iraq, and he fulfilled a commitment to go after bin Laden and al Qaeda.  He’s started to transition our troops home from Afghanistan.  He wants to set up a Veterans Jobs Corps to make sure returning veterans are getting the training they’ll need to get jobs as firefighters or police officers in communities that need them.

He wants to take some of the savings that we’ve been spending on a decade of war, to do some nation-building here at home, by putting people back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, laying broadband lines, rebuilding our schools, and putting in new science labs.  There are projects all across America, that will be good for our economy, lower unemployment, and lay the foundation for economic growth for decades to come. 

We should be leading the world in educating our children.  Obama want’s to help local school districts hire the best teachers, especially in math and science.  He wants to provide millions of new slots at community colleges, so the unemployed can train for the jobs that businesses are hiring for now.  He wants to make college and university tuitions lower so young people aren't burdened with tens of thousands of dollars' worth of debt.  Although, higher education is an economic necessity in the 21st century, Romney doesn't have a plan.  


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Obama’s Tax Plan


Four years ago, Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama promised to cut taxes for middle-class families.  Today, for the average family, their tax burden is about $3,600 lower than it was.  Obama and congressional Democrats want to keep taxes exactly where they are for the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.  Obama want’s Congress to get it done, before the election, but the Republican controlled House is refusing to cooperate.

If your family makes under $250,000, which 98% of American families and 97% of small businesses earn, under Obama’s plan, your income taxes would not increase a single dime next year.  However, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the other 2%, you’ll still get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of income.  After that, Obama’s plan is going to ask you to contribute a little more so we can responsibly pay down our deficit and invest in helping young people go to college, scientific research, rebuilding our roads, thus assisting the middle class to grow stronger. 

Unquestionably, government will have to do its part by cutting the spending that we don’t need.  The Obama administration has already cut a trillion dollars out of its budget, but that doesn’t do enough to bring down the deficit. 

Obama wants us to go back to the rates that were being paid under the Clinton administration in which 23 million new jobs were create and resulted in the largest budget surplus in history.

The history of America, is that when we grow from the middle class out, by providing a ladders of opportunity for those who want to get into the middle class and are willing to work hard to do it, those at the top, middle, and bottom do better.  That’s the choice in the next election. 


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Joe Soptic


Prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act being passed about, 12.6 million non-elderly adults, who tried to purchase health insurance were discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition, or dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill.  Reportedly, 44,789 Americans died every year because they had no health insurance.

If you have a preexisting condition, or you’re thrown off of health insurance after your spouse loses a job, you’re not going to go to the doctor right away.  Your cancer is not going to be caught as quickly, and the odds of dying are greatly increased.

Joe Soptic, a former steelworker said: “I don’t think Mitt Romney understands what he’s done to people’s lives by closing the plant.  I don’t think he realizes that people’s lives completely changed.  I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone.  And furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.”

Romney is calling Joe Soptic’s ad inaccurate, and wants the Obama campaign to denounce the ad because he doesn’t like Joe Soptic’s opinions.  However, what Joe Soptic said about Romney in the super PAC ad, is his opinion.  President Obama has no control over super PAC ads.  The ad didn’t include a statement by Obama saying that he approves of Joe Soptic’s message.  The ad is a testimonial from one worker’s opinions about Romney based on his treatment as a worker under Romney’s firm.

When Joe Soptic lost his job, he was making $46,000 a year plus benefit at the mill.  Six months later, he found another job, that paid around $15,000 a year as a janitor without benefits.

The controversial ad implied that Romney was responsible for Joe Sopic’s wife dying of cancer.  Perhaps, Romney should reconsider his pledge to repeal Obamacare.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ohio Early Voting


Ohio is a must win for Romney.  Since Obama is ahead in the polls, the Romney campaign is getting desperate, and it has accused the president of taking away early voting privileges from members of our military in Ohio.  

The Obama campaign is suing Ohio over its new restrictive early voting law.  The campaign is seeking to extend voting time for all Ohioans including military voters. 

Governor John Kasich, a former FOX News employee, signed the Republican-backed legislation reducing early voting privileges with the exception of service members. 

The lawsuit is about is whether the rest of Ohio should have the same right.  Many people believe it’s shameful that Romney would hide behind our servicemen and women.

Early voting in Ohio had been permitted in the past on the weekend leading to the November election, but Republicans are trying to restrict that weekend voting for everyone except the military.  In the last presidential election, 93,000 Ohioans voted during that last weekend before the election. 

This is a blatant attempt to keep Ohioans from exercising their right to vote on those days leading up to the election.  The Obama and the Ohio Democratic Party believes that all Ohioans military and nonmilitary should be able to register their votes during the weekend before the election.  The military shouldn’t be used as a political football.

Republicans are trying to limit the ability of citizens to freely cast their votes.  We’re seeing voter suppression take place all across America.

Hopefully, a federal court will protect the right of the parents, spouses, and children of active members of the military to vote during that three-day period leading up to November 6th.  Especially, since WWII veterans may find it difficult to get out on election day if the weather is forecast to be inclement.  

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lubricated Weather Vane


 The following is an excerpt from William Masters’ most recent column in the Oneonta Daily Star. 
“Despite these core beliefs, Romney is shifty when political opportunism seems to his advantage.  After he had created a progressive health care system in Massachusetts, he rose to criticize the similar legislation passed for the nation by Obama.

“Romney deals in hyperbole that he wants to be taken seriously, presenting himself as the one who would do better -- better than those who are already doing the work.

“Don't forget, by his own words, Mitt’s self-labeling moved from ‘progressive’ to ‘severely conservative’.  His presentations are smooth to the point of being slick, and he leaves me with a slight sting of insincerity in my ears.  By contrast, I find Mr. Obama comes across as ‘solid.’

“So conservatives harp that Obama is a traitor to the country, ‘destroying’ it.

“Romney repeats this aspersion.  Romney says he would cut taxes, curtail protective regulations and reduce government.  He would use Paul Ryan’s radical tax plan, cutting the federal budget severely -- essentially ending Medicare, and turning Social Security toward the model of public assistance.

“There would be no Medicaid, food stamps, Pell Grants, Head Start, social services or job training.  Government programs remaining would be channeled through for-profit private channels.

“Republicans have already opposed the Internet Security Bill, the president’s jobs bill, Affordable Health Care Act, the Violence Against Women bill and the Paycheck Fairness Act.  They are not even talking across party lines.

“Instead, they block everything.  They try to sabotage whatever the president proposes.  They disingenuously demand deficit reduction while advancing military spending and refusing to rescind tax cuts for the richest citizens.  Nor will they allow any new taxes, even when needed to re-establish fairness to the tax codes.

“The Republicans have essentially adopted an anti-compromise strategy, which is obsessively obstructionist, self-righteous, and at times destructive.  We saw this with student loans, a program they refused to reauthorize if it were not offset by cuts in other social programs.”

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

No Quick Fixes


There are no quick fixes or easy solutions to the challenges our country faces, but we have the capacity to meet them.  America has the best workers and entrepreneurs in the world.  We have the best scientists and researchers in the world.  We have the best universities and colleges in the world.  What’s standing in the way of solving our country’s economic problems isn’t the lack of technical solutions to the deficit, education or energy.  What’s standing in the way is an uncompromising political view that insists that we must go back to the old, top-down economics that got us into this mess in the first place.   
Romney and his allies in Congress believe that if we give more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans; and get rid of regulations that keep our air clean and water clean; and if our government makes sure consumers aren’t being cheated; and that insurance companies aren’t taking advantage of people, that somehow prosperity will rain down on everybody.  That’s the path Republicans have proposed.  It’s in a bill that has passed through the House of Representatives by congressional Republicans.                                                          
Although our entire defense budget is less than $600 billion, the centerpiece of Romney’s economic plan is a $5 trillion tax cut.  That’s the equivalent of our defense budget for the next 10 years. 
An independent, non-partisan organization found that Romney’s plan would effectively raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000.  It wouldn’t reduce the deficit.  It wouldn’t invest in things to grow our economy, like education, roads or basic research.  Romney would ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

July Jobs Report


For the past few months, Mitt Romney’s trump card has been that on the first Friday of each month, he’s been able to refocus the conversation on the bad economy based on the jobs report.  Unfortunately for Romney, and the job numbers for July were better than expected.  The 163,000 new jobs in July was a dramatic increase from June, which was about 60,000.  The unemployment rate inched up to 8.3, but economist believed that was because more people were in the labor force trying to find work.

The stock markets gave its approval to the monthly jobs report when the Dow went up 217 points after getting the economic news.  We’ve seen 29 straight months of private sector job growth.  In the month Obama took office, 800,000 jobs were lost.

Romney’s response to the jobs report was: “We just got a new number from the unemployment report, and it’s another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of America because the president has not had policies that put American families back to work!  I do!  I’ll put them in place and get America working again!”

President Obama argued: “We haven’t had to come back from an economic crisis this deep or this painful since the 1930s.  Here’s the thing.  We are not going to get to where we need to be if we go back to the policies that helped to create this mess in the first place.”

Romney’s economic advisers include two former chairmen of Bush’s Council on Economic Advisers and a veteran of Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.  The policies favored by those advisers include bigger tax cuts, more deregulation, and support for dismantling Social Security.

The question of Romney's personal finances comes into play, because there’s something he won’t tell votes regarding his tax returns.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Hiding a Felony?


As far as we know, Mitt Romney is the only presidential candidate in history to have foreign bank accounts.  He’s feigning outrage that folks are speculating about why he continues to be the only modern presidential candidate who has decided to keep his tax returns secret.  Some are wondering if Romney is hiding a felony in his secret tax returns?

On ABC News, Romney promised, that he would check his tax returns and give an answer as to whether he ever paid less than 13.9% in income taxes.  Now, he refuses to give ABC News the answer, that he had promised them.

A new poll shows Romney heading into the election with the worst favorability rating of any modern presidential candidate, and Obama is criticizing Romney for proposing a tax plan that cuts income taxes only for the wealthiest Americans.

Obama insisted: “We do not need more tax cuts for folks who have done very, very well.  We need more tax cuts for working Americans.  We need tax cuts for companies that are investing here in the United States of America, hiring American workers, sending products around the world, stamped with those proud words ‘Made in America.’  That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s the choice in this election.” 

The Obama campaign released an ad that is airing in eight battleground states.  In it a narrator states: “You work hard, stretch every penny, but chances are you pay a higher tax rate than him.  Mitt Romney made $20 million in 2010 but paid only 14 percent in taxes -- probably less than you.  Now he has a plan that would give millionaires another tax break and raises taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 a year.  Mitt Romney’s middle class tax increase.  He pays less, you pay more.”

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Alternative Reality


Republican Congressman Mike Kelly warned: “I know in your mind, you can think of the times when America was attacked.  One is December 7th, that’s Pearl Harbor day.  The other is September 11th, and that’s the day the terrorist attack.
“I want you to remember August the 1st, 2012, the attack on our religious freedom.  That is the day that will live in infamy, along with those other dates.  The question is, if not us, who?  If not now, when?”

Kelly was speaking about a catastrophic deadly attack on the sovereignty of our nation, which he says took place on 8/1/12.  Kelly is living in a Republican Party that increasingly consists only of its own far-right fringe.  In that alternative reality, there is an act of war, being committed against our country by birth control.

Kelly ranked 8/1/12 with Pearl Harbor and 9/11, because that was the day the new health reform rule for women with health insurance will get free birth control access as part of their health coverage.

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said: “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country and the whole sexual libertine idea, and many of the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s OK.  I mean, contraception is OK.’  It’s not OK.”

In January, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that insurance plans would be required to cover preventative services for women, including birth control.  Many Republicans spent the month of February complain about access to birth control, until they noticed polling that showed 40% of voters being less likely to vote for a Republican presidential nominee because of a pledge to eliminate the birth control benefit.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A Taxing Problem


The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center came out with a report that showed that Mitt Romney’s tax plan would actually cost the average middle class family with children another $2,000 in additional taxes.  

Middle-class taxpayers won’t be able to take a mortgage interest deduction, nor would they be able to deduct charitable donations, or get the credit on their health care premiums any longer.  However, according to Tax Policy Center’s report the average millionaire would actually get a $87,000 tax break, if the Romney tax plan became law.

In Florida, Romney leads President Obama on the question of who would do a better job handling the economy, by 2 points.  But in Ohio, Obama’s up by a single point, and in Pennsylvania, Obama also leads Romney.  If Obama gets a break and the unemployment rate drops below 8% before November, Obama could still win on the economy.

The poll numbers are telling us not just that Romney’s economic message hasn’t worked, but that the Obama campaign’s message has succeeded in defining Romney as an unattractive candidate.

For Romney to not release his tax returns after being pounded on the issue causes voters to wonder why the cover-up?  Romney appears to be an arrogant millionaire, who’s very secretive about his tax returns.  The average working American believe, that if you’re running for president, you should release your tax returns.  Mitt Romney’s father released 12 years of his tax returns, when he ran for the Republican nomination for president.  He insisted that one year of tax returns wasn’t enough because, it might just be for show.

People know, that Romney has a Swiss bank account, and wonder why he has one?   Most American businessmen don’t have Swiss bank accounts, unless they’re trying to avoid paying taxes in this country.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Let The Chips Fall


In 2008, Mitt Romney wrote an editorial for "The New York Times" insisting: "If General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Earlier this year Romney took credit for the auto bailout, by claiming: “My own view, by the way, was that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help.  And frankly that’s finally what the president did.  I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy.  And finally when that was done and help was given, the companies got back on their feet.  So I will take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.”

In fact, President Obama invested taxpayers money in General Motors and it saved the auto industry.   The Democratic Party believes that when government can do something to help the market, we should try to help.

Republican presidential candidate Romney is a "let the chips fall" kind of guy.  Letting the chips fall, is also known as leaving people out in the cold.

There are actually 2,200 more jobs in auto dealerships in Ohio now than there were when President Obama took office.  Ohio is a state where one in eight jobs are associated with the auto industry.  The reason the Ohio employment rate is below the national average is because Obama had the courage to rescue the automobile industry.  Although, Ohio has had a resurgence in their economy, they like the rest of the country have got a long way to go.

If Mitt Romney’s advice had been heeded, we’d have lost 1.4 million jobs in the automobile industry, including those in the supply chain, and Ohio’s economy would have been decimated. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Obama’s Record

Congressional scholar, Norm Ornstein said that the 111st. Congress had a greater level of productivity than any Congress in the last 40 years.  According to Ornstein, Obama has had greater legislative success in terms of significant legislation than Lyndon Johnson or Ronald Reagan.

When, Obama took office, we we’re in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  America had lost 650,000 jobs in December 2008.  An additional 700,000 jobs were lost in January, the month Obama was sworn in.  On February 13, 2009, twenty-four days after Obama took office the Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, without a single Republican vote in the House and only 3 Republican votes in the Senate.  By doing so, they prevented the worst financial crisis from getting worse and turned the economy from contraction to expansion.


Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, that protect all Americans from the worst practices of insurance companies.  Coverage won’t be revoked, premiums won’t be arbitrarily raised and insurance companies won’t be allowed to use a pre-existing condition to deny coverage.


It strengthens Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and keeping it solvent for decades to come.  And, most importantly, it protects guaranteed benefits, eligibility and the right to keep your doctor for all seniors.


According to the Congressional Budget Office health care reform should cut the deficit by $138 billion over the next 10 years, and as much as $1.3 trillion in deficit reduction over the next two decades.  A report from CBO indicates that the Health Care Act is the most significant effort to reduce our deficits since the Balanced Budget Act in the 1990s.



Obama signed the Consumer Protection Act, which cracks down on corporate fraud and holds big banks accountable for reckless, risky behavior.  The financial crisis has taught us that the look-the-other way, hands-off deregulatory policies of the recent past can jeopardize not only private investments, but our entire economy.

That legislation will reform Wall Street by creating a consumer financial protection bureau to regulate the trading of derivatives, one of the root causes of the current meltdown, while allowing small businesses to continue using them to mitigate risk.  It will end taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street institutions by establishing a new authority to wind down failing mega-firms outside of bankruptcy, so shareholders and creditors pick up the cost, not taxpayers.

As Commander-in- Chief, Obama ordered the killing of US.-born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen by a drone strike on 9/30/11.  Al-Awlaki helped recruit Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic flight on December 25, 2009.  He had also exchanged e-mails with accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan.  Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki have been killed, the fascist government of Tripoli has fallen.  Furthermore, on 4/6/12, senior operative of al Qaeda, Fahd al Quso was killed for his role in the USS Cole bombing was killed by an airstrike in Yemen.  Al Quso was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2003 on 50 counts of terrorism offenses for his role in bombing of the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen.  The bombing killed 17 U.S. sailors.

On 12/18/11, Obama announced that our mission in Iraq had finally been accomplished. The last of our combat troops have left that country as required by the Status of Forces Agreement.

Obama upheld the principle of equal pay for equal work, by signing into law the Fair Pay Act, also known as the Lilly Ledbetter Act.  Obama signed an expanded the Pell Grant program; and made the largest investment in clean energy in history, and the largest investment in education in decades.

Our Treasury Department implemented policies with real qualitative and quantitative impact on debt-burdened families.  Chief among them is a $2,500 tax credit to help offset the cost of tuition for those seeking a college education.  Nearly five million families are expected to save $9 billion, according to Treasury officials.

The wealth of most American families has declined at a rate nearly seven times faster than when the stock market crashed in 1929.  Millions of homes have been foreclosed.  Our deficit has soared and 9 million hardworking Americans, who had been meeting their responsibilities, have been forced to pay for the irresponsibility of others.  

Historically, it has typically taken countries up to 10 years to recover from a financial crises of this magnitude.  Today, the economies of many European countries still aren’t growing, and their unemployment rate averages around 11%.  The unemployment rate in Spain is over 25%, and Greece isn’t far behind.  Our economy started growing six months after Obama took office and the private sector has continued to grow for the last 28 months.

Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and the Senate approved her nomination.  He reversed Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research and sent the message, that he’ll foster science and make sure that our government helps to improve people’s lives.  The White House has put under federal protection more than two million acres of wilderness, thousands of miles of rivers and a host of national trails and parks.

Obama fixed the student loan system that was giving billions of dollars of taxpayer money to banks.  Instead, Democrats decided to give it directly to students.  Consequently, they’re able to double grant aid for millions of students. 

We’ve able use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.  In the last four years, we’ve doubled the generation of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar.  Today, America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last 20 years.  We’re on track to emit fewer greenhouse gases this year than we have in nearly 20 years. 

Nobody should go broke, because they get sick.  Today, nearly 7 million young people have health insurance because they're able to stay on their parent's plans.  Senior citizens are saving money on prescription drugs. and women have gained access to free preventive care like mammograms and contraception. 

Obama signed a credit card reform bill designed to protect consumers from surprise fees and sudden interest rate hikes and helped consumers deal with the twin plagues of mortgage fraud and predatory lending.

On June 17, 2010, Republican Rep. Joe Barton accused Obama of a "$20 billion shakedown" of oil giant British Petroleum after the company agreed to establish an escrow account to pay the claims of people harmed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Barton was referring to the agreement that Obama had made with BP for establishment of a $20 billion relief fund.  Congressman Barton had taken $1.4 million from the oil and gas industry since 1990 and spoke for the dark heart of the Republican Party.  The Republican House Study Group has over 100 congressional Republicans, who used the word “shakedown.”  It’s not only the oil issue, it’s across the board.  Every election is a choice and Barton’s approach to dealing with big oil is to give them whatever they want.

Small businesses have historically been the engine of job creation in this country. Therefore, Obama took $30 billion of the TARP money Wall Street banks had repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they needed to stay afloat.  Many small companies had weathered the worst of the recession and were ready to grow, but the banks on Wall Street were mostly lending to larger companies.

In Dec, 2010, Obama encouraged a deal to extension of Middle-Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance was passed.  The package spurred jobs, businesses, and economic growth.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was overturned.  It was the right thing to do for our military, and the right thing to do for our country.  No longer will thousands of patriotic Americans in uniform be forced to live a lie or leave the military because of their sexual orientation. We demonstrated, that we’re a nation that believes all men and women are created equal.

Not only did Obama supported the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, his administration has refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.  He had supported the idea of Civil Unions, but has now moved on to the next step of ensuring legal rights for same sex couples by allowing them to get married.

The New START Treaty has ratified by the Senate.  The most significant arms control agreement in nearly two decades was passed in a bipartisan fashion.  Thus, we’ve strengthened American leadership on non-proliferation issues, reinforced our relationship with a vital ally, and made our country safer.

On 2/28/12, the DOW closed at 13.005.12.  That was the first time since May of 2008, that it closed above 13.000 points.  We’ve witnessed the biggest growth in manufacturing since the 1990s.

On 3/13/12, the Dow closed up 217 points, at 13,178.  It was the highest for the Dow since 2007.  For the first time in 11 years, the Nasdaq closed above 3,000, by gaining 56 points and closing at 3040.

According to the Labor Department, employers added 114,000 jobs during the month September 2012, down from a revised 142,000 jobs in August.  Revisions to July and August mean the economy added 86,000 more jobs than originally reported in those months.  The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% in September, from 8.1% the prior month.

House Republicans have done zilch to improve the unemployment rate and the economy since Obama took office.  They hope to take back the White House so that they can impose their extreme right wing Christian agenda upon every American.

Obama’s automobile loan program has worked.  General Motors has seen its strongest performance in seven years.  G.M. was on the brink of bankruptcy and the ripple effect would have been disastrous for our economy, however Obama put a team together to fixed the problem.  It demonstrated, that government intervention can works.  If our government hadn’t loaned G.M. the money, the ripple effect would have been even more devastating, because hundreds of thousands of additional jobs would have been lost across our economy.

The bailout produce profits and saved jobs in plastics, electronics, upholstery, tires and glass, that had G.M. gone under it would’ve been very devastating to our economy.  We needed to saved jobs as well as created additional jobs.

The economic policies of the Obama administration has resulted in corporate profits as a percentage of U.S. economic growth reaching their highest level in the three decades. Profits had plummeted to the lowest point ever, when the recession hit, but in January 2012 corporate profits reached their highest point ever as a share of GDP.  

When, President Obama took office the projected 2009 budget deficit was $1.2 trillion, more than 9% of GDP. The projected deficit for 2012 has already fallen to 7% of GDP.

We’ve seen 32 straight month of private sector job growth, and  184,000 jobs were added to the private sector.  More workers were hired in October, than at any time in the last 8 months.  The job numbers for August and September have been revised upwards.  


On Nov. 10th. Obama's electoral vote total reached 332, well above the 270 required to win the presidency.  Romney finish with 206 electoral votes.

The Labor Department reported that our economy added 146,000 jobs in November 2012, and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in four years.  The number is relatively strong given that some economists were concerned that Superstorm Sandy would weigh on job creation.  The November unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9% the month earlier.

Last month, employers added 155,000 jobs, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during tense fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.  Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the December gains.  Construction firms added 30,000 jobs, the most in 15 months.  Manufacturers gained 25,000 jobs, the most in nine months.  Private sector employers added an average of 153,000 jobs a month last year, matching the monthly average in 2011.  Employers added 1.84 million jobs in 2012.

On 2/1/13, the Dow added 147 points.  It ended the day at 14,010, which was the highest in 5 years.  Meanwhile, last month jobless claims fell by 5,000 to 330,000, the lowest level in nearly five years.

2/22/13, a "USA Today" and the Pew Research Center shows America supports President Obama’s agenda on issue after issue.  Regarding Obama’s minimum wage proposal, 71% of Americans approve of a $9 an hour increase.  Reportedly, 83% of our citizens want stronger background checks; 56% an assault weapons ban; and 53% support a ban on high-capacity magazine clips.  On climate change, 54% of Americans say their top priority is to develop alternative energy sources.  With respect to a balanced approach to solving the issue of deficit reduction, 76% of the American people want a combination of cuts and new revenue.  And, only 31% of voters blame Obama for the looming sequester.  These are the reason that Obama’s overall approval rating is at 55%.

On 3/6/13, the Dow Jones closed at 14,254 points for an all-time high.  Corporate profits hit record highs in the second half of 2012, but millions of Americans are still out of work, and income inequality has been exploding over the last 30 years.
According to a Labor Department report our economy added 236,000 jobs in February.  That’s much stronger growth than in January, when employers hired a revised 119,000 workers.  The gains were broad-based as offices, restaurants, construction firms and hospitals all added jobs.  The unemployment rate dipped from 7.9 to 7.7%.

On 5/3/13, it was announced that for the first time ever, the Dow topped 15,000 and the Standard and Poors climbed above 1,600.  Last month our economy added 165,000 jobs.

The strongest job growth in April came from restaurants and bars, which added 38,000 jobs; temporary services, which added 31,000 jobs; and retailers, which added 29,000 jobs.  Since the recession government has continued to be the biggest drag on the job market.  Overall, federal, state and local governments cut 11,000 jobs in April.

About 11.7 million people remain unemployed, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.5%, but that's still high compared to historical levels.or the first time ever, the Dow topped 15,000 and the Standard and Poors climbed above 1,600.  Last month our economy added 165,000 jobs. 

The strongest job growth in April came from restaurants and bars, which added 38,000 jobs; temporary services, which added 31,000 jobs; and retailers, which added 29,000 jobs.  Since the recession government has continued to be the biggest drag on the job market.  Overall, federal, state and local governments cut 11,000 jobs in April.

About 11.7 million people remain unemployed, and the unemployment rate has fallen to 7.5%, but that's still high compared to historical levels.

On 7/15/13, slim gains in the stock market were enough to send the Dow and the Standard and Poor’s 500 to new record closing highs, and the Nasdaq to the highest level in over a decade.

The economy added 169,000 jobs in August 2013, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%.

By the fall of 2014, a surveys of foreign business leaders confirm that America was again viewed as the best place in the world to invest.  We had added 248,000 private sector jobs in September 2014.  That amounts to 10.3 million private sector job created over 55 straight months, which is the longest streak of uninterrupted job growth since the 1990s.  The unemployment rate fell from 10% in October of 2009 to 5.9%.  That’s the first time unemployment has been below 6 percent since July 2008.

In December of 2014, businesses created 240,000 new jobs.  Businesses have created 11.2 million new jobs for over 58 consecutive month.  Job growth in American manufacturing is the best its been since the ‘90s.  The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent.  The unemployment has fallen faster than it has in thirty years.  We’ve become the world’s number one producer of oil and gas.  Consumers are saving about a dollar and 10 cents a gallon more at the pump than at this time last year.  Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, about 10 million citizens have gained health insurance in the past year.  Under Obama's presidency, we’ve cut our deficits by about two-thirds.

Our economy added 280,000 jobs in May, 2015, which was the best month so far in 2015.  We’ve now seen 63 consecutive months of private sector job growth.  Private sector employers added 292,000 jobs in December, 2015 finishing out a strong year.  Unemployment remained at 5 percent.  The unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in January 2016 t0 the lowest level in 8 years.  However job creation slowed to 151,000 jobs, but we've seen 71 consecutive months of private sector job growth.