Here on June 28, 2012, the candidates differ and Mitt Romney supports our conservative values; but he didn’t always.
OBAMA: Fourth-straight year of trillion-dollar deficits is projected. Won approval to raise debt limit to avoid default. Calls for tackling the debt with a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Central to Obama’s plan is to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for couples making more than $250,000
ROMNEY: Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as a necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse, opposed the auto bailout. Would cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product by end of first term, down from 23.5 percent now, with largely unspecified spending cuts. Favors constitutional balanced budget amendment.
Here at The 7 Train, I see no evidence Obaman is going to mix spending cuts into his plan. He may see the necessity, but is too tied into welfare recipients and labor unions. And allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire, a roundabout way of saying he will raise taxes. Romney is no saint in this department either, supporting the bailouts of 2008. He may favor capping federal spending, but he still favors a 25% corporate tax, which is not low enough to deter businesses from incorporating in Switzerland to avoid paying and is not a proponent of the flat tax. Balanced budget amendment a good idea in theory, but not practical with the uncertainty now that America must make it in a worldwide economy. Balance the budget without a constitutional edict first, then see where America stands.
OBAMA: Term marked by high unemployment, a deep recession that began in previous administration and gradual recovery. Responded to recession with a roughly $800 billion stimulus plan. Continued implementation of Wall Street and auto industry bailouts begun under George W. Bush. Proposes tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or repatriating jobs from abroad, and tax penalties for U.S. companies outsourcing jobs.
ROMNEY: Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector, and the law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals.
Sure we must pay for Obama’s sins, we have no choice. Unemployment savings accounts are a tough sell when people with six figure jobs are struggling to put money in a savings account. I would prefer to leave the jobless benefit scenario status quo for now, focus on job creation and get the jobless rate below 2%, flatten the income tax to allow for more savings among all classes, and provide tax incentives for those desiring to start their own business. Lower taxes and less regulation, I am with Mitt all the way.
OBAMA: Has approved waivers freeing states from the most onerous requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. “Race to the Top” competition has rewarded winning states with billions of dollars for pursuing education policies Obama supports.
ROMNEY: Supported the federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law. Has said the student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluation standards of Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition “make sense” although the federal government should have less control of education.
The best way to create a world class educational system without bankrupting the nation is to privatize as much as possible. Let private sector companies run our public school systems, and instead of an entire bureaucracy in Washington composed of people with extravagant salaries who consistently fail to solve problems plaguing our schools today due to making union concessions, let’s have a simple Ministry of Standards where one person in consultation with experts will set the minimum standards that the respective private sector companies must adhere to when making curricular and other educational decisions. Private sector companies have the wherewithal to pay quality teachers what they are worth, railroad out bad teachers, and ensure up to date text books, computers, and lab equipment.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
OBAMA: Ordered temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has pushed for more oil and gas drilling overall. Achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards that will save money at the pump while raising the cost of new vehicles. Achieved first-ever regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming and on toxic mercury pollution from power plants.Spent heavily on green energy and has embraced nuclear power as a clean source. Failed to persuade a Democratic Congress to pass limits he promised on carbon emissions.
ROMNEY: Supports opening the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves to drilling, as well as Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska. Wants to reduce obstacles to coal, natural gas and nuclear energy development, and accelerate drilling permits in areas where exploration has already been approved for developers with good safety records. Says green power has yet to become viable and the causes of climate change are unknown.
I am more pro-environment than the average Republican, but for now, we will have to tolerate some drilling and make use of domestic energy sources; traditional until green sources can be development. We have to keep the lights on in the labs and the Bunsen Burners burning on something if we are going to develop green alternatives that work in the future. We also must reduce our dependency of foreign oil, but we must always buy some from Arab nations—unfortunately, America, with its ties with Israel, trading cash for oil with Arab states is the only thing preventing a Jihad, which could destroy the state of Israel.
OBAMA: Once opposed federal recognition of same-sex marriage, later said his views were “evolving” and has not taken a position since. Opposes constitutional amendment to ban it. Supports civil unions and letting states decide about marriage. Achieved repeal of the military ban on openly gay service members.
ROMNEY: Favors constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, says policy should be set federally, not by states. “Marriage is not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state.” But said he would not seek to restore a ban on openly gay
I agree with Romney that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the only form of marriage God will ever recognize. Civil unions are acceptable. Note that any marriage done legally but not in the presence of God is by definition a civil union, even if between a man and a woman. Also note that not all religious people are saved—there is only one way to get saved.
OBAMA: Achieved landmark overhaul putting U.S. on path to universal coverage if the Supreme Court upholds the heath care law and its mandate for almost everyone to obtain insurance. Under the law, insurers will be banned from denying coverage to people with pre-existing illness, tax credits will subsidize premiums, people without work-based insurance will have access to new markets, small business gets help for offering insurance and Medicaid will expand.
ROMNEY: Promises to work for repeal of the law modeled largely after his universal health care achievement inMassachusetts because he says states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsured. Proposes to guarantee that people who are “continuously covered” for a certain period be protected against losing insurance if they get sick, leave their job and need another policy. Would expand individual tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let savings be used for insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs
The 7 Train is withholding commenting on this issue at this time. The ball is in the court of The U.S. Supreme Court and we are awaiting this decision. If Obama-Care is deemed unconstitutional, this issue of managed health care becomes a non-debatable commodity. Once the verdict is reached, we can use the debating process to determine heath care reform, hopefully at the private sector level.
OBAMA: Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security’s long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure of inflation that would reduce annual increases in Social Security benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries.
ROMNEY: Protect the status quo for people 55 and over but, for the next generations of retirees, raise theretirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.
This is one of the few issues I believe former candidate Newt Gingrich got right. We need to take Social Security off the federal budget, as it was before Lyndon Johnson put it on the budget to show a surplus to justify the Apollo Moon Missions of the late 60s and early 70s. Someday, this should be privatized and paying into it should eventually become optional. It is very important that we not penalize the elderly and disabled who have nothing else to live on at this time and put the onus on those in their twenties entering the work force who will have other choices.
OBAMA: Wants to raise taxes on the wealthy and ensure they pay 30 percent of their income at minimum. Supports extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000, or $250,000 for couples. But in 2010, agreed to a two-year extension of the lower rates for all. Health care law provides for tax on highest-value health insurance plans. Together with Congress, built a first-term record of significant tax cuts, some temporary.
ROMNEY: Drop all tax rates by 20 percent, bringing the top rate, for example, down to 28 percent from 35 percent and the lowest rate to 8 percent instead of 10 percent. Curtail deductions, credits and exemptions for the wealthiest. Eliminate capital gains tax for families making below $200,000 and cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 35 percent.
I am not crazy about either candidates plan. I think a good flat tax plan is the best. Keep corporate taxes in single digits to keep incorporation in America and provide incentive to small business. Determine a flat rate income tax for all, have payroll withholdings set to exactly that amount, have that amount electronically transferred to the U.S. Treasury, and then you do not need the IRS—saving the government money on paper and personnel.
I hope Mr. Romney read The 7 Train!