A political update…
I think the majority of my twitter followers are the nicest people ever. How do I know that? Most aren’t big fans of politics. Of the ones that are political junkies, about 1/3 probably don’t share my views in any way. So, if you follow me on twitter and have stuck around during the past 18 months, you might be up for some form of sainthood. You might want to check into that. If you’ve enjoyed it, you might want to see someone about that.
Since my last posts on the GOP 2012 Presidential race and the GOP of the 21st Century, quite a lot has happened in American politics. I’ll try to be brief and informative. First up, the debt ceiling and then the GOP 2012 Primary for POTUS.
Debt Ceiling debate: since March of 1962, our nation’s debt ceiling (the amount our legislative branch allows for our federal government to borrow to finance its activities) has been raised 75 times, including one about two weeks ago. For the first time in US History, a congress held up this process by stonewalling raising the ceiling unless other legislation was passed. In a sense, the House of Republicans held the function of the federal government up to bargain for partisan legislation.
First, I find it hard to believe it had never happened before. Why not leverage the situation to get what you want as a political party? Makes sense to me. What I do find odd is that the Republican Party did it first.
Why all of the discussion? Well, Standard & Poor’s is the biggest reason. S&P is a global credit rating agency. They told the federal government that if they didn’t cut ancillary spending over the next ten years by $4 TRILLION, the US bond rating would be downgraded from AAA to AA+.
Let’s consider that spend: four trillion dollars. Four hundred BILLION per year over the next ten years shouldn’t be tough to find.
So, in classic form, Democrats stalled on spending cuts, the legislation that passed only contained $2.8 TRILLION in cuts, and the S&P downgraded our credit rating just like they said they would. There was a lot of discussion about the S&P’s math and whether or not the required $4 TRILLION was necessary, but the result of this ‘crisis’ led to serious market uncertainty, lots of losses and gains around the world, and serious inflation of gold and US T-bills.
The strange irony of this entire situation is that the downgrade lowered the rating of the T-bills I just mentioned. So, S&P downgrades our credit, and investors pull cash from the markets only to re-invest in the same investment that the S&P downgraded. Crazy, I tell you. Crazy.
What does this mean for the average American? Not much changes. Honestly, the result is that the financial systems of the world get shocked into possible downfall once more, lots of funds and investors get their portfolios turned upside down and further calls for government assistance in the event of a regression into recession.
For what it’s worth, the bailouts we agreed to in 2008 had no negligible affect on our economy other than spending trillions of American dollars we didn’t have and certainly don’t have now. So, the American lower and middle class will be treated to another 18 months of economic stagnation while our federal government continues to borrow $0.42 of every dollar they spend. Let that sink in for a minute. I’ll even wait for you to calm down. We’re spending way more than we bring in right now, and our liberal friends only suggestion is to raise taxes. They couldn’t be more out of touch with reality on this.
If the lower and middle class are already stretched, the sheer notion of raising taxes isn’t going to help. Sure, raise taxes on the wealthiest percent of the population; see where that gets you. They are already holding onto their money because of our economic uncertainty. Taking MORE of their money isn’t going to alleviate their concerns, no matter what President Obama and Speaker Reid might say. They’re wrong.
the GOP 2012 Presidential race…
May 19, 2011 – I wrote about the people I believed would be involved in the 2012 GOP Presidential Primary. I linked to it above, but it’s essentially useless. I was wrong on essentially everything except for Ron Paul.
To sum up what I said almost three month ago:
- My guess: Cain, Pawlenty and Daniels would be the frontrunners. Others would fade away and leave these three to fight it out.
- The reality: Romney, Bachmann and Rick Perry (who I didn’t even include in my list) are the clear front-runners. As of this writing, Rick Perry has been in the race officially for 27 hours, yet he’s 5 points behind Romney in the polls.
- Of my top three? Pawlenty dropped out earlier this morning due to a poor performance in Iowa at the straw poll, where he spent more than $1 million and came in third behind Bachmann and Ron Paul (which are both fake numbers to me, but whatever). Daniels never even got in the race. Cain is still in the hunt, but he’s probably just guaranteeing himself a position in the cabinet (Economics, Finance, Fed Reserve Chairman) of GOP elected President. I don’t think he has the stuff to go another 15 months with Romney, Bachmann and Perry.