March 19, 2012

CBS News: National Debt has Increased More Under Obama Than Bush

  6:50 pm

CBS News’ White House correspondent, Mark Knoller, has the story:

The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.

Read the full story here.



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Oh, but we can't cut spending! Whatever will we do?!?! How can Democrats win elections without handing out our kids' checks?!?!?

Priorities, folks! The debt is not a problem, we can just raise taxes on job creators to handle that. The Democratic Party is more important than the country, we all know that.


I can't wait to see the Romney adds on this. This is easy pickings especially when you don't have any connection to the Bush legacy or lack there of like Santorum.


I just hit the floor and bit my tongue... does that say CBS News?

Where am I? What year is it?


Lt.Governor and the Commisioner of Agriculture have endorsed Mitt Romney for president in Louisiana....I know Gov. Jindal has said he will not endorse but something tells me he may change his mind come Wedenesday or Thursday? Looks like his wholel team is getting behind Mitt in Louisiana.


It's fairly sad that two thirds of our national debt came into being over the last 12 years of our nation's 236 year history.

The only way to stop adding to the debt is to target the big ticket items, which are entitlements and defense spending.

It's far more likely that Washington will attempt to inflate its way out of the debt. Which of course will lower our standard of living because the inflation will occur as a result of simply printing more money, and not because there is actual economic growth or real wage growth on the ground. The dollar will be devalued, meaning that every dollar earned will be worth less than before. All this will do is make us poorer.


Yes, this debt accumulation is truly scary.

In the general election, Mitt needs to point out that if Obama is reelcted, the debt will reach a point that we could see a major depression.

Mitt should say: "Hire me now, or else in four years I won't take the job even if you beg me to. The country will be in too much of a fiscal mess to save"


It's pretty simple how this all happened:

Under Bush, we tried to have 2 wars without any homefront pain. Cake, eating it too, etc.

Under Obama, we had a depression and decided to spend MORE, not less.


6 - actually, he would probably still be willing. That's the thing about Mormons. We see certain things as duty. Our country going bankrupt would be a good reason.


I am not afraid of the deficit and debt; I am afraid of the politicians who may lack courage to vote for measures to curtail it. There are several different plans floating around and the House will release its budget tomorrow for yet another (strangely, Romney gave an economic address today and provided no plan whatsoever). The question is which path to take.


#5 DaveG and #7 MassCon,

Good points both of you!


This could be a huge selling point if Republicans didn't worship at the altar of Grover Norquist as well as pander to NeoCons. Now Dems will simply argue that they would make a compromise to stabilize the debt, but Republicans are holding it up because before they even come to the bargaining table they are committed to never ever raising taxes for any reason. Add to the fact that Republicans have shown they actually mean it about the pledge during the debt ceiling fiasco, and all our candidates committing to not even taking a deal of $1 tax hike to $10 spending cuts. This argument should prove quite effective for Democrats since according to polls voters prefer raising taxes to cutting entitlements and safety nets at rates of 65-85%. It's one thing to hold a position of no compromise when you're in the majority on an issue quite another would when you're outnumbered 2-1.


Hitler called us a decadent nation during WWII. What would he call us today?


Put another way, the Grover Norquist has party to be "my way or the highway" on fiscal issues, and at some point voters are going to tell them to hit the highway.


Is CBS just figuring this out! November cannot come soon enough. Romney 2012!


Why are you all so excited for Romney to bring this up against Obama? What is he going to say? I'll only add 2.6 trillion to the national debt as president, vote for me?

If any of you truly felt the national debt, and all the problems that will cascade down from it, were a problem you wouldn't be pleased with or voting for Romney.


Paul Ryan is getting ready to release the GOP House Budget tomorrow and it'll be a great opportunity for the GOP to show that it is the Party of fiscal responsibility. A really strong budget from Congressman Ryan could catapult him to the top of the Veepstakes.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


He's already at the top my list for VP choices for Mitt.


Below is a series of comments from the idiots at HotAir regarding Paul Ryan. THESE are the foaming lunatics we have to deal with in this party. I'm sorry, but if you cannot accept even Paul Ryan as a politician, you're an unsalvageable, hopeless jackass.

These are the people who I've always been talking about on this site: those who cannot, and will not, accept someone who talks normal, looks good in a suit, and has an average or below average blood pressure. Apparently, not even Paul Ryan is one of "us" - whatever standard that is.

I'm sorry to say it, but to these buffoons, Romney and Ryan are BOTH unacceptable to these dopes, and for the same reasons. Nothing of substance, just style.

His voting record doesn’t match his rhetoric

Hi, I’m Paul Ryan. I have all of you sheep fooled, because I have your handlers telling you what to believe. Pay no attention to that tiny little nagging in the back of your brain telling you that I voted for TARP, the auto bailouts, confiscating CEO bonuses, raising the debt ceiling, and increased spending. Oh, no. I’m a fiscal conservative, boy genius. Take my word for it.

Meh. This guy has a history of saying good stuff and then voting according to Boehner. And the presidential chatter around him when he has never run anything is suspicious. Kid should get some executive experience and then wade in presidential waters.

Paul Ryan talks a good game but when push comes to shove the votes to don’t match the words. Sarah Palin has the game to back up the words. She cut spending and at time when Alaska had a budget surplus and she vetoed the stimulus funds. Sarah Palin is the Ultimate Fiscal Conservative. Paul Ryan is a Pretend Fiscal Conservative at least he was during the Bush Years. Give Me Palin Anyday Over Ryan.

This guy is the very definition of establishment.

How many grannies must die to satisfy Paul Ryan?

I like Paul Ryan, he works out a lot and has nice hair but he sounds like a little kid.


15. You have no idea who you're talking about, do you? This is the ultimate challenge for a guy like Romney. It's like Mt. Everest combined. This is the kind of thing that he revels in. I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't set us on a course to have it dealt with by the end of his first term and a huge dent in it by the end of his 2nd term.


19. That's Mt. Everest & K2 combined.


I'm not worried about our debt, President Gingrich will pay it off in moon dollars.


This would be a great issue for the Republicans, except that Romney (or Newt or Santy) has no credibility on the debt issue. His policies will increase the deficit and debt more than even Obama:

If there is a silver lining, Newt and Santy will increase the debt far more than Romney.



I take solace in Nixon's "Silent Majority". Paul Ryan is a hero to everyone in the Republican Party who isn't a nutjob. Even Tea Partiers I talk to like the Gentleman from Wisconsin. It's only those who are practically in the John Birch Society who don't like him.


@19: No, I have a very good idea of what I'm talking about. Romney's budget proposal would add 2.6 trillion to the national debt. What kind of "challange" are you talking about? It's a challange to add so much? He revels in bankrupting the country? Perhaps you should look up what his proposal actually is instead of listening to media soundbites. Here, I'll give you a pointer to get started: For Romney please click the "addendum" link, it's easy to spot.

Romney saying his proposal would balance the budget is like me saying 1+1=3. The numbers don't add up. Don't believe me? Read it for yourself. Romney plans to increase the debt.


"This is the ultimate challenge for a guy like Romney. It’s like Mt. Everest combined. This is the kind of thing that he revels in."

And yet he offers nothing unique or creative. Tax cuts to spur growth and promised but unidentified spending cuts. Sounds a lot like Bush.


24, 25

There's a great reason why Mitt has not spelled out his spending cut plans, and it involves actually wanting to win the election.


And, I'll add that the debt and out of control spending are the exact reasons Romney is running again. He's the right man for the job.


Santy Tuesday election night party in PA, Romney's in IL......hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


I think Santorum has conceded that he's gonna lose in Illinois tommorrow.


#19 Completely agree. People who don't have faith that Mitt will do something good for the country are clueless as to the measure of the man.

Here are some of the (smart, pragmatic, moral) people who trust Mitt to sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Mark DeMoss, Ann Coulter, ROBERT BORK, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Darrell Issa, JOHN BOLTON, Jan Brewer, John Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee, Jason Chaffetz, Kelly Ayotte, Nikki Hayley, Pam Bondi, Bob McConnell, Christine O'Donnell, the Seculows, John Sununu, John Thune, Chris Christie, Doanld Trump, GHWB & Barbara, Jeff Flake, Sheriff Babeu, Jeff Sessions, Rick Snyder, the Holy See Ambassadors, John McCain, Pete Wilson, Mark Kirk, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, John Ashcroft, Bill Haslam, Dan Quayle, Lis Murkowski, ERIC CANTOR, Sne. Coburn, Marsha Blackburn, Lamar Alexander, Jon Voight, Michael Medved, Geo. Pataki, Dierdre Imus, Bernard McQuirk, Roy Blunt, Aaron Schock, Gov. Fortuno, Bob Dole, Phil Bryant and Jeff Foxworthy. Paul Ryan, Huckabee and Marco Rubio seem simpatico with Romney.

And who supports the ABRs? Limbaugh, the Palins, Mark Levin, Red State, Freedom Works, Fox/Murdoch, Teavangelicals, and their panicky pastors.


Reagan said trust but verify. I am not going to trust any politician just by some vague promises and I don't think most voters will either. We want to hear specifics. In fact, it is quite interesting how many people at townhalls will say, "tell me specifically what you will do about x."


Hitler called us a decadent nation during WWII. What would he call us today?

The book "Hitler's Table Talk" is actually very interesting. It's a series of transcriptions from Hitler's private life, when the doors were closed. Shows what he really believed, free from the propaganda. I seem to recall that in one excerpt, he referred to America as a nation that was good at nothing other than making movies.



That list at the bottom of your comment?

I despise nearly all of those people/groups except "Teavangelicals" is too broad a group for me to hate on. The rest? They can go to Hell.


The Hot-Air-heads dislike Paul Ryan because Ryan addresses the problems that actually face our nation, and not the imaginary problems that serve as catharsis for the masses of angry middle aged males that now run the Republican Party. The last 12 years have been all about turning the Republican Party and Conservatism into Dr. Phil for pissed off Baby Boomers. They don't want to hear about education reform. They want to hear about how the younger generation that still has optimism is good for nothing (i.e., the same generation that is about to be funding their Medicare with its tax dollars). They don't want to hear about how entitlements are bankrupting the nation. They want to hear that there is a "fundamental transformation" that is going on as a result of The Pill's legalization way back in the 1960s. They are Narcissistic to the end. It really is all about them and how they FEEL. We can thank Karl Rove for showing us how to pander to them.


Mass Con,

Even at Hotair, those comments aren't representative. Some of those people (I follow Hotair fairly regularly) aren't even conservatives. Ryan has consistently, in grassroots polls, had better numbers than any other major Republican- second only to, occasionally, Marco Rubio. Now, I will say, there is one positive about Paul Ryan not running- we won't find out, for awhile, whether that sort of insanity would have spread. It's not like people at Hotair- who've, by and large, gone gaga for Ryan- are unaware that he supported TARP, Medicare Part D, etc. Someone always brings it up the Ryan threads. But some of them might not have fully assimilated it yet. Had he run for President, he would have been attacked by the Gingrich's and Santorum's, and he's just at the precipice- popularity wise- that it's not a guarantee he'd be Teflon. Sure, Republicans ran Gingrich out of the movement for 6 months for going after Ryan- but they forgave him soon enough. A long campaign might have been wearing on Ryan's brand.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

"I despise nearly all of those people/groups except “Teavangelicals” is too broad a group for me to hate on. The rest? They can go to Hell."

You need to switch to de-caf. Except for Palin and FoxNews, I'm not too crazy about the people on that list, but, I don't wish anyone ill-will or wish they go to Hell. Unlike Obama, Maher, and the libs, I try to keep a sense of decorum and civility. I'm not an evangelical, but, I do believe in christianity and compassion. All those folks are entitled to their opinion, I just don't agree with it.



I picked those comments from a thread that had about 35 comments. Nearly 10 of them were negative.


Well, we agree to disagree. You seem to think they're genuine in their coverage/opinions. I happen to believe they're all liars who like to manipulate people to make money as the country goes to Hell.


#37 Yup. Career over country.

Whatever happened to patriots who "more than self their country loved?"

Or Founders who "pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to ensure the blessings of liberty for themselves or their posterity"?

I truly believe that the more we know about Mitt the more we see that he's in this fight to secure the country of the Founders for his and our posterity. People might disagree about how he would go about it, but I believe those are his motives.



You just about nailed it. A majority of the posts over there are centered around whether some Obama Administration lowly official said that white kids are evil, or whether Michelle Obama was on the pill as a teen, or whether guns should be banned following a school shooting.

What relevance, WHAT RELEVANCE does ANY of those issues have to the big picture?

No wonder Conservatism is on the ropes - NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT IS.

Conservative Independent

On the local news a guy that is in charge of 9 Newton delegates said he will give them to Santorum This is in downstate Illinois. They didn't say what district or what his name is. I just hope this Illinois delegate vote doesn't end up being closer than people thought.


Mass Con,

A 35 comment thread is not statistically significant. Wait for the Ryan thread tomorrow, after his speech, which should get several hundred comments. Or look back at a thread, last week, where about 50 people called for a Ryan/Jindal or Jindal/Ryan ticket (I can't recall if the thread was a Ryan thread or a Jindal thread). Here's a Hotair poll from July.

On a 1 to 7 favorables scale (7 the highest), 54% gave Ryan a 6 or 7 and only 9% gave him a 1 or 2. In comparison, 13% gave Romney a 6 or 7 and 49% gave him a 1 or 2. Even Rick Perry, then at nearly the heyday of his popularity was less popular, at 47% 6 or 7 and 13% 1 or 2


Dave G

And to that, I'd add that it's no wonder Santorum dominates the 30-55 demographic. That group is generally concerned about those trivial cultural skirmishes which Santo is so concerned about, in lieu of the unemployment rate.


24. & Meh - The issue with any "projections" these committees make is that everything is static in their world. Tax decreases don't increase revenues in their worlds. Government spending doesn't increase inflation.

JFK cut taxes, revenues went up. Reagan cut taxes, revenues went up. Unless you cut taxes too much (which could be possible), generally revenues go up.

Look at all of the CBO's projections (and these CFRB guys are ex-CBO guys) have a static view of the world. In that kind of world, Obamacare is "paid for" with reductions in spending from Iraq & Afghanistan. Sorry, CRFB doesn't count as credible to me. CATO, maybe, but CRFB, not so much.

You've got a business guy who does understands budgets and spending and revenue and income and bureaucracy and redundancy and waste and efficency running for President. Then you've got a couple of life-long politicians who've not really run any business and sat on the "spend other peoples money" side of the aisle almost their entire adult lives running against him. And our current president doesn't have a different resume except he openly states that he believes in redistribution.

I have no idea how anyone can objectively look at the skill sets brought to the table by all who are involved and not pick the only one who's actually qualified to deal with the mess.



Well here's the deal: the dolts on that site believe Palin and Ryan could become competitors for the nomination in a brokered convention. And of course, they would prefer Palin (an idiot with no desire to help her country) over Ryan (a patriot who offers real solutions and understands our values).

Just look at the threads over there. Any thread which contains the word "Palin" in the title, in any context, generates 3 times as many comments as any thread of similar newsworthiness. The "base" of the party is laden with idiots, I tell you.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


Wow, when you hold a grudge, you really hold a grudge. I guess I'm a little more forgiving than you are. Remind me to never get on your bad side.

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)


I disagree. I've supported and defended Palin on this site. And I've supported and defended Ryan as well(check my name header). I like both and I don't consider myself nor do I think anyone here considers me an idiot. At least, I hope not.



I don't hold grudges, actually. I HATED Huckabee last time around. HATED HIM.

But as soon as he proved to me he isn't an idiot, I like him. A lot. I watch his show every weekend and I've called for him to be VP for almost a year.

I also hated McCain. He really pissed me off by lying about Romney's position on time tables. I've forgiven him.

I'm not a grudge type, I'm the type who gets angry when I feel like an injustice is being done. I really care about my country and anyone who I feel is hurting it, I hate.



Well, you aren't an idiot and I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about the idiots over at HotAir who have been bashing Paul Ryan because they feel like he's a threat to Palin.

They can love Palin all they want, but when it involves throwing Paul Ryan under the bus, I will not stand for it.


43 - Yes, but economists also recognize the tax cuts do not pay for themselves. Kennedy and Reagan had deficits as did Bush. That is why voters must demand specific spending cuts to make up the difference. Otherwise, the tax cuts will only make matters worse.


Mass Con,

You won't get any argument from me about the relative intelligence/sanity of the Republican base. Even some of the smarter conservative writers/commentators seem seriously delusional. I was just watching a Matt Lewis bloggingheads where he argued that maybe Romney/Santorum made sense- was maybe a strong ticket. This is someone who gets paid, by a reputable site, to pontificate. And yet he's consistently taken frankly absurd positions on the state of the race during this primary. Haley Barbour voted for Newt Gingrich. Even ordinarily sane people seem to have gone insane. This is why I thought we needed Paul Ryan to run: because he seemed to have the ability to subdue a lot of these people without himself going insane. A lot of them. Not all of them. As Jonathan notes, some of these people are practically birchers. They can't be subdued.


49. Tax cuts "pay for themselves"?!? If REVENUES increase, then how is there less money to spend? Oh, yeah... spend more than you take in. It's not a REVENUE problem, it's a SPENDING problem. Tax cuts don't make it worse if there is more money! They make it less bad (but still bad) if there is more spending.

Sheesh... what a troll!


52 - Obviously your high school doesn't teach econ. When you grow up you will understand.


Glad to know the "True Conservatives" (my cultural-cues-only SoCons masquarading as Fiscal Cons) want to serve up Big-Governent, Union-Buddy Santorum in 2012 to take on the economy and the deficit.

Too bad Santy's more worried about taking on condoms, guys, and porn...



Here's the heart of the matter:

Political punditry/journalism has shifted from vision to merely parroting what is being said elsewhere.

Essentially, these writers/figures have abdicated their traditional roles as thought leaders in favor of attempting to find the politician who can most effectively surrender to the drooling masses. The short term goal being, winning an election at the expense of intellectual honesty and vision.


Let's put it more concisely:

The thinkers have given up on thinking. Who needs "thinking" when the readers don't seek to think in the first place?

Ozzy(Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan 2012)

"Glad to know the “True Conservatives” (my cultural-cues-only SoCons masquarading as Fiscal Cons) want to serve up Big-Governent, Union-Buddy Santorum in 2012 to take on the economy and the deficit."

Given how currupt and power-hungry the Unions are, Santorum will feel right at home in Wisconsin when that primary happens on April 3. Maybe WI will become one of Santorum's new home states.


49. I'd also bet that Romney would embrace and improve upon the new Ryan plan ("The Path to Prosperity")... He's not going to fight something like this, like Obama will.

52. Try Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson"

Now few people recognize the necessary implications of the economic statements they are constantly making. When they say that the way to economic salvation is to increase “credit,” it is just as if they said that the way to economic salvation is to increase debt: these are different names for the same thing seen from opposite sides. When they say that the way to prosperity is to increase farm prices, it is like saying that the way to prosperity is to make food dearer for the city worker. When they say that the way to national wealth is to pay out governmental subsidies, they are in effect saying that the way to national wealth is to increase taxes. When they make it a main objective to increase exports, most of them do not realize that they necessarily make it a main objective ultimately to increase imports. When they say, under nearly all conditions, that the way to recovery is to increase wage rates, they have found only another way of saying that the way to recovery is to increase costs of production.

It does not necessarily follow, because each of these propositions, like a coin, has its reverse side, or because the equivalent proposition, or the other name for the remedy, sounds much less attractive, that the original proposal is under all conditions unsound. There may be times when an increase in debt is a minor consideration as against the gains achieved with the borrowed funds; when a government subsidy is unavoidable to achieve a certain purpose; when a given industry can afford an increase in production costs, and so on. But we ought to make sure in each case that both sides of the coin have been considered, that all the implications of a proposal have been studied. And this is seldom done.

Don't lecture me on economics.


Mass Con,

Here's the problem: movements need people who can, or will, write others out of the movement. The GOP no longer has that. Allahpundit supports Romney. No question. He moans about him. He'd rather have a dozen other people who aren't running. But between Romney, Santorum and Gingrich? He'd cry, get drunk, and cast his ballot for Romney. But he won't say this. He can't say this. So there's a dual problem. We have a conservative leadership that is too cowardly to tell the crazies the truth. And we have a candidate who does not inspire them to take up arms in his defense.


I thought CBS was incapable of this type of reality reporting.


New ARG Poll:


Likely Republican

Primary Voters Mar 17-18


Romney 44%

Santorum 30%

Gingrich 13%

Paul 8%

Other 1%

Undecided 4%



True. And that is why he has not wrapped up the nomination yet. The drooling masses need to be instructed what to do, but the instructors are not interested in Romney. So the drooling masses will never be told to do anything other than vote for whoever they like, which tends to be the least electable, least effective, most petty loser of a candidate at any given time. Whichever one shouts at Eric Holder the loudest for opposing guns. Never mind the national debt, condoms are the most important issue to these people. It affects them at a more granular level. They can't stomach the idea of their children having access to condoms or the pill, but they are too stupid to realize their children are probably already sexually active. But either way, the effectiveness of the president is irrelevant. Whichever candidate comforts them about their children's sex lives the best is the recipient of their vote. After all, who needs to be concerned with such things as "electability?" Electability matters 8 months from now. Heck, between now and then, their children might get access to a condom between now and then, and whatever shall they do to stop it from happening? Hopefully Rick Santorum can give some advice.


59 - Yup. And the lack of a coherent, inspiring message means lack of enthusiasm. Desire to replace Obama goes a long way, but not nearly all the way.


Mass Con,

I think you're wrong about the grassroots focus on things like birth-control. Rank-in-file evangelicals like to hear Santorum talk about this, not because they oppose birth control- evangelicals generally don't- but because he's connecting on a cultural level. But places like Hotair tend to be fairly libertarian. The last Hotair Presidential survey actually had Romney winning and Santorum in 3rd (narrowly). Santorum won an earlier survey, but not by a whole lot. I think idiocy at Hot Air on sexual politics. The people in the GOP who tend to like that aspect of Santorum are like the Huckabee supporters in '08- almost nowhere to be found on the interwebs, but quietly and regularly casting their ballots.


I think idiocy at Hot Air can't be blamed* on sexual politics.



Oh no, I was ranting about the "base" at large, not just HotAir. I vented enough on them.


As for the need for conservative media to pump up Romney... They were just as bad to McCain, maybe worse. I recall official anti-endorsements literally everywhere. Prominent people promising to vote third party.

Yet, they were on board in the general. McCain fell short of 50% of the popular vote by just 3%, which is easily explained away by the economic collapse and the (R) next to his name under an unpopular president. I never liked him as a candidate, but it's not like the conservative media needs to go full lovefest to win the election. There's no reason or evidence to believe that.

Surely, Mitt will need a solid base of boosters at the grassroots level to tell their neighbors to vote Mitt. But the thing is, Mitt already has that. 20% of the party has been unshakeably pro-Romney. NBR's as some call them. That's a pretty solid base to work from. A dedicated one, too.


The best thing is Romney did not sell his political soul to the far right. This will pay off in the general election. Ricky sold his soul to them and would be a disaster in the general election focusing on porn, contraception, home schooling, gay rights and abortion.


Mass Con,

The base was hard on McCain but for a comparably small window of time. Recall that for most of '07, Rudy was the boogey man moderate in need of stopping. McCain was practically not heard from until late December of '07 and everything was settled 6 weeks later. Conservative media/bloggers never liked Huckabee so, once Romney dropped out, they pretty much gave up. McCain never got a fifth of the resistance Romney's gotten. Which is a credit to Romney, I suppose, and his resiliency, but it doesn't mean we can expect the same reluctant, but relatively determined support that McCain received. I've pointed this out before, but McCain's favorables- among Republicans- were a LOT better than Romney's. In Ohio, for instance, 78% of Republicans had a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of McCain. This time, they didn't ask the favorables question but they did ask the "satisfied" question, which is a decent proxy. Only 57% of Ohioans proclaimed themselves satisfied at the prospect of a Romney nomination. So the animus towards Romney is fresher, more ingrained, and probably more lasting than the animus towards McCain.


68 - Yeah, good thing Romney didn't run to the right on immigration by endorsing Arizona's immigration laws, or run to the right on contraceptives by endorsing Blunt-Rubio and pledging to get rid of planned parenthood, or on taxes by proposing a plan that would benefit him personally. The questions from women today about contraceptives and his wife's plea to women are coincidental.


Yay! Romney will be going to Shreveport,Louisiana on Friday with more stops possible before then, let's end this thing already!


I think part of the reason, frankly, that conservatives been so hard on Romney, this cycle, is that they never got to properly thrash McCain. McCain who'd spent the better part of a decade tearing into them. He ended up running the table before they could really train their sights on him. So a lot of this Romney hatred is venting.


52 Patrick Henry,

Common sense will tell you that at some point raising taxes will decrease revenue and at some point it will increase it. That's why it's called a curve. The problem with our Grover Norquist talk-radio led GOP is that they have interpreted (at least in practice) this laffer curve to be a diagonal line in which higher taxes are always and absolutely inversely related to revenue. This is shown by the knee-jerk reaction they make to proposed tax increases. I don't know what point we are on the curve. I do know most expert opinions I have seen suggest we're not on the side where cutting taxes will increase revenue. I have seen even conservative economists don't think the Bush tax-cuts paid for themselves. All I've seen in support of us being on the other side of the curve is bloggers who present no serious evidence for their viewpoint, but are content to just recite laffer curve principle, as if it always means tax-cuts are revenue positive. Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if you cut taxes to zero you would get zero revenue, and that taxes, therefore, are not always inversely related to revenue. But it seems this simple fact is beyond some folks.


#72: MEM: I believe you're right about that. Boned-headed "true conservatives" are madder than hell about the two Bushes, Dole and McCain and not going to take it anymore. Poor Mitt got lumped in with them and is taking a beating for THEM.

Let the record show that the people actually voted for the Bushes, Dole and McCain in the primaries. Never mind that Mitt was labled the true conservative last time and people supported Huck and chose Mack over Mitt.

Let the record show that no great white movement conservative white knight has arisen to be the Mitt alternative. Nevertheless they feel cheated by having Mitt as the only plausible nominee.

The real mess is in the minds of the "conservative base," which has turned out to be a bunch of bigoted ignoramuses that cannot think their way out of a paper bag.


73: You still think tax cuts need to be "paid for". No! Spending needs to be paid for with increased revenues. This idea that tax cuts needs to be paid for is just silly and pretzel logic invented by the Left to justify tax increases in other areas.

I know there are some who say we're on the "low" side of the Laffer Curve. But it really depends on which groups you're looking at. In aggregate, that may be the case. If you're talking about increasing taxes on the 50% of the country that doesn't pay any, then, I might agree with you. The top 25% already pay an overwhelming share of the taxes. To assume it's only about tax rates is to really miss the boat.

Taxes are about rates, sure, but also distribution of the burden across the population. The smaller the group paying the more you must extract from them. What needs to happen is the base of those who pay needs to be more broad, then we can talk about what rates are "fair".

Personally, I support the repeal of the 16th Amendment (and as an aside, the 17th), and then a national SALES tax (not a VAT) where only the end consumer of the good or service is taxed. If it's felt necessary to add "progressivity" into the tax code, then a prebate that covers 50-75% of the taxes paid could be part of the plan.

But in the end, it's not about taxes, it's about spending. Historically, we cannot collect more than about 20% of GDP, therefore, spending should be no more than 20% of GDP. Spending is now, and has always been the issue, not tax rates. We can do things to increase revenues, but until spending < revenues, it won't really matter what the rates are.


Some are saying election results were only test numbers from the AP. If the numbers are even close you have be thinking fraud.



My biggest concern with Laffer curve-aholics is that they -- like Norquist -- believe that reducing tax rates will always increase revenue. They are unwilling and unable to tell anyone what the "optimal" tax rate or structure is, only that it is lower than where we are right now. If true, why don't we try reducing tax rates to 1% and see how much revenue we have to spread around to defense, medicare, SS, etc.


77. If you've studied the Laffer Curve, you'll learn that it's not static, either... it tends to move around depending on all sorts factors. How the economy is doing, interest rates, trade balances, current tax rates, current spending rates, etc. That's why nobody will tell you what's "optimal"... they can't, except for particular points in time. If you adjust tax rates you'll adjust the variables and then the curve changes again...

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