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The mantle of leadership has shifted: Romney/Ryan govern in all but name

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alzan

Diamond Member
May 21, 2003
3,861
2
0
I am truly amused by all of the ad hominem attacks that this forum has against first, Mitt Romney and now his chosen running mate, Paul Ryan.

Such delicious name calling, such panicked hatred, such flailing at shadows and tilting at windmills.

So much ado about nothing.

Baseless viciousness does work to an extent, the polls seemed for a short moment to be turning, but now something else is at work.

Perhaps it is that for all of the bluster, there is nothing to back it up.

If the Democrats had a record to run on, the would be the first to point to it.

If they had a plan, they would announce it.

If they had a budget, they would present it.

If they had a future to offer, they would show us all how we would get there.

They don't, so they won't.

So something has shifted. People have started to see that there actually is an alternative.

Someone does have a plan and is willing to lay it out in detail.

Someone is stepping up to the plate, even as the opposing team is flinging knuckle-balls and curses at them.

Suddenly, someone is showing leadership and the contrast is so dramatic that the election is turning.



THE MANTLE OF LEADERSHIP HAS SHIFTED : ROMNEY, RYAN GOVERN IN ALL BUT NAME

by JOEL B. POLLAK 17 Aug 2012

In the first week since Paul Ryan joined Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket, something subtle yet fundamental has happened to the country--something not yet reflected in poll numbers or punditry: the mantle of leadership has shifted.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden (certainly the latter) occupy office but cannot be said to govern in any meaningful way beyond formalities. Obama avoids the media; Biden has been sent back to Delaware; and their vast auxiliary army of super PACs and community organizers is reduced to petty sniping and personal attacks. No one expects any truly new ideas or proposals to come out of the Obama campaign anymore. It is telling that the only real debate this week was between Romney and Ryan's Medicare policies, not Obama's.

The honest reflections of the more thoughtful voices on the American left confirm that Romney and Ryan are, in effect, leading the country.

First there was William Saletan of Slate, who wrote--without irony: "A wonderful thing has happened for this country. Paul Ryan will be the Republican nominee for vice president." He added that Republicans like Ryan were the perfect antidote to Democratic excesses: "Maybe, like me, you were raised in a liberal household. You don’t agree with conservative ideas on social or foreign policy. But this is why God made Republicans: to force a reality check when Democrats overpromise and overspend."

That reaction found echoes in praise for Ryan offered by veteran Democrat Erskine Bowles of the president's own fiscal commission, among others. Other Democrats--notably former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder, the state's first African-American governor, and none too impressed with Biden's offensive appeals to racial resentment--began to consider crossing party lines to support the Republican ticket, even if just this once.

Eli Zaretsky, writing for the hard-left, pro-Occupy, pro-Palestinian Tikkun magazine, admitted candidly:



In choosing Ryan, what Romney showed above all was courage--or, more precisely, the absence of fear. Eighty years ago, a great Democratic president comforted the nation by telling it that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That comfort and confidence is what Romney and Ryan now offer Americans, while Obama ducks questions, Biden hurls bombs, and Democrat surrogates find the old weapons no longer work.

There was a telling moment, shortly after he was chosen, when Paul Ryan faced reporters on the campaign plane and said simply: "We're going to win this campaign." It was not bluster; it was simple self-assurance.

There is a long way to go on this campaign trail, and Romney and Ryan will have to fight for every vote. But now they will be tested not as candidates, but as leaders of the nation. That is what they have already won.
Pretty much describes all of your posts.

As previously pointed out, puff pieces from right-wing sites do not a consensus or election results make.
 

MrColin

Platinum Member
May 21, 2003
2,403
3
81
I'm going to play this game too!

Romney, Republicans And Responsibility

It has always seemed to me that a core principle of Anglo-American conservatism has always been personal responsibility. We are all human and we all screw up all the time - but taking responsibility for both good and bad decisions is a prerequisite for democratic accountability in a free society. George W Bush famously summarized the GOP's current view of such accountability and responsibility by saying that in eight years, he had only one accountability moment - and that was the 2004 election. The authorization of a war on empirically false grounds, the resort to illegal torture, the tens of thousands of civilian deaths from the Iraq occupation: none of this was or is Bush's responsibility, according to the GOP. Bush even made a joke about the WMDs at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

This flight from responsibility is also, alas, baked deep in today's one percent, and marks them as very different from their wealthy predecessors in the American elite for much of the last century. The bankers whose recklessness precipitated our current recession see no reason to take responsibility for the misery their gambling and greed bestowed on so many others. Indeed, they shamelessly lobby to remove any constraints on their reckless ways, continue to gamble with glee (see JP Morgan), and continue to hand themselves bonuses and salaries out of any proportion to the benefits they bring to society as a whole.

And the financial elite is mirrored by the political elite. Those directly involved with or openly supportive of war crimes under Bush and Cheney - far from being held accountable - were given op-ed columns at the Washington Post and sinecures at AEI. A vice-president who openly boasted of torturing prisoners just held a fundraiser for the current nominee. No one in the cabinet responsible for Abu Ghraib resigned. The Republicans refuse to take any responsibility for the massive debt we accumulated since 2000 and have, indeed, tried to shift the entire responsibility onto Obama's shoulders.
Mitt Romney wants to take credit for all the successes at Bain while he was CEO, but also refuses to take responsibility for the actions of his own company which was still employing him and paying him a six figure salary. In fact even to ask a simple question as to whether he was CEO and therefore whether his testimony in 2002 was perjurious is to provoke Romney into a harrumph that included the words "disgusting".
The reason America's elite finds itself under so much criticism is not that they are elites. It is that they have become self-serving, accountability-free elites. Romney's pique that he could even be challenged to take responsibility for a company of which he was legally CEO is a perfect symbol of this abdication of responsibility. Think of the contrast with his father - a man who actually ran an industrial business well, who expressed solidarity with the civil rights movement when so many didn't, released twelve years of tax returns to prove he wasn't gaming anything, and invited reporters in for a Sunday service at his local LDS church.

George Romney clearly felt that with great wealth comes great responsibility and accountability. Mitt is fine with the wealth part; just not the responsibility and accountability. Which is a pretty good summary of what has gone wrong with American conservatism today.
PGABBER's lofty platitudes might appeal to some. Other's might be swooned by the "having a plan" shtick. Some of those might not even mind that the plan is laced with thinly veiled euphemisms for escalating their class war. The real tragedy however is that the only alternative isn't actually an alternative, just a different flavor of the same poison Kool-Aid.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
I am truly amused by all of the ad hominem attacks that this forum has against first, Mitt Romney and now his chosen running mate, Paul Ryan.

Such delicious name calling, such panicked hatred, such flailing at shadows and tilting at windmills.

So much ado about nothing.
I'm amused by that, but I'm also amused by the same stuff directed at Obama. You're a fool if you recognize one but not the other.

If you hate Obama, Romney is your savior. If you hate Romney, Obama is your savior. Everyone lines up in defense of their god and to attack their devil. No objectivity, no practicality, no realization of the fact that the difference between Romney and Obama is analogous to the difference between chicken shit and pig shit; different smells, but still shit.. any way you look at it.
 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,583
430
126
Where is the Romney/Ryan plan and budget? I would like to review them immediately. This is addressed specifically to PJABBER.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
I'm amused by that, but I'm also amused by the same stuff directed at Obama. You're a fool if you recognize one but not the other.

If you hate Obama, Romney is your savior. If you hate Romney, Obama is your savior. Everyone lines up in defense of their god and to attack their devil. No objectivity, no practicality, no realization of the fact that the difference between Romney and Obama is analogous to the difference between chicken shit and pig shit; different smells, but still shit.. any way you look at it.
Well, I am not quite so polarized (love it when Obama sits up at night and picks the next drone strike target, for example. Seems to be doing a good job of it.) But I get your point.

I do believe the priorities and the approaches that Romney/Ryan are going to take will be much better for the country than those taken by Obama/Biden (though much of the heavy lifting they are credited for was actually Pelosi/Reid.)

Can they engineer a fast moving turnaround? Probably not, but given 2-4 years we should see a much healthier economy, a significantly smaller government and significantly less intrusiveness from that government. If they don't deliver, we can throw them out.

If Romney/Ryan win, they will inevitable have coattails and maybe a fully Republican Congress, which will help overcome the obstructionism of the Democrats (we know that Obama's budget has been unanimously voted down, but where is Harry Reid's budget? How many years has it been?)

So, why you see both the Rs and the Ds as flip sides of the same coin, I see Romney as a guy that is a turnaround specialist and Ryan as one of the best budget guys in Congress.

We really need a team like Romney/Ryan now. And I honestly don't care whether they have an R or D after their names.
 

hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
15,901
4,024
136
I am truly amused by all of the ad hominem attacks that this forum has against first, Mitt Romney and now his chosen running mate, Paul Ryan.

Such delicious name calling, such panicked hatred, such flailing at shadows and tilting at windmills.

So much ado about nothing.

Baseless viciousness does work to an extent, the polls seemed for a short moment to be turning, but now something else is at work.

Perhaps it is that for all of the bluster, there is nothing to back it up.

If the Democrats had a record to run on, the would be the first to point to it.

If they had a plan, they would announce it.

If they had a budget, they would present it.

If they had a future to offer, they would show us all how we would get there.

They don't, so they won't.

So something has shifted. People have started to see that there actually is an alternative.

Someone does have a plan and is willing to lay it out in detail.

Someone is stepping up to the plate, even as the opposing team is flinging knuckle-balls and curses at them.

Suddenly, someone is showing leadership and the contrast is so dramatic that the election is turning.



THE MANTLE OF LEADERSHIP HAS SHIFTED : ROMNEY, RYAN GOVERN IN ALL BUT NAME

by JOEL B. POLLAK 17 Aug 2012

In the first week since Paul Ryan joined Mitt Romney on the Republican ticket, something subtle yet fundamental has happened to the country--something not yet reflected in poll numbers or punditry: the mantle of leadership has shifted.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden (certainly the latter) occupy office but cannot be said to govern in any meaningful way beyond formalities. Obama avoids the media; Biden has been sent back to Delaware; and their vast auxiliary army of super PACs and community organizers is reduced to petty sniping and personal attacks. No one expects any truly new ideas or proposals to come out of the Obama campaign anymore. It is telling that the only real debate this week was between Romney and Ryan's Medicare policies, not Obama's.

The honest reflections of the more thoughtful voices on the American left confirm that Romney and Ryan are, in effect, leading the country.

First there was William Saletan of Slate, who wrote--without irony: "A wonderful thing has happened for this country. Paul Ryan will be the Republican nominee for vice president." He added that Republicans like Ryan were the perfect antidote to Democratic excesses: "Maybe, like me, you were raised in a liberal household. You don’t agree with conservative ideas on social or foreign policy. But this is why God made Republicans: to force a reality check when Democrats overpromise and overspend."

That reaction found echoes in praise for Ryan offered by veteran Democrat Erskine Bowles of the president's own fiscal commission, among others. Other Democrats--notably former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder, the state's first African-American governor, and none too impressed with Biden's offensive appeals to racial resentment--began to consider crossing party lines to support the Republican ticket, even if just this once.

Eli Zaretsky, writing for the hard-left, pro-Occupy, pro-Palestinian Tikkun magazine, admitted candidly:



In choosing Ryan, what Romney showed above all was courage--or, more precisely, the absence of fear. Eighty years ago, a great Democratic president comforted the nation by telling it that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." That comfort and confidence is what Romney and Ryan now offer Americans, while Obama ducks questions, Biden hurls bombs, and Democrat surrogates find the old weapons no longer work.

There was a telling moment, shortly after he was chosen, when Paul Ryan faced reporters on the campaign plane and said simply: "We're going to win this campaign." It was not bluster; it was simple self-assurance.

There is a long way to go on this campaign trail, and Romney and Ryan will have to fight for every vote. But now they will be tested not as candidates, but as leaders of the nation. That is what they have already won.
Yawn.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
Where is the Romney/Ryan plan and budget? I would like to review them immediately. This is addressed specifically to PJABBER.
Yes, sir! Right away, sir! Three bags full, sir!

LOL, Why don't you just go to the Romney WWW site and look these sort of things up? :rolleyes:

FWIW, I don't think he goes into too much detail on what he will do about Canada. He has promised to approve the pipeline from your oil sands to the US distribution and refining sites. You should be applauding that.

I ran across a couple of his policy guys this weekend. They said they will have an updated plan out in the next couple of weeks that expands the detail and ties in some more of Paul Ryan's input. Watch for it.

In the meantime, you can peruse the following -

Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth

A broader look at where he is coming from here, just click on what you would info on -

Issues

You can also get a snapshot from this document -

The Romney Program for Economic Recovery,Growth, and Jobs
by R. Glenn Hubbard (Columbia University), N. Gregory Mankiw (Harvard University),John B. Taylor (Stanford University), and Kevin A. Hassett (AEI)
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
Can they engineer a fast moving turnaround? Probably not, but given 2-4 years we should see a much healthier economy, a significantly smaller government and significantly less intrusiveness from that government. If they don't deliver, we can throw them out.
I expect none of that, even if there are Republican majorities in both chambers of congress and Romney in the Oval. I expect none of that from anyone running for office that has a realistic chance of winning.

If Romney/Ryan win, they will inevitable have coattails and maybe a fully Republican Congress, which will help overcome the obstructionism of the Democrats (we know that Obama's budget has been unanimously voted down, but where is Harry Reid's budget? How many years has it been?)
There is little to want about a federal government in which either party has majorities in the House and the Senate as well as the presidency. We've seen the disastrous results of that in recent years from both the Democrats and Republicans.

When Republicans have majority control of congress and the presidency, we get things like Terry Schiavo and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. When Democrats have majority control of congress and the presidency, we get things like Obamacare.

So, why you see both the Rs and the Ds as flip sides of the same coin, I see Romney as a guy that is a turnaround specialist and Ryan as one of the best budget guys in Congress.
Ah yes.. you have faith in Romney/Ryan. Why, I don't know.. but I have to suspect that you're somehow in their employ or that of Republicans specifically or a conservative organization in general.

I, on the other hand, have almost no faith at all in our federal government.

And I honestly don't care whether they have an R or D after their names.
Hmm... with no evidence to support such a claim, I'll believe it when I see it. :)
 
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PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
I expect none of that, even if there are Republican majorities in both chambers of congress and Romney in the Oval. I expect none of that from anyone running for office that has a realistic chance of winning.



There is little to want about a federal government in which either party has majorities in the House and the Senate as well as the presidency. We've seen the disastrous results of that in recent years from both the Democrats and Republicans.
Bush was a big spender, Obama beats him at this hands down.

Bush added to the size of government, Obama has been on steroids.

The government can and has to be whittled down so that is sucks down much fewer resources.

I liked Romney's turnaround creds and that he took in a lot of Ryan's policy ideas even before choosing as his running mate. His priorities align much more closely to my own preferences than Bush's did.

That he chose a guy like Ryan, a fiscal hawk - THE point man for cutting government down to size - is why I am on board with Team Romney/Ryan now.
 
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PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
I have to suspect that you're somehow in their employ or that of Republicans specifically or a conservative organization in general.
For the record, I am not in the employ of any government agency, any political party or campaign organization.

My views are my own. As painful as they may be to some here! :awe:
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
0
0
Bush was a big spender, Obama is beats him at this hands down.

Bush added to the size of government, Obama has been on steroids.
I have no doubt Bush would've spent as much as Obama if he was handed such a severe economic downturn upon taking office.

The government can and has to be whittled down so that is sucks down much fewer resources.
I agree, but there is no incentive to do so when your party has majority control in congress and the presidency. I never trust those who advocate for anything other than divided government.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,517
2,253
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Can they engineer a fast moving turnaround? Probably not, but given 2-4 years we should see a much healthier economy, a significantly smaller government and significantly less intrusiveness from that government. If they don't deliver, we can throw them out.
You dont seriously believe this shit do you? Open your eyes mate and take off the blinders and learn to evaluate both sides with the same vigor.
 

GarfieldtheCat

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2005
3,708
1
0
Yes, sir! Right away, sir! Three bags full, sir!

LOL, Why don't you just go to the Romney WWW site and look these sort of things up? :rolleyes:

/bunch of blabbering snipped
Let me help you out, since you are having difficulty:

link

To be brief, the beginning of the article;

I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible.

Those aren’t my words. They’re the words of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, which has conducted the most comprehensive analysis to date of Romney’s tax plan and which bent over backward to make his promises add up. They’re perhaps the two most important words that have been written during this U.S. presidential election.
Whooops! Damn that liberal math!
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
Let me help you out, since you are having difficulty:

link

To be brief, the beginning of the article;

Whooops! Damn that liberal math!
I guess the operative word in your post is "liberal." I would change that to say "progressive."

Relying on Ezra Klein as a source means you not only have drunk the Kool-Aid, you have had so much that you might as well be Mr. Kool-Aid.



Who is Ezra Klein? Some excerpts from the Wiki entry on hisself -

Besides his online contributions, Klein worked on Howard Dean's primary campaign in Vermont in 2003, and interned for the Washington Monthly in Washington, D.C. in 2004. "The media is as effective and important an agent for change as the legislative bodies, and I think it's where I'm happiest and most effective," Klein said.[7] In 2003, he and Markos Moulitsas ( add. DAILY KOS) were two of the earliest bloggers to report from a political convention, that of the California State Democratic Party.[8] In 2006, Klein was one of several writers pseudonymously flamed by The New Republic writer Lee Siegel (posting as a sock puppet called sprezzatura).[9]

On December 10, 2007, Klein moved his blog full time to the American Prospect.[10]

...

Klein frequently provides political commentary on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball with Chris Matthews. He is a former contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

...

In December 2009, Klein wrote an article in the Washington Post, stating that Senator Joe Lieberman was "willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score", because Lieberman "was motivated to oppose health care legislation in part out of resentment at liberals for being defeated in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic Primary".[19] Klein based his estimate on an Urban Institute report that estimated that 22,000 people died in 2006 because they lacked health-care insurance.[20] This article was criticized by Jonah Goldberg of the National Review, who called it a "silly claim".[21] Charles Lane, also of the Washington Post, described Klein's article as an "outrageous smear". But EJ Dionne, also of the Washington Post, agreed with Klein's claim, saying that "Klein is right that there is not a shred of principle in Lieberman's opposition".[22] Klein later said he regretted the phrasing[23] and his position is that despite universal coverage, the social determinants of health are still powerful predictors that, on average, ensure the lower socioeconomic classes die sooner than those with more income and education.[24][25]

JournoList

In February 2007 Klein created a Google Groups forum called "JournoList" for discussing politics and the news media. The forum's membership was controlled by Klein and limited to "several hundred left-leaning bloggers, political reporters, magazine writers, policy wonks and academics".[26] Posts within JournoList were intended only to be made and read by its members.[27] Klein defended the forum saying that it "[ensures] that folks feel safe giving off-the-cuff analysis and instant reactions". JournoList member, and Time magazine columnist, Joe Klein added that the off-the-record nature of the forum was necessary because “candor is essential and can only be guaranteed by keeping these conversations private”.[26]

The existence of JournoList was first publicly revealed in a July 27, 2007 blog post by blogger Mickey Kaus.[28] However, the forum did not attract serious attention until March 17, 2009 when an article published on Politico detailed the nature of the forum and the extent of its membership.[26] The Politico article set off debate within the Blogosphere over the ethics of participating in JournoList and raised questions about its purpose. The first public excerpt of a discussion within JournoList was posted by Mickey Kaus on his blog on March 26, 2009.[29]

Members of JournoList included, among others: Ezra Klein, Jeffrey Toobin, Eric Alterman, Paul Krugman, Joe Klein (no relation to Ezra Klein), Matthew Yglesias, and Jonathan Chait.

On June 25, 2010, Ezra Klein announced in his Washington Post blog that he would be terminating the Journolist group. This decision was instigated by fellow blogger Dave Weigel's resignation from the Post following the public exposure of several of his Journolist emails about conservative media figures.[30][31]

Klein had justified excluding conservative Republicans from participation as "not about fostering ideology but preventing a collapse into flame war. The emphasis is on empiricism, not ideology".[32]
Unbiased source not found.
 
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Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
I guess the operative word in your post is "liberal." I would change that to say "progressive."

Relying on Ezra Klein as a source means you not only have drunk the Kool-Aid, you have had so much that you might as well be Mr. Kool-Aid. ...
Seriously Mr. Breitbart? YOU are going to attack someone else's sources? You are nothing if not shameless.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
126
Let me help you out, since you are having difficulty:

link

To be brief, the beginning of the article;



Whooops! Damn that liberal math!
The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution; it is Top Dead Center for proggie policy thought. If you think the Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan - well, let's just say it's impossible to think the Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan. One might feel that Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan, out of a shocking surfeit of ignorance. Or one could just lie about it.
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,530
271
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The Tax Policy Center is a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution; it is Top Dead Center for proggie policy thought. If you think the Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan - well, let's just say it's impossible to think the Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan. One might feel that Tax Policy Center is nonpartisan, out of a shocking surfeit of ignorance. Or one could just lie about it.
Tax Policy Center said:
In 2002, tax experts who had served in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton administrations established the Tax Policy Center to provide unbiased analysis of tax issues. The following year TPC developed a comprehensive tax simulation model to analyze the federal income tax and proposals to change it. That model has evolved to incorporate new and additional data, changes in federal tax law, and other aspects of the tax system and the economy.
It has some liberal origin and some conservative origins. It is also widely regarded as credible. You can indeed be both liberal and credible, liberal and not credible, conservative and not credible, conservative and credible (e.g. RealClearPolitics.com). Nonetheless, reality is reality and Tax Policy Center is quite sober and straightforward based on easily searchable data on the Internet.
 

PJABBER

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2001
4,824
0
0
Ignoring Garfield's link to Ezra Klein, the Ezra who's political pandering is very well known, I did read the Tax Policy Center study itself.

The assumptions in the model they crafted are critical to whether the study itself has any credibility.

Romney has come out to say the study is not an accurate reflection of his proposals.

In fact, that is correct.

The TPC themselves say straight off that they do not score Mitt Romney's plan directly.

Well, THAT's helpful.

Indeed, the assumptions that TPC takes go several giant steps too far and lead them to make conjectures that are not reflective of the Romney proposals or how he would respond to the most likely economic conditions he faces.

It is as if they said, here is your plan, Mr. Romney. Now let us suppose this and that, then change the way you say you are going to proceed and then if under this certain economic response you will then do this, then we project that your plan will raise taxes on the middle class.

Huh?

So what suppositions are they using?

Modeling Assumptions

We make the following assumptions:

 Any reductions in revenue due to the lower corporate rate would be offset by reducing corporate tax preferences. As a result, we examine only changes to the individual income tax, alternative minimum tax, payroll tax, and estate tax. We ignore the effect of the proposal to reduce the corporate rate to 25 percent.
 The plan would not reduce tax expenditures that aim to promote saving and investment. That is consistent with Governor Romney’s plan (and statements made by proponents of similar plans). These provisions include preferential rates on capital gains and dividends; exemption of income accrued in qualified retirement and other tax-favored accounts (e.g., traditional and Roth IRAs and 401(k)s and education and health saving accounts); exemption of interest on state and local bonds; the exclusion of capital gains on home sales; the step-up in basis of assets bequeathed to heirs; and the Saver’s Credit. We exclude these provisions because most
plans that have proposed large reductions in individual rates have also proposed to retain or even expand tax incentives for saving and investment.
 The tax expenditure for imputed rent on owner-occupied homes and certain smaller hard-toeliminate exclusions from income cannot or will not be eliminated. This group includes provisions that many would not identify as tax breaks, that have rarely or never been identified by policymakers as “on the table”, or that would be difficult to administer in practice. The largest of these provisions are the tax exclusion for “imputed rent,” (the value
of the housing services that homeowners obtain from living in their own homes) and the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age. Smaller provisions include the exclusion from taxable income of combat pay, veterans’ benefits, and benefits for low-income families; previous reform proposals have excluded most of these smaller items. Moreover, because they are small, and because many primarily
benefit lower- and middle-income households, including them would not meaningfully affect the results.
 Tax expenditures would be eliminated or reduced “starting at the top.” This assumption is perhaps most important for our distributional analysis. Specifically, we offset revenue losses from tax rate reductions by first eliminating tax expenditures for the highest-income groups. If--as it turns out--base-broadening at high-income levels does not recoup all lost revenue, we then limit tax expenditures for the next highest income group, and so on, until the overall plan is revenue neutral. This approach will likely (vastly) overstate the progressivity of any tax changes that could be pursued in practice, because it would be both administratively and politically impractical to completely eliminate all tax expenditures only above a given income threshold. (See further discussion on this point below.) Thus it serves as an upper bound on how progressive the reformed system could be relative to current policy.
 Revenue and distributional effects are measured against the current policy baseline constructed by the Tax Policy Center. This baseline assumes permanent extension of the 2001, 2003, and 2010 tax cuts and certain other provisions (except the temporary payroll tax cut and a few temporary investment incentives) and the scheduled implementation of theACA provisions. (Using the current-law baseline would make the proposed tax changes look even more regressive—and they would no longer be revenue-neutral.)
 Spending cuts are excluded from the analysis. As a result, tax rate reductions are wholly financed by the most progressive possible combination of cuts in available income tax expenditures. If spending cuts were used as a form of partial financing for the rate cuts listed above, the precise distributional effects would depend on the composition of the cuts and
which programs and government functions were reduced. It is likely, however, that cutting spending would make the plan even more regressive because government spending tends to benefit low- and middle-income households more than tax preferences do.
The rest of this "study" is similarly delimited to further assumptions and conjectures and then the authors get lost in the forest because of all the trees that have sprung up around them.

I love this sentence in their conclusion -

We show that plans that advance steeply lower marginal tax rate structures would require deep cuts in tax expenditures to offset the revenue losses arising from low rates.
Uh huh, lower tax rates mean lower tax revenues. I guess the TPC is as Kool-Aid besotted as Klein.

Even taking this suppositive study at face value, Ezra "Journolist" Klein cannot make the claim that Romeny's proposals are "mathematically impossible." The study makes no such claim, the claim is Klein's alone.

As an exercise in suppositions and extrapolations, it is a fine piece of work. Beyond that, the only utility is to waste more electrons in the interwebs so that we achieve a further measure of disorder in the universe.
 

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Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,530
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Ignoring Garfield's link to Ezra Klein, the Ezra who's political pandering is very well known, I did read the Tax Policy Center study itself.

The assumptions in the model they crafted are critical to whether the study itself has any credibility.

Romney has come out to say the study is not an accurate reflection of his proposals.

In fact, that is correct.

The TPC themselves say straight off that they do not score Mitt Romney's plan directly.

Well, THAT's helpful.

Indeed, the assumptions that TPC takes go several giant steps too far and lead them to make conjectures that are not reflective of the Romney proposals or how he would respond to the most likely economic conditions he faces.

It is as if they said, here is your plan, Mr. Romney. Now let us suppose this and that, then change the way you say you are going to proceed and then if under this certain economic response you will then do this, then we project that your plan will raise taxes on the middle class.

Huh?

So what suppositions are they using?



The rest of this "study" is similarly delimited to further assumptions and conjectures and then the authors get lost in the forest because of all the trees that have sprung up around them.

I love this sentence in their conclusion -



Uh huh, lower tax rates mean lower tax revenues. I guess the TPC is as Kool-Aid besotted as Klein.

Even taking this suppositive study at face value, Ezra "Journolist" Klein cannot make the claim that Romeny's proposals are "mathematically impossible." The study makes no such claim, the claim is Klein's alone.

As an exercise in suppositions and extrapolations, it is a fine piece of work. Beyond that, the only utility is to waste more electrons in the interwebs so that we achieve a further measure of disorder in the universe.
lol troll.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
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It has some liberal origin and some conservative origins. It is also widely regarded as credible. You can indeed be both liberal and credible, liberal and not credible, conservative and not credible, conservative and credible (e.g. RealClearPolitics.com). Nonetheless, reality is reality and Tax Policy Center is quite sober and straightforward based on easily searchable data on the Internet.
From PJabber's quote:
The tax expenditure for imputed rent on owner-occupied homes and certain smaller hard-to-eliminate exclusions from income cannot or will not be eliminated. This group includes provisions that many would not identify as tax breaks, that have rarely or never been identified by policymakers as “on the table”, or that would be difficult to administer in practice. The largest of these provisions are the tax exclusion for “imputed rent,” (the value of the housing services that homeowners obtain from living in their own homes) and the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age. Smaller provisions include the exclusion from taxable income of combat pay, veterans’ benefits, and benefits for low-income families; previous reform proposals have excluded most of these smaller items. Moreover, because they are small, and because many primarily benefit lower- and middle-income households, including them would not meaningfully affect the results.
Just so we're all clear, imputed rental income is what you would have paid to rent your home if you did not own it. Since you don't have to pay rent, you effectively rent the house to yourself, making its rental value taxable income of which government deserves a share. The Democrats under Clinton proposed that this should be treated as income and taxed, to be fair to those who don't own homes. The idea that NOT taxing someone for the rental value of a home they supposedly own free and clear is a "tax expenditure" which should be properly be eliminated is the very hardest left crust of the proggie movement, the looniest of the brothers Marx, the foamiest of the barking moonbats whose entire existence is devoted to gaining power over others to better take the fruits of their labor. One can recognize this, one can remain in blissful though necessarily willful ignorance, or one can baldly lie knowing there is zero chance of being believed; there are no other choices. The window for plausible deniability has long since passed, leaving only the concept of all wealth belonging rightly to government for proper distribution under "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs." "lol troll" might keep us in suspense as to the exact choice, but it doesn't change the choices themselves.
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,530
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From PJabber's quote:

Just so we're all clear, imputed rental income is what you would have paid to rent your home if you did not own it. Since you don't have to pay rent, you effectively rent the house to yourself, making its rental value taxable income of which government deserves a share. The Democrats under Clinton proposed that this should be treated as income and taxed, to be fair to those who don't own homes. The idea that NOT taxing someone for the rental value of a home they supposedly own free and clear is a "tax expenditure" which should be properly be eliminated is the very hardest left crust of the proggie movement, the looniest of the brothers Marx, the foamiest of the barking moonbats whose entire existence is devoted to gaining power over others to better take the fruits of their labor. One can recognize this, one can remain in blissful though necessarily willful ignorance, or one can baldly lie knowing there is zero chance of being believed; there are no other choices. The window for plausible deniability has long since passed, leaving only the concept of all wealth belonging rightly to government for proper distribution under "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs." "lol troll" might keep us in suspense as to the exact choice, but it doesn't change the choices themselves.
Huh? Nothing you said in this off-topic rant is relevant (hence, off topic). The sentences immediately following your bolded statement say the following: "This group includes provisions that many would not identify as tax breaks, that have rarely or never been identified by policymakers as “on the table”, or that would be difficult to administer in practice. The largest of these provisions are the tax exclusion for “imputed rent,” (the value of the housing services that homeowners obtain from living in their own homes) and the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age."

I'm not sure what is particularly unclear here or how imputed rent disqualifies the following:

1. TPC's ultimate conclusions; that there are mathematically not enough tax deductions in the tax code to make up for the revenue loss from his proposed tax breaks.

2. That inevitably, any eliminations of tax deductions would ultimately be shifted to middle income Americans due to the REALITY that tax deductions affect them disproportionately.

3. The well established reality of the author's backgrounds and connection to at minimum two diametrically opposed political parties (Republicans, Democrats), lending their conclusions weight and credence.

Any questions?
 
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Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
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From PJabber's quote:

Just so we're all clear, imputed rental income is what you would have paid to rent your home if you did not own it. Since you don't have to pay rent, you effectively rent the house to yourself, making its rental value taxable income of which government deserves a share. The Democrats under Clinton proposed that this should be treated as income and taxed, to be fair to those who don't own homes. The idea that NOT taxing someone for the rental value of a home they supposedly own free and clear is a "tax expenditure" which should be properly be eliminated is the very hardest left crust of the proggie movement, [ long-winded, yet pointless raging deleted ].
I'm with First. I'm not sure what point you thought you were making, but you went off the rails and disappeared into a fog. As I understand this, the TPC is trying to analyze Romney's "plan" to see how feasible it is. Lacking details, they must make certain assumptions based on what is known, e.g., that Romney claims he will reduce tax rates while remaining revenue neutral by eliminating many deductions and exclusions. Making such assumptions is a perfectly reasonable and intelligent approach (though it seems to have sent PJabber off the deep end for some inexplicable reason).

So that's the framework for their assumptions. Step one, then, is examining the current tax model to determine which deductions and exclusions might be eliminated so Romney can lower rates. One of those potential exclusions is imputed income for owner-occupied housing. It is, after all, a potential source of tax revenue, currently excluded from taxation. Would Romney tax it to make up lost revenue or not?

TPC's assumption is NO, he would NOT. As they noted, it is something "that many would not identify as tax breaks, that have rarely or never been identified by policymakers as 'on the table,' ..." This certainly seems a reasonable assumption to me. It is not something people consider a tax break, and there would be hell to pay if Romney suggested otherwise. Therefore, off the table. Seems a solid assumption.

At least that's how I understand it. So what's the problem? Do you disagree with their assumption, believing instead that Romney would tax it? Did you misread their assumption, making your own completely unfounded assumption that they either thought Romney would tax it, or that he should tax it? Or did you just knee-jerk explode in rage that they even mentioned it, even though it is their job to be thorough and even though they said it's off the table? Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,876
460
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I'm with First. I'm not sure what point you thought you were making, but you went off the rails and disappeared into a fog. As I understand this, the TPC is trying to analyze Romney's "plan" to see how feasible it is. Lacking details, they must make certain assumptions based on what is known, e.g., that Romney claims he will reduce tax rates while remaining revenue neutral by eliminating many deductions and exclusions. Making such assumptions is a perfectly reasonable and intelligent approach (though it seems to have sent PJabber off the deep end for some inexplicable reason).

So that's the framework for their assumptions. Step one, then, is examining the current tax model to determine which deductions and exclusions might be eliminated so Romney can lower rates. One of those potential exclusions is imputed income for owner-occupied housing. It is, after all, a potential source of tax revenue, currently excluded from taxation. Would Romney tax it to make up lost revenue or not?

TPC's assumption is NO, he would NOT. As they noted, it is something "that many would not identify as tax breaks, that have rarely or never been identified by policymakers as 'on the table,' ..." This certainly seems a reasonable assumption to me. It is not something people consider a tax break, and there would be hell to pay if Romney suggested otherwise. Therefore, off the table.

At least that's how I understand it. So what's the problem? Do you disagree with their assumption, believing instead that Romney would tax it? Did you misread their assumption, making your own completely unfounded assumption that they either thought Romney would tax it, or that he should tax it? Or did you just knee-jerk explode in rage that they even mentioned it, even though it is their job to be thorough and even though they said it's off the table? Inquiring minds want to know.
It doesn't occur to you that this is a classic strawman? They have set up imputed rent income as a tax break - something NO conservative or non-progressive would ever do - and then knocked it down by suggesting that since Romney would not eliminate it, his plan is not feasible. My point - and I really don't think it's that difficult to follow - was that only the very hardest left would consider not taxing someone for the rent they don't pay on their own home to be a tax break. Why not imputed health income, where people who do not have expensive chronic illnesses are taxed for the money they don't spend treating those illnesses? Why not imputed sobriety income, where people who aren't not alcoholics are taxed for the money they don't spend on drink? Surely good health and sobriety are valuable assets.

This isn't an evaluation of Romney's plan, it's merely a furtherance of the Tax Policy Center's central theme, that the only workable alternative is always to tax more and spend more. Making up details and shooting them down should make that amply clear to all.
 

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