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Sunday, November 4, 2012

53 Reasons to Vote for Romney?

A facebook friend posted this article.

I had to read it and make comments.

Here are the points and my comments on them:

#1. “Mitt Romney graduated from Harvard University with a degree from the prestigious J.D.-M.B.A. program, which is the graduate education of the last two presidents combined.”
This does not mean anything other than he was able to complete the degree requirements through one means or another. I have met people who are educated from well-respected schools that I wonder how they got into the school, let alone how they finished it. These letters at the end of a name are merely a means to get the CHANCE to prove one-self to be legitimately smart and capable of making good decisions. Point redacted – 52 points.

#2. “Mitt Romney governed a state whose schools ranked first nationally in education.”
At its best this means that Mitt actually managed the education system in his state. At its worst this means that he simply did not touch the education system and, therefore, break it. I don't know enough of MA state education system, nor of Mitt's policies, to comment either way.
Without more information this point cannot be cast in his favor – point redacted; 51 points remain.

#3. “In 1984, Romney founded and led one of the world’s most successful venture capital and investment firms: Bain Capital.”
So? he started a successful company. So have many politicians. Running a greedy, bottom-line-focussed company that does not care about employees and does not care about job retention is not necessarily what a COUNTRY needs.
This one is valid enough that I will leave the point intact.

#4. “Bain Capital helped turn around numerous struggling businesses that went on to become prosperous and successful, such as: Burger King, Sealy, Sports Authority, Staples, Brookstone, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel, Domino’s Pizza, Houghton Mifflin, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Weather Channel, Guitar Center, and the Hospital Corporation of America.”
This only shows what Mitt's company invested in. Attributing their success to Mitt is like saying that the companies whom I own stock in are successful because I own stock in them. To validate whether these were actually systematically good investment decisions or mediocre one needs to see ALL of the investments that Bain capital made while Mitt was there and see what the overall success to failure rate was (not the overall cash flow as that was obviously positive – the actual count of successful investments versus unsuccessful ones); that will show us how good he is at making systematically good decisions. The shotgun approach with the philosophy that SOME things will hit and hit BIG is NOT what this country needs for a good government. This is also kind of the same thing as point 3. That brings the overall count down to 50.

#5. “In 2002, Romney left the private sector to oversee the Olympics preparations at Salt Lake City. He erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, and oversaw security in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.”
This is a commendable thing. It is worthy of note. This point stands.
The local major newspaper has commended this and still endorses Obama and says that Mitt doesn't deserve a chance to prove himself in the White House.

#6. “As governor of Massachusetts, Romney turned a $3 billion deficit into a $700 million budget surplus in less than two years.”
This is commendable. I wish he would put forth a consistently-messaged and solidly-stated PLAN on how he would do this for the country.

#7. “Governor Romney was granted emergency gubernatorial powers and slashed unsustainable spending levels by hundreds of millions of dollars.”
This is also commendable.... but it is, essentially, the same thing as point #6. That reduces the count to 49.

#8. “As governor, he helped reduce Massachusetts’ unemployment rate from 6% to 4.7%.” Again – HOW? How will he do this for the country? Also, what about his comments that the government isn't responsible for job creation? If he is going to make that comment then he CAN'T also take credit for creating jobs when he was helming a government.
I will also point out that taking credit for this is similar to taking credit to education systems (see above; point 2) without more information I cannot use this to justify voting for Romney. 48 points remain.

#9. “Romney was elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association for the the 2006 election cycle, going on to raise a then-record $27 million for candidates in state house contests across the nation.”
This is not a bonus point for people who are on-the-fence; this is a reinforcing point for people who are ready and happy to vote Republican without research on the cases. This is only a supportive idea for extreme partisan politics. Those are NOT in the best interest of the average person; only the people controlling the strings of the parties.
Given that this is not a reason for someone who is NOT a mindless GOP puppet to vote for Romney I deduct it; 47 remain.

#10. “In 2006, Governor Romney proposed and signed into law market-based healthcare reform approved by 99% of the Massachusetts legislature, which was 85% Democrat and could override any veto.”
I cannot make comment on this other than the raw statistics presented in this statement are commendable.

#11. “Romney objected to the employer mandate, mandated benefits, minimum coverage guidelines, and medicaid expansion in the final healthcare bill. His vetoes were overridden. He also preferred a tax break for those who could prove coverage, rather than a penalty for the individual mandate.”
I disagree with penalizing people for not having health care because if they cannot afford healthcare then they cannot afford the penalties. The “Obamacare” package actually has exemptions built in for people who cannot afford the care; the penalties really only apply to people who can afford it but choose to not have health care coverage. Granted, it's hard to have a unilateral definition of who can afford it that applies correctly.
That said – I could easily be swayed by a tax credit for people who have coverage rather than a penalty for people who do not.
This is also a sub-point to point 10. Count down to 46.

#12. “As Romney predicted, the healthcare law added 1.2% to Massachusetts’ budget, despite the additional costly provisions that he objected to as governor. Another analysis put the cost as low as .3% a year or $100 million.”
This is an interesting statement without even knowing the law referenced.
First – Mitt's law cost the government.
Second: Mitt's analysis is 4x the damage than another analysis.
This is also a sub-point to point 10. Count down to 45.

#13. “So-called Romneycare remains popular with 67-84% of Massachusetts residents, who are happy with the plan and would not go back to the old system if given the chance."
I have already commended this.
This is also a sub-point to point 10 and, essentially a duplication. Count down to 44.

#14. “Romney cut taxes 19 times, and they were only raised in Massachusetts when his governor’s veto was overridden. The governor used fees to help close the state’s $3 billion budget shortfall.”
I COULD outline that this is similar to point 6 but it is different enough that I will merely ask “How.”
What “fees” did he implement that allowed him to cut taxes AND convert a deficit to a surplus? In conjunction with #6 I want to see what he did to manage this.
Again, I point out that this lacks specific data so I cannot use it to vote FOR Romney. 43 points remain.

#15. “Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal Obamacare as quickly as possible, granting waivers from the program to the states in the meantime (just as President Obama gave waivers to special interests and the Democrat Party exempted politicians from the program).”
This is only a reason to vote FOR Romney if one dislikes Obamacare AND if he has a means to replace it with a coverage program that will benefit the overall population as much as Obamacare.

#16. “A devout Mormon, a branch of Christianity, Romney spent two years as a missionary in Paris, France, forgoing entertainment, dating, and contact with family and friends to serve God.”
This is a reason to vote AGAINST Romney. Not only am I removing this from the list I find it important enough that it counts as a NEGATIVE point (two point deduction); down to 42.

#17. “Mitt Romney has never smoked cigarettes, used drugs, or drank alcohol, which shows remarkable dedication.”
Not really. Not drinking at all is interesting; not partaking of it regularly is easy. This is hardly a reason to vote for a presidential candidate. 41.

#18. “Mitt Romney has given nearly 13.5% of his income to charity over the last twenty years, $4 million in 2011 alone. Much of his donations was given to his church.” Charitable contributions – good.
Charitable contributions are tax deductions – neutral.
Charitable contributions to a CHURCH – bad (point deducted) – 40.
Tax-deductible contributions to HIS church (meaning he benefits from them) – double bad – 39.

#19. “The former governor’s taxes never fell below 13.66%, and amount to 38.5% of his income over twenty years.”
I'd like that little of my income to go to taxes. It must be nice to be rich enough to buy a smaller overall tax bracket. Point deducted. 38.

#20. “Mitt Romney accepted no pay as an intern in his father’s Governor’s office, no pay as bishop and stake president for his church, no pay as president of the Olympics, and only a ceremonial salary of $1 as Governor of Massachusetts — 28 years of virtually unpaid service.”
Unpaid intern at father's company – not something to make one a presidential candidate. No pay as bishop in the church - not something to make one a presidential candidate. No pay to coordinate the Olympics – commendable
Ceremonial salary of $1 to govern a state – commendable.
28 years comment is in question.
I'll let this point stand on the last two points; still at 38.

#21. “Mitt Romney refused to take his father’s trust fund money, he financed his way through college, and he donated his father’s inheritance to charity.”
I have seen articles that prove this is, at best, a misleading statement.
I can't take this as a reason to vote for him with that information out there, too. 37 points.

#22. “Ann and Mitt Romney lived in a modest basement apartment for years.” Define “modest.”
Define “years”
One's living quarters don't make one Presidential material; point deducted. 36.
I will acknowledge, though, that this deflates some of the other commentary which demonstrates Mitt's lack of comprehension of what it is like to be an average American.

#23. “While at Bain Capital, Romney shut down the company so that workers could help find a partner’s missing daughter. Mitt Romney helped organize the search, which sent out hundreds of thousands of fliers. The teenage girl was found in New York, after police traced a call in New Jersey to a teenage boy who was interested in the reward.”
Assuming this is fully true it is commendable. This is actually worthy on several points. 1-he shut down the company and 2 – he invested money to print fliers.
This shows a level of empathy and a level of willingness to invest in a good that does not directly benefit him. This shows that he has the capacity to understand the benefit to this (at minimum on a tactical level).

#24. “In July 2003, Mitt Romney used his Jet Ski to rescue a New Jersey family and their Scottish terrier McKenzie out of Lake Winnipesaukee while their boat sank.”
Commendable. Shows courage and an ability to act when it is needed. Not sure how this will help him run a country, though, as the actions needed are long-term strategy and not short-term emergency actions.
This is, essentially, showing the same aspect of Romney as point 23. 35 remain.

#25. “After a California wildfire, Mitt Romney took time out away from his campaign to help a family dig out a tree stump. The act went unpublicized, because Romney does not like to advertise his community service and random acts of kindness.”
This is, essentially, showing the same aspect of Romney as point 23. 34 remain.

#26. “In 1979, Mitt Romney helped a dying fourteen-year old boy named David write his will and delivered the eulogy at his funeral.”
This is, essentially, showing the same aspect of Romney as point 23. 34 remain.

#27. “At a campaign stop in South Carolina, Mitt emptied his wallet for a woman having trouble paying her light bill named Ruth Williams. The woman was in difficult circumstances due to her desperately ill son.”
I have no faith he would do this on a massive scale nor do I have faith this was more than a campaign stunt.
Also, this is, essentially, showing the same aspect of Romney as point 23. 33 remain.

#28. “Although Mitt Romney had the opportunity to attend Stanford, he took a risk and bypassed it to attend Brigham Young University, where his future wife was enrolled. As recounted, Mitt Romney was worried about Ann Davie being wooed by other suitors after he received a “Dear John” letter.”
So? His personal life is not a reason for presidential candidacy. 32 remain.

#29. “As governor, Romney hired more women to his economic team than any other in the country.”
And yet he has made NUMEROUS comments implying he feels that it is a woman's place to be at home. That this is being made a point means he finds hiring women a HUGE deal. It really shouldn't be and it should evenly mirror the eligible and qualified workforce demographic.
I am torn on whether to deduct this one or not so, to be fair, I will leave it as valid.

#30. “Although Mitt Romney is personally against abortion, he has respected a woman’s ‘right to choose’ and vowed not to make abortion legislation a part of his presidential agenda.”
And yet he has flip-flopped on this issue MANY times depending on whom he was speaking to. Point deducted. 31 remain.

#31. “While Romney is a proponent of “traditional marriage,” and is not in favor of civil unions, he has not stood in the way of legal extensions of rights to “domestic partnerships.” As the governor put it, “If the question is: “Do you support gay marriage or civil unions?” I’d say neither; if they said you have to have one or the other, that Massachusetts is going to have one or the other, then I’d rather have civil unions than gay marriage.” Romney has been endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans.”
This is not only not a valid reason to vote FOR Romney; it is a valid reason to vote AGAINST him. This point is removed AND another deducted. 29 remain.

#32. “While Romney was governor, he vetoed a bill for embryonic stem cell research.”
Not a valid reason to support him. My morals don't have an issue with embryonic stem cell research AND I don't feel this should be a federal issue. Point deducted – 28 left.

#33. “Romney also said he would cut federal funding for PBS, given the U.S. is borrowing money from China to finance the government. Such a bold statement about cutting a popular federal program shows courage and seriousness about the issue. (Sesame Street and other programs would not likely go out of business, regardless.)”
Not a good reason. The volume of money that this represents is such a miniscule portion of the overall budget that it would not make a dent. Point lost for this comment – 27.
Point also deducted for the obvious level of pandering that this comment represents AND the realization that this funding is some of the best-leveraged funding our government allocates. It's a poor decision to make this statement – 26 points remain as valid.

#34. “Mitt Romney also told the NAACP that he pledged to repeal Obamacare, drawing boos. This again demonstrates his willingness to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
And yet he has altered what he is stating to match the audience he is speaking to. One cannot TRUST he will always make the tough decisions and deliver the tough message. One CAN assume he will usually say what he thinks he NEEDS to say to benefit himself. Negated point; 25 remain. I won;t deduct a second point even though I really WANT to because of the obvious distortion of reality that this point is trying to create.

#35. “The governor said he would cut funding for the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood.”
I can't argue this. I BELIEVE he has said it, but I am too lazy to go validate the actual words. But, regardless not saying he will is not saying he won't. Declining to NOT do something that is bad is not a positive reason to vote for someone. Point redacted. 24 remain.

#36. “Romney stated in unequivocal terms that the Federal Reserve should be audited. As he responded to a questioner at a campaign stop, “The Federal Reserve should be accountable. We should see what they’re doing.” “
Assuming this is completely accurate and not misrepresented I agree with it completely.

#37. “The Republican candidate has pledged to work to repeal the burdensome 2300-page Dodd-Frank regulations.”
I don't know what these are, nor what they do. By default my ignorance makes this a non-issue for me at the moment. I have to, therefore, deduct it from the count of reasons to vote FOR Romney. I will make a note on that in the summary. 23 remain.

#38. “Although Mitt Romney has admitted that man is responsible for “some warming” in the climate, he opposes cap-and-trade and fought the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as governor of Massachusetts.”
I agree with part of this statement but I can't agree with not doing anything about it. Point deducted. 22.

#39. “The GOP candidate has proposed more domestic energy development, approval of the Keystone pipeline, and a return to market-oriented “green energy” innovation.”
Without more research I cannot know enough to be sure on this one.... but, on the surface, it looks like something I can agree with. I will leave this point.

#40. “Romney signed into law at least one pro-second amendment or pro-sportsmen bill while governor every year, and blocked or improved anti-gun legislation coming out of the Democrat-dominated legislature. NRA board of directors member Grover Norquist in 2007 called Romney’s position on guns “flawless.” “
Without more research I cannot know enough to be sure on this one.... but, on the surface, it looks like something I can agree with. I will leave this point.

#41. “Regarding foreign policy matters, Mitt Romney has pledged to be a staunch defender of Israel.”
I can't be a solid support of Israel and their tactics. This is not a positive to me. Point deducted; 22.

#42. “He has called Iran’s attainment of nuclear weapons “unacceptable” and would do everything in his power to prevent it.”
Agreed on the former. There should be limits on the latter. Working with them to remove an impetus to USE them against us would be more valuable than a military action that reinforces the Arab world's hatred of the US. Without knowing more I cannot determine is this a reason to vote for him or against him... I will, to be fair, leave this point intact.

#43. “Mitt Romney called Russia the U.S.’ “number one geopolitical foe.” President Obama has made numerous concessions to Russia in what he called a “reset” of relations and even whispered to Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” after his “last election” in a hot microphone exchange.”
I disagree. Russia is no longer out largest foe. Our largest foes is not (currently) military; it is economic and/or ideological.
Not a reason to vote FOR Romney – point deducted; 21.

#44. “In regards to China, Romney has stated he intends to go after China for currency manipulation, and he would strengthen our naval assets in the Pacific.”
This is actually two points; I am surprised the article did not outline it as such. I agree with holding China accountable where we can. I am not sure I agree with strengthening our military. I'll leave this point intact.

#45. “Although Romney was attacked by mainstream media for going after Obama on his mishandling of the terrorist attack at Benghazi, further analysis confirms that the administration did not send help to the murdered diplomats and security forces after three requests.”
Not a reason to vote FOR Romney; possibly a reason to vote against Obama. Point deducted. 20.

#46. “Mitt Romney strongly opposes illegal immigration. He is not for forcibly removing but wants to seek ways to encourage legal immigration and discourage illegal immigration.”

#47.”He selected as his running mate Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, who was re-elected six times in a Democrat-heavy district, and never failed to receive 63% of the vote.”
Point against Romney. Ryan is dangerous and is a worse liar and misogynist than Romney. This is a bad enough mistake to not just not be a supporting reason but ALSO be a reason against him. Two points deducted. 18 left.

#48. “Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan would “shrink the size of government to about 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023, 19 percent of GDP in 2040 and 16 percent of GDP in 2050.” The plan is relatively non-aggressive, as conservative critics contend, but may be politically viable.”
I don't know enough to rebut this so, since I like what it says here, I will let it stand.

#49. “As one policy foundation summarized: “The Ryan budget would reform income taxes for individuals and corporations by lowering rates and allowing fewer exemptions, deductions and other special provisions.” “
This is a sub-set of point 48 and not another reason. Point deducted. 17 left.

#50. “As the analysis continued, “relative to the CBO baseline, these proposals would cut taxes by $4.4 trillion over 10 years and would more than offset all of the budget’s $4.1 trillion in proposed spending cuts.” Other ‘non-static’ budget analyses have confirmed this $4 trillion in spending reductions.”
This is a sub-set of point 48 and not another reason. Point deducted. 16 left.

#51. “According to the CBO’s long-term projections, federal debt would decline to 62 percent of GDP in 2022 and to 10 percent of GDP in 2050 under the Ryan plan.”
This is a sub-set of point 48 and not another reason. Point deducted. 15 left.

#52. “As a potential president, Mitt Romney would likely be charged with nominating two Supreme Court justices, who would have lifetime appointments, and dozens of federal judges. The Justices he cites as his favorites are: Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.”
This actually scares me. I don't want a GOP-appointed judge added to the list. Reason NOT to vote for Romney; two points deducted. 13 left.

#53. “While governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney worked with an 85% Democrat legislature to balance the budget four times. If his election bid is successful enough on November 6th, he would likely have the opportunity to work with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and possibly a GOP majority Senate to effect the change of direction America so desperately needs.”
Part of this is point 6, re-stated. Point deducted. 12 remain.
The idea of a GOP-controlled house, senate and White House is terrifying. It removes the checks and balances that a bi-partisan government brings.... even when that brings it's own set of problems. Furthermore, that GOP today does not represent anything that I can support so the idea of a GOP-controlled government is even more terrifying that an all Democrat-dominated government. Another point deducted; 11 left.

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