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Were We Going to Run Out of Cars?

It is obvious from the Democratic convention this week that the Obama campaign believes that their intervention in the failure of GM and Chrysler was a positive.  They seem to be making the case that without the administration making a deal while ignoring the rules of bankruptcy law, GM and Chrysler wouldn’t exist now.  All kinds of companies go in and out of bankruptcy without any interruption in service.  Just look at the airlines, at any point in time there is an airline reorganizing and coming out of Chapter 11.  American Airlines is involved in it right now.  More importantly these orderly bankruptcies are done without taxpayer money.  The issue isn’t one of saving jobs, it is the use of tax dollars and changing the rules everyone else must follow. 

A recent report to Congress from the administration has pegged the GM bailout at $25 Billion.  If you add this to the bailout of Chrysler, and Ally financial (the old GMAC), the total comes in around $38 billion. Even if liquidation was a possibility, and the government wanted to help those dislocated we could have gotten away much cheaper.  At 100,000 jobs (the true number at these companies) we could have closed the doors and given every employee a $100 grand stipend while they look for work, and saved $28 billion.  We then wouldn’t be stuck with the possible risk of having to bail them out again when they prove that they can’t seem to make cars that people want to buy while maintaining enough profit to stay in business. In fact this was Chrysler’s second time (1979 federal loan guarantee) at the taxpayer trough.   At least this time they got sold off to Fiat so the next time they screw up perhaps it will be Italy’s problem.

It is a misnomer that this intervention is called the auto bailout.  Ford, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes & VW did not need any government money.  It is also a mistake to compare this to the financial industry bailout.  There certainly were flaws there as well, but at least you could say that it was systemic problem.  In other words, most banks were affected by the downturn, which cannot be said for the automakers.  Lost in all of the analysis of this bailout was the most important question that was never asked.  Was there a risk we were going to run out of cars?  Is there any doubt that if GM or Chrysler had actually been wiped out that the other carmakers would have stepped up production to fill the void?  The market demands a certain number of cars.  These would likely have been produced in American plants since they all have plants here.  Perhaps this would have led to no net job losses.

We have two car makers who have proven that they cannot compete when times get tough.  The current administration believes that intervening in the market, playing favorites, changing the laws, and spending a fortune to save these failed companies is a good idea.  If a company can no longer provide for their customers, the market forces them to deal with that reality.  Intervening delays the inevitable, confuses others as to the rules they must follow, doesn’t save net jobs, and burdens taxpayers unnecessarily.  The fact that this act can be used as a positive for the President running for reelection is a testament to the lack of economic understanding in the electorate.

The Man Vote

A story reported ad nauseam this and every other election cycle is the fact that The Democrats poll better among women than Republicans.  The current Gallup poll has Mr. Obama ahead among women by 8%.  Even if you have been a regular consumer of news you may not know that this same poll has Romney ahead by 8% among men.  You probably do not know that the vote preference given by men has proven recently to be a better indicator of the overall winner of a presidential election than the advantage among women.  Why don’t we see a headline across newspapers or broadcasts asking the question…“What does Obama have to do to get the man vote?”

Exit polling has been in place since the 1972 election for President, and this has included separating the participants by gender.  For most elections, women and men vote in majorities for the winner.  Recently, however other trends have developed.  Women have voted for the Democrat running for president since 1992.  These votes have twice led to women voting for the loser in the presidential race.  If Mitt Romney loses women in this year’s election, it will just be the continuation of the 20 year trend of women voting for Democrats.  Men on the other hand have voted for the winner all but once in this same period of time.  That winner (Bill Clinton 1996) only lost the man vote by 1% (http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/national-exit-polls.html).  Men seem to be up for grabs in each election, whereas women lately have consistently given the edge to Democrats. 

If you were a promising young reporter, or even a grizzled veteran, isn’t this a better story?  Don’t these facts point to the man vote being a better indicator of the winner?  Are the current reports just media bias, since it makes the republican look bad?  Maybe they report this women gender gap so they can bring up abortion.  Many think that this is the reason for women leaning toward democrats, and it is controversial.  The media certainly loves to report on controversy.  When you see a gender gap story chiding the Romney campaign for their lack of support with women, occasionally they will also show the poll for men.  This is the part of the story that won’t be addressed by the reporter, but can actually give you useful information as we get closer to election day.  If history is our guide, this gender gap will tell you who will be the next president. 

I don’t know any presidential campaign that would be stupid enough to rule out roughly 50% of voters when crafting its message.  It is interesting, however, that when the media chooses to break down the electorate, they choose the wrong gender to focus on for the possible victor.  The media is fixated on the fact that women are showing a preference for President Obama by 8%, while they ignore the same preference number for Romney by men.  Perhaps a rebel will have a story saying that no one has ever won the presidency while losing the man vote by more than 1%.  If it ever happens, they may be on to something.

 

An Absurd Leap for Obama-kind

The Obama campaign has sent surrogates on many shows, and repeatedly stated what can only be considered an outright lie.  They have stated that Mitt Romney, if he becomes president, will raise taxes on middle class families by $2,000 per year.  This has gone almost completely unchallenged by any media outlet, which is almost worse than the allegation.  The morsel of background to this conclusion is an analysis done by “The Tax Policy Center”.  Their paper released in the past few weeks has decided how a President Romney will react to a possible budget shortfall without a whisper of evidence affecting their conclusion.

Mr. Romney has proposed across the board tax cuts of 20% plus closing loopholes and deductions.  These cuts combined with growth rates similar to when tax cuts have been made in the past will allow his plan to be revenue neutral.  A think tank with questionable politics (The Tax Policy Center) has done an analysis of the tax plan, and put out a paper with its results.  They do not believe there will be any effect on growth by cutting marginal tax rates.  The increased growth following the Kennedy, Reagan, or George W. Bush tax cuts seems to have no bearing on their study, which is why their politics should be suspect.  They could have determined that Romney’s numbers don’t add up in their judgment, and the country could have engaged in a debate about what helps an economy grow.  

The paper goes much further than the benign prediction that we have a candidate who has a rosy outlook on the economic results of his proposal.  They have decided that when the plan misses one of its goals of revenue neutrality, Mr. Romney will undermine the principle growth component of his plan by raising taxes on the middle class.  There is, of course, no indication from the Romney campaign that this is what he will do if confronted with a revenue shortfall.  There is no time in the past when Mr. Romney as Governor made such a choice to raise taxes like this.  This lack of evidence, and therefore flawed analysis, has not stopped the Obama campaign from running with this conclusion.  Turn on any television or radio and you will hear some Obama operative, or the President himself saying that his opponent will raise taxes by $2,000 on the middle class.  There are ads running right now claiming this non-fact.

Since there seems to be no challenge to this erroneous claim, the Romney campaign may have to engage under the bizarre reasoning that takes analysis where it never has gone before.  Democratic leaders suggested that the best way to grow the economy was increasing unemployment benefits, and they regularly complain that President Bush never paid for tax cuts or two wars.  After expanding unemployment benefits early in the President’s term, growth has remained stagnant, and these extra costs have contributed to increased deficits.  Combining these two stated Obama goals, and using the logic that is now at play in this presidential campaign should allow for a similar leap.  The Romney people should create an ad, stating as fact, that the President will raise taxes on the unemployed. 

Rather than an analysis that challenges the candidates to backup their plans, or a true debate on what grows an economy, we have supposedly respected institutions literally fabricated a candidate’s position.  The President is more than happy to jump on this fake analysis.  He would otherwise need to discuss his record of failures.  With the absence of media fact checking, the Romney campaign must spend its money refuting the lies.  If analysis of a campaign proposal now includes divining what will be decided for the candidate if circumstances change, Romney needs to get into this game as well.

Bush Tax Cuts Caused the Recession?

The Democratic Party, led by President Obama, is making the argument that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 caused the recession of 2008.  Some campaign talking points are…“Driving us in a ditch…We’ve tried their way and it didn’t work…Tax cuts for the wealthy led to the recession…Returning to the failed policies of the past”.  The tax cuts were a provable overwhelming success in terms of the resulting economy.  They led to good sustainable growth, and a low unemployment rate.  Are we to believe that these cuts were some sort of Trojan horse that looked great for 5 years, but snuck up and bit us in year 6?  In fact the President extended them for 2 years in 2010, and is interested in extending them for 98% of Americans now.  Why would he allow such a destructive policy to continue if it caused a recession?  Why isn’t he asked this when he talks about the failed policies of the past?

The Bush Tax cuts had the same effect on the economy that the Reagan, Kennedy, and Harding/Coolidge tax cuts had. They created sustained economic growth and jobs. The facts are as follows…

Year                            GDP Growth Rate                              Unemployment Rate

2003                                        2.5%                                                    6.0%

2004                                        3.9%                                                    5.5%

2005                                        3.2%                                                    5.1%

2006                                        2.8%                                                    4.6%

2007                                        2.0%                                                    4.6%

These statistics are readily available at government websites, and could take as long as 10 minutes to research.  It is bad enough that the Democrats are trying to gain political advantage by ignoring facts.  It is, however, unacceptable that people in the media would propagate this falsehood when the facts are easily available.  The housing crisis caused the recession.  Unqualified people were able to get mortgages for little or no money down.  When the price of the house went down, the mortgage went underwater.  Banks packaged these mortgages in investments, and when people started defaulting on their loans it brought the financial system to the brink of collapse.  This failed policy of the past is still going on under this president.  The FHA still has its 3.5% down payment mortgages going out the door. 

The media and the democrats ignore these statistics so they can continue to deny the effectiveness of tax cuts, when it comes to economic growth and job creation.  Acknowledging these facts would also force us to look at the real reasons for the crisis.  Liberals in the press love to blame the banks for the housing crisis.  They were not without blame, but they just took a bad policy and accelerated it by creating investments that bet on these bad loans.  This is like blaming the driver of a car for an accident when the government mandates TNT be put in the gas tank.

The President wants to blame tax cuts for the recession when he and Democrats have not recommended any changes to the policy that was the root cause of the crisis.  At the same time he has endorsed almost completely, the tax cuts that he rails about.  The media has really dropped the ball in terms of pointing out the incoherence of these arguments.  It is left to the Romney campaign and outside groups to get this message out, so we don’t make the mistake of leaving the dipsticks in charge in Washington.

Brace Yourself for the Global Warming Non-Debate

Recently it was reported that last month was the warmest July for North America since temperature recording started in 1895.  This should predictably bring all of the global warming alarmists out of the woodwork, demanding action.  They like to wait for a moment such as this to seize upon possible fear, and set aside rational debate.  The media loves to jump on this bandwagon, and always places emphasis on whether it is warming or not.  Warming is only the first part of the debate, and intelligent people can part ways with the “Global Warming Agenda” at any point along the way.  Let’s try that debate exercise…

-          Is global warming occurring?

The data show that there has been some warming.  As the 1895 date above attests, we have only been measuring temperature for a little over 100 years.  How reliable is 100 year old data for us to draw conclusions from?  Other than North America and Europe, what date does the rest of the world’s data become reliable?  Is the fact that those involved in collecting the data are advocates of a position, skewing the results?

-          If it is occurring, is man responsible?

If we are to believe scientists who are convinced there is warming today, we should look at the broader picture to find causation.  There have been roughly 12 mini ice ages (glaciations) in the last million years with the latest advancement of ice taking place 15,000 years ago.  Ice sheets extended to the northern border of Kentucky, and glaciers formed the palisades where the George Washington Bridge crosses today.  In between these ice advances there is warming, or else the Great Lakes would be called the Great Glaciers.  The internal combustion engine was not around for any of these warming periods.  So we have been through these warming and cooling cycles regularly in Earth’s history.  Many scientists believe that the data says it is warming faster due to man’s use of carbon based fuels.

-          If it is warming, and it is due to man, can we reverse it?

The current suggested solution to this alleged problem is to force the implementation of environmentally friendly forms of energy.  The expense of these alternatives will force us to live in cities, adopt more mass transit, get rid of cars, and live with less of almost everything we have grown accustomed.  The most optimistic ideas, however, don’t really change the results of warming.  The Kyoto treaty which has now been rejected by most large countries, would have delivered a .2 (degree Celsius) change in temperature over 20 years.  According to Kyoto this would cost an estimated 1% less worldwide GDP.  At $70 trillion per year, 1% cost over 20 years would mean (.7 x 20) $14 trillion.

-          If it is warming, and it is due to man, and we can reverse it, should we?

This is the conversation no environmentalist wants to have.  With the sacrifices and trillions in costs to cut temperatures the slightest of amounts, is it worth it?  Is there a case to be made that warming would be a net good?  After all, there are many more deaths every year related to cold weather rather than hot. 

You can get off this global warming debate train at any stop along the way.  Seeing what it costs for the solution to the problem, makes the earlier issues almost moot.  The public debate has neglected so many bigger points, yet the onslaught of vacant arguments sadly continue.

If Only it Were True

In the aftermath of the Colorado shootings, the President, and Mitt Romney both spoke eloquently about the tragic and deliberate act of violence.  The President also went to visit with the families, and he said something idealistic about how we will remember the victims not the murderer.  This is a proper goal, but it is certainly not what currently happens.   For perhaps voyeuristic reasons, the media concentrates all too often on the murderer in reporting on these types of incidents.  There could probably be bipartisan agreement on the goal of the President’s statement.  Rather than politicians wasting time talking about guns and gun control in this terrible story’s aftermath, they could work on ways to discourage any opportunity for fame that this act can create for the killer.

“Out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come,” President Obama said. “Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days that attention will fade away.  And in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.”  This is a wonderful sentiment, but it is simply not true.  How many victims do we know stories about from the Oklahoma City bombing?  What, on the other hand, do we know about the perpetrator of that crime?  We found out about his politics, how he was able to combine the explosives, followed through the trial, and his execution.  There are some rare exceptions, such as Todd Beamer and a handful of others on 9/11.  Unless the person murdered, however, is already famous we hear very little about them.  The focus of media attention is almost always on the murderer.

The goal should be to discourage attention paid to these people as if they are important.  Encourage going back to the times when we only saw them on their public execution day.  Perhaps if there was little hope of becoming a celebrity there would be less interest in committing one of these horrifying acts.  Even if this does not deter future acts of violence, it is a public good to shun attention to these perpetrators.  Most of these acts are violations of state law, but there could be a federal role.  Why not pass a law that would require a special broadcast on PBS with stories exclusively about the victims culminating in the public broadcast of the execution.  Conservatives may sign on to this, since Public Broadcasting keeps avoiding the budget axe.  States that don’t have the death penalty should be encouraged to do so.  A speedy trial, quick appeal, and a quick execution would all help as well. 

The President had a good goal in mind when he spoke in Colorado.  It is a shame that we glorify these killers by covering every aspect of their lives, while almost ignoring the people we should care about.  The media is free to cover what they want, but there can be a higher goal set for them to follow.  Make some worthwhile use of the public broadcasting airwaves.  Set the example of what is important to remember from these incidents, and who we should ignore.

You Didn’t Build that Gold Medal Opportunity

Earlier this week at the Olympics in women’s gymnastics, Jordyn Wieber finished 4th overall in the qualifying round for the women’s individual all-round finals.  She did not, however, qualify for the final competition due to a rule that does not allow more than 2 athletes from each country to participate in the finals.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) put this rule in place to get more countries represented in the finals.  A Russian gymnast, despite finishing 9th overall, also did not make the finals, which will have 24 athletes competing.  Most people when hearing this rule are bothered by the feeling that this is unfair despite the possibly good intentions. 

There has been no official word from the White House on this rule, but I was listening to my Ham radio after the event, and thought I intercepted a consoling call from President Obama to Jordyn Wieber.  The woman was very upset, so he did most of the talking.  Despite the static, I was able to write down most of what I heard the President say…

“We have found that it just works better when you spread the medals around…”

“A lot of gymnasts think they just work harder than others, but I know a lot of gymnasts from other countries who work hard…”

The woman on the phone started sobbing at this point.

“I do think at a certain point you have won enough medals. I mean how many do you need…”

“I was talking to my friend Warren Buffett the other day, and I realized that we should propose a ‘Phelps Rule’ to the IOC, where if you win more than 5 medals you have to give at least 30% back…”

“If you have a fall and a doctor amputates your foot, somebody still wins a medal…”

The gymnast gasped and tried to ask a question, but the President continued.

“Medals trickling down from the top one percent has never worked…”

“You didn’t build that pommel horse, you didn’t build those uneven bars, somebody else made that happen!”

Jordyn at this point indicated that she appreciated the effort, but that she didn’t feel this call was helping her feel any better.  The voices started to fade away, the last thing I heard was the President saying something about Chicago Olympics in 2020.

The free enterprise system has created wealth and benefited all people throughout society, particularly the poor.  The rules implemented in this sport are eerily similar to the principles behind what is being advocated for our country.  Let’s not allow some subjective idea of fairness to destroy the system that has raised more people’s living standards than any other in history.

Can Anyone Count?

Racial discrimination in America has always been a very topical, hot-button issue marred in controversy and debate.  Much of the debate is facilitated by the fact that it is so difficult for any two parties to come to an agreement as to what the clear definition of racial discrimination is and when it definitively takes place.  Let’s face it, the only time we really know for certain that someone was discriminated against because of their skin color is when the perpetrator actually admits it.  The rest is just finger pointing and conjecture.   What we do really know though, is that discrimination does take place.  Without defining racism or determining which isolated case meets that definition, we can still say that over any given period of time there are individuals who were discriminated against because of their skin color. 

The make up of the group of people who are the victims of racial discrimination is an element of the race issue which is not controversial or debatable for anyone who has the ability to count.  All too often we hear cries over the fact that minorities or non-whites are more often the victims of discrimination.  This can’t be helped.  This is a condition which is inherent to the numbers in our population.  Non whites are greatly outnumbered by whites.  That’s the definition of the word ‘minority’, there are less of them.  If there are more white people overall than anyone else then there are more racist white people overall than anyone else.  If there are more racist white people in the first place then the victims of racism will more often be, you guessed it, non white!

According to the Census, whites make up about 68% of the population.  In lieu of any other conditions, that would mean any general cross-section of society would adhere to those same numbers.  Pick a group of people: those who are tall, those are mean, those who are nice, those who walked into a Target store today, those who like anchovies, those who are racist.  Whatever group you choose, in general, their make up would be: about 50-50 male female, about 10% left handed, about 65% overweight, about 10% homosexual, about 8% vegetarian, etc., etc., etc.,  and about 68% white!  If 68% of those who victimize others with racial discrimination are white then about 68% of the victims of racism have to be non white.  Isn’t that how it usually works?  Don’t racists always victimize people who are a different skin color?

Look at it in whole numbers if that’s easier for you.  In a nation of 300 million with 68% white that would mean about 204 million people were white.  The next largest representations of skin color are blacks and latinos at about 13% each, totaling about 39 million people each.  No matter what the percentage of the population may be racist, that frequency will occur in proportion with those totals.  Let’s say that only 1% of the population is racist.  That makes about 2 million racist white people, 400,000 racist blacks and 400,000 racist latinos.  Two million versus, at best, four hundred thousand?    Do the math!  I don’t care if it’s a water balloon fight.  Non whites are guaranteed to get their heads handed to them.  Still struggling with the arithmetic?  Try this.  If you were to start a brand new country and populate it with 100 people made up of 68 whites, 13 blacks, 13 latinos, 4 asians, 1 middle eastern and 1 native american, who do you think would automatically have the upper hand in that society?  Who would be screwed?  Do the math!

This numerical dynamic of victimization is also represented in other arenas of socialization.  Have you ever heard of someone being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation?  When you have heard that, haven’t you heard it almost exclusively in one direction, straight people victimizing gays?  Did you ever do the math on that one?  When you did the math, were you able to realize the reason must be because straight people outnumber gays about 10 to 1?  If you can understand that dynamic at a 10 to 1 ratio you should be able to understand it in the arena of racism at a 5 to 1 ratio.  What if right handed people discriminated against lefties and vice versa?  Which group might take more grief in that scenario!?  Take off your shoes and socks if you need more digits to count with.

I don’t mean for this to sound like a justification of any kind.  It’s merely an explanation.  As long as the numbers in the population are what they are, so to, will be the ubiquitous victimization of non whites.  As the numbers spell doom for minorities they also reveal the solution.  The solution doesn’t seem possible though.  You would have to even out the numbers in the population and that would mean mandating breeding habits and it would take generations to have an effect.  So the next time any poor soul seems anxious or angry or otherwise discontented by this disparity you may offer them comfort in this explanation.  And the knowledge that the disparity only makes perfect sense. 

Social Security’s Benefactor…Illegal Immigration

The public perception of illegal immigrant workers is one of people being paid on a cash basis, and employers fully aware that they are employing illegal aliens.  The spectacle of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raiding a business to catch these lawbreakers hits newspapers and television broadcasts periodically to help fuel this perception.  This may have been the majority of illegals in our workforce at one time, but it is impractical to think this is how 12 million or more illegal immigrants work in this country now.  People would probably be surprised to know that there is a government agency that has perhaps the greatest resource of information about illegal aliens, and purposefully withholds this information from ICE.  This agency is the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Notification of a problem to employers does exist in what is known as the “no match” letter.  This is a letter sent from SSA to over 9 million people per year.  It is a document sent to employees (often through their employer), which informs them that their SS# does not match their name in the SSA database. Often these “no-match” letters can be explained as a data entry error, or a name change (such as marriage).  However, when the error is not corrected under any of these simple scenarios, it is a signal that the individual could be working in the country illegally.  SSA has no specific rules if the letter is not resolved.  They don’t inform ICE, they don’t have steps for the employer, they just continue to send letters.  This can go on for years.

Normally one could attribute this lack of direction as typical government agency incompetence.  This may not be the case here.  For fear of prosecution, companies often take no action when these letters go unresolved.  Social Security taxes still are collected under the employee’s bad information.  What does SSA do with this money, since there is no account for this individual?  There must be a pile of money with nobody’s name on it at SSA.  If you are the head of SSA, and every day your agency is inching closer to the time when you are paying out more than you take in, this is a nice line item to have.  

If Congress was interested in solving the problem of illegal immigration, a few simple steps could go a long way.

-          Update the Social Security Card. There have been 50 cards issued since its inception, and all are still valid and easily forgeable. Security similar to the US passport should suffice.

-          Inform Employers that if their employee “no match” issue is not resolved within 90 days, and they continue to employ that person, there will be a hefty daily fine.

-          Unresolved issues must be forwarded on to ICE by SSA for further investigation regardless of termination.

-          Protect from litigation any employer who terminates an employee for not resolving the “no match” letter.

It is clear that SSA has no incentive to solve this problem despite having some of the best information on possible illegal immigrants in the workforce.  They don’t want to end the slush fund that has no corresponding obligation for payout.  The next time there is some big raid on the news, don’t buy into the hype.  There are many more where they came from, and SSA has a good idea who they are.  Closing this huge loophole may deplete funds to Social Security, but would truly start the process of solving this problem.

Romney Should Stop Running from his Wealth

Obama operatives and willing members of the media are making a big issue of the fact that Mitt Romney hasn’t made public more than his most recent tax returns.  This is pushing a campaign theme of theirs that Romney is super rich, with his offshore bank accounts and car elevators.  They are trying to portray the President as some working class guy who understands you, and Romney is some rich guy who can’t relate.  This argument should be revealed as the fraud that it is.

The President has an estimated net worth of roughly $10.5 million, while Mitt Romney’s wealth is over $200 million.  The administration puts out proposals which treat anyone who earns $250,000 is the same as Warren Buffet.  The same majority of Americans who lump these two groups together would probably consider both candidates rich.  This information needs to be part of the public debate.  The Obama campaign would be forced to argue that our guy is just rich, their guy is super rich.  This distinction without a difference, in the eyes of most voters, should be exploited by the Romney campaign.

Mr. Romney has been running for president for 6 years, and the cat is out of the bag in terms of his wealth.  Having run for this long, he should also be prepared to release at least that many years of returns.  He should accompany this release of information with a speech that addresses the issue.  Leaking to the press what the speech is about should even get liberal media outlets to cover it.  MSNBC headline… “Up next…Mitt Romney comes clean on his wealth.”

During the speech he should confirm the rumor that he is rich.  He should repeatedly refer to the president and himself as “members of a fortunate group of Americans, part of the 1%, two of a kind, etc.”  He should make it clear that Americans like himself and the President, have a special obligation to give something back to the country that has made each of them members of the top 1%.  The speech should then be capped off by a promise that he will donate his entire salary when he becomes President to charity.  To go further, he should suggest that when he is convinced that taxpayer money is being spent wisely, and without waste, he will donate his salary to paying down the national debt.

This should accomplish a few things, all of them good.

-          It will take the issue of “what is Romney hiding” off the table.

-          Romney’s charitable donations of over $3 million per year will be highlighted.

-          It will help frame the President as also in the wealthy 1% category with Mr. Romney, neutralizing the issue.

-          It will generate a belief that the President is a hypocrite.

-          There may be some foolish media types who will try to explain how Mr. Obama’s $10 million is not rich.  This is a winning discussion for the Romney campaign.

-          It will generate questions for Mr. Obama about why he doesn’t donate his salary.

-          It will highlight the huge debt that the President has presided over.

-          It brings attention to government inefficiency, which plays into Romney as a “Mr. Fix-it” such as his work at Bain Capital, rescue of the Salt Lake City Olympics, etc.

It is proper to concentrate on the economy, but sidetrack issues must be addressed as well.  There are so many false and misleading statements that are put out by the Obama campaign, which are easy to turn against them.  For Mr. Romney to be successful he must respond, and turn these issues to his advantage.

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