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Comments for: Monday, Oct. 15, 2012: Romney’s vision, Iran and hospital mergers

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  • Anonymous

    Lawrence Merrill, I would like to know what it is about Romney’s vision that you prefer, since your letter didn’t include any information about what Romney’s vision is. Is that because no one seems to know what it is, including Romney?

    • Anonymous

       Romney’s vision is even lower tax rates for himself, voucherized Medicare for those under 55, privatized Social Security for the benefit of Wall Street, and a return to back alley abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest, and pregnant mistresses of Republican Congressmen.

      • Anonymous

        Like Obama’s vision of making the deficit even higher

        • Anonymous

          How will Romney lower the deficit?

          • Anonymous

            He has no clue. He only wants to cut taxes for his rich buddies and payback the ones who spent all the money to elect him.

          • Anonymous

            and what has Obama done, raised the deficit

          • Anonymous

            Still waiting for you to answer how Romney will lower the deficit.

          • Anonymous

            Get the economy going, get people working so they pay income taxes rather than get services from the government that the government(s) can’t afford.

          • Anonymous

            Romney would also cut out tax loopholes big time to lower the deficit while retaining the current tax rate for everyone instead of letting the rates expire for everyone except those who earn over 250,00 dollars annually. He mentioned he would cut back on regulations that discourage investments and job creation. He also plans to cut back on social spending and government subsidies. There are far too many excesses in those two areas of spending.

          • Anonymous

              Romney won’t identify a single deduction or loophole he would eliminate or restrict.  He does promise to keep the capital gains rate at its historic low and to maintain the carried interest rule, which allows a taxpayer, such as Romney, to pretend that salary income is really capital gains.  This is how Romney paid just 14% of his income in taxes in 2010 and likely paid almost no Social Security taxes.
              You may be satisfied with Romney hiding the ball; I am not.

          • Anonymous

            You seem to forget one important item about Romney’s tax. He paid 14% of his total income after taking deductions for 20% of his charitable donations. Had it not been for those donations his tax burden compared to his income would have been much higher.

            As far as loopholes and deduction, I don’t blame him for not identifying them. If he does this he will only give his detractors election fodder to attack him.

          • Anonymous

              Math is not your strong suit.  The charitable deductions affect the total tax paid, not the tax rate as a percentage of taxable income.  I will try to simplify:  assume Romney had $20 million in gross income which, after charitable deductions of $4 million (20%), is then taxed at 14% or $2.24 million.  His effective tax rate is 14 % as a percentage of taxable income and 11.2 % as a percentage of gross income.  If you express the effective rate as a percentage of gross income, the charitable deduction lowers his effective tax rate.
               Between Social Security and state and federal income taxes, I face a tax burden double that of Romney.  
               You may accept a candidate who won’t tell you his secret plans.  In reality, he won’t tell us his secret plans because none of them work.  The math is straightforward on this point.  Romney will either have to grow the deficit or tax the middle class at a higher rate. 

          • Anonymous

            Your math makes sense except for one thing: Romney’s income was almost all in capital gains. The rate for capital gains in his income bracket is 15% for long-term capital gains and 35% for short-term gains. While there’s no telling how much of each type of capital gains he had, the rate for each is higher than his effective tax rate of 14% in the last tax year. Thus without a deduction for charitable donations his effective tax rate would have been higher, not lower.

            There’s still another way of looking at his tax situation: He effectively gave away 20% of his gross income less the amount of money his tax burden was decreased as a result of the deduction. Although not a tax, society has greatly benefited from his largesse even when money donated to the Mormon Church is taken out of the equation. When people feel higher income earners don’t pay enough taxes they need to be reminded about how much of their income in donations benefits the public. In my home town for example, we have a public park, a ski resort, a golf course, and many private non-profit projects mostly all funded by wealthy people of direct benefit to the general public, not to mention donations to both private and public colleges and universities throughout the state.

            In incidentally gross income is not taxed for various reasons: sales taxes, property taxes, and state income taxes are subtracted to prevent double taxation. Therefore the effective tax rates on gross incomes is a rather meaningless term.

          • Anonymous

              I have not closely reviewed Romney’s returns and don’t know what the denominator is for the calculation of his effective tax rate: taxable income or AGI.  I suspect it is the latter, which is why he is claiming an effective rate below 15%.  All of Romney’s capital gains are  long term.  The catch is that he is claiming that rate on money that his investors risked.  That is what the carried interest rule means.  He assumes no risk of his own money but claims the low tax benefit of capital gains.  In years past this was treated as ordinary income.  An investor gave Bain Capital money; Bain invested it, made a gain of x dollars and claims 20% of that as a fee.  This should be treated as ordinary income because Bain was never the investor who could have lost his shirt. 
               Understand that the only way Romney can begin to cut tax rates for the wealthiest by 20% and keep their tax burden the same is to eliminate the charitable, home mortgage interest, health care insurance, and state income tax deductions.  This will have a devastating impact upon the housing industry, charities, etc.  Thus your man is declaring a war on charities.
              Your comment on effective tax rates on gross income being meaningless makes me smile.  The only way the last sentence of your first paragraph makes sense is if you are looking at total taxes as a percentage of gross income.  As a percentage of taxable income, Romney’s effective tax rate would be the same, 14%.     

          • Anonymous

            Capital gains is capital gains. It is very different from earned income. Bains, partly owned by Romney as a share holder, paid taxes on its earnings like any corporation. As a share holder of the corporation Romney would have been subject to capital gains tax by selling shares of stocks he owned. I have no idea if his capital gains were derived from such shares (stocks), or from shares in funds the company managed, or both. My understanding is that he held both types of shares. He may also have derived an income from the company as a paid financial adviser or as an employee in some other capacity. But one thing has been made known to the general public: Nearly all of his income was derived from capital gains -not ordinary income passed off as capital gains as you speculated (he would never be able to get away with a scheme like that).

            Thus contrary to your assertion, Romney as both an investor (among many other investors) and as a share holder in the company (Bains) that invested people’s money (including some of his own) assumed risks. ANYONE WHO OWNS SHARES OF STOCK IN A COMPANY, SHARES IN AN INVESTMENT FUND, OR BOTH, AUTOMATICALLY ASSUMES RISK AS ROMNEY DID.

            One more thing: As required by law, Romney has made known his tax reports for the last two tax years. So far no discrepancies or anything untoward have been found.

          • Anonymous

            You don’t understand how hedge funds work.  Google “carried interest” and educate yourself.  Romney’s money was never at risk and was primarily earned in exchange for services rendered.  That is what we used to call ordinary income until the hedge fund schemers gamed the system.

          • Anonymous

            Let me cite an explanation of Romney tax situation from one of the sources you likely read:
             
            “The way the loophole works relates to the peculiar method in which
            money managers are compensated. Typically, they receive a fee of 2
            percent of the gross assets under management, much of which comes from
            employee pension funds, plus 20 percent of any increase in value.
            Thus,
            on $1 billion of assets the managers would automatically get $20
            million that would be taxed as ordinary income. If the assets increased
            10 percent to $1.1 billion, they would get another $20 million. For tax
            purposes, this additional $20 million would be treated as a capital gain
            and taxed at 15 percent.”

            Here’s there scoop. Any money earned as a result of capital gains – including the 20% of income derived from the increase in the value of the fund as Romney obviously benefited from – is taxable as “capital gains” because it is indeed capital gains. Call it a loophole or whatever but it appears legitimate to me. That said, I don’t understand what all the hullabaloo is all about. For one, Romney had nothing to do with writing the tax law. Why should he have claimed part of his capital gains as earned income when all of it qualified as “capital gains”? Apparently the IRS went along with his claim that was done openly and not through subterfuge.

          • Anonymous

            The rates being quoted are income tax as a percentage of adjusted gross income.   Romney’s 14.1% for 2011 is tax as a percentage of adjust gross therefore his rate would be higher without charitable deductions.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks. Please see the last sentence of my first paragraph above, which made that point.

          • Anonymous

            He paid $23,179 of self-employment tax in 2011.

          • Anonymous

            The Medicare self-employment tax is 2.9% and has no income cap.  But for the carried interest treatment of his compensation from Bain, Romney would have paid $580,000 in Medicare self-employment taxes on $20,000,000 in income.

          • Anonymous

            Romney says he would cut loopholes big time, but he can’t even point to which ones. Ryan admitted that even getting rid of every single loophole and deduction would be 100 billion short of making the across the board 20% tax rate cut deficit neutral. 

            You guys have this unreasonable disdain for our President and it stops you from being objective. Why don’t you have a problem with the lack of details from Romney/Ryan? If you think about what they’re proposing for more than a minute, especially in terms of taxes, you would realize what they’re saying isn’t actually possible. Yet you hate the current President so much, you just don’t care. 

            Their specific promise is to massively increase Defense spending and then vaguely promised to rework taxes and deregulate. That’s going to balance the budget? Whawell, I know it’s tough for you to be honest, but you really need to ask yourself these questions.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t dislike the President. Besides, I’ve never called him a liar, a hypocrite, or a cheat. But I do disagree with many of his economic policies that are driving this country into an economic downward spiral with out-of-control spending and borrowing. The last Bush president was not much better in that sense. Four more years of such policies that haven’t taken this country out of recession is to much to ask from me.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t care what you call him, the fact is, you criticize him for the exact same behaviors that the candidate you support engages in. That’s the definition of hypocrisy. 

            The question isn’t whether the past four years have been bad. The question is whether one candidate or the other can make things better. 

            I’m quite fine if you believe and trust your gut with Romney. That’s okay. But you absolutely cannot say that what Romney has said will make things better because he hasn’t been specific. And the details he has given, don’t add up. So don’t lie to yourself and others and say that Romney’s plan is better — because it isn’t. It’s half baked and it doesn’t add up. 

          • Anonymous

             What I want to know is, HOW he’s going to do these things.

          • Anonymous

            So would have McCain. If you want to point a finger, point it at Wall Street. AND, it is Congress that approves spending. They raised the deficit. A president can only work with what he is given. 

          • Anonymous

            He was given a democratic House and Senate for two years; why couldn’t he do something then. If he had done something that people wanted, and that was not the massive, intrusive health care legislation, then the House would have remained democratic. At this point in his presidency, he is belligerent and going it on his own with his czars; while this country is spiraling down.

            His worst problem is his arrogance and childish behavior when he does not get what he wants. No, his worst problem is the lies he spins for his administration as in Benghazi. Is he blaming Bush for that too?

          • Anonymous

            Having a majority in both houses is not enough to force through any law in most cases. It usually takes more than 51% of the vote to pass legislation. Repeating the falsehood that Obama had control of Congress is  the right wing attempt to gloss over the fact that conservative opposed every policy put forth by Obama and the democrats, and that they refused to compromise. In the Senate even a 59/41 majority is not enough. It usually takes 60 votes.

          • Anonymous

            Exactly right !

          • Anonymous

            He did quite a bit in those two years given that the pledge to make him a one-term president was made before he even took office. But you obviously will see nothing positive in this President’s actions. I wonder what underlies the animosity? A well balanced perspective is one that gives him credit for what he has done well and holds him accountable when it is legitimate to hold him accountable. Did you hold the Bush administration accountable for 9-11? That occurred on our own soil. 

          • Anonymous

            Point to Barny Frank he put the s&l and banks together and  made this mess. Work with what he is given. Hmm what was the price of fuel before he was there, the deficit. His foreign policy if you call it that is a mess

          • Anonymous

            That argument has been refuted time and again, but, hey, you can keep on using it if it supports your beliefs. Just understand that it positions you among the less informed. The foreign policy issue. He has restored America to the realm of credibility in the world. Look at how he backed Netenyahu down. I think he has restored America as a global leader.

          • Anonymous

            and got the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt, look at the instability since he has been in office. Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Lybia to mention a few. Look at what they did to our Ambassador. As bad as when Clinton refused to give our troops in Mogadishu tanks, and our soldiers were dragged through the streets.

          • Anonymous

            The instability in the middle east is actually a sign that the populations are fed up with dictatorships, to the point that they are doing something about it. The Muslim Brotherhood is not El Quaeda, and in fact is not even close. Whether or not they all settle into democracies remains to be seen.
            “Look at what they did to our ambassador.” I love the fact that not one single right wing pundit has bothered to mention that the public in Libya was so po’d that they drove the suspected militias from their cities, and that the Libyan government has begun to restrict the militias. Instead the right wing pundits like to say that the Muslims hate us, when the evidence here is to the contrary.

          • Anonymous

            Time will tell. The evidence is not contrary, beware of wolves in sheeps clothing. When the reality sets in that they want to destroy Israel you will see. Muslims do hate us because of Israel, and that is mere simple fact.

          • pbmann

            What did Reagan do when 240 US Marines, Army and Navy personel were killed in Lebanon?  He pulled out of there so fast it made us look real weak and then invaded Granada to appear tough.

          • Anonymous

            If I recall he bombed Lybia,and we did not hear from them. I maybe wrong, just going from memory.

          • pbmann

            No the bombing of Libya was in response to the bombing of the Berlin Disco. 

            Either way, Iran was the sponsor of the bombing of the Marine base in Lebanon.  You know the country that Reagan sold weapons to to finance the Contras.

          • Anonymous

            You mean he gets credit for the Arab spring? Wow. He has done a lot more than I thought.

          • Anonymous

            “spring” yea sprang us into more problems.

          • Anonymous

            You forget that one of the president’s main tasks to show leadership when it comes to spending. This president has been largely AWOL in this area. Besides using the bully pulpit he can advance his own budget agenda and threaten to use his veto power when necessary to keep spending down. So the president is far from being powerless.

          • Anonymous

             You say he’s not a good leader, The GOP stated from the beginning they would not work with him. Being a good leader, does not mean giving in on everything, and that’s what it would take. The GOP would sell this country down the river, they almost did last time. Obama himself said this mess would not be fixed over night. Things didn’t happen as many of us hoped they would, but letting  sociopath Mitt Romney take over, is over the top.

          • Anonymous

            You are forgetting the much maligned cuts to states that occurred shortly after Obama took office. And the number of government jobs that have been cut since he took office. This President is damned when he does and when he doesn’t. Makes me think something else underlies the animosity expressed by so many. 

          • Anonymous

            Do you think about what you say before you say it? Your criticisms aren’t compatible with each other. You are saying the President doesn’t lead and that he’s AWOL, then you go on to say that he’s a bully and uses too much of his power. Which is it because you can’t be those two things at once? 

          • Anonymous

            He saved the country from going off the cliff.  Every single reputable economist says that such a severe recession as we have had takes many years to recover from.  The deficit is a result of this and moreover Bush’s disastrous policies.

          • Anonymous

            Yea, keep thinking that, when cash for clunkers and the other measures where under Obama.

          • pbmann

            Obama has lowered the deficit each of the past 3 years

        • Anonymous

          I am looking forward to R & R’s explanation of how we cut taxes 20% drop a few loop holes, I would guess none of the loop holes Romney uses would be dropped, so the only one left that would amount to much would be the mortgage interest deduction. I am hoping someone asks him Tues. night what of his deductions will he be dropping and will he stop the flo of money out of the US to places like Cayman Islands, Switzerland and Bermuda?  It would seem to me as one running for Pres. he would stop investing in China, how can you accuse  Obama  of being soft on China and you are investing in Chinese companies, what a hypocrite.   Unless you are wealthy you are crazy to vote for this man, he has a huge debt to repay the millionaires and billionaires by decreasing their taxes. 
          The Republicans are always say don’t tax the job creators, I have yet to find any that promise to hire anybody if they get a tax cut.  If the congress wants to give them tax cuts then do it after they have created jobs for a minimum of 1 yr. and do it retroactively, then we’ll see how many jobs are created.   
          I say the jobs are created by the middle class, if they don’t buy either services or goods who in their right mind will hire more people if they have no one looking for goods or services, would you hire more people if you were in business if you couldn’t sell your goods or services?????

          • Anonymous

            so you say keep raising the deficit.

          • Anonymous

            The deficit will be cut over a trillion dollars starting in Jan. 2013.  What is Romney doing other than cutting taxes??????????????
            You didn’t answer my question.

          • Anonymous

            It will? when it is going up a trillion all the time.  I am looking forward to his explanation too. What is a trillion when he has put it up so high.

          • Anonymous

            A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you are talking big money.   There needs to be an increase in revenue and a cut in expenses to get us out of this mess and the fact that reversible Mittens has signed Grovers pledge there is no way anything can be done under him about the deficit.  I hope Obama tries to push through the Simpson/Boles recommendations again at least that would be a start. 

          • Anonymous

            I gather the answer to your question is not forthcoming.

          • Anonymous

            You guessed right.

          • Anonymous

            It will, yea right. Who knows till he gets in office. We already know what Obama is doing taking over 700 million out of Medicare

          • Anonymous

            It is a misstatement that Obama is taking 716 million from medicare. Each time a right wing pundit says it, they imply it is being taken from benefits. In fact it is reducing costs, the amount paid to hospitals, doctors, etc that results in a 716 million dollar savings. And the funny thing is that Ryan’s plan does exactly the same thing.

          • Anonymous

            Is that the same $700 million Ryan has in his budget?   And they crucify Obama for the same thing.  Hypocrite???????????     Oh yes!!!!!!!!!!  

          • Anonymous

            Whomeever does it, it is wrong. Though Obama is the one now in office. Obama care is a mess. Remember he is the one in office now making a mess.

          • Anonymous

            According to the US Treasury Department, the day Obama took office the deficit was 1.3 trillion dollars, and in 2012 it is 1.089 trillion. That looks like a reduction to me.

          • pbmann

            Again, Obama has lowered the deficit each of the past 3 years.

          • Anonymous

            raise it almost a trillion, and it drips a little, I guess that is lowering it.

          • pbmann

            Bush’s last budget had a higher deficit than any year under Obama.  Guess we know which party is really for deficit spending.

          • Anonymous

            The question is, is the deficit higher now than it was before? I guess we know the answer to that.

          • Anonymous

            You are confusing national debt and deficit, two of the three elements of the economy.

          • Anonymous

            And somehow Romney managed to duck this glaring issue in the 1st debate and come across as “winning” the debate.  Maybe because people think he’s a “nice guy”?  Big deception.

          • Anonymous

            Actually Obama fell flat in not calling Rmoney on his lies during the debate (27 by one count), and the moderator did a lousy job.
            In the VP debate we saw Biden conduct himself in the best manner by not letting the lies pass without challenge. I suspect, and hope, Obama will take a page from Biden.
            You may have seen how the right wing pundits are criticizing Biden for smiling, laughing, etc because they do not have a good answer to his challenges when Ryan was trying to BS the public.

          • Anonymous

            Agree completely.  Maybe someone should tell the President that he IS permitted caffein.

          • Anonymous

            and Obama and Biden are nice guys? yea right

        • Anonymous

          As he wants to raise taxes on taxable income above $250,000, he would close the deficit.  Which party opposes those tax increases?

          • Anonymous

             It could close the deficit assuming the new revenue is used to do so.  I’ve seen nothing that indicates there will be legislation requiring that even a percentage of any new revenue raised by the increased taxes will be used strictly for deficit reduction.  Have I missed that small detail?  If not, is there anything to say that any increase in revenue would not be used to fund additional programs or increase funding to existing programs?

          • Anonymous

              As the President has been campaigning on $1 in revenue increases for every $2.50 in expenditure decreases, you have missed more than one small detail.   Simply read the transcript of the debate in Denver for the latest evidence of this.
              Romney refuses even a 10:1 ratio between spending cuts and tax increases.  He doesn’t support a single dollar of tax increases and is, instead, selling the voodoo economics theory that we will magically grow revenue by cutting taxes.
              One party is rational.  The GOP has insisted upon staying in fantasy land.

          • Anonymous

            what is the percentage of people that actually pay taxes since he has been in office?

          • Anonymous

            Almost 100%.  Everyone who works pays FICA taxes.  Everyone who shops pays sales taxes.  Everyone who owns a home pays real estate taxes.  Everyone of those taxes takes a bigger percentage of the income of the poor and middle classes than it does of the rich.  Only the income tax is mildly progressive and fools like Romney want to further flatten that tax.

          • Anonymous

            I should of said that pay taxes, and get it all back. How many actually pay (actually).

        • pbmann

          Obama has lowered the deficit each of the past 3 years

          • Anonymous

            Is that why it is 16 trillion or something like that.

          • Anonymous

            The 16 trillion is the national debt, the total of what the US government owes. The deficit is the difference between revenue (income) and expenses, payments due on a periodic basis.
            By reducing the deficit, Obama has closed the gap between the money coming in and the money going out.
            The opposite of deficit is surplus, money left over after the bills are paid. When Clinton left office it was projected that due to the expected yearly surplus the national debt would be wiped out by 2010. Unfortunately Bush was elected and thought it meant he could go on a spending spree.
            A large part of the national debt which makes up that 16 trillion is the consequence of us now having to pay for two unfunded wars and an unfunded Part B of medicaid, all brought about by Bush.

          • Anonymous

            Thanks, appreciate the info. Also the problem with bailouts, which one was under Obama admin. Like Bush remember the buck stops at the one at the White House. Obamacare is the one that has taken a lot of money of Medicaid which will cause more spending. Do not forget Obama is now headed to foray’s in Egypt, Lybia, Syria, not to mention the problems in Pakistan and Iran. He has been backing out of his support of Israel.

    • Anonymous

      RomneyVision is myopic, doesn’t go beyond his nose.

      • Anonymous

        Obama has no vision other than to raise money, for what.

  • Anonymous

    Lawrence Merrill, the average price of gas has never matched the high during a 7 week period under Bush. We are producing the most oil since 1997, yet gas at the pump remains high. The President of the US has nothing to do with the price of an internationally traded commodity, which according to some is 40% determined by speculators and institutional investors.
    Jobs have been added to the private and public sectors every month for around 30 months.To paraphrase President Clinton,”The republicans got us in this mess, the democrats are not fixing it fast enough, so the republicans want to be put back in so they can do it to us again”.
    yeah, right.

    • Anonymous

      Why is it that when Bush was in office the high prices at the pumps were all his fault because he was an oil man. Now that Obummer is in office suddenly the president has no control over it. When in all actuality  the printing of money and devaluing of the american dollar are the big blame and Obama is running the printing press!!!

      • Anonymous

          Why, when I was in Europe  this year, did my dollar buy more euros than it had in over a decade?  The independent Federal Reserve controls the money supply.  No Presdident can expand the money supply. 
          By the way, I never blamed Bush II for high gas prices: he ignored warnings before 9/11, foolishly invaded Iraq, enacted tax cuts that helped skyrocket the deficit and bring us our worst recesssion since 1929, allowed the  people of New Orleans to get very little critical relief following Katrina, and undermined our civil liberties, but he had no impact on gas prices.

        • Anonymous

           Your dollar bought more Euro because the European Union has been in a bit of an economic mess for the last few years.  Austerity measures, the brink of bankruptcy, discussions of members leaving the Union – I know you are aware of those news items.  It has absolutely nothing to do with a rise in the buying power of the dollar; it is strictly about the fall in the buying power of the Euro. 

          • Anonymous

            Following that line of reasoning, Obama wasn’t able to perform a miracle and make everything hunky dory in the first month of his term. Primarily because he was left a huge downturn in the economy by the previous administration.

          • Anonymous

              Actually, the reason for the dollar’s strength is both the failure of austerity in Europe and the partial success of stimulus here in the USA.  Look at the dollar’s strength against a whole basket of currencies and you will have to agree.
              International investors are still buying T-bills despite the low interest rates they carry.  That is a vote of confidence in our currency.
              Should we have Romney and austerity, we can predict a fall of the dollar similar to the fall of the euro. 

        • Anonymous

          because europe is going down  the tubes faster than us dum dum

          • Anonymous

             Read my post immediately above yours and you will see the evidence of the overall strength of the dollar thanks, in part, to President Obama’s stimulus.  The European economies that are doing well are those that had built in stimulus programs in their economies, such as Germany.  England and Ireland tried austerity, a la Romney, and have paid the price for their folly. 

      • Anonymous

        I have never seen anyone blame Bush, or any other President, for high gas prices, except for Obama. Show me a link to one. Oddly enough, when prices dropped earlier this year, I also never heard or read any right winger crediting him with lower prices. It is a right wing talking point only.
        Most people recognize the international commodities market, small number of refineries, and plain greed on the part of the oil companies as the causes of high prices at the pump.
        The right wing nuts continue to claim that it is Obama’s fault, even though we are producing the most oil since 1997.
         

        • Anonymous

          More like a whining point, totally baseless.

          • Anonymous

            We should provide cheese for there whine.

        • Anonymous

          private sector producing oil Obama shutdown drilling and failed to give drilling permits therefore limiting supply driving prices up

          • Anonymous

            What part of “we are producing the most oil since 1997” did you not understand? One company, Shell Oil, I think, has applied for a permit to EXPORT gasoline from the US.

      • Anonymous

        In 2003 Bush ordered the filling of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to capacity at a time when oil was already at a high price on the world market. He did this in spite of his advisers recommending he wait. The consequence was that it drove the price even higher. That is the only instance I can find where Bush was blamed for driving up the price of gas. He did not cause the price to be high to begin with as far as I can find.

        • Anonymous

          Funny Obama didnt mind tapping into the reserve, and everyone thought it was a great idea. I guess you must be applauding Bush for tucking it away for Obamas rainy day

          • Anonymous

            Presidents have periodically tapped into the SPR, in most cases to create a short term reduction in price. Normally it is replenished once the market price goes down. They do not replenish the reserves when it is at a market high.
            I realize your comment is just another attempt to denigrate Obama, but it makes absolutely no sense.

      • Anonymous

        No, he wasn’t necessarily an oil man.  That illegal vice president (the man from Halliburtin) Chaney was (or is).

        • Anonymous

          Bush’s family is deeply steeped in the oil business. Why did we attack Iraq after 9/11 instead of Saudi Arabia?  The hijackers were majority Saudis.

          • Anonymous

            Good point, I stand corrected.  That’s why he picked fellow Texan Chaney (illegally) who’s even more of an oil man.

          • Anonymous

            thanks, I may mark this day down in history….someone agreed with me! haha…yes, Chaney/Cheney…..is he the only vp who shot someone in the face?

      • Anonymous

        What’s with the lame name-calling? Does anyone here have something intelligent to say instead of trying to throw zingers around? It’s tiresome and undermines anything substantive that you do say.

    • Anonymous

      yea right, and the deficit does not continue to climb under Obama’s mess.

      • Anonymous

        Per factcheck the deficit racked upby Obama amounts to approximately 39% of the $5 trillion in deficits, I’ll let you take a wild guess who belongs to the remainder.   If the R’s do not agree to revenues I see no way to get out of this mess, however Grover Norquest is hoping reversible Mittens is elected as he has enough digits to sign all the tax cuts according to Grover.  I’m not sure myself if he can handle it, so lets not elect him.

      • Anonymous

        According to the US Treasury Department it has declined since he took office. You can check this out yourself by googling “US Treasury Department Deficit” and checking out the several limks provided.

  • Anonymous

    Honky and ademain, you have hit the nail on the head.

  • Anonymous

    EJ Chandler

     You might feel differently if, for instance, your neighbors in Herman were intent on destroying all vestiges of the community of Hampden with a nuclear arsenal.

     Iran has stated numerous times that their dream is to wipe Isreal off the face of the earth.
     Do you think the fate of a few Palistinian refugees (which NO arab country has offered to take in by the way) will be a deterrant for nuclear war?

     Netanyahu has more cajones in his little finger than our current (and soon to be former)appoligist in chief will ever have.

    • Anonymous

      Our “apologist in chief” has given more money to Israel than any of his predecessors. 

      • Anonymous

        Wrong.

        Our Congress has given more money to Isreal.

        They know the value of having friends in the Middle East.

        Our foreign policy rocket scientist in chief won’t even meet with Netanyahu, preferring to stage a campaign showing on “The View”.

        Disgusting…………..

        • Anonymous

          I realize you are one of those who will look for any excuse to disparage Obama. It is kind of fun and entertaining to read comments from someone who cannot take the time to do a little research. I am curious as to whether you have an encyclopedia or some other source to come up with the name calling. Or do you just mimic Glenn Beck and Fox news?

          • Anonymous

            Don’t watch either.

            Sorry to disappoint, Bunky.

          • Preston Nethercutt

            So Yowsa, the voices in your head are self-generated? Well done!

          • Anonymous

             Unlike most of the liberal minded progressives, I tend to get a well rounded input of information, from which I come to the conclusions you see here.
             Don’t like it?
             Don’t bother to read it.
             

          • Anonymous

            No you don’t, you regurgitate the talking points you’re fed, just like that ridiculous lie about The View you parroted earlier. 

          • Anonymous

            Probably listens to Rush Limbaugh.

        • Anonymous

          Guess who requests the money and then approves it,  Right it is the POTUS.  
          GOOD GUESS.

        • Anonymous

          Do you people get tired of lying? Netanyahu wasn’t in New York when Obama went on The View. 

          Your dishonesty is what is disgusting. 

        • PabMainer

          The excuse from the White House was that the President would not be in NYC at the same time as Mr. Netanyahu….understandable, but Mr. Netanyahu offered to travel to DC to meet with the President, but then the excuse was the President’s schedule wouldn’t allow for that to happen either…..Crazy…..

          • Anonymous

            It’s just lies and more lies from your side. That’s not understandable and it’s not crazy — it’s just plain wrong. 

          • PabMainer

            Oh, btw here is one of dozens of links for the simple mindset on here that keep referring to facts as being “lies”…..http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100180493/barack-obama-refuses-to-meet-benjamin-netanyahu-on-his-us-visit-a-rude-snub-to-7-million-israelis/

          • Anonymous

            Normally meetings between the US President and a foreign head of state are made months in advance, in part due to security concerns. Considering it is an election year it is not surprising that Obama cannot meet with Netanyahu.

          • PabMainer

            “Normally” I would agree, but the stability of the world regarding Israel, Syria, Iran etc. is volatile and it would seem that the President could have managed his schedule to meet with Mr. Netanyahu for a time especially when Netanyahu offered to travel to D.C. in order to have some time with the President…..President Obama seems to make time for “important” things like traveling to NYC to appear on Letterman & the View and to attend fundraisers…..it defines this President’s priorities, in a sad way……

      • Anonymous

        And our countries have never worked more closely together.

    • Anonymous

      Netanyahu is bad for Israel and bad for the world.

    • Anonymous

      I for one am glad President Obama doesn’t have cajones in his little finger. (Netanyahu should get that looked at.)

  • Anonymous

    Lawrence Merrill: what a surprise! A devout Republican who has repeatedly elevated his party to near sainthood over the years finds nothing wrong with Mitt Romney and, by extension, nothing wrong with Pres. George W. Bush over the economy, foreign wars, gas price hikes, and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Not exactly a compelling argument but mere rhetoric. This might work at a Rep. campaign rally but it rings hollow elsewhere. 

    • Anonymous

      Bush didn’t just cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans, he cut taxes for EVERY American.

      Just like you think that the stimulus saved the economy, many believe Bush’s tax cuts saved the economy after 911.

      Even fighting two wars, Bush ran deficits of about $300B.  It wasn’t until 2006 when the Democrats took control of both houses that spending really escalated.

      I guess you’re happy with the longest period of unemployment over 8% since the great depression, gas prices twice as high as when Obama took office, skyrocketing national debt, unsustainable Social Security and Medicare, no budget in three years, no imigration policy except to sue the states who are trying to enforce the federal policy that the feds don’t want to enforce, Fast and Furious, the middle east completely destabilized, 6% drop in median income, most people ever on food stamps, etc…

      Obama made a lot of promises he didn’t keep.  It’s time to let a qualified person have a chance at fixing this mess.

      • Anonymous

        Well your $300 b figure leaves out the fact that the 2 wars were not in the budget! All of the war spending was conducted under “emergency funding” and not counted as part of the budget. That money came directly from China.
        I say that we enact a “war spending bill” and whenever we have troops in the field, ALL of their funding is paid each year by a war tax levied against every individual in the country. Pay as you go, and see how many more unending “wars on terror” we have.
        Time for some common sense.

        • Anonymous

          Now that is the best idea I’ve heard in a long time. I bet that the average citizen would demand that we get the job done in a timely manner. Return to the war tacticts of WWII, when we demanded and got total unconditional surrender from our enemies. Let the world know that if they allow terrorists to use their country as a training ground and base of operations, and are attaced by said terrorists,  we will proceed to carpet bomb them until they cease supporting these terrorists and hand them over for procecution. IMO, if we had done that in Afghanistan, we would not still be losing our young people in that country. The war would have been over within a few months.

          • Anonymous

            Your post reminds me of the saying, “the floggings will continue until morale improves.”

          • Anonymous

            I personally don’t care about the morale of any country that harbors terrorists. The terrorists declared war on us, not the other way around. Has Germany, Italy or Japan made any attempts to conquer their neighbors since 1945?

            Afghanistan in particular learned to not mess with the Mongol’s. For hundreds of years Mongolian messengers could ride through Afghanistan with no fear of attack from anyone.

            Some peopl you can get along with by being open and friendly with. Some only respect those they fear. If they don’t fear you they feel that they can take advantage of you. Afghanistan has proven to be that kind of world neighbor by their harboring terrorists.

      • Anonymous

        If only “a qualified person” were running against him.

      • Anonymous

        The democrats did not take control of Congress in 2006 for two reasons;
        1) The election was on Nov 7, 2006, and the winners assumed office in January of 2007.
        2) To gain control of Congress would require having 60 seats in the US Senate since a simple majority is not enough to pass legislation. I am not sure about the House, but I think it requires a 2/3 majority. As it stands today, the republicans have more members in the House than the democrats, yet they cannot force through most of their bills because, again, it requires more than a simple majority.

  • Anonymous

    Lawrence Merril:

    The reason gas prices were so low when Obama took office was that Bush and the GOP crashed the economy.

    At that time  – thanks to republican trickle-down economics – the economy was crashing at -8.9% GDP and we were losing 800,000 jobs a month.

    Obama’s Stimulus saved the nation from a Great Depression and we have seen 30 straight months of GDP and job growth since then.

    Bush and the GOP took us from budget surpluses to massive deficits.  Obama inherited Bush’s deficits and 2 wars that were paid by selling debt to China.

    Because Grover Norquist – the GOP cannot raise taxes to fight wars.

    Obama got us out Iraq and will get us out of Afghanistan by 2014 – just like Rmoney wants.

    If you think we will all be rich if Rmoney is elected – you are delusional.  Just ask the people he put out of work to make money when he was at Bain Capital.

    Anyone that hides money in the Caymans, Bermuda or Swiss banks is not a job creator or a patriot.

    Oh yeah – your Warrior King Rmoney protested FOR the Vietnam War but spent his draft age years in La France eating French Fries on a religious deferment.

    Anyone that votes for Rmoney votes against their best economic interest.

    Yessah.

    • Anonymous

      Out of Iraq who are you kidding, more soldiers killed in Afghanistan than ever. Look at the deficit 1 trillion a year still. Obama isn’t saving the nation, he is spending it into oblibion and dems are too blind to see it.

      • Anonymous

        Where is “oblibion?”  Is this where Republicans go to forget the tax cuts and wars we put on the credit card under Bush? 

        • Anonymous

          Oblibion is the place from which all oblobiators hail.

          • Anonymous

              Is Ryan a citizen of Oblibion?  Is Romney its Emperor?

          • Anonymous

            The Emperor of Oblibion has a nice ring to it. This one has clothes, but no plan.

          • Anonymous

            To this child’s eyes he appears naked.

      • Anonymous

        Then, when you go to war, raise taxes to pay for it or don’t fight it.

        Republicans cannot raise taxes to pay for their wars because they bow to the cult of Norquist.

        Idiots.

        Yessah

    • Anonymous

      Rmoney did what?!! Is that true? That is freakin horrible. Worse than the dog thing. Mitt you “Seamus ” all!

      • Anonymous

        Where are the Swiftboaters now?

    • Anonymous

       Gas prices in early September of 2008 were higher than they are now.  By crashing the economy, Bush lowered them by well over a dollar.

    • Anonymous

      yaawwnnnn….whats that?

  • Anonymous

    EJ if you do not think Iran wants a Nuke you are kidding yourself.

  • Anonymous

    Lawrence Merrill – Excellent letter. Very true. Too bad so many on the left can’t see Obama for what he actually is: a failure.

    EJ Chandler – It’s sad that anyone could be so naive and seemingly voluntarily ignorant of the facts. Iran is a threat and has to be contained. If they get a nuke, they’d be of the mindset to smuggle it into the US and set it off in the middle of a city. Of course, if they did, you’d still say it was our fault or something like that. Wake up.

    • Anonymous

      EJP:  kind of what I expected.  So far, you’re in the minority of the commenters.

      • Anonymous

        Being in the minority doesn’t make me wrong. Not in the BDN comment threads.

        • Anonymous

           Good point EJP. Chandler thinks Iran has no interest in nuclear weapons, per comedian Joe Biden’s outlook. I bet he/she also sees no terrorism in the world and a US ambassador was not killed in Libya.

          • Anonymous

            How could we forget there were people killed in Libya? Republicans have been busy breathlessly politicizing the event for their own gain since it happened. 

          • Anonymous

            stop pandering to the stupid duffusses that a comment like that may interest. Our Ambassador was murdered and you are, “Nothing to see here, move along, move al….hey I said MOVE ALONG……if you dont want to end up in a political Gitmo, I suggest you move on and stop talking about this cover-up. We can’t have a cover-up while everybody is talking about the cover-up”

          • Anonymous

            Don’t put words in my mouth. I said nothing of the sort. 

          • Anonymous

            Nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    EJ Chandler, Arthur Morrison:  good letters.
    Lawrence Merrill: a lot of people may be voting for Romney because they think he’s a nice guy.

  • Anonymous

    BDN:  thanks for posting this on time, even a couple of hours before Saturday’s. :-)

    • Anonymous

      I noticed that too. They must have all taken time off to go to the Maine Press Assn dinner.

  • Anonymous

    Lawrence you fail to realize that the low paying  job your friend has is due to policies like those Bain Capital put in place. Either minimum wage or ship the job overseas to preserve profits. Obama has called for economic patriotism. To me that means paying a living wage so American workers have a fair shot at moving FORWARD. It means keeping decent paying jobs here. I do not want to live in an America that is run like Bain Capital. Obama has shown his leadership in the salvation of auto industry jobs. Everyone in that industry had to make concessions. And they saved the industry in doing so. But you can bet on those jobs paying a living wage, maybe even better. That is the kind of leadership we need. Bringing together all the interested parties to find a solution that can work for everyone.

    • Anonymous

       Tell that to the people who work for Staples, as an example.

      • Anonymous

        For every Staples there were multiple companies that Rmoney leveraged and looted – and fired people.

        And let’s not forget that those Staples employees pay higher tax rates the Rmoney.

        And let’s not forget that Rmoney stashes his swag in the Caymans, Bermuda and Zurich – rather than create jobs here at home.

        Yessah

        • Anonymous

          You Staples bashers are absolutely irrational, wrong and clearly, clearly anti-capitalists…..first real evidence….who would bash an employer in these economic times….Maine and the nation better vote in people to office who have the OPPOSITE view of you people…..If Staples is so bad, why don’t you start your own office supply store and give it a go…..oh, yea, many have already tried and failed..because Staples is the best at what they do. What does it matter to you, you don’t use office supplies anyway cause if you did, you wouldn’t be advocating for $25 reams of paper like you are….

      • Anonymous

        Have you looked at the wage structure at Staples ?   Mostly very low paying jobs.

      • Anonymous

        I did the research there. Check it out yourself. Staples employees on the floor make minimum wage or just above. Far, far away from a living wage. I challenge you to go into our local Staples, find full-timer (if you can) that was just hired (or even a part-timer if no full-timer is available which is most likely), ask if they receive a living wage of  $10.78 (Maine’s Livable Wage Report for 2010, Bangor area). Then get back to me. 

  • Preston Nethercutt

    Thank you Mr. Chandler. You have rescued  the initials “EJ” from Mr. Parson’s paranoia pit!

  • Anonymous

    Janet Cristrup…this paper is too busy publishing articles and letters in support of same sex marriage than anything else. The wonderful, helpful lessons learned at the Common Ground Fair are apparently not newsworthy in the new editor’s eyes.

      It is time for the BDN to go back to being a newspaper and write about THE NEWS, not the editor’s continued support of same sex marriage.  If you count the articles and letters written, pro-SSM issues far outnumber positions against it.

  • Anonymous

    never mind

    • Anonymous

      haha

  • PabMainer

    Lawrence good letter and agreed it is truly a shame that anyone would vote to reelect this President because he is a “good guy and trying”…..after seeing President Obama over the last 4 years and his failure to provide the jobs, economic change, infrastructure rebuilds and all the hope & change we needed, it’s painfully obvious that those that voted for him in 2008 did so just because he seemed to be a good guy and would “try”……we cannot afford 4 more years of government bailouts and handouts and it is time to give another good man the opportunity to try and better America…..our economy, our businesses, our military, our allies, our interests in the world and every American citizen deserves what America has always stood for and the opportunities afforded by being a proud American and this President has failed miserably in doing what he stated he would do…..truly time for a Romney / Ryan administration…..May God bless America…..

    • Anonymous

      The President can only recommend policies which will lead to more jobs, infrastructure rebuilds, etc. In every case, the republicans have blocked the bills put before them. The most recent was funding to train disabled veterans and returning soldiers. The republicans are more than willing to start a war and finance the military for weapons they do not want, but when it comes to helping veterans, their policy is “we can’t afford it”.

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      That’s an eye-opener. Thanks for the link.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Mr. Merrill, according to the US Treasury Department, the day Obama took office the deficit was 1.4 trillion dollars. In 2012 it is 1.089 trillion dollars. According to most mathematically knowledgeable people, that is a reduction in the deficit. So I guess that means you will now switch your vote to Obama this year.
    Now, I realize that is not as good as most would like, and it is a far cry from the surplus which the last democratic President left us, but common sense would indicate it to be foolish to elect Rmoney, who wants to go back to Bush’s policies of spend, spend, spend.
    As an aside, studies indicate that the stock market since 1929 has performed far better under the democrats than the republicans.
    Voting republican is like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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