Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who donates so much money to Mitt Romney, and why?

After the release of a secret video of Mitt Romney during a fundraiser several months ago; during which he expressed his gratitude and undying affection for American voters, or would have if he had any idea that his words were being recorded, I got to thinking about the people listening to him at the $50,000 per plate fundraiser.  What motivated them to donate so much money?

-The Huffington Post
Mitt Romney's campaign still has a shot at winning the Presidency in November, even though he has been stuck in either a statistical dead heat, or a few points behind in the race.  This map at the New York Times hasn't really changed in months.  It's predicting an Obama win of course, as some of you have no doubt drily noted.

But despite the fact that he constantly makes missteps, has an image problem even with other Republicans, including the folks at Politico, and can’t seem to make up his mind up about where he stands on any issue, he is still riding high just behind the President in opinion polls.
So the contender is feckless, undisciplined with his mouth while appearing to also be physically cut from a sheet of starch, and he casually dismisses almost half the American electorate as dependent victims.  His disdain for voters could have been guessed from all of the above, but it was cathartic to hear it from his own mouth, unvarnished by the need to pander to the group sitting in front of him.

It might have seemed risky, dismissing tens of millions of potential votes out of hand, but Mitt knew that none of those in front of him would say anything.  They are elite enough to buy a $50,000 plate.  If people who can afford to spend that much for dinner and some live entertainment think about social issues or society at all, they only do it in an abstract way related to how much slower the money pile will grow if the government appears to replace economic growth with concerns not directly related to making money.

I know there are many wealthy philanthropists.  Those people are almost universally NOT in the business of making money with money.  The group Mitt spoke to was primarily made up of men from the financial industry.   People at the C-level in the financial world don’t suffer fools lightly, unless he happens to be running for an important political office.

And yes, I just called Mitt Romney a fool.  You can stop reading here if you like, but this isn’t actually about him.  It’s about the motivation of wealthy financiers to inject as much money as fast as possible into Mitt Romney’s campaign, even though he appears to be a lame horse in this race because of his many proven failings.

Mitt Romney brought his little dog and pony show (the live entertainment) to this group of men, and talked about voters, his beliefs, how dependency on government was a bad thing, yadda yadda yadda.   He trotted out all his talking points and played the part of social conservative.

I submit that the listeners didn’t care.  They saw his mouth move and sound come out of it.  But that wasn’t what they were evaluating.

The real test for them was, given the money they had just spent, was whether or not Mitt Romney was their man.  Picture if you will a couple of C-levels at the Country Club discussing the upcoming election.

“But can we trust him?”

“Of course we can trust him.”

“There was that thing in Massachusetts.  How do we know he won’t try the same thing in the Big Chair?”

“Oh, that.  It’s nothing.  State politics is different.  Besides, we own him.  He’s our man.  He can do whatever he likes, as long as he leaves our interests alone.”

“Did we have any luck choosing his running mate for him?”

“We’re working on getting the name to float to the top, but there’s still time.”

“It worked pretty well last time didn’t it?”

“Yes, Cheney kept our boy in line for 6 years.  We started to lose him near the end, but it didn’t matter by then.”

“Those folks down at Bear and Lehman got hit hard though.”

“I told them, but they didn’t get out in time.  We took care of the ones that mattered.”

Fiction?  Of course.  There is no way a group of financiers would conspire to put someone in the White House.  It would be almost impossible even for them to hide machinations involving thousands of people in hundreds of locations.  They are happy to support efforts that chip away at the edges, such as voter ID laws, voting times, voting methods,

But they don’t have to buy the election.  They just have to buy the fiction that there is a battle between two opposing points of view, and keep Mitt Romney front and centre as long as possible.  It's icing on the cake that the dialogue that started 20 years ago with the Neocons has progressed to the point where without any convincing whatsoever, millions of poor Americans will continue to vote against their own interests.

The Romney campaign has been raising incredible amounts of money, beating President Obama four months in a row, although August numbers put the President on top.

Mitt Romney doesn't need to win for the financiers to be successful, because they have paid for people on both sides of the aisle.  All they need to do is convince enough people that there is a solid division in American politics.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts

So who has had worse job performance?  I think the answer is really starting to become clear.

Ten Years Of The Bush Tax Cuts: p10 years ago tomorrow, the first of the Bush tax cuts was enacted. That 2001 tax cut was followed up by a second tax cut in 2003, passed after Vice-President Dick Cheney reportedly asserted that “deficits don’t matter.” The tax cuts were sold as necessary economic stimulus that would boost job creation and a moribund [...]/p