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The Presidential Debate Last Night

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Romney was aggressive.  Obama seemed to not show up.

The talking heads, and the Tweets, and the pundit bluster, and the eye catching headlines surround us on the morning after.

But the economy loses.

Neither candidate addressed the massive outflow of U.S. dollars due to the trade deficit.

Or the industries we’ve lost because of unfair trade, currency manipulation, state owned enterprises, foreign border taxes.

Or the astounding loss of tax revenue that we could have used to fix the budget deficit, but for the loss the industry supply chains and jobs.

Or the connection between unemployment and the loss of those industries.

If Romney cuts taxes but closes loopholes so the government gets the same revenue… so what? Taxpayers pay the same and we still don’t have balanced trade and a sustainable economy. No net benefit.

If Obama doubles exports in five years, starting from the 2009 aftermath of the Great Recession… so what?  Imports grow more and the trade deficit gets worse. No net benefit.

This is the chart that should be front and center in the debates.

The red area is the year-on-year open wound in our economy.  The gushing of blood, cash, jobs and economic sectors.

If the next president gets rid of the red – cauterizes the wound – then the growth, jobs, tax revenue and innovation will largely take care of itself.  We will heal.

3 Responses to “The Presidential Debate Last Night”

  1. Bruce Bishop says:

    The United States is like a patient who arrives in the ER with heart failure, pervasive cancer and multiple bullet wounds.

    There are more serious problems than a presidential candidate can address in a meaningful way.

    The “heart failure” is our imminent economic collapse due to the fact that we are broke and we are printing money and borrowing money from our enemy, China, to stay afloat.

    The “cancer” is our growing loss of manufacturing jobs and wealth to China. This “cancer” is contributing to our “heart failure.”

    The “bullet wounds” would include the various terrorist organizations around the world that hate us and are doing their best to kill as many of us as possible. Other “bullet wounds” would include the inflow of illegal immigrants through our southern borders who drive down the wages of U.S. workers, add to the drain on our welfare services and increase the problems of drugs and crime.

    Our government has gotten us into this mess through its negligence, incompetence and corruption. Many on the Left see this as an opportunity to ramp up government power so that it can “fix” these problems. Anyone who thinks our problem is the “uneven distribution of wealth,” is pushing for national socialism, whether they realize it or not. Anyone who thinks that giving our government MORE power is a good idea is pushing for national socialism, whether they realize it or not. Anyone who uses the term “tax cuts for the rich,” is pushing for national socialism, whether they realize it or not.

    If “we the people” don’t take back control of our government in this next election, we are in for a long dark ride.

  2. Tom T. says:

    To me it seemed as if the president was treading water and Romney was confident in the new plan he revealed last night (he didn’t reveal it before and there were no specifics so that it couldn’t be checked out). Romney ran to the center and seemed to throw the republican theme of Grover Norquest’s no new tax policy under the bus.

    Both men focused on their tax policy, or each other’s. The problem with our country goes beyond tax policy and can be found in real policy that affects the economy. I did like Romney’s view on regulations and I thought he verbalized the regulation problem very well. Regulations are necessary for a capitalist economy but regulations for regulations sake end up being bureaucratic nonsense.

    The underlying policies of both men, based on their performance last night would suggest that they are very close. Red herrings were thrown out for those who wish to chase them but their policies seemed remarkably close to the same. Romney did get away with much he said on the campaign trail with his “new” plan, again with few details.

    I don’t know if the economy can totally be fixed with a new stance on trade but it is one of the parts that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately it is hindsight and much of the damage is already done and much probably can’t be undone without a LOT of presidential leadership and help from Congress. Policies like Dr. Bob G.’s remedies of decreasing the work week and the such to help pass on productivity gains to workers will have to be seriously entertained.

    Our country has enough wealth for everyone here to live a good life. The divergence between the haves and have nots is increasing and the opportunities for the have nots is decreasing with additional hits to them in the non enforcement of existing economic rules and lack of rules in trade(like labor and environmental laws not being part of the costs of imports).

    On the financial meltdown, there seems to be few rules enforced. John Corzine, head of MF Global placed bets on Europe’s situation, lost, and then raided their client’s accounts held in trust. The big money walked away from the gambling table seemingly unscathed. This kind of kid glove treatment to white collar crime is totally intolerable and shows how bought our political system actually is. Neither candidate addressed the moral hazards that big money seems to ignore even when we have laws in place. It seems the power of that money buys silence. Corzine, former gov. of New Jersey, Senator, and Goldman Sachs top exec. seems to have the touch of immunity as he walked away with a 12.1 million severance pay after heading MF Global as it raided its customer’s accounts. Money might not buy you love, but it buys you politicians willing to let you off the hook and an ability to walk away from white collar crimes while getting paid to do it.

    Neither Romeny nor Obama have the power or will to take on abuses of this magnitude and so look as if they are both just sock puppets for men anyone working as an exec in the financial industry. Why would anyone think they would take on trade except in the most inefficient manner possible?

    The debates were a big disappointment for me and I think for the country as a whole. We needed Ross Perot on the sidelines with the above graphic for the candidates to be questioned, or grilled on about the real issues, mistakes, and answers on how to get us out of this mess.

    Tom T.

  3. Maggie says:

    If I was Jim Lehrer I would have asked the zinger question that would have thrown these guys off their usual script: what are you gonna do about the obvious leaky flat tire runaway trade deficit outflow from the U.S. economy, 300 billion/year with China alone and on the rise, and the lasted deal with South Korea digging us further into the hole, and what about latest top secret TPP negotiations (Trans Pacific Partnership) to blow the leak wide open?

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