Posts Tagged ‘2012’
The professional doom peddlers would have us believe that because a certain Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 the world is going to end. With a bang or with a whimper they aren’t sure, but if you will just buy their book, CD, DVD, cruise, or survival pack the end of the world will somehow be better.
I’m not sure how making piles of more money just before the world is going to end makes a great deal of sense, but then again I’m not wise enough to know the world is going to end with enough lead time to produce my spiffy world ending products that people can buy on credit so what do I know?
Even the Mayans have been caught up in the world ending money making marketing frenzy. They are hosting tours and throwing a year-long party even though they know, and they used to point out, that the apocryphal reference in one ancient calendar actually refers to the end of an age not the end of the world. And the big secret anyone who has studied Mayan culture knows and the doomsday charlatans don’t want us to share is that the Mayans actually had numerous calendars and they don’t all agree. The so-called long calendar is reset to day 0 every 1,872,000 days. This is known as The Great Circle. The next reset date is December 21, 2012. Many cultures believe in ages. Even presumably educated, though not commercially prophetic, Historians speak of the Age of Enlightenment, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, etc.
The charlatans pontificate about the advanced astronomical calculations of the Mayans. It is true they made accurate astronomical observations and for their time were one of the most advanced pre-telescope cultures on earth. However their understanding of these observations was not along the lines of modern cosmology which is the study of the physical universe considered as a totality of phenomena in time and space. It was less Astronomy and more Astrology. Ultimately the fact that one of the Mayan calendars ends this year is about as relevant to the unfolding of reality as the fact that this is also the year of the Dragon according to the Chinese calendar. This isn’t prophecy it is Profit-cy and the theme song of this cottage industry is the cha-ching of the cash register.
And while the calendar hanging on my wall says, “Don’t Step in the Leadership” which aptly describes what we have experienced for the last few decades. Any calendar’s predictive value for 2012 shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
So what does 2012 hold? Will it be boom or will it be doom? Will it be morning in America or will it be mourning in America? Will we reclaim our place in the sun or will we continue our precipitous slide into the dustbin of History? The answer to all these questions is the same: it depends.
It depends on whether the American electorate once again allows their hope for change to lead them to the hopelessness of more of the same. Or will we rise above faction, self-indulgence and the mass hypnosis of demagogues and demand that our beloved nation return to its roots. Will we demand that our government is once again limited, our liberties secure, and our economy free or will we fall for the siren song of “Spreading the wealth around” and sink into the morass of collectivism that has swallowed the hope of millions?
Looking to the Left all we see is the ultimate realization of the Progressive’s generational dreams of a centrally-planned regimented society based upon the dictum of “From each according to the ability to each according to their need.” All we can look forward to under a second Obama Administration is a continued slide into the shoddy future of redistribution, political correctness, and loss of international prestige.
Somewhere amongst the challengers, the Republicans must find someone who is ready to re-invigorate the Constitution limiting government and securing the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Somehow the Republicans must see through the smoke and mirrors of the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media attempting to pick a suitable second place finisher to their previously chosen leader.
Even before the election we are faced with a power-grab by the administration of staggering proportions.
First there is the 2012 Defense Appropriations Bill ( NDAA 2012) which contains an amendment allowing the use of the military to arrest and confine American citizens indefinitely if they are accused of being a terrorist or of supporting terrorism.
As we look upon the Constitution voiding legislation passed as part of the NDAA 2012, it should be pointed out, though President Obama threatened to veto the bill, according to the amendment’s co-sponsor Sen. Carl Levin the controversial language inserted into the bill were lobbied for by the Obama White House. This was a bi-partisan effort to gut the effectiveness of the 4th and 5th amendments, the other co-sponsor being, Republican John McCain once again reaching across the aisles to limit American freedom.
As bad as this monstrous bill is it was accompanied by a signing statement. President Obama’s use of signing statements continues the George W. Bush legacy of de facto rule by “executive fiat.” Often signing statements declare the intent of the executive to interpret laws in directions they were never intended to go. At times they are used to in effect nullify the very laws just signed. Further, Barack Obama has backtracked on his campaign promise not to use signing statements and executive orders to circumnavigate legislation signed into law.
What this inside-the-beltway maneuvering means is that President Obama has signed a law which gives him the power to detain indefinitely American citizens arrested on American soil, a provision he lobbied for while ingenuously criticizing. He has issued a signing statement which acknowledges the receipt of the power he sought while promising not to use it for “military” detention. Some are calling this the martial law bill instead of the NDAA 2012. Whatever you call it, its implications are chilling, and I must admit I never thought I would live to see such a blatant assault upon our constitutional liberties introduced let alone passed in the Congress of the United States and signed by an American president.
Some have recently told this observer when discussing the unconstitutional aspects of this new federal power, “If they’re terrorists lock them up and throw away the key.” How could such a provision affect you? As one recent headline tells us, “Woman allegedly accuses man with Arabic surname of terrorist plane threat after he ends 4-day fling.” Who might accuse who of what, might end up being a new question in a fundamentally transformed America.
He is now beginning to make recess appointments while Congress is still in session. If this is allowed to stand the limits to the president’s power will be hard to locate. He has taken us to war without Congress, he appoints without Congress, what is it that he cannot do?
We don’t need Mayan calendars or other gimmicks used by the doom and gloom profit seekers to tell us that 2012 may well spin out of control on many fronts.
Nothing sums up the Federal spending addiction which is driving us off the cliff better than the comment a Postal worker recently made to this observer after moaning about the possible closing of their tiny rural post office due to shortfalls in the USPS budget, “They print money don’t they? Why don’t they just print some more?”
2012, a President determined to rule without Congress, no end to the spending in sight, legislation which could easily turn into martial law, an election choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. 2012 what will it be: boom or doom? Will it be rebirth or revolution? The choices we make, in this the most decisive election of our generation, will decide which way we go. Will we re-limit our government, or will we be swallowed by a bloated federal government?
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens
You thought 2011 was tough? 2012 will be tougher. It will be a continuation from 2011 with a shaky Europe, political gridlock, and a volatile market. Nothing has changed. Yes, we can celebrate the coming of the new year, but what are we celebrating? It is the same crap, but a different year. Well, at least, we got our health and our family.
(Reuters) Familiar themes for those who lived through 2011, and investors should be ready to revisit them next year.
With a spiraling debt crisis in Europe, political upheaval around the world, and crumbling creditworthiness in major industrial nations, 2011 was a tough year to know where to invest. 2012 is unlikely to offer much respite.
The S&P 500, a measure of the biggest U.S. companies’ market value, spent much of the year getting pushed up and down, flummoxing shorts and longs – and scaring Moms and Pops away from stocks. It ended the year at 1,257.60, down a mere 0.04 of a point.
For every rally built on improving economic figures this year, selloffs were never far away on worries the European debt crisis would eventually drag the continent into a recession and perhaps the United States as well. That could continue in 2012.
Volatility is likely to persist through early 2012 because of the uncertainty in Europe and rising concern about slowed earnings growth due to recent revisions.
Many economists believe the euro zone is already in recession. They forecast that the economies of the 17-nation bloc will stagnate in 2012 after contracting in this year’s fourth quarter and the first quarter of the next.
Investors are worried that Italy and Spain will have to keep refinancing borrowings at unsustainable levels early next year, which could escalate the crisis.
The key may be China rather than Europe.
Chinese business confidence is weakening. A survey showed export orders fell for the first time in nearly three years.
One of the pivotal events of 2011 was the downgrade of the United States’ perfect triple-A credit rating. Standard & Poor’s cited congressional bickering as the reason for the downgrade.
August’s stalemate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling sparked a selloff that accelerated after the downgrade.
Investors expect the gridlock in Congress to get worse as the U.S. presidential election approaches in November. The election is likely to be close, which will not make legislative efforts to tackle high debt levels and weak demand any easier.
The spectre of 1932: How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory
The dawn of a new year is usually a time of hope and ambition, of dreams for the future and thoughts of a better life. But it is a long time since many of us looked forward to the new year with such anxiety, even dread.
Here in Britain, many economists believe that by the end of 2012 we could well have slipped into a second devastating recession. The Coalition remains delicately poised; it would take only one or two resignations to provoke a wider schism and a general election.
But the real dangers lie overseas. In the Middle East, the excitement of the Arab Spring has long since curdled into sectarian tension and fears of Islamic fundamentalism. And with so many of the world’s oil supplies concentrated in the Persian Gulf, British families will be keeping an anxious eye on events in the Arab world.
Meanwhile, as the eurozone slides towards disaster, the prospects for Europe have rarely been bleaker. Already the European elite have installed compliant technocratic governments in Greece and Italy, and with the markets now putting pressure on France, few observers can be optimistic that the Continent can avoid a total meltdown.
As commentators often remark, the world picture has not been grimmer since the dark days of the mid-Seventies, when the OPEC oil shock, the rise of stagflation and the surge of nationalist terrorism cast a heavy shadow over the Western world.
For the most chilling parallel, though, we should look back exactly 80 years, to the cold wintry days when 1931 gave way to 1932.
Then as now, few people saw much to mourn in the passing of the old year. It was in 1931 that the Great Depression really took hold in Europe, bringing governments to their knees and plunging tens of millions of people out of work.
Then as now, the crisis had taken years to gather momentum. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929 — just as after the banking crisis of 2008 — some observers even thought that the worst was over.
But in the summer of 1931, a wave of banking panics swept across central Europe. As the German and Austrian financial houses tottered, Britain’s Labour government came under fierce market pressure to slash spending and cut benefits.
Bitterly divided, the Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald decided to resign from office — only to return immediately as the leader of an all-party Coalition known as the National Government, dominated by Stanley Baldwin’s Conservatives.
Like today’s Coalition, the National Government was an uneasy marriage. Sunk in self-pity and spending much of his time flirting with aristocratic hostesses, MacDonald cut a miserable and semi-detached figure. By comparison, even Nick Clegg looks a model of strong, decisive leadership.
As for the Tory leader Stanley Baldwin, he had more in common with David Cameron than we might think. A laid-back Old Harrovian, tolerant, liberal-minded and ostentatiously relaxed, Baldwin spent as much time as possible on holiday in the South of France, preferring to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine rather than get his hands dirty with the nuts and bolts of policy.
Meanwhile, far from offering a strong and coherent Opposition, the rump Labour Party seemed doomed to irrelevance. At least its leader, the pacifist Arthur Henderson, could claim to be a man of the people, having hauled himself up by his bootstraps from his early days as a Newcastle metal worker.
Not even his greatest admirers could possibly say the same of today’s adenoidal, stammering Opposition leader, the toothless Ed Miliband.
With the politicians apparently impotent in the face of the economic blizzard, many people were losing faith in parliamentary democracy. Their despair was hardly surprising: in some industrial towns of the North, Wales and Scotland, unemployment in 1932 reached a staggering 70 per cent.
With thousands more being plunged out of work every week, even the National Government estimated that one in four people were making do on a mere subsistence diet. Scurvy, rickets and tuberculosis were rife; in the slag heaps of Wigan, George Orwell saw ‘several hundred women’ scrabbling ‘in the mud for hours’, searching for tiny chips of coal so they could heat their homes.
Feeling betrayed by mainstream politicians, many sought more extreme alternatives. Then as now, Britain was rocked by marches and demonstrations. In October 1932, a National Hunger March in Hyde Park saw bloody clashes between protesters and mounted policemen, with 75 people being badly injured.
And while Left-wing intellectuals were drawn to the supposedly utopian promise of the Soviet leader Josef Stalin — who turned out to be a brutal tyrant — thousands of ordinary people flocked to the banners of the British Union of Fascists, founded in the autumn of 1932 by the former Labour maverick Sir Oswald Mosley.
Never before or since has the far Right commanded greater British support — a worrying reminder of the potential for economic frustration to turn into demagogic resentment.
But the most compelling parallels between 1932 and 2012 lie overseas, where the economic and political situation was, if anything, even darker.
Eighty years ago, the world was struggling to come to terms with an entirely new financial landscape. In August 1931, the system by which currencies were pegged to the value of gold had fallen apart, with market pressure forcing Britain to pull the pound off the gold standard.
Almost overnight, the system that was supposed to ensure global economic stability was gone. And as international efforts to coordinate a response collapsed, so nations across the world fell back on self-interested economic protectionism.
In August 1932, the British colonies and dominions met in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, and agreed a policy of Imperial Preference, putting high tariffs on goods from outside the Empire. International free trade was now a thing of the past; in this frightening new world, it was every man for himself.
Today’s situation, of course, is even more frightening. Our equivalent of the gold standard — the misguided folly of the euro — is poised on the brink of disaster, yet the European elite refuse to let poorer Mediterranean nations like Greece and Portugal leave the eurozone, devalue their new currencies and start again.
Should the eurozone collapse, as seems perfectly likely given Greece’s soaring debts, Spain’s record unemployment, Italy’s non-existent growth and the growing market pressure on France’s ailing economy, then the consequences would be much worse than when Britain left the gold standard.
The shockwaves across Europe — which could come as early as next spring — would see banks tottering, businesses crashing and millions thrown out of work. For British firms that trade with Europe, as well as holiday companies, airports, travel firms and the City of London itself, the meltdown of the eurozone would be a catastrophe.
And as the experience of 80 years ago suggests, the political and social ramifications would be too terrible to contemplate. For in many ways, the 12 months between the end of 1931 and the beginning of 1933 were the tipping point between democracy and tyranny, the moment when the world plunged from an uneasy peace towards hatred and bloodshed.
In the East, new powers were already on the rise. At the end of 1931, Imperial Japan had already launched a staggeringly brutal invasion of China, the Japanese armies pouring into the disputed province of Manchuria in search of raw materials.
Today the boot is on the other foot, with China ploughing billions into its defence programme and establishing de facto economic colonies across Africa, bringing copper, cobalt and zinc back to the mother country.
Indeed, future historians may well look back and see the first years of the 2010s as the moment when the Chinese Empire began to strengthen its global grip.
In the Soviet Union in 1932, meanwhile, Stalin’s reign of terror was intensifying. With dissent crushed by the all-powerful Communist Party, his state-sponsored collectivisation of the Ukrainian farms saw a staggering 6 million die in one of the worst famines in history.
By these standards, the autocratic Vladimir Putin looks almost cuddly.
And yet we should not forget that Putin himself described the fall of the Soviet empire as one of the greatest catastrophes of the century — and that half of all Russian teenagers recently told a survey that Stalin was a wise and strong leader.
By comparison, Europe’s democratic leaders look woolly and vacillating, just as they did back in 1932. Indeed, for the democratic West, this was a truly terrible year.
Democracy itself seemed to be under siege. In France, President Paul Doumer was murdered by an assassin. In Portugal, the authoritarian, ultra-Catholic dictator Antonio Salazar launched a reign of terror that would last into the Seventies. And in Italy, the Fascist leader Benito Mussolini strengthened his grip, consolidating Italian power in the looted colonies of Albania and Libya.
Eighty years on, we have no room for complacency. Although the far Right remains no more than a thuggish and eccentric minority, the elected prime ministers of Greece and Italy have already been booted out to make way for EU-approved technocrats for whom nobody has ever voted.
In the new Europe, the will of the people seems to play second fiddle to the demands of Paris and Berlin. And if the eurozone crisis intensifies, then it is no idle fantasy to imagine that Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and their Brussels allies will demand an even greater centralisation of powers, provoking nationalist outrage on the streets of Europe’s capitals.
Sadly, there seems little point in looking across the Atlantic for inspiration. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover, beleaguered by rising unemployment and tumbling ratings, flailed and floundered towards election defeat.
Today, Barack Obama cuts a similarly impotent, indecisive and isolationist figure. The difference is that in 1932, one of the greatest statesmen of the century, the Democratic politician Franklin D. Roosevelt, was waiting in the wings.
Today, American voters looking for alternatives are confronted only with a bizarre gaggle of has-beens, inadequates and weirdos, otherwise known as the Republican presidential field. And to anybody who cares about the future of the Western world, the prospect of President Ron Paul or President Newt Gingrich is frankly spine-chilling.
Above all, though, the eyes of the world back in 1932 were fixed on Germany. As the Weimar Republic staggered towards oblivion, an obscure Austrian painter was setting his sights on supreme power.
With rising unemployment eating away at the bonds of democratic civility, the National Socialist Party was within touching distance of government.
And in the last days of 1932, after the technocrats and generals had failed to restore order, President Paul von Hindenburg began to contemplate the unthinkable — the prospect of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.
We all know what happened next. Indeed, by the end of 1932 the world was about to slide towards a new dark age, an age of barbarism and bloodshed on a scale that history had never known.
Eighty years on, it would be easy to sit back and reassure ourselves that the worst could never happen again. But that, of course, was what people told each other in 1932, too.
The lesson of history is that tough times often reward the desperate and dangerous, from angry demagogues to anarchists and nationalists, from seething mobs to expansionist empires.
But if the European elite continue to inflict needless hardship on their people; if the markets continue to erode faith in the euro; and if Western politicians waste their time in petty bickering, then we could easily slip further towards discontent and disaster.
The experience of 1932 provides a desperately valuable lesson. As a result of the decisions taken in those 12 short months, millions of people later lost their lives.
Today, on the brink of a new year that could well prove the most frightening in living memory, we can only pray that our history takes a very different path.
• Republicans will keep the U.S. House, albeit with their 25-seat majority slightly reduced. In the 10 presidential re-elections since 1936, the party in control of the White House has added House seats in seven contests and lost them in three. The average gain has been 12 seats. The largest pickup was 24 seats in 1944—but President Barack Obama is no FDR, despite what he said in his recent “60 Minutes” interview.
• Republicans will take the U.S. Senate. Of the 23 Democratic seats up in 2012, there are at least five vulnerable incumbents (Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania): The GOP takes two or three of these. With the announcement on Tuesday that Nebraska’s Ben Nelson will retire, there are now seven open Democratic seats (Connecticut, Hawaii, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, Wisconsin): The GOP takes three or four. Even if Republicans lose one of the 10 seats they have up, they will have a net pickup of four to six seats, for a majority of 51 to 53.
• Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid or both will leave the Democratic leadership by the end of 2012. Speaker John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell will continue directing the GOP in their respective chambers.
• This will be the fourth presidential election in a row in which turnout increases. This has happened just once since 1828, from 1928 through 1940.
• In 2008, voters told the Pew Poll that they got more election information from the Internet than from daily newspapers. Next year, that advantage will grow as the Internet closes in on television as America’s principal source of campaign news.
• After failing to win the GOP presidential nomination, Ron Paul will not run as a third-party candidate because that would put his son, Rand Paul, in an untenable position: Does the Republican senator from Kentucky support his father and effectively re-elect Mr. Obama, or back his party and defeat him?
• Mr. Obama’s signature health-care overhaul, already deeply unpopular, will become even more so by Election Day. Women voters are particularly opposed to ObamaCare, feeling it threatens their family’s health.
• Mr. Obama may propose tax reform, attempting to use it to appeal both to his liberal base (a question of fairness) and independents (a reform to spur economic growth). This will fail, but not before boosting Mr. Obama’s poll numbers.
• The Obama campaign won’t corral high-profile Republican endorsements—as it did in 2008 with former Secretary of State Colin Powell—with the unimportant possible exception of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. It will also make a special effort to diminish the GOP’s advantage among military families, veterans and evangelicals, with the last a special target if Republicans nominate Mitt Romney.
• Despite an extraordinary amount of presidential time and involvement, Team Obama will fall as much as $200 million short of its $1 billion combined fund-raising target for the campaign and Democratic National Committee. Even so, Mr. Obama and Democrats will outspend the GOP nominee and Republicans. This won’t necessarily translate into victory: John Kerry and Democrats outspent President George W. Bush and Republicans in 2004 by $124 million. Groups like American Crossroads (which I helped found) will narrow the Democratic money advantage.
• Scandals surrounding the now-bankrupt Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, MF Global and administration insider deals still to emerge will metastasize, demolishing the president’s image as a political outsider. By the election, the impression will harden that Mr. Obama is a modern Chicago-style patronage politician, using taxpayer dollars to reward political allies (like unions) and contributors (like Obama fund-raiser and Solyndra investor George Kaiser).
• To intimidate critics and provoke higher black turnout, Democrats will play the race card more than in any election since 1948. Witness Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent charge that criticism of him and the president was “both due to the nature of our relationship and . . . the fact that we’re both African-Americans.”
• The economic recovery will continue to be anemic, leaving both unemployment and concerns about whether the president is up to the job high on Election Day. Because of this, Mr. Obama will lose as his margins drop among five groups essential to his 2008 victory—independents, women, Latinos, young people and Jews. While he will win a majority from at least three of these groups, he won’t win them by as much as he did last time.
Predicting the future is always dangerous but conservatives believe in accountability, so let’s see how well I do a year from now.
Legendary Investor Jim Rogers said in an interview with the Spanish magazine El Economista that 2012 is definitely going to be a very bad year in the US :”You´re definitely going to show big trouble ahead, and make sure you understand in the next few years you´re going to continue to see financial problems, and they´re going to be worse. The world had a problem in 2002, which was worse in 2008, in which the debt was so much higher. The next time around whether it´s 2012, or 13, or 14, I don´t know, it´s going to be much, much worse still but the amount of debt that´s very, very, very high. So the same as everybody the next time will be worse in America. America has had economic slowdown and recession every four to six years beginning with the republic, so we?re certainly overdue at the end of 2011, 12, 13, sometime. ” Jim Rogers said “You know 2013 if we last, if we make it to 2013, 2013 is going to be worse. There´s an election in America in 2012. The government is going to extend as much money as it can to win the election, and the people who get that money are going to be better off because there´s a government throws billions of dollars out into the economy. Somebody´s got to get that money. But those people and their friends are going to be better off. But the overall situation continues to get worse because the debt goes higher and higher and higher, and the rest of us ultimately are going to be worse off. And certainly by 2013 when all of that extra spending for the election stops, 2013 is definitely going to be a very bad year in the U.S. and in the world.” He added – via Eleconomista.es
Mike Huckabee, making his second run for president, has experience as a Minister, Educator, Author of several best selling books, televangelist, television station owner and producer, and was a conservative Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Arkansas, a highly Democratic state, is an ABC Radio Commentator, and hosts a talk news show on Fox News Channel. He has very strong conservative stands on economic and social issues, respects the Constitution, and is deeply patriotic.
Jon Huntsman, Jr. is the son of a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist. He served as CEO of the Huntsman Corporation, a successful businessman and philanthropist, served in three Republican presidential administrations, as Governor of Utah, and is currently the US Ambassador to China. He has very strong conservative stands, respects the Constitution, and is deeply patriotic.
Sarah Palin, candidate for vice president in the last election and a cultural icon, TV reporter, author, business woman, commercial fisherman, served as city council and mayor, Governor of Alaska, and has starred in a documentary TV series on Alaska. She tackled corruption in state government, and even within her own party. Young, brash, quick on her feet, she has gained a strong following as well as many detractors. She is conservative both socially and economically, respects the Constitution, and is deeply patriotic.
Mitt Romney, making his second run for president, is the son of the multi-term Governor of Michigan, has served as a lay minister, is a highly successful business man, and was brought in as chairman of the US Olympics to salvage them from scandal and financial ruin, served as conservative Governor of highly Democrat Massachusetts. He has very strong conservative stands on economic and social issues, respects the Constitution, and is a deeply patriotic American.
Allen West, currently a freshman congressman from Florida, is a Career US Army Officer, who grew up in Atlanta Georgia in a military family. His father served in WW2 and made a career of the military, his mother was a civilian employee of the Marine Corps, and his brother, also career military, served in Viet Nam. He is recipient of valorous and meritorious service decorations including a bronze star. He has taught high school history and college ROTC. He is a social and fiscal conservative, and is passionately patriotic.
There are other good people out there, but these are the ones that I favor. In this post I will begin evaluating candidates and end up with a ranking of most favored to least, starting with the two candidates from the 2008 primary:
Huckabee vs. Romney. On issues, these two are almost identical, so either one of them would be a good choice for conservative voters. While I like Huckabee’s stand on issues, I have doubts about his character. I was very disappointed at his attacks on Romney’s religion during their presidential run.
Huckabee is trying to make an issue of the Massachusetts Healthcare bill. Health care is not a federal responsibility. Whether a state will provide healthcare and how they will choose to do is a state issue, and if the citizens of a state want to create a program, it is their prerogative to do so.
I have been put off by Huckabee’s apparently deceitful use of statistics to attack Romney on healthcare. First he notes that Massachusetts has the highest health care premiums in the country since Romney signed health care into law as Governor; this is not a lie, but it is deceitful, because that state already had the highest premiums of any state before the law was passed. Second he used statistics in to show that state health care costs had increased from 16 percent to 35 percent after the law was passed; again technically not a lie, but the law was passed in 2006 and the 16 percent figure is from 1990 – the cost of national health care rose nearly 300% during that period, yet Massachusetts increase was only 220%, so was considerably less than the national increase during that period. He sources this from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Association, yet that organization says the costs “have been relatively modest and well within initial projections… the health care costs are not a problem” and the program is “a great success.”
Beyond the mudslinging approach that Huckabee has chosen, I give Romney the edge on meaningful leadership experience. While both have been governor, Massachusetts has double the population of Arkansas. Romney won two elections there running on a ticket of fiscal conservatism because the tax burden and state budget were in a state of near disaster. He turned the state around reducing programs, eliminating waste, balancing the budget, and initiating private insurance based healthcare without increasing taxes.
On the matter of electability, consider some more differences between the two states. While both states are majority-Democrat states, Massachusetts Democrats outnumber Republicans 3 to 1 and are among the most liberal of states – For the last dozen or so elections they have gone Democrat; whereas Arkansas has voted Republican in the last three presidential elections. The voters in Arkansas are conservatives, both socially and fiscally. Romney based on his fiscal performance was reelected to a second term in a state that a conservative should not have a chance. He was elected based on performance. He has proven he is highly electable. So my rating so far:
In my next post, I will compare Huntsman, Palin, and West with Romney and Huckabee.