Post Election Hope

By: Mike S
November 8, 2012

After the election results were announced, I was surprised by the number of people posting doom and gloom.  I read comments about how the outcome showed that we had lost faith in God as a country.  People talked of Armageddon and the Mayan Calendar.  You would have thought the world was ending.  To me, it was the exact opposite.  So I wrote the following:

This election gives me great hope in the upcoming generation.

For the recent past, our country has been led by greed and a concern for the NOW on every level. People tried to buy and “flip” houses to make a quick buck. The financial industry was led by increasingly complex transactions designed purely to leverage a profit without a care for the cost in human capital. People wanted lower and lower taxes without caring about the debt this was passing on to their children and grandchildren. We wanted cheap gas now regardless of the environmental costs and environmental problems that will come due in the future.

During difficult times in our past, we have come together as a country. People were willing to sacrifice personally during WWII, for example, to achieve a bigger common goal. Recently, however, as a society we became about “what’s in it for me”. And it lead to the greatest crisis in a generation – economically, socially, and on many levels.

But this upcoming generation has spoken. They are different. They aren’t as short-sighted as we have been:

  • They care about the environment and looking towards the future, even if it might be a bit more costly or inconvenient now.
  • They care about individual freedoms and allowing others to make choices that are right for them, without trying to impose their own ideals on someone else.
  • They care about preserving societal safety nets to help the less fortunate among us, even if it might involve sacrificing a bit of their own choice
  • They care about more financial equality, even if it might mean that their own taxes are a bit higher.
  • On just about every level, things are improving: Teenage pregnancy rates are down; smoking rates are down; teenage rates of pre-marital sex are down; social awareness is increasing; etc.

So to me, it seems that our society is choosing values that recognize that we are in this together. In this particular election, the democratic party happened to more closely align with these values, and the younger generation turned out in droves to make their voice heard. This is a trend, and to the extent that either party responds to this in the future, they will succeed. To the extend that either party tries to go the other way and cut shared societal responsibilities and reward individual greed, they will fail.

I have great faith in humanity. I have great hope for our country. I have great admiration for our younger generation. I think we will grow as a people as we collectively come together. It may involve some personal sacrifice, but as the ocean rises, all boats go up.

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33 Responses to Post Election Hope

  1. Will on November 8, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    I totally see it as an entitlement society that voted based on fear they would lose their benefits. I see it in terms of what is happening in Greece, Spain and Italy — 25 to 35 percent unemployment. In Greece the unemployment rate is 58 percent among the 18 to 25 crowd.

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  2. hawkgrrrl on November 8, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Will, yeah, but the food is great!

    I too see this as choosing entitlements over austerity, but I am not totally anti-socialism. Our system just isn’t set up that way today, so if we are going there, we’ll have a lot of growing pains.

    I think this is a case of hope (idealism) beating experience (pragmatism). I’m not without hope, but at heart I’m a pragmatist.

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  3. whizzbang on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Fiscal Cliff anyone? Hopefully the US wont fall over and drag down the rest of us. I am no supporter of Obama as I don’t think he has done anything really for the last four years-I say that about most politicians!!

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  4. Mike S on November 8, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Will:

    I don’t know that it is a sign of entitlement society as much as it is a society that has grown weary of the greed of the top 0.1%. Whether or not this is true, it is something that the Republican party is going to have to come to grips with if they are going to be relevant in upcoming elections.

    If you look at exit polling, younger people overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Additionally, Obama’s demographic included people with post-graduate education, non-whites, and Protestant / non-denominational religions. This is the future demographic of this country.

    Instead of thinking that these people are merely looking for a handout, I think they are instead looking for more equality. Our gap between rich and poor has risen to obscene levels. We have the world’s greatest medical system yet exclude a significant portion of our population from even basic care. Uber-rich spend tens of millions to get even lower taxes. People have said enough.

    Argue what you may, but I think the wealthy did far more damage to our economy in their attempt to personally get billions of dollars than people who played the system to get a few hundred dollars in food stamps. And the country, at least for now, agreed.

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  5. Ben Arkell on November 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    I wish people would realize what the root of the problem is and always has been. It’s a result of a few proud people who control all the resources. Let’s take down the federal reserve and I guarantee life would be better for all of us. By the way, thanks for being positive!

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  6. Paul 2 on November 9, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Mike S., I enjoyed your post. I was optimistic after hearing Obama’s victory speech. It was the finest in living memory.

    Despite the strong negativity, the avalanche of lying, the lack of realistic proposals for solving the long-term fiscal problems, and the flood of PAC money, I am glad that both candidates are unusually good men. Neither man has a cloud of corruption following them. They are both unusually clean-living politicians (I give a pass on young Barack smoking pot and the Romney high school bullying) and they had significant community service before getting into politics. This is something to rejoice in, that the system, despite its corrupting influences, still managed to pick 2 men who I would have been happy to see as presidents.

    I appreciate the call of the prophet and apostles for unity and sincere prayers on behalf of the winners of the election.

    I am happy to see so many women elected. I think women tend to make good elected officials.

    If changes arrive in the upcoming 2 years, they will be negotiated between the parties, not dictated by one party. The Republican House will have a very important say. I tend not to look at the result of negotiation as a negative thing. Realistically, you can’t have what you want if you don’t have a big majority with you. That is fair. Negotiated solutions are fair and will reflect a compromise between two approaches to our problems. It is a good thing that our system does not make a slim majority enough to dictate things.

    I believe that there are many “smart configurations of policy and law” that would bring a benefit to the country when compared to our current policies and laws, and that the centers of mass of these smart configurations are scattered across the left/right continuum.

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  7. Paul on November 9, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Mike S, I agree that there’s much to be positive about. Will, I think it’s a cop-out to assume this is all about entitlements. It is about a sea change in the way we view our society, to be sure. And it won’t surprise me if that change is checked in the future — that’s the way our system works. We will tack left for a while and then we will tack right again. But the general direction over time seems to be changing, and there is good to be found in the change.

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  8. Henry on November 9, 2012 at 5:26 AM

    Mike S
    Everything means something.

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  9. mark gibson on November 9, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    Book of Mormon; Mosiah chp.29: v. 26-27

    Scripture becomes reality.

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  10. hawkgrrrl on November 9, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Just to introduce a skoche of snark into this:

    - “They care about the environment and looking towards the future, even if it might be a bit more costly or inconvenient now.” Or if it makes the entire state of West Virginia redundant.
    - “They care about individual freedoms and allowing others to make choices that are right for them, without trying to impose their own ideals on someone else.” Except the wealthy, the religious, or gun owners.
    - “They care about preserving societal safety nets to help the less fortunate among us, even if it might involve sacrificing a bit of their own choice.” Or even better – a pound of flesh from the wealthy!
    - “They care about more financial equality, even if it might mean that their own taxes are a bit higher.” Or even their great-grandchildrens’ taxes.
    - “On just about every level, things are improving: Teenage pregnancy rates are down; smoking rates are down; teenage rates of pre-marital sex are down; social awareness is increasing; etc.” Plus, with global warming, more days of sunshine! Of course, none of the things in this list are a gift from POTUS or the Democratic party, right?

    Now, snark aside, let me weigh in for realz. Personally, as an independent, I like clean energy better and would sacrifice for it; I might even buy *gasp* an electric car. I believe both parties impose their ideals on each other – that’s what politics is. Some argue that Dems care more about the downtrodden because they *ahem* ARE the downtrodden (disproportionately). I don’t mind paying more in taxes for worthwhile societal investments, even if I am not the direct beneficiary. I do find (on your last point) that the fear-mongering of the right fails to compel me. However, the fear-mongering on the left doesn’t really get me out of bed in the morning either. Basically I’ve been fear-mongered past caring by both sides.

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  11. Rigel Hawthorne on November 9, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    People tried to buy and “flip” houses to make a quick buck.

    Flipping houses can involve buying at a low price and immediately reselling at a higher price, but more often it involves investing capital in the investment you made in hopes of making a modest gain on your overall investment. That has been a means of supplementing incomes for middle class people so they can put away a nest egg for as long as I’ve been alive. Most people in my area are lucky if they can sell there home to break even or have only a small loss, so yes, I feel a bit gloomy.

    I also feel gloomy that a majority in two states feel that increasing the already huge popularity of marijuana use will cause a further dwindling of the intellectual capital of the population of this country. I recently heard at a national gathering of psychiatrists the lamenting of college student health physicians facing an onslaught of college students who started using marijuana showing up in the clinics now seeking stimulants to overcome the “ADD” symptoms that they had never had while not using marijuana in high schoole or elementary school. Causes me to think of Elder Christofferson’s “Man up” talk about the low SAT scores and that this can only make things worse.

    I will be glad to have Michelle Obama’s efforts towards childhood nutrition and improvement of school lunch health continue. The continued ‘spending’ in the vein of the Indian Health Improvement act will also provide a bonus in my field of employment.

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  12. KMB on November 9, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    When I hear locals bemoan the future of the country, I respond with a paraphrase of a recent headline at Slate: Cheer up, we just (re)elected a moderate Republican president. His name is Barack Obama.

    The problem with those on the left and right who are gloating / complaining respectively about the supposed obsolescence of the Republican party or conservatism in general is twofold:

    (1) If the country was genuinely moving to the left, we would have had an election between a far left and a center left candidate (someone on the right who was forced to move left because of popular opinion).

    Instead we had the opposite: a center right and a slightly more right center-right candidate. Sorry, people of both parties: Obama is not a liberal. It’s just the truth. American is still a center-right country.

    (2) The last time the “death” of the Republican party was announced with the supposed permanent ascendance of the Democratic majority for the foreseeable future was four years ago, at Obama’s first election. And that “permanent majority” lasted exactly…two years, until the next election when Republicans took back the House and more of the Senate. (And they will make gains again two years from now.)

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  13. Will on November 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Mike S,

    I don’t buy what you are saying and here is why:

    Republicans have more leaders in State wide office than Democrats. Let’s take governors for instance. On the Republican side you have: Bobby Jindal (LA), Brian Sandoval (NV), Susana Martinez (NM) and Nikki Haley. On the Democrat side you have Duval Patrick. If you consider Italian Americans as non-white, then you have Chris Christie off-set by Andy Cuomo. If you look at territories it is evenly split with Republicans Eddie Calvo (Guam), Benigno Fitial (Mariana Islands) and Luis Fortuno (Puerto Rico); and on the Democrat side you have Tigiola Tulafono (Samoa) Vincent Gray (DC) and John De Jongh (Virgin Islands).
    What’s more (and this is partly where I went wrong on my Romney prediction), most of the swing states are run by Republicans – Governor and house. Governor’s who have or our solving the budget problems. Of the 13 states (including Pennsylvania and Michigan at the end) considered swing states, 9 (YES 9) have Republican Governors.

    You have to ask yourself, why the electorate in these states votes for Republicans for State wide office, but will not for them for Federal Office. Were these people looking for equality when they voted for these Governors’? Is it that Obama is that much more effective or that much more qualified than Romney? Or is it that most of the entitlements come from the Federal Government and they know Obama will be more likely to hand them out? Given the exit polls, I would clearly say the latter. Romney was given higher marks on fixing the economy and the budget; while Obama understood our needs better (in other words, is willing to give us stuff). As for young people, they just don’t have any real world experience (most are being indoctrinated in a liberal college) to make a good decision. They will change when they hit reality, they always do.

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  14. Cowboy on November 9, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Rigel:

    The fallacy in “flipping homes” was the notion propounded by the lending industry, that a person’s primary residence was a “store of value”. And of course, by “store of value” they mean some kind of implied pile of cash from which small sums of that cash can occasionally be extracted under the pretense of “home equity”, hence the famous HELOC.

    What is the value of a person’s primary residence? It is the value of having a place to hang your hat at night, to rest, to raise a family, and be happy. That’s it. Now, if that value changes into something strictly financial, then it does so at the forfeiture of the kind of value I just described. It’s that old saying of “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. If I want the value I have to do one of two things:

    A) This is the simplest, I just sell it. Of course, what’s the problem? Now I have nowhere to hang my hat at night, to rest, to raise a family, and be happy. So I am back in the market for a “place” that can do all of those things. If I want to make a profit and retain some of the coveted financial value in my home, I must buy something less expensive than my net profit on the sale of the previous home. If I want something nicer, I may be able to leverage a higher loan due to the availability of a higher initial down payment, but the net effect is more debt and starting a loan over.

    B) Borrow against it. This strategy for creating the impression of wealth has been described in many ways, for example “We took some of the equity from our home and did…(such and such thing)”. As a young stupid kid I would hear these kinds of statements and think that these people were just smarty pants doing some clever financial management that was above my head. Now I realize, they were just taking out a risky loan and celebrating the increased threat to their financial solvency. What was a HELOC? It was a loan with a threat. That threat said, “we’ll give you a $40k loan on the condition that if you can’t pay it back, we’ll force you to sell your $150k home according to our timetable (in real estate price is a factor time) for whatever price you can clear so long as it pay’s us back. That’s it, just a loan…and often another loan sitting on top of your uncompleted 30 year mortgage.

    So…where is the store of value? Historically homes have never truly appreciated that much, particularly once you factor taxes, inflation (what do you think it is that drives your value in the first place??). As for this notion of “reinvesting” in the home, this is a little tenuous as well. The flipping model was a fresh coat of paint on a dilapidated building. Just drive around the mid-west and look at all of the 90 year old homes that are wearing down, that sport attractive siding, new windows, and granite countertops in the kitchen. The “reinvestment” was not to fix the outdated wiring or the compromised structural integrity, rather it was to put an attractive veneer on a piece of s#$! and hope that a gullible buyer won’t ask too many questions.
    Now in some cases there is a little reinvestment that can take place, but once a basement has been finished, there are very few major things that can be done where the cost of investment isn’t about on par with the increase in value. That of course depends on situation to situation, but the vast majority of home “flips” were not occurring this way.

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  15. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Paul 2: I am glad that both candidates are unusually good men.

    I absolutely agree. I would have been proud to have either of them as my president.

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  16. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    #7 Paul: We will tack left for a while and then we will tack right again. But the general direction over time seems to be changing, and there is good to be found in the change.

    Absolutely. There is always change – ebb and flow. But I still stick by my assertions – that overall people are clamoring for more equality and more … I can’t really describe it very well … but a vision of more shared humanity or interconnection or …

    My opinion is that groups or political parties or organizations that accept this will flourish in the coming decades. Those that don’t will suffer. While there will be ebb and flow, we will work towards that.

    And I feel that all of this is an natural and organic change in mentality as we work towards the millennium. We will all be much more equal than we are now. I feel that humanity will trend in that direction, and we’re seeing the start of that.

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  17. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Mark Gibson:

    To expand your reference (Mosiah 29:26-27):

    26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

    27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

    Would you care to elaborate? If I am interpreting your comment correctly, I assume that you feel that electing Obama is “choosing iniquity”. What part of this is “choosing iniquity”?

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  18. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    #10 hawk: Basically I’ve been fear-mongered past caring by both sides.

    I absolutely agree. This is the problem with American elections. Everything is reduced to a single “fear-mongered” point and played over and over at a louder volume as if it will influence the electorate. And I don’t know if it does anything besides make everyone jaded.

    Stepping back and looking at what people really propose is the answer. Look at their proposals. Run the numbers.

    In this particular election, this is what actually led me to finally make up my mind to choose Obama over Romney. If you actually run the numbers of Romney’s plan – 20% across the board tax break, limiting deductions to $17-25k, etc., at the end of the day, a middle class family making $100k with a $2k monthly house payment and $10k in tithing would actually pay MORE in taxes. Yet a millionaire making $3 million a year would get a $250k TAX BREAK. Romney kept claiming that he would help the middle class in his rhetoric, but his numbers never added up.

    Obama would let the Bush tax breaks expire and go back to the Clinton era rates. But guess what? The economy did fine under Clinton. Businesses succeeded. Rich people made money. And the budget balanced. Obama’s proposal actually had historical precedent for working AND helped protect the middle class. Romney’s proposals basically helped the rich get richer.

    I didn’t care about the rhetoric – as they both said they would protect the middle class and not make the rich richer – but dig into the actual proposals. And at the end of the day, people also saw through the rhetoric. Of people making over $100k, 45% STILL VOTED FOR OBAMA, knowing that they would pay more in taxes.

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  19. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    #11 Rigel: Flipping houses can involve buying at a low price and immediately reselling at a higher price, but more often it involves investing capital in the investment you made in hopes of making a modest gain on your overall investment.

    I agree. Many people have made money doing this. BUT, it became representative of greed:

    - For example, from that time, “More than a third of all U.S. home mortgages granted in 2006 went to people who already owned at least one house, according to the report. In Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, where average home prices more than doubled from 2000 to 2006, investors made up nearly half of all mortgage-backed purchases during the housing bubble. Buyers owning three or more properties represented the fastest-growing segment of homeowners during that time.”

    This is people trying to make a quick buck. Period. It wasn’t looking at trying to provide housing for people as shelter or homes to raise their family. If was greed.

    - I had patients who were in their 20′s who dropped out of school to “flip houses”. They were making $20k / month.

    Buying a house as an investment; renting it out; etc. – done forever as you mentioned. Buying houses to “flip” them a month or two later, leads to what happened…

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  20. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    #12 KMB: American is still a center-right country. Agreed.

    People just didn’t want the “further-right” proposals offered by the alternative. They didn’t want proposals where the rich get richer. They didn’t appreciate the silly “far-right” statements on abortion made by some people. Etc.

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  21. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    #13 Will: You have to ask yourself, why the electorate in these states votes for Republicans for State wide office, but will not for them for Federal Office.

    States generally have to balance their budgets by statute. The Federal government can (and does) run a deficit. People are concerned about this. You don’t fix it by cutting taxes 20% across the board and think you’re going to make it up with some “to-be-determined” cuts that will magically be revealed after the election. People didn’t buy the smoke and mirrors.

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  22. FireTag on November 9, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Mike S. re Mark Gibson:

    I’ve also noted the same scriptural reference of Mosiah 29:27. The country remains almost exactly 50-50 split on going left or right. Almost 80 percent of the country either STRONGLY supported or STRONGLY opposed Obama.

    So, even if we can not agree on WHICH half is choosing iniquity, we do seem to have consensus that close to ONE HALF IS. Danger, Will Robinson!!!

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  23. FireTag on November 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Oh, yes, and breaking news. General Petraeus has just had to resign as head of the CIA over an extra marital affair which was known (but not leaked) before the election. He’s now the obvious fall guy for Benghazi.

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  24. Paul on November 9, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    #22 FireTag re: Mike S re Mark Gibson:

    Why must we assume that one who votes for the other guy is voting for iniquity? That is simply silly to assume a difference in opinion on how to govern is a choice for iniquity. Danger, Will Robinson, indeed.

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  25. Will on November 9, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    To me this whole thing is avioding reality. People like Mike and Paul that try and rationalize what we see right before our eyes. We have a spending problem in our government. A huge, enormous, burdensome, crippling spending problem that one-half of the country, for whatever reason, will not acknowledge.

    Our deficit(spend more than we bring in) is more than any other country SPENDS, with the sole exception of Japan. Not thier deficit, thier TOTAL spending. America voted for more spending. They voted to continue their benefits, in spite of enormous debt. If this does not define entitlement, I don’t know what does. It is wrong to think someone else SHOULD pay you for something that YOU did not earn. That is theft. There is no better term for it than that. And theft, violates three of the ten commandments (steal, bear false witness and covet) and two of the seven deadly sins (greed and lust).

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  26. FireTag on November 9, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Paul:

    Fair question. It was the intensity of the opposing positions that makes me argue that the sides believe the other side is choosing iniquity. Contemptuous language is predictive of divorce in marital relationships, because the wounds reopen when real differences reemerge as the differences HAVE to. It’s the same, IMO, politically once it has become an ideological crusade.

    If the language is greedy fatcat versus corrupt politician, homophobe versus sodomizer, warmonger versus appeaser, rationalist versus superstitious, moderate versus extremist, racist mysocynist versus equality, whatever, there isn’t going to be any kiss and make up any time soon.

    And you can already see that as Dems within their coalition start jockeying for their share of the spoils of victory, and the Repubs start apportioning blame on their side and positioning themselves for leadership in the next cycle.

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  27. Juliathepoet on November 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    After an email from another frequent commenter, I figured answering the questions here, instead of emailing back would be easiest, and maybe I will only have to say it once.

    “Julia, I don’t get why you and most of the liberals have suddenly gone dark. Did you stop believing in Obama? Are you suddenly worried that your guy being elected will turn out badly, and so you don’t want to take responsibility for what is going to happen? I think we are seeing the true colors of those Mormons for Obama who are afraid of the consequences from the election.”

    Thank you for your concern for me, and I assume my eternal soul. I haven’t felt the need to get in the middle of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth that conservatives seem to need right now.

    The election speaks for itself. The decision has been made. Congress and the President have some important work to do between now and January 1st, and I hope that instead of worrying about whether the country is going to hell in a hand basket, that they work together to come up with the best compromise possible.

    In the meantime, I have friends and family struggling to get their lives put back together after two completely devastating storms. I am so grateful that Obama and Christie are doing what they can to get resources to family members and friends who need the assistance. I hope that my friends on Long Island get more help soon. I wish I was physically closer, or that my health allowed me to do and help deliver food and water, ask people what they need and meet those needs, or just hug people who are afraid and need to know someone loves them.

    I can’t physically be there, but I can email, call, send letters and packages. I can pray. I can share the stories of my friends who think no one is listening. I can save my energy and not waste it arguing about whether the results of the elections are right or not. They are what they are, and I would be saying that whether Romney or Obama had won the election.

    I understood some of the Armageddon talk before the election as part of the political rhetoric because people were attempting to influence the votes if others. Since we don’t have a recall option got national leaders, I don’t understand what or who people are trying to influence. The choice has been made. In two years there may be some changes, and no matter what, in 4 years we will have a new president.

    In the meantime, there are people in our country with real problems who need our help. Mina, who wrote the guest post last night on my blog, is worried about the safety of her students and follow New Yorkers, as the gas shortages, and shut down of public transit, strands people with fewer resources and friends than she has. Doing what I can for my own family, my friends, and trying to do research for them, that they have difficulty doing with intermittent power and Internet, feels like the best use of my time.

    I hope all of you have a good weekend.

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  28. Mike S on November 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    #25: Will: We have a spending problem in our government. A huge, enormous, burdensome, crippling spending problem that one-half of the country, for whatever reason, will not acknowledge.

    I agree. Here are some facts:

    When Clinton took office, the top marginal tax rate was 31% and the capital gains rate was 28.9%. The government spent 21.78% of GDP/year.

    What happened? Clinton RAISED the top marginal tax rate to 39.6%, and in his second term lowered the capital gains rate to 21.2%. The results of his term:

    - The GDP grew. As a percent/year, the numbers were 5.13%, 6.27%, 4.65%, 5.72%, 6.30%, 5.53%, 6.37%, 6.39% = average 5.79%

    - Government grew, but slowly. In actual outlays, government spending went up by year: 2.02%, 3.72%, 3.69%, 2.95%, 2.60%, 3.21%, 2.99%, 5.12% = average 3.29%

    - Because the GDP grew, government spending as a percentage of GDP DECREASED! The numbers are 21.14%, 20.63%, 20.44%, 19.91%, 19.22%, 18.79%, 18.19%, 17.89%

    So, under Clinton, with higher tax rates, government the country did well, businesses were created and prospered, government spending grew slowly in absolute values and DECREASED in % of GDP. And because of increased tax revenue and decreased spending, WE HAD A BUDGET SURPLUS by the end of Clinton’s term.

    Now, look at Bush. What did he do? LOWER TAXES. He lowered the top marginal tax rate from 21% at the start of his term to 15.4 by the end. He lowered the capital gains rate from 21.2 -> 15.4%. The theory is that this would jump start the economy, create more jobs, and decreased the deficit. (Sounds familiar – eh?). Did it work? Look at the same numbers:

    - The growth in GDP slowed down. The numbers by year are 3.36%, 3.46%, 4.70%, 6.38%, 6.49%, 5.97%, 4.87% and 1.87% = average 4.64% (compared to Clinton’s 5.79% average, or 19.8% LESS AVERAGE GROWTH IN GDP)

    - Did Bush cut spending, as he promised to do with the tax cut? Nope. In absolute terms, the increase in government spending by year was 4.13%, 7.95%, 7.26%, 6.30%, 7.81%, 7.41%, 2.77% and 9.30% = average 6.62%. (Again, compare to Clinton’s 3.29%. This is essentially DOUBLE the increase of Clinton’s term.)

    - In terms of % of GDP, Bush’s spending was also terrible. The numbers are 18.11%, 18.90, 19.36%, 19.34%, 19.58%, 19.85%, 19.45% and 20.87%. A clear upward trend.

    Just as an aside, tax collections during Clinton as a percentage of GDP were in the 19-20% range by the end of his term. By 2009, they were down to 15%. No wonder there was a deficit.

    So, overall, Bush cut taxes, but increased spending both in absolute year-year changes as well as a percentage of the GDP. Our budget surpluses under Clinton turned to deficits.

    Now to Obama. In his first year, he inherited a terrible mess from Bush. The GDP shrank 2.22% in 2009. But in the next two years, it increased 3.76% and 3.98%, getting back to Bush’s level. Government spending in Obama’s first year increased a lot, but in 2010, it increased at around 4%.

    So, given all this, when you talk about the enormous, crippling problem of the deficit, Romney had the exact WRONG PLAN. Cutting taxes made no sense whatsoever. Politicians claim they will also cut expenses, but they NEVER do that. When Bush tried that plan, the economy slowed down, expenses went up, and the deficit went to hell.

    If you are truly concerned about the deficit, then a vote for Obama is the only one that made any sense. And that’s not based on opinion – it’s based on actual numbers above. Raising taxes a bit can help balance the budget, the GDP grows better as the middle class feels more of a sense of security, and we become a more equitable society. And the rich still get richer.

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  29. FireTag on November 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Mike:

    “Politicians claim they will also cut expenses, but they NEVER do that. When Bush tried that plan, the economy slowed down, expenses went up, and the deficit went to hell.”

    On that statement, you, Will, and I are in total agreement. You assume that it will be different this time because the money will go to the poor and not the POLITICALLY CONNECTED RICH INSTEAD? That is where I disagree.

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  30. [...] plus people analyzed some walls of the box, to help think outside it. It appears that values and ideas Americans vote for are [...]

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  31. Douglas on November 11, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Mike, the Doobie Brothers in the nadir of being front by Michael McDonald (a decent artist in his own right but an utter bore as a lead singer) said it in 1978…”What a FOOL believes.” Sixty millions Americans were utter fools to reelect the nincompoop-in-chief. The only upside I can see is that four more years of this nitwit shoud disabuse all but the “free-government-cheese and cell-phones’ from the ‘hood’ against voting Democrat ever.
    However, like the leaders encouraged in their CYA posting on the LDS newsroom, I’ll pray for the President re-elects health and success in his office. The good of the country is far more important than partisanship, and I’m still riding the bus that Barrack Hussein Obama is driving until 01/20/17.

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  32. mark gibson on November 12, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Mike S:

    Voters for Obama were not choosing iniquity. But the Democratic party is viewed as being less inclined to have/uphold priciples/guidelines that are based in moral ethics. And many in the country want an “anything goes” society with no one able to voice an objection. I could list several political issues but we all know some of them.

    So the ones who “choose iniquity” are actually choosing someone who won’t remind them of their behavior, etc.

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  33. JR on November 16, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    What stuff is Obama going to give? I keep hearing/reading this phrase but no one ever says specifically “what stuff” is going to be given.
    I also watched/heard the recording of Romney saying Obama won by giving gifts bought with government money and given to a certain donor base. How can he say that and believe that? Showed his true character.
    As far as “stuff” being given out, the wealthy receive more “stuff” from the government than any other group in this country.

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