The Republican’s Debt and Deficit Blackmail

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
GOP blackmail

(By The Pragmatic Pundit)

Republicans have been using debt and deficit blackmail as a bargaining strategy since the days of Ronald Reagan.Reagan’s brand of politics was successful at promoting the notion that federal government spending on social programs is mostly wasted on pointless handouts to lazy recipients. He carefully cultivated the impression that “government spending” meant “free money” for people who were nothing more than moochers.  Sound familiar?

Ronald Reagan was swept into office on the same Republican fearmongering-propaganda that grips the country today…”spending is out of control, the country is going bankrupt and government is too big.”

There is no denying Reagan inherited an economy that was in a deep recession, but his response to the debt crisis was far different than Republicans would have us believe.

Despite his “small government” rhetoric, Reagan expanded the federal government by 7%, employing a larger federal workforce (those greedy public employees) than any President in history other than Johnson who presided over the Vietnam War.

He did enact a huge tax cut, but then raised taxes eleven times; increased defense spending; ballooned the federal deficit to the largest peacetime deficit in history; raised the debt ceiling 17 times and accumulated a debt burden that equaled the previous 200 years of American history, turning the United States from a creditor nation into a debtor nation.  For the first time in the history of the nation, the United States borrowed in order to cover federal budget deficits.

David Stockman, Reagan’s economic wizard and the architect of the trickle-down budgets wrote:

“The Reagan deficits were intentional, designed to cut revenue as a way of pressuring Congress to cut programs Republicans wanted to destroy….The plan… was to have a strategic deficit that would give you an argument for cutting back the programs that weren’t desired….”

The “small government” mantra and “debt and deficit” narrative continued after Reagan left office and another Republican, Bush (41)  took the helm.

Daily News 1990:  Legislators Say There’s No Money.

During the tenure of these two Republicans, deregulation and imprudent real estate lending contributed to a Savings and Loan crisis and quite possibly the stock market crash.  Between 1980 and 1994, more than 1600 banks were closed or received financial assistance from the FDIC.  Over 1,000 banks with total assets of over $500 billion failed.  The number of savings and loans declined from 3,234 to 1,645.Taxpayers assumed the bill for a $124 billion bailout, while corporate scandals and bankruptcies made matters worse. Enron represented the biggest corporate scandal in history, while Worldcom MCI filed the largest bankruptcy in history.

That was the economy Republicans left for Bill Clinton and they were singing the same song: “spending is out of control and the country is going bankrupt.”  
 
CNN – 1995
Americans blame GOP for budget mess

Buffalo News 1995
GOP FRESHMEN AREN’T COMPROMISINGTHIS OUTRAGEOUSLY PHONY BUDGET CRISIS

Then as now, Republicans focused solely on cutting the social safety net and entitlement programs.  Remember welfare reform?  Republicans take credit for Clinton’s 1993 deficit-cutting package, but the truth is the balanced budget passed without a single GOP vote in either house of Congress.   By the time Clinton left office, there was a surplus.Bush/Cheney inherited the Clinton budget surplus and immediately began turning it into a deficit.

Despite their opposition to entitlements, Republicans passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 expanding the program (can’t privatize it, figure other ways for private corporations to extract money from the program).  After being debated and negotiated for several months, the bill finally came to a vote  on a November morning at 3 am while America slept.  Among other things, the bill prohibits the federal government from negotiating discounts with drug companies.  Read the curious legislative history.

Bush launched wars with Iraq and Afghanistan and introduced tax-cuts that primarily benefited the rich.  None of these expenditures were offset and they all were kept off the books, giving the illusion that the country was in a much stronger fiscal position than it was.  Republicans admit under Bush they  “spent like drunken sailors”,   but when the spending was taking place, not a single Republican rebelled.  Remember, running up debt and deficits is a strategy.  
 
Six weeks before President Obama was sworn in, the economy collapsed and the Republicans began their familiar chant…“spending is out of control and the country is going bankrupt.” 
 
Newly installed Governors cut the federal workforce; remember, Reagan ( the man Republicans credit with economic problem-solving) increased the federal workforce to one of the largest in history.  They cut employee pay and pensions, while they delivered more tax cuts to the wealthy.  They busted unions, destroying employees last firewall between workers and employers.  All of these acts redistribute the treasury from the middle class and working poor to the wealthy.

It isn’t ideology that drives the Republican insistence on spending cuts, it’s a strategy.  Think about it…the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the White House for four consecutive years.  They could have fixed Medicare and Social Security, but for some reason, there’s never a problem unless a Democrat is in the White House.Listen to how fervently they defend cuts to defense.  Why?  Afterall, defense workers are unionized public employees.  Because there isn’t a department that shifts more taxpayer money to the private sector than the Defense Department.  There is no other federal vehicle that allows the wealthy to extract more money from the treasury, convert more taxpayer revenue to the private sector than the Defense Department.

Throughout history, since 1783, tax cuts for the wealthy and increased defense spending and union busting have increased the gap between the revenues and the expenditures. Shareholders and those on Wall Street have enjoyed inflated returns, while the wages for workers have taken a beating.   It’s a 21st century Gilded Age.

In the final analysis, the real targets are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; any program that supports the less fortunate.   Republicans have a long-standing, deeply-held  antipathy for both Social Security and Medicare. Not only did Reagan advocate that Social Security should be privatized, he was at the forefront of a coalition against Medicare with the same arguments we hear today.

How did the public ever buy the idea that Republicans are good stewards of the economy?   Studies have been done comparing every phase of economic growth, during Democratic and Republican presidencies and congresses, and they all show stunningly better performance when Democrats are in power.

The trickle down miracle never worked because lower taxes don’t generate more revenue, they generate deficits.  It is a fact that is so mathematically  basic, it borders on common sense.

The Parasite Tax (Redux)

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

(By Mark Bridger, cross-posted at That Mans Scope)

Below I have reproduced a blog I wrote two years ago — Nov 20, 2010. With all the talk about generating revenue and shifting the tax burden from the middle class to the wealthy, no one talks about the inequity of sales taxes on everyday items that the middle class purchases such as school supplies and diapers, but no similar tax on financial speculation. This is a little publicized but important example of the class warfare already declared on the 98% by the top 2%.

 

When I learned about economics in high school, we were told how the stock market works and why it is good. Inventors and entrepreneurs who had good ideas about new and useful products could form companies and issue stock. Investors who thought these ideas or products were promising could take a risk and invest in the stock, thus becoming part “owners” of the company. The money they paid would be used by the company to grow and develop its products. If all went well, the company would thrive and the investors would be rewarded for the risk they took. Sounds wonderful. Like so much of capitalist theory.

But that’s not quite the way it works, especially these days. There are still people who buy stocks based on the “fundamentals” of the companies: the management, ideas, and products. These are the true investors. However, most of the trading of securities these days is based on speculation. This is not speculation about the fundamentals of the company, but speculation about how the market and other investors will behave. Probably most stocks (and bonds) are not kept for months and years, but are traded monthly, weekly, daily, and even by the minute and second (see the insider newsletter Zero Hedge for some estimates). Sophisticated computer programs can use statistics and mathematical modeling to estimate small-scale fluctuations in segments of the market and relate that to the second-by-second behavior of particular stocks. Lightning fast buying and selling programs can trade thousands of stocks a second based on these analyses. All this computer power is available to trading companies and their best and wealthiest customers. Often a trading company (Goldman Sachs is a notorious example: see this blog) will pit their best customers against their less-favored customers.

There are tens of thousands of individual “day-traders” who do similar things on their own or are the favored customers of the big brokerage houses.

Make no mistake about it:

These People And Brokers Are Social Parasites.

They serve no useful purpose and do what they do solely out of greed. They are responsible for a lot of the volatility of the market. The tiniest bit of news or financial gossip can set off flurries or cascades of day-trading and computer sales that account for big fluctuations in the daily indices. No wealth or products or innovation or anything of social value is produced. The stock market is already very liquid (i.e. it’s easy to pair buyers and sellers), so what these parasites do is create “churning” or “hyperliquidity”: meaningless buying and selling that enriches only speculators. Responsible investors such as pension funds, hospitals and schools end up, more often than not, as victims of these irrational market swings.

Now add in derivatives: side bets on the performance of bundles of stocks and bonds; even bets on the financial indices themselves. Sometimes these bundles are only theoretical, as is the case of synthetic CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) which may not actually contain anything more than a list of securities that one bets on. Or consider the trading of Credit Default Swaps, which are like “insurance policies” on securities. The whole setup has absolutely nothing to do with the fundamentals of capitalism, and everything to do with wild speculation and gambling.

It is universally acknowledged now that this gambling culture on Wall Street is responsible for the recent economic collapse and resulting unemployment. Unlike other ruined gamblers, however, the big players here — investment banks (Citi e.g.) and insurance companies (AIG e.g.) were bailed out because their excesses threatened our entire economic system. Not only are many of the villains in this debacle now taking home huge annual bonuses — often more than the average family’s life savings — but the Republicans and the woefully ignorant Tea Screamers think that we need fewer regulations of Wall Street.

(Gambling behavior by banks was forbidden after the Great Depression by the Glass-Steagall Act. This worked to prevent a major market crash for more than 60 years. It was repealed by a Republican Congress helped by then President Bill Clinton. For more, see my blog about it.)

The time has come to make Wall Street start paying. One effective way to do this is to enact recently proposed legislation to tax stock and bond sales. This has just been done in Europe and, in fact, there was such a tax in the U.S. from 1914 to 1966.

Yes, Virginia, it’s true that we all pay sales taxes on purchases, except the gunslingers on Wall Street.

They can trade a hundred million shares in a day and not pay a dime in sales tax, while you and I fork over 5% or 6% or even more on back-to-school supplies and lawnmowers.

The idea of a Speculation Tax is simple and fair and necessary. Each time a stock is traded, the buyer and seller each pay a small tax — about 1/4% in some plans. This is a tiny amount: $25 on $100,000 worth of stock, or about what you‘d pay in sales tax on a $500 stove. It is absolutely no burden whatever on a long-term investor or conservative pension fund, or hospital or university. It does amount to a burden — and rightfully so — on people who make massive and frequent computer trades to take advantage of tiny point fluctuations in securities. It could also be called a Parasite Tax. Conservative estimates say it would bring in at least $100 billion a year in tax revenue (e.g. see Robert Kuttner’s article). This revenue could be used constructively to undo some of the bad things that Wall Street has done to us.

Here is a fairly extensive article on the Parasite Tax (a.k.a. the Financial Services Tax or Tobin Tax) from SourceWatch and some other articles from the AFL-CIO and The Hill. Google it yourself to find out more.

Another important thing we can do is to make stock and bond traders’ profits subject to regular income tax, not just the capital gains tax. But that will be the subject of another blog.

The important thing is: Make Wall Street Pay.

Winning Progressive adds:

If you want to help make Wall Street pay, contact your congressional representatives and write to your local newspapers urging that we establish a Speculation Tax on Wall Street financiers, rather than cutting spending that helps the middle class, working class, and poor.

Enough Preemptive Freakouts

Friday, November 30th, 2012

(By NCrissie B)

The Preemptive Freakout du Jour is, of course, whether President Obama is about to “cave” in tax and budget negotiations with House Republicans. Last weekend, senior White House advisor David Plouffe said that successful negotiations would require concessions from both Republicans and Democrats:

The only way that gets done is for Republicans again to step back and get mercilessly criticized by Grover Norquist and the Right, and it means that Democrats are going to have to do some tough things on spending and entitlements that means that they’ll criticized on by their left.

Cue the Angst Mongers:

Okay. Deep breath.

Note the speculative scare words, such as “could be a raw deal for the middle class,” and “We have a lot of questions here about where this is going to end up, don’t we?”

Never mind that President Obama has plainly stated that Social Security is “off limits” in these negotiations. Never mind that the math is the math and, despite the chart Ed Schultz showed about the current deficit, a new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows that our long-term deficit is driven almost entirely by rising health care costs for seniors:

The aging of the baby-boom generation portends a significant and sustained increase in coming years in the share of the population that will receive benefits from Social Security and Medicare and long-term care services financed through Medicaid. Moreover, per capita spending on health care is likely to continue to grow faster than per capita spending on other goods and services for many years.

If progressives criticize conservatives for ignoring data they don’t like – and we should – then we can’t ignore data we don’t like … and the CBO’s data are very solid.

To solve our long-term deficit problem, we must flatten the growth curve on health care costs, and President Obama began working on that with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included funding for computerized medical records and comparative studies of treatment outcomes. The Affordable Care Act also includes provisions to reduce Medicare costs, but Christina Romer – former head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers – wrote in June that Obamacare was only the first step in addressing the health care cost curve:

A natural approach is to strengthen measures already enacted. Once the payment advisory board has a track record, for example, perhaps it could be empowered to suggest changes in benefits or in how Medicare services are provided – say, along the lines of successful demonstration projects.

Likewise, the Bowles-Simpson bipartisan fiscal commission recommended, as part of overall tax reform, limiting the amount of health insurance benefits excluded from taxation. Like the excise tax on high-priced plans, this change would probably increase pressure to keep costs down.

Even larger departures from the current system may be needed. The law creates health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can buy coverage. Including a reasonably priced public plan as an option could exert downward pressure on the price of private health insurance policies by increasing competition.

Yet Dr. Romer did not expect progress anytime soon, concluding:

Sadly, serious debate over further cost-savings measures may be a long way off. Some Republicans seem more interested in just limiting the government’s share of health care expenditures than in slowing overall spending. And some Democrats seem more interested in just preserving existing government programs than in making the entire health care system more efficient.

For the sake of the nation’s fiscal health, and the health and economic security of American families, it’s time to embrace cost containment in health care as the next great legislative challenge.

These are real challenges that demand serious discussions of alternatives and their benefits, costs, risks, and tradeoffs. President Obama and leaders in Congress will debate those. I don’t like all of the options currently on the table. I may or may not like all of the solutions eventually adopted. It’s too soon to know.

But it’s a whole lot more entertaining to have a Preemptive Freakout because … well … President Obama always caves in to Republicans anyway, right? Except he doesn’t:

In policy terms, Obama clearly had gotten the better deal. The trouble was that the political world and the public had been conditioned to see this episode as primarily a clash over the top-tier tax cuts – and on that Obama had not gotten what he wanted. Consequently, the media depicted the compromise as a loss for Obama, and progressive Democrats squawked mightily about the continuation of the tax cuts.

As Corn concludes:

In a recent White House meeting with labor leaders and progressive activists, Obama signaled he is ready to fight the GOPers – and this time dare the Republicans to block continuing the tax cuts for the middle class. But no one ought to forget that Obama, a progressive in his policy preferences, remains a pragmatist. What happened two years ago is not an indication that Obama is likely to yield in the new face-off, but that he will be assessing the political dynamics in gridlocked Washington and be willing to bargain hard for a good deal with true benefits. That’s not caving in. It’s governing.

Yes, it’s governing. But governing is messy, and full of compromises and deals that look icky as we watch them happen. As John Godfrey Saxe famously said: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.”

Or Saxe would have famously said that, if so many people didn’t wrongly attribute his quote to Otto von Bismark and Mark Twain. Those mistakes happen when people substitute ‘sounds true’ rumors for actual facts. Just sayin’.

And yes, Ed Schultz, I’m sayin’ it to you, and the others who are busy with their Premptive Freakout. Enough. Go climb a tree and nibble on a macadamia. It’s a lot better for your blood pressure. And mine.

(Crossposted from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute (BPICampus.com))

How Mitt Romney and Tax Havens Rob the Middle Class

Monday, October 29th, 2012

(By The Pragmatic Pundit)

Tax Havena country or place which has a low rate of tax so that people choose to live there or register companies there in order to avoid paying higher tax in their own countries.

Middle Class Americans have been waiting all these years for the wealth to trickle down, only to discover that the only thing it has done is stream and gush into tax havens like Switzerland and the Caymans.  Why aren’t people outraged?

On the off-chance there are those who don’t grasp why we should all be enraged, allow me to explain:

Tax havens offer secrecy and other special advantages that attract corrupt dictators, drug cartels, terrorists, corporate heads and the likes of Mitt Romney.   They all share the same political and social dynamics; avoiding and evading their responsibilities to the societies that sustain them.  And they do so with impunity.

Havens allow companies and wealthy individuals to reap the rewards of the onshore benefits of taxes;  like good infrastructure, clean water, education and the rule of law,  (all the stuff they didn’t build) while using the offshore world to escape their responsibilities to pay for it. The rest of us shoulder the burden.  Allowing corporations and the wealthy to escape taxes and regulations increases inequality and poverty, corrodes democracy, distorts markets and curbs economic growth.

The reason Mitt Romney’s business dealings and Bain Capital are important is because he and the company he represented indulged in activities that literally stripped this countries’ financial assets and relocated them to other countries, depriving the United States of jobs, investment capital and desperately needed tax revenues.   As we lose tax revenues, the country becomes more dependent on the loans and interest that helps to increase our debt.  Those liabilities are the public debts of the government that end up shouldered by the Middle Class.  So the next time you want to talk about the debt and the deficit, look towards a tax haven where corporations and the wealthy who have been enriched with U.S. government contracts, loopholes, subsidies and income tax refunds have chosen to pledge their allegiance.

We may not like them, but taxes are the nexus between government and citizen, while tax revenues help to fulfill the social contract.   Tax havens shift the tax burden away from capital and onto labour and the Middle Class creating a dramatic rise in income and wealth inequality. What’s worse is havens like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are allowed to enjoy wealth by appropriating taxes that should be paid to the United States.

They offer not only low or zero taxes, but allow people and corporations to get around the rules, laws and regulations.  Tax havens and tax dodging are nothing more than forms of corruption.  Companies build secret monopolies by using them to hide their identities in order to  collude and fix prices.  The secrecy fosters criminal activities like insider trading, market rigging, tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, the illicit funding of political parties and more.

Perhaps, most offensive is that those who avail themselves to the use of tax havens remove themselves from sharing the costs involved in maintaining a healthy society, while they remain actively involved in the democratic process by lobbying, buying elections and as in Mitt Romney’s case, even running for office.  They distort markets and undermine market competition and they thrive because of secrecy.

Mitt Romney’s tax returns are important because they give us a blueprint of the kind of patriot he really is.  While he bemoans the 47%, what share of taxes has he been allowed to avoid?  More importantly, what kind of person concerns himself with the taxation of someone who earned $20,000 in an entire year, while he ducked, dodged and deferred taxation on $20 million in income?  He is an economic free-rider and traitor.

It should be show-and-tell time.  Romney claims he has paid all taxes due and has done nothing illegal, so what is there to hide?  Where is the media or a few good investigative reporters?  Are they just too lazy or too beholden to corporate interests to seek the truth?  Imagine the response if President Obama had a sheltered account and refused to share the details.

Why isn’t the public raising hell about Romney’s tax returns?  Why aren’t investigative reporters raising the roof?  Why aren’t the Democrats still making demands?  Is it me?  The idea that anyone would cast a vote for Mitt Romney without full disclosure of his tax returns and business dealings is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

So I Crawled out of my Binder….

Friday, October 19th, 2012

(By The Pragmatic Pundit)

To say…I TOLD YOU!!! 

I fell asleep watching MSNBC  and woke up to “Morning Joke” and someone saying, “Robme owned the argument on the economy.”

Is it me?

I keep waiting for a little forthright journalism.  It isn’t as if the man doesn’t have a governing record.  He was Governor of Massachusetts!  Here’s what that record tells us:

Job creation:

Massachusetts ranked 47th in job growth during his time as governor. Job growth was just 0.9 percent, while the national average was better than 5 percent.  Only Katrina-ravaged Louisiana saw a bigger decline in its labor force.

Outsourcing:

The Washington Post reports:

during the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas….”

Massachusetts lost 14 percent of its manufacturing jobs; double the rate that the entire nation lost. In fact, Romney vetoed legislation that would have banned companies doing business with the state from outsourcing jobs to other countries.

Taxes:

He enacted the biggest tax increase in Massachusetts’ history, increasing corporate taxes and state fees by $750 million a year.

Romney left Massachusetts residents with $10,504 in per capita debt, the highest of any state in the nation when he left office in 2007. Debt increased by 16%.  The state ranked second in debt as a percentage of personal income.

Immigration:

As Governor of Massachusetts, in 2006, Romney signed an agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency that would have permitted State Troopers to arrest and seek deportation of suspected illegal immigrants they encountered during the course of their normal duties.

Soon after signing an executive order, Romney left the governorship to run for President.  In his television ad he said, “As President, I’ll oppose amnesty, cut funding for sanctuary cities and secure our borders.”

I could go on and on.  The man doesn’t have an honest bone in his body.  Personally, I believe anyone who lies as much as he does has a mental problem.  Mitt’s mendacity should matter!

The Debate

Regarding the debate, if I hear one more person focus on what they should have said, didn’t say and the issues that went unmentioned, I might scream.  The debate was an hour and a half.  We’ve watched the President for more than 4 years and listened to Mitt’s lying, flip-flopping, etch-a-sketchery for what seems like forever.

I’m grateful for the “plant” who inquired about Benghazi, because nothing was greater for me than the moment when President Obama looked Mitt in the eye and declared, “I AM THE PRESIDENT!”  Booyah!!

Then there was the sole Black man’s question that focused on his “disappointment”, stating, “you let me down”.  This is a declaration that simply drives me nuts.  I can’t reconcile the idea that so many people seem to behave as if we sent Zeus to Washington armed with the Blade of Olympus….capable of fixing an economy and system that has been broken for decades.  I’ve been saying since 2010 that it’s time to stop whining.

If you ask me, too many Americans are confused.  One cannot believe, on one hand, the government does not create jobs and then turn full circle and rail against the President for lack of job creation.  One the other hand, one cannot believe businesses are the “job creators” and then accept that businesses, who have been enriched by the present economy should be exempt from creating jobs.  It is impossible to reconcile an objection to outsourcing of jobs and then embrace someone who has a history of doing exactly that.  How do people place confidence in a man who makes taxation the center of his economic plans who has himself spent a lifetime not only avoiding taxes for himself, but helping foreign companies avoid contributing to the American treasury? Heck, Romney won’t even release his own tax returns.  So what can anyone possibly be undecided about?

And women?  Don’t get me started, I haven’t enough time.  My son-in-law is on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan and by now my daughter is in surgery with a wounded warrior, so that leaves me to make certain my little grandsons are not running around with AK-47s.  Just think, if they weren’t in the 47%, I could crawl back in my binder and sleep all day long.

2nd Presidential Debate Liveblog

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Below are some in the moment thoughts about the second Presidential Debate.  Our take is that President Obama stood up proudly for his record, offered a positive vision, called out Romney’s lies in a calm and cool way, and, most importantly, showed some real fire in the belly.

Keep in mind that the post-debate impressions spread by the chattering classes in DC often shapes voters’ views about who won or lost a debate, so let’s all go out there and trumpet President Obama’s strong performance in social media, with your friends and family, in letters to your local newspapers, and by signing up to volunteer for the Obama campaign.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I missed the first 25 mins of the debate, and tuned in to Romney lying about his tax plan. What a shock.

Is Romney also going to give us all magic unicorns? No. In reality, he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class and take away our Medicare and Social Security.

Nice. President Obama ties Romney to the House Republicans, while linking Democratic policies to economic growth under President Clinton.

So what will Romney do first – produce his tax returns, or tell us what tax exemptions he will eliminate?

If Romney cannot stop his own Bain Capital company from shipping jobs overseas, then why would we think he would create American jobs as President?

The only “sources” that Romney can claim supports his mystical tax plan are blogs and articles written by Republicans.

Let’s see if Multiple Choice Mitt takes a position on Lily Ledbetter Act. He has refused to in the past, because his party opposes every effort to achieve gender equality.

The difference between Romney and W. Bush is that Romney is offering the Bush agenda on steroids.

Romney simply lied about access to contraception. He vowed to “get rid of” funding for Planned Parenthood, and supported the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny its employees health insurance coverage for contraception.

President Obama has the real record of supporting actual small businesses.

President Obama has taken steps to make Medicare more efficient, without cutting benefits. Romney opposes those efficiencies, and wants to eliminate Medicare.

Under President Reagan, government employment increased significantly. Under President Obama, the GOP required massive layoffs of state and local government workers, which is largely what is holding the economy back.

Here’s how reactionary Romney is on immigration – he vowed to veto the DREAM Act, and wants to make life so difficult for immigrants that they will “voluntarily” leave the country through “self-deportation.

Here’s the details on President Obama’s sensible policy to stop deporting DREAMers – law abiding immigrants who were brought here by their parents when they were children.

And the Obama Administration took on Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070 all the way to the Supreme Court, while Romney calls Arizona’s law “a model for the nation”.

Romney’s “blind trust” is not blind - as he said, “blind trusts are an age old ruse.”

Nice to see the moderator call Romney out for being flatly wrong about Obama’s statement on Libya.  Here’s what President Obama said in a Rose Garden statement on September 12 – “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

Back in April, Romney went and kissed the ring of the NRA leadership, buying into their silly conspiracy theories rather than calling them out for opposing sensible gun safety legislation.

On jobs, Romney could begin by making sure his Bain Capital companies stop shipping American jobs to China, like Sensata is doing in Freeport, Illinois.

Here’s an example of what Romney’s Bain Capital is doing to every day Americans by shipping their jobs overseas.

If Romney cares about 100% of Americans, why did he tell his wealthy donors that he does not care about 47% of us?

President Obama knocked that closing answer out of the park – absolutely beautiful how he showed passion for every day Americans while making clear that Romney doesn’t care.