Month: October 2012

A Word From Mark Cuban

Over the weekend I found myself scrolling through articles on my smartphone and came across a blog post written by Mark Cuban that caught my attention immediately.  Named “I Would Vote for Gov Romney if He Was a Democrat,” is a very entertaining, yet informative article.  Don’t take my word for it, go check it out and see for yourself if you agree with Cuban’s perspective.

http://blogmaverick.com/2012/10/25/i-would-vote-for-gov-romney-if-he-was-a-democrat/

Are You a 1-Year Man or a 10-Year Man?

During the second presidential debate, President Obama repeatedly brought up the idea that you need to be looking ten years into the future for a strong energy policy. Contrarily, Romney believes that Obama has been putting the kibosh on domestic oil development, preventing America from becoming energy independent, a pipe dream according to the Scientific American blog. So when you’re at the polls, you’ve got to ask yourself: are you a 10-year man, or a 1-year man? Here’s the breakdown.

 

THE 10-YEAR MAN

 

The 10-year man’s fundamental beliefs lie in the fact that renewable and environmentally friendly energy resources are the way of the future. Despite the fact that world oil reserves are continually growing, the 10-year man knows that oil is a finite resource. Plus, the adoption of free technologies worldwide paves the way for environmentally friendly living while also enjoying the amenities of a technologically and industrially rich planet. To the 10 year man, this is just good economics.

 

However, the 10-year man is bereft in the short term. Because he does not want to open up more, if not all, domestic oil reserves, the 10-year man cannot have a noteworthy impact on domestic oil prices. He is afraid of investing in more infrastructures that relies on an oil-rich planet, because one day the oil will run out, and then we’ll really be in trouble. So for the short-term, the 10-year man must deal with energy prices dictated by a global bull market, paying more for oil than he necessarily has to. He must also deal with the cumbersome transition from crude oil dependence towards renewable energies as technology catches up to an inconvenient oil market.

 

THE 1-YEAR MAN

 

The 1-year man believes that American oil prices can be brought down. (Some folks have stated that $2/gallon oil is a real possibility.) Our oil prices are at the mercy of a global market of supply and demand. Right now, demand is high and supply is throttled, so the 1 year man wants to do as much as he can in the short term to alleviate oil shortages and put America in control of it’s own domestic energy. This means that we drill and open up lands that are currently guarded under EPA regulations and build pipelines. The 1-year man knows that this will reduce oil prices and create jobs and we expand our oil production infrastructure. The 1-year man knows that this is great politics as well. People want oil prices down now.

 

But the 1-year man lacks foresight. It’s no secret that there’s a limited amount of oil on the planet. The 1 year man may very well be able to bring down oil prices and eliminate dependency on other countries, but what will the 1 year man do when he runs out of crude. As of 2011, there was just over 30 billion gallons of oil in domestic reserves. That year, America consumed 6.87 billion barrels of petroleum products and biofuels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Without newer, more efficient, cheaper technologies, domestic oil will last us about 5 years. The 1-year man believes that energy independence is a possibility. He also believes that domestic production can put America on the oil-producing map.

 

So, are you a 1-year man or a 10-year man?

 

This post was provided by Chris Galis, web marketer for Drill Map, an oil mapping software company.

Second Presidential Debate Analysis

The second Presidential debate has just come to a conclusion with both candidates having good debate performances.  The President had a much improved debate performance, coming out aggressively and assertive.  Governor Romney was sharp and much aware of the domestic issues that the country faces.  So who won on specific topics?  Let us break down the debate.

The one thing that irks me the most is the assumption that the President has moderate control over gas prices.  The President has almost no control over gas prices and Romney tried to use high gas prices as a case against the President.  You may ask “Well then who controls the price of gas?”  It is the market, the continuous rise in gas prices is largely due to increased demand in emerging countries like China, Brasil, and India.  Other big contributing factors are unrest in the Middle East and oil speculation on Wall Street.  The President made a great point tonight by acknowledging these facts and dealing with them by increasing gas efficiency standards by car companies to double fuel economy in the next decade.  Romney’s plan is rather vague, like most of his campaign promises.  When it comes to energy policy I think it is clear the President has the advantage, he has an aggressive energy policy that does not simply rely on what we can bring out of the ground, but focuses on how we can create renewable energy for future generations.

Next is the issue of immigration and Governor Romney did a great job in exploiting the President’s record on this topic.  The President did promise that within his first year of him being in office there would an immigration bill presented to Congress that he supports.  President Obama broke this promise and Romney made him pay for it tonight by exploiting his statement made prior to getting elected.  In June, President Obama made an announcement stating his administration will allow the children of illegal immigrants to stay in the United States legally under his new plan.  The move was 100% political in an attempt to shore up the Latino vote in the November elections.  But when it comes to immigration there is not a good alternative, Mitt Romney’s immigration plan will certainly not benefit illegal immigrants and does not specify his exact plans to bring upon comprehensive immigration reform.  When it comes to the immigration I will give the win to Governor Romney simply because of Obama’s broken promises on immigration.

Once again the candidates were asked to explain and defend their tax plans.  Romney pointed out his intention of eliminating the estate tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and capital gains tax on taxpayers making less than $200,000 per year.  Other than these main points he still has not elaborated on his tax plan, making it impossible for experts to predict the impact of these tax cuts.  The President was quick to point out that his tax plan could not be imposed and cut the federal deficit at the same time.  Although Obama’s tax plan is popular, it does little to reduce the federal deficit unless a steady economic recovery occurs.  On the issue of taxes, the winner is easily President Obama because his tax plan is much more specific than Governor Romney’s plan.  I would consider changing my mind under the condition that the Governor would specify the loop holes that will be closed under a Romney administration.

The candidates also touched upon several foreign policy topics in which I will briefly address.  The death of Ambassador Chris Stevens became a hotly debated topic tonight.  The President assumed responsibility because it happened under his watch, but it is still unclear exactly who in the administration is to blame for not only the ignored calls for extra security, but also for the delayed response by the administration. On the issue of the Chinese government manipulating currency, Romney came down hard on the President for not doing enough to stop the Chinese from keeping the value of their currency artificially low.  Romney claims that he will label China a currency manipulator his first day in office and most experts claim that this will only escalate tensions between the U.S. and China, possibly ending in a trade war.  Recently the Obama administration has been in private negotiations with Chinese officials regarding their currency manipulation, but with little success.  The path the Obama administration has taken is seemingly the best option as opposed to Romney’s plan, but produces only limited gains.  When it comes to foreign policy topics covered in the debate tonight I will give neither candidate the win because much of the information on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya is still not reported and both candidates don’t seem to have credible plans on how to handle China’s currency manipulation.

I do not feel that tonight’s debate will decide the election, more than likely it will all come down to Monday night’s debate.  Monday night’s debate is the most crucial debate between the two candidates to leave a lasting impression on voters before they hit the polls November 6, be sure to tune in.

 

Vice Presidential Debate Analysis

The first and final Vice Presidential debate has just wrapped up and both candidates lived up to expectations.  They touched base on a number of issues ranging from government spending to Iran, and neither of the candidates held any punches.

The first topic that was brought upon the candidates tonight was the issue of the September 11 attack on the United States consulate in Libya.  Ryan of course was quick to politicize the attack by trying to put the blame on the administration for no added security on the consulate despite requests for added security.  The fact of the matter is that not all the exact details of the attack are out, regardless of what the media tells you.  The intelligence community is still continuing to gather information on the attack and it is not exactly known who in the State Department made the call not to send additional security forces to Benghazi.

The candidates were also asked about their tax plans and who would benefit the most under their plans.  Ryan was on stage defending Romney’s tax proposal of a 20% across the board cut on taxes.  They claim the tax cut will be paid for by closing tax loopholes mainly for wealthy contributors but have refused to give specifics.  The election is roughly one month away, maybe it’s just me, but I would love to know what loopholes are getting cut to pay for this tax cut.  The Bush tax cuts are a huge reason why the Federal Debt is at $16 trillion and if they can’t specify which loopholes will be closed to pay for this than why even put forth a tax plan.  This I found completely outrageous, this is a government run by the people for the people, and if voters want a specific tax policy before the election than that is what we should receive.  Are they still working on the plan?  I doubt this, they are almost certainly withholding the tax plan for political gain.   Biden of course has had the luxury of using the last four years as a platform to showcase the Obama tax plan which most Americans are familiar with.  I would love for the Romney-Ryan ticket to release their exact tax plan so the two can be compared.

The two also exchanged words over how to deal with Iran and its nuclear ambitions.  Ryan went on the attack immediately accusing the Obama administration of being too soft on the Iranian government.  He claimed that they hesitated on sanctions with Iran and to some degree he is right.  Congress should not have been the driving force behind sanctioning Iran’s central bank, the President should have done this much sooner.  The sanctions are working and there is no disputing that, the Iranian rial has suffered greatly and inflation has skyrocketed in the past few months.  Obama certainly hesitated on full-blown sanctions on Iran, but at the same time he also got the support of the international community, even Iran’s close allies.  The administration took time, valuable time, to gather international support for these sanctions and there is no guarantee that these sanctions will work.

Overall, both Biden and Ryan had excellent debate performances.  They were both intensely prepared and aware of the numbers, often times fact checking each others statements.  This debate certainly will not make or break this election for either candidate and for a good reason, they are the Vice Presidential candidates.

Debate Analysis

With the first Presidential Debate just wrapping up, I must say I was very surprised to see how well Mitt Romney did in the debate.  Not saying Obama did a terrible job but his debating skills certainly were challenged by Romney.

The entire Presidential campaign I have waited to see any sign of a backbone from Mitt Romney and tonight was the first time that I seen one from Romney.  Romney came out swinging at the President and was clearly the more prepared out of the two.  The debate covered topics such as taxes, the economy, education, the federal debt, and healthcare.  Here is what I took from the debate:

1. Taxes: Obama was quick to accuse Romney that his tax plan would benefit only rich Americans, in which Romney responded with a fiery rebuttal.  Romney pointed out that his proposed tax plan would cut taxes for all Americans, 20% cut across the board, not only for rich Americans but for all Americans.  The two seemed to agree upon cutting the corporate tax rate, Romney proposes a reduction of 10% and Obama proposes a 7% reduction.  When it came to taxes in the debate I will give Romney the win, not because his tax plan is a better tax plan but because Obama was completely unprepared to debate the issue of taxes.

2. The Economy: The President was of course on the defensive when the issue of the economy was brought up and rightfully so.  Romney criticized the unemployment rate and the continued failure of the economy to create jobs.  Obama countered by stating that the American auto industry is booming because of his auto bailout and that manufacturing is coming back to the United States (which is absolutely true).  Still the numbers are not there, unemployment is still above 8% and the economy is by no means recovering at the rate that any of us would like to see it.  When it comes to the topic of the economy in the debate I will not give either candidate a win because Romney’s economic plan is still vague and the Obama economic plan seems to be working but at a very slow pace.

3. Education: When it came to education it was clear to everyone that watched the debate, that neither candidate has a decent plan to better the education system in the country.  Romney at one point had the highly intelligent comment “I love great schools,”  of course you do Mitt, there isn’t a person in the country who doesn’t like great schools.  Doesn’t that statement itself speak for how much Romney knows about how to improve education?  Don’t get me wrong, Obama has not brought any ground breaking education reform to our schools either but does anyone expect Romney doing any better in the area of education?  I give a loss to both candidates when it comes to education.  Both showed incompetence when it came down to education and both seemed to lack any willingness to change the failing public school system.

4. The Federal Debt: When it comes to the Federal Debt, I will just come out and say it now, neither candidate has a stellar plan to solve the crisis.  Romney plan includes cutting taxes in a time when Federal tax receipts are at historic lows and the Federal Government is in over $16 trillion in debt but somehow expects to decrease the Federal Debt at the same time.  The Bush tax cuts are a very big reason why our federal debt is over $16 trillion and renewing and expanding the Bush tax cuts are not the answer to lower the debt.  Romney criticizes the President for not keeping his promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.  But let us be honest, did any of us believe that Obama would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in the midst of the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression?  The answer is “no” and it is a promise the President knew he could not keep.  But when it comes to reducing the Federal Debt I believe the Obama plan has a better chance at success than the Romney plan.  Tax cuts are a great thing, especially during a time of economic hardship, but $16 trillion is a lot of money and the time to start trimming away at it is now.  I give President Obama the win when it comes to the debt because Romney’s plan to cut it does not add up.  He may claim that he will close certain tax loop holes to make up for some of the loss but it is very unlikely that the plan will work as smooth as Romney proposes.

5. Healthcare: One of the most hotly debated topics tonight was, no surprise, healthcare.  Romney immediately started out attacking Obamacare, of course.  Romney must underestimate the American peoples intellectual ability to think to themselves “Didn’t Mitt create universal healthcare as Governor of Massachusetts?”  The fact of the matter is that both plans are incredibly similar, the major difference being the Affordable Care Act is on a national level and not a state level.  How does Governor Romney justify his implementation of universal healthcare in Massachusetts?  States rights of course, this a recurring justification for the Republican Party’s agenda (another example for this excuse is gay rights).  Romney also continued on with his belief that the Medicare system should be a combination of both private and government insurance.  From my knowledge on this topic, it would be a disaster to the taxpayer funded Medicare system.  Not to mention it will NOT keep medical costs down.  Medicare on average pays doctors 40% less than private insurance does.  Romney has no good explanation as to how this system would affect healthcare costs, so I will in a very simple way, costs will increase.  When it comes to healthcare I will give the President the win easily over Mitt Romney.

President Obama has much to prove going into the next debate, which I foresee him doing much better in.  Obama was very ill-prepared for this debate and Romney capitalized off of this.  Romney showed much passion and had a good debate style, often citing facts which is crucial for a candidate to do.  Romney had a great knowledge of the issues but he simply does not have good plans to address the issues that face this country.  Who do you feel won the debate and why?  Post your opinion below and let’s start a debate.