Monday, 27 August 2012

Why YOU should vote Democrat (Part 1)

In November the United States will elect a President.


How time flies. Mitt Romney who has been the chosen one ever since the disastrous McCain/Palin ticket will face off against a seasoned Barack Obama. With the Republican National Convention taking place in Tampa this weekend, it’s as good a time as any to do a series on both parties. I’m going to explain why you should vote Republican, and why you should vote Democrat – if you’re an American of course. In my pro Democrat post, I will obviously talk about Romney, Ryan, Obama and Biden – but I will focus more so on those individuals on separate blog posts like the one I already have done for Paul Ryan. These posts will outlay some of the chief strengths and weaknesses of each party, and will have a conclusion.

So, Alexonomics Presents: Why you should vote Democrat.

Warning: This article does not mention
Joe Biden. Why? He's irrelevant. 
It’s interesting to note that the Democratic Party was once the Democrat-Republican Party – meaning both the GOP and the Dems were one party. They were united against the fiscal policies of Alexander Hamilton and were against national banks, corporate monopolization, and favoured strict adherence to the Constitution.The split occurred chiefly because of slavery. Many members left the party to form the Republican party, as they were anti-slavery and the Democrats were relatively numb to the idea. Abraham Lincoln’s Republican victory can be credited to Democrat divisions concerning the slavery issue. Additionally, the Southern States once were dependable voters for the Democratic Party, while the North voted Republican. Although today's Democratic members will most likely vehemently deny it, they had a few influential white supremacist leaders.

Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression probably changed the Democratic Party forever. With Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the ideas of social welfare, labour unions, civil rights, and commercial regulation all became chief components of the Democratic Party. The Democrat Party never had the African American vote until Roosevelt, as many African Americans supported the newly promoted equality and welfare ideas.

Currently, the Democrats believe in more or less social liberalism. Affirmative Action, Pro-Choice, Gender, Race and Sex Equality, Mixed Economy (government economic intervention), progressive taxation, and encouraging a government role in healthcare and fighting poverty are all policies of the Democratic Party. Since 2000, professionals have supported the Democratic party by a slight margin, while academia in the United States have sided resoundingly with the Democrats (Humanities Professors are not surprisingly the most liberal, while Business Professors the most conservative).
"Why do you hate me? I'm a
Republican  under Ike's definition"

So why in the name of Barack Hussain Obama should you vote Democrat?

To be honest, simply to prevent the Republicans from taking Presidency is actually a solid reason.

The Republican Party has strayed far from its roots of being actually a progressive party that in the 1950s advertised a surprisingly progressive platform. Under Eisenhower,the Republicans boasted about raising  the minimum wage of workers, increasing civil rights and gender equality, and emphasized more spending to improve healthcare and increase scientific and technological research while also ensuring immigration laws were fair . Shocker isn’t it?

Eisenhower actually wrote to his brother: Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are…a few…Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid,”

Most likely Eisenhower is rolling in his grave with the likes of Paul Ryan and the Tea Party taking over.

So what exactly does the Romney/Ryan plan entail?

"But..they need to go even lower!"
First, it wants to lower (again) individual taxes of the rich. “America’s individual tax code applies relatively high marginal tax rates on a narrow tax base. Those high rates discourage work and entrepreneurship, as well as savings and investment” is the statement from  Romney’s website. This statement is simply not true. First, America has the lowest individual tax rates for the  upper class in the G8 (yes I just sourced Wikipedia – but for this it is relatively accurate), and  the lowest nationally in in decades. Sure, Republicans argue that the top 20% pay 70% of federal taxes while the bottom 20% pay 2% - that’s their argument for lowering the taxes on the wealthy. It honestly does not make sense. Of course, the rich will pay more than the poor – some members of society are more fortunate or clever than others. If we’re going to have a just society, are we supposed to just let those poor people just, well, die? Sure, Republicans may argue that these bottom 20% members consist of the scum of society; they do not work hard and simply drink all day. In many cases, that could be true. But many times these members are victims of their own environment. When you’re born in a bad neighborhood, it’s tough to get out.  Additionally, since the Republican Party places so much emphasis on Christianity and religion; most religions would advocate assisting the poor and not allow the elitist/uber-rich to continue hoarding money.

Sorta seems like the reverse is happening. Could
higher taxes mean more economic growth?
The argument that decreasing taxes will all of a sudden create economic prosperity is bunk. Economists will tell you about the Laffer curve, which measures taxable income elasticity – which shows the change in income taxes reacting to income tax rates. Basically, actual work done pretty much stays the same. The only thing that is affected is tax write offs such as charitable donations, or the amount claimed as capital gains. And no, this is not documented by liberals.The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post both document this, and Forbes even dispels the myth that lowering the capital gains tax will automatically spur economic growth.

So, let’s cut the income tax argument into what it really is about: tax shields, hiding income, and transferring money to avoid it being classified as revenue.  No, raising taxes to ridiculous levels like France has is not the answer, Britain already has tried that and has lowered their tax rates to try and decrease tax evasion. However, American taxes for the wealthy are at their lowest in years, they should increase. Although heavily biased, a social justice activist claims cracking down on tax evasion by the wealthy  could pay off the deficit. To be honest, it’s a very interesting analysis with decent sources. One of the facts that stood out was the top 10% of American earners paid 19% on a cumulative $3.8 trillion, instead of the 30% they should (from 2006).

Additionally, Republicans were never so hot with the economy. 

Businessweek reveals that under Democratic Presidents since the 60s, the Dow does much better. Inflation, unemployment, and government spending (“those evil Democrats spending so much tax payers money”) have all been lower, and GDP % per capita has been higher than when Republicans were in office.

Additionally,when the Dow did go up with Reagan, that’s because Reagan raised the deficit to unprecedented levels in the Cold War effort to outspend the Soviet Union. Reaganomics is simply borrowing (nominal national debt increased from 900 billion to 2.8 trillion during his presidency) to alleviate the burden of lowering taxes and thus lowering governmental revenue. That cannot be done anymore.

Honestly, I have no idea how the post 60s Republicans became known as good with money.

A Paul Ryan supporter. 
Republicans also have a very extreme wing of the party which would have a large amount of influence should Paul Ryan become Vice President of the United States. Tea Party policies cannot infiltrate government, as that would cause disaster. Why? Tea Partiers do not want taxes to rise - period. They do not seem to understand that the government needs revenue to run, like any other business. For the government, taxes are revenue. Therefore, to pay down the deficit taxation needs to increase among the rich. It’s a pretty simple statement- one the Tea Party does not understand. Additionally, the Tea Party does not understand the government must spend to facilitate growth. A great example is Sher Valenzuela, scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on how she “made it on her own” – or without government help. That argument is clearly faulty, as a Redditor parodied her story  with a site revealing some interesting facts. 

 Additionally, stupidity from the Republicans on issues such as rape (I’m still trying to wrap my head around how the Republicans made ‘rape’ an issue) could cause problems for quite a few people. Romney’s flip flopping on social issues should also cause some concern. He is apparently against abortion and will cut funding to Planned Parenthood, but Romneycare back in Massachusetts covered abortions. Romney also stated that everyone has the right to contraceptives And then with regards to contraceptives, of course, Republicans, and myself in particular, recognize that people should have a right to use contraceptives. There's absolutely no validity whatsoever to the Obama effort to try and bring that up” which is fuzzy when contrasted to Paul Ryan’s staunch efforts to reduce contraceptive funding.
So is Romney for, or against?
I don't think he even knows.

It is humorous that Republicans are more apt to attend strip clubs than Democrats, and actually spend thrice as much money while at them. This is same party which under Tom Buchanan sees as the defender of American family values. 

To be honest, I think Romney will switch on social issues to attract the votes needed. With gay rights, Romney stated to Richard Tafel (leader of a LGBT GOP group) that when it game to gay rights he was " with you [Tafel/Gay Rights] on this stuff, I'll be better than Ted Kennedy." This is quite the contrast to a majority of Republican views today, and I daresay Romney stating this again could cost him greatly when it came to Southern Tea Party support.

The confusion of Romney’s idea for social issues, the bastardization of the taxation argument relation to the economy, and preventing extremists from entering the White House, are all sound arguments to vote Democrat just to ensure Republicans do not become to ruling party.

Besides not wanting a Republican President, why else vote Democrat? Well, Obama has done a decent job from the mess he was handed – in terms of the economy. He’s attempting to re-regulate Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank Bill - which is a legislative mess admittedly. This comes after repealing the Glass Steagall act in 1999, which created a mess as it removed the separation between commercial banking and investment banking (Yeah, Paul Ryan voted for this). Additionally Obama did cut taxes for small businesses through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

More expensive than Obama thought. 
The President has tried to fix the healthcare issue, but to be honest the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) doesn’t allocate funding correctly. Business owners should not be in charge for the health care of their employees by law. Additionally, Medicaid Part D should be looked at to remove the barrier that prevents the government from negotiating drug prices with big pharmaceuticals – but that’s another story. Obama has increased health care coverage by a significant amount – which is essentially a good thing.

Obama has made it easier for students to go to school with reformation of federal college loans and doubled funding for Pell Grants. This has been done while stressing the importance of education after Bush’s disastrous “No Child Left Behind” plan.

Socially, Obama has announced support for gay rights. He has added contraception coverage to the Affordable Care Act which was the center of media attention as Rush Limbaugh called one contraceptive user a “slut”. So, if you’re pro those ideals, Obama has done something favourable for you.

Legislators are just salivating about
introducing laws to the internet.
There’s also the fact that voting Republican could cause another gridlock in Congress. If we elect a Republican congress/ Democratic President or Republican President/Democratic congress, we could see the same partisanship that has blocked any sort of progress for the last couple of years. Therefore, to bypass that elect one party – and right now the Democrats are leading in the polls – so vote Democrat to ensure no gridlock.

Democrats have also proposed net neutrality laws, which have been blocked by the Republicans. It is a fear that if Republicans do enter government, net neutrality could be a thing of the past.

So there it is, if you’re voting Democrat those most likely are at least some of your reasons. In summarization: Mitt Romney’s floppiness on issues, idiotic Republican statements and extremism, Obama’s decent (not great, not bad) record, and hedging your bets to prevent another partisan driven legislative gridlock.

Barack Obama can be quoted stating A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.” This is partially true. The non-extreme, well rounded, mildly intelligent people will recognize good ideas. It’s the dinosaurs from the past blocking anything that will cause their natural extinction that will prevent this. I’m afraid the metaphorical dinosaurs are the ones who are funding the Republican Party, which is as good a reason as any to vote and cause their extinction. 


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