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Yup, the human weather vane is now claiming that he deserves the credit for the auto bailout he opposed.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/having-opposed-auto-bailout-romney-now-takes-credit-for-rebound/

Meanwhile, on the subject of rising US oil production, he says Obama is taking "undue credit"!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/05/09/bloomberg_articlesM3RLA207SXKX01-M3RYR.DTL

Well, if anyone is an expert on taking undue credit, it would be Mitt.

No word yet on any pending reversal's on his anti-Volt statements.

Romney.jpg
 

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First of all, Mitt Romney made his statements about the bailouts that President Bush gave the auto industry - tens of billions in loans that the auto industry just used to limp along until they could go bankrupt under a Democratic administration. Mitt Romney said then, during the Bush administration, that the automakers should go through private bankruptcy. Just as he predicted, those previous loans were forgiven (up in smoke), and the automakers then went through a government sponsored bankruptcy.

Mitt Romney should get credit for chastizing the Bush administration about those totally blown loans - that was the wrong approach, no question. Mitt Romney should also get credit for saying then that private bankruptcy was the only way to go.

As it played out, the bankruptcies weren't private at all, because no one but the government had money at the time. While that risks the government having undo influence in those automakers, as far as I can see, (and taking Bob Lutz at his word as well) the government didn't interfere with the operation of GM. I do take issue that the bond holders got screwed in favor of the union interests, but, in the end, the bond holders signed on, so spilt milk.

I know from following the whole thing go down moment by moment, day by day, that Mitt Romney knew what to do in that situation long before Bush understood it, and long before Obama was elected. Considering that the national debt is going to lead to more of these crises, the take-over, turn-around expert, Mitt Romney, will know what to do.
 

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Even though I lean left and have other reasons I won't vote for Romney, I don't think people should be making decision based on wrong information. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to no like/agree with any politician...we don't need lies or misinformation to add to that.

I appreciate seeing the facts. Thank you.
 

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Considering that the national debt is going to lead to more of these crises, the take-over, turn-around expert, Mitt Romney, will know what to do.
Which Mitt are you talking about?
 

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I don't follow politics closely. The closest I've gotten is with the anti-Volt nonsense, and that has been so incredibly repulsive that I am fairly turned off from politics in general.

That being said, I know that for the proliferation of evil all we have to do is nothing...

It is very interesting reading @Jason Hendler's perspective on Romney. I don't have time or ability to evaluate in depth the candidates and frankly I only have general vague political views due to my utter focus on other topics ever since high school...

But maybe Romney is not the total garbage I had thought him to be. That being said, I still suspect everybody up for election has major flaws.
 

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It is very interesting reading @Jason Hendler's perspective on Romney.
Jason is spinning complete BS. The car companies were failing. The financial sector was imploding. And George Bush was only going to be president for less than two months, not long enough to do anything. So he did the only thing he could -- providing enough money to kick the can down the road so the Obama Administration could fix things. Seriously what else could he have done? If he hadn't done this then, as even Dick Cheney has said, we would have unemployment at 23% rather than 8%.

The big hole in Romney's "It was my idea" claim is that he adamantly rejected the idea of using TARP to provide debtor in possession financing. Since that was the ONLY financing available there would never have have been a Chapter 11 reorganization. It would have been a Chapter 7. So no, the successful Chapter 11 reorganization was most definitely NOT Mitt Romney's idea.
 

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My issue with Romney is he is not true to himself. He has no left, right, or center. He is trying way to hard to distance himself from..himself. As the originator of health care reform in MA, he is now adamantly opposed to it for example. He is now against almost everything he once stood for. I can't trust him. He was blasting the auto-industry bailout before he decided to claim credit for its success.

And as RonC points out, his idea was for GM to wait for private equity at a time when none was available. Perhaps I'd be less sensitive had Romney not decided to double down with some cheap shots at the Volt, "an idea whose time has not come". That's not leadership or vision.
 

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Steverino,

Mitt Romney has made very clear statements as to why states are allowed to do things that the federal government is not. I agree with Mitt Romney that these 50 states should be 50 separate incubators for solutions that fit their specific needs, and that a one-size-fits-all solution from the federal government is not only non-viable, it is unconstitutional.

Our founding fathers intentionally gave us a federal system of government, with three separate branches, each with separate and enumerated powers. They intentionally created two separate chambers within the legislature alone. They intentionally created frequent turnover through frequent elections. They intentionally created both the freedom of speech and the freedom to bear arms.

Why?

It was all to prevent the accumulation of power. It was intended to guarentee individual liberties, so that solutions start with the individual, not the government. If you only chose to view circumstances through that prism, you would see and understand that Mitt Romney's positions are actually consistent. He doesn't want federal Obamacare, he wants money to go to individual states to apply as they deem appropriate. There is absolutely no comparison to a state based solution and a federal level solution - none.
 

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Healthcare is a national problem and requires a national solution.
Don't forget it is the double digit increases in healthcare year after year that helped lead GM and all other companies as well as the govt and all of the people in the US to the financial stress that contributed to both the Great Recession and is putting a huge competitive disadvantage onto our economy vis a vis our international competitors.

From Wikepedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_reform_debate_in_the_United_States
In 2009, the U.S. had the highest healthcare costs relative to the size of the economy (GDP) in the world, with an estimated 50.2 million citizens (approximately 15.6% of the September 2011 estimated population of 312 million) without insurance coverage. Further, an estimated 77 million Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, which combined with significant annual increases in healthcare costs per person will place enormous budgetary strain on U.S. state and federal governments...
 

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Healthcare is a national problem and requires a national solution.
Wrong and wrong.

Not sure where the source for this problem exists, but, for some reason, health insurance companies can't / won't / don't compete across state lines. If there was more competition, there would be lower costs.

Also, those states that limit the payouts for lawsuits have cheaper medical insurance for doctors, who then lower the prices they charge their customers. Some are now able to skip procedures that were in place only to protect themselves from lawsuits, saving customers money. These solutions have been occurring at the state level, and would never have occurred at the federal level. As a result, some states have made progress on healthcare, while others have not.
 

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Jason, I can agree with you in part about health care. Yes competition would be good. But that's what Obamacare does -- it leaves the provision of services in the private sector but makes them compete on the providing health care rather than on not providing health care. For example, before Obamacare 30%+ of all health care insurance premiums went to paying "administrative" expenses. Most of these expenses went to identifying those people who might actually get sick and denying them coverage. Obamacare changes this by requiring insurance companies to cover everyone who applies. That was fine but now the insurance companies were worried that they'd get all the sickies and not enough healthies, and it's been proved time and time again that in this situation insurance CAN'T WORK (see the example of car insurance in Philadelphia). So Obamacare has a mandate.

On Romney, the man is an empty suit with no discernable leadership skills and no fortitude. I thought the ad which said Romney would not have ordered the raid that killed Bin Laden was right on. Someone who wouldn't even take the job at Bain unless he was guaranteed to be able to come back to his consulting gig is so consumed with downside that he's never roll the dice on the Bin Laden raid. That he would say that decision was "easy" means he's (1) completely unself aware; or (2) a liar in that he's knowingly say things which he knows are untrue.

His lack of balls is also evident in his campaign promises. This WSJ op ed piece is classic Romney. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239672484987172.html He starts out by claiming he's principled and willing to make the hard choices others aren't ("I am prepared to make the difficult decisions our nation needs"). Acknowledging that you have to have both budget cuts and tax increases ("we must still raise enough revenue to stop the endless borrowing that threatens American prosperity"), he then proceeds to detail all the tax cuts he wants to bestow on the American public. He LOVES playing Santa. How about budget cuts? Those he says he's "outlined previously". The loopholes he'd close? You know, the ones that he says we need "to stop the endless borrowing". Well those end up being completely unspecified with a reference to "some curbs on personal tax deductions, exemptions and credits". IOW Fugetaboutit!

We're supposed to take him seriously? When he gets serious maybe I'll be able to do that.
 

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DonC,

Mitt Romney is a former governor and business turnaround artist, which we need in order to address our current budget problems, especially in the areas of social security, medicare, medicaid, fannie mae, freddie mac, post office, defense, trade, etc. His standard of "is it so important that we have to borrow from China to fund it" is exactly the right philosophy.

I don't fault Mitt Romney for having to massage his positions in order to be effective as governor in the state of Massachusettes. I don't envy politions over the past few decades as our population whip-sawed between apparant left and right swings. Many fell into the global warming trap, and after the leaked emails revealed that the data was indeed falsified, everyone looked the fool.

I can personally tell you that standing by your beliefs will leave you on the outside looking in, while it would have been more effective to play along until the time was right to drive the herd in the right direction. Mitt Romney does tend to play it safe, and it is a conventional approach that is needed right now. The moonshots of Solyndra, etc. achieved all they were going to achieve:

1) solar prices have dropped significantly after a few years of plateau-ed prices,
2) BEV, EREV and PHEV vehicles are selling nationally
3) onshore wind is a well established industry and offshore wind is finally permitted and being built
4) energy storage solutions and the legislation to reward rapid response power leveling are in place

and on and on,

but,

now it's time to make the hard business operations decisions, and Mitt Romney is a perfect match for the tasks at hand.
 

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Wrong and wrong.

Not sure where the source for this problem exists, but, for some reason, health insurance companies can't / won't / don't compete across state lines. If there was more competition, there would be lower costs."

Jason:

Ah the magic of the free market. Sorry do not buy that we need more insurance companies out there or more competition out there. Been there done that.

We have had 70 years of private health insurance competition and this has steadily increased premiums which has not driven down prices as is so magically supposed to happen. The ever increasing premiums to pay for corporate offices and salaries and increased medical costs means more and more people are unable to afford it. They lose insurance, hospitals absorb the cost when they get sick, Hospitals need to raise prices to stay afloat increase their prices, insurance companies then raise their premiums, and round and round we go. This is called cost sharing and until everyone is covered it will continue. Unless we advocate not treating those without any insurance?


I mean we have 40,000,000 Americans without health insurance!

Compare how much of health care dollar goes to overhead in Medicare (10-15%) vs Private Insurers (30-40%)
Thus more premiums are going to the middle men insurance agencies than to doctors and hospitals.

Compare Salaries of the head of CMS (Medicare) $200,0000 vs Angela Braly CEO Anthem $9,000,0000

The Affordable Health Care Act is imperfect in many ways but it does many good things
1) stipulate that 85% premiums go to pay patients bills and only 15% for overhead.
2) Guarantees that all vaccinations are paid for, and annual exams are free. This is a great start.
3) Stop lifetime caps for catastrophic illnesses. If one is unlucky to have severe disease and expensive treatments (hemophilia in kids) many companies will stop paying once you hit 1 or 2 million dollars. AHCA prohibits caps.
4) Your children can stay on your plan until they are 26.

I of course would rather have Medicare for all for those of us under 65 and let people buy all the Cadillac expensive insurance they want out of their own pocket, but this is a start.

Peace

Tom
 

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Food is a national problem that demands a national solution. Everyone needs to eat.

Housing is a national problem that demands a national solution. Everyone needs shelter.

What isn't a national problem by this standard?

The problem with health care is bad incentives. The tax-driven linkage to employment needs to stop. The expectation of low co-pays and deductibles is counter productive. Most healthcare choices would be improved if the person consuming them bore more of the cost. We need to wake up to the reality that everyone dies of something, and yet we can't afford to have an unlimited end-of-life budget for all patients. We shouldnt let people bleed to death in the streets if they could be saved with $5k of care, but we need to be prepared to let people die instead of paying $500k for extraordinary efforts (with little hope of success) if the patient chose to not buy enough insurance. It is impossible to provide above average care to everyone. The math doesn't work....

Mitt knows about making hard choices to rationalize spending. Obama has never held anything resembling a "real job" and does not have the training and framework to instinctively deal with real business problems. Our key challenges relate to finance and economics. I think Romney is the best guy for what we need right now.

We know what Obama will do: soak the rich and avoid hard choices on spending cuts. Given that most voters are not net tax payers, it will be in their short term best interests of most voters to support Obama--- but the bill for our children will go up, not down long term....
 

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now it's time to make the hard business operations decisions, and Mitt Romney is a perfect match for the tasks at hand.
First of all, if I hear one more claim that "what we need is a businessman" I'm going to puke. This is just so stupid I hope you don't actually believe. In case you haven't noticed, a country is not a business and being in private equity most definitely does not qualify you to be a politician. The skill sets are entirely different. If what we need is a turnaround guy or a CEO why not get Robert Nardelli and Cerberus -- you know, the guys who managed to destroy Chrysler. They're like Romney only with a better track record.

As for making "hard decisions", if there is one person on the face of the earth who won't make a "hard decision" it's Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney stands for nothing other than he'll say whatever and do whatever he thinks he needs to say or do in order to get elected. I agree with you that to some extent this is an occupational hazard, but Romney takes it to entirely new levels. The man has no balls and exhibits the leadership skills of a dead fish. He's just not up for the job. And BTW this isn't my conclusion. Grover Norquist has said that Romney is an OK candidate because "he'll do what we tell him to do".
 

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The problem with health care is bad incentives. The tax-driven linkage to employment needs to stop. The expectation of low co-pays and deductibles is counter productive. Most healthcare choices would be improved if the person consuming them bore more of the cost. We need to wake up to the reality that everyone dies of something, and yet we can't afford to have an unlimited end-of-life budget for all patients. We shouldnt let people bleed to death in the streets if they could be saved with $5k of care, but we need to be prepared to let people die instead of paying $500k for extraordinary efforts (with little hope of success) if the patient chose to not buy enough insurance. It is impossible to provide above average care to everyone. The math doesn't work....

Mitt knows about making hard choices to rationalize spending. Obama has never held anything resembling a "real job" and does not have the training and framework to instinctively deal with real business problems. Our key challenges relate to finance and economics. I think Romney is the best guy for what we need right now.
Completely agree about health care. I think Obamacare is actually the first step to getting there.

Claiming Mitt Romney is the answer to much of anything is delusional. Mitt Romney has never made a hard decision in his life. He's always skated by using other people's money. He never built a company, he simply doesn't have the skill or talent for that. And it wasn't his money at risk in these businesses, it was his investors. Now you may think it's a "hard decision" to fire someone else in an effort to put some lipstick on your pig of a company so you can exit with a bag full of cash by selling it off or by having the company borrow a boatload of money from a clueless banker, but I sure don't. If you understand private equity aka leveraged buyouts, then you understand that Mitt Romney's "business career" consisted of being a blood sucking parasite who owed his success to easy money.

To bring this back on topic, I'll just close by noting that Mitt wholeheartedly supported using TARP funds to bailout Wall Street but completely opposed using the same funds for the auto industry. Now he's claiming that the auto industry bailout was his idea? Cut me a break.
 

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Wrong and wrong.

Not sure where the source for this problem exists, but, for some reason, health insurance companies can't / won't / don't compete across state lines. If there was more competition, there would be lower costs.

Also, those states that limit the payouts for lawsuits have cheaper medical insurance for doctors, who then lower the prices they charge their customers. Some are now able to skip procedures that were in place only to protect themselves from lawsuits, saving customers money. These solutions have been occurring at the state level, and would never have occurred at the federal level. As a result, some states have made progress on healthcare, while others have not.
I think you pointed out the source of your own confusion.

Insurance companies can't compete between state lines exactly because different states want different laws. Individual states that want stricter laws can't enforce their laws on insurance companies outside their state - only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce, and the feds can't enforce state laws. So they ban inter-state health insurance, forcing those insurance companies to have a presence in the state, which makes individual state laws enforceable. (Also, it's not the companies per se that can't compete across state lines - they can just hold subsidiaries - but the plans.)

How's that for irony? :p Yet another reason why this needs national standards, and national attention.
 

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If you understand private equity aka leveraged buyouts, then you understand that Mitt Romney's "business career" consisted of being a blood sucking parasite who owed his success to easy money.

To bring this back on topic, I'll just close by noting that Mitt wholeheartedly supported using TARP funds to bailout Wall Street but completely opposed using the same funds for the auto industry. Now he's claiming that the auto industry bailout was his idea? Cut me a break.
I am intimately familiar with the Private Equity business. People only give you money to invest if you have a proven track record of delivering superior returns. To generate those returns, you need to optimize profits. This sometimes (but not always) involves buying companies who have lost their way and re-focusing them on what they do best (and eliminating money-losing operations). This will result in some layoffs, but hopefully avoids the bankruptcy of the overall business. It is raw capitalism, and it can be messy. At the atomic level, however, it is no different than a local small business experimenting with something new (e.g., "Let's keep the store open on Sunday"), failing and reversing course (laying off the excess employees) before he goes bust.

In terms of TARP, the original intent was to solve a LIQUIDITY problem arising from accounting rules that required marking assets to market on a daily basis at a time when the only "market" was a fire sale (ironically spiraling downward because the prices established in yesterday's fire sale were forcing more people to sell assets in today's fire sale due to regulatory issues). Under the regulatory framework, you weren't allowed to say "I believe my assets will ultimately be worth more and therefore choose to not sell today."

The thesis was that the market was stalled and not reflecting intrinsic value and we should allow banks to choose to not sell and yet still meet regulatory requirements. TARP provided the liquidity/solvency boost to get through the storm. Was is risky in theory? Yes-- although there was a natural hedge inasmuch as if the assets REALLY WERE permanently impaired as reflect in then-current spot prices, we were all screwed and the country would be bankrupt. It turns out that the BANK "bailouts" worked exactly as planned and the whole program MADE MONEY for taxpayers.

The auto bailouts were different. They bailed-out OPERATING losses and not merely liquidity issues. Value was not merely distorted, it was destroyed. Romney was correct in that he early on predicted that bankruptcy was the only solution and that pre-petition "help" would just be money down the tubes. That was 100% right-- the early money from Bush was all written off.

Where Romney was "wrong" was that he hoped that private capital could be attracted with government incentives to do an early and clean B/K. Obama didn't try that hard to do that-- presumably because he had policy objectives (save the unions and their pensions; extract commitments re: fuel economy) which were misaligned with those of fresh private capital.
 

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Steverino,

Mitt Romney has made very clear statements as to why states are allowed to do things that the federal government is not. I agree with Mitt Romney that these 50 states should be 50 separate incubators for solutions that fit their specific needs, and that a one-size-fits-all solution from the federal government is not only non-viable, it is unconstitutional.

Our founding fathers intentionally gave us a federal system of government, with three separate branches, each with separate and enumerated powers. They intentionally created two separate chambers within the legislature alone. They intentionally created frequent turnover through frequent elections. They intentionally created both the freedom of speech and the freedom to bear arms.

Why?

It was all to prevent the accumulation of power. It was intended to guarentee individual liberties, so that solutions start with the individual, not the government. If you only chose to view circumstances through that prism, you would see and understand that Mitt Romney's positions are actually consistent. He doesn't want federal Obamacare, he wants money to go to individual states to apply as they deem appropriate. There is absolutely no comparison to a state based solution and a federal level solution - none.
FALSE. Romney has called for a federal constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. He supports DOMA. Although I agree that the 10th amendment should be given more deference, certain things can Only be solved by a federal government. Ask Romney if he thinks drug laws should be decided by the "states"? It is very easy to say something should be a state right when you are for it. Also, certain "rights" can not be left up to the whim of states - the south has taught us that.
 
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