Friday, September 14, 2012

Elsewhere: Romney budget, polling

At PP today I sounded a note of caution about current polls, saying (again, sorry) that it's just too soon to know where the presidential race stands. We still have to wait another week to ten days to let the temporary convention effects go away.

And at Greg's place I accused Mitt Romney of magical thinking on the deficit and taxes. Referenced: Geordi, Harry, Jeannie, and Tink.

One thing to note about that is that Romney isn't even pretending to have any economic theory or projections behind his magic. So it's a step down from Reagan, at least, and maybe from George W. Bush (I'd have to look that one up). He doesn't have any economist run numbers and say that lowering tax rates by X amount will generate Y revenues; he's basically just saying that we should trust him that the effects will be real and the size he assumes. It's not simply a case of dynamic scoring vs. static scoring; it's scoring vs. making stuff up. Yeah, that's harsh, but that's what he's given us.


  1. My reaction to the part you highlighted, where Romney says he's going to cut the deficit through economic growth, was the exact opposite: I thought it was one of the most sensible things he's ever said. The whole Simpson-Bowles-based discussion has revolved around what combination of tax increases and spending cuts is necessary to reduce the deficit, when the best way to reduce the deficit is to foster economic growth. The tax base grows, the government has to spend less on things like unemployment and food stamps, and we're all better off.

    Now, I happen to think that Romney's plan to grow the economy is nonsensical, when it isn't downright nonexistent, but this is a good starting point. Even a deficit hawk - or maybe especially a deficit hawk - should be focused primarily on ways to grow the economy, rather than on narrowing the short-term deficit.

  2. I do not think that Romney and Ryan really know where they would go with taxes should they actually get elected. Considering that Romney has more irs tax help than most companies shows how he would adjust taxes. Anything for people like him to make more and spend less just about sums up their plan!

  3. To continue the Star Trek theme, I bet you could have a great scene where Romney acts like "old" Picard in the last episode of TNG where Picard is trying to explain the backwards in time anomaly that Q made. Romney tries to explain his budget math and ideas like the loopholes both existing and not existing at the same time baffles everyone on the bridge. Until Data figures it out:

    "I believe the Governor is describing a paradox."


  4. Yeah, I'd agree Willard has never bothered saying anything more than that Obama's a failure and he should take his place.

    But with negative real growth, an +8% unemployment rate nominal and at least double that in reality, does Willard need to do anything more than that? That's the interesting point in this election. Can a failed president go down to whichever plastic hairdo comes 'long? Or does it require more than that?

    If Obama loses to this guy, then the electorate REALLY wanted Obama gone. You can tell Willard's campaign shysters have instructed him to make this a pure referendum on the incumbent, because that's exactly what he's doing.

  5. I thought if the Dem convention did everything right there was the potential for a 5 pt. bump, mostly from Dems who started to pay attention. I believe that's partly what happened, so if there is some post-bounce slippage, I don't think it goes back to being even.

    Then there's the effect of this week's foreign policy matters. I believe it's conventional wisdom that the President (whoever he or she is)normally gets a higher approval rating in this kind of context. I assume that would translate to poll numbers. The question of whether rises are temporary or lasting gets more complicated, and probably won't be settled until mid October? If then?

  6. "it's just too soon to know where the presidential race stands. We still have to wait another week to ten days to let the temporary convention effects go away."

    This strikes me as being too cautious. Obama was ahead before both conventions. After both conventions, he's moderately further ahead. So we can now say that... Obama is ahead. Why do we have to wait another week for that?


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