hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Sasha Said - Tax Code Insanity: Couple Living Below Poverty Line Faces Higher Tax Rate Than Romney

My main reaction to the 2nd debate? Gov. Romney needs to clarify whether he supports health care for all Americans, or not. If health care for 100% of children and 98% of adults in Massachusetts is a good thing, why doesn't he propose a similar policy for all the children and adults in America? Massachusetts was only able to afford the policy because of federal money, so any system of universal healthcare, no matter how state-driven, will require a large federal commitment. You either support the federal government commitment to universal healthcare, or you don't. Romney needs to decide where he stands.

Another biggie was immigration, and even there I don't know where Romney stands. He criticizes Obama for not passing comprehensive immigration reform, when he doesn't actually seem to support comprehensive immigration reform. It's pretty bizarro world.

However, Romney landed some solid blows on jobs, and to his credit he didn't let the issue go, even when Obama's replies were adequate. Obama survived on the jobs issue, but didn't do much more than survive. It seems to me that there is a lot of room for him to improve in this area. Mike Konczal has a must-read piece on Romney's 5-point plan.

Mike Konczal (American Prospect) - Full Employment Is the Best Social Program

Less to Romney's credit were the Libya attacks. Given the scope of government failure on national security during the Bush presidency, failures which Romney never seems to have lifted a finger to stop, and failures he has never honestly reckoned with, his harsh, opportunistic, less-than-honest attacks on Obama seemed to me to indicate a lapse of character on Romney's part. The fact that the GOP establishment never even seemed to consider the possibility of rallying around the President after 9/11/12, even given the extraordinary support President Bush received after 9/11, seems to me to not reflect very well on them.

next post: 12/14/2012

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