Tag Archives: Rick Santorum

Bomblecast #16 — NIMBYism, Cleveland, and McDonald’s

Friends, no guest this week — but I did add some great production value for you all.

So grab your blankets, your egg nogg, and pull up a chair for episode #16 of the Bomblecast.

Santorum’s Manufacturing Fetish

In Rick Santorum’s movie trailer ad for his new group, Patriot Voices (like the Sixth Sense?) he narrates that the purpose of the group, among other things, is to:

“Make America an economic and manufacturing super power again.”

As Reihan Salam has pointed out at National Review and other places, why the fetish with manufacturing? It makes no sense.

Of course, I get why the nostalgia aspect of it is popular, but it often leads to people telling/believing outright lies about the state of U.S. manufacturing, which is far from dead. In 2007, for example, U.S. manufacturing output was equal to that of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. If separated from the U.S. economy, using 2011 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, our manufacturing sector would be the world’s tenth largest economy.

People falsely claim “we don’t make anything anymore” because employment in manufacturing has declined. This is easy to debunk because, thanks to technology, productivity per unit of labor has risen considerably. Just like you can have more toll booths and fewer toll booth operators thanks to an innovation called EZ-Pass.

George Mason Professor Don Boudreaux notes that:

The average American manufacturing worker today produces annually 660 percent more than did the average American manufacturing worker in 1947.

Unless you’re a luddite who wants to ban technological marvels like shovels and Caterpillar machines merely to create jobs, you should focus on output — not employment — when talking about the health of an industry. Manufacturing in the U.S. is not dead. Far from it, in fact.

In the late 1950’s, did people say they wanted to return the U.S. to an agricultural power house because we have such smaller amounts of people working in agriculture? Did I miss that part of American history?

Walter Williams explains, sarcastically:

In 1790, 90 percent of Americans did agricultural work. Agriculture is now in “shambles” because only 2 percent of Americans have farm jobs.

Has the economy gotten worse in the last few years? Sure. Will there come a time when other people make more than us? Probably. Is that necessarily bad? No.

What’s so wrong with comparative advantage? Do we have to make knick knacks, museum snow globes and baseball hats? Should it be our economy policy to focus our scarce resources on those trinkets instead of better things to produce, like airplanes? Or designing iPads?

Point is, Santorum’s focus on restoring us to a manufacturing “super power” is misguided. First, we already are a manufacturing super power. Second, it’s not the appropriate role of government to guide the economy into producing certain things over others.

Santorum should shift his focus to the first part of his message, making America the most competitive nation economically. Contrary to what he suggests, we’re still an economic superpower. We should let the market choose what to use its capital and labor on, not give that power to Rick Santorum. Leave the government out of it, and please, please, drop the manufacturing fetish, Rick.

President Obama has a manufacturing fetish, too, if you hadn’t noticed. I don’t point that out as a compliment.

Proposing different tax rates for manufacturing over other sectors of the economy, which Santorum’s goal invariably would require, is just plain bad economics. Jade West from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors put it this way to the New York Times:

“My guys are totally freaked out by manufacturing getting a different tax rate than we do. They’re not more important in the economy than retail or distribution or anything else.”

And she’s right. People who manufacture something are no more important to the economy than the wholesalers, the trucking companies, the retailers, or the designers of the widget.

Last time I checked, having government policies that direct the economy is something fashionable in state managed economies, like Soviet & present day Russia.

I thought conservatives believe they’re the bad guys for reasons like that. I do, at least. Santorum, if he really is an economic conservative that doesn’t believe in picking winners and losers, should change his tune. 

Monday Links (4/9/12)

Carl

NRO: The Pennsylvanian

Boudreaux: On the Legitimacy of Tax Loopholes

Taylor: The Price of Nails

Marginal Revolution Links: Where do people go when they drop out of the labor force? | Gambling on Nation Building | How deregulation lowered coffin prices

Reason: Brown and Warren Leave Libertarians in Tough Spot (I don’t see many libertarians voting for Warren…)

Esquire: The war against youth

Mitchell: The Octo Moocher

[poll id=”5″]

Reading List: Abnormal Returns: The book

RegBlog: Appreciating the Politics Inside Benefit-Cost Analysis

AdAge: Google Plots Web Domain-Buying Spree

WaPo: Impasse over the Ex-Im

O’KEEFE VOTER FRAUD INVESTIGATION: YOUNG MAN OFFERED HOLDER’S BALLOT

John Fund: Why We Need Voter-ID Laws Now

Bubba’s Shot

Aftermath Photos of F-18 Crash Show How Lucky Everyone Was

Wonkette: Arizona Lawmaker Fears Highway Bill Will Lead To One North American Country, Currency Called The ‘Amero’

Reason: When losers write history

TheSun: British sperm donor ‘fathered 600 children’

Gizmodo: Woman Blown Away By Jet Engines Smashes Her Face Against Wall

NYTimes: Comedy Timing Is Bad as News and Film Collide

Red Pandas > Regular Pandas

Amazing Golf Deal on Living Social

FamousDC: Abandoned Asylum

WSJ: Facebook to Buy Instagram For $1 Billion (if you’re worried your pics will disappear, click here)

Photoshop Challenge: Accepted

The Concorde: Watch it

 

Monday Links

HS baseball 2

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Boudreaux: Take the Ex-Im Bank private

Recovery In Action: Nearly $300 Billion Student Debt In Default

3 Reasons to End Obamacare Before it Begins!

WSJ: Governor 13.3%

RegBlog: Rule of Law Prevails in Sackett v. EPA

WSJ: High Court Help for Rand Paul

Carpe Diem: Markets in Everything: Professional Line-Standing (This is prevalent on Capitol Hill for hearings, too. Sen. McCaskill once proposed banning the practice.)

NakedDC: Need a job? Get related to a Congressman! | Sandra Fluke has never heard of this cheap birth control you speak of.

OTB: Vetting A Running Mate In A Post-Palin World

RFT: Pink Slime: You Know You Want It — Here’s Where to Get It! | Springfield, IL Asks Feds to Shut Down Larry Rice’s Veteran’s Day Shelter

Atlantic Wire: What You Need to Know About This Week’s Epic Supreme Court Hearings | The Major Difference Between Santorum and Romney | Santorum Swears at Reporter over His Romney as ‘Worst Republican’ Line (It’s his Col. Jessup moment)

FamousDC/CC Brackets: I’ve dropped to third

Deadspin: The NBA.com Boxscore Has The Silliest (And Best) Explanation For Why Tim Duncan Didn’t Play Tonight (DND-OLD) | Here’s The Dancing Baylor Fan Heard ’Round The World

AdvertisingAge: NFL Sidelines Reebok for Nike, Touting Switch as ‘Image Evolution’Mascots Are Brands’ Best Social-Media Accessories

Wonkette: A Children’s Treasury of Scenes From the Coming Race War

DC: Paul Ryan admits he would ‘have to consider’ a VP nod

HotAir: Blue Virginia?  | NY Times credits Bush, Cheney with US energy surge (wait, what?)

WSJ: Kvetch A Sketch | What Would Mitt Romney Look Like on an Etch A Sketch?

Caplan: Why I Am Not an Austrian Economist

Orlando Sentinel: Police: Zimmerman says Trayvon decked him with one blow then began hammering his head

Coulter: Send Lizzie Borden to Washington

But Rick Santorum voted against cutting funding for the NEA every time a vote was taken both as a representative and a senator — in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 1998.

Herman Cain hates bunnies (h/t Kenn)

FastCo: Unlimited Vacation Doesn’t Create Slackers–It Ensures Productivity

HuffPo: Lieutenant Governors Say Succession Role Is Unifying Bond

Reason: Paul Krugman: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Increase Incarceration by Reducing It

i09: How will we get around in the post-apocalypse?

Time for Mitt to End Santorum’s Campaign

Running for President in 2016

Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I rarely write about candidates, but rather, mostly about issues.

Romney has stayed above the fray for most of it, largely ignoring and not even engaging Santorum or Gingrich. But yes, I think the time is right for Mitt Romney to absolutely obliterate Rick Santorum’s candidacy.

Here’s why:

Santorum is no longer running for the 2012 nomination. He’s lost it and he knows he cannot win. Rick Santorum is now trying to dirty up Romney as much as humanly possible so that Obama wins, and he can run (and presumably win) in 2016. He even recently suggested that we might be better off with Obama than Romney.

Alas, Santorum cannot win the Presidency, now or ever. A few reasons:

  • Santorum is aloof.

He lost to this guy:

How did Rick Santorum lose to a Bert look-a-like? At a time when the economy ceased the growth spurt during Bush’s second term, Santorum spent the 2006 campaign trail supporting a very unpopular war. The voters cared more about jobs. That lack of political acumen enabled an extremely boring guy who had run for nearly every office in the state. He didn’t just lose, he lost 59 to 41. He got his ass kicked.

Similarly, this time around, Rick’s focus on the culture war (contraception, abortion) while issues I agree are important, just go to show that he spends his time focusing on issues that few voters rank as most important. In short, he’s doing it again — it’s his style. Anyone who watched the 20+ odd debates knows that Rick Santorum wasted a lot of time on issues that aren’t jobs. The Terry Schiavo fiasco is one of the many odd Santorum causes we’ll just leave alone here.

It’s the economy, stupid. Romney gets that. Santorum doesn’t. This explains why Santorum isn’t running for President as a sitting Senator.

  • He doesn’t connect with independents and democrats.

The only people voting for Rick Santorum because they support him are Republicans. Santorum is losing by 10 points to Obama in independents, and even this seems like an underestimated figure. If by some fluke, Santorum won the nomination, he would get probably 98% of the Republican vote, but this is because most Republicans line up behind the nominee, even if their guy lost. Santorum’s most ardent supporters are very Conservative Republicans. Some have pledged to me to not vote in the general if their guy isn’t there, and one even pledged to me to vote for Obama if Santorum did not win.

This is contrary to the typical Republican model, which to win, expects near perfect voter loyalty among Republicans, and a candidate that can attract Democrats and Independents. Rick Santorum can attract neither. (This theory is based on the fact that Republicans typically trail Democrats in party affiliation in the states that matter.)

The only independent votes Santorum has gotten are mainly from people who are trying to prolong the race. Many more well-meaning conservatives support him, and will begrudgingly vote for Romney in the fall. Those who don’t are fringe Republicans. But, people who pledge to vote for Obama because Santorum didn’t get the nod aren’t really Republicans, they’re crazy people.

Tripling the child tax credit in lieu of real tax reform that provides less not more deductions? Government tax preferences for manufacturers (and not distributors or service providers?) These are two very big examples that Santorum doesn’t get the big picture. His policy shop is stuck in the 1980’s. Rick Santorum is not going to win much support from the side of the business community that supports fundamental and fair tax reform. Though, he will get the support from rent-seeking protectionists that want the big hand of government to prop up their business, and Santorum seems happy to oblige.

  • Santorum is as much of an “etch-a-sketch” as Mitt Romney.

Like Ron Paul supporters who can’t accept the fact that Ron Paul loves earmarks (he just doesn’t vote for them), Santorum supporters never can acknowledge that their guy shifts positions too.

Examples:

  1. He voted for No Child Left Behind, but now thinks it’s a bad idea
  2. In 1996, Santorum voted against a national “Right to Work” law, but now supports such a law
  3. Rick Santorum voted against NAFTA, but now would rather get 5 new FTA’s done
  4. Rick Santorum claimed in the debates that he doesn’t want to start a “trade war”, but according to the Club for Growth: “As a member of the Senate Steel Caucus , Santorum voted for and co-sponsored a bill to slap tariffs on imported steel in 1999.” He also voted for tariffs on honey, and a massive 27.5% tariff on all Chinese made goods if China didn’t adjust their currency.
  5. Rick Santorum wrote a book, and when pressed on what it contained, he blamed his wife. He later actually responded when questioned about a portion of the book: “I don’t know — that’s a new quote for me.”
  6. In 1995, Santorum told Philadelphia Magazine that: “[I] was basically pro-choice all my life until I ran for congress… But it had never been something I thought about” — but now he is pro-life! (I think he was probably just lying back then to make himself look like less of a culture warrior, which is just as bad.)

There are many more, but we’ll stick with those for now. The point is that Rick Santorum’s compass is not one that doesn’t waver. Like Mitt Romney, he did things differently when he represented but one State. Now that he’s running for President, his views have changed. There’s nothing wrong with that. Santorum supporters need to come to peace with this or risk looking like many in the Ron Paul camp who can’t accept the truth. Their guy isn’t perfect. No candidate is perfect.

  • Santorum is bad at arguing, lacks logic

Do you have that friend who votes the same way as you do, but has completely and horribly wrong reasons for supporting your side? Wish they would just vote and try not to convince others that he/she is right for those wrong reasons? We all do. In today’s race, that guy is Rick Santorum. Ann Coulter put it this way:

“Even when I agree with Rick Santorum, listening to him argue the point almost makes me change my mind.”

That’s true. I look at Rick’s website and see a bunch of policies — many of them I support — but when I hear the guy out there, I almost want to disagree with him, and thus, myself. Which might explain why people who can’t vote for him in the general aren’t going to vote at all, or vote for Obama.

Which is not to say that, all these criticisms of Santorum I have make me think Romney is the greatest candidate or most consistent of them all. It’s just that he’s the only electable one. Ron Paul is by far the most principled of the candidates, but he has baggage and bad policies he supports, and he’s far from electable. He would, however, get more Democrats and independents than Santorum.

Rick Santorum won’t be President next year. Now he’s now trying to make Mitt Romney as unelectable as he can, in hopes that he can run the country in 2017. (The President takes office in January).

But that won’t happen. Rick Santorum will never be President. And his efforts to dirty up Romney in hopes of an Obama victory are despicable, which is why Mitt Romney must stop being above the fray and absolutely destroy his candidacy for now and 2016. He is not somebody we should push for to argue for our side.

Go get him, Mitt.

Ballot Follies

Many of my friends have opined that “it’s unfair Newt Gingrich/Rick Santorum” missed the opportunity to get on the Virginia ballot.

I disagree.

The law is the law and it should not be ignored just because it is convenient or expedient for disorganized candidates.

To get on the Virginia ballot, one must submit 10,000 signatures of registered voters and ensure that at least 400 come from each Congressional district. Some say that is onerous and overly restrictive, however, I think it’s perfectly fair.

Virginia has about 8 million people, and about 5 million of them are registered voters. So, to get on the ballot one must get roughly 1 out of every 500 or so people who are registered to vote to sign a paper. They don’t even have to support the person.

In perspective, it’s .2% of the registered voting public. Some student governments (including my Alma mater) require more signatures as a percentage of the student population to be on a ballot. Sure, it is not easy, but that is kind of the point of the whole exercise.

With Super Tuesday behind us, and Rick and Newt losing ground, they could have had a better shot if they had just paid people or got volunteers (something Ron Paul is particularly good at) to canvass for signatures.

On their part, it’s either poor planning or laziness by the campaign (not the volunteers themselves). Any good political hack worth their stuff knows that you don’t need to pay people to volunteer if they believe in you. And as evidenced by the yard signs in my neighborhood, Rick and Newt have more supporters than Romney does. Volunteers will practically move mountains for a bumper sticker if you tell them it is limited edition and special.

There’s an old-adage in politics: YARD SIGNS DON’T VOTE. I guess we can modernize it for this situation to say: If all you do is give out yard signs, people probably won’t be able to vote for your candidate. You need to give out those trinkets as reward for meaningful work, like getting on the ballot in the first place.

Which is why I think neither Newt or Rick deserved to be on the ballot. Gingrich’s people did submit signatures, but didn’t meet the qualifications, and Rick Santorum apparently didn’t submit any*. They were disorganized, and the law is the law.

*UPDATE: A friend and Santorum supporter sends this from a guy who was collecting signatures:

“We collected 8431 signatures, but we did not turn them in because you needed to collect 10,000 or more and sign a document saying you had that amount”

Super Tuesday Links

Metro car

Atlantic: Is Josh Mandel the Next Marco Rubio?

 Mandel, who is Jewish, has the air of a precocious, recently bar mitzvahed student, or perhaps a studious, slightly cocky frat boy. (As an undergraduate at Ohio State, Mandel was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish fraternity; he went on to earn a law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.) And while he is undeniably skilled at rattling off his familiar lines, he quickly turns evasive or just blank on unfamiliar ground.

I disagree with Molly Ball’s description of Josh here. For full disclosure, I know Josh. He is a great person and will make a great U.S. Senator from Ohio. I’ve never known him to be cocky or evasive. And who would blame anyone for being “blank” on unfamiliar ground? Smart people don’t make dumb statements about topics on which they are not experts. It’s an interesting article, but you can tell Molly doesn’t like Mandel, and it shows. I’m confident that Mandel will make his case to the voters in November, and they’ll choose him over Sherrod Brown.

One commenter, presumably a Democrat (who identifies as a Marine, the branch of service of Josh Mandel) hits the nail on the head:

I’m of a different political persuasion than Mr. Mandel, but good grief Molly Ball, this article is dripping with disdain, down to the Mandel’s waitress with ” bad skin and dyed-black hair.”

Why drag poor Amanda into your hit piece???

Report to Mr. Fallows’ office immediately…

WaPo: Obama shifts location of G-8 summit from hometown of Chicago to his Camp David retreat (whoever thought putting the G-8 in any place other than Camp David is stupid and should be fired. Come on, really?)

Reason: Arlington County Housing Division Hosts “Housing 4 Hipsters” Happy Hour to Help Hipsters Find Housing Assistance (the same brilliant minds that brought you free bike helmets)

ARLNOW: Housing 4 Hipsters

ARLNOW: Bicycle Derby to Take Over Crystal City Parking Garage (Too bad the derby is not like roller derby)

Reason: Maryland Handgun Permit Restrictions Found Unconstitutional by Federal Judge

Why do people hate billboards? (esp. in DC)

Reason: It’s Like Totally Different When a Liberal Blowhard Guy Calls a Conservative Woman a Twat!

RFT: Anheuser-Busch Test Markets Margarita-Flavored Beer

Ivers: Maldives

InTrade: Romney’s chances of winning Ohio

Cleveland.com: Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita says he’s ‘paid out a lot of money for big plays,’ but never to hurt a player: report

MR: Does inequality lead to a financial crisis?

Quitting as a Rush Limbaugh sponsor has really helped Carbonite

io9: The 1935 plan to use rocket airplanes to deliver US mail

KMW: You’re Fat and You Know It: Why Government Anti-Obesity Efforts Fail

The only ways the Cubs will ever win the series (they could make one about the Browns’ Superbowl hopes)

Get your business online

NDC: That’s okay. Rick Santorum ran out of money in 2006, too.

Marcy Kaptur’s hit on Dennis Kucinich

NR: In California, Whom Will They Blame?

Seems my poll workers have a sense of humor

HOW I VOTED: I voted for Mitt Romney. I voted at about 9:45 and I was voter #5. In Virginia, only two names were on the ballot — Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Santorum and Gingrich were too disorganized to make the ballot. I like a lot of what Ron Paul has to say (except on most of his foreign policy views and the Gold standard) but I couldn’t vote for him.

Wonkette back-alley trash operative “Jim S.”

MR: Democracy, wealth, and local stimulus spending

DC IS NOT A STATE

How do I get one of these?

STLBiz: SLU delays law school move until 2013

Cleveland.com: Cleveland faces complaint over stadium repair contract

WSJ: Reagan Was A Sure Loser Too

Wired: Uncle Sam: If It Ends in .Com, It’s .Seizable

Watched this last night on Netflix. Great movie.

JIM MORAN: NO FAN OF “PROFANITY”

DCist: Bloodthirsty Aliens, Cannibalism, Ants Nesting in Brains: Elementary School Teacher Fired for Assigning Seriously F’ed Up Math Homework

Dollar Shave Club has funny ads (h/t metz)

SUPER TUESDAY DATA FROM GOOGLE

Huffpo: Warren Buffett Company: Please Cut Our Taxes

WSJ: State-Owned Oil Companies vs. the Free Market

He does love saying “Congratulations” and who let the dogs out? (Secret Browns fan, perhaps?)

Bracketology: A History of Power Conference Bias

Pictures of people scanning QR codes

Lulzsec taking down by feds

WASHU apparently hates cats (animal testing is fine by me)

Introducing Google Play for developers (Android Developers Blog)

Introducing Google Play for consumers (Official Google Blog)

WaPo: EXIT POLLS: Economy is top issue again, and voters want business experience more than government