Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mitt Romney's 1-Point Plan

   Don’t be fooled by Romney with his 5-point plan for the economy because it does not exist. Mitts plan has only 1-point, and that is to keep the wealthy in the lowest tax bracket possible while the rest of the country pays for it.  

  From ThinkProgress

Everyone Else Pays More So the Wealthy Can Pay Even Less

First, Mitt Romney had 59-point plan. Lately, he’s been touting a 5-point plan.

But the truth is that Mitt Romney really just has 1-point plan: Make everyone else pay more so the wealthy and huge corporations like Big Oil can pay even less.

What does this 1-point plan mean in practice?

And so on and so forth. You get the picture and it’s not a pretty one.

Worse yet?

Romney’s reverse Robin Hood plan won’t create jobs and won’t grow the economy. As we discussed earlier this week, Romney’s plan would, at best, dramatically slow the recovery and could kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and throw the economy back into recession.

Figure 1

How are we so sure about this? We’ve tried Romney’s 1-point plan before and it didn’t work. In fact, the plan Romney is advocating solely consists of the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place — only worse.

We know from experience that lower marginal tax rates don’t create economic growth. In fact, the opposite seems to be true.

average annual growth in real gdp, by top marginal tax rate

And lower marginal tax rates don’t create jobs either.

BOTTOM LINE: The middle class simply cannot afford Mitt Romney’s 1-point plan to make them pay more so the wealthy and corporations can pay even less.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Funnies: Mitt Romney Binder Of Women Edition

  So this week we had Mitt just being Mitt, only with invisible binders full of women.

The Adventures of Mitt: Oct 18, 2012

Hunter for Daily Kos on Thu Oct 18, 2012

Hello, human diary. It is I again, Mitt Romney, your better.

I am very angry with my advisers today, Mr. Diary. Turning on the television today, I have heard nothing but my staff, surrogates, and assorted other hangers-on discussing my opinions on various issues. Ed G. apparently told the press I did not support a certain bill regarding wages for females. He then stated I did support it. Then another staff member said I mostly did, but partly did not. Then someone else said I did not, but that I supported the principle of it, or at least the part of the principle that I did support but not the part that I did not support. This is why I do not watch the television very often.

I finally could take no more of it, and summoned my staff and advisers for an urgent conference call, which I used to angrily demand members of my campaign stop claiming to the press that I had opinions on various important issues facing the nation. I do not have opinions on various important issues facing the nation, I am running for office for Pete's sake.

I do not remember ever expressing an opinion on any issue, I reminded them, other than wealthy Americans like myself deserve a large tax cut. And by tax cut, I currently mean that it would not be a tax cut, but merely an adjustment of the rates of various taxes in such a way as to achieve no actual tax cut, unless by coincidence a wealthy American happened to have most of their income invested in the various places that I intend to cut taxes. So it is not even accurate to say that I support lowering taxes, because I do not, I merely favor a multivectored tax adjustment that will accomplish nothing in particular. I then sent my staff out with the instruction that my opinion on very large tax cuts that will not cut taxes is the only issue that they may state I have an opinion on.

I am beginning to fear all of these people are as dull as the commoners are. It is true that none of them are as wealthy as I am, but still—many of them are at least slightly wealthy. One would think they would be able to keep track of these things.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mitt Romney's Binders

   Since Mitt made the comment at the debate two nights ago about his having binders full of women, the Internet has been buzzing with comments, most are rather snarky. Check out these over at Amazon. This is a small sample.

No women in it
On CNN, some guy named "Mitt" said that binders were full of women. Being lonely and single I bought several of these binders and had them shipped overnight. While they are quality binders, I was dismayed to find no women in any of the dozen binders I ordered. I will be returning them.    Published 9 hours ago by Moi

Too small for women, October 17, 2012

By daveyclayton

This review is from: Avery Economy Binder with 1-Inch Round Ring, Black, 1 Binder (3301) (Office Product)

As an intern on the Romney 2012 election campaign, I was tasked with procuring binders for Governor Romney. While these binders are well made, attractive and reasonably priced, and while I'm sure they would make an excellent choice for those wishing to store written or printed documentation in a secure and easily accessible manner, they are unfortunately too small to put women in.

Too small for the average woman, October 17, 2012

By middleclass

I tried to fit everything womanly about who I am in this binder and even though I am a fan of Avery products, the whole of myself will not fit. Maybe it's because my opinions are too big or my self worth has grown over the past 50 years as a woman. It's still a very sturdy and effective binder, I'll use it for something else then prior intended - maybe for my dinner recipes ( that is if I can get out of work on time to feed my family ).

Made for women, but strong enough for a man, October 17, 2012

By Nik "Geek and all around good guy"

This review is from: Avery Economy Binder with 1-Inch Round Ring, Black, 1 Binder (3301) (Office Product)

As a fiscal conservative, I'm always looking to pinch a penny here or there, and these are a great value. While hippies and liberals might appreciate that they're made of recycled materials, people interested in getting serious work done will find that these binders are perfect for holding one or more highly qualified women. These are small, so expect to buy multiple binders or look to a larger size to hold more women. Personally, I'd rather have many binders full of women, since that makes it easier to organize.
If you are looking to store interns or women earlier in their career, you might find the more whimsical and nostalgic Trapper Keeper a better option. Its pink color is particularly appealing to teens and college students.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What A Shocker! Romney Lied About ‘Binders Full Of Women’ Anecdote

By Liberal Lamp Post    October 17, 2012

Obama had Romney on the ropes on topics ranging from jobs, the Keystone Pipeline, and China at last night’s second debate. But, the real zinger, Romney delivered to himself.

When asked how he would promote pay equity for women, as Obama did with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Romney dodged the question. Instead, he spun a tale about how, as governor of Massachusetts, he made a special effort to appoint more women to senior-level positions.

The only problem is, the story Romney told was false. He didn’t seek out qualified women as he claimed, and the number of women working under Romney in senior-level positions actually decreased by almost 10% during his term.

“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said: ‘’Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Before the end of the debate, the ‘binders full of women’ comment had gone viral, spawning a Twitter storm, graphics on Tumblr, and a Facebook page with almost 260,000 fans at time of press. The phrase was also the third-fastest rising search on Google during the debate.

Here’s what actually happened: A group of Massachusetts women’s advocates called MassGAP collaborated on identifying women qualified to assume senior government positions before Romney even took office, according to David Bernstein and others familiar with the binders Romney is describing. The women’s group took the initiative to deliver the data to Romney; he did not request it as he indicated in the debate. Bernstein writes:

“[MassGAP] did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected. I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct – and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.”

Let’s look at how Romney’s record with women really stacks up:

  • Representation of women in senior state government positions fell from 30% before Romney took office to 27.6% at the end of his term. His successor immediately reversed that trend.
  • Bain Capital, the company Romney headed for more than 15 years, counts only 8% women among its 87 managing directors and senior executives — meaning the company appoints males to senior positions 92% of the time.
  • In 2005, Governor Romney vetoed a Massachusetts bill requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.
  • In 2004, Romney terminated Ardith Wieworka, a lesbian woman, from the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services. Wieworka believes she was fired because she made public her intention to marry her partner as the Governor furiously tried to roll back the legalization of gay marriage in the state.
  • Earlier this year, when Romney’s campaign was asked if he supported legislation to ensure equal pay for women, his staff fell silent and told the reporter, “We’ll get back to you on that.” What else could you expect from a man who doesn’t consider women his equals?

So, you tell me, is Romney really interested in helping women?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't Credit Mitt Romney For Great Massachusetts Schools

  Debate number 2 happens this evening between Mitt Romney and President Obama in which Mitt will more than likely attempt to take credit for anything good that happened in Massachusetts while he was Governor. In fact, the only thing of substance to work in the state was Romneycare.

Isn't it funny how when Romney is trying to make up education policy credentials for himself, suddenly he wants us to remember that he was governor of Massachusetts, a time in his life he's mostly tried to erase on the campaign trail? In the debate, he claimed that "I've been there. Massachusetts schools are ranked number one in the nation. This is not because I didn’t have commitment to education. It’s because I care about education for all of our kids."

But Romney's taking credit for something he doesn't own:

Bay State students routinely score at the top on national and international tests. But that achievement is largely credited to the state’s 1993 landmark education reform law that poured billions of dollars into schools, set academic standards, and spawned the standardized testing that Romney fiercely guarded. [...]

Overall test scores grew incrementally during Romney’s tenure. The achievement of non-native English speakers — a demographic whose progress Romney targeted during his gubernatorial campaign against bilingual education — barely budged.

Massachusetts doesn't miraculously have great schools because Mitt Romney cared. Romney became governor of a state that already had great schools. He managed not to screw that up when it came to K-12 education, something that can't be said for higher education, which he hurt badly. Not exactly anything to brag about.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Oct 04, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Restaurant chain uses Obamacare as excuse for cuts it was probably planning to make anyway

Laura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor

Thu Oct 11, 2012

Papa John's has company in the Obamacare fear-mongering game. Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and others, is joining the pizza chain in threatening dire consequences stemming from the requirement that large companies offer affordable health insurance to employees working 30 or more hours a week. But where Papa John's has threatened to pass the 11 to 14 cent per pizza added cost it claims will come from insuring or refusing to insure their workers along to customers, Darden is sticking it straight to its workers by planning to make sure hourly workers just don't get the 30 hours a week that would tip them over into qualifying for insurance.

Here's the thing: Obamacare or no, this is completely typical behavior from Darden. The chain already keeps 75 percent of its hourly workers below 30 hours of work a week, and:

Darden has been aggressively keeping labor costs down. It has cut bartenders' pay and required servers to share tips with them. It also has eliminated busboy positions at Red Lobster and reduced the number of servers working each shift at that chain.

Labor costs as a percentage of sales have dropped steadily from 33.1 percent in fiscal 2010 to 30.8 percent in the most recent quarter.

What we have here is not some Obamacare cataclysm of good employers being forced to cut their employees' hours or go out of business. Rather, it's a food service sweatshop finding one more way to screw its workers. Darden is one of the 20 largest low-wage employers in the country; meanwhile, it was profitable in the last fiscal year and over the last three fiscal years, and has higher revenues, profits, operating margins and cash holdings than prior to the recession. In recent years, Darden has paid nearly $14 million in fines and settlements for wage theft.

It's a sad fact that almost any time you're eating in a restaurant, you're in a low-wage, low-benefits workplace. Usually, employers who've taken the high road are the only ones that stand out in the restaurant industry. But Darden has repeatedly distinguished itself by being one of the worst employers in an industry of bad employers. That it would use Obamacare as an excuse to cut the hours of the few remaining full-time hourly workers in an overwhelmingly part-time workforce is hardly a surprise.