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Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: Romney Faults ‘Obamacare’ for the Economy

by Newsteam Staff
June 27, 2012

Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama shakes hands at Miami International Airport in Florida, June 26, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama shakes hands at Miami International Airport in Florida, June 26, 2012 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).


Ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court decision expected Thursday on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, GOP challenger Mitt Romney is arguing that the slow recovery (LAT) is the fault of a president who was distracted by healthcare at a time when he should have been focused on the economy and jobs.

If the law is overturned, Romney said Tuesday, “then the first three and a half years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people,” and if it is upheld, “we’re going to need a president — and I’m that one — that’s going to get rid of ‘Obamacare’. ”

President Obama, sidestepped what the justices might decide and instead underscored the consequences if Republicans followed through on a pledge to repeal the law, saying making sure people have health insurance and seniors can afford their medications is “the right thing to so” and that the battle over healthcare should not be refought.

This issue not only has resonated on the campaign trail but the outcome of the case could have long-term effects on U.S. fiscal health and competitiveness abroad.

Congressional Republicans have yet to come together on a cohesive immigration policy and are looking to Romney to be the party standard-bearer — but he does not seem to have a clear policy of his own, either (Politico).

“The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has provided little guidance to Republicans on Capitol Hill when it comes to dealing with the thorny immigration issue,” writes Politico’s Scott Wong. Meanwhile, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain is pushing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to roll out his version of the DREAM Act, though Rubio has reportedly ruled out doing so anytime soon.

President Obama is making road trip plans for after the Fourth of July, launching a bus tour next week (AP) that will coincide with the release of the monthly nationwide jobs report, a key economic indicator that could directly affect the president’s re-election prospects.

U.S. voters’ economic confidence is on a four-week downward slide, now at its lowest point since late January, Gallup polling shows. Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index was -26 for the week ending June 24, down slightly from -24 the week before.

“A disappointing May jobs report combined with the tepid economic climate in Europe and downgrading of major U.S. banks appear to have given U.S. consumers cause for concern in June,” Gallup says. The slump could be bad news for President Obama’s reelection effort in a campaign season highly focused on the economy.

— Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor


  • Posted by Igor Sill

    Romney is absolutely correct on this assement. As President Obama launches his campaign to extend tax cuts for the middle class, he is hopeful of shifting key economic issues, unemployment and housing markets, to the issue of “tax fairness”. He hopes that the enormous hidden tax implications of Obamacare will somehow be lost via this new political distraction.

    There is no question that Chief Justice John Roberts revealed the true facts surrounding the Obamacare tax increase last week when he asked if “Congress thought of it as a tax, if they defended it under the tax power, why didn’t they say it was a tax?”

    The records show the response from the Obama administration as: “They might have thought, your Honor, that calling it as they did would make it more effective in its objective, but it is in the Internal Revenue Code, it is collected by the IRS on April 15th.”

    If the provision appears in the Internal Revenue Code and operates as a tax, it is indeed a tax. Attempting to fool, deceive and/or confuse taxpayers is a clear “no confidence” vote getter.

    Let’s remind the President of his campaign pledge not to raise middle class taxes.

    As a result of Obamacare and many other policy enactments, our economy will continue its downward spiral. The risk equation in our economy is now greater and the prospects of growth revival far lower. We are quickly dismantling our country’s growth engine with these continued massive deficits, regulatory job-destroying burdens, increased governmental entitlements, programs and costs, major tax increase initiatives, bailouts, export driven outsourcing, locked up credit, carried interest and capital gains tax uncertainties. Obamacare being a prime example. All of these elements exacerbate our continued high unemployment and housing woes.

    With Obamacare, small companies, which make up the majority of our economy are incented to drop health insurance coverage and instead provide employees with a stipend to purchase their own insurance on the open markets. It’s clearly a cost savings for companies to take this route with the justification that employees may be able to get better insurance coverage than the company offered. Of course, we know what happens when 15% of the population is burdened with paying for 85% of its people.

    If the Obama administration’s objective is to support full employment, there are far better policies to accomplish this over our current unemployment benefits insurance. The majority of economists concur that unemployment benefits generate additional unemployment, pure and simple. Having the employed pay for extended unemployment entitlements fuels the current depression era sentiment of Wall Street, causing its dire effect on our economy. Stepped decreases and termination of unemployment benefits after a given point is the catalyst to helping people help themselves in securing jobs.

    Excessively high tax rates are counterproductive and result in de-incentivizing capital investments (key to employment growth), which in turn suppresses governmental tax revenues. Simply put, tax cuts are absolutely key to job creation. Job creation and low unemployment are key to consumer confidence. All of which are key to economic recovery. Tax increases, ala Obamacare, will continue to severely depress the economy and further erode Obama’s dismal recovery attempts.

    A prosperous economy is fundamentally all about job creation, productivity and consumer confidence. We need to grow our economy from the Middle class up, not suppress it. The reality is that the vast majority of those wealthy (+$250,000 incomes) people lost 30-50% of their wealth over the last 4 years due to the economy, lost jobs and investment losses. While no one on any federal entitlement program took a 30-50% cut. Those taxpayers who pay into those entitlements certainly did.

    Policies geared to boosting mortgage interest deductions, cutting governmental spending, deploying additional stimulus spending so as to create jobs and get us on a path to a 3+% economic growth rate would get us on the right path.

    Enacting those policies and governmental mandates quickly is the key to insuring our economy’s rebound and long-term success. Frankly, Mitt Romney has long figured this out and mapped out purposeful resolutions. I don’t think I can survive another 4 years of Obama, and am certain that the US economy won’t.

  • Posted by Arun

    In Wisconsin we have what is called Badger Care and it has drievn prices up exponentially to the point where private insurance carriers are hardly covering anything anymore, and their prices have sky rocketed. Badger care has shifted the costs on to the RICH and MIDDLE CLASS and have left the poorer citizens having nothing to pay for, when they are the folks who are usually smoking crack and pumping out babies at 1 a year. Many of the reasons it has made it so expensive, is that the private insurers are trying to squeeze every last little dollar out of the private consumer before price caps are in place from Obama care. Already Obama care will prove to be an dismal failure because of some of the after shocks of it’s induction a few weeks ago