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In Real-Life Terms, How Will the Outcome of Tomorrow's Election Actually Affect You?

By Dustin Rowles | Comment Diversions | November 5, 2012 | Comments ()


romneyo.jpg

It is almost over, folks. Election Day is tomorrow, and we will finally elect a President, but more importantly, it's the end of the endless political coverage, television ads, and the constant invasion of politics into your favorite pop-culture sites. It's been a long, mind-numbling slog, and God help you, if you live in one of the battleground states. In the last six months, you've probably seen more of President Obama and Mitt Romney than you have of your own loved ones.

Before it all ends, however, I thought we could all take a serious moment and have a civil (?) conversation about the election, and what it means to you personally. Aside from morale reasons of having your chosen candidate run the country, aside from the horse race, and aside from wanting to rub a victory in your in-laws' face, how do you think a Romney Administration -- or a second Obama Administration -- would affect you personally? Will it really make a difference in your day-to-day life? Has a Presidency ever really affected how you go about your day?

Aside from social issues that I'm obviously rooting for, this is the first election I can remember that could actually affect me on a personal level instead of an intellectual one. Somehow, I survived eight years of Bush, despite an economic downturn that very nearly took Pajiba down with it a few years ago when advertising revenue disappeared.

If Romney is elected, however, it would likely mean drastic changes in my life. Romney has promised that he would cut funding to the Legal Services Corporation -- that evil organization that helps pay the salaries of those horrible lawyers who eschew scads of money to assist impoverished people -- which would likely mean that my wife -- a legal aid attorney -- could lose her job. With new twins at home, and a salary that is being absorbed by child care, that's not actually the worse thing in the world. In fact, my wife might welcome it. She essentially works for health benefits (which are not afforded bloggers), and with Obamacare kicking in soon, we might be able to find affordable healthcare coverage, allowing her some time at home with her kids. Oh, except for the double whammy of having a President that would not only eliminate my wife's job but would also seek to eliminate our recourse for health benefits. Damn.

Maybe that works out for the best -- my wife finds a high-paying job helping corporations with their legal problems (hey! Corporations are people, too) -- or for the worse: I have to of find a real job with health benefits, which would mean leaving Pajiba in someone else's hands (maybe you'd prefer that?).

It's a scary prospect, but I'm sure that, for others, a second Obama Presidency weighs just as heavily. But I thought it might be useful for us all to take a moment and consider what we're actually voting for tomorrow, aside from really wanting our candidate to win.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • BierceAmbrose

    Dear Overlord asked how the outcome of the election would impact
    *you.* I'd feel bad about being so forward (See what I did there?)
    with my interests, except the level of naked pander-taking in the
    comments shows me to be an amateur.

    Silly me, I am bothered by politics & policies that make it
    harder for me & others to earn our own way, vs. being bothered by
    being less taken care of – “kept” one might say. I do not wish
    to be kept. That's different from who might make the better keeper. I
    do not wish being kept vs. taking care of yourself for anyone. It's
    demeaning & degrading. Worse, it leaves human potential on the
    table – it's a waste.(****) Oh well. Different strokes.

    For me, there will be less hackery intruding on my snark and movie site whoever wins. Also, should President Obama win a second term, I can probably reduce my comments on political threads (if there are any) to "Told you so."

    For me, it plays out like this should President Obama be
    reelected, with a new President Romney being somewhat less bad:

    - I'll find health coverage harder to acquire and more expensive,
    as it has been already.(**) I attribute both to that ridiculous bill.
    I think stopping about 2600 pages of those 2700 pages would be a
    grand thing, and we can (also could have) done the three things
    everyone agrees on in the remaining 100 pages. The other stuff just
    makes things worse. Of course doing the three things everyone agrees
    on was never the point. It was always about those as a Trojan horse
    for expanded state involvement and rake-offs for constituencies.

    - I'll find it more difficult to find work, and less work of the
    kind I prefer (new stuff, on a contract / ad-hoc basis.) I attribute
    this to economic policies, shenanigans at treasury and the fed,
    regulation, direct interference in markets, but especially government
    by fiat. Much like the health care foolishness, that 2000 or so page
    “financial reform” bill is a destructive Trojan horse of bad,
    which doesn't solve the three or so things it's supposed to solve.

    The willingness of this administration to interfere directly and
    unpredictably is now part of every business calculation. Hell, Chris
    Christie caught the disease. Who's gonna offer flood / water damage
    insurance in a hurricane zone ever again?

    - Education policies will continue to push my educational
    preferences out of my reach. I am not a subsidized class, directly
    (grants and guaranteed loans) or indirectly (tax breaks for expenses
    or savings) while subsidies keep pushing up the price. Here's a hint
    – every time you help somebody, but not everybody,
    you disadvantage – the correct word is “harm” – the people
    you don't help.(***)

    - I'll travel even less, as the now-galloping surveillance state
    makes travel by any means ever less pleasant. Do you know that the
    Border Patrol (in brown shirted uniforms – these people get the
    optics so wrong) boards buses departing from cities within 100 miles
    or so of a border, asking the citizenship of all passengers? The
    other week I flew for the first time in a couple years. It's gotten
    worse.

    - My mother will continue to have to “unexpectedly” dip more
    into capital – stuff she worked for and saved for over a lifetime –
    than she expected, because interest rates will continue to be held
    artificially low.(*) Net, she's more likely to need support from me
    in the future, or to need it sooner, which impacts my choices of job
    & location now. Harder to take a flier job or a job somewhere far
    away.

    - Should the current administration get reelected, I expect to
    feel more like a schmuck for trying to take care of myself and my
    family. I could ditch the idea of taking care of my mother or myself,
    take my flier & have you support me or her or both of us if my
    gamble doesn't work out. My choice seems ever more between leech and
    sucker.

    - My mother will also find it more difficult to access health
    care. This also has already started, as specialists she has used and
    prefers are dropping their practices, not willing to operate under
    the new law and emerging regulations.

    - Speaking politics vs. consequences for only a moment, should President Obama be reelected I expect no budget (for several more years), no tax reform, no spending reform, no addressing the insolvency of entitlement
    programs, no … oh, you get the idea. As much as you may agree with
    the current President's policy preferences (I don't – obviously. I
    prefer things that work.) he's shown neither interest nor aptitude in
    working with anyone but himself. Absent the need to remain viable for
    a reelection, he'll be ever more unilateral in action and dismissive
    of cooperation with the other branches.

    - Should the current President get reelected, it'll be a circus. I'm guessing about 2/3 chance of a viable impeachment. Support in his
    own party has been chipping off since year 2 of his current term.
    Congress and the courts are getting ever more PO-ed by encroachment
    on their prerogatives. This administration is arrogant enough, and
    sloppy enough that they'll do something irredeemably stupid (vs. a
    little stupid), and totally unconscionable (vs. one among bad options)
    then double down, then double down some more.

    Not that it will convince anyone, but here's a few links...

    Camille Paglia goes off on Obama as President and galloping
    statism. Here she is on Salon: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/1...

    Althouse has some transcription from a Paglia interview hosted on
    a “conservative” web site: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2...

    Micky Kaus says he's gonna vote for Obama anyway, after laying out
    a bill of ineptitudes. He's rooting for gridlock: http://dailycaller.com/2012/11...

    And here's Arthur Davis, who seconded Obama's nomination in 2008: http://www.officialarturdavis....

    (*) Aggregate inflation is low. My mother's increase in food, heat and utility costs driven mainly by energy prices isn't balanced by cheaper i-Thingies. She doesn't buy those. Commodity price increases under this administration have been profoundly regressive, hitting older people, poorer people and people with children. If this happened under a Republican administration the “war on the poor” screeching would be epic. Hacks and shills, all of them.

    (**) I work mostly as an independent. Even when I'm W-2, it's more
    a contract or situational assignment. "Lifetime employment" has never been true for me. So, I'd prefer coverage that I own and can choose vs. my employer, or some government entity choosing and I
    get what they decide to give me. I think my kind of mobile &
    contingent work life will become more, not less common. We ought to
    arrange for that.

    (***) I'm pretty strongly individualist / small-government in my preferences. Given the politicization of campuses, the name-calling and the tossing of due process do I even want to try? Stepping on campus feels like going through a TSA checkpoint – what jackhole is going to decide they don't like me for some obscure reason (like my politics) & have me non-personed? Somebody doesn't like my politics, it's a short trip from “racist” to “rapist” and where's my
    appeal? I think I'm only about 1/3 more paranoid about this than I ought to be.

    (****) Rather than “Cover my health care.” I'd rather hear
    “Help me earn enough to cover my health care.” Rather than “We'll
    cover your health care.” I'd rather hear “Here's an way to earn
    enough to cover your health care, and more.” Rather than “Health
    care is expensive – bad thing.” I'd rather hear “Look at the
    wonders we can to do extend our lives and health now and marvelous to
    have resources to do it with?”

    Come campaign time the current President discovered jobs as an issue. I don't expect that to last once he's reelected, should he be reelected.

  • Salieri2

    I hear if Obama wins, Rowles gets rid of Disqus. And that affects me pretty deeply, especially reading a constantly-updated thread like this one.

  • Pookie

    Seriously, can all of you Jill Stein and Gary Johnson voters go and get lost somewhere. I love it when people say there’re voting of one of these third rail candidates. Yeah, Jill Stein, I want this broad sitting at the head of the table late at night in the situation room giving the kill order, better yet, why don’t we make the “rent is too damn high” guy Secretary of Defense, that way President Stein can focus on teaching us about the wonders of hemp.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Since I'm not a US citizen and don't even live there, I won't be affected personally by the outcome to your presidential election. You folks sure have terribly entertaining political campaigns, though.

    We have federal election next year, and I dread the boring campaigns, though I hope the fantastically incompetent coalition government consisting of a conservative and a liberal (in the true sense of the word, you philistines) party will lose. Gods, they just decided to implement the so-called "parent money", a government handout to families that do not want to send their kids to kindergarten. Important stuff, right?

  • Meggrs

    Glad you're being entertained. Some of us are actually fucking scared for good reasons, but hey! At least you can laugh. Lucky you. I would KILL for a boring presidential election.

  • I'm not going to vote. Not to be a dick or anything...just things worked out where I moved to another state and was unable to get registered in time. It didn't really matter anyway as MD is a one party state for all intents and purposes.

    I work in the steel industry, basically in control systems. As a result, I have to travel and work not only state side, but internationally. I am always amazed when I am in say Ohio or Indiana, and talking with the average worker. For one thing...holy shit the North can be racist as hell...but two, it shocks me as to how clueless they are in regards to healthcare costs and their industry. One of the biggest factors in driving jobs overseas is healthcare driving up labor costs. Yet you would think Obama is a cross between Satan and Stalin for you know...actually addressing a major economic problem.

    We all pay for healthcare. But with having smaller pools, made up primarily along state lines, the overall cost skyrockets. Its simple logic and statistics. You enlarge the pool, overall costs go down. Seriously...HOW IS THIS FUCKING HARD OR CONTROVERSIAL?!?!

  • BobbFrapples

    I live in Florida and I have a sinking feeling that tomorrow is going to be awfully similar to the 2000 election.

  • SHIT!

    Shit.

  • BobbFrapples

    I'm happy to be wrong!

  • Jezzer

    Florida's already making waves in the news with its inability to serve the number of people trying to vote.

  • BobbFrapples

    Yup. I'm keeping my head low for the next week.

  • Salieri2

    Inability? or unwillingness?

  • Green Lantern

    Pajibs,

    I know I'm coming a little late to this party, but figure I'd chime in anyway.

    So here's a little truth you all may not know - I have end-stage COPD, and moved from GA to PA in order to take advantage both of being closer to my wife's family and to avail myself of greater medical benefits than I had available in Georgia. While I only began receiving disability benefits over the summer after applying for them in February, I still have to wait a year for Medicare though based on income and household I qualify for Medicaid in the meantime.

    As my wife is both partially disabled and a full-time student, and my stepdaughter has *just* finished schooling as a Medical Assistant and has to wrangle a 4 and 2 year old, I'm the only one with any money coming in...and it's all based on my disability funds.

    I think you can all see how important it would be for me to, at a minimum, continue the healthcare and financial aid programs as they are if not expand them. Reducing or eliminating them as Romney is want to do would severely impact my already poor health. I may not like the way my life's turned out now, but at least I still have one to live.

  • Jezzer

    See, it's this prevailing opinion on the far right that people should only have the access to health care they can afford -- while at the same time proclaiming themselves the champions of "family values" -- that gives me the greatest sense of disconnect.

  • Aaron Schulz

    I love money more then any of the things you people want, but vote gary johnson for president. Romney and Obama can get into a plane crash for all i care, and tbh thats the only possible way gary johnson would even show up percentage wise.

  • four0seven

    If Romney is elected and Obamacare is repealed, I will lose my health insurance, as I work a full time job that offers zero benefits. My alternative, of course, is to find a new job, but that could prove extremely difficult.

    If Romney is elected, I might see my gender lose our right to govern our own bodies. If anything, birth control will become less affordable and possibly less accessible. Rape and sexual assault might be legally redefined so as to appear more palatable to elected officials who wish to limit reproductive rights. And personally, for me, this isn't some hypothetical terror. I needed an abortion earlier this year. I was able to obtain one. Nothing incenses me more than the idea that in the future, a woman will not be the one making choices that directly impact her body and life more than anyone else.

    I'd really love to see my friends and family members marry their partners, if they so choose. I want the high school-age kids I know to go to college with the aid of Pell grants and as many financial resources as possible, so that when they graduate, they avoid the 13% interest rate I'm currently paying on my own loans. I want our government to continue investing in clean energy so we can move away from destroying the very limited resources we've been abusing for the past century or so. Also? I want the world to respect us because we had the good sense to choose a leader who is conscientious, diplomatic, intelligent, and personable, a pragmatic man who is concerned with the bigger picture rather than simply budget cuts. I don't know if any of those things are possible if Mitt Romney is elected.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    This article really helped me feel better about my choice:

    http://bit.ly/U4Vqdq

    If she were on the ballot in NC I would vote for the Green Party Candidate, Jill Stein. I'm pretty much 100% on board with her platform.

    I'm 50 years old and I've been unemployed for over a year—though I am working two part-time jobs and freelancing. There is no work locally for me, and no one wants to relocate people, so I'm basically screwed. We haven't had health insurance for eons, but I'm not clear on whether Obamacare will have a viable plan for us since we have no savings any more and no regular income since my husband is self-employed.

    I don't think either candidate will make much difference in my life, but I know for sure that a Romney administration will create a cluster f^@k of epic proportions for most Americans, especially women and non-whites. So I'll vote for Obama and hope for a slightly less epic cluster.

  • pajiba

    Bravo, and thanks, y'all, for a civil and enlightening conversation.

  • Dustin, mate, in all seriousness you should be proud of the kind of site that your baby has grown into, and of the types of commenters it attracts. I. Fucking. Love. Pajiba. (notwithstanding the inexplicable Dr Who coverage and occasional gaps in EE)

  • $27366904

    Now go Fucking vote!

  • Admit it: you all went straight to the comments before you read the article.

  • Welp...I'll be terrified that either I (a secretary at a university) or my husband (a secondary school teacher) will lose our jobs to budget cuts, forcing me to go back on COBRA and end up with, at best, astronomical medical bills on account of my type-1 diabetes, or at worst, a pre-existing condition (assuming Mittens succeeds in overturning Obamacare and returning us to the retardedly Draconian medical system we know and loathe).
    But that's just my personal situation.

  • ,

    Let me tell you a true story:

    A lot of people around my town hadn't had their homes reappraised for years and years. Ten years, 12 years, seriously. My house was one of them.

    Last year, the county assessor's hired outside help reappraised county properties. A lot of people got notices that their property's appraised value doubled (like mine), tripled or more. I swear, I never saw so many people so fucking angry to find out something they owned was worth twice or three times or more what they thought it was. The angry ones thought (largely incorrectly, if I understand it right, which means they were largely the not-so-bright ones too) that their property taxes were going to double or triple or worse. Literally by the thousands, they demanded hearings with the county commissioners, who had to rewrite their rules to continue hearing these appeals long after the traditional deadline for doing so.

    Oh, the reappraisal notices came in the mail the week of Thanksgiving last year, and why that should make any fucking difference I don't know but the timing pissed off a lot of people too.

    None of these people seemed upset in the least that they had apparently been underpaying their property taxes by a lot for 10 or 12 years, but remember again who we're dealing with here: People who are pissed off that the house they thought was worth $85,000 is now appraised at $170,000 (like mine).*

    The assessor, who I don't believe ever had a firestorm like this on his hands, didn't handle the PR fallout very well either, and has since decided this would be a good time to retire. There are four candidates for his office.

    So: Vote for whoever you want for president. It might make some difference, or it might not**, depending on the country's mood re: Congressional elections. It's hard enough for a president to get anything accomplished when both houses are on his side; it will be impossible if the opposite party from the president takes over.

    BUT DON'T FORGET: Your local and state officials are likely to play just as large, and probably even larger, a role in how you live your life for the next two-four years as the president. Study up on those candidates and make some good decisions there too.

    I mean, the fucking assessor?

    Really, you wouldn't have believed it unless you lived here.

    *--I went to the courthouse and checked my property (plot?) statement for mistakes. There weren't any. I also discovered that my next-door neighbor had paid $169,000 five years before for a house more or less identical to mine. I didn not waste my time asking for a hearing.

    **-I'm voting Libertarian again, so I know I'm throwing my vote away.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    ' I have the job of assessor (amongst many others) and I believe every single word you say having experienced it first hand. The fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter what your house is valued at, but what rates are applied to that value which is a question that nobody ever seems to ask.

  • Puddin

    I used to be a real estate attorney who did assessment appeals. Emphasis on "used to". That experience turned me into the cynic I am today. It's appalling the people who will fight to the death over a presidential candidate yet don't know one damn thing about the candidates in their local elections. And trust me, your county can find all sorts of creative and efficient ways to fuck your life waaaay more easily than the federal government.

  • Puddin

    Everybody thinks I'm weird when I tell them that the government's greatest weapon of oppression is property taxes. And then I point to that flustercluck that happened in Indiana in 2007.

  • ,

    Absolutely. There's a bit of a fuss going on in Appalachia about Marcellus Shale (you might have heard of it), and people discovering that while they THINK they own their land, if they don't also own the mineral rights they can't really stop a gas company from setting up a well on "their" property.

    I also remind people of the fact that if they don't pay their property taxes (and my state has a car tax to go with registration fees), they'll find out pretty damn quickly who REALLY owns "their" house and cars: The county sheriff.

    It sure isn't the PotUS who wrote those rules.

  • ,

    ***-I made up a TV show for PBS, called it "Reappraisal Roadshow." Evaluators would appraise your property and the host would detail the pros and cons and then ask, "How much do you think it's worth?"

    "Well, it was appraised at $100,000 'bout 10 years ago, but I don't know, what with the housing market being so crazy 'n all ..."

    "Well, I'm happy to tell you your house is now worth $300,000! What do you think of that?"

    "AW, FUCK NAW! You gotta be kidding me! That's at least three times too fuckin' high! I want a goddam second opinion! '$300,000' my ass."

  • kieran

    I'm Australian, but it's pretty well known that whatever the US does, our government follows. It's never exactly looked promising that gay rights would become an actual thing in Australia until the last few years, but if Obama were elected and gave in to the whole marriage thing, Julia Gillard would likely follow suit (especially considering the ushering in a new, gay friendly generation that will gladly protest the shit out of her if she doesn't). However, if Romney is elected, I doubt we'll see gay rights in either country for quite some time.

  • How you like the vaccine denial movement we exported over there? Or was that New Zealand?

  • Mavis Beacon

    I, too, am a legal aid attorney who will lose my job if Romney is elected and the Ryan budget is pushed through Congress, slashing funding to government civil legal services to the poor. (I just happen to be home sick.) I also happen to work for a fairly small non-profit organization that does not offer its own health insurance, but provides reimbursements for me to purchase my own, private insurance. I had the same arrangement at my previous job at a small firm. I happen to have a (pretty darn minor) preexisting condition that makes securing such private insurance, generally, impossible or unaffordable without the existence of high risk insurance pooling. If Obama is reelected, my preexisting condition will not bar me from purchasing insurance on the private market, and I'll have a lot more insurance options. This access to multiple insurance options competing for my premium dollars will likely drive down insurance costs for me, especially if we'll have access to a federally run plan, as Obama has indicated. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act means that I can't be charged exorbitantly high premium rates because of my preexisting condition - premium rates have caps.

    If Romney is elected, and the Affordable Care Act is repealed, my preexisting condition will bar me from obtaining health insurance. Even if my current job is not eliminated due to lack of funding, I will likely have to find another job that will provide me with insurance, which is looking less and less likely, since fewer and fewer employers have been providing health insurance. Fewer employers are providing insurance, not because of the Affordable Care Act, but because of the high costs of health care, generally driving up the affordability of premiums - this trend of fewer employers offering health insurance started long before the Affordable Care Act was even a glimmer in Obama's eyes. In fact, the Affordable Care Act was enacted, partly, in response to fewer individuals being able to obtain health insurance through their employers. The ACA allows folks who do not have insurance through employers to buy health care coverage through marketplaces called Exchanges, and get sliding-scale tax deductions to cover the costs of the premium if they make less than 400% of the federal poverty level. The ACA does not pay for these deduction allowances through increasing taxes in any way, but makes collections on current taxes and fees more efficient and eliminates costly programs that were inefficiently run (mostly horribly administered, private Medicare plans).

    Under Romney's insurance policy, all private insurance plans would become high deductible plans, where individuals with private insurance would be responsible for paying, out-of-pocket, thousands of dollars and upwards for their health care before insurance companies begin covering any expenses. Individuals, like me, will not have their pre-existing conditions covered, and if we do manage to get insurance through high risk pools, we will not have caps on our premiums. Since I'm gay, I won't be able to get married and get health insurance through my partner, if my partner's employer isn't generous enough to offer domestic partnership benefits. And my friends' kids' who are on Medicaid because their employers don't offer them health insurance coverage? Under the Romney/Ryan health care plan, which advocates giving block grants to states for Medicaid funding, these kids will likely loose coverage. That's because the Romney/Ryan block Medicaid budget proposal cuts Medicaid funding by $700 billion over the next ten years, which, I believe, is about a third to a half of all current federal Medicaid funding. Personally, I'm not all that into seeing sick kids, and having my friends' families suffer because they can't afford health care for their children. But maybe that's just me.

    All of the uninsured people under the Romney/Ryan plan, they will continue to go to the ER for medical treatment and continue to drive up the costs of health care. These increased health care costs will be, or will continue to be passed on to individuals with insurance through increases in premiums, and the cycle will continue, as more people and employers will find it impossible to afford health insurance coverage.

    So yeah, that's why I'm voting for Obama and Democratic in my state elections.

    Also, being a woman, the Supreme Court, etc. is TERRIFYING.

  • brutus

    In an attempt to add some counterweight to this discussion...

    Most of you seem to have a noble personal reason for voting for Obama, while some of you have more quixotic rationale. The reasons seem to stem from Romney cutting funding to something upon which the poster relies. I don't mean to belittle anything I've read here - I just don't see how we can afford any of it, no matter how altruistic the cause.

    We're 16 trillion in debt, and 62% (ish) of government spending goes to some kind of entitlement program. Isn't cutting funding to some of these programs the responsible thing to do? Isn't that what you would do with your expenditures if you were drowning in debt? And why is it a given that any cutting of funds will result in the worst possible scenario for you or your loved ones?

    In my opinion, fixing the economic situation should be the primary focus; none of the social programs will matter if we do not have the money to fund them. Can Romney fix our problems? Probably not. The hole is too deep. He did, however, spend years working at Bain Capital to save companies on the verge of bankruptcy (contrary to what you may have heard).

    We're mind-bogglingly broke, and I think he's got a better shot than Obama to fix it. Maybe that makes him the bad guy - but someone has to get the spending under control before the interest we owe swallows us.

    How does it affect me personally? If Obama is elected, I'll be taking less money home, and the money the government allows me to keep will get hammered by inflation. Fun times.

    I truly do not mean to troll. Forgive me if you've taken it that way.

  • Broke how exactly? We are the largest economy on the planet. We have an artificially low tax rate. We currently are extended over countless countries, basically providing free military and crises response.

    You know the F-22 will cost over a billion a plane. And the US military DOESN'T want it as it will not meet their current situational needs. How is that rational?

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Bain Capital's purpose was not saving companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Not even remotely. What they did was buy those companies, make them briefly look pretty without making them viable, and pocket the bit of cash that gussying up made them before bailing out and letting them die like they were always going to. To be glib and general but also accurate.

    Also Staples, but that's a vanishingly small contribution to their bottom line and not a verge of bankruptcy case anyway.

    ETA: Which I guess one could construe as saving them, from a certain kind of perspective, but it's a lot more like providing treatment that masks symptoms than curing.

  • brutus

    The information I've seen runs counter to what you've described here - though I admit that most of my sources of information lean to the right.

    Either way - I favor the guy who spent 20 years in private enterprise. I'm not saying it should be a good reason for you - just that it's the foundation for much of my rationale.

  • Mavis Beacon

    Read this article if you want more information about what Mitt Romney did with companies purchased by Bain http://www.rollingstone.com/po.... Long_Pig_Tailor has summed things up quite well.

  • Salieri2

    The story of Delphi Automotive is also relevant. 20,000 salaried employees lose their (already underfunded) pensions, the federal government is obligated to cover them, the Elliott hedge fund, heavily invested in by Mr Romney, makes $15-115 million? Yay for them and all, but don't expect me to believe that the people who worked for Delphi a) deserved to lose their pensions or b) were able to contribute to economic growth with their purchasing power anytime soon.

    http://www.thedetroitbureau.co...

  • Maguita NYC

    Government is in SERVICE to the people. Companies are indebted to investors.

    I so admire your polite and civil tone, no matter how I disagree with your point of views, and how you have so far interpreted numbers. Although you do admit that your information is enacted by the right, you kept it cool, and I admire you for it.

    But answer me this:

    Would you feel more comfortable with an upper-management man who is much more aware of how to please investors, and thus makes harsh sacrifices that cuts on employees?

    Or the man who is aware of his position and the responsibility of all these workers' lives, and their families', that weigh in the balance?

  • brutus

    The upper management man is more my type. Of course, there is an extreme that we can reach in any discussion that ruins the value of the discourse - but I don't think you are going that far. That said, here's a cliche outlier that I choose only to prove a point:

    Apple is notoriously ruthless on many of it's employees and partners - but how many people are employed because of Apple's continued success? How much as the economy benefited from the innovation of Apple? How many other companies are better today because of the competition?

    I suspect that the real solution is somewhere in the gray area between ruthless capitalism and unwavering support for all employees at any cost - but I lean towards the capitalist because I think it's better for everyone in the long term.

  • Mavis Beacon

    I urge you to read this, if you think that entitlement programs are, in any way 62% responsible for the current growth of the deficit. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.... and http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=vi...

  • brutus

    It is entirely possible that the 62% I've listed here is somewhat inaccurate. I only mean to say that entitlement programs constitute a large amount and that we should be cutting expenditures across the board.

    Truly however, intend to read your link in an effort to be better-informed.

  • Tinkerville

    First of all, your comment was very civil and well-phrased, so thanks for initiating polite discourse.

    I'd agree with you if it weren't for the following issues. First of all, Romney has not presented a comprehensive plan to reduce the deficit and help heal the economy. He just hasn't. Instead the programs that he plans on cutting would do practically nothing to reduce the debt. PBS, for example, accounts for roughly 0.012% of the national budget. So your argument for Romney in regards to the economy doesn't hold any water with me as I still believe that Obama is in the best position to fix it.

    Second, the economy is not the only issue we should be looking at. You ask how we can afford another term of Obama.. My rights as a woman is equally important an issue to me as the economy. I would rather fight for the rights of my gay friends and family and the separation of church and state and universal health care. Money and the economy seems to be your main concern, but not all of us prioritize in that way and those "personal reasons" are to some of us not trivial things at all, though you seem to take them that way.

  • brutus

    I completely understand, and empathize. My apologies if I seemed to trivialize any issues that are important to you. I only meant to give my reasons for voting for Romney.

    An economic collapse will affect everyone (though admittedly not equally) - regardless of race, gender, status, etc. It is just my opinion that Romney has the experience and knowledge to attack the issue better than Obama.

    To be clear, however - I don't think either one of them will be able to make a satisfactory difference.

  • Tinkerville

    As my parents' house was foreclosed on last year, believe me I know what happens when an economy collapses. However, it's ridiculous to assume that Obama could have turned everything around over the course of four years. Since he has taken office, we've seen a slow but steady increase in employment rates, which gives me hope that with another four years he'll be able to continue on that path.

    You cited Romney's background with Bain Capitol as positive experience. His background actually worries me as he's proven that his interest lies more with corporations than with actual people. He favors trickle down economics, which simply *does not work.* The Congressional Research Service (a non-partisan group) found that it creates income inequality, not economic growth, and Romney's in favor of it.

    I agree with the notion that we need to keep spending in check, yet Romney wants to slash programs that have little to no affect on the national debt and cut programs that are actually vital, such as FEMA (and the idea that he wants to leave it to the states to handle emergency response is ludicrous, seeing as many states are bankrupt themselves). Under a Romney presidency we'd revert back to the same economic policies that gave us an economic collapse in the first place.

    So even though I disagree with your assessment that the economy is the single most important issue at hand here, even if I were to entertain the idea, Romney still doesn't get my vote.

  • brutus

    It seems that we disagree about our current position on the Laffer curve. People respond to incentives, and being taxed more is a big disincentive for productivity and innovation, I think.

    Ultimately, I just don't know where we are going to get the money to fund it all. As I understand it, Obama has never passed a budget - and the ones he tried to pass were defeated unanimously. This, to me, shows a person that will never be able to get our spending under control.

    Again - just my reasoning.

  • Salieri2

    I'm having trouble keeping up with this thread, so if this has been covered already, please forgive the redundancy. Why all this talk about spending and none about revenue? What about corporate socialism?

    Corporate income tax raised an absurdly low 1.2% of GDP last year, because of tax cuts, tax shelters, and deals like diverting employees' local taxes withheld directly to their employers. (Wander over to David Cay Johnston's article for more if this is news.)

    http://blogs.reuters.com/david...

    We're not running out of money: it's all going to someone, and that someone is shareholders. The local taxes we pay aren't sufficient to cover the state budgetary needs because, for example, AMC keeps tax money withheld from their employees' paychecks.

    "“Job piracy” occurs when one state diverts taxes to lure an employer across state lines. AMC Entertainmentannounced a deal last year to move its corporate headquarters from Kansas City, Mo., to a nearby Kansas suburb. In return, Good Jobs First said, Kansas will let the multiplex chain keep $47 million of state income taxes withheld from its workers’ paychecks, a drain on public finances that did not create any jobs, but does enrich the Wall Street firms that own AMC including arms of J. P. Morgan, Apollo Management, Bain Capital and the Carlyle Group. AMC declined to answer my questions.

    'Job blackmail' occurs when a company threatens to close a plant unless it gets tax money."

    It's consumer spending that drives the economy, not enriching the non-producers. Money trickles, all right: it trickles UP. We can't keep shearing the sheep and speculating in wool futures without starting to put some money into the pasture and the grain bin.

    Certainly we need to look at expenditures, but any decent chart will show you two unfunded wars and the Bush tax cuts are the major drivers of the debt. What would be nuts is electing a guy who's willing to start yet another unfunded war with Iran on Israel's behalf, and adding MORE tax breaks for corporations instead of letting the Bush cuts expire, as they were theoretically* intended to do. *I'm aware that this was designed to be a political poison pill. Still.

    As far as entitlements go, I cautiously favor raising the cap on Social Security contributions, but I don't know enough about that to be sensible. What I do favor is the parts of the ACA that push Medicare into providing quality service for less money, ie lowering payments to hospitals with high readmission rates. If you start to read through a lot of the Medicare stuff, what it's designed to do is produce value-driven healthcare delivery that will be competing with the private sector, not to shift costs, but to deliver better care more cheaply. THAT is damned exciting stuff there: ambitious, but if it works, it may force private healthcare to restructure itself the same way to compete. That's a win for everybody.

  • Jezzer

    Call me cynical, but I somehow think that extra money corporations earn is used to line the pockets of the executives and shareholders, not to increase productivity and innovation.

  • Guest

    Your bank account does not trump my right to have control over my body. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't.

  • brutus

    I don't intend to get into social issues with anyone. I only mean to say that without a strong economy, the social issues are a moot point.

    It doesn't matter if I have a cure for cancer if I can't get the money to support it.

  • FrayedMachine

    Social issues are not a moot point and to make that kind of implication is to assume that we as people have no rights. That women as human beings are unimportant. That gays are unimportant. That people who are sick are unimportant. Social issues are what define this country and I can't help but feel like it's beyond naive to trust a man who refuses STILL to this point to provide clear details on his plans with the economy.

  • brutus

    That's a completely fair point. As I understand it, Romney just wants many of these issues to be decided at the state level, as opposed to the federal. This is a stance with which I personally agree.

    As for the economy - I would prefer an unknown quantity to a system that is proven to be problematic. I don't know how we are going to keep spending the way we have been spending...and ANY program spending you cut will be near and dear to someone's heart.

    At some point we're going to run out of money, aren't we? Are we just going to keep borrowing from China? At which point do we draw the line?

  • FrayedMachine

    Except that's not how it's going to go. Unfortunately a large portion of this country is run by hyper extreme conservatives. Do you know what happens when they have control over someone's right?

    You're right, there are issues with the current state of the economy, there's absolutely no one who can deny that. However, how are we going to make the economic goal that Romney has proposed? How are we going to save Trillions of dollars without cutting funding to IMPORTANT programs that make life accessible to those who are in need, to those less future, to OUR future. There's no way to make that kind of budget without cutting finds to things like Health Care and Education. These are things that are worth sacrificing to put an extra buck in your wallet?

    You're right, there has to be a line. But I, and many people, do not mind paying a little bit of extra cash out of their paychecks if it means getting this country on the RIGHT track. Not putting it on the track of essentially collapsing on itself under the weight of ignorance and backwards mentalities.

    What people also seem to neglect is that we are actually doing -better-. We are not doing the BEST we can be doing but we ARE doing better. Jobs are being created left and right, Programs are back in function. There's quite literally no way that any person will be able to bring back our economy and that state of affairs after EIGHT YEARS of Bush in one short four year term. That's a lot of trauma to undo.

  • brutus

    My opinion is based less on the affect the taxes have on me personally, and more about the fact that our spending is out of control. I'm willing to pay more if I can see our debt moving in the right direction.

    My honest intent is to be civil, so forgive me if the following admittedly crappy analogy rubs you the wrong way:

    It feels like we're both doctors in the ER, with a patient on the table. I'm saying that the heart attack the patient is having is priority one, while you are telling me that the broken arm is what deserves our attention. Of course it is important that we repair the arm, but if we don't do something about the heart - the arm doesn't matter.

    You state that under Romney we run the risk of collapsing under the weight of ignorance and backwards mentalities. That's your opinion, and I'm not saying you are right or wrong. What I AM saying, is that if we don't reduce the size of government spending, we'll collapse under the interest we owe on the debt alone. That, is a fact.

    So - am I willing to cut spending on education and health care? Absolutely, if that's our only option...and at this point - to me - it is. But of course, that's me.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    I know I'm really late to this brutus thread, but one thing I haven't seen here is a discussion of WHAT must be cut.

    Romney has put himself in the unfortunate position of a "read my lips" posture on defense spending and tax increases - this posture alone would put your hope for Romney's ability to be a turn around artist into question.

    It's not that I am resolute we must have defense spending cuts, rather you can't expect to be a turn around artist when you walk into a debt ridden company saying "I won't look at cutting in a major loss center, and I won't consider raising prices on our product".

    That's just not a rational starting position.

    Taxes are basically the price we pay for a product; that product has direct benefits (roads) and indirect benefits (better educated workforce) and even "goodwill" items on the budget.

    What worries me the most about a Romney Presidency isn't Romney himself, but rather the culture he will bring with him. The new mantra of Republicans is: "compromise is a sign of weakness." Democrats have looked at the power generated by that simplistic mantra and rather than reject it, they've moved to embrace it (albeit much less effectively).

    A Romney Presidency with a conservative (not just Republican) House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate is likely to embolden the "no compromise" factions - further limiting Romney's ability to make smart economic decisions like cutting popular programs like defense spending. And Democrats looking to retake power will prevent rational discussions about raising retirement age.

    Obama is more likely to search for common ground with a close Senate and a Conservative House; you may not like the idea of raising prices or cutting defense, but a second term Democrat is more likely to put everything on the table.

  • chanohack

    I don't think you're a troll, Brutus. And I don't think you're wrong about the economy being the biggest issue, either. But the economy is getting better (albeit very slowly, and maybe too slowly for a lot of people), and I think Obama's methods of helping the economy-- by spending on energy development, education and yes, health-- deserve more of a chance than they've been given. I think he's moving in the right direction.

  • FrayedMachine

    Yeah, I don't buy that comparison at all because your assumption is that these kinds of spendings would continue under the new term which is actually, not true, since a good portion of those spendings under his first term were done for things like Bailouts, Afghanistan, etc. etc. Things that are no longer relevant. To try and use these examples as a fear tactic is a massive example of a red herring to draw people's eyes away from what's actually important.

    Our economy is on the up and up, something that you still haven't actually acknowledged and what a lot of people who are using Money! Fears as a means of opposing Obama seem to avoid acknowledging.

    I don't mean to be snarky in this statement but the last time people with your mentality had a majority vote, we were placed in our current situation. We were forced to endure 8 years of someone with similar visions on how to fix this country and how to make it progress and look at where it got us. I can say I'm trying to be civil with this comment but I have no other way of stating it but it honestly makes me question the intelligence of people who support Romney.

    We had a president with similar stances for 8 years, look at what happened. I'm not stating that Obama will make the world magically heal and everything disappear but he provides a platform that is significantly easier to get behind. After all, what purpose is saving money if the people who are going to profit from it are dead or too dumb to make the best of that situation?

  • Jezzer

    Improving the education and physical well-being of citizens helps the economy a lot more in the long run.

  • Arran

    I say this purely as a factual point - China actually owns a fairly small chunk of the debt. It's a trillion dollars, which isn't small potatoes, but the idea that China essentially owns the US is a fallacy (not that this is what you said in this case, but it seems to be a common catchcry). Over two thirds of the national debt is made up of the government essentially borrowing from itself. The remainder is held by various countries; China has the biggest chunk but it's "only" 8% of the overall amount.

    What this all means, I have little idea because I'm no economist. But I like statistics.

  • Steve Baker

    Good reasons to vote Obama, and every one will change your life.
    http://thinkingaboot.blogspot....

  • Clancys_Daddy

    The
    next person running for office that promises to lower taxes or cut
    government OR NEEDLESS REGULATIONS gets punched right square in the
    mouth.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    Or vows to trim government fat by getting rid of useless programs like FEMA, the EPA, the NEA, and PBS.

  • Jezzer

    Don't forget the Department of Education. It's got a HUGE target on its back.

  • Department of Energy...cause why the fuck would anyone want the government to keep track of Nuclear Waste...

  • vintagejulie

    My husband is 52 and I am 49.
    We are working class and both have pre-existing conditions.
    If Romney wins we get Medicare vouchers in the future and will probably see the payroll tax cuts go bye-bye. That may not seem like much money, but to us it is.

  • True_Blue

    I live in California, so I expect reproductive rights would not be taken away (sorry for folks in the red states). But I work in the public sector (AKA leeches who live off the "producers", according to GOP), and with researchers who do stem cell research. Romney is sure to defund federal support of stem cell research for sure (gotta throw some red meat to the wingnuts). So researchers will leave and go elsewhere for them to continue their research--and I will be out of a job. Not to mention what America will lose in terms sheer brainpower and innovation.

  • AngelenoEwok

    I think you are correct that CA will always protect reproductive rights, but I worry very much that in a post Roe overturn world, we could see our CA reproductive health providers overwhelmed by patients traveling in from out of state.

  • Austie

    I'm uninsured, and can afford very basic private insurance plans but none of them cover maternity or pre-natal care. My husband is one of those nasty corporate lawyers who has crazy good benefits but only for employees, to add a spouse or child it's about an extra $1000 a month. We are in our 30s and desperately want to have a baby but don't see that happening until 2014 when I can buy better insurance through the insurance exchanges or co-ops.

    Actually, we could probably afford for me to be put on his insurance if we didn't have a soul crushing amount of student debt, $70k of which is from private loans his law school pushed him into that cannot be consolidated or refinanced, but also cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Neither candidate could change that.

    Despite all this, many in my family will be voting for Romney because, you know, the dead babies and all.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Here are my questions:

    - You got the stuff. Why isn't the debt yours? The soul-crushing student debt of $70k is for something you got - either a luxury consumed in a 4-year party, or a capital investment in credentials and training so you have more job choices, and better earnings.

    - You have nasty corporate lawyer income in your family, yet choose not to buy insurance. Who should pay for your health care? It's expensive. It'll be expensive - because it does a lot - whoever provides it.

    - FWIW "loans" for college, plus educational institutions form a kind of scam. You've figured out that you are fodder, perhaps misrepresented into spending on something that doesn't pay off. More government-based "education funding" will make that worse, not better. Also, the student loans *currently* cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. The current administration has shown itself willing to unilaterally rewrite contracts and contract law. Indeed, this administration has in various speeches floated ideas about "forgiving" student loans, for this consideration or that.

    You aren't claiming want or deprivation. You aren't claiming that you can't get insured. What I see is wanting to live a larger life than you can afford. I understand this. Yet, why should we subsidize this?

  • anikitty

    Does anyone else feel Shyamalaned by this argument? It had a shocking twist there at the end.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    you say they add $1k a month for spouse/child insurance. Just so you know, they are just passing on the cost.

    I have a mix of employees, and my under 30 single folks cost me about $450 a month. We have a "Cadillac" plan, including dental, vision, PPO, etc. If they get married and have a kid, the price goes up to around $1500.

    So you should not assume that things will get better for you elsewhere - good quality full family insurance will run you $1500 no matter what. It may be that you don't see the cost because it will be taken out before you are ever told a salary number, but I promise you the CFO knows the total cost of your husband's compensation package.

    Our healthcare in the U.S. runs us $2.7 Trillion and 17% of the GDP. What you see in your co-pay is a hilariously tiny fraction of the actual cost. Unless we slowly transiition to a lower-cost, possibly single payer system, we are screwed.

    Note I think we have to make this change carefully simply because that $2.7 Trillion is going to pay the wages of a LOT of Americans. Cutting health care = cutting some people's jobs.

  • BierceAmbrose

    PP says something here that everyone should note. "Employer provided" health care doesn't mean it's not paid for. It doesn't even mean *you* don't pay for it.

    "Employer provided" health care means they write the check to the insurance company or whoever. (Many larger companies self insure.)

    If the job you do is worth, "worth" as in "generates value of" $50k a year, the biggest salary they can offer is $32k. Take away $1,500 / month times 12 months in coverage costs, from the $50k of value you generate, and that's what's left.

    This government mandated health coverage is a scam. You pay for it in less take home salary. The ridiculous bill mandated a pretty generous pile of stuff for all plans - more than most people chose to pay for or offer before that. You pay that increased cost. So, the government has generously mandated that you buy yourself more coverage. Then, they took a bow for being so generous and say some snotty things about those evil employers holding wages down for good measure.

    You are being had. Say thank you.

  • Codger

    I work in global health and development, working to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity for the most vulnerable women in the poor countries my organization works in. Cuts to foreign aid under Romney, not to mention the addition of potential restrictions based on our work in family planning, could affect the scope of our work in ways I just don't want to imagine at the moment. To become qualified for my work, I took on six figures in student debt, and I am working at a non-profit. Right now I'm reliant on programs that forgive student loan debt for people work in certain areas of research and in the non-profit sector. But I'm acutely aware that those programs are vulnerable. With the backing of an administration willing to veto, a congress could do just about anything they want with student loans, at any time, and I live in a bit of dread that assistance I'm counting on will disappear at some point and I won't be prepared.

  • Rooks

    Please consider that this glib, dead-eyed, sneering liar would be featured in the news worldwide. Possibly every other day.

    Honestly, now. As a European, the US would lose their appeal if Romney were elected. Compared to your sorrows, it's trivial - but there you have it. I want the USA to actually be a land to be jealous of, a "land of the free" with a level of freedom and equality that we can take a cue from, not one to feel sorry for.

    And yet everytime Romney opens his mouth, or someone lays out Romney's political plans for me, there's another group of people I start to feel sorry for. Women in general (binders full of you, you gorgeous creatures!), students and all those seeking a job, atheists or simply secularists, pro-choice people, rape victims - pregnant or not - (and I felt sorry for those before...but now? Whew.), homosexuals, teachers, "the very poor", everyone who isn't completely healthy and/or able to work... - as I understand it, basically, you'd all be far more screwed if Romney were elected. Screwed and rescrewed for good measure. That's about as elating as being forced to rewatch that "8: The Mormon Proposition"-documentary over and over again.
    Please don't do that to yourselves.

  • FrayedMachine

    I feel like there's nothing that I can add that hasn't been stated previously (just as a point of reference - Mid-Twenties, Minority Woman who's got a considerable amount of student loan debt with a job in a relatively "secure" field that depending on how this election could go, could mean a loss of benefits or potentially even a loss of work) but I just have to say that going through this thread has been insanely comforting. After getting into heated discussions with various Republican connections, I was sincerely starting to lose a bit of faith over the sensibility of people. It's not as if I'm unaware of the fact that people from similar positions from me exist, it just pains me to know that there are those in similar positions who are incapable of seeing how voting Romney could turn very bad very quickly.

    TL;DR, Thanx Guyz 4 Not Sukking!

  • Lemon_Poundcake

    " . . . I just have to say that going through this thread has been insanely comforting."

    Word.

  • Coming from a family who owns a group of banks, if Obama is elected we're in for a major monetary hit. My grandfather, and father are voting Romney. My grandmother, mother, aunt, our only female cousins, and myself--we're all voting Obama. I'd rather lose money than my right to control my own body.

  • Guest

    Perspective--thar she blows!

  • $27019454

    My husband works for a huge company that offers totally bitchen health benefits, including (when he reaches a certain level) free lasik and our orthodontia for the kids is covered. Our flexcard option is really high, which os very cool. Opthamol. and optometrist is also covered. If Obama gets re-elected his company will start cutting benefits down to not-so-bitchen levels. He's pissed, but it won't kill us at all.

    If Romney is elected, my daughter will have to live probably with his Supreme Court decisions which will affect her health care choices a LOT. Planned Parenthood was the only place I could turn when I was 17 and decided I wanted to have sex, but wanted to do it responsibly and carefully. My mom never talked about that shit so I had to ride my bike to Hollywood Blvd and see a PP counselor. It was SO empowering to do this. The idea that PP might not offer these services is unthinkable...but my girl may have to live in that world.

    Our tax rate will change, probably regardless. Even out accountant said "I have no idea...we have to wait and see" when we asked about either-or scenarios.

    I'm unemployed and desperately need NOT to be. Either way, I hope something changes regardless of who my president is.

    Both my husband and I are voting Obama and we are both registered Independents who switch hit, but mostly on California and local politics. National we swing Blue/Left mostly. So.

    I pray a lot. St Jude is my guy: Patron of Impossible Cases. That's all I got.

  • Arran

    On a completely personal level? Well, I'm a fairly recent immigrant to this country and haven't been able to find a job yet. I genuinely think the economy will do better under Obama, because Romney's "five-point plan" is nothing but five wishes that he super hopes will work, rather than anything practical. One could say Obama could have done more in the last four years (despite all the handwringing about government spending and the deficit, MORE government spending has historically been shown to improve economies because it fills in the gaps that the private sector simply can't while things are down. That said, I understand Obama not wanting to go that route with the deficit where it is), but the fact is things are improving.

    There's a raft of other reasons I'd rather see him in than Romney, but if you want a personal reason, that's the one.

  • Mr_Zito

    Last year, the Obama administration finally started relaxing the criteria for tourist visas for Brazilians, so there's probably more chance that I'll be able to visit the US if he gets reelected. Before that, if you were young and weren't really rich, you were obviously trying to immigrate, then you were labeled a job-stealer and couldn't go visit the US and give our third world money to you. I would expect the situation to get bad again with Romney who still thinks immigration is about foreigners going to steal american money, and not about americans getting cheap workers and increasing their profits and productivity.

    I would also like to keep the respect that I had for America growing up, that was smashed for eight years and recovered in that beautiful 2008 election. Historically, the Brazilian government has had better relations with Republican presidents. Obama's foreign policy has been really bad. But what Romney has shown in this campaign is disastrous, specially in his complete lack of knowledge about how a free market works (see previous paragraph). It's hard to believe that this man was the best Republican they had to offer.

  • chanohack

    This thread is updating so fast I can't even scroll through it! Good post, Dustin.

  • googergieger

    Not much, honestly. In that I still have that murder/suicide pact going on with that guy that lives in a refrigerator box outside the AM/PM that predicted shit was going down this year.

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    I'm straight, married, naturalized citizen and I work for cushy company that gives me absurd benefits. Technically, none of the biggest issues should make lick of difference to me. But this election isn't about me, it's about everyone else who will be affected. It is immoral to deny people their basic civil rights. And, as a woman, I refuse to see this country pushed back 50 years.

  • NateMan

    I have a wife and a daughter. An ex-wife with chronic health problems. I know at least 5 women who have been sexually assaulted. Numerous gay friends. More who are in the military. I live in Massachusetts.

    I want the women in my life to get the reproductive health they need and deserve. I want the people I care about who love people of the same gender, be it because of upbringing or genetic quirk, to be able to express that love without prejudice or condemnation. I want my soldier friends to fight the fights they believe in, not wars of convenience. I want to encourage my society to take care of its most vulnerable members. I don't want to continue the economic measures that have led to high unemployment, steep debt, and a banking system based on greed that swings wildly out of control.

    For the people and state I love, I'm voting for Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

  • Greta

    I´m from Sweden and practically everyone here is behind Obama. I hope decent, intelligent men like you - and other American posters on this site - won´t have to endure a Romney presidency.

  • If Romney is elected, some of my rights (as well as those of my two daughters) as a "free" American may very well be taken away. That's a damned direct hit.
    In fact, all the gains this country has made toward equal rights may be dialed back. Any victories for gay and lesbian equality will almost definitely be reversed, and that will affect people in my family. And the racism toward Obama that has somehow become acceptable--that concerns me too. The biggest difference between having Romney or Obama in office will be how equal and free we are in this country if we are not rich, white or males.

  • chanohack

    I'm going worst-case scenario on this one.

    I'm one of the women who would be adversely affected if my local Planned Parenthood lost funding and had to close. If, on top of that, Obamacare got overturned "on [Romney's] first day in office" (yeah right), I'd have to shell out for birth control and a more expensive new doctor to prescribe it to me.

    It's highly unlikely that I'd go off my birth control, because I really need that shit, but let's say for whatever reason (can't afford it, can't find a doctor), I did. Then I'd go back to losing 13 days a year to incapacitating cramps and migraines. Or worse (but even more unlikely, because I am terrified of this), I might get knocked up.

    In the absence of Planned Parenthood and affordable healthcare, I would then probably get married in a hurry to my boyfriend so Baby and I could get on his military healthcare. Then he would probably reenlist instead of getting out of the Navy next year. Then they'd tell us where to move next summer when his shore duty is over, instead of us deciding for ourselves.

    Like I said, unlikely worst-case scenario. But it's possible. Planned Parenthood is a valuable resource for me, and is not only used by irresponsible slut-faced sin-covered baby-murderers.

    (If you want to say I'm irresponsible, slut-faced, and sin-covered because I'm not married to my boyfriend but we still have sex, okay. But that's not why I'm taking birth control, and I'd still need it if I was married or if I never had sex again.)

  • AudioSuede

    The fact is that the Affordable Care Act has helped my life immensely. I've been able to stay on my parents' insurance and I have hope that there will be strong legislation in the near future to keep student loan companies from jerking my wife and I around.

    At the pump, prices are down from the last couple years, and new regulations on emissions and efficiency will help with that long term.

    When my wife and I decide to have children, Planned Parenthood will be there to help us. And when our kids need something to do in the mornings, Sesame Street will bring the whole gang to our living rooms.

    My gay and lesbian friends and relatives will soon be able to marry, which will change their lives, and that will also make it easier for them to adopt if they so choose, which means I'll have more children to play with.

    The addition of new jobs and the investment in innovative technologies will help to ensure that I have options should I lose my job or decide I need to move on to something with better pay or benefits.

    I'm in Washington DC, so while we got hit with Sandy, it was pretty minor (our kitchen and bathroom flooded ankle-deep, but everything's fine and easily replaced), but I can't help but imagine what it would be like to be in lower Manhattan or New Jersey's coast if FEMA were eliminated or, worse, run by private firms.

    Stimulus investments in national infrastructure have helped to make roads safer and cleaner, and obviously that benefits all of us. On a related note, I can buy an American car from Detroit if I want to, because that's still a thing that exists instead of a disaster that would have rendered those companies dead and worthless rather than alive and thriving.

    These are just some of the practical reasons I'm voting for President Obama. Don't even get me started on the philosophical reasons.

  • chanohack

    This is lovely. It makes my heart smile. (Whoever downvoted it can eat a dick, seriously.)

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    This is hugely personal. I have just lived through my second major hurricane (the first time being far more serious for me than the most recent) which has served as a powerful reminder of exactly *why* we need a well-run federal response. For you numbers people: the Katrina damage to just the state of Louisiana was $100 billion; the entire state budget is only $25 billion. I'm sure that when the number crunching for Sandy is done, we'll see similarly that the damage on the state level will grossly outweigh what any one state can recover from. Not to mention that when your devastation is so pervasive, the very infrastructure needed by first responders has been wiped out, necessitating an external solution. An emergency plan predicated on "send it back to the states" is nothing short of asinine.

    I also have crushing student loan debt and a medical condition that cost me the entirety of my meager savings while Bush was in office. I had friends senselessly sent to Iraq and I've got gay friends who want to get hitched. I also have lady parts and am not super fond of being told 1) what to do with them and 2) and how they work based on some sort of made-up bible anatomy hoo ha. Almost every aspect of this election affects me and mine and even if I was Romney rich, I could not in good conscience go the other way.

  • FrayedMachine

    It's really terrible. Admittedly I'm relatively young (only 25) but this is the first election that actually has me borderline dry heaving. It probably doesn't help that I re-read the Handmaid's Tale recently. Made any pre-existing anxieties I had go through the roof and surface a whole new slew of them. Ugh.

  • BabyBearStrikesAgain

    The Handmaid's Tale will haunt me for the rest of my life! Every time one of these assholes opens their mouth to talk about "legitimate" rape and all that crap I fear we're getting one step closer to that world.

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    My bookclub is re-reading The Handmaid's Tale for extra credit this month because there are parents in my local school district that think the book shouldn't be available to high school students, since it doesn't portray "Christianity" in a positive light. They are petitioning to have it removed from all libraries in the county. GAH!

    Off topic, but not really.

  • To be honest I'll be OK either which way. I'm a straight white male with a college degree, no kids, no debt, and a high-paying job in a high-growth field. But I was raised to have empathy for others and not be a "I've got mine" kind of guy, so I'm pretty invested in the outcome of this election.

  • NateMan

    As someone who falls into some of those same categories, particularly the white male state, I think having people like us admit there's more than our own personal comfort to think of is pretty important. So well said.

  • Frank Berrodin

    If Romney wins I will lose any faith in my nation to make informed, intelligent decisions.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    It's an extreme thing to say, but I really do feel the same. There is simply no rational reason to vote Romney.

  • FrayedMachine

    It's worse because it feels like everyone in supporting Romney have the world's shittiest attention spans and the worst memories. It's like everyone's completely forgotten about Bush.

    Ugh.

    Ugh.

    UGH.

  • Jezzer

    Oh, he's not forgotten. They're still in denial.

  • Groundloop

    "... leaving Pajiba in someone else’s hands (maybe you’d prefer that?)."

    BRING BACK MATT!!

    Oh. Wait...

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