Full Text Campaign Buzz May 12, 2012: Mitt Romney Delivers Commencement Address At Christian & Conservative Liberty University — Woos Evangeligals with Speech on Faith, Family Values & Spirituality

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger published by Facts on File, Inc. in 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Mitt Romney

(AP Photo)

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY GIVES COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS AT CHRISTIAN & CONSERVATIVE LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

Romney Woos Evangelicals at Liberty University: Speaking at Liberty University, Mitt Romney sought to quell concerns among evangelical voters by offering a forceful defense of Christian values and faith in public life…. – NYT, 5-12-12

 

  • Romney seeks evangelical votes; opposes gay marriage: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sought on Saturday to calm fears that his Mormon faith would be an obstacle to evangelical Christian voters, stressing shared conservative values while…. – Reuters, 5-12-12
  • Mitt Romney courts evangelicals at Liberty University: Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion has been a problem for some evangelicals. At conservative Liberty University Saturday, Romney stressed Christian values without mentioning his own faith, part of an apparently successful effort to win over evangelicals and other social conservatives…. – CS Monitor, 5-12-12
  • Mitt Romney delivers deeply spiritual address, but avoids his Mormonism, at Liberty University: Making by far his most spiritual speech of his presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney on Saturday offered a fierce defense of Judeo-Christian values and an America that he said “has trusted in God, not man.”… – WaPo, 5-12-12
  • Wooing evangelicals, Romney evokes faith and Christian traditions: Seeking to connect with the community of evangelicals that has been cold to his candidacy for many months, Mitt Romney delivered a commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday that delved deeply into his faith … LAT, 5-12-12
  • Romney addreses gay marriage issue at Liberty Univ, saying ‘one man and one woman’: Mitt Romney delivered a commencement speech Saturday at Liberty University in which he focused largely on a message of faith, family, hard work and service, but he also addressed the emerging same-sex marriage issue by saying “marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.”
    The remark drew a loud applause for the likely GOP presidential candidate who faced a big test in trying to win over evangelical voters…. Fox News, 5-12-12
  • Romney reaches out to evangelicals in Liberty speech: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reached out to evangelicals in a commencement speech at Liberty University Saturday that focused largely on the importance of faith and spirituality…. – USA Today, 5-12-12
  • Romney Urges Grads to Honor Family Commitments: Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has shaped his life, but he barely mentioned it as he spoke to graduates at an evangelical university Saturday…. – ABC News, 5-12-12
  • Mormon Romney delivers commencement speech at Baptist university: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney received applause from a crowd at Liberty University in Virginia when he stated that marriage should only be between a man and a woman…. – msnbc.com, 5-12-12
  • For Romney, speech at Christian college offers test: There are not many Mitt Romney fan clubs at Liberty University. The Lynchburg, Virginia, school, founded by the late television evangelist Jerry Falwell, is a bastion for conservative Christian thought…. – Reuters, 5-11-12

Mitt Romney Delivers Commencement Address At Liberty University

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 4-12-12

Location

Boston, MA

United States

Mitt Romney today delivered the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

For the graduates, this moment marks a clear ending and a clear beginning.  The task set before you four years ago is now completed in full.  To the class of 2012: Well done, and congratulations.

Some of you may have taken a little longer than four years to complete your studies.  One graduate has said that he completed his degree in only two terms:  Clinton’s and Bush’s.

In some ways, it is fitting that I share this distinction with Truett Cathy.  The Romney campaign comes to a sudden stop when we spot a Chick-fil-A.  Your chicken sandwiches were our comfort food through the primary season, and there were days that we needed a lot of comforting.  So, Truett, thank you and congratulations on your well-deserved honor today.

There are some people here who are even more pleased than the graduates.  Those would be the parents.  Their years of prayers, devotion, and investment have added up to this joyful achievement.  And with credit to Congressman Dick Armey:  The American Dream is not owning your own home, it is getting your kids out of the home you own.

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about life in four-year stretches.  And let’s just say that not everybody has achieved as much in these last four years as you have.

That’s a theme for another day. But two observations.  First, even though job opportunities are scarce in this economy, it is not for nothing that you have spent this time preparing. Jerry Falwell, Senior, long ago observed that “You do not determine a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.”  America needs your skill and talent.  If we take the right course, we will see a resurgence in the American economy that will surprise the world, and that will open new doors of opportunity for those who are prepared as you are.

Of course, what the next four years might hold for me is yet to be determined.  But I will say that things are looking up, and I take your kind hospitality today as a sign of good things to come.

I consider it a great life honor to address you today.  Your generosity of spirit humbles me.  The welcoming spirit of Liberty is a tribute to the gracious Christian example of your founder.

In his 73 years of life, Dr. Falwell left a big mark.  For nearly five decades he shared that walk with his good wife Macel.  It’s wonderful to see her today.  The calling Jerry answered was not an easy one.  Today we remember him as a courageous and big-hearted minister of the Gospel who never feared an argument, and never hated an adversary.  Jerry deserves the tribute he would have treasured most, as a cheerful, confident champion for Christ.

I will always remember his cheerful good humor and selflessness.  Several years ago, in my home, my wife and I were posing for a picture together with him.  We wanted him to be in the center of the photo, but he insisted that Ann be in the middle, with he and I on the sides.  He explained, by pointing to me and himself, “You see, Christ died between two thieves.”

Maybe the most confident step Jerry ever took was to open the doors of this school 41 years ago.

He believed that Liberty might become one of the most respected Christian universities anywhere on earth.  And so it is today.

He believed, even when the first graduating class consisted of 13 students, that year after year young Christians would be drawn to such a university in ever-greater numbers.  And here you are.

Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe.  You know who you are.  And you know Whom you will serve.  Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here.  Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.

That said, your values will not always be the object of public admiration.  In fact, the more you live by your beliefs, the more you will endure the censure of the world. Christianity is not the faith of the complacent, the comfortable or of the timid. It demands and creates heroic souls like Wesley, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, John Paul the Second, and Billy Graham. Each showed, in their own way, the relentless and powerful influence of the message of Jesus Christ.  May that be your guide.

You enter a world with civilizations and economies that are far from equal.  Harvard historian David Landes devoted his lifelong study to understanding why some civilizations rise, and why others falter.  His conclusion:  Culture makes all the difference.  Not natural resources, not geography, but what people believe and value. Central to America’s rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life.

The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the pre-eminence of the family.

The power of these values is evidenced by a Brookings Institution study that Senator Rick Santorum brought to my attention.  For those who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before they have their first child, the probability that they will be poor is 2%.  But, if those things are absent, 76% will be poor.  Culture matters.

As fundamental as these principles are, they may become topics of democratic debate.  So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage.  Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.

The protection of religious freedom has also become a matter of debate.  It strikes me as odd that the free exercise of religious faith is sometimes treated as a problem, something America is stuck with instead of blessed with.  Perhaps religious conscience upsets the designs of those who feel that the highest wisdom and authority comes from government.

But from the beginning, this nation trusted in God, not man.  Religious liberty is the first freedom in our Constitution.  And whether the cause is justice for the persecuted, compassion for the needy and the sick, or mercy for the child waiting to be born, there is no greater force for good in the nation than Christian conscience in action.

Religious freedom opens a door for Americans that is closed to too many others around the world.  But whether we walk through that door, and what we do with our lives after we do, is up to us.

Someone once observed that the great drama of Christianity is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations.  The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.  We’re not alone in sensing this.  Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.

And, in the way of lessons learned, by hitting the mark or by falling short, I can tell you this much for sure.

All that you have heard here at Liberty University – about trusting in God and in His purpose for each of us–makes for more than a good sermon.  It makes for a good life.  So many things compete for our attention and devotion.  That doesn’t stop as you get older.  We are all prone, at various turns, to treat the trivial things as all-important, the all-important things as trivial, and little by little lose sight of the one thing that endures forever.

No person I have ever met, not even the most righteous or pure of heart, has gone without those times when faith recedes in the busy-ness of life.  It’s normal, and sometimes even the smallest glimpses of the Lord’s work in our lives can reawaken our hearts.  They bring us back to ourselves – and, better still, to something far greater than ourselves.

What we have, what we wish we had – ambitions fulfilled, ambitions disappointed … investments won, investments lost … elections won, elections lost – these things may occupy our attention, but they do not define us.  And each of them is subject to the vagaries and serendipities of life.  Our relationship with our Maker, however, depends on none of this.  It is entirely in our control, for He is always at the door, and knocks for us.  Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God.  The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all, reserving the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.

Many a preacher has advised the same, but few as memorably as Martin Luther King, Jr.  “As a young man,” he said, “with most of my life ahead of me, I decided early to give my life to something eternal and absolute. Not to these little gods that are here today and gone tomorrow.  But to God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

In this life, the commitments that come closest to forever are those of family.

My Dad, George Romney, was a CEO, a governor, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.  My wife Ann asked him once, “What was your greatest accomplishment?”  Without a moment’s pause, he said, “Raising our four kids.”

Ann and I feel the same way about our family.  I have never once regretted missing a business opportunity so that I could be with my children and grandchildren.  Among the things in life that can be put off, being there when it matters most isn’t one of them.

As C.S. Lewis is said to have remarked, “The home is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose, and that is to support the ultimate career.”

Promotions often mark the high points in a career, and I hope I haven’t seen my last.  But sometimes the high points come in unexpected ways.  I was asked to help rescue the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I’m embarrassed now to recall that when this opportunity was first presented to me, I dismissed it out of hand.  I was busy, I was doing well, and, by the way, my lack of athletic prowess did not make the Olympics a logical step.  In fact, after I had accepted the position, my oldest son called me and said, “Dad, I’ve spoken to the brothers.  We saw the paper this morning.  We want you to know there’s not a circumstance we could have conceived of that would put you on the front page of the sports section.”

The Olympics were not a logical choice, but it was one of the best and most fulfilling choices of my life.  Opportunities for you to serve in meaningful ways may come at inconvenient times, but that will make them all the more precious.

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology.  Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.  The best case for this is always the example of Christian men and women working and witnessing to carry God’s love into every life – people like the late Chuck Colson.

Not long ago, Chuck recounted a story from his days just after leaving prison.  He was assured by people of influence that, even with a prison record, a man with his connections and experience could still live very comfortably.  They would make some calls, get Chuck situated, and set him up once again as an important man.  His choice at that crossroads would make him, instead, a great man.

The call to service is one of the fundamental elements of our national character.  It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.  Sometimes, as Dr. Viktor Frankl observed in a book for the ages, it is not a matter of what we are asking of life, but rather what life is asking of us.  How often the answer to our own troubles is to help others with theirs.

In all of these things – faith, family, work, and service –the choices we make as Americans are, in other places, not choices at all.  For so many on this earth, life is filled with orders, not options, right down to where they live, the work they do, and how many children the state will permit them to have.  All the more reason to be grateful, this and every day, that we live in America, where the talents God gave us may be used in freedom.

At this great Christian institution, you have all learned a thing or two about these gifts and the good purposes they can serve.  They are yours to have and yours to share.  Sometimes, your Liberty education will set you apart, and always it will help direct your path.  And as you now leave, and make for new places near and far, I hope for each one of you that your path will be long and life will be kind.

The ideals that brought you here … the wisdom you gained here … and the friends you found here – may these blessings be with you always, wherever you go.

Thank you all, and God bless you.

Campaign Buzz April 18, 2012: Mitt Romney Battles President Barack Obama on the Economy in North Carolina Pre-buttal Speech New NYT CBS News Poll Finds Economy Helping Romney

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Doubts on Economy May Give Romney Opening, Poll Finds

Source: NYT, 4-18-12

Mitt Romney spoke to supporters on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.

John Adkisson for The New York Times

Mitt Romney spoke to supporters on Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C.

Americans see improvement in the economy, but wariness about their own financial circumstances may help Mitt Romney’s campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Mitt Romney: President Obama “Has Failed By the measurements He Set”

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 4-18-12

Boston, MA, United States

“Virtually nothing the President has done, including his stimulus, which protected government but did not encourage the private sector, virtually nothing he has done has made it more likely for people to get jobs. And so, for three-and-a-half years, we’ve had unemployment above 8 percent. He set the measure; he has failed by the measurements he set. You won’t hear that at this convention, but you’re going to hear it at ours, I’ll tell you that.” – Mitt Romney

Remarks
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 18, 2012

Click Here To Watch To Mitt Romney Discuss President Obama’s Failures

MITT ROMNEY: “Virtually nothing the President has done, including his stimulus, which protected government but did not encourage the private sector, virtually nothing he has done has made it more likely for people to get jobs. And so, for three-and-a-half years, we’ve had unemployment above 8 percent. He set the measure; he has failed by the measurements he set. You won’t hear that at this convention, but you’re going to hear it at ours, I’ll tell you that. Now, you’re also not going to hear, at his convention, that he is on track to add almost as much public debt to this country as all the prior presidents combined. Even having been critical of President George W. Bush for the debt he added, which of course was far less than that which is being added by this president. You won’t hear that even though he’s been president for three-and-a-half years, he has yet to propose solutions to save Medicare and Social Security. You won’t hear that he’s the first president in modern history, in any history, to cut Medicare by $500 billion to pay for his vaunted Obamacare. You won’t hear him repeat an accurate statement. I have one… I actually have one in mind in particular, which was from his speech four years ago. I mean listen to this, this is what he said four years ago, and I wish he’d repeat this, and I’m going to change one name at the end. He says ‘Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home’s value plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit cards, bills you can’t afford to pay and tuition that’s beyond your reach. These challenges are not all of the government’s making, but the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of…’ Yeah, Barack Obama. I changed what word he had in there and put down Barack Obama. Those things he said about the prior administration are absolutely accurate about his administration and that’s why even if you like Barack Obama, we can’t afford Barack Obama. It’s time to get someone that’ll get this economy going and put the American people back to work with good jobs and rising incomes.”

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY’S PRE-BUTTAL TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IN NORTH CAROLINA — NEW POLL FAVORS ROMNEY ON THE ECONOMY

Scorching talk: Romney, Obama battle over economy: Their battle joined, challenger Mitt Romney savaged President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy on Wednesday while the commander in chief commiserated up close with victims of the recession and warned that Republicans would only make matters worse…. – AP, 4-18-12

  • Doubts on Economy Lending Appeal to Romney, Poll Finds: A rising number of Americans see improvement in the economy, but a persistent wariness about their own financial circumstances is allowing Mitt Romney to persuade voters that he could improve their economic prospects more than President Obama…. – NYT, 4-18-12
  • Romney ‘pre-buttal’ savages Obama on economy, Obama fights back: Romney delivered his scathing denunciation of the president’s policies. Aides dubbed his remarks a pre-buttal to the president’s own, and early-arriving partisans heard a recorded medley of rock music that included ‘It’s Still the Same…. – CS Monitor, 4-18-12
  • Romney hits Obama on economy; president says Republicans would make improving situation worse: Their battle joined, challenger Mitt Romney savaged President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy on Wednesday while the commander-in-chief commiserated up close with victims of the recession and warned that Republicans would only…. – WaPo, 4-18-12
  • Romney offers his pre-buttal to Obama: Stepping up his efforts to directly engage President Obama, Mitt Romney took his campaign to a rooftop in Charlotte on Wednesday overlooking the stadium where Obama will deliver his convention speech this summer…. – LAT, 4-18-12
  • Romney says Obama is ‘in over his head’: Mitt Romney slammed President Obama’s handling of the economy in remarks from Charlotte, where Democrats will formally nominate Obama for a second term. Obama is “in over his head, and he’s swimming in the wrong direction”…. – USA Today, 4-18-12

Campaign Headlines April 1, 2012: Mitt Romney’s staff pulls April Fools’ joke on candidate

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Romney’s staff pulls April Fools’ gag on candidate

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Chairman of the House Budget Committee, right, before speaking with supporters of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker at a phone bank during a campaign stop in Fitchburg, Wis., Saturday, March 31, 2012. The phone bank is used in support of Walker who is facing a recall election in June 2012. Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Chairman of the House Budget Committee, right, before speaking with supporters of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker at a phone bank during a campaign stop in Fitchburg, Wis., Saturday, March 31, 2012. The phone bank is used in support of Walker who is facing a recall election in June 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney may have forgotten that Sunday was April Fools’ Day.

His staff did not.

“This is a morning I’m not going to forget anytime soon,” Romney told supporters a little later in the day. “They turned me into the April fool this morning.”

Campaign workers took Romney to a room he thought was packed with supporters gathered for a pancake brunch. It was supposed to be his first campaign stop Sunday as he courted Wisconsin voters ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Romney said Rep. Paul Ryan walked out into the ballroom first and introduced Romney as he waited backstage with his newest supporter, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. There were the standard backstage cues for where to stand, along with Secret Service protection.

As Romney stood behind a black curtain, Ryan offered his usual enthusiastic endorsement, singing Romney’s praises as applause filtered backstage.

His staff warned him not to expect a big crowd. That was an understatement.

Finally, it was time for Romney and Johnson to step into the room.

“The two of us go out there, and it’s completely empty. There’s nobody there,” a smiling Romney said when his staff later brought him to the right room, where supporters had gathered, upstairs.

“Not only do they do that, but they caught it on camera,” Romney said. “This is known as forgive, but remember.”…READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz March 6, 2012: Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum’s Speech / Remarks to AIPAC American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference 2012 — Transcript Excerpts

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Rick Santorum delivers remarks at the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference (AFP, Karen Bleier)

Santorum at AIPAC: “If Iran Doesn’t Get Rid of Nuclear Facilities, We’ll Tear Them Down Ourselves”

Source: Rick Santorum, 3-6-12

On this all-important Super Tuesday, Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum stepped away from the campaign trail to personally address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, DC regarding the vital national security threat facing both the United States and Israel.

In his speech, Santorum said:

“This is a somewhat important day in my life today, but I wanted to come off the campaign trail to come here, because one of the reasons that I decided to run for president is because of the grave concern I have about the security of our country.”

“A nuclear Iran with a nuclear shield to project terror around the world is a nightmare for all freedom-loving people in the world.

“If Iran doesn’t get rid of nuclear facilities, we will tear down them ourselves.”

“This is not bellicosity and warmongering, this is preventing the most radical regime in the world from having a weapon that could fundamentally change the security posture” of “all freedom-loving people in the world.”

“Under a Santorum Administration, we would find no gap between Israel and the United States because our interests are united.”

“I’ve seen a president who has been reticent, he says he has Israel’s back. From everything I’ve seen from the conduct of this administration, he has turned his back on the people of Israel.”

History Op-eds February 17, 2012: Jules Witcover A brokered convention?

FEATURED HISTORIANS

A brokered convention?

The winnowing process in the Republican presidential nomination race has reduced the field to four candidates — Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich— each of whom has a legitimate rationale to keep going.Mr. Romney continues to have the most money and largest field organization. Mr. Santorum has recent, if modest, primary or caucus successes to sustain him. Mr. Gingrich has his immense ego and a rabid following to drive him on. And Mr. Paul has his own goal of advancing a libertarian strain in the Republican Party quite apart from achieving the nomination, and an idealistic and undaunted youth brigade behind him.

With Mr. Romney failing to gain clear majorities of voters in the contests to date, and with no message that seems to promise a broader constituency, there’s no reason for the other candidates to fold up. The free televised debates, though temporarily in suspension, will resume soon, enabling them to remain visible to millions of voters.

Between now and the next primaries in Arizona and Michigan on Feb. 28, the super-PACs supporting Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich can be expected to fire a host of negative advertising at Mr. Santorum. The latest New York Times/CBS News survey has him at 30 percent support to 27 percent for Mr. Romney, 12 percent for Mr. Paul and only 10 percent for Mr. Gingrich.

The former House speaker has been fading so fast that ordinarily a candidate in his straits would be expected to drop out soon. But Mr. Gingrich has vowed to stay in the race into the convention, and a combination of more impressive debate performances and his immense self-assurance could well keep him going.

So what happens if this quartet of presidential wannabes hangs in, with none of them catching fire but each of them picking up a share of the national convention delegates as the process proceeds? With many states allocating them in proportion to the percentage of votes won in the primaries and caucuses, split decisions in many states seem entirely possible….READ MORE

History Op-eds January 31, 2012: Noah Feldman: Historian-in-Chief Newt Gingrich Can’t Shake His Past

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Historian-in-Chief Gingrich Can’t Shake His Past: Noah Feldman

Source: Bloomberg, 1-30-12

I was driving when I heard the latest Republican front-runner intoning that “the centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky.” He went on from there, but I was already grinning from ear to ear. Newt Gingrich had me at Alinsky.

What excites me is not the preposterousness of the statement. No, there isn’t actually any conflict between the idea that America stands alone and the outlook of the proudly independent inventor of community organizing, who once said, “I’ve never joined any organization — not even the ones I’ve organized myself.” And, yes, the Tea Party is a perfect example of anarchic Alinskian organization. But those are just silly facts, not reasons for pure joy in the driver’s seat.

What I love was the absurdity of Newt Gingrich apparently believing that the name Saul Alinsky would have any kind of meaning to the Americans listening to him. Alinsky died in 1972. His 1971 book, “Rules for Radicals,” is a classic — but it is a cult classic, known largely to community organizers and the experts who study them. (Or it was: Thanks to Gingrich, the paperback became the No. 1 seller in Amazon.com’s “civics” category.)

Who believes it’s good campaign politics to attack a relatively unknown visionary who has been dead for 40 years? A historian, that’s who. Gingrich just can’t help himself. Sure, he wants to be president. But more than that, he wants to teach us some history.

A Critical Progressive

Gingrich would not be the first historian president. That distinction properly belongs to Theodore Roosevelt. While serving as governor of New York, Roosevelt wrote and published a full-dress biography of Oliver Cromwell, a book one reader called “a fine imaginative study of Cromwell’s qualifications for the governorship of New York.” Woodrow Wilson, so far the only president to hold a Ph.D., got his doctorate in political science and history. Gingrich, for his part, has the Ph.D. in history that Teddy lacked, not to mention more than two dozen published books. (Although his works of history, and several historical novels, have a co-author, William Forstchen.)

But the technicality of academic achievement is secondary to the question of Gingrich’s self-conception, which is as historical as it could be. Not only did he write his Tulane University dissertation on Belgian education policy in the colonial Congo, he also was hired as an assistant professor at West Georgia College to teach European history — a job he held for several years.

Gingrich’s files from his time at West Georgia, posted online by the Wall Street Journal, are telling. They begin with the wonderful moment in an importuning letter of application where he explains that, “I am more a critical progressive seeking reform rather than a new leftist.”…READ MORE

Campaign Buzz October 25, 2011: Republican Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry Unveils his “Cut, Balance and Grow” Flat Tax plan

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger to be published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas outlined his proposal for a 20 percent flat tax and deficit reduction plan at the ISO Poly Films factory in Gray Court, S.C. Tuesday.

Richard Ellis/Getty ImagesGov. Rick Perry of Texas outlined his proposal for a 20-percent flat tax and deficit reduction plan on Tuesday at the ISO Poly Films factory in Gray Court, S.C.

IN FOCUS: GOV. RICK PERRY UNVEILS HIS FLAT TAX PLAN

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry officially announces flat tax plan: In Greenville, South Carolina, Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry formally unveiled his economic plan Tuesday. The proposal includes long-held conservative goals, including personal accounts for Social Security, an optional flat tax, major spending cuts and a series of tax cuts.
The plan would dramatically reduce taxes, particularly on wealthy Americans and corporations. It would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, eliminate taxes on dividends and many capital gains and essentially cap individual tax rates at 20 percent.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 25, 2011: Republican Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry Unveils in a Speech his “Cut, Balance and Grow” Flat Tax plan in South Carolina — Transcript

Campaign Buzz October 25, 2011: Republican Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry Previews “Cut, Balance and Grow” Flat Tax plan — Wall Street Journal Op-ed

  • Perry calls for sweeping tax cuts, benefit changes: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry proposed dramatic tax and spending changes Tuesday, saying he would let Americans choose between a 20 percent flat tax and the current system, allow private Social Security accounts and slash government spending and regulation.
    Perry, seeking to regain the momentum he enjoyed in late August, said his plan would significantly spur economic growth. But analysts from the left and right said he would need draconian federal budget cuts to avoid massive deficits.
    In a pitch to conservatives, the Texas governor said his “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan was bolder than what his Republican rivals or President Barack Obama would do. His proposal calls for gradually increasing eligibility ages for Social Security and Medicare and for amending the Constitution to require balanced budgets…. – AP, 10-25-11
  • Perry Plan Would Grant Big Tax Break to Wealthiest: The plan, which includes a new flat tax, would eliminate capital gains taxes, and lower the rate richest Americans pay…. – NYT, 10-25-11
  • Perry Offers Plan to ‘Save Social Security’: Rick Perry offered his most detailed response yet to criticism that he views Social Security as a Ponzi scheme and spelled out changes to the federal retirement program…. – NYT, 10-25-11
  • Rick Perry unveils tax plan in bid to jump-start campaign: Returning to South Carolina, a state key to reviving his presidential candidacy, Gov. Rick Perry unveiled what he said was a “bold” tax plan to revive the nation’s economy.
    The Texas governor, speaking at the warehouse of a specialty plastics company south of Greenville, proposed a flat tax plan that critics said would worsen the federal deficit.
    Perry’s plan includes an optional 20% flat tax for individuals and corporations. But he would allow anyone to remain with the current tax system, insuring that no one’s taxes would go up and threatening to cut federal revenue by hundreds of billions of dollars a year…. – LAT, 10-25-11
  • Perry Wants Flat Tax With Some Popular Deductions: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry proposed a sweeping economic plan Tuesday that includes a flat tax proposal, private retirement accounts for Social Security, a lower corporate tax rate and reforms aimed at keeping Medicare…. – ABC News, 10-25-11
  • Rick Perry joins flat tax parade – a hot idea fresh from the 1860s: Rick Perry follows Herman Cain in proposing a flat tax. Ron Paul has endorsed the idea before, too. But the hot new idea among GOP presidential candidates is as old as the Civil War…. – CS Monitor, 10-25-11
  • Perry rolls out flat tax plan: Rick Perry, whose presidential campaign to date has largely focused on his accomplishments as Texas governor, expanded his scope Tuesday in South Carolina, where he formally unveiled a flat tax proposal designed to stimulate the economy and cut taxes…. – Politico, 10-25-11
  • Perry unveils flat-tax plan: Gov. Rick Perry this morning proposed a sweeping tax overhaul whose centerpiece is an optional, 20 percent flat tax on all income, plus a number of changes to Social Security and other entitlements…. – Austin American-Statesman, 10-25-11
  • Struggling Perry Proposes Flat Tax and Spending Plan: Gov. Rick Perry, struggling in the polls as he pursues the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, released a tax and spending reform plan today aimed at luring away business-minded voters from Mitt Romney and Tea Party…. – Texas Tribune, 10-25-11
  • Rick Perry lays out tax reform proposal calling for a 20% flat tax rate: Under Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s plan, taxpayers could pay the new 20% flat rate, or keep their current tax rate. Do you think Rick Perry’s flat tax proposal is a good solution for Americans? Republican hopeful Rick Perry laid out a tax plan…. – New York Daily News, 10-25-11
  • Perry Tax Cut Plan Offers Simplicity Layered Atop Complexity: Texas Governor Rick Perry’s flat-tax fiscal plan would provide broad tax cuts to households that embrace it while retaining the existing system’s complexity as a choice for others. The plan, announced today in a speech in South Carolina…. – San Francisco Chronicle, Bloomberg, 10-25-11
  • Rick Perry readies assault on Mitt Romney: The Rick Perry relaunch has finally arrived. After weeks battling questions about how he plans to salvage his listing presidential bid, the Texas governor has finally started spelling out an answer. It involves opening his $15 million campaign war chest, hitting Mitt Romney harder and moving to reclaim the role of the populist conservative outsider in the race.
    Perry will deliver a policy address Tuesday in South Carolina outlining his support for a national flat tax — a proposal that for the first time extends beyond his record in Texas. His campaign has reserved statewide television airtime in Iowa to start as early as this week…. – Politico, 10-25-11
  • Perry’s tax plan faces quick attack from Democrats: South Carolina Democrats today attacked GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry’s tax reform plan before his unveiling…. – Greenville News, 10-25-11

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 25, 2011: Republican Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry Unveils in a Speech his “Cut, Balance and Grow” Flat Tax plan in South Carolina — Transcript

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Gov. Rick Perry of Texas outlined his proposal for a 20 percent flat tax and deficit reduction plan at the ISO Poly Films factory in Gray Court, S.C. Tuesday.

Richard Ellis/Getty ImagesGov. Rick Perry of Texas outlined his proposal for a 20-percent flat tax and deficit reduction plan on Tuesday at the ISO Poly Films factory in Gray Court, S.C.

Gov. Rick Perry Unveils Plan to Cut Taxes and Spending, Balance the Budget and Grow the Economy

“Cut, Balance and Grow” plan offers optional 20% flat tax; cuts federal spending, repeals job-killing regulations, sets path to balanced budget

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Texas Gov. Rick Perry today unveiled his Cut, Balance and Grow plan, which provides taxpayers with the choice of a simple, 20 percent flat tax rate, cuts federal spending, ends earmarks and includes a federal Balanced Budget Amendment.  He announced his plan at ISO Poly Films near Greenville.

The governor’s plan addresses five primary areas of reform, which include replacing the current tax code with an optional 20 percent flat tax for individuals and corporations, simplifying our regulatory system by freezing new and auditing pending regulations, fixing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs, balancing the federal budget by 2020, and repealing job-killing federal laws like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and parts of Sarbanes-Oxley…. READ MORE

To view Gov. Perry’s entire Cut, Balance and Grow plan, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/cut-balance-and-grow-html/, and to view an outline of the plan, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/content/uploads/2011/10/Cut-Balance-and-Grow-Summary.pdf. To view a sample tax return, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/content/uploads/2011/10/sample-tax-return.pdf.

To view the governor’s remarks, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/news/text-of-gov-rick-perry-cut-balance-grow-speech/

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Text of Gov. Rick Perry’s Cut, Balance, Grow Speech

ISO Poly Films, Greenville, S.C., 10/25/11

*Gov. Perry sometimes deviates from prepared remarks

Thank you. It is great to be in the stomping grounds of a great conservative senator, Jim DeMint. I want to thank ISO Poly Films CEO John McClure for opening his business as we discuss my plan to get America working again.

Today I lay before the American People my cut, balance and grow plan. It cuts taxes and spending. It balances the budget by 2020. And it grows jobs and the economy.

It neither reshuffles the status quo, nor does it expand the ways Washington can reach into our pocketbooks.

It reorders the way they do business in Washington by reinventing the tax code and restoring our nation to fiscal health through balanced budgets and entitlement reform.

Central to my plan is giving every American the option of throwing out the three million words of the current tax code, and the costs of complying with that code, in order to pay a 20 percent flat tax on their income.

The size of the current code, which is more than 72,000 pages, is represented by this pallet and its many reams of paper.

The best representation of my plan is this post card, which taxpayers will be able to fill out to file their taxes.

Each individual taxpayer will have a choice: you can continue to pay taxes, as well as accountants and lawyers under the current system, or, you can file your taxes on a postcard, with deductions only for interest on a mortgage, charitable giving, and state and local tax payments.

Under my plan, you will no longer have to worry about paying taxes on social security when you retire, or your family members paying the death tax when you die. And you can wave goodbye to the capital gains tax, as well as the tax on dividends.

We will increase the standard exemption for individuals and dependents to $12,500, meaning families in the middle on the lower end of the economic scale will have the opportunity to get ahead. Taxes will be cut across all income groups in America. The net benefit will be more money in Americans’ pockets, with greater investment in the private economy instead of the federal government.

On the corporate tax side, I am offering equally bold reform. My plan closes corporate loopholes, ends the special breaks for special interests, and stops the gravy train of lobbyists and tax lawyers at the Washington trough.

In exchange for a corporate tax free of carve-outs and exclusions, I offer a much lower rate of 20 percent that represents the average corporate rate among the developed nations, and that will make our corporations more competitive on a global scale.

We will shut down the cottage industry of corporate tax evasion by creating a tax that is broad, fair and low.

And my plan offers incentives for corporations to invest in America again, with two major reforms. First, we will transition to a territorial tax system on corporate income earned overseas. This means companies pay the appropriate corporate tax in the country where income was earned, but aren’t taxed a second time when that income is moved back into the United States.

Second, for all corporate profits currently languishing overseas, I will offer a one-time reduced tax rate of five and a quarter percent for a limited period of time on repatriated earnings.

The U.S. Chamber estimates this one-time tax reduction would bring more than $1 trillion in capital back to the U.S, create up to 2.9 million jobs, and increase economic output by $360 billion.

In other words, it’s the kind of economic stimulus President Obama could have achieved if he wasn’t hell-bent on passing big government schemes that have failed American workers.

Today, America’s combined corporate tax rate of 39.2 percent is the second highest in the developed world. It is time to overhaul our tax code so companies like ISO Poly Films can invest more in their people and their products.

Tax rates have consequences. The liberals myopically ignore the realities of human nature. They think in raising rates they will raise revenue. But they don’t understand large employers have choices, as do wealthy individuals, and that includes moving money off-shore. When they try to take too much, they end up hurting the very people they seek to help: the working class.

We need tax policy that embraces the world as it is, and not what liberal ideologues wish it to be.

The goal of my cut, balance and grow plan is to unleash job creation to address the current economic crisis, while generating a stable source of revenue to address our record deficit and put our fiscal house in order.

My plan should not be viewed in a vacuum, but in comparison to the continuation of the status quo. It provides employers and investors certainty, which is critical to getting capital back into the economy. The president’s plan provides temporary tax relief, which does nothing to encourage long-term investment because it doesn’t provide the private sector certainty.

The way to stimulate the economy is not through temporary tax relief or government spending; it is to stimulate private spending through permanent tax relief.

The flat tax will unleash growth. But growth is not enough. We must put a stop to the entitlement culture that risks the financial solvency of this country for future generations.

The red flags are alarming. Our children are born into $46,000 of federal debt. Our credit was downgraded for the first time this past August, in part because of a lack of seriousness about deficit reduction. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, by year’s end our debt will exceed the size of America’s economy for the first time in 65 years. We are on the road to ruin paved by state serfdom.

Freeing our children from financial disaster requires the courage to reform entitlements. My plan establishes firm principles to preserve Medicare and Social Security for today’s beneficiaries, while saving it for tomorrow’s.

I am putting forward five principles to save Social Security for the long-term. First, we will protect existing benefits for current retirees, and work with Congress on the exact age where those nearing retirement are grandfathered out of changes to the program.

Second, we will end the current pillaging of the Social Security Trust Fund by Washington politicians. Here is the hard truth: the trust fund is full of IOU’s, without a single dime of money left over from what workers have paid in. The politicians have borrowed against it for years. And in order to redeem the IOU’s in the fund, they will have to either raise taxes or cut spending on other programs to replenish it.

Here is the other hard truth: if we don’t act, in 25 years benefits will be slashed 23 percent overnight. Protecting Social Security benefits begins with protecting the solvency of the fund, and stopping all current borrowing from the fund, just as we have done with the highway trust fund.

The third principle of reform is to allow young workers to invest a portion of their payroll taxes into private accounts if they so choose.

I am not naïve. I know this idea will be attacked. But a couple of facts are worth stating: one, the return on investment in Social Security is so small it is like an interest bearing savings account. Over the long-term, the markets generate a much higher yield.

Second, opposition to this simple measure is based on a simple supposition: that the people are not smart enough to look out for themselves. The liberals think the American people cannot be trusted to safeguard even a portion of their own retirement dollars. It is time to end the nanny state and empower our people to exercise greater control over their money.

The fourth principle is to return to pre-1983 law and allow state and local governments to newly opt out of Social Security and instead allow their employees to pay solely into state or locally run retirement programs. This has been done around the country, with better results. We ought to allow it again.

Lastly, we ought to work to raise the retirement age for younger workers – on a gradual basis – to reflect the longer life-span of today’s Americans. I will work with Congress to determine the right formula, beginning at the right age. But this is common sense, and it can help save Social Security for future generations.

We will also reform Medicare to save it for future generations of Americans.  We will do this by working with Congress on several options, including giving patients greater flexibility in choosing the plan that best fits their unique needs through bundled premium support payments to the individual, or as a credit against purchase of health insurance.

Second, we should look at gradually raising the age of Medicare eligibility. Third, we should consider adjusting Medicare benefits to be paid on a sliding scale based on the income of the recipient. And lastly, we must tackle the $100 billion in annual waste and fraud to save this valuable program as Americans live longer.

My plan also restructures Medicaid, returning control over the program and the dollars needed to administer it to states. One-size-fits-all health care doesn’t work for people on private plans in the form of Obamacare, and it doesn’t work with public plans, such as Medicaid. Washington has broken it, and shown no will to fix it. We must give state leaders the flexibility to fix Medicaid and control its costs.

These reforms are essential to balancing the budget. My plan balances the budget as fast as any serious plan offered, in the year 2020, with reforms to entitlements, with greater economic growth, and with cuts to discretionary spending.

I do not take the tack of the current President, with arbitrary cuts to defense spending. The question we must ask is not what we can afford to spend on our national defense, but what does it cost to keep America secure.

At the same time, we will reform the way we spend money in Washington so we can balance the budget in eight years. But to truly protect taxpayers, we need the extra protection of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution.

I will reduce spending in the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the EPA, and a whole host of other agencies, returning greater control to the states.

My plan reduces non-defense discretionary spending by $100 billion in year one, and builds on those savings in the years to come.

I will also institute several principle reforms to the budgetary process, which are contained in my Cut, Balance and Grow Plan on my website.

It is not the length of a “War and Peace” novel, and is easy to understand, yet bold in its approach.

Included in my budget reforms are elimination of baseline budgeting that assumes previous expenditures are sacrosanct, an end to non-emergency spending in emergency bills, and a permanent stop to “bridge to nowhere” projects through the elimination of earmarks. I will couple these budgetary reforms with an overhaul of the regulatory process.

When federal agencies like the NLRB are dictating to companies where they can create jobs and where they cannot, they have over-stepped their bounds and undermined our free market system. On my first day in office, I will freeze all pending federal regulations and immediately begin a review of all new regulations since January of 2008.

Today the Federal Register contains 165,000 pages. The index alone is eleven hundred pages long. And somehow, despite not having any of these new regulations for our first 219 years, America not only survived, we thrived.

The federal nanny state’s heavy-handed regulations are keeping our economy in the ditch. It is time to review and scrap regulations that harm jobs and growth.

Lastly, one of the greatest impediments to investment in America are the Dodd-Frank banking regulations, and I will lead the charge to eliminate them.

Dodd-Frank is killing small banks, and freezing access to credit just when small businesses need it most. It enshrines bailouts and the notion of “too big to fail” in federal law, benefitting Wall Street while killing Main Street. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. It must go.

My plan does not trim around the edges. And it does not bow down to the established interests. But it is the kind of bold reform needed to jolt this economy out of its doldrums, and renew American prosperity. Those who oppose it will wrap themselves in the cloak of the status quo.

America is under a crushing burden of debt, and the president simply offers larger deficits and the politics of class division. Others simply offer microwaved plans with warmed-over reforms based on current ingredients.

Americans, however, aren’t searching for a reshuffling of the status quo, which simply empowers the entrenched interests. This is a change election, and I offer a plan that changes the way Washington does business.

The great issue facing this nation is whether we have the courage to confront spending and the vision to get our economy growing again. We need a tax code that unleashes growth instead of preventing it; that promotes fairness, not class warfare; that sparks investment in America instead of overseas interests.

It is time to create incentives for American companies to invest in American workers. It is time to end the corporate loopholes, end the special tax breaks for special interests, end the gravy train for lobbyists and tax lawyers.

It is time to pass a tax that is flat and fair, that frees our employers and our people to invest, grow and prosper.

We will set our employers and our people free by slashing the cost of government, cutting taxes for middle class families, balancing our budget and growing our economy.

The future of America is too important to be left to the Washington politicians. To get America working again, we must cut taxes and spending, balance the federal budget, and grow our economy and jobs.

My plan unleashes American ingenuity for a new American Century.  Restores the hopes and dreams of our people. Renews our great promise. And entrusts the fate of this nation into the hands of our People, setting them free.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Campaign Buzz October 25, 2011: Republican Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry Previews “Cut, Balance and Grow” Flat Tax plan in Wall Street Journal Op-ed

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Rick Perry: My Tax and Spending Reform Plan

Individuals will have the option of paying a 20% flat-rate income tax and I’ll cap spending at 18% of GDP.

Source: WSJ, 10-25-11

The folks in Washington might not like to hear it, but the plain truth is the U.S. government spends too much. Taxes are too high, too complex, and too riddled with special interest loopholes. And our expensive entitlement system is unsustainable in the long run.

Without significant change quickly, our nation will go the way of some in Europe: mired in debt and unable to pay our bills. President Obama and many in Washington seem unable or unwilling to tackle these issues, either out of fear of alienating the left or because they want Americans to be dependent on big government.

On Tuesday I will announce my “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan to scrap the current tax code, lower and simplify tax rates, cut spending and balance the federal budget, reform entitlements, and grow jobs and economic opportunity.

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

This simple 20% flat tax will allow Americans to file their taxes on a postcard, saving up to $483 billion in compliance costs. By eliminating the dozens of carve-outs that make the current code so incomprehensible, we will renew incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking and investment that creates jobs, inspires Americans to work hard and forms the foundation of a strong economy. My plan also abolishes the death tax once and for all, providing needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.

My plan restores American competitiveness in the global marketplace and provides strong incentives for U.S.-based employers to build new factories and create thousands of jobs here at home.

First, we will lower the corporate tax rate to 20%—dropping it from the second highest in the developed world to a rate on par with our global competitors. Second, we will encourage the swift repatriation of some of the $1.4 trillion estimated to be parked overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%. And third, we will transition to a “territorial tax system”—as seen in Hong Kong and France, for example—that only taxes in-country income.

The mind-boggling complexity of the current tax code helps large corporations with lawyers and accountants devise the best tax-avoidance strategies money can buy. That is why Cut, Balance and Grow also phases out corporate loopholes and special-interest tax breaks to provide a level playing field for employers of all sizes.

To help older Americans, we will eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits, boosting the incomes of 17 million current beneficiaries who see their benefits taxed if they continue to work and earn income in addition to Social Security earnings.

We will eliminate the tax on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains to free up the billions of dollars Americans are sitting on to avoid taxes on the gain.

All of these tax cuts will be meaningless if we do not control federal spending. Last year the government spent $1.3 trillion more than it collected, and total federal debt now approaches $15 trillion. By the end of 2011, the Office of Management and Budget expects the gross amount of federal debt to exceed the size of America’s entire economy for the first time in over 65 years.

Under my plan, we will establish a clear goal of balancing the budget by 2020. It will be an extremely difficult task exacerbated by the current economic crisis and our need for significant tax cuts to spur growth. But that growth is what will get us to balance, if we are willing to make the hard decisions of cutting.

We should start moving toward fiscal responsibility by capping federal spending at 18% of our gross domestic product, banning earmarks and future bailouts, and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. My plan freezes federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced. And to fix the regulatory excess of the Obama administration and its predecessors, my plan puts an immediate moratorium on pending federal regulations and provides a full audit of all regulations passed since 2008 to determine their need, impact and effect on job creation.

ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley must be quickly repealed and, if necessary, replaced by market-oriented, common-sense measures.

America must also once and for all face up to entitlement reform. To preserve benefits for current and near-term Social Security beneficiaries, my plan permanently stops politicians from raiding the program’s trust fund. Congressional IOUs are no substitute for workers’ Social Security payments. We should use the federal Highway Trust Fund as a model for protecting the integrity of a pay-as-you-go system.

Cut, Balance and Grow also gives younger workers the option to own their Social Security contributions through personal retirement accounts that Washington politicians can never raid. Because young workers will own their contributions, they will be free to seek a market rate of return if they choose, and to leave their retirement savings to their dependents when they die.

Fixing America’s tax, spending and entitlement cultures will not be easy. But the status quo of byzantine taxes, loose spending and the perpetual delay of entitlement reform is a recipe for disaster.

Cut, Balance and Grow strikes a major blow against the Washington-knows-best mindset. It takes money from spendthrift bureaucrats and returns it to families. It puts fewer job-killing regulations on employers and more restrictions on politicians. It gives more freedom to Americans to control their own destiny. And just as importantly, the Cut, Balance and Grow plan paves the way for the job creation, balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility we need to get America working again.

Mr. Perry, a Republican, is the governor of Texas and a candidate for president.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 14, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate Gov. Rick Perry’s Speech on “Energizing American Jobs and Security” Plan

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Gov. Perry’s “Energizing American Jobs and Security” Plan Will Spark 1.2 Million Jobs, Reduce Dependence on Hostile Foreign Oil

Source: RickPerry.org, 10-14-11

As President Obama kills domestic jobs through aggressive regulations, Perry plan adds 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home

Gov. Rick Perry today unveiled his Energizing American Jobs and Security plan to spark 1.2 million American jobs, while reducing our nation’s dependence on energy from nations hostile to the U.S. Most of the plan can be implemented through executive branch action, without Congressional action and free of Washington gridlock. Gov. Perry announced his plan at the United States Steel Mon Valley Irvin Plant.

Gov. Perry’s full plan can be viewed at http://www.rickperry.org/energizing-american-jobs-html.

“This American jobs plan is based on a simple premise: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world,” said Gov. Perry. “We are standing atop the next American economic boom – energy – and the quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy. But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down.”

Gov. Perry’s Energizing American Jobs and Security plan is the first part of a broader package of economic reforms that he will present to the American people in the coming days. It will create jobs in every sector, reduce our nation’s dependence on hostile foreign oil, revitalize manufacturing and help contain the cost of electricity and fuel.

First, Gov. Perry will open several American energy fields for exploration that are currently limited, including those in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, the Mountain West region and the Northeast Marcellus Shale. These actions will generate billions of dollars in royalty payments that will help pay down our nation’s skyrocketing deficit. Perry also supports the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that will transport Canadian oil to U.S. coastal refineries.

The governor also noted the importance of having the states more involved in energy exploration, including decisions to not pursue development in certain valuable areas such as the Everglades or Yellowstone National Park. However, such instances should represent the exception, not the rule.

Second, the governor’s plan will eliminate activist regulations that are on the books and under consideration by the Obama Administration, which are estimated to destroy up to 2.4 million American jobs and add $127 billion in costs to electric providers and consumers. President Rick Perry will call for immediate review of such rules and implementation of cost-benefit analyses to determine their impact on American employers and the environment.

“If we face the facts, we know that none of these rules were needed to reduce emissions of the six principal pollutants by 50 percent since 1980,” Gov. Perry said. “And they are not needed now, especially as our economy hangs in a fragile balance between recovery and recession.”

The governor will also specifically remove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gases, which was provided under a controversial ruling by a federal court without the approval of Congress.

Third, Gov. Perry pledged to work with Congress to dismantle the EPA in its current state and rebuild a scaled down agency focused on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations. He said, “I reject the notion that Washington is more committed to environmental stewardship than state and local officials who must live with the consequences of their own environmental policies.”

Lastly, Gov. Perry will level the playing field among all energy producers, working with Congress to phase out direct subsidies and tax credits that distort the energy marketplace. He will however preserve tax incentives for research and development. Gov. Perry will also put an end to the Obama Administration’s agenda-driven hostility toward coal and natural gas, which provide roughly two-thirds of American electricity, noting that technologies in place today and currently under development can ensure cleaner development of conventional sources.

“I do not accept the false choice that we must pick between energy and the environment,” the governor said. “It is time for a balanced, pro-American, pro-jobs energy policy.

“The choice in this election is between two very different visions for our country. When it comes to energy, the president would kill domestic jobs through aggressive regulations, while I would create 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home. President Obama would keep us more dependent on hostile sources of foreign energy, while my plan would make us more secure by tapping America’s true energy potential. The president’s energy policies are driven by the concerns of activists in his party, while my policies are driven by the concerns of American workers without jobs.”

Gov. Perry concluded, “It’s time to end the over-regulation, excess litigation, and bureaucratic intimidation. Let’s get back to what works to get America working again: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.”

Gov. Perry has a proven record of upholding responsible energy production while protecting both jobs and the environment. Rick Perry’s Texas is the nation’s number one job creator and number one energy producer, while successfully cleaning the air. Texas has reduced NOX emissions by 58 percent and ozone by 27 percent since 2000, more than any other state.

A summary of Gov. Perry’s “Energizing America: Jobs and Security” plan can be viewed at http://www.rickperry.org/energizing-american-jobs-and-security-summary and the full plan can be viewed at http://www.rickperry.org/energizing-american-jobs-html.

To view the governor’s remarks, please visit http://www.rickperry.org/news/pittsburg-gov-rick-perrys-full-remarks-on-energizing-american-jobs/.

 

Pittsburgh: Gov. Rick Perry’s Full Remarks on Energizing American Jobs

October 14, 2011 – U.S. Steel Mon Valley Irvin Plant, Pittsburgh

Thank you for joining me today. I want to say a special thanks to Jim Garraux and the men and women of US Steel for having us here today. It is great to be on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, a city built on the work, hopes and dreams of blue-collar American workers.

The central issue facing Americans is a lack of jobs.

Fourteen million Americans are without work. One in six Americans cannot find a full-time job.  Forty-five million Americans are on food stamps. And 48 percent of American households have at least one resident receiving government benefits.

Though our president has labeled Americans as soft, I believe our people have toughed it out the best they can. But they are looking for leadership and optimism, which are all too rare in Washington today.

What I am proposing today is the first part of an economic growth package that will rebuild the engine of American prosperity.

The plan I present this morning, Energizing American Jobs and Security, will kick-start economic growth and create 1.2 million jobs.

It can be implemented quicker and free of Washington gridlock because it doesn’t require congressional action. Through a series of executive orders, and other executive actions, we will begin the process of creating jobs soon after the inauguration of a new president.

There is, of course, an important role for Congress to play. And in a matter of days I will offer to the American people a broader package of economic reforms that I will take to Congress when I am elected President. My complete economic growth package will tackle tax reform, entitlement reform and real spending reductions in order to address our growing debt crisis.

But today I offer a plan that will create more than a million good, American jobs across every sector of the economy and enhance our national security, and the best news is it can be set in motion in my first 100 days.

My plan is based on this simple premise: Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.

We are standing atop the next American economic boom…energy.

The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy. But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down.

My plan will break the grip of dependence we have today on foreign oil from hostile nations like Venezuela and unstable nations in the Middle East to grow jobs and our economy at home.

America has proven but untapped supplies of natural gas, oil and coal. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal with 25 percent of the world’s supply. Our country contains up to 134 billion barrels of oil and nearly 1.2 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas.

We have the resources we need to fuel our cars, our homes and our power plants. They can be found in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Alabama, Kentucky throughout the American West and, of course, Alaska.

But President Obama and his over-reaching Environmental Protection Agency won’t allow American businesses and American labor to draw on even a fraction of this domestic energy from reserves on government-owned lands.

On one hand, the Obama Administration opposes fossil fuel development at home, and then on the other hand encourages countries like Brazil to drill offshore and sell it to American consumers, creating foreign jobs and foreign profits

That’s wrong. That’s hypocritical. That’s unfair. America should not be, and when I am president will not be, held hostage by foreign oil and federal bureaucrats.

The American economy should not be beaten into the ground when greater energy independence and lower energy costs lie right under American soil.

My plan will create jobs in every sector, revitalize manufacturing, and contain the cost of electricity and fuel through four concrete actions.

First, we will open several American oil and gas fields for exploration that are currently off limits because of political considerations. The current administration has restricted exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and the mid-Atlantic.

In the Gulf of Mexico, the median time for review of permits for combined deepwater exploration and development has increased 400 percent, while deepwater exploration and development plan approvals have dropped by nearly 80 percent.

The Department of Interior has stopped off-shore exploration off the coast of Virginia over the objections of the Virginia congressional delegation, which has passed a bill in the House to achieve the will of their people. That bill is also supported by their Democratic senators, Webb and Warner.

With a series of executive orders and other executive actions, I will authorize the following:

I will work to open up Alaska’s abundant resources to oil and gas exploration, including the ANWR Coastal Plain and the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska. In this one instance, we will need congressional authorization. But it is worth it when you consider we will create 120,000 jobs.

We will initiate off-shore exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas off the northern and western coasts of Alaska. This will create 55,000 jobs.

We will resume pre-Obama levels of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and create another 230,000 jobs.

I will support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to take Canadian Crude to coastal refineries, which would create 20,000 direct jobs for American workers.

We will begin tapping the energy potential of the American West, opening up federal and private lands for exploration in states like Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado and Utah. Collectively, our western states have the potential to produce 1.3 million barrels of oil per day by 2020 and contain 87 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

They can produce more energy than what we import from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela and Russia combined!

And right here in Pennsylvania, and across the state line in West Virginia and Ohio, we will tap the full potential of the Marcellus Shale and create another 250, 000 jobs by getting the EPA out of the way.  While Marcellus shale is today’s opportunity, the deeper Utica shale formations offer equally vast potential with more jobs over the horizon for Pennsylvania and its neighbors.

The benefits of the boom in American natural gas production are also demonstrated in manufacturing and production. We see that right here at U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley Works Plant that employs more than three thousand workers, many of whom make the steel products other companies use to develop the Marcellus Shale today.

The face of manufacturing in industrial states has changed rapidly. Natural gas exploration is a game-changer that can bring new opportunities to replace the ones that have been lost. Development of natural gas will create jobs in the supply chain and lead to lower energy costs for manufacturers.

Western Pennsylvania is known for producing great quarterbacks I want Western Pennsylvania to Quarterback a new energy revolution that creates jobs all across America.

Not only will we create jobs by expanding energy exploration, we will use the revenues generated to pay down the deficit.

At the same time, where America has ecological treasures, like the Everglades or Yellowstone National Park, we will not explore for energy.

As we roll back federal control, we seek greater cooperation with the states. And if states oppose energy exploration, we will respect that decision. But these instances represent the exception, not the rule.

It is equally important that we take a second step: eliminate activist regulations already on the books and under consideration by the Obama Administration.

While President Obama has been very public about his newest jobs proposal, behind the scenes the permanent bureaucracy is working to grind the economy to a halt in pursuit of activist regulations. A raft of new rules and foot-dragging by the EPA and Interior Department are killing job creation.

Examples include the Utility Maximum Available Control Technology rule, the Boiler MACT rule, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule, the proposed Coal Combustion Residuals regulation and Section 316 (b) of the Clean Water Act.

These new rules alone could destroy up to 2.4 million American jobs by 2020 and add $127 billion in costs to electric providers and consumers. Under my plan, each of these rules would be subject to an immediate review with a cost-benefit analysis to determine the impact on American employers and the environment.

If we face the facts, we know that none of these rules were needed to reduce emissions of the six principal pollutants by 50 percent since 1980. And they are not needed now, especially as our economy hangs in a fragile balance between recovery and recession.

I will take another step important to economic growth: I will stop the EPA’s draconian measures related to the regulation of greenhouse gases.

When you consider that any carbon reduction will be offset by the increase of carbon emissions by developing nations like China and India, the EPA would tie our economy in knots and advantage our global competitors while realizing no global environmental benefits in the process.

The third part of my plan is to reform the bureaucracy, in particular the EPA, so that it focuses on regional and cross-state issues, providing scientific research, as well as environmental analysis and cost-comparison studies to support state environmental organizations. We will return greater regulatory authority to the states to manage air and water quality rather than imposing one-size-fits-all federal rules.

I reject the notion that Washington is more committed to environmental stewardship than state and local officials who must live with the consequences of their own environmental policies.

The fourth component of my plan is to level the competitive playing field among all energy producers.

As the governor of the nation’s leading producer of wind energy, I clearly believe there is an important role for green sources of energy as a part of our generation mix. The fact is, every energy producer receives incentives and subsidies that cost taxpayers and distort the marketplace.

My plan will stop the practice of Washington writing subsidy checks to any and all sectors of the energy industry. It will also stop industry-specific tax credits, phasing out both over a period of time, allowing the market time to adjust.

We will, however, preserve tax incentives for research and development.

We believe the best way to invest in emerging technology is to allow private industry the freedom to develop it. The shocking reality concerning Obama energy policy is high energy prices are not an accident, but intentional.

From an energy secretary who said he wanted European prices for fuel, to a president who said it was necessary to raise the price of electricity, this Administration has intentionally sought to make conventional generation from coal and natural gas more costly, taking more out of the pockets of American families.

And the reason why is they want to drive consumers to green energy. But we don’t produce enough green energy to fill the void, so the result is greater reliance on foreign sources of energy.

Increasing the use of green energy is a laudable goal. We have done it successfully in my state. But we have used renewable sources to expand the energy supply not replace conventional generation.

Natural gas and coal are responsible for roughly two-thirds of the electricity generated in this country. How can we have stable and affordable electricity when federal agencies target America’s top two fuel generation sources for electricity?

Hostility to coal is not confined to this Administration, it has wrongly been targeted by some members of my own party. I take a different view: I welcome the continued development of coal as an important part of job creation in America. Allowing industry to invest in research and development is the best way to pursue clean coal technology.

I do not accept the false choice that we must pick between energy and the environment. It is time for a balanced, pro-American, pro-jobs energy policy.

Technologies in place today, and under development, can ensure cleaner development of conventional sources.

The EPA’s war on American fossil fuel production comes despite the fact they can’t point to a single incident of unsafe hydraulic fracturing of natural gas. If they have their way in shutting down gas and coal production, the Obama legacy will be more than 2.4 million energy jobs lost in oil, gas and coal.

The choice this election is between two very different visions for our country.

When it comes to energy, the President would kill domestic jobs through aggressive regulations, while I would create 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home.

President Obama would keep us more dependent on hostile sources of foreign energy, while my plan would make us more secure by tapping America’s true energy potential.

His energy policies are driven by the concerns of activists in his party, my policies are driven by the concerns of American workers without jobs.

We must get America working again. A big part of the solution is under our feet and off our coast.

It can be done without being mired in Washington gridlock, because a president has all the authority he needs to rollback intrusive regulations, create energy jobs, and make our nation more secure.

Creating jobs in America is as simple as changing presidents. That is the choice facing Americans.

America needs jobs. America needs energy. America needs a “made in America” energy revolution.

I have the long-time experience and track record of success in this critical area for American jobs and economic growth to create a new wave of American independence – energy independence.

End the over-regulation. End the excess litigation. End the bureaucratic intimidation. Let’s get back to what works to get America working again.

Make what Americans buy, buy what Americans make, and sell it to the world.

Full Text Campaign Buzz October 7, 2011: GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina

 CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Text of Mitt Romney’s Speech on Foreign Policy at The Citadel

Source: WSJ, 10-7-11

Here is the text of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on foreign policy as prepared for delivery Friday at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.:

Mr. Romney: It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.

And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.

Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes.  Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism.  And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.

Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel.  That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.

This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.

The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.

As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty.  America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.

Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.

Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.

What kind of world will we be facing?

Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz?  In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.

By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?

In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?

Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?

China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?

Russia is at a historic crossroads.  Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?

To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?

Our border with Mexico remains an open sore.  Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?

This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.

But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.

Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.

But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.

God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.

Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.

Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”

I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.

But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.

I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.

Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined.  What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other.  To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.

It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.

When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats.  Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.

First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.

Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.

The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.

The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.

And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.

There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.

Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values.  Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.

As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy.  I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts.  Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.

My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.

First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.

Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.

Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves.  If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.

Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters.  Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached.  And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.

In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.

Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense.  I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15.  I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.

I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.

I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.

I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.

I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban.  I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders.  The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.

And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom.  And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.

This is America’s moment.  We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.

I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.

You have that President today.

The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.

The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.

Believe in America.

Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.

Campaign Buzz October 4, 2011: NJ Gov. Chris Christie Announces He Will Not Run for President as a Republican President Candidate — Speech Excerpts

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

christiepointstoleft.JPG
Andrew Mills/The Star-LedgerGov. Chris Christie announced today he will not run for president.

IN FOCUS: NJ GOV CHRIS CHRISTIE ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AS A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IN 2012

Chris Christie: “Now is not my time”: “In the end, what I’ve always felt was the right decision remains the right decision today. I have a commitment to New Jersey that I will not abandon. New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me.
The deciding factor was it did not feel right to me, in my gut, to leave now when the job is not finished…
“Can you imagine? The guy would probably want to get a food taster….
not going to preclude any employment in the future….
The country will be better if President Obama is a one-termer….
I’m not particularly self-conscious about this. It’s not a news flash to me that I’m overweight…
The people who wrote [that] are ignorant people. To say that because you are overweight you are therefore undisciplined—I don’t think undisciplined people get to achieve great positions in our society.” — Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie will not seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, according to a source familiar with the governor’s thinking.
Christie will announce his plans at a press conference at 1:00 p.m. ET today.

  • Chris Christie Will Not Seek Presidency, Advisers Confirm: Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has decided not to seek the presidency, according to two sources who were told of his decision.
    Mr. Christie is scheduled to announce his decision at a news conference in the state capital at 1 p.m. But two sources said Tuesday morning that the governor will not pursue the Republican nomination.
    The decision ends a late flurry of indecision on the part of Mr. Christie, who had been encouraged by a growing number of Republican donors and activists who had hoped he would add his name to the field of candidates vying to challenge President Obama…. – NYT, 10-4-11
  • Factbox: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will not jump into the 2012 presidential race, a high-level Republican source said. Republicans and deep-pocketed businessmen have for weeks been urging Christie to run for the Republican nomination…. – Reuters, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie: “Now is not my time”: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced Tuesday that he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination, saying that while he thought seriously about entering the presidential race, “now is not my time.”
    Christie said he made his final decision last night and told his allies this morning. He said he went to the bed last night “knowing exactly what I wanted to do” for the first time in weeks…. – CBS News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie Not Running for President: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not run for president, according to a source with direct knowledge of the governor’s thinking.
    By deciding not to run, Christie is refusing the pleas of many establishment Republicans who have been urging him – even pleading with him – to jump into the race. Dozens of high-level GOP donors have been paying visits to Christie since the spring in the hopes of changing his mind.
    But the governor spent months saying the same thing in myriad ways: “no.”… – ABC News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie won’t run for president: Now what?: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie decision not to run for president almost certainly means that the 2012 Republican presidential field is set, news that some donors and party activists may greet grimly. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won’t run for president…. – WaPo, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie wont seek presidency in 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has decided against entering the race for president, likely ending once and for all the GOP establishment’s hope for a new candidate in the 2012 race. Christie has scheduled a 1 pm press conference in his state’s capital…. – Politico, 10-4-11
  • Does Christie’s Exit Mean the Boomlet Boom Is Finally Over?: The Chris Christie boomlet is over. Now, let’s get down to business and have a campaign. There are just three months to go before the first primaries of 2012. It’s time, Republicans say, to end the Groundhog Day-like cycle of potential candidates…. – The Atlantic, 10-4-11
  • Gov. Chris Christie to announce he is not running for president – live coverage: Gov. Chris Christie is holding a press conference today to announce he is not running for president…. – The Star-Ledger, 10-4-11
  • Christie Won’t Run: The media-generated bubble that Chris Christie might jump into the presidential race has suddenly popped, with the New Jersey governor staying where he’s been all along: on the sidelines…. – msnbc.com, 10-4-11
  • EJ Dionne, Jr: Chris Christie makes the right call: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made the right decision just in time. He was getting past the point when people (especially his opponents) would start asking: If he is this indecisive about whether he wants to run for president…. – WaPo, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie and the cult of governors as presidential candidates: So the breathless speculation about a Chris Christie presidential bid is finally over (unless things look bad for the Republicans a few months from now). What has received little notice, perhaps because the phenomenon is taken for granted…. – LAT, 10-4-11
  • Christie: Man Up And Don’t Call Him A Candidate: Presidential flirt Chris Christie won’t be the belle of the 2012 presidential ball – the New Jersey governor will announce today that he won’t seek the White House. Christie is set to break the news – and disappoint some party mandarins … – New York Daily News, 10-4-11
  • Chris Christie 2012 Decision: New Jersey Governor Reportedly Not Running: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) is holding a press conference in his home state on Tuesday at 1:00 pm ET. It is widely expected that Christie will announce he will not seek his party’s presidential nomination in 2012. … – Huffington Post – Star Ledger, 10-4-11

Political Buzz September 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech to Joint Session of Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan with Payroll Tax Cuts — Obama Sarcastically Challenges Congress to Pass American Jobs Act — Michele Bachmann Responds

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy, Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT OBAMA ADDRESS UNVEILS $450 BILLION JOBS LAN WITH PAYROLL TAX CUTS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS

President Obama to unveil nearly $450 billion jobs program: In a speech tonight before Congress, President Obama will propose a nearly $450 billion program of tax cuts and new government spending aimed at energizing the country’s stalling economic recovery, the Associated Press reported.
Congressional officials and others outside the White House say the plan would increase and extend a payroll tax cut for workers and employers, AP reported. The initiative, which faces a tough fight in Congress, comes amid mounting concerns that the U.S. economy is slipping back into recession and as Obama’s approval rating has tumbled to new lows, barely more than a year before he faces re-election.

“The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy, whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.” — President Barack Obama

“Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.” — President Barack Obama

“The only thing we can do restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everyone’s money, let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own.” — President Barack Obama

“These are real choices we have to make. And I’m pretty sure I know what most Americans would choose. It’s not even close.” — President Barack Obama

“I know some of you have sworn oaths never to raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away.” — President Barack Obama

“There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans.” — — President Barack Obama

“Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers. But we can help. We can make a difference. There are steps we can take right now to improve people’s lives.” — President Barack Obama

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration. We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well. It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement

“This package of common-sense, bipartisan proposals will present a litmus test to Republicans. I hope they will show the American people that they are more interested in reating jobs than defeating President Obama.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement

“This wasn’t at the behest of Congress. This is the president who called 535 members back to hear what I believe was nothing more than a political speech….
This is a speech that we got, and the Congressional Budget Office has said it is impossible for them to score a speech. So we don’t know the details, but I’m clearly disappointed by what I heard tonight.” — Rep. Michele Bachmann

Full Text September 8, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Address to Joint Session of Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript), 9-8-11

Full Text September 8, 2011: Rep. & Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann’s Response to President Barack Obama’s Joint Address to Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript), 9-8-11

Live Blog: President Obama’s Address on Job Creation to a Joint Session of Congress ABC News, 9-8-11

    • Factbox: Key elements of Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan: President Barack Obama proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending measures on Thursday aimed at spurring growth and hiring. Here are some of the key elements of his American Jobs Act, which he announced to a rare joint session of Congress:

      EMPLOYEE PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
      EMPLOYER PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
      HOUSING
      EXTENDING 100 PERCENT COMPANY EXPENSING INTO 2012
      $85 BLN IN AID FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
      ROAD, RAIL AND AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
      INFRASTRUCTURE BANK
      EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, BRIDGE TO WORK

      …. – Reuter, 9-8-11

    • Will Obama’s jobs plan work? Politico Arena, 9-8-11
    • Obama Challenges Congress on Job Plan: Mixing politically moderate proposals with a punchy tone, President Obama challenged lawmakers on Thursday to “pass this jobs bill” — a blunt call on Congress to enact his $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending designed to revive a stalling economy as well as his own political standing.
      Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Obama ticked off a list of measures that he emphasized had been supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the past. To keep the proposals from adding to the swelling federal deficit, Mr. Obama also said he would set his sights on a more ambitious target for long-term reduction of the deficit.
      “You should pass this jobs plan right away,” the president declared over and over in his 32- minute speech that eschewed Mr. Obama’s trademark oratory in favor of a plainspoken appeal for action — and a few sarcastic political jabs…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • In jobs speech, Obama urges passage of $447 billion package: In a last-gasp attempt to jolt the economy and his reelection prospects, President Barack Obama on Thursday put forward a $447 billion jobs package, challenging Congress to shut down the “political circus” and pass his bill as soon as possible.
      After three weeks of buildup, Obama delivered the speech amid high stakes, potentially one of his last major opportunities to wrest the economic debate back from Republicans and reenergize the economy after months of sputtering growth. But expectations that the entirety of his plan would prove palatable to the Republican-controlled House remained low.
      Obama disregarded that political reality and called on Congress to approve his American Jobs Act “right away,” a phrase he repeated eight times in the 34-minute speech. Speaking with an urgent, clipped tone, he pit lawmakers against their constituents, saying Americans couldn’t wait while Washington played games…. – Politico, 9-8-11
    • Jobs speech response: Michele Bachmann says Obama ‘politically paralyzed’: Rep. Michele Bachmann accused President Barack Obama of being “politically paralyzed” and urged lawmakers not to pass the jobs proposal she charged was nothing more than a campaign tactic…. – Politico, 9-8-11
    • Analysis: Among the jobs Obama hopes to save is his own: Among the jobs President Obama hopes to save with Thursday night’s proposals to a Joint Session of Congress is his own. There are no guarantees that the $447 billion American Jobs Act will be enacted, or that it would significantly reduce unemployment if it were. But the package of payroll tax relief, extended jobless benefits, and funding to repair schools, fix roads and keep teachers working at the minimum gives Obama a plan to extol — and to batter a “do nothing” Congress with if it fails to act. He exhorted Congress to “pass this jobs bill” or “pass it right away” 16 separate times. And he said the word “jobs” 37 times in 34 minutes…. – USA Today, 9-8-11
    • Obama’s Bid to Spur Growth President Asks Congress for $447 Billion In Cuts, Spending; Tepid GOP Response: Only part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act is likely to pass Congress in the end, with the final tab closer to $150 billion than the $447 billion the president has proposed, WSJ’s David Wessel tells Simon Constable. Photo: Getty Images.
      President Barack Obama called on Congress Thursday to pass a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts to boost economic growth, in what might be the White House’s last chance to revive its political fortunes before the 2012 campaign kicks into high gear.
      The president’s plan, unveiled in a speech to a joint session of Congress, is an attempt to wrest the initiative in Washington’s protracted debate about fiscal policy. Both parties emerged from the debt-ceiling fight this summer with their approval ratings heading south as the economy stalled with the unemployment rate stuck above 9%.
      In one sense, the jobs plan is in part a political strategy designed to give Mr. Obama room to campaign against Congress if lawmakers don’t act. White House officials say they don’t expect Congress to pass much of the proposal, which they say was constructed from policies that have previously won bipartisan support—a point Republicans dispute…. – WSJ, 9-8-11
    • Small Business Is Focus of Tax Cuts: President Barack Obama’s new jobs plan seeks to coax wary employers to invest and hire more by slicing their share of payroll taxes next year. But while the payroll-tax cuts figure to appeal to Republican lawmakers…. – WSJ, 9-8-11
    • Obama Prods Congress to Pass $450B Jobs Package ‘Right Away’: President Obama urged Congress to pass a new jobs bill, which includes plans to expand a payroll tax cut, in an address to Congress. “This plan is the right thing to do right now,” the president said…. – PBS Newshour, 9-8-11
    • Obama to Congress: Americans want action now on jobs: President Obama urged Congress to end the “political circus” and act to help a nation still facing economic hardship, outlining a $447-billion legislative package that includes tax cuts for working families and small businesses and spending to rebuild infrastructure.
      The president, in a Thursday evening address to lawmakers in a special joint session, argued that there “is nothing controversial” about his plan – though the price tag was larger than expected, and, perhaps, more than Republicans in Congress will seriously consider.
      Obama acknowledged the political prism through which his speech was being viewed. His approval rating is at or near the low point of his presidency, and the Republican campaign to unseat him is in full swing…. – LAT, 9-8-11
    • Obama Urges Congress to Pass $450 Billion Jobs Plan ‘Right Away’: Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama on Thursday night implored Congress to pass a $450 billion jobs plan that he says will give an array of tax cuts to small businesses that hire while reforming the corporate tax code and investing in infrastructure projects.
      In a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress, Obama repeatedly called on lawmakers to pass his plan “right away,” saying “there should be nothing controversial” about the American Jobs Act. Obama said all the proposals are paid for with spending cuts although he won’t detail them until next week.
      The biggest element in Obama’s plan calls for increasing and extending a payroll tax cut for workers that goes to Social Security, while providing the tax cut to employers, too. For workers, the tax that has been cut from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent for this year would fall to 3.1 percent under Obama’s plan — a $175 billion cost. The tax will go back up to 6.2 percent without congressional action by the end of the year.
      Senior administration officials wouldn’t say how many job the plan would create but noted that it could have an immediate impact. The idea is to have an effect “within the year,” one official said…. – Fox News, 9-8-11
    • Obama unveils $447B jobs plan: Urging Congress to “stop the political circus,” President Obama on Thursday night called for immediate action on a $447 billion package of spending initiatives and tax cuts designed to jump-start the stalling economy.
      In the face of the worst recovery from a recession in the nation’s history, a stubborn unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent and zero job growth in the month of August, the pressure is on the president to take action. The challenges remain daunting, however, as Republicans in Congress are taking a combative stance against the president’s policies, with 14 months to go before the 2012 elections.
      Dubbed the “American Jobs Act,” the plan Mr. Obama is sending to Congress is larger than many expected. More than half of the plan is tax cuts for working Americans and small businesses. It also includes spending initiatives in areas like infrastructure. While a package that costs hundreds of billions may be hard to swallow for a Congress that’s been more focused this year on deficit reduction, the president is signaling to Republicans that they’re also responsible for the poor economy…. – CBS News, 9-8-11
    • Bachmann Says Obama Jobs Plan Nothing New: Republican congresswoman and 2012 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has called President Obama’s address just another political speech, with no new proposals…. – Voice of America, 9-8-11
    • For Obama, a ‘Moment’ Speech at a Time of Great Obstacles to Change: Thursday’s address on job creation, coming as the prospect of a double-dip recession looms, seemed to be a chance for President Obama to galvanize the nation and persuade his adversaries…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama the aggressive: President Barack Obama delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Watching are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)President Obama delivered a forceful call to action in a speech on jobs tonight to Congress, repeatedly employing rhetoric that sounded like the early stages of his 2012 campaign stump speech.
      Many of the proposals in Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan had been previewed before he stepped in front of a joint session of Congress around 7 pm eastern time. But his aggressive tone was something new — and unexpected…. – WaPo, 9-8-11
    • Don’t be shocked if Obama plan increases U.S. debt: “Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything,” says President Obama. Perhaps it won’t shock you if this turns out to be wrong.
      The job of paying or not paying for things will almost certainly be left up to the joint panel known as the supercommittee, which faces a Nov. 23 deadline. But Obama kept saying to Congress, you should pass this stimulus now. And there is a decent chance that the Republican-flavored components of the Obama plan will be passed by the full Congress in the next few weeks.
      Extend and expand the payroll tax cut. Give tax credits to companies that hire the unemployed. Throw in some public infrastructure spending and you could get a $300 billion or $400 billion stimulus passed by Congress and signed in to law by mid October. Then you tell the supercommitee: OK, go pay for it with future program cuts and tax increases…. – Baltimore Sun, 9-8-11
    • Social Media Gears Up for Obama Address: While the Republican Party will not deliver a formal response to President Obama’s job speech on Thursday, some members of Congress and Republican presidential candidates will be turning to Twitter to get their message across. … – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama Offers $447B Stimulus Plan to Spur Jobs: President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass a jobs plan that would inject $447 billion into the economy through infrastructure spending, subsidies to local governments to stem teacher layoffs and cutting in half the payroll taxes paid by workers and small-business owners.
      The package is heavily geared toward tax cuts, which account for more than half the dollar value of the stimulus, and administration officials said they believe that will have the greatest appeal to Republican members of Congress…. – Bloomberg, 9-8-11
    • Ron Paul boycotts President Obama’s speech: Texas congressman Ron Paul said Thursday that he will not attend President Obama’s address before a Joint Session of Congress.
      Mr. Paul’s campaign spokesman Gary Howard confirmed Wednesday that the Texas congressman “doesn’t plan on going” to the address, adding that Mr. Paul will remain on the campaign trail, where he is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination…. – The State Column, 9-8-11
    • Sen. David Vitter will sit out President Barack Obama’s speech: He is one of five members, all Republicans, who are planning to skip the president’s address to a Joint Session of Congress…. – NOLA, 9-8-11
    • Who’s Sitting With the First Lady: A sushi chef, a third-grade teacher facing a layoff and an Iraq war veteran are among the two dozen guests who will be seated with Michelle Obama on Thursday night when President Obama lays out his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress.
      Several small-business executives, as well as members of the president’s jobs council, and the mayors of Cincinnati and Los Angeles will also sit in Mrs. Obama’s box…. – NYT, 9-8-11
    • Obama appeals to Congress to pass American Jobs Act: President Obama on Thursday night will appeal to Congress to “stop the political circus” and help him get the economy moving again with a package of spending and tax cut initiatives expected to cost $447 billion…. – CBS News, 9-8-11
    • Obama to Lay Out $450 Billion Jobs Plan in Prime-Time Speech: Seeking to boost a slumping economy along with his hopes for re-election, President Obama is unveiling his $450 billion jobs plan Thursday night in a highly-anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress. The American Jobs Act contains a blend of … – Fox News, 9-8-11
    • Obama Jobs Plan: $447 Billion, More Than Half In Tax Cuts, To Be Paid For By Super Committee: Hoping to stem the tide of poor economic news and boost his falling poll numbers, President Barack Obama will propose a $447 billion jobs plan to Congress on Thursday evening. Titled the American Jobs Act…. – Huff Post, 9-8-11
    • Obama to push Congress to end ‘circus,’ act now on economy: President Barack Obama waves during a Labor Day event Monday at General Motors headquarters in Detroit. WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will ask lawmakers to “stop the political circus” and approve his plan to help the economy by cutting payroll tax…. – MSNBC, 9-8-11
    • Obama Jobs Plan Unlikely to Create Many: New numbers from the Labor Department today showed that new jobless claims are again inching back upward, last week by 2000. Last week’s unemployment report showed net job growth to be stuck at zero…. – U.S. News & World Report, 9-8-11

“We want specifics. We want to hear that he understands the impact, the heavy wet blanket that regulations are on our job creators. We need to make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to create jobs and it seems what comes out of the White House makes it harder and more expensive to create private sector jobs.” — Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming

“No one blames the president for the economy he inherited, but he should take responsibility for his policies making it worse. Republicans are ready to work with the president and to make it easier and cheaper to create private sector jobs. We’ve suggested a number of ways to do that: lower tax rates with fewer loopholes, fewer regulations.” — Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee

“It’s a $112 billion cost and it’s also something that, in my view, is a very short term sort of sugar high, maybe get a very little economy pop in the near term but we ought to be focused on long term policies that will promote economic growth.” — Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota

“Well it depends on whether it’s conglomerated with a whole bunch of other things we can’t support. Most of us are for tax cuts and that would amount to a tax cut.” — Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Obama presented a jobs plan to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night in the Capitol.

American Jobs Act: Get the Facts

Source: WH, 9-8-11
Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (313MB) | mp3 (30MB)
This evening, the President addressed a joint session of Congress and presented the American Jobs Act, a comprehensive plan to put America back to work. It was created from a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and it acknowledges that if we are going to restore America’s middle class, we need to rebuild the economy the American way, based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street.

Viewers who tuned in to watch it live-streamed from whitehouse.gov/live got an enhanced experience, one that included real time graphic elements that explained the research and the facts that helped inform some of aspects of the American Jobs Act. And now you can watch it that way, too.

The American Jobs Act

Source: WH, 9-8-11
Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (314MB) | mp3 (30MB)

To create more jobs now, the President is sending Congress the American Jobs Act – a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that Congress must pass right away. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  Here’s how:

  • First, it provides a tax cut for small businesses, not big corporations, to help them hire and expand now, and provides an additional tax cut to any business that hires or increases wages.
  • Second, it puts more people back to work, including up to 280,000 teachers laid off by state-budget cuts, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing crumbling bridges, roads and more than 35,000 public schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.   And, it expands job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults through a new Pathways Back to Work Fund that supports summer and year round jobs for youth; innovative new job training programs to connect low-income workers to jobs quickly; and successful programs to encourage employers to bring on disadvantaged workers.
  • Third, it helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work and reforming the system with training programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs and help the long-term unemployed.    It bans employers from discriminating against the unemployed when hiring, and provides a new tax credit to employers hiring workers who have been out of a job for over 6 months.
  • Fourth, it puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker’s paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year’ and taking executive action to remove the barriers that exist in the current federal refinancing program (HARP) to help more Americans refinance their mortgages at historically low rates, save money and stay in their homes.
  • Last, the plan won’t add a dime to the deficit and is fully paid for through a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

As the President said, “The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. The question is — the question is whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.”

Later, he said, “Now, the American Jobs Act answers the urgent need to create jobs right away.  But we can’t stop there.  As I’ve argued since I ran for this office, we have to look beyond the immediate crisis and start building an economy that lasts into the future — an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs that pay well and offer security.  We now live in a world where technology has made it possible for companies to take their business anywhere.  If we want them to start here and stay here and hire here, we have to be able to out-build and out-educate and out-innovate every other country on Earth.”

The President concluded the speech by saying, “Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we will have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now.  You should pass it.  And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.  And I ask — I ask every American who agrees to lift your voice:  Tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now.  Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option.  Remind us that if we act as one nation and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.

President Kennedy once said, ‘Our problems are man-made –- therefore they can be solved by man.  And man can be as big as he wants.’

These are difficult years for our country.  But we are Americans.  We are tougher than the times we live in, and we are bigger than our politics have been.  So let’s meet the moment.  Let’s get to work, and let’s show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest nation on Earth. ”

For more information on the American Jobs Act, click here.

Full Text September 8, 2011: Rep. & Republican Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann’s Response to President Barack Obama’s Joint Address to Congress Unveiling $450 Billion Jobs Plan (Speech Transcript)

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Michele Bachmann delivers a speech. | AP Photo

Rep. Bachmann’s Response to President Obama’s Speech to a Joint Session of Congress

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-6) hosted a press conference and responded tonight to President Obama’s Jobs Speech. Below are her remarks as delivered:

Unfortunately, it seems, every time the President speaks, his policies have cost the American people jobs and future prosperity.

Tonight the President under the veil of one of the most sacred deliberative forums, a joint session of Congress, delivered another political speech where he doubled down on more of the same policies that are killing the economy.

Mr. President, what among your proposals was new? What here hasn’t already been tried and failed before?

While the President’s speech comes on the heels of a trillion dollars of failed stimulus, bailouts, and temporary gimmicks aimed at creating jobs, the President continued to cling to the idea that government is the solution to creating jobs.

My conservative colleagues and I have been fighting over the last two and half years for pro growth policies.

I stand here tonight to say to the President, not only should Congress not pass your plan, I say, “stop; your last plan hasn’t worked, it’s hurting the American economy.” Instead of temporary fixes, do what has proved to work in the past, permanent pro growth policies that are driven by the free market.”

Today, unemployment is 9.1 percent. Job creation has literally been zeroed out with the worst jobs report in 66 years this last month. Since the President’s failed trillion dollar stimulus we have lost over 2.5 million jobs while adding 416,000 government jobs. One in six Americans is now on food stamps, and the average time unemployed Americans are out of work is greater than 40 weeks. Housing values have fallen 19% from 2008 to the first quarter of this year.  GDP growth was an anemic .4% in the first quarter and at 1% in the last and the dollar has lost 12 percent of its value.

These are not good times for the American people. Our patience for speeches, gimmicks and excuses has run out.

The only remedies the President knows are temporary, government directed fixes.  And even if the President’s plan passes, we already know it will fail. In practice, we haven’t paid for his last trillion dollar jobs program and now his latest plan would have us embrace potentially over $400 billion in new government spending!

Spending taxpayer dollars on extending unemployment benefits has proved to add only 25 cents to GDP for every dollar we spend. Even the President’s new economic advisor agrees that extending unemployment benefits discourages future employment.

Spending taxpayer dollars on extending the payroll tax holiday will reduce over 111 billion dollars to the Social Security trust fund this year and continuation of this policy will put social security checks to seniors at even greater risk.

Spending taxpayer dollars on more infrastructure projects failed to create lasting jobs in the last stimulus.

And, looming on the horizon is the full scale implementation of Obamacare that, according the Congressional Budget Office, will kill 800,000 jobs and steal over 500 billion from Medicare.

Candidate Obama promised to wipe out deficits and the debt.  Instead the President has increased the debt by over 6 trillion dollars, and what do we have to show for it? Permanent increases in the size of government, spending and debt, with a greater dependency on government.

Four years ago President Bush’s deficit was around 160 billion dollars; today, President Obama’s is nearly ten times that amount.

The President and Vice-President’s plan to spend us to prosperity has failed. And worse, they have stolen from a generation of Americans yet unborn, the consequences of which mean a near certainty of reduced choices and a dramatically downsized lifestyle for future generations from what we enjoy today.

Generational theft is a moral and ethical issue, and I care deeply about both the present generation and generations to come.

The President is politically paralyzed and philosophically incapable of doing what needs to be done.

I do agree, the President should take immediate action. But it is the nine following steps that will put us on a path to economic growth and put Americans back to work;

1)   Repatriate American business dollars earned from overseas,
2)   Massively cut spending and the size of government,
3)   Repeal Obamacare, which is the government takeover of America’s healthcare system,
4)   Cut taxes, including corporate taxes,
5)   Repeal Dodd-Frank,
6)   Repeal job killing regulations,
7)   Increase exports by finalizing free trade agreements,
8)   Spur new investment in America, inspire innovation,
9)   Provide job creating energy solutions, including decreased regulations on developing new energy supplies from our abundant domestic energy resources.

The way forward needs to be based on permanent solutions grounded in the private sector. That is how we will once again restore economic prosperity to our country.

God Bless the United States of America.

Campaign Buzz 2012 September 6, 2011: Mitt Romney Releases Plan for Jobs & Economic Growth (Full Text)

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Source: Mitt Romney, 9-6-11

Introduction

Mitt Romney will rebuild the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.

Any American living through this economic crisis will immediately recognize the severity of the break that Mitt Romney proposes from our current course. He is calling for a fundamental change in Washington’s view of how economic growth and prosperity are achieved, how jobs are created, and how government can support these endeavors. It is at once a deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well and a highly ambitious departure from the policies of our current leadership. In short, it is a plan to get America back to work.

The Plan

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