Tuesday, July 10, 2012
It’s in the Hands of the Independent Voter
I'm going to vote for President Obama and probably most of you, being Texas Republicans, will vote for Mitt Romney, but I can't help wondering what really goes through the mind of the genuine independent voter. Don't confuse the independent voter with those that say they will choose the lesser of two evils. I've been hearing that since I was of voting age. That's just a sign of frustration because their ideal candidate was not chosen. As John McCain used to say, “it’s time for straight talk."
I'm interested in that independent voter because he or she will be the decider. what do they really think? The straight-line party voters will do what they normally do, but it's those 10% to 20% who will ultimately decide the election. We are so polarized that the election will be won by those who live in the so -called battle ground states. Today, the battle ground states are in the Midwest, north central, and Florida. It doesn't matter if 90 % of Texans vote for Mitt Romney, he will only get 34 electoral votes of the 270, he will need to get elected. Mitt Romney can forget about California and New York and there’s no way that he can win without winning Ohio. We are that predictable.
Yesterday the president again rolled out his middle- class tax cut for those making less than making less than $250,000. My Republican friends, who will never make $250,000 taxable income, tell me it's a tax increase on the job creators. They also tell me that the tax increase is an impediment which keeps small businesses from hiring. I reminded him that the President George W. Bush cut taxes two times, but the jobs didn't follow. Then they will tell me that you don't raise taxes on anyone in a recession. I quickly remind them that our greatest rates of growth were in the 1950s when the marginal tax rates were from 85% to 90%. We can argue whether those and that high bracket ever paid that amount, but they did keep more money in the business rather than pay taxes to the government. When my friends ran out of their old talking points, which wasn't working, they pulled out the Ronald Reagan card. I agreed with them that President Reagan lowered the top marginal rate from 90% to 28%, and revenues started pouring in. I then reminded them that President Reagan raised taxes six times during that period. As the late Senator Moynihan used to say “Simply put, semantic infiltration is the process whereby we come to adopt the language of our adversaries in describing political reality. That's what frustrates me about my Democrats; the popularity of taxing the wealthy is on their side; however, they allow the Republicans to intimidate them with the "T" word. I don’t think the independents are swayed by either argument.
I suspect that the independent voter is not comfortable with the current economy and how it affects their household more than they do about Mitt Romney's vacation in the Hamptons. They're probably concerned about all the money that's being spent in this election; yet they see their problems unresolved, and they see an unwillingness to do anything besides play the blame game. Many of them saw record high temperatures throughout the nation causing millions of people to lose power, yet you won't see either party discuss climate change or our 100 year old power grid, especially now, since it has cooled down. Unfortunately, we don't hear much from the independent voter because they're working two jobs to make ends meet, worrying about whether their company will retain them with the same benefits and concerned that their children will not get the education they need. I don't think that they really care what party does what because they are more results oriented. Studies show that if a voter casts their vote in two consecutive years for the same party, they will continue that pattern. The studies also show that independents will outnumber Democrats and Republicans in future years unless the parties start doing something besides playing the blame game.
Television has made it worse;I can recite both parties talking points and give their arguments;not because I'm brilliant ;it's because politicians know they are on camera and they stay on the message of the day. American companies are having a hard time trying to advertise their products in the battle ground states because the political ads taking up all the space. Being spontaneous is a political liability.