Friday, June 15, 2012

A Time For Visionaries

Normally, for our Friday edition, we try to publish something a bit lighter - and we certainly plan on returning to that tradition next week. That said, there are times when it's more important to look ahead, into the future, and make the hard choices now to deliver what will be needed down the road.

That's specifically the choice Warren Buffett has made recently - more than once - by investing deeply in the newspaper and media industry. Choosing to rescue important media outlets, and not let them fall down the proverbial memory hole, may not deliver the best return on investment in the short term.  However, his investors will almost certainly reap the wisdom of his decision in the future.

Buffett's actions are similar to the starkly obvious choice that was laid out for Americans on Thursday.

We can choose a President and Congressional representatives who make decisions based on incontestable facts. We can pick those who try to compromise and find a 'middle path' to get SOME of what their constituents want, rather than insisting on 'all-or-nothing' tactics. We can opt for those who don't delay or skirt their duties to the nation and its people.

Or we can choose the other option - those who boldly, offensively, and arrogantly lie to our faces; who promise all kinds of things, but give no real details on how we can achieve them; who insist they will get what they want, no matter what; and who will always put off the hard choices until sometime down the road.

Those are the two visions President Obama and Mitt Romney laid out on Thursday - and the President wasn't the one who lied, multiple times, in his address.

The President made it clear - this election will not be mostly about social issues. It will be about economic growth, jobs, and solving our long-term debt. It will be about the steaming pile of garbage Obama and the Democrats were handed from the previous administration, what they have done to help the nation recover from that "gift" - and what they've been restricted from doing, without legitimate reason, by Republicans in Congress.

It will also be about what Mr. Romney says he will do to and for this country.

In short, Mr Romney has not been specific about what, exactly, he will do. Romney has latched onto the Ryan Plan, which is filled with tax cuts and deregulation, as a model. But the Ryan Plan has few specifics - and as Mr. Obama pointed out in his speech, that's a problem, since major cuts to all kinds of things, from medical research grants to fight cancer, to education funding could be cut.

From what we do know of Romney's plans, they will not benefit most Americans. Romney has stated he wants a new $5 trillion tax cut - 70% of which would be given to those making over $200,000 a year, according to independent sources. Millionaires would get a 25% tax cut. All these tax cuts would be lumped on the back of the Bush Tax Cuts, that we already cannot afford.

Further, if Romney and the Republicans completely repealed the Affordable Care Act, 33 million Americans would lose their health care - and according to the middle-of-the-road estimate, 19 million more Americans would lose Medicaid.

While all of this was going on, one of Mr. Romney's favorite Republicans, Senator Mitch McConnell has now said Senate Republicans will sit on their asses and refuse to confirm any more Federal judges this year. This, while the military-industrial complex has begun to threaten to fire thousands just before the fall election, because Congress isn't doing anything - because the GOP-led House is on vacation. Again.

As we said previously, a starkly obvious choice was laid out before Americans on Thursday by President Obama and Mr. Romney.

We can be mature, deal with the tough issues now, and make tough compromises, while we plan and invest for the future.

Or we can lie, obfuscate, be vague, and have wealthy political donors attempt to buy the election for us now.

For our part, we'll follow the similarly wise lead of Mr. Buffett and invest for the future. We hope most Americans make the same decision.

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