“Acts of Terror”. We will start at the end where some are going to focus on the debate of language. You can read the President’s transcript from his speech in the Rose Garden where he referred in generalities to “acts of terror.” I strongly suggest reading the transcript in context of everything else coming from the White House over the week following the attacks. Regardless of whether he referred in generalities to “acts of terror” or not, the White House stayed away from tying the attacks to being from terrorists for over a week after his Rose Garden speech. Glenn Klessler of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker stated this regarding how the White House handled the Benghazi attacks:
For political reasons, it certainly was in the White House’s interests to not portray the attack as a terrorist incident, especially one that took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Instead the administration kept the focus on what was ultimately a red herring — anger in the Arab world over anti-Muslim video posted on You Tube. With key phrases and message discipline, the administration was able to conflate an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt — which apparently was prompted by the video — with the deadly assault in Benghazi.
Land of the Tea agrees with this assessment. Klessler did a professional job of creating the timeline relating to the attacks in Benghazi and the subsequent story lines emanating from the White House. After the speech where he first spoke of the attacks, the President was asked point blank on The View and on Univision if the attacks were terrorists attacks and he stated that “we’re still doing an investigation” and “we’re still doing an investigation” respectively.
Immigration. President Obama had two years to govern with Democratic super majorities in Congress to pursue his promise of comprehensive immigration reform. He stated when running for office in 2008 what he would do regarding immigration reform:
I will make (immigration reform) a top priority in my first year as president.
He didn’t. Obama admitted as much on his recent Univision interview, saying:
…my biggest failure so far is we haven’t gotten comprehensive immigration reform done.
The President stated during the town hall debate that “Part of the Arizona law said that law enforcement officers could stop folks because they suspected maybe they looked like they might be undocumented workers and check their papers.” This is false. The Arizona law reads in two parts referring to this:
requires law enforcement, in making a lawful stop, detention, or arrest for another law, to make a reasonable attempt to determine the person’s immigration status where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is not lawfully present in the country;
And the law goes on to clarify:
Law enforcement “may not consider race, color, or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.”
The legislation provides that: it must be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regarding immigration, protecting all persons’ civil rights, and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens;
The President also stated, “What I’ve also said is if we’re going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families. And that’s what we’ve done.”
ICE agent Chris Crane, who is President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, the union representing America’s more than 7,000 ICE agents and personnel, stated:
It’s impossible to even get a picture of what our priorities are now. I have never seen or heard of the type of fly by the seat of your pants, disorganized confusion in a law enforcement organization like what we are currently experiencing at ICE.
Prosecutorial discretion for DREAMers, is solely based on the individual’s claims. Our orders are: if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go; if they say they have a GED, then let them go. Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything. …. At this point, we do not understand why DHS has any criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien. We believe a significant number of people who are not DREAMers are taking advantage of this practice to avoid arrest.”
At the same press conference, Border Patrol Council President George McCubbin criticized the Department of Homeland Securities attempts to portray the drop in illegal alien arrest rates as a sign of success:
Apprehensions at just one of our stations have fallen from over 600 annually to just under 30 even though now they have 10 times the number of agents assigned to that one station… Our agency has made it impossible for the agents to go out there and do their jobs.
The President has not enforced our immigration laws for political reasons and has made it difficult for our law enforcement officials to do their jobs.
Romney’s economic plan. The President stated Romney “Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.”
This is the standard line from Democrats every election cycle. Romney was able to explain how he will cut taxes on everyone, but limit the amount of deductions by capping them at a certain point. Obviously, the cap will be high enough that almost all middle income earners will not reach the cap getting the entirety of their eligible deductions. The highest earners will have a limit on the deductions they can claim which plausibly makes up much of the ground for their tax cut, leaving the highest income bracket still paying 60% of the tax revenues as they pay now.
I wish Romney would explain simply what I covered after the VP debate. Historically, tax revenues in American tend to remain a constant percentage of the GDP regardless of tax rates. In 1954, the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans was 90%. During the 1960′s, it began to lower, but never dropped below 50% until 1986. Dr. Antony Davies, Associate Professor of Economics at the Palumbo Donahue School of Business for Duquesne University states, “Throughout this period, the government’s revenue was almost 17% of GDP.” From 1987, the top marginal tax rate ranged from 40% to 28% and the tax revenues for the government were just under 18% of GDP.
Summary. The President did not perform poorly, he simply does not have a good record to run on and no vision for the future. His foreign policies have emboldened our enemies and eroded the trust of our allies. We have not had one day during the Obama Presidency where there have been more jobs than on the day he took office. One can not get reelected with that kind of record.