Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney 1, Obama 0; Mitt misses KO Opportunities

Mitt Romney was aggressive but also managed to crack a few jokes Wednesday night
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages
Mitt Romney was just too nice. Don't get me wrong, he did very well yet he didn't maximize his opportunities to educate and communicate directly with the vast electorate hungry for truth. Truth  unfiltered and unvarnished by a biased main stream media.  Mitt clearly outclassed and defeated President Obama in their first of three debates. Unfortunately in the heat of battle, and perhaps due to this debate format, he missed some chances to land a sharp uppercut or haymaker on Obama if this were a prize-fight. He had some knockdowns with standing 8 counts for sure, but hopefully next debate he could land some decisive blows when he see's Obama's guard droop and he leaves his chin exposed that he can take advantage of.  Here are just two huge missed openings I saw for Romney that were begging for exploitation.

  1.  Obama proudly brought up how they reformed the Student Loan Program by 'cutting out Wall Street Banks acting as a middleman' and saving 60 Billion dollars paid to them and thereby saving the government and thereby students money. ROMNEY should have responded: I am glad you brought that issue up Mr. President. However you frame this in context as something you did to help students yet this was not your real motive or intent was it? Yes, what you refer to as "reform" was in reality the  Nationalization our Student Loan Program placing it all now under Government management and control under SALLIE MAE. (Mitt should have looked out to America and said this line)  It kind of feels and has a ring like Fannie Mae doesn't it? Come to think of it sort of feels like your Nationalization of our Health Care too. Mr President just like Fannie Mae, you now have not just assumed all the risk, but like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also obligated us for the servicing of and collecting over MORE THAN ONE TRILLION DOLLARS in Student loan debt, an obligation and commitment you have foisted on the American taxpayers and citizens. Now, for what purpose did this find it's way into your Obamacare Bill?  We now know that 60 Billion dollars of the 'profit' you took from middleman banks was not passed on as savings to lower costs and save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in interest saving to students, but was in fact "scooped" and diverted by you and put into a Slush fund primarily to pay for Obamacare. Could it be this was one of the things Nancy Pelosi told us we would learn about once we passed this bill so we could see what was in it?  Americans may be surprised to learn tonight that your motivation was really a funding scheme for Obamacare so thank you so much for bringing it to our attention. Mr. President,  by nationalizing Student Loans under Sallie Mae you have created a Government monopoly that also contained a trigger to double student loan interest rates slated to go into effect on July 1, 2012. A trigger that your team used to calculate as a revenue stream for your Health Care bill. When the scheme was discovered by those that actually READ the bill in the GOP during its passage with Obamacare there was an effort by GOP and even some Democrats that joined them in Congress to limit and cap the interest rate gouge by attaching an amendment to Obamacare to keep the rate capped and stop it's doubling on July 1, 2012.  However,  Pelosi and your team Mr. President used reconciliation to pass Obamacare ensuring there could be no debate and to lock out the GOP from filibustering, so your student loan interest windfall and slush fund gimmick was thereby enacted as part of your Obamacare law. It's passage stripped student loan borrowers from the option to seek a better rate as they had in the competitive environment of the free market with myriad bank and lender choices. One higher rate, one lender and provider;  that being Uncle Sam Obama. Incredibly you also had the hubris and audacity to campaign all summer at Colleges and Universities across the U.S. pandering for votes from students on the taxpayer dime while demanding that the do-nothing GOP controlled Congress forgo their summer recess and act to fix this impending doubling of Student Loan interest. Mr. President it's amazing how in all those pseudo campaign speeches where you admonished Congress, you failed to mention that this was by your own hand, and was of your own design. Speaker Boehner and the GOP controlled Congress acted and fixed it- thereby saving your political fanny. Unfortunately for you they did so not by raising taxes on oil companies or the rich as you and your team wanted, but by removing the 60 Billion from Obamacare funding you had targeted for these Slush Fund loan profits.  Mr. President, can you tonight now provide us with any specifics  that you want to share with the American people as to how you will fill that now eliminated funding source, or were you just planning to also take that  60 Billion from Medicare for Obamacare? 
  2. Another missed opportunity on the Frank-Dodd issue by Governor Romney: ROMNEY should have responded with:  Mr. President the financial meltdown as we all know was triggered by the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Starting early in 2001 after President Bush took office he and the GOP began efforts to increase oversight and regulation on the reckless and fraudulent policies and practices of these Government Sponsored Enterprises, or GSE's. They held numerous hearings in both Chambers that are a matter of record seeking bipartisanship to solve the impending calamity they predicted.  These efforts to reform, regulate, and place tough new laws by President Bush, Fed. Reserve Charmain Greenspan, and the GOP Congressional leadership on these GSE's that were backing, purchasing and guaranteed nearly all of American's mortgages, were opposed and thwarted unanimously by yourself, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Democrats. The GOP gave up after party line vote after party line vote blocked all common sense regulatory change and tough new laws that were proposed, were dismissed by your team.  Given the clear public record of the GOP leaders dire predictions and efforts to reform and regulate the GSE's in 2005 and 2006 for impending failure and the risks to the greater markets and economy,  isn't it time that you stop blaming President Bush and Wall Street for the economy you literally helped create and ultimately inherited?  Did the $200,000 + you received in just 3 yrs. as Senator from Fannie Mae contributions (nearly on par in the Senate with Dodd, the Chairman of the Oversight Committee in his 20 yrs.)  control your decision to not put even ONE single new law, reform or  regulation on Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac to prevent a future repeat of the 2008 collapse? Was this just not compatible your Divider-in-Chief political strategy that placed hundreds of punishing new laws and regulations upon the Demonized Wall Street and Main Street who were in reality victimized by the collapse and failures at Fannie and Freddie you sought to protect then as Senator, and now as President, and which were clearly the root cause and systemic trigger of the financial collapse?
I sure would have loved to see Obama answer these two points when asked in the heat of the debate battle.  Perhaps next time, he barely handled the softballs he got last night. Was last night a game changer? Maybe. Some early results and buzz say it may be. It was at least a good start, and a good contrast between someone that has a grasp of the facts and reality vs. an amateur whose charm and empty "Hope and Change" rhetoric has grown as trite, old,  and stagnant as the economy it has created. The next debate will be for the under card match.  Frankly, I feel sorry for Joe Biden. I think the contrast in competency and intellect will be so sharp and so clearly in favor of Ryan that for the first time in recent memory and history, a V.P. debate may actually have game changing relevancy and impact on the election.

Michael R. Bednarz