Wednesday, March 04, 2015 05:42pm
North Adams, MA now: 36 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
The Independent Investor: Looking Beyond Election Speak
By Bill Schmick On: 03:12PM / Thursday September 06, 2012
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
— Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propogandist


Republicans warn of impending disaster if the federal government's house is not put in order. If we continue to do nothing about it, Romney, Ryan and the Republicans will most certainly be right. The question is whether the economy can survive the harsh medicine that these doctors prescribe.

The way to balance the budget, according to the GOP plan, is to cut income and corporate taxes, eliminate at least some tax deductions (no details), preserve defense spending (already larger than the next five nations combined), cut Medicare spending in the 2020s, trim other government spending and gradually shrink the deficit and balance the budget sometime over the next 10 years (yeah, right).

In my last column, I examined the fallacy of believing today's promises by politicians that don't come to fruition for a decade or more. Liberal economists argue that the Romney plan would boost unemployment by slashing public spending next year and the year after and most likely drive the economy into recession. But Mitt Romney knows this as well.

In an interview this spring with Time Magazine's Editor–at-Large Mark Halperin, Romney said, "... if you take a trillion dollars, for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5 [percent]. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I'm not going to do that, of course."

There is election speak at its finest. How far apart therefore are the candidates on what they truly intend to do about the economy?

In comparison, President Obama also wants to cut income and corporate taxes. Where they differ at all is in those who make over $250,000 a year. Obama wants to raise taxes on them while Romney doesn't. In the grand scheme of things, the amount of money that taxing the rich will generate will hardly be enough to make a dent in the budget. The real value is in generating drama and stoking voter sentiment with an "us against them" mentality. Occupy Wall Street would be proud.

Both candidates want to revitalize manufacturing, improve job training, make America energy independent and expand free trade. How they differ is on the margin. Whoever wins will most likely implement the same policies as their opponent.

Take energy independence as an example. The candidates would have you believe that if the U.S. were energy independent, pump prices would go down or at least the volatility in energy prices would disappear. Nothing could be further from the truth. Global markets set oil prices not the U.S. All energy independence would mean is that on the margin, U.S. companies would experience higher profits (and our government higher taxes) from higher oil and gas prices. Romney indicates he would rely on domestic oil and gas exploration including off-shore drilling to accomplish that independence. Obama would focus on fossil fuel exploration and development as well as alternative energy sources.

Where they differ the most is in how to reduce spending. Romney wants to cut government domestic programs that will ultimately impact lower and middle-class Americans on the margin more than wealthier Americans, while keeping defense spending the same. Obama would rather cut spending in both areas so that declines in spending would be a bit more modest.

As for regulation, Obama wants to enforce the Dodd-Frank financial regulations while Romney wants to repeal them. However, in the face of on-going wrong-doing by the nation's financial sector, the Romney campaign has been curiously absent in furnishing an explanation on how they would stop these continued abuses by the financial sector.

The point of this exercise is to separate fact from fiction, rhetoric from reality, in what I see as an increasingly confused and jingoistic campaign. Both sides seem to be relying more on one-liners than substantive explanations of policy. The use of misleading data, deliberate falsehoods and confusing statements intended to incite and confuse voters seems to be on an increase as well.

As such I feel obligated to try and make some sense out of this nonsense. In my next column, we'll look at how much power the president really has in implementing the grand visions they promise.

A note to my readers in the Berkshires:
 
I have volunteered to teach a course this fall at Berkshire Community College at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The classes will be on Mondays from 2:45-4:15 p.m. throughout September and October. The course, "America's Future: Buy, Sell or Hold?" will teach students to think critically about such events as this year's presidential elections, wealth and women, our education system and much more. There are only a few seats left. For more information or to sign up for the course call the OLLI office at 413-236-2190

Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative with Berkshire Money Management. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own. None of the information presented here should be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. Direct inquires to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com.


2 Comments
     
News Headlines
North Adams Happenings: March 4-10
Berkshire County Head Start Registering Children for 2015-16 School Year
Williamstown Housing Trust Awards Second Homebuyer Grant
North Adams Rent Board OKs Increase for Wheel Estates
Cheshire Asks Kinder Morgan For Information Presentation
North Adams Historical Commission Nixes Park Lighting Scheme
Hancock Suing Berkshire Wind Over PILOT Payments
Adams Sets Public Information Sessions on Electrical Aggregation
Pittsfield To Hire Extra Help For Pothole Season
Hancock School Committee Opens Conversation About Expansion

Bill Schmick is registered as an investment advisor representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $200 million for investors in the Berkshires. Bill’s forecasts and opinions are purely his own and do not necessarily represent the views of BMM. None of his commentary is or should be considered investment advice. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be and should not be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or specific investments discussed are employed, bought, sold or held by BMM. Direct your inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com Visit www.afewdollarsmore.com for more of Bill’s insights.

 

 

 



Categories:
@theMarket (161)
Independent Investor (218)
Archives:
February 2015 (7)
January 2015 (9)
December 2014 (7)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (9)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (7)
July 2014 (2)
June 2014 (6)
May 2014 (9)
April 2014 (8)
March 2014 (5)
Tags:
Selloff Commodities Oil Debt Ceiling Energy Federal Reserve Election Taxes Economy Fiscal Cliff Deficit Bailout Interest Rates Currency Retirement Fed Stocks Euro Recession Stimulus Jobs Congress Europe Japan Greece Markets Rally Crisis Stock Market Pullback Metals Europe Banks Debt Housing
Popular Entries:
The Independent Investor: Don't Fight the Fed
The Independent Investor: Understanding the Foreclosure Scandal
@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
The Independent Investor: Does Cash Mean Currencies?
@theMarket: Markets Are Going Higher
The Independent Investor: General Motors — Back to the Future
The Independent Investor: Will the Municipal Bond Massacre Continue?
The Independent Investor: How Will Wall Street II Play on Main Street?
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
The Independent Investor: Why Are Interest Rates Rising?
Recent Entries:
@The Market: Full Steam Ahead
The Independent Investor: New Fiduciary Rule Would Benefit All of Us
The Independent Investor: How to Make the Most Out of Social Security
@theMarket: A Race to the Bottom
The Independent Investor: The Grecian Drama
@theMarket: The Labor Market Is on Fire
The Independent Investor: Joint Business Is Jumping
The Independent Investor: College Savings Accounts Are Not Risk-Free
@theMarket: More Stimuli Equal Higher Markets
The Independent Investor: The European Central Bank Delivers


View All
HV Girls into Western Mass...
After going into the locker room behind, 33-32, the...
Pittsfield Girls into Western...
Pittsfield advanced to the finals with a 66-52 victory at...
Princess Ball 2015
The Lanesborough Fire Association's 2nd annual Princess...
Girls BB: Middlesex @ PHS
The Generals rallied and rode an 18-point, 16-rebound...
Thunderbolt/Thunderfest 2015
The Thunderbolt Ski Race held its 80th anniversary run on...
Girls BB: Wahconah vs Hoosac...
No.1 Hoosac is heading back to the Cage as they beat No.9...
10X10 Art Party 2015
The 10X10 Festival's Real Art Party fundraiser, organized...
Berkshire Chamber Nite @...
Berkshire Chamber night on Wednesday at Mingo's in North...
Boys BB: Renaissance vs Drury
For Drury senior Justin Girard, the 63-61 quarter-final win...
Boys BB: Mount Greylock vs...
The Hoosac Valley boys basketball team got enough...
Boys BB: Quabbin vs...
Jerry McDonough scored 15 points, and Scott Steinman added...
Girls BB: Lee vs Mount...
Karli Retzel hit a 3-pointer and went 2-for-2 at the foul...
Boys Hockey: Wahconah vs...
The No. 5 Warriors won over No. 4 Belchertown 2-0 Tuesday...
Boys Hockey: Mt Everett vs...
Amherst No. 3 seed eliminated No. 6 Mount Everett 3-0...
Boys BB: Holyoke Catholic vs...
Monday evening, as the No. 5 Lenox basketball team was...
Congressman Neal Tours...
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal toured Unistress, Modern Mold & Tool...
HV Girls into Western Mass...
After going into the locker room behind, 33-32, the...
Pittsfield Girls into Western...
Pittsfield advanced to the finals with a 66-52 victory at...
Princess Ball 2015
The Lanesborough Fire Association's 2nd annual Princess...
Girls BB: Middlesex @ PHS
The Generals rallied and rode an 18-point, 16-rebound...
Thunderbolt/Thunderfest 2015
The Thunderbolt Ski Race held its 80th anniversary run on...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved