This segment features Bill Schneider, Distinguished Senior Fellow & Resident Scholar at Third Way, Buck Sexton, National Security Editor at The Blaze, David Badash, Founder & Editor of The New Civil Rights Movement, and Gregory T. Angelo, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans.
Economists predict that over the next few decades, U.S. economic growth will be a full one-point less than the growth we enjoyed between World War II and the Great Recession. Third Way’s new report, The Bargain, is the first report to quantify what this would mean for the economy and middle class Americans. Between 2018 and 2032, losing one point would mean 5 million fewer jobs, $2.5 trillion less in personal income, and $5 trillion less in government revenue.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In The Bargain, we provide a roadmap for seven bipartisan deals, showing where each party needs to give ground and change their thinking. These deals would modernize our economy for a new era of fierce global economic competition. Without them, we are destined for slower growth.
David Brooks of The New York Timescalls the report “a perfect model of how you might structure a series of big trades to move the country back on the growth path—on innovation policy, tax policy, spending policy and so on.”
The Republican Party focuses on mobilizing its conservative base to win elections. The Democratic Party focuses on mobilizing its liberal base. But the bulk of votes are in the middle. Presidential elections have featured more moderate voters than either liberals or conservatives in every year since exit polls began asking the question. In the battle for the White House, moderates dominate.
Scenario I: Across-the-Board Cuts After the first decade, cuts would rise quickly to 20% in 2025 and reach 25% in 2029, leaving key national priorities starved.
Scenario II: Cuts if Social Security is Exempt Scenario II shows that if Social Security is exempted, cuts across other areas of the budget hit 26% in 2025 and surpass 30% in 2026, leaving gaping holes in key government services.
Scenario III: Cuts if Defense and Social Security are Exempt We find that if defense and Social Security are exempt, cuts across other areas of the budget reach 32% in 2025 and rise to 40% in 2033, crippling the basic functions of government.
Can Republicans sell austerity? That’s the message Mitt Romney is sending by naming Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate.
The Ryan move signals a major redefinition of the Romney campaign. It’s no longer about creating jobs and turning around the economy. It’s about fiscal discipline and turning around the budget. That’s Ryan’s calling. He is, after all, chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Why is Romney doing this? Simple. The old campaign wasn’t working. Voters are getting the message: Romney’s experience was not in creating jobs. It was in creating wealth — for himself and his investors. That’s what private equity firms do. The polls, which have been virtually tied all year, are beginning to show an Obama lead. Romney is under pressure to change course — fast. Hence, Ryan.
“Third Way, a centrist think tank had done polling on this issue and what they found is independents want an All-of-the-Above approach. That’s not Paul Ryan’s approach. Paul Ryan’s approach is to have tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. That’s not what independents are looking for.” -Kirsten Powers on Fox News
Independents vs. Moderates: What’s the Difference?
Independents and moderates are the two major groups that make up the center of the American electorate. But they are not synonymous.
For starters, “Independent” is a partisan identification (like Democrat or Republican), and “moderate” is an ideological label (like liberal or conservative). And while they track closely in income, education, religiosity, and a belief that everyone has the power to succeed, they diverge slightly on a few other demographic and attitudinal markers.
By better understanding the similarities and differences of moderate and Independent voters, politicians and pundits can gain a better picture of where these two groups overlap—and where they don’t.
Neither Romney nor McCain have appealed to the conservative base like George W. Bush and have failed to capture republican’s enthusiasm. While President Obama maintains nearly the same level of enthusiasm from his supporters as he did in the previous election. Good news for the Obama campaign.
Can President Obama get re-elected the same way President Bush did in 2004? The recall election in Wisconsin on Tuesday will give us a pretty good idea.
Bush got re-elected with a base strategy. He rallied conservatives with an “us versus them” campaign. Republicans demonized John Kerry and tried to discredit Democrats as soft on terrorism. It was an intensely divisive campaign that embittered the electorate.
The result was to drive up turnout, not just of conservatives, but also of liberals who were enraged by the Bush campaign. The strategy worked in 2004, but just barely. Bush got re-elected with 50.7% of the vote.
Yes, but not as much as four years ago, the last time gas prices averaged over four dollars a gallon. In June 2008, when gas hit $4.01 a gallon, 51% of Americans said gas prices were causing them “serious hardship.” Now, 33% say they are. The sharpest decline was among Democrats.
Partisanship? Actually, no.
Independents are also less likely to feel gas prices are causing serious hardship now compared to four years ago. Why is the crisis less painful this year than it was in 2008? For one thing, the price increase is less steep this year. Gas prices have gone up 22% since December. In 2008, they went up 35% in six months. And adjusting for inflation, $4.00 a gallon gas now is equivalent to $3.72 in 2008. The pain is also less severe because Americans are driving more fuel-efficient cars. And driving fewer miles.
But politics does seem to be affecting the way Republicans feel. They haven’t changed at all since 2008. Four years ago, 41% of Republicans said gas prices were causing a serious hardship. George W. Bush was President, and Republicans were then the least likely to complain. Now 40 % say gas prices are causing severe hardship. Barack Obama is President, and Republicans are the most likely to complain.
The fact that Republicans are complaining just as much as before doesn’t sound like hardship. It sounds like partisanship.
“Irrelevant.” With one word, Sen. John McCain dismissed Rick Santorum’s role in the Republican presidential race.
Santorum’s response? “I’ve endured about eight months of people saying that,” he told The New York Times. “I’ve never been the party establishment’s candidate, and that holds true today and that’s nothing new.”