Day: July 6, 2012

Income Tax Returns Revealed: George W. Bush–17, George Romney–12, Mitt Romney–1!

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is coming across as extremely secretive, refusing to release any tax returns other than the one for 2010, which revealed he was worth at least $250 million, twice the wealth of the eight Presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama!

Now evidence is emerging that he is, likely, MUCH wealthier than $250 million, since he has offshore accounts in many nations, more than even what was thought (Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Switzerland)!

Romney delayed his 2012 tax return to avoid controversy during the primaries, but now those records will be revealed probably in October, shortly before the election, but it seems possible he will try to delay the revelations until after the election.

But the fact that he refuses to give details about his taxes looks terrible as compared to President George W. Bush, a rich man, who revealed SEVENTEEN years of tax returns in 2000.

Also, Mitt’s dad, Governor George Romney of Michigan, while running for the Presidency in 1968, revealed TWELVE years of tax returns.

So why cannot Mitt reveal NOW more than ONE year? How about it, Mitt?

Why Barack Obama In 2012 Is NOT George H. W. Bush In 1992, NOR Jimmy Carter In 1980!

With exactly four months to go until the Presidential Election of 2012, the job figures this month, showing a slowing of the economy, very little job growth, and a steady 8.2 percent unemployment rate, makes it clear that Barack Obama will not be able to bring the numbers under 8 percent before the election, and will have the highest unemployment rate of a President seeking re-election since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

So there are the hysterical political followers who fear that Obama is about to lose the election to Mitt Romney, but that is not going to happen!

Obama is compared to George H. W. Bush in 1992 and Jimmy Carter in 1980, with both of them losing, but the situations are VERY different!

Bush lacked any charisma, was running against a charismatic opponent, Bill Clinton, and had a serious, strong third party candidate in Ross Perot, which helped to cause his loss in the election. He also had accomplished very little beyond the Gulf War victory, and the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Jimmy Carter in 1980 was also lacking in charisma, was running against a very charismatic candidate, Ronald Reagan, who was able to unify people with his speaking skills, and faced the Iranian hostage crisis, and super high inflation due to the second Arab Oil Embargo, and also faced a third candidate in the Presidential race, Independent John Anderson.

Obama has tons of charisma; while Mitt Romney has absolutely NONE, not even being well liked as a personality as Clinton and Reagan were; and Obama faces no third party or independent challenger.

Obama is personally popular, which Bush and Carter were not, based on public opinion polls.

But having said that, it is clear that what Obama must do is take parts of three former Democratic Presidents, and make it part of his campaign.

Obama must give the GOP “hell” as Harry Truman did in 1948, and must push job plans and education and infrastructure spending by calling Congress into special session in September after the ocnventions, as Truman did, even though Truman knew and we know no such legislation will pass, but still put the Republicans on the defensive!

Obama must act like Franklin D. Roosevelt by saying he welcomes the hate of the GOP, since they refuse to work with him, and drop the “nice guy” image!

And Obama must take on a Lyndon B. Johnson image, that he will push and prod Congress by constant news conferences and speeches on the essential need for massive changes in America!

In taking on ideas of Truman, FDR, and LBJ, Obama would stir the enthusiasm of progressives and liberals, and the groups that might be lazy about voting, and would also draw many of the independents who would realize we have a President who really CARES about average Americans, as Truman, FDR and LBj demonstrated, and contrast it with Mitt Romney, who has made it clear he has no care or concern for more than the one percent at the top of our society!

Which Presidents Would Belong On A Second Mount Rushmore?

This morning, on MORNING JOE on MSNBC, there was a fascinating three hour discussion on the American Presidency, to commemorate the Fourth of July national holiday.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had many distinguished guests, journalists and historians, to analyze the office and the 43 men who have held that position.

Three distinguished historians–Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, and Evan Thomas–gave their view of which Presidents would be appropriate for a second Mount Rushmore, if such a momument were ever to be built in South Dakota or elsewhere.

Their selections were certainly fascinating, controversial, and highly debatable.

Goodwin’s list was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan.

Meacham’s list was Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy,and Ronald Reagan.

Thomas’s list included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

So FDR and Reagan are on all three lists, and would certainly please progressives and Democrats on the one hand, and conservatives and Republicans on the other hand.

But there the disagreements begin, and lead to a total of six other Presidents being listed–Jackson, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, and Bush No. 41.

One wonders if there has been disrespect shown toward Woodrow Wilson, who had such a long range impact on the office of the Presidency, although there has been a lot of criticism directed toward him over the years.

One also wonders about the famous “obscure” President, James K. Polk, who gained more territory in his one term than anyone other than Thomas Jefferson.

Also, the question arises whether Bill Clinton will see his historical stock rise as the years go by, to the point of possibly being a candidate for a second Mount Rushmore.

If this author and blogger were queried about his choices, the Presidents he would select would be to agree totally with Doris Kearns Goodwin: FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Reagan!

But now the reader can chime in with his or her views about a second Mount Rushmore, and the more the merrier!

Historically Significant Vice Presidents: Nineteen, Including Nine Presidents!

The Vice Presidency has often been called an office of insignificance, as the Constitution gives the Vice President no authority except to preside over the US Senate, cast a rare tie breaking vote, and sit in waiting for the President to die!

Therefore, the office has been ridiculed, and some have suggested that it be eliminated by constitutional amendment without answering what the line of succession would be if such a change occurred.

Despite the low esteem of the office historically, significant men have served in that office, even if unhappily in most cases.

So if a list were to be made of those Vice Presidents who mattered because of their entire career, the list would include:

John Adams under President George Washington
Thomas Jefferson under President John Adams
Aaron Burr under President Thomas Jefferson
John C. Calhoun under Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren under President Andrew Jackson
Theodore Roosevelt under President William McKinley
Charles G. Dawes under President Calvin Coolidge
Henry A. Wallace under President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman under President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson under President John F. Kennedy
Hubert H. Humphrey under President Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford under President Richard Nixon
Nelson Rockefeller under President Gerald Ford
Walter Mondale under President Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush under President Ronald Reagan
Al Gore under President Bill Clinton
Dick Cheney under President George W. Bush
Joe Biden under President Barack Obama

All of these men had a distinguished career before the Vice Presidency, made a difference in American history in some fashion, and all of those since Henry A. Wallace actually had impact upon the growth of the office. Of course, nine of the nineteen listed also became President.