Just as I suspected it would, the Joplin Globe has endorsed Mitt Romney.
Thus will end my association with the paper, as I will soon cancel my subscription.
I don’t do so lightly, as I have always known the paper’s Republican leanings, even when I was receiving beer money from the Globe for blogging. But the utter phoniness of the editorial endorsing Romney, along with its complete incoherence, compels me to react in the only rational way I know how: say goodbye to an old friend who has not only disappointed, but who has disappointed in a way that is irreparable.
And I can now spend the $15 a month on a digital subscription to The New York Times.
The Globe lost some subscribers four years ago for its daring endorsement of Barack Obama. It will lose me for its stunning lack of faith in its original endorsement. It is clear that Globe management was not prepared to make the mistake of endorsing the locally unpopular president, despite his two visits here and despite his administration’s enormous efforts to help Joplin recover from last year’s tornado. Instead, the paper has invented ridiculous reasons for endorsing Romney, including this one:
But in regard to the issue that is front and center for Americans — jobs and economic recovery — this nation remains stalled.
Stalled? Don’t the members of the editorial board read their own paper? Huh? The nation is not stalled. GDP is in fact growing and has been growing for 13 straight quarters. The quarter before Mr. Obama took office the economy was shrinking at a pace of almost minus 9 percent. MINUS BLEEPING NINE PERCENT. And during the first quarter of his presidency the economy was shrinking at a rate of minus 5.3 percent, a situation he had absolutely nothing to do with, since he was still trying to find his way around the White’s House at that time.
The most recent GDP numbers indicate we are now growing at 2 percent, which is nothing to brag about, but:
given the utter hole we were in,
given the obstruction presented by the Republican Party in terms of filibustering Obama’s additional economic efforts to get us out of that hole,
given the fact that Republicans created the so-called “fiscal cliff” that has businesses worried about the rules of the game next year,
given the fact that, according to an article in the Globe itself, “slower global growth has cut demand for American exports,”
given the effect this year’s expansive drought had on agriculture inventories,
2 percent ain’t all that bad.
It’s certainly a helluva lot better than the minus 9 percent growth Obama inherited, from an administration that was acting according to the exact same philosophy that Mr. Romney, to the extent you can believe a goddamn word he says, plans to act on, should voters take the Globe’s advice and put him in the White’s House.
And other economic indicators are improving, including housing, which has been the main drag on the economy. The private sector has added more than 5 million jobs over the last 31 consecutive months of job growth. And if it weren’t for the shedding of state and local government jobs—which the President has tried to get Republicans in Congress to help stop—the overall job numbers would be even better.
But perhaps the most nauseating part of the Globe’s endorsement, besides completely ignoring Romney’s many, many lies and his penchant for secrecy, was this:
Obama’s mistake was that he favored short-term, targeted solutions.
Are you kidding me? Of course he favored short-term, targeted solutions. You bet he did. You know why? Because the goddamned economy was in the toilet. Millions of American jobs were being flushed into the abyss of Republican economics. That’s why he “favored short-term, targeted solutions.” And so did almost every other economist this side of Rush Limbaugh.
And so did the Joplin Globe in 2008.
As I noted, the paper endorsed Barack Obama four years ago. You know what the paper said then? Here’s what:
Following the market collapse and the recent Wall Street bailout, we believe that the nation needs a new economic plan.
Obama’s plan to provide tax cuts for middle-income Americans is a welcome one, as is his plan to eliminate capital-gains taxes for small businesses and provide cuts for businesses that create and keep jobs in the United States.
If tax cuts for middle-income Americans and tax cuts for businesses aren’t “short-term, targeted solutions,” then what the bleep is? The Globe was calling for, in 2008, short-term, targeted solutions that it now opposes. What hubris. What hypocrisy.
Obama did the things the Globe asked in 2008. He cut taxes for middle-income Americans. He also cut taxes, including capital-gains taxes, for small businesses. Here is a list of those tax cuts from Politifact:
From the Recovery Act, HIRE Acts, and Affordable Care Act:
1. A new small business health care tax credit
2. A new tax credit for hiring unemployed workers
3. Bonus depreciation tax incentives to support new investment
4. 75 percent exclusion of small business capital gains
5. Expansion of limits on small business expensing
6. Five-year carryback of net operating losses
7. Reduction of the built-in gains holding period for small businesses from 10 to 7 years to allow small business greater flexibility in their investments 8. Temporary small business estimated tax payment relief to allow small businesses to keep needed cash on hand
From the Small Business Jobs Act:
9. Zero capital gains taxes on key investments in small businesses
10. Raising the small business expensing to $500,000
11. An extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation
12. A new deduction for health care expenses for the self-employed
13. Tax relief and simplification for cell phone deductions
14. An increase in the deduction for entrepreneurs’ start-up expenses
15. A five-year carryback of general business credits
16. Limitations on penalties for errors in tax reporting that disproportionately affect small business
From the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act:
17. 100 percent expensing
That’s an impressive small-business tax-cutting list, don’t you think? Yet, despite the Globe advocating for those things four short years ago, now suddenly the paper says, “long-range, core change is needed.” Yeah, that’s what a “stalled” America needs alright. Let’s austerity ourselves into prosperity. It’s working so well for the Europeans who have tried it.
The 2008 Globe endorsement of Obama also included this:
With the war in Iraq well into its fifth year, Obama has said that it is time for the Iraqi government to begin stepping up to take on financial responsibility for its country at a time when our country is spending billions of dollars (not to mention the human cost) each month in our efforts there.
And we agree that beginning a responsible drawdown of American forces will also require Iraq to begin taking more military control of its country, and allow our troops to place more emphasis on al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and bringing 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice.
Needless to say, Obama ended the war in Iraq. It’s over. Done. Finished. Just like the Globe suggested was necessary. He also put “more emphasis on al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.” And about bringing that “9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice,” perhaps the Globe editorial board hasn’t heard the goddamned news yet: The sonofabitch is bottom-feeding in the North Arabian Sea, thanks to a courageous SEAL Team Six and their Globe-endorsed Commander-in-Chief.
End the war in Iraq? Check. Put more emphasis on the bad guys in Afghanistan? Check. Bring bin Laden to justice? Check. Joplin Globe endorsement? Uh, well, no. All those checks and plenty more, yet President Obama is not worthy of another term says the Joplin Globe.
Moving on from the paper’s moving goal posts, the Globe additionally argues,
Romney won’t raise any new taxes to reduce the deficit. Period….It’s true that the nation’s wealthiest 2 percent — individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 — can pay more, but why should they?
Yeah, why should they? Let’s balance the budget by getting the money from the poor, the elderly, the disabled. Or maybe we could rob the piggy banks of the countless kids getting free or reduced price lunches here in Southwest Missouri.
Or let’s just let the moochers and their mooching kids in Romney’s “47%” starve to death here in our lovely Joplin community, a community propped up by a lot of government money after the tornado paid us a visit. Now that houses and businesses are going up all over the place, now that there is plenty of money floating around this FEMA-blessed area, to hell with everyone else.
Yeah, why should the rich pay more? Under Bill Clinton they were suffering mightily under those confiscatory 39.6 percent tax rates, weren’t they? God, how did they get by? How did they survive? And how did the economy create those 22 million jobs, given such a drain on those overburdened “job creators”?
The Globe continues:
Romney’s plan is to roll back individual income tax rates for all income groups by 20 percent, and cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, while at the same time reducing personal and corporate deductions.
This gets us closer to the kind of overhaul that is needed.
Oh, Allah. Help me. How many times must this stuff be debunked? One can go all over the Internet and get various versions of the debunkery, so I won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say that the Globe repeats the Romney line that he will reduce personal and corporate deductions sufficiently to make his plan work. Oh, yeah? Which ones? Tell us, Joplin Globe. Tell us which tax deductions Romney will “reduce.” He won’t tell us, so why don’t you? And if you can’t tell us, then you don’t know what the hell you are talking about by saying,
This gets us closer to the kind of overhaul that is needed.
Finally, I recently wrote a piece titled, “The Joplin Globe’s Dumbest Editorial Of All Time,” based on its assertion that Romney’s plan to cut the chump change used to fund public broadcasting was part of “a serious conversation about the proper role and reach of the federal government.” Boy, was I a little premature with that one. In its Romney-endorsing editorial, the Globe doubled-down on dumb with this remarkable ending passage:
When it comes to systemic problems, think Big Bird. Recent posturing over that “Sesame Street” character is telling.
During the first debate, Romney bluntly warned moderator Jim Lehrer that he would cut off funds for public broadcasting if the nation was having to borrow money from China to pay for it. If true, it’s the kind of thing a debtor nation must do.
The Obama campaign attacked Romney on that point.
Sure, funding for public broadcasting is an insignificant part of the budget, but if Obama isn’t even willing to cut one one-hundreth of 1 percent of federal spending for something that is non-vital to America, then the president is not serious about reducing spending at all.
If Obama is not serious about that, he is the wrong person for the job.
Mitt Romney should be the next president.
Yes, Mitt Romney should be the next president because he courageously promised to save American taxpayers one dollar and thirty-five cents a year by cutting off funding for public broadcasting, even though he would have exactly no power to do so without a willing Congress. That is real courage, real commitment, real change.
Maybe he can go on from there and cut the federal subsidy for the goddamned Joplin airport. Next he can tackle those free lunches that the greedy freeloading kids around here eat at school. Then, after he is energized by such “serious” budget cutting, he can cut Medicaid, so Joplin’s poor and elderly can unceremoniously croak in our streets.
Yes, why should the rich, the Romneys of the world, pay more? When there are so many better alternatives?
Now, I can truly say, without fear of future contradiction, that I have indeed read the Joplin Globe’s dumbest editorial of all time.