Weekly Musing 4-19-15
Snyder to launch national economic campaign
Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to launch a national campaign promoting Michigan’s economic turnaround that Republicans say could be used to propel him into the 2016 race for president, or keep his name in the running for another federal post.
Snyder’s supporters are creating a nonprofit advocacy group “Making Government Accountable: The Michigan Story” that the governor will use to travel the country seeking to “change the perception of Michigan and why it’s a good state to grow a business or move to,” spokesman Jarrod Agen said Friday.
Snyder is beginning the national road show next weekend with a speech at the Milliken Institute in California, followed by a speaking engagement in New York in early May, Agen said.
Former state Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak and other Republicans close to the governor have been making phone calls in recent weeks seeking financial commitments to Snyder’s national cause, three Republican sources told The Detroit News.
The effort has caused some to conclude Snyder wants to test the presidential waters in the coming months as the GOP primary field for the White House begins to fill up.
“He’s moving toward running for president,” said a Republican source with ties to Snyder.
…Some Michigan Republicans speculate Snyder is keeping his name in the mix of a crowded field of 21 Republicans to position himself for the eventual GOP nominee’s running mate, or for a cabinet secretary position.
With a generational pitch, Rubio looks to bridge GOP divide Marco Rubio’s case for the GOP nomination is simple. He believes he can emerge as the consensus candidate who bridges the divide between the Republican establishment and tea party activists. And the 43-year-old believes that the conservative grassroots is ready for “Something New,” which not coincidentally is the name of a Swedish dance song that played Monday night at the end of his presidential campaign kickoff rally in Miami.
Rubio has decided his odds are good enough that he’s willing to give up a second term in the Senate.
With a thousand supporters chanting “Marco” at Freedom Tower, the son of Cuban immigrants invoked his inspiring personal story — suitable for framing as the embodiment of the American Dream — and showed he will inject a youthful vigor to the field.
“We Americans are proud of our history, but our country has always been about the future,” he said. “We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.”
Rubio’s strategists believe that the GOP base is in no mood for a coronation. So they plan to aggressively court support from both movement conservatives and establishment leaders exhausted by the idea of another Bush and drawn to the appeal of a relative newcomer – the son of a bartender
A Very Fluid Race for the Republican Nomination
Two weeks ago, Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for president at Liberty University, and last week, Rand Paul announced at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Marco Rubio is expected to announce this week at the Freedom Tower in Miami. Others will follow.
So what have we learned about the race for the Republican nomination for president so far?
Nobody is running away with it. In no national poll of Republican primary voters this year has any one of the dozen or so candidates tested received more than 20 percent of the vote.
Some commentators expected Jeb Bush to jump into a significant lead when he made it clear he would in time announce. That hasn’t happened. At this point in the 2000 cycle, Gallup showed George W. Bush with over 50 percent of the primary vote. Jeb Bush’s current Real Clear Politics average is 17 percent, just tenths of a percentage point ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Republican primary voters are shopping around, uncertain whom to back, with nothing approaching a consensus choice.
…Bottom line: It’s a very fluid race and an opportunity for candidates to offer new ideas and expand the electorate — two things
Republicans need to maximize their chances in November 2016.
UPDATED 2016 Presidential Primary Calendar
Reading the Map:
As was the case with the maps from past cycles, the earlier a contest is scheduled in 2012, the darker the color in which the state is shaded. Michigan, for instance, is a much deeper shade of blue in February than California is in June. There are, however, some differences between the earlier maps and the one that appears above.
Can Hillary hold together the Obama coalition?
As Hillary Clinton begins her presidential campaign, one fundamental question will determine the outcome of the 2016 presidential election: Is the coalition of voters that President Obama put together in his 2008 and 2012 victories indicative of a permanent change in the American electorate that favors any Democratic candidate? Or were the super-sized margins Obama enjoyed among groups such as minorities and young voters specific to the first African-American president?
If demographics are destiny, then Republicans will be in danger no matter how strong a campaign they mount against Clinton. If not — and if she can’t make up votes with other groups of voters — her candidacy will likely fail.
The challenge of keeping Obama’s coalition together is clearly on the minds of Clinton’s campaign strategists. The carefully orchestrated video announcing her candidacy released on Sunday featured a cross-section of Americans from diverse racial backgrounds as well as gay and lesbian couples. The transparent purpose was to exploit the image of Republicans as being out of touch with the changing nature of the American electorate.
A look at exit polls dating back to 1976 from the Roper Center (and CNN) shows that Obama is in a league of his own when it comes to Democratic victory margins among young voters and African-Americans.
Signs of Hope!?! Hillary Clinton Isn’t Inevitable
Seemingly alone among commentators, I am bearish on Hillary Clinton. Not “she can’t win” bearish, but “something less than a 50 percent chance of winning” bearish. Why is everyone else convinced she’s a lock?
If you believe the “wisdom of crowds” argument, the answer is that I’m wrong and they’re right. And fair enough. But this crowd is composed of mostly left-leaning journalists and academics, so there might be a wee bit of sample bias.
Jonathan Chait has a smart piece in New York magazine on why Clinton is probably going to win. Here’s my bear-side case for why I don’t think she will.
Why this man believes the GOP is set to win everything
Arthur Laffer has a simple theory of politics. It’s about as simple as his theory of economics, which has been guiding Republican presidential candidates for nearly 40 years now. The economic theory says that the lowest, simplest tax code will produce the most growth. The political theory goes like this: Politicians crave love from voters. So if you want to get a politician to do what you think is right, give him a plan he can easily sell, and make sure that plan will deliver a lot of crowd-pleasing economic growth.
Laffer, the legendary supply-side economist, is certain that 2016 is the year his political and economic theories align — producing a wave election for Republicans, then the most aggressive tax-cutting legislation since Ronald Reagan was president, then massive growth and finally, a generational lock on Washington for the GOP.
And the beauty of it is, he thinks any candidate in the current Republican crop could deliver those results. It’s simply a matter of combining their need to be loved with a tax plan he is certain voters will adore.
“Each one of these candidates, in my mind, has the natural resources, whatever it is, to be a good president” – and implement pro-growth policies, Laffer said in a recent interview.
Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax
The tables show just how progressive the income tax is. The three million people in the top 1% of earners pay nearly half the income tax.
Why is the share of income taxes negative for 40% of Americans? In recent decades Congress has chosen to funnel important benefits for lower-income earners through the income tax rather than other channels. Some of these benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Credit for education, make cash payments to people who don’t owe income tax. …
The share of tax paid by the top 20% of Americans also changes when such social-insurance levies are included: It drops from more than 80% of income taxes to about 67% of all federal taxes.
The average American pays an income tax rate of 10.1 percent, the Joint Committee shows, although that varies quite a bit depending on income:
Wealthy donors on left launch new plan to wrest back control in the states
A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left’s political might in the states, racing to catch up with a decades-old conservative effort that has reshaped statehouses across the country.
The plan embraced by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that advises some of the Democrats’ top contributors, puts an urgent new focus on financing groups that can help the party regain influence in time for the next congressional redistricting process, after the 2020 elections. The blueprint approved by the alliance board calls on donors to help expand state-level organizing and lobbying for measures addressing climate change, voting rights and economic inequality.
“People have gotten a wake-up call,” Gara LaMarche, the alliance’s president, said in an interview. “The right is focused on the state level, and even down-ballot, and has made enormous gains. We can’t have the kind of long-term progressive future we want if we don’t take power in the states.”
The five-year initiative, called 2020 Vision, will be discussed this week at a private conference being held at a San Francisco hotel for donors who participate in the Democracy Alliance. Leading California Democrats are scheduled to make appearances, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The alliance, which does not disclose its members, plans to make some of the events available to reporters via a webcast.
Pretty Darn Close: Here is a PERFECT Explanation About the Difference Between Democrats and Republicans
In case you haven’t noticed, a world of difference between Democrats and Republicans — substitute the word “conservatives” here in case “Republican” leaves a sour taste in your mouth — but articulating that difference for the “politically impaired” can be a bit challenging.
Thankfully, there’s a little quiz, a test of sorts, one can take to help sort out the political identity confusion and help you discover whether or not you’re a liberal or conservative.
This is hilarious.
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