Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Musings on the Republican candidates

Rick Perry: There are certain defining moments that influence my views of political candidates. Mine for Rick Perry was when he was asked on Fox's morning show what would he do about illegals currently in America. Now you would think that of all questions, he would be prepared to answer this one. Especially after being beat up on the out of state tuition waiver in Texas for illegals, Perry should have known that this was a logical follow up question. His answer was that we should first address the problem of illegals coming into the country. He explained why a continuous border fence was not practical and that other methods would be much more effective. He was then reminded that he did not answer the question which was what would he do with those currently in the country. He then repeated his non-answer evading the question. The Fox person gave up and said thank you. Certainly as governor of Texas, Perry has been implementing a policy regarding the 1.7 million illegals in Texas. That he was evasive on this issue is illuminating. On the basis of that one answer, Perry has moved to the bottom of my list of republican candidates.

Herman Cain: I have heard several talking heads and callers on talk shows saying that Herman Cain was on the Fed board. One even said that Cain was head of the Fed! Cain was a Kansas City Fed director and chairman. Just like I was an Atlanta Fed - Nashville branch - director and chairman. Neither I or Cain were ever on the Fed's Board of Governors. Fed directors are akin to advisors to the Fed regional banks and have virtually no influence on the actions of the Board of Governors. To say that Herman Cain was on the Fed is misleading and just plain wrong.

Whatever happened to Michele Bachmann?

I liked Rick Santorum when he was in the senate but someone who is an incumbent senator and loses a race for re-election by 20 points cannot be seriously considered for the presidency - regardless of how many people try to use to the Richard Nixon analogy.

Ron Paul is considered a libertarian - why else would he name is son Rand? However, his position on illegal immigration is in conflict with basic libertarian principles. Libertarians generally favor open borders with labor flowing freely in response to market forces. Paul on the other hand favors closed borders. My position is basically libertarian. I favor open borders but all "visitors" must be documented. With no documents they will be arrested and deported as soon as the law permits. While in the country non-citizens cannot avail themselves to entitlements which are reserved for citizens. As to healthcare, hospitals would still not turn down those in need of medical care but those without insurance would be billed for the services and pursued by debt collectors in the event of no pay. One interesting thing to consider is the possibility allowing state citizenship without national citizenship because these decisions are best made at the state level.

Who are Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson and why do they think we should vote for them? I guess they feel that the exposure will position them for the future.

I also like Newt Gingrich - except for his lobbying for ethanol. Gingrich is clearly the most articulate, informed, intelligent of all the candidates. His knowledge on both domestic issues and foreign policy is encyclopedic. Although trained as a historian, he is rare among that profession in his understanding of market forces and capitalism. I have thoroughly enjoyed his alternative history novels with Bill Fortschen. However, his main liability may be that he will not listen to the advice of his staff and cabinet if elected president.

Mit Romney: Romney keeps touting himself as a successful businessman. However, is he really? He was head of a hedge fund. Although hedge funds serve a vital role in the market of mainly keeping listed firms focused, hedge funds are certainly like what we generally consider as a business. Herman Cain came up through the traditional business world and managed a firm that provides goods and services to consumers rather than to other investors. Although both rely on market tests, they are not similar in scope or responsibility. I for one think that having to meet budgets, to market your products to the public and to be cognizant of the forces of supply and demand are qualities I would like to see in a president and on that basis Cain is superior to Romney. For me I would like to see a Cain-Romney ticket if one were to come from these candidates with Gingrich as Secretary of State.

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