Romney Releases Tax Information, Does Better with Florida GOP Voters

I know, I know: it’s wrong to assume that correlation implies causation. But look at what’s going on with Florida GOP voters. Nate Silver:

Polls Suggest Gingrich’s Support May Have Peaked

Polling released within the past 24 hours suggests that Mitt Romney may have stopped and possibly reversed Newt Gingrich’s momentum before the Florida primary on Tuesday.

… In fact, I suspect … that there is enough evidence — when you look carefully at the day-to-day results — to conclude that Mr. Romney has re-emerged as the slight favorite in Florida instead….

The poll chart at Talking Points Memo shows Romney’s Florida lead over Gingrich getting bigger and bigger over the past couple of days — it’s now at 7.7% The latest survey to be added to TPM’s poll mix is a Monmouth University survey (PDF) showing Mitt up by 7. It was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Gee, what happened Monday night and Tuesday morning? Well, among other things, Romney released the tax information that was supposed to hurt him tremendously. Guess what? It hasn’t — not with Republican voters in Florida it hasn’t. You can draw the same conclusion from a Rasmussen poll conducted yesterday (Romney up by 8, after trailing Gingrich by 9 four days earlier) and an Insider Advantage poll (PDF) also conducted yesterday (Romney up by 8 in this one as well, with a similar reversal of fortune).

Now, there are a couple of obvious explanations for Romney’s mini-surge in Florida: he has a much heavier TV presence in the state, and Gingrich delivered a tepid performance in the last debate. (Oh, and many media wingnuts are attacking Gingrich.)

But shouldn’t that be offset by Romney’s tax stuff, if (as mainstream pundits keep telling us) Republicans as well as Democrats think the plutocrats have gone too far in this country?

Florida Republicans clearly don’t believe that. At the very least, they’re giving Romney a pass on his wealth, his business practices, and his tax rate. Maybe it’s too much to say that being a fat cat is helping Romney with these Republicans, but it sure isn’t hurting him.

(X-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.)

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89 replies
  1. 1
    trollhattan says:

    Bug, meet feature; feature, meet bug.

    They respect somebody who can pull down $20+M/year without having to actually, ya know, work.

  2. 2
    kindness says:

    Doesn’t much matter. All the Repubs running are idiots.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    You can’t sway low info voters with info, but you can jostle them when the candidates are close in terribleness.

    The GOP primary is like trying to decide which kind of lettuce to have on your shit sandwich.

  4. 4
    David Koch says:

    SteveM,

    You really are neurotic.

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    I don’t know if you can attribute it to the release of the information that Romney is really, really, rich. The state of the union may have also clarified, in people’s minds, that they really want to beat Obama. The entire Romney “thing” is based on the idea of “electability” in a matchup with Obama. That’s the beginning and end of everything–no one chooses Romney because they like him better. They choose him because they can imagine a general election in which other voters are making the choice between Candidate X and Obama.

    All the swing towards Romney shows is that some number of Florida voters are putting aside whatever their own feelings are and considering Romney the more electable candidate by other people, later on. I think we’ll see that kind of switch up in every primary from here on out–its actually an entirely different mind set for voters as the primaries roll along. The earliest primaries encourage the most selfish and egotistical thinking–the most inside the box and the most inside the echo chamber. As the primary season moves forward and as Obama and the Dems step up the pressure and go into electioneering mode themselves that clarifies things for the Republican voting base.

    aimai

  6. 6
    wrb says:

    But shouldn’t that be offset by Romney’s tax stuff, if (as mainstream pundits keep telling us) Republicans as well as Democrats think the plutocrats have gone too far in this country?

    We haven’t learned anything new from the tax returns YET. Maybe after people dig, maybe if more returns are released. The offshore accounts sound promising, so does the suggestion that he paid no tax in the prior year(s).
    He’s rich and he paid around 15%. Not news. Doubt it helped or hurt him

  7. 7
    gbear says:

    If you’re a republican voter in FL, you have your choice between a punch in the face and a punch in the stomach.

    Pick one.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    Off-shore books have Newt 2-1 for the nomination, and Mitt’s at -175. So apparently the money people still see Romney as the more likely candy to win FL.

    Most importantly, Obama went from -110 to win the presidency now to -160. Some breathing room away from a coin flip.

  9. 9
    jibeaux says:

    Eh, I think there’s just a little frizzle of excitement about the latest not-Romney-flavor-of-the-week going on all the time, and then people look a little closer and say “Dear heavens.” It’s like political beer goggles, and they’re on about their fifth pair. But they’re going to marry Romney in the end.

  10. 10
    ericblair says:

    I think the big problem with Romney’s taxes is that it doesn’t support the gooper catechism at all. Romney doesn’t pay some ungodly percentage of his income in tax: he pays less than Joe Lunchbucket. So he’s got all this money taxed at a low rate, so where’s all the job-createrin’? He’s not creating jobs, except for a handful of tax accountants. The money’s sitting around in foreign accounts doing nothing for nobody.

    So guess what, goopers. Give rich people money, and they put it in a big pile in a nice vacation spot and figure out how not to pay taxes on the interest. That’s about all.

  11. 11
    Triassic Sands says:

    Florida Republicans are still Republicans, and thus, subject to the laws of stupidity. But really, is there a right choice between Romney and Gingrich? I find it nearly impossible to say who would be a worse president. Sure, it’s obvious who would be a worse husband, but that’s not the point.

    In the end, my gut tells me that a soulless panderer with no core beliefs, someone willing to say and do anything at all for personal advantage, would be worse. But I think we’re talking about degrees of catastrophe.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    @aimai: I think you’re right. The Republicans hate Romney’s guts — hell, his own dog hated the bastard (or should have)! Newt’s dog-whistles were enough to enthrall the SC base, and the combined thrill of the dog-whistles and “fuck-you” to Romney that was the SC result were enough to inflate Newt’s numbers in Florida. Now the base is waking up with a hangover and making the calculation you describe.

    I hope Newt wins FL just to keep the fail parade going as long as possible, but I’ll be somewhat surprised if he does. I’d be willing to bet a considerable sum (though nothing like $10K) that Romney ultimately wins the nomination, and it won’t be because the base admires his work at Bain.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    I really want Newt to win Florida so the whole chaotic mess keeps going forward, the GOP establishment and money guys completely lose their shit and we all get to watch the Newt Romney show for another month.

  14. 14
    Jim C. says:

    Just a thought here, but it may also have something to do with Mitt outspending Newt in Florida almost three to one and plenty of recent stories out about what a disaster it would be for Republicans if Newt got the nomination.

  15. 15
    Brian R. says:

    Conservatives don’t act rationally. They do whatever it is that they think will piss off liberals.

    The president came out and said people like Mitt Romney should pay more in taxes. So these conservatives rallied around Romney.

    Simple as that.

  16. 16
    SteveM says:

    @Jim C.:

    Mitt outspending Newt in Florida almost three to one

    That’s what I meant by “much heavier TV presence.”

  17. 17
    Petorado says:

    Here’s the Republican quandary: Romney had not yet proved he’s a certified liberal pisser-offer (there’s RomneyCare for Christ sake.) Newt certainly insults liberals, but insults Republicans too. Paul can at times sounds like a liberal. Santorum only weirds liberals out.

    But Romney’s “I’ve got mine and you can’t touch any of it” attitude, emphasized by his tax returns, certainly has raised some liberal ire. Republicans may at last be satisfied they have their guy. What is the GOP, after all, other than the personification of what pisses-off liberals, updated daily?

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @ericblair:

    So he’s got all this money taxed at a low rate, so where’s all the job-createrin’?

    Haven’t you heard him bragging about Bain creating 100,000 jobs? It doesn’t matter that there’s no hard support for that number, that they mostly include stuff he was doing 20 years ago and wasn’t quite as rich, or anything else. He claims to be rich and to have created a bunch of jobs, so rich people must be job creators.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    If the polls favor Romney then Newt’s the underdog again. He’s much better in that role. I expect lots of “Mitt thinks his money can buy your love and your vote” and “the establishment’s against me, so I’m the true outsider” kinds of statements.

  20. 20
    shep says:

    Gingrich needs to play the “Romney’s really a liberal in “conservative” garb,” card and highlight Romney’s (now) liberal record and statements prior to this presidential run. Florida Republicans certainly don’t hate the greedy rich but they sure do hate them some liberals.

  21. 21
    waratah says:

    I would like for Newt to win Florida so that Romney will say more stupid things like his immigration policy.

  22. 22
    smintheus says:

    No reason why Newt’s flaccid debate and getting clobbered in paid media (plus his continued assholery) should be offset by Romney’s tax problems.

  23. 23
    James L says:

    I think you can factor in Gingrich’s hugely expensive moon base pledge. How are we supposed to pay for this and have his tax cuts and pay down the deficit?

    Still it would be lovely to have him as the nominee.

  24. 24
    Jim C. says:

    @SteveM:

    Sorry Steve. Missed seeing that. Skimming articles from work at the moment.

  25. 25
    JGabriel says:

    OT, but are there any Keynesian economists in the audience?

    Krugman has a post up advocating for a Fed inflation target of 4-5%, instead of the current 2% target:

    … recent experience has made an overwhelming case for the proposition that the 2 percent or so implicit target prior to the Great Recession was too low, that 4 or 5 percent would be much better.

    K-thug has been consistently pushing for a 4-5% inflation target for a while now. I get why a higher inflation target than 2% is advisable, but 5% seems kind of steep. Does anyone know what the macroeconomic basis is for suggesting that high a target rather than 3 or 3.5 percent?

    I asked the question in Krugman’s comments section, but FSM knows whether he’ll actually get around to answering it between the volume of comments he regularly gets and currently being sick with bad cold.

    (All the Times links are formatted for those without accounts.)

    .

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    Apparently imprisoned ex-Congressman Duke Cunningham and his fellow inmate support Newt. Now there’s an endorsement!

  27. 27
    Mike E says:

    Peak Gingrich…say it ain’t so!

  28. 28
    Hoodie says:

    You have to remember that Republican base voters by and large don’t care about policy, as evidenced by their contingent relationship with facts. Mitt’s tax issue is not that important to them because they will believe any nonsense rationalization about his tax status as long as he fills their emotional needs, e.g., beating Obama. Right now, Mitt isn’t meeting those emotional needs very well, but those needs are fluid and can quickly channel back to Mitt if he looks like a better bet to beat Obama. Newt’s falloff is the emotional buzz from the last SC debate wearing off and, as someone pointed out, might also arise from base voters not liking the matchup with Newt after watching “reasonable man” Obama in action on Tuesday. That telegraphed that Obama is running against Mitt and, as a consequence, doesn’t take Newt seriously as an adversary.

  29. 29
    Gus says:

    Why not? Note how Gingrich’s numbers went up right after the interview with his ex-wife that showed what a loathsome scum he is. Republican primary voters are sociopaths.

  30. 30
    Comrade Dread says:

    I think it has more to do at the end of the day with a lot of GOP voters waking up and realizing, “Sweet fracking Buddha, were we really going to put up Newt “I’ll invent warp drive in my first term” Gingrinch as our presidential nominee? Which one of you young scallywags switched our medications again?”

    This will, of course, be followed sometime in November by a moment when every wakes up and cries “Why did you idiots put up the Mormon Millionaire in the middle of a recession? He’s not even a conservative. He tried to help sick people, fer Shiva’s sake! Put up a real conservative next time.”

  31. 31
    JGabriel says:

    Prisoner Duke Cunningham via Violet:

    Newt … I have 80% of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will.

    Must be a white collar prison.

    .

  32. 32
    JC says:

    I don’t think it is about the tax returns, it’s about the media war, as you point out.

    Mitt is winning the ad war 3 to 1, and then also is winning the Fox blowhard war, Republican BigWig war, at least 10 to 1.

    The fact that he is still maintaining underneath all that, is a testament to the weakness of Romney for the Republican base. And the fact that the vote is still split between 3 anti-romneys.

  33. 33
    Donut says:

    “Now, there are a couple of obvious explanations for Romney’s mini-surge in Florida: he has a much heavier TV presence in the state, and Gingrich delivered a tepid performance in the last debate. (Oh, and many media wingnuts are attacking Gingrich.)

    But shouldn’t that be offset by Romney’s tax stuff, if (as mainstream pundits keep telling us) Republicans as well as Democrats think the plutocrats have gone too far in this country?”

    I think, as you note, the money Romney is spending is really the difference-maker. I “admire” Newt for going at Mitt both guns blazing over the tax stuff, even though it’s done as this weird “attack from the left but frame it as from the right” angle. But I have always thought that the tax issue would be more a problem outside of the GOP base and those freaks who pretend to call themselves independents, but who are really GOP voters.

    I guess I don’t necessarily see how the tax issue should be hurting him with the GOP electorate. We are talking about the ignoramuses in the base whom are constantly defending the wealthy because they I think they might get rich some day, too, so why should the rich pay more taxes…

    Romney wanted to keep all that under wraps until he had the nomination sewn up, get it all out at once, and try like hell to be done with it. Now, it’s going to be a long-term problem. Look at their statements today. They wanna say it’s all put to rest now. They wanted to do this when Mitt was the nominee so that there wouldn’t be a long, drawn out discussion over it.

    Newt’s attacks right now hurt Mittens over the longer term more than they help Newt. He’s going to hang in for awhile, and that’s what I wanna see. The more the establishment comes after him, too, the more fun it gets and hopefully the more his ego and bragadoccio rule him. Fun stuff, mostly good for Democrats either way.

  34. 34
    trollhattan says:

    @SteveM:

    That’s what I meant by “much heavier TV presence.”

    Well on my teebee, Newt is definitely the heaviest presence (presuming Chris Christie isn’t in the same area code).

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Triassic Sands:
    Agreed: President Noot and President Mitt would be two very different kinds of train wreck. You may well be right about Mitt, who would provide your country with no leadership at all, but merely go along with whoever yelled at him most recently. Republicans would get pissed at him for always caving in to Democrats; Democrats, for not having the balls to keep his promises to them. The DC Village Pundits will bemoan the Incredible Shrinking President Mitt.

    But I suspect that President Noot would provide the more entertaining disaster. Noot, I do believe, would seize upon the first major policy fight with the Democratic party to ruin his working relationship with them for the duration of his term. Then, as sure as God made little green apples, he’d get in a fight with congressional Republicans. Noot would also pick petty fights with the judiciary, the executive, his own appointees, and even a voter or two. (And all that’s just in America.) In the end, even the punditocracy would be calling him “President A-hole”.

  36. 36
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Violet: Exactly right. When Gingrich can channel his aggrieved Rodney Dangerfield that is when he is at his vituperative best. When he doesn’t have an object to go all polemical over, that’s when he gets all moon-basey.

  37. 37
    bushworstpresidentever says:

    First, the tax returns have received very little coverage here in Florida. Second, never underestimate the stupidity of Florida voters: i.e., Governor Voldemort. And most importantly, third, the incessant ads by Romney and his super PAC that are overwhelming anything Gingrich is putting on the air (actually, I’m not sure I have seen any ads by him).

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    @trollhattan:

    Well on my teebee, Newt is definitely the heaviest presence (presuming Chris Christie isn’t in the same area code).

    Thereby explaining why Christie called Gingrich an “embarrassment” to the GOP: no stage is big enough for the two of them.

    .

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @JGabriel:

    I do not specialize in macroeconomics, but to the extent I understand the field, I would be classified as some kind of Keynesian.

    i think by now it is clear that macrotheory in the Keynesian tradition has a better predictive performance than the neoclassical or Friedman style monetarist (which is actually another kind of Keynesianism) macro. It also seems more robust and flexible, and it is certainly better supported by conventional standards of statistical evidence.

    That won’t convince a neoclassical macro person. Their theory, from its conceptual foundations, all the way through the technical details of how it works, is not designed to predict or make forecasts. And they long ago gave up using standard statistical methods to evaluate empirical evidence for or against their theories.

    Not sure that the reasons currently given by Keynesians for why their theory is more robust and predicts better than others has much relationship to the reality of what is going on.

    Ok, pompous throat clearing over. Substantive reply in next comment.

  40. 40
    Captain Howdy says:

    Yeah it’s Romney’s “taxes” that are animating Florida voters.

    Or perhaps it’s that he’s outspending the engorged slime mold Gingrich in advertising by about $ nine trillion to one. (approx)

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    @trollhattan:

    Well on my teebee, Newt is definitely the heaviest presence (presuming Chris Christie isn’t in the same area code).

    As I said in a previous thread, I listened to Limbaugh when I was in the car at lunch today. I heard a pro-Newt ad (paid for by his superPAC). My state doesn’t vote for a long time, so it has to be a national buy. I’ve heard the same or similar ads on Limbaugh and Hannity over the last week (I’ve started listening to them when I’m in the car to see if I can figure out who they’re supporting.)

  42. 42
    wrb says:

    But shouldn’t that be offset by Romney’s tax stuff, if (as mainstream pundits keep telling us) Republicans as well as Democrats think the plutocrats have gone too far in this country?”

    Until Obama made clear he is running against the sort of tax deal Mitt receives. Then rallying to Mitt was automatic.

    I don’t think the tax returns by themselves helped, but them in combination with the state of the union made Mitt a champion.

  43. 43
    dr. bloor says:

    Florida Republicans clearly don’t believe that. At the very least, they’re giving Romney a pass on his wealth, his business practices, and his tax rate. Maybe it’s too much to say that being a fat cat is helping Romney with these Republicans, but it sure isn’t hurting him.

    If you’re surprised that the denizens of America’s Penis are not acting rationally on information, you haven’t been paying attention. Met their governor yet?

  44. 44
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    I suspect that this has little to do with tax returns and much more to do with Romney successfully going after Gingrich as a corrupt Beltway lobbyist with an eccentric record on many issues and a monumental lack of self-discipline. Gingrich might seem formidable in his own mind – but he has an enormous amount of baggage and extremely poor favorability ratings. As a candidate for the presidency, he’s one enormous pinata waiting to happen. I would also guess that in a GOP primary tax evasion/minimization isn’t much of a negative and that once Romney made his token gesture to transparency, that calmed the stomachs of the voters who had briefly flirted with the idea that Gingrich might be the “safer” bet. That said, maybe the final debate before Floridians vote will see Romney’s inner weaselly hypocrite emerging and allow King Ga-Newt to turn back the tide again.

  45. 45
    David Hunt says:

    So does anyone know where you can find an copy (preferably PDF) of the actual return. There’s tons of articles talking about it. Reuters has a slideshow that lets you see the front two pages and some of it is large enough to read. It’s just enough to make me want to dig into that thing in detail. I found an article with a link to an address on Romeny’s campaign site that ended in “tax return” but following it just gives a message that the address no longer exists. That just fills me with confidence. Most of what I do for a living is Federal tax returns. I’ve never dealt with anyone even close to Romney’s wealth, and I think it would be interesting as as all get-out to be able to go over that thing before gates of Hell open up next month and I’m buried and working 70-80 hours per week.

    TL;DR version: I’m looking for a downloadable copy Romney’s actual return. Does anyone know where to find it.

    p.s. would it kill the candidates to put a bloody search function on their campaign websites?

  46. 46
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @JC:

    The fact that he is still maintaining underneath all that, is a testament to the weakness of Romney for the Republican base. And the fact that the vote is still split between 3 anti-romneys.

    Yes, Romney should have had this a done deal by now, not fighting with the zombie of Newt Gringrich. It just shows Mitt sucks as a politician.

  47. 47
    Citizen Alan says:

    I can’t imagine why GOP primary voters would care about Slick Willard’s taxes. By definition, a GOP primary voter believes in the Divine Right of Kings, so the very fact that Slick Willard is rich is proof that God loves him and that nothing he can do (financially, at least) is wrong.

  48. 48
    Mark S. says:

    @jl:

    What do you mean by neoclassical? Austrian school?

  49. 49
    Jim Pharo says:

    You know how we always decry the role of money in politics? When we say money, mostly we mean “tv ads” because they are so powerful.

    TV (and advertising in particular) are much more powerful than most lib-dem bloggy-types think. In 1972, a large number of Americans were persuaded that their best hope for the future was Dick Nixon. He didn’t do that by dint of his personality. He picked a winning message (that had nothing whatsoever to do with his actual plans, etc.) and advertised the crap out of it.

    W ran on a promise of a patient’s bill of rights at the federal level. These morons will say anything, and through the magical powers of tv and money, they will get about 1/2 the people to believe it.

  50. 50
    MarkJ says:

    I think it’s the advertizing dollars. The release of his tax docs probably didn’t help him, but they may not have hurt all that much given that Republicans are anti-tax (except when it comes to the payroll tax).

    Plus Newt has his own skeletons that the 5 minute attention span GOP voters had forgotten about in all the tough talk about food stamps. Romney has been better at reminding them of Newt’s various foibles lately.

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I think the rhythm at this point is actually that whoever the media is going after manages to get the Republicans to rally around him. So when the issue was the “open marriage,” Newt was perceive to be under attack by the “MSM,” so Republicans swung Newtwards. When the issue is Mitt’s tax returns, Mitt is perceived to be under attack by the “MSM,” so Republicans are swinging Mittwards.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    @JGabriel:

    i think that the Galbraith/Stiglitz/Krugman/Econbrowser crew/De Long/Blanchard axis of Keynesians would characterize the situation as follows:

    Expectations about future value of housing and real estate assets in the economy got totally unhinged from reality. Unrealistic levels of paper debt were issued by the finance industry, and acquired by other sectors of finance and society at large.

    As Stigltiz puts it: the amount of paper debt larger than can be serviced be returns from real asset stock that exists or can be created in time given current levels of productivity.

    Classical theories of how a full employment equilibrium will not work, in part because it is impossible, using current market institutions to adjust the value of paper (nominal) debt to match returns from probably future stocks of assets. For example, you (a wager earning lesser person) must take a nominal wage cut to get a job, but the nominal value of your mortgage remains the same. Neoclassical theory only works if the real value of both debts and other prices and wages can ALL adjust.

    A high inflation level is a way to reduce the value of the paper debt to be more in line with probably real income streams of existing stocks of productive assets.

    Higher inflation means that holders of paper debt all get a gradual haircut on their paper assets.

    Makes adjustment easier. The difference between value of paper debt and real returns that can be produced by economy gets smaller.

    People like Stiglitz and De Long look more more into financial side of situation than Krugman, this also improves functioning of finance industry (better for socieity as a whole if not for that sector’s profits), and helps preserve real productive capital stock.

    If Friedman were alive, I think he would agree. Mechanism is the same as why floating exchange rates (compared to fixed) allow adjustment of individual economies to recession with damage to GDP and real wages.

    Is that clear?

  53. 53
    jibeaux says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:
    To be fair, he sucks in a lot of non-politician ways, too.

  54. 54
    mike says:

    The wingnut propaganda machine is out in full force with marching orders from their corporate masters (see Steve’s attached Politico article). It’s a full on press to turn the base against Newtie.

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @jl:

    And they long ago gave up using standard statistical methods to evaluate empirical evidence for or against their theories.

    And those people aren’t run out of academia on a rail?

  56. 56
    Suffern ACE says:

    The point of the tax returns was to make Romney look weird by not releasing them. Unless you can find something really damning in them, you’ll have nothing much now that they’re out. They served their purpose when he wasn’t releasing them much better than they can when he has.

  57. 57
    wrb says:

    What is of concern and is a bit amazing is that despite all the negative stuff being thrown at Romney and his pathetic qualities Romney is polling +5 against Obama in Florida.

    http://polltracker.talkingpoin.....est/geo/FL

  58. 58
    jl says:

    @Mark S.:

    No, neoclassical macro theory is not same as Austrian theory.

    Austrian theory is not even a real theory by modern standard of any science, and some Austrians admit this. Austrian stuff is more a social philosophy. Some Austrians try to make it into a quantitative theory that can be used to predict (or retrodict). But they are minority.

    Neoclassical theory basically says that

    rational expectations hold in the sense that that people’s expectations of future prices will always be close to what is realized in the future

    free market mechanisms enough to keep economy close to long run optimal general equilibrium path at all times

    aggregate demand adjusts to aggregate supply almost instantaneously, so all economic cycles are due to exogenous, totally unpredictable shocks to real productivity in the economy

  59. 59
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @jibeaux:

    To be fair, he sucks in a lot of non-politician ways, too.

    There is no difference at the level of game he is trying to play in.

  60. 60
    dmsilev says:

    Speaking of Romney and taxes,
    Romney tax returns detail funds not identified in ethics forms

    A review by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau found that at least 23 funds and partnerships listed in the couple’s 2010 tax returns did not show up or were not listed in the same fashion on Romney’s most recent financial disclosure, including 11 based in low-tax foreign countries such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.

    Oh, Mittens.

  61. 61
    jl says:

    @Calouste:

    No, they were not ‘run out on a rail’. And, with good reason, even though I disagree with nearly everything they say.

    Empirical verification of theory in social science is not a simple matter.

    Even though I am stat person, I would never agree that conventional statistical tests are adequate for all purposes and in all situations.

    In some areas, conventional statistics is not on much better footing in terms of reliable way to determine truth than economics is. Scary maybe, that that is the way it is.

    What is going on in the real world is very uncertain. Life is unfair that way.

  62. 62
    Violet says:

    @David Hunt:

    I’m looking for a downloadable copy Romney’s actual return. Does anyone know where to find it.

    Did you look at the WaPo page on them? Link. Looks like they’ve got them. Not sure how readable they are. Not sure if they’re downloadable, though.

  63. 63
    GVG says:

    It took a little time for the older people to remind the younger about all the Gingrinch …problems. Romney just has 2 or 3 the tax returns/how he got so wealthy, He keeps changing and I guess the Mormon thing/evangelical. I can’t count how many G has. In fact he is so over the hill, I had forgotten a fair amount. Everybody telling their memories, brought it back.

  64. 64
    Tom says:

    I don’t think the tax stuff will hurt Romney with conservative voters–they probably LIKE that he pays a lower rate than they do–it’ll hurt in in the general.

    And there’s little doubt that Romney will win the nomination now that conservatives are turning on him and he was caught in a bald-faced, petty lie on national TV (and yes, I know he and other politicians lie all the time, but this is such a blatant and weaselly lie that he then used as basis for an attack on ABC that I think it’ll expose him as the man of big talk, little substance and loose morals that he is).

    But it’ll hurt Romney in the general because it plays right into the story line that he’s the 1% (coupled with his work at Bain and the fact that he thinks $350,000 isn’t “that much.”) I don’t think Americans will vote for a 1%er in 2012–especially one so out of touch that he thinks discussions about the wealth gap are about envy, not fairness.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    @jl:

    Is that clear?

    Yes, thanks, as far as it goes. It helped clarify some of the issues a little bit.

    A high inflation level is a way to reduce the value of the paper debt to be more in line with probably real income streams of existing stocks of productive assets.

    True, but I think that’s a side benefit specific to the current situation. In a more general sense, I think K-thug may be looking for the minimal inflation target that still gives the Fed room to avoid a liquidity trap by manipulating interest rates (assuming interest rates roughly correlate with inflation); i.e., with an inflation target of 2%, you’re awfully close to the zero boundary where you can’t adjust the interest rate much lower.

    So, maybe Krugman think 4%-5% is the minimum target that still gives the Fed breathing room above zero?

    .

  66. 66
    jl says:

    Also too,

    Keynes is not ultimate guide to understanding current downturn, weak recoery, and policy solutions.

    Irving Fisher is just as important.

    To really understand current situation you need to understand both Keynes, and Irving Fishers ‘debt deflation’ theory.

    Both de Long and Krugman have talked about this, though Krugman’s approach is easier to understand for non economists.

    Edit: not sure ‘deft deflation’ is worded right. But read wikipedia article on Fisher and something like that should appear. No time to look it up now.

  67. 67
    srv says:

    @jl: Informative. Read Minsky’s books?

  68. 68
    jl says:

    @JGabriel: That is true, but you need to increase real growth and employment (which will also reduce real debt burdens) by a certain, minimal amount before you can have higher nominal interest rates that are consistent with macroequilibrium.

    So, your line of thinking is in danger of putting the cart before the horse.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @srv: no time. Read empirical work built on Minsky, though.

    I have to go. Good luck figuring it all out. We economists aren’t doing very well, that is clear, so don’t get discouraged if it is hard to figure out.

  70. 70
    David Hunt says:

    @Violet:

    Thanks, that’s a really good start.

  71. 71
    srv says:

    @jl: Oh, you and K-thug are doing great, I almost feel like I understand this stuff now.

    (I realize it’s an illusion, but it does give me warmth).

  72. 72
    Tonal Crow says:

    @David Hunt: Romney’s returns. As with any untrusted website, make darn sure your system is hardened before visiting it.

  73. 73
    JGabriel says:

    @jl:

    That is true, but you need to increase real growth and employment (which will also reduce real debt burdens) by a certain, minimal amount before you can have higher nominal interest rates that are consistent with macroequilibrium.
    __
    So, your line of thinking is in danger of putting the cart before the horse.

    Not really. I’m thinking that the best way for the Fed to achieve an increased inflation target is through growth and employment. Which is to say, by paying as much or more attention to its mandate to keep unemployment low as it does to its mandate to control inflation.

    It seems to me that any measures which artificially raise inflation without such growth would just hurt the middle and lower classes. So raising the target rate should just indicate that the Fed is going to encourage growth and not step in to curb it until inflation hits the higher target rate.

    Does that make sense? I think we’re on the same page here.

    .

  74. 74
    AA+ Bonds says:

    LOL, keep trying to read those tea leaves

    What this has to do is with money, donors, and ad time, not this stupid horse race shit that BJers love to love

    If these numbers reflect a trend, it’s the trend of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, and as I’ve continued to say, it was all dependent on whether Gingrich could get enough money to the right places given his lack of campaign infrastructure in many states

  75. 75
    Judas Escargot says:

    @jl:

    i think by now it is clear that macrotheory in the Keynesian tradition has a better predictive performance than the neoclassical or Friedman style monetarist

    Related: Andrew Sullivan made a cogent post comparing the results of the UK’s recent austerity to the more Keynesian approach of the US. He’s remarkably empirical today.

  76. 76
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I say “was” because the money that will decide Florida has already been raised and deployed – the Florida primary has already been decided with checkbooks.

    Just like SC, Romney’s campaign at least knows well in advance whether or not he will win and probably by what margin, barring someone getting caught with a toddler in his mouth – although, like SC, they may be in public denial about it if it’s bad

  77. 77
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Don’t get me wrong – hang onto the tax return story, that would be useful against Romney in the general, but his campaign has worked admirably to take a story that Republicans are less likely to care about anyway and bury it in the middle of the week

    In general, BJ cares about what liberal TV pundits tell them they should care about, and that’s probably a long long way away from what actually matters

  78. 78
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Related: Andrew Sullivan made a cogent post comparing the results of the UK’s recent austerity to the more Keynesian approach of the US. He’s remarkably empirical today.

    He’s not empirical; he never understands what he’s talking about; he’s decided, like a lot of effete Republicans, that he wants to be on the I-like-blacks-no-really side of history

  79. 79
    JGabriel says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Andrew Sullivan made a cogent post comparing the results of the UK’s recent austerity to the more Keynesian approach of the US.

    It is more than passing strange that the idiots who accuse Obama of pursuing a European economic model are the same jackasses who constantly advocate for Austrian economics. And even stranger than no one in the media ever calls them on the dichotomy.

    .

  80. 80
    Judas Escargot says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    To loosely paraphrase Hugh Hefner: I don’t really care why he’s coming around to the anti-austerity camp.

    Millions of readers, many of them those very same ‘effete Republicans’. To hell with purity. I just want them to vote properly in November.

  81. 81
    JGabriel says:

    Sully via Judas Escargot:

    For me, the true test of conservatism is empiricism.

    I don’t think conservatism means what Sully thinks it means.

    How do you maintain a belief in conservative’s empiricism when conservatives routinely deny evolution, global warming, social sciences, etc.? I mean, that’s a level of compartmentalization that goes beyond even being a gay Catholic Tory.

    .

  82. 82
    General Stuck says:

    You can give yourself brane damage thinking to0 hard on what wingnuts are thinking with regard to who they support one day to the next with who to pick in their primary. It’s like an atheist trying to figure out God’s purpose for life on planet earth, just in case

  83. 83
    Tonal Crow says:

    @General Stuck:

    You can give yourself brane damage thinking to0 hard on what wingnuts are thinking with regard to who they support one day to the next with who to pick in their primary. It’s like an atheist trying to figure out God’s purpose for life on planet earth, just in case.

    Also too, unforced variation.

  84. 84
    Tonal Crow says:

    @JGabriel: To be fair to Sully, he’s talking about his brand of “conservatism”, not the brand that most Republicans practice. They’re only tenuously related.

  85. 85
    gelfling545 says:

    Just wondering if the change occurred pre or post Gingrich announcing that he wants to rule the Moon as well as the Earth.

  86. 86
    Ed in NJ says:

    Didn’t read all the comments, but Nate Silver is dangerously close to jumping the shark. With a race this volatile, he needs to learn to temper his written predictions. In ’08, he would adjust his predictions as polls came in, and they were shown in grid form on 538.com. Now he’s throwing up a blog post after every new poll, it seems. Can’t trust anything he says because it’s going to be different the next day.

  87. 87
    Tonal Crow says:

    Somewhat OT, but “Gingrich opened up the possibility of the moon becoming the 51st state, something he believes could happen once a permanent settlement reaches a population of 13,000 Americans.”

    Teatards’ll love this when the figure out it’d give them 2 more Senators.

  88. 88
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @dmsilev:
    You gotta love the corporate doubletalk from the campaign:

    The Romney campaign described the discrepancies as “trivial” but acknowledged Thursday afternoon that they are undergoing an internal review of how the investments were reported

    “Are undergoing an internal review of” is wonderful corporatespeak for “aren’t going to do jack shit about”.

    Of course they didn’t bother to check if there were any discrepancies in his financials. Mitt didn’t want to release the tax information; he had to be goaded into it by the rest of us, and he tried to stall for as long as he could.

  89. 89
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    It may not be the tax form release. It may be the state of the union address. Florida is full of wealthy Republican retirees who are probably getting nervous about an Obama proposed increase in the capital gains tax.

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