Political Comic: Personal responsibility on silver platters

mitt romney comic strip willard

Am I the only one who noticed something logically odd about what comes out of Mitt Romney’s mouth? There are some strange juxtapositions afoot.

For example, consider this:

Romney espouses a philosophy of personal responsibility and opportunity. If you want to get ahead in life, start a small business! In the next breath, however, he urges you to hold Barack Obama accountable for not making your life better than it was four years ago.

Wait a minute. I thought that was the job personal responsibility? I’m confused. Are we supposed to do it ourselves or wait on Obama to do it for us? Is it business time or Gerber time? And if I’m going to be spoon fed by the government, how do I know they won’t use the same silver spoon used on baby Willard (his true name) when he was a little baby peeing on his daddy’s knee? I don’t want his germs.

Romney is out spreading – nay shouting – the message that if you aren’t better off than you were four years ago, it isn’t your fault. It’s Obama’s fault. The same Obama who is currently the head of the largest government in the solar system.

It’s not your fault or due to any lack of effort or motivation on your part. Obama was supposed to make it better for you.

Here’s a quick analysis of the question, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”

  1. First you have to decide the answer to the question. If the answer is yes, then presumably Romney wants you to vote for Obama so you’ll get more of the same. That’s his implication.
  2. If the answer is no, then the next logical question becomes: “Is it relevant?” In other words, is it Obama’s job to make you better off? I remember we had eight years of George W. Bush. No one walked around saying it was his job to make you better off. Nay, his job was the “war on terror” and homeland security. Those were the specialities of The Decider. And, ironically and by no small coincidence, creating that whole recession mess for Obama to deal with in the first place.
  3. If you decide that you’re worse off today and that it’s relevant, then you have to ask, “Is that result my fault or that of Obama?” After all, the man may be powerful and stuff, but he can’t force you to start that small business or come up with the next great idea that will shape the future of all mankind. Like the Pet Rock.

Apparently making you “better off” is what Romney will do. So much for personal responsibility. Just sit back and relax. Romney has a secret plan to do it all for you. No effort or initiative on your part will be required. Isn’t incentive great? On the other hand, if you look closely enough, I think you’ll see that the bootstraps on Romney’s footwear are merely ornamental.

Note: Speaking of individual effort, after looking for a suitable image for my comic strip, I decided to expend the effort and create my very own artwork. This protects me from stealing or paying to license someone else’s work and, I think you’ll agree, the results were well worth the time invested. I am an artiste.

18 responses

  1. We personally are not better off because of some of the policies that Obama penned. It has nothing to do with expecting him to legislate our lives to be better through government welfare or handouts. His programs have literally caused us to be worse off by getting in our way of being a growing small business. My husband’s plans to expand and hire six people was quashed by several laws related to the healthcare reform and other legislative things that came directly from Obama and were pushed through a Democratic Congress or skipped that Congressional requirement altogether. All those changes are specific to Obama’s programs and have nothing to do with any recession we were in during Bush’s years. That is part of what I understood Romney was speaking about. I do not like what I see as Obama’s plan to slowly leech this country’s middle class of it’s hard earned income, while pushing welfare. To my husband and I, his plans are classic plans similar to what has happened repeatedly throughout history. It uses government legislation to kill the middle class and small businesses, forcing a much larger lower class (“why should I work and have it all taken away when the government gives it to people who are on welfare or forever unemployment.”). Eventually all you have left is a group of politicians who have legislated exceptions to their own rules and an overpowering number of really poor people relying on the government. Whether Obama wants to openly call himself a Socialist or a Communist, he is, in effect, one of them. Romney is just too polite to say it that bluntly. He is after all a standard politician.

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    1. Hi Beth! Good to see you again. Hey, do you have your own blog? I’d love to see what you like to write about. If you want to keep it secret you can whisper it to me using the “shout” link at the top of this page.

      So. If we want to dialogue and discuss our various opinions and answers to the question, “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” I’m certainly open to that.

      The real point of my post, however, was to show off my mad art skillz. But beyond that, it was also to illustrate what I think is a snarky disconnect in how Romney claims, on one hand, to believe something is true, but on the other, to use the opposite as a means of attack against his opponent. My point is that I find that sort of thing to be self-serving and a bit intellectually dishonest. Romney decidedly wants to play both ends against the middle and hope that we’re all too dumb to notice. He wants to have his cake and eat it, too. All while saying, “Let them eat cake.” Well. How cakey.

      I’m paraphrasing now, but Romney seems to be saying, “If you want something done, don’t wait around on government. Get off yer ass and get ‘r done. Start a small business. Be creative. Lift yourself up by your own bootstrap. Success comes with great effort.” But then he turns around and says, “Hey, did Obama give you any gold nuggets?” Am I the only one who sees the wackiness there?

      Back to the question and how Obama impacted your family, I would argue that, by definition, most legislation has winners and losers. New laws basically change some aspect of how the pie gets divvied up, or attempts to encourage or discourage behaviors. I call this social engineering.

      As a citizen, I think I have two ways of looking at new legislation. The first, of course, is: How does this affect me. That’s a very natural response, I think. A second perspective might be: How does this benefit or hurt things as a whole. For example, there may be times when something affects me in a way I don’t like but clearly has some greater benefit. Perhaps it makes our country stronger, which is still, perhaps more indirectly, of benefit.

      Then again, we may simply just disagree with it no matter what.

      The last two jobs I’ve been at my bosses took on additional employees the normally wouldn’t have because of some government tax credits and/or programs. Essentially they got reimbursed for something like six months of wages for giving an employee a try. I’m sure there were other costs but the bottom line is they must have liked the deal or they wouldn’t have gone for it. At the end of the program they could convert the employee to regular status or let them go. Either way there were pros and cons for the parties involved.

      My point is that government can hinder small business but it can also provide help.

      And, regardless of what particular hurdles might exist, including governmental ones, in my experience the decision to hire employees is based on one and only one factor: The ability to make a profit. I’d call that an economic axiom. If a small business owner determines that an additional employee will facilitate a corresponding increase in profit then they’ll pull the trigger. If not, they won’t. Isn’t it really that simple? It’s not likely, I think, for an owner to say, “Well, shoot. I could be making 10 times as much net profit, but I’m not about to add employees because I’m mad at them there Obama fellow.” The saying goes, “You don’t leave money on the table.”

      By the way, if I attempt to answer the question, I’d have to say, “Better off.” In 2004 I lived in an old single-wide trailer (owned). Today I live in a brand new house (rented). I’m making a record-setting wage I’ve never seen before in this small town. Adjusted for inflation it might not be much better than 2004, but I’m not sure. In any case, I still don’t have paid vacation, sick days, holidays, health insurance or retirement. Neither employer wanted to go there. They’re happy to say, “I’ll take your big city professional skills at pennies on the dollar for as long as you want to live in this small town, bucko.” I shit you not. Right now I’m making, in dollars, less wages than I did back in the 80’s. And that’s without all of that other crap collectively known as “benefits.” I get X amount per hour. That’s it.

      I just wrote somewhere else, can’t remember where now, that 2000 vs. 2010 saw a marked decrease in the number of Americans who got medical insurance provided by their employers. I’ve written about this before. How two wager earners are required just to hold on to a slowly deteriorating lifestyle while employers (on average) are opting out of providing things like health insurance and retirement. We’re going to be asses and elbows with elderly people with absolutely no means of support in no time. I’m sure that’ll be just great for the strength and might of the United States.

      For me, the question is: “Am I better off today than I was in 12 years ago?” In other words, let’s go back a bit further and compare today with the George W. Bush era. My answer to that question is decidedly, “Hells no.”

      I do think you raise some excellent points and I don’t have answers for them. Humans will do what humans do. And history does repeat itself. If I was that brilliant I’d be guarding the chicken coop instead of slowly rotating on a spit.

      I hope the length of this reply shows how much I value your input. Thanks for stopping by once again!

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      1. Hi. I have a hard time checking email, Facebook, and friends’ blogs daily, so I don’t think I will ever start a blog of my own. My husband has an independent/conservative blog. I usually save my comments to his for in person, especially when we disagree, which we do. 🙂

        I do agree with you about most laws having winners and losers and a businessman needing to do his own calculations on the profitability of any changes to his business. That is, after all, smart business. Again our experiences have just been on opposite ends of the spectrum, so our opinions grow apart from that point. I too still value your opinion and enjoy learning from you, even if it appears that I am trying to negate that opinion.

        Under Bush’s presidency (BTW: I did not like Bush at all.), my husband was able to start his own company and thrive with never more than a weekend between contracts and we were well on our way to middle class from our poorer roots – to include an actual savings account to speak of, a brand new car, and buying a house. Just before Obama took office, we had plans to expand the business. I already explained that some of Obama’s specific bills that he pushed to become laws have negatively impacted us. Add to that the sad fact that for seven months of this past year, my husband was only on a 16 hour/week contract because his potential customers were spending shy. He is still the top guru in his field, so a lot of his business friends would email him for “free” business advice because they needed him, but they all had a problem pushing my husbands company through their HR and contracting sections. We kept hearing about budget snafus related to decreased profits. Right now he is back on a roll with one full time contract, one part-time teaching gig, and people trying to head-hunt him for new contracts. One guy put it blunt, they held off as long as possible hiring a consultant, but just got too desperate for help. In the meantime, all our savings are gone and we are again in debt. Also include the sad fact that our house value has dropped 40% making us owe more than we could sell it for; we bought it ten years ago already with equity in it. Hence, we are NOT better off than we were 4 years ago.

        I have many more reasons than that one question (Are you better off?) as to why I do not want Obama as my president any longer. Do I blame Obama for all of the recent hardships? No, that would be silly. He is not THAT powerful. I do hold him accountable for making some specific decisions that hurt our business. I also have that general feeling I expressed that he is a socialist (or maybe even a communist) at heart. Not throwing daggers, just my observation. My brother-in-law was a communist and I still liked him as a friend. I just would never want him having any political control over my life. That leaves Mitt as my choice for this election. Someone whom I believe is a standard politician with all the half-truths common to all politicians. Mitt is no Reagan and has some things I disagree with, but he does have a better plan than Obama. I do believe that if many of his plans are implemented our business would be in a better position than it is today. And the better that business goes, so improves our lifestyle.

        BTW: As a 1099 business, we do not have insurance through any employer and my husband and two kids are uninsurable due to medical disorders. Thank goodness my husband is retired military, even if Tricare is crappy insurance, it is there. Tricare used to be better, but it has been cut in multiple ways under this administration (Congress, not Obama’s doing). Nice thanks for someone who was shot at and broke his back literally for our country; take away benefits he was promised when he signed his contract all those years ago and held up his end of the deal. I’ll save the rest of that “better healthcare” topic for another discussion.

        Goodnight, hon.

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  2. I think the, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” argument is so passe. The entire world is in a economic downturn. But Americans don’t like to think about the rest of the world, since after all “We’re #1!” I’m in daily contact with people around the world and they are uniformly unimpressed with Romney. Promises, promises. When I had my pedicure today, I read about his $55,000 elevator for his cars. Hello? But you can denigrate my opinion because I teach public school, I have a gay son, and neither of my sons has insurance. Geez!

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    1. Ronald Reagan asked the same question, but he did in the context of, “Hey. Are you better off than you were four years ago? If you like what I’ve been doing, consider re-hiring me. If not, go with the other guy.”

      The Romney campaign, up above the slippery slope and on the higher ground of their “clean” and civilized behavior, uses it negatively to frame the other guy.

      When Reagan asked the question he came across as classy and sincere. When Romney asks the question he seems hypocritical and mean spirited. IMHO.

      Yeah, I heard about the car elevator. It’s so inconvient having to ride down to the garage and walking to a parking spot before entering your luxury automobile, isn’t it? They sure are regular folk just like me. I can see how they totally understand the world I live in. Where if I don’t raise enough cash money for my wife’s surgery on her company’s health insurance plan the surgery gets cancelled. I’m sure Mitt and his family have been in that same position lots of times. Hell, he’s practically my twin.

      Here’s how Reagan asked the question:

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      1. Reagan was asking that question because we’d just endured four hard years of Jimmy Carter.
        Here’s an interesting comparison. http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/873554-who-inherited-worse-economy-obama-reagan.html

        The misery index (unemployment rate plus inflation rate) was very high (17.97) when Reagan came into office, but it dropped each year he was in office. It was 8.94 when Obama was inaugurated and is now 12.11. So, “Are you better off?” is actually a good question to ask. Will the current policies bring down the misery index or will they continue the acceleration of misery? The world was in turmoil in 1980, too, so it’s a fair comparison. http://www.miseryindex.us/indexbyyear.aspx

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  3. If my dog runs away, should I blame Obama?
    If one of my kids gets sick, should I blame Obama?
    If my car breaks down, should I blame Obama?

    When I think of the “bad” things that have happened over the past four years, I find it hard to actually attribute any of them to the president. The value of my house hasn’t changed much, although it has gone up a tiny bit. Food cost has increased, but then it always does. Should I blame Obama for not following the “drill-baby-drill” directive? Actually, the US is having a major boom in natural gas, and a lot of the power generation facilities are switching to that from coal. I see this as a good thing. Not that natural gas is uber clean, but it’s a lot better than coal. Cars have become more efficient, and the cost of electric cars is dropping. And job growth – what’s a president supposed to do? Deregulation and return to the same policies that put is in this situation doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea. “Remember that medicine that was killing us? Well, we’re going to take it again!”

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    1. The worst decade of my life contained all eight years of the George W. Bush presidency, but even I admit that was only a coincidence. Did he piss me off in a lot of other ways? Yes. So I see your point.

      I personally won’t get too upset if Romney wins. It really won’t change all that much. He’ll do some things I won’t agree with but I’m sure he’ll learn to live with my disappointment. 🙂

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      1. Yep. No matter who wins, the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, and we’ll still own the Chinese a shitload of money.

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  4. Hey, Beth. If you wrote a blog I’d subscribe. Totally. 🙂 And kudos to your husband. He actually sounds like a hard worker and a good guy, even if he’s an “owner.” 🙂

    I know my reply to you was long, but even so, I did forget one thing I was going to say. I agree with you that Romney would be more friendly to small business than Obama. That’s not even one of the reasons why I won’t vote for him.

    I personally believe the balance of power between companies and employees is too far out of whack. To me it makes more sense to take care of all of us, not skew things so far to one side. But that’s just more of my special perspective. The people who hawk goods and services need people with disposable income. Consumption drives the process. If too many people have nothing I guess we’ll just go the Les Miserables route. And then even the fat cats might be affected. Oops. As in many things, a little balance can go a long way.

    I’m a little surprised you think Romney has a better plan as he has been extremely vague and non-committal about specifics, although that hasn’t slowed him down from claiming he’ll somehow create 12 million jobs. No, he won’t say how, exactly. Trust him, vote him, and he’ll fill us in after the election I guess. Same thing with his tax plan. There are many specifics left out to which he’ll only respond, “no comment.”

    I hope your husband lands some fat contracts soon and can concentrate on doing what he does best. You’re also supposed to have time to enjoy the journey, spend time with loved ones, and occasionally smell the roses. Life isn’t supposed to be ALL work.

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  5. Obama and the democrats under his watch saved the United States from total economic ruin. He looks forward and makes decisions that will take America to a stronger future.

    Romney and gang look backwards at what was and keep trying to get back there…taking everyone else with them.

    Come November 6th, I hope voting Americans are looking in the right direction.

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    1. That’s pretty much how I see it, too. Obama oversaw a period of recovery. FYI: That’s better than a recession. And he pulled it off in what I consider record-setting obstructionism.

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      1. We are NOT saved from total financial ruin. There are fewer jobs now than when Obama took office. (Not one Senator, D or R, even voted for Obama’s budget, btw. And the Democrat-controlled Senate hasn’t presented a budget in three years, which it is legally required to do every year. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/29/opinion/johnson-budget/index.html) I have much more to say about this topic at a later date. Here is the fix we’re in. http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/EW5IdwltaAc?rel=0

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  6. Cathy, I find the misery index to be very interesting. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve written about it in the past. For example, they’ve found a causal relationship between the misery index and the crime rate. The crime rate follows the misery index by about a year. Very interesting stuff.

    Yes, I think the comparison is fair, but it is also a bit apples to oranges. IMHO. First, I don’t recall me or anyone saying Obama got the worst deal. Just that he inherited a mess. I think that’s accurate. Second, some numbers make it appear that Reagan inherited a bigger mess, but it’s not an exact science. For example, Obama’s predecessor started two expensive wars that he inherited and also ran up the deficit himself. The Bush tax cuts and the two wars had a major impact on debt. In fact, Bush pushed the nation debt vs. GDP from 56.40% to 83.40% during his tenure. Obama has taken it from 83.40% to approx. 105% by Jan 1. 2012. By the way, both Bush terms saw record increases in percent of growth of this statistic. And Bush oversaw the first bailout.

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  7. Cathy, there has been a “recovery” underway since Obama took office. A recovery from the “recession” left by George W. Bush. When critics complain about Obama’s recovery not being fast enough they are, in effect, stipulating the fact that a recovery does indeed exist. They just like to bitch about it not being fast enough, since they have arrows to sling and what not.

    Do we at least agree on this point? That a recovery exists? Even Romney has agreed, although he is wont to refer to it as a “jobless” one.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m as upset about jobs as anyone out there. I recall quite clearly how U.S. corporations have shifted millions of American jobs outside of our borders. Yet, somehow, they still want American consumers to buy their goods and services. Weird, eh?

    Is there a graph of how many jobs existed per year? If so, I’d very much like to see the net gain/loss under Bush and the same thing under Obama. What story would that tell? (I’m asking. I don’t already know.)

    Jobs is just one indicator of the strength of our county and economy. Is it the end all be all? At least to Obama’s critics it is. But in reality it’s just one big of a much bigger puzzle. Isn’t it weird how the specific places where Obama has weakness are always the worst things ever and the areas where he is strong are like, “Meh. Whatever.”

    🙂

    By the way, I always look forward to your input and agree with you much more than you think. I eagerly await your next bout of information.

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    1. We are headed for a cliff, “recovery” or not. How the Financial Collapse Would Happen in an Obama Second Term

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/how_the_financial_collapse_would_happen_in_an_obama_second_term.html#ixzz26IHGzozY

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      1. So we agree a recovery is preferable to a recession. 🙂

        I look forward to checking out your link.

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  8. This doesn’t sound like a recovery. “The share of the population working or looking for work hit a 30-year low in August.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443686004577637191324704890.html

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