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Right Turn
Posted at 07:45 AM ET, 10/18/2012

Morning Bits

If you have to deny, you’re in trouble. “Obama traveling press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the campaign was ‘absolutely not’ giving up efforts in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, three battleground states where the president has slipped behind Mitt Romney.”

It’s getting hard to deny that huge debt slows growth. Michael Boskin has the latest study: “How does a high debt-GDP ratio slow growth? Higher debt ratios eventually crowd out investment, as holdings of government debt replace capital in private portfolios. The lower tangible capital formation reduces future income. To the extent the reduced capital formation slows the development and dissemination of new technology, this effect will be amplified. Every dollar borrowed requires future interest be paid, whose present discounted value equals the debt. So future taxes must go up to cover the interest unless future spending is cut. The prospect and then reality of higher tax rates, plus increased uncertainty about future fiscal policy, slows growth and also raises the specter of higher inflation eroding the value of the government debt and/or a financial crisis, which might sharply raise interest rates.” Read the whole thing.

Does the Tax Policy Center really deny it’s playing politics when it comes up with another Romney-hit study the day after the debate?

I wonder if Obama will deny ever having promised that Osama bin Laden’s assassination would set Al Qaeda “back on its heels.” Regarding the 9-11-2012 attack “and as recently as a week ago, Obama had taken to saying Al Qaeda is on the road to defeat. During a Miami stop on Oct. 11, he said: ‘And today, Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.’ But at the debate Tuesday and on the campaign trail Wednesday, the Al Qaeda reference appeared to have been walked back.”

Obama’s “deniability” act is wearing thin. “For much of the American electorate, this began as an ideal presidency. But there is an institutional flaw at the center of Mr. Obama’s understanding of the presidency. He accepts the best of it but not responsibility for the inevitable worst of it. It is making his incumbency smaller than he thinks it is. His misfortune is that in the election’s last lap, the public has begun to notice.”

No one is denying anymore we are in the midst of a long struggle. “While giving the FBI and other law enforcement agencies credit for thwarting a bomb plot against the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the threat of terrorism isn’t going away any time soon. ‘I think this means that New York continues to be very much in the mind frame. . . . of terrorists,’ Kelly said. ‘This individual came here with the express purpose of committing a terrorist act. He was motivated by al-Qaida. So we see this threat as being with us for a long time.’” Are you listening, Mr. President?

Democrats don’t deny this is a problem. “What Exactly Would Barack Obama Do With a Second Term?” No one can figure it out.

By  |  07:45 AM ET, 10/18/2012

 
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