Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Nevada Caucus...Help me Understand

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MAImage via WikipediaFor the past week, Republicans have been in a flurry preparing for today's Nevada Caucus.  The Republican Presidential Candidates traveled the state spouting their message to those gathered to listen and today Republican voters came together to discuss and decide who would Nevada support for the party's nominee.

While the G.O.P. did its political thing. I caught up on the issues facing Nevada. The state of the economy takes on a particular importance in Nevada. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the country, 12.6 percent as of December. Nevada also has the highest foreclosure rate in the country. One in every 177 homes in Nevada received a foreclosure filing in December 2011, according to the foreclosure database RealtyTrac.

Cy Ryan, Las Vegas Sun reports the unemployment situation in the state of Nevada:
William Anderson, chief economist for the department, said “Nevada is in the midst of the longest, deepest recession since World War II and recent labor market trends show no sign of improvement, particularly unemployment which has surged at a record pace in recent months.”
He said, “The Las Vegas-Paradise metro area, including all of Clark County, has been particularly hard hit, with an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent. It is not only the highest unemployment rate among Nevada’s metro areas, it also ranks in the top five across all areas of similar size in the U.S.”
The department said the jobless rate in the Reno-Sparks area rose from 11.7 percent in June to 12.2 percent in July. Carson City’s rate increased from 11.5 percent to 11.7 percent in July. Unemployment in Elko inched up from 6.6 percent in June to 6.7 percent in July.

CBS News reported entrance poll data citing voter concerns. Nevada Republican caucus-goers are primarily concerned with defeating President Obama in November. Candidate electability mattered most to 44%, 20% focused on strong moral character and 17% wanted a "true conservative".  54% of those participating in the caucus said their major concern was the economy; 33% cited the budget deficit; 5% cited illegal immigration and 3% cited abortion.  Most (57%) had made their decision on their choice for the party's nominee earlier than January 2012 while 22% say they decided over the past few days.

 ABC News reported a large Mormon turnout at the Caucus.One of the reasons often cited for Romney’s strong showing in Nevada in the past is the state’s large Mormon population. An estimated 5 percent of all U.S. Mormons live in Nevada, according to a 2009 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The Church of Latter-day Saints counts a membership of 175,149 in the state.

As Romney cruises to a win Nevada, I can't understand how the folks most adversely effected by Republican policies continue to buy into the hype. "Let government get out of the way and let the free market chart the course", they say. They call for deregulation, deunionization, and privitization. They favor tax breaks for the rich and hope that the wealth will "trickle" down. Accordingly, we have a situation where a secretary pays more taxes than the boss. (Romney is a classic example, paying as little as 14% tax on his massive wealth.) They promise to get rid of "Obamacare", but fail to explain what they offer in its place. They want to privitize Medicare and make it a voucher system, reduce Social Security, and increase taxes on the poor and middle class while offering greater benefits to the wealthy. Republican policies are killing the midde class, destroying public education, and voting a bridge to doom for tomorrows infrastrucure.

No need to go on, but I wish I could understand.

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