Reason #65 I'm not voting for Romney

His ads. Specifically, his ads on individual blog posts on Boing Boing[1. Also: what the hell, Boing Boing?] that start playing an audio track that you can only shut off by clicking on it. I don't want to click on Romney ads.  I don't want to hunt through my open tabs to find the one where an ad just started playing.  And I will not support a candidate whose comprehension of the basic principles of web communities is so poor that he think, or his campaign thinks, that it's okay to create ads that invasive.

There are a lot of broad principles flavored reasons I don't support Romney.  But the terrible decisions conservative campaigns so frequently make also speak to their basic lack of interest in the quality of life of the people who vote for them.  Romney's ads aren't just dishonest, needlessly combative, and emotionally exploitative.  They're also annoying, and they make the parts of the internet on which they show up a worse place.

Barack Obama's Tax Calculator

NOTE: There is an edit at the bottom of the article. I just watched Hank Green's video about the Obama campaign's tax policy, linked here, embedded below.

I don't want to just reiterate what Hank said, but it's deeply depressing to look at.  It's depressing because I know a lot of people who really need that money.  People older than me, with more financial responsibility, who struggle harder to make ends meet.  I know those people, and I know a lot of them plan to vote for Romney.

Some of it is racism.  I know at least two people who have told me, out loud, that they won't vote for Obama because he's black.  So, that's a thing that happens.  One of those people is a registered Democrat, too, so it's not like the Racist vote is irrelevant.

But there are other people who've just been convinced that being a good businessman and being a good president are somehow basically synonymous, where as far as I can tell they're pretty much entirely unrelated.  The responsibility of a successful businessman is to help a small group of wealthy investors profit off the back of a product.  The responsibility of a President is to maximize the wellbeing of a huge quantity of people while protecting their civil liberty and acting on their behalf to improve the world.

We can see the difference in those philosophies in the tax calculator, which, as Hank points out, demonstrates that Romney's plan doesn't help you out until about a quarter of a million.  If you're single and have no dependents, Romney's plan increases your taxes until you reach $197,500/year.  Even then, you're still saving more under Obama's plan.  Single people with no dependents don't start doing better under Romney until $497,500/year, at which point they jump from saving    to saving $36,319/year.  $1 less and they're only saving $4,016, at which point Obama's still offering more savings, at $5,353.

EDIT 8/8/2012 11:20am

It turns out this isn't based on Mitt Romney's declared tax plan, it's based on the results that would be necessary for him to keep his campaign promises both re: tax breaks and budget balancing.  Hank explains:

Romney might not have paid taxes in the last decade

(via Boing Boing) It came from an anonymous tip from someone claiming to have invested with Romney, so Senator (D-Nevada) Harry Reid said yesterday that he has a source claiming Mitt Romney hasn't payed any taxes, at all, in the last decade.

That's a pretty rough allegation, and it could do a lot of damage to Romney's campaign -- the American People are paying our taxes to support the government that pays to keep this country stable, and Romney reaps all that benefit without kicking in even a fraction of his share?

Via the Washington Post:

Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.

Reid said the person told him: “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told HuffPo. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”

Neither Reid nor his aides would identify the alleged investor, HuffPo reported.

I wonder if that's Romney's fiscal strategy.  Maybe he thinks that sufficiently fancy number work can get America out of paying our debts.  I'm not happy about this guy in the first place, but that's a scary possibility.

Of course, maybe it's all just a rumor -- Romney could prove it wrong by releasing his tax records, like he said he would.

SourceFed on Quote Approval

Last week I covered the New York Times revealing that they, and essentially everyone else in the mainstream media, have been granting quote approval to politicians they want to interview.  That means the politicians get to alter or veto anything the journalists want to say they said, reducing the role of the media to a distribution system for press releases. SourceFed posted a video about it today, which I felt I should share because this is a huge deal that needs a lot of attention.  Like, it's really not okay.  The failure of journalists' integrity is a catastrophic loss for our democracy.

New Illdoc video -- "Mitt Romney Scares The Crap Out Of Me"

This.

In the hypothetical debates about the Republican primaries last semester at school, I supported Romney.  My argument was, basically, he's probably harmless compared to the other candidates.  Jay Smooth nails it in this video when he explains that Mitt Romney is scary, not because he's got radical, strongly held opinions, but because he's got no strongly held opinions, and will just let the politics of those around him filter through him and into policy.

The thing that worries me most about this is that we do seem to have reached a point, in our governmental dialogue, when one party needs to use Trojan Horse tactics to get its policies past the general populace.  Mitt Romney is that Trojan Horse, and there are a whole bunch of Greek warriors waiting inside him to kill us in our sleep.[1. I am very tired.  I am not confident that metaphor works.]

The solution I'd love to see:  Dramatic changes to our democratic system.  I'm not saying we should do away with Democracy[2. I'm not in love with it, but I don't think anyone's come up with a better system yet.] but the mechanisms by which we run our Democratic Republic are several hundred years outdated.

For a start, here's a CGPGrey video about Alternative Voting, which would do a great deal towards dissolving the two-party dichotomy problem we have: