Open Chat... All Day, Every Day! Express Your Views, Debate, and Challenge the Views of Others!

In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mitt Romney Wins Florida

We will update this post with the final numbers when they're fully tallied, but the main questions are:

What does this mean for Romney? The rest of the candidates?

Is the GOP nomination locked up?

When will the remaining candidates drop out?

Have the negative campaigns hurt Romney?

What do you make of the turnout in Florida?


Mitt Romney - 46.4%
Newt Gingrich - 31.9%
Rick Santorum - 13.3%
Ron Paul - 7.0%

Others - 1.4%

Onward to Nevada!

Florida Republican Primary - January 31st, 2012

I guess we can say this is a "big" day :-)

Twitter Tags: #FLPrimary #FL #Florida #FloridaPrimary

Nothing unusual here; just an open forum for thoughts, opinions, predictions, rants, expressions, etc.


- Who do you think will win the Florida primary?
- Will anyone drop out after this primary but before the next one?
- Will the winner of the Florida primary win the GOP nomination ?
- Can you predict who finishes where (percentages)?
- *** This is a new one for those betting types: Predict the time at which CNN calls the primary. For example, in New Hampshire, CNN called it almost instantly. For South Carolina, it took them a while. When do you think it will happen? Final polls close in Florida at 8:00pm Eastern. I will be watching and will post the exact time it closed here.

Thank you.

POST AT 8:00pm: To those that predicted when CNN would call the primary... it was officially called right at 8:00pm.

Mitt Romney - 46.4%
Newt Gingrich - 31.9%
Rick Santorum - 13.3%
Ron Paul - 7.0%

Others - 1.4%

Poster Jenner Red (the first commenter) was correct in predicting CNN would call the primary at 8:00pm. He also had the correct order and came pretty close with his percentage for Newt and somewhat close for Romney.

I was off for Romney, my Newt prediction was extremely close, I was way off with Paul, and I had Santorum almost dead on but in the wrong order.

Onward to Nevada!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stopping the Left's Propaganda with Truth and Facts

Have you seen this yet? It has been floating around Facebook over the last few days:

Ugh... The only thing that is wrong here is that people believe and spread this junk. 

This is a conservative blog, obviously, but we believe if you're going to vote, regardless of whichever side you're on, we hope you have the truth behind any and all information you care about. If you have read this blog recently, you certainly have realized that we are growing tired of this constant lie that claims millionaires pay lower tax rates than the middle class. Obama and the leftist media broadcast this like it's the norm. It's not. Yes, there are some select cases (as the Congressional Research Service report on the Buffett Rule shows) of this, but since the fact exists that only 25% of millionaires pay lower tax rates than 10% of middle class taxpayers, it's statistically slim at best. We will not rest until the truth is seen. 

In comes the picture above. Let's make this clear: it is 100% false. The average teacher (salary of $40,000 yearly) does NOT pay an effective tax rate of 25%. The following chart shows the average income tax rates for various income group breakdowns:

If you factor in payroll taxes (6.2% for Social Security, the pre-payroll tax holiday rate, and 1.45% for Medicare taxes) of 7.65% total, the average American worker earning approximately $40,000 pays an average tax rate of 14.45% before deductions. When deductions are factored in, the middle-class taxpayer pays a final effective tax rate that is much lower than 14.45%. After deductions, Mitt Romney paid a final effective tax rate of 13.9%. For comparison purposes, using a real-life example, as seen in the chart shown in this blog post (, MY final effective tax rate is 13.5%

Well, what about teachers? What about the claim that teachers pay 25% as seen in the propaganda above? Funny you asked... my wife is a teacher. Just as I did in the previous link, I am sharing her tax information (with her permission, of course). See the chart below: 

Yes, the house is in my name for now. Regardless, look at the rate. 13.7%!!! It isn't even close to the alleged 25% rate seen in the poster above. Truth? Well, it is one example of it. But, with the IRS chart above and the numerous studies and reports we have highlighted throughout this blog, the truth is that millionaires DO NOT pay lower tax rates than the middle class. I would love to see someone come forth with evidence that millionaires do. Thank you. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Florida GOP Debates - January 23rd and January 26th 2012

Two debates, one on Monday at 9pm EST on NBC, one on Thursday at 8pm on CNN. Instead of having two open forums, we are putting up one open form for both debates. Typical stuff here:

- Who won the debate on January 23rd? Who won the debate on January 26th?
- What do you feel is the most important topic?
- Biggest gaffe? Biggest "gotcha" moment?
- How will these debates affect the Florida electorate?
- Does anyone drop out before the primary?

What grades would you give the candidates?

Of course, any comment, question, debate is welcome. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tax Rants and a BIG Question: Do Millionaires Really Pay Lower Tax Rates?

Sure, this is starting to get redundant, but Americans tend to be people of passion. Just look at the GOP nomination process and see how Ron Paul supporters fiercely defend and stand by their candidate. Look at the popularity of the Super Bowl. Most importantly, look at how close the mainstream media and President Obama are, and look at how they keep broadcasting the same old rhetoric.

I, as a writer of for this blog, an economist, and a political-minded person, am very passionate about taxes. I can't just sit by and watch the mainstream media and Obama spread misinformation.

First, I believe the government is too big and taxes too much. It is scary to know that each of us sacrifice so much to this giant, all-encompassing, wasteful entity that we think we control but we really don't. Have you ever stopped to think how many individual taxes you pay in one day? Ever stop to think how much? You wake up in a bed you paid taxes on. Your home is heated, and on that heat you pay taxes. You brush your teeth (taxes on toothpaste), shower (tax on water), get dresses (tax on clothes), and then you get in your car (excise taxes) which is fueled by gasoline (sometimes diesel, but fuel taxes are HUGE) and you drive to work to make an income that is taxed. I could go on and on; I've only listed the things that get us to about 9 o'clock in our day, but by 9 o'clock, look at how many taxes we have paid already! Keep in mind, I'm not against taxes. We need taxation - it's the cost of civilization. But we have gotten to a point where it's just too much... and it's getting worse. This entire post isn't about tax rates per sé; it's about the truth... I will get to it.

Secondly, on top of all this, in a country that promotes "fairness" and non-discriminatory policies, we believe that one group of people should pay WAY MORE in taxes than another. Without getting into the numbers, based on concept alone, how is that fair? Take our article about Mitt Romney's taxes. We show that Mitt pays about 450x more than the average American does in taxes. The sad thing: the press and President Obama claim that not only is Mitt and people like him not paying their fair share, but they are paying "less than their secretaries."

Hogwash! Plain and simple.

Obama can say what he wants about millionaires, but he should just tell the truth. The case he makes is that millionaires paying lower tax rates than their secretaries is the norm, but is most definitely is not. We have written about this before, and, since we are passionate about it, I/we will write about it again. America needs to simply stop living in this world of myth. Below you can find numerous articles, write-ups and reports from this blog and other sources that can help spread the truth about millionaires' tax rates.

Our blog post about Obama's Osawatomie, KS, speech on income inequality:

- We cite the Congressional Research Service Report (, a democrat-sponsored report, mind you, that says, "Among millionaires (see the last two categories in the figure), the average tax rate is almost 30% with about 10% facing a tax rate greater than 35%. Furthermore, another 10% face a tax rate below 24%. Comparing millionaires with moderate-income taxpayers (with AGI less than  $100,000), roughly one-quarter of all millionaires (about 94,500 taxpayers) face a tax rate that is lower than the tax rate faced by 10.4 million moderate-income taxpayers (10% of the moderate income taxpayers), which would be considered a violation of the Buffett rule but not to the extent alluded to by Mr. Buffett." Did you get that? Only 25% of millionaires pay lower tax rates than 10% of middle income earners. It's not "25% of millionaires pay lower tax rates than the entire middle class." No! I will repeat: 25% of millionaires pay lower taxes than only 10% of the middle class. In spite of what President Obama wants to you to believe, millionaires paying lower tax rates than most Americans is NOT the norm. It's a statistical anomaly.

The Cato Institute's write-up of how Obama's millionaire tax rate claim is simply not true:

- This is not our work. Read it... the case is pretty strong.

CNN Money's article about how yes, Mitt Romney pays about 14-15% of his income in taxes, this is still MORE than most Americans:

- Again, the truth is told. I'm sure it is ignored by the left. They try to claim, "well, he has cap gains and it's taxed lower." Yes, that's true, but don't forget that once you give tax refunds to the middle class, their effective rate drops, too (see the first link, my tax info is up there). When people say "I make $45,000 per year and I pay 20%, as these articles show, they are mistaken. During the year, I have about 20% taken from my paycheck each week, but yes, as the first link shows, I get a tax refund back and it reduces my effective tax rate to about 13.5%.

So... why do we keep writing about this? Because we are tired of lies and misinformation. Yes, some millionaires do pay a lower rate. The deception of this claim comes in when Obama and the press make the case that this is the norm when it clearly is not. Please pass this on. No matter who you vote for in November, you should at least know the truth before you do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of the Union 2012

#SOTU2012 on Twitter.

If you were the president, what would you say? Would you run on your record, or would you run on the future?

After The Speech:

What did you think?
Was this a strong speech? A weak speech?
Do you think this helps or hurts Obama in November?
Do you believe the plans Obama has put forth?
Was this a campaign speech?

How would YOU grade the speech? The republican response? Grade however you like (out of 10, A-F, etc.)... it's an open forum

Share any and all opinions below. Thank you!

PART 2: What Do Mitt Romney's Tax Returns Have To Do With Anything?

This is getting old. Yes, I wrote a "Part 1" about this: There is a specific reason I'm writing about this again, and this should be clear:

In spite of what Warren Buffet (my boss) says, in spite of what the mainstream media tells people, this notion that "the wealthy pay far lower rates than the average American worker" (I heard that exact phrase on the radio this morning) is simply NOT true. Hopefully, it can be summed up here. Hopefully, this disgusting myth can be dispelled, and we can finally get to some truth. I hope this gets passed on repeatedly,

First, I point to yet another article on CNN Money that discusses this myth (call this article 1):

This article even cites a previously written article written by the same author on CNN Money. (call this article 2):

I have written about this before. Both articles say the same thing: Mitt Romney, even at a 13.77% effective tax rate, pays a greater rate than the American worker. Article 2 says:

"But assuming he's correct, here's why his effective rate is probably higher than most people's: The effective tax rate is always going to be lower than one's top income tax rate. And the top rate for roughly four-fifths of Americans is 15% or less, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center."

It continues:

"In other words, 80% of Americans have an effective rate below 15%. 'If you consider income tax liability alone, the average effective federal tax rate for people with incomes between $40,000 and $50,000, for instance, is just 3.2%, according to Tax Policy Center estimates.' (In measuring income, the center uses gross income and adds to it other forms of compensation, such as the money your employer contributes to your retirement savings.)" 


Keep in mind, this is an effective tax rate. It should be looked at as the "bottom-line" rate. It's kind of simple, really. At the end of the year, accounting for all of the tax brackets and marginal rates, deductions, "loop holes," write-offs, etc., this is simply the amount you have paid in taxes (in total) divided by the amount you earned (in total). For example, if after all the tax-liability reducing mechanisms named above you paid $100,000 in tax and you earned $750,000 from salary and $250,000 from capital gains, you paid an effective rate of 10% ($100,000 in tax on $1,000,000 in income). 

To join the fracas, I am releasing my tax information. I will use a quick estimation to give my income and effective tax rates. I have to estimate this because 2011 was the first full year of employment for me, and I do not have any 2010 tax returns (I was a student for most of 2010). I will try to keep it simple, and I will be using the tax return/refund calculator found here:

The results have been put into this simple spreadsheet: 
There it is. As a 29 year old, single-tax status employee, my effective tax rate is 13.5%. This was calculated using the simple refund calculator above. Additionally, keep in mind this is as a single filer with no children. 

I would say this is pretty "standard" for most people earning approximately $50,000 per year. Granted, one filer's tax rate does not make the case that everyones' tax rate is like this, but it shows an example, for me personally, that my middle-income tax rate does not exceed Mitt Romney's. Again, I'm tired of hearing this junk in the media that middle-class Americans pay rates that greatly exceed the rates of millionaires. It's not the truth. CNN Money's two articles highlight this well. 

Nominally, Mitt pays a LOT in taxes. He averaged $3.1 MILLION in taxes paid over the last 2 years... $6.2 MILLION total. Hmmm... he pays $3.1 MILLION while I pay $6,916. Sadly, he has the same military protections, the same roads, infrastructure, government structure and protections as I do, yet he paid 448 times more than me! 

Finally, the number 448 is pretty significant. Why? Because it would take me 448 years of working to pay in taxes what Mitt paid in just one. Even while paying $3.1 MILLION per year in taxes (and while giving $4 MILLION to charity, which is $4 MILLION more than I gave), I'm sure the democrats will jump on this and claim, somehow, that he isn't paying enough. I've said it before, and I will say it again: Thank you, Mitt, for paying so much so that I don't have to. Instead of vilifying the rich, I think us middle-classers should be very, very thankful. At the end of the day, he paid what was required of him. I said it in "part 1" of our analysis of Mitt Romney's tax returns: if you don't like it, it wasn't Romney's doing... don't hate the player, hate the game. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

READER'S POST #5 - Pissing on the Constitution

By: Whatsamattausa

Americans on welfare should not be spending taxpayer money for drugs!

Alas, a statement I think we can all agree upon. It sure sounds like, on the surface, a sensible law and one benefitting ALL of the citizens of the United States. But is it? Who does this law benefit?

Many states (, most notably Florida, either have laws on the books or are considering laws to implement such an approach to welfare – just to be clear, it appears as though Florida is the only state with this law being actively implemented, until the courts shut it down that is. This is a hot topic and one that is the poster child for laws that sound good but are actually horrendous miscalculations based on stereotype. Let me start by recognizing this as another ‘don’t hate the player, hate the game’ situation. I believe in the welfare system (a point on which I am likely a minority) but believe it is, as many government handouts are, being abused and corrupted. I believe it needs to be reformed. However, that is not the discussion here. What we are discussing is the war on welfare recipients because they, not the system, have been stereotyped into being lazy, drug addicted criminals. Most people either don’t care to separate the two or don’t understand the difference between the two. I will not try to explain the difference other than to say that you can’t hate the Giants for the call in the past weekends game against the 49ers that nullified what appeared to be a fumble. You can hate the rules but not the team or the player… The same applies as it relates to welfare.

First, I’ll start with the constitutionality of the idea though I won’t dwell on it. It is unconstitutional! It was, in my opinion, when Michigan passed the law in 1999 (and it continues, as a matter of fact, to be today – which begs the question of why would Florida even try this? --- ( The law in Florida has been put on hold while the courts review the matter ( Though somewhat unrelated to the discussion here, I think that Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s apparent conflict of interest in this regard is alarming -

But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the law isn’t unconstitutional… Is the program cost prohibitive? To administer such a program would require additional government employees and oversight. The cost of litigation (be it for false positives or to fight for the constitutionality of the law or whatever else) must be significant. It is difficult to tell what the costs are as I was unable to find an ‘apples to apples’ comparison between the states that have the program or are considering it (in which case it would be estimated costs – obviously). However, common sense would tell you there is a significant cost in the administration of the law. If you disagree with me, please tell me why. When considering this, also consider that, if the father and/or mother of the family receiving welfare tests positive, do they take the kids away? If a family needs welfare and can’t get it because of a positive drug test then leaving the kids in that situation would be putting the children’s health and livelihood in jeopardy. So, it could be that there is also an increase in spending for youth and family services.

Let’s also recognize the myriad of ways that exist to beat a drug test while we look at who it is the law is trying to catch… If it is simply a drug test, then being a raging alcoholic who would spend welfare money on alcohol is completely acceptable (in fact, this law in some ways advocates for it). Many other drugs can’t be tested for (in urine) or are out of your system so quickly you’d have to have a real drug problem or you’d have to be a moron to get caught – lsd, mushrooms, cocaine, ecstasy, etc are all out of your system in about a day. The only drug that really stays in your system for more than a day or two (a timing that allows one to plan ahead) is really marijuana… THAT’S IT!!! I think most would agree that, in the grand scheme of things, marijuana is one of the least harmful drugs there is (including caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and a number of other legal drugs)! I’m not saying it isn’t harmful, I’m saying that it isn’t all that bad when you put it in a line-up with other drugs of legal and illegal status.

Now, let’s look at the rates of positive testing… While Florida had the testing in place, a mere 2% tested positive while another 2% refused to relinquish their constitutional right ( But, for the sake of argument, let’s say all of that 2% would have tested positive. The ceiling number is 4%. In Michigan, when they had the law, it was 8% ( The Michigan article does a lot to make my point that the system catches mainly marijuana users – 268 tests, 21 positive, all but 3 for marijuana).

What you are left with is a system that essentially discriminates against marijuana users while tipping a cap to alcoholics and users of ‘hard’ drugs… So, I ask… Do you agree with the law(s)? Do you believe the law is constitutional or not? Is it ok to spend the sums of money the government is willing to expend and to infringe on the constitution in an effort to catch somewhere between 2% and 8% of welfare recipients testing positive for drugs (recognizing you are catching, almost exclusively, marijuana users)? How do you justify that within your desire for small government?

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NFL Playoffs - Conference Championships

The Elephant in the Room Lite:

Who will win today?

My predictions:

Ravens 31    Patriots 21

Giants 23      49ers    13

What do you think? I got Ravens vs. Giants in the Super Bowl with the Ravens winning 24 to 10.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CNN Republican Debate From Charleston, South Carolina - January 19th, 2012

Okay... This is the last debate before the South Carolina primary. As always, what are your thoughts?

Who won the CNN South Carolina debate?
How did each candidate handle the additional time because Rick Perry dropped out?
What was the best part or the best answer?
Who had the biggest gaffe?
Were you undecided before the debate? If so, did the debate help you make up your mind?

Who wins SC?

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Do Mitt Romney's Tax Returns Have To Do With Anything?

Yes, that is the question. We ask:

- What do his tax returns have to do with anything?
- Who cares what effective tax rate he pays?
- Is that the most important qualification to be president?
- Are people really going to say, "you know, I was going to vote for him if he paid 30%, but since he pays only 15%, I'm voting for somebody else?"
- Is this REALLY anybody's business?

Ugh... He pays 15%. SO WHAT!

I challenge people to this: ask yourself, seriously,... pause first... WHAT DOES THIS MATTER???

It's all over the mainstream media. Of course, on the left... there is a lot of headlining (you know, publishing a provocative headline to sway the mind of the reader/voter, while using misdirecting/misleading information in the article):

Fox News:

The Huffington Post: (this one is refreshing):
     - I am actually thankful for this article. It tries (though no one is going to take this and run with this) to dispel the myths about millionaires' tax rates. It states:

"In fact, depending on how it's measured, Romney's effective tax rate is likely higher than what many, if not most, Americans pay." 

It continues: 

"But assuming he's correct, here's why his effective rate is probably higher than most people's: The effective tax rate is always going to be lower than one's top income tax rate. And the top rate for roughly four-fifths of Americans is 15% or less, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center."

"In other words, 80% of Americans have an effective rate below 15%. 'If you consider income tax liability alone, the average effective federal tax rate for people with incomes between $40,000 and $50,000, for instance, is just 3.2%, according to Tax Policy Center estimates.' (In measuring income, the center uses gross income and adds to it other forms of compensation, such as the money your employer contributes to your retirement savings.)"

Okay, we went off on a tangent there. It's frustrating when people believe myth after myth and, unfortunately, use these myths to vote. They get this information from the largest, unchecked, unbalanced faction in this country: the media. We at The Elephant in the Room believe in living in a world of truth and fact. Frankly, we are tired of the media headlining the myth that the rich don't pay enough. 

So, back to the original question. Who cares? What does this have to do with anything? I don't believe his tax rate or his wealth have anything to do with his qualifications for being president. In fact, they should bolster his case; they show he is successful, and we need a president that will actually succeed in turning this country around.

Keep this in mind:

- The average American (we will round here) makes around $50,000. IF he pays (which he doesn't, but we will play this game) 20% of his income in taxes, he pays $10,000 per year in taxes. 

- For every $1,000,000 Mitt Romney makes, if he pays 15%, he pays $150,000 per year in taxes. What he pays in one year is what I would pay in 15! For this, I don't vilify the former governor. I say "thank you." Thank you for paying so much for my government so I don't have to.

And finally, to all those that for some reason have this awful disdain for Romney and is 15% effective rate... He has done NOTHING illegal. If you don't like it, I am reminded of this familiar phrase: "don't hate the player, hate the game."

Part 2:

Nothing Personal Against OWS or Anything But........

Shouldn't you know how to spell "Amendment" if you're protesting in support of one? :-)

Okay, okay. We are being funny. This is not personal against anyone. We just thought it was a little humorous. And yes, we are respectful of OWS' views no matter how much we disagree with them. We have emailed* their "general council" asking if they would like to write something on our blog, and have attempted to reach out to them numerous times. We certainly hope they do, and the invitation is always there.

* This is an exact copy of their email (except for the blanked out name). If YOU would like to contribute, the door is always open:

To whom it may concern;

My name is XXXX. I’m one of the main contributors for a conservative blog: You may be wondering why I’m emailing you. Well, honestly, it’s to hold out my hand.

First, let me start by explaining our blog. Obviously, we are conservatives. Yes, we have our positions, but we are only one set of eyes and ears. We think the mainstream media is too biased, left or right. We encourage peaceful, civil debate. Again, we do have our positions and our challenges to views, but we want opposing viewpoints to chime in, too. If we take a position, we are going to back it. We hope that those that agree with us back what they say as well. We also hope that those who challenge our positions can back their views with appropriate facts and evidence, too. If you look at our blog, it’s civil. The topics themselves might be contentious, but the debate, the discourse between comments and contributors is always civil and respectful.  No matter how much we agree or disagree with a viewpoint, we pledge respect. Our comments throughout the blog show this, and we will always abide by this.

Back to why we are emailing you. We believe in civil debate. We think you can agree that this is lacking on both sides. We are opening up a proposition to you.

What do we request? Your ideas, your writing, your positions, etc. We know you have press groups and assemblies of the like. We would like to establish a peaceful relationship with you. We envision perhaps a direct liaison, maybe one, two, three, etc. volunteers that would be a contributor to our blog. This would be like any blog post, and perhaps, styled more like an opinion peace. You would email us daily, weekly, or whatever you like and we would basically copy and paste it to your our blog. Obviously, you would determine the title and we would post that it is from an OWS contributor. We would not change anything you write unless it was hurtful or dangerous. We are inviting you to have an open forum on our blog.

What do you we think this will accomplish? Hopefully, civil debate. Comment strings on major news websites aren’t doing it. We want people on our side to hear your views. We want people from your side to hear ours. We want the two sides to meet civilly and respectfully. I would be working with you if you take this opportunity.

What this is not: It’s not an attempt to get you to put things on our blog to be smeared or shot at. Again, we promote civility and our comment strings (many of which contain debate) are very respectful. It’s not an opportunity to tell you your positions are right or wrong. It is not an attempt to hurt, disrespect, mock, make fun of, etc. anyone of a different viewpoint.

What this is: It’s an attempt to simply talk and share information whether we agree or disagree.

If anyone, or any two, or three or whatever people are interested, please email me back. I would be happy to work with you in a way that is beneficial for all. I can be reached at I hope to hear back from someone. Please let me know your opinion about this proposition, and if there are any suggestions you might have as well. If you do not want to participate, that is fine and we respect your opinions.

Very Respectfully, 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Jon Huntsman Drops Out - Fox News South Carolina Republican Debate January 16th, 2012

And then there were five. News reports are out this morning claiming former Utah governor Jon Huntsman will drop his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Fox News:


Huntsman, the third-place finisher in the New Hampshire primary who claimed his finish was a "ticket to ride" to South Carolina, is going to be endorsing Mitt Romney. A Huntsman aide is quoted in the Fox News article as saying, "Governor Huntsman was encouraged in New Hampshire, but does not want to stand in the way of the best candidate to beat Barack Obama and will endorse Romney." Though Huntsman didn't have a large support, who benefits from this? Who picks up Huntsman's votes?

Best of luck to you, Mr. Huntsman. 

Moving on...

The 459,234,395th GOP debate is tonight at 9:00pm EST. Okay, obviously there is a little sarcasm in that number, but yes, there has been many. And even though it seems like I'm mocking the number of debates, I actually think, in this case, more is better. Why? Well, this, as with any presidential election, is extremely important. There is no higher office in the U.S. We are going to be electing our leader in 10 months. We need to know as much about each candidate as we can. Debates give us a chance to build an understanding of them before we cast each crucial vote. 

Before the debate:

Who do you think will win?
Was the Huntsman move a surprise?
Will Newt come out swinging?
Is the debate and the South Carolina primary Romney's to lose?
Who will have the biggest gaffe? The biggest surprise?

After the debate:

Who won the Fox News South Carolina debate?
Does anyone drop out before the primary?
What was the best part or the best answer?
Who had the biggest gaffe?
Does this debate cause you to change your pick?

Thank you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend

No politics, just sports. We said that we would sometimes write about sports on our blog. This quick post is about the NFL Divisional Playoff games taking place today and tomorrow. Got predictions? I'm rooting for the 49ers, Giants, Broncos and Ravens, but my picks for the winners are:

Saints 34       Niners 16

Patriots 27    Broncos 24 (close, I know. The Pats' D is terrible, and the Broncos can run the ball)

Ravens 21    Texans 17 (Live near Baltimore... GO RAVENS!)

Packers 38    Giants 31

I really hope it's the Ravens at home versus the Broncos for the AFC Championship game, but I doubt that will happen. Everyone have fun. Be safe!

Friday, January 13, 2012

When Mitt Romney Came to Town: Is Newt's New Attack Video Good for Anybody?

In case you haven't heard, Newt Gingrich (well, his Super PAC known as Winning the Future) released a scathing 28-minute video titled "When Mitt Romney Came to Town." See it below:

I watched it, and the first thing I felt was disgust. I wasn't disgusted at Mitt Romney. I wasn't disgusted at Bain Capital and their business model or practices. I was disgusted at Newt and his Super PAC for creating this misleading video. 

Let this be known: this blog, its writers, owners, managers, etc. do not yet endorse any one GOP candidate. We feel either of the GOP candidates would be a better solution for America's future than Barack Obama. With that, I am extremely disappointed in Newt Gingrich. 

After Herman Cain dropped out, Newt got a surge in popularity. I will admit, I liked him. He did what I and the writers of this blog love: he backed what he said with fact (you will see why this is in bold). In the GOP debates, he would make a claim and give a cited, historical reference as proof. His wealth of knowledge in history and how he applies this knowledge is something I have rarely seen. It has been very admirable. He seems to understand politics, economics, and most importantly, how history can teach everyone and everything in these fields a lesson. 

In comes this video. First, this is not a post about private equity or venture capital. Being student of finance, I understand these fields very well. I understood these fields before I studied finance and financial economics academically and before I entered these fields as a career. This post is about how destructive this video could be to the GOP as a whole. 

The first opinion I had of When Mitt Romney Came to Town was that it made me think it was made by Occupy Wall Street. It reminded me of the 9/11 conspiracy video "Loose Change." It used video clips and mood-changing music to back its points. What's worse? It can be used later by the Obama campaign to hurt Mitt Romney if Mitt wins the nomination. How? Well, out of the 312 million citizens in this country, how many truly know or understand what private equity is all about? Obama can use clips from this video (just as Newt is doing) to sway the minds of the non-understanding electorate into believing things about Mitt that simply aren't true. How does this help the GOP? Everything right now points to Mitt winning the GOP nomination, and to me, this video is basically nothing but Newt Gingrich saying "if I can't sail the ship home, I'm going to burn down the whole damn ship."

Factually, the video is Swiss cheese at best. Again, without getting into the tenets of private equity, this video plays more on emotion than hard facts. I uses testimonials from various manufacturing workers of companies purchased by Bain Capital. While their stories are sad, these workers are by no means experts in these fields. It sounds harsh to say, but it's the truth. Using these testimonials for backing that Romney and Bain Capital were acting unethically is like asking the fan of the team that loses the Super Bowl what he thought of the referees. Regardless of truth, the information given is going to be very biased, and it won't give a factual representation of the real business practices utilized by Bain. When it comes to fact checking, this article on CNNMoney ( breaks down the cases seen in When Mitt Romney Came to Town and shows how many of the "facts" given in it are simply false. For example, author Dan Primack states uses Bain's purchase of KB toys to highlight this point:

"Romney and Bain bought the 80 year-old company in 2000." Again, Romney left Bain in 1999 and had no operational role thereafter. It is true that he remained an investor, but so did dozens of university endowments, private foundations and pension systems. None of them played a part in Bain's investment decisions or portfolio company management." 

Primack then writes, "The video also plays a video of Romney speaking at Emory University in 2010, and suggests that he refers to the ultimate failure of KB Toys as "creative destruction." This is taken completely out of context. Romney's Emory comment was pulled from a 45-minute interview that never once mentioned KB Toys. Instead, he was discussing broader economic productivity issues."

Using clips taken out of context... Come on, Newt. You know better than that. It was sleazy when the press took Mitt Romney's comment about firing people out of context; this is no different. 

He continues with another example from the clip highlighting the plight of circuit manufacturer DDI Corp. Bain Capital acquired DDI in 1996: 

"It suggests that "Romney and Bain" began firing DDI employees just before taking it public, including 275 Colorado workers. Again, there is a timing problem. Those Colorado employees were let go in early 2000, after Romney left Bain. The IPO also occurred after Romney had left."

Say what you will about Bain Capital and the practices of private equity firms, but to hold Mitt Romney accountable for things that occurred after his tenure is irresponsible. 

I'm sure the Democrats are just loving this, and as I would have expected, this video has been scorned by the GOP. It's political treason. Newt is employing tactics the far left would admire. Out of context clips, misleading statements, "facts" that are simply false, mood-changing sound and video shots are all intentional and are all used in left-leaning propaganda videos. Nothing is more dangerous than feeding misunderstood material to people in order to change their opinion. As the late comedian George Carlin once said, "I saw some old clips of this from the 1930s, but they were difficult to understand because the subtitles were in German." 

As stated, many in the GOP have expressed their disdain for Gingrich's video. Even the Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donahue has defended Mitt Romney and his role at Bain: 

From the Daily Caller article, Donahue is cited as saying, “I was very disappointed with the intramural carrying on within the Republican party attacking one of the candidates, Romney, who has an extraordinary business experience that in anybody’s look at private equity would have to say he formed a great firm, and he had a pretty good track record,” said Donohue at a press conference after the Chamber’s Annual State of Business Address. “Nobody in that track record has 100 percent, because in the private equity business, it’s all about risk, people risk their money. But this economy is about money, so if you don’t take a risk you can’t have a success.”

At the end of the day, very few Americans understand private equity. It's not an attack on them; it's merely a fact that not many people know about it, nor do they get involved in this highly complicated field. To use this issue to play on the emotions of a difficult situation, to sway people with misleading information to believe something about a person that's not true is not only sleazy, but it's dangerous. I worry this video that does nothing more than misrepresent a viable GOP candidate will cause more harm as the campaign goes on. In the earlier debates, I said that Newt was going to be a martyr and a hero in the GOP for continually taking on and repudiating the press on live T.V. It was bold, but someone had to do it. He went from potentially being a hero with in that regard to a Benedict Arnold in the GOP.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

FOLLOW-UP: Unemployment, Elections and The Press... Oh My!

Ok, first, let's make this clear: this post is about the unemployment information released today. It is a follow-up to our post on January 6th about the unemployment figures released on that day. On January 6th, we merely questioned whether people (and, of course, the media) should be jumping up and down because of the unemployment figures and today, we still pose the same question of restraint. This information is just one report. It is just one set of figures. It shows a decline in the employment situation in this country, but please do not get excited and trumpet this as a loss for Obama. Let's not get too excited. We certainly are not.

In our January 6th post we said:

     "Who knows? Maybe the unemployment situation is really improving. But with the large influx into Christmas-specific jobs and 50,000 people leaving the workforce, I don't believe we can look at the new unemployment rate and trumpet this as a victory. What do you think?"

Today's news: 

Fox News: (CNN Money):

Huffington Post:
     - This one was NOT on the front page. I had to search for it. I will admit, however, that as we predicted, Huff's headline seems to line up with what we foretold. It reads: "Weekly Jobless Claims Surge As Holiday Workers Are Let Go."

Hmmm, In our January 6th post we said:

From the Fox News report: "Unemployment claims jumped to 399,000 in the first week of 2012, the highest in six weeks, from an upwardly revised 375,000 in the prior week."

So, are we correct? Were we off on January 6th? Is our analysis of this week's unemployment figures off base now? We predicted that the improvement in the unemployment situation in December was due to the employment of highly seasonal (in spite of the fact that the BLS report claims these seasonal employees were "accounted for", we think they were not) workers. We now see they are being laid off and jobless claims are rising. Maybe the BLS needs to change its definition of "accounted for." Think the same MSM outlets that trumpeted December's numbers as an Obama victory will recant? What do you think?

South Carolina Primary - January 21st, 2012

Our blog is all about sharing ideas and information. We hope everyone finds the following Twitter tags helpful:

#SCPrimary #SC #SouthCarolina #SouthCarolinaPrimary

We wanted to get this forum up early. South Carolina is pivotal; it tends to be, for lack of a better word... correct :-). It is also very different compared to Iowa and New Hampshire. Candidates like Rick Perry, who had a dismal showing in moderate/libertarian New Hampshire, expect to garner significantly more votes. Newt Gingrich, who represented the South Carolina border state of Georgia in Congress, expects a large showing as well.


- First and foremost: Does Mitt go 3 for 3? We have asked this in our week-long LME poll on the right.
- Will voters turn out for Newt, Perry and Huntsman?
- How will Ron Paul do in a state with a smaller libertarian population?
- Will anyone drop out prior to the primary?
- List who finishes where.

All other comments, opinions, analysis, etc. are welcomed. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Hampshire Primary - January 10th 2012

With this being the first primary of the election year, our post pretty much asks the same questions as with the Iowa Caucus:

Before the primary:

- Who do you think will win?
     - Rank who finishes where. Can you give a breakdown for the percentage of votes earned by each  candidate?
     - How big will Romney's win be?
- Who will be the biggest surprise?
- Who is closest to dropping out?

After the primary:

- Who won the New Hampshire primary? Why do you think this happened?
- Will the winner of the New Hampshire primary win the South Carolina primary?
- Will the winner go on to be the GOP nominee?
- Can the winner beat Obama?
- What was the biggest surprise?
- Who drops out?

Other questions, thoughts, etc. Give your opinions below. Thank you.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What Should the U.S. Do About Its Citizen Being Sentenced to Death in Iran?

U.S. citizen and former Marine Amir Mirzaei Hekmati was accused, tried and has been sentenced to death by an Iranian court for allegedly being a CIA-trained spy. Our thoughts go out to this young man, and we hope something can be done to secure his safe return home.


Fox News:

I'm not entirely sure what to make of MSNBC's article. It seems to imply that Hekmati was a CIA spy:

     - "Last month, Fars reported that the prosecution had applied for capital punishment because the suspect "admitted that he received training in the United States and planned to imply that Iran was involved in terrorist activities in foreign countries" after returning to the U.S.

Hekmati's lawyer, who was identified only by his surname, Samadi, denied the charges, according to the December report.
In court on Dec. 27, Hekmati was quoted by Fars as saying, "I was deceived by the CIA."
"Although I was appointed to break into Iran's intelligence systems and act as a new source for the CIA, I had no intention of undermining the country," Fars quoted Hekmati as saying.
Current and former U.S. government officials told Reuters in November that Iran had succeeded in uncovering the identities of several CIA informants."

What do you think the U.S. should do? What would YOU do if you were president? Is this an Obama issue? A federal agency issue (CIA, FBI, etc.)? Is this a military issue? Give your thoughts, prayers, etc. below. Thank you.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

READER'S POST #4 - Feds Propose Allowing Big Oil to Kill Golden Eagles

By: 32slim32

No, actually they don’t; they propose to allow big “green energy” to kill golden eagles (see story here: Amazingly, there hasn’t been any outrage in the media, at the National Wildlife Foundation, PETA, or at the World Wildlife Fund. But man, just imagine the outrage if big oil was given a permit to kill eagles.

When the BP oil spill happened in 2010 we saw the photos of oil drenched birds and turtles and heard all of the dire doomsday predictions for the Gulf of Mexico. It was tragic and terrible, don’t misunderstand me, however it was over sensationalized a little. For instance the NY Times reported that “more than 7,000 birds, sea turtles and dolphins have been found dead or debilitated in the gulf” (story at:

The NYT goes on to say that they are finding more dead animals than usual for that time of year. They also mention that a lot of the turtles they found were not oiled and they suspect that many of those turtles may have been drowned by shrimping nets. So of these “more than 7,000 birds, sea turtles, and dolphins”, not all of them were killed by the oil spill itself, but even if they were, that is far less than that what “big wind” kills every year. 

What’s that? There’s no way clean energy kills more than big oil. Let’s see. “Nationwide, about 440,000 birds are killed at wind farms each year, according to the Wildlife Service.”

Also, from the same LA Times story, “Federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday.” But that’s nothing really in comparison to the “67 golden eagles that die each year in Northern California's Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area”.

If the wind farms in Los Angeles and Altamonte Pass kill 73 eagles annually without a permit, how many more will the central Oregon wind farm kill with a permit?

Hey, here is an interesting thought. Let’s look at the amount of energy produced. The Gulf of Mexico was supplying our country with 15% to 18% of our oil daily, according to figures obtained at and  (page 18 of 25). While wind energy supplies our nation with 2.3% of our electricity generated. (source:

So, the source that supplied 15% to 18% of our oil had one catastrophic accident that killed over 7,000 animals, while the source that provides a staggering two percent of our electricity kills more than 440,000 birds every year with no catastrophes. Year in and year out, hundreds of thousands of song birds, eagles, hawks, and owls are slaughtered day after day in the name of “clean energy”, “green energy” and “saving the planet” while we lament over the 7,000 birds, turtles, and dolphins that died the year of the BP oil spill. 

I guess until one of those cute cuddly little polar bears gets killed by a wind mill we will not be hearing from the NWF or WWF. As long as no one tries to eat or use the feathers of the killed birds PETA will probably remain silent too. 

It seems like to me those shock and awe AP photographers would be better off setting up camp at the Northern California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area and getting some photos of eagles, owls, and songbirds that have been beaten to death by a wind mill. Maybe since they aren’t oil soaked it isn’t enough shock and awe for them. I know, spend a week there and just pile all the birds in a pile and take a photo. It should even have at least one or two eagles in it since 67 are killed every year. 

Amazingly, the same Federal Government that is considering “kill permits” for golden eagles and “green energy” was looking to block oil and gas exploration over a lizard. (see story here: And they were attempting to block a water pipe line over a mouse. (

Boy this is kind of hard to figure out: a mouse and a lizard and we shut down production, but with an eagle we issue a kill permit. Excuse me, I just can’t help but laugh at the idiocy. 

It really is amazing what appalls the left and what just simply doesn’t bother them.  

What do you think? Do you see this as hypocrisy of the media and the left? Are you shocked that the NWF, WWF, and PETA are silent this?  Why do we only see oiled up animals and not one photo of the nearly half a million birds killed each year by “clean energy”?

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to

ABC GOP Debate: January 8th, 2012 from Saint Anslem College

Did you watch? Yes, it was on a Saturday night during the NFL playoffs. That's a really tough draw for viewers. We ask:

Who won the New Hampshire debate?

... the best "gotcha" moment?

... the biggest flub?

... the funniest moment?

Did your pick for the GOP nomination win?

Give your opinions below. Thank you!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Unemployment, Elections and The Press... Oh My!

In case you haven't heard, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% for December. YIPPIE! All hail Obama! Well, obviously we wouldn't say that at The Elephant in the Room, but if you read some articles in the mainstream media, you might think that's what they want you to believe.

The Huffington Post:
     - Notice how in the third paragraph it DOES highlight the important part about how many of those who were looking for work left the labor force, but this article claims that this significant information was overshadowed by the creation of "more jobs." Hmmm... 200,000 jobs were created and 50,000 people stopped looking. 50,000! That's a 4 to 1 ratio of new jobs to people who just stopped looking.

Fox News:

So what does all this really mean? Well, here is our take:

First, yes, there are seasonal jobs that the MSM sites claim are accounted for. For those that aren't sure what "seasonal jobs" are: during the year there are times where the need for more workers increases (during winter, for example), are the U.S. sees an increase in hiring. The question we ask is: are they really accounted for?

Well, let's take a look at the data: Source: BLS Economic News Release: Unemployment Situation Summary at 08:30am EST on January, 6th, 2012

Jobs that were "Christmas holiday" -related (bold) were up by much greater proportions than other sectors:

• Transportation and warehousing : + 50,000
• Retail trade: + 28,000

• Leisure and hospitality: + 24,000
Health care: + 23,000
• Manufacturing: + 23,000
• Mining: + 7,000
• Professional and business services: 0
• Government employment fell: -12,000 

In summary, retail trade, transportation and warehousing jobs created: 78,000
All others combined: 65,000

The BLS report also says that nearly all the transportation and warehousing job gains were in the couriers and messengers industry (42,000 out of the 50,000) jobs. Hmmm, Fedex, UPS, etc... Christmas gift deliverers maybe?

So, is seasonal unemployment really accounted for? The press claims it is, but clearly these seasonal jobs are included in the net job growth numbers. We aren't trying to rain on anyone's parade, but, everything must be taken in context. Our problem is that the mainstream media is already trumpeting this as a major Obama victory. It's not a coincidence that this media headlining comes just three days after the strongest Iowa Caucus turnout in Iowa Caucus history. It's not a coincidence that this media headlining comes after Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate who does best in national polls versus Obama, won the caucus.

Who knows? Maybe the unemployment situation is really improving. But with the large influx into Christmas-specific jobs and 50,000 people leaving the workforce, I don't believe we can look at the new unemployment rate and trumpet this as a victory. What do you think?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is This Young Woman a Hero?

We don't usually write about social issues since our backgrounds are centered around economics, but if you haven't yet heard the story about the young Oklahoma mom that shoots an intruder, here you go:



The Huffington Post:
     - This one is particularly interesting. We constantly scour through mainstream media comment pages to gauge the opinions of internet news readers. Though the Huff Post is notorious for being a liberal news site, the comments here are overwhelmingly in support of the young mother and the right to own and use firearms.

So what do you think? Is she a hero? Is this being blown out of proportion? If you are on the other side (the strict gun control side) what's your opinion? Would this case change your mind? Is she a criminal?

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And Then There Were Six...

Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain

Michele Bachmann announced she is dropping her bid for the Republican nomination. She won the Ames Straw Poll on August 13th, 2011, but finished 6th (effectively last since Jon Huntsman did not officially campaign in Iowa) in the 2012 Iowa Caucus. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. 

Some key questions remain: 

- What does this mean for the Tea Party? Bachmann championed herself as a Tea Party candidate but never seemed to get a foothold among the group's rank-and-file.

- What caused this? With no scandalous and few negative attacks against Bachmann, why didn't she capture that many votes?  Most importantly, what can the remaining candidates learn from her campaign?

- Does this mean the Tea Party express is slowly coming to a stop? Is it not as strong as it originally thought since Bachmann lost to other, non-Tea Party candidates? Is the Tea Party having a difficult time rounding up moderate conservatives? Perhaps Bachmann wasn't the Tea Party poster child they had been looking for. With polls showing Rick Santorum picked up a large portion of the Tea Party vote, did its preference shift? 

- What will happen to Bachmann's now former (small, but somewhat significant) supporters? Who will they throw their hats behind? When Cain suspended his campaign, we saw a rise in Newt Gingrich's numbers. Who will benefit most from Bachmann's departure?

I'm sure other questions will come up. Post them below. Thank you.

P.S. Who do you think will win in New Hampshire?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Iowa Caucus - January 3rd 2012

Before the Caucus:

- Who do you think will win?
- Who will be the biggest surprise?
- Who is closest to dropping out?
- Rank who finishes where.

After the Caucus:

- Who won the Iowa Caucus?
- Will the winner of the Iowa Caucus win the New Hampshire primary?
- Will the winner go on to be the GOP nominee?
- Can the winner beat Obama?
- Who drops out?

Other questions, thoughts, etc. Give your opinions below. Thank you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

READER'S POST #3 - "Headlining"... How the Mainstream Media Sways Opinions

By: 32slim32

I was reading on this morning and came across this headline:

“Farmers Seeking High Profits Add Acreage, Harvest 'Rottenest' Land”

I chuckled as I clicked on the story wondering what the “catch” was. What was the “rottenest land”? Was it nuclear wasteland? 
As the story came up, I noticed it was actually a New York Times story. The NYT ran a headline of:

What a difference in headlines for the same exact story.

“The rottenest piece of land there is,” said Mick Elbert, a local car dealer who served on the golf association board. “All it is good for is a golf course. That’s why we built it there.”

I was kind of expecting to hear from maybe an agronomist, or a pedologist, or even maybe a horticulturist. Leave it to the New York Times to go to an expert on the subject like a used car dealer. Talk about thinking outside of the box. Plus he can break it down in to simpler to understand terms like “rottenest piece of land there is”.  Yeah, yeah, I saw he served on the golf association board, but it still doesn’t qualify him as an expert.

The third paragraph of the story states:

“But this year, over a chorus of objections, the greens and fairways were plowed under. The course had been losing money, and crop prices had been breaking records, so the new owner did the type of quick calculation that is quietly reshaping the region and determined that it was more valuable as farmland. The first harvest took place this fall.”

Why would there be a chorus of objections? If the owner decides that today it’s a golf course, next year a corn field and in 5 years it is a cow pasture, whose business is it? What say do they have in the matter?

The best part of the paragraph is the last sentence. “The first harvest took place this fall”. What? I thought you said in the first paragraph, “the rocky soil was so poor, the saying went, that you couldn’t raise hell there with a fifth of whiskey”. Maybe the “expert” (car dealer) may have exaggerated his claim a little bit about the “rottenest piece of land”.

Anyway, the author goes on to complain about a long list of things like, farmers taking down old barns to squeeze in a few more rows of crops (Oh my gawd…..the horror), plowing up areas that used to graze cattle (again, the horror and how dare they get rid of unprofitable cattle and plant profit making corn), plowing up land that used to be in conservation (so reducing a couple of Billion dollars in subsidies to NOT grow crops is a bad thing?) and that “they are returning crops to places that had been reserved for ostensibly more lucrative purposes like strip malls, housing developments or, in several cases, struggling small-town golf courses.” Notice it is places that had been RESERVED for. It’s not as if we tore down strip malls to plant corn. I would think the main reason the housing developments and strip malls are not going up may have something to do with, like, say, the economy.

The story also mentions a significant increase in the amount of dormant land going back into production and that there is a debate whether it should be a source of concern.  Yes it seems any time there is progress or profit there will always be liberals there to oppose and hinder it every way they can.  What’s next, Occupy Corn Fields?

Here is another line from the story that amuses me, “While working one overgrown parcel for a neighbor, Mr. Coddington discovered a rusting horse-drawn plow buried beneath a foot of earth, a find that suggested the land had not been farmed in a century.” Why would it suggest to them the land had not been farmed in a century? That is a very stupid assumption. For instance, my father was born in 1947, grew up on a farm and plowed with mules. Just because the tractor may have been around for 100 years (I’m guessing that is what their assumption is based on), doesn’t mean that no one used horses and plows or mules and plows since their (tractors) invention.

It doesn’t appear to me that the article actually had a point. It seems more like just a way to get liberals worked up into a tizzy. You know, just combine the word profit with one persons speculation that we are destroying the earth and you get them foaming at the mouth.

This article really just goes to show how you can NEVER make a liberal happy. For instance the main reason for the high demand and record profits for corn is ethanol, a liberal idea to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They cry and moan about farm subsidies then when farmers quit taking the subsidy to NOT farm their land and start farming that upsets them too. However, it appears the main thing that just rubs them raw is that a farmer could actually turn a profit.

Disclaimer from The Elephant in the Room: The article posted above is the work of a blog reader, not an owner of the blog. In promoting an open forum blog, and believing that the passing of information is the reason we exist, we happily post most readers' work with little editing. While the article does appear on our blog, the owners of The Elephant in the Room did not write this article, and posting this article on our blog does not imply endorsement of the ideas and opinions expressed in the article. If you would like us to post your work, please submit it to