If you could split two political campaigns down the middle and have the best of both worlds, what would it be?
You'd have former Governor Mitt Romney's strong jaw line and President Obama's wit and charm. You'd have Obama's moves under the basket and Romney's tenacious defense.
What you would really have is a candidate who would quit pretending the U.S. budget depends on taxing on a very small percentage of U.S. taxpayers, namely the wealthy.
While the middle class struggles, the gap between the rich and poor grows wider even though there are more wealthy individuals than ever before. Forbes said the number of millionaires reached a record 5.22 million in 2011, representing 4.5 percent of the U.S. population.
Startling or not, the critical figure is not 5.2 million. The pertinent figure is 4.5 percent. You simply can't balance the books with a punitive tax on that small a percentage of the total population and call the place a democracy.
Moreover, mathematically it makes no sense whatsoever. If 5.2 million millionaires were worth, on average, five million dollars, you could take every penny they had -- $260 billion -- and you would barely make a dent in U.S. debt, which is somewhere near $16 trillion. And then, of course, you would have bankrupt quite a few very lively consumers.
The ideal candidate would have Romney's attitude on big oil and Obama's sensitivity to the environment. You can have both. And, frankly, making enemies out of big oil companies is like declaring all beef ranchers murderers. Among other things, it is extremely hypocritical.
The United States can be far more competitive as a producer of oil and natural gas and No. 1 in development of wind, solar, green car and green building technology at the same time.
If the Democrats would stop making big oil out to be Public Enemy No. 1 and if Republicans would stop mocking efforts to improve alternative power production, there would be more jobs, cheaper oil and an investment in the future.
On the job front, it is possible that neither President Barack Obama nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney should be given the job of running the country.
The United States has lost 13 million jobs or more and has potential workers leaving the workforce in droves out of sheer frustration.
In simplistic terms, the United States economy is not healthy enough and not innovative enough to create 13 million jobs out of thin air. The jobs that can be reclaimed most quickly are the jobs that have moved overseas.
Public enemy No. 1 is not the financial sector. It's not the oil industry. Public enemy No. 1 is outsourcing.
Frankly, there should be an all-out war on outsourcing and there are many fronts in which this war can be waged from protection of intellectual property rights to currency manipulation to balanced taxes and balanced environmental and labor laws.
Companies outsource because labor is cheaper overseas, because raw materials are more plentiful overseas, because taxes are cheaper in other countries, because environmental laws are more relaxed elsewhere, because customers are overseas. They also outsource due to blatant protectionism, which includes manipulation of currency exchange rates, the temptation of cheaper taxes, more lenient labor laws and direct subsidies to industries in many forms.
In international markets the Nikkei 225 index in Japan fell 0.7 percent, while the Shanghai composite index in China lost 0.67 percent. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 0.15 percent, while the Sensex in India gained 0.49 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia slipped 0.18 percent.
In midday trading in Europe, the FTSE 100 index in Britain lost 0.37 percent, while the DAX 30 in Germany rose 0.17 percent. The CAC 40 in France shed 0.28 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 600 dropped 0.32 percent.