Paul Ryan

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These Dividend Stocks Will Be the Real Winners of Election 2012

With Mitt Romney's debate performance last week, Election 2012 has begun to swing Republican on the presidential side.

According to a recent poll by Rasmussen, in the 11 swing states Romney now leads President Obama by a slim 49% to 47% margin. Collectively, these states hold 146 Electoral College votes, or enough to determine the outcome.

Yet with two more debates still left on the slate, the truth is the fortunes of both candidates will likely swing back and forth right up to the wire.

With 27 days until voters head to the polls it's shaping up to be a photo finish.

For investors, that means next month should be volatile as traders attempt to guess the outcome.

However, the long-term results are what's really important, not only for the "big picture" economy, but for particular companies and sectors that can be expected to benefit from either an Obama win or a Romney win.

After all, there are considerable differences between the two candidates' policy prescriptions.

And as long-term dividend stock investors it is going to be crucial that we take advantage of these differences, repositioning our portfolio when we know the election result so we can optimize its performance through the new administration.

With the race still in doubt, here are 10 dividend stock suggestions from the Standard and Poor's 500 Index -- five for each candidate. The selections for each candidate can be expected to do better if he wins, and should therefore be bought when the election result is known --or perhaps before the election as a hedge against your least favorite candidate winning!

If Obama Wins Election 2012, Buy These Dividend Stocks

The following stocks should benefit should President Obama win re-election:

  • H&R Block (NYSE: HRB). If President Obama wins election 2012, it seems almost certain that taxes will rise, at least for those with incomes above $250,000 and probably for many people poorer than that. In addition, there's likely to be a mass reshuffling of allowances and tax rates, changing the best tax strategies for everyone with any complexity at all in their tax returns.

    This has to be good news for tax preparers, the largest of which is HRB, both directly through their network of offices and indirectly through their TaxCut tax software. HRB has a dividend yield of 4.5%, and a historic dividend payout ratio of 60%.
  • Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF). If Obama wins, Ben Bernanke is likely to stay in office as Fed chairman, and be replaced by a like-minded successor when his term of office ends in January 2014. That means interest rates should stay low -- good news for commodity stocks like CLF, an iron ore and coal producer. CLF has been generous on the dividend front, and now pays $2.50 per share, giving it a yield of 6.3%. Its historic payout ratio is about 25%, but that will increase as 2012 has been a tough year.

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National Conventions: It's My Party and I'll Lie If I Want To

Now that both the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over, one key question remains: Which side has the best liars?

If America's two major political parties have anything in common, it's the ability to fold, twist and mutilate the facts of any given subject.

Almost every speaker at both national conventions did their utmost to uphold this ignoble tradition of American politics.

When the media called several GOP speakers on their political lies, a pollster for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, Neil Newhouse, responded with what may have been the most truthful words spoken by any political figure over the past two weeks:

"We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

The Democrats, of course, gleefully pointed this out at their national convention a few days later even while committing transgressions of their own.

Hypocrisy, thy name is politics.

Since the American voter deserves better in Election 2012, here's a more accurate look at some the truth-challenged rhetoric uttered by the people who want us to trust them with running the country:

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Election 2012: Why the GOP Is Really Talking About the Gold Standard

One of the most surprising proposals from the Republican National Convention was that the GOP platform for Election 2012 includes a commission analyzing a return to the gold standard.

Ever since the United States went off the gold standard in 1971 the U.S. monetary base has grown to its current level of roughly $2.56 trillion. With this increase has come an even more alarming rise in the federal deficit. Currently the U.S. has around $222 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

That's why many, most notably Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX, have called for a return to the gold standard and a compete audit of the Federal Reserve.

But as opponents are quick to point out, it is impractical, impossible, and highly unlikely that America's enormous monetary supply would be backed by gold.

Some on the left, such as Paul Krugman of The New York Times, called the return to the gold standard "an almost comically (and cosmically) bad idea."

So why would the GOP bring it up?

Experts have theorized that the inclusion of a gold standard commission on the GOP party's platform is just a way to encourage Ron Paul supporters to join the Romney camp.

Within the GOP there are worries that these devoted "Paulites" will not vote for Romney unless more of Paul's agenda is taken seriously. The move to "audit the Fed" and a return to the gold standard are two ideas Paul supporters care most about.

But there's more to the gold standard proposal than pleasing Paulites.

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Election 2012: A Candidate With Economic Heft, Paul Ryan is No Sarah Palin

Win or lose, the most recent vice-presidential choices never mattered much when it came to the economy.

From Joe Biden to Sarah Palin to John Edwards, none of them were ever known for their grasp of economic policy.

But Paul Ryan is different.

His selection as vice presidential nominee last weekend has significant implications for the economy if the Republican ticket wins Election 2012.

In fact, the selection tells us more about Mitt Romney than we knew before, since Ryan is committed to a group of policies difficult to implement but which would change the direction of U.S. fiscal policy.

If you're interested in an adult conversation about the dangers of the fiscal cliff, the selection of Paul Ryan ensures you are going to get one this fall.

As an investor, that means you need to position yourself to benefit from a GOP win, without damaging your wealth if the just about equal possibility occurs of losing to President Barack Obama and Vice-President Biden.

With Ryan now in the race, here's what you need to know about this up-and-comer from Wisconsin.

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What Investors Love About the Romney Tax Plan

With Election 2012 less than one hundred days away the verbal slingshots between the two candidates have picked up in negativity. Tax returns and tax policies have been the subject of the latest round of insults and political maneuvers.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released a report claiming Mitt Romney's tax plan would "provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers."

President Obama responded by calling the Romney tax plan a Robin Hood reversal and dubbed the former governor's plan "Romney Hood."

Romney responded with a childish quip of his own calling the president's remarks "Obamaloney."

But if you want to take a step back from the negative tone of campaigning, one tax plan clearly stands out as a winner for investors.

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Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan to Make Election a Budget War

In naming Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, as his vice presidential nominee, Mitt Romney ensured that the 2012 election will be mainly about how the country ultimately deals with its massive budget deficits.

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made his running mate announcement Saturday morning in Norfolk, VA. The choice of Ryan completes the ticket that will face off against President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in November.

Ryan, a seven-term congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee, in March released a controversial budget proposal - the so-called Ryan Budget Plan -- that now figures to become a central part of the presidential campaign.

Ryan's Budget Plan would deal harshly with federal spending by making major changes to programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps.

Republicans who support the plan say the austerity is needed to get the country's huge budget deficits under control. Democrats counter that the Ryan Budget Plan balances the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.

So it's not too surprising that both parties are thrilled with Ryan as the VP nominee.

"I have long supported Paul Ryan's fiscal and entitlement reforms to return our country back on a path of fiscal health," said former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a Republican presidential candidate who dropped out of the race in April. "At a time when our country is at an economic crossroads, Congressman Ryan's depth of knowledge on how to tackle these challenges is unparalleled."

Certainly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, based his reaction to the Ryan VP pick on the Ryan Budget Plan.

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