What we need is breathing room, a chance to get the economy growing again, to get people back to work again. It’s no coincidence that when we reformed welfare, it was during an economic boom. Wealth papers over lots of differences, and allows people to get things done. And there’s lots that needs doing. We can start by repealing ObamaCare, repealing Dodd-Frank, and just generally undoing the last four years. These are things Romney has promised to do.Doug Mataconis agrees that the Obama Presidency has delivered precisely what the self-styled progressives wished for, and the results are horrible.
Will he do it? I hope so, and if he wins it will be our job to ride him and ride him hard to live up to those promises. What I do know for certain is that Romney isn’t Obama Lite, despite what you might think. Romney won’t dial back Washington to 18% of our GDP. But he might get it down to 20%, which, believe it or not, is a big — and absolutely necessary — improvement.
We’ll see no such improvement from a second Obama administration, which aims to ramp up Washington to something like 110% of our economy.
Obama sees it as his job to add every day to the Rube Goldberg device that Washington has grown into, while simultaneously throwing sand into its gears. If that seems like a contradictory notion, or even a sick notion — it is. But we’ve watched Obama do just that for four years now. How much more can it, can we, take?
But the simplest reason is this: If Obama’s Cloward-Piven crash does come in the next four years, a turnaround artist like Romney might just be the right person to have at the helm. It’s no scare tactic to remind you what a dedicated Progressive does with a crisis, especially an engineered one.
With some minor exceptions, such as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the mission that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, I consider much of President Obama’s Presidency to date to have been a disaster. Despite the fact that he was elected largely because the economy had crashed under the Presidency of George W. Bush, Obama did little to actually address the problems facing the nation. Instead, he championed an $800 billion “stimulus” bill that was packed full of Democratic Party pet projects. So, it wasn’t a surprise when we discovered a year later that the “stimulus” hadn’t really worked, and that we find ourselves four years later with an economy that is barely growing and a job market that remains incredibly weak. This is, as several analysts have said, the worst “recovery” since the end of World War II and, while I agree that there is much about the economy that is beyond the control of the President, the problem is that Obama didn’t even make a serious effort to revive the economy beyond engaging in the same failed Keynesianism that Democrats have become famous for.Those policy failures do not provide reason to vote for a Republican.
In addition to failing on the economy, the President also vastly increased the power of the Federal Government with a far reaching health care plan that, if preserved, would create an entirely new entitlement program that would drain Federal dollars. Internationally, he foolishly expanded the scope of the war in Afghanistan, a decision that has done little but result in the death of another thousand American soldiers for no good reason. He has expanded an assassination by drone program far beyond that contemplated by President Bush, including authorizing the assassination of an American citizen without due process and without judicial review. He committed American armed forces to a military engagement in Libya without seeking the authorization of Congress, something even George W. Bush didn’t do. And, he’s refused any entreaties to investigate the excesses of the Bush Era War On Terror.
After all, the last time we had Republicans in charge of the Executive and Legislative Branches, we ended up with a trillion dollar unfunded entitlement, a massive increase in the Federal education bureaucracy, and two wars that we not only didn’t pay for but which coincided with tax cuts which is about the fiscally dumbest thing you can do. We also, of course, ended up with massive erosion of civil liberties in the name of the “War On Terror,” and people being tortured in America’s name. Given that record, why should I think that a Romney Administration would be any more palatable to libertarians, or that it would take any real steps toward reducing the size, scope, and power of government?Keep in mind that President Bush the younger promised to spend the political capital of his re-election on private retirement accounts for new participants in "Social" "Security". We ended up with the pork-laden 2005 transportation bill, the prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients, and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate just before the bad mortgages brought the credit markets down.
If the record of the GOP weren’t enough, there’s also Mitt Romney’s record itself. Up until he decided that he wanted to run for President, Romney was the prototypical Northeastern Republican, moderate on social issues, mostly fiscally conservative, but also willing to consider programs like the Massachusetts health care program, which was the prototype for ObamaCare. What assurance do we have that he wouldn’t change his mind again once he became President, especially if it meant that it would help enhance his re-election prospects? I understand that political leaders need to be flexible at times, but when I run into someone who has changed their political beliefs more than once for obvious political advantage, I really have to wonder if I can trust them.
Will it really take a total loss of confidence in governance before business as usual ends?