I have to say that I pretty much agree with this post. I would take it a little further and note that Romney has also pledged to roll back unsustainable government programs (obamacare) and is more likely to rein in out of control federal agencies (like the epa) both things that will also help the bottom line. In short, just spending is not the whole story.In today's Wall Street Journal I found an article that pretty much sums up this year's election for me. I know that other people will vote for reasons having nothing to do with the Federal Government's budget, but to me those issues are all a side show. This is what matters.
I know most people don't have WSJ subscriptions, so I'll summarize the article before I discuss it.
In essence, the two men have a spending vision for the 10 years that are $6 trillion apart. That is, Obama wants to spend $6 trillion more than Romney over the next 10 years. Put another way, it's 22.5% of the country's gross national product vs. 20%. In discussing the difference, the Journal says:
So there you have it: the real difference between these two men. In my opinion, Obama's numbers will rapidly result in national bankruptcy. In fact, I believe that Obama's numbers are worse than Romney's because in the end Obama will bring us to the point of complete collapse. Under Obama, the economy will grind to a halt as capital and jobs flee the country, seeking a haven from the death-spiral of increasing taxes that his policies would almost certainly require (and which, morally, he believes we have an obligation to impose). Eventually the Federal Government's debt will become so large that it will no longer be able to find people to loan it money. At that point, the government shuts down hard, in a kind of a crash that will throw millions of retirees into complete financial desperation. Obama claims his plan is better for the elderly, but what he doesn't do is admit to the looming problem that the world is only going to loan money to the government for just so long, and that business leaders and entrepreneurs are going to be willing to put up with threats of punitive taxation for only so long, before they look elsewhere in the world to invest their wealth. And it's a big world, too.
Under Romney, we have a chance. Just a chance. Frankly, I don't think his plan goes far enough because his plan still leaves us with massive deficit spending. Under Romney, we're still bleeding, but not quite as much. The idea from the Romney camp is that we slow the rate of government spending to more or less what we did prior to Obama, and that will encourage private investment to flourish in this country, which will put people back to work, which will ultimately raise tax revenues. My opinion is that Romney's plan is just trickle-down revised. I'm no big fan of trickle-down economics because I've observed that the wealthy don't actually spend that extra money in this country. Instead, they spend it in China and India and other developing nations. But at least under Romney we aren't gushing arterial blood like we will be under Obama. Romney's plan will eventually bring us to national bankruptcy too, but that will be somewhere down the road. In the meantime, we as a nation can become used to belt tightening. It's a gradual descent into austerity, one that gives people (retirees) time to adjust to a reality in which the government is not able to take care of their every need.
If this was another election, and if Romney had competition from a more fiscally prudent politician, this might not be such an easy decision to make. But, really, what we have here is a decision between someone who wants to aggressively open major arteries just because he disapproves of the way the patient has lived his life and so deserves to bleed out for the greater good, and someone who's trying to keep a patient from bleeding out using a not-very-large bandaid. In that scenario, I'll take the guy who's trying to stem the damage, even though he probably isn't going to be very effective. At least he isn't actively trying to make matters worse.
I'm not a big fan of Romney's, who seems posed to engage in Trickle Down Economics, Part II. With NEW! And IMPROVED! packaging and branding. What we should be doing is pursuing taxation and economic policies that encourage growth in small and medium sized business, even as we use the tax code to punish multinationals who send jobs out of this country. Right now, the way things work is that small and medium sized businesses create jobs, then the multinationals buy the little companies, suck them dry of all their assets, and outsource all the jobs, even as they do everything they can to avoid paying taxes. This is what's causing tax receipts to fall, and that combined with out of control, excessive deficit spending is what is causing our national economic decline.
But an economic policy that focused on building up small and medium sized businesses, which would employ more of the middle class, which is where the bulk of our tax receipts actually come from (accounting for all taxes: income, sales, and other fees), would actually improve the government's revenue picture. It isn't Trickle Down, so much as Trickle Out.
Unfortunately, I don't think that Romney is the guy who can see that this needs to be done. He's part of the 1%, and so has spent his life drinking the 1%'s koolaid on Trickle Down. Ultimately, he will fail.
But Obama? Obama is doing surgery by maliciously hacking at the patient in a frenzy of retribution. Obama Disapproves, and so he is going to Punish Us by making everyone pay and pay and pay and pay, even as he kills the economy entirely.
In the end, I have to vote for Romney.
But I don't have to like it.