I disagree with Hightower.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Campaign 2012 Romney Domestically

In domestic policy the main thing that I want is fiscal responsibility and the second thing is that I want for the ACA to have the chance to evolve into NHI (= national health insurance.)  See YA NHI1 and YA NHI2 .
I believe that Romney is clearly for the first and strongly against the latter.   So that is huge plus and a big minus.

For the sake of argument, I will accept his clear statement that his tax rate cutting proposal will not raise taxes on the (much pandered to) middle class and would not lower the taxes of the wealthy, and that he can find the deductions to match up with the desired rate cut to obtain a revenue neutral program (I’ve seen credible things both ways on that.)  Now, why did we do that in the first place?  It was going to inspire the “job creators” to spend their money on growth.  But if the program is revenue neutral, then why would they change their behavior?  (Maybe they could gain income from the rate cut and lose income from not getting a deduction on his second home.  Perhaps this would move him to sell the second home and put the extra money into economic activity.)  It sounds very much like the standard Republican story about cutting tax rates and the pixie dust will “fix whatever ails you.”

On the job creating front he is vehemently opposed to “stimulus spending” and I am not a fanatic about it either, but I believe it has a place as I have noted before:  [I too am a national debt worrier.  But there are limits.  Scheduled, short term debt is different.  More and more people are pointing out that our unhappy economy has a bright spot:  although we have high unemployment, and major infrastructure needs it is also true that the Fed. Govt. can borrow for 10 years at less than 2%.  When you get a silver lining, take it!  We could borrow and spend a trillion dollars, earmark Obama’s tax on the rich (or something else) to pay it back over ten years. You can do that for a total interest cost of 11% of the loan.  I do not think Romney would take advantage of that.]

I blame the Republicans for the profligacy of continuing the “Bush tax cuts” (and other things), the Democrats for the subprime mortgage fiasco which the government financed and which has not yet been unwound, and both of them for constructing a new financial system which also includes entities which are too big to fail.   They have not fixed any of these things.  (Capitalism without failure is an oxymoron.  If a company is too big to fail it is too big to exist.  Break it up.)

In a president I am not looking for a buddy or someone to have a beer margarita with.  So the personality thing doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I don’t want someone who is some kind of regular guy.  I want somebody who is a hell of a lot smarter than a regular guy.  However, I do worry about Romney’s attitude towards the people, as in the 47% debacle. 

I believe that the fiscal problem is very serious.  Not just the “fiscal cliff” that you hear about on TV from those who don’t know the difference between the debt and the deficit.  I mean the long term short fall.   The public finally thinks that it is a problem.  I am concerned that Romney sees the public opinion as an opportunity to cut the size of government.  In the long term I do not believe that those who are committed to major reductions of government services and spending can win.  If they achieve their cuts, then as soon as the people feel the pain those guys will be removed from office.  I do still have hope that someone will someday advocate that we a) have the safety net that we want and b) recognize the need to pay for it.
We the people have been borrowing and spending all of this money, not just in the recession, we have been doing this for years.  Who is doing it:  the “great middle class.”  That is the POWER in this country.  Who will speak truth to POWER? The politicians have been pandering to that POWER.  Listen to how often all of them talk about how they are going to protect the great middle class.  It is a constant pandering and it is hard for us to hear because they are pandering to US. 

The left wants a larger government.  An honest liberal will tell me (or at least give me a signal) that to achieve his vision (with fiscal responsibility) we will need serious tax increases on the middle class (as well as the rich).  I have not heard that from Obama.  In fact what I have been hearing from Obama is a litany of promises to maintain all of the goodies that the various groups get from the government.

The right wants a smaller government. An honest conservative will tell me (or at least give me a signal) that to achieve his vision (with fiscal responsibility) we will need to cut some programs that are dear to my middle class heart and pocketbook.  I have heard that from Romney’s first choice: Paul Ryan.

I will give him a C.

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