Romney: A Leader for Our Times
The presidential election is less than a week away and you'll not be surprised that I'm for Mitt Romney. As a fiscal conservative this is a decisive, "where are we going?" moment in history. Yes, it is about the economy, although not exclusively. The stark fact, however, is that without a vigorous private economy we cannot reduce our debt, we cannot have a strong infrastructure, nor a strong military, nor a clean environment, nor take care of the poor. And, the choice between the two candidates and their philosophies is quite clear.
The Obama administration has had four years and we're still stuck on "Go". A 2 per cent growth - some say less - in the economy will not replace the natural attrition of jobs. And, too many have retreated from the market place. The total number of people working is not enough. We're also stuck on nearly 8 per cent unemployment. It was no slip of the tongue when Obama said, "the private sector is doing just fine".
His focus is on the government which he regards as the ultimate infrastructure modeled on European model. He spent the first years of his administration on developing a monstrous, government centered, costly health care program, a massive, government focused stimulus bill, a bailout of the auto industry, a "green" agenda subsidizing, mostly unsuccessfully, solar and wind, tried to get through cap and trade to control the environment, cut off an oil pipeline from Canada, changed the welfare-to-work program, and continually demonized the business sector, the coal and oil industry, and the well-to-do, and stood by while the Federal Reserve Board printed more money, created a debt reduction commission (Simpson/Bowles) then ignored them, and created a Jobs Council with whom he never meets.
He has made no secret of wanting to "fundamentally change America", an agenda that is likely to continue as he moves us more to the European model of a growing government sector, a shrinking private, but subsidized private sector, and a more government dependent populace, broader dependence on the UN, and a greatly reduced military. In European fashion, we can live with high unemployment as long as the government subsidies are high enough. Once those goals have been reached, we'll be fine. As he said about foreign policy to Russian Prime Minister, Dimitri Medvedev, "I'll have more flexibility after the election." That applies to the domestic arena also.
Four books, besides his own two somewhat fictional books, define Obama and support that thesis: "Obama's Rage" by Dinesh D'Souza, the basis for the movie documentary "2016"; David Maraniss' "Barack Obama: the story; "The Amateur" by Edward Klein; and Bob Woodward's new book, "The Price of Politics". The first two explore his background and philosophies and the other two his actual performance.
In contrast, Mitt Romney, a former (pretty liberal) successful governor of Massachusetts, and rescuer of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and successful entrepreneur, is a doer in private and public affairs, and an exemplary leader in his community and private life. His is a "make it work" philosophy and he works well with others to achieve those goals. He knows that the private sector is the driver of jobs and he identified early the importance and promise of energy in this country. He also knows and understands the appropriate and necessary role of government in the economy.
Fundamentally, Romney is a powerful and effective leader, something the country and the world needs now. He has sound personal and public principles, but is not weighted down by a rigid ideology. He understands that a dynamic, growing economy, balanced with restrained public spending, solves the problems with deficits and debts, unemployment, poverty, a strong infrastructure, and a strong military. He knows we can't spend our way out of debt, that we'll have to work our way out. He is also a respecter of other views and an accomplished negotiator, something that a democratic republic such as ours sorely needs.