We know that President Obama and the Democrats would dearly love to run against President Bush again — it worked well enough for them in 2008, even though Mr Bush was retiring — and our local liberal is trying it again:
Interestingly, Romney is considering as his VP two of Bush’s budget directors, Mitch Daniels and Robert Portman.
If this is not enough, Romney is surrounding himself with Bush people. Moreover, there is Republican noise for Jeb Bush for VP, with some even wanting a brokered convention to nominate Jeb to run against President Obama!
And then Romney’s economic advisers, Greg Mankew and Glenn Hubbard, both chief economists for Bush. His health adviser, Lanhee Chen, worked on health policy for Bush – remember Medicare Part D, which was off-budget, adding to the deficit.
It is true that the Obama WH has plenty of Clinton people, they did not act in lock-step to Clinton policy, crafting the stimulus to counteract the economic depression, and enacting the P&P ACA, otherwise known as ObamaCare.
After this somewhat humorous attempt to separate the Obama minions from their Clinton past — and at least the budget was balanced during President Clinton’s last few years, which would be a positive — your Editor notes that the Obama people who came from the Clinton White House are about as far from the Clinton policies as possible: they have gone from being part of an Administration which, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress, had balanced the budget to an Administration which has run the biggest deficits since World War II.
On the contrary, the Romney-Bush people are planning to reinstitute the Bush policies as follows:
The Romney campaign’s rethink has been shallower. The candidate’s platform calls for extending all the Bush tax cuts and then adding more. It calls for repealing many of the new financial regulations but says nothing about what it would put in their place. The difference is that Romney talks much more about deficit reduction than Bush did and spends much less time emphasizing policies to reform the education system or expand health-care options for seniors. Where Bush sold himself as a “compassionate conservative,” Romney has sold himself as “severely conservative.”
Thus, it is as if Romney is unaware of the awful economic times we have been through, as his emerging program seems to focus on returning us to the same flawed Bush economic policies with many of the same old Bush people involved. This man Romney is a tsunami in the making; the American people need to understand and reject a regurgitation of the Bush disaster!
Your Editor finds Wagonwheel’s logic somewhat perplexing. He tells us that, as President, Mitt Romney would return to the Bush Administration policies, right after he tells us that he wouldn’t. The worst of the Bush policies was the wholly profligate spending, precisely the thing that Governor Romney tells us he would curtail. Governor Romney has promised to cut federal government spending from the 24.3% of GDP it was in FY2011 to less than 20% of GDP, “in line with the historical trend between 18 and 20 percent.”1 Governor Romney promises to close the gap between spending and revenue by cutting spending,2 and even Wagonwheel has said that it is “pathetic” that the national debt increased increased so much under President Bush.
Instead, Wagonwheel continues to support President Obama, who plans for increased federal spending (never less than 22.3% of GDP), and running huge deficits every year as far into the future as he could project. The interesting point to note is that President Obama and his budgetary plans — if they can reasonably be called plans — are even worse than what Wagonwheel criticized when done under the Bush Administration. Wagonwheel called a national debt of 120% of GDP “unsustainable,” though once that was pointed out to him, he changed his mind, saying, “debt at 120% of GDP turned out to be sustainable for us in the 1940′s, so at 100% we’re OK for the near term.” The obvious differences being that, in 1946, we owed the money to ourselves, and not to China, and that, after the war, we were committed to balancing the budget and paying down the debt, while President Obama wants to keep borrowing and keep borrowing and keep borrowing.
President Obama, as you can see in the video, promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first — and hopefully last — term.3 The President, in that video, sounds very calm and cool and prudent and reasonable; he said words your Editor could wholeheartedly support. He said, quite wisely, that “we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget and the next Administration or the next generation.” The problem is that President Obama’s actions in no way match President Obama’s words. If his actions had matched his words, there would be no TEA Party, and the Democrats would still control the House of Representatives, and the President’s re-election would not be in doubt. If his actions had matched his words, the Democrats would stand firmly established as the party of fiscal responsibility, at least for the near future. But we are heading down the road trod by the Greeks because his actions have been almost directly the opposite of the wise words he uttered.
When I listen to what Senator Obama said, during his 2008 campaign, I can see why millions of Americans voted for him. When I listen to his words, I can hear mostly moderate sounding proposals. When I listen to Senator Obama tell us that $4 trillion of additional national debt run up under President Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic, I hear words that I can support.
And who knows, maybe Mr Obama actually believed what he was saying at the time, but whether he believed it or not, his actual performance and his policy proposals come nowhere close to matching his rhetoric and his promises. There are really only two possibilities: either the man completely lied about his intentions, or he has been totally inept in his job performance. But in neither case does he deserve to be re-elected.
- Your Editor thinks that Mr Romney’s numbers are too high; total federal spending should be less than 18% of GDP, not between 18 and 20%. ↩
- Your Editor thinks that this is not ambitious enough, that we shouldn’t be “Close to the tax revenue generated by the economy when healthy,” but less than revenue. ↩
- This was in February of 2009, so there can be no complaint that he didn’t know that the recession was coming. ↩