Sunday, May 20, 2012
I've said it before, and I'll likely say it again between now and November 6th, 2012, but the contrasts between these two candidates for POTUS this year could not be more clear.
I call it a "no-brainer" decision - this cartoonist calls it "Bain" vs. "Bane" - the contrast is worth noting again. Here's an article that exploits that word play.
This election isn't about who can be labeled the most attractive to this or that segment of the population. The truth is America is equally divided based on current polling data. Instead, this election is going to be about leadership. Which of these two candidates is better suited to lead? I don't expect perfection in politics. Rather, I'm looking for incremental improvement and we've seen none of that by pursuing the economic policies of Barack Obama.
This week at the gathering of the G-8 leaders we heard Mr. Obama once again reject austerity measures, and spout rhetoric favoring "pro-growth" policies. In other words, the rhetoric can be distilled as nothing more than "tax and spend," rejecting any and all attempts to get deficits and debt escalation under control. The political bet is that no one really likes the bitter medicine of austerity and cuts in entitlements. The masses take to the streets when you slash the doles.
This administration has not put forward a serious budget since Obama became president, and for the first two years he could have done anything he wished with control of both houses of Congress. What did he do instead? He went down the path of borrowing and stimulus spending, undertook sweeping and expensive healthcare "reform" and unleashed massive waves of uncertainty in every market, not just healthcare. He amassed $5 Trillion in debt. This summer (soon) we will learn the opinion of the Supreme Court on whether his miscalculations on healthcare will be considered constitutional or not.
We don't need perfection in our politicians, we just need a little honest and true leadership. Some are now saying the only reason they don't want to vote against Barack Obama is that they don't want to reject the first black POTUS in our history. This election has nothing to do about who's the white candidate and who's the black one. It has gone (or should have gone) way beyond racism. This election is about whose policies will help us get back to some semblance of fiscal restraint and economic responsibility.
So far in four years we have seen nothing but an amateur at the helm who has no idea, apparently, about how destructive his policies have been. Merely taxing the rich is sophomoric and promotes class warfare. Oh, and it's stupid. If you CONFISCATE, not merely tax the wealth of ALL the wealthiest Americans, you might be able to fund a voracious government appetite for a few days or weeks at best.
This administration has co-opted nearly every productive element of society, dipped into every regulatory bucket it could find, spread its tentacles into every little kid's lemonade stand in America, and never seems to be content until it has touched everything in society. The ostensible purpose of all this intervention is what? To create a level playing field? To make society more fair for the disadvantaged? To give something to everyone? To make individuals more dependent upon the great mother government? It is insanity.
The only other explanation is that Barack Obama is brilliant and he has intentionally done what he has done to undermine and compromise America. In either case we continue to languish as a nation.
Some analysts are predicting another ten to fifteen years of lackluster economic performance. I don't know who they think they are, frankly, because no one really knows which factors are going to play out, do they? As long as borrowing rates are as low as they are currently, the sense of urgency is lacking and apparently so too is the political will to get things done to address the salient issues before us.
I know this much. The only way to put the economy back on track is to find true leadership in policies that will promote entrepreneurial risk-taking, favorable tax environments, sustainable and predictable healthcare costs, and massive and consistent reform of entitlement programs. That's the kind of leadership we have lacked in the past four years.
It is time to reverse course, and THAT has nothing to do with the color of one's skin.