Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thank you Mr. Romney

[made a few spelling and grammar fixes 8/12]

Finally, with the vultures starting to circle, Romney does something beyond riding his virtually German engineered campaign machine.  It was a wonderful machine, like a high-end Mercedes, that we were all jealous of, but it was in the process of getting beat by a dirty American muscle car.  So Romney needed to juice it up and Romney did to the benefit of all by picking Paul Ryan.

Romney's nonsense tax plan gets a synposis in the highly-biased non-Fox-factual NY Times.  Ryan's original plan includes a frontal assault on government social programs and specifically Medicare, which it proposes to voucherize and throw back to the states.  I suspect this won't be too popular or an easy sell with the majority of Americans.  However, Ryan, unlike Romney, isn't afraid to answer questions directly, won't have to bury his landmark achievements, and will probably be willing to share his personal taxes.  The GOP will benefit if the Ryan choice helps Romney move out of his give-no-details and blame-everything-under-the-sun-on-Obama campaign and start creating a presence for himself. 

Clearly, I think the Tea Party slash-and-burn vision of government will be a disasterous path to follow.  The last 30 years of deregulation of the banking industry, supply-side economics, unfunded wars, and tax cuts favoring the rich have created massive deficits, degraded the US ability to generate college graduates, ravaged the middle-class, and concentrated wealth and power into the hands a small and disconnected group.  When a hand-picked set of reactionary supreme court judges then gives them unlimited ability to influence elections, democracy in our country is on the way out.

Yet, Mr. Romney's all-in choice for VP gives us an opportunity to debate the big argument that has been bubbling up for the last 50 years in some gory detail.  Are we going to:

Dismantle the social safety net, public education, public infrastructure, legal protections, environmental protections, and anything short of military spending, in order to chase after lower taxes.


Attempt to fix the system with cuts, cost control measures, and increasing revenues.

We need a long-term approach that implements changes in a gradual way to move towards a balanced budget five to ten years from now.  We need it to be based on compromises on both sides.   It will need both more revenue and cuts.  (Perhaps we could loan Grover Norquist to some other country for a decade or so until it was safe to bring him back).

Perhaps it is a wistful hope that if the enough people clearly reject Paul Ryan and the Tea Party's vision of governing, we'll spend the next 4 years trying to find some compromises rather having the GOP spend 4 more years holding the US hostage to its mythical Rand-ian dream world. 

Rumor has it we will see action after the election to move towards a Simpson-Bowles type discussion.  It might happen if Obama wins.   It would be a welcome turn of events.

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