Mitt Romney has conscripted me into the Republican Party! At least I think that’s what he did.I received a letter from Mitt Romney on Tuesday addressing me as “Dear Fellow Republican” and proceeded to explain to me that my “commitment to our Republican values is truly valuable.” After a few paragraphs of explaining the need for Republicans to take over the country and end Barack Obama’s efforts to turn American into a “European-style welfare state,” the letter requests that I “generously support” the GOP with a donation.
I am a nonpartisan voter. While my views lean to the left, I have serious issues with the Democratic Party. Both parties have failed the People. But here I am being address as a good Republican.
I seriously worried that someone had changed my affiliation with the Washoe County Registrar of Voters. I went to its website and double-checked my registration. The voter in me was relieved that no one tampered with my registration. The journalist in me was disappointed because such a scandal would be a great story.
The letter naturally placed all of the nation’s woes on the shoulders of the president. To its credit, the letter is smart in keeping the focus on economic issues and avoiding social issues like gay marriage or abortion rights. However it charges Obama with the following:
- “He squandered $787 billion on a stimulus bill…”
- “He forced through Obamacare – something Americans don’t want and can’t afford; and,”
- “He added more to the debt than any other president.”
I plan to look into all of these issues because there is so much noise out there about these very issues. But let’s just take a quick look at these “problems.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is the official name of the stimulus package. Stimulus bills are always tricky. The difficulty is in measuring how much they help. Bush produced stimulus packages, giving rebate checks to the American taxpayers. No one seems to remember he did that. It is the same Keynesian principle: the government can stimulate the economy by injecting money into the system. Tax breaks are also a part of that principle.
Time will tell what good or bad will come out of the Affordable Care Act. However, as people learn more about it, the more many are starting to like it. But any Republican that believes Romney will repeal it is living in a dream world. If he tries, I predict that many of his supporters will balk at it.
Since the Affordable Care Act is based on a program Romney signed into Massachusetts law, it is strange that he is making this a centerpiece of this attempt to gain my vote. However, he said during the primaries that signing such a bill was a state-based decision and he opposes the Affordable Care Act because it is federal based. While I think he is trying to negotiate out of a tough dilemma, he may have a point.
I wonder if he feels marijuana laws should be treated the same way? Abortion? Gay marriage?
Our public debt is huge. Blaming Obama for it is unfair. Everyone is to blame for our expanding public debt. I see no proof that anyone in the senate or the house has any desire to honestly deal with the debt. It is about $16 trillion at the moment. Republicans blame Obama. Democrats respond that Bush escalated the debt. I will approach this issue soon, but it looks like the public debt has been growing for some time. It escalated with Bush’s tax cuts and the war effort and then escalated again when Obama took office.
The problem is both sides use the debt as a reason for voters to side with them and oppose the other guy. If anyone thinks Romney can reduce the debt, I am here to wake you up … again.
I like Obama, but I don’t believe for a minute the national debt will be better if he gets re-elected.
That is it for the “quick look.” But that’s the problem; there is no quick look at these issues. Voters seem to want to only look at enough to justify their support of Romney or Obama. The Constitution is a document by the People and that puts responsibility on all Americans to take a little time and learn how our government works. Such an endeavor takes effort and a little critical thinking. But the Founder’s believed in a polis that engaged itself in its own government. If we don’t exercise this right, politicians on both sides will continue to play this game.
Monday: Part 2!
Copyright © 2012 Paul George