By Glenn Dorfman
Have you heard the latest criticism of Romney? Because he is wealthy, he cannot relate to the problems of "the rest of us." What kind if ignorant blather is this?
Not being wealthy is the exception, not the rule for American Presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt's, Kennedy, Carter, Reagan, Bush's, to name just a few of the more famous. Some were good Presidents, some not so good but it wasn’t because of their economic station.
The fact that one has been raised in a particular economic class does not mean he cannot relate to the "average Joe" or that the plethora of people advising him cannot help him relate to the large American "middle."
Wealthy people are, often, successful people, and that is what we need right now. We need leaders who have done difficult tasks and have seen them through to the end. What we need is a mechanic, someone who can make difficult things happen. Someone who can manage the Congress-wimps and make them do what is both necessary and difficult.
We have all had it too easy, perpetually borrowing to spend other people's money, as a country and individuals. This is not easy to hear but it is the truth.
We have to reduce our aggregate dependence on the government in all areas from disaster aid (buy insurance), to health care, college, homeownership (set up an annuity for long term care insurance, college, housing, etc., when young, and fund it over the course of one's working life). This will probably mean buying smaller homes (no deductions for debt), and consuming less "stuff."
Being self-reliant means taking care of yourself and your family without the help of government. If there is less demand for government services, then government can do what it was intended to do: provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and insure liberty and justice for all (legal system). I will throw in roads and education, but for the rest, we must go on our own.
Want to retire, save and invest for it. Live on a flood plain or on a hurricane coast? Better get insurance or move. This is what less government means in practical terms---terms you will never hear a so-called "real conservative" express out loud.
This is what it means to reduce spending. The rest is political double-speak. “I will reform and reduce the size of government by cutting ‘waste’ but not the Military, Farm Socialism(subsidies), Home Socialism (tax deductions and credits), Social Security, or Medicare.” Translated into common sense English, this means that the waste that will be cut will be someone else’s “waste” not the “waste” you receive.
This is political double-speak, designed to keep the politician in office and the voter confused and frustrated. How is it working? What planet are these morons living on. They certainly do not have their feet planted in any sort of reality that I have ever experienced.
Finally, we must protect the most vulnerable in our society from harm through child protection, criminal penalties that put dangerous people behind bars forever, no exceptions. At the same time, we must decriminalize many minor crimes. We do, each of us, have an obligation to help those who cannot help themselves. This is our collective obligation.
Don't like this scenario, than let's raise income taxes on all, no exceptions, exemptions, tax credits, expenditures, etc. Everyone pays a percentage of their income in taxes, no deductions, no exceptions, period. The income tax is, however, a remnant of the 20th century Industrial Model which is really no longer smart.
We have an aging population of 80 million Baby Boomers who will have lower incomes to tax but who will consume goods and services. So,…
If you do not like the income tax, do not want to tax savings and investment, then support a broad-based consumption tax on everything we consume (@20-25%). Remember what we say we believe: If we tax something we get less of it.
More work, more savings , more self-reliance, smaller government, no taxes on income. Less consumption, more savings and investment, more self-reliance, more taxes on what we buy. Simple, really. Changing from the 20th Century Industrial tax model to a 21st C., highly competitive model is difficult.
For that we need a President who understands making money and investing it, and who has strong sense ofEmersonian Self- Reliance…Mitt Romney.
If these either/or scenarios are too extreme for you, if you are unwilling to accept this much pain, then we will have to do a combination of serious and deep cuts and broad based tax increases.
There are no free lunches. We have been living on other people’s money for too long…too much debt, foreign and domestic, country and personal.
This is the truth. There is no way to escape it short of continuing to borrow-to-spend until we default like Greece, Italy, and others will do or have done. Like millions of American homeowners have done. Like many live-beyond their means people do all the time. That is not the legacy our parents left for us, and not the legacy we should leave for our children or our grandchildren. Let us finally pay homage, through our behavior, to all those men and women who have died to protect our collective legacies.
No more “tax someone else” or cut someone else’s “waste.” Let us stand up and demonstrate personal courage, responsibility and the art of compromise. Let us all sacrifice for our country and our collective future.
I am for Romney because he is main street Republican and smart. No, he is not inspiring but I voted for President Obama last time, for change and inspiration that I could believe in and did not get. It was up to him to manage the Congress. Lyndon Johnson did it to pass landmark Civil Rights Legislation in 1965. Even George Bush, Jr., did it when he passed his tax cuts with the help of a Democratic Senate.
That is what presidents must do. They must pressure the other branches of government to act; they must lead. Leaders lead.
After Romney gets the nomination from the nuts who control the Republican Party, he will move back toward the middle so that he can get the independent voters to put him over the top in November. President Obama will do the same and we will have a real choice between two good men with somewhat different visions.
As the Founders’ intended, gradualism will prevail, not radicalism like the crazies on the far left and right want, just slow methodical change back toward the center, where most of us live.
Glenn Dorfmann is a curmudgeon of sorts, with the heart of a poet. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org