Saturday, August 11, 2012

"It's the economy, stupid."

OK, Romney picked Paul Ryan as Veep.  Lots of folks are talking about this (and there's a positive swoonfest going on over at Instapundit).  Meh.

This is a very Romneyesque choice.  He's very good at prioritizing things, and what he has prioritized at the top of the list is the economy.  This isn't earth shaking, it's just management.  Ryan is a top asset for Romney here, and is perhaps more effective as VP than in the House.

Perhaps.  Remember, Ryan is Budget Chairman.  Whoever replaces him in that post will have a high bar to reach.  I expect that the Republican Establishment has a list of their preferred "go along to get along" candidates there.

But fixing this mess will take a long, long time.  This year's deficit is around $1.4 Trillion.  Here's a breakdown of the current Federal spending (you can't really call it a "budget" - we haven't had one of those for 1200 days):

Here's the tl;dr version: yellow, red, green, and (maybe) light blue are off limits - those can't be cut.  That's almost $2.3T out of a $3.6T spend.  The difference between those two numbers?  It's just about exactly the $1.4T deficit.

Even Paul Ryan won't cut the entire Defense Department and all Discretionary spending.

What I don't hear nearly enough from Romney or Ryan is what they plan to do about the regulations that are stifling the economy.  We need growth to close this gap, and the regulatory burden is putting the brakes on the economy.  I'd like to see specifics on the top 10 job killing regulations that he will direct the agencies to abolish.  There's quite a lot of room for a President Romney to maneuver here, as the regulations are crafted by the Executive branch, and can be changed by them without a Congressional vote.

Quite frankly, this would be another stark distinction that Romney could use to show that his philosophy is the antithesis of Obama's.  Obama wants to grow government and regulation, and give companies less ability to employ people and pay taxes.  A Top 10 Job Killers and their impact would fit very well into Romney's strategy.

And unlike the "I will abolish Obamacase on Day 1" nonsense he's offered us - he can't abolish a law that was passed by Congress and signed by the President - he can eliminate 10 (or 20, or 50) regulations at his discretion.

Frankly, I'm a little mystified as to why he hasn't tried this.  And that makes me a little bit suspicious.  After all, he's an intelligent man, and has a lot of business experience.  He knows about this.

And so we're likely to end up with a President Romney (remember, Mussolini would beat Obama with this economy), which I don't really find quite pleasing, even with a Vice President Paul.  Romney seems to be flinching from addressing the big issue, which is not a comforting thought.


Divemedic said...

The secret is that the USA is a train that is rolling down the fiscal tracks towards the cliff. There is no way to avoid the disaster that is coming, and it won't matter whose hand is on the throttle when the time comes.

We spent ourselves into this mess, and no one will be able to stop what is to come. We are post the point of no return. Enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

There are three problems ahead, each with a different timescale and tactical approach.

#1. Get Obama & his administration out of power. This means electing Romney/Ryan. This can be done November 6.

#2. Start undoing the economic damage from BHO and the left. This requires the same solution as #1 AND also electing the most Tea-Party sympatico members of Congress (Representatives & Senators). This starts November 6 and runs for many years. It takes several forms, including the repeal of leftist/statist laws and regulations.

#3. Remake GOP in Tea-Party form. This requires a good ground game everywhere, and constant activity in primaries and the general elections that follow. This starts now, and similarly continues for many years.

Step #1 is the only step that can be accomplished in a single day. For the rest, we need a relentless focus on grassroots conservatism and Tea-Party activities for the rest of our lives.

(As is perhaps obvious but just in case, I'm using "Tea-Party" as shorthand for small- and limited-government style conservatism.)

The statists/progressives/lefties have been at this for more than a century. It will likely take a good part of that to undo it.

Graybeard said...

If I may add on to Anon 1417's comments - those are necessary but not sufficient conditions.

In addition to those:
4) we need to let Romney and whomever our elected parasites might be that business as usual will no longer be tolerated. We need to call them so often that when the caller ID shows our number, the staffer goes, "oh no... not that guy again".

But most importantly -
#5) we need a PR campaign for the ideas of liberty and smaller, less intrusive government. This means demonstrating that if the fed handouts aren't there, we will provide assistance - charitable giving and service. Generations have grown up on the government dole and have never even seen a family member go off to work. It will be a hard adjustment.

What makes my blood run cold is that the coming election, if appearances hold, will be decided by a relative handful of "independents" in the swing states. In other words, a few million people spread around four or five states will have almost a billion dollars spent on them to convince them whom to vote for and determine the survival of the Republic.

Anyone who hasn't decided yet is either (a) incapable of choosing "paper or plastic" at the grocery store without collapsing into an hour long debate with themselves, (b) so out of touch with politics that if they had any class, they wouldn't disrespect the process by voting or (c) has their head so far up their a** they have to go the dentist to get a colonoscopy.

Borepatch, I've been saying for years that we need to build up to 50% cuts in all of those colors on your pie chart, and that we don't need a balanced budget, we need to be running surpluses as far as the eye can see.

If not, DiveMedic and the CBO are right. The country will collapse.