On economic policy, American voters in November will be offered a choice between Mitt Romney, who is part of the problem, and Barack Obama, who is not part of the solution.
I’m not happy with President Obama, but Gov. Romney is no improvement. Neither Obama nor Romney have realistic plans for unemployment or mortgage foreclosures. Both regard the federal budget deficit as a higher priority problem. But Obama at least has a realistic budget plan, and his record on federal spending is much more conservative than most of his admirers or detractors admit. Romney proposes further tax cuts for upper-bracket taxpayers, which will make the problem worse.
Obama has not shown the least willingness to curb the irresponsible behavior of the financial elite which has brought on and prolonged the current economic recession. Romney is part of that financial elite.
Both Obama and Romney regard Social Security and Medicare as “entitlements” which need to be cut back. Obama repeatedly has offered up cuts in Social Security and Medicare as part of a grand bargain for balancing the budget. Romney is an admirer of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin whose ultimate goal is to privatize Social Security and Medicare.
Romney scapegoats poor people, while Obama doesn’t talk about them at all.
President Obama’s economic policies follow in the footsteps of President Eisenhower and the first President Bush. Governor Romney’s policies, based on his statements and his choice of advisers, would follow the second President Bush and the Tea Party movement.
If Obama and Romney were my only choices, and economic policy the only important issue, I would reluctantly vote for Obama. But since I live in a state where third party candidates are on the ballot, I will vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, or perhaps Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate.
Click on How Paul Ryan Captured the G.O.P. for a profile of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the architect of Republican economic policy, by Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker.
Click on Romney Tax Plan on Table, Debt Collapses Table for a report on a bipartisan analysis of Gov. Romney’s tax proposals. Romney has not given specifics for an excellent reason. It is mathematically impossible for him to deliver his proposed tax cuts for rich people and still balance the budget by closing loopholes.
Click on Obama spending binge never happened from MarketWatch and Who Is the Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama? from Forbes for President Obama’s record on government spending. If I were a conservative Republican who believed that cutting government spending was the overriding issue, I probably would vote to re-elect the President.
Click on Obama’s Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid for analysis by Matt Stoller of the Roosevelt Institute, based on the President’s proposals and appointments during his first term.
Click on U.S. poverty heads for highest level in 50 years for a Chicago Tribune article on a subject neither candidate talks about. The nonsense about Barack Obama being the “food stamp” President reflects the fact that the deep economic recession has made huge numbers of people eligible for the program that was put in place in the 1970s.