Can Mitt Romney Lead the Rebirth of the American Revolution? — Charles Kadlec, Forbes.com
“The government does not create prosperity; free markets and free people do.”
Starting with that declaration, Mitt Romney last week delivered what could be the breakthrough speech of his candidacy for President of the United States. Speaking first at the University of Chicago, and then in his victory speech after winning the Illinois primary, Romney embraced “economic freedom” as the political philosophy that gives purpose to his run for the Oval Office.
The embrace of economic freedom has the potential to broaden Romney’s base among Republicans, Tea Party activists and independent voters while increasing the intensity of his supporters. As his distant second place finish in Louisiana shows, Romney’s proven competence alone is insufficient to energize the Republican base and may not be enough to win a fall match-up against President Barack Obama.
However, a clear and unapologetic advocacy of economic freedom would align the Romney campaign with the powerful political tide the Republican party rode to its landslide victory in the 2010 election, and that is fueling a rebirth of the American Revolution.
Romney used his speech to position economic freedom as the defining issue of the 2012 campaign:
“For three years, President Obama has expanded government instead of empowering the American people. He’s put us deeper in debt. He’s slowed the recovery and harmed our economy. And he has attacked the cornerstone of American prosperity: our economic freedom…
“This November, we face a defining decision. Our choice will not be one of party or personality.
“This election will be about principle. Our economic freedom will be on the ballot. And I intend to offer the American people a clear choice.” Keep reading »
It is easy for our eyes to glaze over when we hear politicians and pundits debate the size of the Federal Deficit and the Government’s Debt. A $15 trillion anything is so big as to boggle the mind.
So, here it is in terms of a family budget.
- The family income is $23,000 a year.
- This year, the family plans to spend $36,000.
- That will increase its debt by $15,000.
- Not to worry, since this added borrowing comes on top of its existing outstanding debts of $153,000.
- In a moment of financial rectitude and sacrifice, the family agrees to reduce its spending by $230 — next year!
Such recklessness would undermine the family’s financial security.
When perpetrated by the Federal level, it is an attack on our liberty.
Pessimists argue that the United States has reached the tipping point, because a majority no longer pays Federal income taxes, and so happily vote for those who would raise taxes on the minority who do pay taxes. Their concern is well grounded. As Amity Shlaes points out, there’s something un-civic and creepy about this status.
However, the pessimists assume that those who do not pay taxes are too short-sighted to see that many of them are bearing the true cost of higher tax rates on “the rich” through unemployment and fewer opportunities for high paying jobs. And, in the 1920s, policy makers were faced with the reality that the high tax rates on the rich were not producing much in the way of revenue. The rest, as Amity reports, is the history of the “Roaring Twenties.”
In his State of the Union Speech, President Obama articulated his vision of the path forward for America. We are to imagine ourselves as members of a military organization selflessly following the orders of our superior officers no matter the personal cost up through the chain of command to the President as Commander in Chief. This is the metaphor President Obama chose to explain the relationship between government and the American people.
The President’s conclusion, that “This nation is great because we built it together. This nation is great because we worked as a (emphasis added) team,” is exactly wrong. This country was not built by “a” team or “The A Team.” The American people built our country by taking care of their families, their customers, and their communities through millions of voluntary organizations and the generous giving of their time and money. The President’s grandiose claim to the contrary is an affront to our history and a threat to our liberty.
To Restore Prosperity, We Must Increase Economic Freedom — Charles Kadlec, Forbes.com
Economic freedom in the United States is in decline. The consequences include the worst recovery since the Great Depression and a growing fear of big government among a majority of independents and, shockingly, a near majority of Democrats.
Total government spending now exceeds 40% of GDP. Federal regulations now cost the private sector an astounding $1.7 trillion per year, or 12% of total output. That means that the governing elite now control more than 50% of the income produced by the American people to spend and distribute as they and lobbyists for powerful political and economic interests see fit.
As a result the U.S. has fallen to 10th place, its lowest rank on the Index of Economic Freedom, since the inception of the Index in 1995, down from fifth place in 2007. Moreover, the scheduled 2013 increase in tax rates and regulatory burdens means the U.S. is on course to drop to new lows in the years ahead. Read more
A Step Backward for Economic Freedom in 2012 — Edwin Feulner, Wall Street Journal
The world economy is in trouble, and governments are making things worse. Here’s the story, right out of the pages of the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, published Thursday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal:
“Rapid expansion of government, more than any market factor, appears to be responsible for flagging economic dynamism. Government spending has not only failed to arrest the economic crisis, but also—in many countries—seems to be prolonging it. The big-government approach has led to bloated public debt, turning an economic slowdown into a fiscal crisis with economic stagnation fueling long-term unemployment.”
Less Stimulus, More Jobs — Charles Kadlec, Forbes.com
Last August, we were told the Republican fight over increasing the debt limit was hurting the economy. Then, in September, PresidentBarack Obama called a joint session of Congress and insisted Congress pass his “jobs bill now.” Apologists for big government warned failure to approve another $400 billion in stimulus spending threatened a double dip recession. But the Senate and the House refused to approve any more stimulus spending.
Finally, the Federal Reserve’s efforts to boost the economy through “Quantitative Easing” ended in June, and the dollar strengthened in the last half of the year.
The result produced by this lack of fiscal and monetary stimulus? The best job growth since employment bottomed in February 2010.
Litigating for Liberty, the Weekend Interview with Chip Mellor — Collin Levy, Wall Street Journal
Mr. Mellor is the 61-year-old chief of the Institute for Justice, which has been celebrating its 20th anniversary of guerrilla legal warfare on behalf of individual freedom. He’s worth getting to know because he and his fellow legal battlers are behind a larger campaign to restore some of the Constitution’s lost rights. And they’re often succeeding.