Fixing the Economy Is Not Rocket ScienceBy Karin McQuillan
Romney has five basic proposals for fixing the American economy that are sensible, practical, and believable. Romney's goal of 4% economy growth is possible within four years. It is not rocket science.
Romney has prioritized five key areas to reverse Democrat policies. The number-one boost to economic growth is always energy. Energy runs everything, and the price of energy affects everything. The Obama administration's overspending by a trillion dollars a year has led to irresponsible printing and borrowing of money -- forty cents on every dollar Obama spends is borrowed. Printing money raises the price of oil, because we have devalued our dollar, which makes everything manufactured or transported more expensive. Devaluing the dollar is a hidden tax on families every time they fill up their cars, go to the grocery store, or turn on a light bulb.
But it is worse than that. Obama, indeed any Democrat, cannot and will not allow America to become energy-wealthy, because Democrats' green voting base fears fossil fuel. Obama is using the EPA to block fracking, to end the coal industry (which fuels half of our electricity), and to block off-shore drilling. Romney will allow America to use our wealth of natural resources. It can be done in the right places, with safe methods and proper regulation, but it must be done if we are to thrive.
We are talking about a lot of wealth. Thanks to fracking, America could be producing more oil and natural gas energy on a daily basis than current U.S. imports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela, Colombia, Algeria, Nigeria, and Russia combined. The United States' combined recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth.
The impact of cheap energy boosts jobs in expanding circles. Men with high school diplomas pull down $100,000 salaries in the oil and gas fields. Next circle out: cheap natural gas has revived our steel industry, making American steel production globally competitive again. Same for plastics and the chemical industry. Healthy industries mean healthy towns, money for taxes, a sustainable social safety net. A healthy country.
Excellent working-class jobs, cheap gas, lower consumer prices so the money in your paycheck goes much farther. Using our energy resources is a huge win for every family and entirely, easily doable.
Energy alone is a reason to vote Republican. Our economy will not survive if starved of affordable energy.
Romney's second target: start competing with China again in the global marketplace. Romney hasn't given up on American manufacturing and export capability. He will fight for us. When Obama doubled down on government debt to China, he gave the Chinese more power to gut our economy.
Improving our exports is not rocket science. President George Bush negotiated trade agreements with 16 countries, leading to the creation or support of 18 million jobs, with one third in manufacturing. That's our unemployment crisis right there.
One of Romney's main stump speech talking points: the EU and China have negotiated 44 bilateral trade deals since Obama was elected. Obama's new deals on America's behalf? Zero. Why? Because another key Democrat voting bloc, the AFL-CIO, opposes trade agreements.
Romney will pursue trade actively, especially a major initiative, a free-trade zone with Latin America. This is something the party might like to let Hispanic voters know about. We can and will compete effectively to export manufactured goods.
Romney promises to reverse our longstanding passivity towards China. He is breaking with all precedent here, Republican and Democrat. He has a hard-hitting ad on Obama's loss of half a million jobs to China. We are losing because we have agreed to compete in a rigged game. Romney vows that that will stop. As Romney says, "I don't see how you can have a trade relationship, on an open basis, with another nation if they're stealing a large part of what it is you sell." Romney vows to fight for our manufacturing sector as no one ever has.
The number-three Romney policy: remove the burden of unnecessary government rules. The super-explosion of government regulation under Obama is another self-inflicted wound on our economy, which gives jobs to bureaucrats and takes jobs from working class families. The burden of Obama's regulations are estimated at $2 trillion, more than taxes. This is money taken from creating new products and new jobs, from growing our economy. It is also anti-democratic, giving bureaucrats arbitrary powers to write the rules and hand out favors to Obama's bundlers.
Obama sees businessmen as the enemy. He has no guilt about crushing them with his regulations. Government workers, who enforce Obama's four thousand new regs, are a key Democrat voting bloc.
The invisible cost of government regulation ($10,000 per employee) is deadly to jobs for ordinary people. The yearly cost of regulation on a single manufacturing firm is $700,000, enough to stop small businessmen from going near the manufacturing sector. They don't have the cash flow to pay staff to fill out a million dollars' worth of government forms.
Small and medium businesses grow most of our jobs. Regulatory compliance sucks up their profit margin, and it sucks out the joy and energy that go into building your business. When politicians increase rules, there are always special carve-outs for existing large corporations. Goldman Sachs has 400 lawyers on staff, and a dozen lobbyists to help write the regs and comply with them. Small business can't play in the billion-dollar lobbying market.
Romney understands this deep in his bones. He will repeal many of the Obama administrations new regulations on his first day in the Oval Office.
Next, education. It is not rocket science to know that if we keep doing the same things that fail with more money, it is not going to move us forward. Education is a Romney priority.
Romney is proud of his record as governor of Massachusetts on education. By the third year of his term, Massachusetts students ranked first nationally in both reading and math, the first state to reach this goal. The 85% Democrat legislature tried to block charter schools, and Mitt vetoed the bill. Black and Hispanic voters should be told about this over and over.
Last point in Romney's five-point plan for the economy is to tackle our debt and deficit. Democrats demagogue these issues. They are too cynical and self-interested to take on our bloated government and failing entitlement funding, both very serious problems. "Taxing the rich their fair share" would pay for a few weeks of their irresponsible spending.
Romney's answer is the Tea Party principle: don't spend money you don't have. He promises to balance the budget and cap the size of the government at 20% of GDP.
Democrats act like this is promising the moon. Only for them, because they are blocked by their constituents from doing what is required. We had one Republican governor after another at the RNC with boasting rights that in a few short years they'd turned billion-dollar deficits and looming bankruptcy into surpluses. They had all lowered the tax burden on the middle class and were growing private-sector jobs in their states. They had to challenge the powerful government unions to get it done. Democrats can't do that.
It's true that the Republican establishment has an abysmal record on fiscal responsibility. The difference between the two parties is that the Republican Party is at a historic moment of change. A grassroots reformist movement for fiscal responsibility and limited government, the Tea Party, has influenced the Romney-Ryan ticket, so that it offers hope of a substantial change in the right direction.
Living within our means as a government is entirely possible. Even fixing Social Security is not that complex. We have to raise the retirement age a couple of years, and the problem is largely solved. Romney and Ryan have a lot of good proposals with specifics that flesh out his promises. This information is easy to find, but the politicized press doesn't want to report anything substantive on Romney.
Romney's case is simple. With these five priorities, he can enable the American economy to grow by 4% a year again: use our energy wealth, increase trade agreements and take on China, improve education and job training so people can succeed in life, decrease stifling regulations, and balance the budget and reform entitlements.
No Democrat can improve the economy because their political base demands special carve-outs at the expense of the common good.
Obama can't improve energy because the greens hate fossil fuels. Obama can't improve trade because the AFL-CIO opposes trade agreements. Obama can't improve education because the teachers unions fight school choice and accountability. Obama can't shrink government because government bureaucrats and government unions are his biggest voting bloc. Obama can't balance the budget and reform entitlements because the Democrat party relies on buying votes with government handouts. Obama doesn't want to decrease the controlling power of the state, because he wants the government to intrude into every aspect of the economy and our lives.
The Democrats tell us that the problems facing Obama were unsolvable for anyone. That is not true. Much of our economic misery is self-imposed by our self-serving and ideological government. Economic recovery is impossible for any Democrat administration. Obama has sacrificed the common good to his need for votes from Democrat special interests: greens, labor unions, teachers' unions, government workers, and nanny-state extremists.
Romney can do it, and only Romney can do it.
Things look bleak right now, and too many pundits are telling us that the world has changed. They tell us to get used to being less prosperous, less powerful, less secure, less influential. Romney and Ryan inhabit another universe, one filled with common sense and purposeful action. They have a lot of good, solid ideas on how to turn our economy back to 4% growth. It is not too hard. It will not even take that long. But we have to begin.
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