Romney's secret weapon? Run as a Democrat

Mitt Romney's election plan is a little bizarre; he plans to run as a Democrat.

Well, not really. He will still have an "R" after his name. But read this report from the Washington Post about Romney's agenda and you'd be excused if you did a double take about just what party Mitt wants to win the nomination.

Mitt Romney laid down a marker for a prospective presidential campaign in 2016, telling a Republican audience here Friday night that the party can win the White House with a conservative message that stresses security and safety for the American people, opportunity for all regardless of background and a plan to lift people out of poverty.

In his first public appearance since his surprise announcement that he will seriously consider a third campaign for the White House, Romney offered an economic message that represented a dramatic departure from the themes he sounded in losing the 2012 campaign to President Obama.

“Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before,” Romney said. “Under this president, his policies have not worked. Their liberal policies are good every four years for a campaign, but they don’t get the job done.”

In his last campaign, Romney was hampered by an image, pushed by the Democrats, that he was a wealthy business executive who was out of touch with ordinary Americans. On Friday, he seemed determined to send a signal that he would try to deal with that problem from the start, should he run.

“It’s a tragedy -- a human tragedy – that the middle class in this country by and large doesn’t believe the future won’t be better than the past or their kids will have a brighter future of their own,” Romney said. He added, “People want to see rising wages and they deserve them.”

As with others in his party, he raised the issue of social mobility and the difficulty of those at the bottom from rising into the middle class. He cited former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty half a century ago. Johnson’s intentions were good, he said, but his policies had not worked. He argued that Republicans must persuade voters that conservative policies can “end the scourge of poverty” in America.

The first rule in politics: Run on your issues, not your opponents. To "address" the "problem" of "income inequality," you have a very limited series of options:

1. Raise taxes massively on the rich and give the money to the poor and Middle Class.

2. Drastically reduce government intervention in the economy in order to create good jobs that will raise wages and help the Middle Class and the poor.

Obviously, #2 is far preferable. But #2 currently won't work. There is massive slack in employment right now, with more than 5 million Americans dropping out of the workforce. For any upward pressure on wages to occur, you have to address that institutional problem first.

And that's only one of the challenges that will face the incoming president, Republican or Democrat. Wages rise when there are more jobs than people looking for them. Employers must then offer more to attract the good workers necessary for the business to make money.

Artificial means like raising the minimum wage are useless. And pressure from low wage workers overseas who work for companies that have been invited to sell their products here with no tariffs, no adherence to environmental standards, little regulation regarding child labor, and virtual slave wages also serves to keep American wages stagnant.

So just how will Romney fight "income inequality"? Not surprisingly, he doesn't say.

As for eradicating poverty, does Romney have a clue how much that will cost the taxpayer?  People live in poverty because they have an inferior education, they are single mothers who can't work outside the home due to the cost of day care, they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, or simply game the system by receiving enough benefits that they don't have to bother to work. Sometimes it's a combination of all those factors.

What;s the price tag for better schools, cheap daycare, adult education, training, retraining, housing, addiction centers, family planning...on and on, ad infinitum. And none of this spending would do any good without a revolution in values among America's poor, where pride is taken in being self sufficient, morally responsible, and a law abiding citizen.

There's no price tag for that and no way any government, no matter how large or intrusive, can fix it.

There are 36 million people living below the poverty line. The untold trillions to build an infrastructure that had a chance of getting huge numbers of people out of poverty would be a total waste without the incentive for the poor to better their own lives. And throwing money at poverty-stricken people to encourage them to pull themselves out of the darkness has been shown in the past to be a near total waste of tax dollars. It's one thing to keep the poor alive and sheltered - especially children. But revolutionizing poverty spending to encourage millions to live a better life is beyond our capaibilties.

If Mitt Romney wants to run as an anti-poverty, anti-income inequality warrior, he will lose. 



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