LEE’S SUMMIT, SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 – It is an interesting article in CNN Opinion today (click here for the full article) written by David Frum, a contributing editor for News Week, and The Daily Beast.
Frum compares the differences between Obama’s approach to the creation of jobs, and Mitt Romney’s. Here’s the expert on Frum’s version of Obama’s approach:
Purely free markets won’t be generating wage increases any time soon. There’s just too much low-wage competition out there. But we can do two things. As I outlined in my November 2011 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, we can put more people to work in jobs funded by government contracts, where government can ensure high wages and benefits. That’s what I meant when I said,
“[M]anufacturers and other companies are setting up shop in the places with the best infrastructure to ship their products, move their workers, communicate with the rest of the world. And that’s why the over 1 million construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing market collapsed, they shouldn’t be sitting at home with nothing to do. They should be rebuilding our roads and our bridges, laying down faster railroads and broadband, modernizing our schools — all the things other countries are already doing to attract good jobs and businesses to their shores.
“Yes, business, and not government, will always be the primary generator of good jobs with incomes that lift people into the middle class and keep them there. But as a nation, we’ve always come together, through our government, to help create the conditions where both workers and businesses can succeed.”
Government contractors can’t employ everybody, however. So we’ll plump up the low wages of those in the purely private economy with a growing array of wage supplements. We top up low pay with the Earned Income Tax Credit. We’ve added 14.6 million food stamp beneficiaries. After 2014, we’ll be enrolling as many as 17 million additional low-wage workers in the country in Medicaid. We’ve increased subsidies for college tuition, and we subsidize heating fuel costs as well.
Vote for me, and government benefits and government employment will compensate for the wage increases the private job market does not deliver.
As you read his speech you can see how in Obama’s vision of the world, the government plays a key role in every individual’s life.
Now here’s Romney’s alternative, keep in mind these are Frum’s words and not that of the candidate:
I probably can’t deliver rising wages for the typical worker any better than the president can. That’s why I hardly talk about wages at all — they’re barely mentioned in my most important economic policy statement, the 57-point plan I released last year.
My concern is less with the typical worker and more with the most ambitious and most talented. I want to protect the “right to rise,” as my supporters in the conservative media often phrase it. Under the president’s approach, that right will be crushed by the weight of debt and taxes — and what’s debt, but future taxes?
Instead of greater subsidies for those content to stay where they are, I offer lower taxes to those who want to better their condition. Their hard work and innovation will yield benefits for everyone.
OK, maybe money wages haven’t risen much since 1973 for the typical worker. But today that worker has a safer car, a bigger house, and smarter appliances. He or she enjoys products and services unimagined in 1973: personal computers, cellphones, video on demand. Food, furniture, and vacations are all cheaper and better. You can choose Coke with zero calories, and you don’t have to line up at the DMV to renew your license plates. All these improvements were brought to you by people who got rich along the way — and so will the next wave of improvements after that. The president’s call for higher taxes on the rich will only stifle and slow consumer progress.
The president is offering higher taxes to support more benefits. I’m offering lower taxes to drive more improvements in the private economy and better products and services for you. Vote for me.
I find it so interesting to read Frum’s version of Romney versus Obama because I’m sure we all hear things based on our bias and our own political paradigm. I can actually agree with his version of Obama’s speech, but I just shake my head at the Romney impression.
Here’s my version of the Romney speech and you’ll see the difference and then you can judge – notice I’m not doing an Obama version because I think what Frum wrote is perfectly acceptable: Government largesse is Obama’s answer to any question.
My version of the Romney argument for your vote (and mine):
In the last 12-years we’ve seen unimaginable highs, and terrible lows. When President Obama took office we were at the start of the great recession and we are still in an economic quagmire and at the rate we’re going I don’t see any improvement soon.
The main cause of the sluggish economy is lack of faith in the future. It begins with the constant debate over the Affordable Care Act, but it includes the question of the Bush Era tax cuts, the instability in the price of oil, and uncertainty in the available liquidity (available loans) for businesses. If you have no faith in the future, no certainty that your planning horizon is long enough, you do nothing – you wait it out; and that’s exactly what businesses are doing.
To get the economy going again, let’s have the debate in congress on the taxes and set up the plan for the next ten years. Businesses, just like wall street, can adjust if they “know” what’s coming. What they cannot do is plan in uncertainty. I’ll push for no increase in taxes for the rich and the business owners, I trust that my opposition will fight just as hard for their side – and in between we’ll find a good tax law that will start to settle the uncertainty.
The next thing has to be the heavy burden of Health Insurance on businesses. That has to be the next priority in the first hundred days. If the economy is going to start moving, we have to give businesses the shape and size and cost of the playing field – we do that, we’ll see it start moving again.
We have to let businesses suffer the good and bad consequences of their management’s decisions. The Government has no place in picking winners and losers because frankly Government has no clue, and with all my years in the investment world, I still pick clunkers; so once I take the oath of office, I stop being an investor; No more bailouts, no more free money, no more Solindras.
If we do the first three things, then the financial institutions will know how to manage their loans, and their credit lines. In my years of depending on lenders to buy companies I can tell you with confidence that if Bankers know what the playing field is like, they make sound financial decisions and the money will slowly but steadily start to flow again.
There is a lot of talk about wages and that we should raise the minimum wage to help people in need. The equation is simple, if we raise the minimum wage, struggling businesses are going to hire less people so we help ten people, and keep twenty unemployed a little longer. My business sense tells me that is a bad equation for the twenty who remain unemployed.
Wages in a Free Market are a result of supply and demand. Right now there is far more supply than there is demand. We can change that. We can get the economy moving, get people to hire again, and then the available workforce will be reduced – because they’ll be employed. At that point is when we can use the Market Forces to drive wages up, and the government can help by reducing some of the taxes that companies have to pay – to offset the increased labor cost.
Reduce taxes on corporations, companies, partnerships, and sole proprietorships at one dollar less taxes for one dollar more paid in wages, not the thirty five cents for every dollar spent a normal tax break gives you. That’s an investment in higher wages, and we’ll get the tax revenue from the people who make more money because they are working.
The first four years of a Romney Administration will have one simple goal in mind – get the economy moving again. If the economy is working, then we can worry about all the other issues, but until then the debt of SIXTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS will be nothing but a albatross hanging around the neck of all Americans, our children, grandchildren, and great, great, great grandchildren. Debt is not what we should bequeath to them!
Vote for me, vote for America, vote for the start to a growing America, and zero blame on our predecessors. What they did does not matter; what we do moving forward is what counts now!
I think if you compare the two you’ll see an obvious difference in our way of looking at Government. The interesting thing though, is that we both agree on what Obama will bring in 4 more years. That is something I’m still trying to wrap my mind around: How can we agree on Obama and yet be so diverging in our vision of what Romney is saying?
In my opinion, Frum wrote a terrible indictment on the Obama Campaign; yet I’ll bet money that he does not see it that way, nor do most of those from the center to the left of the spectrum.
I truly would love to hear your opinion – this piece on CNN truly started me thinking about the true ideological divide between Fiscal Conservatives and the rest of the spectrum.
See you at the polls on November 6.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative