This presidential election gives us Willard Mitt Romney against Barack Obama (supposedly known as Barry Soetoro as a child). Since the Ron Paul news has quieted down, I haven't spent as much time on presidential politics. For today's post, I am going to discuss the possible implications of either one of these two winning the presidency.
First, unless there is some major event, it will be one of these two men. I know that Romney isn't officially the Republican nominee yet. I know that people like Gary Johnson are running on a third-party ticket. However, barring something huge, there is no way that someone like Johnson is going to come anywhere close to winning.
Most Republicans are absolutely terrified of Obama. While I somewhat concur, I don't find him any more terrifying than most others running for that office. Obama probably really does have Marxist roots. He truly believes in big government. He believes that government is the primary reason for prosperity in our society.
With that said, Obama is a politician first. He rarely let's his philosophy interfere with his political calculations. He did overstep his bounds when he said that if you have a business that you didn't build it; that someone else did. He let his true philosophy slip out of his mouth. It wasn't a good political calculation. But when it comes to policy, Obama probably isn't even the one making the decisions. It is his advisors around him. It is the establishment telling him what to do.
Many Republicans fear that if Obama is given a second term that he will be out of control. They believe that if he doesn't have to worry about another election, that he will do whatever he wants. The problem with that theory is that it simply hasn't been true in the past. Bill Clinton, at least domestically speaking, was actually probably better in his second term. That was when the budget actually came close to being balanced. (It was really borrowing from the Social Security fund, so there wasn't truly a surplus, but it was still much better than we have seen since.)
If Reagan was really a great conservative who believed in small government, then why didn't he act that way in his second term? Government spending and deficits were still obscene in Reagan's second term.
I doubt that Obama will be out of control in a second term. He will probably do less. Also, if there is a Republican majority in Congress, then we will actually have some opposition to big government, even if just in rhetoric. While I don't expect a Republican Congress to control spending any better than it is doing now, we wouldn't see any more disasters like Obamacare.
While Obama has been bad on foreign policy, he hasn't been as bad as he could be. While he has continued Bush's wars and started some smaller ones, at least he hasn't directly attacked Iran. I'm not saying it can't still happen under Obama, but I would hate to see what the world might look like if John McCain had been elected 4 years ago.
That brings us to Romney. I have no idea what Romney's foreign policy will look like. He sounds belligerent now. He just visited Israel to show his support there. He seems like a war hawk. Again, it is impossible to say what he will be like in office. Because of that, I would give a slight edge to Obama on foreign policy in terms of liberty.
Now you would think that Romney would at least be much better on economics than Obama. But I don't think this is the case at all. He may have been successful in business, but he doesn't understand free market economics at all (unless he is a complete liar).
I heard Romney on Sean Hannity's radio show today. Hannity asked him about cutting spending. The only thing Romney said was that he favors entitlement reform in the form of means testing. In other words, he wants to deny Social Security checks (or reduce them) to rich people. Regardless of whether this is right or wrong, it is a drop in the bucket. I hate to break it to you conservatives out there, but even if he got through that reform, we would still have trillion dollar budget deficits. Romney has not offered one other specific cut that is anything of significance. He has not called for the elimination of any departments. How could he when he hasn't even called for any cuts in them?
The other thing I heard Romney say is that China is not playing fair. I remember him saying this multiple times during debates. This means that Romney is a Keynesian. He is not a monetarist in the mold of Milton Friedman. He is a Keynesian in the mold of Keynes. He does not understand free market economics at all (again, unless he is lying). Either way, Romney is sounding like a mercantilist. Does he think that China's currency is harming Americans? Does he think that having the Chinese sell inexpensive products to Americans is harmful? Does he not understand that this is beneficial to the American consumer?
If Romney is saying these things now, I can only imagine what his policies will look like. If a candidate is already talking like a lover of big government before he gets into office, then it isn't going to get much better when he is elected.
So for economics, I can't even say that Romney will be better than Obama. If Romney is president, then we lose all opposition to big government in Congress, just as we saw during the Bush years.
In conclusion, if you love liberty, there is no way you should vote for either one of these two. If I were absolutely forced to pick between the lesser of two evils, I think Obama may actually be the lesser of the two evils. At least we know what we are getting.