During Mitt Romney's speech at the Republican National Convention, he laid out a brief five point plan to improve the economy. As if libertarians needed another reason not to support this man, even when he gets somewhat specific, his proposed policies are still abysmal.
Romney starts out, "I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps. First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables."
But why do we want to be energy independent? Should we also be car independent? Food independent? Electronic independent? Should we just seal off the borders of all trade? And how is Romney going to do this? Will he spend massive amounts of taxpayer money to find oil? And what if the government, or the contractors hired to do it, can't find enough to become "energy independent"? Will we have to give up our cars?
Romney continues, "Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance."
Other than the "choice" part, that could have been said by any Democrat. This is more top-down centralization of the so-called education system. How nice of Romney that he will "give" his fellow citizens the skills they need. How does he or any other politicians know what skills are needed. This is pure central planning.
Romney continues, "Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences."
So what constitutes cheating and who will determine this? Will it be Romney, the Congress, or some bureaucratic committee? What will the consequences be? Is he going to cut off trade with China? Will he bomb China? And why do we need new trade agreements? Once again, this is total central planning. Will Romney do this initiative through Congress or will he sign an executive order? He obviously is not in favor of free trade, as free trade doesn't really need any agreements.
Romney continues, "Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget."
So we won't actually have a balanced budget from a President Romney. He will just get America on "track" for one. How is Romney going to cut the deficit? The only specific I have ever heard from Romney is that he is in favor of means testing for Social Security. In other words, he wants to stiff the old people who are rich, while maintaining everything else. So where is Romney going to come up with the other $1 trillion dollar or more in cuts necessary to balance the budget? He is not advocating the elimination of one single department. I want specifics and I have heard none out of Romney. If he can't offer anything substantial while he is campaigning, he certainly is not going to cut anything once he has political power.
Romney continues, "And fifth, we will champion small businesses, America's engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare."
Did you catch that? He wants to repeal and replace Obamacare. What is his replacement? Will it be Romneycare? Will it be more socialized medicine than what Obamacare has to offer? And what is this part about modernizing regulations? Why does he have to simplify and modernize? Why can't he just repeal regulations? Again, will he get this done through Congress? Romney's advocacy of lowering taxes on business is about the only part of this five point plan that is at all attractive to a libertarian. Even there, who knows what he has in mind.
Libertarians should be very scared of a Romney presidency. He does not offer any significant alternative to Obama. At least with Obama in the White House, we have some opposition to big government coming from Congress, even if it is just in rhetoric only.