Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Economic Freedom 2012 Campaign

I listened a bit to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum speak after the Illinois primary results came in. I was glad to see that Romney's speaking has noticeably improved over the course of the campaign. He really hit the right notes when he talked about freedom. Here is what I have been waiting to hear from him:
The American economy is fueled by freedom. Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in lifting people out of poverty. It is the only principle that has ever created sustained prosperity.

But, over the last three years, this administration has been engaged in an assault on our freedom.
. . .
Under President Obama, bureaucrats prevent drilling rigs from going to work in the Gulf. They keep coal from being mined. They impede the reliable supply of natural gas. They even tell farmers what their 15-year-old sons and daughters can and can't do on the family farm.

The administration's assault on freedom has kept this so-called recovery from meeting their projections, let alone our expectations.

And now, the President is trying to erase his record with rhetoric. Just the other day, he said, "We are inventors. We are builders. We are makers of things. We are Thomas Edison. We are the Wright Brothers. We are Bill Gates. We are Steve Jobs."

That's true. But the problem is: he's still Barack Obama. And under this President, those pioneers would have faced an uphill battle to innovate, invent, and create.
. . .
I see an America where we know the prospects for our children will be better than our own; where the pursuit of success unites us, not divides us; when a government finally understands that it's better for more to pay less in taxes than for a few to pay more; where the values we pass on to our children are greater than the debts we leave them; where poverty is defeated by opportunity, not enabled a government check.

I see an America that is humble but never humbled, that leads but is never led.
This should be the natural rhetoric of the Republican party, and indeed the tea party. But it has disappeared from the campaign for a while. Americans understand that Romney is correct in assessing the state of freedom in America.

Santorum, for his part gave a good speech on the topic of freedom as well. He claimed to have been speaking of this core issue well before Romney, and indeed, he may be right. He also landed some good punches on Romney and global warming. But I have two complaints. First, he spent far too much time emphasizing his humble roots and his identification with hard working ordinary Americans. It sounded like pandering after a while. Further, I don't care how much you identify, I want to know that you have policies that will lead to those ordinary Americans being better off. Which brings me to my second complaint. After talking about freedom and ordinary Americans, Santorum trotted out his support for manufacturing as a jobs plan. It was inherently self-contradictory of course. If you believe in economic freedom, you don't believe that government picking winners and losers in the economy advances that cause. Santorum doesn't seem to understand that.

1 comment:

  1. little hypocritical to state "we are thomas edison" when lightbulbs have been banned.

    whoops, did i say "banned"? i meant "prevented from manufacture or import due to not meeting standards".