RANDY, a reader at VFR, has these comments about the presidential debate:
… Obama was confident and was not as inept as the conservative media wants to believe. They are delusional. I looked at a few snippets on the YouTube video. One thing that struck me is how there is no real difference between the two. In one part of the video Romney said that he agreed with Obama that the government will not take in less money as a result of his (Romney’s) tax proposals. What? Is he serious? The primary purpose of the government is now to redistribute wealth. That is where most of the money is going—to transfer wealth from the producers to the unproductive “needy.” His objective should have been to show how the 60 year growth of the welfare state, like a parasite on its host, is collapsing our economy—just like in Europe. Nothing is “free.” An entitlement to one is an obligation to another, who becomes a slave to the one “entitled.”
As long as Romney just tries to establish himself as Obama “light,” he will be like the kid who is running behind, trying to catch up to the other kids who are trying to ditch him. He will come across as a buffoon against the serious, reflective, and cool Obama who has a “vision” of fundamental transformation as our society into the promised land of the Marxist, cultural and economic “paradise.”
If Romney were to take the position of Michele Bachmann, he may suffer the same fate. Let it happen. At least he will have been loyal to truth and simple morality, two things the left vehemently oppose. I might add that, have you ever heard Barry Goldwater derided in the same manner as Nixon and George Bush? I have not, even from the most committed leftists. There seems to be a respect (perhaps subconsiously) for someone who is principled and is loyal to those principles. And since traditionalist conservatism is both moral and transcendent reality, it cannot be denied or ridiculed by a sane person.
—– Comments ——
Ken C. writes:
Yes, Romney really won the debate. It is not the conservative media distorting what really took place. Randy’s whole comment seems incoherent.
I don’t think Randy meant that the conservative media distorted the immediate impact of the debate. Yes, Romney beat Obama. Randy’s point was that he gave up ideological ground. He also said that Romney may very well have lost the election if he did.
Randy seems to missing a rather obvious difference between Goldwater, Nixon and George Bush.
Goldwater lost. Badly.
Nixon and the Bushes, on the hand, won their elections and that’s something that sticks in the leftists’ craw.
Leftists are sore losers. Goldwater has been crushed and can be safely forgotten, but they’re still fighting their campaigns against Nixon and the Bushes. (And Reagan.)
Ken C. writes:
I don’t see how Romney gave up ground. From the post, “One thing that struck me is how there is no real difference between the two. In one part of the video Romney said that he agreed with Obama that the government will not take in less money as a result of his (Romney’s) tax proposals. What? Is he serious? The primary purpose of the government is now to redistribute wealth. That is where most of the money is going—to transfer wealth from the producers to the unproductive “needy.” His objective should have been to show how the 60 year growth of the welfare state, like a parasite on its host, is collapsing our economy—just like in Europe. Nothing is “free.” An entitlement to one is an obligation to another, who becomes a slave to the one “entitled.”
How do tax revenues = redistribution of wealth? First point, the most revenues ever taken in by the federal government occured in 1997. This is the heart of the “Bush tax cuts” so a reduction in rates could lead to the same or increased revenue. Is this bad? Second, we need tax revenues to fund things that we conservatives enjoy, not just redistribute wealth. We need tax revenues to pay off the debt. I thought, as fiscal conservatives, we were more concerned about wasteful spending, not getting tax rates to 0%. If Romney had said his administration was going to spend money at the same rate as Obama, Randy would have a beef. But he takes one incredible leap of logic implying that because Romney anticipates revenues remaing constant he must also want to maintain wealth redistribution. Romney said nothing of the kind.
I agree with Ken. Romney articulated very significant differences between Obama and him, and I don’t think the point he made about maintaining tax revenues means he supported the welfare state. It is a leap in logic to say he was essentially supporting unleashed federal spending.
Randy said he did not watch the entire debate. There were major differences between the two, and by any reasonable measure, Romney won the debate.
To the question in the post title, yes Romney won, but it was merely a consolation prize if you will. That’s what Randy seems to be saying when you boil it all down. Obama WILL win the war. I’d bet good money on it.
As to Ken’s assertion that Randy’s argument is “incoherent,” with all due respect to Ken, it seems pretty intelligible to me. Randy is simply acknowledging the fundamental principle of government as we know it. I.e., that to the extent it is capable of collecting tax revenues from producers, it will redistribute a significant proportion thereof to non-producing government dependents in the form of ”essential programs.” Hence were Romney a genuine conservative instead of a right-liberal posing as a conservative, he would recognize that the only effective way of reducing the size and scope of government is to cut its funding back.
So to answer Ken’s question about Romney’s strategy to increase government revenue by lowering tax rates, yes, this is bad, Ken, for precisely the reasons Randy gave. I don’t care how you accomplish it (and neither does a savvy leftist, when you get down to it), but if you ultimately grow government and government dependency via a reduction in income tax rates, or whatever works, this can be said to be bad, most certainly. Unless you’re one of those savvy leftists I mentioned.
Romney’s whole point was that he has no plan to cut wasteful government spending on entitlement programs, but to fully fund them via a “conservative” method. But like he once said when running for governor in Massachusetts, he and Ted Kennedy believed in the same things, they just differed on the means to achieving them.
A truly conservative strategy would incorporate a means to stop and ultimately roll back the growth of government and government dependency. I’m not at all against cutting income tax rates. In fact I firmly believe that the IRS should be abolished, and income taxes eliminated. My point, to build on Randy’s point, is that revenue increases to the federal government by any means, including cutting income tax rates, is a recipe for bigger, less efficient government, and more government programs designed to redistribute wealth.
As to the question of how taxes necessarily equal wealth redistribution, in theory it doesn’t equate to that. However, in actual practice it most certainly does over and above a certain level.
That’s all that Randy is saying.
Mr. Morris adds:
It finally dawned on me a couple of years ago, having read numerous consecutive left-liberal newspaper articles on the subject of government funding of “essential programs” that this language was liberal-speak for, in reality, “we must continue to fund all current liberal programs at their current levels at the bare minimum, and to increase funding to these programs via any means available to us, including adding more debt if necessary.”
It reminded me in some ways of the systematic fraud, waste and abuse which ran rampant in the military during my enlistment. The terminology used there to describe it was “use it or lose it.” Meaning that every cent allocated to a given unit at a given base must be spent, regardless of whether the unit needed it or not for that particular cycle, so as to secure to itself an equal allocation, at very least, for the next cycle. This amounts to huge expenditures when one considers that all units in the military operate under this principle. Not to mention its operation within many other government agencies, if not all of them. I don’t know of an exception to the rule, but a few might still exist.
The other part of that liberal principle is that we must add new government programs as we’re able, and so long as their addition does not interfere with the funding of already existing programs.
Simply stated, an “essential government program” is a program that is “essential” by virtue of its existence.
So, for example, government issued cell phones to people on government welfare is an “essential program;” “private sector” industries providing government-funded services such as counseling to “troubled teens” and their troubled families is an “essential program;” In my state, “Sooner-care” and “Soon-to-be Sooner-care” aimed at providing food, rent and medical assistance to Hispanic immigrants, are “essential programs,” and on and on and on. It does not matter whether these programs are making a positive difference. They’re making a positive difference by virtue of their existence.
Genuine, big-C Conservatism recognizes this for what it is, and seeks to destroy it before it destroys us. But for all intents and purposes it already has destroyed us, and we’re living on borrowed time. But a principled conservative approach to it will not admit of just “going along” regardless. We may be forced to watch it unfold, but we don’t have to be party to it.