Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Romney's failing economic proposal

Eliot Spitzer, former Democratic governor of New York, points out that Romney's campaign is faltering because his only issue, his approach to reviving the economy, is faltering.

The Romney, and the Republican, approach is austerity and tax cuts: cut spending, reduce taxes, reduce regulations.  But, where that approach is being tried, Europe, it is creating further recession, not economic revival.  

The Obama, and the Democrat, approach is stimulus and regulation:  bail out the auto industry, regulate the banking industry, inject stimulus into the economy directly with a stimulus package and payroll tax cuts.  The result seems to be a slowly growing economy and subsequent job growth.  The results are painfully slow, but it's a very big economy, and for it to take time seems understandable to me.

I still wish either party would propose a Simpson-Bowles type plan where there is dramatic cuts in government spending combined with a real tax reform that would raise revenue while simultaneously lowering tax rates and closing loopholes and ending tax earmarks.  I think that approach both cuts spending and stimulates growth, but both parties avoid that as toxic, especially during an election.  Who wants to answer questions about which spending gets cut and which earmarks get eliminated while running for office?  I think it would sell, but it would take an educated electorate to be able to discern how it would work, and the cacophonous blather from the ideologues on both extremes would certainly try to drown out reasoned discussion.

If Romney's campaign collapses because all of his eggs are in the economic turnaround basket and that approach looks flawed, where do the Republicans turn?  Santorum?  A social conservative whose leading trait seems to be scolding America for being sinners?  I don't think that is the honey likely to attract many bees.