Saturday, August 11, 2012

"It's the economy, stupid."

OK, Romney picked Paul Ryan as Veep.  Lots of folks are talking about this (and there's a positive swoonfest going on over at Instapundit).  Meh.

This is a very Romneyesque choice.  He's very good at prioritizing things, and what he has prioritized at the top of the list is the economy.  This isn't earth shaking, it's just management.  Ryan is a top asset for Romney here, and is perhaps more effective as VP than in the House.

Perhaps.  Remember, Ryan is Budget Chairman.  Whoever replaces him in that post will have a high bar to reach.  I expect that the Republican Establishment has a list of their preferred "go along to get along" candidates there.

But fixing this mess will take a long, long time.  This year's deficit is around $1.4 Trillion.  Here's a breakdown of the current Federal spending (you can't really call it a "budget" - we haven't had one of those for 1200 days):

Here's the tl;dr version: yellow, red, green, and (maybe) light blue are off limits - those can't be cut.  That's almost $2.3T out of a $3.6T spend.  The difference between those two numbers?  It's just about exactly the $1.4T deficit.

Even Paul Ryan won't cut the entire Defense Department and all Discretionary spending.

What I don't hear nearly enough from Romney or Ryan is what they plan to do about the regulations that are stifling the economy.  We need growth to close this gap, and the regulatory burden is putting the brakes on the economy.  I'd like to see specifics on the top 10 job killing regulations that he will direct the agencies to abolish.  There's quite a lot of room for a President Romney to maneuver here, as the regulations are crafted by the Executive branch, and can be changed by them without a Congressional vote.

Quite frankly, this would be another stark distinction that Romney could use to show that his philosophy is the antithesis of Obama's.  Obama wants to grow government and regulation, and give companies less ability to employ people and pay taxes.  A Top 10 Job Killers and their impact would fit very well into Romney's strategy.

And unlike the "I will abolish Obamacase on Day 1" nonsense he's offered us - he can't abolish a law that was passed by Congress and signed by the President - he can eliminate 10 (or 20, or 50) regulations at his discretion.

Frankly, I'm a little mystified as to why he hasn't tried this.  And that makes me a little bit suspicious.  After all, he's an intelligent man, and has a lot of business experience.  He knows about this.

And so we're likely to end up with a President Romney (remember, Mussolini would beat Obama with this economy), which I don't really find quite pleasing, even with a Vice President Paul.  Romney seems to be flinching from addressing the big issue, which is not a comforting thought.

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