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January 02, 2012

If This Is the Best We Can Do, We Deserve To Lose

Surgin' Rick Santorum has the True Conservative hearts of Iowa all aflutter as he takes his turn as Not Mitt. Given that the economy (and avoiding the impending DOOM! Monty chronicles here on a regular basis) is a matter of national survival and a clear differentiator with the SCOAMF, I was happy to see Santorum's views on what we can do to turn things around as chronicled in the Weekly Standard:

The next piece is his economics section, but while [Santorum] sounds the same general theme as the other campaigns—too much spending and statism, and the need to cut the size of government—he spends a lot of time talking about his proposal to eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturing. The reason we need to give special status to manufacturing, he says, is that the sector is fungible. Goods can be produced anywhere, so Santorum believes we need to give those businesses special protection to keep them in America. Captive businesses—my words, not his—can be taxed at the normal rate because, he says, it’s harder to relocate those jobs. Why should florists and restaurants pay corporate taxes but not manufacturers? “Because,” Santorum says, “this restaurant isn’t moving to China, right? The florist isn’t moving to China.”

Wait. What? Sprinkle the word "green" in there a little and this quote could have come from Obama.

I thought we were against picking winners and losers via the tax code, but it seems that none of our potential candidates can resist it. Forecast: DOOM!:

Tens of millions of Americans have yet to understand that the can can no longer be kicked down the road, because we’re all out of road. The pavement ends, and there’s just a long drop into the abyss. And, even in a state-compliant car seat, you’ll land with a bump. At this stage in a critical election cycle, we ought to be arguing about how many government departments to close, how many government programs to end, how many millions of government regulations to do away with. Instead, one party remains committed to encrusting even more barnacles to America’s rusting hulk, while the other is far too wary of harshing the electorate’s mellow.

That's it in a nutshell, isn't it? Our choice is coming down to whether we want to run the car over the cliff at 120MPH with Obama or whether we want to clip along at a leisurely 60MPH with the eventual GOP nominee in the driver's seat for that final launch over the edge.

I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to point out that National Review clearly has an underdeveloped sense of irony, given their soft endorsement of Santorum and offhand dismissals of more fiscally conservative candidates.

And, speaking of the preferred candidate of NRO and Jennifer Rubin, the WSJ editorial board has him pegged:

When Romney came in and spoke to The Wall Street Journal recently, he said that "someone with my background can't make an argument for cutting taxes on wealthy individuals." That was sort of why he--his argument for a more modest tax proposal here. What he didn't say is whether he actually believes that cutting taxes on our most productive people would help grow the economy. And I think that's where Gingrich thinks he has Romney. Does he actually believe this stuff?

The Steyn quote above fits very well here, too, and it can really be applied to all of our candidates' economic plans. Perry's comes closest to what we need, with its transition to a flat tax, elimination of baseline budgeting and proposals for significant entitlement reform, but the candidate with the best plan and the right reflexive instincts (to make Washington D.C. as small a part of your life as possible) doomed himself with poor debate prep.

When presented with the choice between full-blown Democrat and Democrat-lite, voters have traditionally chosen the real thing. It sure looks like that's where we're headed in 2012, and there's an increasingly high possibility that Obama, the worst President of my lifetime (and I remember Carter) - likely the worst president ever - will be reelected because of our inability to field a credible alternative.

Bravo, Stupid Party!

(h/t Ben Domenech for the Romney and Santorum pieces)

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posted by Andy at 11:35 AM

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