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Charles Vignola: Romney: The third term of Bush

Posted: August 6, 2012 6:22 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:22 p.m.

I realize from too many Facebook exchanges with my conservative friends that I’m never going to convince anybody whose mind is set on being a Republican to switch sides. 

If you believe that creationism is just as sound a theory as evolution, if you believe that climate change is a worldwide hoax being perpetrated by scientists to get research grant money, if you believe that tax cuts pay for themselves, if you believe that Obama was actually born in Kenya, then no amount of objective evidence is ever going to convince you otherwise.  

Nevertheless, in the 750 words allotted to me here I’d like to try to convince you of one simple idea: that electing Mitt Romney as president would basically serve as the third term of George W. Bush.    

If you’ll recall, back in 2000 when Bush ran for office, he was touted as the “C.E.O. president,” someone who’d proved himself in the business world and would bring the same savvy to the White House.  

Today, Mitt Romney’s biggest selling point is his background as someone who’s proved himself in the business world and would bring the same savvy to the White House.  What’s funny is that he promotes this as if we’ve never heard this pitch before – and in the United States of Amnesia, I’m sure many people don’t remember that we have.  

Well, as we saw with Bush, skills as a C.E.O. in the private sector don’t transfer so cleanly to the White House, because being president requires a much different skill set than running Staples or Domino’s Pizza.

The key difference between running a business and running a nation is that a business is run purely for profit, and a government isn’t.
Simply put, a government’s role is to allocate resources for the common good, not to make money.  A government is about fostering job growth through deliberately crafted policies that make sense both for private businesses and private citizens.  

When Mitt Romney says he has experience creating jobs, he never mentions that whatever jobs he created at Bain Capital were incidental, unintentional, an accidental byproduct of his real agenda, which was purely to turn a handsome profit for his shareholders.  Being president means creating jobs on purpose; encouraging employment is the goal rather than making money.  

Romney had his chance to prove that he could create jobs on purpose when he served as the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.  The result?  His state ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.  Case closed.

From 2001 through 2003, Bush pushed through a series of tax cuts that he claimed would grow the economy and create jobs.  As the evidence clearly shows ten years later, they did neither.  The Bush tax cuts were not the panacea promised by the Supply Siders; they never are.  The one indisputable thing the Bush tax cuts did accomplish was doubling the national debt.

So what’s Romney’s big plan to get our economy out of the doldrums and kickstart the Great American Jobs Machine?  That’s right, folks: tax cuts.  Pay no attention to the last decade of their failure to turn the economy around. 

You see, the problem wasn’t that the tax cuts failed – it’s that we didn’t cut them deep enough, and we didn’t cut enough of them!
Now, if you read Romney’s economic plan – go ahead, it’s all there online – he wants to cut high end marginal income tax rates, corporate taxes, dividend taxes and estate taxes.  In other words, taxes that only rich people pay. 

Or to put it another way: Romney wants to cut taxes for himself.  Because apparently the 14 percent he admits to paying in taxes is still too high, and if he paid less than people like him would create more jobs.  You know, like they always don’t.
Finally, Bush surrounded himself with a bunch of gung-ho foreign policy experts known as “Neo-Conservatives”, who believed in such new-fangled tactics as “pre-emptive war”, which led to the rousing success known as the Iraq War.

Now, can you guess who Romney has chosen to advise him on his foreign policy?  Let’s just say they’re some old pals of the Bush administration and they’ve got their eye on Iran.  

So in the ways that really matter, Romney is just a rerun of Bush, minus Bush’s folksy charm and likeability.  If you feel like America would’ve been much better off with a third term of George W. Bush, then Mitt Romney is the man you’ve been waiting for.

Charles Vignola is a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat. He lives in Fair Oaks Ranch and works in the motion picture industry.


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