posted on June 23, 2012 10:09
An AP story captured Democrats’ dilemma this election. It summarized where Mitt Romney and President Obama stand on the economy this way:
“On planet Republican: The economy is backsliding, and the president is to blame. His stimulus spending did more harm than good, and his big-government rules are strangling businesses. The answer is repealing health care, energy and financial regulations and cutting taxes. That should spark investment and create jobs. Tackling the deficit requires huge spending cuts, just not at the Pentagon. The unsustainable guarantee of Medicare and Medicaid must change.
“In the Democratic universe: The economy's slowly improving, thanks to government spending that helped fend off a depression. Another dose of targeted spending will help. Republican policies in the Bush administration - cutting taxes and eliminating rules - brought on the financial crisis and budget deficits. The rich should help dig us out by paying higher taxes. The Pentagon's budget must be cut, but entitlement spending can be controlled without drastically altering the social safety net.”
Boiled down, the Republican answer is cut spending and taxes. The Democratic answer sounds like more spending and taxes.
When the average American is no better off today than 20 years ago, spending and taxes is a loser.
President Obama, Walter Dalton and all Democrats have to find a better way to frame this choice.