So Colorado is a swing state. “Yippee,” I say sarcastically. That means we’ll be on the front lines of the harangue for the next four weeks as the Obama and Romney camps try to reach Colorado’s undecided voters.
Excuse me, but how can anyone be undecided? These two candidates are as different as wood and plastic.
However, according to the debate last week, Obama and Romney must be twins. Both mentioned “middle-class” a thousand times. Both support excellent education, a lower debt burden, strong defense, care for the needy and job-creating businesses. The candidates are so scared of alienating a voting bloc, they tiptoe down the same center line. If they’re forced to deviate, they remain as vague as possible.
I hope the undecideds missed the debate because they would’ve come away all sixes and sevens, all Simpsons and Bowles.
In terms of the economy, distinguishing these two needn’t be difficult. Let me tell you why, and I’ll do my best to put a lid on my left leanings, but only for the next few paragraphs. Then I’ll warn you before putting my partisan hat back on.
Romney believes the best way to stimulate our economy is by empowering those in the upper tiers of our socioeconomic strata. In his view, these people and companies are “job creators,” such that their actions will shower benefits on those below. This concept, called “supply-side economics,” was the cornerstone of Reaganomics.
Obama believes the best way to stimulate our economy is by empowering the middle-class so they will spend money, consume goods, spur demand and thereby create jobs. Obama would raise taxes on the wealthy as the revenue component of his plan to reduce the overall debt. Romney has spoken of closing tax loopholes to tackle the debt instead of taxing the wealthy.
These philosophies couldn’t differ more. How could anyone be undecided? I figure they either don’t know or don’t care. After the shapeshifter debate, the “don’t knows” might’ve multiplied. As for the “don’t cares,” wake up! You need to care. Colorado could determine the outcome of this election. The state is split down the middle, so every vote will count.
Now for the partisan bit. Also called the horse-and-sparrow theory, supply-side economics suggests that if you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. Most economists don’t agree with it. Even David Stockman, Reagan appointee and a big supply-side proponent, eventually said, “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.”
You may disagree. Fair enough. But here’s another reason to wake up. The debt will crush us, eventually. Simpson Bowles, that bipartisan commission charged with recommending a fix, proposed both revenue generation and expense reduction. As long as Romney and the Republicans hold tight to their not-a-single-dollar-more-in-taxes intransigence, the end of the tunnel will remain black.
So no surprise, I support Obama. Romney was impressive during the debate, smart and nimble, even likable. But he’s inscrutable; his evasions and self-contradictions are legendary. He’s also unproven.
Obama’s smart, admired here and abroad, and proven. From Wall Street to health care to Osama bin Laden, he’s demonstrated he can handle the toughest challenges. Slowly but surely, the economy is rebounding. This is no time to gamble on an enigma.