- Mar 30, 2011
- Reaction score
If You Liked Romney's 5 Point Plan, Vote for ObamaFirst, he pledged to make North America energy independent by 2020, using domestic sources of oil, gas, and nuclear power. Setting aside whether or not this may be technically possible, it's certainly not politically feasible for someone operating within the narrow bounds of actions acceptable to the US political system. But that's his claim, and good for him, I'm sure it's a sound plan - obviously his competition must agree somewhat, since the Obama administration has opened the Arctic ocean to oil drilling, advocated for "clean coal," and promoted the use of nuclear power, supporting the construction of two new nuclear plants in Georgia. Presumably the Obama administration also agrees with the claim that too much regulation of energy producers is a bad thing, since the EPA is now launching fewer enforcement actions than any year since 2002.
Second, Romney had a few words to say about education, claiming that every parent should have a choice about what school their children attend. Unless this is a subtle statement in support of Kelly Williams-Bolar and Tanya McDowell both black women imprisoned for sending their children to school districts outside their own then it's safe to say that the Romney campaign is making the promotion of charter schools part of their platform.
And why wouldn't they? Charter schools are popular at the moment (regardless of their actual results). So popular, in fact, that the Obama administration has vocally supported them,, as well as calling for "merit pay" for teachers, another educational issue supported by Republicans. It should go without saying that claims about the vast and malignant power of teacher's unions made at the RNC fall rather flat when the unions' supposed pawn in the White House is in opposition to them on their most important issues.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Romney's third point in his plan has also been shared by Obama. Mittens pledged to "make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements."
Certainly he didn't mean replacing NAFTA, which has had such ruinous effects on workers in the US as well as Mexico, with something more fair. After all, no rational businessman would want to be forced to hire American workers who might demand pensions or safe workplaces when he could hire Mexicans willing to work for a pittance since being forced off their farms. And we do know that Romney is a rational businessman, willing to drive a mile to save fifty cents on paperclips as we heard last night. So we can presume that any new trade agreements will be more of the same "free" trade that eliminates protective tariffs and allows for easy movement of capital (but not labor!) across borders.
The thing is, the four years of the Obama administration have seen exactly that, with trade deals being signed with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama over the protests of domestic unions and foreign workers. A proposed free trade agreement covering much of the Pacific basin, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, is also being negotiated.
Romney's last two points in his plan cutting the deficit and supporting small business are shared by Obama as well. Both of them are agreeable phrases that always poll well but are fairly hazy when it comes time to translate them into policy.
Both campaigns accuse each other of proposing economic plans that will result in monstrous increases in the national debt and budget deficit (and of "increasing taxes on the middle class" for that matter) and it's entirely possible both are partially correct, given the history of the last 12 years. Both campaigns accuse the other of destroying small business, Obama through burdensome taxation and Romney through promoting cutthroat competition with larger more powerful companies.
The truth is that both of these issues are red herring national debt and deficits do not work the same way household debt does, and small businesses are simply not the pathfinders to economic recovery nor are they even the most important constituent of the economy. When either campaign brings up these platitudes, it's best to take whatever they say with a large grain of salt.