by Jacob G. Hornberger
I don’t understand why Mitt Romney doesn’t offer to replace Joe Biden as President Obama’s running mate. Wouldn’t that save everyone a lot of time, money, and energy? After all, is there any real fundamental difference between Obama and Romney?
Of course there isn’t. This was most recently demonstrated in an interview Romney gave on “Meet the Press.” According to today’s New York Times, Romney said that Obamacare isn’t all bad and that while he has his own healthcare reform plan in mind, he would certainly retain portions of Obamacare if he were elected president.
Romney also praised Obama’s killing of Osama bin Laden, which Democrats are hoping will show Americans that Democrats can be as tough in foreign affairs as Republicans.
As the campaign develops, voters are sure to come to the realization that when it comes to political and economic philosophy, there is absolutely no difference between Romney and Obama, just as there isn’t any fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.
On healthcare, Romney and Obama both believe that it is the government’s role to provide healthcare to people. That’s why they both ardently believe in Medicare and Medicaid, a socialistic program that were brought into existence during the regime of arch-liberal Lyndon Johnson.
Sure, they’ll battle over whose healthcare reform should be adopted, but necessarily it will be a fight that avoids any discussion over whether government intervention into healthcare is why the system always is breaking down and constantly needs to be “reformed.”
The last thing these guys are ever going to do is to question whether the provision of healthcare is a legitimate function of government. That would be much too frightening.
It’s the same all across the board.
Social Security? For these guys, it’s a given that this socialistic program is now a permanent part of American life, notwithstanding the fact that it was adopted during the Great Depression, when people were suffering the economic effects of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policies. Given that the Depression ended more than 70 years ago, how come Social Security has never been repealed? Alas, that’s not a question that Obama and Romney are going to ask. They both believe that it’s the government’s job to provide people’s retirement and to force people to be good and caring to the elderly.
Education? They’ll both agree that public education is an absolute mess, and Romney might even point out that Obama doesn’t even send his own children to public school. But their fight will be over which of them will be the better reformer. The last thing they’re going to do is question whether the government should be in the education business.
The drug war? They are both fiercely committing to fighting it for the indefinite future, no matter its manifest failure after decades of warfare. They will both support the use of the military and the CIA in foreign lands to fight the drug lords. Why, they might even support the same thing here in the United States, especially if the military and the CIA need some new justification for their existence.
There will be no discussion of drug-war corruption within law enforcement and the judiciary, the massive stealing of money by public officials with asset-forfeiture laws, the violence that comes with drug prohibition, the high jail sentences, the racism of the drug war, and the long trail of ruined lives. All that we will hear from both candidates is a long rendition of good intentions and expositions as to who will be the tougher drug-warrior-in-chief.
Of course, they’ll battle over who will be the better manager of the economy and the better job-creator-in-chief. Romney will blame Obama for not cutting the deficit, restoring economic prosperity, and creating more jobs. Obama will blame it all on George W. Bush. The candidates who run in 2016 will say much the same things.
Neither Romney nor Obama will dare suggest that managing the economy and producing jobs are not legitimate function of government. Their mindsets are the same: that the government must manage the economy and produce jobs and that it’s the job of the president to lead and oversee the process.
In fact, neither candidate will think for a moment that it is the federal government itself — and specifically its massive paternalistic state — that is one of the root causes of America’s economic and financial woes. That’s why they both keep looking to reform the system and both keep claiming to be the better reformer.
It’s no different with foreign policy. Once he assumed the presidency, Obama turned his back on most everything he had said during his 2008 campaign and embraced the Republican philosophy favoring imperialism, interventionism, torture, civil liberties, privacy, and the war on terrorism. In so doing, he cleverly outmaneuvered the GOP, leaving Romney to essentially run on one issue: that he’ll be a better manager of the economy and job-creator-in-chief than Obama.
Immigration? Romney will argue that he’ll be tough on immigration, but he’ll have a difficult time showing that he’d be a tougher immigration deporter than Obama, given the record number of people deported by Obama during the past four years.
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to hurl toward bankruptcy, spending a trillion dollars more per year than what it raises with taxes. And everyone knows that it doesn’t really matter who gets elected because both candidates have made it clear that the last thing they’re going to do is to drastically reduce welfare expenditures or warfare expenditures.
Moreover, everyone knows that neither the welfare sector nor the national-security state sector will permit any major reductions in their respective doles. Equally important, the mainstream media, both liberal and conservative, would never permit such reductions anyway.
So, that means that federal spending will continue soaring through the roof regardless of who is elected. It also means that massive amounts of debt will continue to be piled onto the backs of the hard-pressed American people. Federal Reserve inflation will come, as it has decade after decade, ensuring continued monetary debauchery and plunder.
So, why not an Obama-Romney ticket? Sure, it wouldn’t solve America’s woes, but neither will electing one or the other of them. At least it would spare the country the boredom, anguish, and expense of the next two months of the campaign.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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