Okay conservatives. You wanna have an argument about Romney vs. Obama? Sure, I can do that. Mitt Romney seems intent on making the economy the central issue of his campaign to defeat President Obama and become our next president. That’s a smart choice; the economy is terrible, unemployment is way too high, and deficits are expected to be high for the near future.
Any Democrat who thought the GOP would just hand over the election by choosing to focus on contraception, abortion, and gay rights is deluding him/herself. Granted, they seem dumb enough, but Romney seems to have gotten back on message and is once again hammering the president on the economy.
I have a lot of friends and family members who like to argue about economic issues using their good old-fashioned “common sense conservatism.” These are the kinds of people who forward, or more often post on Facebook, that story about how they angered their liberal neighbors by converting their young child to conservatism with a story about working and candy bars or something. You’ve seen it. No? Here’s the original, I think. The best part is about half of the email forwards and Facebook postings of this story imply that it actually happened to them. What a coincidence! Such honesty!
Anyway, I’m always happy to engage these friends on these issues, because as has been documented many times, I hate my brain. But let’s make some ground rules. We have to agree on some facts of the situation before we begin to argue how to best address it. If you cannot agree on these facts (and more to come) then there’s no point arguing. If two rocket scientists are arguing about the best method of launching a rocket, nothing will get done if there is a disagreement on whether the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s². (snarkologist bait!)
Fact #1. The economic situation inherited by President Obama in 2009 was the worst any president has inherited since Roosevelt in 1932. Yes, it was worse than what Reagan inherited in 1981, despite what Mitch Daniels says on Fox News.
Fact #2. When President Obama and his economic advisers outlined the Recovery Act and “predicted” that its passage could keep unemployment from surpassing 8% the consensus they were using from December 2008 was that the economy had shrunk by 3.8% that year. In reality, we later learned that the economy had done much worse, shrinking by 8.9%.
Fact #3. Job growth started improving when the president signed the Recovery Act, and has been improving since.
Fact #4. The policies offered by Mitt Romney (and Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels and Marco Rubio) to “fix” the economy are essentially identical to the policies offered by the Bush Administration over his eight-year presidency. Lower taxes on individuals, lower taxes on corporations, less regulation on Wall Street, less regulation on oil and coal companies, less regulation on health insurance companies.
If you want to argue with me about the best vision for the future, you have to accept those four facts and explain why Romney is a better choice than Obama.