An economist droning from my car radio was promoting the idea of government-backed retirement plans. The argument was that the private sector failed to provide adequate retirements for workers with 401(k)s, so it is time for Washington to step in and do the right thing. Otherwise, with prosperity deferred far into the future, baby boomers without piles of cash at the ready are going to end up destitute. Why would anyone consider putting Washington in charge of our retirements for a second time when those of us putting funds into Social Security wonder who will end up spending our savings? Because there will always be those who cave in the face of individual responsibility and opt for fiscal policy that puts our future in the hands of an increasingly disinterested Federal Government intent on its own taxpayer-funded growth.
With Obama’s help national debt is soaring
No big surprises here, but as a reminder, after the 2008 election the national debt was 40% of GDP. By the time 2012 draws to a close our debt will have climbed to 70% of GDP.¹ Part of the problem comes from recessionary government spending and part is what economists politely call “an imbalance between spending and revenues…”² Inexplicably, this imbalance has led to calls from the White House to seize more money so we can get back on the path to prosperity.
Baby boomers can kiss retirement prosperity goodbye
Americans have become slaves to federal entitlements that will be strained to the breaking point as baby boomers age. Many boomers suffer from the delusion that one day they will be able to hang up the working life, but instead the growing retirement savings gap has put them on course to become America’s new underclass. An 87% increase in Americans 65 and older in the coming years means the situation will get much worse by 2037, with 100 million seniors receiving Social Security, compared to 56 million today.³
Democrats assure us that Social Security is America’s key to a secure retirement (see: Obama’s Angry Masses Seek Dependence, Not Jobs), something baby boomers with nothing else to fall back on will soon have reason to question.
Election polls show too many Americans prefer being enslaved to debt
We are only beginning to realize the extent of the lost opportunity and economic damage done to our economy by Barack Obama and two years of Democratic rule on Capitol Hill. White House fiscal policy seeks to grab more revenue that will not be used to reduce the debt, but will be quickly spent in the name of our never ending recovery. Only those naïve enough to again vote for this president can believe that the demands for spending money will end with allowing the Bush tax rates to expire. The next ploy will be to explain that a tax increase is vital because all we did was allow the rates to go back to what they should have been all along.
With Americans enslaved to the national debt and dependent on entitlements that create more of it, how can the president and Mitt Romney be neck and neck in the polls, with the president now boasting a lead in three pivotal states? Why is prosperity a harder sell than fiscal policy that advocates dependence and can only create more debt?
Is the GOP finished? Will America ever buy responsible fiscal policy again?
When I first heard the Romney campaign slogan “America’s Comeback Team,” I shuddered. Had our candidate thrown in the towel, then changed his mind and reentered the race? Had we already lost the 2012 election and it was now 2016, our minds having mercifully wiped out the memory of Obama’s second term? The awkward choice of phrasing says a lot about the disconnect between Republicans and voters. Did anyone think to suggest changing the slogan to “America’s Comeback?”
The problem is simple. Romney supporters are talking about a comeback. Barack Obama has wrecked the economy, advocates fiscal policy that guarantees mountains of debt, but he had a vision in 2008, and that vision is still selling in 2012:
So what we said was, America deserves better — deserves better leadership, deserves a better vision. And a lot of people didn’t give us a chance. But because of you, we were able not just to win an election but begin this process of turning America towards a better vision for the future.4
America does deserve better, so how can nearly half of us give this president a positive approval rating and be willing to let Mr. Obama have another four years so he can finish what he started? Is a chance at renewed prosperity so frightening that a future shackled to debt is a better alternative?