I normally take a very positive view of the economy; I’m optimistic about the future. However, there are a number of disturbing signs that point to the serious faults in our economy. One problem is the fiscal irresponsibility of many Americans. I do not blame the banking industry completely, although the relative ease at which credit is obtained is problematic. The fault lies with us as consumers. We live in a disposable society, one where cell phones are replaced almost yearly, food containers are largely disposable, food is fast, and people always desire more. The impulsive and uninhibited spending is correlated with impulsive and uninhibited eating our country seems to suffer from. How can people control their spending if they cannot control their eating? Granted, some people have biological or psychological issues that lead to impulsive eating and spending, but that is relatively rare compared to the overwhelming problem our country has with obesity. The fiscal irresponsibility in our country is manifest in the recent sub-prime lending fiasco that is still shaking up the economy (it is one of the major contributers to the flailing stock markets). The fiscal irresponsibility in our country also is manifest in the high bankruptcy rates. I am generalizing of course. There are people who have financial difficulties without any irresponsibility but they are often a minority of cases.
How can we expect our politicians to run the government in a fiscally-sound manner if we can’t run our own homes that way? I’m not implying that we all need to roll in riches but there is a definite problem with too many people living outside their means, which problem is reflected by the federal government. The question now with our tenuously-perched economy is who is the best presidential candidate to help strengthen the economy?
While there are fiscally conservative Democrats and fiscally liberal Republicans as well as fiscally-responsible and irresponsible Democrats and Republicans, the Republican Party has traditionally been the party of good fiscal conservatism and responsibility. The distinction between Republicans and Democrats has become blurred recently with many Republicans becoming fiscally liberal and supporters of “big government” (which actually is a “return to their roots” per se. The early Republicans grew out of the old Federalists, in part, who were for a strong central government compared to the old Democratic Party of Jefferson, which was in favor of states’ rights and small federal government. This is, however, a discussion for another time). Of note though is that just because someone favors “big government” does not mean that they are fiscally-irresponsible. You can have a well-run large government and a poorly-run small government just as there are highly efficient and profitable businesses and highly inefficient and unprofitable small businesses. Granted, a government is not exactly like a business but one of the problems with our federal government is that it tries to be a switch hitter; sometimes the government is like a business and sometimes it is just a government. I think that the government needs to be run more like a business and held to the same fiscal responsibility that businesses are. This might be viewed as a radical idea and maybe it would never work but what if the government was run like a well-run business? I believe we would see dramatic and immediate changes. I’m not calling for socialism or Communism where the government is the business or controls the businesses, I’m just proposing that the government be held to the same sort of fiscal standards that our businesses are.
Our government today is much like the big businesses in the 80s or the “dot coms” in the late 90s that far outgrew their financial base. They tried to do too much too quickly and as a result suffered major job layoffs and reorganizations later on, if they survived at all. If our government was run like a business, with considerable effort made to maintain profitability, provide good returns to shareholders, and produce good products or services, the U.S. federal government would drastically improve.
This is why I believe the time is right for a President with extensive business background. Someone who has not been the traditional career politician. Someone like Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney made a fortune turning around struggling companies and making them profitable. He saved the 2002 Winter Olympics from major economic disaster. He turned the Massachusetts government around fiscally as well. Mitt Romney is the man with the golden touch – the Midas touch. I believe he has the vision, the willpower, the resources, and the resolve to fix the government’s fiscal problems. This does not mean that we’d have to end the War in Iraq – as Ron Paul or the Democratic candidates propose – or even cut out major programs. It might mean privatizing aspects of the government while reducing bureaucracy and waste. It might mean letting states handle some programs while gaining new control over some programs that are controlled by the states. It could also be done without raising taxes. Tax law loopholes would need to be removed but tax rates would not be raised. It is time for change in Washington, D.C. It is time for fiscal responsibility. It is time for a fundamental paradigm shift in how the government is run. It is time for Mitt Romney.