Editorials

Why I’m voting for Romney

Thursday, October 25, 2012

By TREVOR GIRARD

For The Cabinet

My reason for voting for Gov. Mitt Romney can be summed up as follows: the Economy. We have never seen such a poor recovery from a recession. Historically, the worse a recession has been the stronger the subsequent recovery. This is not the present case, with a weak recovery at best: prolonged weak job creation numbers, subpar GDP growth, high unemployment, rising numbers on government dependency programs, and unsustainable government debt and spending.

At times it seems the United States is reliving some aspects of the Great Depression. I fear for my children’s and country’s future. Without a strong economy, their aspirations, opportunities and standard of living will be significantly diminished. A country is only as strong as its economy. It is extremely dangerous for the United States to have a weak economy in an increasingly competitive international economy, and in a world which is militarily unstable and full of enemies of the West such as Islamic Fascists.

We all agree that the United State’s economic problems need to be fixed. The real issue, however, is how to fix them. When we look at what has historically worked, the answer lies in minimal government providing the framework in which a free market can flourish.

History teaches that the more economically free of government intrusion an economy is, the more successful and strong the country, its citizens’ freedom, and standard of living. The collapsed, failed states of Russia, Cuba, and currently Venezuela prove this. The overextended European welfare states’ current economic crisis is also providing this lesson, a lesson the United States is ignoring. These countries demonstrate that the economically mistaken and historically blind preference for a more state centered economy results in, in the words of Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek, “the citizenry being put on the road to serfdom, with the government becoming the new Feudal Lord.”

Contrast these failed countries with the economic examples of South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan after World War II, and ironically China, with its huge growth and improved standards of living when it finally embraced a free market in parts of its economy. The lesson is clear and indisputable.

We need a candidate who understands that the only engine of economic growth and job creation is the private sector, with minimal government regulation and interference with individuals and the economy. The government should not be picking economic winners and losers through corporate welfare and other political favors. The candidate must be smart and modest enough to realize that all cannot be fixed if their prescribed solutions are enforced upon society through government’s heavy hand.

Principally, government does not create jobs or assets of value; rather it takes money out of the private sector where it would have been more efficiently used to create jobs and the benefits of economic growth. Government is bureaucratic and inefficient, which is why it should be limited to providing the basic infrastructure for a free market to prosper and only provide what the free market cannot – roads, a legal system, the military and police, etc. We need a candidate who believes in the Capitalist system, and has long worked in the private sector. Not someone who only says he supports the private sector, like all politicians claim, but has actually proven it through his actions and work history.

Lastly, we need someone who is rational enough to realize there is no such thing as the perfect society. There never has been and never will be, and someone’s arbitrary Utopia will never be brought about by endless governmental engineering. A realistic analysis asks which system gives the greatest good for the largest portion of the public in which compassion is measured by how many citizens are independent and working, not how much is spent on welfare. The candidate needs to seek the vote of those who work, not the vote of those who vote for a living.

Mitt Romney is just such a candidate, which is especially obvious when contrasted with the federal government’s direction the past four years. Romney has long worked in the private sector and is experienced with what it takes to keep companies strong and creating jobs. Romney’s having been a successful and well-off businessman is a huge positive instead of the pejorative his opponents have tried to turn it into. He understands and believes in the free market, but also realizes it is not perfect, and that change and layoffs are a necessary part of capitalism. Because of this, he recognizes that people can fall on hard times and citizens should support private charity, as shown by his donating a large percentage of his earned income to charity.

Romney is not against all government, as shown by his time as governor, but is for a limited government that is tempered and minimal with its intrusions. He understands the long term, largely unnoticed, corrosive effect of excess government on the economy’s vibrancy, ultimately destroying job creation and a country’s standard of living.

The United States appears to be at a historically crucial point with this election, not unlike before the Civil War. Just as slavery and the abolitionist movement were irreconcilable, the ever increasing size of government (more than 25 percent of GDP and growing) is finally forcing the electorate to make a choice between two fundamentally irreconcilable economic systems.

So the issue determining my vote boils down to this: Do we believe in an economic system in which the government is involved in an ever increasing percentage of the private sector and the free market, or do we believe in a free economic system and the resultant society? The latter has served the United States to make it the most powerful and affluent nation the world has ever known.

A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for revitalizing the United States economy which benefits all of its citizens, both present and future.

I hope you also will support him, and with your vote, support your country’s and children’s future as well.

Trevor Girard is a resident of Mont Vernon.

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