Here in battleground Florida, Obama received something of a shock. The Orlando Sentinel newspaper, which happily endorsed him for president in 2008, announced it is backing his Republican challenger in 2012.
“Economic growth, three years into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up. Obama’s Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week’s second debate,” said the Sentinel in its lead editorial on Friday, “We have little confidence that Obama would be more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four years.”
The newspaper even engaged in a little tough love, speaking to government-dependent Floridians as though they were subjects of a substance abuse intervention. “ … The president and his supporters are attacking Romney because his long-term budget blueprint calls for money-saving reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three of the biggest drivers of deficit spending. Obama would be more credible in critiquing the proposal if he had a serious alternative for bringing entitlement spending under control. He doesn’t.”
Ah yes, entitlement spending. Republicans will have their hands full reforming the unreformable. How do you fix a Ponzi scheme? These government enterprises steal from new victims to pay the gullible marks of the past. But the government does more than this; it borrows from the so-called Social Security Ponzi “trust fund” and spends it on vote-buying goodies for other gullible marks. That’s why Social Security is near bankruptcy when it should be in the black.
The world is in a government-caused death spiral. The world’s central banks figure they can mitigate the effects of the globe’s economic depression by printing more money, buying bad government debt and keeping interest rates low. Unfortunately, governments borrow that cheep money to feed their vote-buying Ponzi schemes at the expense of the free market and jobs. I don’t expect Republicans to bring up that reality during an election campaign, but it would go a long way in preparing the American people for the necessary undoing of the entitlement monsters the Sentinel correctly calls the “biggest drivers of deficit spending.”
The dishonest charge leveled at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is that, if elected, they will work to “privatize” Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; that they will “end” these programs “as we know them.”
Ladies and gentlemen, these programs are nearing bankruptcy “as we know them.” They will end, one way or another, whether we like it or not. The only question for consideration is what approach we take to end them with as few dislocations as possible.
Though the two major parties won’t admit it, the contest in America is between freedom and authoritarianism, between the free-market and a government-directed Solyndra economy. We already know that doesn’t work. It’s long past time we stop feeding the bankruptcy machine in Washington at the expense of national prosperity and jobs.
Americans just need to grow up and stop expecting big government to be our mommy. That tired fantasy is killing the last best hope for man.