Burnard: One of usWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing irks me more than to see a politician like Mitt Romney put on a pair of jeans, ditch the tie and profess that he is “one of us.” It puts me in mind of a certain rich politician from Tennessee, whose name escapes me at the moment, who year after year trotted out the same red plaid shirt at election time so as to appear to be a “man of the people.”
The truth is, none of these candidates has the least bit in common with the common man. Newt Gingrich has amassed a comfortable fortune, albeit not by Mitt’s standards, by parlaying his political contacts into a lucrative consulting and historian business. At this writing, it appears that these two are the front-runners for the GOP nomination. It has been my belief since before the endless debate cycle began that Romney is the choice of the Republican establishment and, to my mind, will undoubtedly be the nominee.
Gingrich carries a lot of baggage into the race, and it is my belief that his poo-pooing his myriad shortcomings and blaming them on the elites will not hold up in the long run. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul appeal to relatively narrow interest groups and have shown they are unlikely to gain traction in the larger upcoming primaries. In spite of his wooden delivery and constantly changing positions on virtually everything he has ever professed to believe, Romney will be the GOP nominee.
The George W. Bush guy-we’d- like-to-have-a-beer-with snow job from the early and mid-2000s has morphed into the we-need-a-businessman-in-charge snow job for this year. There are several problems with this. The first problem I see is that putting a corporate raider in charge of the economic recovery seems counterintuitive, to say the least.
Romney has claimed to be responsible for creating more than 100,000 jobs, but to date, has offered no proof of such claims. More importantly, he has not told us how many jobs were destroyed in his dealings with Bain Capital, which he founded and made hundreds of millions off of, much of which resides in the Cayman Islands. The second problem I see, and pardon me for being selfish, is that his professed economic plan will benefit the 1 percent almost to the exclusion of the middle class that he professes to care so much about. Oh, and according to the Tax Policy Center, it’ll add $600 billion to the deficit. I wonder who he’ll expect to take the hit for that. To be fair, that’s better than Gingrich’s plan, which they said would add $1.3 trillion to the deficit (as would Santorum’s plan). That profligate spending socialist Obama’s plan checks in at a svelte $222 billion.
The overriding problem with running government like a business is that government is not a business. Government should be accountable to its shareholders, the citizenry, however, it is not nor is it intended to be a profit-making venture. The cut, slash and burn tactics of a corporate raider are anathema to effective economic recovery.
You cannot grow the economy by cutting services for 99 percent of the citizenry and giving more to the 1 percent. Thirty-some years of waiting for trickle-down economics to trickle down have proven wasted, and the income disparity of today rivals any time in our history. This led to the Great Depression in the last century and could very well lead to the worst depression yet. Someone who has a quarter billion dollars socked away in the Caymans and Switzerland can probably weather that kind of event, whereas 99 percent of us probably won’t do as well.
The plutocracy that now, by and large, runs our government is large, and for the most part, in charge. This election could very well be the past chance for the middle class to save itself. For the past three decades our rights and income have deteriorated and the real elites have prospered at our expense. Let’s not be fooled by those who profess to be one of us when they have absolutely no idea what life is like outside the golden bubble. Romney released his last two years’ taxes, and all his income came from moving money around, not from wages. Plus, thanks to our bought and paid for legislature, he paid half the percentage in taxes that we did. Don’t let the jeans and plaid shirts fool you. My father-in-law used to say you could put silk stockings on a pig but it’s still a pig, and brother, these are some pigs.
Email columnist Don Burnard at email@example.com.