Monday, July 16, 2012

Enough About The Past...What About The Future?

Are you getting tired of all the back and forth over Romney’s tax returns, his time at Bain and the President’s failure to revitalize a weak economy?  We certainly are.
We live in a battleground state and you can’t turn the television on without hearing some guy rip Romney a new one while the former governor sings off key in the background…”God bless America…” Or become traumatized by grainy 2008 footage of a bug eyed Hillary Clinton shouting “Shame on you Barak Obama.”  Sheesh!
Enough already!
We get it.  Romney made his time at Bain the cornerstone of his qualifications to be president.  So why is Romney shocked and appalled that the president has the nerve to dig into the details?  And the president promised in 2008 that he would turn the economy around in four years or become a one term president.  So it should come as no surprise that Romney enjoys throwing that promise right back into the President’s face.
Look, we get the politics behind all of this noise.  Neither one of these guys wants to talk about his past yet they find it fair game to highlight the failings of the opponent. 
We get it.  So let’s cut to the chase.
Romney is a very rich guy who legally made millions for his investors and for himself.  That was his job…to make money.  During the process there were times when Bain laid off workers or outsourced jobs to accomplish that goal.  Again, that was his job.  And there is no doubt that Romney took full advantage of the tax code to shelter his wealth and to avoid paying any more in tax than he was legally required.  Who wouldn’t?  We suspect that some of the tax returns that Romney is hesitant to release will show that during some years he paid little if any taxes at all.  And we suspect that each of these tax shelters tip toed along the legal edge of the tax code.  Romney is a very rich guy.  Who among us would have handled things any differently?  Romney doesn’t want to talk about his wealth and how at times he laid off hard working Americans to get his job done.  So he tries to focus the conversation on the president’s failure to right the economy.  
The President is no better.  The President believed he could fix the economy in his first term.  He believed his own rhetoric.  He recently admitted that he thought all that he had to do was get the policy right and things would take care of themselves.  But he found out that his opponents were right…that he didn’t understand how Washington works.  He failed to realize that not everyone agreed with his policies and his opponents on the other side of the aisle were willing to go to any lengths to stop his agenda.  He didn’t get that he had to sell his ideas to his opponents and to the American people.  On that note he failed miserably.  Now he finds himself haunted by his own words and facing the very real possibility of being a one term president.  He doesn’t want to talk about his record so he tries to focus the conversation on Romney’s.
We understand the politics of the back and forth between these two candidates.  But this dialogue fails to address the central issue of this election.  “It’s about the economy, stupid.”
If these guys want to win this election then we believe that that need to change the narrative.  Stop carping on the past and tell us how you intend to shape the future.
Romney will tell you that at the beginning of the campaign he published a booklet that outlined his 59 point plan for the future.  We’ve read it.  It says nothing.  It is little more than Republican talking points and conservative platitudes.
Obama is not much better.  Yes he has put forth a disjointed number of measures that he knew damn well had no chance of passing through congress.  They were left appeasing proposals designed to fire up the base and push his opponents into a corner.  He gave up trying to build a compromise solution with congress over a year ago.  Was the Republican led House unwilling to consider his overtures?  Absolutely!  But he is the President and he was elected find a way through that partisanship for the good of the country.  He failed to pierce that barrier and has now resigned himself to partisan campaigning with the hope accomplishing more in a second term.
This campaign is all about the past when it should be about the future.  High unemployment, a failing education system, rising poverty, skyrocketing health care costs, soaring debt and deficits, unbridled entitlements and a quality of life that is eroding are each and of themselves momentous problems that demand our attention.  We need to address these issues and fix them…now.  Yet the campaign dialogue is all about how we got into this mess rather than how we get out.
We are tired of Bain and bailouts.  We want to hear specifics about the candidates’ plans for the future.   


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