- Published on Friday, 05 October 2012 16:26
- Written by Bill Bonner, Founder and President, Agora Inc.
- Hits: 742
Well, that's it. The debates have begun. We were saved by a continent, a language barrier and a mountain range. And even if we had a TV available, we wouldn't have watched. Why waste time?
Widely reported in yesterday's media was that Mr. Romney ate Mr. Obama's lunch. Clyde Prestowitz reports:
Romney had more energy, spoke more fluently, had better zingers, was more focused, seemed to have a better understanding of the issues and a better grasp of facts, showed more empathy with the voters and demonstrated a better sense of humor.
Obama looked and acted as if he really wanted to be someplace else -- maybe celebrating his wedding anniversary. His delivery was hesitant and halting. He got bogged down in minutiae, never hit any of Romney's weak points, presented no compelling vision for a second term and made claims that could easily be shown to be factually fuzzy.
But how could we have both presidential candidates spend an hour talking about the economy and job creation without mentioning the loss of U.S. international competitiveness, the continuing chronic U.S. trade deficit, the off-shoring of U.S. jobs and technology, the low rate of U.S. investment compared to countries like China and Germany, and the abysmal state of U.S. infrastructure compared to other leading countries?
How could there be a discussion of the economy without any questions about national priorities and without any comment on the impact of America's role as the international hegemon and provider of global security on its ability to keep delivering the American dream...
Neither candidate showed any signs of wanting to adopt a completely new game plan for America, of wanting, for example, to make economic competitiveness the nation's top priority in place of military dominance or of wanting to develop strategic economic policies in parallel with geo-political strategies.
In short, both are playing essentially the same old game while expecting and predicting that they will produce new and different results. They won't. Regardless of which one is eventually elected, there is unlikely to be any substantial change in policies or results. So the country will just continue on with its present insane and unsustainable priorities and policies.
And here's William Kristol, more concisely:
Mitt Romney stood and delivered the best debate performance by a Republican presidential candidate in more than two decades.
Bonner for Boss
Fed up with them both... and the whole process... we've decided to throw our old, worn-out hat in the ring. That's right, we're announcing our candidacy for president of the USA. And you, dear reader, are the first to know it.
A few years ago, we joked that we would run for the Oval Office. Our campaign slogan was a barnburner for sure: "Too rich to steal, too dumb to lie."
Well-meaning friends discouraged us. They were afraid we might win. We assured them that in case of a victory, we'd claim election fraud.
But, under pressure, we withdrew from the race, and George W. Bush won the top post. Our country's loss.
This time, it's different. Yes! Get out the banners... roll out the bunting... give us some babies to kiss and some envelopes with cash to stuff in our pockets. Large, unmarked bills... please. We won't accept campaign contributions, but we'll take bribes in any denomination.
This time, we're serious. It's time for a CHANGE. Why the need for change? The Financial Times explains:
The U.S.'s median household income in 2011 of $50,054 was $570 less than its median household income in 1989. Its 111.4 million private sector jobs today are about as many as there were 12 years ago.
This labor market crisis has understandably darkened the mood in heartland states. In a recent poll, only 27% of Americans felt confident that life for their children's generation would be better. Too many families are anxiously wondering: "Where are the jobs? How is this going to turn out?"
The FT might have also mentioned that the system is rigged against the people who will decide the election: middle-class voters. The feds hand out free money to their friends: the insiders. When the voters figure this out -- if they ever do -- they're going to be in an ugly mood. And ready to vote for real CHANGE.
A Radical Proposal
Here in Argentina, a labor union leader had a solution to the country's ongoing financial crisis. "Let's all stop stealing for a year," he earnestly suggested.
When all parties rejected that proposal, he backed off: "How about a month of not stealing?"
That too was laughed out of town. A government that doesn't steal is like booze that won't make you drunk. What's the point? If all you get out of the government is what you put in yourself, why bother? Chastity is of no help to a prostitute. Nor is honesty to a politician.
Not that we can change the nature of the system. Politicians will always be politicians, and government will always be government. We can't change its nature. But we can certainly do with less of it! That's the change we mean.
And we're not the first to have the idea. Here's Thomas Jefferson:
My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Yes, other candidates have promised "change." But we really mean it. And the proof is our campaign promises.
Our Campaign Promises...
First, we promise not to keep any promise we make in the run-up to the election. This alone makes us the only honest candidate and the only person worthy of your vote.
Second, we can prove that we were born in the U.S.... in the Annapolis General Hospital in the year of Our Lord, well... never mind what year. But we certify that we're old enough to be president. Heck, we're old enough to know better.
Third, we promise not to engage in any debate with anyone. The debates are a sham entertainment, proving only which candidate is the better debater. Who cares?
Fourth... getting right now to specifics... we won't propose vague, hollow and meaningless "reforms." We're talking real change here. We'd balance the federal budget overnight. How? Cut the Pentagon budget in half. As a starter. We'd be much more secure with a lot less "security."
Then, we'd cut the domestic budget in half, too. Social Security, Medicare, the Department of Things We Never Heard of and Didn't Really Need Anyway -- the whole shebang. We'd be twice as well-off with half as much help from the feds.
Oh, we can anticipate the howls of scorn and yelps of pain already.
"You're taking the meat-cleaver approach," our critics would claim. "You're darned tootin'," we would say with a Reaganesque flair. A meat cleaver is just what the federal government needs. Or a chainsaw.
Besides, almost all government spending is a combination of bribes and boondoggles. One is about the same as the other, as far as we're concerned. Let the pols in Congress deal with the details.
Depending on the bribes, they can decide who gets the boondoggles. We get a balanced budget and shed half of the zombies with half as many resources sucked up by the feds. Fair and square.