This week, the two different paths that Americans must choose between in the 2012 election could not have been more starkly contrasted.
While the liberal mainstream media and blogosphere are fixated on leaked video of Romney saying 47% of Americans will vote for Obama — and desperately trying to write Romney’s funeral using polls that oversample Democrats by as much a D+10, D+11 and D+13 — those who aren’t so easily distracted are noticing that economic matters are just getting worse.
A new report shows that American economic freedom, which has been on the decline since 2000, is steadily plummeting. The U.S. is losing its previous status as one of the freest economies in the world at an incredibly rapid rate. This is problematic for America's future, as economic freedom is associated with economic growth.
As Ben Powell of the Independent Institute writes,
“Economists James Gwartney, Robert Lawson, and Joshua Hall publish an economic freedom of the world report annually. Their latest report, released this week, shows that the United States, which was ranked the second freest economy in 2000, now ranks 18th. Economic freedom increased from 1980 to 2000 in the United States while it was generally ranked behind Hong Kong and Singapore as the third freest economy in the world. Today it ranks behind European welfare states like Finland and Denmark, and places traditionally more hostile to economic freedom like Qatar. The declines in freedom have occurred because the federal government has grown larger and more intrusive.”
A majority of Americans already believe government is doing too much, reaffirming the American Economic Freedom Index report’s findings.
On the heels of that report, new audio has surfaced in which then-Senator Barack Obama states, “I think the trick is how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution.”
Appearing on Cavuto, Romney retaliated,
“I think a society based upon a government-centered nation, where government plays a larger and larger role and redistributes money will not build a stronger America or help people out of poverty. We believe in free people, free enterprise, not redistribution. We create growth, create wealth, not redistribute wealth.”
That is the fundamental question that Americans are faced with in this election: What is more important to me: economic recovery, growing wealth and creating jobs, or social justice, redistributing income and having government cut up whatever wealth is left?
The first choice is optimistic, envisioning a future where America’s best days are still ahead of us. It implies that free people and free enterprise can create jobs and wealth if they’re simply set free to do it.
The other choice depressingly accepts that America’s best days are in the past and economic stagnation is here to stay, so we need government to decide who gets what as we prepare for a generation of mediocrity.
The liberal mainstream media will play its role of protecting this administration and trying to distract the public from what’s happening around them with irrelevant side shows like what Romney does with his money instead of what Obama does with yours, despite a Gallup poll finding that clear majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents saying Romney’s wealth makes no difference in their voting choice.
But no amount of distraction and attacks can substitute for the fundamental reality that all Americans are facing: a stagnant economy that’s failing to produce enough jobs and forcing more and more Americans to give up looking for work altogether and switch to welfare. We are at a tipping point where more Americans will be consuming tax dollars from the system (nearly half the entire population, at 48.5%) than paying into it.
Romney wants to make the pie bigger so that we have more jobs, more taxpayers, and more to go around. Obama simply wants to cut a shrinking pie further into smaller pieces.
Growth vs. redistribution. It’s your choice.