Three weeks ago, we all laughed when Newsweek tried to hang a “wimp” label on the same guy that Democrats had been demonizing as a vampire capitalist that smote the spouses of workers with cancer while lighting his cigars with bearer bonds. Give Newsweek credit — they have offered equal time in covers for their print magazine:
I’m not sure what we were expecting in Newsweek covers from the last example, but I’m pretty sure no conservative was rationally Hoping for this kind of Change. Niall Ferguson’s column delivers on the promise of the cover, too, although he couches it in somewhat softer tones than the cover headline. Lamenting that “the sad truth” is that Obama has failed to deliver on his promises, Ferguson argues that the only solution for American stagnation is the Romney/Ryan path to prosperity:
In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.
In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.
In his fiscal year 2010 budget—the first he presented—the president envisaged growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011; few forecasters now expect it to be much above 2.3 percent this year.
Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.
The cure for stagnation is neither redistribution or austerity, Ferguson writes, but growth — and that’s exactly what Paul Ryan’s plan would deliver:
Over the past few years Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” has evolved, but the essential points are clear: replace Medicare with a voucher program for those now under 55 (not current or imminent recipients), turn Medicaid and food stamps into block grants for the states, and—crucially—simplify the tax code and lower tax rates to try to inject some supply-side life back into the U.S. private sector. Ryan is not preaching austerity. He is preaching growth. And though Reagan-era veterans like David Stockman may have their doubts, they underestimate Ryan’s mastery of this subject. There is literally no one in Washington who understands the challenges of fiscal reform better.
Just as importantly, Ryan has learned that politics is the art of the possible. There are parts of his plan that he is understandably soft-pedaling right now—notably the new source of federal revenue referred to in his 2010 “Roadmap for America’s Future” as a “business consumption tax.” Stockman needs to remind himself that the real “fairy-tale budget plans” have been the ones produced by the White House since 2009.
Be sure to read it all. Ferguson gives a comprehensive look at Obama’s failures and compares them directly to the strengths and experience of Romney and Ryan. Not much in this will surprise Hot Air readers … except the venue.
The super-PAC founded by Romney aides deliver the same message in a new 30-second ad called “Debate”:
The debate this fall… Who can turn around America’s economy?
Mitt Romney spent his life in the private sector, creating thousands of jobs. Barack Obama wasted $800 billion on a failed stimulus and the jobless rate went up.
Romney cut spending and balanced budgets without raising taxes. Obama has added $5 trillion in debt.
Proven leadership to fix the economy. Mitt Romney.
The super-PAC plans to start airing this in swing states this week, backed by more than $10 million:
Restore Our Future today launched a $10.5 million ad campaign that contrasts Mitt Romney’s pro-jobs record with Barack Obama’s failed economic policies. The ad will run in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
That will make a dent in the stalemate described earlier by USA Today and Gallup.