Romney’s performance in Wednesday’s debate offers a striking counter to the sentiments of the infamous 47% video, which he repudiated on Thursday.

Rather than attacking Social Security and Medicare as instruments of financial slavery (as some in the faux-Randian right view them), Romney defended their value and pledged to make them sustainable. Dismissing the dogma that marginal tax cuts will always pay for themselves (something that even a tax-cut hawk like Paul Ryan has also implicitly rejected), Romney pledged that he will not support a tax-cut plan that adds to the deficit. Instead of arguing that government regulations always harm the economy, Romney stressed that regulations are essential for a market economy. Faced with accusations that his policies would lead to a Hobbesian state of nature, Romney cited his own record as governor of Massachusetts. …

Rather than Barack Obama’s “trickle-down government,” Mitt Romney could offer a foundation-up prosperity. This kind of prosperity would be powered by strong economic fundamentals: vital agriculture, manufacturing, technology, health-care, and innovation sectors. The fruits of this prosperity would be broadly shared. Romney has emphasized again and again that his policies would not only increase the number of jobs but would also increase take-home pay. The economic growth of the working and middle classes would increase the demand available for various products. This increased demand would lead to an economy that expands faster. Everyone can win in a vital, expanding market.