Wednesday 19 September 2012

The haves and the have-nots.

If I were in the US, I'd be voting for Romney. I don't think he's a great candidate — the Republicans are shit at picking candidates — but I think he's better than the alternative. And I know quite a few other Republican supporters. And I'm getting sick to death of the deranged characterisation of us offered day in day out by the Left. I needn't give examples; you've all seen it. Some of you have probably done it. The reasoning seems to be that anyone who wants to cut government spending hates poor people, because cutting spending means cutting benefits and benefits are the only way the poor can survive. Romney wants to cut government spending so that he and his friends in big business can keep all the money for themselves and stop the poor getting their grubby hands on it. You know, the usual lefty smear.

See, I could do the same trick with Obama supporters — you must all be antisemitic Weather Underground supporters, right? — but that would be absurd and insane. Party politics is about coalition and compromise; that's its whole point and its advantage. You don't vote for one man because you agree with every single thought in his head; you vote for the representative of a party because, on balance, you like enough of their platform a bit more than you like the other guys' platform. It doesn't even matter what the candidate's real secret thoughts are, because their power is based on our support and our support is based on their professed opinions, not their secret ones. Obama listened to a ranting Jew-hater for years and claims he never really noticed. Aye, right. But plenty of Jews, despite their serious misgivings about the man, will grit their teeth and vote Obama in the next election, because they think lots of other issues are more important than how he feels about them. And it's not like he's got the power to start a gulag or anything. I'm with Byron: "I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments." But I do detest some slightly less than others. Voting is about choosing the lesser of two evils — or two stupids, more like.

I'm not against the welfare state, and neither are the Republicans, as you can easily see by observing whether the welfare state has been destroyed by any previous Republican government; they just disagree with the Democrats about how big it should be. And, if you want to pay benefits, I have to ask, with what? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the US economy will collapse in 2027 if it stays on its present course — that's based on Obama's figures, not his enemies'. When that happens, no-one gets any benefits at all, no matter how needy or deserving they may be. If you've got a baby or toddler just now, by the time they entered the workforce, there would be no welfare state left. One Democrat friend of mine said that a Mitt Romney presidency would take America to a state like the "early middle ages". History's largest economy collapsing in ruins sounds to me quite a lot like the 5th Century.

Obama and the Democrats show no sign of even thinking about avoiding that. They want to keep increasing government spending while funding it through borrowing and quantitative easing. This is why the US's credit rating was downgraded, and why that should worry anyone who lives there. The practice of founding the Dollar on having the Federal Reserve buy bonds from the Treasury using money founded on the fact that the Treasury can keep selling bonds has been a joke for years — I know people were taking the piss out of it in the Sixties, and probably earlier. But it didn't matter, because it was a silly accounting trick being performed by the world's largest and most reliable economy, and everyone knew the US was always good for the money. What the downgrade shows is that the world is ceasing to believe that the US is good for the money, and the reason for that change is that the current government haven't even come up with a plan that might not work — they simply have no plan, and have resisted attempts to push them into making one. Again, my friend says that Romney is "out of touch". Obama apparently hasn't got around to learning from the mistakes of the Weimar Republic yet.

If you want lots of big government spending, you've got a choice between the people who will spend so much over the next couple of years that no government will be spending anything in fifteen years' time and the people who will spend less now in an attempt to ensure that spending remains possible long-term. If you're in your eighties and selfish, that's an easy one: take everything you can get right now. Otherwise, which plan do you think screws the poor harder?

Now, I'm not convinced that the Republicans can avoid the impending cliff-edge — they have a pronounced tendency to talk about small government when they're not in government and then start spending like sailors on shore leave the moment they get in — and yes, I certainly think Bush's spending levels are partly to blame for the current mess. So this election is a choice between the people who will definitely crash the economy and the people who will probably crash the economy.

Like I said, lesser of two stupids.