During what was billed as Mitt Romney’s major foreign policy speech on Wednesday, the republican nominee for the presidency spoke of his significant difference on foreign matters from President Obama. Although he currently proposes additional defense spending, above what the Defense Department believes it will ever need, ever, there weren’t any changes from his plan from those of Obama.
Romney looks to add $2 trillion in defense spending for new 15 Navy ships to be built each year and 3 new submarines. There is no data supporting the need for this additional spending nor is there any plan Romney has identified that requires this new influx of cash. What was missing from the speech held at the Virginia Military Institute was the method in which Mr. Romney intend pay for this additional cash influx.
So with Romney’s desire to demonstrate in vivid terms, projecting America’s strength, what cost is too great a cost? Romney believes Obama has caused America to appear weak around the world while simultaneously sending all the right messages to war weary voters by stopping just short of stoking more war…kinda.
Why kinda? Well, in that same speech yesterday, Romney suggested he would be open to sending American troops to Libya and Syria…for what? Not certain. Capturing and killing Bin Laden, seeing the Libyan people retake their democracy from long time dictator, Moammar Gaddafi, under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic efforts and tackling the concerns of the Middle East with the recent exception of the fall out from the embassy attack in Benghazi, Obama has apparently acted tough, but looked weak? Not sure how that works.
We should consider the cost of the strong looking approach? Is it better to look tough or actually be tough on those who threaten to harm America and our interests? Under the latter Bush, war expenditures were kept separate from the annual White House budgets and submitted to congress as Emergency Budgets which hid the true debt we were incurring.
Obama once in the Oval combined the costs to keep true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan transparent. Oddly enough, those same opponents now accuse Obama for inflating the debt as if they are unaware of where the additional debts come from. The cost of projecting strength while running up deficits to do it is in fact weak. That’s my story and um sticking to it.
The real economy is different things to different people. To politicians, the economy is measured by unemployment, well at least if you’re the challenger. If you are the incumbent however, you may instead decide to look at home sales, trade deficit reductions, exports and consumer confidence.
But what does the everyday American think about that? What is the economy to you? Most have personalized the nation’s fiscal epidemic and otherwise disregarded the view of Wall Street as a whole. How stocks play out day to day is not a focal point for most. Their biggest investment is in their 401k if their fortunate enough to be hanging on to a job.
For most, Americans are more concerned with their personal banking accounts, checking, not saving; not much is left for savings these days. The common thought also is rooted in the fear of economic stagnation. The status quo has affected the markets, housing, job creation as well as growth speculation.
To form a coherent message, politicians are faced with a challenge of unifying the message to hold their political bases of voters. For example, Romney has to be against what is termed as entitlements because it represents those who are looking to cut spending for the things they don’t like so they could instead pay for the things they would much rather prefer…like tax cuts.
President Obama once supported a healthcare without a mandate, meaning it would only be your choice to purchase coverage. After running the numbers, he realized he would have to support his former opponents view, Hillary Clinton, of including the mandate-requiring everyone to buy it or face penalties. This was required to ensure the programs viability. If not, only the sick and those with pre-existing conditions would sign up, draining the programs resources.
The economy is not all things to all people. How many people care that the market closed Up 200 points today? That’s a great day for the U.S. markets yet, how does that resonate to a voter’s wallet? Housing sales in many parts of the country are also up, meaning, some people, somewhere are doing better and feeling more confident about the state of things.
The GOP exploits, “are you doing better now” questions of the electorate, Obama has countered that argument with the conversation about trajectory and his “on the right track” path theory. If voters accept former President Clinton’s view, the economy is on the recovery and if they support Clinton’s Bona Fides, Dems may be in a stronger position. However, Romney has a lot of work to do. He has wagered his victory on his corporate past. That may be a huge bet considering Dems have never questioned Romney’s success, but have effectively questioned the candidates business practices that has not always worked out well for those under his employ.
The economy is as expansive as your wallet and your stock portfolio. The take away message is, America was gravely effected with the lack of regulations, oversight and financial mismanagement over the last eight years prior to Obama. The last four years however have limped along with big ideas and no money. We have spent as much time ferociously arguing over money we don’t have. That seems to have been the biggest deficit to our nation than any war. That’s my story and um sticking to it.