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Romney 2012 = Bush 2004 minus incumbency?

Thanks to the folks at the Internet Archive, we have access to George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign site as it stood in October 2004. I believe this will be a useful tool for people opposing Mitt Romney. Romney claims to offer new solutions for our country’s woes. like this tax prescription from his “Jobs and Economic Growth” page:

Mitt Romney will rebuild the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.

If that sounds familiar, perhaps it’s because it is. Check out this bit from Bush’s 2004 Jobs & Economy page:

In his second term, President Bush will focus on building a more prosperous, competitive economy that will continue to be a strong engine for jobs and prosperity for years to come. The essential elements of his plan include: taking the next bold steps in reforming education; building a skilled and effective workforce; encouraging a pro-growth, fair, and simpler tax system; promoting research and development in both the public and private sectors; opening markets for American goods around the globe; meeting our energy needs and lessening our energy dependence; reducing the regulatory burden; and reforming Government to be smaller and more efficient, responsive, and effective. President Bush is committed to making sure America has the best prepared, best educated, and highest skilled workforce in the world.

and this bit from the more detailed plan page:

  • Making the Tax Relief Permanent – Many of the tax cuts – including the new, low 10 percent tax bracket, the reduction in the marriage penalty, the doubling of the child tax credit, the phase-out of the death tax, and the increase in small business expensing – are set to expire. This tax relief must be made permanent so families and businesses can plan for the future with confidence.
  • Making the Tax Code Fairer, Simpler, and Pro-Growth – President Bush will work with Congress to make the tax code simpler for taxpayers, encourage saving and investment, and improve the economy’s ability to create jobs and raise wages.

How about regulations? Romney sees them as a problem, as shown in this Romney 2012 regulation page:

Mitt Romney will treat regulatory costs like other costs: he will establish firm limits for them. A Romney administration will act swiftly to tear down the vast edifice of regulations the Obama administration has imposed on the economy. It will also seek to make structural changes to the federal bureaucracy that ensure economic growth remains front and center when regulatory decisions are made.

Eliminate Undue Economic Burdens

One of the greatest problems with the federal bureaucracy is that each incoming presidential administration leaves in place much of what its predecessor constructed. The result is layer upon layer of often unnecessary or inconsistent regulation. President Obama has compounded this problem with unprecedented federal power grabs over wide swaths of the economy. Obama-era laws and regulations must be rolled back, and pre-existing ones must be carefully scrutinized.

Mitt Romney presents this peel-back of regulations as a new idea and breath of fresh air. But here too, President Bush got to it first back in 2004 as part of his economic opportunity plan:

Reducing the Regulatory Burden

The last twenty years have witnessed an explosion of new Federal rules and paperwork requirements that burden consumers, businesses, taxpayers, and state and local governments. Although some regulations are essential to protect consumers, workers, and the environment, the cumulative regulatory burden has proven to be particularly onerous for small businesses and those trying to create new jobs. The President will continue to pursue smarter regulation by:

  • Insisting on Sound Science and Strong Economic Analysis – The President has insisted that each new Federal regulation be supported by good science and economics. At the same time, the Administration has worked closely with Congress to limit the number of new laws that would create additional unnecessary regulatory burdens.
  • Calling for Increased Flexibility – The President has directed the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration to work closely with Federal agencies to ensure that new rules are necessary, cost-effective, and crafted with flexibility to foster – rather than harm – small businesses.
  • Reviewing Existing Regulations – The President will streamline existing Federal regulations. Already, the Administration is working on reforms to over one hundred rules, guidance documents, and paperwork requirements.

 

These fundamental steps have already resulted in a 75 percent decline in the growth of costly new Federal mandates. At the same time, the Administration has moved forward with crucial safeguards for homeland security, human health, and environmental protection.

The point I’m making here is that prescription that Mitt Romney is giving us for taxes and the economy is the same one that President Bush offered in 2004. The economy exploded in 2007-2008 along with the deficit. More of the that bad prescription is not going to help us. That is one of the reasons I will be voting for President Obama in November. I’m not crazy about Obama, but he beats the second coming of George W. Bush.

If you find this sort of comparison helpful, go out and check out Bush 2004 and Romney 2012. Where else are they alike?

In answer to the inevitable comment – Obama is running against Romney and not George W. Bush, this is true. It is also true that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If all Romney has to offer us are the policies of the Bush Administration, we will probably get the same result. Voting for that doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll take my chances with a second Obama term.

 

 

 

 

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