The second "choice" election came in 1980, when, after a decade of failed leadership, a man came galloping out of the West who seemed the most improbable of figures to get the country going again. And he was carrying with him many of Goldwater's ideas. But Ronald Regan turned out to be a strong leader with a million-dollar smile; Jimmy Carter, a man better suited to be a saint than a politician, went down decisively. Score one for smaller government.I might actually do the list as "FDR, LBJ, Carter and BO" --- the merchants of ruin. In reality, each election once the anti-american virus of "Progressivism" entered the politics of the US in roughly 1900 has just been the "choice" between letting the disease run at the same rate or trying to speed it up.
If anything, this year's choice is starker than in 1980: Reagan had a pragmatic streak, so he was willing to compromise to get a deal done and keep moving forward (Tip O'Neill used to say that the Gipper would win more than half a loaf and come back for the rest later). Romney and Ryan, however, reinforced by the tea party, show no inclination to compromise. On the Democratic side, aides to President Obama are spreading the word that, if he wins, he has had enough of trying to accommodate the Republicans and will also be more confrontationalAh yes, "pragmatism", it was even around in 1980. The left in no way shape or form found Reagan to be "pragmatic". He was a harsh ideologue that was itching to go to war with the USSR, hurt the poor and benefit ONLY the "rich". For the left, the Reagan administration was an unremitting disaster -- both in their minds and in reality. In their minds, because they hated the man to the core and totally believed that the USSR was "as good as we were, and probably better". In reality, because he proved that America was far from dead while communism was on life support at best, and mostly because he allowed Americans willing to keep their eyes and ears open to see that the basic ideas embodied in the Constitution -- individual freedom, small government, free enterprise, WORK!
What is different is that since Reagan we have had ONLY progressive presidents -- HWB, Slick, W and BO ... and had we elected McCain he would have also been on that list. In my book, so is Romney -- but I suspect that the real danger the left sees is Ryan. Ryan has the potential to be as beneficial to America and as dangerous for the left has Reagan was.
I do agree with their assessment on the gravity of the election, only more so.
But there should be no doubt that the two tickets stand behind radically different visions of the role of government and individuals. Under President Obama, federal spending is now 24% of GDP, far higher than in recent decades. While Obama talks of trimming, his most thoughtful advisers think the government is likely to grow in coming years no matter who wins (see Larry Summers's provocative column in the Financial Times this week).Of course these guys are pretty far left. The entire US Gov spending -- Federal, State and Local is about 50% of GDP, 9% of which is borrowed. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/percent_gdp
Like a lot of things in government though, it's worse than that http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html
The bottom 50% of US earners pay only 2% of taxes while the top 25% pays 87% and the top 1% pays 37%.
One might say that the class war is over and the productive class LOST! When 50% of the country essentially pays no income tax, and 75% pays very little, it is easy to see why "make the rich pay more" seems like such a great idea to over 50% of the people. We hear a lot about Romney "only" paying 14% and hear very little about that coming to $6.2 M. They also hear very little about the $7 M he gave away.
So we come to an election where although there are many unemployed, the vast vast majority of Americans are really hurting very little, while the top 25% shoulders nearly 90% of the cost of the "progressives" massive government. Even worse, 49.1% of US citizens receive some level of assistance from the government http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2012/05/26/number-of-the-week-half-of-u-s-lives-in-household-getting-benefits/. No wonder our politics are polarized!! 25% of the people are not only paying the freight, 50% of the people are RIDING THE TRAIN!!
The "progressive" progrom is much the same as the communist one. In communism, you "win" when there are no other alternatives available and each tiny ember of hope that arises gets snuffed in the Gulag.
With "progressivism", you "win" when you put over 50% of the population in the non-productive / dependent class to continue to vote you into power so you can extract even more from the productive.
BO managed to bump the dependents by 4% in 4 short years -- putting him right at the cusp of the 50% needed. A quick look at these numbers tells you how vulnerable we are to getting close to 75% of the population firmly on the dependency side of the equation ... "make the top 25% pay!".
It really comes down to Paul Ryan being the last best hope -- by some miracle Romney-Ryan wins, 8 years of at best holding ground, and then MAYBE we start the long slog back to a nation of 80-90% productivity that can compete in the real world.