Monday, February 27, 2012

An Honest Vote

Of all the candidates left standing in the GOP presidential primary race I find myself least sympathetic to Mitt Romney. He is a man who simply has not governed as a conservative during his time in office. His record is lengthy, broad, and very public. I wouldn't mind studying things for a few more weeks, but with Michigan voting tomorrow I need to make a decision now based upon the information available to me.

It is difficult to remain discerning at all times when it comes to these races. The media is decidedly against whomever the GOP selects in the primary process, negative campaign ads frolic frequently within the playground of dishonesty, and progressives are willing to launch any attack believing that desired ends will always justify any required means.

So, while I have done my best to discern whom I should support honestly and with diligence, I recognize that many of the attacks against Mitt are misguided in nature and actually border on the silly.

Romney's tenure at Bain Capital is one such example. Bain uses its resources to attempt to redirect failing companies toward financial viability. They take companies destined for the scrap heap, provide them with capital and management, refocus operations, and then hope for the best. Results are not always positive in these situations as many companies, doomed to fail prior to intervention, fail even after intervention.

Yet there are tales of success too. Staples is the most storied.

Romney was the target of attacks by progressives because these efforts to save companies typically result in workers losing their jobs. Of course, if the company goes belly up without an intervention, job loses will amount to 100 percent of the workforce. Interventions are often necessary to save a company and workers, sadly, are sometimes discarded in favor of corporate viability.

This is a basic tenet of business management; a managing truth that still hasn't caught on at the US Postal Service or Amtrak. When businesses falter they must be redirected to remain viable. Governments do not operate in such a way. In government work employees are typically handed a lifetime contract at top dollar and with benefits the private sector could only dream of--these businesses are never considered nonviable and employees of these operations are therefore never expendable. Their staffs regardless of how bloated or redundant, are buoyed into the next year and decade and century through higher taxes, the government printing press, or borrowed Chinese money.

Attack Romney if you must over his management while in government, but there is no worthy reason to attack him over his stints at Bain Capital. It might actually prove beneficial for the country to have a man with a practical attitude toward management in the Oval Office. What would be wrong with the wholly owned business of the taxpayers (government) finally being operated efficiently, staffed properly, and with layer upon layer of redundancy removed?

This past weekend Mitt Romney made another gaffe according to pundits, pollsters and opponents. He talked about his four cars and his wife driving two Cadillacs. With every opponent of Mitt talking about his rich fat-cat social status, admitting such a circumstance might not be particularly wise for a presidential candidate, but why should such an admission be considered an admission at all or worthy of guilt? It ain't like he had a picture of himself taken with a doobie hanging out of his mouth. Unless his wife is trying to operate both vehicles at once while texting and eating a hamburger, I don't see any reason for the current panty twisting.

The opposite is true. In America we should applaud the creation of wealth. We don't mind when an auto worker buys a second home on some Northern Michigan lake or purchases a nice eighty acre hunting camp. (This even though one home should be enough and ten acres ought to be plenty.) And what about snowmobiles and ATVs? How many of those machines can a guy drive though the fields at once--and really does anyone really need those noise makers? Should those of us in the north get upset over this conspicuous display of opulence? Should we get hysterical when those same auto workers spend their gain in the restaurants and motels that dot Michigan's peninsulas? And how many people are eating tall stacks down at the local Coffee Shop? How many calories do these flatlanders actually need?

That seems to be what is going on among progressives and the more blockheaded among the GOP. Yet, why would any UAW member or supposed conservative ever discourage any businessman, bureaucrat or teacher for purchasing a product that they produce? Shouldn't they be twice as happy over selling two luxury vehicles to the spouse of a one percenter?

Class warfare is a signature tactic of today's left even if the leftist union population doesn't understand the ridiculousness of it. Back in the early 1990s, a too happy to compromise President George H.W. Bush signed off on a luxury tax designed to get rich yacht buyers, those wrapped in fur, and wearers of fine jewelry to pay their fair share. After the dust had cleared and after an estimated twenty five thousand boat building laborers lost their jobs, the tax was scrapped. (It should be noted too that the tax increase helped drop tax revenues on the sales of those particular products by 77%.)

Stick it to the rich. Demonize the rich. Attack the rich. Why? Because, even though it is demonstrably counterproductive and self-destructive, it makes a misguidedly vengeful and envious population feel better.

Tomorrow I am going to the polls and voting for Rick Santorum without hesitation--my only regret being that a more conservative candidate is not on the ballot. Mitt Romney has done enough during his governance to give me confidence in my understanding of his philosophy on the role of government. He likes it big and benevolent.

While my decision has led me away from Romney, it isn't because of any progressive and media driven Bain Capital or two Cadillac nonsense. We conservatives can vote with our brains. Let progressives operate on hysteria.

No comments: