By Mona Charen, OCTOBER 12, 2012 –
Mitt can jump-start the economy even before tackling tax reform.
If Mitt Romney is elected and secures Republican control of both houses of Congress, the U.S. could be poised for a vertiginous economic snap back.
To understand how, consider that the Democratic explanation for our current malaise is utterly fallacious. Mr. Obama and his allies identify the “Bush tax cuts,” “two wars that weren’t paid for,” and “deregulation” as the causes of America’s present economic doldrums. But federal outlays as a percentage of GDP under George W. Bush averaged 19.6 percent. Under Obama, spending has ballooned to 24.1 percent of GDP. Much of Bush’s spending was temporary (the two wars, one of which Obama expanded). But Obama’s spending on new entitlements is permanent and bound to increase over time, further burdening a country already facing an entitlements crisis.
If President Obama really believed that spending “on a credit card” caused our troubles, he wouldn’t have spent even more than Bush did, would he? He wouldn’t have run up the debt to more than 100 percent of GDP or $16 trillion — a figure, by the way, that Mr. Obama didn’t know when David Letterman asked.