Mitt Romney’s Five Policy Goals

During his acceptance speech at last night’s Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney presented five policy goals that would be his focus, if elected President…

Paul Ryan and I have five steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements, and when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish, as have those in Greece. We will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion small businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small businesses the most, and it means we must rein in skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare
There are a few different ways to phrase this, but to honestly evaluate the high-level description of the goals offered by someone seeking the highest office in the land, the basic questions to ask are: are these things that government should be doing, are these things that government can be reasonably expected to do, and are they different from what government is doing now?

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jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

First: Not possible. Why don’t people understand that when it comes to oil (at least), there is no such thing as energy independence? It’s a global market subject to global supply and demand.
Second: The federal gov’t can’t force school choice (hello 10th Amendment) and I didn’t see a proposal to shutter the federal Dept of Education in there. Thanks for the hot air though.
Third: A genuinely good thing to hear, though I’m leery of what he means by “unmistakable consequences”.
Fourth: He talks a big game, but the reality is if you want to move the needle on the federal budget, you have to deal with Medicare, SS and military spending. Romney said Obama’s $710B in cuts in Medicare will hurt seniors and job creation, so apparently we can’t cut that. He doesn’t want any senior to fear the security of their retirement, so apparently that takes SS off the table. Lastly, Mitt blasted the President for cuts in future increases in military spending as hurtful to jobs and national security, so apparently we can’t cut that either. Good luck cutting the deficit in any meaningful with that approach.
Fifth: That reeks of crony capitalism — BS loan guarantees and other subsidies. Thanks, but no thanks. Oh and “repealing ObamaCare”, say hello to “closing Guantanamo Bay”. Did you guys know you’re twins?

Scott M
Scott M
8 years ago

First candidate that agrees to cut the actual defense budget by 30%, real dollara not projected budget, eliminate HUD, Dept. of Education and all laws/regulations regarding them, cut the DOT, EPA, and FDA budgets by 30% real not projected and release the states from all mandates and money tie in wins my vote.

jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

@Scott M — Perhaps you should take a gander at Gary Johnson. Hits most of what you’re looking for

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

“we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements”
Let’s face it, we are talking about China and Japan. If we try to show them a “consequence” they will simply say “we are going to buy 20% less of yordebt”. We need to reverse a lot more than trade agreements. What are we exporting? I remember a Cuban telling me that Cubans thought Prof. RegUSPatOff was the smartest man in America. His name was on everything they touched.
Cutting the military budget, it is down to about 18%. The world needs a policeman. Everyone who prefers China please raise their hand, the seat will not go vacant.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
8 years ago

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking “invented” of our oil, are coal, our gas, our nuclear, and renewables
invented should read advantage ?
Happy Labor Day to all
Sammy

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

First: Not possible. Why don’t people understand that when it comes to oil (at least), there is no such thing as energy independence? It’s a global market subject to global supply and demand.
Petroleum is not the only energy provider. It appears we now have over a 100 years supply of natural gas. “Safe” nuclear is a possibility, even without fusion. Hydrogen is lurking just over the horizon.
We have just got to do it. Maybe if we worried less about paper bags in Barrington, and aquatic life off Quonset.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

I never understood the importance of “energy independence.” Isn’t this just a form of economic protectionism and shutting down trade? Why do we need energy independence more than any other form of independence, like food independence? If another nation can produce oil cheaper, let them produce it. The better diplomatic relations and stability between trading partners are bonuses.
What does it mean to “cheat in trade”? I really hope this isn’t buying into the “currency manipulation” nonsense.
I’ll believe Republicans are serious about cutting the debt when military spending goes on the chopping block. Until then it’s just “cut your pet spending, not ours.”

jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

@Warrington
“Petroleum is not the only energy provider.”
I understand that, but realistically it’s still going to be a major part of life in 2020, so Romney is flat-out lying when he claims we’ll be independent in 8 years, and he absolutely knows it.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Posted by Dan: “Why do we need energy independence more than any other form of independence, like food independence? ” We are food independent, and a net exporter of food. If that were not the case, our balance of trade would really be in the toilet. You may not remember the Cold War when we saved the Russians from starving at least 5 times. (they still insisted the grain travel on Russian bottoms, while people starved) There was a time when we were “energy independent” and a net exporter of petroleum. For political reasons (good ones) we decided to stop exporting to Japan; that got us Pearl Harbor. Other countries could do that to us. What would we do? Since our big consumption is automobiles and heating, let’s think about that. We now have a practically limitless supply of natural gas. In most parts of the country, this is the most common heating fuel. Let’s extend it. Perhaps we could roll back the code requirements, allowing more plastic pipe at shallow depths and not under the pavement. (this is already being done in some places) Natural gas cars are not that difficult a conversion. I understand that hydrogen cars are also very doable. As I understand it the chief difficulty is storage on board. Surely, if we can send a probe to Mars, we can manage storage. As to jgardner and petroleum, let’s just roll. We have the shale oil, let’s build the pipeline, add the refineries, dredge the ports, liberate the natural gas. Why do we spend so much of our time on “high speed rail” when there are so many doable things we could concentrating on (perhaps because only government can do “high speed rail” and hide the enormous subsidies). My only concern is that the private companies… Read more »

KenW
KenW
8 years ago

Warrington Faust,
Hawaii is the only state in the nation to have a state-wide hydrogen infrastructure supporting hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles which the only place in the world General Motors Company is testing real-time their hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Hawaii also has a state-wide electric vehicle public charging infrastructure which one Hawaiian entrepreneur has figured out a business model that forever provides public street-wide and public/private parking lot-wide “Free” 24/7 user charging of electric vehicles. Theoretically if you drive an electric vehicle in Hawaii you could never pay an electric bill to recharge your vehicle under his business model which is working and being expanded to the mainland.
Hawaii’s clean energy initiative (which was started by President George W. Bush (R) is to wean the state off of 70% imported oil (Hawaii is the most imported oil dependent state in the nation) via reduction of 40% clean renewable energy and 30% energy efficiency by year 2030. Of the 100% imported oil to Hawaii 40% is used to power buildings and 60% is used for transportation.
Hawaii has a very large state-wide mix of renewable clean energy systems and projects that are blended together thus providing new constant energy resources. Offshore wind is the only renewable energy resource Hawaii refuses to consider due to high cost to develop, build it and high maintenance costs.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Warrington – I don’t subscribe to the “trade deficit” theory that being a net importer or exporter of something is necessarily harmful. We ship some types of food out because we can produce them more efficiently than other countries, and we import others because the reverse is true. I don’t see why it is relevant if this comes out as a net import or net export figure. The world may be smaller than it once was in some regards, but the trade opportunities are much bigger. If one country that happened to sell us cheap oil decided to start a war with us and cut us out (much less likely if we are a regular trade partner with them), there would be dozens of other countries eagerly waiting in line to make up the difference. Since necessity is the mother of invention, we would likely see rapid changes and improvements in our own energy production as well if our existence came to depend on it. I don’t see the sense in centrally managing our economy toward 100% self-reliance in the energy markets against some phantom threat.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Perhaps you may want to research what the federal govt was originally supposed to do…the primary being national defense. The problem is the Feds have grown to do more than intended, and have usurped responsibilities of the states…and the lions share of taxes. Time to reverse that trend…let states take care of their people and the Feds protect the states.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Mike – National defense is one of a number of powers granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution, but as a practical matter, there is some amount of military spending that is too high for a healthy economy and you’d have an impossible case to argue that we are beneath that level. Republicans keep pushing military spending higher and higher, planting bases all around the world, and engaging in unnecessary conflicts. I don’t see it anywhere in the Constitution that the United States should act as world police, and why should we when we can’t take care of our own? We have never been more safe from military invasion and yet we have never acted as paranoid. Who is this colossal threat to our mainland that demands trillions in spending that could be put to more productive use? For what purpose do we need a million-man standing army? No question why many have come to refer to our military as “Republican welfare.”

KenW
KenW
8 years ago

Dan,
The greatest threat to world peace is North Korea (has nothing to lose because it already is under international sanctions) which has developed nuclear warheads, short range, long range and intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of now reaching west coast of United States and all the way down past Hawaii to Guam.
North Korea exports its ballistic missile-related technology, nuclear technology and also has a large inventory of chemical weapons.
A UN sanctions committee report stated that North Korea operates an international smuggling network for nuclear and ballistic missile technology, including to Burma, Syria, and Iran.
The following countries allegedly operate North Korean ballistic missiles, allegedly bought such or received assistance for establishing local production: Pakistan, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Yemen.
Over the last 6 years there has been a gradual buildup of the “Missile Defense System” in Hawaii, military personnel (Striker battalion), more surface ships, submarines (for every 3 Virginia class submarines built 2 are deployed to Hawaii) and new aircraft (Air Force F-22 Raptor squadron, Marine Corps V-22 Osprey squadron and Navy P-8A Poseidon squadron).
The United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) located in Hawaii is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States armed forces promotes peace, deters aggression, responds to crises and, if necessary, will fight and win to advance security and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region which covers over one-half of the world area.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Ken – So because backwards, starving North Korea half a world away has war technology that we had 75 years ago, we need to spend trillions on maintaining a million-man military empire across the world. Sorry, I’m not convinced. Republicans keep funding bloated military because it buys military family votes – Occam’s Razor.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Dan, I think you have bought more than your share of the idea that trade makes friends. I think it only makes trading partners, who may, or may not be friends. Such an arrangement only lasts until a better deal comes along. You suggest that if our petroleum suppliers cut us off, others would supply it. And those suppliers would be who? It would have to travel by ship, reread the “Battle of the Atlantic”. You wonder who would engage us. (Military theorists have always thought that would be through Mexico, who would base themselves in the “frozen north”. (Google the “Zimmerman Telegram” which got us into WWI). Almost a 100 years ago Mexico “nationalized” the oil companies we created there (that is why Bill Buckley spoke Spanish). This may have changed, the efficient targeting of weapons has made massed armies excellent targets. Still, there have been long standing “talks” between India and China. Both have large populations and limited resources. The Indians have long thought of themselves as a “warrior race” and that they “stopped Alexander’s armies”. They have begun speaking of the Indian Ocean possessively, and are expanding their possessions there (i.e. Timor, which controls shipping through that part of the world). They have begun playing “chicken” with U.S. navy ships. Both India and China are building “defensive” navies much larger than required. Would they consider invading the U.S.? Probably not (even the Russians determined they probably did not want to invade a country full of people with guns and jeeps. But, they did invade Afghanistan). However, would they act to seize other countries with the resources they desire, history tells us that they would. Who would have considered Germany a potential enemy prior to WWI (I once knew an old guy who could remember it, he remembered… Read more »

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Andrew,
“Pax Brittanica” had some advantages for a century, or two. The same might be said of the Roman Empire before the Republic fell. There were many downsides, but they have to be taken in the context of it’s time.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Dan…I doubt the “republicans” keep a million person army just to get votes. If that were true, the demos would have doubled its size. Nonetheless, that wasn’t my point. The problem we have is overspending, not too little taxation. If we are going to fix anything, we need to neuter the Feds…to put them back in the box and out of our pockets. States take care of their people, the Feds the states. 50 experiments…we’ll see what happens when to the state that offers higher welfare payments without a work requirement… What size military we have after that is a separate issue…

Monique
Editor
8 years ago

” by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, and renewables.”
On this point, the answer to all of your questions is, “Yes”. Gov’t should be doing it, gov’t can reasonably be expected to carry it out (in partnership with the private sector) and it certainly is different from what gov’t is doing now.
It would be a very good thing for employment, for tax revenue and for the economy in terms of making energy cheaper. No one has satisfactorily explained why we should pay an artificially high price (by suppressing supply) for energy until the magical, mystery fuel is discovered/invented. (If it ever is.)

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Mike – Why is that so incredible to you? The Democrats maintain a gargantuan welfare state and buy off millions of people in unions to secure votes. Same concept with the Republicans and their million-man standing army and military wives and children living on bases. A million men will do feck-all against a terrorist attack or nuke. They are bought and paid for R votes doing drills all day and sweeping the floors for a WW3 European tank war that will never come.

KenW
KenW
8 years ago

Dan, Contrary to a lot of misinformation, North Korea is a lot more modern than most people think. They have refined plutonium into weapons grade and enriched uranium into weapons grade. They have made their nuclear WMDs and sold them to Iran which they get annually an estimated $2 billion from Iran selling black-market weapons. North Korea is spreading a lot of military material and military technology around to third–world countries. I would not underestimate North Korea. US military has actually been scaled back. According to U.S. Department of Defense; 1990 there were 2,043,700 active duty personnel and as of May 31, 2011 there were 1,431,403 active duty personnel. I’ve been part of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) twice (active duty and civilian GSA) having my command cut out from under me. However, I was actually part of the technology push that was causing the BRAC (catch-22)! What are driving the defense budget is the new technologies deployed on new weapons systems allowing for fewer personnel but with greater force protection. Instead of deploying a whole Air Force squadron we now send minimal maintenance staff and a bunch of remote control killer drones. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard are all using remote control drones now. We just had the world’s largest international maritime exercise (Naval war game) RIMPAC encompassing twenty-two nations, 40 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel in the waters around Hawaii. It was a chance for everyone to work together and sink some old ships. It also gave the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps a chance to test the “Great Green Fleet” using renewable biodiesel (from algae and plants) in participating vessels and aircrafts supporting former George W. Bush (R) plan. The current Republican House members actually complained about… Read more »

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

“I do believe we as a nation need to strike a balance with other countries.”
Ken – Does this look like “striking a balance” to you?
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/9b6b4ac6234a38d7f61757290055617d.png
There is always going to be a “North Korea” out there. The only thing we can practically control is whether we bankrupt ourselves by overreaching in response to the boogeyman images they intentionally create for us to extort food money to feed their starving, pathetic countries.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
8 years ago

Dan, try this one where it is expected the Chinese military budget will exceed ours by 2030.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/23/5_things_the_pentagon_isn_t_telling_us_about_the_chinese_military
I also commend publications of the Proceedings of the Naval Institute. You will love the ads with tag lines like “Proving effective in a target rich environment”.
When comparing budgets, it is apples and oranges. China still places some reliance on an ancient system, similar to the Knights Templar. The military is given ownership of farms,factories, businesses and expected to produce their own weapons and otherwise support themselves, at least to some extent. It would seem obvious, that like Israel, they will become major arms exporters.
At present, they seem to be concentrating on land based anti-ship rockets (very effective ones). Are they expecting an invasion? Or, is it just leftover thinking from the “Opium Wars”?
Try to remember that China is still a communist nation. They may be “trading partners”, but they are not our friends.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Warrington – I’m puzzled as to why you would link to an article that directly supports my point. Its entire premise is that America has been tilting at windmills for the past 40 years and China is just the latest in a series of paper tigers ready to collapse under its own weight without intervention from the United States. Forgive me, but I don’t see the prediction you attribute to the article anywhere.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Excuse me, somehow the website rerouted me to this article instead of yours:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/29/everything_you_think_you_know_about_china_is_wrong

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

“There have been no credible estimates of Beijing’s long-term defense spending plans. On its current trajectory, China could overtake the United States as the world’s biggest military spender in the 2020s or 2030s — but there are too many unknown variables to accurately predict if this will happen.”
This 20-year “trajectory” prediction seems very speculative to me, and apparently to the article’s author as well. I still don’t see any justification for spending so many times what they do on our military. I don’t necessarily think China are our “friends,” but they certainly do want to continue to sell us things. When China reaches even 50% of our military expenditure, perhaps it will be a better conversation.

KenW
KenW
8 years ago

Dan, Hawaii loves China!!! We now have two direct weekly flights from Shanghai to Honolulu via China Eastern Airlines. We expect 91,000 visitors from China to arrive this year 2012. All of our hotels and resorts have had crash courses in Chinese culture, society, language, etiquette, customs, manners and protocol. On an average of $396, Chinese visitors spend more per person per day than visitors from any other market in Hawaii. China has purchased 4 retired aircraft carriers the Australian HMAS Melbourne and the ex-Soviet carriers Minsk, Kiev (turn into a luxury floating hotel) and Varyag to study construction. The former Russian Varyag multi-role aircraft carrier has been retrofitted, been on 2 sea trials and is expected to be operational by 2015. China is currently building 2 aircraft carriers to create a 3 aircraft carrier battle group and could possibly have operational aircraft carrier battle groups by 2030. China is also building new Shenyang J-15 carrier-based fighter aircraft with combat specifications about equal to Russian and American current fighter aircraft except lower specifications and not equal to U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor which a squadron has been deployed to Honolulu, Hawaii. China has been building and installing across the Asian-Pacific region small pieces of basic technologies needed for a rudimentary anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) capability that have been in development for more than 20 years. The core of this capability is advanced missile-borne sensing and data processing supported by rough initial strategic cueing from a dual use maritime surveillance network. Barring deployment of effective defenses, an ASBM will give the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) a precision strike capability against aircraft carriers and other U.S. and allied ships operating within 1,500 to 2,000 kilometers (932.056 miles to 1242.74 miles) from the eastern coast of China. China has developed the DF-21D… Read more »

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Ken – tl;dr

jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

@Monique
“(in partnership with the private sector) and it certainly is different from what gov’t is doing now.”
You’re arguing for more crony capitalism. No thanks, I’ve had enough Solyndras etc for 2 lifetimes.
——
Trade promotes peace far more effectively than war.
North Korea may have a military and nukes, but it’s certainly arguable that they have those nukes for defensive purposes (an invasion deterrent for us and the S.Koreans most likely) more than offensive.

jgardner
jgardner
8 years ago

@Andrew
“A more energy independent America would likely have as much military presence in the Middle East as we currently do in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Oil independence from the Middle East? We only get about 15% of our *imported* oil from that region. Roughly 40% of our oil comes from ourselves, and 50% of our imported oil comes from the western hemisphere already (consumerenergyreport.com/research/crude-oil/where-the-us-gets-its-oil-from/). Are you arguing that if we could just replace 15% of our imported oil with oil from another region we’d be all set?
It’s one thing to be aggressive, it’s another thing to know the date you’re giving isn’t even in the realm of possibility. The latter is where Romney’s 2020 target date falls.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Dan, Sorry. My philosophy isn’t isolationism. I am also sure that our men and women in uniform feel free to vote for the person they wish for. It is,, after all, an exercise of the freedom that they protect for you and others. If, however, you can get those in the welfare rolls to fight for the system that provides them so much in return for expecting so little, then I’m sure we can cut the fed budget.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

“I am also sure that our men and women in uniform feel free to vote for the person they wish for.”
Just as union leaders, 6-figure municipal firemen and police with diability pensions, welfare households, those collecting unemployment for years on end, SSDI abusers, etc. are all free to vote how they wish. But all the incentives are pointing one way and therein lies the issue.
Mike – I mean no disrespect to you or those who do choose to join the military, but you seem to be heavily and personally invested in this mythology that a full-time million man standing army is necessary for “our freedoms” and that the gross overexpenditure on our military by Republicans is out of some principled standpoint rather than to buy votes. I am sorry, but this is just as much an ideological fantasy as the progressive narrative that a massive welfare state enables people to better themselves and is conducive to a free and just society.

Mike678
Mike678
8 years ago

Dan,
I guess we’ll just agree to disagree.

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