In his most recent screed for the pseudoconservative National Review, Michael Tanner offers a critique of Mitt Romney’s limited government bona-fides. While the critique sticks to the facts, and to Romney’s choice of RINO Michael Leavitt as the chief of his presidential transition team, the second page is just a litany of standard libertarian lies.
This article could’ve been an excellent critique of Romney and his personnel selections. Instead, it was excellent for the first page, while the second page is a cretinous litany of standard libertarian lies, i.e. something that Tanner is well known for. (And yet, the NRO still continues to publish his screeds while never inviting me or any other conservative to voice our opinion on the NRO’s pages.
Tanner falsely claims that:
“Of course, Leavitt’s appointment is not the only reason why advocates of limited government remain uneasy with a Romney candidacy.”
And what example does he give?
“For example, while Romney speeches have generally been excellent on the need to cut spending and reduce the deficit, he has still not provided much in the way of specifics about what he would actually cut. We know that he would not cut defense — indeed, he wants to increase it. Taking defense off the table means that cuts in other areas will have to be deeper. ”
And that’s the way it should be! Tanner is still propagating the myth that defense is just another big government program that should be cut along with everything else – or perhaps ahead of everything else. Tanner believes that protecting defense spending against deep cuts is a Big Government policy.
But it is not, and it’s FULLY CONSISTENT with conservatism’s principle of limited government – because “limited government” means limited to what the Constitution authorizes. Yet, the Constitution does not limit how much can be spent on defense or what the scope of defense projects may be – in fact, interpreted logically, it requires the federal government to do EVERYTHING that needs to be done to defend the country.
OTOH, the vast majority of civilian federal programs and agencies are unconstitutional as they are not authorized by the Constitution. This includes, but is not limited to, the Education, Energy, Commerce, HHS, and Labor Departments; the EPA; any federal CO2 emission limits; and all federal welfare and entitlement programs (yes, the SS, Medicare, and Medicaid programs are completely unconstitutional).
It is therefore entirely logical and Constitutional that Romney wants to make deeper spending cuts in these unconstitutional civilian programs, which I hope Romney and the next Congress will do.
So Romney has displayed a BETTER understanding of the Constitution, conservatism, and its limited government principle than Tanner.
Beyond that, Tanner falsely claims that Romney “continues to hold the door open for a VAT”, and as an addition to the current tax code. That is an insidious lie which Tanner should retract immediately.
Romney does not support a VAT, because he knows that it’s intransparent, multi-layered, and onerous. Nor does he support any ADDITIONS to the current tax code.
What Mitt Romney is “keeping the door open for” is a national sales tax (such as the FairTax) AS A REPLACEMENT FOR, not an addition to, the current tax code, which is even more intransparent, more complex, more multi-layered, and more onerous than a VAT, because even the VAT does not tax people after they die – unlike the current tax code.
Romney does not support a VAT. He’s keeping the door open for a national sales tax as a replacement for the current 66,000-page-long tax code. Even on that, he’s only STUDYING it.
If Romney were to sign into law a sales tax as a replacement for the present tax code, that would replace the current monstrosity with a simple source of revenue transparent to all taxpayers, visible to them whenever they purchase something at a retail store, one which will cause them to demand lower taxes and lower government spending. Transparency would give taxpayers a huge advantage, and they would get it if an NST were to be signed into law.
Romney has repeatedly said that the federal income tax is a huge drag on the economy that punishes productivity, and that making it flat will not make it any less of a drag on the economy than it presently is. He has said he wants to move away from it and towards a non-income tax, such as a sales tax, and that he still needs to study this option.
There is a serious chance that if Romney wins the WH and studies the FairTax adequately, it will get enacted. We just need to make sure he (not his advisors – Romney himself) studies the FairTax.