NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I give you my version of what should be candidate Mitt Romney's acceptance speech at the Republican Convention:
Thank you delegates, thank you Governor Scott, and thank you SenatorRubio. I am proud to accept your nomination for president as thecandidate of The Republican Party.
I am running for president on a simple proposition: Liberty. Invarious stages over the last 100 years, the liberty we acquired in1776 and 1789 has been eroded, bit by bit. We have a runawaygovernment that taxes us by spending record amounts of money, andregulates almost everything that moves.
Indeed, this has been the governing philosophy of much of thegovernment of the last 100 years, including the last four years inparticular: If it moves, regulate it. If it continues to move, taxit. And if it ceases to move, subsidize it.
It should come as no surprise that as a result, we are now so deep indebt that a return in interest rates to historical levels would mean adramatic economic collapse for our country. We have arrived at thispoint as a consequence of massive overspending by government at alllevels, in combination with millions of pages of byzantine red tape.
Economic growth, which should be humming at 10% or more, is stuck atstall speed close to 1%. The only things that are growing in oursociety are government spending and untold pages of red tape. Thesephenomena are of course two sides of the same coin.
History is of course rife with examples over the last two thousandyears of regimes that have spent themselves out of existence.Sometimes it happens because of the destructive effects of inflation.You see, the last thing a government often does before it goesbankrupt, is to print massive quantities of money, effectively taxingaway all private wealth in cash and bank accounts alike.
We are seeing the collapse of one of these ancient civilizations infront of our eyes right now. Greece spent the last 30 years applyingthe Democrat recipe for economic growth: Massive government spending,a never-ending payroll of useless government bureaucrats and a mazeof red tape that prevents people from building and running anyproductive activity.
Here is the question Obama needs to answer: How do your policiesdiffer from Greece?
U.S. federal spending was $2.8 trillion in the 2008 budget year.Under Obama, it's been approximately $3.8 trillion every year -- anincrease by $1 trillion per year, compared to just four years earlier. That's like Greece -- except many times worse. Government debt hasgrown from under $11 trillion to $16 trillion. That's also worthy ofGreece.
President Obama: Can you explain why the eventual economic collapsehere in the U.S. will be any different from Greece's collapse, if youget another four years to bury us deeper in debt and governmentspending?
There are many ways to try to explain why Democrats feel sodifferently than we do, in terms of how the economy works. I willfocus on just one of them, because I think it clarifies the criticalfallacy that Obama peddles to the American people.
What Obama and the Democrats don't understand about the economy isrooted in a naive view of basic human psychology. Obama believes thatas long as someone is given resources from the government, all theright products and services will be invented and built, as if bymagic.
In other words, what Obama believes is that people will invent andproduce without regard for self-interest. In his world view, it wouldnot matter if taxes were 99% or 100%, or if there were any privateproperty at all, because people would produce the same things anyway.
This is a romantically naive utopia which -- unfortunately or not --does not correspond to basic human psychology as we have learned itthroughout human history. It may be politically incorrect to pointthis out, but most people, most of the time, do things because theythink they are enriching themselves, not strangers.
This insight into basic human psychology means we need to stay awayfrom giving money and power to politicians and bureaucrats, who havealmost no way to channel resources to productive use. Money and powermust remain in private hands, where it can serve to maximize theincentive for creativity and work.
When President Obama tells people that the money they make isn'treally theirs, is it any surprise that few people are hired and thatless investment is made? People invest and hire people for thepurpose of becoming as rich as possible. When Obama says that he willtake most of your money if you try to become rich, this does notsquare with self-interest. That is why economies fail, and you end upwith the inevitable national bankruptcy.
My opponent says that he is only asking for tax rates to return towhat they were in the 1990s, but that is wrong on two accounts.First, taxes have gone up on many fronts over and above the federalincome tax. Many of us pay local and state income taxes, sales taxes,capital gains taxes and dividend taxes, after corporate income taxeshave been paid.
The federal income tax may be only 39.6% in Obama's world of 2013, butyou could pay another 10% in state income tax, several percent in FICAtax, then invest in a company where the corporate income tax could be35% plus another 10% in state income tax. Then you pay dividend taxesand capital gains taxes if you should be so lucky to get some moneyout of this investment. Finally, you pay a sales tax that couldapproach 10%.
Add up all of these taxes and Obama's government will take closerto 100% than 50% of what you make in an economic lifetime cycle.Unless you are that one-in-a-million unselfish angel, why work? Whyinvest?
Of course, in the very end, it gets even worse: The death tax is 55%. And when I am president, it will be abolished.
The other argument is that back in 1993, our country was lesssusceptible to competition from other countries. There was stillchaos in the former Eastern bloc. India and China were almost nowhereon the economic map. Other developing economies such as Brazil andIndonesia were likewise of very minor ability.
So if the U.S. government in 1993 raised income taxes, where would yougo? The answer is that you had almost no choice, which meant thatdamage to the U.S. economy was contained.
These days, things are different. We have numerous countries aroundthe world with low tax rates, sometimes flat income tax rates of 17%or even less. Corporate income taxes can often be 15% or below.Capital gains taxes are in some cases nonexistent.
In other words, we cannot compete effectively anymore, taxingAmerica's businesses out of existence.
Ask the businessmen in your hometown why they are not hiring orinvesting. I bet many of them will tell you that they don't want toinvest because Obama says he will take their money if theirinvestments succeed.
So what do they do? Businessmen across America are holding back frominvesting and hiring because they are waiting for Obama to cease to bea threat to their private property.
Like it or not, businessmen are not investing because of Obama. Solike it or not, Obama has to go.
But it is not only taxes and spending that are holding America'sbusinesses back. It's also red tape. Some of this red tape isdesigned to make it more difficult to fire people. It has certainlyled to more hiring of litigation lawyers, suing companies who fireworkers for any reason or no reason at all.
Much of Europe has of course been rife with laws that make it almostimpossible to fire people. The main outcome of such laws has beenthat companies don't hire people.
Here is the dirty little secret: If you want to companies to hire asmany people as possible, you have to make it as easy as possible tofire them. I will remove the red tape of uncertainty, and therebyunleash a hiring wave across America.
But there are some people who should be fired right away. My opponentoften asks where I will cut government spending in order to meet mygoal of getting the Federal government down to 20% of less of GDP,down from the recent increase to today's 25%.
I will tell you where I will cut. The federal government employsuntold -- perhaps over two million -- bureaucrats. These people makeon average over $120,000 per year, and retire relatively early withfull retirement and medical benefits. They have fancy offices withcapital equipment and furniture.
When a Democrat friend asks you: "Where will Romney cut governmentspending?" You should reply: Romney will fire the bureaucrats andeliminate their budgets.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Department of Energy which generatesno energy, a Department of Education which educates nobody, aDepartment of Commerce which creates no commerce, a Department ofAgriculture which grows no food, a Department of Labor which does nolabor, and a Health and Human Services Department which createsneither health nor service.
When we win in November, we will fire the bureaucrats and eliminatetheir budgets. We will cut government spending, get rid of millionsof pages of red tape and cut or eliminate taxes.
The American economy is currently standing still, looking at the redlight that is Obama's anti-economic policies of government spendingand red tape. In a few months, after our victory in November, thatlight will turn from red to green overnight.
By the morning of November 7, as soon as regime change is certain, aninvestment and hiring wave will be unleashed in America. It willcatapult economic growth from 1% per year to over 10% almostovernight. It will induce a world-wide economic boom. All because weunderstand liberty and what motivates people to work and invest.
Thank you, and God bless America. I now invite my Vice Presidentialcandidate Paul Ryan to join me here on the stage.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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