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Many might see the Republican Party's frantic scurrying around to find a viable candidate to run against President Obama next fall as a genuine exercise in democracy. Perhaps. But then again, it could be just an act of desperation by a political party which is on it's way to becoming totally irrelevant in America.
Ask yourself....other than cutting taxes and regulations on America's rich and powerful.....what else of any substance does today's GOP offer? That's a tough question to answer, I think.
I've long thought that out of the extremely thin talent pool Republicans have to draw from, Willard Mitt Romney will most likely emerge as the party's presidential candidate. Coupled with a wingnut vice-presidential candidate, Romney may be able to, at least, be as competitive as McCain and Palin were in 2008. But lately, I've been having second thoughts.
Romney has three huge problems with extremist conservative primary voters. RomneyCare, his Mormonism, and his uncanny ability to be on both sides of every important issue. Because ObamaCare was fashioned after RomneyCare and 26 wingnut-governed states are currently doing their best to scrap ObamaCare......and naturally, all wingers hate everything Obama.....Romney is having, and will continue to have, a problem explaining being in favor of ObamaCare in his state but against ObamaCare for the nation. Splitting hairs doesn't quite describe Willard's task at hand. States can issue a mandate that all citizens must purchase something but the federal government cannot? Quite a stretch.....but if anyone can mold himself into a political pretzel, it's Willard,.....so we'll see.
What will most likely disqualify Mitt Romney, however, is his Mormonism. All religion, it doesn't matter which flavor, poisons everything......but fundamentalist Christians, including evangelicals of all stripes, regard the Latter Day Saints as a cult, not fully 100% Christian. Since fundamentalist Christians and evangelicals make up a large portion of the GOP's primary voters....it is very unlikely that Romney will win many, if any, early primary elections next spring.
If Romney can't cut the winger mustard, as it were, the only semi-serious alternative might be the boring former Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty explained Tuesday what his economic policies would be should Americans be confused enough to elect another GOP president. T-Paw's policies are quite interesting.
The former Minnesota governor's plan aims for a bullish 5 percent annual growth that would balance the federal budget while forgoing trillions of dollars in tax revenue. Pawlenty's pitch assumes the benefits of his plan would kick in and eventually make up for its initial costs.
"Growing at 5 percent a year rather than the current level of 1.8 percent would net us millions of new jobs, trillions of dollars in new wealth, put us on a path to saving our entitlement programs," Pawlenty said...
"It's patently ridiculous," said Michael Ettlinger of the liberal Center for American Progress. "It's not worth serious discussion. ... No one serious thinks that's possible,"
That's because the U.S. has never experienced 5% economic growth over any extended period of time....ever. But in the details, it looks like T-Paw is a devout believer in what George H.W. Bush called "voodoo economics."
Briefly.....voodoo economics enthusiasts think that if you cut taxes, especially on the well-to-do, the federal government will have more revenues coming in than before. Yeah, I know.....that grates against basic arithmetic and common sense....but it's what T-Paw and many other supernaturalists within the GOP say that they believe.
Believing that deep cuts in taxes on rich Americans and even richer American corporations will produce more tax revenues for the federal treasury than the treasury previously received before the tax cuts.....is akin to the belief that Jesus was going to return last month.
But T-Paw is unmoved by non-supernaturalism. Get a load of his plan....
_ The estimated 45 percent of U.S. households that did not pay income taxes in 2010 would see no change in their tax rates.
_ Individuals would pay 10 percent tax on the first $50,000 of income. Couples earning $100,000 would also pay that rate.
_ "Everything above that would be taxed at 25 percent," Pawlenty said.
He said he wants to cut business taxes from the current rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, and he called for dismantling vast pieces of the government.
Tax rates, particularly on the very rich, are at 60 year lows.....which given our high deficits and debt, would seem to indicate that low taxes do not produce more revenue than they subtract from the treasury. Furthermore, current business tax rates have not stopped the Fortune 500 from posting record profits......record profits during a nasty recession.
T-Paw wants to lower taxes on business and the rich by MORE than the disastrous cuts of the Bush administration. And then, I guess, hope for different results than more record debt and historically low job creation.
To believe in what Tim Pawlenty is offering, especially after the Bush debacle, would be like the followers of Harold Camping now insisting that the radio preacher's "new" Jesus-is-coming prediction will "by god" prove to be true this time.
Don't believe a word of it.