Not that I was expecting any different, but as I watched Mitt Romney accept the Republican nomination, I heard bold talk and big promises.
It is a narrative, plain and simple, an entertaining one perhaps, but one that I fear will do little to make things better for Main Street.
Small businesses are and should be the centerpiece of our country, and so I appreciate Romney’s efforts to put them at the center of his campaign.
But if he thinks reducing the size of our government alone will allow them to thrive, than either he is naive, or even he doesn’t believe his own talking points and just thinks we are all idiots.
I have my doubts about the President as well, and I suspect that when Barack Obama takes the stage in Charlotte this week, that while the message will be different, the rhetoric will be just as loud.
Here is the fatal flaw with Romney’s ‘get government out of the way’ approach to housing and commerce.
Government really hasn’t been in the way. Banks have been running wild lately, with few checks and balances put in their way.
Obama’s administration has left the banks to their own devices, more often than not, and has yet to really lay the hammer down.
And that was when our government was supposed to be keeping their eye on Wall Street.
So is Romney going to remove all pretense, and just shut his eyes as big business is left to keep making its own rules?
How exactly, will that help small business?
On the other hand, the problem with having bigger government is that it has given banks the access and influence they crave.
Wall Street has shown they have this ability to infiltrate our political system. Bankers have gone back and forth between the private and public sector, and their blueprint is all over this current administration.
The President has been effectively Two-Faced. While sometimes it does look like he is working on behalf of the people, other times he might as well have been acting as an ambassador to the banking industry.
Obama believes our government can be pure and benevolent, but it has been co-opted and corrupted by Wall Street.
Not unlike Romney, the President has talked a good game, but when it comes to decisive action against the banks, it just isn’t there.
Twice Obama’s administration has allowed Barclays to enter “non-prosecution agreements”, one its role in the Libor rate manipulation scandal, and two years ago over accusations it hid money from sanctioned countries like Cuba.
They paid a big chunk of cash, promised to do better, and went along their merry way.
No handcuffs, no jail cells, just Too Big To Jail…otherwise known as business as usual.
But Romney hasn’t acknowledged this crony capitalism, instead focusing on bogus examples when the real thing was staring him right in the face.
Instead Romney clings to this “We Built That” rallying cry, which is a theoretical construct of capitalism that simply does not exist.
The sad truth is both he and our President have painted a picture that fits their party’s platforms, but neither world actually exists.
Both are works of pure fiction.
For me it’s political popcorn, fun to eat, but not really filling to my soul.
I would love to buy into to Romney’s notion of unfettered capitalism, but the reality of it is there needs to be someone watching the henhouse, even if the current administration has not done a good job of it.
The President hasn’t mounted a meaningful prosecution to date, and I wonder if Romney would ever bother with the pretense of starting one at all.
So the question is which candidate really gets it and understands that true unfettered capitalism can only exist if the big banks are broken into smaller businesses that will have to compete with one another. Otherwise all you will have is moral hazard gone wild.
Whether or not we will get an answer to that question remains to be seen.
From The Trenches,
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